A reflection of darkness in down under, an almost evening sky in Jakarta

How does a part of the world leave the world? How can wetness leave water?  RUMI


I went under
Deeper than I’ve been
Made a deal with darkness
To see what the shadows would cast

The darkness asked
If I was sure
If I really wanted to see
And I said yes

As I faced my fear and felt my pain
That was when I met the dark side of me
As I shook hands with it
The bitterness lingered

Not knowing how to end it
I did what I thought was best
I indulged it, welcomed it
I owned it

Almost at the end, down under
At the brink of despair
I felt something very familiar
It was pain that belongs to all of us

Breaking down
I wept for me
I wept for you
I wept for us




Pantai Air Manis, Padang. 2012

Have you ever felt that you are seeking something?

That something is missing in your life, and you can’t really put your finger to it, or define what is it that is missing? You just know that there’s got to be something more than this.

You try to fill that gap with many things.

First you try to fill it with material things. Stuffs. Cars. Bags. Branded clothes. Gadgets. Etc. But material things doesn’t make that gap go away.

And then you try to fill it with non-material things. Relationships. Achievements. Career. Holidays. Power. Status. But non-material things doesn’t make that gap go away.

And then you try to fill it with even more subtle things. You seek knowledge. Read  books. Study ancient and current wisdoms. Perhaps devote yourself to a religion. Or maybe practice spirituality. Yet these subtle things doesn’t make that gap go away.



You are complete. You are whole. You are already perfect.

You just forgotten that you are whole. You are suffering from delusion. Delusion that you are separated. That there is a gap.

You are already whole. You don’t need anything from outside. You just forgotten.

And all those wisdom, books, teachers, rituals… are reminders. To help you remember.

To help you remember that you are whole.

In Alan Watts’ words:

“You’re it.”

Nature of Mind


The Knower & The Known by Fabrizio Cassetta


This is my notes from a talk by Tenzin Palmo.

Everything is perceived through the sense organs, caught by consciousness, and interpreted by the mind. In other words, everything we experience is in the mind.

There are two aspects of the mind. First, the known. The known covers memories, thoughts, feelings, emotions. The second is the knower, the part of the mind that knows, but not involved. A.k.a the observer, witness, or awareness.

The known is like movie. Light projects through individual thought frames to the screen continuously, moment to moment. The problem starts when we identify ourself with the movie at the screen, we believe that is us. This fundamental delusion and misidentification causes suffering.

The knower is vast, spacious, peaceful, clear, infinite. Like the blue sky. It is always there, but often hidden by the clouds. And because the clouds are so thick and never cleared up, we forgot that above the cloud there’s blue sky.

To cease suffering, start identifying with the knower and stop identifying with the known.

How? By taking a step back, and just watch the known passes through, without judging, without like or dislike, just simply watching. Have space in our life to just be, sit, and use the mind to look at the mind.

This is a form of meditation. Where we just become still and observe the fluctuations of the mind.

The knower watching the known.



Pillars of a Good Life


There are four pillars of life. When they are all well developed and well balanced, life is good. When they are underdeveloped, life is probably not so good. Whey they are not balanced, if one aspect is much more highly developed than each other, maybe life is pretty good, but not as good as it potentially can be.

The pillars are:

  1. Health
  2. Ethical life
  3. A method to quieten the mind (eg meditation)
  4. Framework, knowledge, purpose

We’ll look a bit deeper into each one.

It’s pretty obvious that life is better when we’re healthy. We can enjoy life. We can interact with life. We are at ease with ourself, without dis-ease. So staying healthy is one of the most valuable investment for ourself. How do we stay healthy? Basically feed the body with good nutrition, enough movements to stimulate the body & organs, and enough rest.

Ethical life means leading life according to ethics and moral values. Most of the religion’s moral values are similar in some way. Yoga have the yamas & niyamas. Siddharta Gautama taught the eight noble path. Christian have the ten commandments. And so on. The moral values boil down to ‘Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.’ When one lead a life ethically, it will contribute to the next pillar – a quiet mind.

A quiet mind means a mind that is aware of it’s own fluctuations, and not getting carried away by the fluctuations. One of the method is through meditation. In meditation we train the mind to stay with one anchor for a period of time. Through practice we develop the endurance to sustain this focus for longer and longer. And the longer we can stay there, the quieter the mind become.

When the mind is sufficiently quietened down, there’s a sense of direction that comes from within. Perhaps at the beginning we can’t pinpoint or detail which direction does it want to go – but usually we can tell if the direction is wrong. If we are receptive and open we’ll find many teachers and lessons in our lives that provide you with knowledge. With this knowledge we develop framework, like a map. With a framework we know where we are, why we are here, and where we are going. And slowly find the answer to the perennial question “Who am I?”


