Posted in Freedom, Philosophy

Waking Life (full length movie)

“We are so used to thinking of things external to us. When, we do this we begin to feel like a victim. This keeps the victim-victimizer game going. We have been both. It is some times painful to look within and see self. Many say you need to get rid of your ego. If you do that you are no longer able to see what needs healed. If you repress your thoughts or feelings then this energy turns in and causes illness and all kinds of problems. When, you are able to see it and not judge it but send love to it the energy is no longer stored in and can flow out in a healthy manner. What, is on the outside of you is a reflection of you. When, you heal what you see needs it, you will stop the victim-victimizer game, you will know we are all in the same boat. We are all each responsible for our own creation in our hologram. Also, makes it easy to love each other. We are all one, but individuated Faces of God Source. So, we make our experience here”. – Marlene Fow

Yes, like what Marlene Fow says, we are all in the same boat and we are all responsible for creating our own universe holograms, so in reality there is no victimiser or victim, but rather we are here to awaken to our true self and innate power to create our own reality, as individuated faces of god. It becomes easy to love one another because we all see our reflection in one another – when we love others, we are loving ourselves, and when we love ourselves, we are loving others too. When one suffers, the rest suffer too because we are all interconnected. Similarly, when one part of the body does well, the rest of the body benefits and rejoices too.

“Each of us has the power and responsibility to heal ourselves, to be
our own medicine man or woman. Awakening our innate powers of being,
loving, knowing, seeing, and healing involves ongoing work at all
levels and in all dimensions of our self. Exploring the range of
rhythms and emotions, achieving insights into our conditioning and
ego, moving through the energy levels of spirit—these are all
activities to be integrated into our daily lives.”
~Gabrielle Roth from Maps to Ecstacy: A Healing Journey for the Untamed Spirit~

Waking Life (Movie)

I find this movie sublime, thought-provoking and illuminating, and much of it resonates with me. I like the thoughtful musings and analogies presented in the movie by different characters. Some of the characters remind me of great thinkers and outspoken freedom fighters that I have been learning from, such as Rob Bell, Ralph Smart and Charlie Veitch.

I like the beginning part of the movie where the driver talked about how his life and personality is like his car, and how he was going with the flow and looking at life from his car’s windows, so to speak. Then another character shared about how language is a communication tool and a means to an end, and connecting with people is almost like a spiritual communion – “and the feeling might be transient, but I think it’s what we live for”.

Then a professor was sharing with his class about existentialism, and how instead of creating depression, it actually gives a sense of empowerment, knowing we have the power to create our own destiny/reality. After that in another scene, another character shared about his vision of the neo-human type evolution of a new consciousness in the 21st century, in which we live today, whereby we see more of the human traits coming forth – truth, loyalty, justice, freedom manifesting through this new consciousness of humanity. Yes, more and more, we will no longer be content to be passive observers but be actively awakening ourselves and others to be free from corporate slavery and dehumanisation in this age of enlightenment. We are evolving constantly as humans, just like the cells in our body completely regenerate every seven years.

Like what another character in the movie shared, we are here to awaken and become more lucid and have control over our consciousness and thereby our lives, to awake from our dream state and realise we were dreaming, just as we can be conscious of our consciousness. The character talked about 360 (degrees) vision in which we can see in all directions. I suppose that’s where Ralph Smart gets his terminology from when he talked about 360 degrees/senses, the empowered human in his video series.

And then, another character shared an interesting perspective about how cinema is a reproduction of reality, as a storytelling medium, and how each frame can be seen as a holy moment. Yes, every moment in our life is a holy moment, in which we can become aware of the present moment, and know that we are holy/whole. “Be still and know I Am (whole/holy).”

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Posted in Psychology, Science

The Great Mystery Of The Water

Video commentary:

This film is about water, the most amazing yet least studied substance. From times immemorial, scientists, philosophers and theologians tried to understand its explicit and implicit properties, which are phenomenal, beyond the common physical laws of nature.

Witness recent, breathtaking discoveries by researchers worldwide from Russia, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Israel, the USA, Britain, Austria, Japan, Argentina, China and Tibet.

The arguments expound upon unexpected and challenging assumptions enlightening many years of research to open humankind to new horizons, such as the applications of structured water in agriculture, or the use of water in treatment for the most serious diseases and more.

