The Place Called Home

Home is not just a place where members of the same family live under the same roof.
Home does not necessarily have to be a physical place.

One thing I am certain we can agree on — we want a place to belong, a place where we feel at home.

This sense of belonging, in my humble opinion, is telling us to return to the awareness we possess, in order to be present in the moment. To feel truly at home, we need to find the home within ourselves. Ultimately, I think a person can and need to find the place within himself where peace and happiness healthily come from.

I may seem to be derailing, but please bear with me for 5 minutes and finish reading :)

To accomplish such, it takes time, determination, and persistence to allow and overcome lots of self-questioning, through which we increase self-knowledge. In fact, this goal is not an ending per se, because life is a journey that never ends and so shall the inner search. It is impossible for any of us to know everything about ourselves and the world around us.

Maybe everyone is driven by this inherent need to belong, and everything we do is a result of that. This is a reasonable explanation for why we like to simulate each other, trying to fit into certain groups of people. This maybe why we like to do what other people do, like keeping up with the Jones and following the fashion trend. However, to satisfy this inherent thirst to belong, the only way to do so is by returning to the Self within. Yet, how many people are actually doing that? People are predisposed to seek outside due to many of the conditionings they received growing up. I digress. Food for thought.

We can all agree life is a journey. Along the way, we need something to allow us to find comfort and feel safe until we find the courage to look within ourselves. And because none of us is perfect, we can use such a thing when we are down…

A physical place to find peace? Something that makes you happy? A smile that melts your heart? A precious memory that restores confidence? A good friend who listens?

We all need something like that to give us strength, until we learn to draw strength from the Self.

If I ever have kids, I would like to provide such a home for them. And if I don’t have kids, I shall be such for my niece, who is 2 years old now. To them, I would like to convey the sentiment:

If you ever need a place to return to, a person to tell things to, a person to ask questions, never hesitate. Whatever it is, I will have my open heart, open arms, open ears… I will be here. This is a place you can always return to. To rest. To recover. To get stronger. To hide for a little while. To have someone understand you. I will not lay judgment upon you. My knowledge is yours. And if I ever forget, you are allowed to beat the crap out of me until I remember.

But do not rely on me. I will not do things for you, nor can I because your life is your own experience. I want you to go experience and learn things through your own experience. I will kick you out there to do so if you cannot make that choice yourself. Just remember that, there is still this place called home. That I will be here.

That is what I intend to be for the youth to come after me. To let them know that there is a home to return to, so that they can fearlessly venture out and eventually, find the home within themselves. At which point, I can retire 

I lacked such a home growing up, so I want to be such for the young ones. In fact, I felt less at home when I was “at home”. No, I am not angry, not anymore. I understand that my parents did the best they could. It did take a lengthy struggle to come to term though, and it did make struggles out of other things before I arrive here. Not that I am alone to struggle with such situation, but you can see why such desire now. That is why I am so adamant about bettering myself.

The next generation should be okay if we can supply them such a home until they become stronger themselves.

Originally posted 2008-12-06 22:31:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

New Year Resolution is Silly

It’s that time of the year again. It’s that time of the year where everyone sets grandeur plans and shouts that those plans shall get accomplished. It’s that time of the year where gym is all jammed, albeit temporarily. Oh, new year resolution, allow me to say a few words about how silly that is.

It’s ok to talk and have fun talking about it… it’s still silly though.

Silliness of Emphasis on Weight Loss

As much as we always talk about positive thinking and affirmations and as much as we emphasize aggression in our society, losing weight on the contrary is such a defensive maneuver while positivity in this context implies becoming healthy. Losing weight does not mean becoming healthy.

While losing weight is usually a natural side effect in the process of becoming healthier, the way people lose weight often neglects the restoration of the body to a healthy state and worse yet, they sometimes do things that further undermines health, JUST to lose weight. As such, speaking, we are missing the point logically and pragmatically.

Silliness of Emphasis on New Year Resolution

What I really mean is not that new year resolution is completely and utterly silly. It is symptomatic for the fact that people cannot act or achieve without setting a goal.

I mean that the way we are emphasizing new year resolution is silly because in doing so, we completely neglect to look at our entire life as a complete process. We are treating our lives as a repeated process of going from point A to point B. It is easier to think like that but it is also far from reality. When we get so narrow-minded by goal, it is equivocate to mistaking a tree for the whole forest.

