Sunday, December 23, 2018

Prebirth Contract, You Say?

Those who believe in the Prebirth Contract theory say we all choose the lives we have. Some of them say it’s not a belief, opinion or theory; they say they have reproducible evidence from recorded hypnotherapy sessions and from interviews with disembodied spirits via mediums. Giving this theory (it is a theory to me) the benefit of the doubt, assuming it’s how they say it is — we choose the horrible, traumatic, circumstances/experiences/events in our lives so that we fulfill a prebirth wish/desire/agenda for the purpose of soul evolution — I need to ask:

1. How do souls make use of the “lessons” in a particular lifetime in the afterlife and/or in-between lifetimes? If we can’t remember our previous lifetimes (unless we submit to soul regression therapy), how do we apply the lessons learned from previous lifetimes? How do souls (energy/consciousness) benefit from such painful/traumatic experiences?

2. Do animals also choose the circumstances, experiences, events in their lives? I just saw a video of a homeless man being forcibly removed from the curb by a group of policemen answering a call complaining about a vagrant and his dog. The dog was understandably agitated when the police started to manhandle his owner. One of the police officers put his knee on the dog and promptly shot it in the head. On seeing this, the owner became hysterical and had to be subdued by no less than 6 police officers. The dog continued to wag its tail until he passed. This happened in Barcelona, Spain. The video was posted by the dog rescuer who happened to witness the event. (

3. Are we to believe that everyone (animals included) involved in every situation on the planet is sticking to the script of the prebirth contract? If we believe in free will, does it not suggest that some players in any given script can and will go slightly off-script at a whim or even go completely off on a tangent? At what point in the script does anyone get to say, “Stop! I know what I agreed to in the prebirth contract but now I’m here and about to do this horrible thing and I’m making a free will decision that I’m changing my mind. I don’t want to do this.” That one person’s free will decision — “no, I’m not going to do this awful thing” — will alter others’ prebirth contracts’ scripts and ripple through many lives and lifetimes. So how do we know when it’s a prebirth contract playing out tightly by the script and when is it a case of free will altering the course of destiny and/or fate?

4. It has taken me a lifetime to learn the major lessons in my life. I won’t be able to benefit from these lessons with the time I have left of this lifetime. I’m wondering how these lessons in my life will serve me (my energy/consciousness/spirit) in the afterlife and in-between lifetimes? I’m guessing that if we meet the challenges lifetime after lifetime without diminishing the quality of our souls, we actually increase the sum total of our energy. And then, what? I’m hoping it means we get to choose to enjoy the quality of our consciousness on a different plane instead of having to learn lessons ad infinitum.

5. Imagine the situation in a court of law when criminals think to plead not guilty citing the prebirth contract as a defense. Mind-boggling stuff. They are pleading insanity as a defense, why not this?

Recommended viewing:

I welcome insights. Thank you.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Happiness As A Default State?

Recently, I read a Facebook post quoting Will Smith, the celebrity, sharing his opinion about happiness. He said, no one is responsible for our happiness. He said he told his beloved wife that he is “retired from making her happy.” He said they both had a good laugh over that. They were able to laugh is because they were secure in knowing that they had each other’s love and devotion. Do you think his wife would be laughing if he told her he is in love with another woman? Would he be laughing if his wife told him she is leaving him for another man? It’s easy for people with everything going for them to say, “We are responsible for our own happiness.”

Some people dislike the Law of Attraction because it says we attract what we are. Successful people like the LoA because they like the idea that they are "driving their kar-ma." People who see themselves as losers in the game of life might not like what the LoA is saying to them—that they are responsible for not being good enough, whatever "good enough" means to them. In my opinion, if we say we are responsible for our own happiness and if we are not in a happy place, it just serves to make us feel more desperately out of control. Like, what is wrong with us? As if we need to feel worse than we already do. I understand that if we blame others for our situations in life, we are giving our personal power away. I understand we have to reclaim our power and that we achieve this by assuming full responsibility for ourselves and for our lives.

Yet, it seems to me, our safety and well being depend on the actions of other people we come into contact with. A lot of our happiness depends on our environment. On the larger scale, we get depressed knowing what drives the politics and corporatocracy in our world. We feel desperate at times knowing that vaccines are not safe for humans and animals. That doctors who speak out against the conventional treatments “commit suicide” by the hundreds. Then, there are the victims of narcissism on the spectrum. How can children be responsible for their own happiness when one or both parents are narcissistic? The parents have so much power over their lives and happiness for the first twenty years at the least. Even when they get to leave their narcissistic childhood behind, they carry a lot of that baggage into their adulthood.

Such victims usually (if not all of them) attract spouses/partners/others who are also narcissistic on the spectrum and maybe NPDs or NSPs. (Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Narcissists, Sociopaths, Psychopaths.) My research yielded that some children inherit narcissistic traits from their experiences growing up in such traumatic environments. In my opinion, only the empaths are spared this inheritance. Barely. Even empaths are known to become nasty co-dependents as they struggle to cope and deal with their reality. Not every narc victim/empath ends up being a life coach. That is to say, not every victim is able to turn the disadvantages around and make them work productively for them instead. Most victims end up in a sorrowful way. Even those who have succeeded to be life coaches continue to struggle with their backstory narc issues on a regular basis. It becomes a lifelong challenge to be happy.

