Posted in Uncategorized

angelicmoonfairy

I love and accept myself completely as I am.

I don’t have to try to please anyone else. I like myself and that’s what counts.

I express myself freely, fully, and easily.

I am a powerful, loving, and creative being.

I am open to receiving the blessings of this abundant universe.

I accept my good, which is flowing to me here and now.

Everything I need is coming to me easily and effortlessly.

My life is blossoming in total perfection.

I am the master of my life.

Everything I need is already within me.

Perfect wisdom is in my heart.

I am whole and complete in myself.

I love and appreciate myself just as I am.

I love to love and be loved.

The more I love myself, the more love I have to give others.

I now give and receive love freely.

I now am attracting loving, satisfying relationships…

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Posted in Freedom, Healing, Psychology

Reflections on “I pray the children of my enemies be dashed against the rocks”

I have checked out Peter Rollins’ latest blog “I pray the children of my enemies be dashed against the rocks“. It underscores the necessity and importance of being true to ourselves, and feeling the emotions we have instead of suppressing them. I agree with Peter Rollins’ take on the intention of the writer who wrote Psalm 137 – it is very likely the writer was only venting his frustrations about his perceived enemies and wishing that their little children be dashed against the rocks, without actually intending or planning to do any harm to them. After all, many of the psalms in the bible are honest, heartfelt prayers to their god. As I have been learning, the old testament writers were only projecting their own image onto their concept of god most of the time.

Similarly, I was thinking that in Psalm 139, the writer was contemplating on how intimately the Creator knows him, who had formed him in his mother’s womb, and yet towards the end of the psalm, he wrote that he wished God would slay the wicked. It might appear incongruent at first, especially one would expect the writer to be full of love and gratitude when meditating on the love of God and how precious God’s thoughts were towards him. Then again, the psalmist was only being real to himself, and he was only expressing his anger and frustrations towards those who hurt him by writing his thoughts honestly, instead of suppressing his emotions. Writing, after all, is one of the best ways to release negative energy. Through writing and venting, the person would become free from the anger and hatred, and these emotions would no longer have any control or power over him.

Hence, I am in agreement with the gist of Peter Rollins’ post:

“The point here is that, when it comes to prayer, we must be free to express the full range of the moans that lie within us. While we might be inclined to think that these moans express directly what we think, more often than not they simply express a cluster of frustrations and fears that will do more damage if not given space; frustrations and fears that can be worked through only as they are expressed.”

Yes, only when we express our frustrations and fears through safe ways such as honest prayers, sharings, and writings, will we be able to work through these emotions and eventually find freedom from their control.

Posted in Identity, Science

Reflections on “Why Pluto is No Longer a Planet”

I have read this interesting article “Why Pluto is No Longer a Planet” and the comments that followed. I remember when I was working on a secondary one geography textbook back in 1999-2000, I have asked the artist to draw the sun and nine planets in our solar system, which was considered a scientific fact then. Later around 2007-2008, when I was browsing through a new edition of the geography textbook, I noticed it depicted only eight planets in our solar system. At first I thought it was an error, then after reading up about it, I realised the scientists in the astronomy circles have decided that Pluto is no longer a planet for some reasons. So this change has to be reflected in school textbooks.

After reading the comments in the article, I can understand the human sentiments attached to Pluto. After all, many of us grew up learning in schools that there are nine planets, and it takes some time to adjust our mindset to this change. It also causes us to question the criteria used by the scientists to define what a planet is. I am not sure what the third criterion “clearing the orbit” is all about, as it seems arbitrary, as noted by some people.

Humans, being human, tend to ascribe our human aspirations and emotions onto inanimate objects, and so some of us are sympathetic towards Pluto for being “demoted” to a dwarf planet status. But for all we know, that piece of rock in outer space does not care whether humans call it a planet or dwarf planet. It is what it is. Just like as a human being, we can say I am who I am. Whether others may call us this or that, whether they promote us or demote us by human standards, our true identity remains unchanged. We remain a beloved child of God/Universe. So is Pluto. We are all One.

