When I go out to meet the light, the shadow of my body follows me, but the shadow of my spirit precedes me and leads the way to an unknown place
- Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Satisfying the lower chakras

Last weekend I was invited on another trip to the outdoors.  This one was a gem and incredibly it was only a half hour from downtown Kuala Lumpur - the capital of Malaysia.  I've read that trips to nature can bring balance to the lower chakras which relate more to our primitive animal nature.  Personally I didn't feel any tingling in the lower regions, (I'm actually grateful for that) I just had a blast scrambling up rocks, taking in the fresh breeze and expansive views of Kuala Lumpur.  From this vantage point it seemed as though this impressive city was growing right out of the jungle floor.  

Because of its geographical setup on the perimeter of the Klang Valley, the quartz ridge we hiked comprised a boundary between two worlds.  On the southern side was a world of sprawling urbanization conceived by human engineering and the northern side was lay dark green jungle in its simplicity and wilderness.  On this side there was a placid mist enshrouded lake.  There was a sort of gate where the ridge dipped low at one point, from here water from the lake was piped to the city and flocks of various species of birds would traverse back and forth.  

More can be read from this website:


This is a picture of the 'gate', where the ridge dips low.  It is hard to perceive because it was taken from the ridge itself.  It cannot be seen in this photo but to the right of the ridge begins the creep of urbanization.  


At the higher altitude, there were carpets of moss due to the constant humidity and frequent rain.  

Ascension

I have brought some teachers of Ascension to Malaysia.  They just arrived here about a week ago.  There are two teachers, Brahmi and Kailasa, and two students in their group and they've just found a house to rent so it looks like they're staying awhile.  I've seen Ascension make a difference in my life, it has healed past wounds and afforded me the means to break free of the habitual downward pull of my mind.   I want to share this technique with my friends and relatives because I know it works and it works easily.  

It's been disheartening trying to share the Ascension technique with my friends and acquaintances.  Most commonly I've encountered two groups of resistance:
  • people who are addicted to their suffering 
  • people who have an unrelenting need to be right
I've found that there are people who bemoan the fact that their lives are unhappy yet they refuse to let go of that suffering, they are addicted to it, it is so familiar to them and part of their identity.  Letting go of old thought patterns, even the ones that bring suffering is scary as heck because you have to trust that there is enrichment in that vast unknown when we cast our bucket to draw from the mysterious well of life.   But the mind intervenes in order to preserve it's mastery over ourselves.  

I also learned about people that have a strong stubborn need to be right about their view of life.  I was disheartened to encounter harsh opposition from someone that I thought would be amenable to Ascension because of his own forays into metaphysics.  This person had just spend a year in the US acquiring a PhD in metaphysics but he was quick to judge Ascension as a money making scheme without bothering to venture into the experience.  Ironically, today I received a spam email from him asking to signup under him for a pyramid selling scheme.  This experience highlights the stark distinction between knowledge and wisdom, one cannot experience God from the mind.  We cannot come closer by adding to our intellect, often it only hardens and distances us from each other.   


With Ascension I've changed.  And that should not be surprising, if you wish to change the results on your life then change from the inside you must.  I've become more rebellious because I rely less on automated responses and more on my own  choosing.  With these changes, it sometimes feels as though I've become dislodged from my place in society, like I'm now swimming upstream against a current.  I won't deny that at times I've felt completely bewildered and singular in my state of being as I imagine myself straddling two realities - one reality involving the common set of limiting beliefs society upholds and the other referenced from that Bright place in my heart whispering to me of my entitlement to many hidden joyful wonders.  

Monday, September 8, 2008

Looking beyond

The other day I tried to see the energy field around us known as our aura.  I have read that this is part of our mind, our minds extend beyond our bodies.  Two of my friends that can perceive auras have tried to help me see them though unsuccessfully.  But I have discovered a heightened tactile sensitivity to energies since I learned Reiki.  The other day after I performed Reiki on her, my friend and I experimented with this field of energy.  I found when she closed the distance between my skin and her hand that I was actually able to sense from a good foot away a tingling sensation on the area beneath her hand.  Tantalizing extrasensory experiences such as these impel me to continue along my personal journey of inquiry into the meta-physical realm.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

At last - my soulmate

After years of waiting most of my life, I've finally found my Soulmate.  Chino is the wrong gender and species, and although he's a dog we share a special bond.  He belongs to my friend and whenever we meet he goes ape$hit with happiness at the sight of me, totally ignoring my friend much to her chagrin.  In fact he can barely contain his joy that he resorts to making spastic leaps and snorting sounds of delight around me.  Then once he's calmed down a few notches after a few scoldings from his mommy (my friend), he introduces me to his assortment of stuffed toys and we play tug of war and fetch.  Apparently he is only this way with me and it is clear that he loves me more than my friend, so it must mean that we've known each other in a previous lifetime.  Maybe I sacrificed my life to save his once, I don't know.  I'd need to do some past life regression hypnotherapy to learn more, either that or learn to speak 'bark' because I swear sometimes he's trying to tell me something other than "throw the toy" or "tickle my tummy now please".

Chino - my Soulmate:


Monday, August 25, 2008

Healing Hands

A few days ago I learned Reiki.  The opportunity to learn Reiki came to me by an invitation from a yoga instructor at the yoga studio I go to.  At the time most of me did not believe this could work, I've had Reiki properly done on me once in a flea market in southern California and it did not knock me off my chair so to speak.  Since then without further reinforcement, my mind dismissed the mildly fascinating experience as a trick of the mind.  We have a tendency to remember only the details that reinforce our deepest beliefs, and my deepest beliefs were restricted to the phenomena that science could explain with a formula because of my undergraduate studies in physics.    


A few days ago when I learned Reiki the old model of belief took a huge beating.  Six of us gathered at a yoga studio - five students and one Reiki Master.  I walked in expecting a magician in robes but the Reiki master seemed benign and ordinary, actually just like your typical middle aged Asian housewife.  The yoga studio however was prepped quite nicely, an OM chant was playing and lavender incense was burning to cleanse the energy of the room.  We sat on blankets and Anne briefed us on the history, principles and theory of Reiki.  I was heartened to learn that according to one account of the discovery of Reiki, the original master was a dean of a Christian school in Kyoto, Japan named Dr. Usui whose original quest was to learn how Jesus could heal in miraculous ways.  Learning this was affirmation that here surely was another stepping stone on my quest to find the Truth.  


The Reiki ability is not grown gradually and it is not dependent on individual talent, it is simply passed from teacher to student in an attunement process, hence anyone can learn it.  First we performed a brief meditative and visualization procedure to cleanse our chakras, then Anne transfered the Reiki energy to us.   For this we sat in a chair with closed eyes, our feet on the floor and hands clasped in a prayer position over our chests while she did her magic stuff.  It was during this part of the attunement that I felt a very strong distinct tingling sensation over my head, throat and heart chakras.  Until that moment I had questioned the existence of chakras and so it startled me, in my mind I saw a twinkling burst of yellow light.  For the rest of that day, I was tingling and pulsing in certain chakral locations along my spine.  


Once we were attuned, we practiced on each other.  The client would lie down and the practitioner would place his/her hands at certain locations on the body.  If healing was needed the hands would either tingle, grow hot or very cold.  The new practitioner that treated me accurately located the areas in my body where I knew I was hurt or weak.  I could also verify the sensations in his hands as he described them to the class.  When it was time for me to treat my friend, my skepticism took over as I placed my hands on her.  Yet by the end of the treatment skepticism was replaced by wonder.  


That night I awoke at 3am and could not return to sleep, I felt too alert and there was a clarity in me that I could not recall ever knowing.  So I Ascended hoping that it would help me sleep.  During my meditation I felt a great calmness descend and my body dissolve.  I have never been in such a pleasurable blissful state.  I did not want it to end. 


I will conclude this journal entry with the Reiki Principles/Ideals as guidelines for living a gracious life and virtues worthy of practice for their inherent value.  From my manual:

  1. Just for today, I will let go of anger.
  2. Just for today, I will let go of worry.
  3. Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.
  4. Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
  5. Just for today, I will be kind to my neighbor and every living being.

