Thursday, 18 August 2011

THE POWER OF CRITICAL THINKING

I was recently invited by a couple of friends to give a talk about Mexico in a primary school in Bishan district. Children between 8-10 years old attended in the first talk on the 5th of August,and 11 and 12 year-olds attended the most recent one on the 17th of the same month,two key days in turn,a Friday and a Wednesday,respectively.

To begin with, the main objective of my friends with their work in their two groups of children is to provide them with a window and a vista of the rest of the world. They believe it is important for children to understand that they are not alone in this island and that even if this country is growing economically we must not forget that this has happened due to the country's interaction with the rest of the world,as well. My friends believe in a system where questions are allowed in class,as long as they are significant to the learning experience. Even though they lack experience in methodology for kids, their clear intention shines over that fact and basically, what they are creating is an atmosphere where critical thinking is the actual atmosphere and bottom line subyacent to the class.

Some of those children come from a violent environment at home, either a father in prison for a crime, intra-familiar violence, hence violence towards the children in that cell called home.

Many people say that children are the future of the world, and they represent the hope for a better world to come, and most agree that this is true.

I believe it is not!

I believe that children have a present, and they live the present as intensively as adults do,too. Only that they are little and we have grown up. Yet as we grow we carry in our memories, above all, our implicit memory all the experiences we have gone through and lived, yet not accepted. Many of those experiences as children were not or have not been overcome or surpassed,and I am talking about traumatic experiences that teach us significant and in many cases the most valuable lessons in life to be shared. There is a part of us that remains there,in that memory and tries to cope with it as we are coping with the change in growing and becoming and "adult."

But what is an "adult"? According to some dictionaries it is a person who has "fully grown up"; "a person who has attained the age of maturity as specified by law." And this is where it becomes interesting, because many people are not aware that the origin of the word adult comes from Latin "adolere", which is explained as " make grow" putting aside tha fact that it implies "pain" in that process of growing. So we could say that it literally means "the one growing painfully."

Were these people philosophers who knew the human mind and that when we are kids we want to become adults and when we have become adults we would love to go back in time and be kids again? This is why Schoppenhauer said that the human being cannot be happy at all, because we keep wanting and wanting more every time we get whatever we wanted in principle.

What if we stop wanting that, and live the present fully and in happiness that we are alive and have the grand opportunity to turn our lives meaningful to the whole existence? Isn't that a good idea of a grown-up person? It sounds great! Thinking that any job we do is to help this be better world helps more than just talking about it.

DOING HELPS MORE THAN JUST THINKING AND TALKING.

The amount of kids with dreams of doing something really nice when they grow up, stop dreaming because of their present circumstances. From that group very few will really develop mentally into a stronger and complete person, most probably not following the model proposed by their adult "guides."

I came along to these two classes at a time and found that there are many children eager to learn and be part of the world as grown-ups and productive. We have to send them the message that they ARE ALREADY IMPORTANT TO THIS PLANET!

How? By encouraging in them the sense of solidarity, honesty generousity, and the right for all sentient beings to be happy in this life, and letting them know that their presence in this life is key to achieve this collectiviely. Let them question the status quo and make it better, for all, not just for a small group of people, teach the sense of justice by example and by being just fair.

This one goes for the BIG KID living in the small adult now.

Keep breathing!

Bada Dill

Saturday, 13 August 2011

SHAPELESS LIKE WATER...SOOTHING LIKE WIND

Codependency is the worst enemy of the idea of love because the more subtle it is the stronger the attachment.

The human being is not conceived as a sole soul and apart from others like them. For we come from two who become one and create, the conception of one more on Earth. So we can see that the subtlety of an idea can become a tangible being, with all the characteristics of one of us and the rest of what exists in nature.

So, the conception of a human being comes from subtle energy. When this energy is filled and enriched with love,then the totality of that being becomes stronger. The birth of that idea in a tangible human baby becomes my metaphor for independence and freedom,because after being and co-existing within a human being then we have to experience detachment and independence from our mother. Even if we have been conceived and conformed by two,we become ONE, and even when we are one and two at the same time when in the womb of the mother,we have to be ONE.

