Sunday, February 29, 2004
My leap year blog
"We have a leap year once every four years, and we will have twenty-four leap years this century."
Oh, look! I blogged something!
Saturday, February 28, 2004
Calvin and Hock
Friday, February 27, 2004
The Swaziland king and I
To quote the news article:
Swaziland's absolute monarch has singled out women wearing trousers as the cause of the world's ills in a state radio sermon that also condemns human rights as an "abomination before God".
"The Bible says curse be unto a woman who wears pants, and those who wear their husband's clothes. That is why the world is in such a state today," King Mswati said.
Ah yes...I see it now. There never was anything wrong with the world until women wore trousers. Yes, yes, this is all so clear to me. World War I and II happened because women started wearing trousers. Before that, there were no wars, not even small arguments. Before women started wearing trousers, even fighting fish would not fight! They just rubbed their tails at each other. I understand that now.
The bird flu in Asia....that must have been caused by women wearing trousers. It was not caused by germs because germs don't wear trousers. I should have understood that.
Let us not forget the Cameron Highlands landslide. That must have been triggered off by women wearing trousers. We know that the rain and ground conditions have nothing to do with it. Ah yes, I understand it all now. Oh thank you, king Mswati, for I was blind, but now I see.
And the recent earthquakes in Iran and Morocco were caused by women wearing trousers. Oh dear.....these two countries must have the highest concentration of women wearing trousers in the world. How else can you explain their earthquakes? So let us have no more of the 'seismic ground movement' bullshit theories from now on.
But wait.....did somebody say that most of the women in Iran and Morocco don't wear trousers? So what? Just one woman wearing trousers is enough. Because when the men see one woman wearing trousers, the whole male population will all jump in the air in surprise at the same time. And when they all land back on the ground at the same time with a huge "thud", this will definitely cause a huge earthquake. Surely everybody can understand that, yes?
The FBI were wrong! They said that September 11 terrorists were all men. No, no, no! Can't anybody see that they were not men but women wearing trousers? Is that so difficult to understand? You should not let their beards fool you!
We have to thank king Mswati for helping us to understand why the world is in such a state. But wait...there is something that I still do not understand. Why does the king have a woman's name like Ms Wati? Can it be that he is not a man.....but a woman wearing trousers and claiming to be king? Does that make him an "abomination before God"?
I am so confused. I think I shall go and look at some women in skirts to improve my understanding.
Thursday, February 26, 2004
Here is the Rotiboy recipe I promised you people last week. Note that the recipe may not be the same as that used by the Rotiboy Bakeshoppe but it should be somewhat similar. This bun is also known as the Mexican bun. The rotiboy consists of three parts: the filling, topping, and sweet dough. The filling and topping can be prepared beforehand and kept in the refrigerator until ready for use. The ingredients and instructions for preparing each of the three parts are given as follows:
200 g salted butter, softened
1/2teaspoon vanilla flavouring
70 g brown sugar
Beat butter in electric mixer on medium speed with the paddle attachment for three minutes.
Blend in vanilla essence and brown sugar.
Spoon mixture into bowl and refrigerated until firm.
Divide mixture into 20 g portion into ball. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
200 g butter, softened
160 g icing sugar, sifted
3 Grade A eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon coffee flavouring(available from bakery supplies shop)
(You can use 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon water instead of the coffee flavouring.)
A pinch of ground cinnamon can be added to the coffee flavouring for extra flavour.
200 g low protein (high ratio) flour, sifted
Beat butter and icing sugar in electric mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed for five min. until mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs. Mix in coffee flavouring. Sift flour onto mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
500g high protein flour, sifted
5g bread improver, sifted + 5 g bread softener
20 g milk powder, sifted
75 g castor sugar
6 g salt
8g day instant yeast
1 egg lightly beaten
270g water or milk(do not use milk powder if using milk)
60 g butter softened
Mix sifted flour, castor sugar and salt in electric mixer with dough hook on low speed for one min. Mix in yeast. Add egg and water or milk.Mix on low speed for another minute. Mix on medium speed for eight minutes. Mix in butter. Mix five minutes more on medium speed until soft, smooth and elastic(but not sticky) dough forms.
Remove dough from mixture and shape into a ball.
Divide the dough into 55 g portions(should get 17 portions). Roll each portion into a ball. Cover the balls of dough and leave to rest for 10 min.
To shape the buns:
Flatten a ball of dough with the palm of your hand. Place a ball of filling in the centre of the dough. Gather the edge and pinch to seal. (Be sure to seal well or the filling will leak out during baking.) Pat into shape and place on a greased baking tray. Repeat with remaining portions of dough . Place each bun about 7.5 cm apart on the baking trays.
Prove for 45 min in a warm place.
Pipe the topping on the buns in a spiral, starting from the centre.
Bake in preheated oven at 200 deg C for 12 to 15 min or until buns are lightly brown.
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
National Service: The smuggled letter
|Dear Mum and Dad|
My National Service camp is really a
wonderful place to be in and is not a
dump. It is run by some professional
people who told us not to act like
idiots who tend to always go wan-
dering about. They were always loo-
king in the toilets like all-time
hygiene was crucial. Our health and
pleasure was important to them! The
dining area is our best place 'cos the
food tastes like highly processed
quality nutrition. This is no bull-
shit! Man, oh man, all of us are so fu-
ll of praise. There is nothing we la-
cked! Our leaders should all try this!
When Mum read the note, she thought happily that her son was adjusting well to life in camp.
But Dad knew his son better. So he read only the odd numbered lines 1,3,5,7,9,11,13 and 15.
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
A Modern Fairy Tale
"This is pretty amazing.....my first time in the water and I can swim already!"
The princess soon spied a frog sunning itself on a rock. And so she thought to herself,
"Hmmmmm....I read in fairy tales that sometimes a witch will turn a prince into a frog and he can only transform back into a prince after he is kissed by a princess. Should I kiss this frog? Eeeeewww....this one is so damn ugly!"
