Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Changing Forms of Clouds

What is more rejuvenating than spending the afternoon looking at the blue sky and experiencing the changing forms of the clouds? It was absolutely enticing. Even while blogging right now, the clouds are changing forms.

It might sound slightly ridiculous to some, to me, this is one of those rare moments that I get to have time for myself to just sit alone and appreciate the moment.

Appreciate life. Appreciate the nature. Appreciate my surroundings. To truly observe the view, the magnificent flow of nature.

This is when I am grateful for:
1. Having a perfect vision; to be able to see with my eyes.
2. Having some time alone; when life seems to be moving too fast, to be detached from the outside world and view life from a different angle.
3. Being here; for having a chance to still be here.

Most people would find this truly a waste of time and probably think there are much more practical activities than just sit and look at clouds. In other words, some might describe this as just ‘day dreaming’.

Before you conclude that it is just a waste of time, why not take a moment and think “What is life?”

To some, it is the sense of self-achievements when you picture yourself to own something a few years down the road. Most of the time, it would either be a successful career or a money-making business that wowed everyone. To some, it might also be having a family, to own designers’ shoes or accessories, to have traveled around the world and seen the richness of other country’ cultures, etc.

Do you see the similarity of the above objectives in life? Ultimately, the end result in mind is to satisfy your needs for happiness.

What if you have reached there? You would have wanted something more, to keep the objectives going in order to satisfy your needs. The search for material happiness is never ending until the day we leave the world. Everyone will leave the world someday and it is the fact of life.

Are you afraid of leaving the world?
Being afraid is because you have yet to achieve the objectives you have set for yourself, you have yet to prove to yourself of your worthiness and attain the satisfaction of self-achievements. I am pleased to say that I am not afraid to leave the world. Why? My journey in life has been fascinating. I have a family that loves me. I have friends that love me. I am surrounded by love. I am truly blessed to be who I am and to have what I have in my life. I am not referring to the material possessions in my life; I am referring to the love and joy.

As I am looking up at the sky now, the clouds have changed forms several times, to prove yet again that ‘Nothing is Permanent’. So, why chase unrealistic dreams of having more material possessions when nothing is permanent? When we leave this world, the only possessions we are able to bring with us are the love and memories we have shared during our time on earth.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A boy named Gabriel

It was such a nice and warm feeling to see so many people willing to sacrifice their time to do volunteering job. Especially at an orphanage where they provide tutoring to children once a week.

What bothered me after another session of tutoring at the orphanage today was a seven year old boy whom I was coaching on the subject of Mathematics. He could not even differentiate the number seven and nine. I guided him on a few calculation exercises and observed he had difficulty in identifying numbers. The most basic and fundamental knowledge of Mathematics needed to proceed with those difficult worksheet that was provided for the tutoring sessions.

Yet, he was tackling the worksheets with much frustration, all the while asking me to give him the right answers.

Another behavior I have observed of him is that he was depending on me to give him the answers which lead to the attitude of not bothering to remember what was being taught and only excited to know if he has guessed the answers correctly. Sigh.

I wonder what his school teachers teach in class. More so, did he even bother to listen to his teachers in school?

What disturbed my mind most were when I wanted to leave a little early to go for my dancing class, some of the volunteers was teasing the boy that he made me angry and I am leaving him. The boy did not allow me to go and wanted me to stay on, so I explain to him that I must leave as I have my dancing class and that I will see him again next week. He said “You are lying”.

Shocked. Surprised. Stunned.

Those were my reactions. Why would the boy accused me of all that? I tried to explain but he was already sulking and kept repeating that I was lying to him. The rest of the volunteers did not help much by adding on that he made me angry and I am leaving because of that. Sigh.

No wonder the boy is feeling the way he is, with the help of the cheerleaders’ team formed by those volunteers. Abandoned yet again by someone he thought he is able to trust. He was already abandoned by his birth parents, he must have experienced the same with numerous “teachers” whom he respected, and now he thought I must be one of “those” people who just said “I will come back” for the sake of saying it.

My heart truly weeps for that little boy for experiencing those feelings from such a young age and not knowing how to deal with it. Volunteering as a tutor for the orphanage is certainly not an easy job. One must be understanding and able to feel the emotions of those children. They need encouragements, genuine care from the heart as a friend and family, as well as being the mentor that they can look up to and respect. To say the right things at the right time is most important to deal with the sensitive emotions that has been bottling up in them.

If the other volunteers chipped in a few words of encouragements and positive remarks during those awkward moments, the boy would have felt better and experience a sense of calmness and trust.

I stressed yet again that being a tutor or a teacher does not mean we are teaching something to others; it is the passion of sharing an idea or knowledge and inspiring others to give their best in order to discover what they already know. At the same time, having the passion in seeing someone’s life improves through all these guidance and inspirations. The satisfaction is indescribable.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My mission in life

I had yet another “first” experience in meditation this evening. I had a huge smile plastered on my face at the end of the session.
I have found my reasons for living.

To put it another way; I have found my true reason for my existent. The reason has always been in my subconscious mind and only found the connection to my conscious mind through meditation. Most probably these are not something new but it is something that has been clarified as a mission in my life.

My goals to achieve my life's mission:

1. To spread compassion to more people; I have come to realize the importance of spreading more compassion to those in needs and help motivates others to do the same. I would want to be more involved in organizing charity events or do more volunteering work.
2. To spread love and care to children, especially those who were born without a family. To help them realize that they are not alone and be the family that they needed.
3. To be an angel to my mom. Words cannot describe just how much love and care she had given to me since the day I was born. Today, she needs me. I will simply be there.
4. To learn more about children’s education, as I would one day hope to educate more children especially orphans.