Some of the “baggage” humans carry can even be traced back to past lives experiences and the energy imprints we all bring to the present life. Not all “baggage” has to do with our experiences in this present lifetime. Though, in my opinion, souls will have more conscious intent to exercise the energy signatures in a given lifetime rather than from past lifetimes. Some people say, souls that are to take more than to give, are likely to be born males because our society encourages and allows more such expression of intent by the males. Females are generally raised/conditioned to be more nurturing and giving. There are exceptions of course. In both genders, the personality is heavily influenced by the events in the course of a life.

A narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath’s intent will be different from that of an empath’s. An empath’s baggage will not be the same as the narcopath's. (Narcopath is a catch-all term that includes all the cluster B personality disorders— narcissists/sociopaths/psychopaths on the spectrum.) An empath’s baggage is likely to do with the fact that he/she has a history of not listening to their intuition. They were trained by the NPD’s/NSP’s in their lives to ignore the signs and signals and to dismiss their inherent powers of discernment. This can develop into a pattern which is why they say winning and losing becomes a habit.

Even the former victims of narc abuse who have succeeded to uplevel with quantum tools and who have managed to become coaches, teachers, and guides, carry a lifetime of baggage even as they keep on moving forward with their evolution of consciousness. I understand that happiness can be a default state of mind just as misery can be a default state. When happiness is the default state, we as the Chinese say, “use the sky as a blanket if it should fall on us.” People with happiness as a default state find ways to focus on what works. Regardless of what is happening in their lives, they are able to distance themselves from it all and be on the outside looking in. The opposite would be the miserable default state where the people keep complaining about their lot even though they may enjoy more abundance and good fortune than the average person.

That default state aside, how can victims be wholly responsible for their own happiness? The rape victim, for example, is usually traumatized for a lifetime. I say if society at large is responsible for causing such distress to the souls involved, society has to come to the rescue of the victims. Who is this “society?” Each and every one of us is responsible for someone’s happiness or misery regardless of the default state. Everyone has to be kinder, gentler, more thoughtful and more helpful.  I understand that we get to take charge of ourselves at some point in our lives. We get to say “that’s enough, I’m too conscious to let this toxicity or madness continue.” Yet, just because we get conscious and want to stop the toxicity or madness, it doesn’t mean others around us will cooperate. We only get to create our own reality if we are the only ones in it. If the reality involves other people, we need to get them on board. We don’t live in a vacuum. Our actions affect other people and vice versa. To counter Will Smith’s philosophy, how about I share a quote?: If there is something we can do to make someone happy, we should. The world needs more of that. Or how about: If we can’t help someone to be happy, let’s not do anything to contribute to their unhappiness?

Studies have shown that depressed people get a lift when they are helped with something to make their lives easier and more bearable. Sometimes, it’s a job/income stream, other times, housing, friends, pets, anything that adds value to their lives. Every time I leave the safety of my house, I depend on other road users not to endanger my life. Just a case in point: The place where I play my Taiji is now infested with fire ants and I have to find another place to play. An occupant of one of the houses was badly bitten by the fire ants around the fences and she started spraying chemicals to kill them. So the ants were driven further up from where they originally were. I’m not saying this lady was not right to protect herself from the fire ants. I’m saying we are all inter-connected. Our decisions affect other people. Decisions have a “domino” or a “ripple” effect. How can we say everyone creates our own happiness when in reality, each of us is much affected by the actions of our fellow humans? We multiply the happiness in the world when we share our good fortune and abundance and we divide grief and suffering when we have people who are present to share them with us.

Many people in my old neighborhood are unhappy because when they bought their landed properties, they were unaware of the developers’ future plans to build condos literally in their backyards. In this situation, Will Smith and his wife can move away and buy new property where it suits them but most people are stuck with their mortgages. There are many things in our lives that affect our happiness level. People who say they are in full control of their happiness either have so much money that they can literally buy their way out of some unhappiness, pay for the happy experiences or they haven’t suffered the experience of some kind of personal loss and/or tragedy. Like the lady in Penang who lost her four children to the tsunami of 2004. The best she could do to cope and deal in the aftermath was to turn to a life of charity (as receiver and giver) after ten years of depression. I have had to take myself to the fifth dimension via my Taiji explorations and then, stay there for as long as I can and learn to take everything with me to the fifth. I find the 3-4 dimension on the planet depressing. As Einstein said, I paraphrase: I love humanity; it’s humans I don’t like. Add the EFAW to the equation and I need my daily fix of the fifth dimension. Mama mia!