Leaning towards the frog, the princess kissed it nevertheless. It was a half-hearted effort. It should have been a much better kiss. The frog was actually a prince under a spell. Pooof!!! The frog transformed immediately into a .......dog! Alas, the kiss was just not passionate enough to supply sufficient emotional energy to complete the transformation.
This concept may be difficult to swallow for those of you with a poor imagination. So, those of you who are above 18 years of age are allowed to click on this picture link to get a clearer idea. If however, you are not above 18, and you clicked on that link, then......er......hmmmmphh......that would have been very bad!
But back to the story.
The princess thought;
"Hey....I was expecting a handsome prince, not a dumb dog! Oh never mind.....I can always use a pet. A dog is more obedient that a boyfriend anyway. Besides, I can always name it "Prince". Here Prince, come here boy....good dog!"
And the dog thought;
"Damn...this chick can't kiss....and now my transformation is incomplete. Fuck! But still, being a dog beats being a frog. Hahaha, I can stop eating flies now. Besides, wow, that chick as a fantastic pair of tits! I think I will follow her home....."
And so, they lived happily ever after.
- The End -
And now for the moral of the story. There are three morals. Why three? Because I am lazy. I want to show you three morals without having to tell three stories. I know that's immoral, but what to do?
Moral # 1: A half-assed effort begets a half-assed result.
Moral # 2: Life does not always turn out the way you wish, but that does not mean that you can't be happy.
Moral # 3: Even ridiculous stories can make some sense as long as you have a decent picture.
Monday, February 23, 2004
Sg Klah Hot Springs
The water in the park was a respectable 60 degrees centigrade. One girl was boiling eggs at one of the many hot spring sources. It takes about 7 minutes to get the eggs to become hard-boiled. Here is the picture.
The entrance fee was 4 ringgit for adults and 2 for kids. The officer said that I looked matured enough to pass for an adult so I had to pay 4 ringgit. Still, the park it was a good way to spend two hours. Being conscious of germs, I did not swim in the huge hot water swimming pool. I would advise people against it as well as the water is not chlorinated and people can pick up infections from the warm and still waters of huge hot spring swimming pools. The smaller therapeutic pools are safer as they are hotter and the water is flowing. Many picnickers can be found in the park as it was a Sunday. Still, the atmosphere was not crowded as many people are not aware of it's opening, I guess. As we did not bring our own food, we decided to go to Bidor for lunch.
The badly maintained road into the park can be dangerous. Some sides have been eroded away to resemble mini drops. I would advise impatient drivers not to speed along this road. Once you go off the road, you will not be able to get up on to the road again without a crane. This is a metallic estate road so a few parts are passable to only one car at a time.
Lunch in Bidor was passable and cheap. We went to the Tien Tien Lai restaurant. We had five dishes including fish and ostrich meat and the bill came up to 66 ringgit. for a table of five people.
Saturday, February 21, 2004
Three little words
I do find it amusing to note that visitors who come via search engines(usually Yahoo or Google) found this site through three search items:
I get hits for these three every week without fail.
Getting hits for "gigolo" is practically a daily affair. I think I should come clean. I have not even tried out the method of gigolo training as described in the November 14th 2003 posting. It was written in jest but of course, there is no reason why it should not work!
Rotiboy is of course the best selling bun in Mid Valley Megamall and 1 Utama complex. It easily outsells by ten times any other bun from all the other competitors combined. People who have been to these two shopping malls will know that I am not exaggerating. Otherwise, there will be not so many Google searches for it. It is actually a Mexican bun with a coffee-flavoured topping.
I get the feeling that visitors to this blog from Google want to be able to bake the Rotiboy. So okay, next week, I will post up the recipe of Rotiboy for visitors to try. My sister-in-law has tried out the recipe and she says that it is good. When it comes to baking at home, I do not think that there are many professionals who can match her abilities, so if she says that the recipe is good, it WILL be good. Still, I need to type the recipe out in a manner that can be easily understood by by an iron chef like me.
As for NKVE, man......those past articles of mine were downright embarrassing. They were not particularly well written, and were a rip-off on the Lord of the Rings saga. I am sure the titles of "The Two Towels" and "Return of the Kink" did not fool anybody. To add to my embarrassment, the free hosting services provided by VillagePhotos for the pictures were ended. Nothing I can do about it now. I tried editing it in Blogger to link to a new picture hosting site, but somehow, it did not work. Can't complain about free services, can we?
Friday, February 20, 2004
The tree is in the forest today
Do I really have anything to say today?
If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?
Thursday, February 19, 2004
The mind: Attitude is a big thing.
In a proper setting, such an awareness training session will take about ten days. On top of that trainees will not talk to each other. When there is complete silence, trainees will find it easier to settle the mind. The food intake is curtailed as well because people become sleepy on a full stomach. And 10 hours of practice is done by a trainee each day.
After the first training session, the trainee will often make arrangements to come back for another ten days. After several of such ten-day courses, the trainee will go for advanced training. Which was what I did.
So, is the little effort that you people have been putting in for the past three days any good?
Let me put it in the correct perspective. Many of you will not be able to take a ten-day leave to go for a ten-day session in your lifetime. You may have time and family commitments which you are not able to get out of. The most you can hope for is for somebody to present you with awareness on a plate. And that is not going to happen as only you can exercise your own ability of awareness.
What I had hoped to achieve is that some of you may be able to discover the mad frantic rush of thoughts in your mind and your ability to take your awareness to the air outside your nose. I have benefitted from this method freely and I now pass it to you freely. By that, I would have done my duty to you. If somehow, you experienced even a few seconds of pure awareness, the hold which the thought processes have over you is weakened. For one short break of two seconds, they were not your masters. That one break in the mindless chatter was just what you needed. That one break will start an attitude change. It will make it easier for you to get in your next break. And after that it becomes easier and easier.
