Wednesday, April 23, 2014

When the Ego Looks into a Mirror

This year is thus the time to make the easiest decision that ever confronted you and the only one. You will cross the bridge into reality simply because you will realize that God is on the other side and nothing at all is here. It is impossible not to make the natural decision as this is realized.
(A Course in Miracles)

Could there be a force in us that wants to interfere with God's communication? Sure, and every spiritual traveler will sooner or later stumble on it. What do you think the First Commandment "Thou shall have no gods before me" is all about? Do you think God is jealous and cannot stand the idea of not being admired? The First Commandments alerts you to the problem statement that there is a force in you that wants to interfere with your inherited God connection.

Once you start looking for God you will naturally stumble on your idol. There is simply an interference in you and the voice in your head will remind you how important it is for you. A cry for specialness hides in all of us, and this longing interferes with our God awareness. Everybody has it, but not everyone is aware of it, and certainly, not everyone minds it. If anything, our society edges us on to develop what supposedly separates us from others. Certainly, you can use your unique talent to share it with others, but you can also use it to look down on others. Try to find out what your true agenda and your fantasies are all about.

There is only one requirement for completing your spiritual path, when you stumble on a dark corner in your soul, be willing to look. Don't be embarrassed and don't fight your cravings either. Just accept them. Arguments with the ego is exactly what the fellow looks for. Simply don't engage! You are operating on the wrong thought level and you can only escape from it by stepping aside - or by crossing the bridge as the Course in Miracles puts it so well. See the ego for what it is, a force that wants to keep your attention. Take a good look around, God's messenger must be standing nearby. Dealing with the ego is actually not that hard, let it look into the mirror, there is nothing reflecting back.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

On Serving God

Live for yourself, you will live in vain. Live for others, you will live again.
(Bob Marley)

Can you be happy leading a life without a God connection? Sure, your soul may still have to finish a mission or two, and while you engage you might simply be too busy to experience that quiet Voice inside. But eventually all these drives will burn off, and that might be a time when you suddenly feel the desire to serve others, and with it, God. Without that a God connection, happiness will likely be elusive.

So what exactly do we mean when we say, connecting with God? It starts with a quiet Voice that pops up now and then when we are down and finally willing to listen, or when we feel exhilarated and see the mission of our life in front of us. What exactly makes our heart sing and what makes it sink? When you get in touch with your inner feelings you may get new ideas about what mission God has in mind for you.

How can we feel God’s presence? Wherever like-minded people of good intention gather together, God is in our midst. We are all one, but the only way to find this out is to serve each other. By serving others we in fact serve our Self. And by accepting our humanistic mission we serve God - and God’s love and comfort will surround us.

If this all sounds too romantic to you, we had our struggles too. After all, we experience weakness and doubts as well. So how exactly do we heal, guide and help people if we ourselves feel incomplete? The answer is simple, it is the situation that heals. No problem presents itself unless it has the key for a resolution attached to it. Just see for yourself whether you can work miracles or not. In our experience, whenever people of good will are working together magic happens.

There is only one requirement, let the path of healing never be about you. Whenever we can serve each other with a selfless purpose, God is present in everyone of us. But this power quickly dissolves whenever there is a hidden agenda at work. An spiritual path is about finding your Self - and with it - finding the God connection. Happiness is yours to capture; let your spiritual path teach you how to find it. The holy encounter with others will wash your personal agenda and your impurities away. You will find the instructions of your mission written in every heart you encounter along the Way.

By Christian and Su Zhen

Monday, April 21, 2014

Body and Phone

How often has it happened to you that just as you need to make an important call, need to google something or expect a text message you see the red bar blinking and find that you are just minutes away from the automatic shut-down? Could this energy drain in fact be symbolic? Could your phone usage actually reflect your relationship with your body? Do you pay attention to your phone’s battery level every day and always make an effort to recharge it? Similarly, do you pay attention to the energy level of your body and soul and do do anything to take better care of yourself?