Note my previous post in which principle i. was tested, I'm a little sheepish about that one.  

A Free Lesson

Today I threw a major rant against God which is typical whenever things go bad in series.  It occurred on my way downtown to receive my shipment from California.  I had been keeping them in storage until a place to move the items into became available.  I was upset because I was late, and I was late because though I had caught a cab early I had to return home midway to retrieve the keys to the apartment that I was moving the items into.  To make matters worse, the cab driver couldn't wait for me after he dropped me back in MidValley because he didn't have enough gas to get downtown at that point.  So I had to get back in line for a cab again... and by the time I got to the apartment downtown what had been 30 mins early had become 30 mins late.  


Why was I upset with God, well because I was supposed to be more capable of living life with each step along the Bright Path.  The logic being with less mental clutter comes clarity of thought, and therefore correct action.  Instead I could see my parents shaking their heads at me in chastisement, "See?  You still haven't learned to do things right."  But as it tends to be with events we judge as bad and consequently make us angry or fill us with guilt, with more time comes understanding so that eventually a different opinion evolves.  Often we even become grateful.  In this situation a long time was not needed to realize how my anger and fears were unjustified, when I got there instead of finding an upset crew of shippers I received a message telling me that they weren't arriving for another hour.  And so I received a harmless but effective lesson in prioritization and yet another reminder to surrender to events that I can't alter.  Hey maybe this was my first mini miracle...??


As for my possessions from California, each one of the 73 pieces made the journey.  But, two of my cherished major items of furniture took a bad hit.  One was a copper top half moon table that now looks like a 2/5 moon table and the other was some surface damage to a double dresser.  I was overall pleased to see that my furniture complimented the new apartment very well.  I guess it was the right decision not to sell off everything as I had originally intended to do.  Whoever rents the place will be thankful as well.  


I'm sitting here on my bed and I'm feeling a certain sense of peace that had been missing for many months now since the day I put my items in boxes and watched them loaded onto a truck.  Wow, it sure feels good to delete this spot of worry in the back of my mind.    

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How to Perform Miracles

I am reading a big book called A Course in Miracles.  It is over 600 pages thick and actually is a guide on how to become a sort of miracle worker and perform selfless extraordinary feats in the name of love that defy time and space.  I started this book a week ago.

This book originates from the US but it has international recognition and the fact that a teacher is available here in Malaysia attests to it's global success.  I bought this book after attending a seminar here that has been ongoing for a few years now, the participants meet monthly and the speaker doesn't get paid.  The proceeds of the small cost to attend go to the rental of the room and the food.  

In the book there are daily exercises aiming to dissolve mental barriers and unlock one's hidden vast power.    I am not doing the exercises, maybe I will commit to them but for now I just glance at them from time to time.  Presently, I am more interested in the theory of it all and believe me it is very impressive, I find it difficult to consider that a human mind conceived of this content because it truly goes deeper than anything I've ever read.  The author of the book is not listed on the binding.  I am told that the person that sourced it is deceased now, instead of her name the source of the publication is listed as "The Foundation for Inner Peace".  From what I've learned at the seminar, this book was actually dictated and not authored.  To be precise the woman that wrote it channeled messages from another realm.  Personally, I am skeptical of this but the more I read, the more amazed I am of its cogency and accuracy.  And so I suspend my disbelief and continue to read, and continue to learn.  I do think this book and I were destined to meet.  

Oh, and if you believe the claim then the actual author of this book lived and died thousands of years ago.  And you probably know him.  

Faltering light

Still no guidance... nothing substantial has developed yet in my life and as far as my inner growth and expansion is concerned it seems that too is stalled.  Profession wise the training that I've intended to take is not available yet in this region and there is no clear indication of when it shall be.  I am told that the training should be available soon, in a month I think.  The interview that I hoped would lead to a job... did not.

I should have knocked on wood when I boasted in a previous post that I can't remember the last time I've been bored.  Now I can - it was last night, and the day before and if I'm not mistaken there was some of that the day before it too.  But is it really boredom or is it avoidance of the frustration that I now carry.  Perhaps I am avoiding time alone with myself and my mind is calling it boredom; and so rather than deal with the issue(s) haunting me sub-consciously I look for social distractions instead.  

Last night I declined a dinner invitation, instead I stayed at home to confront this rising tide of negativity that is dimming my light.  And so I Ascended and shed a substantial portion of this weight, by the end of the session my Godmother text messaged me to inquire about me.  I could not help being slightly amazed at the timing of her message.

Is this the extent of the Bright Path?  These days as the blissful months prior to my arrival here in Malaysia stretch farther away in my memory, I find myself being re-hooked more strongly into 'The Dream of the Planet' - a term the Ancient Toltecs used to describe our false version of reality which is a collective dream of billions of smaller, personal dreams that the humans before us created and each generation perpetuates.  The Ancients believed we dream with our brain awake, and so our minds dream twenty-four hours a day.  In the book The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz attributes the source of our limiting beliefs to this dream state.  He says from birth we were domesticated, first by our parents through punishment and reward.  And though we rebelled against the beliefs we were not strong enough to win the rebellion and we surrendered to these beliefs with our agreement and thus dream society's dream also.  The belief system is the Book of Laws that rules our personal dream.

Yesterday I encountered some new music that moved me strongly, listening to it it seemed my eyes were opened and for a moment I awoke from my dream.  As my mind quietened, time slowed and doorways within me reopened.  I wondered with gratitude, how long has it been since I've been this reassured of the reality I seek?  



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A rough period

Yesterday I returned from having spent the last 3 days in Singapore - the Garden City.  I took a bus to Singapore to spend time with my bro along with my parents.  We decided to all meet in honor of his turning 35 years old on August 11th.  Singapore is a pretty city, I have not seen as many trees aesthetically utilized to accentuate and characterize urban living.  I've been here many times before but have not appreciated the trees this way.  Maybe they are bigger and hence more observable or perhaps my eyes are more open.  I shouldn't compare the two cities but I will... two things strike me immediately crossing the border between Malaysia and Singapore.  I've mentioned the first, the second is the fresh clean appearance of the well maintained buildings.  In Malaysia, it is rare that you find anything built well maintained, in Singapore it is the norm.  That is a typical distinction between a developed nation and one that is not.  

I was only there for 3 days, hardly enough time to form a more qualified, broader opinion of a life there.  Yet my immediate impression of the people... I did not find Singaporeans friendly.  It seems that eye contact is taboo in this city, as is expressing your true feelings.  But then again, it seems that wearing your heart on your sleeve is generally avoided in urban societies.  We are conditioned to wear a mask or risk looking the fool.  

Yet yesterday someone reached out and connected with me in an open and heartfelt way when I needed it badly.  The past 2 days have been very rough for me, I've been doubting everything I know about God and simply loathing myself.  Usually I don't sink this low because I find solace in my belief that a kind God is listening, this time I felt utterly alone and abandoned.  In short, the dark part of my mind was having free reign over my spirit, there was only the feeling of a complete failure in every aspect.  Admonishing myself for leaving my life in California behind and gaining nothing in return.  "All I wanted was a closer relationship with you, but why do you make those who love you and seek you in earnest suffer the most??", let me return to ignorance, let us be strangers if that is the surest path to bliss.  

So yesterday evening as I was walking through the mall here in Midvalley with this defeated spirit of mine, a stranger looked at me as I was passing and gave me a brilliant smile.  Smiles are a rarity in this city, and this one was like stumbling upon a large diamond.  Whoever you are I do so appreciate your courage and huge contribution to me, thank you.  If this is how strangers react to smiles, then I ought to make it a point to smile to at least one stranger a day because it can really transform someone's world in an instant.  When we reach out with a smile we risk rejection, and that dark part of my mind that says you're not worthy is constantly looking for affirmation.  But I've been shown the impact of a smile, and I will create new worlds with mine.    