You need to watch your attitude as you do this. Attitude may not be everything, but it is a very big thing. You have to be very forgiving. If the attention wandered off, your attitude should be very forgiving like
"the attention has wandered....never mind...I'll guide it back to the nostrils again....oh it's off again....never mind....back again...."
If the attention wanders 10 times in a minute, then you would be practising forgiveness 10 times a minute. It is easy to talk about forgiveness, but everytime you are practising this awareness exercise, you are actually walking the talk.
Try not to curse and swear if you can't get your attention to where you want. Oh, you will do that many times no doubt, but try to cut down the number of times you do it, will ya? You deserve better treatment than that. I do swear at myself at times despite my years of practice, but I forgive myself for it everytime. Have I told you people before that I am no saint? I haven't? Good lord!
These mindless processes ar not without defences. It will serve up bodily sensations, constipation, nonsensical thoughts and whatnots to try to throw you off course. When I first started doing this, I had the most exciting sexual fantasies. I remember thinking to myself at that time, "Hey! This method is great! I'm having a fantastic time already!" Ah....temptation. Of course, that was not the objective of the method. The problem was made worse by the presence of some mat salleh girl trainees who walked about in their T-shirts without bras underneath. With my heightened sense of awareness, I could not help noticing the outlines of those nips beneath. They were not supposed to dress like that of course, but people break the rules every now and then. It sure took a great effort to go back to observing the breathing.
After you have started this practice(probably will take a few years), you will be much more pleasant to be with. That is because you are more sane than before. People living with you will have an easier time. So you may think, "What? I am doing this so that the idiots around me will feel more pleasant around me?" Hahaha! It does appear so, doesn't it? It helps if you have a bit of love in your heart. One of the most beautiful statements I have heard came from the movie "As Good As It Gets" where Jack Nicholson paid a compliment to his lady love by saying, "You made me want to improve myself!"
Here's the kicker: for some reason, not everybody can concentrate their awareness. I have been told by my seniors on two separate occasions that only those with good karma will come into contact with this method. I do not know if they were joking or not, but I have not seen evidence of such things as karma and I prefer to believe in things that can be explained by science or my own experiential wisdom. They probably meant love instead of good karma. If they didn't, then they should!
I have been doing this exercise for years now. It's like taking a bath to me. It is not that much effort and each time I do it I feel cleaner. Life still hands me challenges. But it hasn't been that bad.
May your path be happy.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Changing your life: So where is the bliss?
"What? I do all this meditation shit and there is no bliss? Bliss, bliss.....where are you?"
Hahaha! Please don't crack jokes like that. Of course there is no bliss.
First of all, I did not call this "meditation". I called it an awareness exercise because that is precisely what it is.
Secondly, this method did not promise you bliss. I only said that it is a method to calm down your thought processes in order to live a better way. The objective is greater insight, not bliss.
Thirdly, if you really want bliss, then you should visit an opium den. Okay, scratch that...there are no opium dens in Malaysia. Even if there are, it wouldn't be legal.
The "Awareness-of-the-breath" method I have shown you has been practised on this planet for thousands of years. I first came into contact with this method in a small village north of Bombay. It was taught by somebody from Myanmar to an odd collection of students. Among the people learning the method I found atheists, muslims, hindus, christians and even Catholic nuns. The teaching was non-denominational and the teacher did not bother what his students believed in as long as they were willing to practise some awareness. This is a reason why I did not focus much on the theory behind all this.
If the method is of any good, one does not even have to believe in it. Many of you are happily driving cars without the slightest theory about what goes on inside the engine. But that did not stop you, did it? And when the bicycle was invented, many people did not believe that anything on two wheels could be ridden without falling. But that lack of belief did not stop the bicycle from functioning, did it? Which is why I have not asked you about your beliefs because, frankly, they should not be any of my business.
Let's come back to the practice. The way to practise it is to do so with equanimity. Which is why you should stay just outside your nostrils. It is the one place where you can be unjudging. The human being often reacts to situations with either craving or aversion. I take the view that this is not wrong, but can be unwise if it becomes habitual. We have a habit of judging things as either "good" or "bad". So if it is "good" we start to crave it. And if it is "bad", we become averse to it. Somebody once told me that we have partaken of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. Not being familiar with the book of Genesis, I will not pursue this line of reasoning. I will just say that the mind is habitually judging things. Heaven must be good to us as it has provided us with a spot where the mind does not judge, and this spot is outside the nostrils.
I do not suppose that anybody here thinks:
"Breathing in is good...so I will breathe more. After all, air is free! Breathing out is bad. Bad, bad, bad! So I will not breathe out!"
No, no, no! At the nostrils, you will most likely be able to remain neutral and balanced. This is the one spot that it is difficult for the mind to apply the knowledge of good and evil. The key to a good awareness session is to avoid mental judging.
For the next explanation, I would like you first to practise the "Awareness-of-the-breath" method for about two minutes. If you are sitting in front of your computer, make sure you will not be disturbed by your colleagues for a while. You can keep your eyes open and stare at the edge of your keyboard if you like. Breathe normally and naturally. Feel the sensations of the air flowing over your upper lip to your nostril entrances.
* two minutes "Awareness-of-the-breath" practice *
At the end of this short session, you may noticed that many things compete for your attention. Sometimes, the body may throw up a pain to try to get your attention. This pain can come from anywhere, even from an old childhood wound that you had forgotten about. Stay with our nose. At times, a pleasant tingly feeling may appear. Again, stay with our nose.
If it is not bodily sensations, it will be thoughts. All of them have a purpose, that is, to compete for your attention. This is a competition that the nose should win. (That's right...win by a nose). Each time the attention goes to a thought or bodily sensation, bring it back to the nose gently. You don't have to do it very irritably as this will create tension. Treat everything kindly. And if you really can't get the attention to the nose for some unusual reason, then accept that fact and do it some other time. It may sound like a very lackadaisical approach, but it is better to maintain equanimity. However, don't let that become an excuse for not practising.
