Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fighting for Dear Life - The Untold Story of Terri Schiavo

This story is engrossing, touching and absolutely heart breaking. The reader is about to be taken to the incredible ride of this insurmountable mountain moving acts over life and death helping Terri to stay alive. The saddest is that in the end Terri Schiavo was removed of her feeding tube on March 18, 2005 by the order of Florida Court despite the frenzied and exhausted efforts of her attorney, she was left starving and dehydrating to death, and died twelve days later as we all have remembered.

David Gibbs, her attorney took us into the midst of ugly and unforgiving legal battle, the outcome of it could potentially affect all of us when we will someday approach vulnerable advancing age. A book that once you get started, you will not want to put down until you finish reading it. The author, David Gibbs not only compassionately defended Terri's life every step of the way, he also painstakingly give us thorough analysis of this court decision from legal standpoint, and also from the viewpoint and framework of social, medical and moral implication.

The most beneficial part of the book for the readers is the section giving readers some
suggestions of how to protect ourselves in time of crisis. Giving the complexity of modern living, these advice are quite educational and absolutely priceless.

The issue of a person's worth living or not because of medical diagnosis of becoming "PVS" (Persistent Vegetative State) is controversial to say the least. I firmly believe that even if a person is temporary in PVS state, it does not mean a person is completely without consciousness. They hear and they understand, it just that they can not cognitively express or control their motor function, therefore for the naked eye, it seems they are unresponsive. We should not judge a person's state of being purely based on our observation through five physical senses.

Human or any living thing are like tip of an iceberg, we don't truly know a person's state of being solely by their outward expression. We are more than meets the eye. You will see in the book, the author has compiled many miraculous living proof cases throughout the US. to demonstrate that human brain is remarkably resilient, it is far beyond present day scientific or medical community's comprehension.

Anyone who is interested in an insightful good read, will find this book profoundly challenging of our belief system to the core. A woman was starved and dehydrated to death at the hand of our own justice system only because she was disabled! Can you believe this actually happened in the United States of America where the nation's founding principle of beliefs are liberty and justice for all? !

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

For One More Day - Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom, the author of " The Five People You Meet in Heaven" just published another new book " For One More Day". A good companion for living.

A tiny little book that you can finish reading it in just a few hours. The story was sad and yet familiar. It was a portrait of our worldly existence, the dramas that convey the feeling of love, triumph, happiness, humiliation, disappointment and betrayal. Isn't this what life all about? This is the story of millions. I bet no one that read the book will not have agreed with the author and said "yes, we have been there, but in a different scenarios".

Sometimes I doubt what the Metaphysicist would have hypothesized about the love of almighty God. They also claimed that we are perfect and we are immortal in a different dimension. I will from time to time buy into this wholesale spirituality. But then again, the world does not function from those assumptions. What I don't understand is that, if we are already perfect and immortal, why bother coming down to earth and go through these endless merry-go-round experiences? Why ego need to learn to be perfect? Ego belongs to us living on earth, and can not be perfect. It is obvious that everyone of us has our unique perspective of life, and it can not be any other way.

In the story of "For One More Day", it was only after he committed suicide, and waited for God's verdict of his living or dying that he was revealed the truth of little secrets in his family. The secrets would eventually set him free from all the years' agony and pain. He was shown the truth only when he was on the verge of transition to the other side. It was a life review and truth revelation process encountered by many in their so called (NDE) near death experience.

I hope we don't have to die to know the secret. I hope we discover and realize the truth every day. It is a wonderful book.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Like attract Like!

I am very excited to take on reading C. G. Jung's autobiography again. I must have devoured the book quickly without deep contemplation a year ago that I don't remember what I had read. It is as if this is the first time I read it. While Carl Jung recollected his childhood memories, I found my mind drifting off to my own distant past.

About twenty years ago, I worked in a small company at Temple City. There was a lady sat next to me, her name is Terry Miller. She had the kind of attitude that was arrogant and irritable. I sensed that most of the colleague there were quite tolerate of her. I felt uneasy working with this person. To be honest, she frightened me sometimes. Two months after I worked at this company, I had a strange happening that was unsettling.