The Geography of the film spans the globe. The implications go beyond the solar system, suggesting that water has the ability to convey messages faster than light, perhaps linking water with the absolute. Water is so unique, and so profound, its miraculous properties are still awaiting to be discovered.

It is intriguing to learn that water has been in existence ever since the creation of earth and is the only thing on earth that can exist in three states. Water is soft and yielding, and yet it can penetrate the hardest rocks over time, as noted in the video. Spiritually speaking, water represents life, and it is interesting to see that the structure of the water changes according to outside influences, such as the emotional energy of human thoughts. I learnt this recently from Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto’s studies on water and emotions. It is a mystery how water is an organic memory chip storing information.

Maybe water is a physical manifestation of the Spirit, just as wind or breath is a physical but unseen manifestation of the Spirit. When Jesus turned the water into wine, maybe he was projecting emotions of joy and delight onto the water, which turns the structure and even the chemical properties of water into those of wine, so that the guests can continue to drink wine and celebrate the wedding. I also learn that the gospel of grace is the water of the Word, which cleanses us from a guilty conscience and presents us as a glorious bride, holy, blameless, without spot, wrinkle or any such thing, even as we are reminded of our true divine identity.

I find the video on the great mystery of the water interesting as it makes science come alive with the knowledge that water crystals change according to outside influences, such as people’s emotions and the way it flows through man-made right-angled pipes in cities compared to the way it flows in natural curves of streams and rivers in Nature.

Incidentally, I came across this health article “Revitalize mind and body in the shower daily” just now, which talks about how alternating the temperature of water in the shower can help revitalise our mind and body.  It recommends people to start with moderately warm water, then moderately cold water, and alternate the cycle, and end the shower with cold water. The short heat from the warm water will improve oxygen absorption of blood vessels, and the short cold from the cold water will boost immunity.

I find studying arts is more interesting than science and maths. When I was studying in school, I found that studying maths and science involves mainly memorising facts and formulas without much understanding. Even when I studied Geography, which is my favourite subject since it involves studying Nature including plants, animals, rocks, mountains, valleys, oceans, forests and so on, I found that the school studies mainly focus on knowledge and concepts, and not so much about understanding our oneness with Nature. Now, upon learning about the esoteric aspects of the Bible, I am learning to relate to mountains and valleys as symbolising several things, such as the landscape of our inner self or journey, or the perceived social status of people, and trees as symbolising humanity or the thought systems (eg tree of life and tree of knowledge of good and evil). This understanding makes Geography come alive too.

At the 18-20 minute mark of the video, the narrator said that the human brain is made up of 80 percent water. I think that explains how our brain retains memory since I learnt earlier that water itself is an organic memory chip which can store information from the surroundings.

Posted in Meditation, Peace

Peace is a verb, not a noun!

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yes, peace is both the journey as well as the destination, the means as well as the goal, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said. As a similar saying goes, “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” Peace is a verb because it is active – we continually practise peace in our life through conscious choice.

I think in some cases, peace may involve speaking out against injustice, like what this article on “A Buddhist look at justice” says, such as in the case of Martin Luther King, Jr. making impassioned speeches championing equal rights for all.

On the other hand, sitting quietly in prayer and meditation (“Be still and know I am”) can be a powerful way to bring peace into the world. Thich Nhat Hahn is a strong advocate on this means of peaceful movement, and he is also writing books and conducting talks to promote peace. So, peace may also involve meditation and mindful living, such as practising mindful walking, sitting and eating. All these are peaceful means by which we arrive at the goal of peace (both inner peace and world peace). So yea, I suppose it depends on situations, and I guess the most important thing is to follow the bliss/peace within, in whatever we do.

One of the problems of contemporary culture is that life moves at such a quick pace, we usually don’t give ourselves time to feel and listen deeply. You may have to take deliberate action to nurture the soul. If you want to increase your soul’s bank account, you may have to seek out the unfamiliar and do things that at first could feel uncomfortable. Give yourself time as you experiment. How will you know if you’re on the right track? I like Rumi’s counsel: ‘When you do something from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

Elizabeth LesserThe Seeker’s Guide: Making Your Life A Spiritual Adventure

Mindfulness as a Foundation for Health: Thich Nhat Hanh and Health@Google

Video commentary:

Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh (known as Thay in his circles) made a rare visit to the Googleplex to lead a half-day Health@Google workshop in the fundamentals of mindfulness. The exercises and rituals of mindfulness lay the path to optimal health and happiness.

