My Life Story

Prayer

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My friends often ask me how I pray. I don’t remember where I got the idea or how I started my technique, but I use nine bells on a wooden tray I found in my house and a candle with the flame inside the glass. Before I pray, I bow to heaven and earth, and then the sun and moon, and then to my parents. After I bow, I sit there and close my eyes. Before I pray, I ask for peace and blessings. I ask God to help the problems we encounter. As time goes on, I feel the divinity knows what we want and what we need. We do not need to ask for our sake. Gradually, I pray for the goodness of the people in this world.

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Recently, I have been quiet. I have enjoyed that peace and quietness. Every time I have this communion with God, the birds always sing. After the prayer, I always ring the bells. At first, I could not understand why someone suggested using bells. The divinity did not need us to awaken it. But I thought it might awaken the people of the world. The people reside in the north, the south, the east, and the west. Yes, the people from all four corners of the world. And then, one day, the Voice told me, “The bells awaken the souls of the people. The human beings in the flesh separate themselves by race, religion, gender, country and every other kind of boundary. But their souls do not discriminate. That’s why you only need to pray for their souls.”

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I heard this a few months ago, and it still rings true. More violence has happened in this world because of these distinctions by color, race, religion, country, etc. With this all happening now, I do my part in praying for everyone. In ringing the bell, maybe, just perhaps, the soul of the people will be awakened, and we will no longer have all this separation. We can live in harmony in this precious world.

Wisdom – Third Time’s Not the Charm

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You may be puzzled by the title. There is a Chinese saying that we should not repeat our mistakes more than two times. If we do, then we will suffer the consequence as a result. While I was meditating one day, I was hoping to gain the wisdom to make fewer mistakes and improve my life. As we walk on this path, our ignorance and foolishness end up prevailing, and we make bad judgments. Consequently, our lives become miserable.  We either encounter loss or heartache from repeating mistakes that we made earlier.

How I lost my hotel, how I was trapped by the mafia, how I was tricked time and time again: I kept suffering all the consequences of repeating my mistakes, losing all of my money and wasting my time. As I think about wisdom, I was reminded of a Russian expression: The wise man learns from someone else’s mistakes, the smart man learns from his own, and the stupid one never learns. I like to think that we learn a lot, not only from our mistakes but also from our experiences as well.

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The other day, I found out that the stock company did not perform my stock transaction as I requested. I went to the company every year, but this year as I called to ask for the information, they started to tell me that I did not do it the year before. I was frantic, but I understood that this wasn’t the time to blame anyone. I knew very well that I went in personally every year to take care of anything. Things like this happen for a reason. I remembered the old Chinese saying about not repeating a mistake a third time. So I went in the next morning to try to deal with it. This time, I made a point of talking to the representative and expressing my frustration. He took time to help me through all the details. He had me sign the necessary papers and assured me that he would call me in a few days to ensure everything was done accordingly.

As I walked back to my car, I couldn’t help crying. I didn’t catch this mistake until the second time. I thanked the divinity for reminding me not to repeat my mistakes. How can we prevent this in our lives? We have to take action. I cried because all my life, I made many mistakes. I did not learn from my mistakes and corrected them. I thought I was smart. But then I realized I was a fool. I knew I needed to transform myself from a fool to a smart person. Then and there I told myself that I would go beyond that to become wise.

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Recently, my friend told me about her story. She made a friend who was a pen pal. A couple of months later, that friend asked for help. He encountered a medical bill for his son he was unable to pay off. Out of love, she took care of this bill for a man she never met. Then, he asked for help again because he needed medical treatment this time. He was out of the country and could not access his bank account. This friend of mine, who was so giving and generous, stepped in to help once more. She thought everything was a done deal and that she could get her money back. Then, all of a sudden, he sent an SOS. He needed extra funds to travel back to his home. As I heard this, I kept meditating on it. I kept getting the feeling that this mistake should not be repeated. The third time is not the charm.

