Thursday, September 29, 2005

Shifting consciouness

Below are 7 levels of consciousness that clearly outline a path for our evolving consciousness:

- tribal and mass consciousness - one obeys the group and lives by trial and error
- individual consciousness - one develops a stronger sense of self and ego
- seeker’s consciousness - one asks questions and seeks independence
- intuitive consciousness - one develops the heart and is becoming spiritually aware
- group consciousness - one serves a higher good filling the needs of others
- soul consciousness - one experiences spiritual service.

Delfin Knowledge system

A Tribute to M Scott Peck

I just read in the newspaper, a tiny column in the foreign news that M Scott Peck who wrote the Famour book The Road Less Travelled has died.

This author and this book were an impetus for me to struggle to walk on the more difficult less travelled road.
He started a chapter with the words Life is difficult. It is really and finding shortcuts and trying to bypass the pain life's problems bring makes life more painful. Hence facing life head on and doing the difficult is actually the easier way.

If you have not read this book, I suggest you go pick one up. Also enlightening are A Different Drum and People of the Lie. Nowadays there are so many books which have the kind of spiritual approach and it is the latest in management even.
Steven Covey's the 8th Habit is an example of spirituality in the workplace and in life. Practical ways of approaching the pains and problems of life which after all are mere sand in the oyster kind of irritants to help us grow pearls.

So here are a few quotes from the late Scott Peck , told to Robert Epstein in an interview for Psychology Today:

Can you tell me more about the roots of your spirituality-about the intellectual and experiential side?

All my work can be traced back to my Harvard college thesis, "Anxiety, Modern Science and the Epistemological Problem." I outlined three basic ways to try and look at things. They can be looked at as if they were caused by something external, or they were caused by something internal, or they were caused by relationships between things. Unfortunately, none of these three ways can answer all the questions we have. That is, our questions about the cause for intellectual anxiety. Increasingly, modern science is about our realization that we just don't know. Much of my life since has consisted of working out that thesis. The answer to understanding things is not one of those three, but all of them simultaneously. It's more than a paradox-it's a "triadox."

I am really an empiricist, a believer in the importance of experience. I've had all kinds of experiences with God in terms of revelation through a still, small voice or dreams or coincidences. Hundreds of them. Once, a secular Jewish woman wrote a negative review of me in The New York Times, ending it with the comment that unfortunately, most of us don't have a direct phone line to God. I wrote her back and said, "You know, please don't think that my phone works very well. A lot of times I can't get ahold of God, and sometimes the phone rings and I forget to answer. So I suspect there are a lot of people who deliberately leave the phone off the hook because they have these same experiences and they just don't recognize them as the miracles that they are."

In the 1970s, when you wrote The Road Less Traveled, where were you at spiritually?

Although I was raised in a profoundly secular home, I had a belief, an awareness of God, from as far back as I can remember. In poetic form, there is a footnote in The Road Less Traveled about my earliest memory: "In the autumn, when I was three, my mother woke me from dark sleep to see the northern lights dancing in the cold. In her warm night arms, I danced all the way to China before she carried me in. I still dance, and I do not know if I can ever forgive her for such love." That is quite a first memory. I credit my mother with that, rather than credit God.

In my senior year at Friends Seminary, a little Quaker school on the edge of Greenwich Village in New York City, I took an elective course in world religions. The book we used was very objective, and it contained quotes from the Upanishads and Zen Buddhism. It wasn't that these religions taught me mysticism, for I was already a mystic. But for the first time, I had a religious identity. I had come home. And so I called myself a Zen Buddhist at the age of 18.

Around age 30 I found myself thirsting for a less abstract religion. I'd always been into Jewish mystical stories, Hasidic stories. Then I discovered Sufism. All Sufi stories are about psychotherapy and teaching and learning. So I started being nurtured by the Muslim mystics; they were a little more down-to-earth.

I'd turned down a lucrative Harvard fellowship and stayed in the Army as a psychiatrist. Together with a senator's aide, we toured the new drug-abuse programs to get a feeling for how they were doing. One of the places we went was Fort Jackson in South Carolina. When we got there, everyone wanted to see this controversial new show coming to town called Jesus Christ Superstar. That show was a real eye-opener. It was the first thing that put me in touch with Jesus' humanity and realness.