Thay may be the second most famous Buddhist monk in the world, right after the Dalai Lama. He is certainly one of the best known and most respected Zen Masters in the world. Thay is a best-selling author, poet, and peace activist who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. He is a key pioneer in actively applying insights from meditation to solving real-world social, political and environmental problems. Thay most recently published Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, with Harvard School of Public Health nutritionist Dr. Lilian Cheung. At 85, he’s touring North America before retiring to his monastery in France.

Life at Google is fast, furious and fun, yet it can take a toll on ourselves and our loved ones. Through Thay’s specially crafted workshop, you’ll learn how to reduce stress, eat for health, sleep better, find emotional stability, improve concentration and sustain optimal performance.

–Chade-Meng Tan

Posted in Origin, Philosophy

When we are in the moment, fear disappears

I think Ralph Smart has presented a holistic view of death, taking into account the duality of life and death, and how death is viewed differently in different cultures and societies, such as Africa and West Indies. It is good to be reminded that energy can’t be destroyed and it can only be transferred or transformed. Like what he said, there is no separation between life and death, which are essential parts of duality. It is a transition (like what Carlton Pearson shared too), and death is humanity’s shadow, to be embraced. Yes, on a deeper level, there is no beginning and no end, since the concept of time is a man-made invention. Death serves to remind us that life on earth is transient. Life is fragile and sacred, yet we are limitless beings because we are co-creators, and so we can ignore society’s programming and choose to live as long as we want. For example, Brian Boyle in his book “Iron Heart” chose to live and managed to recover from the accident and continued to live his life to the full and fulfill his dreams.

So yes, in summary, death is the shadow which we need not be afraid of. Like what Ralph Smart says, the universe uses everything in it, including us, and we will be transformed into something else through death. This is true from an ecological point of view. And yes, sometimes, silence is the best way to understand the mysteries of life because it speaks volumes and transcends the limitations of words.

I also like what he says about Nature being in a constant state of creation, where there is essentially no death, except transformation and immortality. We are constantly undergoing metamorphosis, like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. Finally, while we are here, it’s about living in the moment. It’s only when we are in the past or future, there is fear of death, which is only an illusion, since there is only immortality. So yes, when we are in the moment, fear disappears. The past is history, the future is mystery, and the present is the only reality that matters, where life, immortality and eternity is, the I Am.

Posted in Gratitude, Inspiration

Finding inspiration from people in real life

On 19 April 2012, I wrote an email to the Sunday Times, thanking them for the inspirational article on the miraculous recovery of a Singaporean teacher/athlete and mentioning similar stories of inspiring role models such as Matthew Long and Brian Boyle:

“Thank you for the inspirational story on Kirsten Koh’s long journey back to life. I am encouraged by her testimony as well as your mention of books by Matthew Long and Brian Boyle. These are inspiring role models indeed. I hope Sunday Times continues to feature inspirational stories such as this. Blessings.”

Three days later, while reading the Sunday Times, I saw my letter (entitled “Inspirational tale of a true survivor“) has been published. I didn’t really expect it to be published as it was meant to be a short and simple letter of thanksgiving and encouragement to them, but it was nice to see it published. I reflected that since young, I have learnt to value life, and my own period of darkness and wandering and depression in my school days as well as my long road to recovery from heart palpitations in recent years have helped me relate to the hardship others went through.

I think we all like to be inspired and encouraged by authentic or real-life stories that have a good or positive ending because we intuitively know and expect all things work together for good in the end, not only in other people’s lives but also in our own lives. Since we all are a mirror reflection of one another, other people’s testimonies of how they emerge stronger and wiser through trials and hardship can mirror our own journey in life, and sometimes they serve as much needed and timely encouraging reminders whenever we lose sight of the light in the midst of our own struggles. I am often encouraged by inspiring stories of how people survive hardship or calamity and live to tell others how grateful they are for their learning experiences in life, as I can relate to them in my own life’s journey. For example, reading about the stories of how people like Matthew Long, Brian Boyle and Kirsten Koh survived near fatal accidents and recovered well enough to take part in marathons inspired me to keep a positive outlook in life and to run or exercise regularly to keep fit and healthy.