Ok, well... temporary new worlds.  My dark self returned and reached it's lowest point last night as I was falling asleep.  The other thing that can swing a mood perhaps more surely than a smile is a good night's rest.  This morning I woke up and with renewed energy I feel once again capable of achieving.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A fierce combatant

In the night I dreamt an enduring dream.  I was battling fiercely with a fearsome fighter of superior caliber.  I did not know this fierce combatant nor did I know why we were fighting other than I sensed that he was in my way.  For a long time we were engaged in a furious flurry of sharp blows, parries and counter-strikes.  Despite my best attempts I could not outwit nor hurt my opponent, I realized with mounting dread that this fighter was far superior.  Actually, this was no mere mortal I was fighting, he seemed to be some sort of deity.  My intensity waned as I tired, in a last ditch effort I threw everything I had at my opponent with fierce vigor, yet to my dismay every single strike was masterfully deflected.  Drained of my offensive spirit, I then resigned to simply defend myself.  As I ran out of fresh ideas I grew desperate, "how do I defeat this opponent???  Every tactic is futile".  In response the crazy answer instantly flashed in my mind; and as his arm thrust at me in mid-strike I simply dropped my arms in surrender bracing for the blow.  It never came.  When I opened my eyes I saw myself alone with my way now unimpeded.  That is when I awoke.  

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Back to Basics

Today I took a train to spend the day with my aunt, uncle and cousins.  My aunt babysits on the side for the local residents of the apartment complex here.  Some of whom are quite belligerent being on the resident committee.  Outside on the common patio where some of them are having an impromptu gathering I can hear the impassioned discussion of action items to take against the management and it sounds like a rallying cry for a Jihad.  I decide to distance myself from the group and sit here in the living room with laptop and some down tempo music.  

One thing I enjoy about coming here is the re-immersion into the regular family life of which I surrendered in large part 17 years ago when I moved to Canada without my family.  Today I sat down with a family at a dining table, conversed about mundane topics, watched some television, made friends with the neighbors 7 year old daughter and got better acquainted with my cousin Rynna's 2 month old baby boy - Raiedy.  

For 10 minutes I sat on the bed and put on my friendliest face for my newest relation; in return Raiedy put on an award winning display of baby charm, easily winning my heart over with his jerky arm and leg motions that seemed to serve absolutely no purpose.  During this session, Raiedy also showed me a technique of making someone fall in love simply by grasping their finger and making cooing sounds.  Though very useful, I undoubtedly shall have to practice that one repeatedly.  Was I ever as yielding and assuredly worthy of love as this little fearless warrior?  




Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Break from the City

This past weekend I got away from the bubble that I'm been confined to known as MidValley City.  

I went to this place:

www.serendah.com 

with this bunch: 


















18 Malaysians, one French guy and me ( I don't know what I am ).

I got a ride with 3 of the guys who were smokers.  In fact, of the entire group only 4 of us weren't smokers.  Such are the statistics here in Malaysia, well especially in the urban areas.  Nevertheless the air quality was really only an issue in the car, once the we departed the city and the air took on that heady sweet aroma of nature I started to feel a surge in my soul.  

The size of the group made it less than ideal to be a bonding intimate nature experience but on the other hand it allowed me to meet a bunch of new people who know how to let loose and get crazy.  Personally I would have preferred to separate the two occurrences but I enjoyed myself anyways.  There was nothing to deny me the opportunity to sneak away once in awhile and Ascend by the swimming pool or chill with my iPod under a canopy of trees.  

I was invited on this trip by Mervin, I met Mervin in Barcelona in May.  He's Malaysian and was passing through Spain.  Before arriving in Spain I had arranged to meet an old church friend of mine Bernardin whom I had not seen in 17 years but through the wonder of Facebook had become reacquainted with.  She had moved to Italy since she had married an Italian man.  Like me she too has an adventurous spirit and is on a spiritual path of her own.  When she heard I was passing through Barcelona she made plans to meet me in Barcelona and it was her that introduced me to Mervin a former colleague of hers from years ago. 

An interesting thing occurred on the day we left for the trip.  I had not known this but Mervin planned for us to hike to Kuala Kubu Baru waterfalls.  It is about an hour hike to this special place, the falls are quite spectacular and I never knew that the region had such natural treasures.  The energy at this place is also unique, it is a good place to meditate.  The local Ascenders that I met here recently rave about this place and we meant to organize a trip there.  Well, when Mervin and the 20 of us arrived there I was amazed to see at the precise moment of our arrival by car a couple of the Ascenders there about to start their hike with their families.  What a fantastic precisely timed orchestration to allow us to effortlessly congregate here!!  

The overall highlight of the weekend was hiking back from KKB falls.  Since there were 6 river crossings to get there, I was quite soaked upon my arrival so on the way back a couple of guys and me decided to walk in the river back.  It made the trip a heck of a lot of fun, I rode the rapids on my back and got banged up a little but it was a wild experience and I was completely absorbed in the thrill of it.  

Right now my direction in the next couple of months is hinging on the outcome of an interview with a company I'm interested in working with here.  If that doesn't come to fruition then I'm looking at New Zealand next.  I can see myself working there for 2 years.  NZ to me seems like Canada but in the South.  And I miss having the grand outdoors nearby.  I would get back into mountaineering, backpacking, camping and climbing.  This past weekend there was a 4 page spread in the newspapers here about moving to New Zealand.  I took it as another nudge from the Big Guy.  Oh and by yet another divine orchestration, Mervin and I both happen to know the same friend in New Zealand.  What are the chances that the one person we know in New Zealand would be the same one?  Her sister was part of the group of 20.       


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Reluctant Messiah

Today I felt peculiar. There is an anger that I have been deceived all my life it became apparent to me at a point in time when I moved a step closer to the Truth.  The Truth that we're capable of performing miracles and it was tantalizing yet scary. I felt the burden of responsibility shift towards me and I hesitated, I feared the possibilities. If I discover the Truth and learn that we are so close and that it requires nothing nor effort, can I forgive myself for denying myself in all the years of ignorance and what will then be the limitations where shall the boundaries be? It would be chaos. Somehow I crave the limitations on my abilities, it makes me feel secure in my and absolves me of responsibility, it is comfortable. And even if I were willing to stake claim to my limitless power as  co-creator then finally I must address the final question upon my conscience - how dare I?

With this revelation today I understood why we kill our Messiahs.  

Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there.
What you choose to do with them is up to you.   -  Richard Bach


Monday, July 28, 2008

Impeccable Words

"Although you appear in earthly form, your essence is pure Consciousness.  You are the fearless guardian of Divine Light.  When you lose all sense of self, the bonds of a thousand chains will vanish.  Lose yourself completely. " 

"Why are you so enchanted with this world when a gold mine lies within you?  Open your eyes and come - Return to the root of your own soul."

- Rumi

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

There are no ordinary moments

Today once again I sent a text message to my Godmother and she said she was just thinking of me.  :)

It's been 3 and a half months since I've been employed.  I'm wondering with each day what is ahead for me.  I seem to be living a misplaced existence, everyday I walk past scores of office workers because I live in a commercial district and I feel a certain surreal detachment.  Here I am unplugged from the engine of the economy with no letters or bills coming my way.  It would seem that I exist for no meaningful purpose.  I cannot deny that the urge to find employment grows as my savings shrink.  What is coming my way?  Was my hunch just a delusion?  

These days I enjoy my freedom answering to no one.  I am a sort of sannyasi.  How far can I go with this freedom?  Could I stand in a welfare line and still hold my head up high?  I thought that without a business card I would always see myself inferior to anyone with one.  Yet, I know this is not the case, I have never felt more confident in my life.  Spending 8 less hours indoors each day, my body is tanned and toned, I feel strong, light and agile, I've never felt more attractive and healthy.  