I mean that because, we had so focused on these small steps, milestones, we never get down to thinking about the character that we want to be as a person and what we really want to in life. The importance of character to a person is like what a wine connoisseur called “body” in wine.

So maybe instead of new year resolution, we should have life resolution and that is to an on-going effort to work on our characters.

The difference in questions is “What am I going to do this year?” vs. “What am I going to do with myself in life?” or “What kind of person shall I become?”. Which one is more aspiring?

A more concrete example is the questions “How do I become president?” vs. “How can I serve my fellow citizens?” Note the difference.

Who you are and aspire to be drives your behaviors and habits. You cannot change who you are without first facing who you are, in its entirety, without self-deceit. And then go from there.

Silliness of Rugged Individualism

It is too easy to say it’s all genetics and that we are born and grown up in certain way and that is that. But genetics and conditions only afflict on us a tendency which does not have to be, and to say otherwise, you are surrendering to the belief that there is no free will.

If you had not sit down and take the time and effort to re-examine yourself, you are not going to create any real and permanent change. You’ll forever be a random juxtaposition of concepts and ideas that happened upon or drilled into you. You can enforce short-term change that may work for a little while but never lasts. Change by repression without understanding does not liberate. That’s why there’s what is call the “rebound.”

You cannot change who you are until you see who you are. It sounds simple but what is simple is always most difficult. It boils down to…

(And if you continue living your life without ever done a self-examining process, you will forever be either what others want you to be and/or a pretension of who you THINK you are.)

Rugged individualism – to shout “I am who I am” – without ever first discover who it is that you are, is silly and leads to insecurity in ourselves, and insecurity turns us into sheeps and conformists because we will feel that need to band together (and eliminate those who are different) to feel a bit more secure. And that is the state of affair we are in. And that is what we are teaching the next generation by being great “role models”.

Silliness is that rugged individualism leads to conformity.

Self-Examining

People who rebound had never internalize their change… they didn’t really change in the first place because they had not discover the inner character that drives their behaviors.

Who you are shows. As Emerson once said, “Who you are screams so loudly into my ears that I cannot hear what you say.” That is indeed true that your character will be obvious to someone who pays attention and is aware.

Thus, it is helpful to: Focus not on what you said you will do. Focus not on what you think you did. Focus on observing your own action in various contexts to understand who you really are. Likewise, if you care to observe and understand others.

We, national and global populace (even most of our so-called leaders), are so accustomed to focusing on very short-term and “me-me-me” while I sincerely believe, a complete human being (shall we say an evolved, wise, and intelligent human being?) requires also the ability to think far and wide.

The prediction is: Until we, as individual, as fellow earth dweller, as global citizen, go through a period of self-examination and only after follow with actions that is base on self-understanding and thus also our connection with our surrounding world, the world will continue to get worse, before it gets better. There will still be more and more man-made crisis – be it medical, environmental, financial, etc. – (and probably made even worse by natural phenomena) in the coming years, until we had confronted ourselves. That’s the prediction.

Happy new year and I wish everyone a wonderful, peaceful year ahead/
vs.

Originally posted 2012-01-01 00:15:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Look Into Ourselves and Care for Others (about Virginia Tech shooting)

The days have gone, and we all know about the Virgina Tech shooting. Now we are asking ourselves, “How do we deal with the tragedy?”

Here’s my interpretation and observation. The event is a tragedy by itself, and no doubt each and everyone of us are saddened by it to different levels depending on how closely we are related to the event.

But you know what? I am saddened. I am VERY saddened, and troubled. TRULY! Not by the tragedy itself, but by a bigger tragedy the way I see it.

Glancing over many the media coverage about the event, I have a tough time accepting the topics of the coverage. It just seems to me that people are just pointing fingers, blaming any fact/person (gun-seller, video game, movie…) they can lay their eyes/hands on, or just having their own political agenda (eg. school safey, security, gun control…).