They say, whatever happens, we should not take it personally. The other day, while at the seaside, I was looking at a wedding photo shoot going on to my right and a funeral going on to my left. I was playing Taiji in the middle; what was going on was not personal to me but it was personal to the people on my right and left. It was personal to their individual timeline. When my beloved Sharpei died, I was a wreck. Who knew? I watched the grieving family throw the ashes of their beloved into the sea with white flower petals. The family left soon after but I stayed back to observe the currents and watched as the white flower petals were carried by the waves into the far distance. I thought it was a poetic way to be sent off from one dream to the next. I started to plan to have my own ashes dispersed into the sea when my time came, in front of where I play my Taiji and suddenly, the impersonal became personal. Nowadays, I play my Taiji surrealistically aware that one day, I will most likely be in the sea in front of where I now play my Taiji.

When I’m Taiji-ing and passers-by walk past inches from me, that becomes personal. They are encroaching on my personal space. I can smell their body odor, perfume, cologne, whatever and I can hear their conversations, feel their energy, etc. They affect my happiness level when they do not know how to allow me my personal space. I’m not a celebrity/rich person who can play Taiji on my own private property or swim in my own private pool. The public will affect my happiness depending on how they behave. Unconscious humans with their lack of mindfulness and concern for others will have an effect on the happiness of others on the planet whether they are aware or not, whether they agree with Will Smith or not.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Where Does An Influence End?

I’m taking guitar classes. Again. This is my third teacher.

When I was fourteen, a male friend, Johnny, tried to teach me to play a song for a talent competition. (This male friend was two years older and he was to die at age twenty in a motor accident. This sort of interrupted my entry into the music industry. This would also happen again further up the road influencing me to think that the music industry was perhaps not what I had signed up for in the pre-birth theory.) There were only four chords to the song that Johnny selected for me for the talent event—C, AM, F, G—and I couldn’t manage it. So I just focused on vocals and at sixteen, I delivered the vocals of a more complicated song with the accompaniment of a whole band. Johnny had a band too but ‘The City Burners’ was not the band contracted to accompany singers in that competition. I was placed runner-up in the statewide singing competition.

Following that competition, there were ample opportunities for me to learn the guitar before I turned thirty. My boyfriends when I was sixteen and nineteen could play the guitar well. I didn’t take to the guitar then as I found the metal strings hurt my fingers too much. Around that time, I purchased a second-hand 12-strings classical guitar hoping that the nylon strings would not hurt my fingers and that I would be able to master the instrument. I found the 12-strings harder to play than the 6-strings so I gave it away to someone who would put the guitar to good use. I did not touch a guitar again until I was 30-ish. 

A housemate who was an accomplished guitarist died in a freak motor accident (TG was thirty-one) and I was left to dispose of his belongings as his older sibling had cancer and didn’t want to bother with them. I gave everything away but kept his seasoned Kapok guitar, songbooks, record player, vinyl records and cassette tapes. Over the next few years, I would listen to TG’s massive collection of music taste—Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Beatles, Elton John, AC/DC, and the other popular rock/blues musicians of the 70’s and 80’s. I would teach myself to play TG’s Kapok using the songbooks which had the chords and lyrics to the covers. It was a great way to learn the guitar I thought although it was Eric Clapton and Beatles songs that I was mostly learning. Mama mia! I discovered to my amazement and pleasure that I could actually play and sing some of the covers as long as I had those songbooks to look at. This became a habit and until today, I struggle to play a song by memory; even one of my own.

Around that time, I had my ‘outer space experience’ which I share in my published books and began to write my own songs. A friend who knew the guitar belonged to TG joked that he must be channeling the songs through me. I laughed at the idea at the time but later seriously considered the possibility. I finally dismissed the idea when I found I couldn’t master the guitar despite wanting to very much. If TG was channeling the songs through me, wouldn’t I be a better guitarist since he was an expert? As well, the songs I was writing was not TG’s kind of material. He was Blues/Rock/Reggae. I was developing Folk/Country/Ballads stuff. Still, there is such a thing as energy imprints and energy signatures that dead people leave behind with their beloved properties. Who knows how much of my songwriting was influenced by my dead friend? I then decided to give all of TG’s stuff away including the Kapok and bought myself a new Kapok to see if it would affect my songwriting. I continued to write my songs.

The few years after my ‘outer space experience’ were the most creative years of my life. During that time, I began my three books—Changing Orbits, The Dance of the Chi and Different Realities. I invented a board game and began several card games before getting distracted by life. I also wrote about a hundred songs and poems. I stopped the creative projects when I got involved with dog rescue for the next twenty years. Only now am I revisiting those projects to complete them literally, before I go. Before I Go was the original title for my memoirs, Changing Orbits.

Proper guitar classes began during this intensely creative period. I didn’t know it at the time but I was in a 20-year relationship with my hybrid version of an NPD—NSP. (Narcissistic Personality Disorder—Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath.) In my case, he had a Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde personality so it wasn’t all bad and negative. I was able to take some positives from the relationship. Still, it was crazy making and the madness spilled into all areas of my life. Put it this way, my judgment, discernment, plans, decisions, wishes, heart’s desires and personal boundaries would be interfered with. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I see now this relationship was/is karmic and fated. The one thing that got me through those times was the thought “it could be worse.” No matter what I was going through, it could always be worse. I still use this line today. No matter what I experience, it could always be worse. When I wrote the first edition of Changing Orbits, I thought my story was one-of-a-kind. Since then, I discovered the terms Empath/NPD/NSP and realized these conditions are widespread. Only the details are unique.