From my Ascension sessions, I've never been so in tune with life.  Little details in the scenery that used to be overlooked now elicit wonderment - the sunlight, the wind have differing character, even trees seem to beckon wanting to impart their wisdom.  In the day the sun's rays dance lightly upon me invoking joy and at night the moon instills calmness.  Life has become wondrous, in a sense it is a rebirth because things just seem new again.  I can't remember the last time I was bored.  In all honesty, it is true.  Have you seen the movie "The Way of the Peaceful Warrior"?  The catch phrase is, "There are no ordinary moments".   I used to think of the statement as an exaggeration but now I am not so certain.  This morning as I watched the sun rise above the trees I observed that perhaps there are constant lessons, messages and gifts in our lives that go unheeded.  If we were more aware of the subtleties, even if we were simply more present then we would grow and expand.  Maybe that is why the Camino was an expansion for me, I was so connected through the journey.  I gained more than words can convey.  We would live our lives less bored, there would be less routine if we were simply more connected with each moment.  We wouldn't be so quick to dismiss each situation as "been there done that".  It is not that our lives are repeating each day, rather it is our mental responses/opinions/judgments that repeat themselves and we are weary of them.  The reality remains hidden. 

I have never been more faithful in my life.  An enlightened man once said, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all else shall be added unto you."  I have been living this creed for the past few months.  I will wait a few more weeks, if no guidance is forthcoming then it shall be time to find work.  

Monday, July 21, 2008

Long Life To You My Friend

For the past 10 months I have been Ascending daily.  From the outside it looks like meditation but it is actually much simpler than meditation.  I spend about 40 mins daily doing this twice a day.  What occurs the longer you Ascend is that your consciousness expands and you become more connected with... the powers that be?  God?  Brahman?  the Universe?  Elohim?  There are many labels but if it weren't for this loving supreme intelligence I would have been too crazy to give up my comfortable life in California.  

Since Ascending I've been having seemingly extraordinary events such as intuitively knowing when my phone is about to ring and picking it up in my hand a second or two before it actually does.  

This week I've been hearing my friends and relatives exclaim "Wow, Long Life" more times than ever before, meaning that they were thinking of me that instant I phoned or walked in the door.  Either it's the new cool catchy greeting everyone is now using in place of "Whaaaasssssssssssuuuuuuuup????" or I'm just so likable that everyone constantly thinks of me or I am somehow plugging into some sort of universal stream of consciousness.  

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Open your hand to receive

There's a book that I've adored since I read it.  I think this book is the most profound treatise on existentialism that I've ever read.  All the fundamental questions of our existence are dealt with quite soundly, in its words one can discern a sort of guiding compass for one's Bright Path of discovery.  I valued it as a reference to the point that I was afraid of parting with it, but I did anyways last week because I lent it to my Dad.  Since then  I've never had so many books lent to me in such a short time.  And these are books that greatly interest me!  It is true that it is difficult to receive when your hand is busy clutching onto something.  

Anyways, here are the books that have come my way in the past few days:
  • First Thunder An Adventure of Discovery - MSI
  • Open Mind, Open Heart The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel - Thomas Keating
  • Evolution's End Claiming the Potential of our Intelligence - Joseph Chilton Pearce
  • The Four Agreements A Toltec Wisdom Book - Don Miguel Ruiz 

"The secret is not to be found in the answer, the secret is to be found in the mystery".  

Batik from the heart


Ok it's time to end the drought and post an entry on this Blog.  I've been staying here in Malaysia for over a month now and I realize I should not wait for a monumental event or revelation to hit me so I have something to write about.  So I'll write about nothing... because nothing is still something.  

What I miss most living here the past few weeks is the tranquil embrace of nature.  This apartment is situated next to the city and walking through the mall across the street makes me feel like an electron battling it's way against the current in a closed circuit due to the sheer number of people that I weave my way through.  At the end of it I tend to shift to an agitated state of energy, certainly not as grounded.  On the other hand, Nature loves unconditionally. 

Last night I met a man in his late 40's who had left the city and moved closer to Nature since his wife and soulmate passed away unexpectedly nine years ago.  He's a Batik designer who now lives close to aborigines of Malaysia in the forest.  There he dyes fabrics on his own.  He used to run a successful business with his wife creating batik clothing.  She was the fashion designer and he was the artist.  She was the canvas and he was the paint, the colorful patterns they created together was adored by many.  When she passed away, he lost his soulmate and business partner.  The business was dissolved, his home was sold and he retreated into the wilderness in a depression.  The past few years of isolation in Nature was his therapy.

He had brought with him a plastic bag and in it were 3 articles of clothing that someone had originally intended to discard, he had applied his skillful batik techniques to transform and disguise the offending stains.  The end result was an entirely different garment and quite beautiful.  This was his new business and he called it "I dye for you".  

I was moved by the way he spoke of his wife.  Since then he had dated a few women but each affair was brief.  It seemed that he had resigned himself to a solitary existence, there was still unhealed grief.  I thought of my previous post about Soulmates, I told him there is more than one Soulmate for each of us.  Another one is out there.  "It was hard enough finding her", he said.  I objected and I wanted to change his belief to help him, but I couldn't because inside I shared it.  


Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Theory of Soulmates

I am reading a novel these days since I have the time.  In it there is a fascinating theory of Soulmates that is shared between a wise woman who knows the art of magic and a young girl.  I am reproducing it here on my Blog:

'We are eternal because we are all manifestations of God,' Wicca said.  'That is why we go through many lives and deaths, emerging out of some unknown place and going towards another equally unknown place.  You must get used to the fact that there are many things in magic which are not and never will be explained.  God decided to do certain things in a certain way and why He did this is a secret known only to Him.'

'The Dark Night of Faith,' thought Brida.  So it existed in the Tradition of the Moon as well.

'The fact is that when this happens,' Wicca went on.  'And when people think of reincarnation, they always come up against a very difficult question: if, in the beginning, there were so few people on the face of the Earth, and now there are so many, where did all those new souls come from?'

Brida held her breath.  She had asked herself this question many times.

'The answer is simple,' said Wicca, after pausing to savour the young girl's eager silence.  'In certain reincarnations, we divide into two.  Our souls divide as do crystals and stars, cells and plants.'

'Our soul divides in two, and those new souls are in turn transformed into two and so, within a few generations, we are scattered over a large part of Earth.'

'And does only one of those parts know who it is?' asked Brida.  She had many questions to ask, but she wanted to ask them one at a time, and this seemed the most important.  

'We form part of what the alchemists call the Anima Mundi, the Soul of the World,' said Wicca, without replying to the question.  'The truth is that if the Anima Mundi were merely to keep dividing, it would keep growing, but it would also become gradually weaker.  That is why, as well as dividing into two, we also find ourselves.  And that process of finding ourselves is called Love.  Because when a soul divides, it always divides into a male part and a female part.'

'That's how the book of Genesis explains it: the soul of Adam was split in two, and Eve was born out of him.'

Wicca stopped suddenly and sat looking at the cards scattered on the table.

'There are many cards,' she said, 'but they're all part of the same deck.  In order to understand their message, we need them all, all are equally important.  So it is with souls.  Human beings are all interlinked, like the cards in this deck.

'In each life, we feel a mysterious obligation to find at least one of these Soulmates.  the Greater Love that separated them feels pleased with the Love that brings them together again.'

'But how will I know who my Soulmate is?' Brida felt that this was one of the most important questions she had ever asked in her life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Another restless night

Yesterday I met another person that fascinated me during dinner.  After exchanging introductions and pleasantries I soon realized that she is another active seeker on a path of her own.  What makes her exceptional to me is that she is Muslim thus challenging the notion of mine that Muslims are too ideological and unyielding in their beliefs to ease up enough on them to make an honest effort to find the Truth.  To take that responsibility upon oneself requires a willingness to accept that one's beliefs may very well be the source of their suffering.  This woman had  been to Hindu temples, Buddhist temples and churches to locate God that is unheard of in a person whose religious doctrine frowns mightily upon any such deviations of faith.  This woman is a rebel and her somewhat peevish mannerisms drew my attention and once the subject turned to spirituality she held my focus for the rest of the evening.  

