Tuesday, January 31, 2012


this leafdropper got ill. for several days now he is experiencing some inconveniences.  perhaps, the rust of age is creeping in.

it does not matter though. i still consider this period of inconvenience as a blessing.  one time as i lied on the bed trying to relax this body and be free of pain, my mind suddenly focused itself on what's happening and one word kept hovering in my mind's eye -- impermanence.

yes, these days of body struggle made me realize again the impermanence of things including health.  during these times, i tried to use all of the practices i learned to resolve body inconveniences and i must admit it was very difficult.  the discomforts keeps getting in the way of the mind to try to get settled and command the body to rest.  i then remembered the Old Sages' and Masters' admonishments that the time to do self-inquiry and self-knowledge should be during one' healthy times, not when one is already distracted by discomforts.  this is a lesson that really most of us need to remember.

in fact, i believe, this is really what we need to always do.  if one is desiring to be a poet, a writer, a painter, a musician, a photographer, a blogger, .. one should embark on this immediately while one is fit to do it.  time is not on our side and we cannot stop things from being impermanent.

this leafdropper is ill now but he is willing himself to be whole again.  impermanence allows comforts to become discomforts but it will also allow discomforts to become comforts again.

every time i turn my head
all i can see are changes
none remains just as before
every thing is less or more

but, only You are True
only You are unchanging
only Your Love is real
only Your Love is unbending
won't You give me Your Love
give me Your Heart
and let this weary mind rest in You.

this summer flower that gently bloomed
will lose its hues and kiss the ground
this bird that sings fond melodies
will soon be silent lose its sound

for, only You are True
only You are unchanging
only Your Love is real
only Your Love is unbending
won't You give me Your Love
give me Your Heart
and let this weary mind rest in You.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

at your service ...

3:30 am, as i turned around that familiar bend in the street, i immediately heard the drone of his jeepney engine. he is already warming it up. i'm sure he had already checked the brakes, the lights, everything.  he is an early riser like me,  he's the jeepney driver.  i know he had also walked a long way from his home to this  jeepney owner's house. i don't know his name, but, because we always see each other mornings like this one, we sort of became acquaintances.  he is already busy cleaning up his jeepney for his day's trips.

"good morning, friend!" he smiled at me as he puffed on his cigarette.  its tip glowed orange-red against the dimness that still draped us.  he dipped the piece of rag he was holding into the pail of water by his feet, he squeezed the excess water dry and wiped the dirt and grime off the backrest of the seats. "i have to keep this jeepney clean. it will be my fault if the passengers' clothes will be dirtied." he explained.

"good morning to you too!" i greeted back. i approached the vehicle and did a mock inspection of its interior just to humor him.  i gave him the thumbs up sign as i walked past him. "drive safely." i told him.

"of course, thanks friend." he answered.

i was able to get a ride right away.  the jeepney i rode on was halfway full of jute sacks filled with a variety of leaves and  plant cuttings. i surmised the jeepney is on its way to deliver these. definitely these are medicinal plants owing to the scent that pervaded the vehicle. the young man sitting beside me spoke to his lady companion.

"mother, i really thought we will not be able to make this delivery." he said.

 "why'd you say that?" the old lady opposite him asked.

"well, i feared we will not be able to fill up the sacks and complete the order.  while i was cutting these, i noticed many of the leaves have lots of discolorations. i inspected the plants and i found these bugs underneath.  some of the older plants are getting infested. we have to buy some bug spray later." he narrated.

"very good, son," the old lady patted his right hand, "these are medicinal plants and we have to deliver them as clean as can be.  we need the money, but still, we don't want people buying things that might harm them.  now, are you sure you inspected these cuttings very well?" her eyes were looking straight into her son's face.

 "of course, mother!  i will never forget this is our livelihood and i will not do anything foolish to ruin our good reputation with our buyers." he told his mother reassuringly.