In spite of all the crazy-making drama, I managed to learn how to basically pluck, strum, and play the scales—Do re mi fa so la di to—in order to aid in tuning the guitar. That was when we had to tune the guitar by ear. Nowadays, I use a digital tuner like most if not all musicians. My then teacher identified my style as similar to the following artists (even though I had not heard most of their material at the time—I was listening to TG’s collection):

  • -        Suzanne Vega
  • -        Joni Mitchell
  • -        Joan Baez
  • -        Joan Armatrading
  • -        Tracy Chapman
  • -        Jim Croce
  • -        James Taylor
  • -        Neil Young
  • -        Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
  • -        John Denver
  • -        Dave Loggins
  • -        Bob Dylan
  • -        Lee Ritenour

I wasn’t familiar with them except for those in italics. Recently, I used YouTube to catch up with the music of the rest on the list above. Mind you, my teacher didn’t say I could one day play like them, just that my songwriting style was similar.

I was taught basic music notations—semibreve, minims, crochets, quavers, semi-quavers, demi-semi quavers—time values and transpositions with notes. I was also taught what a keynote was and how that was different from a key signature. My notebook from that period tells me I also learned about the Simple Duple, Simple Triple and Simple Quadruple. Not that all this learning serves me today. Today, I cannot remember what I had learned more than twenty years ago. I read that stress destroys brain cells and impairs the memory. Not to mention (but I will, anyway), I am getting old. See this link:

My current teacher is a self-taught performing artist.  The others were formal music teachers. As such, her style of teaching is different from the others. I’ve only taken two classes and this is what was covered:

  • The guitar should be the proper size to fit the body and the guitar has to accommodate the body, not the other way around. (So I was ready and happy to sell my oversized Yamaha in favor of using my second self-purchased Kapok acoustic that is the right fit for me.) 
  • Unless the chair is low, my right knee needs to be pivoted with a footstool or brick to get the guitar to sit comfortably on the thigh.
  • The head moves left to right by pivoting the chin, not the neck.
  • The correct wrist position when holding the chords and when strumming. (I had developed a number of bad habits both as a singer and a guitarist.)
  • Whenever possible, the thumb should bend to mute the E string.
  • She taught me how to play the G chord in a new way which leaves me a bit flustered and clumsy but I’m getting the hang of it.
  • This teacher is of the digital age so, with my smartphone, I was shown how to use the free downloaded metronome instead of my old table metronome.
  • I’m also encouraged to upgrade my digital guitar tuner. I have two but she says they are not good enough to tune the guitar to a professional level.
  • I’m told that if I continue with the weekly guitar classes I should be able to put my songs on YouTube in about three months’ time.

This is an extremely busy phase for me. I don’t know if I can manage the next three months of guitar classes as I have Different Realities to publish, Taiji practice, and my last two rescues to care for. My current teacher sees a pattern and is thinking that I will quit these classes too. Freelance and performing artists teachers are hard to come by and suitable ones are a rarity where I am. I would like to stay the course if I can. However, there is this nagging thought: If this was meant to be, wouldn’t I have mastered the guitar by now? 

This link clues me to the answer. I was not good at Maths in school. "Musician and blogger Roel Hollander notes, “Thelonious Monk once said ‘All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.’ Musicians like John Coltrane though have been very much aware of the mathematics of music and consciously applied it to his works.”

My current teacher doesn’t think this has anything to do with my lack of musicality. She says she’s “horrible” with maths too and that it all boils down to the determination, right practice and the interest to explore in music. She agrees the diagram in the link looks similar to the "circle of fifth" and that music is quite like maths in many ways especially when it comes to the counts. She says we’re not playing jazz or fusion music so it’s basically elementary maths.

Sooner or later, we all have to face our mortality, don’t we? Reflecting on my own, I asked myself what I wanted my life to be defined by. The process of becoming  Mena Koo, author of The Dance of the Chi, Different Realities and Changing Orbits was/is therapeutic and meaningful for me as I feel these books cover how I put my s*it together and survived all the challenges of being a victim. I did not want my life to be defined by victimhood so I used the knowledge of metaphysics and the power of intention to rewrite my narrative from victim to survivor. I believe my books can make a difference to some who are attracted to read them. However, I’m not sure that Mena Koo, poet/songwriter is that helpful in the scheme of my lessons learned and my legacy. Not to sound pompous with the use of the word “legacy” here, I think we all should think about our legacieswhat energy imprints are we leaving behind?

I mean that in the way that I’ve benefitted from reading certain books but I wouldn’t say my life has been impacted in any major way by a poem or a song. Music can be fun and de-stressing but in retrospect, those twenty-something years that I gave up my creative projects and Taiji for the dogs were the most meaningful in my timeline. Were they the most productive years? No. Were they the most practical things I have done in terms of my personal survival, growth, and evolution? I don’t think so. They were some of the craziest, hardest, suicidal, times in my life. Yet, because they were about the dogs and others; because they were not about what I wanted/needed, made them the standout, special, times. Could I do it all again today? No. I just don’t have it in me anymore.  

