On sound healing – Tibetan Singing Bowl

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I have been blessed with the opportunities to receive and learn Tibetan Singing Bowl healing recently.

Last year, I wanted to learn Crystal Bowl healing so badly. It never happened, however.   Instead, This Tibetan Singing Bowl came to my life rather unexpectedly.

At the end of the last year, a friend mine played her singing bowl via zoom. She started to play her singing bowl casually, first. Then the bowl got louder and louder.  The sound of her singing bowl was truly amazing – totally beautiful and very etheric.

“ Wow, I didn’t know you practice Tibetan Singing Bowl, too.”

My friend gave me a knowing smile.  I asked,

“Where did you get the bowl?  It looked very old.”

She nodded, and said it was from New town – one of the funky place in Sydney.

“It is from a monastery in Nepal.  This is at least 50 years old, apparently.”

I was fell in love with it by this.  I wanted more information

 “Since when have you been playing that?”

I know she practices a few healing modalities, but this singing bowl was totally new to me.

“I got this bowl Last week!  Would you like to do that with me, too?”

I could only say YES to that!

Since then, we have been on the journey of Sound Healing with Tibetan Singing Bowl.

In this article, I would like to share my personal experience in sound healing of Tibetan Singing Bowl and workshop we participated and about my ‘bowl’ and my own everyday practice.

For a start, I would like to talk about my sound healing experiences.  I have received 3 healing sessions so far.

First time I received the healing, it was for Chakra Cleansing.

I kind of knew it was important to energise and activate your chakra to experience full life, but I didn’t feel I needed to do something about it for myself particularly.

Photo by Magicbowls on Pexels.com

Small bell sound opened the session.  There were 10-12 bowls around the therapy table where I laid down.  The therapist started to play the largest bowl, located above my head, very gently.  The sound was very deep.  It felt like the sound penetrated into my brain boldly.  It was not noisy, yet I felt like that particular sound stirred my brain a lot.  Then he changed to the next bowl, then the next. 

When the therapist played a bowl above my heart, strong sensation penetrated into my heart. Nothing touched my heart, but it was substantial.  It was amazing sensation.  Even though I am learning an energetic healing technique, called Theta Healing, I never felt physical sensation during the healing session or practice. But this was completely different.  Strong, deep and profound (I wish I know more about describing words for this experience!!!)

As if my heart is going to break open!  I felt a bit scared, but decided to trust this process to let my heart open during this session.

When the session completed, he brought up one particular bowl. 

“This was the one resonated you most.”

I replied indirectly, saying,

“ You know, I felt strong vibration in my heart.  It was so strong that I feared it could break my heart!  What was it?”

“ I know.  This bowl has the note F, the heart.  This bowl has very sensitive sound and vibration, just like yourself.”

Since no one had described me as ‘sensitive’ before, I was a bit taken a back.   But, then, I soon realised that my heart appreciated the comment very much.  Then I could take the comment gracefully.  In fact, the comment grew on me and I started to see myself with sensitive soul so that I should look after myself more gently.

 I bought this bowl straight away.

Tibetan Singing Bowl with flowers and Shiba Inu in the garden.

On the train back home, I was feeling absolute peace of mind and fully contented, with my own singing bowl on my lap.  I felt I no longer desire anything , as I felt that I have EVERYTHING I truly need in my life now. 

Who needs more than your own singing bowl?  It is perfect for carrying it around, including when you are commuting to Sydney on the train.  The mallet can put in to the bowl, along with the mobile phone and your purse.  You can perhaps ask your favourite café barista to pour your almond latte into the bowl (extra-large size, I guess).  Probably you can also negotiate your favourite noodle shop to make special arrangement for you to be able to take their noodles in the bowl.

During this train ride back to home, while I was contemplating many uses and possibilities of this singing bowl  (other than healing purposes), I even thought that I could easily win a lotto, A$5,000 very easily, for example, as I have felt complete peace and contentment in my life.  (But I didn’t buy any on that time as the newsagent where I live closed when I got out of the train).  So this was what it felt like if your chakra was all aligned as it should be.  Absolute peace of mind and contentment.  This was amazing!!!

Since that day, I cannot help but carry this bowl everywhere I go, such as the study table, the bath, the commuting train to Sydney, my walk to the beach, and the bedside table.

The second time I received the healing, it was for grounding.  I felt less excited (unlike the first time) but felt contented and confident.  It was another profound experience.  Not only I felt grounded deeper into the Earth and this world, but also, I felt as if all the negative energy around me was completely gone and felt more focused.

The third healing session was yet another amazing experience, perhaps most memorable so far. This is because I have been able to experience, something like, “recurrence in the womb”.

When the first sound of the big bowl came out, all of the sudden, I felt like crying badly from inside.  The sound was so familiar.  I wanted to go back ‘there’ so badly.  WHERE?  It was in the Universe.  I was completely visualizing the universe as I hear the sound.  And at the same time, it could be much closer, say, in my mother’s womb!  And the time of the session went past especially quickly on that day.

