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Saturday, May 21, 2016


Am thinking about death.

I have enrolled in a course "In the Mirror of Death", which is an introduction to a Tibetan Buddhist understanding of death and dying. The course is inspired by The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche, and is run by Rigpa, an international school of Rinpoche's Nyingma lineage that teaches Tibetan Vajrayana/Tantric Buddhism.

The first evening of the 8-week course started this past Monday, with a modest group of about 14 people, including the two facilitators. We all shared our intentions for taking the course. Some of the people there are aging and shared that they can feel death coming and want to gain wisdom about this. Another person indicated their experience being diagnosed with terminal cancer, and being told they only have a short time left to live. Another had a near-death experience because of an accident.

These are archetypal people, people who, through circumstance, are awakened to a remembrance or commemoration of their mortality. I wonder about who I am in doing this work, feeling the humility of these questions: When I take the space and time to think very seriously about my attitudes and assumptions about death and dying, my very experience of life is fundamentally transformed.

My priorities shift.

Only the things that are important to me are important to me.
Other things may become important to me, and then they will be important to me.
Otherwise, there are few things left to feel self-importance around.

Resentful competition.
Lies, falsity.

These "ugly" facets of our nature are also seen as the scared antics of little children, with whom we all share a mutual desire to be free from our anxieties and suffering, our needless addictions and spoils of rage... as humans, as living beings.

When I remember these feelings, I remember also the danger of sentimentalism. We are all adults, foolish adults that can be very dangerous with too much power. I cannot use the term "like children" to mean a negative. This is more about an observation of developmental expressions.

Cleanliness, Ungodliness

Tonight, I'm feeling inspired by tidiness,
sublime Clean; not out of aversion to dirt or chaos, but in just the calm apprehension of Tidy, or perhaps Tidiness as the space that apprehends Me.

That in a spacious room, where everything has its place, the space becomes numinous, alive, breathing, saturated with pure potential... all is as it is, not Right nor Wrong, but just waiting, for the right Event to make itself known, for it to take root and sprout some joviality or debauchery or just present as spaciousness, roominess, for a meditation practice.

Meditation as liberation, from attachments to the past or strange anxieties about the future, meditation as the present moment expressing itself through me (which is not other than itself), the sense of calm, clarity, attentional rest, witness and embodiment both as well as neither, humility, compassion, assertive service to the arising of all phenomena.

Friday, May 20, 2016

It's Been Over A Year

Why haven't I published in awhile?

I suppose, I began this blog with a few people, invited a few others to write with, til it dwindled and became just my brother and me... And it was sort of a way of addressing transience and change and impermanence... the experience of loss... in a sense, it was a yearning of mine to draw many threads of people in my life together, but I think it was privileging my own voice, rather than theirs.

Now, I have been working on building a new organisation together with a group of different asianaustralians, who are interested in a more cohesive democracy, one that can inspire action and change.

Democracy is a form of choosing to remain in conversation with one another, and to see one another as legitimate subjects for political conversation, no matter the person's background or belief, including belief systems that are anti-democratic.

This is the paradox of democracy.

How do I lean into this? Let it rest...

Friday, April 10, 2015


I've given up on you, "Buddhism", you are

traitor, I can't

believe I fell for you,

full of Sanskritic fantasies of

grandiose humility, what a find! I

miss you already, please let me back, you

for whom my early romance with Dharma meant

obsessing over so many texts of you,

Sutra and Shastra,

Zen and Tantra,

Psychoanalysis and Buddhism,

Meditation books and then more, still, all

excellent Enlightenment Marketing,

spiritual development in academic Buddhist drag


you are a disgrace!

I miss you already.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


"Humility will not be served by lowering your sense of your own worth ([a] common misconception). To do that is simply to cringe, and cringers, beneath their lowly display, are rarely humble- more often they harbour an inadequately sublimated envy at what they see as others' good luck, which should have been theirs, had the world been more just. To be truly humble is to remain alert to the fact that, unless you're a castaway, your life unrolls amidst a tangle of reciprocal relationships, all of which demand some degree or other of discernment that can determine both justly and generously what is due to or from each. It is not humility to see only that your existence will import nothing to many people; neither is it pride to see that, for some, your presence may matter very much indeed. Real humility discerns and maintains an equilibrium between the two. To do its job properly it must solicit the assistance of both love and patience. Love has the best eyes, patience the best temper and tempering faculty. Humility defers wisely to both."

