Monday, October 31, 2005

Ramadan Market! Eid Mubarak!

I cannot resist posting these pictures on the Ramadan market in Masjid Tanah. The people from town have come back to their kampung. The small town is nicely all jammed up with last minute shoppers. There are things to buy a plenty , food in a bewildering array, cookies, serunding , and clothes ...enjoy!
Perhaps you can recognise some of the food.The drinks stall has coconut juice, sea coconut juice and durian belanda juice.There is a shawamar stall and also a grilled chicken stall specifically ayam percik. And some cookies , and see the wealth of tropical fruits; papayas, water melons, honey melons and bananas.
And the clothes being sold include the baju Melayu and the baju kurung..The whole town has a festive air . There were Malays Indians and Chinese at the Pasar Ramadan. Tomorrow is Depavali and on Thursday will be Eid ul Fitri

The mind the heart and the ego

I have not visited Kevin's blog for quite some time and was pleasantly surprised to find some very thoughtful posts there!
One I think is particularly informative was this piece that Kevin entitled
Sin in Islam.

Here is what Kevin wrote about the Human make up:
As a human, Allah gave you a heart to feel with, a brain to reason with, and a nafs to battle with. The collection of all three is YOU. Allah sends messeges to your heart, your nafs denies them and your brain is where you sort out the difference, is this my ego or is it from God? Your brain looks for the outer confirmation. The heart provides the inner confirmation. The nafs provides the proper resistance inorder to prove your sincerety in all this. You need the nafs so that you can have the energy to eat, make love and defend yourself. But, it can also overstep its bounds, by being full of pride, gluttonous and mean.

Some other points to ponder is this from Mushtaq's blog titled

The origins of Kalam Al Batin

This is from the writings of Ibn Khaldun in his book Muqaddimah.Makes you wonder who originated Critical Thinking and Semantics etc:

  • All information, by its very nature, is liable to error.
  • The first of these errors is partisanship towards a creed or opinion.
  • The second error is over‑confidence in one's sources.
  • The third error is the failure to understand what is intended by to originator of the information.
  • The fourth error is a mistaken presupposition about the truth.
  • The fifth error is the inability to place information in its real context.
  • The sixth error is the common desire to gain favor of those of high ranks, by distorting information so as to please them.
  • The seventh, and the most important error, is the ignorance of the laws governing the transformations of human society.

Some interesting comments on Sufism in the US

I met Mushtaq when I was in New York State last August. He is an interesting person and has been a Muslim dervish for over 40 years. He is also a Silat Master of the Silat Zukfikari . The other interesting thing about him has to be that he is Native American and also mixed white ancestry, I forget which but I think Irish ..and grew up in a resevervation. He however does not look Native American and can easily pass for a Caucasion with his pale skin and blue eyes. The result is a very interesting person whom you would not care to have a difference of opinion with, except if you are a short Malaysian lady who wears demure baju kurongs and tudongs and disagrees with him in very diplomatic ways. I think he had to fight his way to get an education,
( and everything else) which he did superbly, having been a college professor at one point in his life..which he claims to be very can' t really tell because he does not wrinkle and has had white hair for more than 20 years.
Anyway this post he has on his blog The Traceless warrior is worth a read if you are interested in the goings on of Sufism in the US today. I believe all sorts of spirituality are making a comeback and what I observe is that whenever there is a renewal of something, fake and imitation products of the real will also appear as we say in Malay, like mushrooms after rain.
Mushtaq's latest entry on his blog has a commentary on this , based on an experience he had recently with a "guru silat" and "sufi teacher".

The post titled When did it become a contest on Traceless Warrior .

One other interesting thing about Mushtaq is that he took up Islam after his anthropology research which he did for his thesis kept turning up Sufis at many important points in the history of Man. He will tell you very interesting things about sufi activities through the ages in the most unlikely places ..This made him dig deeper , find a real live Shaikh and take initiation and become Muslim all in one go.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Hey Fellow Bloggers did you read this?

Blogs on the job: US workers waste millions of hours online

Thursday • October 27, 2005

That co-worker staring, eyes scrunched up, at his computer monitor may look like he's sweating through another hard day's work.

But he just might be one of the growing number of office jockeys who, according to new research, have their minds not on their jobs -- but on a blog.

Trade paper reported this week that US workers would waste the equivalent of 551,000 years during 2005 reading blogs, online web diaries and gossip sheets, which have exploded in numbers in recent years.

Around 35 million workers -- one in four of the labour force in the United States -- spend three-and-a-half hours, or nine percent of their working week on blogs, the survey found.

Blogs, which range ! in tone and quality from scandal sheets to semi-professional news sites to in-depth "geek" technology forums, are often seen as the ultimate expression of online freedom.

"Forget lunch breaks -- blog readers essentially take a daily 40 minute blog break," AdAge quipped, presenting its survey as a best-guess extrapolation based on blog related data.

The AdAge survey mirrors a poll conducted by America Online and in July, which found that American workers were goofing off for two hours a day on the Internet, costing their employers 759 billion dollars a year.

But some blog and Internet experts argue that reading a blog in itself does not necessarily equate to wasted time -- and may replace time when workers could be idling away their boss's time doing something else.

"I think it is a little broad brush to turn around and say 'oh, they are reading blogs and it's a waste of time,'" said Steve Ferrer, head of sales and marketing firm The Propaganda! House which specializes in the Internet, e-commerce and technology.

"If they weren't reading a blog they might be doing something else not necessarily productive either," said Ferrer, pointing out that some jobs require workers to use blogs and the Internet for research.

Lee Rainie, a researcher at the Pew Internet and American Life Project, said not all blogs were trashy journals -- many are now put out by reputable media firms, and used increasingly by corporations.

"It is not the case that a blog, is a blog, is a blog -- blogs run the spectrum from being ridiculous to the sublime," he said, but admitted : "the notion that some people might not be optimising their time is probably legitimate."

Pew earlier this year released research that suggested that eight million Americans have created blogs, while blog readership jumped 58 percent in 2004 and stood at 27 percent of Internet users.

The AdAge survey coincided with new reports that America's ! companies may be waking up to lost productivity as desk-bound workers surf the net.

Wired News reported this week that more and more corporations were installing security filters that block out phrases that include the word 'blog' in the URL.

Corporate America has also been alarmed at the prospect of workers actually writing blogs from their desks.

In the United States, flight attendant Ellen Simonetti was fired for posting photographs of herself in her uniform and a Google employee was dismissed after questioning his firm's finances in a blog.

Last year, Jessica Cutler, an intern for a US senator, transfixed official Washington with an anonymous steamy blog dubbed "Washingtonienne" devoted to her bed hopping after hours antics, before she too was fired. — AFP

Friday, October 28, 2005

Our darkside and other thoughts

We were having this discussion in the comments area and I felt it important enough to repost it in the main blog..I feel we have to look at our dark side if we are to become a more compassionate society ..not permissive mind you, only forgiving and giving people a chance to make amends :

The comments:

Led said:

Once I had evening breakfast at Saujana Hyatt yesterday with my chinese girl, we talk about relationship. My chinese girl said that it will be hard for a malay girl to be fond and married by a man once they knew that they already have a past experience of physical connotation.From my opinion, it is unfair to treat individual like this. What ever past is past. But somehow, do really guys like wanted to admit that it's all about the gentleman dignity and virginity.

9:11 AM

Nurelhuda said...

Yes we Malays have double standards Led. That is true. Like it is ok for a man but not ok for a woman..Know what I think? I think we do not understand God's rulings on sexual relationships.

3:16 PM

K said...

:) I am still a romantic at heart too, and inshaAllah I have married my soulmate. But even then, loving still needs a lot of hard work and patience, which I only understood fully after marriage.

I do meet some people that I instantly like, some people I dislike initially but later on like, some people who I dislike (although I try to keep my mind open about them for a while) and a few people who inspire love, both male and female. But it has always been clear why they inspire love in me; mainly it is because of their humility and their love of God. :)

Re: double standards, what is past is past. Everyone makes mistakes. I am more comfortable with people who have sinned but know that it is wrong than with people who sin but say that it's okay/promote others to it.

