Monday, July 31, 2006

Monday Spiritual Joke #8

A priest and bus driver lived together and one day thay also together died. They went to St. Peter standing before Heaven's gate. He allowed the bus driver to go to one of the highest Heavens but the priest had to wait.

He waited for long time and finally went to St. Peter and asked: "Why did that bus driver go to the highest Heaven and I, who all my life spoke about God, had to wait for such a long time?" St. Peter said: "When you were speaking to the people at your church everybody was sleeping, but when that bus driver was driving everybody prayed!"

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Power of vibes

As I walked out of Tescos yesterday with my shopping a tourist stopped me in my step to ask me for directions to the National Gallery. It is not unusual to bump into a tourist in Covent Garden, normally I keep my head down and weave my way through the crowd. I presumed he was a tourist because he did not speak any English, only French. My French being limited to two words i.e. 'merci' and 'svp'. I managed to figure out what he wanted though just by the end of his sentence when he said "Galerie Nationale?".

It was 8 in the morning and there were not many people on the street. So it was hard for me to mumble something to him and randomly point him in a direction. I waved my hands and asked him in English whether he had a map and he shook his head. So I gestured for him to follow me. He trailed behind me, we both walked in silence, but somehow naturally there seemed to be an exchange of good energy or vibes (if you prefer to call it that) during that 3 minute walk. I took him to Covent Garden tube station and picked up one of those free magazines that have a map in them and showed him the way to National Gallery. We parted with him just nodding and saying "merci beaucoup" and me saying "you are welcome!".

I realised from this 5 minutes 'epic' that we spend so much time and energy talking, expressing ourselves with words, and yet often so little is accomplished. We still manage to miscommunicate, misinterpret and misunderstood each other despite all those words. I do not deny the power of words, however what about the power of vibrations? We seem to ignore these. My own experience tells me words leave an impression but vibrations leave an imprint on the heart.

War Stories

One day people will stop reading newspapers. On that day newspapers will start writing stories about good things rather than just calamity or entertainment. The former drenches the soul and the latter makes us forget our depth. With either, we remain unfulfilled, empty.

My neighbour was telling me how she was feeling depressed and angry with all the violence she has been watching and reading on the news. Even as we talked, I started to get affected by the conversation. I thought of the many negative messages we are fed every day and which, consciously or unconsciously, we keep in our minds and hearts, like a virus ready to strike at the least failure of our "immune system".

Today, before even opening my daily newspaper, I said to myself: "I am not going to take sides. I will not judge or absorb any negativity". Like a child would, with eyes of innocence and tenderness. You may be wondering "what is the point of that?"

Well, one is that I felt better. I figured that if I did not protect my inner peace and 'joy de vivre' it would affect my relationships, work, home environment, etc. Also, if I had been positive when talking to my neighbour, I could have put things in perspective for both of us, rather than allowing myself to be carried away by her depression or anger.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Heart Warmer

I was walking through one of the shopping districts in central London, and down an infamous street for big issue sellers and homeless people asking for cash. It has recently been very hot here in London and this particular day was extra hot. As I walked by, I noticed a dog lying down cradled in his owners lap and being fanned down, it was a homeless chap, the dog looked so relaxed, and cared for in that moment. It was somebody who appeared to have nothing yet gave everything at a time of need.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Monday Spiritual Joke #7

A Christian, a Muslim and a Buddhist die and arrive at the Gate of Heaven. An angel (or deva) stops them and asks, "Why do you come here? Can you tell me the reasons why you are allowed to enter Heaven?"

The Christian replies, "My ancestors disobeyed God, and I sinned all my life: I killed, I lied, and I was greedy. However, Jesus died for me and all my sins are forgiven. So I deserved to enter Heaven."

"OK," replies the Angel. "Sounds good, but I must give you an entrance examination before you can enter." The Christian promptly agrees and the Angel asks him: "How do you spell God?" It is an easy question, and the Christian passes through the Gate.

Next came the Muslim, who says, "I had not done any good or evil things during my life but I was very devout. I prayed to God five times a day. So, I too should enter Heaven." The Angel replies, "It sounds OK to me, but I have to give you a test also. How do you spell Allah?" The Muslim passed the test.

Finally, it is the Buddhist's turn, who tells the Angel, "I had done all the good things in my life and I followed Buddha's five prescepts: I never killed, I donated to charities, I meditated every day, and I never cheated my boss nor my customers." The Angel replies, "That is very good, but there are no exceptions. You must pass the entrance test also in order to get in." Thinking that the test should be simple, he agrees to take the test.