- Robert DiNapoli, from essay "Humility", taken from Arena: The Australian Magazine of Left Political, Social and Cultural Commentary, issue No. 134



To bring about growth through the desire to emulate desirable qualities. True admiration, if pure, brings joy.

Competition, then Jealousy, then Envy. (=wants to do as well as, then better than the admired one, to possess, then wants them to do worse than oneself at any cost, even if destroys what is desired.) Criticism and sabotage (in thought, speech or action) of the one envied, and self-criticism and self-hatred. ('Cassio and Othello' stance in life.)

...envy is a very poisonous combination of anger at the admired one, fear of one's own inadequacy, and grief at the loss of supremacy.

Forgiveness of self and other(s). Remembrance that one does oneself have the capacity to emulate the quality admired, as a latent potential in one's own Higher Unconscious. The decision to develop that quality in one's life. Gratitude and restoration of self-love.

Qualities of the Higher Self [or one's own latent potential] seeking expression - Acceptance of oneself as one is at present without condemnation, even though one can see where improvements can be made. Unconditional Love. And the development of precisely the qualities perceived and admired in the other from within one's own self.

- from "Health, Joy, Love and Forgiveness", by the Psychosynthesis Foundation of Australia Inc.

critical mass

critical mass, let's say, of queer Muslims, making websites, let's say
of hybridised "Asian-'Western'" identities doing politik, perhaps
of bicycles storming roads, demanding justice for all killed by dooring,
victims of dominant ignorance and of otherwise poor social, cultural, political and urban infrastructures,
critical masses making meaning through amassing critical unity,
radical coalition in the service of egalitarianism, in service of
"The People"
"The Marginal"
"The Otherwise Forgotten";
let's say, of progressive revisions, underway
obligatory ordinariness, making accessible not only
the fruits of liberty to those who may not yet have tasted it fully,
but also of
the ordinary victories of progressive radicalism
without the ugly cancer of fundamentalist extremism, with its own
myopias and tyrannies... "someone must always get hurt": how do I render this also essentially untruthful?

critical masses, let's say, of migrants of colour and indigenous nations in solidarity,
in solidary response to global Euro-/American- and (increasingly) Sino-hegemony,
of working classes linking arms reclaiming management of work,
all and so on and et cetera and ad infinitum

one world, critically amassing;
this is intentional,
not inevitable justice

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Digital Sangha

Facebook as Digital Sangha.
What is skillful action, in the context of Sangha?
What is right view, intention, speech and action?
How does living right livelihood factor into my expressions on Facebook?
What efforts do I make, what is the quality of my mind and my concentration that are integral to relating generously, wisely, lovingly and compassionately to my social network - as - Sangha?

No need to rush... anything...

Letting things emerge as they emerge... Breathing into things-as-they-are.

Friday, March 6, 2015

9.08pm thoughts

I've been sick the past few days.

Woke up in the middle of the night, two nights ago, with nightmares and fever.

I skipped work yesterday, as a result.

Today, I took a half day.

I have been reading Tim Soutphommasane's book "Don't Go Back to Where You Came From: Why Multiculturalism Works". It's very good.

Considerations of Spirituality

So I work for an organisation that focuses on spiritual care and spiritual health.

These are not easy concepts to explain.

A reflection on spirituality as an aspect of health and wellness. That one of the historical "homes" of spirituality has been in religion and in religious institutions. Of course, many religions and religious institutions these days are unfortunately less homes for spirit and more for homes for myopia, the maintenance of privilege, political regression, and an inability to remain present to evolving global realities.

All that said, some things that religions, religious institutions and religious leaders have done, that have been integral to any evolving definition of "spirituality" per se, have included:

- Ethics (e.g. a consideration of Old Age, Sickness and Death and the implications these considerations have on how we choose to live)
- Hermeneutics (textual interpretation in a community of practitioners)
- Ritual
- Contemplation/Reflection/Meditation

When I think of "spiritual health" in the context of a secular health sector, I think not only of the more esoteric aspects of spirituality (e.g. the "transcendent" or issues of "ultimate concern"), but also of health and medical ethics, hermeneutics in the sense of theological literacy when relating to patients and people living with chronic illness or degenerative disease, including more deliberate and mindful forms of ritual (including a reading of the extent to which a mindless ritual is already implicit in terms of access to health systems, e.g. intake forms, confidentiality statements, the taking of medicines, policies and procedures that delimit what sorts of movement or speech are possible, etc.), and moments of silent contemplation (with all the evidence-based promises of increased work efficacy and neurogenesis), integrated into the practice of health professionals, beyond just contact with patients/clients.