Wednesday, May 27, 2009

each moment, reject it ? or accept it ?

I know it's kind of fashionable to talk about "THE NOW".
Nonetheless, I'll do just that, -briefly ;-)

When I really pay attention to what is going inside me I see that most of the time, I'm rejecting the current moment as:
- not good enough
- not nice enough
- I don't want to be where I am NOW.
- I simply don't like this moment.

By "reject" I don't mean I do this in words.
I mean is it more of a magnetic kind of like or dislike..... an intent, like a force in a different dimension. Hard to put into words something that is beyond words.
The pathwork people and the lectures of Eva Pierrakos talk about a "forcing current" in the soul, something like that, - kind of describes it.

I tried a small experiment: I made myself pay attention to that forcing current, to the force of 'dislike of this moment' and then I realized how much I tried to escape it.
After a while I was able to accept it, as it was. This is IT.
Ok fine.
And the next moment I'm back to normal, rushing out of the moment.

I think that accepting the moment as it IS still leaves open the choice of seeing it in positive light. Of making the most of it.
Sing, laugh, enjoy it in any way I choose ....

That's it for this blog... brief as I promised. ;-)

9Jun09 found this quote in a story of a monk and his teacher: 

...... When he returned, now older, he responded that the secret of the source of life and its preservation were associated with accepting what naturally arises and bringing love and compassion into the world. The master agreed and encouraged the monk to continue his good work of compassionate service. [ref 1]

For follow up: moment by moment, instant by instant awareness of feelings inside while in front of a computer... computers has a mirror quality.... (for future posts)

[ref 1] from a Qi Gong newsletter June2009: 

A young monk felt he was prepared to deepen his cultivation practice and his master gave the
assignment to cultivate inner quiet and discover the secret of the source of life and its
application to the preservation of health and vitality. He gave the suggestion to focus on the
Earth Elixir Field (Di Dan Tian). After some months of practice the young monk reported to
the master that he felt sure that the most practical answer regarding the secret was
nourishment, rest and the conservation of Qi and inner resources. The master encouraged
the young monk, “You have found the secret to preserve the Jing and sustain the body, but
you have not found the source of life.” The master teacher asked the young monk if he was
still interested in pursuing the deeper secret. The monk nodded and the elder gave him the
suggestion to focus on the HeartMind Elixir Field (Xin Dan Tian).
This time it was considerably longer before the monk visited the elder. When he returned, now older, he responded that
the secret of the source of life and its preservation were associated with accepting what naturally arises and bringing
love and compassion into the world. The master agreed and encouraged the monk to continue his good work of
compassionate service. The monk said to the master, “I know that I have penetrated to the secret of highly refined
interactions of the Qi and the opening of the HeartMind. It has inspired me to service of my fellow humans. It is clear
that this sustains life, my own and others. But I have not determined the secret of the source of life.” The master
suggested, “Focus on the Celestial Elixir Field (Ling Dan Tian), the entry place of Heaven in the living human being.”
Some years passed. When the younger monk returned he was older. The elder monk said, “Tell me in one word”. The
younger monk said, “Unity”. They both smiled quietly, knowing their was nothing more to say. They parted, both
knowing. even though they would not meet again, that they were always together at the Source.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Finding your bliss - what makes you happy ? - finding your direction in life....

I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up.... and I'm not the youngest anymore...
For some reason recently I felt that simply being very efficient getting lots of stuff done no longer was enough... I started to feel like a machine.
So what if I get all the things on my list done ?
It's nice, but my body hurts and I feel like I've been doing just admin work sorting out stuff.
What's the point of being so efficient ?
Then just at that point I got an email from a Lady called 'Nok' who runs a Kinesiology website:
The bit I really liked was this:
quote by Joseph Campbell, a famous American writer and mythologist, from the book "Power of Myth":
"The way to find out about happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you really are happy - not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self-analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what I call 'following your bliss'.

Find your heart and your will find your way

It's essential to balance personal time with work time in everyday life. This involves looking honestly at what's important in your life right now, and possibly rearranging your priorities to make time for pursuing personal growth.

Here are some tips to help you connect with your heart.
  • To deeply connect with your inner self, it's absolutely essential to spend 30 minutes to one hour each day in solitude. Some effective self-awareness techniques include meditation, prayer, chanting, yoga, qi gong, tai chi, breathing exercises etc.
  • Make time to engage in activities you love or that which give you deep joy. These help you connecting with and expressing from your heart. People tell me, 'I used to love doing this or that activity but haven't done it for ages.' It's time to start doing those neglected pastimes again.