The other major thing was reading the Gospels at the age of 40. I lay in bed at night reading the New Testament. And just as I had felt with Jesus Christ Superstar, I was blown away. Now I think a small part of the Gospels is made up. But I found this incredibly real person. Jesus was lonely and sorrowful and scared-an unbelievably real person. And it was at that point that I began to take becoming a Christian seriously. Some people who arrive at Christianity start with Jesus' divinity, and some with his humanity. With me, it was his humanity. And only later did I begin to get in touch with his divinity, which was initially difficult for me to swallow.

Fasting continued

So now we have the moral aspect of fasting :

Here is a quote:

I once saw a dream in which Sultan al-Masha’ikh asked me if I was practicing saum. I answered that I would practice saum if he commanded it. He replied, “Practice the saum of the heart.” Several days later I asked Shaykh Nasir al-Din Mahmud, “What is the saum of the heart?” He replied, “Sultan al-Masha’ikh meant by this that you should practice muraqaba.”
—Siyar al-Awliya’

My teacher says that this muraqaba is the absitnence from the denial of the reality of God's omnipotence and omnipresence. Yes I know that is a mouthful! What it means is to be constantly connected via the heart ( qalb) with God.You want to know how that feels? First you have to keep knocking on the door of your heart, or rather the portal which the sufis call the latifah, plural lataif and then one fine day the door opens and you will know it when it opens.
When it remains open then you have that constant connection. I 'd have to warn you that it makes you very softhearted and is strictly not good for business.

Finally we have the spiritual aspect of the Fast:

Sufism means being at ease with God.
—Ibn ‘Ata

Saum is for me, and I am the reward that comes with it!
—Hadith Qudsi

You don't want to twist your brain over what my teacher said about this aspect.The gist of what he said is to realise God as the Prime mover, to be a puppet moved only by God.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Why do people serve food that make people sick?

This is again wedding season . And I start asking the usual question. Why do people serve food that is too hot , too spicey or has gone bad? I have so many cases of diarrhea and gastritis from people who have been to weddings. Ya Rabbi, if you want to feed people then feed them food that is good for them, nourishing food ...
So make sure it is palatable not too spicey not too hot and do not serve food cooked overnight!
I would have thought it is common sense but common sense does not seem to be so common around here!

Fasting ( For Beatrix Kiddo)

On Saturday a friend asked me to write an article on Fasting because the fasting month is about 2 weeks away. I was away from home and busy giving a seminar but the minute I got back, I wrote furiously and the result is the article below. Of course having written so hastily , the article left much to be desired and I realise that I had not even touched on the spiritual aspects of fasting.

If you wanted to have a complete idea about fasting you can read my article here

The Muslim Fast

This article is a complete guide to successful fasting.

Quoting from my teacher

The essential spiritual task of Ramadan is saum. Saum is an Arabic word meaning “to be at rest.” Life is natural and rhythmic when activity and repose are mutually balanced. Tragically in our postindustrial world repose in the true sense of the word has become a lost art. The annual observance of saum during Ramadan is an occasion to revive this important human capacity.

This being at rest actually does not really mean we actually stop working and just lie back. Actually we work as usual and I have a full working day but we do not eat or drink. I know you may be thinking "wow that sounds unhealthy". Actually unless you have very serious health problems it actually helps most health problems. Even the dehydration was found to have a postive effect. Actually it is not really very long, a half day abstinence lasting about 14 hours.

I did say I wanted to focus on the spiritual aspect so here goes:
Actually for most people who fast , there is hardly any spritual aspect. They just get awfully hungry and thirsty in the daytime and at sundown they gorge themselves full of food and then desperately chew on all the munchies for fear of starving to death. Many of them are quite overweight actually....So they have a fear of starvation and fasting but aren't you amazed they do it anyway? It is quite amusing really that Muslims for the most part observe the fast even if they do not say their prayers and do all sorts of against the tenets things.

So when does it get spiritual ?

Let us go through the fast physical mental and then emotional. then moral and then spiritual:

Murshid says:


The physical saum consists of abstinence from food, drink and sex during the hours of daylight. When the active processes of the digestive and reproductive systems are suspended the body undergoes a catharsis that effectively cleanses and re-sensitizes its subtle channels.

Fasting lets the breath pass through every vein and tube of the body, which is possible only when there is no foreign substance in the body to block the channels. When the breath has touched every particle of the body, the body naturally becomes more sensitive and the pores of the skin open, making the centers transparent, so as to feel, outwardly and inwardly, all that is to be felt.<>

This is not going to happen if the person fasts like what I described earlier!