This is a very strong reason why women find more trouble in being independent and free from the subtle idea of a lasting relationship with men,or being alone or on their own. Is it because the sensations and emotions during pregnancy are so overwhelming by experiencing pain and disease and pleasure at the same time? When people ask me to give examples of pain and pleasure in one single experience, I immediately think of this sequence in the productive history of humans:

CONCEPTION-PREGNANCY-BIRTH = TAKING-GIVING-PARTING

There is a strong connection between all that belongs to the body and that of the spirit. They act because of the other, they are because of the existence of each other, and they affect one another in profound manners, all of that connectivity wrapped around with SUBTLETY.

Masaru Emoto's crystals in water affected by positive messages.
They say more than 70% of our body is constituted by water and depends on it to exist and function properly. Our relationship with water is endless. Our relationship with ourselves is neverending,too. We are craddled by water since the very beginning of our existence inside our mother's womb, as we are in Mother Earth; we adapt each other to each other's needs, the shape of her belly adopts the wonderful shape of our presence,and water follows the path led by us. So as well, water is shapeless without nature and without our influence. Water is the perfect example of ADAPTATION AND DEPENDENCE.

But then what is the energy that makes this water in our system move?

It is the energy of the wind.

Breathing is life,so the air we breathe is life,even charged with all the bacteria (which are another manifestation of natural co-existence in life) possible, the air we breathe is essential. Wind is one of the most subtle energies,perhaps the most subtle of the elements for besides being shapeless, we cannot see it at all. Yet, nobody can deny its existence and feeling when it comes along and travels all over our body like a caress; nobody can refuse its power when the subtle whisper of loving words through the ear gets to our hearts and makes us feel genuinely part of the world:marvellous and flamboyant. Or quite the opposite,too. It is the wind that soothes and beautifies the travels of leaves from a tree to die and transform. It is the wind, as well, that can make an entire town disappear in just a few minutes.
Photo by Jose Carranza Castorena

Storms are conformed by these two energies, which create a third one with their interaction: the thunder. The wind has to adapt as well to the shape of the object it goes by to continue its course.

To lead a better and calm existence, we humans, have to learn from the elements. We need to learn to adapt, not to try to hold an experience forever (for the wind is memory) because everything is changing and flowing like them in nature. So due to the fact that we are influenced in every sense by these two elements and all the rest,too; to be able to co-exist more healthily we have to respect the very nature of their presence in us. We have to flow, there is no other way to lead a life of light and joy in our time. This is the sumum of our goals in life,to reach the real and amazing equilibrium among all the elements that conform Nature, which includes us. Because it is due to our presence they have become our Gods in ancient times. Yet, we have to understand that by creating the world around us, we become Gods.

An there is no one that can stop you from creating the world you wish around you...only you yourself can change and become shapeless and soothing like the water and wind within you. Remember we can shape up diamonds with our voices, which are wind itself, or destroy them if we want to. This is one of the main interactions of those elements that depend on our own nature and influence. So it is the subtle power of the mind that comes to terms.

Create a better world by destroying the egos of fear, anger, worry and attachment.

Live life in nature...in the dream of yourself.
Keep breathing.

Bada Dill


Thursday, 11 August 2011

WHEN CHANGE HAPPENS

  I come to realise that there are many people out there who, through Art, make meaningful changes in their lives and those of others. These people do not need to dress up like a yogui or pretend to be spiritual.

Yet you must understand that there are many people who take as fashion to be "spiritual." Practitioners of yoga because it is the current trend and want to boast about how in peace they become when they are in the yoga studio on Orchard road, and how they love wearing Adidas for their yoga session. This is the trend in the world, not only in Singapore. Everybody seems to feel compelled to do yoga. However, let's promote the practice and other energetic disciplines for the right reasons,one of them can be to develop a stress-free life style.

All of us have the possibility to carry out these sort of energetic practice and activities without even signing up to a specific organization,the only thing needed is the willingness to do it;and the essential base and objective at the same time is Consciousness. A life style implies actual and factual habits,changing paradigms if necessary and adopting customs and traditions in every aspect of living. Why not to choose to live healthily and spiritually as a conscious foundation of our existence instead of taking it as a temporary visit to a "cool" place? Then what? If you get tired of it, you go back to your old life?