That night at about 1 am I was awakened for no apparent reason.  Subsequent efforts to return to sleep proved futile, each sleep transition was thwarted by an gasping, abrupt jolt of panic.  I felt a sense of unease that I was not alone in the room and that something was trying to invade my being.  I remembered my first night in Madrid in that hotel room with my friend Lorena.  At that time I had the same sense of unease and it resulted in a stark paralysis that was terrifying and only broken by Lorena's intervention.  This time there was no one in the room to rouse me from that state if it occurred again.  I thought of the girl that I had met earlier that night, could she have something to do with this encounter?  She as well as Lorena both seemed to be on a higher spiritual plane than most people.  Was this presence that I felt a consequence of my meeting such people?  I recalled that Lorena too was unable to sleep that night.  I picked up my phone a typed a text message to the girl that I had met to ask her if she was having trouble sleeping but I did not send the message, I felt it was a little too weird since we had just met.   I got out of bed and occupied myself in the kitchen then laid in the family room by the window where immediately outside there was the junction of a brightly lit shopping boulevard and major street.  Though mostly devoid of activity, the light from the hotel and high rises across the street provided enough comfort for me to fall asleep without interruption.

The next morning I spoke with my father, I asked him how he had slept during the night.  I was stunned to hear his response, "I didn't sleep that well, there seemed to be an entity or something in the apartment...".  I could scarcely believe that he said that when I had not spoken anything of my own restlessness.  This sort of thing simply doesn't happen to people like me, the most ordinary guy who until 3 months ago was living the most ordinary life.  It is going to be a lot more difficult to dismiss my nocturnal feeling of unease as my imagination from now on.  



Monday, June 16, 2008

The current state of affairs

Returning to Malaysia I am aware of an uneasiness among the people here.  There seems to be much to worry about these days.  I have lived in this country for 16 years and I've never seen such unease.  The crime rate is higher than ever before, it seems everyone has either direct or indirect experience of theft or robbery or assault.  The price of food is escalating, the government is racist, traffic is getting ludicrous, the weather is getting hotter, unemployment is rising and the cost of gas is exorbitant.  The cost of gas here is pegged by the Malaysian government and rarely adjusts.  The government had promised to hold the price of gas constant in the country until next year; however a week ago it was increased unexpectedly by 40%.  Immediately there were incredulously long lines at the gas pumps as people jostled for hours just to save a few dollars.   

How do we maintain our healthy minds, bodies and spirit let alone our relationships with our loved ones with shrinking personal time and growing demands of ourselves?  

A friend of mine spoke with me last week.  It was an emotional conversation for her since she was communicating the poor health of her father following his heart surgery.  Her mother and her had consulted a seer who told them that he had a year or two left to live.  They were convinced about this but had not told him.  She said she was really cherishing the time with him left and was maximizing their time together and allowing him all the freedom to be and choose as he wished.  I reflected about this, who among us knows when this life of ours will be up?  Or how many of us know with certainty the number of days left with someone before they are taken away forever?  I questioned if it was fair not to tell him what they believed to be the amount of time he had left.  She said that he knew also.  "How do you know that he knows?", I asked.  In response, she recalled the recent event of the gas price hike which was unprecedentedly large.  Each time that a price increase had previously occurred her father would call her immediately and tell her to get in line at the gas pumps.  "This time I was waiting for his call but it never came", she said.  "He waited for me to come home instead, that is how I know that he knows".  

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Breaking my pain barrier

I am staying at my parent's apartment in MidValley city Kuala Lumpur. I have been enjoying their company since I arrived here in Malaysia.  Soon they shall return to China where my father works as an expatriate.  One of the perks of staying here at this apartment is the fabulous location across the street from 2 malls. In one mall (MidValley) I get to do my boxing workout in the gym, and in the other mall (The Gardens) I get to do yoga practically throughout the day at the yoga studio.

Yesterday I went for a 30 minute massage at the Thai spa downstairs. It was for my neck and shoulders and I expected tender, soothing and loving strokes.  Instead I received 30 minutes of intense agony during which time I did my best not to whimper nor express any discomfort.  I think my efforts to remain stoic only inspired the masseuse to dig deeper, I am absolutely convinced that she took satisfaction in making me raise my head and pound my fist on the floor. I had always thought that it was not possible to stay conscious and experience that level of pain. In fact, I never knew that pain could reach that high.  I didn't actually burst into tears but I experienced a sudden onset of Tourret's syndrome which abated only 30 minutes after she was finished.  Well, does it count as Tourret's if you don't actually vocalize the cussing?  I don't know.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Turning the page

My heart grieves. I sit here in the departure lounge awaiting my boarding announcement and I feel utterly exhausted emotionally and physically. Physically because of the effort to pack and haul my belongings. Emotionally because I am grieving over the people I have come to love but now am leaving behind. Today I said too many goodbyes to too many dear, dear people close to my heart. When I came to California, I never thought my friends could mean so much to me. Right now I feel that I have lost half my world.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A visit from Grandma

It is 420am here in LA on my first night back from Spain and I am staying at my friend Tom's place. Tom and his girlfriend were with me in Spain for the last half of my trip. I am glad for their company, I have not known Tom for terribly long but I already know that he is among the truest friends I have ever known. I will count him certainly high among the people I will miss most from California when I leave shortly.

I am writing at this odd hour because I've just had an experience that I believe to be the culminating catharsis of my trip to Spain. My Grandmother passed away last year at 91 years from cancer in Malaysia. She was my last remaining grandparent and the rightful strong matriarch of the Shori clan (8 children!) due to her keen insight and sharp wit in matters. We all admired her a great deal and aspired to be like her in many ways. She was always very much involved in our lives, counselling and praying for her children and grandchildren. Being in California I was unable to see her in time before she passed away as most of my other relatives had done. I arrived a couple of days too late.

One night at a point roughly halfway on the camino I dreamed vividly of her. She had come downstairs from her room to address a big gathering of the Shori family, aunts uncles and cousins were there. But before she said anything to anyone, she turned to me and gave me a long hug that left me wondering why I deserved such a long hug when others were waiting her attention. It was nevertheless a deep fulfilling hug.

An hour ago as I was sleeping I dreamt of her again and I awoke from the strength of the experience. I had been meditating everyday in Spain and I was often aware in those times of a well of sadness within me that my mind would repress because most of these times I was not truly in privacy and I didn't wish to allow any emotions to show on my face. An hour ago some of these emotions were set free and I thank my Grandmother for leading me through this.

In my dream I remember being in her home on the island of Penang, and sort of hiding because I was carrying some burden of guilt about something that I had done, I don't even remember what it was but I was avoiding everyone. My younger cousin Ansel was there and ran to tell my Grandmother, I was dismayed and fearful so I chased him into her room to stop him. But he proclaimed my guilt before I could stop him, thereby rousing her from her bedrest since she was afflicted with cancer. In my dream, I broke down in front of her and sobbed and begged her forgiveness. I remember collapsing at her bedside with the force of my sorrow. Then I felt her gentle hand touch my shoulder and urge me from the floor. Through my sobs I remember clearly saying "I'm sorry, I'm not a better person." She looked at me lovingly and simply said "but you were right" meaning there was nothing to forgive in the first place. I woke up at that point and I felt my eyes were wet on my face, I recounted the event of my dream and that's when the emotions really broke through. Without really knowing why I then went through several waves of wracking sobs in my awakened state.

In Spain I had written in my personal journal the question, "Spain will you deliver me from bondage?". I thought it to be a clever play on a scene from one of my favorite movies "The Fountain", in that scene Queen Isabel asks her favorite conquistador "Will you deliver Spain from bondage?". I think having this dream immediately upon my departure is in response to my question. The key to a successful Camino is to carry as little weight as possible. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Camino de Santiago Part II

“Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. 'Be still they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.'” - Linda Hogan

On the final day (day 11) of my Camino, I took a bus to Santiago from a town on the coast called Ribeira where due to unforeseen circumstances, I had spent the last 3 days with my friend Lorena and her aunt instead of continuing my walk. When I walked into the grand cathedral in Santiago I didn't feel an overwhelming emotional force wash over me. I had heard of people on the camino breaking down and sobbing at points on the trail when barriers within themselves crack, others have mystical experiences as they realize the unity that surrounds them. I did not have either one though I did feel quite emotional at certain places on the trail when the beauty around me seemed too much to bear. In such moments of wonder so intense that it seemed I was on the verge of dissolving completely and becoming part of the landscape before me.