According to the book on Buddhism, births are the start of suffering. Children are born into this world to suffer from the karmic effects of their past lives. But, I know that if we are able to provide them with the right education and guidance, at least some karmic effects would be neutralized.

I have been dealing with a lot of struggles lately. Struggles not from others but within myself and I. The fear that I once suffered has been lifted upon me as I went through another session of meditation today. The simple life that I have always wanted has always been there, but blurred by artificial believes and dreams. No more of those days where my daily motivations are from goals of becoming the best in the industry, to be able to afford expensive vacations, and other make-believe fairy tale endings.

The simple life that I have always been dreaming to have is the life that I always had. The life that I have been blessed with, having my family who has always been there thru the roller-coaster ride of my life, with all the wonderful friends that I have right now and wonderful people that I will be meeting in the future. The laughter shared. The lessons learnt from older generations as well as children as young as three or four years of age. Even lessons learnt from infants are treasures if we know how to appreciate them.

Of course, not forgetting the process of finding the one person I will share my life with. Although part of me still have the fear of being abandon again, but I am happy to say that I have opened up my heart to rekindle that ability to feel love once more. Should I say that “someone” had that magic touch to guide me to feel love again?

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Facts of Life - My own's perspectives

Even the toughest character needs TLC from time to time.

Sometimes when we are taught and raised to be strong and independent, the advantage will be a tough character that is able to handle every situation or trouble without whining or expecting help to be given. Things will get done quicker, more efficient at work, independently handles every critical situations in life, and etc.
But life is meant to be shared. Life will be bland and tasteless if it is not shared with people we love. There is nothing sweeter than knowing someone will be there for you during the tough times, or laughter will be shared during a celebration. There is nothing happier than knowing someone will always be there to love and care for you; no matter what.

When you cradle a child and the child’s little fingers wrapped around your thumb; clinging to your thumb just because the child felt safer and protected. We are born to have the natural instinct to have the needs of care and love. It is only the teaching and cultures that have blurred the needs; only when you reach deep into your inner soul that you will find that needs emerge within us.

Even the sweetest person will have their own bitter moments.

I believe no one is perfect. Even monks would have a moment or two of bitterness.

Someone, in this case would be a lady above the age of 50 with marital status still ticked as single, asking numerous unreasonably illogical questions that the only objective to ask in the first place is to challenge someone to a point of irritation. Even directing those questions to a monk will test their patience.

Never judge a character; even if you have known that person for years.

We thought we know. We thought having years of experience will exclude you from disappointments. Most of the time, the person we thought we know the best willbe the ones who will give you the biggest surprise! It is neither good norbad surprises.


Someone who looks tough but always give-in to love. Someone who provides care and love to everyone, but surprises us when the love and care were never shown to their family. Someone who laughs and portray a happy-go-lucky attitude, but suffers from depression deep inside. Someone who appears noble and highly respected, but has hidden secrets that show lack of integrity. The list goes on and on.Shall we conclude that life is certainly more interesting with all these unique characters that colour our lives and make life more challenging?

Relationships that last the first 3 months are just starting the real relationship.
1-3 months – HONEYMOON
3-6 months – CHALLENGE
6-12months – ACCEPTANCE

Who am I to judge how a relationship should work? I took some time to reflect on my own relationship, but since it was so long ago, I gave up thinking.

I believe relationships should be built strongly on trust and respect. Secondly, relationship should also be based on the most fundamental, which is being a best friend with each other. These attributes to a relationship that will last comparing to those that are based on ‘love at first sight’ or purely lust.

Two people gets together because they like each other’s company and are able to discuss about anything at all. Subjects vary from secrets, to personal opinions, troubles to special moments, gossips to challenge. These two people then fall in love and decided to build a family of their own based on trust, respect, friendship and love. Their attraction for each other will last a lifetime.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Facing the demon

Yet again I have come to another point in my life where a life-changing decision has to be made. Since the start of the Chinese New Year celebration, I have been weighing the pros and cons, hoping to come to a firm conclusion and decide which directions to move next.

Fear is what I have been feeling.
Fear of failure.
Fear of making the wrong decision.
Fear of disappointing people around me.
Fear of lost opportunities.
Fear. Fear. Fear….

As I was browsing through some books in MPH yesterday, I was attracted to a book titled “One Month To Live”. A thirty days guide to a no-regret life. Pathetic as it sounds, I was desperate! Desperate to force that final push to move on in life!

One chapter emphasizes on risks in life…..

Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature,
Nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.

Avoiding danger is no safer
in the long run Than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure,
Or nothing….

-Helen Keller-

So, what am I clinging to right now that needed to let go of in order to move forward in my life? How can I break away and attempt greater things in life? Deep down inside, I know I have the answer. I know what I want. I know that nothing is impossible and lots of greater things can be achieved, if only I want to do it. Somehow, this fear is stopping me.

This fear is making all sorts of unreasonable excuses for not following my heart. My passion. My dreams.

If only I am able to develop that motivation and strength to push me towards that first step to my dreams…

If only.... maybe..... someday......... these are words said for comforting oneself"
Someday I will achieve it.
Someday I am really going to do it. Maybe I will be happy.
Someday when I achieve it, I will be happy.
One day.
What if that someday doesn't exist?
Life is unpredictable; you'll never know what's coming next.

That someday is right now.

Maybe what I truly need right now is to get away from the congested city to another place, to take my attention from all these confusing make-believe career that people has been feeding me with and truly search the answer from within.

Yes! I need a getaway vacation! Badly!

Another excuse to refrain from facing that important decision-making task and a very obvious "someday" syndrome.