It is a good idea to get in a short session of practice just before you sleep. Please do not touch anybody while you are practicing. Which means you don't practise this while having sex. And after sex, you may be too tired to concentrate. Best to practise this on non-sex nights. If you wake up earlier than your alarm bell the next morning, good! You can use that extra time to practise as well!
May you have good awareness.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Changing your life: Why the breath
Those of you who did the "awareness of the breathing" exercise yesterday will know by now that you have lots of thought processes going on in the background. The mind has often been described as a mad monkey stung by a scorpion. Actually, it's more like ten mad monkeys stung by a scorpion! And it will be good if you can shut some monkeys down. Here is where it gets complex. You don't have a Windows Task Manager for your mind! What you have is Awareness. So you got to work with what you have. Each time you are aware of your breathing(total awareness, not just on-off awareness), you can calm some monkeys down. You may not be able to shut down the monkeys completely, but at least you can calm them down enough to make your life liveable. Calming your mind will not miraculously make your problems disappear, but you will be in a better position to handle them. Life will hand you situations, but at least you can have a better way of seeing your self through.
It is good that you have started to practise now, because it takes time to polish up your sense of awareness.
Now for some explanations:
Those of you who practised awareness last night may have noticed one thing: you woke up earlier this morning or even some time in the night. This is because when you were practising awareness, the mind became more rested, so you did not need as much sleep as before.
Another thing you may have noticed is that you started remembering certain smells from your childhood or some odd memory snippets which you thought you had long forgotten. This is not unusual. You had been observing your breathing. Because you did not consciously try to force the pace of the breath, the breathing activity was controlled by your subconscious mind. In other words, you were observing an activity of your subconscious mind! This can cause some memory snippets to rise to the surface. Ignore them and concentrate on being aware of the air at your nostrils.
What is so special about breathing?
Breathing is an activity that has been with you since birth. The baby is an expert in breathing when it is born. So observing this activity is completely natural. This activity is also psychologically balanced. I have not met anybody who says, "I want to breathe in more and breathe out less!" Anybody who says that may not be balanced.
Why keep the attention outside the nostrils?
This is easier for newbies. Human beings keep stress inside the human bodies, so I would not advise people to put their attention inside the human body as they may not be able to maintain equanimity. It takes a certain kind of mind to be able to do that properly. Stay outside the nostrils, unless you have nostril injuries of course.
Why keep the eyes half-opened?
This is not necessary. I do it with my eyes closed. But newbies may need to look in the general direction of their nostrils in order to focus their attention there. Otherwise their minds drift and then they fall asleep. Keep your eyes closed or open if you like.
How effective is this method?
I have heard some quarters claim that this method is the ONLY way to purify the mind. I would laugh at such a huge claim. Besides, I am not interested in purifying the mind, whatever it means. I just want to prevent my brain computer from hanging. After you tried it, you will automatically know that it is a good method. You won't gain superpowers, but you will see your path better. Your insight improves.
Should you use any visualization techniques or mantras
No, no, no! Keep this natural. Don't introduce anything artificial here. Don't even say "in...out...in....out" mentally with your breath. Just observe what is happening naturally and be aware.
Anything you should watch out for?
Yeah......constipation. The mind tries to hold on to its old habits. I don't quite understand why the body also try to hold on to the shit, but the result is that you may find it more difficult to shit. This should not stop you. Just add more vegetables to your diet, drink more water and eat some bananas. Luckily, this only affects a minority of people, so you may be alright.
Try to practise as often as you can. Even a short session while waiting for your lunch can be beneficial. You deserve to live a better way.
Monday, February 16, 2004
Changing your life: Experiencing the breath
If your life is not going right, then you could be in the grip of destructive thought cycles that will not allow you to breathe easy. Two negative emotions that prevent us from living full lives are fear and guilt. And these may not come about from our own doing. There are adults who are unable to sleep in the dark because they were told horror stories as a child, and the fear has been with them ever since. There are people who run from lizards, not huge monitor lizards, but the small ones hiding behind the fluorescent lights. You can tell them a thousand and one times that there is nothing to fear and the result is still the same: fear.
Where do irrational reactions come from? Some came about as a result of childhood experiences. Some may be inherited through genetic memory. I will not comment on the strange theories that some came from karma. There is also the odd theory that the sins of the fathers are visited upon their descendents. Or maybe some aliens embedded them inside us for their sinister experiments on the human species. Suffice to say, the irrational reactions and undesirable thought cycles are with us now. They are very unwelcome indeed. Like malicious programs, they stay in the mind waiting for opportunities to wreak havoc. What can we do about them?
Thought processes behave like lifeforms. You can't just uninstall them from your brain. They hide in the recesses of your head and they survive. Your first step is to be aware of the huge amount of mind chatter that goes on in your head. Awareness is your most effective weapon in making your life more liveable.
Experiencing the breath
I would like you to spare two minutes and perform this exercise with me. Please sit straight on your chair and make sure you will not be disturbed for the next two minutes. Keep your eyes half-closed and look in the general direction of your nose. Now give a quick command to your mind that for the next two minutes, you do not wish to have any thoughts.
Focus your attention on the area above your upper lip to the edge of your nostrils. You should be able to feel the air moving in and out through your nostrils. Keep your attention purely on that area. If you are unable to focus on that area, do a few quick sniffs with your nostrils and the attention will automatically go there. Thoughts will arise in the mind as you do this, but ignore them for the moment. Just focus on the air going in and going out. Do not read on until you have completed this two-minute exercise.
* breathing in and out for two minutes *
If you are now reading this sentence, it can mean only two things: either you have not done the two-minute exercise or you have completed it.