Standing in the cathedral reminds me of the churches and cathedrals these past few weeks. They appear as mighty yet garish displays of wealth and power intending to serve as temples for worshiping God or to proclaim one religion mightier and truer than another. I felt a stronger presence of 'God' in the spontaneous loving embrace of fellowship between the Norwegian sisters and myself at one point during the Camino than in any of the churches and cathedrals. I touched the pillar in the cathedral that had been worn smooth as polished marble by the hands of thousands of pilgrims before me for centuries and I didn't feel a blinding flash of revelation. What struck me instead was the irony that this enormous cathedral had been built to honor the resting place of one of Christ's apostles but the facts showed that the person laying in eternal slumber in the sepulcher was actually shown to be more likely that of some heretic than St.James. So what was the supernatural mystique that drew us to this place in the first place? Or was it really purely a mental construct? It was just a physical symbol whose worth was entirely ascribed to it by our minds. The Camino can be any destination that we choose to create, indeed our whole world experience is formed by our minds. I have heard it said that the Universe perfectly reflects our thoughts back to us, one small mental shift can result in a huge change in the quality of our lives. Vast amounts of energy can be wasted holding onto self defeating beliefs and protecting them. On my Bright Path I want to drop the burden of these thoughts, return to my innocence and become fearless again. Let me remember my true identity.


“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own Light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Marianne Williamson








The fields of Spain.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Camino de Santiago Part I








Alberto


Outside in the Barrio de Santa Cruz of Sevilla, the tourists are wandering purposefully to capture the landmarks marked on their maps, and to experience as much of the ambience as permitted by their itineraries. The local merchants and restauranteers along the narrow, cobbled streets tempt the tourists to part with their money with offerings of souveniours, tapas and alcohol.

I have spent 8 days of walking the Camino. I had intended to walk 11 days but circumstances dictated that it be curtailed. I am certain that this short yet moving experience will be the highlight of my trip and from it I now have a clear mental reference for the level of tranquility and beauty that this world was meant to provide for us. When life becomes too hectic I can journey to this place again and check if I have strayed too far from what it means to be a sane person with my feet firmly on the ground and my mind fully present and connected with my surroundings.

Already in the succeeding days since the Camino I have found my mind struggling to stay where my feet are planted. In particular, the cities such as Madrid and Sevilla pulled me far off base and I lose completely the sense of all that is divine within myself. The self destructive thought patterns return with a vengeance, there are too many distractions and the fears pull my level of consciousness down. The world becomes hostile and unsafe again, I retreat deeper within lost in the maze and twisting labrynth of my thoughts... it is exhausting.

But I can return to the Camino as I do so now with a few breaths of awareness to write these words after a tiring day of walking the old streets of Sevilla in the Barrio Santa Cruz and El Centro districts.

If I were to use a single word to describe my experience on the Camino it would be... expansion. It was an expansion of my senses reaching outward into the world around me like feelers, I've never been so intimately connected to my surroundings. An expansion of my Self because I had all the room in the world to expand who I was, unencumbered by any identification with possessions, social status, family or friends. An expansion also because though it was a solitary journey I encountered fearless people, other Paths and seekers of the truth of who we truly are, who permitted you the space to simple BE. People who in those moments were not trapped inside their own minds operating on an agenda, or seeking anything from you other than to learn about the path that had led you here. To compare notes and be on their way again with an exchange of goodwill. It was safe for me to speak my mind with them and to love them. In my experience, the other people on the camino are often there to remind you of how amazingly talented and beautiful you are. Too often, we are led to believe otherwise I struggle and continue to do so to recognize myself the way I truly am.

The Camino was like your life condensed into the amount of time you had planned to arrive at Santiago, or wherever you define your objective because it really doesn't matter. It doesn't even matter that you complete your task because life decides that for you. I didn't walk all the way to Santiago but I felt in my heart that it was right not to do so for me, I relinquished the Camino due to unforeseen circumstances and though I could have altered the circumstances to continue walking I didn't do so since I was confident that I had walked the correct journey. Maybe it had to do with my realization that the Camino was not ending with Santiago, it would go on for me beyond these borders of Spain until I return Home. I saw how I lived my life by my journey on the camino, and I learned some lessons.

The first day was focused on reaching my objective in the least amount of time so I could move to the next experience. 'The more the better' – not so. Despite being warned by an experienced pilgrim who had walked the distance from Barcelona to the starting point of my camino in the ancient town of Astorga. Alberto in his 30s had already endured over 30 days of walking. He spoke with such passion of his experience. “Be open”, he urged. “The camino will change you... everyday I speak with my Mama and my girlfriend on the phone and they tell me that I am different.” As a final bit of advice he added, “Go slow, take it easy the first 3 days!”. I didn't quite listen to him, I feared that I would be the last one to reach the objective of the first day and I would be arriving in the dark without any place to stay so I hauled ass the first day and covered the 13.3 mile objective to the village of Rabanal in just 4 hours. Over the next couple of days my pace was humbled more and more as the punishment of my feet and back from the hard flat terrain took its toll. I walked the first few days alone and it was a struggle, the journey although shortened to just 11 days by starting my journey from Astorga instead of the French border seemed too much to bear. By the 4th day I was arriving around dinner time. It is the journey not the destination that matters, being forced to take frequent breaks meant that I was aware of my environment more. I had to trust that there would be a place for me to lay my head down at the end of the day and that people would be willing to help me otherwise.









The Norwegian sisters Kirsten and Marion.



“He who walks fast, walks alone. He who walks far walks with a friend.” - African proverb. By the fourth day I found myself walking alongside a pair of sisters from Norway that were my age. They spoke English well and I found that I could connect with them well on a spiritual and intellectual level since they were willing to look beyond the logical realm of science for answers to the mysteries of our existence. With them the miles flew by and there were healing moments since one of them had trained in Reiki and the other was a yoga instructor so we would sometimes start our day with Sun salutations to prepare our physical selves and often end with Reiki healing. In return, I shared with them the learnings I had acquired from my readings on metaphysics, existentialism and God. And there were many moments of laughter, healing of the past and learning from each other. Suddenly I didn't want the journey to end, we took every opportunity to rest at the taverns along the way and though we arrived later than ever before, each day was lived more fully and felt more complete because we had contributed to each other in a significant way. There was a certain energy that carried us. I realized that they saw me in a light that I could not see of myself. After the camino, the younger sister, Marion, emailed me an excerpt that she had translated for me from Norwegian. It is written by Paulo Coelho and it has touched me deeply:

" A warrior of light never forgets to be grateful. He was helped in his battle by the angels and the divine powers that made order and made it possible to share the best of himself. His friends says "He's so lucky!" And the warrior will often accomplish beyond his skills. So he kneels by the sunset and gives thanks to the mantel that he's swept in. But his gratitude is not only limited to the spiritual world. He is never forgotten by his friends, because on the battlefield their blood has been mixed with his. A warrior of light does not need anyone to remind him of the help he has received by others, he remembers by himself, and shares all his rewards with them" – from the Handbook for the warriors of light







Sometimes the friend that walks with you when you are weary is not even human in being.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

This Life... before it is taken.

I sit here on my bed in the Hostal Adriano in Madrid city, I've completed the Santiago trail and now have access to my laptop again. This Hostal is small and cheap yet quaint and clean, it is ideal for a budget traveler looking for 3 nights accommodation. Downstairs the narrow streets of the Sol district are coming to life as the weekend late night revelers begin to fill the streets to slake their thirst for sensual stimulation.

The Santiago trail was magical, I lived a completely different life for 10 days in a magical fairy tale land. I was Don Quixote traversing the Spanish landscape of meadows, pastures, rolling hills, streams, villages, towns... some these places were still very medieval in appearance.