Instead, I would like us to pause and take the chance to ask ourselves some questions and look into ourselves. I tried to find some articles, online discussion, etc. that’s similar to what I propose here, but to no avail… If only we can stop pointing fingers for a moment and think? That maybe Seung-Hui Cho would not have done so if he was shown some caring and kindness along the way he was growing up. How could he ever get so angry? Maybe a few sincere simple words were all he needed… like in one of the last scenes in American Beauty, where Mena Suvari asked Kevin Spacey “How are you?” and meant it.

He has come from Korea with his family and appeared to have lived a very modest life style. Two things come to mind – the difficulty of adjusting to a completely new country and environment, which I myself has experienced and can relate to and plus the difficulty of living perhaps a more modest life. On top of those, who knows what kind of treatment his family received and himself received in school in a younger age. And then there’s also the treatment and condition amongst his family. I think if they look into his history, they can most likely find something starting from there. (they probably have already but who want such boring story anyways) These are speculations, but whatever his experience was… all together have turned him into such a lonely soul… so isolated, so lonely and it hurts so bad…

The problem with this approach is that it requires us to stop blaming others and take the blame ourselves, that “we are bad ‘friends’ (quote and quote)”, “we are bad parents”, “we are not kind enough”, or even “we don’t really give a damn about other people anymore”. It is obvious that no one would want to admit to those, and it is pretty hard to swallow. Therefore, we people are more prone to take the easy way out by pointing fingers.

The problem is that if we just blame other people and things, we fail to accept the flaws in us and try to correct. I propose that we are to consistently evaluate ourselves and to pay attention if we’re showing kindness to others. We are all human beings living under the same sky, on the same earth, breathing the same air, so I think it’s fair to all of us to spend effort to reach out to others when they need it. And also communicate to people, among family, and I mean “real” communication. Throw away the sexiem, racism, discrimination, skin color difference, sexual orientation diversity, religious bias, age gap, principle difference… all that crap and stop alienating ourselves among ourselves. Show kindness and love, shed some light on others, care, and most importantly, these should all come from the heart and that we really mean them.

I would like to ask us all to stop and think about this for a moment. It gives me bigger chill that none of us seem to think like this… Let’s end “this” tragedy…

PS. I sincerely wish I have a better way to scream to the world about this.

Originally posted 2007-04-18 15:25:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Impermanence of Things

Buddhism has a lot of good suggestions for us to conduct our life. Now, I would not call myself a Buddhist, but just that I learned and found many of their concepts practical.

Impermanence is one of the pillar concept in Buddhism.

Why do we worry? Because we expect things to be as we think they should be. And often, we expect things to be the same as they are now, that they will last forever (namely, the good things). Intuitively, we know that cannot be if we stop denying it. When we deny impermanence, we make thousands of plans and let worry take over our life.

The next moment can never be the same as this moment. Things are always changing, whether they are visible to the eyes (or scientific means) or not. Not just the outer world, even our cells are constantly dying and being remade every second.

Yet, we seem to think that we are changing only when things change according to our measures and parameters. It’s as if we consider time flows because the clocks we make is ticking. Rather than the other way around.

Change is inevitable. Therefore, the notion of “we need to change” is off the point. Rather, the question we should ask is, “How do we want to change?”, both on a personal level and on a wider, cultural, societal level.

Another good question to ask now is, “Are we trying to change the outter world just so that we don’t have to change?” I am suggesting that, could some of what we are doing now be a demonstration of resistance to change masqueraded as desire to change?

“Change the world around us for us, but we are not going to change.”

Food for thought.

Here’s the practicality of understanding a bit about impermanence… Just as the good things will come and go, like water brushing by a rock in a stream, so do the bad things come and go. With this realization, we can fully enjoy the moment with good things and not hold on, and we can learn from the moment with bad things and let go. As such, we can take things lightly and enjoy and be in the moments of life.

Ultimately on an individual level, the inevitable impermanence is death. Thus, it really sucks that death has become such a taboo topic in modern days. It is a good thing to contemplate about death. “How do I want to die?” Meaning, and the key is, “What inner state do I want to have when I am leaving this world?” When one is about to die, that’s probably the last and only thing that matters. So…

How do we change to achieve such the inner state we want to be in before death?

Whatever the answer you find, it is a good idea that whatever the answer is, is what dictates your action.

For me, it is peace. Can I find peace underlying everything that I do?

What do you think about impermanence?
What is your answer?

Originally posted 2009-08-17 00:28:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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