One morning I took my son to kindergarten. At the time, I had Ford Tempo, a not too reliable car, but again I was not a very reliable person either. My left rear view mirror was missing, I meant to fix it a while ago, but just never got around to it. I was in a hurry and I could not see very well the distance between the cars in the left lane and it's relationship to my car because of the missing mirror, I took a big risk switching my car to the left lane. As soon as I did that, I heard a terrible engine squeaking sound and a loud crashing impact of my car with a big truck. I was terrified. We both stopped our car in the middle of the street.

A woman with short hair and looked like Terry Miller furiously got out of the truck, started pointing, cursing at me with all the four letter words that she could muster. I was completely numb and terrorized. She called and soon her uncle arrived. She was crying and cursing all over again. Finally policeman showed up. We exchanged the name and insurance company info, and to my horror, her name I found out was Terry Miller, exactly the same name as the person at my work. How could it possible that a woman looked like Terry Miller will have exactly the same name, same rotten attitude, crashing my car in this miserable morning? This was very mysterious indeed!

Years later, I will realize that there is a universal law of like attract like. Whatever we thought of constantly, manifest. I must have been worried and fearful of my work environment often for this to happen. When I was back to my office, I never mentioned that instance to her even after we had warmed up to a better relationship.

I guess it does not pay to be negative in any situation, and I should have fixed that rear view mirror long before the incident. Perhaps there would not have been an accident if I had mindfully done that. It all boils down to being responsible for what one has to do in daily living.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Medicine Buddha Dharma Service

Hsi-Lai Temple, Hacienda Heights, CA

This morning I attended year 2006 Medicine Buddha Dharma Service in Hsi-Lai Temple. This was a historical event for me. I had set foot to this Temple every once in a long while when I had some favors to ask from the Gods. I heard the Sutra Chanting every time I visited, but I always brushed it aside as a very superstitious ritual. Something that is kind of beneath me, of course not in an arrogant sense.

Last week, I had consulted the priest in the Temple regarding the possible arrangement of Buddhist Monk's chant in the event of my father's transition. She recommended me to come this weekend to join the service. I promised I will do that for my father, but I was really just want to donate some money and to exchange for the Buddha's chanting and blessing service. I never intended to stay longer than half an hour given the fact that weekends are my favorite days off and I did not want to waste in trivial activities.

As I continue to read "The Seven Storey Mountain" knowing that prayer and chanting are a major part of monastic life, and how Thomas Merton always gained a great sense of communion in a choir, I decided to attend the service from beginning to the end all together about three hours. I was also partly influenced by my sister when she last visited a few months ago. She shared with us her chanting experience.

I was not familiar with the procedure, but there were nuns going about giving us a pointer or two. The translated Sanskrit words were quite odd and difficult to pronounce, so I more or less focused on the soothing chant that filled the air in the Temple. For some unknown reason, I wept and was completely overtaken by the immense power of the chant. For several minutes, I could not stop shedding my tears. I felt as if I was pouring out my life long sorrow in that instant. Eventually, I got hold of myself and started to follow the chanting and prostrated myself humbly to the beautiful smily Buddhas. Deep inside I said to my self, I will bring Buddha home to my heart and to my soul.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Seven Storey Mountain - Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton and the Dalai Lama, 1968

I first heard Thomas Merton's name this past summer when I read "My life with the Saints". The author elaborated several Catholic saints that he admired dearly. One of them is Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk who died on an accident at his prime of 53 years old. When he wrote his autobiography of "The Seven Storey Mountain", he was only 33 years old.

I had preconceived notion that a person of only 33 years old can not possibly be too philosophical in his thinking, and definitely will not have enough life experience to impart his wisdom to the world. I first resisted reading it, but the autobiography was highly acclaimed, and was life changing for many. Since I borrowed the book from my local library, I might as well give it a chance.