“A weed is only a weed, because humankind has named it so, in the eyes of the Divine all plants are the same.
In other words it does not matter what others call you or say to you, be proud of who you are and what you do.”
Posted in Meditation

The discipline of solitude

“As soon as we are alone,…inner chaos opens up in us. This chaos can be so disturbing and so confusing that we can hardly wait to get busy again. Entering a private room and shutting the door, therefore, does not mean that we immediately;y shut out all our inner doubts, anxieities, fears, bad memories, unresolved conflicts, angry feelings and impulsive desires. On the contrary, when we have removed our outer distraction, we often find that our inner distraction manifest themselves to us in full force. We often use the outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noises. This makes the discipline of solitude all the more important.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Making All Things New

Yes, spending time to meditate and being still in our times of solitude can feel surprisingly chaotic at first because when the outside distractions of the social environment are removed, we are faced with our inner thoughts and emotions. Buddhists often call our busy thought life the “monkey mind” because our mind is often busy with thoughts like a monkey chattering incessantly. It is rewarding, however, when we persevere in being still and observe our thoughts and emotions, watching them passing by and surfacing and receding back into our subconscious, like the residues in a glass of water settling down after it has been stirred, we can see through the water clearly again. Our thoughts and emotions may still be present with us, but we will be able to observe them with clarity and calmness. So yes, cultivating the discipline of solitude is important in this respect, as noted by Henri Nouwen.

Posted in Identity

What We Feel Is Not Who We Are ~ Henri Nouwen

Our emotional lives move up and down constantly. Sometimes we experience great mood swings: from excitement to depression, from joy to sorrow, from inner harmony to inner chaos. A little event, a word from someone, a disappointment in work, many things can trigger such mood swings. Mostly we have little control over these changes. It seems that they happen to us rather than being created by us.

Thus it is important to know that our emotional life is not the same as our spiritual life. Our spiritual life is the life of the Spirit of God within us. As we feel our emotions shift we must connect our spirits with the Spirit of God and remind ourselves that what we feel is not who we are. We are and remain, whatever our moods, God’s beloved children.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen

Related post:

Henri Nouwen ~ “Being the Beloved” sermon 1 of 8

Posted in Unity and harmony

“There Are No Positive or Negative People…Only Resonance!” – Ralph Smart

Video commentary:
“There Are No Positive or Negative People…Only Resonance!” ~ Ralph Smart

Ralph Smart has great insights as usual, offering a balanced perspective. It is true that there are no positive or negative people because we are all multidimensional and there is no one side to our personality. We are all on different journeys, so it is inevitable that in any one time, we are in resonance with some people but not everyone. We can accept the fact that from time to time there will be people who don’t like us for some reason because they are not in resonance with us at that particular point in time. That is part of life, since the universe balances itself with diversity of flows of thoughts and experiences of people. I am reminding myself of this even as I am typing this.

Posted in Freedom, Inspiration

“To be spiritual is to be amazed” – Abraham Joshua Heschel

Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.― Abraham Joshua Heschel

I agree that to be spiritual is to be amazed. There is an inner child in us that is amazed by the wonders of creation. It reminds me of Jesus saying to the religious folks at the marketplace “we play the flute and you did not dance”. The Pharisees had become preoccupied with rule keeping and forgot to enjoy life like little children. I am learning to rediscover a sense of wonder myself.

Video commentary:

On the occasion of the release of Love Wins in paperback and new covers on all his books (Velvet Elvis, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, Sex God, and Drops Like Stars), we invite you to “Explore the Spirituality of Wonder” with New York Times bestselling author Rob Bell. Bell is known for bringing out into the open and exploring the deeper questions of Christian life and faith—how we relate to God, how to love others, how to channel difficulty into creativity, how to understand eternity, and how to live as Jesus taught. He invites us to examine closely the beliefs we claim to hold most dear but often do not take the time to reflect upon. Time calls Bell the most exciting voice in the church today.

It is good to see Rob Bell back to share his latest message on rediscovering wonder. I agree that we can rediscover wonder like a little child. Come to think of it, following Jesus may well be referring to following our inner Child. We can taste the kingdom of heaven within us when we become like little children again as we live in the moment and embrace new discovery of nature with wide-eyed wonder. I think it transcends the religious mindset that is encrusted with dogma and bound by doctrines, rules and regulations. Childlike spirituality is meant to be free, simple, carefree, and characterised by love, peace, joy – the fruit of the Spirit. For me, I would say any belief that does not cause harm to oneself or others and instead produces the fruit of love, peace and unity is of the truth because the truth always sets us free.