I believe everyone’s experience may naturally varies.  Since I have no expectation for the sound healing session (apart from hearing the sound of Tibetan Singing Bowl), I allowed myself to be open to various experiences.

We also started to learn about the sound healing.

Firstly, we were told that it was essential to learn about five elements and parts of the body that resonates with the singing bowl.

So far, we did three – Earth, Water and Fire.

Earth element resonates our first chakra.  It is about grounding in the Earth and it is very important.

When I practiced this at home, I found that the bowl was a bit hesitant to make a sound or vibration.  I continued the practice while I was observing what’s happening in my life.  As my first chakra relaxed, the bowl seemed getting easier to make a sound and vibrating more.

Water element resonates our sacral chakra.  It is deeply connected with the organs in our body, such as liver and kidney.  Both organs are important to our emotions.  Clearing blockages in the organs and keeping them healthy is very important for our emotions, as we tend to supress raw emotions in our organs and leave it there.  Each organs are strongly connected to the particular emotions, for example, liver with anger, kidney with irritation. 

Fire element resonates our solar plexus. Solar plexus collects our emotions, mostly negative and heavy emotions.  We learnt to image fire inside us in solar plexus so we can recover and regain energy to take actions in our life.

This week, we will be learning about Air element and the third eye.

Reflecting what I have been guided thorough, it was truly amazing that I have been getting into this Tibetan Singing Bowl now.

There are many special features about my singing bowl. 

The first one is the sound it makes.  The sound is rather subdued, meaning, it does not make any loud and showy sound that may attract people’s attention at first.  I could not record the sound of my bowl nor it reached the other end of the zoom meeting…. It, however, vibrates very deeply and reaches your heart. It also depends on the day as well – sometimes I can make much open sound and the other times I can only make very low, subdued sound.  I learned that it resonates with the state of my mind or how I should be feeling it, so I go with the flow.  As I am devoted to carry it and practice everywhere, I started to tell the different sound and mood of the bowl of that day. 

This Tibetan Singing Bowls became such a beautiful and solid friend for me!!!  I now strongly believe EVERYONE on the planet should have one for themselves!  As this bowl connects you with the Earth deeper and stronger, that which we need.

Tibetan Singing Bowl
My Tibetan Singing. Bowl on the rock on the beach.

Why we see our past lives. Part 2

Another friend of mine in the Theta Healing circle mentioned something even more inspiring about my past life experience.

“You’ve learned what it feels like to be at the mercy of others in that past life.  At the same time, you have also given them (those who looked after me) an opportunity to show mercy to you”.

This was another realisation for me.  This leaded me to think that there is no-one on Earth who doesn’t have value.  Even when you become severely disabled and need constant care of others just for surviving, you have an important role in that story of your life.  It is about each individual who has a different role from each other but we are all together to play our own part to contribute to this stage of life.

Not feeling value in themselves is very common among people.  Many of my clients have this belief and it hinders them from achieving what they want in life.

Not being able to accepting your part in this life hinders you from achieving something you desire.  But why?  Because this involves your emotions. 

And your mind stops you from feeling emotions.  Because, however important it is,  accepting your emotions is a big task; energy-exhausting work per se (could this be my belief?  It could be.)  Your mind stops you from feeling emotions so that it thinks that you don’t have to feel pain anymore, and saying,  “ It is what it is, so you don’t need to be emotional about it.  Just accept and forget it.”

In fact, most of us don’t know how to accept our own emotions.  Or we think we know how to do it but very vaguely, and it still makes us uneasy…

In Theta Healing, this is why we ‘download’ particular feeling, such as  ‘what it feels like to receive unconditional love’ (because most of us have no idea what it feels).   And,  it is imperative for us, Theta Healers (and healers in general) to work on ourselves profoundly on those feelings before having a session with a client.  Otherwise, the feeling will be left out again, and again, and again….

Apparently, we are born to the Earth in order to feel various emotions and learn from them.

Therefore, it is not about whether being emotional is good or bad.  It is about feeling those emotions that arises during our everyday life on the Earth.  Even when that emotion is, for example, ‘sorrow’.

You feel a particular emotion, accept it, resolve it in your heart and mind, and then heal it.

It is not about whether an emotion is necessary or not.  We need to feel our emotions, accept them, resolve them and heal them.  I have realised this is what I was looking for on dealing with our emotions.

And by doing this, we complete learning our lesson in our lives so that we can move ahead.

This time, I was able to do these steps of healing by accessing my past life.  I experienced a profound and deep healing through it.  I now strongly believe that I can make a big leap forward.  I want to fly!

Why we see our past lives. Part 1

This happened during my weekly Theta Healing practice with my friend Clara.

“How was your week, Tomoko?” Clara asked. 

“Yeah, great! “

“What happened?”

