Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Positive happenings

Day in, day out, we are always faced with so many challenges in life.  And many people are increasingly unhappy and irritated with life and whatever that is thrown to them.

Take me as an example.  The weekend started off with positive vibes.  Attended Shri Ganesha Puja at the centre and felt joyful.  Amazingly, Shri Ganesha's quality, which is purity and innocence can be felt throughout the puja.  Though there were people complaining about our new bhajan group location, I was happy about it.  In fact, I felt very comfortable sitting there compared to the previous place.  The vibrations of the puja were there right from the beginning, even before puja started.

As usual, the organisers tried to outdo the previous organisers by being unique by having new procedures.  I could feel myself reacting and asking why was that needed when Shri Mataji was already there, but I stopped my thoughts there and then.  I told myself, enough.  Just enjoy the puja without these reactions.  I truly believe, it is the positive vibes that made me do so.

The next day, we also spent some time with yogis.  The conversations we had, the food we ate, the things we did, were all done with an open heart.  Everything was so spontaneous and nobody was looking at the time.  We were like in a time capsule where time stood still, but everything around us moves.  Again, amazing companionship, beautiful vibrations.

The day after, again we spent some time with yogis, by celebrating birthdays together.  Again, delicious food, amazing conversations and great company.

Spending 3 days straight with yogis had definitely increase my own vibrations.  That night, our meditation were very deep and the vibrations were circling around us.  I believe it was the positive vibes.

Then back to work.  Every morning while driving to work, I will pray that my positive vibes can emit and influence the others and not let their negative vibes affect me, especially after what happened last Friday at work.  You see, there are a lot of negative energy at my workplace.  I am not sure whether other companies are the same, but here, especially the top management, are generally unhappy, doesn't like to bear responsibilities, being poor leaders, can't communicate well and can't make decisions.  When top management are negative, their negative vibes spreads downwards.  No matter how positive the subordinates are, if the top people are hindering progress, there's nothing much we could do, except to follow suit.  Very, very toxic environment.

The first day at work after the long weekend was good.  Uneventful.  One of my colleagues, Kavita, had just moved into her new house and offered everyone a doughnut to bless her and her family at their new home.  That was very sweet of her and I thought that was a great idea.  Very generous of her.

The next day, I woke up late.  I made lunch and by the time I had bathed, I realised there was not enough time to meditate.  I told hubby that I hope everything will be well at work because in the past experience, whenever I don't meditate, I was not able to sustain the vibes and bad things happened.  Hubby told me to take a lime to work, but I said no, stubbornly.  I think lime can only prevent bhoots, but not negative emotions.  Driving to work that day, I recited Shri Ganesha Atharva Sheersha and tried hard to remain calm and collected.

Throughout that day, I felt very irritated and annoyed. I felt as if everyone else is against me that day.  Students walked past and knocked me.  Manager spoke rudely.  Poor communication between managers and staff.  And end of the day, poor communication at home.  Hubby informed me to pick him and mom up from work.  Dad informed mom that he is picking them up from work.  Hubby did not informed mom and vice versa.  Both me and my dad went to pick them up.  Of course, I was irritated till no end as going to their place has more traffic compared to going straight home.

In the end, I felt all the positive vibes that I have gathered during the weekend has subsided completely and the negative has taken over.  Hubby and I discussed during meditation and we need to come up with a plan, both of us together.  We felt that if both of us meditate longer, morning and evening, with proper attention and not mechanically, things will go well.  Right now, we both felt nothing is going right in our lives.  We are going to try sleeping earlier.  We are going to try waking up earlier.  Hubby came up with an idea, to write down our daily achievements.  Good idea!

So, today, we are moving back to positivity.  Enough of the negative emotions.

And starting from today, I am going to list 3 positive happenings on a daily basis, for 5 days.  This is part of a chain that has been going on, about spreading positive vibes.  I am supposed to tag 3 person on a daily basis to do it.

So, do the same wherever you are.  Post 3 positive happenings daily on Facebook.  Spread the positive vibes.  Encourage others to do the same.  The more positive vibes, the better the environment and surrounding.

