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!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: Birthday at Gold Coast Morib Water Theme Park Resort

This year, I had a quiet birthday, just me and hubby.  Since this year's birthday is also Hari Raya or Eid Mubarak, we get 2 days public holiday.  Altogether it's a 4-day weekend so we thought why not go somewhere, just the 2 of us.

Found that Gold Coast Morib Water Theme Park Resort actually offers a Birthday promotion.  For RM268 (inclusive of taxes), you will get 1 night stay at the Studio Suite which comes with a jacuzzi, 2 dinner vouchers, 2 breakfast vouchers, 2 entrance tickets to the Water Theme Park, a birthday cake, a gift and a certificate of participation.  Since we were both on an adventurous mood but not willing to travel too far (because I am too lazy to drive) and it's my birthday after all, we immediately took up this offer and booked online.

Then read the reviews online and found there were more negatives compare to positives.  Initially I was regretting this choice, then thought since I have already paid, just let it be.

The journey from PJ to Morib is only slightly over 1 hour.  Waze took us to lots of shortcuts through kampung (village) roads and the scenery was very green and traditional, something different from city life.  And to travel into these places on the first day of Hari Raya and watch the Muslim families celebrate in colours and style, really priceless.  That day was particularly hazy and the smell was less desirable.

Upon arrival, first thing we found that the car park inside the resort was full, so we have to park outside.  My first encounter of unpleasantness came when I found an empty parking slot outside and parked.  Another car came and hinted he wants to park next to mine but I took up lots of space.  I saw and agreed and was going to re-park, but he was so impatient and just squeeze his car though that tight spot without waiting and just walked off without saying anything.  

The night before our trip, I was upset about something which was caused my ego and probably the full-moon night did not help me very much.  So, the next day when I was calmed, I told myself I am going to make this trip a great trip, i.e less expectations, lesser disappointments.  Just enjoy and be grateful for this time together.

So first thing I saw was there were not 1 but many unhappy customers.  The check-out queue was so long although these people were just waiting to leave.  The check-in queue was shorter, but one customer just cut my queue and pretended she didn't see me.  I was fine with that.  I was going to have a happy trip, so why be angry and unhappy right from the start.  Instead, she was complaining to her husband, if she knew it is so crowded, she would not have come.  And that is before checking-in.

While queuing, I overheard a man venting his anger at one of the staff.  I can't hear very well what the complaint was about, but basically he was very fed-up of waiting.  Then found out that over the weekend (it was peak period after all), all the rooms were so fully-booked and many customers took their own sweet time to check-out, although the check-out time was 12pm.  So, those waiting to check-in have to wait for their room to be clean and it was a long wait.  Some of the customers came from far and have driven for few hours and to arrive and said rooms were not available.  Hence the disappointment.  By the way, check-in is at 3pm.

All the staff were Malays and Indians, hardly any Chinese.  And they were all dressed in Malay traditional clothes for Hari Raya.  Meanwhile, about 99% of the customers were Chinese.  My first thought was, how wonderful these Malay staff are.  They are sacrificing their Hari Raya to work and to serve the customers.  And how ungrateful these Chinese customers are, to be demanding and feel entitled just because they have paid for the services.  What happened to being considerate?  

After checking into our room, we found that the floor was yet to be clean.  The cleaners were still around and busy mopping and sweeping.  So I called one of them in and they did a great job.  Very detailed.  

Surveying the room, we found that the kettle was faulty with one part of the plug broken and still on the switch, burnt.  Then when trying to open the wardrobe, the door with the mirror almost fell on me as it was dislodged from the slot.  Hubby have to carefully lay it down and lean against the wall.  Further checking found that the safe was faulty too.

Hubby told me to lodge a complaint.  But why make a fuss with these little things when we don't even use them?  But later I did went to the counter to inform them what was faulty, not to get it fixed, just for their information.

So that was the bad part of our room.  But here's the good part.  This scenery greeted us when we drew the curtains.

It was the Water Theme Park.  Looks very inviting and we said we will go the next morning.  From our room on the 6th floor, we can hear the children screaming in glee and shouting their friend's name.  Looks like lots of fun!!!

And this was the bathroom with the jacuzzi.

I kinda like the design, open concept of the toilet.  It has a wooden window that you can open up and watch TV from the jacuzzi.  

We were told that dinner starts at 6pm while breakfast begins at 7am.  And we were also told to go early because there are many people and not enough place to sit and that the food were not top-up.

 At the entrance of the theme park, we saw a family there very unhappy and complaining.  Overheard that the entrance tickets already expired as they already checked-out but the kids didn't have a chance to play because of some waiting and so lots of time were wasted.  Anyhow, the hotel staff said will refund to them something, I don't know what.  Just so many angry people around.

So, after checking in and before dinner, we decided to go take a walk on the beach.  We didn't take any photos because it was not very clean.  The sand was very nice to walk on, but the beach was dirty.  No one bath in the sea.  

