Saturday, February 23, 2013

Letting Go

A relative whom I have not spoken to for more than 10 years rang me out of the blue telling me about her pain and suffering she endured from her husband's infidelity. Towards the end of our conversation, she confessed that after so many years she was still in pain and cannot forgive and move on.

I could not give her a simple explanation about moving on and what it really means to move on. I felt sad that I was not able to help her during our conversation.

"There is no need to feel sorry" the Universe came to my rescue.

"How can I simply explain to her about moving on? Sometimes you guys use explanation that is too vague requiring a Phd in philosophy just to understand it. Do you not use simple language with simple human terminology?"

"I can see your frustration"

"Yes I am pissed off" I protested.

"You must care for your relative?"

"Yes I do" feeling a lot calmer. Please forgive me I just swore at the Universe.

"You are forgiven. Let me tell you a story"

"That is a good start. I learn better relating to stories"

"Two monks went for a walk and they came across a young woman pregnant with child by a shallow fast flowing stream. The older monk went by the woman, picked her up and carried her across to the other side putting her down. The monks walked on in silence. 5 hours later as they were returning to their monastery, the other much younger monk couldn't restrain himself anymore. "Why did you touch the woman and even carried her on your shoulders across the stream? Monks are not allowed to do such things."

"I put the woman down hours ago - are you still carrying her?" was the older monk's reply.

"I see your meaning. My relative is still carrying the past in her - reliving it during every waking moment and in every conversation. She spent the whole conversation talking about how bad her ex-husband was and what he did that destroyed her. That happened 10 years ago. She is still an angry and resentful person."

"Living in the prison of your past memories is truly hell on earth, unable to let go of situations that happened in the past which has absolutely no relevance to the present."

"The past are but just thoughts/memories in your minds and they are never a part of your current situation. In fact thoughts in itself are not problems as you can learn from them. The real problem starts when you make these thoughts/memories as part of their current sense of self. In this instance you cannot separate thoughts in your mind and the true person you are now. In short your relative who was heart broken by her husband, has made her past part of who she is today even though her husband has remarried another woman. She has become a prisoner of her past memories. She will carry this burden of imprisonment as long as she allows these past thoughts to be part of the make up of who she is today."

"She still feels the pain she has enough of it and wants to Move On... but how?"

"By letting go of the woman by the stream"

"There you go again - being vague and philosophical, I need to know HOW DOES ONE MOVE ON?" finding myself banging on my keyboard in frustration.

"By not giving power to these past thoughts."
"By understanding that if you give power to these thoughts you are then living in a mind prison"
"By knowing that these past thoughts are just mind stories"
"By knowing that these past thoughts cannot stop you from choosing who you want to be today"
"By turning off this pre-recorded story in her mind"
"By recognising that these thoughts/memories have not relevance in her life situation anymore"
"By choosing to let go and move on"

My fingers are slipping off the keyboard, I am typing so fast. Phew I have just finished......

"Thank you again Universe"

"See you next time" 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I am not Me

At my bank a few years ago I noticed an elderly man, probably in his 80s, leaning over the teller's counter looking frustrated. He could not produce any acceptable form of ID to the teller and he was getting increasingly agitated trying to convince the teller who he was.

"Don't you know? I am me, I am me" quivering and waving his hands in the air much to the amusement of the other customers.

That was five years ago and I never gave the incident much thought until I hear this 2-year old girl at the park asking her mum for a drink.

"Amy wants a drink" pointing to her heart. It is as if there is another person inside her wanting a drink.

That got me thinking. If there is another person inside her that is "Amy" then who is this little girl who is doing the asking? That invokes the memory of the elderly man's statement at the bank. His "I am ME" must mean there is a "ME" inside his "I". Is there a message here?

"Amy..... full" the little girl thanks her mother, wiping her mouth and happily toddles off to the swings.

There must be two of us in every one of us. Arghhhhh!!

"What do you think?"  the Universe interrupts my thoughts.