8:13 PM

Nurelhuda said...

Yesterday my patient was crying and crying and she said she had a bad headache from worrying, I frankly hoped she would not tell me her woes, my heart had opened to her and as I held her hand and lead her through some zikr and breathing, I could even feel her headache and heartache..she spilled the beans..I guess she was bursting to tell someone. She was 2 months pregnant and had done it with her fiance who had insisted she go for an abortion. He refused to marry her earlier than the date they had agreed upon. She had a choice of keeping the baby and probably losing her fiance as well as her family's support and love and her reputation or, go for the abortion and lose her child. What a dilemma!It is wrong , she had done wrong and she knew it..but our society is even more wrong to give her such awful choices....why are we so judgemental??

8:24 PM

K said

Erghh I feel so mad at the fiance for not standing by her when she needs it most! (my feminist past rearing up her head?) It takes two to tango, so two should shoulder the responsibility. I am seriously wondering if she should marry a man who would kill his own child, and would not exhaust all the avenues before. May Allah ease her suffering and forgive her, amiin.

Maybe we are judgemental because we want to feel superior and we also refuse to admit that any one of us could have gone down the same path, only the grace of Allah saved us. Or perhaps some of it is also fear of being lenient might actually be taken as endorsement of the enormity.

I am now looking deep into my heart and asking myself, how would I look at the lady if I were to meet her,knowing her sin? I feel shame of daring to think bad of others whose sins Allah exposed, when I probably have done plenty of stuff in secret, when taken in total, might surpass her one enormity. Perhaps she might be admitted to Paradise ahead of me in the end, for the way we leave this life also matters. We don't know our end, we can only hope (and work!) for His Mercy for our death and eternal life.

Ya Allah please forgive all our wrongs, whether done consciously or unconsciously, amiin.

9:14 PM

Nurelhuda said...

You have hit the nail on the head with this statement:

Maybe we are judgemental because we want to feel superior and we also refuse to admit that any one of us could have gone down the same path, only the grace of Allah saved us. Or perhaps some of it is also fear of being lenient might actually be taken as endorsement of the enormity.

We Malays are very good at denying our dark side and disowning our dark side makes us unable to do more than sweep the problem under the carpet

10:13 PM

C said...

this post immediately reminded of this news item:

you know how people keep saying... awak tu perempuan, kalau jadi apa2 awak je yang tanggung semuanya.. lelaki tu tak luak apa pun!

like K has so rightly pointed out, it takes two to tango, why should only the woman shoulder all the blame?

11:14 PM

dr said...

Is it just us Malays ?

5:46 AM

Nurelhuda said...

De Roza
Indeed others do it too, but that is their problem ..Us denying our dark side is our problem.I like to focus on our area of influence , not our area of concern
Crimson: The thing is that men want a good woman for the mother of their children they make sure they have a woman who is *good*..they can have fun with the *bad* women..but you know what? The children may just have a *bad* father,

7:39 AM

p said...

It would be good if a good man ends up with an equally good woman. Blessed are all the children from this blissful marriage.
Not too good then for a *bad* man (and vice versa) who is lucky enough to find himself a good wife (or husband), because the children will still have a *bad* father (or mother).
The worst scenario has to be when a *bad* man ends up with a *bad* woman as a wife. The children will end up with *bad parents*

7:56 AM

p said...

Which category will we fall in or fit in....??

7:58 AM

Nurelhuda said...

You know Pycno, I don t like labels for people ..all of us have baaad and have goood...its just that sometimes doing something baaaad leaves a mark and sometimes it doesn t ..reminds me of the Novel , the Scarlet Letter..they used to make women who committed adultery wear a scarlet letter..I realise that when somebody does something baaad and they are able to hide it from the society , their lives are saved but when they cannot hide it , their lives are ruined.
Once , my mother in law took in a 14 year old girl who was made pregnant by her cousin. The father was an Imam ..So the girl was my ma in laws guest until she delivered and then she went back to school...we made sure the school and the orang kampung did not know about it, so she managed to go back to being a school girl and has since finished school and is furthering her studies..the daughter she gave birth to was adopted by my brother in law. Her mum still comes to visit her..Had we not kept it a deep dark secret, the girl would have been sent to a correctional center and her life would be ruined for these centers are notorious for turning innocents into hard core criminals.The girl was actually raped although she did not resist..the cousin used to come in via a window while she was sleeping...
There was another case in which the rapist was the girls own grandpa..I was much younger then and did not know any better so I referred the case to kebajikan and the 12 year old was not allowed to take her UPSR , was put in a correctional home, grandpa sent to jail and the family fell apart because all the relatives and the ma and dad had a huge argument over it..had I known what I know now, I would rather let the grandpa go scot free and save the family....esepcially the girl
Why is our society so unforgiving..and why does it punish the vulnerable?

8:31 AM

Pycno, Thanks for your comments on the last 2 kisah benars. I just want to add that in the last case I talked about, the parents of the girl made a huge mistake that no good well informed Muslim would make. They allowed their daughter to sleep on the same bed with the grandfather ..I asked them a question: Don't you know anything about Islamic rulings about who can sleep with who?I really think the grandpa is a vulgar old man but who knows maybe he was just plain senile and thought his grandchild was his wife. When I saw her she was already 6 months pregnant and had not a clue how she got pregnant. I had to describe the act to her and ask her , who did this with you? And she named her grandpa.

As a result of this case, I told my NGO that Sexual education has to be taught in school as early as possible and the children have to be taught what kind of touching is a no no as well as the consequences of *the love*..Anyway, we do have a sexual health module now for kids..If you have a school that you have a link to and want this module to be presented to the kids, I can get you in touch with relevent person..we have several presenters so I think we have the whole country covered..

Syawal Datang Lagi

Abject apologies for my English only readers..since I have to brush up on my Bahasa Melayu:

Selamat Hari Raya , Maaf Zahir Batin, Salam Kasih Mesra

Syawal Datang lagi

Menjelang waktu solat Maghrib, surau di KLCC dibanjiri umat Islam sehingga perlu beratur untuk sembahyang. Berbagai rupa pengunjung surau, berbagai umur dari yang remaja belia sehingga datuk dan nenek tua. Fenomena bersembahyang bila masuk waktu hanya berlaku sedemikian rupa di kalangan umat Islam.

Lebih ramai umat Islam boleh dikategorikan sebagai mematuhi kehendak agama mereka dari umat agama lain sedangkan tiada ugama yang lebih sukar dipatuhi.
Antara yang paling susah adalah menahan diri dari perkara yang halal dan ini lah yang kita lakukan bila kita berpuasa, menahan diri dari perkara yang bukan saja halal tetapi perlu !

Maka sambutan Aidil Fitri sudah tentu disambut dengan gembira sekali oleh umat Islam terutama yang telah patuh menjalankan perintah Allah swt dan telah berjaya melakukan ibadah puasa lengkap dengan sunnah sunnah nya yang membawa dirinya kepada pembersihan rohani dan jasmani.Kita lihat pula umat Islam menyambut Hari Raya dengan meriah sekali dan ini tidaklah salah sebab sudah tentu kejayaan perlu di sambut.Tetapi kadang- kadang saya terfikir seolah kita ingin menghapuskan segala manfaat puasa yang telah di perolehi!

Umat Islam satu umat yang paling taat kepada perintah Illahi dan umat Islam pada umumnya adalah juga yang paling yakin dengan janji-janji Allah sebagaimana kita faham melalui Al Quran dan Sunnah!

Di antara umat Islam sedunia, umat Islam di Malaysia mungkin yang paling beruntung , dengan negara yang aman makmur lagi mewah !Dengan kesenangan beginilah mungkin timbul kelalaian dalam diri kita masing-masing , mungkin sebab terlalu suka dengan keselesaan dan kemeriahan sambutan kita.

Maka saya mengambil kesempatan untuk menulis secebis peringatan kita supaya kebaikkan kita sebagai umat Islam akan bertambah teserlah dengan kejayaan dan kecemerlangan.