We all tend to use our body as if there is no limit to it. We seldom pay attention to our physical needs and consequently act irresponsibly. We tend to think that we can use our body as we wish just like the way we drain our phone's energy without thinking much about it. But then one day we wake up in the morning and notice something is different and we can no longer do things quite the way we used to. The little discomfort we feel is very much like the flashing battery light on our phone. This wakeup call gives us opportunity to reflect on our relationship with our body and we can adjust accordingly.

We tend to get sick after long periods of stress or hard work. Without proper rest we are not able to release those toxins that we accumulate over time; and without rest, relaxation and pleasurable activities we are unable to recharge the system. Yet, by being sick we cannot help but to rest, and by coughing, sneezing, and running nose, we are able to discharge these toxins from our system. We all hate to be sick, yet our body is actually doing us a favor by shutting down. After some rest we are reborn and good to jump again into our busy lifestyle.

May we all learn the wisdom our body has taught us! If you have been sick as well recently, perhaps we can all try to keep an eye on the battery level before it runs out. Spend more time at the recharging station and enjoy your active life!

By Christian and Su Zhen

Sunday, April 20, 2014

思念

思念
思念像春天的花香
慢慢、漫漫地浸淫開來
直到她包圍住了我的整個存在

敦化南路上的書店,
信義計劃區的電影院,
巷弄裡的小吃攤,
陽明山上的風與霧,
大街上熙來攘往的公車;

大潭郊野公園的人行步道,
中環的摩肩接踵,
壽臣山上的野花,
美國會的波瀾壯闊;

全在此時盈繞著思鄉的我。

亞洲啊!亞洲!我魂牽夢縈的故鄉!

紅豆湯、粉粿!
蚵仔煎還有油炸鬼!

想念啊!想念!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Celebrate The Holy Day

Have you ever thought of the meaning of Sunday? Many religious traditions go back to the idea that there should be a special day in the week to let go of all worldly engagements and use that time to connect with God instead. Yet, we ask you, despite sleeping in a little and going to church perhaps, do you really do anything differently on Sundays?

Fact of the matter is that we are surrounded by beauty, love and amazing connections yet most of the time we don't even realize it because we are too busy making money, scheming our future or regretting the past. We need a day to reconnect with the daily miracles of life, and once we do, we at least have a shot at carrying this connection through the rest of our busy life.

When we are busy and engaged with our daily problems, we cannot make ourselves stop to appreciate the beauty of so many other facets our life has to offer us; the tasty food we have every day, the beautiful house we live in, the love of family and friends that surrounds us, and the abundance of nature nearby. We take all of that for granted and classify it as trivial, yet, these presents are what makes our life worthwhile. Even if you are driven by career, material abundance and craving excitement, without these divine mood boosts you will soon run out of energy yourself.

Connecting with these daily activities is a bridge to God. Mindful living allows you to realize the divine touch God surrounds you with. You feel grateful for all the presents God has prepared for you. Since no one can be mindful all the time, devote a special day to celebrate all your divine connections. At this special day, quiet down, try to be aware of every activity and every connection, and celebrate life and love as best as you can. Be aware of God's energy that surrounds you always. Take a break from everything, recharge your energy supply and be ready to dive again into the busyness of the upcoming week.

What better day could there be to make this connection than Easter Sunday? Celebrate spring, feel the divine energy in the air and make this special day the first to reconnect with what is really important to you. Take a deep breath, take a look around and be blessed by God's grace.

By Christian and Su Zhen

Friday, April 18, 2014

Moses Trip Through the Desert

The journey to God is merely the reawakening of where you are always and what you are forever. It is a journey without distance to a goal that never changed.
(A Course in Miracle)

Moses was a prophet, he wasn't the Messiah. Moses had a direct line to his God, Yahweh, and he had the power to perform miracles to lead the Israelis to freedom; yet, he himself was not allowed to reach the Holy Land. Shortly before they reached the land of milk and honey, Moses died.