So we just did a quick footsoak and then we thought of driving my car back into the hotel so it is nearer.  However, we found there was still no parking available and as we walked near the guard house, we saw a group of guards (all Indians) were very angry.  Later, I approached one of the guard inside the guard house and asked whether I can park inside.  He told me to re-park at 7pm after everyone has left and gone for dinner and said that now the parking is so full that one customer was so angry when the guards didn't let him in and he parked right at the entrance to the hotel, walked off and blocked everyone else's entrance.  Sigh, why is everyone so angry?  What a drama it was.

Found that the parking was so full because the Water Theme Park is not only for hotel guests but also for outsiders.  When the theme park closes at 7pm, then that's when we get more parking spaces

We went in and waited for 6pm for our buffet dinner.  And here, I received my certificate of participation, a gift and a cake.

The staff was very polite and wished me Happy Birthday few times.

Dinner was a spread of Hari Raya goodies, i.e ketupat, lemang, rendang, etc, etc.  I wouldn't say the taste was the best ever, but it was good.  Satisfied and full.

Went back to the room and thought of our next plan of action.  Decided to try foot reflexology on the 10th floor.

It is RM36 for 1 hour session and the masseurs were all PRC from China.  And I must say, they have very good and strong hands.  The session was slightly painful but yet so relaxing.

We had initially wanted to do the Shri Adi Bhoomi Devi puja on the beach, i.e planting 3 coconuts and do short puja to clear the negativities.  This method was taught to us by a Chinese yogi who had tried it in China with very positive results.  But hubby has forgotten some of the steps and we have forgotten to prepare some of the things.  So we can't proceed.  Instead, we sprinkled vibrated rice with turmeric and kumkum along the beach.

After that, the pub / bar place called The Pier which was on stilts on the sea, was opened and there were some entertainment going on, singing, song dedication and all.  If there was no alcohol sold, we would have sat there and enjoyed the sea breeze.  But felt it was too heavy and decided to just go up to our room.

Then it was jacuzzi time.  More relaxation.  Initially, we thought we can just go to bed without another footsoak (since we already did at the sea earlier before dinner), but after the reflexology, felt the vibes were stuck and not able to clear.  So did another footsoak before bed (yes, we brought our own footsoak buckets and salt).  Felt so much better after that.

We read reviews online that there was some kind of smell at night.  True enough, even with our windows all tightly shut, the smell seeps into our room.  On top of the hazy, smoky smell, this smell was familiar and yet pungent.  It was the smell from a nearby oil palm factory.  Years ago, I visited one and boy the smell was so bad.

We woke up early because we heard that breakfast starts at 7am and it is usually packed!  And sure enough, we went down at 7.15am and it was already full!!!  Breakfast was a wide spread.  There was pancake, cereals, salads, nasi dagang, porridge, noodles and dim sum.  Good food.

Then we went to the beach for a short footsoak again and the haze has lessen.  

At 8am, the door to the Water Theme Park opens and we were the first.

It is not a big park and not many rides.  But good enough for us.  We spent 2 hours there, just slides after slides.  Back-to-childhood days ~ Sweet!

Then after that, bath, rest, check-out and that's it!  A fun-filled and relaxing birthday.

Overall here's what I feel:

Pros: Theme park was fun.  Sea is near.  Food was good.  Jacuzzi was relaxing.  Foot reflexology was great.

Cons: Some of the stuff in the room not working.  Pungent smell at night.  Beach is slightly dirty.  

I feel the hotel staffs are doing their best to cope with the lack of staff (probably gone for Hari Raya holidays) and the overflow of customers due to peak period.  The hotel rooms do have some faulty stuff and need maintenance and replacements.  Our rooms didn't have any towels and when I asked the staff who was distributing them whether we can have the towels, he told us to inform the reception.  However, it was already time for us to check-out, so we just forget it.  Phone in the rooms aren't working because some construction still going on.  The pungent night smell is unavoidable.  

And I do feel, if you do want a pleasant stay, first make it one for yourself and others.  Like don't get angry over little things.  The wait is long, but you can go to the beach to relax while waiting.  Don't start your holiday feeling angry and disgruntled.  Why spoil it?

Yes, we feel entitled because we paid.  But we have to understand also.  There are way too many people and lots of screaming kids and tired adults.  Be considerate.  Doesn't mean we have money means we can flaunt it and show off.