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Posted in Origin, Unity and harmony

“Bridging the Gap Between People” ~ Henri Nouwen

“To become neighbours is to bridge the gap between people. As long as there is distance between us and we cannot look in each other’s eyes, all sorts of false ideas and images arise. We give them names, make jokes about them, cover them with our prejudices, and avoid direct contact. We think of them as enemies. We forget that they love as we love, care for their children as we care for ours, become sick and die as we do. We forget that they are our brothers and sisters and treat them as objects that can be destroyed at will.

Only when we have the courage to cross the street and look in one another’s eyes can we see there that we are children of the same God and members of the same human family.”

– Henri Nouwen

Posted in Rest

Reflections on a Summer’s Day

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. ~Sir J Lubbock

I love the above quote about rest as it resounds in me. In a world where busyness and industry is considered a norm in modern society and upheld as a virtue in the corporate and political world (especially with their propaganda about a “vibrant city”), rest and being still and reconnecting with Nature and oneself is often underrated, yet rest is essential for a person’s soul. We feel connected to the Earth when we are close to Nature, when we can look at the clouds passing in the sky and the greenery of the woods and listen to birds calling and singing in the background. As the verse from Matthew 11:28 goes,”Come to Me (our true self), all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Yes, rest is not idleness, because when we rest from our labour and heavy burdens, we reconnect with our true self and find refreshment. Our strength will be renewed and our vision will be sharpened. In the stillness of our heart, we will be able to see better how to prioritise or re-prioritise our “to do” list. When we return to our tasks after resting, we will usually be able to accomplish our goals much easier and faster than if we were to continue working and being lost in a flurry of activities without taking time to rest in the first place.

I usually experience this epiphany when I take about 15 minutes or so to rest from my work in the afternoon and climb the stairs to the office building rooftop. I would then walk around and sit down for a while under the shelter near the ledge and I would gaze at the horizon and watch the clouds in the sky. In that stillness, i would find myself reflecting on what has been done so far, and then sometimes I would recall some important task that I have overlooked earlier as I had been caught up with doing other tasks. By the time I return to my desk, I would find myself completing the necessary tasks, such as replying an email from a colleague or author, or scanning artworks, etc and continue proof reading or photo sourcing in a shorter time. Indeed, we who wait upon the Lord (our highest self) shall mount up with wings like eagles, we shall run and not be weary, we shall walk and not faint. Instead, we shall be unceasingly fruitful, for we are like a tree planted by the rivers and our leaves shall be evergreen and we shall bear fruit in its season.

Oftentimes, resting helps us to be free from worries too because we tend to be detail-oriented and want everything to go as planned and go well with everyone. Yet in our busyness we tend to get caught up with details and before long, we feel stressed out. I experience that from time to time at my workplace, such as when I was not able to find suitable photos or maps online for the textbook for a particular topic, and an hour may pass by with me just sourcing for one photo or map. I wasn’t able to move on with editing the rest of the chapter because I had been stuck trying to solve that problem first. Later when I finally took time to rest, I reflected that I could move on to editing the rest of the chapter first before returning my attention to source for the photo. This will help me stay on track with the schedule, and not allow that one task to delay the project. And sometimes when I focus on editing, and sourcing for other photos, I would chance upon that kind of photo I had been trying to look for. I believe you can relate to this serendipity too – when we look for something, we can’t find it. Yet when we are not actively looking for it, we miraculously find it without trying to look for it.

Posted in Peace, Religious fundamentalism, Unity and harmony

The narrow and hidden path

 “To judge others is a wide path, easy to access and get carried along upon. But to love others is a narrow path; hidden at first glance, in fact it takes time to even discover its trail, but blessed are those who seek it out and journey upon it.”- Mick Mooney

The above quote on the wide and narrow paths reminds me of Jesus’ words on the mount of beautitudes. It is interesting to see that the narrow way that leads to life can be referring to a non-judgemental approach to living life. I believe it not only promotes inner peace and well-being but also enables people to experience eternal life, which is knowing our highest self and our true identity as one with god/divine love, and one with one another.

I suppose the wide path, on the other hand, leads to destruction in the sense of destroying the sense of unity and harmony when people judge one another, which we all tend to do from time to time as part of human nature. But as the above quote says, the narrow path is a hidden path at first glance, and it is worth seeking this path of our divine nature, for its reward is life (peace, wellbeing, unity and harmony with self and others). This is a timeless reminder, and I believe each person can discover and re-discover this hidden and narrow path that leads to life through contemplative living in stillness and silence, as well as reminding and exhorting one another.