Sharing with you some photos from Shri Krishna Puja 2 weeks ago and the rakhi gifts that I got from my brothers.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Beautiful Shri Ganesha

We had a beautiful Shri Ganesha Puja on Saturday and then yesterday, a Sahaj sister taught us to make little Shri Ganesha from clay.  What a beautiful experience it was.

We used terracota clay to make.  Our attention throughout this process were so good and the vibrations around us were so amazing.

And then together at a yogi's house, we watched the weddings live from Cabella.  It was midnight here, but daytime there.  So much of vibrations.  I was remisnicing my experience then.  We felt so joyful just watching the smiling faces of the brides and grooms.  So much in bliss.

We were truly drenched with vibrations and didn't want to leave although it was already 2am.  So much so, today I wanted to write about the whole Sahaj wedding ceremony.  But I realised that it could be too sensitive for the public.  So, it's in my draft now.  Maybe I will create a private blog to post this up.  Maybe not.

We love Sahaja Yogis company.  So much of joyful, so spontaneous, so comfortable.  There's no ego.  There's no hatred.  There's no anger.  Just us and vibrations.

Next project, hopefully to make a bigger clay Shri Ganesha for the altar.  This time with details, like fingers and toes.  Yup!

Jai Shri Ganesha!

And this marks our 3rd year together.  It has been a blissful marriage.  Lots to learn from one another.  If at anytime he is not balance, I will know it immediately and vice versa.  If one day I become too right-sided, he will be come too left-sided and we have to quickly acknowledge this and clear together.  That's how amazing Sahaj marriage is.  May God bless us with many more blissful years to come.  Thank You Shri Mataji for this amazing lifetime experience.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Positive mindset with musicals

The past few weeks have been elevating.  And it all started when my colleague came back from UK and told me that she watched The Phantom of the Opera (POTO).  So, please bear with me while I explain this journey.

POTO has a deep impact on me.  It was introduced to me by my late cousin June back in the 90s and when she died, the only thing that I can remember were both of us singing the songs from POTO.  She had handwritten all the lyrics for me and she would play on the piano while we sang together.

The weird part was years before she left, we seldom talk about POTO.  In fact, months before she left, we were going different paths, with her going more into music and performing live while me more into meditation.

In 2004, 4 years after she left, when POTO movie finally came out, it took a lot of courage for me to watch it.  And when I finally did, I sobbed throughout the movie though it wasn't that sad.  And I thought I had let it go completely.

So, when my colleague came back from UK and shared the full show on YouTube with me, it took me some courage to watch it all over again, afraid I would be sobbing again.  It was the 25th Anniversary live in the Royal Albert Hall, performed by Ramin Karimloo as The Phantom and Sierra Boggess as Christine.  And when I finally did, again I was sobbing throughout it, but something else happened.  Whatever that made me sad, whatever grief and unhappiness that I couldn't let go, whatever regret, everything to do with late cousin June, all gone.

I don't know what it was, but it has to be some energy that Ramin and Sierra emitted.  The Phantom and Christine I used to know where Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman.  While each of them have their own unique voices in portraying their characters, Ramin and Sierra has this amazing chemistry, this beautiful combination and their young and vibrant voices stuck on me.  Found that both of them were more to my age group and so young and incredible.  In fact, read that because of the 2 of them, they attracted more young people now.

Also, the 25th Anniversary was so beautiful and in my opinion, different from the movie, which was dark throughout.  And the casts were so amazing.  In fact, it was the first time that I watched it live on theater, though on YouTube.  And to watch all of them coordinate and cooperate and sing so beautifully live, error-free, there has to be something, that makes everything went so well.  It's a quality.  Could it be passion?

Then I attended a motivation course - Personal Quality for 2 days.  It was about how to improve ourselves so that we can contribute better to the company, with everyone doing their own part responsibly.  In fact, I was so pleased that the people in my group were so positive about life, not only about work.  And because of that 1 person who was so initiative, he led the group well and we made the most paper air-planes beautifully with the exact measurement and no error or creases.  His patience were amazing.  The way he spends time teaching all of us and making us understand.  And accept our ideas.

And I noticed in another group, there was 1 girl who was very negative throughout the course, until the other group members were avoiding her.  I heard her complaining in the lift that she rather work than spend 2 days doing this.  And guess what, they didn't win nor did they gel with each other.