If you have not done this two-minute exercise, it means that your thought processes will not allow you to do it. Their control over you is strong. They are your masters but you do not know it. You can't out-think them because they are thoughts themselves. The thought processes behave as though they can sense an enemy and they react by giving all sorts of excuses for not focusing. Some people who tried focusing reported that they suddenly become very sleepy. If your sense of awareness is sharpened, some of the thought processes will lose their power over you and you may become their master, and they will try to prevent that. We all know that two minutes of your time is not going to be that precious as you waste much more time than that in a day. Taking these two minutes to focus on the breathing is going to be a most difficult step for you. Hopefully, someone will one day appear in your life to guide you through your obstacles to a full life. I wish you luck.
For those of you who have done the two minute exercise, you have taken the first step in making a change in your life. I do not have to tell you that this an improvement to you....you will know by yourself! Somehow, instinctively, you will know that you should have done this long ago! Don't ask me why it is so. Maybe divinity is reasserting itself in you. Who knows? However, it does not mean that you understand anything just yet. It means you have taken the first important step.
During the two minutes you would have noticed some things:
1) The mind did not obey you.
Remember that you gave a command to the mind not to have any thoughts for the two minutes. During that time many thoughts would have cropped up, such as;
"Okay, I am aware of the breathing, now what?......why am I breathing only through one nostril......wait, my breath is too short or too long....I wonder what shall I eat afterwards.....maybe I'll catch a movie this weekend....".
So okay, the mind did not obey you, but now you know! This is called "mind chatter" and is difficult to prevent.
2) Pure awareness of breathing was only a few seconds
You could be aware of the air going in and out of your nostrils, but it was not 100% awareness. There was the chatter of the mind in the background so you may be aware of BOTH at the same time. However, during a short time like 3 seconds, you could have focused such that there was only breathing in and breathing out, but no mind chatter. Well congratulations! This 3 seconds have broken the train of mind chatter into two. This could be the first time in years that the mind chatter has broken into two portions, so it is a significant step. I have been doing this stuff for years and I still consider it good if I can get a few seconds of awareness of breathing without the mind chatter interrupting.
3) Halfway, you will realised that "this is so good".
The feeling of "this is so good" comes from your experiencing awareness. This may be the first time twenty years you are experiencing total awareness so you can't help having this kind of feeling. However, you should not allow this feeling interfere with your focussing on the air going in and out of the nostrils. The mind chatter will target this feeling and so you will be having thoughts like "...this is so good...my friends should try it......blah...blah...blah...". Before you know it, the mind chatter would have taken over and you would have forgotten that you were supposed to concentrate on the air!
By now, you will know instinctively that there is something useful in watching the air movement in an out of the nostrils. Please do not try to control the breathing. It should be subconscious breathing, not conscious breathing. Let the subconscious mind decide on how the air is supposed to go in and out of the nostrils. It is also at this stage that you will be curious to know about the theory behind it. That is not important. All the theories in the world is not going to help the blind man understand why the red colour is different from the blue colour. If the blind man can open his eyes to see both red and blue, he would understand in a flash. Experiencing the truth is a heck lot better than theories. Which is what I would like you to do. I would like you to experience the air going in and out of your nostrils, just for experiencing sake. And tonight, before you sleep, try to experience this for half an hour in bed.
Saturday, February 14, 2004
Changing your life: The mind
The mind as an imperfect servant
Have you ever wondered why people find it difficult to change their lives? There are people who do not like the life they are living, so they started moving their furniture around to change the feng shui(geomancy). It did not help. So they figured that maybe they should change their abode to get both a new feng shui, and a new environment. It did not help either.
You probably know some of these people. There are girls who move from one abusive boyfriend to another and each new boyfriend is just as abusive as the previous one. Or there are people who get into the same old shitty financial situation again and again. So you ask yourself, “Don’t these people have a thinking mind?”. Of course these people have. And it is their thinking minds that got them into trouble.
We have always assumed that we can think ourselves out of any problem. But many situations become worse through thinking.
Experiments with bees have shown that if they are placed in a bottle, and the bottle is then held upside down such that the mouth of the bottle faces the ground, the bees(being more intelligent than the flies) will try to escape by flying upwards towards the sunlight. Of course they will not be able to escape that way. The flies are too stupid to use their brains and will fly in every direction. By pure luck, the flies will fly to the mouth of the bottle and escape whereas the bees will die. In this case, luck has a better chance of success than thinking. The bee has always known that if there are not sure, they should fly towards the sun rather than dash themselves into the ground. In most cases the bee would have done the correct thing by flying upwards. In this case the bee was unsuccessful because its thinking was based on LIMITED knowledge and experience. This is also the problem with human beings. In fact, it is worse with human beings.
Our thinking is also based on LIMITED knowledge and experience, but our ego will not allow us to admit that. So we are caught in the same cycle of thinking, the same erroneous thought patterns. This is a severe form of intelligence trap. Thinking can work for you all the time if you have INFINITE knowledge and experience. Now get this in your head; you can never have infinite knowledge and experience. If you do, I will have to call you “God”.
If I put you in a maze and ask you to think yourself out of there, can you? Of course you can’t. Yet there will be people who will try it, and not admit that their best chance of success is to run to and fro like an idiot. The point I want to put across is this….do not trust your own mind one hundred percent. You are not God.
Friday, February 13, 2004
Dear Lai Ma on Valentine Day dinner
In today's edition of the 5Star, the "Dear Lai Ma" column deals with questions concerning the Valentine Day dinner. Ms Lai Ma, a former karaoke lounge singer, now our 5Star columnist, is the foremost expert in romance in this country. And I repeat, she has five times more boyfriends then her one-star competitor.
Dear Lai Ma
My boyfriend suggests that for Valentine Day dinner, we go out and eat durians. Is this romantic or not?
Sek Lau Lin
Dear Lau Lin
Your boyfriend is not romantic lah. Wah lau eh....eat durians...and after that want to kiss you in between durian burps. Who can tahan? On a scale of 1 to 10, his romantic rating is a zero.