The Angel then asks him: "How to spell Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva?"

Friday, July 21, 2006

How are YOU?

Today: I went for a walk in Hyde Park at 5.30 this morning (For those who have seen “About A Boy”, this is worth 3 units!). There were some little birds having a shower. They looked so beautiful. All the birds and ducks, and surprisingly quite a number of people, the same as me were enjoying the beauty of a golden morning. But I didn’t feel as great as I was expecting myself to feel.

Then, I had a cold coffee (1 unit). I could hear the zzzzzz in my brain, which I never had before. London was so quiet, you see!!!

Then, I went to my meditation class (2 units). I heard great, encouraging words and things to put into practice. I felt better.

I had breakfast and started to walk to my work place and talked to myself (infinite units) along the way:
- Hey Funky, you should have been flying by now, what’s up?
- Donno!
- You know, use the powers mate. The thoughts. Come on!
Then I started to ask myself:
- How are you?
I took points from the meditation class and turned it into a game:
- I’m full of self-respect, and you? OR
- I’m full of joy, what about you?
- I’m supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! (This is a word that you use when you can’t find the word to describe something, from Mary Poppins, not the meditation class!)

I cannot describe how happy I felt
in just a minute! So I shared it! Now, the receptionist and a colleague are practicing it!!!

Hi guys, how are YOU?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cat Guru

I recently went to visit my parents, they live in Manchester and every now and then I pop up from London. Something always strikes me about these visits. It's always quite a reflective time for me. This time it was the cat that struck me. I had never really noticed it before, how he really lives to live life to the full, no compromise. He accepts and moves on, again and again. Every awakened moment is for fun, and even if he is being naughty you cannot help but love him and his playful attitude. I have a lot to learn from that cat. He never lets go of his happiness and that is what it's all about for him, no matter what you do or say to him. The message for me was just be yourself, know your good and play your part uncompromised no matter what happens along the way, and yes you will be loved for it - we all enjoy a clean mirror.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Exercise is good - it is said to boost metabolism and help our digestive system. However, if we are out of shape it is no good to start running a marathon straight away, without any preparation. Yes, we all know that. However, recent events prompted me to think whether I was giving the same consideration to the 'spiritual digestive system'.

I have a friend who constantly calls me to complain about the same problem - anxiety, nervousness, stress. No matter how much time I spend sharing with her what I do to have a life which is (almost) free from stress, or suggesting mental and physical exercises to try, she inevitably calls me back with the same problem in a couple of weeks later. I started to feel a bit annoyed -- it was as if all the time I had spent talking things over with her was completely in vain. Never mind, I told myself, I should not have any expectations about changing others if they don't want to (although I do believe she really wants to).

That made me wonder if what I was giving her was too much for her 'spiritual digestive system' - akin to asking someone who has not been exercising at all to go and run a marathon... Should I break it down into smaller chunks, I wondered? Is her metabolism not quite there yet? I decided to run a test: to have a brighter chat, to lighten up my tone and to get rid of my subtle expectation that she would later call me back and tell me she was feeling better.

I thought: "Just accept this friend as she is and give love". So the last time we talked I did not begin to advise or suggest any tips. Instead, mentally I began to send her lots of good wishes and pure feelings for her to find her own path. My words were cool and comforting, but weren't many. Then yesterday she called me to let me know that she was feeling better, although she had not done anything I had recommended! Now she felt ready, it is as if she had just started walking on the treadmill. Maybe one day she will be ready to run the marathon -- in her own time, not in mine!

Superman in us...

The man of steel is back on our screen and yes, it's a bird, it's a plane, no it's Superman!

I grew up watching Superman and dreamt of being Superman himself. When I was younger I easily distinguished between reality and dreams and I always had fun playing any of the characters I dreamt I would like to be I dreamt of hanging off helicopters, deceiving my so-called-enemies and dodging bullets whilst trying to save the world from aliens or evil people. Probably 'some' Hollywood influence here!

Seeing 'Superman Returns' I found myself reliving these childhood dreams again - to save the world! Growing up as a kid, the world seemed black and white to me. You have the good guys on one side and the bad guys on the other. As you enter the adult world of complications, of worries, of too much thinking, somehow the black and white gets all muddled up...

There are many Lex Luthor(s) in the world - one day it could be my boss, the next day my colleague, another day my husband and another time the tube. There are no good or bad in Lex Luthor. The many Lex Luthor(s) who come my way actually come to give me opportunities to learn, to grow and to move me away from my comfort zones. I might not be able to see the bigger picture at that time, when I have had the faith that there is definitely benefit in whatever is happening this has allowed me to grow.