It's not about winning or losing or getting praises or not.  It's also a quality.  Could it also be passion?

Coming back to Ramin and Sierra, I began to research more about them.  Found that Andrew Lloyd Webber hand-picked both of them to be The Phantom and Christine again in his sequel, Love Never Dies, which didn't do too well and ended after 2 years.  Then watched clips after clips of them singing.  Then found out that Ramin is currently Jean Valjean in Les Miserables Broadway while Sierra is currently Christine in The Phantom of the Opera Broadway.  Then watched clips after clips of their behind-the-scene and found they emit such positive energy not only at work, but with life and how much they enjoyed what they are doing.

Then it got me interested in Les Miserables.  It has never appeal to me though June was in it the same time as POTO.  So on YouTube, I watched Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert.  And again, amazing casts with beautiful voices, though Ramin and Sierra were not there.  And one thing led to another, I found Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert and Ramin was Enjolras.  Not only that, I got to know about other singers:-

Hadley Fraser - Raoul in POTO 25th Anniversary London and a good friend of Ramin
Norm Lewis - Javert in Les Miserables 25th Anniversary London and current Phantom in POTO Broadway; a very good and humble guy
Colm Wilkinson - amazing voice, another humble guy
Alfie Boe - Jean Valjean in Les Miserable 25th Anniversary London, beautiful tenor.
Michael Ball  - Got to know him much earlier
Simon Bowman - Got to know him from Miss Saigon though I didn't watch the whole thing.  Current Phantom in West End

Then I started reading about them and found that not only they have the most amazing voices on earth, they are also absolutely down-to-earth and humble and really stay healthy to look after their voices, for eg, no smoking.  These are the real singers with real voices.  How do I know all these?  Read more about them, watch their interview, see behind-the-scenes, watch their rehearsal, their collaborations, their chemistry.  One thing you can see from them, they are passionate in what they are doing and truly enjoyed it and despite the fame, still extremely humble.

And you know what, their positive energy stay on me and I found that I became better in meditation and some days, better attention too.  Not only that, some things that I desired came true although I wasn't wishing or praying hard for it, just a thought and voila, came out.

Let me share this beautiful example with you.  Lately my brother-in-law got my sister a black Starbucks bag.  It was just a tote bag with Starbucks logo.

Then he told my mom that he got enough points to get for her one too.  And he told me that he will get me one later after mom's.  I said ok, I can wait, no rush.

And guess what, the next day, my aunty called me and said she got me a Starbucks bag and I got it faster than my mom!  I didn't even desire hard for it.  I admit that it was on my mind but wasn't really craving for it. I contributed that to all the positive energy and vibrations that I have been surrounded for the past few weeks.

Although the musicals that I mentioned above, POTO and Les Miserables or even Miss Saigon, has very sad endings with people dying, etc, but the amount of hard work that goes into each performance, the humility, the love for music, all emits positive vibes.

So what I gather from all of these is; though these singers were not yogis, but they have positive attitude towards everything in life and that energy spreads.  Sometimes, non-yogis behave better than yogis.  No offence to anyone.  In order to feel the vibes, it's not only clearing and clearing, but it's also surrendering and letting the Divine lead you on.  Just let it go and move on and you will be amaze by this amazing positive energy.  And mix around with positive people and you will find that positive people sticks to you and of course vice versa.  And sometimes we don't have to be so tough with ourselves, having strict regimental meditation session, for example, but to just do what you can, be spontaneous and have love for yourselves.

Yup, love yourself.  It starts from there.  And that is what I saw in all of these singers.  Like taking care of their voices, that's love.  Love yourself, love the people around you and if you haven't found God yet, you will eventually.

There's one quote from Sierra Boggess that stuck to me is this "You are enough.  You are so enough, it's unbelievable how enough you are."

Friday, August 15, 2014

Being Sahaj - Going back to basics

Before Sahaj, what I wear doesn't really matter.  I didn't really care about the materials as long as they are comfortable.

