Not Getting What One Wants

What is tougher than not getting to eat?  Getting food placed infront of you and not allowed to eat!

During the one-day retreat on last Saturday, 24th September 2011, I mentioned to them during breakfast that not getting to eat is tough, but getting food placed in front of you and not allowed to eat is tougher!  I mentioned this as they held their breakfast in hand at 7+am, after morning puja at ~5:30am and an hour of sitting, standing and walking meditation.

During lunch, which for most people, is rather early at 11+am, I asked if they are hungry.  They weren’t that hungry yet.  And I shared “What’s worse than getting food and not allowed to eat?  … Given food when not hungry and required to eat!“.

Life is like that isn’t it.  We just don’t quite get what we want.

Sometimes we meet people that we dislike and have to work with them.  Sometimes it is the food, sometimes it is the situation … etc.  Other times, we meet people we like, but must part too early.  Or it is the place, things etc.

Life is sometimes a cruel irony.  When you are still in love with the other person and you know that the feelings are mutual, and yet for various reasons, you cannot be together and have to be apart.  Life is sometimes like this.  Like a half-drunk writer, spinning a cruel heart-wrenching novel.

That’s how life is, as cruel or painful as it is, but whichever way the next chapter is written, is up to us.  Some chapters are easier to write while others are tougher.  True friends will be there to hold the page while you write.  Sometimes they will vet through with you and fill in the little details for you too.  But sometimes they will just be there, quietly accompanying you while you write the next chapter, because they want you to be happy.  Because sometimes the chapter only allows that.  But that does not mean they love you any less, it just means they love you more than their wish to write in your chapter.  They love you and wish for you to be happy.

Or you may choose to write a different story line that your friend can join in.  Maybe a bit unconventional.  Maybe even a bit tough.  But if it is worth it, then write this chapter together and support each other through it.

Don’t choose a theme for a chapter because it is easier to write.
Don’t give up on a theme for a chapter because it is tougher to write.
Any story will have people who like or dislike it.
We should decide on the Whys ourselves, and not bog ourselves down with the Hows.  We’ll take care of the Hows once we are decided on the Whys.

Those with the Way without the Will will find a different will that is more convenient and be lost in their direction in the end.
Those with the Will without the Way will muster strength from the will, and find a way to fulfill the will!

One should think carefully before writing; a
manuscript that is corrected once too many times can sometimes be difficult to read.  Sometimes it may be better to start afresh with your friend on a clean slate.  Who knows, maybe in the next chapter they may have a chance to write together with you again.  Or maybe if you want them to write in the next line or paragraph, you can tell them too.  I’m sure they will be more than happy to join you in your chapter.  The important thing is that they want you to be happy, whether you have them writing in the chapter or not.

Your dear friend wants you to be happy.  Please be happy. ; ))


So … … ready for the next chapter?

Stop Putting Ketchup in Your Coffee or We Are No Mind-Readers

I have not met anyone who put ketchup in their coffee, but I know of people who put butter in their coffee.  My fav uncle did!  For a long time I did not know why he did that.  But being a kid, I tot my uncle should know better.  So one day, I started putting butter in my drink … milo!

I tried the concoction … a rich chocolaty drink now enriched with a creamy buttery goodness!  My!  I’m set for life, I must have thought!  This is life! Milo with butter … I’m living it!

After some years, I outgrew the milo-butter thingie though once in awhile, I would still indulge myself in it.  Then one day I happen to mention this to my uncle and asked him about it.  He replied that it had to do with him being a smoker and how the butter with coffee helped mask the after-taste or something.

We had such a good laugh!  To think that I had been putting butter into milo even though I was never a smoker and not even drinking coffee at that!

But thinking back, it didn’t really mattered for me.  Putting butter into milo was my way of connecting with my fav uncle.  It was what is said “The greatest flattery of all is emulation”.  We like emulating others, especially people we like or look up to.  Putting butter in my milo was perhaps my way of emulating my fav uncle.  It was perhaps also a literal way to be in his shoes, to know what or how he thinks.  On the other hand, it was also perhaps an unconscious way to tell the world that, heck, I have no idea why he did that with the butter, but I just think he is right, ‘cos he is my uncle!  Not exactly rational et al, but you gotta cut people some slack some time ya?  I mean, are you gonna fault butter-in-milo?