As I look at my experiences now and look at my friend’s experience, I see how we both suffered financially and emotionally. We had faced a tremendous loss. I hope that from now on, I will be able to make fewer mistakes and avoid unnecessary loss, not just regarding money, but also regarding emotional and psychological stress. That is why we always look to the elderly for advice because their life long experiences make them wiser. I hope I don’t have to get old to become wise, and from now on, I hope to learn from my experiences and watch out for others. Maybe I will become a wise person soon.

 

Take a Break

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“Be renewed my children, for I am the everlasting God of mercy, and I will make every wrong right for you. That is my gift to you for your praise and worship for me.”

My youngest daughter and I recently traveled to San Francisco to visit my older daughter, who had just moved there from Hawaii. She was waiting to move into their newly purchased house. While waiting, they rented an apartment. Because there was not enough room to accommodate us, my daughter’s friend was gracious enough to offer their house for us to stay in.

IMG_0763The house was situated on a high hill, where you could see all the woods. It was such a serene scene; you felt as though you could touch the sky. My daughter’s friend offered me her daughter’s room. It was very comfortable; I was surprised to find the pattern of the comforter to be the design I picked for my blog’s background recently. I took that picture from the Los Angeles Airport a few years ago after a trip. I felt like somehow connected with that room.

The second night we were there, I had a very vivid dream. I dreamt that I was driving a car. All of a sudden, I did not have a brake. I knew that I would be in trouble without one, so I tried all means to stop the car. First, I attempted to hit the curb and use friction to stop the vehicle. That didn’t work, so I tried to crash into a pole. It didn’t work.IMG_1200

 

I was puzzled about why I was driving a car without a brake. I didn’t even know what kind of car I was driving. All of a sudden, I found myself driving into someone’s living room. A family was sitting there chatting. As I moved my eye to the front, I saw a big window, looked out, and saw the sea. I knew I was doomed. My car would just crash through the window and sink in the ocean. That would be the end of me.

 

Before I could picture the scene after we sank in the ocean, the car was put in reverse. I was out of danger in no time. I could not understand what happened. First, it was very odd to drive a car without a brake. Secondly, the emotion I felt when trying to stop was overwhelming. A voice inside kept screaming at me to brake. Lastly, even though I told myself I was doomed, I did not have that fear. As a mysterious force pulled me out of this situation, I thought it was natural.

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 I woke up. As I was eating my breakfast at my friend’s house, I suddenly understood why I had this dream. A couple of days before I came here, I had a prayer session with my friend Annette. She told me what she heard from the Voice – “Be renewed my children, for I am the everlasting God of mercy, and I will make every wrong right for you. That is my gift to you for your praise and worship for me.” Yes, he makes a wrong right for me. The divine comes from nowhere and he fixed it in an instant moment.

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What a blessing that we can hear the Voice from time to time. Not only does it reassure us, but it has also awakened me and reminded me to take a break. For so many years, I kept charging forward and forward. Sometimes, during our journey, we all need to rest, to pause and to stop. We need to clear our minds and then we can amend our mistakes along the way to improve our lives.

        

 

The Next Level (2)

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Recently, I went on a couple of auditions: one for a commercial and one for a short film.

I was excited to hear from my agent that I had gotten called back for both and, after the commercial callback, the producer told my agent to have me make sure I was available to shoot. The problem was that the callback day for the short film happened to fall on a day that I was traveling to San Francisco. I informed my agent that I would not be able to shoot the short film due to scheduling conflicts, and she told me it was okay because it was a low-budget student film and I would not have gotten paid for the shooting.

So I went to San Francisco and was enjoying myself. I got a call from my agent telling me I was still wanted for the short film without having to do a callback audition. They asked me to reconsider, but I still declined because I would not get paid. Half an hour later, my agent called me again. She said the person in charge of the production still wanted to book me. It was then that I could truly see their desire and passion for the project. It deeply moved me, so I agreed to film.

Typically, casting directors will choose two people for a role in case one actor has scheduling conflicts. They place you on avail, meaning you should clear your schedule for shooting. Three or four days later, after waiting for the commercial producer to send me the schedule for wardrobe and shooting, I did not receive their call. I realized they went with the other actress, and I was disappointed… I think the worst part is being picked, but only as the second choice. At the same time, the people from the short film wanted me to go in for rehearsal, so I went in to meet the producer.