"I don't know"

"You know messages come from unexpected people"

I subscribe to the belief that messages will come at appropriate times and they will come often enough for me to learn. The message from the elderly man and now this little girl must be for me to learn about "I" and "Me".

"So is there a truth about I and a ME and if so who is I and who is ME?" Feeling insane for even asking this question.

"You are not insane and yes there is a truth about I and ME. However, the only way to know this truth is to experience it. Explanations using words does not do it justice. Words merely point to the truth it doesn't give you the true knowledge. At best, words and labels provide a concept of the truth. Some people can convince you that durians are horrible and yet they have never tasted it themselves.

"I am not quite sure what you mean"

"Unfortunately most humans tend to associate their true self with the words and mental labels they develop for themselves as they grow up. Most humans loose this connection with their true self right from very young and replace their true self with words and mental labels learned from parents, friends, experiences or their own reading, and take as truth about themselves. In no time this concept of who they are, defined by those words are mistakenly taken to be the truth. Their true self is then forgotten."

"You are loosing me"

"Bear with me"

"The word "I" is perhaps the worst definition for the person who says it and unfortunately one of the most used words to describe who we are. The word "I" is an illusion and it is only a derived concept of who we truly are. It is a signpost pointing to the truth. Albert Einstein referred to this as "the optical illusion of consciousness" This signpost or illusion sets the basis of our definition of who we are - and with this illusion or the concept of ourselves, we relate to the world.

"Wooooo, what you are saying is that we are only showing a concept of who we are and assuming that this concept is the actual us?"

Scratching my head, unsure of what I am typing.

"The little girl Amy, has just learned from her parents to produce a sound from her vocal chords. The sound is "Amy" and she begins to have this thought in her mind that this sound - Amy - is who she is. Her parents have given her a concept of who this true person is. If you like, a representative of this true person or consciousness. The sound Amy then becomes a signpost pointing to this little girl's pure consciousness"

"As this girl grows she attaches more thoughts associated with this signpost. "Me" and "Mine" are possessive thoughts of objects that belong to this representative of her consciousness. This original thought is then further shaped by her experiences - both pleasant and unpleasant - acquired knowledge, opinions, likes and dislikes aggregated to then define the sense of self for this girl. It is this girl's "me and my story".

I need to clear my mind.... got to stop and have my cracker barrel cheese and biscuits.


"I am back" with a freshly brewed flat white coffee ready to chip in when I need caffeine.

"So what happens to this original consciousness whilst Amy's representative is being defined and developed?"

"Nothing. Amy's consciousness maintains its innocence and beauty just as the day she was born. Just as the beauty of a flower that has inspired countless artist and poets. You just feel the presence of the flower's consciousness when you are amongst them and when you see them. Seeing a beautiful flower reminds us of the beauty that underlines each and every human. This beauty of a flower is the same beauty in a human. The innocence of other living beings, like a puppy, kitten or human baby is a window into the beauty of the underlining consciousness of all living things"

"So what you are saying is: as Amy grows, she continues to shape her concept of herself and becomes some form of an aggregated data of who she thinks she is. She could be a scientist, teacher, astronaut, mother, accountant - whatever she creates herself underneath this signpost, her consciousness remains the same. That is the consciousness of her innocence and beauty. And when she says "I am......" unhappy, sad, discarded by my lover/husband, etc it only defines her concept of herself not the true consciousness that lies underneath the "I". In short there is a true Me underneath Amy's I"

I am typing furiously now, I think I got it and I feel really weird to now know that there is a real "Me" underneath the "I" that I have created for myself in my years living on this earth.

Perhaps the little girl in the park and the elderly man I saw years ago are there to give me insight and the confidence to put this out there in my blog and running the risk of being branded insane or simply confused.

"Stop beating yourself up again and you are not insane"

"Thank you" I see Amy turning around and smiling knowingly at me - waving good-bye as her mum walks her home.  Thank you Amy for teaching me.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happiness or Inner Peace You Choose

The worst of summer is probably over. The days are settling into an average of 30 degrees instead of the mid 40s. We have just celebrated the Chinese New Year, my family welcomed the year of the Snake with the all-important new year eve dinner. I get a plethora of well wishes on FB including wealthy, healthy, happy, etc but one stood out very clearly - he wished me inner peace. I did not think too much about the message until now - when I am at peace and yet again in my small side patio sipping my morning coffee.