Dear Lai Ma
My boyfriend suggests that we go and eat roti canai for Valentine Day dinner. I know that restaurants are very expensive on Valentine Day, but I want a candlelight dinner and roti canai is so el cheapo. Do you think he is a cheapskate?
Never mind lah.....love does not have to be expensive. Roti Canai also okay mah. If you want a candlelight dinner, you can always bring your own candle to the mamak shop. The candle can help keep away the flies also. Your boyfriend is very careful with money. Good or not, I don't know. But wait....if he makes you pay for the roti canai, then he definitely is a cheapskate!
Dear Lai Ma
My male colleague asked me out for a Valentine Day dinner and is taking me to eat oysters. Hooisay man....I si beh song, leh. I know that oysters are very expensive. Should I be very flattered?
Dear Tai Pau
Oysters are not only very expensive, they make men very horny also. That is why my boyfriends all try to invite me for oysters every night. If the guy treats you to oysters, it means that he expects some action with you at the end of the evening. He let you si beh song now because he wants to si beh song later. The question you should ask is not whether you should be very flattered......but whether you would be very flattened.
Dear Lai Ma
I am so very handsome. I like to look at myself in the mirror because every time I look, I see only perfection. I expect beautiful girls to queue up to book me for Valentine Day dinner, and so I went and bought a dozen condoms first. But so far, the only girl who has asked me out is damn ugly one....you know, the type that looks like the backside of a cow. And some more, she expects me to pay for the dinner! How can? I am just too handsome for her. Why can't beautiful supermodels ask me out instead?
Why the world so fucked up?
Chin Tu Lan
Dear Tu Lan
How many times must I tell you that the world is fucked up because people like you fucked it up? I read your dumbass letter and I wanted to puke. Ni nao hiah....si beh ai bin. You think you are God's greatest gift to all women, izzit? If you like the mirror so much, why don't you take the mirror out for your Valentine Day dinner?
Lucky for you, my talkcock editor said that we are a 5-star paper and I should not give you any ridiculous advice. So okay lah.....you can do the following. Since you don't want to go out with ugly girls, you can always go out for Valentine dinner alone. And also since you like the mirror so much, you can always come home after dinner to hump the mirror. If you plan to give the mirror kau kau then you must remember to use protection. Make sure that you put on your one dozen condoms ALL at once. This is for your dicky's protection.....against broken glass.
Dear Lai Ma
I asked my boyfriend what he wants to eat for Valentine Day dinner, and he said that he wants to eat me. Is this romantic?
Dear Allota Bush
You are so lucky! Malaysian men normally do not like to eat the woman. They say oral sex strains their tongues and the bush tickles their noses. They give all sorts of stupid excuses. But they like the woman to eat them. And some more, they want us women to swallow. You tell me where got fair? Don't ask whether your boyfriend is romantic or not....just count your good fortune. You know, hor, it is very difficult to get a macho man to become a carpet muncher at night. Sometimes, usually just before your pubic hair land on the bed, you may hear him make a sound like "Brrrrpppt...ptui!". Well, don't worry about it. This is a good sign that he is making a lot of effort just to please you. On a scale of 1 to 10, that would be a 20.
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Morning walk is good for butts
My rationale is rather simple. I sit on my ass in the car to get to work. Once in the office I sit down on my ass again. The ass is a wonderful thing. We look at it and we sit on it. Although we can't eat it(not to say that nobody ever tried), it is nevertheless a useful piece of equipment that nature gave us. And those of you who disagree with me can try sitting on your heads or try shitting out of your ears. I'll guarantee that you will change your mind after that.
I'm not an expert on the ass, but I think sitting on it for too long may cause it to atrophy. It needs blood circulation and lots of it. And I don't think a Viagra pill for the ass has been invented yet. And walking does improve blood circulation in the butt. In fact, I'm so taken up with this morning walk thing that I think I will do it every workday from now on.
It would be most fantastic if our company encourages the staff to do this. Somebody please send a note to my boss that says,
"You can be an ASSHOLE if you sit too long on your ASS in this HOLE."
Hey....I like that! Maybe I'll write that down in my year end self-evaluation form. I remember dreading that form, but I am feeling too good to dread anything right now. See? That brisk morning walk is bringing me benefits already!
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Walking Meditation turning into Morning Walk
Of course, meditation is best done barefoot as the human body produces electricity and is also an electrical conductor. Being barefoot make it easy for electrical charges to flow to the ground. This theory is not traditional meditation theory, but the French have been researching shit like this over the years. And you know what? I think that they are right. Qigong practitioners in China reported that they are unable to light up bulbs with their body electricity when they are four floors above the ground. Too damn far from the ground I guess.
But, coming back to my walking meditation stint this morning. I thought that I would walk slowly and concentrate on the sensations on my feet. I was practising awareness. Never mind that I was still wearing shoes.
I had done about 20 steps when a curvy female colleague walked by. I caught a brief whiff of her perfume. Oh fuck. My awareness went out of the window. I tried varying my pace so as to bring awareness back to the walking sensations. But it was no good. The mind kept wandering off. Not to the female colleague, but to a host of other thoughts. I managed to get about 3 seconds of awareness before the mind wandered off and had to be called back each time.
Finally I gave up and just walked briskly around for ten minutes just for some morning exercise. I remembered why I had not tried walking meditation for a long time. It was because I was too easily distracted.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Smuggling Thai chicken
To quote this story in a local newspaper:
Since the ban was enforced eight days ago, the agencies had seized and destroyed more than 400kg of banned items from travellers.......
I can't understand why travellers are unable to comprehend the danger of their actions. Why do they act like this? Can't they read the situation correctly?
My guess is that they can't. These people are the products of our educational system and they have been taught to react to situations in the most conflicting manner. They taught us in school to heed the following:
"Look before you leap."
So what did we do? We hesitated before doing anything.
And then they taught us:
"He who hesitates is lost."
Then what did we do? We tried not to hesitate. And these conflicting messages played through our heads....hesitate.....don't hesitate......hesitate.....don't hesitate......hesitate.....don't hesitate......