The night before I started the trail I kept waking up each time I fell asleep, it was a reflexive response beyond my control. It was as though in that hotel room, there was an entity waiting to take possession of my body. It dawned on me that the real source of my fear was that I would not wake up the same person because I knew that in the days ahead the Camino de Santiago would change me. There was nothing to anchor me to who I was for the next few weeks ahead. Walking the trail for that period meant I was anyone I wanted to be... the possibilities were completely open. I had left behind anything that may have indicated that my name was Aaron Shori - possessions, job title, family, friends. nothing was familiar, not the landscape and even my language didn't work anymore. And when you walk 8 hours a day with none of the usual distractions instead surrounded by achingly beautiful scenery, in the tranquil undemanding embrace of nature, your spirit begins to rise and expand. Yes, for 10 days I walked a remarkable journey as a peregrino (pilgrim) and I was intoxicated with life.

I will write more detail on the experience of the Camino in a subsequent post. For now I wish to pay a small tribute to a coworker of mine. He passed away on May 12th in his late 30s, he used to sit 10 ft from me at my work and for 3 months he was on disability suffering an inexplicable health complication that had him in and out of ER sometimes 3 times a week. His name is Fazlul and I was blessed to have to opportunity to know and contribute to him in the year prior to his parting for that is when he joined the company, he had moved from Canada a year ago with his wife and 2 children. Not knowing anyone in California and his wife being unable to drive meant that he had to rely on his coworkers for transportation from the ER to home to medical appointment, week after week. Numerous tests were performed for months but there were no answers for the dizziness, nausea and intense pain in the neck that accompanied his frequent attacks. Before I began my journeying for April he called me to the hospital where he was admitted to see his newborn 3rd child - a boy named Sean Ryan. I never saw him again, for I had since then moved out of my apartment and had begun traveling on the Bright Path. Today in Madrid, as I opened my emails to catch up on events I learned of his passing. His body will be brought to Bangladesh and his wife will return to Canada with the 3 children.

Fazlul, may God bless you and your family. You didn't deserve to suffer your last days on this earth in this life the way you did. Your Camino in this life has reached its final step and now you as you start a new one on another path in another place and time, I bid you in the fashion among the Peregrinos of the Camino "Buen Camino my friend", journey well and far.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Towards Spain

In 2 days I leave for Spain. The primary purpose for this trip is to walk the Camino de Santiago - a fabled pilgrimage trail that has mention in several author's writings. One of whom is Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist). I will devote 12 days to trek the 210 miles between Leon and Santiago. Santiago is where the tomb is St.James the Apostle is believed to be.

My postings will likely dwindle for the next month, I will spend 30 days in Spain and I am uncertain about my internet access.

"Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin! "

Vancouver, Fluoride and Orbs

My time in Vancouver was delightful. I got to spend time with old and dear friends, and it was different from the usual 'hey there, what's up, see ya later' chats people tend to have with friends when they're on the go and the fact that the friend is usually accessible means the conversation can be kept trite and brief. This time around my friends and I connected and I left feeling we had left meaningful impressions with each other. I have the awareness that I've contributed some sort of knowledge to them... perhaps a gentle nudge in a direction. I've been pleasantly surprised to see that my life has suddenly become a sort of inspiration to my friends and many have warm blessings for my journey. Their own intuition conjuring joy and excitement at the prospect of what may lie ahead.

This trip I got to meet my dear friend Mona's fiance. His name is Peter and he had some interesting pictures on his camera. He showed me two pictures that he had taken in the new apartment that he and Mona had just moved into a few days ago. Both of them contained orbs. Orbs have recently been causing a sensation and books have been written, research has been conducted. It's easy to dismiss Orbs as malarkey, indeed most of them are nothing more than minute particles in the air being reflected by the camera's flash. Yet the pictures he showed me simply could not be dismissed that easily. The first one showed a patch on his shirt, it was taken in the garage under clear lighting. The second one that was taken a few minutes later sent chills up my spine, it was of Mona and the orb was huge in comparison. In fact it was PERFECTly overlapping her head with the exception of her mouth and chin. Science has a few theories for Orbs and some are paranormal. I have my own compelling belief about them that falls in neatly with the things I have learned recently.

In a separate conversation, my other dear friend Kally's husband also had some fascinating information about fluoride and plane spraying. According to Rajeev, the government has been spraying particles in the air that make us more compliant. He also pointed out that there is no reason for the high quantities of fluoride in our water. The first time fluoride was used was by the Nazi's in concentration camps to make the prisoners more compliant and dull. Apparently the average person will lose about 10-15 IQ points in their lifetime due to fluoride. He went on to list out other types of governmental research that was alarming and not publicly known.

Another odd set of occurrence that is hard to ignore... the lady on the plane en route to Vancouver mentioned the Mayan calendar and the year 2012. It was the first time I heard of this, and I didn't think much about it. The Mayans are long gone, I'm happy with my current calendar. The next day, Rajeev (Kally's husband) mentions the Mayan calendar and the year 2012. Second time in two days, wow. The next day again, Peter (Mona's fiance) mentions the Mayan calendar and the year 2012, now I'm concerned and listening.

This begs the question: Are my friend's are involved with nutbags or is the Universe trying to tell us something?











The orb on Mona.  Look how perfectly aligned it is with her brain.

A Momentary Terrorist

I am on Alaska Airlines flight 708 returning to LAX from Vancouver. The expectation had been that I would board Alaska Airlines flight 607 departing at 530pm, and the expectation would have been fulfilled if I had not come under heavy suspicion of being a suicidal terrorist at immigration. I am not upset at the US immigration officials in Vancouver airport for causing me to miss my flight by keeping my travel items under close scrutiny and myself under interrogation for a solid two and a half hours. It was not their fault that my story played much like a terrorist's and the funny thing is that as I listened to my own story I couldn't help but groan inwardly at my increasing awareness of the officials mounting conviction that I intended to hijack the plane and crash it into the Seattle Space Needle after takeoff. A few factors contributed to Gao's (the official) excitement at the prospect of himself becoming a hero in the eyes of his peers after busting me wide open and then handing me over to the FBI:

1. my brand new Canadian passport replacing a lost one
2. the fact that I made the decision to quit my job and leave sunny California for no sensible reason, exiting on a one way ticket to Malaysia without any significant career purpose
3. that I was going to Spain for 30 days on the 30th of April to rendesvouz with someone that I had met on a trip to Malaysia a year and a half ago
4. that I had a CD in my luggage called Dub Qawali by Nusrah Fateh Ali Khan which looked menacingly like fanatical brain washing by some sort of muslim extremist mullah
5. that I had among my possessions a slip of paper entitled “No Fear” in capital letters and listing out strategic on court instructions for advancing my tennis game. In bullet form were words such as “stay aggressive”, “take the ball early” etc. It looked remarkably like motivational instructions for storming an airplane cockpit.

Gao ran all kinds of background checks on me and my itinerary, the moving company that I had engaged, the friend that I was meeting. As a final measure he even borrowed two of my music CDs and listened to then researched their content. I was impressed at his dedication and the more time I spent with him, the more I admired his professionalism. At the end of our interaction, as the veil of suspicion fell away, he broached the hint of a sheepish apologetic smile as we called me forward to return all my Ids, paperwork and other evidence that he had accumulated. Though bemused and entertained, I was glad to part as another innocuous journeyman desiring passage.

Gao you deserve a medal for your efforts, I thank you for your orchestration of this journal entry and I also thank you that the rubber gloves you put on were strictly for the purpose of sifting through my baggage and nothing else. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

the streets of Vancouver

Today I walked the streets of Vancouver and really saw the people and buildings for the first time. I had lived by this city for many years prior to California and somehow I had never really experienced the vibrancy and pulse of the city and it's dwellers. I suspect my mind had been too cluttered trying to measure up to the person I thought I had to be, maybe too busy trying to fit in instead of really experiencing reality. This time around being jobless and homeless I didn't really know what my role ought to be.