OK now for the mental aspect. Mind you most people who fast don 't fast the mind!! And fasting the mind is good practise to get spiritual.

The mental saum consists of abstinence from cognitive habits that deceptively objectivize subjective experience. True objectivity is intersubjective and universal. When the inner and outer senses are re-consecrated and oriented toward the unity of being, the hard edges of duality soften and the mind becomes deep and still.

To achieve this state the seeker gives up untruths and half-truths, gratuitous argumentation, gossip, and all manner of excess verbiage—uttered or unuttered.

I have verily vowed a fast to the Most Merciful and cannot speak to anyone this day.
Qur’an 19.26

So how does one do the above? For one thing it sounds really difficult right? Here is one way. Everytime you open your mouth to say something , before you say it ask: It what I am about to say true? Am I sure it is true ? How sure am I? Ok if you keep getting a positive answer to these questions go ahead and say it otherwise keep silent. I think that will do for a start.

So on the emotional aspect , quoting again my teacher who quotes other sources:

The emotional saum consists of abstinence from reactive, fear-based strategies of repression and compensation that diminish and beguile the heart. Liberated from the defenses and substitutions to which it has unnaturally adapted, the heart reposes in the clear perception of its true desire: the Immortal Beloved.
--Pir Zia

Make your bellies hungry and your livers thirsty and your bodies naked, that perchance your hearts may see God in this world.

My heart attains self-sufficiency by eating its own flesh and drinking its own blood
---Hazrat Inayat Khan)

And again you may wonder, how does one do the above? Steven Covey says , we are not our emotions. It is true , emotions are like ripples on the surface of the pond and the depth of the pond remains calm . Understanding this we observe the surface ripples from our depths ..and how do you getto the depth?...that is a loooong story.

And we also have the Moral aspect and after this the spiritual aspect which means this post is not complete yet.......

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Make your bellies hungry and your livers thirsty and your bodies naked, that perchance your hearts may see God in this world.

Sebulan lepas pesakit saya beritahu saya.Makcik puasa hari ini. Makcik puasa Rejab! Pesakit saya ini menyebabkan saya teringat bahawa Ramadan hampir tiba.
Teringat saya bahawa kena cepat tempah baju sebelum tukang jahit enggan terima tempahan . Sudah tentu anak-anak akan sedih kalau tidak berbaju raya!

Hari ini adalah 2 minggu sebelum puasa. Saya lihat di Bandar Kuala Lumpur penuh sesak orang memberli belah , kebanyakkan orang Muslim. Di pasaraya sudah ada kueh raya dan kurma dijual dan rak-rak baju penuh dengan baju-baju yang baru sampai dengan fesyen terbaharu , sedia untuk dibeli orang orang yang akan ber Hari Raya selepas sebulan puasa. Suasana sibuk bercampur meriah.

Kebanyakkan persediaan yang kita buat untuk puasa berbentuk material. Tetapi tidak semua. Ada juga orang yang sudah mula puasa sunat melatihkan diri untuk puasa. Ada yang masih puasa ganti sebab tangguhkan sehingga saat terakhir dan mungkin ada yang akan bayar fidyah sebab tak sempat ganti.

Apapun memang kita suka sediakan diri untuk Ramadan.Di sini saya ingin sarankan beberapa perkara untuk mendapatkan Puasa yang berkesan dari segi kesihatan ruhani dan jasmani.

Puasa sebagai suatu latihan ruhani adalah sebuah ibadat yang berat sebab dia melibatkan menahan diri dari makan ,satu perbuatan yang halal bagi kita semasa tidak berpuasa. Ia menyebabkan rasa letih lesu dan dahaga , mengubahkan tabiat tidur dan makan kita sebulan lamanya! Bukan mudah nak lakukannya tetapi amat indah bila dapat dilaksanakan dengan sempurna .

