Do you really want to know the truth?

For many years, I termed myself as a truth seeker and Buddhism has been the foundation of where I learned most of my life principles from. However, the more I knew, the more painful my life was. A simple teaching that says, “True seekers never see mistakes in others” – in chinese 若真修道人,不见他人过 was the killer. I knew in my mind that I was not supposed to see mistakes in other, but, I saw that in everyone that is around me and I couldn’t stop myself from judging them pettily in my mind, which made me even more mad with myself. How could I still judge and see mistakes in others after being a Buddhist for so long!!! I couldn’t find a way out of my misery.

And when I found The Work, I really saw how it was helping me to live the principles – not by mind control or denial or by force. It was through answering the 4 questions and slowly, gently, come to see that I am a human being. It’s through the mirror on the outside that I come to know my very own self. It takes a lot of courage and willingness to be vulnerable as the ego starts to loosen and not be the center of my life.

So, what does it take to have truth as the foundation of your life? I remembered those days when I already have The Work in my life, I would go to my friends and ask them, “if you can say anything about me without worrying about me getting upset, angry or unfriend you, what would that be, what would you say?” I would really listen as they said what they said, and really go inside and feel if there is any uneasy feelings around what I hear. I wanted to allow people to share what is true for them, I wanted to hear their truth, not what I want to hear. I became so courageous because I knew what to do if I notice any hurt feelings, feeling of wanting to run away, feeling of being victimised, feeling of being misunderstood, feeling of separation.

Through The Work and many worksheets that I did, I come to realized for myself that it is never what a person says that hurts me, it is what I think he says that is hurting me. Instead of taking it personally, trying to hide or suppress my feelings, and cut the person out from my life, I question what I think he/she is saying. People no longer have to hide or careful with words around me, they get to be themselves. And I never have to do that to myself and others either. Relationship becomes very simple, authentic and open.

So, if you feel it is very scary to hear the truth about what someone thinks about you, question your thinking. That’s all it takes. It’s a fun ride and there is so much freedom on the other side of the ride.

When Someone Criticize Us

Girl holding note
When Someone Criticize Us:

Before doing The Work, we become sad, hurt, feel being wronged, feel like a victim, we get personal, and we ask, “how could they do this to me… ” ;(

When we start doing The Work, we feel like we are walking on and through burning fire, we find ourselves still in one piece after that. We start to experience what it means by the outside world is our projection. We become more courageous. We are more willing to die in our egoic self. :I

After doing The Work for a while, we become very excited when we hear it, we ask for more, we take in the criticism like a newly discovered child that we never knew we have. We are so grateful for the gift of that missing piece that is given by them.

True Spirituality

I once went shopping with a dear friend in Beijing some time back and she pointed a store to me and told me that they sell spiritual clothing. “What do you mean”, I was really puzzled. “This is where spiritual people buy their clothes from” she explained. I went in and saw that they were mostly linen, loose comfy clothing. I then matched those clothing in my mind with the people that I saw in workshops and classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and realized that those people did wear similar kind of clothing. 😉

How interesting to actually notice this, I thought. Hmmm… how many people actually start dressing like that in order to feel belong to this group, to project the image that they are also spiritual…

If you ask me what it means to be spiritual, if a person is spiritual, I think my only perception would be that he/she is very human, humble, much in touch with the fact that he/she is only human and stands on the same ground with every one else. That’s as far as I can go with spirituality.

After all the far out game one plays, he/she has to come back to reality, to open his/her eyes to seeing the extra ordinary within the mundane ordinary day-to-day life. That is true spirituality! hahaha….

Peace in the Moment

windowAs I look out of my window, I feel a sense of gratitude for life itself.
The mind looks and wants to find if something happens that is the cause of this feeling. Did someone say something, did I see something…

The answer is: I don’t know, nothing unusual… the sun always comes into the room in the morning and the breeze too. What is different this time is, I get to sit myself down beside my bed and take a moment to feel the sense of peace and joy that is always available in each moment.

I notice that no stressful thoughts come up to oppose this moment… not yet…. not yet……
And I am always open to seeing them for I now know what to do with these honorable guests. 😉

Lesson at Gambling Table

gambleWas 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.

This Too Will Pass

stormsI 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.

Does The Truth Really Set You Free? Pt. 1

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 lied”
“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.

Overflowing and Half Cup

cupThere 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.

Inquiry on Being Ignored

ignoreA 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.

Teleclass: Investigating The Things You Want In Your Life starting 12th Aug, 2013 PST

6 Mondays
12, 19, 26 August, 2, 9, 16 September 2013
6–7:30 p.m. PDT

During this six-week teleclass, we investigate things that we think we want in our lives. Each week we dive deeper into understanding these wants by inquiring into all aspects of our wants and find out the truth about them. A class forum will be set up for posting homework and sharing of insights throughout the class.

Week 1: What do I want? How would I know when I have what I want?
Week 2: Where did I learn it from?
Week 3: What would I gain if I have what I want?
Week 4: What would I lose if I don’t have what I want?
Week 5: What do I have to do to get that from you?
Week 6: Live the turnaround

Class size is limited to eight participants only.

To register, please send and email to Sue Lee at sklee123@gmail.com. Full payment upon registration.

View the event on The Work website.