Menghimbas semula manfaat puasa:

1. Makanan yang sederhana boleh menimbulkan pencernaan yang lebih baik. Pernahkah anda rasa tenaga yang datang setelah berbuka puasa? Tenaga sebegini hanya untuk yang mengamalkan puasa , tidak dapat di rasa olih orang yang tidak berpuasa.

2. Makanan yang sederhana semasa berbuka puasa menolong mengimbangi semula berat badan yang mungkin sudah meningkat lebih dari sepatutnya .

3. Bertambah baik disiplin diri yang timbul dengan amalan puasa dan solat-solat sunat serta qiyam dan baca quran .

4, Bertambah baik hubungan kita dengan Allah swt berkat doa dan munajat kita sepanjang bulan

5. Hati bertambah lembut dan lunak kerana bersedekah dan mengenangkan nasib orang yang susah.

6. Pemikiran bertambah terang dan tajam sebab kurang makan ( Perut mendapat kerehatan , darah akan lebih di hantar keanggota badan yang lain termasuk otak)

7. Puasa yang berjaya juga berjaya membuang toksin dari badan dan badan akan rasa lebih sihat dan bertenaga menjelang syawal.

Setelah syawal tiba, kita akan menyambutnya dengan solat sunat Aidil Fitri selepas mandi sunat Aidil Fitir awal pagi, kita bermaaf maafan dengan semua ahli keluarga dan menjamu selera dengan juadah enak yang telah di sediakan khas untuk hari yang mulia dan gembira ini.

Peringatan yang ingin saya kemukakan dalam kesenangan dan kemeriahan berhari raya.

Imbas semula segala kebaikan dan manfaat puasa, tidakkah kita merasakan rugi kalau kesemuanya hapus begitu sahaja tanpa meninggalkan sebarang kesan pada jiwa kita?
Perkara ini akan berlaku jika kita terus balik kepada tabiat kita yang asal dengan cara makan yang tidak terkawal serta disiplin diri yang kurang .

Malahan bila kita turut serta berkunjung kerumah sanak saudara dan terus makan dan makan lagi, besar kemungkinan kita akan dapat sakit perut dan lain-lain sakit.

Sudah lama saya sendiri tidak makan di setiap rumah yang saya kunjung malahan kadang kala meminta air tanpa manisan. Bukan sebab berpantang apa-apa tetapi untuk menjaga supaya tidaklah meminum terlalu banyak air manis dengan perisa tiruannya dan pewarna tiruannya.

Rendang juga satu masakan istimewa untuk hari Raya tetapi hati-hati jangan pula perut yang sudah direhatkan selama sebulan dikejutkan dengan makanan terlalu banyak dan terlalu pedas.

Jangan lupa juga solat-solat yang telah dijaga baik dalam bulan Ramadhan, dengan kesibukkan menyambut Raya, jangan pula ada solat yang tercicir.

Apa kata kita juga mengingati orang yang susah pada Hari Raya dengan membuat sumbangan dari duit duit Raya yang diperolehi. Sungguh ramai umat Islam sedang menderita dengan perang, dengan lapar dan dahaga pada hari kita bergembira menyambut Hari Raya. Bagi ibu dan ayah yang sering memberi duit raya kepada anak saudara dan sahabat, apa kata kalau diketepikan sebahagian untuk didermakan?

Apa kata tabiat baik membaca Quran dan bermunajat yang ktia telah amalkan pada bulan Ramadhan kita teruskan pada bulan Syawal dan kekalkan sepanjang tahun, walaupun kadar masa yang diperuntukkan perlu dikurangkan demi urusan dunia yang menuntut perhatian kita?

Umat Islam umat yang paling taat kepada perintah Allah , umat Islam umat yang paling berdisiplin dan yang paling bersih dengan amalan mandi dan wudu nya. Apa kata kita gunakan disiplin ini untuk mempastikan kebersihan diri , rumah dan alam sekitar dengan tidak membuang sampah merata-rata, dengan tidak membazir.?

Apa kata kalau kita jadikan bersederhana sebagai amalan harian, kita pelihara kelembutan dan kelunakkan hati kita dan kita capai kejayaan dan kegemilangan dan mengambil tempat kita sebagai qudwatun hasanah , contoh yang baik bagi umat Manusia.?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Suasana Life Coaching Center

Dr Rosa tagged me and as a result I did my 7 s list which included 7 things I want to do.
I am already doing training but don't have a training center yet. Discussing with my sister who also does a lot of training for Petronas, we decided why not have a virtual center and it does not have to have a physical office yet and we can work from home , or from my clinic . We could always do training at resorts and hotels and if it is a small group, even in a home!
Since I meant every word of my things to do list, I got to work and my second ebook workbook is ready! It is based on a workshop I did called Know Yourself ( Mengenal Diri) I am giving it away for free and you can download it from the webpage I prepared for my virtual office which is work in progress ..I have a long way to go before I list down the available workshops etc and etc.
Feel free to download the workbook and puhleeze do give me feedback ..and feel free to distribute it if you like or print it out for family members.
And here is the URL for my virtual offfice..yes I know it is nothing much , have to learn how to jazz it up. I video cammed my last training so hope to add video clips and goodies like that later...

Why suasana? My name Suriya, my 2 sisters names Salina and Suhana...therefore suasana...
We intend to go it together later...

About Love

Yesterday a mum brought her 17 year old daughter who is about to face her SPM just after Eid.
She had phoned me to tell me that she is bringing her daughter for me to see , counsel and treat. She had said that her daughter seems to have a gluten allergy and a bad colitis but lately the girl seemed to have developed some behavioral problems. She had lied and was defiant and had neglected her studies . When I saw the girl she said that she was totally numb. She could hear her mum dan dad tell her things but the words did not register. Her feelings were completely flat. She had lost her enthusiasm for everything and did not feel like studying or taking her exams . Her mum told me she was a very good student who did very well in school until lately.
I kept asking questions to give me a clue to the change in her and finally she told me.
It started with chatting online she said. She had met a guy and found herself after some time , in love with him. He came to meet her but she went to meet him without her parent's knowledge.He took her out for drinks and the relationship had deepened. I did not press her for details, her mum was there and also , I did not see the point of probing further. I had enough to go on. She was trying to forget him because she did not like what was happening to her. She did not like that she had become deceptive, that she no longer cared about her studies so she supressed her feelings until she became numb and flat. I casually asked when her last menses was and sighed with relief when she named a recent date. I suspected she had not gone very far in having a physical relationship but wanted to be sure. What she needed was to forgive herself and to understand what had happened to her. Love and passion are not wrong I told her . All of us experience it , and it makes us do things we do not normally do. The only mistake she made was in trying to conceal it from those who could help her and protect her from harming herself.
I did a healing and gave her a homeopathic remedy that would help heal the wounds and remove her numbness. I told her mum not to pressure the girl and I believe the parents were very understanding and not at all strict disciplinarians. I stressed to her even if she failed her SPM it was not the end of her studies and that there were ways to continue studying anyway.

This girl reminded me that I wanted to write something about love, my experience with it and what I think about it.

Pir Zia said quoting a Sufi Syaikh," How can you claim to love the Being in the Heavens when you do not love the one who comes before you?" Hallaj who was executed supposedly for claiming to be God even loved his executor , saying to him" come, come my Beloved for I recognise thee in all shapes and forms."

When I started doing spiritual practices and had what I would call openings of my heart, I became very sensitive to people's energy. I also fell in love with people very easily. It was their energy. Some people came into the room and I would feel peaceful and joyous. Of course there were those who made me sick .

There was one particular Ustaz who was a very plain person but who made me smile and smile everytime he came . I told my teacher about it and he said, well, that is what please do not go around declaring your love for people would not understand it!

When I was much younger, I realise I would have this yearning in my heart a deep yearning and I would know I was yearning for someone I loved. The mistake I made was to think it was some human person and I would suffer months and years until I snapped out of it .It is only in the last few years that I realise this yearning is for the Love.

I am most grateful ( syukur) that I have been blessed by being surrounded with people who love me and whom I love in return. I have also been blessed with loving friends and spiritual teachers , many of whom are men.