Embedded in his ordinary childhood and sensual youthful adolescence, there was a soul beckoning to break out of the worldly existence. He was led mysteriously to the shrines, the churches of Rome for a time. He was in awe, and came away with a great sense of peace and joy. Those experiences were short, temporary and quickly forgotten, but they could have built a foundation for his life changing decision of being a Monk. It is a matter of gradual remembrance of what is essential of living one's life. There were reflection of his own behaviors and he was aware of the fact that this century of materialistic abundance molded most of us to be extrovert, self seeking and self indulgent in all of our five physical senses. It took a great soul in such a young age to have this magnificent realization of the truth. I remember when I was at that age I thought spirituality was for old folks and for people with blind faith, and I will have no part of it.

I am reading his autobiography just about half way through. The transformation from extremely anti-Catholicism to secretly fascinated of Jesuits' ascetic, self restraining life style set the stage of his vocation. The journey itself is very humanly subtle, as the saying goes, God writes straight with crooked lines. There was no booming voice from God commanding his life changing decision. In a slightest twist we all can relate to his inner journey.

Besides bringing spiritual inspiration to the world , Thomas Merton was extraordinarily brilliant and funny in his writing. It is a literary masterpiece.

PS. There was actually a voice prompting him to become a Catholic, not exactly a booming one but quite insistent nonetheless.

Monday, November 06, 2006

My Thesis Title: Unconscious World of Dream - A Jungian Perspective

During last week, I was diligently searching for my thesis topic. Since then I have switched gear by narrowing down the type of topic I can present in my thesis. Instead of exploring the metaphysical concept, which is quite illusive and subjective, I have decided to take on the subject of unconscious world of dream from the perspective of Jungians Dream psychology.

During summer of year 2005, I took an interest in reading Carl Jung's autobiography of Memories, Dreams and Reflections. It was a fascinating read and I felt I have some kind of kinship with Carl Jung's work. In his autobiography, he recorded several of his own mystical spiritual experiences that was quite transforming for him. The fact that he was trained as a medical doctor, and yet he never discounted his own inner world as whimsical or fanciful, he opened himself to a new vista of inner experiences of his soul.

I myself have recorded many dreams and mind travel experiences in this journal, but I have never tried to interpret its meaning or its significance. Instead, I was fascinated with the creative dream scenarios that my unconscious mind was able to produce without input from my conscious mind. There lies a collective unconscious of human psyche shared with all humanity which transcend race, gender or social status. It is a cosmic reservoir of knowledge and wisdom called akashic record that can be accessed by all of us.

Carl Jung's theory of dream psychology is very well established in modern psychology, in fact my metaphysical study presented quite a few of Carl Jung's psychological work. I am passionate about the dream work, and I also have some personal experiences. So, I have decided the title of my thesis "Unconscious World of Dream, a Jungian perspective". This thesis will consist of 5,000 words and has a very strict format of presentation. I now tentatively set a completion date of mid February of year 2007.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

In Search of a Subject for Thesis

I have been searching the topic of thesis for my Master Degree of Metaphysical Sciences. I need a topic that is mysterious in nature, non-fiction, is metaphysical but also have the quality of verifiable scientific evidence, meaning it has substantial volume of researched material available
in existence. Lucid dream or astral travel will not do because they are too subjective, and there is no scientific way to verify the existence of the experience. Any kind of personal metaphysical experience is not quantifiable and measurable therefore it can not be used as a subject for my Thesis.

So, I need something that can be captivating to the imagination of human kind, but also fascinating enough to generate a sense of excitement and exploration not only to the westerners but also for all mankind. So, the search continues....

I have studied various kinds of Divination systems in my Metaphysical courses, but to be proficient in any of them requires many years of experience and practice. They can not be mastered in three months. Astrology is completely out of my reach. Reincarnation has been very well documented but I have no personal experience therefore any research I do will be rehash of Dr. Ian Stevenson's work. Reiki healing is becoming popular among new age spirituality, but I have not received any training on it.

As far as Yoga, I am a student of Self-Realization fellowship, a foundation built by Sri Yogananda back in 1940's. The particular branch of Yoga taught by Sri Yogananda is Kriya Yoga. In order to receive Kriya Yoga teaching, I need to have fundamental training for one year before I will be qualified to receive Kriya Yoga. So, I can't say that I know much of Kriya Yoga yet. Let's see... Hypnosis, Channeling are not my cup of tea, as to meditation and aura viewing, I am still in the process of learning the ins and outs. So, I will have to search some more....