Sebenarnya dari segi kesihatan badan , puasa yang kita amalkan selama lebih kurang 14 jam dalam sehari ada banyak manfaatnya. Bila kita menahan diri dari makan dan minum , angota badan yang terlibat dengan penghazaman dapat rehat. Sel-sel badan juga dapat keluarkan bahan buangan dengan lebih baik sebab dibebaskan dari proses perkumuhan bahan makanan, Pemecahan lemak yang berlaku mengeluarkan toksin yang terperangkap dalam lemak. Untuk mendapat manfaat ini ada beberapa syarat:
1. Sistem pembuangan najis perlu berfungsi dengan baik dan tidak boleh sembelit Kalau kita sembeli semasa sebelum mulakan puasa, ini akan menyebabkan proses perkumuhan dan pembuangan toksin yang berlaku dalam hati kita tidak efisyen dan seterusnya sel badan tidak akan dapat membuang sisa perkukuhannya dengan baik maka badan kita akan simpan segala toksin dan akibatnya sakit kepala, mulut berbau, lenguh badan dan lesu. Untuk mengelak perkara demikan pastikan kita makan banyak bahan berserat dan juga minum banyak air pada hari-hari sebelum mula puasa. Kalau perlu , ambil ubat lawas buang air besar yang bertindak lembut seperti asam jawa atau lactulose yang boleh dibeli di farmasi. Lactulose adalah gula yang tidak hazam dan tidak akan bertukar menjadi glucose maka boleh dimakan oleh orang kencing manis. Lactulose bersifat prebiotic dan adalah baja untuk kuman baik dalam perut kita ( acidophillus ) . Maka dengan mengambil lactulose kita dapat betulkan iklim dalam usus kepada yang paling sehat.
2.Semasa berbuka dengan bersahur , pilihan makanan sepatutnya yang mudah hazam dan berkhasiat serta seimbang. Ini bererti kita perlu merancang menu berbuka supaya demikian . Pastikan jangan ada pembaziran sebab orang lapar memang akan ada kecederungan untuk menyediakan makanan yang terlalu banyak!
3.Elak makanan yang kita tahu menyebabkan kita sakit. Ramai yang tahu makanan mana yang dia alah dan boleh menyakitkannya. Saya ingatkan juga supaya jangan makan makanan yang terdedah terlalu lama dan tidak disimpan dalam peti sejuk .Bakteria dinegeri panas seperti Malaysia ini amat cepat membiak dan walaupun makanan tidak berbau basi, mungkin sudah cukup bakteria untuk menyebabkan keracunan makanan. Kalau boleh jangan makan makanan yang telah berada dalam peti sejuk lebih dari sehari kecuali yang telah dibekukan selepas dimasak. Kalau kita tahu ada alahan pada setengah makanan , memakan makananan tersebut semasa berbuka boleh mencetuskan allergi. Prkara ini boleh berlaku sebab alergi pada makanan lebih ketara apabila kita makan bahan itu semasa perut kosong
4. Elak makanan yang terlalu pedas dan berempah sebab pada masa puasa kita tidak minum dan perut kita kosong.Memakan makanan berempah boleh menyebabkan masaalah penghazaman dan juga masaalah buah pinggang.
5. Selepas berbuka , cuba minum sebanyak air yang anda boleh. Yang lebih baik adalah air bersih dan pada zaman sekarang yang banyak pencemaran ini bererti meminum air yang telah menjalani proses penapisan yang baik. Semasa solat terawih , bawa botol air dan minum di antara solat.
6.Kalau minum minuman berkafein, anda perlu faham minuman begini akan menyebabkan asid dalam perut bertambah dan bagi setengah orang akan menyebabkan pedih hati semasa berpuasa Juga, kafein boleh menyebabkan jantung berdebar dan juga susah dan tidur.

Selain dari saranan tentang makanan ada beberapa pesanan yang saya ingin sampaikan yang boleh sempurnakan puasa kita

1. Jangan susah hati kalau kurang tidur, Bila kita kurang makan , dengan sendirinya kita boleh berjaga lebih lama tanpa mudarat
2. Jangan buang masa dengan sia-sia, Gunakan waktu dengan bijak sebab pahala ibadat bulan puasa berlipat ganda. Bila baca Quran , pasti anda menghayati ayatnya dan jangan semata berkejar untuk habiskan bacaan. Memang baik kalau dapat khatam tetapi bagi saya manfaatnya adalah dengan merenungkan makna ayat dan merenungkan bagaimana kita nak jadi insan Al Quran.
3.Sedekah sebanyak yang boleh dan masa ini adalah masa yang baik kita cari saudara -saudara kita yang miskin dan hadiahkan dia apa yang dia perlukan untuk persediaan hari raya. Biarlah apa yang dirumah kita kurang indah demi untuk ketepikan duit itu untuk mengembirakan orang lain. Sederhana dalam belanja serta murah hati terhadap sesama insan adalah sunnah Rasul SAW.
4, Tumpukan perhatian bulan Ramadan kepada bulan Ramadan dan jangan terlalu pandang kedepan kepada Hari Raya. Orang Alim menunggu puasa bagaikan nantikan anak kesayangan dan mentangisi pemergiannya maka kita cuba ikut begitu . Mudah-mudahan bila kita cuba ikut tersingkap untuk kita hikmah dan rahsia bulan Puasa dan kita pula jadi alim.
5. Cuba jalankan pekerjaan seperti biasa terutama yang bekerja pejabat. Jangan sampai orang bukan Islam mengatakan prestasi kerja orang berpuasa adalah kurang. Insya allah disiplin kita dalam hal ini menjadi contoh yang baik kepada manusia yang akan kagumkan satu ummat yang berpuasa kerana Allah dan jalankan amanat dia dalam bekerja.