After Sahaj, found that cotton is the most comfortable.  Sometimes silk and wool too, though natural is a little too hot for our country, so we seldom wear them.  But still preferred them over polyester, definitely.  Rayon is not bad too, airy but not as great as cotton.  Rayon is actually a manufactured fiber, but with plants, unlike polyester, which is completely plastic.  Linen is also natural.

So what's natural and what's not?

Natural - cotton, silk, linen, wool, rayon
Unnatural - polyester, tetron, nylon

Satin is questionable as it used to be made with silk.  But because it's so expensive, nowadays people made polyester satin.  So, it depends.

I didn't realised how much these materials that we wear everyday affects our lives until after self-realisation.  If I wear natural materials, the vibrations emits easier compared to unnatural.  And nowadays, if I wear anything unnatural, it itches.

The thing is, in Malaysia, it's not easy to find cotton clothes.  Most of the work clothes are polyester mixed, which means polyester with cotton.  Still not as great as cotton.  And I guess, the biggest thing is the demand here for cotton is low, probably that's why it's so difficult to find cotton.

Why?  OK, this is just my feelings about it.  Not completely sure the reasons.  Malay women wears the traditional baju kurung, which is long and non-body hugging dress that has long sleeves and long skirts.

It's a very feminine dress and I love it very much as it covers all the chakras.  Those who wear this everyday, finds it very difficult to iron if it is cotton.  Cotton crumbles very easily and not easily to iron compared to polyesters, which don't require any ironing at all.  Besides, you can't be adventurous with the design with cotton material.  And cotton ones are usually those that you wear at home, but to be dressy, it has to be bling bling polyester. They love the shiny material and some said it's not as hot when wearing compared to cotton.  Another lady told me that colour of cotton clothes get faded very fast especially in our hot sun.  Polyester last longer.  

But then, there's the smell.  Hot weather, plastic clothes, sweat, smell.  You know the combination.  So, the alternative is to cover up with lots of perfume.  True story.

But now, more and more people recognise cotton and hopefully we will have more cotton clothes in Malaysia.  This is one reason I love India.  It's just so easy to get cotton clothes.

Some people find cotton materials very tedious to wash as the colour runs, compared to plastic printed materials.  

Especially with food, I feel we are back to basics.  People are tired with processed food, GMO food, non-organic food.  

This is something I don't really understand, but probably due to greed.  Why do people want to create harmful food to hurt another human being including themselves?  But then again, people are now fighting everywhere, for territory, for power, for everything and killing one another.  But to make profit by hurting another human being, something that is beyond me.

People are dying with cancer for eating all these chemical food.  

Nowadays, whenever I go grocery shopping, I will usually look at the ingredients in the processed food.  Lately, I have ventured into making my own yogurt.  In order to start, I need to buy a yogurt culture, so I usually go for those that I used to buy.  

Then found that instead of live bacteria as what was claimed, it is not!  The yogurt that I made can't be successful because all the bacteria were dead.  Although it doesn't really harm us for eating dead bacteria (or maybe I am wrong), it doesn't give any nutrients to our body either (or maybe I am wrong too about this).

Anyway, look at the bread you buy from stores.  Did you know, some of them uses margarine instead of butter?  That's artificial butter!   

How about the breakfast cereals?  If you stare at the ingredients long enough, you will be surprised!  Not only that there are many words you don't know is in your food, some claimed supposedly healthy are filled with artificial ingredients, not to mention the ridiculous amount of sugar.

And low fat products are not that great either.  

While I truly enjoy living in this modern society, there are some things I prefer to go back to basics.  Sometimes I truly wondered, if we are so afraid to give these things to our children, why would we eat them ourselves?

With my little nephew, we gave him all cotton clothes only.  The best part is cotton clothes can be found the most amongst children's clothings.  It's easier for his skin and he sleeps better.  The only plastic thing he wears is diaper.  If for me, I would prefer the cotton napkin instead of these plastic wraps.  But then again, washing can be painful.

In terms of food, we gave him organic food only and he doesn't get to eat junks.  Babies can't take anything low fat, so everything he eats are full fat, like milk.  Some people would argue that nowadays the formula milk aren't that great either, which I have to agree.  That's why breastfeeding is the best.  Or take cow's milk, the original ones, not the processed ones.  But that's not easy to buy also because it has to be pasteurized, etc or else it's not safe for drinking?  Also, babies can't eat lots of sugar or salt.  So their food is slightly on the bland side.