No wonder people ended up unable to read a situation clearly. No wonder our people are still trying to eat Thai chickens. We should change our education content to the following.
"Look before you eat."
"He who regurgitates is lost."
There, now isn't that much more sensible?
Monday, February 09, 2004
Valentine Day: A guide for the clueless
Guys, Valentine Day is just a few days away. If you need to know where you stand with your girl, her attitude on that day can give you a valuable clue.
If she insists that you take her out for a Valentine Day dinner in a fancy restaurant despite the highly inflated prices, then you can conclude that she is most probably still looking around.
If she still insists that you take her out for a Valentine Day dinner but on ANOTHER day so as to avoid the horrendous prices, you can conclude that she more or less favours you.
If she cooks you a Valentine Day dinner instead, then I guess she loves you.
If she allows you to cook her a Valentine Day dinner using her kitchen, it means that she loves and trusts you. She trusts you enough to use her kitchen and better still, she trusts you enough to eat your cooking. By now, she knows that you are a cheapskate who will not be willing to pay the artificially inflated price for a restaurant Valentine Day dinner, but she loves you anyway.
If she cleans up the mess you made with her kitchen, and compliments you on the wonderful fried egg you somehow managed to dished out, you know that this girl will support you through thick and thin.
And if she invites you to stay till breakfast, you can start saving up for a ring. Which of course will be mucho mucho more expensive than a Valentine Day dinner in a fancy restaurant.
Saturday, February 07, 2004
The Explanation Chronicles: homework
Teacher : Did you do your homework?
Viewtru : Er....yes, I done already.
Teacher : Where is it?
Viewtru : The dog ate it.
Teacher : Don't bluff! You don't have a dog!
Viewtru : It was the neighbour's dog.
Teacher : I will visit your neighbour to check if got dog or not.
Viewtru : Errrr...the dog is no more there, teacher.
Teacher : What happened to it?
Viewtru : A passing monkey ate it.
Teacher : When?
Viewtru : Right after the dog ate my homework.
Teacher : You don't live near the jungle, so where got monkeys?
Viewtru : This one must have escaped from the circus.
Teacher : Don't bluff. The circus left town two months ago.
Viewtru : The monkey escaped two months ago. That's why it was hungry and ate the dog.
Teacher : Where is the monkey now?
Viewtru : Dunno....maybe it joined another circus...
Teacher : I will ask your neighbour whether they remember having a dog or not.
Viewtru : The neighbour also cannot remember now if they got dog or not.
Teacher : What! Cannot remember? Why not?
Viewtru : Because the monkey whacked them on the head and now they cannot remember anything...
Teacher : I want to see if your neighbours have bumps on their heads as proof.
Viewtru : Bumps no more there also, teacher.
Teacher : How come can recover so fast? You try to bluff me ahhh!
Viewtru : No teacher......all this happened last week. So the heads recovered already.
Teacher : If all this happened last week, you should have plenty of time to redo your homework. Why didn't you?
Viewtru : Errr....errr.....
Teacher : I think you're bluffing! Hold out your hand! *rapped knuckles with ruler*
Viewtru : Ow! Ow! Adoi.....!
Teacher : So what should you do next time?
Viewtru : Give better explanation.....
Teacher : No! Do your homework! *rapped knuckles again*
Viewtru : Ow! Ow! Ow!
I think I wasn't very smart when I was a kid. But each time I got rapped on the knuckles, my explanations got fancier and fancier. It was much later in life that it occurred to me that perhaps I should have just kept my mouth shut.
Friday, February 06, 2004
This is the day for explanations.
On Monday, I posted about watching the show "Cheaper by the dozen". I am not in the habit of watching family fare, so how come I watch this one? Let me explain: I have already seen ROTK, School of Rock, Fantasia, Magic Kitchen and The Last Samurai. And I did not feel like watching Silverhawk. Yeah...I know....I watch too many movies.
On Wednesday, I blogged on the new causeway design with a loop. Some of you may be wondering how the car can stay in the loop and not fall off. Now if you remember your 'A' level physics, an object travelling in a circular loop will experience a centrifugal force. If at the top of the loop, the centrifugal force is equal or greater than the gravitational force, the car will not fall off.
If V is the speed of the car and R is the radius of the loop, the equation is:
Weight of car = centrifugal force
Mg = MV²/R
If the speed is 90 kph, V = 25 m/s after conversion into S.I. units. Take the gravitational acceleration g as 9.81 m/s² in value. Substituting into the above equation, you should be able to calculate R as 63.7 metres.
The height of the loop is twice the radius or 127.4 m, which is about the height of a forty storey building. If the speed is lower, then you will have to construct a smaller loop. Incidentally, you may have noticed that the mass of the car does not come into play in the calculation of the loop radius. (That was a trick question, Ted...)
On Thursday, I posted the picture on the God of Prosperity Twins. I took this picture yesterday afternoon outside Carrefour hypermarket in the Mid Valley Megamall. Carrefour engaged the Prosperity twins and also two lion dancers to go into their hypermarket to prance around. I was surprised that a French company was into such things, because frankly, if I owned the establishment, I may not have bothered.
Oh, I know that those two heavenly beings still can't fly. So will you still receive double the rewards? Let me explain: prosperity has nothing to do with flying. If flying is a prerequisite, then all flying insects would be prosperous instead of being airborne food for friggin' frogs. Got it?
Prosperity is about spending. When those God of Prosperity Twins start spending in your direction, of course you will be getting double!
There, are you happy now?
Like I said, this is the day for explanations.
Thursday, February 05, 2004
Surprise! It's the Prosperity Twins!
Aha! You didn't know that they were twins, did you? And boy, are they in a happy mood, as you can see in the picture. This must be what they call Twin Happiness! Which means that you are going to get Double the Rewards!
So have a wonderful year ahead! You truly deserve it for putting up with my postings!
