Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Good Morning Neighbor

At 7am, this morning while I was transporting our garbage cans in front of our house. Emily walked out the front door for her usual morning walk. She said, "Hi. Good morning, Neighbor. I felt that you were just like our neighbors who were transporting garbage cans. How are you?"

At that moment, I realized that I was not "her man who may have forgotten to perform some of his duties", nor "her man who she usually focuses on to make sure that he is alright." I was just a neighbor.

There was absolutely no expectation what so ever. I could be a bird or just a dog. I congratulated her at that moment, because she was in that moment, which is completely disconnected from the previous moment. There was absolutely no preconceived notion whatsoever.

To me, Emily is my companion, my daughter, my mother, sometime my grandma, and often just another Chan practicing partner. She can be any of that at any moment, or some of that at some moment, or none of that at all. As long as she is what she is at that moment.

Every day is a new day and every person is a new person. Isn't that wonderful?

Treasure our moment. It is the most precious of our lives. No moment needs to be a continuation of our last moment.

Apples And Oranges

Chan Practice Does Not Mean To Live With Limited Means.

Often, we met people who told us, that I will commit to Chan practice after I retire. Somehow to these people, being a Buddhist seems to mean trading in a luxurious life style for spirituality. Somehow to them, sacrifices need to be made in order to be a Chan practitioner. This is just not true. Practicing Buddhism actually develops a clearer mindset noticing wider choices in life. More options and a calmer mind set enables better decision making.

Geshe Michael Roach grew a business from fifty thousand to 100 million. Li-Bai Chen grew a business from one million to 100 million. Both are devoted Buddhists and manage their businesses based on Buddhist principles.

A simpler example will be, while one wanted apple and focus on apple only and nothing else, a Buddhist will also see the availability of oranges and strawberries and their values.

Though as we continues to practice, we eventually will be content of having nothing in particular. But in due course, we are almost certain that we will make better choices and live a happier life.

After all, Donald Trump may also agree, that the best bargaining position is not wanting anything. This principle is applicable to both business and relationship.

So why wait. Live a better life. Be a Chan practitioner now.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Russian Ridge

When the was plane circulating on top of San Jose trying to land, my heart felt swollen at the center. Not a discomfort like those I felt from my father, but a hollow, swollen and pumped feeling.

Chin An came over to meet me at the airport. He was my roommate at Berkeley 40 years ago. He did all the cooking and I washed all the dishes. He was still is quite a cook.

At night after dinner, on my call to Emily, I told her of my condition. We both know I have no heart problem. We both know something is happening to someone, but we don't know who or where or when.

Next morning, I had breakfast with my kid sister. She is a devoted Roman Catholic. We talked about our similarities all the time. While we were having Chinese Soy Milk and Baked Chinese Croissant, I noticed the same condition in my heart of yesterday. I also mentioned to her, but she did not respond with any indication that she has any problems herself.

After breakfast, Chin An and put on our hiking shoes and visited Russin Ridge situated on the west side of Stanford University. It was a beautiful hike as always. I always enjoyed the 90 minute hike here. From top of the ridge, we can see the entire southern part of San Franscisco Bay. It is breath taking every time, whether there is cloud or no cloud.

As I was wearing my newly bought hiking shoes from Big 5 Sports, we marched uphill around 10 am. It was later than most of the previous times of our hike. It was hotter than usual. Chin An complained on how hot he felted while we were walking through the Old Oak Path.

Finally, two sweaty guys reach the highest point after about one hour. We took out our water bottle, quenching down our thirst and enjoying the scenary. I was so taken by this view every time. I glanced right and left and lost in its beauty.

Suddenly, I heard a loud bang. There is Chin An, laying down in front of me on the ground with face up. "Hey, are you tired or what?" I asked him. There was no response. I noticed that he was trying to get up but failed. So I just help him to sit up against a rock about the size of a stool.

As soon as I let go of my hands, he started to fall again. So I immediately hold him tight and lowered him to sit on the ground.

Five minutes later, he said, "Boy, what happened to me. While I was watching the view, the next thing I know was that I was on the ground."

I realized that he has just fainted.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Father's Heart

My father's heart has arrhythmia and very weak. He said, "God is very fair. I got mad too many times while I was young. So my heart stopped to support me now."

Most of the time, when I was near him, I can feel the upper left side of my heart beats irregularly.

Summer of 2006, Jack invited me to goto Vegas with our father. On the way back home, I dropped Jack and father near the curb of the airport first, so that father does not have to walk too far. Then I drove away to return the rental car. I have purposefully booked a later flight, because I was flying into another airport in OC.

