Human Quantum Entanglement

Recently at a shopping mall in Madrid, I took the lift to get to an upper floor, and there was this elegant old lady in already in the lift. I bowed slightly (yeah, my  mum did do her job well) and she greeted me with a smile that just raised the energy of the lift like the golden rays of the morning sun lighting up the underbrush of a forest, and she did that while saying “hola!!!” as if I we had known each other a long time. I responded with a ‘hola’ and another bow and smiled back.

Just then, another woman (about late 30s) comes in with her daughter (three or four). The little girl had those large pretty eyes that are filled with curiosity in the way only a pure and innocent spirit is capable of. The kind of curiosity that is undefiled by the drudgeries of adult worldly cares. In the short time it took for the lift to get to the upper floor, I witnessed a moment so intense it felt like forever.

The little girl looked up at the old lady and with those seeking, trusting and lovely eyes which said “right now, you are the most important thing in the world to me”. And the old lady’s response was a smile even brighter and warmer that the one she gave me. Her smile was so brilliant it would put a thousand suns to shame. As her smile radiated from her mouth, throughout her face, you could feel the entire lift electrified by the strands of a wave of pure, holy connection between those amazing women. One at the dawn of her life, the other at the dusk of hers. Amidst the magic , I could sense a bond link these two and within that bond, I felt elegance, innocence, admiration, hope, faith and lots of other good things of which the human tongue couldn’t bear witness. They must have had a conversation, but they did not use words and I and the little girl’s mother must have ceased to exist. We looked at each other, across the lovefield infront of us and instinctively, we knew that this was a magical moment and we were blessed to be caught in its energy.

After what seemed like 30 minutes (but was really like 30 seconds) the lift doors opened and I held it for the ladies to get out. I got into the lift a guy with ‘stuff’ (gadgets, clothes, books) on his mind and got out of the lift a being touched by the divine within humans and the desire to get other stuff I might not need was totally gone. Those two women gave me renewed faith in this life. Yes it is hard, it is unfair, it sometimes seems futile and even cruel but it is also filled with beauty and magic and when we permit ourselves to rise above the petty demands and wants of our egos and lower selves, we can experience those magical moments. If this is the sign of things to come in the Liberated Life (Heaven, Englightenement etc) then the path that leads there is one worth dying on.

To see an elderly lady look back on youth without regret, with a gleam in her eye was a sign for me to also have hope in a better world. I don’t imagine life had never dealt this lady a bad hand, but she had taken it all in stride and from across the ages, she was holding out a hand to the younger woman: “Come on my dear …it is a beautiful life and you will enjoy it!”. I challenge you today, inspite of your circumstances, find something beautiful and let yourself be consumed by it and the moment. I am sure your own magical moment is waiting at the corner. Please share it with us.

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My ‘ekigai’ – Why I Wake Up Every Morning!!

“To master a bit of more of myself every day, so I might give it to the service of humanity, as an instrument of peace to the glory of God“ – Mukom Akong

This was one of those things (revelations? realisations) I had in the early morning of 3rd January 2011 when I couldn’t sleep. I got there because I still am always asking myself that question “what specific thing did God create me to do on this earth?“ – an old question I have been asking for some time (still no crystal clear answers yet).

I first heard the word “ekigai” from TEDster Dan Buettner during his brilliant TED talk “How to Live to be 100+” in which he pointed out from research that one of the things common to people who live long is – “ a personal sense of purpose” and for a Japanese community he studied, their name for that personal sense of purpose is called “Ekigai “, which is an Okinawan word meaning “the reason I wake up every morning”. When I heard that, it resonated so deeply with me in the spirit of purpose not as some big grand goal or ideal in your head but one that is all pervasive and helps focus you day by day, moment by moment.

Just think of the following days in your life:

  • Your first day at school.
  • The starting day of a favourite project of yours.
  • Your wedding day (ok, not being married, I can’t relate anything original here, except what I have heard and observed)

Was that day boring? most probably not, and I will submit that the reason these days were fulfilling (not necessarily beds of roses) was that you woke up that day with a reason for waking up that day. Those days for me include days I am to start teaching a new class, the day I am to start learning a new skill. But there is something just plain magical about having that daily sense of purpose that makes you jump out of the bed, with praise in your heart, a dance in step, a twinkle in your eye and anticipation to DO something. And I am one of those who knows and believes in as much as we watch our thoughts carefully to lead better lives, better lives only actually materialise when we DO those beautiful things that we have conceived and those that are revealed to us in the spontaneity of a spiritual moment of enlightenment.

