Was in Singapore Sands Casino a few days ago. That’s our to-go place every time we are down in Singapore. Casino is a wonderful place to notice and hear the mind because money is one thing that most of us have strong identity and attachment to and being in a casino can easily bring up our issues around money.
For me, I love the game of gambling. I grow up in a family that gambles every Chinese New Year. Starting at the age of 6-7, we would all gather around and placed our 3 cards bets on the living room floor with my brother being the banker. It’s always feels like a way to connect with all my cousins and friends.
Even till now, every weekend when my dad and all the uncles gather around, they play mahjong or gin rammy. They don’t play for the money but for the fun of gather together and for love of the game.
Sometimes when I watch people play, my mind thinks it can find a pattern around how the game is being played and it wants to come up with a formula to beat the system. And I always end up with lots of humility coming to see that no one has it down. No one can absolutely know what comes up in the “big/small” roll of dice table. “See, it was big for the last 4 rounds, this time it has to change to small.” And then it was another round of big, or a change to small. The best thing is, the mind would give reasons and try to make sense of why it was big/small. It would do that over and over again until it finally realizes it for itself that it just can’t know for sure.
And if we are not so stuck on whether we are losing or winning, we will at least get to enjoy the game while engaging our bets in them.
And if we take this lessons at the gambling table into our lives, we get to enjoy the game of life without attaching to our loss and gain, after all, they are all games.
I love the wisdom of what this phase “this too will pass” brings me.
I remembered when I was first presented with this phase, I cried so hard. I cried to the death of my dream of being “enlightened”. I was wanting to achieve a peak state in my mind and hope that it would be forever.
The same phase also brought me great comfort when I was in physical pain. This too will pass – it is going to get better, that is how the mind interprets it.
Regardless of the peak or the valley in life, this phase reminds me to be conscious of the working of the nature, Tao. And slowly, gratitude arise from knowing that the state I am in is constantly going off forever, and every moment is complete in itself.
Thank you pain for sharing your life with me in different moments in my life.
Thank you success and happiness for sharing your life with me in different moments in my life.
The sweetness is what remains constant in this experiencing of the valleys and the peaks in life.
A friend talked about not wanting to know the truth, how the truth can do harm than good. As he said that, my mind couldn’t grasp what he meant. I said, “I thought the truth is love and it is the misunderstanding that cause harm”. He frowned as I said that.
As I looked back in my experience, I thought about how is it possible that the truth can do harm than good. I found a really good example.
A married man has an affair and to him, if the wife knows about the truth of him having an affair, she will be devastated and this is how the truth of what he is doing hurts her. It does seems true that truth hurts and harms, if we stay at this level of the truth.
If we take it another level of truth “it is never about what a person does that hurts you, it is what you think he/she is doing that hurts.” So, in the same scenario, a married man has an affair, the wife is hurt by what he does because she attaches many stories to his action.
“He promised me that he will love me forever”
“I have sacrificed so much for him”
“He is ungrateful”
“I am not worthy of love”
And to our minds, the above are all legitimate reasons to stay justified with our hurts. Until we take each statement to inquiry, we will remain hurt with our justification in our minds.
Does the truth really set you free?
In my experience, not the truth that the world gives you but the truth that you find at the end of your inquiry into what you think hurts you.
There was a poem that was shared by a friend that I took it to my heart for many years.
In the poem, the poet referred us human as cups. It talked about how important it was to fill up our cups, to be an overflowing cup instead of a half cup.
“An overflowing cup need not do anything, it is full of abundance and it can’t help but to share freely the water overflowing its rim.
A half cup has to tilt over to share its water, and often it tumbles over and break.”
It just came to me today that I have been working on giving myself what I want to give to others. What I realized long ago was, I wasn’t able to give honestly, I gave with the motive of having you like me, thank me, so that I can feel good about myself.
Since doing The Work, I give myself what I want to give others. Totally selfish! And after doing that for many years, i think my cup is starting to be full and coming to overflowing.
I now feel absolutely ecstatic when I give or help someone. I no longer have have to wait for the response or return. I feel great when it was never found out. It is so effortless, it feels like I am doing it for me, I so love myself. That’s how I could describe it.
And I love that it is always for me. I am the projector.
A dear friend told me that she is aware of a deep fear of being ignored. She had a conversation with her boyfriend and towards the end of the conversation she noticed that she was ignored AGAIN.
“What can I do? I just couldn’t stand being ignored. It’s just too painful!” she said.
As we look deeper, we found out that throughout the 7-minute phone conversation, they were both laughing and were having great exchange. And it didn’t come to her to feel being ignored until the minute when he had to hang up the phone.
So, what happen to the 6 minutes when you were not ignored, when you were having a good time with him? Isn’t it strange that you were waiting to indict him, to live out your belief that “you will always be ignored”.
Maybe we can see what is truer?
“He did not ignore me”
Yes, he didn’t ignore me. He was giving me his full attention for the 6 minutes.
“I ignore him”
When he said he wanted to hang up, I was angry with him and ignored him totally.
“I ignore me”
I wasn’t taking good care of myself. I wanted him to do that for me.
Life can be a lot simpler when we take time to inquire the truth.