Monday, April 21, 2014

Body and Phone

How often has it happened to you that just as you need to make an important call, need to google something or expect a text message you see the red bar blinking and find that you are just minutes away from the automatic shut-down? Could this energy drain in fact be symbolic? Could your phone usage actually reflect your relationship with your body? Do you pay attention to your phone’s battery level every day and always make an effort to recharge it? Similarly, do you pay attention to the energy level of your body and soul and do do anything to take better care of yourself?

We all tend to use our body as if there is no limit to it. We seldom pay attention to our physical needs and consequently act irresponsibly. We tend to think that we can use our body as we wish just like the way we drain our phone's energy without thinking much about it. But then one day we wake up in the morning and notice something is different and we can no longer do things quite the way we used to. The little discomfort we feel is very much like the flashing battery light on our phone. This wakeup call gives us opportunity to reflect on our relationship with our body and we can adjust accordingly.

We tend to get sick after long periods of stress or hard work. Without proper rest we are not able to release those toxins that we accumulate over time; and without rest, relaxation and pleasurable activities we are unable to recharge the system. Yet, by being sick we cannot help but to rest, and by coughing, sneezing, and running nose, we are able to discharge these toxins from our system. We all hate to be sick, yet our body is actually doing us a favor by shutting down. After some rest we are reborn and good to jump again into our busy lifestyle.

May we all learn the wisdom our body has taught us! If you have been sick as well recently, perhaps we can all try to keep an eye on the battery level before it runs out. Spend more time at the recharging station and enjoy your active life!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

思念

思念
思念像春天的花香
慢慢、漫漫地浸淫開來
直到她包圍住了我的整個存在

敦化南路上的書店,
信義計劃區的電影院,
巷弄裡的小吃攤,
陽明山上的風與霧,
大街上熙來攘往的公車;

大潭郊野公園的人行步道,
中環的摩肩接踵,
壽臣山上的野花,
美國會的波瀾壯闊;

全在此時盈繞著思鄉的我。

亞洲啊!亞洲!我魂牽夢縈的故鄉!

紅豆湯、粉粿!
蚵仔煎還有油炸鬼!

想念啊!想念!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Celebrate The Holy Day

Have you ever thought of the meaning of Sunday? Many religious traditions go back to the idea that there should be a special day in the week to let go of all worldly engagements and use that time to connect with God instead. Yet, we ask you, despite sleeping in a little and going to church perhaps, do you really do anything differently on Sundays?

Fact of the matter is that we are surrounded by beauty, love and amazing connections yet most of the time we don't even realize it because we are too busy making money, scheming our future or regretting the past. We need a day to reconnect with the daily miracles of life, and once we do, we at least have a shot at carrying this connection through the rest of our busy life.

When we are busy and engaged with our daily problems, we cannot make ourselves stop to appreciate the beauty of so many other facets our life has to offer us; the tasty food we have every day, the beautiful house we live in, the love of family and friends that surrounds us, and the abundance of nature nearby. We take all of that for granted and classify it as trivial, yet, these presents are what makes our life worthwhile. Even if you are driven by career, material abundance and craving excitement, without these divine mood boosts you will soon run out of energy yourself.

Connecting with these daily activities is a bridge to God. Mindful living allows you to realize the divine touch God surrounds you with. You feel grateful for all the presents God has prepared for you. Since no one can be mindful all the time, devote a special day to celebrate all your divine connections. At this special day, quiet down, try to be aware of every activity and every connection, and celebrate life and love as best as you can. Be aware of God's energy that surrounds you always. Take a break from everything, recharge your energy supply and be ready to dive again into the busyness of the upcoming week.

What better day could there be to make this connection than Easter Sunday? Celebrate spring, feel the divine energy in the air and make this special day the first to reconnect with what is really important to you. Take a deep breath, take a look around and be blessed by God's grace.

By Christian and Su Zhen

Friday, April 18, 2014

Moses Trip Through the Desert

The journey to God is merely the reawakening of where you are always and what you are forever. It is a journey without distance to a goal that never changed.
(A Course in Miracle)

Moses was a prophet, he wasn't the Messiah. Moses had a direct line to his God, Yahweh, and he had the power to perform miracles to lead the Israelis to freedom; yet, he himself was not allowed to reach the Holy Land. Shortly before they reached the land of milk and honey, Moses died.

Did you ever ask yourself why exactly is took the Israelis 40 years to cross the desert? A quick look at the map shows this distance could have covered quite quickly. The trip through the desert was self-imposed. All the slaves of Egypt were not ready for freedom quite yet, it was only their offspring who had a new shot at it.

Our assessment of what exactly the role of the a Messiah is has changed. The New Age believes that everyone these days has a shot to take a claim of the Sonship. The Course in Miracle as one example has the idealistic vision that we all together - once we show up for the mission we were born to complete - are the Sonship. Still, remember that no matter how good you are, a trip through the desert will have to be part of your journey to claim your heritage.

Why, you may ask. Well, have a look at the folks that claim they have reached this stage of enlightenment before you. All of them went through an intense period of letting go. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert before enlightenment struck; Buddha spent years searching for it. I remember the story of the sage Sri Ramakrishna who spent all his will-power on reaching that blessed God connection. Then one day he simply had it, he took a sword and said "well, if you don't come to me, I am coming to you" and was just about to kill himself with it
when a vision of Durga Maa appeared; She took the sword away and said, "Don't worry, I am here."