If I were to die tomorrow, I would be proudest of those times when I was able to give and not expect anything in return. The joy and fulfillment were in knowing I was making a difference in the lives of those I rescued. In asking myself how I would want my life to be defined I would have to say I want to be remembered for being a kind, thoughtful, compassionate, insightful, sensitive, human. Someone who did her best to play well, the cards that were dealt. Someone who “walked through the fires” as best as anyone could. They say the victims of NPDs/NSPs pick up narcissistic traits in their battle to cope with all the narcissism around them. Hence the world is so messy as wounded people go on to wound others down the line. Those of us who are conscious of this must put a stop to the sickness and begin the healing process. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Reviews For The Dance Of The Chi

Today, I heard from a reader of The Dance of the Chi.  

“I must confess that I am struggling with the book. This is to say that I am not at a  stage where I am capable of understanding many of these matters. Much you write about is way outside my terms of reference to start with, but also the journal form of the book, by its nature, skips from one deep topic to another, which makes it hard for me to deal with. I really don't want to put other, more able (sic), readers off and I do find much of it fascinating, so no need to publish this. Just saying, that's all.”

I replied:
“Thanks for the feedback. It is what it is. :)
Everyone holds a space in the jigsaw of life. Feedback is feedback.
The Optometrist who happens to be of the Christian faith and who impressed me with his personality and intelligence got a free copy.
The way he looks at me and talks to me after reading the book tells me he thinks I'm crazy.
So ya, I understand it's different strokes for different folks. Hehe.
We only have to connect with our own kind of weird.”

He immediately shot back:
“Having said all that this morning, there's lots which is very clear and really helpful to me. Your section on EFAW, for example and so I'll press on. Thanks for the opportunity!” (sic)

See what I mean?
Feedback is feedback.

It’s fascinating to me how readers decide what to address in their reviews from the over 300 pages in paperback and whatever the Location counts on eBook. I am a slow reader and I find it incredible that someone can read The Dance of the Chi in less than a week. A friend even said she read all of it in two days! I suppose not everyone will read the book in its entirety and some will flip through the pages according to their personal inclinations and interests and then if they leave a review, the review would be based on the parts of the book that were actually read.

I'm on record for saying I'm not for editing the reviews of my book(s) as I find I can take a lot from the comments that are left by readers, be they, friends or strangers. So far four reviews have been published and they are as different as the individuals are different. This has inspired me to blog about the reviews I've received. Until now, no reviewer has shared their thoughts about  ‘My EFAW Theory’ and ‘My Outer Space Experience.’ I'm curious why no one has found those chapters worthy of a mention in their reviews. Still, I am grateful for any review as reviews do help to garner more interest in the book(s). I would like to take the opportunity here to thank the readers of The Dance of the Chi for their thoughtful reviews.

If I am the one writing the review, I would not like to be told what to write or to be told to write something that the author would approve of. I believe we have to be fair to both the author and the potential buyer. Imagine writing to help the author at the expense of the reader? That would not be a good thing IMO. I take the reviews as they come. One of these days, if I should get an unpleasant and negative review, I shall have to take from that as well. Experiences are meant to be what they are. Alan Watts, the philosopher, said: Wanting a positive experience is a negative experience. Accepting a negative experience is a positive experience. Unless the reviews are left by haters and trolls up to no good, I can't complain about the reviews I have. They are all meant to be helpful and they are, each in their own way. I am grateful that my readers take the time to leave a review.

When I read books, I tend to put myself in the mind of the authors. I try to feel whatever they are feeling and experience whatever they are experiencing. When I can’t wrap my mind around the mind of the author is when I can’t read a book.  So it’s fair game if someone can’t read my book(s). I find that people who purchase a book are more likely to read as much of the book as possible as they don’t wish to waste their money. Purchasers are also more likely to be able to appreciate the contents as they know what kinds of books they want to invest in. This is the reason I don’t care to give my books away for free. I need to target my audience and the best way to do that, it seems to me, is for them to actually buy the book.

As my book reviews go, most reviews have the effect of making me reflect on the readers’ reading experience. Each reviewer is likely to say something that would make me sit up with alertness and attention. It doesn’t go unnoticed by me that the reviewers are, in effect, complimenting how I managed to "put my sh*t together (tao-gether)" in order to publish the books. It occurred to me that because everyone has problems and obstacles in life, the people who succeed at their creative projects are the ones who could manage to get it together despite or in spite the obstacles along their path. That's just what the books were/are—getting my act together. That’s the reason Zig Ziglar said: What you get by achieving your goals is not nearly as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

The last twenty-one years (three Uranus cycles) for me was "do or die" time. The next seven years will be more or less the same. The next seven years of challenges and stress can be the best of times and the worst of times. My projects are how I create meaning/purpose/direction for my life and how I channel my energy, intent, and angst. We need to stay in the higher vibrations and my projects aid me to do that in a big way.