Recently, I was reading accident survivor and triathlon runner Brian Boyle’s book “Iron Heart: The True Story of How I Came Back from the Dead“, and he shared his reflection in Chapter 5 when he woke up from a coma and found he couldn’t move:

“Am I in what is known as a vegetative state? But surely this can’t be the case; I’m aware of what is happening all around me. A cauliflower or artichoke doesn’t ask itself what it’s like to be picked in the field only to end up on someone’s plate. But I’m scared that doctors and nurses seem to presume I’m a vegetable. ‘You used to be known as Brian Boyle, but that’s all changed. Sorry buddy, but there’s little difference between you and the leafy greens in the produce aisle.’

By the end of Chapter 5, he described he could finally move his eyelids and his feet after several days, and the nurses in the hospital who witnessed this rejoiced in his recovery progress, however slight it was at that time.

I was also reflecting that while the above three role models are fortunate to have much support from their family and friends to overcome their ordeals, besides their strong will to live and succeed, my beloved has shown herself to be a heroine and role model in her own right, as she has been facing and overcoming challenges mostly on her own. Her resilience and courage to face and overcome her challenges is an inspiration to me.

I learnt from his blog that Brian Boyle has just completed a marathon in Boston, and I like his words of encouragement here:

“The Boston marathon was a very challenging race, but I enjoyed every second of it. A marathon may be run alone, but in no way is it an individual effort. This race is for my blood donors, the Red Cross and for all the people who have been a part of my journey back to life. This finisher’s medal is a token of my appreciation for the gift you have given me, and I thank you all so much for believing in me and for all the encouragement and support over the years.”

Yes, each of us is a champion in our own right, and we are all connected in helping and supporting one another.

Last night, I managed to finish reading his book “Iron Heart: The True Story of How I Came Back from the Dead“, which began with Brian Boyle waking up from a coma almost two months after the near fatal car accident, and ended with him finishing the Hawaiian Ironman triathlon in Kona three years later. I find this story engaging, inspiring and heartwarming, and can relate to his struggles and triumphs throughout the story.

Here’s sharing his inspiring words towards the end of the book:

“Since this book was first published I’ve received thousands of emails from people and met thousands more and everyone had their own story to tell – and I’ve come to understand that no matter what life throws at you, each of us has the inner strength to overcome these challenges. With the right attitude, we all have the power to move past hardships and obstacles, while banishing negativity and dark moods to a forgotten place. I truly believe that it is only during your weakest and most vulnerable moments when you find out how strong you really are.

I hope to continue testing myself in difficult athletic endurance events. My sights are set on competing in many more marathons, ultra marathons, and Ironman races. And each time I show up in a race, I think about everyone who has helped me succeed along this unexpected path back to the living. Hours later, after crossing the finish line, the joy that I experience is measured not just by how fast I went, but by the joy I feel in living life to the absolute fullest.”

I also like his ending words in the Epilogue:

“I still have a lot of ground to cover in life. I will never recapture all that lost time in the hospital, or the arduous months of rehab. But that period in my life, I now realise, only marked the beginning of a long unfinished journey. I plan to enjoy every moment.

Life is to be lived. There are no bad days. Every day is a good day.”

Yes, every day is a good day, and we can enjoy every moment.

Posted in Identity, Love

To be beautiful means to be yourself

“How do you react when you think you need people’s love? Do you become a slave for their approval? Do you live an inauthentic life because you can’t bear the thought that they might disapprove of you? Do you try to figure out how they would like you to be, and then try to become that, like a chameleon? In fact, you never really get their love. You turn into someone you aren’t, and then when they say “I love you,” you can’t believe it, because they’re loving a facade. They’re loving someone who doesn’t even exist, the person you’re pretending to be. It’s difficult to seek other people’s love. It’s deadly. In seeking it, you lose what is genuine. This is the prison we create for ourselves as we seek what we already have.”
― Byron Katie

I think it is a timeless reminder for everyone because in a society, there tends to be an unspoken pressure or expectation for people to conform to a certain ideal in order to be loved or accepted. It takes a deeper understanding of our uniqueness and unity for people to appreciate one another for who they are, and not for who they try to become.