We also carry around with us the 'cryptonites' of negativities, worries, fears and past hurts which deplete our energy and capability to be our very best and eat away at our inner strength.

I truly believe there is a 'Superman' deep within each one of us - we are all born to be 'Superman(s)'. Deep down within all of us there is such goodness, but somewhere back down the line we picked up the wrong beliefs, were taught the wrong values and learnt to accept myths as truth. Even after all that, each of us is still trying to be our very best. I have come to discover that it is I and not anyone or anything else that is the stumbling block to me being the Superman I was born to be - anything else is just an excuse. In my experience, it is much easier to give excuses than to actually make the effort to change, but doing this has led me nowhere and just kept me within my comfort zone.

I sometimes find myself still holding on to my comfort zones dearly - unwilling to let them go, finding comfort in them. However, I know this has to change as I know that I will never be totally happy without personal growth and facing up to new here is to biting that bullet and moving forward!!!

Monday Spiritual Joke #6

Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah's Ark...

ONE: Don't miss the boat.

TWO: Remember that we are all in the same boat.

THREE: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.

FOUR: Stay fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

FIVE: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

SIX: Build your future on high ground.

SEVEN: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.

EIGHT: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

NINE: When you're stressed, float awhile.

TEN: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Here comes the sun…

… and I say It is all right!

Yes, everything looks alright in the summer sun! Sun shinning from 4:30 AM until 9:30 PM! People smile more, come out of their “caves” more and get exposed to life, to the breeze, to the sun… To the “gathering” after work with friends, to the walking/ running/ sitting in the parks…
Everything can be transformed when the mood is good for everyone!
Even the traditional strong and boiling coffee becomes flexible in the summer…. It gets refreshing, mixed with ice and cold milk…. Its' name does not matter: ice coffee, frapuccino, gelaccino…the taste is there… even coffee can’t afford to lose the summer! Let us be refreshed by the breeze, by the iced coffee, by the lemonade or simply by being happy! :- )
Come on guys!! It is summer!! …. Be free…. Be free to be!!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hey Neo, this is the Matrix, take the RED pill!

I went to a talk last week; it was called ‘The Matrix, What Is Reality?’
It reminded me of when I first started out on my spiritual journey, hearing such great things about my true being. I must have looked like Neo, shocked and not quite understanding what it was all about. Still like Neo I choose to take the RED pill to come out of the Matrix, the illusion!

I learnt that I had all the powers I needed to control my life; that I was responsible for everything in my life; that all these negative thoughts were the dream and these thoughts were controlling me and that I was sleeping. Once we were all divine, great beings. Wow!!
Knowing this gives you the power to live your life as you wish to, with dignity.
What if you think you are not ready to hear and act on that reality (but life never gives you anything unless you are ready). You are standing at the confluence of reality and illusion, and you can feel the truth in your veins. You like the sweetness and comfort of that illusion because that’s the only taste you have in your mouth.
I am telling you, that is exactly what happened to me! Then the tests from my old friends of fear, doubt and disbelief came to shake my faith in myself. Like Morpheus says before they jump off the building: “Let it go, fear, doubt, disbelief!”
I remember thinking similarly to Cypher: “Why oh why didn’t I take the BLUE pill and stay in the Matrix, in my painful but sweet comfort zone?” Now there was no margin for blaming things or others or giving excuses not to be my best! I had to take the reins of my life into my own hands! But oh man, these horses (old friends) have been running sooo fast!
Then, Cypher says: “Ignorance is bliss!” Is it?
Even I can say “No!” after so many struggles with my old friends and it’s an ongoing journey!
Nothing can be as sweet as tasting your original beauty even for one second.
That taste convinces you that you ARE that. It is worth trying. If I can, anyone can!
Meditation is bliss, even when you think you can’t concentrate!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Givers or Takers?

Yesterday on the underground I sat near a blind man. His face was happy, as if in a permanent smile, and his eyes were lively -- actually one would not know that tell he was blind were it not for the white cane going he was holding.

The metro stopped and it was time for him to get off. All of a sudden five people stood up to help him. It was as if we were all competing to see who could get to him first and let him hold our arm. As if we were all thirsty for the opportunity to give this some innocent and unconditional love, stored in some corner of the soul, to this man. I suppose I was not the only one to perceive the nice warm feeling, after that incident, in the whole compartment -- like some magic fragrance being spread into the atmosphere.