I’ve covered what the writing and publishing process do to add to the quality of my being. I’ve covered what the reviews do for me. Another huge bonus of being in this industry is the friendships and interactions with fellow writers and editors who cross my path. It's a treat to be exchanging with fellow writers who appreciate the need to be clear in the expression of complex and abstract ideas. It is a pleasure to exchange and interact with people who as a result of being who they are, force me to uplevel and improve my game. There is so much to learn and I learn something new every day.

A reviewer called my attention to my arms. He wondered about the significance of my arms. When playing Taiji, my arms in an extended posture would be the physical expression of me in the moment of an expanded mode of being. This is then followed by a contracted physical expression of me in the moment of a contracted mode of being. The "expanded mode" is the one that allows me to reach out to others and make the connections. The contracted mode is when I need my solitude.  Some teachers in the energy arts say (each in their own way), the arms are the physical expression of energy flow and vibrations that is expressed by the spirit via the body. I imagine the arms are also the body part with the most concentration of "intent." We express a lot of intent with our arms. I can't imagine what it's like for the Thalidomide babies who have to live their whole lives without arms. And what of those who lose their arms at some point in their lives? They would have to develop "alternate arms" of expressing energy flow and patterns.

It's no surprise that writers tend to be the ones to write the better reviews because they have the analytical discipline, training, and their way with words, to begin with. Even when writers are not impressed with what they are reading, they can still dig deep to leave a kind and/or encouraging word for the author. I reiterate reviews reveal as much about the reviewers as they do the books they review. 

When indie authors publish, we have no idea who would be drawn to read our work. Whether the book is a free reading or a purchased reading, the writer and reader would have to be connected on some level or else, of the millions of authors (and even more books) out there, why would anyone read one author and not another?

It's all good. Again, I thank my readers for taking the time to read me and I'm grateful for the friendships and mostly positive reviews.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mena Coming Out

I have been sitting on my songwriting for as long as I have been sitting on The Dance of the Chi and my poetry. Now that the chi book has been published, I feel it’s time to also share the songs and poetry. However, I find I am not as ready as a singer-songwriter as I am as an author. Publishing books require me to write them and allow me to engage the services of vendors in the industry to get the books published. These are the cover designers, editors, and formatters. With songwriting, I have not been able to connect with compatible musicians to present the songs in the best possible light.

Just as with my energy arts manifestation, I have to wait for the right people to show up. While in waiting mode, I have decided to go ahead and share raw home video snippets that I have managed to edit with the help of a friend who was roped in to tutor me in putting my smartphone to good use. I’m sharing some videos now as my way of launching my YouTube channel on this Lunar New Year. I’m more nervous about sharing my music than I am about publishing books. With the books, I do the best I can and leave the rest to the Universe. I can’t help whether the books resonate with others or if they fill a need out there. With songwriting, I know I can do a lot better if I have someone who can accompany me on an instrument. As well, I also feel songs are supposed to be entertaining and I won't be making any difference with what I put out. It's just something I am doing to complete my bucket list. If people don't like my songs, at least I have shared them rather than regret not sharing them when I'm too old to do anything about them.

Over the years, I have had people come and go without much success due to incompatibilities. In my opinion and from experience, musicians aren’t generally a very spiritual lot. I find it difficult to hang out with them. I mean, I don’t do drugs (avoiding prescription and over the counter as well), alcohol, or cigarettes. I’m a germaphobe/health nut, an empath, and I don’t like crowded, (worse, if smoke-filled) places. An introvert by conditioning if not by nature, I don’t enjoy small talk. Sigh. Until I connect with that special someone, I shall remain nervous about the sharing of my music. I want to share when I comfortably know I have presented the songs as well as they can be presented. If you’re reading this and have some musical ability and interest to collaborate, please check out my video clips and see if we are musically compatible enough to work on a few songs together. I plan to share some short clips with lyrics any day now. If my music project doesn't take off, the teachers say it means I simply did not sign up for this before I was born. It is what it is. In my dreams, I play the piano extremely well. I believe that is from a past life. I haven't been able to tap into that lifetime's talent in this lifetime.

PS: I am willing to pay for services rendered.

My YouTube Channel:

Festivals, Celebrations, and Values

I don’t live my life by a calendar and today (Valentine’s Day) was spent at the seaside, as usual, playing Taiji. It was about 6 PM and there were more than the usual number of people there. I was determined to play the three sets as is my usual practice—the series 24, 88, and 42. If I play these well, the session lasts for about an hour. Otherwise, it would be over within 45 minutes. At the far end of the beach, I caught sight of a huge “LOVE” sign made up of individual letter blocks of the alphabets placed on the beach just in front of the waves. I thought that was a setting for a movie or a setting for a wedding photo shoot. Turns out, it was a couple celebrating Valentine’s Day by having a romantic dinner on the beach. They had put up a tent with the table, chairs, and dinner stuff all in place.

Then, I was distracted by a number of Chinese people, in family mode, carrying foam boxes to the beach. I wondered could they be the food caterers for the romantic “tent” couple? That is quite a lot of food for a couple, I thought. No. They placed the boxes on the sand far from the tent and then I thought they were going to have a picnic on the beach. No. They opened the boxes and started to bring a crab at a time to the water’s edge. They were sending the crabs back to the sea. I was taken by surprise and thought, wow, such a nice gesture and an act of compassion. The adults were setting a great example for the kids.