"Wondered what is the difference between happiness and inner peace is?" Universe started this time before I had a chance to ask any questions.

"Oh now you are being pro active this morning?"

"You have asked this before but you have forgotten that you did"

I must have and who am I to argue with the Universe. OK so I did, then tell me more.

"Yes there is a clear difference. Happiness is dependent on some conditions being perceived as positive but inner peace does not"

"Well then to be happy will be simple. All I have to do is change my attitude and think positive on all matters all the time. So where does inner peace comes in?"

"Do you truly know what positive is and what negative is? Sometimes you may think that your experience is positive only to turn into a negative experience? Known of people who had a wonderful love-filled romantic wedding then turning into a disastrous and bitter divorce later?" Or people who have changed their lives drastically for the better after a heart attack or near-death experience? In essence there is neither positive nor negative in the larger perspective. Situations are just as they are"

"Huh? I cannot pretend that things are good when an obvious bad thing has happened? Death, accidents, illness or pain are not good and I cannot simply deny that it is not bad. That would be self deceiving wouldn't it?"

"You are not pretending, you are simply allowing the situation to be as it is. Obviously when your loved one has a major accident of has just died, you cannot be happy about it. But you can be at peace with it - you can be crying and feel the loss, but you can still be at ease with the death or accident. Once you accept the situation and allow the situation to be - you will find underneath this sadness or unhappiness the presence of quiet strength. It is sacred. This is...... inner peace. A place where there is no good nor bad."

"This is all too difficult to understand. Can you give me a simpler example?"

"Imagine you are sitting on your balcony enjoying the fresh evening breeze. Then the foul smelling cooking from your neighbour wafts in once again. They are foreigners in our country and cooking their strange smelling food.  Almost immediately they spoil the fresh evening breeze of yours. To top it off your neighbour adulterate the quiet neighbourhood you live in with their loud voices and communal dining. Annoyance and then anger arises in you. "How could they be so insensitive", you start justifying your anger. "I am going to Twit about this and also going to write about them on FB, I might even write an article in my daily newspaper column teaching them how to behave in our country" - you continue to fuel your anger and before long it spills into an all out revenge."

"OK what is your point?" I am getting impatient, as Universe is taking too long.

"Observe yourself - that is precisely my point"

"Is there a need to be annoyed with your neighbours? What does this annoyance do for you? And is there a need to take revenge?"

"What else can I do? I have a right too don't I?"

"Allow things to be as it is. Try this - instead of letting this smell or noise build in you - just imagine yourself to be transparent. Imagine the smell and noise just simply going through you. Imagine that you are NO THING - just an empty space and the smell and noise simply passes through you. You have no resistance. This no-resistance is your inner peace unaffected by neither smell nor noise."

"Well if my neighbour continues to be loud and affect not just me but others in my community do we not do something about it? Do we just simply accept and let things get out of hand? Can we not at least compromise?"

"If you ever need to do something then it is fine. But do it from this inner peace. Whatever you do from this inner peace will be done in the right way and at the right moment. It will come from a quiet need to effect a change or strike a compromise. There will be no blaming no accusation just a smooth conduit to find a solution. More importantly, whatever you do will not be from anger or revenge, it will be done from a calm disposition. In this way annoyance, anger and revenge has not place. Don't you think so?"


" the way, the neighbour's story I just told you? - its a true story that happened in one country in South East Asian. Sad isn't it?"

Silence again.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ebookstore Gateway


by Jian Qiu Huang
The Yellow Banana is now distributed to most major ebookstores internationally. A gateway is created to link to all these ebookstores.

Click the ebookstore gateway below to check it out

Ebookstore Gateway

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The iPad monk

We just experienced a heat wave last week with temperatures reaching mid 40s. My new lawn and plants screamed for water by the end of each day.