    For others who haven't found what brings them joy - it's time to explore different activities and discover what makes your heart sing. There are so many channels for creative expression i.e. dancing, singing, painting, drawing, writing, photography, cooking etc. Just keep an open mind and don't be afraid to try something new - in the process you'll likely discover your true passion.

    For me, the "free-form" dancing I did while living in Melbourne a couple of years ago turned out to be a very healing and liberating experience. The freedom to express myself creatively by moving to different styles of music was amazingly powerful. I love practicing regularly here in Bangkok with a small group of like-minded people.
I wish you all the best in finding what makes your heart sing with joy and trust you'll find within yourself the great source of inspiration.

Follow your bliss!
Hmmm... talk about synchronicity.
I had not really believed this stuff about having to make time for myself, to relax. I thought it was all just stuff by lazy people. I kept pushing myself after work - working on my novel, on stories... and I thought time for relaxing and being quiet was just weakness and an excuse.
I got a lot done for sure, but I felt more and more out of sorts and wondered what the point of it all was ?
There is ALWAYS more I can do.
Then I realized: it is BALANCE I needed, balance of work and rest,
Balance of sleep and other things.
But why do I write such obvious stuff here ?
Because I always knew it - intellectually - but had to learn it deeply from my guts !
That's deeper learning.
I might KNOW it all, as head knowledge. But to really know it, it has to become PART of me, I have to live and breathe it and BE it.

I didn't believe that doing NOTHING was a necessary part of the total Balance. I often feel I HAVE to DO !
True I do have much to do.
But for the whole to be balanced: I need time to do nothing.
Take off the shackles and the discipline and have a rest.
There is a story that even the Creator rested one seventh of the time.
Who am I to argue :-P
Yet to be honest: I've not given myself that much rest.
And I know that at some time I'll forget, and then I'll have to re-learn it at an even deeper level... :-)

My question about direction it is not just about personal balance, it is no longer ONLY about me, and my art or my writing, or my dancing, or my reputation or my money, or my personal happiness, but about the world out there... what can I do that helps ? what most needs doing NOW ?
More time fixing myself or more perfect stuff for ME, I'm over it, spent too much time on it- sure it matters and sure my personal stuff needs to be in balance but - BUT for me NOW it is about: What needs doing out there in the world that I CAN do and which ALSO brings me bliss in the way Joseph Campbell talks about it ?
I'm going to play bliss detective and see what direction that takes me in.... ;-) .
Once upon a time I would have kept this writing totally private, a part of a diary of agonizing thoughts, - now in a slightly different way it is on the Web for the world to see.

Qu: When I think about it: what was the reason I kept on working too much too long too hard ?
A: "It's just me, I don't matter as much. That is true to a degree, and there is some merit in sacrifice, but only to a degree."
Qu: "To what degree ?"
A: "To the degree if you looked at yourself and treated yourself as you would treat another. Would you ask this of another person ?
Qu: "Who ?"
A: "Another person, and by "person" I mean not a friend and not an enemy, but simply another human being."
Qu: "I see."
A: "I don't know how to treat myself fairly, until I learnt to treat others fairly and well. Love others, then you know and learn how to love yourself."
Qu: "Many say it is the other way round."
A: "Yes, many do say that."


There is yet another deeper level:
Work done in resentment, is more painful and more damaging.
A friend, Jan, said once that work done with resentment wastes 80% of the energy, and that energy comes back and lashes you in the face.
From my own experience that makes sense.

For me this quote sums up the reason for working when I don't feel like it....
Sometimes the threads on the loom suggest the picture to come. 

Then we know that our children-to-be hope for us in the Bardo.

For them we weave until out arms grow tired.
from: The years of Rice and Salt - by Kim Stanley Robinson

though of course I could always work on acceptance...
One of the simplest and hardest things in life I was told once is 'acceptance' - yep, I believe that.

Monday, May 18, 2009

aguissettes - pain, peace, bliss.....

For years I went to bed really late  (still struggling with that....).  It put a mist of pain and lack of energy over everything,  my whole waking life was covered in mist of discomfort. Nothing major, not bid deal.

Yet I didn't have to do that. 
I blamed work, I blamed life, I blamed whatever.
But really I knew, it was just that I chose that way of living. 
Ok this is a mild example but it makes the point. 
When I was free of pain, free of obligation I wanted 'some action', when I had action, I wanted peace. 
I remember times when I was totally ok, no physical pains, no huge obligations, nothing terrible looming in my life. 
And what did I do ? I couldn't stant it, I had to something to create pain, drama, anything to fight against.