“Well, I was getting into healing techniques of Indigenous Australians.  They are truly amazing!  I thought that they have been in Australia for 20,000 years, but an article I found on the internet that says they have at least 60, 000 years of history.  And one of my friend send me a copy of a page of a book, saying they were here 1.36 million years ago…”

“OK, Tomoko, let’s work on that.”

Straight away, Clara knew I needed to work on this issue, for some reason. I wasn’t sure, as I was rather excited about Indigenous Australians and their healing techniques, not nervous or anxious.  But since she said so with her determined voice, I followed the flow.

So where to start?

I was remembering last Friday.  I was at my friend’s office in Wollongong.  She offered me a small room with reasonable price so that I could conduct healing sessions once a week. 

I told her I became passionate about learning healing techniques of Indigenous Australian.  Then I saw a sparkle in her eyes.

“You know what, I know someone who is Indigenous Australian around here.“

Amazing!  My heart leapt with joy.

 “He does ceremonial dancing for the council and is also a healer.  Would you like to meet him, one day soon?”

He… The moment I found that that Indigenous person she was talking about was male, my excitement waned.  I instantly thought that he won’t take me seriously as a healer as I am just a woman from Asia.

“We can start from there, Tomoko.”  Clara started to lead me.

“Tune into your feeling from when you find out about the male healer.  Feel deep, deep inside of your chest. Do you remember when you had the same feeling as this before?   Was it this life?  Or the past life? “

My consciousness flew straight to my past life.  I was in the middle of outback Australia.  The clear vision of dry, red earth with rocks and bushes fascinated me.

“ How do you feel, now?’

Somewhat, anxious, as if I was expecting something bad, but I had to go there.

“Are you male or female?”

I was a young Indigenous man, who was about to take an initiation (or some sort of ceremony into adulthood).

During that initiation, I became paralysed.  I had no choice but needed to be fully looked after by the women  of my community because of my disability.  I was about to join an adult men’s group that worked for my community, and was going to be a warrior or a healer. I lost hope to become one of them and had to accept I was no longer be able to contribute to the community.  I was allowed to live under the care of women, but with very strong sense of being rejected by men in my community, shame and hopelessness.

(Note: Australian Indigenous people are not warriors, unlike Maoris in New Zealand, and therefore my basic understanding of their traditional practice doesn’t involve any violent, aggressive practice, such as initiation that involved physical danger.  However, I feel a strong need to do more research on this.)

“What was the next big thing that happened there? “

Another tribe or group of people attacked my community.  I had, again, no choice but watched all my people, men and women, young and old, were killed, but me.  For some reason, I was not killed and allowed to live under the care of those people.  They looked after me very well with respect.  I didn’t know why.

“Now, go to the last moment of that life.  What can you see?”

Instantly I saw a big red rock and amazing night sky with millions of bright stars.  I was laid on the ground outside, and someone lit a fire nearby.  People around me, and myself knew this was the last moment of my life.  We were waiting for that moment…when I left that life.

I was very calm and felt deeply fulfilled.  For the first time since I was paralysed, I could thank people who looked after me and let me live, even though I was heavily disabled therefore could not contribute to the community, and more, that I was in the condition that needs some-one’s hand to live. Finally, at that last moment, I could appreciate what I have been given to me freely.

Then I started to think of what exactly had happened.

When I become disabled and paralysed, I thought I was rejected by my seniors – men in my community, who was friendly to me and expected highly of me as a new member in their group.

 I realised that was not true.  They didn’t reject me at all.  But I closed my heart to them, making myself believed that they rejected me because I became disabled.  The idea of them feeling sorry for what I became by them was too painful.  The idea of still being the part of their group even though I become paralysed was too miserable that I could not take it, so I chose to believe I was rejected. 

I also felt ashamed of being looked after everything by women in the community.  In fact, I even felt annoyed by their kindness and smiles, thinking they were just feeling useful because they were looking after me, poor me! I was too busy pitying myself whole day.  My ego blinded my perspective.  At the same time, it was also possible that by thinking that way, I thought I could save myself from making myself miserable.

At the very moment of leaving this life, for the first time in that life, I realised their love and become able to receive their love full-heartedly.

The sacrifice, however, was too big.  The life of people in my community were sacrificed in order to give me an opportunity to notice something that I needed to learn in that life. 

From the subconsciousness’s perspective, I wrote that scenario and invited those events by myself.  What for?  In order to receive love and realise my self-worth.

Is this why I have felt it is difficult for me to receive love from others freely?

And the second time I was kept alive (by the people who destroyed my community), I realised that I gave them an opportunity to show some respect for my community that they destroyed, in some ways.

My last moment was truly peaceful and calm.  I had felt deep respect and appreciation for the God to give me the opportunity to learn those in that life.

“What did you learn in that life?  What virtue did you get? “

The virtue I obtain was Mercy.

What it feels like to be in someone’s mercy to live.

What it feels like to receive someone’s mercy to live.

This can be a challenge for our Japanese culture.  Our culture tends to consider relying on others is a shame (because your laziness caused this),  and having shame was too painful and you should rather die. 