And so in the early hours of that morning, I stumbled on my ekigai

“To master a bit of more of myself every day, so I might give it to the service of humanity, as an instrument of peace to the glory of God“

As I reflect on why this ekigai resonated so deeply with my spirit, I realise that it is because it resonates with something else I have come to realise in my awareness practice – that you can’t give that which you don’t own or master. Our ego is always grabbing our resources – emotional, physical, spiritiual etc to feed itself, the only resources you can give to humanity (in terms of service, compassion, helping etc) are those that you have freed from the grasp of the ego’s needs. Why an instrument of peace? …because “instrument of peace” is a phrase from St Francis’ famous prayer that struck and continues to strike a deep cord in my spirit, (“lord make me an instrument of thy peace“) and as succeed at these acts of mastering a bit more of my self, my preferred form of service is to be an instrument of peace, wherever I find myself. And where I succeed in being an instrument of peace, I will give God the glory for I am always conscious of the fact that such success is it is not due solely to my capability alone (not even from self mastery) …but due to luck and God’s help, for I am sure there are others who will bring more human effort to it and still not succeed.

And you, what is your ekigai?

Freeing the Present from the Clutches of Fear of the Future

In its ever increasing lust to keep our attention focused on itself and control us, our egos often feel threatened by those moments of bliss in which we are so totally engrossed in another person or something larger that us that we pay no attention to ourselves. The ego then finds a way to hijack that bliss by suggesting a threat to the most precious parts of that it. It thus this by suggesting that that which we value most in this moment cannot last for example:

  1. Death when we are enjoying the company of those we love.
  2. Impending disaster when we are enjoying peace and solace.
  3. Betrayal, insincerity or manipulation when are are in a blooming relationship.

In a nutshell, a small voice gets us worrying about the a possible time in the future when the precious thing which now gives us bliss is no longer available to us.

I have wondered, how can I deal with this device of the ego and I think the short answer is “presence and mindfulness“ and here is what I mean:

First of all, realise like all enlightened people do that “nothing lasts forever in this realm and even the sun shall die.“. With that realisation, ask yourself “what can I really do about this fear here and now?“ and you will realise that there is nothing you can do now about that fear of something that may or may not happen in the future. When you realise the utter futility of even continuing to worry about it, you can then push that fear and worry out of your mind and come back to the bliss of the moment.

In terms of practice, when the fear arises, don’t flinch and try to block it off, instead, focus on it and see it for what it is – a tool of the ego to take your focus off the bliss in which it is not the center of attention and bring it back to itself. By putting those dark thoughts and suggestions of fear to the glaring light of conscious observation, they lose their power over us and thus we can put them aside and return to the bliss of the moment.

Sure, the future might be uncertain, but by staying present in the moment in enlightened awareness and concentration, we can live an eternity in the protective hug of loved ones, the effortless mastery in the execution of the task at hand, the trusting and win-win collaboration of working with colleagues and the time-defying, all-healing passionate kiss we are sharing with our lover. Don’t let your ego ruin that moment.

How do you deal with such ego-grabbing? Please share.

Purpose in Life – A Daily Perspective

“Why was I put on this earth?

What is my purpose in Life?”

These are questions that every person who aspires to self mastery must ultimately ask and answer of themselves. And the answers don’t come easy, it might take the first 15 years or more of your life for those question to even cross your mind, probably another 10 years of ignoring them and then maybe another 10 years or so to get an idea.

By the time we get the answer to the question, refine it into a clear and compelling personal vision and mission and develop the resources, relationships, capabilities to actualise it, probably we’d be in our forties. Of course some lucky ones or divinely touched ones can figure it out earlier.

Yes, it can be frustrating and this morning I had a thought (as usual it came to me in the bathroom). While pondering the bigger question of purpose in life, we should not ignore the smaller and probably more important question of purpose in the present, in the NOW. Afteral, we can only live life in the now, by being present and if we could ask and answer the questions:

a. What is the purpose of this task I am doing right now?

b. What is the purpose of this encounter?

c. How may I serve in this situation?

Then we could bring purpose to the present and our day need not be a ‘grind’ but a dance to the tune of clear purpose that changes and responds to each situation and in interlaced moments of spontaneity, we’ll find rest from purpose and just BE …be tools/instruments to be used by the divine, for good, for peace, for progress.

And if we can find purpose and meaning in each day, is it possible that our lives will be without purpose? I don’t think so.

 

The NEW has GONE, the OLD has COME – The Transformation

I stand at a threshold in my life, one I know so many other people have stood at – looking back at 3 decades of life (thanks to all that have been there, even the obnoxious ones) and looking forward with my physical eyes to at least another 5  decades (Insha Allah) and with my spirit, to an eternity.