We are no mind-readers.  Most of us anyway.  So sometimes we like to emulate what people do so that we can appreciate better how they feel or think.  Or other times we ask them about why they do things a certain way.   But it cuts both ways.  Just
as one may ask to know more because he cannot mind-read, like-wise the person being asked of, may not understand why the fuss over the question.  If only we are all mind-readers … then … wow … this world will be quite different huh?  No more lies, no more second-guessing, a lot less uncertainties.

But we are no mind-readers at the moment.  We can try to develop mind-reading skills.  But last I check, it’s difficult at best.  There is another skill that we can develop that can help here.  We can learn to be more understanding, in both counts.  The person who wanted to ask the question can learn to be more understanding (hmmm … but at the first place, the question is asked because he is unable to understand!?) … and perhaps be able to not have to ask at the first place?  Or the person being asked the question can be more understanding of the need to clarify?

So one day, if you see a person putting ketchup in his coffee (or laws forbid, milo!), be more understanding, maybe his fav uncle or aunty did that!  And for those who put ketchup in your coffee, do have the patience to explain your little story as to why ketchup in your coffee.

We need Understanding in our daily coffee and milo.  That’s what we need.  And if you will, a serving of ketchup and / or butter for those who may please.  Enjoi your Nutty Mocha Frappé.



Nutty Mocha Frappé photo courtesy of The Connoisseur Concerto

Deadly Earthquake Hits India and Nepal


Deadly earthquake hits India and Nepal

Earthquake of magnitude 6.9 hits north-eastern India and Nepal,
damaging buildings and killing at least 16 people


Prayers and aid goes out to them.

A strong earthquake has shaken northeastern India and Nepal, killing at least 16 people and damaging buildings.

The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9, was felt across northeast India. It triggered at least two aftershocks of magnitude 6.1 and 5.3, Indian seismology official RS Dattatreyan said. He warned that more aftershocks were possible.

At least five people in India’s Sikkim state were killed and more than 50 were injured, according to the state’s top official. Nepal’s government said five people died and dozens were hurt there.

The full extent of the damage was not immediately known because the region is sparsely populated, with many living in remote areas that were cut off by mudslides triggered by the quake, Singh said.

TV stations reported collapsed buildings and cracked pavements in Sikkim’s state capital of Gangtok, 42 miles southeast of the quake’s epicentre. The Indo-Tibetan border police said two of its buildings had collapsed in Gangtok.

Rescuers were searching for anyone pinned under fallen buildings in the city, which has a population of 50,000, Singh said.

“We have sounded a high alert. Police are on the streets in Gangtok and other major towns,” he said.

Electricity and some phone services were interrupted in the area.

Power lines snapped in the West Bengal cities of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, which “are now in total darkness”, state chief minister Mamata Banerjee said.

The Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, offered to send troops to help, and summoned the National Disaster Management Authority for an emergency meeting. The air force sent five planes to help with rescue efforts.

In neighbouring Nepal and Bangladesh, the quake sent residents rushing out of their homes, offices and shopping centers.

In Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, members of parliament who
were debating the national budget ran out of the assembly hall into a parking area. They returned 15 minutes later and resumed their session.

The quake was felt as far away as the Indian capital, with New Delhi residents rushing out of shaking buildings.

SAY NO to Sharks’ Fin Soup, SAY NO to Cruelty.

I am not advocating vegetarianism as a religious practice or mandate.  Rather I am saying, do we really have to placate our palates in such a manner that requires much suffering in other sentient living beings?


SAY NO to Sharks’ Fin Soup, SAY NO to Cruelty.

Before you eat or order your next bowl of Sharks Fin soup, please watch the following video past 5mins … I’ve not eaten Sharks’ Fin soup for probably over a decade now … watching how these animals are slaughtered for their fins and mostly thrown back into sea to die … mostly suffocating, as the sharks cannot swim without the fins … I feel so :(((

This is not about this or that precepts or whatever. This is about basic humaneness and non-cruelty. I screamed out when I saw the baby shark being stepped on and have its face / mouth sliced open while it struggled. :(((( *weep*

Some people comment that other forms of killing are as inhumane and cruel, if not more.  To that, I say that we then have to eat responsibly, to the best of our knowledge and ability.

Gordon Ramsay eats Shark Fin Soup for the first time!


Gordon Ramsey: Shark Bait