That's one reason why I embraced the Indian lifestyle.  Clothes are cotton, food are natural.  Every Indian dish is made from scratch, with lots of spices and whole food.  No processed.  They hardly use any sauces either, which is processed, unlike Chinese.

So, if you find yourself like me, confused about what is good and what's not, see how you treat a baby.  If it is safe for baby, it's safe for you.  And with natural products, whether food or clothes, vibrations emits better.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A non-Sahaj post: Dedicating these songs to you

So, you introduced musicals into my life and that's how I fell in love with musicals though I didn't really get a chance to watch one yet.  I still have the lyric book of The Phantom of the Opera, hand-written by you in full-scrap paper and bound with a red ribbon.  Yup, still have it with me.  I still have the cassette tape where you recorded all the songs from The Phantom of the Opera.  That was when I learned about Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford.  But now that we are in the era of mp3 and CD, the cassette tape is now obsolete.

Then slowly, I got to know more about Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Sunset Boulevard, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Did I tell you what were my favourite songs?  I was just listening to it on iTunes again and boy, brings back loads of memories.

You know what, I have to stop this obsession soon.  Because I have become left-sided listening to them although what I really cherished in these songs are the melodies rather than the memories.  Plus my attention is on these songs and you have got to admit, these songs are depressing and so are some of the musicals.  Most of them are just tragic.

So, here's a list of my favourite songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber:

All songs from The Phantom of the Opera
Any Dream Will Do - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Memories - Cats
Amigos Para Siempre
Pie Jesu
As If We Never Said Goodbye

And later I discovered these beautiful songs:
Sun and Moon - Miss Saigon
Last Night of the World - Miss Saigon
I Dreamed a Dream - Les Miserables
One Day More - Les Miserables
Bring Him Home - Les Miserables
On My Own - Les Miserables

Did you know that Andrew Lloyd Webber created a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera called Love Never Dies?  I watched the whole thing on YouTube and it wasn't that impressive.  Well, this musical wasn't as successful as the former and the reasons were pretty clear.  For me, it's because they killed Christine.  And it's more the tragic than the first.  Well, why kill the main character?  Why can't they live happily ever after?

But, the songs in it are amazing!!!!  I am dedicating 2 of my favourites.  Till I Hear You Sing Again by Ramin Karimloo and Love Never Dies by Sierra Boggess.  These 2 person played the Phantom and Christine and boy, do they have chemistry.  The best couple as Phantom and Christine that I have seen.

Now I don't need to go to an actual theater to watch a musical because everything is so accessible on YouTube.

Why am I writing all these and telling you?  Because I can't find another person who is as passionate about musical as you.  They can't understand why I am in love with these songs and the melodies.  They can't understand the musical intricacies in it and why I love them because these performers are truly good musicians.  The a cappela, the harmonies, sopranos, tenor, alto, bass, etc.  No one understand them more than you with me.

I guess they can't share the same love for music with me that I had with you.  Anyway, as much as I love these numbers, I have to tell you, now I have a new love.  I am playing the harmonium now and I sing in the collective with the bhajan group.  And now we sing Hindi, Tamil, Sanskrit and Marathi songs.  We do live performance every Saturday at the collective with tabla and harmonium.  Though we are not all musically inclined, but the vibrations that the songs emits are so much more beautiful than any of the songs I mentioned above.  We have performed in several public places, live.  Just like how you wanted to do last time.

I have to say, it's because of you that I am in Sahaja Yoga.  And the love of music that you planted in me, I have let that continue.  But I didn't become a singer nor a musician.  I am just an accountant with love for music.

Of course, only you will understand how deep this music is in us and how much we love them.  One day, I must go and watch The Phantom of the Opera live and hopefully played by Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess.  They just had the 25th Anniversary like in 2011?  And that was recorded live and I just managed to watch all of it on YouTube, painfully and yet so grateful.  So I guess I have to wait until 2016 when they have the 30th Anniversary to watch it?

Till then!


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