A Different Country, a Different Attitude

25 August 2010. A different country, a different attitude. And the cultural shock is an opportunity for forgiveness to take place. More often than not, wrongness comes into the picture first, followed closely by blames and judgments.  Only when right-mindedness comes into present, that all these are seen from the perspective of love, of forgiving oneself and others for what they have not done, as what was seen were merely projections from the perspective of the ego, of the unawaken state – of perceptions that were conditioned by the past.

I was waiting in queue with others in the group at the Ximing train station for the coach to Tibet to arrive anytime. We purposely took the initiative to line up earlier at the gate so to escape the last minute hassle of pushing and tugging in entering the train platform, which we earlier heard was reputably notorious for messy rush and inconsiderate line hopping.

True enough, when the train was about to arrive at any minute, locals just came to the front and squeezed themselves in to be at the gate. Horrified by their attitude, all judgments come into reign. What I learned in the past about forgiveness was totally gone in my presence. All I experience was separation of bodies that were seemingly threatening my peace, and my righteousness of what they should and should not do.

So easy is it to forget the call of the spirit for Love’s presence, of forgiving and letting go. The more I see myself in this way the more I see the urgency of the practise of awareness of what is going in the mind, moment to moment. The purging of my old deeply ingrained ideas need to be addressed. Not purging as in changing my attitude right away as that only tantamount to resisting what is in me, but rather in recognizing with wisdom the unprofitably of such mentality that would subject me to constant suffering and disease.

Wisdom is key and wisdom is not something I can merely create. Only when I choose to see things from right-mindedness, can wisdom arise within the mind. And that takes a sense of inner responsibility of what is already going on here in the mind instead of projecting what is out there away from the mind.

And if you were to ask me what gain do I have in visiting Tibet, I would say it is another journey of forgiveness, just like any other journey that I have taken, within my vicinity. No doubt Tibet is a nice place to visit; in fact, a reminisce of some sort, of many past lives of being a Tibetan; but that does not heal my past if the journey is just for the sake of entertaining my ego, of knowing who I am in the past. What is past, except a memory that holds no meaning of wisdom or understanding or even freedom?

As I sat in the bunker bed in the train, I could not help but be thankful and appreciative to those who came along in the journey, and to all the benefactors who made this journey possible for me; from financial support to all kinds.

To them, all my prayer of love and deep gratitude.

Life’s Uncertainty

(Photo taken from the train in the morning along the journey to Tibet)

23 August 2010. It is 11.15pm as the train rumbles along its track, overlooking the range of the Qilian Mountains.

The light from the bright full moon of the 7th lunar month cast a majestic silhouette over the plateau. Sitting on a bunker bed, shared with three other friends, the room barely accommodates our luggage that we brought for our 13-days expedition to Tibet. At the moment, the enchanting country that I have heard so much of is merely a figment of an imagination in my mind. It will be another nineteen hours before we finally arrive at our destination.

I am struggling with my breath as I go in and out of my sleep. The body is acclimatizing itself to the altitude that increases by the hour. Some are complaining of chest discomfort. My neighbouring friend sleeps with a laborious breath. No one can tell what will be in stored for us when morning comes though many of us have prepared ourselves with local medicine that supposedly helps to reduce discomfort due to the altitude.

Isn’t this what life is all about? Each moment of living is to prepare us of the inevitable – though we have an iota of what life is in stored for us, but ultimately when the time really comes it does not come exactly as what we want or how we had perceived it to be. They say life is uncertain and I say perception is constantly changing and thus nothing, nothing is ever perceivable except change itself.

When I wake up in the morning I will know what is here for me – life hangs on a thread, as I face my own vulnerability subjected to the change of nature, of climax and my body adherent to it. I am far, far away from home, from the comfort of what I usually would know what to do, everything by my finger tips. But here, 5,000m above the sea level, anything can happen, not excluding death. Already some of us are showing signs and symptoms of discomfort – everyone moving in slow motion and speaking too, seems to take awhile for it to be verbalized.

The landscape is majestic and panoramic but the heart is in constant battle of maintaining awareness of not overstretching itself. Any excitement only weakens the heart and making breathing laborious and uncomfortable. Metaphorically, this is what we experience of life. We can’t really get a full percentage of what life is offering us as we are deeply bounded by conditionings of our belief systems. The dos and don’ts stop us from living our lives fully. We seldom question our limitation. We live each moment in subjugation to our views, resign to the fate of what is in our space.

Though I think I live freely, I am not free. Though I think I am here travelling up to Tibet, I am still experiencing everything within the confinement of the mind – that what I see, think, smell, feel or hear are merely projections of my own perception. I am in Tibet yet I am not. It just dawned upon me again that I have been nowhere, gone nowhere.

And I can only sum out this experience as what I had read from Your Immortal Reality:

The secret of reawakening to your immortality is in mastering not the things of this world, but the way you look at this world.