"i'm glad you know." the old lady adjusted herself on the seat and closed her eyes trying to grab some needed sleep.  her son caught me looking at them.  i gave him the thumbs up sign.

my jeepney driver friend and this mother and son team, they made me reflect on something i read a couple of weeks back about how each of us must always be mindful of our actions.

many of us never realize that at every moment of our lives we are initiators of causes.  each and every action we undertake will cause an effect towards ourselves, towards our fellow beings, towards our environment.  and so we must always be wary, careful, and responsible, for each and every act we undertake. 

our actions must not result to harm or to hurt.

we must endeavor always to have that frame of mind of my jeepney driver friend and the mother and son.  we must remember at every moment that we are servitors. we came to serve. and we must do this to the best of our abilities and with utmost honesty and sincerity.

as i trod the steps of the stairs leading to our office, i said softly to myself:  o, Infinite, please always make me remember, that,  i am every moment,

at Your service.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

checking back (old pedro's lament)

i tried to review my posts the previous year.  i started with the january posts.  what caught my attention was the one i did on old pedro the streetsweeper.  it is very seldom that i see him now.  it was said that he was again given permission to do odd jobs for the folks in our village. last december i was told he dropped by the house looking for me.  i know he was expecting a gift from me.  whenever i can, i try to give him something.  up to this time, i have not met him yet.  usually it is during the wee hours of the early morning, from 2:30 to 3:00, that i come across the old guy. during this time, he is already beginning his street sweeping. my guess is that the old guy is not being entrusted odd jobs anymore.  i still have the one hundred pesos i set aside as my christmas gift to him.

i remembered hearing this from him once, last year,  during one of our conversations: "boss," he said, "it is difficult to be old and still have to provide for one's family.  my spirit is more than willing, but my old body can only do so much."  he said this with a smile on his face but i know he is masking some pain inside.  if only his family will be able to hear this lament. i just told him to take it easy and just do things which his body will conveniently permit him to do.  he just gave me a weak nod and proceeded to battle the scattered leaves on the ground.

i distinctly remembered this because of something that i resolved to do this year -- that is, to devote more time to know my true self more. to let my mind to spend the bigger chunk of time looking inward, not outside.  i have already examined things and i am definite i will never be able to find contentment hankering over the things outside myself.  they offer only fleeting pleasures.

now, what i realized as an important lesson from old pedro's lament above is this -- that, i should try to do this inward gazing, this looking in, as early as now.  while my body is not decrepit yet, while my body is not yet a captive of old age and its inconveniences.  if i wait till i am old and my body is withered and plagued by diseases and old age miseries, then my mind will never be able to look into itself comfortably, because by then it will be besieged with the inconveniences of old age. 

thus, we all have to consider the wisdom in old pedro's lament.  we have to start now. begin early while the body is not beset with inconveniences.  let us make the journey inward to where the Masters say we will rediscover our true nature.

we are not these bodies that decay and rot. 

many of us might have received notebook planners as gifts.  it will be very pleasing to see inside those planners this entry as a reminder --

today, i have completed my outer pursuits, having done so, i will now sit in a quiet corner, close my eyes, and look within, the Inner Me is beckoning, i will endeavor to learn more now of this stranger.

Monday, January 02, 2012

not sad not old not month not day to us all!

not sad not old not month not day to us all!

i tried to send this message to several friends by text.  after a long while, one replied to me -- "you should have just said happy new year! i almost got a headache trying to decipher your text message."

"sorry," i texted back, "i was just trying to greet you a little differently this time.  i really meant to try to tweak your brain this time, just to help you recover from the holiday hangovers."

the other friends texted back also and they were equally amused or probably were irritated. well, the message achieved its purpose of being different.

 2012. another new year ahead of us. another new set of trying days. well, of course, all of us are hopeful, wistful, that the year will be different for us. everyone is wishing that this new year will not be difficult.  that this new year will be a happy one. 

happiness is mostly a state of mind. a state of well-being, or, being well.  a mind that is at peace with itself is a happy mind.

so, we must all endeavor to be well.  we all must work at this.
try not to be sick.  try not to be in situations where difficulties will beset us.  most times, out of our curiosity and eagerness, we are actually the ones "inviting" these difficulties.

let us try to live simply.
try to avoid doing things that are not necessary.  let us not crave.
things that will not contribute towards achieving a peaceful mind.and a healthy disposition are not necessary.

let us devote time this year to knowing more of our True Self.