Daily Archives: August 13, 2007

We have received so much

[Bahasa Indonesia]
Still from the conversation with Pak Brotoseno.

We spoke about contemplation. We spoke about feeling grateful. To contemplate how much we have received from everybody and every single thing in nature.

Look at the obvious. People who have explicitly and directed given us many things. Our parents. Our teachers. Our friends. Our sponsors.

Look at the less obvious. This plate of rice that we are eating. The farmers that grow the rice. Those who help the farmers harvest. The people who make the fertilizer. People who buy the rice from the farmer. People who transport the rice from the farmer to the store. People who sell the rice. People who buy and cook the rice for us. People who serve us the rice.

That’s only for the rice. Look at the other food we eat, the plate, the cutlery, the chairs and tables, the lights and lamp, the roof above us. And contemplate on the same process. The people with whom we enjoy the meal.

Look beyond people. The air we breathe. The freshness of water that quenches our thirst. The birds. The flowers. Feast for our senses.

Look at how much we have been given.

So when we start doing or giving something, see it not as if they owe us anything. Because we have been given a lot more. Think of it as us giving back, as a token of appreciation, to other people, to the society, to nature.

Of course there are people or occasions that cause us hurt, heartache, anger. But when we start seeing that so many people are doing good, how many we have been receiving from so many people and things, we start realizing that the number of people doing us good far exceed the number of people who cause us hurt and anger. This number becomes insignificant.

Be grateful. Start doing something. Anything.

Persona: Pak Broto and Pak Pujo

[Bahasa Indonesia]
Last weekend me and my fam went to our hometown, Solo. My sister wanted to find some antiques for her house. She was referred by a friend to this person: Pak Brotoseno.

When we got there, it turned out that he was not into antiques anymore, rather he is making some wooden furniture. It was obvious how he really loves his work. And only did what he wanted to do. What a beautiful thing to do. or to be.

I went to the second level of his house and I asked what this room was for. He said he is teaching meditation every night. Hm.

Without thinking much at all, I said that I would return that night. And I did. We (Pak Broto, his father Pak Pujo, my sis and I) chatted. The topic of the night was an introduction to meditation. Pak Pujo led the discussion.

We were taught and we practiced some meditation techniques. He said that a meditator must overcome five challenges: greed, anger, sloth, hesitation and fear.

Greed is interesting. There are obvious greed. But there is also a more subtle greed, which we often overlook. When we are happy, we want to hold on to that happiness. That’s greed.

When we feel peace, we do not want it to end. That is greed. Tough.

One paradox that he mentioned was that to feel peace, one should not desire peace. A saying that I should contemplate first before I even begin to understand.

Neither Pak Broto nor Pak Pujo did not ask for a single dime for the nighly session. They even provide some snack and drink. Pak Pujo said that he did not pay for the lessons he has learned so why should he charge for the ones he is giving. “This is my way of giving back, because this is the only thing I can do.” Simple, humble.

At nine pm, he looked at me and he said “I think this is enough for tonight?”. And the session ended. When I was about to go home, Pak Pujo was sitting on the floor, eyes stuck on the TV in front of him. Such innocence.

The humbleness in attitude and in spoken words, yet such wisdom and sincerity. I cam to this place to find antiques, and I found myself a new teacher. Thank you.

ps: He reminded me of you, pop. Down to the body language. But most of all your straighforwardness, simplicity, humbleness, and great wisdom.