Friday, December 26, 2014

A fractal approach to 2015

Fractals are everywhere around us, they are smaller repeating patterns within the larger pattern.

As such our life is a fractal as well, as larger problems mirror smaller ones, only at a larger scale, in the same manner, larger joy mirror themselves on a smaller scale. So why is this so important to understand?

Well, its important because if we can focus on changing an ineffective pattern at a smaller scale, this will change the larger patterns of our lives.  Too often we neglect the smaller things in our lives: do we behave differently at home than we do at work, do we behave different with people of different levels of power? Why should I treat the janitor with a different level of respect than my boss, they both deserve the same dignity of respect, if the essence of divine is in all of us, should they not?

So small things are important, although they may not appear to be, and are equally deserving of our attention if we want true change in our lives, they are also easier to practice and change than the larger uncontrollable things in our lives, its like turning a ship steering wheel in the ocean, you turn but nothing takes affect until much later in the course, so it is with us, we have to be consistent for the effects to turn up, and if they don't turn up, maybe we are not so consistent or consistent with the wrong things!

This also lends itself quite well to Karma theory where our impressions or Sanskara's are the seeds or the underlying micro fractal pattern. These impressions attract larger consequences and people in life almost like a magnet, good impressions attract joy, bad impressions attract suffering.

A bit of self reflection and conscious effort is always required to change the smaller fractal of  one's attitude and outlook, you have to change the within to change the without, maybe this is why New Years resolutions don't really work or last as the underlying impressions or fractals are not targeted or changed...Happy new year everyone

Monday, July 21, 2014

Life reflects the quality and the clarity of your intentions.

The quality of your life will just be a reflection on the quality and the clarity of your intentions.  

Control your life by controlling your attention, control your attention by being crystal clear and lazer focused on positive intentions.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Change your aim before you let the arrow go!

Many friends mentioned to me that their minds are often scrambling in meditation, to which I always reply, 'its quite normal'.

So it begs the question why is it so difficult to still the mind?

To put it simply, on one side we are bombarded with distractions and temptations all the time, on the other side we are trying to focus, still and purify the mind by having some sort of self control...

I was looking at a force diagram in the BABOK v2.0, which I said to myself, 'Wow, this is very relevant to meditation!'

Now imagine on the left you have all the distractions in the world, invitations to the ego and the senses and on the right you have your meditation technique that keeps your mind still, humility and self restraint.  Now the force is acting on your mind and your body and the stronger force will always win out. Sheer will power cannot overcome the stronger force, even if it does it will only be temporary.  Worse still is the self judgement and the guilt that we unnecessarily add to the mix when we fail, which makes us feel like shit afterwards and abandon the corrective path all together!  

So if it is so hard to stop or change an arrow in mid-flight, what do you do?

Well, you change your aim before you let the arrow go!  The trick is to increase the intensity of the force on the side you want to win, by increasing the amount of time, attention, and daily practice, so that it will naturally wins out:  

- To gain control over the emotions, it means you have to spend more time on pranayama/breathwork than worrying endlessly;
- To gain control over one's body it you have to do more mind body exercises like yoga/tai chi than sitting on your couch or in front of your computer;
- To negate negative karma it means you have create more positive karma daily.
- To still the mind, and get in touch with the spirit and the wisdom within, it means you have to spend more time on meditation than entertainment;

Benefit crystalizes from prolonged meditation in the form of happiness, humility and non-attachment regardless of what circumstances are present, just like a beautiful lotus flower untouched by the deep murky water underneath. 

This only comes with consistent daily practice in meditation over a longer term, it does not come by you willing it to come or being self judgmental, it will come by itself, slowly changing you as time goes by, as a natural by product of your daily efforts!

You plant the seed in the present, 
you water it daily with persistence and 
you reap the rewards much later...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Be a real human rather than a Pinocchio

It's usually in the morning when I am making breakfast or packing the kid's lunch that I try to pack in some wisdom for the day as well.

I say to my kids "Do you know there is two types of voices that are going on in side your head? One that you should listen  and act on, and one you should just simply ignore. One is always right, the other always wrong. One is the voice of love and wisdom, the other fueled by negativity such as anger or fear, and ignorance."

One of my kids say"Is it like the devil on one side, and the angel on the other side of the shoulders"

I chuckle with a smile and say "Yes, it is very much like that...its sort of like Pinocchio, whenever he acts on something negative his nose grows longer and longer, and he moves further from his goal of being a real human boy. It's exactly the same with us, the more act on negative emotions and impulse, the less human or humane we become.