Our Malay culture cannot understand how a man can be friends with a woman and be loving without bringing into it a physical connotation. Yet with people from different cultures , it is not impossible . Indeed I am very careful here in Malaysia not to allow the men to notice when I like their energy. They may misunderstand .

And nowadays I am in love most of the time, besotted with love and yearning....
Ishq ....that is what it if I seem to look at you with love...jangan perasan ....

I am a romantic and always thought I needed a soul mate ..and of course our wordly spouse would never fit the bill...but when I understood Love, it was easy to love my spouse..
Because I have learned to love...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

How long does a plate last?

Would you believe this plate is older than me? It belonged to my grandmother and when my mum got married it was passed on to my mum. She has a few dozens of it. We ate from these plates during berbuka last week. The brand here is printed at the back of the plate. Even this print is still intact as you can see. This plate was made in England. Not a scratch on the enamel. And my mum uses the plate! Some have been smashed to smithereens by her children and grandchildren but her collection of these lovely pink plates is still enough to supply all the children and grandchildren and the in laws!

Past Present and Future

Some time ago , I wrote about being a healing presence and the difference between a wounding presence and a healing presence.
Today I 'd like to touch on another kind of presence, presence of mind.
To be living in the present.
Does this mean not to study history or muse about our past deeds, no, but the past has gone,what's done is done We 're to learn from the past and we' re to use the lessons of the past in the present. As for the future, it is the present and what we do in the present that shapes the

I was treating a lady who has a regular job as a clerk in a large company. She has a stable and steady job, she has a lovely family , a good husband and averagely nice children.

Yet , while still in her mid thirties, she had developed hypertension and had a gall bladder stone . She was also overweight, a common problem with people having a desk job that bored them to tears, a home and family that also bored them to tears and they found pleasure in eating!
What seems to me is that they practised the enthusiasm and living in the present, only as related to food! Having said this reminds me of my own battle of the bulge and countless others who 're not in this category , but that is another matter!

Boredome with routine, boredom with a job that is done with drudgery only to earn a living which then carries and spills over when she reaches home, more work, housework , the kids cooking cleaning...and a repetition the next morning!

I had a question for her...does she pay attention to what she is doing or, does she live in the past, does she live in some niggling worry that occupies her mind, does she live in the If only land..if only I had a bigger house , I d be happy, if only I could have a handbag like that lady's..or for a man, if only I could have that gorgeous woman as my second wife.......(but it is not possible because I can barely afford my own family although they bore me).

I had one piece of suggestion for her...Live in the now and here. Pay attention to what you re doing, try to do it well, use your spare time to plan or to engage in something beautiful and creative, if you really do not have the time, then do your work in as good a manner as you can,
get a satisfaction from the work.

I can hear an objection from a houseproud overworked housewife who is clearing and cleaning and clearing and cleaning and finding it exasperating to cope with some energy guzzlers who are also waste producers and mess makers but otherwise almost totally unproductive and
uncontributive at home..they go by the names of hubby and kiddies...I cannot offer any answers here because my houseproud episodes are few and far between ;-)

What I could recommend is for you to be a healing presence to your own hurts, your own anger and frustrations. How to do this. For me it is to be aware of the emotion, not throw it to the background and trudge on being irritable all day.

I practise a self awareness that clues me in to my feelings and the reasons for them. And then, when I can spare five minutes, I spend the quiet moment breathing deeply, slowly and being aware of Allah's love and compassion. I concentrate on my heart centre, allow my feelings full
expression, shed a few tears if I need it...and I watch as my emotions get digested and changed into a spiritual nourishment that sustains and strengthens me till the next episode....for what are these irritations and troubles and hurts but God's training for our spiritual development.

As to being bored, I think being grateful and counting the blessings in one's life, savouring each passing moment and making the most of it will cure this boredom..

Monday, October 24, 2005

What are your motives as you participate in life?

This is just like what you quoted J, said in another way:

"There are three kinds of people and three kinds of richness:
- people who want to have, to collect
- people who want action, work and labor
- people who want to be
The real richness is in be-ness. People can take all that you have, all that you collected. People can stop your labor, or an accident can stop you. When you are, you never lose what you are."

-- Torkom Saraydarian

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Being the one responsible

My last training was held on the 9th of october, it was just a few days into the fasting month.
One of the discussions that came up was about letting the people in our lives be responsible for their actions .
This did not come out during the discussions but to me it illustrates a point rather well.
I had a patient who had several very difficult issues over her mother in law and by association, her spouse. She had back problems and she has had several rather awful accidents and she felt something was wrong in that it was not just a physical thing.
One of the issues she related to me happened about 20 years ago, when she first got married. She was still thinking of it and it had created so much animosity and misery in her relationship with her spouse.

She used her wedding maher( mas kahwin) to buy herself a rather elegent leather bag.
One day her mother in law wanted to borrow the bag. Although extremely reluctant to part with it , she lent it to her mother in law anyway . She never got it back. Her mother in law decided to keep it and she was very upset. One day she told her husband she wanted to go to her mother in law's house and take it back no matter what. Her husband replied, you do that and we are no longer married. This is called a taqlid, a conditional divorce whereby if the wife does the deed, the marriage is dissolved. She did not go and take the handbag but she was very sad that her husband said such a thing and also that her marriage was without even a maher, for the maher was taken away from her. She felt valueless and has felt valueless for the past 20 years. I made a suggestion. I told her to tell her husband how she felt and to ask him to replace the cost of the handbag. She said no, she said she will be fine and that she had forgiven him. I asked her ,if she had forgiven him how come it has been 20 years and she still remembers. She said she forgave but could not forget. Then I asked her, what if, on your death bed you remembered this incident and then in your last breath you could not forgive him? He has done you a grave wrong , taking away what is rightfully yours ?.He could go to hell on that one deed if you did not forgive him in your last breath. Do you know that in your not voicing out his responsibility and not insisting he make amends you are wronging him? Do you not love him enough to make him responsible towards you?

Now we go back to my workshop and the question of waking people up for sahur. One lady said she had to spend so much time waking everybody up after slaving over the food to serve and they took ever so long to get up and it was the same all the time. Even her spouse would wake up just to wake HER up and then go back to sleep and come in only to eat.

I told her," If you have to wake them up , wake them once and then you go and eat and do whatever you have to do. Make them responsible over their selves. If they choose not to get up then let them miss their sahur. See what happens. As for your spouse , this needs a discussion . I know he is a reasonable man , and you can discuss with him if you feel you are overburdened "

Of course she argued that she did not want them to go hungry etc and etc.. many of us feel that way over people we love. Actually if we loved them enough , we would allow them to face the consequences of their actions. We are not going to always be there for them , to protect them , to insulate them from the consequences of their deeds, then they will resent us actually for not helping them to have the discipline and the skills they need when they go out on their own..

Saturday, October 22, 2005

More on emotions

This evening, when I was doing my maghrib prayers, I caught sight of something someone in the house I was in had taken from me, most probably without permission. This person also owes me a lot of money he cannot pay and did lots of other things that were detrimental either to me or to my family. The reason why I was there in his house is because his mother is a close relative and I owed it to her to break my fast there , with the rest of my family.
As I felt the anger well up in me, I did not try to suppress it, I allowed myself to feel it and I also sent a prayer to God asking God to forgive me for my anger and I reminded myself of the Prophet who asked forgiveness for those who harmed him in the incident of Taif.
By the time I was saying goodbye to my hostess, I had it in me to say some kind and loving words to her but I could not bring myself to forgive her son.

Recognising my anger, I realise I have to deal with it. I have to understand what a no starter that boy is , and that his situation is so much worse than mine, that what he did to me and my family had to do with choices I had made . I think I had seen myself as a saviour and tried to save him on many occasions. I have since stopped , realising at last that it is not my job to save him.

Now I have to deal with my anger is entirely my responsibility and I owe it to my dignity and my integrity to process it and transform it.


The key is to not resist or rebel against emotions or to try to get around them by devising all sorts of tricks; but to accept them directly, as they are."

-- Takahisa Kora

Instead of resisting any emotion, the best way to dispel it is to enter it fully, embrace it and see through your resistance."

