Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Seoul Diary

February 20, 2009

When you are travelling, you are open to new experiences and people. Here’s a Japanese musician I met in Seoul, Korea at a restaurant in Insa-dong. In between morsels, he strummed his guitar. We got to talking, at least, my Korean friend translated his simple Korean for me. He showed us pictures of himself jamming with famous Japanese musicians(they are unknown to me). Request for my favourite and this free spirit of a troubadour acquiesced. Have a listen. Japanese musician sings Arrirang, Korea


Starry Night

February 19, 2009

credit: stars-nasas-hubble-space-telescope
Took a walk last night. I looked up to drink in the stars and imbibed a cocktail of peace, happiness, contentment, all blended in a delicious glass of eternal now. “That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.” – Henry Thoreau. Yeah, I am pretty loaded, hung up on a bunch of hot air many light years away.

Quite a lot of stars were hanging around, though not as bright as in Desaru’s night sky where they positively glitter and seem much closer to earth. However happy to have what I’ve got. I am not there, I am here.

Starry, starry night – first three words of ‘Vincent’ song. To us earthlings, they have always symbolise an unknown beyond. Some have been around for a long time -13 billion years.

The age of any life form throughout history, including mine, is an iota compared to the star’s. When I am gone, the stars still shine or don’t they? Guess it won’t matter after this form has disappeared.

But there again, Vietnamese Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh and many in the zen tradition expresses that “we, the stars and the earth are one.” What does it mean?

A Soto Zen teacher/actor uses the analogy of the ocean and the different waves to illustrate the point. We are the different waves on the ocean, coming forth in different forms, intensity and brevity and then returning to the ocean.

What ocean – of dna, atoms, energy? This ‘I’ have yet to realise the Truth.

I am a sceptic, X’s files’ ‘help me to believe’ describes me.

My Japanese roshi likens meditation as returning to one’s native country. Cool, that’s why I am still meditating after 3 decades and I haven’t reach there yet. I would like to know the Truth. I can handle the Truth even if it means there’s no Truth, only the daily living. Sometimes life can be boring, dull but sometimes it’s brilliant.

Buddha saw a ‘star’, some say it’s actually the planet Venus. Anyway, it’s a shiny body in the night sky that prompted his enlightenment. I eyeballed plenty of ‘em and never had such experience. Well, just me and the stars out there is good enough.

The Stars on earth, those celebrity of sorts out of reach, some folks that are out of reach and looked up at. Them I don’t fancy but I treasure those hanging up there and the stars in some lover’s eyes.

Sometimes, there’s a one-eyed black cat up there with the luminaries. I am referring to the crescent moon on a dark night.

Do chin up every now and then, does add a subliminal quality to your everyday life.

Days of Being Desperate

February 17, 2009

Henry Thoreau, Walden (1854):

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

How not to live days of quiet insanity? Confucius says,

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day of your life.

Well, if folks enjoy their work, then no problem, no angst, life’s perfect. However, for most people, it is rare to find your one and only love-work and sometimes the love affair ends.

You know the 7-year itch in relationship? I have you know that’s an itch at work in toil too. So job switching happens when the itch arrives, to a different profession even.
You may never ever find your calling. Maybe you are meant to wander in the bardo of job buffet.

So the discontentment wells up, sooner or later. Or by that later time, you are retired.

Seoul Boring - outta control

Seoul Boring - outta control

Actually any work is okay. It’s the attitude you bring to it. If you put a positive spin on what you do, regard it as service to humanity or because of love for your family relying on you to put rice on the table.

Is the solution then to change your mindset to love what you do, to tolerate your belabouring like an inconsequent little new mole? Is it really the solution?

How long do you have to lie to yourself? Till the day your body, a gauge of inner sadness, complains by getting sick? It has a way of showing its discontentment by having allergic reaction(let me break out), irritable bowel syndrome(let me out, let me out), gastritis(I can’t stomach this any longer) and the like.

If you continue to suppress your emotions, there may be a chronic illness in the horizon. Note that I am not saying that all sickness arise from dissatisfaction. However stress has been proven to be a factor in causing life-threatening diseases.