The trip through the desert is symbolic, it doesn't have to be real. We are human so demons, fear and accumulated guilt are part of us. There is no God who wants us to suffer, there is just us who aspire to be divine. Demons and fears are of your own making, do not engage with them and they will pass on their own. Always remember, there was absolutely no need for a 40 year Pass-over, and the land of milk and honey is definitely yours to claim. Sri Ramakrishna's Maa is always on your side. Just take Her hand and make the transformation complete.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mind Control

You are responsible for what you think because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice.
(A Course in Miracles)

Thoughts are streaming from the sub-conscious level into your awareness. Sometimes you seemingly wake up and say, "Hey, where did this gone from?" and sometimes you don't even notice how your conscious thoughts build on the initial spark from deep below and somehow you think this train of thought has been of your own doing.

We somehow think that we are in charge, yet a lot happens below the surface and we just take ex-post ownership of the idea. Consider this psychological experiment. Some people were hypnotized and told that sometime during an upcoming business meeting they should get up and water the plants in the conference room. That's exactly what they did at the surprise of their colleagues. When they were asked afterwards why they did what they did they gave responses like " Well, the plants suddenly looked thirsty."  There was not a single person who said, "I haven't the faintest clue why this happened to me."

We all think that we are in charge, yet we are probably much less so than we think. There are some who claim that with a lot of awareness we can somehow control our thoughts. I am not sure about that. What we can do, however, we can influence the stream of thoughts that come bubbling up from the depth of our being.  When we mentally embrace thoughts that pop up, and especially when afterwards we engage in this activity, we will give energy to this theme and more associated thoughts, memories and impressions will bubble to the surface. The Course in Miracles writes, "You are much too tolerant of mind wandering." You find our how much influence you have over the voice your head. You certainly don't own it, but the voice in your head also doesn't own you.

As you walk a spiritual path you have more choices to guide your life into a spiritually meaningful direction. This and only this will slowly redirect the stream of thoughts in a direction that you will appreciate. Yet, spiritual travelers have the problem that they don't want to face certain traces in themselves, the greed, the lust, the competition, the anger. We block this stuff out and then seem surprised if the stuff bubbles to the surface nevertheless. Deal with the stuff that just refuses to go away. You will find an answer to all your struggles.
That's what a spiritual path is all about. To find answers and to make everything that happens in your life spiritually kosher.

Thoughts will naturally become less chaotic as you travel a spiritual path. This is not because you have become a superior person, it is because a spiritual path encourages you to declutter your life. Things that were harmful for your soul development before you no longer can do as the associated pain just becomes too much to bear. As you become simpler and more straightforward in all your dealings, the thoughts that bubble to the surface also become easier to deal with. A spiritual path is a lesson in perceiving as much as in doing. You perceive love in your thoughts and deeds just as you recognize the lack of it. Mind control may not be possible but awareness is and there always is a freedom of choice somewhere. Recognize this choice in everything you see, think and do. The one spiritual law you can always count on, when you encounter love, know that you have chosen well.

Monday, April 14, 2014

King Arthur's Round Table

I was reading with my son the story of King Arthur the other day and there I learned a little more about the legendary round table. 50 nights were sitting at a table that had no head so even King Arthur was just one of many in the brotherhood of knights. All chairs along the table were magic; if the chosen knight sits down, his name will be automatically imprinted in golden letter on the chair. Over the years all the chairs ended up being filled with worthy knights. Only one chair was deliberately left open in honor of King Arthur, the chair opposite to him. It was left for a villain who still had to be found, it was said that once he sits on it, he would die a painful death.

The symbolic meaning of this set-up is pretty straight-forward. While a round table is a symbol of perfection and equality, in the 11th century people weren't quite ready to lift all knights up to the king status of Arthur's magical proportions. So no one was allowed to face him. More than that, his character and knightly attributes were so superior to everyone else that his presence had to be offset by a chair of darkness just to equalize the playing field.

We have learned a lot since the olden days. Not only is the world an equal playing field today in which we children of God march hand in hand towards freedom. We have also discovered that the so-called dark side is an invite to transcend rather than to confront. The person opposite to you who does stuff you disapprove off has an important message for you personally otherwise he couldn't push your buttons. Look inside and see what you can adjust and observe how your so-called opponent either vanishes or transforms with you. King Arthur's round table was a revolution in its time. Let's continue the magic and fill the table with 50 ascended souls of equal standing.

It takes a little effort to be knighted but your spiritual journey is well worth the effort. The chair with your name written on it is already waiting for you.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My Holiness Blesses the World

This idea contains the first glimmerings of your true function in the world or why you are here. Your purpose is to see the world through your own holiness. Thus are you and the world blessed together. No one loses; nothing is taken away from anyone; everyone gains through your holy vision. It signifies the end of sacrifice because it offers everyone his full due. And he is entitled to everything because it is his birthright as a Son of God.

There is no other way in which the idea of sacrifice can be removed from the world's thinking. Any other way of seeing will inevitably demand payment of someone or something. As a result, the perceiver will lose. Nor will he have any idea why he is losing. Yet is his wholeness restored to his awareness through your vision. Your holiness blesses him by asking nothing of him. Those who see themselves as whole make no demands.

Your holiness is the salvation of the world. It lets you teach the world that it is one with you, not by preaching to it, not by telling it anything, but merely by your quiet recognition that in your holiness are all things blessed, along with you.

(A Course in Miracles, Lesson 37)