-- Deepak Chopra

"We have to become more conscious of our feeling-world. By learning to identify the ‘emotional baggage’ and manage our feeling-world reactions, we can view life based on current information instead of being held captive by our past."

-- Doc Childre

"Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge."

-- Audre Lorde

Tomorrow I hope Lokman Hakim will come with his parents. I think I have gotten to the root of his anger. It is jealousy pure and simple.When his mum related the reason for his latest episode of abusive speech and aggression , I realised it was all about attention, negative attention.
I had already given him remedies for anger and I was pretty sure they also had something for jealousy but I now have to focus on the jealousy rather than the anger..
How difficult it is to have a ten year old son with so much anger and aggression..

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Sun did not shine yesterday

This morning , my solar heater failed to deliver hot water for me to shower with. In the 15 years I have had the heater installed it has failed to deliver hot water less days that the fingers of my hands. It had rained softly almost the whole day and the sky was overcast the whole day and the solar panel did not get its required amount of heat .
Our beloved Prime Minister's wife breathed her last yesterday morning. I did not know her personally but I had seen her from a distance with her daughter Nori , I had an idea of how much her husband loved her and it is clear, from the huge turn up at her funeral yesterday she was very much beloved.
May Allah grant her joy and peace in her eternal abode..
I also pray our Prime Minster will find the strength to move on . Having lost a dad to cancer while I was only 16, I know the tortures of waiting for the invevitable to happen. When it finally happened, I cried every night silently and alone , for I was at a boarding school, but in the day time, I forgot my grief by putting my whole energy into my studies and the play I was taking part in as lead actress..( a man's role for TKC is an all girl's school)

Goodbye beloved Lady Datin Sri Endon..My heart fills with sadness as I write this

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Dear Fellow Bloggers

I just found this new tool.
If you don t have time to visit my blog but want to know when I have a new post, you can subscribe by just writing your email is just below the link to my profile.
I would like it if you had feedblitz on your blog that I could subscribe too as well!

Wazifa (words used in zikr)

Quotes from VIK

The beauty of the repetition is that you are training the unconscious. You are instilling a thought-form, a seed thought, in the unconscious at the archetypal level. We could even say it frays pathways in your brain, so that the thought pops up into the conscious from the unconscious when called upon.VIK

As an example, imagine you have been invited to a party. You ask who is coming, and are told so-and-so and so-and-so; and then there is a name, and you think Oh no, if that person comes, I am not coming. But you remember having said the wazifa Rahman (compassion), and so you say Yes, OK. Somehow you have built something in your unconscious, and somehow it has registered there. It has a label. Rahman has a meaning for you that the word compassion does not have. It has gained a meaning by all that you have put into it. VIK


Dr Roza was asking about zikr . I was doing some reading last night. I like to spend nights in Ramadan reading and trying to understand more of what I do not understand.
Mind you I am just a poor and lowly student of sufism and I am not being modest when I say this . I realise there is so much I do not understand nor know enough to expound but what I have experiential knowledge of , I willingly share.

Zikr literally means rememberance. This I have quoted below from Hazrat Inayat Khan my murshid perhaps needs a littel elaboration to help our understanding.I am quite good at simplyfying things and I think the reason is because my limited brain is simple .like when I want to explain medical stuff to laymen I use layman language and nobody is aware that I have actually forgotten a lot of the medical jargon and in my mind what I understand is what I explain to laymen!

So in brief what Hazrat Inayat Khan said is that what we hear from others , or see in writing for that matter has an effect on us, we process it in our brain and then it causes a reaction in our emotions. The reverse is also true, what we feel , we then process in our mind and express as words or speech. Simple isn t it? You do realise of course that we react differently and have different emotions over the same words spoken to us?I rememer seeing a very moving ceremony being performed from teacher to pupils where the teachers walked past the pupils and lit candles held by the puplis. I cried because I was so touched. The man beside me laughed and I asked him why. And he replied, because I was pleased with the ceremony..

Ooops I ve gone off on a different tangent..Next , HIK says, that which comes from within as inspiration , ilham comes involuntarily , ie we can t will it, we can t force it out..these mysterious things that spout out of us from deep within our beings, which is the secret of highly evolved humans...But when we use a wazifah ie a zikr ,usually of the 99 names or some verses from the Quran or prayers taught by the Prophet, then we do it voluntarily and it has an effect on the mind which then has an effect on the heart ..the heart mind you is the portal to all that is Divine.
So when we recite the wazifa, not out of pride but out of our need to be in contact with the divine then what is within the heart , that which is in contact with the Divine will manifest and impinge on our mind and we become aware of it and can act upon it.

Every spoken word is a re-echo of thought, and every thought is the re-echo of an emotion. And, as the activity from within manifests on the surface, so the word spoken takes its reverse process: it is reproduced on the mind, and from the mind it is reproduced on the heart, the factor of feeling. That which comes from within comes involuntarily, and what enters within from without enters voluntarily. Therefore, Wazifa is taught by Sufis as a voluntary production of a certain thing on the mind and in the heart, mind being powerful to produce that which is impressed upon it from within and without, and the heart being a still more powerful factor to produce that with which it is impressed from within and without.
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The sand in the oyster

The young girl who came into my consultation room burst into tears the minute she got in. She did not look like a minah karan ( to borrow a term some of you had in your blogs)but she told me she was an operator in Kilang Cubic at Air Keroh. I did not quite buy that , she did not look the part. She had the air of a student . I asked her about it and true enough she was waiting to do her degree having finished her diploma in IT.
She told me how a few days back , she no longer could control her actions. She broke down an cried because of severe pain in her body. Yesterday she walked out from her job on the assembly line without saying a word to her supervisor. She needed to work only one more month but it seems she could not cope. She had been working for a month already.
I handed her 2 paper napkins, one of which got throughly soaked in no time.I listened attentively not interupting except with a small question or two and when she stopped talking I brought my chair nearer to her so that I was facing her closely and I paused for a moment , trying to understand the situation.
I said to her, I think this is a case of a refined soul meeting with much coarser ones. I knew the way the girls in the factory were.They had a herd mentality and they had cliques . Woe if you did not belong! And don' t you dare attract the attention of the male technicians...all of which this girl seemed to have done.
She had to bear with the sharp and wagging tongues , with the negativity surrounding her , with the taunts and snickers and sneers and she was not used to the bitching.
Actually I did not tell her this, the minute I had said to her I think you are affected by negativity , she poured out the whole scenario.

I said to her, consider yourself lucky because you are getting a first hand experience of negative women who know no better way of being. And, you know exactly what to look for when you want to chose a husband. You meet his family and you can evaluate the women in his family so you know which ones you do not want for your relatives.

When self esteem is high, it does not matter what people say about you so hold your head up high. Protect yourself with doa Nur and the verses that give protection namely Al Fatihah and the 3 Quls and imagine Allah's Nur surrounding you like a bubble and their hateful words falling harmlessly to the ground. It is your choice to let the words hurt you or not.The secret here is that they enjoy seeing you hurt but when the words stop hurting you, they also stop doing it for
they see you are no longer affected by what they say.

She told me she felt bad because she had become angry with God and stopped praying for a few days.

I told her God gives us tough love to help us be strong and grow in spirit and that if she lived to be a thousand years and did not pray but started praying 3 days before she died, God would count that more than the thousand years she did not pray for God is Ar Rahman and Ar Rahim,
Merciful and Compassionate, All Forgiving.

Monday, October 17, 2005



Noticing is detrimental to one's (in)sanity
Noticing how the same situation
Maybe right , or wrong
Or neither wrong nor right
Noticing things may seem
The same yet is not
Then certainty becomes uncertainty
Notice things repeating
Notice yourself repeating too..
Notice when you notice
You notice what you did not notice
when you were not noticing
Yes noticing is a hazard to sleep....

