To Tibet!

My close comrades, Junn & Shahira, behind the backdrop of Potala Palace (25/8/10)

I am away to Tibet till 4 Sept. Enjoy reading the past entries and be awakened to the Truth!
Will share new understanding after my return   :)

Deception, Inception

Mum is old, confined to the wheelchair, as if waiting for her days to come to a final. Her body frame tells a lot from being a diabetic the toll it has upon her. First, the illness took away her sight exactly nine years ago. By sheer luck, or purely an act of love, I managed to coax her to meet a china physician, whom with a three inch long acupuncture needle, with unwavering certainty and confidence, inserted into her skull, without needing to try twice. After a few sessions, she swore that the physician has, without her knowledge, poked a few thousand needles into her skull, as she explains later that she felt her entire brain was vibrating uneasily, as if electric current was passing through her head.

Obviously without her ability to see, she has made a wrong assumption. A single needle is all what the physician gave with a mild electric current connected at the other end of the needle, yet the experience itself would have magnified the entire nerve-filled gray matter; that I am sure would have been an uneasy experience for anyone. It is of no wondered, her hands are ice-cold whenever she is brought to the clinic, though emotionally she showed a kind of courage which she always portrayed. The healing modality did recover her sight, but her ignorance of her own diet brought a full swing of glaucoma to her sight.

Secondly, gangrene has had one of her legs amputated. As I sit beside her, I am mindful of a soul that is weary from the bodily dis-ease that imprisons her to the little corner of the wheelchair, day in and out. Many a times sitting alone, she has obviously forgotten about her wheelchair bound experience as she talks to herself joyfully as if there are people around communicating with her. There was once she walked out of her wheelchair forgetting she is no longer two legged. She was also being noticed eating an unseen banana deliciously as she expressed how nice the experience was to an unseen force whom the observer herself could not see. She seemed delirious, but who are we to know what is in her space as her mind experience brought her to a very real dimensional experience that we are not able to perceive, as understandably we are still trapped in this physical body. And aren’t those who talk or walk in their sleep goes through similar experience?

What is real then? Has reality much to do with the body, or to be précised, the perception of the body? As where we are, so long as we feel that we exist, we are practically experiencing reality, at that moment, irrelevant whether it is in this dimension or not. It can be in a dream, in a coma, in an unconscious state of insanity, or even in this reality. So long as there is a perception of a body, of me, mine or I; the so-called realness of that moment becomes our experience, and hence make us think it is real.

When I am not grounded or anchored into this moment, in this so-called reality, I am obviously no longer here, but somewhere other than here. That somewhere can be as real as here, as I am still identified with the idea of me, mine or I. What then is the difference between now or there? Can I say that here is more real than there? Or “there” is more real than here? For when I am “there” I no longer identify it as “there” except “here”, all the time and hence my reality.

Again, what is real? If the Buddha’s answer to the passing mendicant is “I am the Awakened One” – without question, we are all still asleep in our deepest slumber, a dream in the making, oblivious to its deception. As Morpheus told Neo, in the Matrix, “do you think you are really breathing, in this program”? And may I add on, “do you think you are eating, walking, sitting, peeing, moving around anywhere, everywhere”? Do you think there is someone or somebody, or for that matter, yourself, in your own hologram, except a deceptive dream? Am I really, really here? Or is this just a figment of an imagination as pointed out by Mad Hatter to Alice in her wonderland.

Hence, is there really death then, except the dissolution of the body? Can the mind die? Or simply does the mind continues on, albeit a dream state?

Oh, Absolum, please do not leave me until I know I am the real Alice...
(adapted from Alice in Wonderland)

Bitter Gourd Lesson

My little nephew of six abhors bitter gourd. Not that he does not like the taste but rather, he got the idea from his do-or-die-comrade-brother of nine that the gourd is not good at all. Being young and naive, he unquestionably follows what his peer does, with little wisdom in it. But yet, mind you, he is one wise kid I have ever met. At the tender age of six, he is able to ask questions like why his mind does not stop thinking, why his grandpa needs to leave or why I am unable to speak Mandarin though he has improved himself by taking up English as a means to communicate with me!

Seeing him smart for a question of wisdom, I seek my partner’s interpretation of smattering Mandarin, sufficient enough to make my needs clear to him. Otherwise my mum-in-law is on the reserve, complimenting my needs a little clearer. You see, my m-i-l does not understand English that well and I, on the opposite, have difficulty speaking my needs to her in complete Cantonese sentence. My wife comes in between, knowing a little of Mandarin and lots more Cantonese than me, and hence my mum-in-law completes the whole picture!

So when my little nephew nodded his head to mean “I am ready for the question”, I sounded to him to choose only one of the three statements at his very best knowledge. I gave him three:

  • Disliking the food without giving another chance to check it out;
  • Disliking the food and keen to recognize why he is doing that; and
  • Disliking the food and yet forced to partake out of fear of admonishment from an elder peer.

He chose the second statement without hesitation and I questioned him further the reason of his choice. His simple answer was “I just love knowing why”. Now that makes sense as by nature all of us are inquisitive. And yet we seldom use this trait to question our fear or resistance. We take a blanket judgment and come to a hasty conclusion without pondering further, hence nailing down our potential of expanding our field of knowledge which in due time can come into maturity of wisdom, only when we put into practice of what we know.

Without the initial right information, or right knowledge, it is near impossible to come into deepening our realization as wisdom springs from the onset of right idea or right view.

By nature, we are not born to accept fear as ways of growing or learning but yet it is deeply ingrained within us that we have to use guilt or fear to instil discipline and commitment for change to take place. We do it to others and also ourselves. I am truly surprised that even spiritual leaders too advocate guilt as way of healing – that regret is necessary and redemption is compulsory for change to take effect. Obviously they have not given the thought that wisdom has the potential of making change too.

What went wrong along the journey of our spirituality? Have we missed the mark of what the Masters’ have spoken?  Have we reconfirmed what is already in our mind, the ideas that are dysfunctional in the beginning due to our lack of wisdom? Or is it because we are lassitude in applying the nature of the mind – inquisitiveness, which is an integral part of our journey to wisdom? You can only answer for yourself if you wish to see the dharma* coming alive in your day to day living, else the practise is only confined to the little sitting cushion, a fragment of your day living.

*A word to mean Truth