Based on a talk by my yoga philosophy teacher Swami Pujan

Image: Rio-Antirio bridge by Spiros Vathis


Love Affair Between A Bird And A Lotus

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Jakarta, a photograph by Andi Imamayanti

Oblivious to the existence of each other
Yet the attraction is so alluring
Two entirely different things
Yet seems to fill each other in

Million others bustling around 
As if trying to distract them
From what is
From what it isn't

The smoke-filled air
As grey as it can get
As if trying to camouflage itself
To hide the charm it once had

When the ray of sun glowing
Sending warmth and as if reminding
Of its never broken promise
Undying love like no other

One afternoon
One love affair
As transient as it is honest
Between a bird and a lotus


Cloudless Sky


Samawa Beach, Indonesia, a photograph by Ayda Sulianti

What gives form to the world, has no form of its own. – Rumi-


It’s been few hours

Since I watched the sun rising

But the sky remains cloudless


Wonder how it feels like

Up there, looking down

So close yet never be


Has the sky plotting against us

In the game of hide and seek

With nothing to look for


It reminds me of that day

When the weight of hopelessness

Trembled me to the bone


The only way was to sink

Like a cruise liner

Sent down to the heart of the ocean


Oblivious to the commotion

In the absence of judgment

The sky was cloudless

Unknown Land


One Winter Evening at Jackson Hole, USA

One dark night

At the ocean

When the wave rhythmically moves

Seducing the wind

To choreograph a dance

Bestowed upon those

Who have lost their love

In the wilderness

Of own creation

Maybe upon those

Who have lost pieces of their broken hearts

On an unknown land

Where imagination lives

And upon those

Who have anchored their hearts

At the bottom of the sea

Where dream ends


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Sunset at Jimbaran Bay, Bali, Indonesia

Last day of the year today, seems different from all last days few years back. I am not the sentimental type, but certainly something is not the same. Trying to figure it out is like pressing the play button on my memory bank of past events.

Dancing through, down the waltz of memory lane is like watching a movie on a winter night. The absence of identification to any of all those scenes feels so real, sending a tingle of wonder down the spine and up above.

Yet, it numbs the entire of me, it is like I am there watching, without sensation, without any senses. At awe, stupefied.

Things come and go, people come and go, marking each day with their presence. Sometimes what remains is just a distance memory. Things happen, things change, people change, we change. And suddenly the scribbles on my notes are no more.

What we deem important today, it might mean nothing tomorrow. What we love today, we might be willing to be part with the next day. Stranger becomes lover and lover turns to stranger.

Life is predictably full of surprises and changes are written all over the fabric of our hearts. Most of the time, we refuse to see them. We ignore them, until they hurt too much.

Old friends drift apart, new friendships blossom. What do we get to say about that when disappointment is the byproduct of unmeet expectation? And it is a blessing when true friendship triumphs.

When failure and sorrow make us a better person, it can break us too. What differentiates the two is only a choice away. And the choice is ours.

I can go on and on and on but soon the new day will come, brings with it a new year, a new hope and a new reclamation.

Let us all embrace whatever comes our way, no serendipity is too real and let’s hold on to love.

As Everything Flows


Behind the veils intoxicated with love, I too dance the rhythm of this moving world”         -RUMI


When the night falls

In the absence of the bustling of life

Stillness pervades

But yet something is flowing

As boundaries begin to vanish

Fabricating into matrix of existence

And when the ground disintegrates

Crumbling into million of pieces

I think I see the moon

But maybe only its reflection

Dancing on the face of the water

Summoning whoever passing by

When the light begins to dim

Hanging to its one last breath

Darkness creeps in, compelling it to cave in

Everything turns black

And as everything flows

So it is



When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. – Rumi-


Only today I know what surrendering feels like for me. I used to think that to surrender is to believe that whatever happens is for the best. Leave it at that and move on, next.

And not until I am faced with great difficulty, only then I come to realize that I haven’t been doing any surrendering at all. All I did was to take the easy way out and hoping that it would turn out the best it could.

I was somehow taking life for granted, did what I thought was right and made decision based on what I liked and disliked. I was so much in control. Only later that I became conscious of the fact that to surrender, it requires the absence of control.

To surrender, we have to let go of the driver seat to life, sit on the passenger seat and enjoy the ride, like it or not, we have to learn how to bask in the view in front of us. The bump, the crash, the smash into, the run into as well as the charm, the magnificence, the loveliness and the blessing.

When we start to glide with life, the right thing and the right people start to appear in our life. For me, it was my attraction to take the iRest Yoga Nidra training. At least two things I learned from the course if not too many, to allow and to welcome every single thing and every single person who comes our way. And every single situation in our life. Be it hard, easy, impossible or enjoyable.

And yet, I was not there yet. I long to be in that state of complete surrender and I know something was still missing. There was still something I did not get. I have been practicing the allowing and welcoming, day and night, everyday.

And one day, which is today, I feel something so surreal, it was unearthly. But I know this is what absolute surrender feels like. It is the shiver running through my body, the tingling, the buzzing, radiantly shining out and in, up and down, front and back.  It is like I finally let go of myself and just be.


It is just like what Rumi said: “ When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.