I heard that the number of Japanese people who have taken their own life has increased during this pandemic.  

What does it feel like to be alive in this world at this time?  What did they feel, when they lost their job and couldn’t afford to continue their life and chose to take their own life?  Why couldn’t they ask for help from others, if their family is not near by?  What did they feel?  What did they not feel?  Weren’t they able to feel they were actually surrounded by people who can help if they ask?  Was being ashamed of not being able to feel themselves bigger than death?  Could I help them?  Could I understand what they felt? 

Could I wear same the shoes like them and still save myself from taking my own life, if I was in the same position?  Have I overcome the sense of unworthiness in me?  This is very important because if I haven’t, how can I help them from their despair? (To be continued…)

On Healing

How wonderful out potential as a human being!  I have just realised it…

During the Theta Healing’s Intuitive Anatomy class, I ‘was forced’ to practice digging for our core beliefs EVERYDAY 4-5 hours for 3 weeks (15 days). 

Little by little, I became able to see the storyline of our everyday life and events.   What a tactful and desperate attempt of our subconscious to make me realise something inside needs to be looked at.

I had sorrow and grief towards my father when I was very little. He was not a friendly ‘dad’ and hardly talked me or played with me. This sorrow and grief were kept inside of my chest for more than 40 years.  Just recently, I realised that I manifested some of my wishes in my house.  I worked on this matter with my practice session partner during the course and saw it from the higher perspective and realised what the lesson was.  I realised how strong our manifestation ability is.  It was amazing, and at the same time, very powerful, perhaps too powerful especially when you aren’t aware of it.

In another scenario, I was a four year-old girl. My father took me to a walk to the nearby river.  While my father was reading a newspaper sitting on the river bank, I drowned myself, jumping into the huge gutter leading to the river.  I still clearly remember the figure of my father from water.  My father was trying to save me up from the water and picked me up.  “ Hey, it’s dad!  He is going to pick me up now!”  I was very happy and lost my consciousness soon afterwards.  I stayed a hospital for a while after that and was critical condition for 2 or 3 days.  My life was saved, however. My heart didn’t stop because I didn’t have a fear of water but a joy of seeing my father pick me up.

I told this to my practice session partner.  She got something straight away and said to me, “so you got what you wanted!”  She pointed out straight that I created this drama by jumping into the huge gutter, and made my dad to pick me up.   What an amazing manifestation ability of 4 year-old girl!  And the other possibilities that could end in trauma for the rest of my family…(cancel that!).  And my soul will keep on making dramas somewhere else in the universe…(cancel that, too.)

From this practice session and other practice session during this course, I become to strongly believe that as long as we are human beings, all of us, without any exceptions, have the ability to manifest whatever in your subconscious into “ reality”.

Let us reflect upon some common phrases we use in our everyday life.   My life or my job is boring.  My wish won’t come true. Life is not fair.  I have already done enough in my life so I don’t deserve any more.  I don’t have the potential to succeed.

Please be careful, however. The phrase, “I don’t have the potential to succeed”, sounds ‘mature’ and ‘considerate” (especially in Japan) so that it may sounded like protecting people from becoming too self -absorbed and self-righteous.  We, as a general public, consider this, as “good” or “appropriate”.

If you believe you don’t have the potential to succeed, and you deny the fact that you have abilities to manifest, where should this manifestation ability go? It’s going to be an incomplete combustion, creating smoky and heavy unwanted energy as a by-product.  Or else, it’s going to  become a big failure.  Both scenarios are scary, therefore we put a stopper for ourselves to move further forwards.  “ I don’t have a confidence.” No one does, especially when your subconscious ‘knows’ that you are going to get a smoky and heavy unwanted energy or to fail badly, as a consequence.

Some of you may say, “I have a real experience when I failed.  Therefore I don’t want to do it again.”  Why have you decided that you are going to fail again? And again? and Again?  This is because your subconscious, which deals with 95% of your consciousness believes that you are going to fail again.  If, however, this is just a belief that you made, and all you have to do is to rewrite it and heal the trauma that had caused in the past.

How could it even be possible?   If you think like this, just let you know that this is also a belief that you created, which is very strong and convincing.

“Why do I have to do dig into my core belief?  It just sounds like a pain, doesn’t it? “

This is a good question.  (Actually, this is NOT a question, but instead an excuse for you to avoid look inside of yourself, haha.)

The point is, by doing nothing (using the excuses above), your subconscious keeps status quo, a situation you may not necessarily like it but at least is familiar, therefore ‘safe’. The problem is that, if you are not utilising your ability to manifest, this energy loses the destination, purpose.  As a result, you may not be able to obtain satisfaction for whatever you do or whatever you have (because you are not intending your manifestation energy into what you truly desire).   