After half a century of this, one day I realized: "You know what Haiko ? THIS is IT NOW ! This IS your life NOW. Not in some distant future, not when I get the Nobel prize but now. 
Even if we take the best case, most optimistic outcome in your life:  Pretend I do get a Nobel prize, it will be a few hours of glory on a stage, then back to the hard work that got you there in the first place." 
Hm... then I realized that I kind of created my own drama and pain to a large degree, not totally but to a large degree. 
Hm.... now what ? 
Why is peace so hard to imagine ? So hard to take ? 
Because heaven is NOW, it IS the challenge of NOW, the key is: it is what I'm doing NOW, and what I'm feeling now. Do I reject the moment ? or do I savour it ? 

One day I will look back on a time when I was healthy, strong and able to do things, run around, watch movies, vist friends, travel the world, and I'll wonder: did I really appreciate that time ?
Or was I not happy because I didn't have ....the promotion I thought I deserved, ....or because X was nasty to me .... or because .... I had been insulted/unappreciated/taken for granted etc.... etc... ?

the moment that  I will look back on is NOW, is the NOW as I write this. 
Do I accept this moment ? or do I reject it ? 
I eat some some sweets, I wolf them down. Do I honour them by appreciting them, or do I want more, as I shovel them in ? 
I wrote this the other day:
We like to punish ourselves, we need to pay a price...
if we don't let ourselves pay then our body pays, in illness.
better to pay consciously...
There seems to be some way in which I (& we=humans)  need to pay a price. If I have it too easy or if deep down I feel the things I have now are not fully paid for, I don't deserve them, then I will make myself pay. 
I don't think I have to convince myself that I deserve them, that does not work for me, I need to feel I have earned them, in honour and in truth, I have earned them. 
Do I reach that feeling ? Rarely. Not as often as I would like. 
But when I do, it feels like nothing else on earth. Then I KNOW in every cell of my body that I am in the right place and time and doing the thing I was born to do. 
But as I said, it happened all too rarely. 
But from those thoughts above, over the years, I realized I need to FEEL that I truly deserve what I am being given, what I have. 
If only my mind convinces itself then it does not work, I have to also truly FEEL it and KNOW it - then it works. 

--> Something else  that got me thinking along those lines: 
When I type on a computer I often cross my legs in such a way that one leg feels real pain, or falls asleep. I somehow balance the action of typing with inflicting pain on myself. 
(Ok, granted, this is not a dramatic example, but the idea is there.)

What makes me do that ?  I don't think about it, I just do it, in fact I have to consciously force myself NOT to do it. 
I guess it might be to balance the weight of whatever I'm doing, the typing, the irritation I feel ? It could be, I don't know. 
Or it might be the equivalent of huffing and puffing on another level ? 
Who knows. 
But it is interesting to note that we all do things to ourselves that cause pain, discomfort. We don't really ONLY go for pleasure. 

And again to myself it seems that we have some balance mechanism inside us.  If I don't EARN my bliss honestly, that is if I don't believe I truly deserve it, I will have to pay for it somehow. 
Too much niceness, and I can't handle it. I have to be able to stand the intensity of beauty, the brightness of the glory and joy, if I can't I'll dull things down to a level of brightness which I CAN stand and at which I am comfortable.
My mind might not like that level, but some deeper part of me does. 

As an excercise: would I feel comfortable having a large house in a posh subburb driving a car worth more than a years gross salary, with Phillipino maids and a gardner ? Well my mind thinks I would be ok with that, but my gut tells me no way Hose.

All this brings me to another topic: why is 'niceness' portayed so boringly and why is 'naughtyness' portayed so adventurously ? Pirates, spies, crime, etc... seem alluring in popular culture. Why ? What makes them so ?


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy novels, an anguissette is one of Kushiel's chosen mortals, picked to "balance the scales" against those who impart suffering without compassion. Anguisettes feel pain and pleasure as one. Additionally, the wounds of those who bear Kushiel's Dart always heal clean.

Those who have been chosen by Kushiel have a scarlet mote in the iris of one eye, referred to poetically as Kushiel's Dart.
Mighty Kushiel of rod and weal
Late of the brazen Portals
With blood-tipp'd dart a wound unhealed
Pricks the eyen of chosen mortals.

In the book "Kushiel's Dart" p 291 by Jacqueline Carey,
Phedre deliberately takes a brutal assignation she needs that, it suits her mood. It is something we all do.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Meditation on limitations.