Nostalgia and getting reorganized

Montaza Palace Alexandria Egypt
Montaza Gardens , Alexandria

So I finally got all my documents and files onto one hard disk which upon the advise of my son I finally bought . Awhopping 160 gig in a casing that comes complete with a fan. I am now in the process of reorganizing my files, scattered over several pc s and notebooks. My scatter brained habits that save me time in the short term make me slave over my files in the long term. How on earth do I expect to write my book when my writings and notes are all over the place?When I upgrade my computer, the older ones I pass on to the front desk , hence I do not bother to save all my documents. Recently a friend asked me for one of my articles which she said is in one of the Risalah Pemimpin publications of my organization. Would you be surprised I could not find it?And the dozens of articles I wrote for Utusuan under Wadah Wanita Islam..I cannot find half of them!Somebody from a publishing house phoned me and suggested I write a book on communication and said I already have half a book in all the writings I had already. If only I can find them. In december of 2003 I made a nostalgic visit to Egypt namely Cairo and AlexandriaI went with dear hubby and my last born. Alexandria , beloved Alexandria was as lovely as she was when I studied there more than 25 years ago. I wrote this when I got back .

Just back from Egypt with travel insomnia !!! It is way past midnight
and my body clock says it is the late afternoon!

Here is a reflection I wrote just now relating my experience in Egypt, I
just got back less than 24 hours ago! It is about anger and
intolerance, my own , which I share with you .

I have learned so much about myself by going back to my roots in Egypt
the place where I spent 7 years of my life studying, , mostly in
beautiful Alexandria, and I looked in wonderment at it's beauty while I
also knew of it's miseries, I focused on the beauty and found much peace
although my peace will always be tinged with a sadness for the human

Memories of my past stirred within , I realised a lot of things I had
done that I wish I could have done differently The sadness and regret I
felt over people I had hurt in the past was from my anger..and now it
was as if scales had fallen from my eyes as I saw things from a
different perspective than before and realised my anger was from my own
selfish vantage point and I could not see from the point of view of the
people I had been angry with, shopkeepers, landladies.....etc I saw them
now so differently.A palpable regret washed over me as I looked into
the fresh young face of the grandson of my now deceased landlady from
more than 20 years ago..I did not remember what the quarrel with her was
about, I only remember my anger, if only I could turn back the pages,
how differently I would have handled it....

I had not been able to see from the point of view of the people I had
been angry with, shopkeepers, , returning as a tourist
after 23 years, used to comfort, used to ease, seeing the difficulty
with which the people lived and eked out a living through no fault of
their own except for being born in the wrong place, my perspective had

A resolve within me strengthened, to try to never hurt anyone with my
words or deeds, something I knew was quite impossible but indeed I would
try my best.

Even as I knew it would be futile of me to think I could succeed
perfectly in being the light that shines in darkness, the rose that
blooms in barreness, the tree that shades from the burning sun, I
realised that I tried too hard sometimes to be all of this, yet, perhaps
it would have been far better for me to just be in the moment,
appreciating people, forgiving them their wrongs and not wronging them
in the least.

I almost succeeded though not quite in discarding my activist mantle, my
healer mantle and my teacher mantle, I still found myself explaining
things in the way I' m quite used to in my teaching mode, even though I
had resolved to be just another tourist...I wanted to just take in the
sights and sounds without getting heated up over things, , to be healed
not to heal, to learn and not to teach , yet a part of me would not let go.

I became very angry when I visited Montaza though, because the beautful
sea was marred with rubbish, the lovely beaches had garbage because in
winter the workers are on holiday but thinking back on it, who am I to judge others

When I came to the Hussein Mosque in Cairo (near the famous Khan Khalili market
where foreigners get respectably and willingly slaughtered every day with cut
throat prices that seem fair to us greenies ) where Imam Hussein's head is
buried , with sadness overwhelming me over the sad affairs of Muslims with tragedy
written into it's history almost as soon as the Prophet died, I saw the people
who came to visit this shrine, and heard the beautiful zikr being recited I saw
love and compassion and a deep yearning for perfection which is also the
human state ... Sallu ala Nabi Sallalahu Alaihi wa salim taslima

I also saw how the simple faith of a simple person who shone in
the man who offered hot tea to one of my fellow Malaysians when he braved the
cold and dark to pray in a mosque for fajr, was eloquent in its language of deeds
( lisan ul hal).The friend said to me,this is a land of the good ,
the bad and the ugly and I wanted to add, the my mind's eye
remembered the achingly beautiful Meditarranean sea and the lovely coast road ,
with it's date trees , the leaves wrapped up to protect against the raging winds
that I remember put me back 2 paces for every 5 I took when I was foolish enough to
try to walk against the wind. There is some kind of lesson in this somewhere,
don t walk against the wind walk with it, don t swim against the current ,
swim with it.Don t go against God's will, surrender to it.

Can I then not forgive the shoe polish man who asked for more for
polishing my shoes than he originally agreed upon? He saw in me a rich
foreigner who could well afford more.. no reason I thought , no reason
for anger..there are far more important things to be angry about,
certainly I did not have to have anger over a man who asked me for money I could
afford to give.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Hectic Friday

Lady's clubs like to have their lectrures in the afternoons on Friday because the lunch break is long , to acomodate Friday prayers and so I had agreed to give a lunchtime lecture for the women staff of KUTM in Air Keroh today. So it was a mad rush from Masjid Tanah to Air Keroh and back again. It's no joke talking for an hour during bulan puasa but of course that is nothing compared to the training I did last weekend, that was being on the move and talking facilitating for 8 hours while fasting!But of course we have gotten used to it..But today , after the mad rush to and from Air Keroh back to my clinic to see patients before and after , I had a buka puasa date with hubby and he cannot see well enough to drive , because of the optic neuritis he is recovering from..and as I mentioned before , I am not the world's best driver!
And clinic today had quite a number of special was a pakcik who was quite degil( stubborn). He knew he had hypertension 2 years ago and refused to do follow up prefering to share his wife's hypertension medicene instead since his wife went for regular check ups. And as sometimes happens, his wife who went for regular check ups passed away, while the stubborn pakcik survived his wife, minus the medication he used to take from her ...
And so when I checked him today , his BP was 200/150mmhg. My usual emergency management is to crush 10mg of nifedepine and place it under the tongue to be absorbed sublingually and it was only by telling the pakcik since he did not swallow it he did not break his fast did I manage to persuade him to take it. He kept looking at his watch, as if I was keeping him from something important.His BP did drop 10mmhg for both the systolic and diastolic but I felt it was still dangerously high. I talked to him steadily calmly and slowly , addressing also his daughter whom I had invited to join the discussion. I then wrote a referral and said to the daughter , do not use harsh language , he was stressed enough, what with having to cope with his wife's recent passing and I left the decision to him and his children. I feel that is the best I could do...I had considered suggesting spiritual healing but perhaps I was also pressed for time and did not get around to it.

The other special case was a lady who came all the way from Johor , some 4 hours away, and, her sister who had recommended she see me came from Kuala Lumpur. I listened and listened, and for cases like this , it is what I do best. Listen with compassion feeling my heart space expanding and accomodating her problems within, being a witness and connecting to God via prayer and zikr. I gave her a verse from the Quran which we commonaly call ayat 1000 dinar which for me has always been a miraculous verse and told her to have full faith . I also told her even though it seemed like her problem was insurmountable and the only way out was to seek a divorce , still there was one option yet left untried and that was to change her internal feeling about her abusive husband . I told her , you despise him and he can feel it even if you do not put it in words. You look down on him and he in his turn wants to show you who is boss. Marital rape is about exertion of power. So I said, if you cannot respect him then respect his position of husband. If he has good the size of a grain of rice then focus on that and ask God to expand his goodness.Whatever it is , it is worth a try , even as you work to free yourself from a bad marriage. She had actually married below her status, she is a teacher while he is a taxi driver with little education. It is my experience that such cases go into marital abuse rather easily.

Finally I prescribed for her a homeopathic remedy to strengthen her spirit so that she could have the strength to do what she needed to do. I also called her sister back in and asked her to help her sister all she could.