Or, you may mistakenly send your energy towards the opposite direction of what you truly desire.  For example, you think you are hoping sincerely that you would like to obtain a partner that you can feel comfortable with.  But, if your subconscious believes that you won’t be able to relax with anyone, that it’s most likely that you won’t be able to meet a partner, or even if you do, they could be someone you cannot relax with.  By realising and completing this pattern in your life, and rewriting your subconscious into more desirable one, is Theta Healing, so that now you can utilise your ability to manifest towards the outcome you truly desire.  This is a same for curing any disease.   Anything is possible!

This process of digging into the core belief and heal it, will be conducted by the Theta Healer, in a cool and steady manner.

No matter how big the problem looks, without drowning in the drama of what happened in life, if you feel your emotions with care and dig into our beliefs, you will be able to find the core belief of that particular problem. By healing it, releasing the trauma and stress associated with it, anyone can be healed and regain the energy that you have been given away.  I cannot describe this process other than simply a miracle.

And miracles happen everyday, every minute of our life, just around our lives.  Allow yourself to see it and make it happen to you everyday.

Energy and the Product

I have been feeling this creative force for a while now.

Whatever the source of energy is (well, it’s clear that they are divine), I decided to make a great use of it, rather than deny it (as it seems a bit random and too intense, hence inconvenient sometimes).

And why not?

I am then wondering if it is useful or not, being driven by this crazy storm of energy? What will I get? What did I get so far? Did I get anything?

And I started to come back to my sense… What Do I mean by ‘get something’? Do I do this (what???) just because I want to get anything?

No, I want it and I got it, become bad about it because it makes me uplifted, happy, accepted and understood, realised my possibilities and responsibilities about myself and my life.

Thank you!

By Eurus Piper

Kannon statue on the hill looking over the sea of Minami Soma City, Fukushima, Japan

 

Eight years have passed since the East Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster. A new Kannon statue was built, looking over the coastline of Minami Soma city, which had been severely affected by the tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Powerplant, about 20 km away.  This Kannon statue (Kannon, or Kuanin, the Buddha of deep understanding and compassion) was built several years ago by the bereaved family of the tsunami victims with the help of my father’s cousins.

fullsizeoutput_59d“ The eyes of Kannon-sama (honorary suffix for someone for the higher state in Japanese)  to be opening more and more.”  Ms C, my father’s cousin, whom I have been started to connect after the sudden death of my father in 2014, said quietly.  Looking up to see the face of Kannon-sama first, then she put her palms together in front of the statue.  My daughter and I followed.

Thin clouds were spread over the early blue autumn sky.  The Kannon-sama statue was standing in the middle of the little park, surrounded by some pine trees which survived the huge tidal wave.  Some small bamboo had also grown since then.  The statue was slightly leaning on the front, putting its palms together.  Its face was peaceful, at the same time, however, it also looked as if looks beyond the sadness of the human world.  This Kannon-sama had been watching over people who lost their lives there.

 

“So many friends and acquaintances who lived around here had passed away at that time.  It is just recent that we can visit this place. “  Ms C started to talk about when the tsunami had hit this place.

“ This was a land where children played small games of baseball and other sports.  It was surrounded by the fence.  Since this was the highest point in this area (near the sea), when the tsunami came, 20 or 30 residents who lived around here came here to evacuate.  But, the height of the waves was enourmous…15 meters or something.   Then people realised that they needed to run away from here too, but because of the fence, they stuck in this place and the tsunami took all the lives who came here…” Listening to Ms C, my daughter and I could not possibly imagine what it would be like, the fear and the terror.

 

When near-by residents came up here, after being shocked by the huge earthquake, I wonder how they perceived that huge tidal wave came towards them.   The horizon rose 10 or 15 meters high then came towards them, about to crash into pieces.  What did they see?  What did they think?  Did they know that it was a tsunami?   They would be surprised first at the sight of the tidal wave.  Then they would realise that they should be leaving quickly before realising that they were stuck there because of the fences surrounding the land.  What was the very last thought of these people?

 

“ The bereaved family members and us (Ms C and her family) decided to build a Buddha statue here as a commemoration of people who lost their lives from the tsunami.  We bought the stone then decided to design the statue by ourselves, as the quote of the design of statue from professionals cost 4 times more than the stone itself.  We discussed a lot, then decided that the Kannon-sama should be putting hands together, praying for their family who lost their lives here.“

 

While I was standing and putting hands together for the Kannon-sama statue, I felt a sense of deep, profound peacefulness.  I found this is a bit odd as I was standing exactly where people lost their lives. Why did I feel calm and peace here?  Then Ms C, whether she understood how I felt or not, said softly as if she was whispering;

“This Kannon-sama, called ‘Shou Kannon Sama’, is not human.  She has been the divine existence from the beginning.”

Does this mean that this Kannon-Sama statue has a heart that is much bigger and goes beyond that of humans’?  It is not merciless but has a strength not to be suffocated by the human emotions, therefore standing here right from the beginning till the end, watching over us with its compassionate eyes and heart.