Insya allah kita akan berpesan lagi perkara-perkara yang perlu di lakukan untuk mengalami Hari Raya yang gemilang dan direda ALlah.

Selamat menjalankan ibadah puasa yang berjaya,

Friday, September 16, 2005

He/She is:

He/She is brave who courageously experiences all things;
he/she is a coward who is afraid to take a step in a new direction;
he/she is foolish who swims with the tides of fancy and pleasure;
he/she is wise who experiences all things,
yet keeps on the path that leads him to his destination. Hazrat Inayat Khan

Sunday, September 11, 2005

New York State

I had been meaning to say something about where I was last month but never got around to it.
I 'm not about to give an acount of it though ..why?
Because ! Haaa what kind of answer is that you ask..
This here is Mushtaq cooking Tacos for me . Yes men cook in the US.
We were on Sheikh Taner's farm in Nassau which is in New York
State not far from Albany.


And this is where I was before I went to the farm in Nassau.
It was about half an hour from Nassau.

And from there I went to Yonkers ...the train from Albany
to Yonkers cos me $US39 so stop grousing about petrol bills and
bus fares in Malaysia.Just imagine it cost RM9 to take a bus from Melaka to KL
and that same 2 hours cost $US39!! Since RM9 is less than $2.50,
this means that the fare in New York is 20 times more than in Malaysia!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

What is Sufism really ?

Dr Roza said:

nurelhuda- I believe tasauf has been part and parcel of Rasulullah's s.a.w. teachings. The problem arises when people starts to separate it , tearing it away , putting it in a 'speical' position (almost like making it secular), giving it a certain nomenclature and finally practicing it as separate entity. Those are the deviant ones.Sufism, as long as it conforms to the teachings of Rasulullah like all other 'wadah' (like tariqat for instance) is insyallah allowed. After all, it's a tool to get closer to Allah swt.

This is what I have to say as a reply:
When one says it is a tool, then that tool is something that needs to be taught. If a religous teacher teaches you to pray and to read the Quran but he only passed on to you the words without the spirit behind the words, you will not get the spirit and that spirit is sufism.

Rasul SAW was a Mercy to all of Humanity ( Rahmatan Lil Alamin) not a mercy to Muslims only which means that the spirit of Islam pervades all that is good in Humanity.When I say the spirit of Islam, I do not mean the cultural Islam , what I mean is the Universal meaning of Islam which means Surrendering to God's will. What does surrendering mean? To understand the meaning of surrender one would have to live a life of doing God's will every instant of time in one's life..It is to this goal that the Believer journeys.It is for this reason we ask for guidance in our prayers 17 times a day" Eh dinasiaratal mustaqim" and it is for this reason we are constantly saying Astaghfirllah...bowing humbly to God for not succeeding fully....

God in His Mercy made humans able to seek and find Haq which is truth and truth is Universal in Nature , not relegated or belonging to any race or any religion for that matter.
Those who have an awakened spirit, an awakened heart will recognise the Haq as if it is their own child . It would resonate in their very beings and make them tremble and vibrate and bring tears to their eyes.

There are even times when those we call deviant have more recognition of the Haq than those we think are in the right for in the end it is not our judgement that matters but that of God's.

It is my conviction that no human has the right to think of another as a deviant or wrong in what they believe. Our duty is to remind our friends our colleagues and our brethren to do good and doing good means helping humankind, helping justice, helping the environment .

As the surah Al Asr says:

Surely mankind is at a loss
Except those who have faith ( Faith in God and faith in the hereafter)
And do good deeds
And remind each other to Truths
And remind each other to Patience.