Her sister asked me in private, can I direct her husband to see you? By all means I said, for I had felt the husband truly needed help .You judge him to be a monster? I see a man trying to be a husband and trying to get his wife to accept him but not knowing how to gain her love and respect, resorting to bullying and control instead. Would he be willing to change? For the sake of their 3 children , living in emotional trauma, I pray so.
When she left I felt a coolness in my chest. I usually do after seeing cases that needed me to give my full attention, my healing presence and my prayers . I kind of feel healed after the sessions.
It did not use to be like this..I used to get exhausted by such cases. Perhaps because I did not know enough not to exert myself but to allow the Divine to work through me, for God is the healer and we , we are only God's servants.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Our emotions

"The key is to not resist or rebel against emotions or to try to get around them by devising all sorts
of tricks; but to accept them directly, as they are."
-- Takahisa Kora

Pycnogenol was asking me about the training center I wanted to start.
I'm not going to try to convince you of how perfect I am that I can think of coaching others to deal with their lives. I'm as bad as they come, I have my crappy days, my bossy days , my teary days..You name it , I have them..

So what is the difference I could make in the people I train ?I view our bodies and how it works, our emotions and how they work as something that can be discovered ..We can discover what pushes our buttons , what makes us tick , what moves us .Indeed we can. And different people have different modes.Having said that there are certain parts of us that have a physiological element to them and we re act according to the stimulus in patterns we have acquired , that we learnt even before we were born, in our mother's wombs.

It is healthy to have emotions, and it is also healthy to be angry , to be sad, annoyed name it...View the emotions as the ripples on the surface of the lake which changes according to the exctiting factors acting on the surface of the lake. A pebble, a breeze, a leaf, an insect, a fish jumping out.....Fluid, changing and moving ...

Look at children playing, they come to the playground , new kid on the block, make their moves and soon get accepted so they move from lonely awkward as part of the group. Then they play experience joy and excitement then a kid falls, and starts to cry, others may ignore the kid, one of them goes to comfort the kid, and soon the kid starts to play again, pain forgotten , sadness forgotten. And so on and so forth. Fluidity of emotions .Emotions as visitors in the parlour of your being, they come for a visit , stay for a while and leave.

Leaving what? The depth of our being hold the Self and the Self in its essential state is joyous and peaceful . Has a depth of qualities such as compassion love beauty harmony, different quantities of which acounts for the difference in the personality and in what they aspire to.

And so , it is that when we understand this, we understand that stuck emotions are the problem and how they get stuck and how to unstick them becomes a necessity if we want to reveal the Self in all its splendour.

I want to thank and bless all those who wished me happy birthday. Yes indeed it is a joyous one , inspite of the surface crappiness because I was lonely ...for the company of my human beloved..

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

7 things and birthday !

I realise I have to do this soon before I don t have anybody to tag because they have all been tagged ..I was tagged by Dr Roza!
Anyways, yesterday was my birthday and I would not bore you the the depressing details of having a birthday in the fasting month with even my nearest and dearest away ...I had a lot of SMS s and greetings tho!
7 things I plan to do:
1. write a book
2. start a training center
3. finish reading a book from cover to cover
4.Do a certificate course in NLP
5.Learn to work a video cam
6. Learn to edit a video clip
7.Spend the middle of Ramadan deep in meditation the depths of the night..( when I get used to less sleep)
7 things that I can do:
1. I can teach
2. Write poetry ( does it need to win a prize?)
3. Type fast ( does it have to be accurate as well?)
4. Listen with presence ( when I want to that is, otherwise you get half an ear while I am multitasking on something else
5. Drive a car ( not the best driver around that is for sure)
6.Relieve a headache by placing my hands on the head( You want me to relieve yours?)
7.Concentrate on what I am doing so well that the lightning can strike and break a window and have the glass scatter all around me and not notice..( Yes this actually happened)

7 things I can't do:
1. Climb a mountain
2.Work without causing a clutter
3.Drive a bus
4.Park into a small space ( neither can I do side parking but don't tell the JPJ people that)
5. Lay bricks
6.Scuba diving
7.Read Japanese

7 things that scare me:
1. Having no money
2. Being flamed on list
3. Being sent to prison
4.Being in an accident
5.Hantu Raya ( poultergeist)
6.Making a wrong decision that harms my patient
7.Going out in the dead of the night on retreat in the woods because I need to use the outhouse and my torchlight dies ...( bears? )

7 random facts about me:

1. I get moved to tears quite often
2. I raise my voice when I 'm upset
3.I like to be alone at times and love my own company
4.I like pastry
5.My maternal granpa was a great Vet
6.I get along with people of any race and religion
7.I feel very strongly about any form of abuse of people/ animals

7 things I say the most:
1. Astaghfirlah
2.Insya allah
3.Sakit apa ni?
4. Buka mulut
5.Pergi baring atas katil tu
6. Laparlaa, bila you all nak gi beli makan nih?( not in the fasting month)
7.Terima kasih / thank you
7 people that I want to tag:
7.Beatrix Kiddo

Saturday, October 08, 2005

My garden again

My son in law Hidayat is making a roof over our koi pond. He is using the Acacia saplings which grow all around . Acacias are not native to Malaysia and they grow very fast and are considered a pest tree . Some 10 years ago , when they built some terrace houses across the road from my house the developer planted acacia trees by the road side. In almost no time at all, my house which is flanked on both sides by vacant lots became an acacia woods. There are birds all the time ( I love the sound of birds) and it is shady but you cannot imagine the dry leaves that acumulate and the tiny acacia seeds cause a lot of allergies for the children. I suspect some of the koi died from eating acacia seeds that had fallen into the pond hence the need to build a roof over the pond. It has been very hot lately and the plants in and around the pond are sun scorched.
Hence the roof.I am trying to get some attap rumbia for the thatch..
This is the view from my bedroom window. It gives me no end of joy to just look and see the koi lazily swimming. They are not expensive koi, I bought them from about RM3-6 when they were about 5 inches long..and it was so sad when the beautful pink and white koi and another golden one just died..apparently for no reason which is why I suspect some kind of poisoning since they were not sick at all. Koi can live to 100 years old ...

To Be Hanif

To be Hanif ........Post inspired by Sume's blog entry Biology of the Spirit 5th October.

If you believe in evolution, it might have started when man in his primitive form left the trees. If you believe in creation, it might have began with Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge.Point is both may be used to further mankind if we can just get over differences and mistrust. One school of thought need not be a threat to the other. Though I believe in Allah, I don't see the shame in celebrating mankind as a biological organism and all his accomplishments. On the contrary, I see it as celebrating the creation of Allah. (Sume)

Our human condition is the result of the stage of developement of our consciousness. Perhaps only now it is beginning to dawn upon many people that we can acomodate all beliefs and points of views because what they are is they are points of views based on what each person is able to perceive and seen in that light, nobody is wrong. That the perception may be flawed and the reasoning maybe in error is less important than that each individual does their best to work something out to the best of their ablity at each point in time. And , it is people who work hard to have a point of view who also work hard to defend it while those who don 't usually do not care enough to defend anything.

I wrote the above statement to bring us to the point of the Hanif attitude enjoined in for us in the Quran. While having a faith and belief in the Islamic view as we understand it ( and there are many approaches and ways of understanding ), we also believe in all that is sent to all Prophets and we also believe in all the holy books . Not only that, we do not differentiate between the Prophets and the books, we accept them all and we differ only in how we see what is revealed to us and how we understand the revelation. Having said that , it requires a lot of wisdom to not want to defend our views while at the same time expound them . This means we have a dialogue rather than an argument and open ourselves to be able to change our views if and when our perception changes with the information exchange that takes place in a dialogue..I can already hear the voices objecting to what I have written here.
"But the other books and Prophet's teachings were abrogated with the revelation of the Quran "
My answer to this is, yes, that is my position also but that does not stop me from respecting and accepting that the other person is still following the teachings of the Prophets prior to Prophet Muhammad. In fact I realise that my position is more acomodating than any followers of the older Prophets because Muhammad being the last World Prophet and Islam being the youngest major world religion , I acoomodate all other Prophets while followers of other religions will have a problem with those that came after who they follow no matter how hard they try to reason it out. I see it this way:
I have an open source software system called Open Office. Open Office can read micrsoft office and a whole lot of other suites as well.It can open HTML, spreadsheets. presentations , word documents,..almost anything.
But the reverse is not true. Microsoft Office cannot open the Open office documents at all. Islam then is the Open Office of religions and if a Muslim has not been able to be like the Open Office application , then they want to think about why not.

references from the Quran:
O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware. (QS. 49:13)

The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers - We make no distinction between any of His messengers - and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying. (QS. 2:285)

Abraham was not a Jew, nor yet a Christian; but he was an upright (Hanif) man who had surrendered (to Allah), and he was not of the idolaters. (QS. 3:67)

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Complete Human 3

The nafs amara is our survival self. If you look in terms of the energy center then it is the first and second center. It is about feeling comfortable, it is about eating drinking resting, sex and all that we need to do to get the things that lead to the comfort.