Fortunately the weather has improved and I have just woken up sitting up in my bed enjoying the respite provided by the awesome power of nature. It is as if the Universe has decided to let us know - not to take things for granted and enjoy the value of each day presented to us.

I hear the familiar "Triiing" sound coming from my phone, telling me I have an SMS.

"Surrender to divine authority means liberation from physical illusions, not from the delights and the comfort of physical life" - an SMS from my daughter.

"Dad do you remember our discussion about the monk we saw who had an iPad?" she followed with another SMS. What a heavy subject so early in the morning.

Of course I remember the discussion we had, it revolved around the topic - should spiritual enlightenment be synonymous to poverty or living in abstinence?

Our discussion centred on a monk we saw in a shopping centre who had an iPad in his hand. He also had a number of shopping bags drabbed over his shoulders. I remember thinking the monk stood out like a sore thumb, as if a monk with an iPad shopping in an up-market shopping centre does not belong to each other.

The SMS from my daughter makes so much sense as it hits the nail right on the head - surrendering to divine authority does not necessarily mean spiritually connected people should live a life of poverty and in servitude.

"Indeed a good discussion" Universe started.

"Oh you have an opinion about this?" pulling out my iPad.

" I have a question?"

"Shoot" frantically typing away on my iPad. (I am not a monk)

"Why do you assume that a Buddhist monk, or indeed any religious person, OUGHT TO live in abstinence, stripped to the most basic level of subsistence living, devoid of normal human physical needs, comforts and convenience of everyday modern life?"

I had to think about this question and after about 5 minutes the best I could scrap up is...

"That is normal. Everyone knows that and I also see most religious people doing just that. They sacrifice their lives for spiritual growth"

"What is normal may not necessarily be natural"

"Smoking has been considered normal behaviour for as long as you can remember and in some societies a mandatory mark of adulthood. People caught in fires generally die of asphyxiation through smoke inhalation and not from burns and yet we fill our lungs out with the same smoke that kills. Would you call this normal behaviour natural?"

"OK, I see your point - are you then saying that religious figures can then be multi millionaires, drive BMWs and live in grandiose mansion?" A good question I thought.

"Heard of the saying: Man does not live on bread alone?"

"In 1 Corinthian 6:12 it is also said "Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything"

"Siddharta Gautama did not achieve enlightenment until he lived a balanced life and stopped submitting himself to a life of rigorous ascetic practices"

"Countless pain and suffering are being brought about by people trying to find salvation through deprivation of the body. The only way to find salvation is through the body not away from it."

"And your point being, the only naturally way to head towards a spiritual life, is striking a balanced lifestyle, one that is right for us individually?"

"What I am saying is, deprivation of the natural needs of the body does not guarantee anyone a path to attaining spiritual growth. We all have our individual paths as we fulfil the agendas of our souls. We all have a reason for being on this earth in our physical forms and the only way we experience our agendas is through the temple of the spirit called body. So look after it, care for it, fine-tune it as it is only in this physical body form you receive salvation"

"So it is our perception that categorises what being spiritual is all about? Up till now I have automatically assumed that when someone dresses in some form of uniform, deprive themselves and live a community of relatively simple life and practice some form of religious rituals  - is more spiritual than me. I almost automatically give the person respect because of this perspective of mine. In fact I always feel inadequate in their presence and yearn to have what they have or what I perceive that they may have. And if they live 'our lives' like shopping in a shopping centre and having a haircut, we automatically assume that they have succumbed to our non-spiritual lives. I am kinda stuffed up you would say."

"You want to stop beating yourself up . You must remember you too have your own journey"

"So what you are saying is: I may be as, if not more spiritual than those monks or religious figures I encounter in my life?"

"I repeat, you want to stop beating yourself up and stay in the know that you too have your own journey"

"OK ok"

"I have more questions. What does a balanced lifestyle mean? What is right for me may not be right for the others? How do I know if enough is enough? How do I know I am not depriving myself?....."

"You will when you know"

"What kind of answer is that? It does not make sense.... I need more answer"


I guess the Universe has enough.