 

This Kannon-sama statue remained my thoughts for a long time afterwards.  This was not only because the statue was built by the bereaved family and my father’s cousins, but also Ms C’s words that that Kannon-sama was beyond human mind and world, were deeply ingrained into my mind and heart.

 

I got an idea after I came back to Australia.  The Kannon-sama spirit had been there before the statue was built, or even before the tsunami in 2011, or a very long time ago.  Sho Kannon, who goes beyond human wisdom and capacity, according to Buddhism, might have known everything right from the beginning.  Everything about people who lost their lives here, and their bereaved family and friends who will carry unforgettable and indescribable deep sadness for the rest of their lives, everything, as well as probably what will happen in the future.

 

“Being born to this world, live and die, and born again, and this is how this world is made up.  And always in the higher up in the sky, Sho Kannon-sama and other Buddhas and gods are watching over us,”   explained Ms C.   I translated what she said to my daughter.  My daughter of 14 years, who had been taken to where her mother grew up for the first time in 8 years, nodded silently, then we both put our hands together again.

A foolproof business model

Recently, I had an opportunity to look closely at a presentation video about one clever business model which supposed to free people from being the prisoner of time and distance.  It is based on ESBI quadrant, combined with a clever customer increasing tactics for a much lower cost than conventional business practice.  The case study of this business model is about one ever-growing travel company begun in 2008 from the U.S.

It sounded very cool, as this implies (to me, at least) that I am going to have enough (or more) money to keep me going in this life and society or beyond and I still have more time to do other things I like.  Who doesn’t want that? I am totally in for this idea and I mean it.  However, through watching this presentation video last night, I kept finding some big flaws in this business model and their suggestions for me.  I started to feel the strong need to explain why I felt this model is NOT foolproof and we need to seek more to obtain true freedom for ourselves.  Let me.

The business this presentation video introduces as a successful case study is an online-based business.  It shows how to attract more and more customers with a combination of Affiliate/ collaboration and MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) which apparently ‘compensates the weakness of each other’ – really clever and I am sure it will work if what you offer is what they truly need and want.

Unfortunately, even after 60 minutes of me watching eagerly, this presentation video failed to show why the luxurious resorts in the world with the lowest fees are good for us.

True, the presentation video shows the company apply the clever ‘club member system, which increases the customer with the word of mouth.  Apparently, more than 62,000,000 people in 36 countries in the world, including China and Hong Kong, are joining this company.  However, this company is not widely known among Japanese yet.  – who is a still prisoner of ‘working long hours are good and necessary and to offer what is good, we need to sacrifice ourselves’ myth.  And I am afraid it is going to take a bit longer for any investors to obtain reasonable benefits by investing this company from Japan unlike the presentation video suggested.

For instance, most Japanese people still cannot take holidays more than 3 or 5 days easily as an entitlement except the Golden Week (a series of public holidays in Japan starting the end of April till the first week of May).  Any company won’t let you take the holiday, as this is too luxurious to bear, or other reasons.  And you will not fully enjoy the luxurious resorts of the world only for 2,3 days in the first place.   And unfortunately, most Japanese people don’t know how to spend the holiday time at the luxurious resorts of the world.  So here, I cannot see any business opportunities in current Japan, unless the people of Japan themselves start to think about what they want for themselves, and move past the mentality of ‘that’s what the cool rich people in the western countries do so we shall do it too ‘.

To be fair, it is good to have plenty of time and a spacious place to spend time during the holiday,   but not to the point where you started to feel you need to keep inviting your friends to join the company so that you get more points to spend in those luxurious places.

Moreover, what do those ‘luxurious resorts’ have?  Do they have what I want?  For example, do they have a Stonehenge circle where ancient druids gather and prayed for divines and miracle?  Do they have a small street where somehow you feel you were there before in the very long past?  Are those places able to connect you the unconditional love of the universe and the lost ancient civilisation of Lemuria?  Can I find the secrets of the Earth and Universe?  Or simply, can I find myself – divine and true self – in those places?    Because this is what I want for my holiday.

Collecting points to spend is a very addictive game too, like a video game – it’s just a game, but not what you truly want, but you think you need because you are addicted to.  You believe or are forced to believe you need to collect points to prove the investment is worthy or prove yourself.  Really, why do you need to do that? Have we thought about this hard and seriously,  even once?

The more customers the better – this is still a mentality of an ancient belief system called ‘the bigger the better, for whatever reason’.  We now need reasons, or purposes to be more precise. Why is it better for us?

The idea of ‘the more the better’ seriously undermines the benefit of having a however small number of totally satisfied customers as opposed to vaguely satisfied customers of a very large number.  To explain in rather extreme terms, I strongly believe ONE totally satisfied resort hotel user is much more than a large number of the sort if satisfied customers.  Because, why do you engage in the hospitality industry in the first place?  You want to make your guest comfortable, relaxed and rejuvenated at your place, and that’s happiness for you.   Only in this mindset of the hospitality company, you will be guaranteed the worthwhile luxurious experience.