Yet, I believe that one can never get tired of being happy,for it is a state of mind,not only a feeling,which is temporary and finite; being happy,healthy,spiritual,compassionate,in love,generous and true to this state of mind is simply the way we are supposed to live life!

Photo by Terrablanca
Nevertheless, for whatever reason a person does practice yoga,it will do good to them. Based on my practice and my teaching-learning experiences I have found that when you start with the goal of changing your body,you will end up changing your Consciousness. It happens so. There is no talking about meditation and the cosmos,we do not need that,it is through the body that change manifests in many diverse ways to affect us in every aspect of our being.

The word generous means liberal in giving, unselfish, it comes from Middle French généreux  < Latin generōsus >of noble birth. I personally believe as well that derived from this ethimology we can also add the meaning "generate" in my spiritual dictionary. And to generate is to create, to make something that will help this planet and us who inhabit it. This is why I think that there are many people out there doing true yoga and Dharma practice without noticing. People who are definitely more spiritual than those pretending to do so and teach yoga,for yoga my friends cannot be taught but only shared.

Create and become an artist.No need to talk about how spiritual you are...just be spiritual and your lips will be sealed and your spirit free! Then real change will come to be a permanent presence in your conscious life.Make your life an art because change will happen with or without your actions.

Keep breathing!

Bada Dill

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

OF VULTURES AND CARRION

Some time ago,a girl I was treating with massage in Barcelona Spain,told me that she felt really sad because she felt she was used sexually by men. That sex was the only interest they had in her. She said that men surrounding her and coming her way only felt like having sex and not having a serious loving relationship.

"Men are horrible...scumbags" she said to me while sitting in a bar drinking a beer. This girl is a very beautiful woman, very attractive in the outside. Yet very lost.

I asked her: "What do you want from men?" -"I don't know, I just don't want to feel they use me all the time!"
-"Men come around me like vultures,trying to get a piece of me." She said.
Photo by Jose Carranza Castorena
-"Remember that vultures feed from animals that do not move,they feed from carrion,dead animals carcasses...SO MOVE ON!" I said.

Her expression in the face changed, it felt like she was not comfortable anymore talking to me. Most probably it was not something she did not want to hear from me. Was it because I am a man, and I was supposed to go after her, as well? Or because it is the ego of people, men and women, which was hurt? Or maybe could it have been that she had already developed a habit of letting "scumbags' come into her life that she had become a magnetic field calling them to feast?

There might be many more explanations but the fact remains that she felt lonely. And she was wrong totally, for whenever you feel lost and sad because 'life" or "others' are not good to you, this is a great moment to go for the golden lesson of SILENCE. Meaning less talk and more introspection. This is the time when you have to look inside of you and marvel at the beauty of the creation, and understand that we are one with it. We are part and still one with it.

The answer resides inside,never outside.

My teacher, Lama Thubten Namdrol Dorje, said that we all live in so little spaces nowadays in the cities that we always have the need to go outside. And this is even happening spiritually in all of us. This is because of ignorance. We don't know at all. We don't know that if we remain passive of the fact we have to move on, to bring emotions into real feelings by understanding them and all we do is just talk, talk and talk about "problems" and events in our lives; then we are just handing out our own power to change things, to change EVERYTHING if we need it.

Happiness is something you feel from inside out. There is no one, not a single person that will make you happy, or miserable for that matter. You choose to believe that and you will get lost...because you will not be free. You will only be dependant of the outside world for you to "feel" happy when real happiness is inside , in your heart waiting for you to meet there. BE HAPPY, just  BE. No instant and severed moments when you only feel!

You have to set your life in motion, and stay moving all the time, like nature itself. You are Nature itself. Like trees which grow and are well rooted. Stability comes from knowing what you really are here for: Be happy, learn and share your learning and devote yourself to the service of others because they all are YOU. You and all are ONE.

Be alive and in constant communion with nature. Kill your ego every day and night, yet do not kill yourself by depending on fear to survive, because you will become carrion...then naturally, vultures will approach you.

Bada Dill