Abraham Maslow wrote in his Theory of The Hierarchy of needs that some needs preceded others.
And the survival needs preceeds all other needs. When people are at the survival stage, it is rare that they can go any further than fulfilling their basic needs and it would be difficult for spirit to grow. Which is why the Prophet asked us to pray that we would not be afflcited with a poverty that leads us astray..or keeps us at base camp...

Of course the Ustaz when he talks about the nafs amara will tell us that this is the nafs that is evil and makes us do the bad things. Actually it is related to the reactive self or what Himayat calls it the historical self. In wanting to survive , we learn to react in a "fright fight flight"kind of way. This is not bad in it's self. Neither is the selfish thinking that comes with it bad except that it makes us do things that are not aligned with the Real. It is really a sad state of affairs that most people actually never move beyond these basic needs to reach the higher levels of actually realizing their potential which is what being a Complete Human is all about. A Complete Human in my understanding is a human being who has realised all his/her potential and indeed they are different in diferent individuals. We were all given different essential qualities but they are all there within everybody and all of us have the potential to become the Complete Human.

I have found that labelling parts of us as bad does not really help us to grow but owning all of our selves and understanding their reasons for being go a long way is helping us to get out of the survival mode and start growing.

So one way out of the nafs amara mode is to go against our inclination for comfort, for more sleep for more food , for more comfort . This seems to be so difficult for many of us. Yet most of us actually do get out of this mode but only enough to fulfill the need for comfort food clothing etc.
When our thinking exterpolates this need into tastier food, more comfort, more luxury , we actually work very hard but then we work hard in order to feel good . What Pir Zia said is that we sacrifice Joy for pleasure for there is no real Joy except what comes from our journey towards completion and actualizing.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Complete Human 2

Dr Roza asked:
What does it mean to be in touch with reality, within and without?
A short answer will be , to be present to the self from within , ie in touch with emotions understanding them , be in touch with thoughts understanding them , more than this , be in touch with the domain of the heart..the essential self within. And without? be present to the present moment , not only what is inside of one but what is going on outside , focus on the present moment. Savour its feel , open all the senses to the sounds the visuals the feel.Take it all in and be in it...
Life is in the Now.

And the journey to being the Complete Human starts with base camp. Our base camp is our Nafs Amara. It is the part of us that was made for us to survive. It is instincts and sensations all designed to make sure we act to preserve ourselves as we journey to completion . Many of us however get stuck here. And getting stuck here is like setting up base camp in order to climb Mount Everest and then because it is so comfortable and feels so good to be there , we decide to stay there and forget about the climb. Whoa , not such a good analogy for the likes of me because I m not one to test my physical endurance by climbing anything!But this is the analagy Pir Zia used.

Understanding the workings of the Nafs Amara goes a long way in helping us to understand how not to get stuck in it. And I think this is enough for today!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Complete Human ( Insan il Kamil)1

It seems to me as if I know nothing about the Perfect Human yet that is what I aspire to. How does one aspire to what one does not know? It cannot be, one has to know to aspire to something.

What does it mean to be human? To have a body that functions like other animals, needing food, having a nervous system that has an autonomic part that functions without our conscious effort.
And then having a conscious part that seems to have a will. Or does it?
When the consciousness is a tribal one the individual will is subject to the tribal will.
There is a verse in the Quran that saya: When the angles asks an individual who is doing himself harm, why did you do this? And the individual replies, because my forefathers did it.
Not good enough an answer...If this answer is good enough then tribal consciousness is not good enough either. Doing something you found your parents doing is not good enough.
This reminds me of the story of the baked aubergines. Mum was baking aubergines and she cut the tops off. Daughter asked mum why do you cut so much off the top and mum says this is the way grandma did it. Daughter asks did you ask grandma why? So they phone grandma to ask and Grandma replied, because my baking tray was too small and the whole aubergine did not fit so I cut the tops off.....Mum's tray was big enough though.....
So that is what comes out of doing something just because your mum did it, you lose some aubergine!

No, I will not be able to get to the definition even in this post.
I think I may need the whole of Ramadan to ponder and write on this.
But my thought today is that the complete human is one who has a natural tone, is comfortable in his/her skin...and is at peace within and is in touch with reality , within and without.

Each human personality is like a piece of music,
having an individual tone and a rhythm of its own.
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


This is my bedroom and my husband who is still convelescing from his severe septic shock finds it therapuetic.The Persian kittens are Shirazi . My daughter brought them back from Egypt.
They are Naruto and Helwa. I did relate how Naruto was lost one night!

See this post to understand what happened in May He fell sick in The Land Below the Winds

This is my new workstation . Had to have it custom made to fit a corner of my bedroom.


I did a search for Universal Man and came up with this here :

The term “universal man” was coined by Jacob
Burckhardt, the Swiss historian and exponent of cul-
tural history, in his classic study, Die Kultur der
Renaissance in Italien (1860). He used it to charac-
terize the fully developed personalities of fifteenth-
century Italy, meaning by the uomo universale a dis-
tinctive social type: one who combines comprehensive
learning with the practice of one or more of the arts
or professions.

Then I also found this here by Rabindrath Tagore.

And in my next post I hope I will manage to present my teachers version of Universal Man a term which he used to explain Insan ul Kamil.

Indian Nobel prize winner for literature


By Rabindranath Tagore

There was a time when we prayed for special concessions, we expected that the laws of nature should be held in abeyance for our own convenience. But now we know better. We know that law cannot be set aside, and in this knowledge we have become strong. For this law is not something apart from us; it is our own. The universal power which is manifested in the universal law is one with our own power. It will thwart us where we are small, where we are against the current of things; but it will help us where we are great, where we are in unison with the all....

Thus we find that, just as throughout our bodily organization there is a principle of relation by virtue of which we can call the entire body our own, and can use it as such, so all through the universe there is that principle of uninterrupted relation by virtue of which we can call the whole world our extended body and use it accordingly. And in this age of science it is our endeavour fully to establish our claim to our world-self. We know all our poverty and sufferings are owing to our inability to realize this legitimate claim of ours. Really, there is no limit to our powers, for we are not outside the universal power which is the expression of universal law.

It is the same with our spiritual life. When the individual man in us chafes against the lawful rule of the universal man we become morally small, and we must suffer. In such a condition our successes are our greatest failures, and the very fulfillment of our desires leaves us poorer. We hanker after special gains for ourselves, we want to enjoy privileges which none else can share with us. But everything that is absolutely special must keep up a perpetual warfare with what is general. In such a state of civil war man always lives behind barricades, and in any civilization which is selfish, our homes are not real homes, but artificial barriers around us.

Yet we complain that we are not happy, as if there were something inherent in the nature of things to make us miserable. The universal spirit is waiting to crown us with happiness, but our individual spirit would not accept it. It is our life of the self that causes conflicts and complications everywhere, upsets the normal balance of society and gives rise to miseries of all kinds.... We have seen that in order to be powerful we have to submit to the laws of the universal forces, and to realize in practice that they are our own. So, in order to be happy, we have to submit our individual will to the sovereignty of the universal will, and to feel in truth that it is our own will. When we reach that state wherein the adjustment of the finite in us to the infinite is made perfect, then pain itself becomes a valuable asset. It becomes a measuring rod with which to gauge the true value of our joy.