Saturday, May 22, 2010

Meditation Retreat

Kadampa Meditation Retreat
21st May -23rd May 2010

22nd May (10pm)
Dear Blig,

Just thought I should write something out of this experience. What I'm thinking now isn't much,really. Sense of peace? Ah,yes!

But also, the same ol, 'ah, I should meditate more', and 'oh,I should do this more often' keeps ringing in my head, after each sitting session. The 'not enough' and 'the session was simply too short' would be my afterthought.

This is one aspect I would need to contemplate on. I think I am familiar with Metta(loving kindness) but- what is compassion? Some say, the ability to accept another the way he/she is. Like the simile, whereby, a person walking down the pathway with both hands filled with bagfuls of groceries. He is suddenly knocked over by another man. Just before he could utter anything rude, as he turned around, he realizes that the man who had knocked him over was a blind man. That blind man, he,too, was sprawled over and was finding his way again. And thus, with compassion- one is able to see the shortcomings of others. How little do I understand, let alone, practice, compassion. Because, like that man, instead of reaching out, hand in hand, helping one another, I would throw my hands up in the air, shocked or dismayed and announce to the world, how upset I had become as a result of the encounter.

Also, what is anger? Momentary insanity? Purely a loss-of-mind? Dissatisfaction? Fear? All of the above? Knowing anger is one thing - then, the next question is; what causes anger and most importantly, what will make anger go away!

Theoretically, watching the breath, being mindful of the rising and falling of the breath, watching the passing thought and feeling, sounds all so practical and usable. But, in the moment of anger and fury, the theory goes out the window! Well, for me, at least. I'm no expert, just a slow learner.

Expectation is another thing to watch out for. Of course, unrealistic expectation leads to disappointment. However, what about clear, realistic expectation? Although I understand that no individual should impose expectation on another but surely, some expectation would yield wholesome results!? ie. A mother expects her child to behave responsibly and dilligently in everything the child does.Surely, a bit of nudging can be a form of encouragement and discipline? Of course, if it doesn't happen, it would surely lead to disappointment but where would you draw the line? Right in the beginning, at the root of it all, and simply not set expectations at all? Surely,not? Especially so, when children needs rules and discipline set out clearly as a form of guidance.(I don't know!)

All theory seems just a waste of time if one doesn't investigate and look really deep inside. I have come to understand the workings of my mind in this retreat, at this point of time. Almost like a spotcheck. But alas! fleeting thoughts appear and disappear ever so frequently, a three monthly meditation session simply isn't enough! In fact, this retreat serves as a reminder that I should keep in check this very practice of meditation all the time.

The cultural differences didn't really bug me that much but I do admit, when the familiar becomes vague and then fades out into strangeness, I did 'decide' at that point, that 'this' isn't what I preferred. But, if I had a more open mind, I would say, ah, Mahayana,Tibetan, Vajrayana, Hinayana, Theravada- what doesit all matter? :)

As long as I could identify with a large chunk of the Teachings,does it matter if they had used different terminologies and rituals?

It really does raise lots of questions about what is 'right' and what is 'wrong'. In the end one has to make certain preferences yet at the same time, acknowledging that there are many other ways representing that certain idea. Perhaps, being compassionate means having the ability to see through these 'minor' differences and accepting all as the 'same'. Different yet simlar?

I guess, that could be an answer to part of anger as well. Anger could have arisen when two or more parties do not see eye to eye. Anger could arise when one fails to accept differences It took me a while to get to here and it definitely will take me longer time to adapt and adjust to this concept.

That right is not necessarily right, or absolutely dead, spot on right!(and vice versa)

From some of the meditation practice, I have also had the opportunity to 'take a look' at my passing thoughts.'Residue' thoughts which would appear out of nowhere but appear so strongl, alongside present times. Now, I say 'residue' thoughts because these thoughts (and associating feelings and images which forms part of the thought)seems like 'unfinished' business. Something I had to let time take its place and slowly see it fade away.One day these thoughts will not appear anymore, like forgotten events, totally discarded from the memorybank. Unpleasant thoughts and feelings from the past, why keep them anyway?

Then,arise the question:do I then, keep generating good thoughts,kind thoughts? Happy thoughts each time I meditate, or, take a step back, and observe, like a third party, watching the movie play its records?

How does one 'let go' of thoughts? Whether 'good' or 'bad', pleasant or unpleasant, past or dreamlike? Or is it just a bad movie one can never shut off? Too many experiences, external disturbances, chatterings, conversations, new ideas and plans- all these seems to obstruct the meditation practice- which is to slow everything down. It is simply,just too 'noisy'the outside world.'s equally noisy inside!!That is why- the need to turn the attention inwards is SOo (crucially-just to emphasize!)important!

I wish I can create more opportunities like these for myself to practice meditation and contemplate.

(Vesak Day celebration is near, more opportunities to come.)


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Listening to: Phantom Of the Opera

Aahh...reminisce all the good memories. The songs from P.O.Opera is just mind paralyzing. Takes me to some world I cannot define. Just holding back tears for no particular reason. Happy tears. I can assure you. Happy tears :)

CPA Graduation- 2008

Unfortunately, after trying to upload the pictures fail, I shall not try anymore.