Decision on the revolutionary Causeway design
Here is the 5Star report in full:
Cabinet members met today to discussed Viewtru's revolutionary causeway design as they really had nothing much to do.....as usual....
The Pride Minister opened the discussion by saying, "There is something about this causeway design that bothers me. Could be this roller coaster loop thing......anybody want to comment on this?"
The Two-Reason Minister carefully adjusted his bow tie and spoke, "The loop bothers me as well. As you all know, we intend to put potted plants along the new causeway to beautify it for tourists. At the top of the loop, the pots will have to be placed upside down. But how are you going to get the plants to grow upside down? We will need to import the plants from Down Under(Australia) because plants in the southern hemisphere grow the opposite way. The Australian currency is very high right now and it will not be cheap!"
At that juncture, the Minister for Forlorn Affairs interjected, "What! Plants in Australia grow the opposite way? I didn't know that! We should change our forlorn policy so that I can visit the southern hemisphere countries more often!"
The Pride Minister then said, "Before we continue this discussion any further, can I have a show of hands to see how many of you have actually been up a roller coaster?"
Three hands shot up, including that of the 'Mammary In-those-trees' Minister.
The Pride Minister continued, "Only three hands! That is so strange! I know that most of you have been to Genting, which has a roller coaster with two loops. If you were not up there to enjoy the roller coaster, then what were you people doing in Genting?"
The ministers stared sheepishly on the ground. Everybody, including the tea-lady, knew exactly what they were doing in Genting!
The 'Mammary In-those-trees' Minister said, "Er....although I have been up the roller coaster, I can't really tell you much about it. Each time I go up the loop, I kept my eyes tightly shut. All my friends did the same thing too."
The lady International Bait and Unagi Minister took this opportunity to cut in with her caustic comments: "Amboi....this will not do! If we have such a revolutionary causeway, and every motorist were to close his eyes while driving in the loop, they will not be looking at our potted plants. Then we put potted plants along the causeway for what? People will say we are wasting money on buying things that nobody looks at. Better to reject this design!"
The Edecay-shown Minister grumbled, "I don't see why people should object to our wasting money. People should just mind their own business. They poke their noses into the school contracts, computer lab contracts..............as if it is any of their concern!"
At this point, the Words Minister got up and ran his hand lovingly over his hair, and said, "Fellow colleagues, you have forgotten something of the utmost importance. It should be da safety factor that we should be concerned about!"
The 'How Sing the Loco Government' Minister, who had not been paying much attention because he had been busy practising the new MCA recruitment song in his head, suddenly stammered out, "Ah, I get you.....you mean we will not be able to drive safely through the loop?"
"No, no, no!" replied the Words Minister, "Dat is not our problem. We have chauffeurs to take care of da driving for us! I am more concerned about low flying aircraft!"
"What? How so?", asked all the ministers in rapt attention.
The Words Minister answered grandly, "Dat loop in da causeway is not wide enough for a low flying Boeing 747 to pass through safely. If the pilot should decide to fly through the loop for a closer look, we will have a bad accident. It will also become an international incident. Dei....dat will not do. People may start to tink dat I doan know how to do my job! It is better we reject dis design!"
The International Bait and Unagi Minister was quick to press home her opinion, "Yes, yes! And since the motorists have their eyes tightly shut, they will not be able to see the plane coming, and therefore won't be able to brake on time! We will have to tell the pilot to brake in mid-air. It's too much trouble for us. We are very busy people, you know!"
The Pride Minister muttered inaudibly under his breath in his native Penang hokkien slang, "Lin peh buay tahan liau....can't take much of this any more....."
Quickly, he called for a vote, and by a slim majority, the cabinet ministers voted against the new causeway design.
On being informed of the cabinet decision, Viewtru was visibly disgusted. He exclaimed, "I sacrificed my lunch hour to do something like this for the country......and they spend, what, ten lousy minutes to discuss my revolutionary design? What the......@#$%!!!..."
The rest of Viewtru's remarks were mostly incomprehensible. Those that were comprehensible were considered unprintable.
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
New causeway design
It was also reported that we are coming up with new designs, and that is what worries me. Knowing that our people will never ever be able to come up with a design that can satisfy the Singaporeans, I have decided to take matters into my own hands. My country is in urgent need of my considerable expertise at this moment.
Would I stand idly by and not raise a finger to help?
Is Proton a better car than the Toyota?
Can chickens sing?
Is this the Year of the Donkey?
No, no, no and no!
And so, I spent my lunch hour yesterday trying to think of a causeway structure that is new, hip, and appealing, and that will make the Singaporeans think that it is the coolest thing in the world. With that in mind, I combined the design characteristics of a road, a bridge and a roller coaster all into one. And this is what I came up with:
In order to give motorists a slight thrill as they drive across the causeway, elements of the roller coaster loop design has been incorporated into the causeway proposal. However, since safety is of such paramount importance to us Malaysians, I have allowed ONLY ONE loop. Now, please don't fault me for being overly conservative. There can be no compromise with safety, I say!
This design will be sent to the gahmen for evaluation and I should know the answer very soon.
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Condolences to the PM
My condolences, Mr Prime Minister.
Monday, February 02, 2004
Cheaper by the dozen
This is not supposed to be a serious movie. When one of the kid's pet frog, called "Beans", died, the whole family gathered for a frog burial and the father was required to give a speech. I can't remember exactly what he said, but it was something like:
"Beans was a good frog, not like the other bad frogs........... He was like part of the family, except that he was green and ate flies. He loved to hip, he loved to hop. He loved hip-hop....."
In the U.S. movie market, "Cheaper by the dozen" did very much better than "The Last Samurai", "The Rundown" and "Master and Commander". In Malaysia, it is not actively promoted, maybe because family-type fare have historically not done as well as action movies. If you have to splash out on movie tickets for your family, and you want something entertaining and non-controversial, this one may just suit your needs.