I won't say this was a bad stay.  In fact, I learned so much about myself through watching these people.  If you are nice to others, they are nice to you too.  But if you are angry to others, you will feel the anger throughout and spread your anger to others too.  Here's a nice quote from Eckhart Tolle:

"People tend to dwell more on negative things than on good things. So the mind then becomes obsessed with negative things, with judgments, guilt and anxiety produced by thoughts about the future and so on."
This birthday was not like last year, so grand and filled with activities.  This year was quiet and time well-spent and lots of introspection.  Felt close to Divine throughout and lots of vibrations.  A joyful birthday indeed.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Anger Management

Q.: When we get angry, is our anger just our tendency to react like that?
SHRI MATAJI: You see, if you get angry within yourself, and if you are sure that you are not doing anything wrong, for a Sahaja Yogi there is no need to say “outside you are angry.” There’s no need.  That anger itself is a power. And you should do your bandhan and anything that you want to do. But you should not show that you’re angry. You should be absolutely silent, because you can be, you are in the axis; you are not on the periphery. Actually the anger is just to see your anger, and use that anger for that purpose.  And once you start doing that, thatanger will itself work out. That anger will itself work out the person. And you’ll be amazed, how it … But you must learn to see your anger that is working. All these things are important. You have seen that sometimes only shouting at the bhoots they go away, and many mad people have been cured like that. But you don’t do all that, that’s for Me. You must be always decent, with decorum and all that.
But if the anger is because of your nature or a tendency or out of control, then it’s a bad thing. If it is an out of control, then it’s a bad thing. If you get into a temper because it is out of control, then it’s a bad thing.  I can get very angry but I am completely under control. I know why I am angry, where the bhoot is, how he’s running away, I can see that. But you can’t see the bhoot, you can’t see anything. So there is no need for you to get angry, show temper.
But if you have an anger, say for example which makes you uncontrollable, then there is a mantra for that: Shanti. “Ya Devi sarva bhuteshu, Shanti rupena samsthita.” You must ask for that bliss, for that peace.  This is a mantra for you.  For controlling your temper, you have to tell yourself, “Ya Devi sarva bhuteshu, Shanti rupena samsthita.” So Shanti is the point, the axis point is that from where you witness everything. You are in Shanti, you are in complete [peace]. You are not in a turmoil, even if you are angry. You are not in a turmoil. Whatever is angry is the power, and the power is taking charge. But unless and until that is achieved, what you have to do is to put yourself in a position that you are peaceful. So I think that’s a very good mantra is to say, “Ya Devi sarva bhuteshu, Shanti rupena samsthita.” Can you say that?
(The audience recites the mantra)
So the Shanti is your fort. But peacefulness never means cowardice. Never call cowardice as peace. A person who is peaceful is never coward, because nothing can transgress it, nothing can overpower it. It is never, never possible that cowardice and peace can go together. But your power is inside, not outside. So you don’t show your power of your anger outside. But just a little anger with anybody, you will see it will work out. But first establish that position within you where you are the axis, where you do not allow anger to sit on your head. That is the growth. That’s the growth – that you are at peace.
Also, another question? All right? Satisfied now? Both ways you should know – that one is the anger that is detached, is perfectly all right. Anger which involves you, work it out. So judge yourself, as to what it is.

Taken from The Importance of Dedication and Devotion. Nirmala Palace, Nightingale Lane Ashram, London (UK) – 6 August 1982.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Some of my favourite blog posts

I don't think I have the flair to be a writer, seriously.  But there were times when the vibes were good and I can really write a good post.

Here are some of my favourites:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pandan Butter Milk Pau

I have so much of leftover pau flour after the previous experimentation on making paus.  So, decided to venture on a weekend project to make pandan flavoured pau.  After much thought on the pau fillings, decided to make butter milk filling instead.  And you know what, coconut oil goes very well with pandan flavour and smell and extremely delicious with butter milk filling.  No, not kidding.

I got the pau skin recipe from here, Cooking Pleasure by Kimmy.  And I got the fillings recipe from here, Shoonyin Home Cooking.  

I replaced shortening with coconut oil instead and the taste went really well with the pandan smell and taste.   I wanted to try out healthy cooking instead, since shortening is not that great.  The only mistake I made was I've forgotten that I used salted butter, so the pau skin already got salt and with the salted butter in the fillings, in the end the whole pau was quite salty.

My husband did most of the hard work, i.e kneading and rolling.  All I did was measuring the ingredients and assemble everything.

However, the pau skin didn't turn out as soft as it should be and the wrapping of the pau is not as pretty as it should be.  You can't see it in the photos, because it is underneath.  I think when my husband sealed it, he made it pretty thick.  So when you eat it, it feels rubbery and thick.  

Maybe because I used coconut oil instead of shortening.  Maybe also because I didn't prove the dough enough.  Or maybe because I didn't use the Double Action Baking Powder.  Next time I will try Wendy's pau recipe instead.  

But the filling was just nice and yummy.  It is not the wet type with the juice oozing out.  This is the dry, crumble version.  And it is quite easy to make.  However, I do prefer the oozing type.

I didn't know I can actually make this, so I was pretty pleased at the success of this despite the minor flaws.

And I am pretty excited to try out the new recipe soon.  Oh, out of pau flour now.  And oh, now is not a good time to go to baking shops because of the Raya season and so many people are making cakes and cookies and biscuits for sale.  These shops are so over-crowded.


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