I have run out of space in my house and in my office.
I need a bigger house, more spacious office.
I have run out of time, I need more time.
I have run out of energy, I need more energy.
let me think for a moment, what is going on here ?
I hear all around me the refrain:
do more, with less. Work smarter.
get more done.
get more efficient.
achive more than others in the same time.
Get more.
but no matter how much better we get, how much more efficient, at some point,
there is always SOME point,
there is a limit.
one day I will reach it.
I might get a bigger house, but then the stuff adds up, and the inevitable happens:
I have to cope with the limitation of space.
eventually it will come.
I might get better at managing my time get MUCH more done.
then the boss gives me more to do.
I get more efficient
but at some point: there is a limit.
I will have to say: That's it, enough.
the question is: will I touch down on those limits gently like a bird landing,
or slam into them at full speed ?
limits will come.
my lifetime is limited.
it gives meaning to things, makes me choose.
one day I will leave this planet and my spirit will look back and wonder.
what did I do ?
sure, get more efficient, get more done, so you have time for other positive things.
not just so you get more done, so you get more done so you get more done, so you get more done.

sure sometimes you need to work harder, sometimes less hard.
there is a season to all things.
there is also a limit to all things.
the limit will come to me at some point, so I may as well embrace it while I have a choice.
Before I slam into it full speed.
So I don't get a bigger house, I learn to live with what I have.
I don't get a bigger office, I learn to work with what I have.
should I have children then a bigger house ? maybe ?
or maybe they have to learn to live with limits.
but it's hard. I want to keep working on this meditation,
my body needs sleep.
00:15 hours

28May09 05:05hours
Strange new addition came to me tonight:
Time, time on this earth is another limit.
Carlos Castaneda calls that limit the warrior's best adviser.

Truly doing worthwhile things, adventure and risk and secret missions.

I'm almost 50, no need to save myself, whatever I don’t risk won’t be done ---

whatever I don’t do now, won’t be done.

Like my blog “meditation on Limits”: Strange feeling, to know that one day I have to cross over to the other side, and that there is no point to “save myself”, therefor it is time to risk it all.

If I don’t risk it voluntarily it will be taken sooner or later anyway... So better make it count.

That or cower in a corner in fear... till the time comes anyway...

Like the Lady Quohaim in the story, who crosses the flames and the abyss in the sea temple of Uraia, there is virtue in “dying”(in a sense) early, and voluntarily, and not be forced later...

“Risk it all to gain it all --- and loose it all to find it all.”

May god grant this is real and not just talk.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

If I copy a DVD/CD that I would never buy, did someone lose money ?

I woud say No.
Why ?
Because there is a natural  limit to consumer level copying and sharing:
Get realistic and stop this simple minded baby type of naive accounting:
Naive calculations:
Not every copy I make is revenue foregone (money lost to the Publisher). Many DVD's I'd never ever bother watching unless I get a copy from a friend. If I like the movie/song/book I'll promote it and other people who are not close enough to me to qualify for 'freebies from a friend' will go out and buy it.
Work colleagues, don't ask me for freebies and I don't offer them. It would cross the unspoken boundary. That is where sharing stops, they are not close enough.
Sharing is a sign of trust between friendship groups.  
Most of the movies I personally see, I have a 'take it or leave it' attitude.
Most of them if they are free AND if I have time, I might watch them. If I really want a movie, I'll watch it in a cinema, go out and buy the physical DVD, and add it to me golden core collection.
The non core collection depends on what friends share with me.

People like to share things. If I buy a book I can lend it to a friend.
If my friend sees the book on my shelf and wants to read it should I say:
"Sorry, the book publishers want to make more money, they make me feel guilty about breaking copyright, I have to ask you to buy your own copy".
" -excuse me ?"
One friend lost.
Sharing has a realistic limit. I don't share my DVD's of CD's of books with 100's of peole, not even 10. Just a few I trust.
The people I share with would not go out and buy the book, CD, DVD, they will only read or watch it if it is free, if it is a gift of trust of our friendship.
As the recent BBC News article: Hollywood battling 'DVD copying'
says: people are already copying DVD's and CD's like crazy,and the industry is still selling DVD/CD's.

The Big Media companies want to divide us into individuals, as far as media like songs and movies goes, it would be more realistic and more human to see people as friendship groups. 