If you imagine yourself as a lamp, every negative thought and action is another dirty linen thrown on the lamp...over time, there is so much dirty linen, that you don't see the light anymore. These dirty linen are habits, and we form so many bad habits, that we can no longer recognize the real potential in ourselves.  The more we act out of fear, ego, greed and ignorance, the less human we become, the more artificial we become"

"So how do we know the difference then?" my daughter asks, showing me a question mark that she cut out of her toast.

I reply "See this jug of water with the gelatinous chia seeds sitting overnight, you can see roughly how much chia seeds there is at the bottom, and you can see the clear water above it. Now let me shake it up, what can you see?"

My daughter squints and looks down at the jug, so much so, that all I see is her her puppy dog eyebrows for a second, and then she says "Well not as clear now, its more murky, and I cannot see how much chia seeds there is now"

"Well, what happen?" I ask.

"Dah...You mixed it all up!" my daughter exclaims, shaking her hands vigourosly.

This is the point where I stop and look at them with the conviction of a chief prosecutor and say "Yes, its exactly the same with our minds, when our minds are still we can see right from wrong, when they are constantly excited and stimulated we cannot see the difference"

"So its just about stilling our minds then through meditation right" my son says with forming a mudra with his fingers.

"Very good son, but it's not just that, the less sentiments or dirt in our water the better. You need filters that keep the water clean like this Brita jug over here.  These filters are all your good habits, they keep your head space clean, even when your mind is excited, you can see better because your conscious is clear"

"I am hearing in my head that we are going to miss our bus if we don't go up soon and get ready, is that the good voice speaking?" says my son says with a cheeky smile on his face.

"That sure is...and you guys better hurry up, and remember to always listen and act to the good voice inside of you, so you can be a real human rather than a Pinocchio" finally sipping my well earnt heavenly cup of freshly pressed coffee.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

To follow a Guru or not?

When it comes to spiritual progression, there is a lot of debate on wether you need a Guru or not. Some treat a Guru as God on Earth and but do little to change themselves, while others arrogantly say 'I am my own Guru!'.

A Guru is the one who illuminates the darkness, one that brings awareness where there is ignorance, one that quenches the thirst of understanding. We have all had people in our lives that cleared our doubts, showed us the way, held our hands when we felt lost. Regardless of what is being taught, we all had Guru's in lives, our parents, our teachers, our mentors.

I look to a true Guru, as an unadulterated teacher, yet not all teachers are equal. It is unfortunate there many that claim to be more than what they really are for all sorts of reasons: ego or some sort of selfish agenda. The truth is that there are teachers of various degrees. I must say, I have pretty high standards on who I follow, otherwise why follow at all, if the person you are following is worse than yourself.

So here is what I look for in a teacher:

'Living embodiment of teachings'
I look for action, not words, words are cheap, words are shallow, even a sinner can appear as a saint given some nice quotes. I look for a living embodiment of what is being taught, I want to see, hear and feel what is it I am to learn first hand.

'The wiser the better'
I look for wisdom not ignorance, I look for answers to questions I don't have the answers for, I look at the logic and love in the response even to questions that attack the core of their teachings. A teacher who knows and understands the truth is not afraid of being challenged and has the confidence to clear any doubts based on the clarity in their very own mind.

'Love and Logic rules all kingdoms'
I look for compassion and an absence of judgement, why should there be attacks of who I am even in a spiritual context. If you tell me what I should do and what I should not do, then that has to be based on some sound logic should it not, and a message wrapped in love and concern only. Love and logic would appeal to me far more than any commandments and coercion ever would.

'Why would the ocean claim to be the wave'
I look for humility in all aspects, when there is nothing a person claims to be, there is no longer a limit on what that person can be, why would the ocean want to be the wave, it simply surfaces and then goes back to the infinite. The same with the mind of a true teacher, it appears to serve a purpose, and then disappears into selflessness.

'Any change for the better must happen'
Last of all, given I follow the instructions and the role model of the teacher, that has to bring some sort of change about in me, the short term and sustainable long term results should be visible, otherwise I really got to look twice at what I am doing wrong or what the teacher is doing wrong, either way somethings got to change.

'Worth their weight in gold'
A true teacher is worth their weight in gold and much more, they accelerate learning, they provide the guidance, they provide the role model that you can imitate, they are a living embodiment of the teaching themselves, and can transmit this to others through their understanding and living example. What good is a dead teacher who could walk on water, rather give me a teacher better than what I am in the present, today, so at least I can get some personal guidance rather than depending on my imagination.

'Don't throw the baby out'
The key thing is not to throw the baby out with the bath water, for any one true thing, there is always a thousand cheap imitations, choose wisely and this will change your life for better.  I am so very grateful for the teachers in my life, otherwise my life trajectory would be on a very different and difficult path.