Finally, I would like to add, many speak of that they know nothing of and it is like trying to imagine what a durian looks feels and tastes like without having even seen one...only hearing about it from others who have a mixed reaction ..some say it is heavenly, some say it is obnoxious ......and someone decides to pick one opinion via heresay and speak on it as if they' ve seen it or tasted it....

Modes of Learning

A patient of mine who suffers from anxiety neurosis from time to time..there are times when he thinks he is almost normal asked me yesterday how to be peaceful. I wanted to teach him a technique that would help , and I asked him to focus on his breathing. He stopped me and said , no, not now , I 'll do it at home, just give me the instructions and whatever zikr . I told him..yes I can do that and you can then go home and try it and nothing happens, it does not help. Why would that be he asked. I replied, when you do it with me, I am taking you through the moves and there are verbal and also non verbal things that get communicated.When you go back and do it at home, you will not get the non verbal parts because I will not be there to communicate them to you.
He then agreed to go through the practice which I told him would take less than 5 minutes.
So we both focused on our breath, and I had told him to close his eyes so he could focus better. And on observing the breath, you will find it becomes slower and calmer..and then I added a simple zikr which translate as Lord, You are Peace. He did that also , and, then I added another simple prayer, Lord, expand my chest Arabic that would be Rabbishruli Sadri...So we did this for 5 minutes...
Perhaps because I learn by doing , which means my mode of learning is kinesthetic,,,believe me most people learn best by doing...I had insisted on this way of teaching him....

We 'll see how it goes ...but from my experience it really helps the patients who practice it after learning it from me.....

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Nexus Resort Karambunai Sabah

Nexus resort is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to : Here see for yourself.



Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Right and Wrong


You know, is sometimes very difficult to set rules of right and wrong because there are times when right in one situation is wrong in another. To be able to understand this is great wisdom indeed and to be a good jurist we have to have this ability to discern what is right for the situation in question. Scott Peck has written about this in his book The Road Less Travelled.
And here is another quote from HIK on the same:

"There is no action which the Sufi calls right or wrong, for every action can become right and can become wrong; it depends upon the use or abuse of the action, its fitness or unfitness. Right or wrong depends upon the attitude and situation, not the action. This naturally gives the Sufi tolerance towards another, and makes him ready to forgive another and unwilling to form an opinion about the action of another person. This attitude keeps the Sufi far removed from saying that peace is good or war is good. The Sufi will say, "War is good at the time of war, peace is good at the time of peace."HIK

Religious people dealing with sinners

drroza said...

The old adage, 'It takes a criminal to understand a criminal' may be true to a certain extend as they should know better how the brain mechanism works in those 'criminal' minds. But that does not mean that someone of religious background cannot be compassionate to them. Only the other day I comented on Crimsonskye's blog that I find a stark contrast between christian missionaries and muslim dhaie ( this is just a generalisation- may not be true always) whereby the christian missionaries are more approachable and less prejudiced. This goes to show that people with strong religious hold can and should be able to treat drug addicts/ criminals as well if not better. In fact as a muslim doctor, we are at an advantage as we have the Quran and sunnah to help us deal with the addicts.

1:27 PM

There is the story of the king who has 2 servants, one who makes a lot of mistakes but is always aware of them and always repentant and the other servant is perfect and is proud. Guess which one the King likes best?

You could say the proud servant is a zealot.
The difference is one of religiousness which focuses on the mercy and compassion aspects of God and the relgiousness which focuses on the punishment aspect of God. There are Quranic verses and Hadith which point out the the Mercy of God far exceeds his punishment but many are focussed on punishment rather than mercy.

It helps when we view sinners as people with potential for a lot of good. And we view their temporary state of being caught in self destructive behavior as a stage they are passing through and we can then see our role in giving them our helping hand.

Remember story about the murderer who went up to a Shaikh and asked if he could be saved even though he had killed 99 people? The Shaikh became the 100th person he killed when the Shaikh replied he was a goner. He went to another Shaikh who then told him to go to a town of very good people and live there to get salvation. He died on the way and the angels fought over him to bring him to heaven/hell and brought their case to God who told them to measure the distance he was from the city.He was more than halfway there..and the angel in charge of heaven won the dispute over his soul. ..I can t quite remember the origin of this story but I think it is a hadith and was told by the Prophet to bring home the message of God's mercy.