Further on the right of where I stood, I saw a couple of Buddhist monks in garb surrounded by what appeared like carloads of also Chinese people. The people were holding plastic bags and taking things out a handful at a time and throwing them into the sea. My curiosity got the better of me and when I had completed my Taiji play, I went to have some words with the monks. I asked what they were throwing into the sea. I couldn’t make out what the sea creatures were as they were very small. I was told they were clams. This group of people was rescuing clams from the market to throw back into the sea. I asked if they were doing that to celebrate their version of Valentine’s Day. The monks said it was just a coincidence it was Valentine’s Day. They belong to a temple nearby and these kinds of activities are performed regularly by the devotees. These kinds of action are thought to cultivate good karma for this lifetime and many lifetimes hereafter. I observed a handful of other races and people of seemingly other religious faiths not being impressed by what they were witnessing. It looked to them like food is food and people were throwing food into the sea. Ai. I have seen people laboring hours under the hot sun to gather enough clams to sell to the market in order to earn a living. Here, the Buddhist devotees are throwing these clams right back into the sea. This is an example of contradicting values and the controversies in our world. 

The head monk shared that they were vegetarians, not vegans. I asked what sect of Buddhism they were and he said “Mahayana.” We chatted about the Thai Buddhist sect (Theravada) who has to eat anything devotees offer during their daily alms. This sect of monks could eat meat. He said the devotees would be schooled about what NOT to offer the monks. For example, alcohol. 

I was told the monks at the temple nearby where I play my Taiji were initially taught Shaolin Kung Fu but they had all forgotten the discipline through lack of practice. They also were taught Taijiquan but had neglected all these over time. I was reminded of how I had also neglected to practice for more than 20 years while busy with stray rescue work. I was lucky I could refresh my memory with the help of a local Taiji master and also with the help of YouTube videos. Regular practice is so important for muscle and other memory. As with any skill, the more we do, the better we get at it.

I also took the opportunity to tap the monks’ belief system. I told the head monk that I believe we are all energy and since energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed, that I had to believe our souls/spirits/consciousness are eternal. I shared that I had encountered another belief system on the internet forums which said that eternity is not guaranteed. It said that if one does not engage in active soul-making lifetime after lifetime, one could be diminished to a state of nothingness eventually, reminiscent of Toltec Shamanism beliefs. I wanted to know what the head monk thought. He said there is no state of nothingness. Even if humans keep doing bad things lifetime after lifetime, incurring bad karma lifetime after lifetime, they would still have some kind of form, like the clams they threw back into the sea. These clams would be brought to the temple first and prayers would be said for them and they would be made to listen to the Buddhist dharma so that their consciousness could be given a lift and they would stand a chance of a better life next time. The head monk said, every living thing can and should be given a chance at a better next lifetime and we help them by uplifting their consciousness. I couldn't help recalling what I recently read about this being equal to someone dying of hunger being helped by the recitation of a recipe. Oy.

I remember this from a recent social media post:
In our practice of Shikantaza we do not seek for anything because when we seek for something, an idea of self is involved. Then we try to achieve something to further the idea of self. That is what you are doing when you make some effort, but our effort is to get rid of self-centered activity. That is how we purify our experience. — Shunryu Suzuki, Letters from Emptiness

Someone wiser than me once said: “If the ideal of unconditional love is to be valued, we won’t find it in the practice of religion. Real compassion doesn’t arise from believing in God, from practicing various rituals, or from studying the concept of karma. Compassion can only result from conscious choice, and this requires the freedom to choose without the threat of punishment or the promise of reward. If people are obedient to their faith, it’s a safe bet that compassion is absent from their lives. They probably don’t even know what real compassion feels like. The more we collectively abandon all religion, the better off this planet will be. This doesn’t mean we have to abandon all spiritual pursuits. It just means we must stop turning spirituality into something it isn’t.”

I end this sharing by wishing everyone a happy Lunar New Year of the Dog. Woof!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Question Is Half The Answer

There are many theories out there but as we know, theories cannot be proven. I shared previously the Tibetan belief of the Bardos of Dhamatta and Becoming. This is about the soul spending X amount of time immediately after a human’s or animal’s death and going into the next Bardo and then spending another X amount of time there before being ushered into a new incarnation or rebirth.

Many wisely question how anyone could definitely know things of this nature.  Metaphysics, as we are aware, is an intuitive "science of knowing." How do the masters and teachers know anything? I will share that I believe the souls/spirits of humans who do evil things will be trapped for a while after they die. Just like those who have experienced violent deaths whether by their own hands or by others. Their stream of consciousness, vibration, energy, etc. will likely pull them into a kind of "prison" where more dark/heavy energy exists. How long they remain there, is anyone's guess. I mean, we know of disembodied spirits (ghosts) who are trapped on the Earth plane after death and they can remain trapped until someone knows how to guide them to the other side. Once on the other side, they can choose (as some believe) to be reincarnated or the powers beyond our comprehension (as others believe) can propel them into the next energy experience with or without their cooperation.