About  the Digital Rights Management (DRM) I have only one reply: The Analogue hole.
That will always be there. All the DRM  is just sound and fury. 
And a note to the big movie Corp's: 10% tithe of the fields: be generous, give away something for free, don't try to scrape out the last drop, accept a dull roar, be happy with what you are making.
Don't go and make into a moral crusade what is really just "we want more $$$$'s for our shareholders".
Don't dress it up all morally.
Be a little generous,  you've enjoyed great profits in the past, you've had the consumers by the short and curlys doling out small incremental bits of 'entertainment' of the people YOU decided to make BIG and famous.
Get real, get with it.
In the internet modern world, you have to GIVE something real, give free email, free, software etc... get people on-side before they accept you.
The grumpy moral, high handed image of big Corporations crying because they think they missed out on the money when I gave a copy to my good friend, is an ugly image.
They actually didn't even miss out, because my friend would never  have paid for the copy I gave her, the copy was an exchange gift, a token of friendship.
What the big Corp's are missing out on is: the good will of the public.
Only they can decide if good will or money is more important to them ?
Who's got the bigger erhummm.....  ?
I guess if I was a big executive on a mega salary, competing with my fellow big exe's, for who's got the bigger salary ? I wouldn't really care.
I might go for the money.
I'd like to think I would care more about the commong good, but I'm not sure, I'd have to try being a big exec on a mega salary first... he he he :-)

NB: Clarification: All the above is aimed at personal copying. I'm not talking about buying a factory and making thousands of copies, lets use common sense. ...although... hang on.... on seconds thoughts... - just kidding... :-) 

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

body analogy

"You know the old  many parts one body analogy don't you ?" 
"Sort of, tell me again."
"We are all part of one body, and have different functions. But as a whole we are ONE body and have to make that body live and work."
"Ok, so who is 'we all' ?" 
"Human society. The human race. If you take different aspects of economic life as the parts, then each part is like an organ, some bits supply the food, others the nervous system I mean communications, etc..."
"Ok nice, so what is your point ? - other than lets all be nice to each other and work together for the common good like a good little body ? or some other banal simplistic, crap." 
"Well that's not what I was getting at, but it a good point anyway."
"I knew it."
"What I really meant was: our human society does not know how to work well together like a body - we are kind of a sick body." 
"Yes, I can see that so what is your point ?" 
 "hm... I'll get to that, just be patient. Let me  talk about the real human body, or any animal's body, or plant body first ok ?"
"Ok if you must."
"I must. -- I mean, how does the liver know how big to grow ? How does the heart and the lungs know how big to grow, when to stop ? Your brain does not grow too much either, otherwise it would ooze out of your eyeballs"
"Oh gross!"
"Well yea, but it makes the point doesn't it ? Anyway let me go on. The real question is: How do the different organs know when to stop growing, how to grow, what shape and size  ? what coordinates them ? Something has to ? The whole body starts from cells that can be made into anything, any type of the cell in the body."
"You mean stem cells ?"
"Well why don't you say so ?"
"I wasn't sure you'd understand."
"Thanks a lot ! You think I'm totally ignorant ?"
"No, not totally he he he..."
"Anyway, what's your point, you are so longwided."
"The point is: the human body and any growing thing, somehow coordinates the overall shape and system of the body, in some way we don't yet understand with current science."
"All very very fascinating Herr Professor, so what is YOUR POINT ! I do have to do other things you know."
"I'm getting to that. Now imagine the liver says, 'hey boys, we are Liver Inc.we wanna maximize our income, and get as big and fat as we can, are you with me ?' and all the little liver cells cheer 'yea, we're in there, more nutrients and food for liver cells.' Then the stomach says, 'that's not fair, you guys are hogging more than your fair share, we're going to take our cut first, because we get first choice of what comes in to the body he he he' Then the skin gets in on the act 'What are you guys talking about ? Without me you'd have no protection at all, I'm the biggest organ in the body, I need a few more layers of fat to pad me out' and so on. "
"Yea I get the idea, a kind of bun fight, or internal war."
"Exactly. BUT this is NOT how a healthy body really works."
"But the body of human society works like that, there is too much competition. It's like every organ is trying to take over and be the king and fights for more of its fair share."
"It's not as bad as that !"
"Well seems like that to me, have you ever listened to boardroom talk and sharemarket talk in a big corporation ? Do we have a sense of 'we are all in this together' ?"
"Yes, some people do, its a start, be grateful for that."

"A last point, isn't it interesting that we don't have a scienfic understanding of what controls the development of the organs in a growing baby and we don't have any idea how to work together in harmony as a race on ONE planet."

"And a final thought: I talked about healthy bodies. Cancer is basically the cells of the body going beserk, they just grow as they want and don't fit into the rest of the body anymore, they go their own way."
"What the ultimate individualist ? Don't give a s*** about the rest ?"
"Yea, if you want to see it like that. Cancer cells are the body's own cells cutting lose and just getting bigger and bigger and growing outside the overall plan for a functioning body. They probably think of it as maximizing profits."
"If you can answer that, you're up for a Nobel Prize !"

"Ok so you are telling me that somehow the organs and the cells in a healthy body know what to do ?"
"You are serious ?"
"Yes, something, somehow controls the overall shape, function, and balances it all. The different parts are aware of each other."