I have learned from Jack that they are flying into LAX and I should look for them at the gate to LAX.

After returning the rental, I then learned that gate seven is the gate, from which they should be leaving. So I walked and walked. While I was passing gate five, upper left corner of my heart started to beat up. I said to myself, "I am getting close to my father now. Wow. Amazing." I was surprised at such connection.

To my surprise, after I arrived at gate seven, father is not there. Nor is Jack. I called Jack's mobile phone and asked. He said, "Oh, we decided to fly to Burbank all of a sudden. So we are now at gate five now."

I am humbled and grateful for all these..

PS..  Later on, there were once when I felt the same beating strongly, I call my father in Xia Men.  I was told that he was just ushered to the hospital.  (Michael Brodsky told me that I also have arrhythmia.)

Friday, June 2, 2006

Ken’s Chilliness

It was probably May of 2006, Tracy introduced Ken to our meditation session in Walnut. Ken is a CPA in his fifties. Short and somewhat fat. He sat right in front of me in the session and Joy sat on the front left of me.

10 minutes into the meditation, I begin to feel chillness coming from Ken. I have not had this kind of experiences before. I tried to sense whether there was anything coming from Joy on his left. No. Joy felt normal. But Ken's chillness still came at me. I have no idea what it meant.

At the end of the session, after Ken left, I asked Tracy how was Ken's health. He replied, "Not so well. I guess. But I don't know more details."

About one month later, Tracy called and informed me, "Ken just had a stroke in his head and he was just picked up by an ambulance."

Oh, God. I felt so sad. If I had known that "chilliness" equates to a stroke, I would have informed Ken way back then. It is so sad.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Life Force

Two weeks ago, YP organized a retreat attended by about 40 people from all over the US.

The moment that I stepped up and salute our Master and thanked him for granting me this opportunity to share what I have learnt, I felt such strong energy came through my Zen Chakra and engulfed my entire body. It was so strong, I can hardly move.

At the end of the session, E asked me to confirm whether I have experienced that, because she did. I am convinced then, that "it" is universal.

I am grateful.

Just Sitting

VB logged onto our group and mentioned to me that he is looking for something more than "just sitting" about two month ago. After two years with American Zen, he needs a break through.

I joined four discussion groups and observed.

Though it was just a few weeks and I have not learnt deeply, I have learnt that indeed, it was "just sitting" and focusing on the moment. The moment and only the moment is meaningful. Yet, I hope that they may realize that the moment is also transient and relative. It was sad that they are attaching to the "moment". Detachment needs to be absolute in order to be synced with the life force of Zen, because it is in the form of energy, it requires the tuning of the entire Self to be synced. By observing the "moment" may still incur the danger of senses and form.

I asked about spirituality, karma, eighth consciousness, life force, etc. The answers that I have received are only a subset of ours. I would say less than 30% of what we teach. Asking them to try something intangible will be quite difficult. As our Master said, they are practicing "Human Buddhism".

I am writing this without discrimination or pride and only with loving kindness. Just like to state what Master said, "the only way to sync with the life force and wisdom of the universe is to tune up the 'tiny universe' of ourselves first".


Time passes by so fast, I just discovered that I have not written anything for over 6 months.

Since January 2006 by accident, I begin to sense the discomfort of others, right side of the head of L, cold right arm of L, left knee of J, upper chest of J, stuffed heart of M, liver of A, etc.

Though this is not the objective of Zen, but I realized that there is a commonality of us all.

Worst case was the a very "cold" K sitting in front me, whom I met for the first time. Then a month later, I was informed that he suffered from a stroke.

I reminded myself that next time I better speak out.

I am grateful that I can actually discover the discomfort first. I hope one day, I can actually do something about it.

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Chilling Arm and Thumb

It was during a regular English meditation session at my house on a Wednesday night. I remember I was sitting near he restroom.

Then Lynn came in and walked toward me. She said something like she needed to sit closer to me or something. Out of the blue, my entire left arm became chilling.

I asked what happened to you. Emily immediately replied trying to save her from the embarrasement, "She came from the hospital. The nurse shot her arm wrong. So many of the blood vessels in her right arm were destroyed." Hm, no wonder I felt the chill in my left arm.

Then a month later, during a session at Tracy's house on Sunday, my right thumb started to swell. It felt like swollen and somewhat painful. I can not understand how could I feel such unique sensation in the middle of a meditation session.

While we were driving home, I suddenedly remembered that, due to the wrong injection, Lynn's right thumb was damaged. Immediately I asked Emily to call Lynn and find out whether her right thumb was in pain.

She said, "yes."