Also as regards Muslim Daie:
Muslims daie instead of focusing on Muslims, they have to realise their role as Khalifah of the Universe and also they have yet to realise that Muhammand is Rahmatan Lil Alamin, ie a Blessing for all Creation, not a blessing for all Muslims.( Mind you this is a very huge blanket statement that is sometimes not true so take it with a pinch of salt and don 't mind me)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Americans and Australians

This is not about race or country and I am just reporting what Dr Walter Ling told us.
The American Psychiatrist was talking to the Australian one and the Australian said to the American , " We have the same history, we are from an immigrant population"
The America replied " You are descended from a bunch of criminals."
And the Australian replied" And you are descended from a bunch of religious zealots..At least we understand sinners and have a compassionate approach to drug addicts."

Think about it...
How do you view addicts ..and other so called sinners....what is your approach?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Workshop over the weekend

I was in KL over the weekend, at the Legend to be exact.I actually do not like worshops very much but go anyway for the occasional gems I can get from the distinguished speakers.When the speakers are not very interesting my body has a way of switching off and I really do not hear anything , at least not with my conscious mind ;) .

Here are a few gems from Dr Walter Ling;
The adolescent mind is a mind under construction. It is best to keep this mind under construction in a safe environment for it to develope. In other words, let whatever needs to blow itself out or apart or whatever in an environment which is safe ..mind you I know what it does not mean is to restrict the adolescent..there is a fine line between letting loose and total control which parents and educators have to find. This workshop was one about drugs and adolescents are at that age when they want to live dangerously and the connection between the emotional center seeking rewards is not very well linked to the thinking part that understands long term consequences of actions and once exposed to these mind changing and brain changing drugs in the adolescent age, there is no reversing things!

Here is some more on the adolescent brain

Summary of New Research on Adolescent Brain Development

Recent developments in brain research provide scientific support to the theories on the limitations of youth's decision-making.

  • Researchers at UCLA, Harvard Medical School and the National Institute of Mental Health have traced the development of a child's brain to adulthood.

  • Through neuroimaging technology researchers have discovered that in a process called "myelination" a normal healthy adolescent brain develops during adolescence.

  • The brain's maturation process continues through adolescence and is not complete until the early 20's.

  • The area not yet fully refined and focused in the adolescent mind is called the prefrontal cortex.

  • The prefrontal cortex is the largest section of the brain, slowest to develop, and undergoes the most drastic changes during adolescence.

  • The prefrontal cortex is responsible for complex thinking. It allows the mind to organize, perform abstract thinking, prioritize, anticipate consequences, control impulses and conform behavior accordingly.

  • To compensate for the underdevelopment of the prefrontal cortex, the adolescent brain relies heavily on another area of the brain called the amygdala, which creates a tendency to react on instincts.

  • Biologically, adolescents do not have the same abilities as adults to control their actions and make sound decisions.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Yesterday was Merdeka again. Our country is now 48 years old .I was shouting Medeka along with thousands of others..even though I was at home in front of the TV at 12 midnight on the 30-31 August. It did not fail to arouse in me a certain sense of belonging, and also that choked up feeling of love for my country.

Yes indeed I love my country , I love the people , the land , the trees the flowers , the dirt the garbage, the silliness , the stupdity, and the love..the love.

What love you ask?What love can I feel except what wells up within the depth of my being .
How to describe the joy of being with another human being sharing their hopes and worries and fears.Indeed sometimes I m so wrapped up in wanting to do something else that I fail to listen to the person who sits in front of me telling me of their aches and pains and hopes and fears yet when I do , how richly am I rewarded by the love.

Like the Chinese woman who came this morning , she wanted me to see if she was really pregnant and was wondering if perhaps she was menopausal because her menses seemed to stop and start for the past months.

Something made me do a scan and what a surprise both for me and for her that she was already 5 months pregnant 43 years old! She kept saying oh woe, how embarassing for me, what a disaster and I kept saying, this is good luck, this child will bring you luck , will be your joy and your comfort when you are old.
She phoned me again this afternoon wanting to confirm her delivery date, confiding in me that her husband also laughed at her for not realising she was pregnant even though she had been pregnent 4 times previously! I laughed with her and we discussed where she was going to have this baby and I again reassured her that it was ok.
I pray it will be ok..I did not need for her to worry about trisomy and such stuff we think is more likely in pregancies of women above friend the gyneacologist said the risk is not that very high and an older woman is likely to be a much more loving and wiser mum that a younger mum. I wholeheartedly agree..