Owing to the privilege of staying at my friend Kally's downtown apartment I was able to walk to the passport renewal office to replace my Canadian passport that somehow had walked away during my packing and storage a month ago. At the government office I was struck by the decorum and properness of the government officers, Canada is really the British version of the USA but more liberal. Then there was the quest to find a yoga studio, it was not hard to accomplish that. Yoga has really blossomed in this city as everywhere else in the modern world it seems.

This time walking the streets I allowed myself to let down my guard, stay fully present and observe the expression of each person, actually trying to make eye contact. I found beauty reflected back though shrouded by fear. I realized the smiles were quicker on the faces of the people of Hawaii.

Intuition

Here I am sitting in Seattle-Tacoma airport Terminal C in transit to Vancouver and anxious to journal the events of the past 4 hours. What an interesting person I sat next to on the plane, it is surely not a random coincidence that we were meant to sit next to each other. I had intended to sleep on the plane but I was restless in my attempts. Instead I found myself increasingly enraptured by the amazing elderly lady's conversation with me. Her name is Dr. Glenn Key enroute to an “Intuitive and Healing Arts” event in Anchorage and she is 78 years old though until she told me so I had thought her to be more late 50's. We began our conversation with the usual introductory banter but it shortly turned meaningful when she started to ask about the book I was reading whose title alluded to spiritual matter. Often when the conversation subsided and I resumed my reading and then returned to conversation with her a while later, the ensuing topic would bear strong relation to what I had just read and through no influence on my part and always in a natural flow of topic.

I interrupted her to excuse myself to the restroom at a point in the conversation when she had just begun to tell how she came to begin her spiritual quest. I returned and asked her to resume the conversation even providing the precise point where we left off but she ignored it and instead asked about my finances and seconds later she told me straight out that I was going to meet someone with a lot of money that would be very important to me financially. She said that was the message she received while I was away in the restroom. In December, at my office Xmas party there was a card reader on hand and I had my fortune read for the year, almost all the cards that I picked from the deck pertained to finance and the reader told me that this year was important to me financially and that it would involve someone older. To hear this affirmed by someone next to me on the plane left me astounded. I probed her about her ability to discern the future and she said that she received messages sometimes and was not a psychic in the true sense.

As she was helped into her wheelchair after the flight (she walked with a cane as a result of a fall recently), we hugged and one of the last things she told me was that walking the Santiago trail was going to be a meaningful experience for me. I looked at her in parting and noted her warm smile and glowing complexion. She seemed so radiant and otherwordly. When we were talking earlier she had asked if I had met angels before and I thought of another elderly woman that had sat once next to me at Nordstrom cafe. I told Glenn that I probably had come across such entities in my life but was not aware with certainty. She told me that she believed them to exist and guide us.

Perhaps she had been a heavenly usher along the bright path.

Monday, April 21, 2008

For my birthday I would like some time to sit down and breathe

Let me tell you, living without a home has its challenges. Since I gave up my apartment on April 26th my life has been a hectic scramble between 3 friend's homes selling my possessions, giving it away and for the most part shipping it off to Malaysia where it shall be used to furnish a rental property I've invested in. My sanctuary is no more, now each moment of privacy is a privilege. This alone takes it's toll on my sense of well being more than anything else. I am shorter fused and my mind seems more cluttered these days as a result. Plus my crazy schedule of travel has depleted my energy time and again, I'm now nursing a cold. Inside it seems that things are happening too fast, my life has become that bus in the movie 'Speed'. Nevertheless I am so grateful to the kindness and generosity of my friends that have opened their homes to me. Friends never used to rank highly among the blessings in my life but the past few years have overthrown that impression.

I am updating my blog now in Plano, Texas in my younger brother's home. My mother flew in from China 3 days ago and we drove to Texas from the OC. A non-stop haul of 21 hours and through the night. A road trip with my Mum that had me see in my 33rd birthday eastbound on the I-20. That morning as we were on the road, the sun rose directly in front of us and the full moon was equally huge as it descended in the rear view mirror, a unique occurrence of perfect harmony.

I was grateful to be with my mother and brother, Aidan, and his fiance on my birthday. We had a dinner here in Plano in his neighborhood and then had some martini listening to a live duo perform on-stage. My bro's settled real well in the US. He's got a lovely setup here in Plano, nice upscale living in a well planned urban community, everything within walking distance and safe. Opportunities to meet beautiful women abound here, my buddy Thanh would love it here. Socially, it has everything that Ladera Ranch in the OC lacks for the single bachelor. Today is Thanh's birthday, we were born less than a day apart and it seemed that our fates are intertwined as a result of this cosmic arrangement. We both seemed to be the last two bachelors at work and he commented that his Mum once told him that he would never be lucky with love because of his birthdate. The evidence show strongly that I am doomed to the same fate due to the close alignment of our stars.

Tomorrow morning I have a flight to Vancouver to see some dear friends for what would the last time for a long time.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Living Free

2 weeks ago I had a home, possessions and a job in sunny California. I've lived in California for the past 5 years, it was always a 5 year plan for me to stay here and life here quickly got comfortable. When I was offered a job here I didn't think it would be this difficult to leave but I've grown to love some people here and the weather... well that one is self-evident. After 3 years I had stretched my 5 year plan into a longer one, life was so good. Yet coincidentally after 5 years, the notion of leaving California replayed itself forcefully in my consciousness due to inside news of the impending threat of a layoff at work and the more I played the scenario in my mind the more I realized that many many signs simply pointed to going now. Still I had shelved my 5 years plan and more importantly my exit plan required a safe place to step to, it was a basic requisite. This was the unknown, it was not logical and it was not safe. Over one weekend of contemplation, the commitment was made to leave and though I escaped the layoffs I tendered and 6 week notice of resignation anyways a few days later.

Prior to California I was living in Vancouver stuck in a relationship and job that was repeating itself and going nowhere. I was not learning and expanding, and in that life I was also denying my girlfriend of 4.5 years her own destiny. Knowing this I was too afraid to let go because the fear of loneliness was crippling. How do you let go of someone that loves you when it seems that is all you have and love is all that matters? My family was scattered across the globe and I was the only one left in Vancouver, she seemed to be the only one that cared. Sometimes you grab life by the horns and sometimes it charges you unexpectedly. Once I ended the relationship I lost my job 2 weeks later, I left Vancouver and drifted for a while and to cut a story short California found me.

California is where I grew up, I've lived in Malaysia and Canada for the past 28 years but the past 5 years in Cali have been such great growth and inner cleansing. The person that is leaving California is hardly recognizable to the one that arrived here with a suitcase full of work clothes and heart full of intention to expand my being. The people make it hard to leave... I don't recall my heart being so heavy in leaving any place prior to this and I had lived in those places for longer. It seems that the bonds I've made here are stronger, maybe it is a quality of being more mature that the relationships also are taken more deeply into yourself. I can look at many faces of the people I have known here and I can recognize the specific quality that has drawn them to me and that I have learned from. Compassion, Joy, Maturity, Humility, Courage, they all wore faces and I knew them personally. I take a part of each of you with me, you are all part of me now, this is how I have grown.

A dear friend of mine threw me a going away party and I invited these people to attend. Someone had made me a book of travel quotes and during my farewell commentary I glanced through it and one quote jumped out immediately and I relayed it to the group. It could not have been more perfect:

"When the Heart grieves over what it has lost, the Spirit rejoices over what it has left."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

the Bright Path

Ok here it is folks, my first REAL blog post.

I called this blog the Bright Path because it is meant to document my journey along the path that leads to... ? It is hard to put this into words, I could say dreams but dreams have a visual image don't they? A sort of mental reference picture that we then spend effort and time bending reality into conformity with OR as most people do, place in a box and bury away, replaced by a safer mode of living that has grown comfortable and familiar. I've thought about where the Bright Path leads and I think words don't describe it for me, perhaps I am not articulate enough. If I were to describe it with feelings, it would be that 'place' that I find myself when I am listening intently to one of my favorite songs. Do you ever become transported to a place by certain music and you can't help but wonder if we were really meant to be living that life instead of this one?

This blog is my journal of my quest for that place in each of us.

Monday, March 17, 2008

TEST

this is a test of my blog.