What do you know about what that luxurious resort offers?  Does it truly attract you?  Why?  If not, why not?   Do you know what are you looking for in your holiday destination, for example?  Certainly, you are no longer seeking some accommodation and resort facilities just because ‘it is the world’s best’ and ‘it is the cheapest offer’.  Or if you do, do you seriously think you can meet the needs of ever-evolving human being on Earth and the Universe?

I know what I truly want for my holiday.  And that’s what YOU need to find out first, before taking what others might think seriously, because it may not true, but you have to know what you want.

Lastly but not the least, this presentation video was apparently made by one of the clever people (no doubt) from Japan who writes a very popular travel blog (according to the ‘official ranking’).  Is it only me who can see the deliberate (or desperate) measure by the world travel industry?

Digging deeper for what we truly want and need is the first thing we all need to do.  It’s a shame that this presentation video that I was talking about does not yet come to the point, after watching it for more than 60 minutes last night.  Perhaps it will come after paying $700 they suggest to me.  Sorry, but I cannot be bothered, this is clearly NOT good enough for me.

And what we will get if we dig deeper and deeper ourselves?   I believe we will find out the very unique and infinite possibility of business ideas.  And if we can find this, we will be invincible, even if:

  • You feel a large number of time and energy are consumed by your mundane work right now, or
  • You feel that your family, your boss or your colleague, your friend or your lover or enemy (or someone else) are taking control of you and your life right now, or
  • You feel you are totally worthless and nothing to offer to the world so you need to surrender to whatever more powerful (job, person, situation, etc.) right now, or
  • You feel you are surrounded by the enemy and you have no friends right now,

There will surely be a way out, the way that only you can find and create.

Keep believing yourself!

Life by the sea

 

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This Christmas and New Year holiday was very special and inspirational.  We stayed at home most of the time.  With a teenager daughter, a ten-years-old son, and a husband for more than 2 decades, I was not sure if I could still make our relationship and family life reasonably OK and fun for nearly six weeks without going beyond our limits and ending up hating each other.

As it turned out, it was wonderful experience for all of us (for staying at home for six weeks together most of the time). We could explore our neighbourhood thoroughly and felt a sense of community in this place.  At the same time, I realised that the relationship of my family is much more than just a blood related or hopelessly tied one.  It is much more than ‘we have been together just because we are family and live together’.  Not only as parents and children, or as spouse, I felt a strong connection with all my family members at a soul level that transcended from the past life and somehow, we ended up living together again here in the South East Coast of Australia.  I was truly thankful for this opportunity called life with my family.

I live in a small town by the sea, about an hour and a half drive to the south from Sydney.  It is surrounded by an unspoiled beautiful ocean and amazing escarpment.  Water evaporates from the ocean and hit the escarpments, and as a result, a warm temperate rain forest had been developed.  This proximity from ocean and mountain (escarpment) strongly remind me of my hometown in Northern Japan.  Here, rocks and vegetations are uniquely Australian but the scenery reminds me of my hometown and makes me very comfortable and feel at peace.

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Not every seashore is beautiful like where I live.  Some big cities like Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and New York had been developed by the sea, because of its convenience of traffic on the water.  I don’t dislike those big cities but the water near those big cities never make me feel comfortable nor welcome.  The water near the big cities have lost its natural purification function a long time ago.  If you stand close by, it is just a pond full of rotten, lifeless and stinky water.  It is OK to see these cities from the air plane or on TV, but not walking along its water.

Naturally, I can say that the comfortable and beautiful sea means where the natural environment is left untouched.  The reason why this south coast of NSW is undeniably beautiful is because most of the sea shore was left untouched.  There are some places where houses and restaurants are build but people made a lot of effort not to spoil the natural beauty of these coastlines.  Here, you can truly appreciate and enjoy the vastness of the ocean beyond the white sandy beach.  This sea shore and ocean are the entrance of the mysterious and undiscovered spiritual, waiting for you to explore…

Real estate boom has been hitting this coastal area recently as well as other places in Australia.  According to the local free magazine, this area has now been called ‘cappuccino coast’ because of the cafés along the coast road (as well as real estate agents).  More cafés, more tourists (and more local people who goes to local cafés).  Nicely renovated or build houses has appeared around the area recently, and they are not necessarily cheap.  Among these new housings, you can also see some small old cottages (typical ‘beach house’ in 50s) that make you feel nostalgic and you hope they stay there longer (before it would be rebuilt into bigger modern buildings someday in the future).

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People who live in these houses (called ‘locals’) would go to the beach with their swimmers or wetsuits from home, had a good swim or splash in the waves, then go back to home.  Quite a number of locals don’t bother wearing beach sandals.  It would be very crowded during the summer or on the weekend but locals do not need to join the crowd from the city, as they know the best time to go to the beach.  I heard that it is best to go to the beach in the morning, probably before 10:00 AM, and from the early evening, say after 4:30 PM.  The sun is unbearably hot and strong around the midday, and wind gets uncomfortably strong and annoying.