Did you ever ask yourself why exactly is took the Israelis 40 years to cross the desert? A quick look at the map shows this distance could have covered quite quickly. The trip through the desert was self-imposed. All the slaves of Egypt were not ready for freedom quite yet, it was only their offspring who had a new shot at it.

Our assessment of what exactly the role of the a Messiah is has changed. The New Age believes that everyone these days has a shot to take a claim of the Sonship. The Course in Miracle as one example has the idealistic vision that we all together - once we show up for the mission we were born to complete - are the Sonship. Still, remember that no matter how good you are, a trip through the desert will have to be part of your journey to claim your heritage.

Why, you may ask. Well, have a look at the folks that claim they have reached this stage of enlightenment before you. All of them went through an intense period of letting go. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert before enlightenment struck; Buddha spent years searching for it. I remember the story of the sage Sri Ramakrishna who spent all his will-power on reaching that blessed God connection. Then one day he simply had it, he took a sword and said "well, if you don't come to me, I am coming to you" and was just about to kill himself with it
when a vision of Durga Maa appeared; She took the sword away and said, "Don't worry, I am here."

The trip through the desert is symbolic, it doesn't have to be real. We are human so demons, fear and accumulated guilt are part of us. There is no God who wants us to suffer, there is just us who aspire to be divine. Demons and fears are of your own making, do not engage with them and they will pass on their own. Always remember, there was absolutely no need for a 40 year Pass-over, and the land of milk and honey is definitely yours to claim. Sri Ramakrishna's Maa is always on your side. Just take Her hand and make the transformation complete.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mind Control

You are responsible for what you think because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice.
(A Course in Miracles)

Thoughts are streaming from the sub-conscious level into your awareness. Sometimes you seemingly wake up and say, "Hey, where did this gone from?" and sometimes you don't even notice how your conscious thoughts build on the initial spark from deep below and somehow you think this train of thought has been of your own doing.

We somehow think that we are in charge, yet a lot happens below the surface and we just take ex-post ownership of the idea. Consider this psychological experiment. Some people were hypnotized and told that sometime during an upcoming business meeting they should get up and water the plants in the conference room. That's exactly what they did at the surprise of their colleagues. When they were asked afterwards why they did what they did they gave responses like " Well, the plants suddenly looked thirsty."  There was not a single person who said, "I haven't the faintest clue why this happened to me."

We all think that we are in charge, yet we are probably much less so than we think. There are some who claim that with a lot of awareness we can somehow control our thoughts. I am not sure about that. What we can do, however, we can influence the stream of thoughts that come bubbling up from the depth of our being.  When we mentally embrace thoughts that pop up, and especially when afterwards we engage in this activity, we will give energy to this theme and more associated thoughts, memories and impressions will bubble to the surface. The Course in Miracles writes, "You are much too tolerant of mind wandering." You find our how much influence you have over the voice your head. You certainly don't own it, but the voice in your head also doesn't own you.

As you walk a spiritual path you have more choices to guide your life into a spiritually meaningful direction. This and only this will slowly redirect the stream of thoughts in a direction that you will appreciate. Yet, spiritual travelers have the problem that they don't want to face certain traces in themselves, the greed, the lust, the competition, the anger. We block this stuff out and then seem surprised if the stuff bubbles to the surface nevertheless. Deal with the stuff that just refuses to go away. You will find an answer to all your struggles.
That's what a spiritual path is all about. To find answers and to make everything that happens in your life spiritually kosher.

Thoughts will naturally become less chaotic as you travel a spiritual path. This is not because you have become a superior person, it is because a spiritual path encourages you to declutter your life. Things that were harmful for your soul development before you no longer can do as the associated pain just becomes too much to bear. As you become simpler and more straightforward in all your dealings, the thoughts that bubble to the surface also become easier to deal with. A spiritual path is a lesson in perceiving as much as in doing. You perceive love in your thoughts and deeds just as you recognize the lack of it. Mind control may not be possible but awareness is and there always is a freedom of choice somewhere. Recognize this choice in everything you see, think and do. The one spiritual law you can always count on, when you encounter love, know that you have chosen well.