I am reminded of this quote:

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh

Yes, to be beautiful is to be your authentic self. I was reflecting that the word beautiful can be seen as “be-You-to-the-full”. You are beautiful just as you are.

Posted in Identity, Meditation, Peace

Reflections on “Diablo”

The announcement of the computer game “Diablo III” that is released today has brought back memories of how I used to play the first installment of “Diablo” back in the nineties. It was a fun hack-and-slash action role-playing PC game with great gameplay and graphics, based on the mission to gain skills and experience in order to destroy the evil monsters, including the big boss Diablo.

According to the game plot of Diablo I:

“The game starts when the player’s character arrives in Tristram. The labyrinth under the Cathedral descends from a simple dungeon to catacombs to the dark caves and finally the fiery pits of Hell itself, each full of the undead, monsters, and demons. Leoric has been re-animated as the Skeleton King, and the hero must kill him so he can be released from his curse. The hero must also kill Archbishop Lazarus, and eventually fight Diablo himself.

At the end of the game the hero kills Diablo’s mortal form, leaving Diablo trapped in a soulstone once again. The hero then drives the soulstone into his own skull in an attempt to contain the Lord of Terror. Diablo II continues the story, with Diablo having possessed the warrior hero who killed him. As for the other two heroes, the Rogue and Sorcerer, they also become corrupted by the Tristram quest and become Blood Raven and the Summoner, respectively.”

Come to think of it, the story of Diablo is a reflection of our inner life. Each of us has to learn to deal with our own “monsters”, for the greatest enemy is not someone outside but is ourselves, or more specifically, our own ego (or false identity). As long as we are fighting enemies whom we think are outside, we will not stay victorious, just as in “Diablo I”, we see that the characters who killed the Lord of Terror later became corrupted themselves. Indeed, what we hate, we become. What we resist persists. Our true victory, therefore, comes not by fighting, but by resting. We rest in our true identity, that which is eternal and unchanging – divine unconditional love.

“When we touch peace, everything becomes real.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Yes, only that which is peace or brings peace is real. All else is an illusion. Peace is who we are – we are the princes of peace and princesses of peace.

Posted in Peace

NOOMA – 14 – Breathe — Rob Bell

“breathe in peace,

exhale chaos

breathe in love,

exhale negativity

breathe in light

exhale darkness

open to love

open to peace

open to harmony

Feel the calm

and carry on.”

Keep Calm and Carry On

 

Posted in Philosophy

The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but be in the mystery

Yes, the real trick of life is not to be in the know, but be in the mystery. It is the mystery that keeps us seeking and finding, and rejoicing whenever we discover the hidden treasure within ourselves, like in a treasure hunt. It is like living life with wide-eyed wonder of little children exploring the universe.

This brings to mind this quote that I read earlier.

“For a lighter life, a more playful life, you need to be flexible.
Become more and more innocent, less knowledgeable and more childlike. Take life as fun – because that’s precisely what it is! You have to remember that freedom is the highest value, and if love is not giving you freedom then it is not love.” -Osho

Posted in Environmental awareness, Unity and harmony

Reflections on the Effects of Masculine and Feminine Energies

Video commentary:

For a very long time we have been under the influence of a masculine dominated energy. As a result, this highly focused willpower has built and created out of balance by ignoring the inherent feminine energy. In this excerpt from the book by Harold W. Becker, Internal Power, Seven Doorways to Self Discovery, he shows how it is necessary for us to now restore the balance of feminine energy in order to create a balanced world that benefits all. This feminine energy has been and is always present as part of the imaginative and nurturing aspects of our creations, however it has been suppressed in favor of the masculine will to build without recognizing and embracing the potent feminine energy where thought and feeling meet as one. Together and in balance, we naturally create a world that is environmental and sustainable for all people and the earth itself. For more, go to www.thelovefoundation.com

I agree with the video commentary the feminine energies of imaginative and nurturing aspects are an essential part of creations. I believe everyone needs to find a balance of both their masculine and feminine energies. Perhaps in the past, especially in patriarchal societies, the dominance of masculine energies have resulted in much conflicts and environmental destruction in the world. We need more of the intuitive and compassionate feminine energies to restore the balance in the world. Perhaps the spiritual awakening and environmental awareness that are becoming more prevalent these days is a sign that this balance of masculine and feminine energies is being restored.