The film was a brand-new project. They were young, ambitious and passionate. As I was sitting there practicing the dialogue, I felt a great need to help them out. How I wished they could achieve their dream with a little bit of my help! We all have to start somewhere. Before they conquered Hollywood, all the famous directors made student films.

The actor they paired me with for the audition had also received the role. However, he didn’t show up because the job offered no money. I can’t blame him – I had the same thought originally. But as I was driving home, I kept thinking back to this group of young people and the work we did that day. I felt great about being a part of a team that was pursuing their dream.  Suddenly I got it – it was a type of unconditional love.

This unconditional love is not difficult to reach; it does not only appear between families. You can attain it if you forsake things for your benefit and put others before yourself. That becomes unconditional love because you are only doing it to help others. Forget about money. I was so happy to be involved in this film because it allowed me to be aware… It was a passion-based project that I was grateful to participate in.

Sometimes we get wrapped up in things like money and ego, but there are other things that are far more important. I gained something special that day that I wouldn’t normally have if I didn’t want to help others. I was made aware of what love could do. I was so blessed to be around people who were passionate. I was blessed to be apart of something special. Through giving without thinking about receiving, I got to experience a feeling of joy that was completely unexpected. The insight I received that day helped me to become more aware of the power of unconditional love.  It was beautiful, and yet so simple. Go the extra mile to help others- you will probably help yourself along the way! And this is what the next level is all about.

The Next Level (1)

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Tai Chi is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits; it is known for its relatively slow movements.

A while ago, I auditioned for the role of “someone doing Tai Chi,” but I didn’t get it.  As a result, I became interested in learning, and I eventually joined a group where the Tai Chi master, Ms. Li, would teach us during the weekends.  In 3 years we have learned many different styles, getting to the point of mastery.  Recently, she decided to teach us Tai Chi with the use of a fan called “Tai Chi Fan” or “Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan.” We were so excited to be considered to learn this advanced form of Tai Chi, because it means, to some extent, that we are ready to move forward, that we are advancing to a higher level.

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Once we started to practice Tai Chi Fan, I constantly thought about the words “higher level.” One day, while meditating, I thought about how I could do the same in my life, on a spiritual level. When I thought about it, I imagined myself levitating from the ground, not physically but spiritually or mentally. As I searched, I heard **the Voice ask, “What is a higher level?” I responded by saying “The higher level as I imagine it would be free from the attachments that hold us back and prevent us from moving forward.”

“How?” the Voice continued to question. “How do you reach that?” I murmured, “It is from the love.” The Voice answered, “Yes, it is very simple. It comes from love. First, you love yourself. That is the first and the basic level. The next, you have to go beyond yourself and love others. Moreover, you put others ahead of yourself.” At that point, the Voice seemed to disappear. I didn’t understand it at that moment. I didn’t think about it much because I was making an herbal juice concoction for my children, who all have high cholesterol. I don’t want them to take medication if they don’t have to, so I make this juice for them by using a recipe that a friend had used, which helped her.

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That day, I was tired, but I knew that I only had an hour and a half to prepare the juice before I would see them. As mothers, we will do anything for our kids. So I gathered all the ingredients and went over the tedious procedure consisting hand squeezing lemons, chopping garlic and juicing ginger. I had finally finished, and I gave it to them before the end of the day. As soon as I got ready to bed, I could feel the soreness in my arm, a recurring injury from an old car accident because I had been laboring over the juice.

When I finally laid in bed, the pain was more than I could bear and I started to cry. While I was crying, it dawned on me what the Voice had said about putting others before myself. Yes, it took the unconditional love a mother has for her children to be able to do it. It is simple.  We just need to go an extra mile to give love to others. The pain I experienced helps me to understand how to reach this higher level…  I need to have this unconditional love for not just my children, but for others as well.

Yes, indeed, it is time to ascend to the next level. It will certainly make it easier if we know that we are all part of the universe. Everyone in this world is somehow related. If we regard everyone in need as our children, we can easily enlarge our love and put others ahead of ourselves thereby to bring us to a higher level.

“For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:35

**http://loveneverending.com/the-voice-1-i-am-in-your-heart/

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