I have often reflected on these issues myself. I find it hard to believe that a human who allows him/herself to do evil things can die and be reincarnated immediately after to do good things. I would think the previous consciousness stream would still predominate. So even if murderers get to experience more lifetimes after the one in which they caused so much suffering and pain to others, I don't think these life chances will come about as quickly as for the average soul. I like to believe in cosmic justice and karma so I hope these souls get to experience what it's like to be on the receiving end of such evil. Not necessarily out of a sense of revenge but if they understand what the pain and suffering are like, they might not ever want to inflict such on others again. I like to believe just as goodness is its own heaven, evil is its own hell.   

On Yuval Harare's RSA talk: A History of Tomorrow, he shares his view that there will always be hierarchy. In the future, there will be humans created by Biotechnology to be higher up in status due to manufactured qualities. The masses down the hierarchy line will just have to find their own way to live a meaningful life. In addressing this ongoing existential crisis, I've simplified living to love and compassion. Whatever is the question, love and compassion are the answers. The Dalai Lama said as much: If you want to be happy, practice compassion. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. This is the way of peace. 

I studied astrology for the patterns of energy and the timing of events. I don't want to invite a discussion on astrology—to each our own—I just want to say that life's traumas will hit every human at some point. What good is that to know unless we can find ways to suffer less, right? I've discovered a metaphysical philosophy that we can manage our suffering by choosing to take on certain kinds of suffering rather than let life manifest these sufferings for us. For example, if a human has been fortunate all his/her life, and he/she wishes to avoid the suffering that's inevitable to come, he/she should get involved with charity work that involves inconveniencing themselves and involving different degrees of suffering for the cause. In this way, the suffering is voluntary and under control. Otherwise, life will run its course and the suffering can be unmanageable.

They say the love consciousness is the highest vibration of all so that means love is of merit to the overall universe, right? If it's not coming quite easily to individuals and the planet, I guess that means we are not doing the right things to attract it. I guess that means we have to be the gifts we want? On every level, beginning with the individual, if we want love, we have to BE love. People keep praying/meditating for world peace. I would start first with personal peace then move on to household peace and the wider community. If we are not in peace to begin with, there can be no world peace. The humans who are causing the most pain and suffering in the world are themselves in a state of "Hell" (Narcissists, Sociopaths, Psychopaths, etc). I call this state the EFAW state. EFAW stands for Evil Forces At Work. Whatever we choose to call this state, it's the opposite of Love and Light. People who do not like the word “evil” might want to replace that with “dark/heavy energy.”

Whenever I’m unsure about a person, an event or an experience, I create two boxes in my mind. One is labeled 'Creative;' the other 'Destructive.' When in doubt, I ask myself which box does this (whatever) go into? Once I get down to that kind of simplification, the values of my world are not that complex or abstract anymore. 
For everything that we gain, we lose something and for everything that we lose, we gain something. For me, the best kind of love is the kind that brings me peace. Putting a value on humans is more complex because humans are multidimensional entities existing in a multidimensional universe trying to make sense of everything in a 3-4 dimensional world.

In the case of NSPs (Narcissists, Sociopaths, Psychopaths) aka the catch-all term Narcopaths, do these souls decide between lifetimes, while in spirit form, to create all the confusion, drama and suffering in order to teach others in their "soul group" the lessons that they agreed (again, between lifetimes in spirit form) they wanted/needed to learn? If that is the case, does this mean they will attract the "nature-nurture" events in their lives to manifest the conditions suitable to play out their NSP roles? This would mean it doesn't matter why NSPs become what they are. It becomes their soul purpose, does it not? This would explain why they can't change even when at times they appear to be really invested in being better people. I don't like this "pre-birth soul contract" theory. I like the idea that the point of power is always in the present and that souls can make and break contracts at will at any time—during a lifetime or between lifetimes. However, just because that's what I like it doesn't mean that is the way absolute reality works.

I don't like the idea that souls actually choose to set themselves back in the evolution of their consciousness in order that other souls might make progress in their evolution of consciousness process. This seems to me that metaphysical minds all over the world are desperate to find the answers as to why people do what they do. The world (human affairs) doesn't make sense because people, IMO, are leaving out a vital point of reference and that to me is the EFAW (or the dark and heavy energy). Once we factor the EFAW into the equation, it begins to make sense. Basically, it's an energy battle. It always has been and it always will be.

The problem I have with the “pre-birth contract” theory is that it appears to be predetermination and fate in other words. If it's true we can't remember these sacred contracts when we are born into our present lifetimes, then our conscience should prevent us from doing harm to others, correct? If this is so, since the NPDs and NSPs do not have a conscience, then they must be the "chosen ones" or the ones who "volunteered" to do all the hurting. Does this make sense or not?

Again, we are all multi-dimensional entities manifesting in a multi-dimensional universe. Planet Earth is so challenging because we are spirits struggling within a 3-4 dimensional reality which is limiting our multi-dimensional selves (our consciousness).