Tuesday, February 26, 2013

the red checked table conversations...

Picture Red & White Checked by Enokson

 There are 3 childhood friends now adults, they get together every Friday night around at the Red Checked Square Cafe sitting on a red checked square table playing cards.

All of them when to the same religious catholic conservative schools, from primary to high school, where 'classical' catholic teachings of faith and salvation was drilled into them every day.  Yet somehow all three of them ended up with different beliefs, convictions and outlook on life now that they are older.

Chris still holds his traditional Catholic views, he goes to church every weekend.  Aron becomes an Atheist, and is of a view that life should be celebrated to the fullest.  Ben becomes somewhat of a modern day Buddhist practicing compassion, meditation, mindfulness every day.  Ben owns the Cafe.

'God damn it!' Aron the atheist says after getting a real poor hand of cards.

Chris the Catholic gives him a look of death...

'What?' Aron exclaims!

Chris replies 'I really don't like it when you take the Lords name in vain!'

Aron says 'Yes if there is a God indeed...'

Ben the Buddhist rolls his eyes and and mutters 'Here we go again!'

John face turns red in an instant 'Well you know what happens to non-believers like you, they go straight to hell'

Aron replies 'Yes if there is a hell, tell me something Chris, if there was a God, why is there so much suffering in the world?'

Chris is stuck for words, turns to Ben and says 'maybe you can enlighten us on this, dear sir lama'

Ben smiles and answers:

So there are two parts to the question, one is there a God? second if there is, why allow so much suffering in the world?

On the first part, the fact that the world exists, you exist, and this complex ecosystem that sustains us exists out of many millions of planets and suns, can't be just chance and coincidence.  At the same time I don't like to conceptualize what God is, because my thoughts, my imagination, my concepts are temporary, are limited and they change depending on my mood, hence what ever I think cannot be the truth...  

On the second part I think there is two types of suffering, one is based on circumstances, but secondly, more important is our reactions to the circumstances.  Unlike our circumstances our reactions to it, in the second layer of suffering, is something we can do something about, with persistence and will nothing is impossible to change.  The second layer is our habits, our impressions, our attitude.   The reason why there is so much suffering is predominately because of a lack of training and positive role models on second layer I feel.

Aron says 'What about those who can't help themselves'

Ben replies 'if one cannot help directly, one should at least feel their pain, if one cannot feel their pain, at one should at least pray for them, is it not the most basic humane thing to do?'

Aron replies 'I do feel for them, I just can't understand why circumstances are as they are? why there is so much unjust, evil and unfair things that happens in the world, and yet people seem to get away with it'

Ben replies 'Well there is this thing called Karma, it is like the law of gravity, it works whether you like it or not, wether you believe it or not, its much to complicated to try to understand, but it does help me understand why things are the way they are, but that is the subject of another conversation'

Sit. Feast on your life

Buddha Sun
Picture Buddha Sun by 

The time will come when with elation you will greet yourself, 
Arriving at your own door, in your own mirror,
And each will smile at the other's welcome;
Saying, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine, give bread, give back your heart
To the stranger who has loved all your life,
Whom you abandoned for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes.
Sit. Feast on your life

~Derel Walcott~
~Love after Love~

Friday, February 15, 2013

zen and the art of veggie butter chicken (tofu)

much thought needs to be put into what we put into our mouths, also what comes out, reducing meat in your diet is no longer something that hippies do, its just a safer thing to do...

one must think about the implications of ones actions and it does not stop at just what goes in your mouth, it extends to every action that you take...like the Dala Lama says if you cant do any good, at least do not cause any harm, not just to people to animals too.

on a lighter note my daughter asked me to make vegetarian butter chicken (there is no chicken but just tofu!)

i must admit curries where never my strong point before any curry i used to make used to turn out like 'rasam', a thin south indian tangy watery soup.

my cooking has refined over the years though after catering for many last minute dinners and lunches for hungry children, spoilt by their mum's superb cooking...

i turn on a youtube channel, this guy wa rai wah, he is such a enthusiastic character, you cant help but like him :)

i never could compete with my wife on indian cooking, but I was determined to give her a run for her money...

i watch the Mr Wa Rai Wah, i don't write anything down, just observe...then I go to work:

soak a handful of cashews in hot water
5 cloves of garlic
2 inches of ginger
1 medium to large size onion
2 medium tomato

grind the cashews, garlic, ginger, onion to a pulp after chopping coarsely
start the large sauce pan, put in a teaspoon of cumin seeds in some oil
some few cloves,
a full dried chili broken in half
throw in the ground paste of onion, cashews etc
add two tablespoon of salt
then puree the tomatoes and throw in

let reduce
throw in 3 heaped tablespoons of Baba Brand 'Meat Masala' (complete vegetarian)
throw in 1 tablespoon of coriander and cumin powder
throw in 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

add boiling water
fry tofu, add
add potatoes, some zucchini, carrots
throw in crushed dried fenugreek leaves


not bad, my daughter is licking her plate,
my wife is impressed,
i am surprise myself...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

to be a hero, be zero...

very nice track

to be a hero,
be zero
ego just weighs you down,
just bounds your soul
why limit the limitless?
why settle for peanuts? 
when bliss is at stake?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

zen and koi nawi tazi

Buddha's Birds
Buddha's Bird by h.koppdelaney
as i was having lunch with 2 of my good friends
i asked 'so koi nawi tazi'
both of them looked at me puzzled...
laughingly i said it means in punjabi  'anything new, any fresh like chappati off the stove?'

one friend said he was going to an interview, and he has been stressing over it every day for the last couple of weeks..

i said be like the 'master archer', pretending to pull a bow aiming at a bird over two their two heads.  With a gaze that could kill, pausing for a few seconds following the movements of the bird, then letting my imaginary arrow fly, so much so that they turned to see surprised to see there was actually a target, still happily flying around, alive!

'be like the girl from the hunger games aiming for the apple in the pigs mouth..
prepare, aim, relax, focus, and then let go
the preparation did not start this week, it started years ago,
yet your aim is the now, you have to identify what the target is, what is its true essence, and what strengths you can bring to it
you have to relax, otherwise it will take away from your performance, just say what needs to be said...
finally let go, effort is in always your hands but not the results, a certain amount of detachment is required to the results, this was what the scared Hindu Text 'Bhagawan Gita' was all about - non attachment to results'

to which my other friend replied, 'yes that is so true, but why do we get so attached in the first place?'

'well maybe it is that we are always wishing, 
that we could be something else, be someone else, 
when really maybe, its best that we just be us where we are just for right now, 
when it is time to change, circumstances that enable this will automatically prevail'

my friend who was going for the job, said

'that is good advice, tell you the truth, that's how i approach most things, except when stakes are really high, but there is two things i take away from this, that we have to relaxed even when the stakes are really high, don't have any expectations though, just try your best'

'spot on' i said, as i raised up my hand for a high five, going on to say:

'we have to always trust in the bigger picture, 
a disappointment now, may or may not pave the way for a success later, 
but it is always right thing that should have happened, 
provided that we have tried our best in the first place, 
learning would have still have taken place, which would not have been possible without this'

to that i tore into my 'Tazi' hot chapati, digging into my vegetarian lunch having further great conversions with two outstanding individuals...