The cracks of degradation of my physical body are beginning to show (I can no longer work for 48 hours without sleep) and rather than cling to the vanishing sands of my past and youth, I must now make the decision to either embrace the winds of the future, or languish in fires of regrets of what could have been in the house of yesterday. A transformation is going on …whether I choose to accept it or not. I make the choice to accept it and intentionally make what ever adaptations I must make in other that this transformation be one that will bring me and those around me more peace, more love and more fulfillment.

Part of that transformation will be to give up the ‘glory’ of youth for that of old men, and to do this I must transform or let be transformed :

  • Youthful strength into strength of character.
  • Reliance on my intellect into knowing by intuition and awareness.
  • Desires to make myself better into a yearning to serve others and make another life better.
  • The need to take into a desire to share and give.
  • Independence in for interdependence.

I know it is a journey and it won’t be easy, but it is a journey I must make – one I have chosen to make because I KNOW that it is one filled with reward … I cannot lose and there is ultimately only happiness and peace on that path.

Thus, as I thread this path of light, I pray that a life of discipline, of learning, of service, and of contribution will bear the fruits some of which I have always desired but never had: Patience | Selflessness | Spontaneity | Presence | Silence | Oneness with God.

This I wish myself, every moment …and I wish it to you too.

Ultimately … even to GOD …it comes down to EXECUTION

I woke up this morning to get my random inspiration from the Bible. And as I opened it, my eyes fell upon these words from Romans 2: 5 – 15 [emphasis mine]

” … But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God;
who will pay back to everyone according to their works:

to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruptibility, eternal life;
but to those who are self-seeking, and don’t obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, will be wrath and indignation,
oppression and anguish, on every soul of man who works evil, on the Jew first, and also on the Greek.
But glory and honor and peace to every man who works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
……

For it isn’t the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified
(for when Gentiles who don’t have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves,
in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying with them, and their thoughts among themselves accusing or else excusing them)

While the path to excellence and perfection [any way you choose to define it] begins with and is shaped by thoughts, wisdom and belief/knowing, the manifestation of excellence and perfection ultimately lies in the things we DO … ie our behaviour. So many of us Christians seem to want to emphasize faith to the detriment of works but I think this passage tells us that is not the case. I haven’t found the passage in the Bible that says God will pay us back according to our faith. Yes … faith [and knowledge and theory etc] is important, in fact indispensable but the evidence of our faith lies in the works that we do [by their fruits they shall be known].

May God grant us the strength to continually put our faith/knowledge/principles into action in ways that elevate our spirit and conscience over our egos and selves.

Seek Greatness, and Fame will also be Yours

I was listening to Mark Sanborn’s “You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader” and he said these lines that got me meditating about my life and the collective values of our society.

“Fame is based on what you get out of life, greatness is based on what you give to life”
WOW!!! and I wondered within me, what have I been seeking to do with my life? I believe that most people’s definition of success has connotations of fame or riches in it but I believe in a deeper kind of success … the Shibumi kind and it is quite simply success that is based on greatness, on what you contribute to make this world a better place. One of my favourite authors Stephen Covey puts it puts it in a way that says you can be successful but not significant [can’t remember the exact quote]

No, I don’t think fame in itself is a bad thing [often, the famous have made great sacrifices to earn their fame eg as musicians, footballers etc], but because it is something that appeals to the ego and increases our sense of self and I, I inherently suspect it because it could easily lead to arrogance and avalanche of other vices that come when we let our ego go unbridled. Fame will always be hollow, shallow and dangerous unless it is earned through greatness ie we spend a life of sacrifice and giving to others and then the world rewards us with fame [Like Ghandi, Mandela, Mother Theresa] … but exactly at that point is when the greatest danger to our spiritual evolution and growth comes.

In a way, getting fame as a reward for greatness could be the ultimate test of our spirituality. This is because fame lures the mean and weak into self exaltation, we start thinking how special we are rather than see that perhaps we were priviledged to have had a higher power [GOD] work through us [Remember Moses drawing God’s ire when he struck the rock to bring out water seemingly by his own power?]

So consistent with my philosphy that everything is a journey and or process, fame then can be seen as a bigger challenge that one must face in the quest for self mastery and perfection. First is all the work we must do within to purify ourselves, learn master and practice the right principles. Then as we get a bearing, we continue on that path, AND also start making contributions to society to help others and make a positive contribution in the world and if we are good at the latter, the reward then is the burden of fame which is a battle on the personal front.

May we find the strength to be able to tame the lure of fame as we grow in our self mastery and that perhaps one day, we may overcome it like the monk in “Bullet-proof Monk” by giving up our name!