He was there, this blind man was the medium to allow this love to be manifest. He was there as a guardian angel to us all, inspiring the benevolence we all have and surely under-use. This was his 'good deed' for the day: to let us give. How funny that we all initially thought we were helping him!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Monday Spiritual Joke #5

The best vitamin to be a happy person is B1.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Like Children

This past Sunday I went to London’s largest botanical gardens with some friends for a picnic. After walking for what felt like ages (since we were all carrying food, water, and other heavy items) we then settled in a beautiful part of the park, clearly disturbing a person who was there, in silence, from her ‘idyllic’ paradise (it took her about 15 seconds to realise the size of the group and depart). The group of 15 was mostly composed of 30 year-olds (some older, some younger) and yet it was as if we were all kids – not because of any inappropriate behaviour, but because of the innocence with which we started to play kids’ games and with which we ‘just were’.

I felt a sense of wonder and joy not because I was in touch with nature (which I love) or because I was delirious under the super hot sun (London @ 35 degrees!) but because I was really comfortable with myself and could see that others were as well. It was just so natural. There were no obligations, no necessity to ‘be fun’, no demands from others to ‘join in’ and no pressure to be a certain way to feel part of the group.

Instead, there was a sense of acceptance and greatness, with appreciation for who each one is and, even better, for being together there. Yet there was no obligation to ‘make it great’ (Have you ever worked hard to make something great, maybe simply because your life feels a bit like it is missing great things? You talk enthusiastically -- and maybe too much, you artificially inflate your “happiness balloon” just to be able to say ‘man, I am having such a great time!’ and you shut that inner voice up, the one that is naggingly whispering ‘no, you’re actually not having the best time of your life’. Been there, done that).

No, this was not it. It was a genuinely great time, no effort was needed nor any complicated tools or drinks. We just became kids again – with all the wonder and innocence that this entails.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lessons learnt from blogging...

I first heard about blogging when it became popular just after the millennium. Being someone who guards my privacy I was always reluctant "to blog". Curiosity won though and I thought let me investigate this phenomenon called blogging. I wanted to understand its' appeal, why do hundreds and thousands of people pour their feelings, opinions and knowledge out to the Whole Wide World (in this case World Wide Web). Initially I found it hard to put words together as I have not had to construct proper sentences since creative writing in high school. I can write reports with facts and figures, but when it comes to writing about thought processes and feelings... to transcribe my thoughts and feelings into words is challenging for me. I admire those to whom writing come so naturally and who are able to express themselves so well.

Anyway, I'm writing this because I have come to enjoy blogging. Since I started blogging I have learnt to look at my surroundings in more detail - trying to connect the dots in life and make sense of my world and the world outside. I can't say that writing comes naturally to me now but I can say it is easier than before. There are still days when I suffer from writer's block, not because I of not having anything to write about but because of not being able to find the right words to describe my thoughts and feelings.

Looking back to 15 years ago when I used to keep a diary and ensure that it was locked so that no one would be able to read my feelings (my mum still manage to find the key to unlock the diary!) how this has changed. Now one just wants to tell the whole world what one thinks and what one feels.

So what lessons have I learnt from blogging?

1. I don't need to like what I do to begin with, I can learn to like what I do.
2. I don't need to be an expert before doing anything because I will become an expert after doing it enough times.
3. Do not be afraid of the unknown because the unknown is there for us to discover.

make time for play!

I had a lovely day today...a group of us went to Kew Gardens for a picnic - it was lovely to get out of the 'work' regime and the day-to-day pace of city life. I have to say it took quite a stretch for me to go just because I was feeling the pressure of work, but what continues to ring in my ears is 'make time to play' - it's like an injection of spontaneity, newness and connectedness with others...I'm not sure why it is, but when you go against or go beyond the habitual grain of what 'I need to do' or 'what I feel is right' and choose to go with the different option...the drama of life opens up providing you with more time and more energy.

So, it's the beginning of the week and as I know that if you put a thought out there it encourages you to do just that:)... everyday this week I will say 'yes' to something that I would normally say 'no' to...after all it is in fact fear or ego that makes us say 'no'? A word that comes to my mind is surrender...just let go of the rigidity of 'I' - get to know what this 'I-ness' of ego feels like...and then discern what's right for the soul.

I'm still trying to understand this thin line between what one feels is right for the self and what in fact makes one stagnant...letting go vs. taking responsibility - any thoughts?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Monday Spiritual Joke #4

A young woman who was worried about her habit of biting her fingernails down to the quick was advised by a friend to take up yoga. She did, and soon her fingernails were growing normally. Her friend asked her if yoga had totally cured her nervousness. "No," she replied, "but now I can reach my toe-nails so I bite them instead."