In the early evening, I often see some surfers in the sea.  Watching those surfers, who just want to be embraced by the water, changed what I had previously thought about them.  Where I came from, normally surfers are seen as ‘not serious’ about anything, not caring other people, etc.  (which may not be a true reflection of them, I need to add.  Any kind of human is very complex…).  However, those Australian surfers I had been watching since I came here more than 20 years ago, are in the water in the middle of the winter (with wet suits, of course), surrendering their body to the ocean.  They need to be able to read the current correctly, otherwise not only their bodies, but their lives may be taken by the ocean.  It can be very cold and dangerous.  Why would they want to be in the ocean in the cold weather?  I was purely curious about their motivation.  I could not understand what they were thinking at all – the sea of my hometown, in the Northern Part of mainland of Japan, was scary and I only had a brief memory of me playing the shallow water where the river and the ocean meet when I was a small child.  I would never go anywhere in the water where my legs did not reach on the bottom of the sea, unlike surfers in Australia.  Why do they do that?   Then I had a sudden flash of understanding of them one day.  They, surfers, and other people who love the ocean, just want to be held by the love and blessings of the Mother Earth.

My husband and I are not surfers, therefore could not teach our children in more relaxed and opened way about the relationship between us and the ocean.  They can swim but never be water babies, unlike surfers.  However, I just realised that we should go our beach more often since its just there (2 min drive – 10 min walk).

Fish and chips on the beach, for example!  After the extremely hot days, my husband usually says to me to not to use the cooking stove nor oven in the kitchen.   It is, perhaps, a natural request for my husband, who does not want our kitchen and house even warmer.  We don’t have air conditioning either, yet.  How am I going to prepare any kind of dinner, then, however?  I used to get very upset by this request from my husband.  Coming back from work, usually he didn’t want to go to the restaurant either (because it would be expensive and he was exhausted from work).  2 weeks ago, he asked me not to use the stove and oven.  Instead of getting upset and talking back at him nastily, I took my children out to the beach near-by and bought a calamari and chips for dinner.  Oh, what an easy yet good decision!  My children swam a bit till their dinner cooled down and sat on the bench, looking at the ocean and enjoyed their dinner in a very relaxing manner.

All the day trippers were gone, and there were only some swimmers and dog walkers, also enjoying cool sea breeze.  My hot head and irritation from that hot day and imagining unreasonable request regarding dinner went quickly as well, dissolving into the vast ocean of Mother Earth…, I will definitely do that more often.

As the nickname ‘cappuccino coast’ suggests, there are many cafes along the coast road of our town.  Some had been doing the business before we moved here (about 20 years ago), others just started to do the business very recently.  There is a café, which used to flourish till the previous owner sold the place, then recently came back to life as they got a rival café two doors down on the same street.  Some cafes seem have kept changing owners for some reason.

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I have three favourite cafés in this area.  First one has been opened since last year and is only 2 minutes walks from my favourite yoga studio.  Their muffins have been the best so far – the texture, size, and ingredients.

The next one is located on the main road and a bit away from shops in the area.  One of my daughter’s friend’s dad recommended this café a while ago, and during this summer holiday, I made a few visits there with my children.  In addition to the legendary Portuguese tart that was highly recommended by the friend’s dad, this café offers ‘superfood latte’, such as turmeric, beet root, and matcha.  I was not ready when I saw these super food latte menus, so I ordered ordinary ‘organic’ weak latte.  It was DELICIOUS!  My appetite for the coffee came back again.  I would like to drink their coffee every day, I thought.  I will be back there with my coffee loving friends.

The last, but not the least, café of my choice is an Italian café, a kind of waking distance from my house.  Whenever someone asks me which café is the best in this area, I recommend this one with absolute confidence.  Coffee, teas, as well as sweets are delicious, of course.  However, the food in this café is undeniably delicious and the best around the town.  Several kinds of salads, gigantic caneloni and aranchini, pork and fennel pies and spinach ricotta pies, etc…  there are classic European style food (sometimes Asian inspired salads too) with mastery.  Looks good, tastes absolutely yummy!

I have a bit of sentiment for this café too.  A bit more than 10 years ago, with my daughter in the pram, happily sleeping (usually), I sometimes came to this café and enjoyed the decaf weak latte and white chocolate brownie.  This was my only blessing (I thought), during the lonely and hardworking yet still extremely enthusiastic time of infant parenting of my daughter.  About 2 years and a half later, I had a son.  My daughter started to enjoy what they called ‘babycino’, which was made out of the form of milk and a bit of chocolate powder on top, and one or two mashmarrows (pink and white) on side.  Most café charges nothing for this baby ‘drink’, however, some charges $1.50.  As I remember, this Italian café didn’t charge anything, provided I ordered my decaf weak latte AND white chocolate brownie.  But I don’t know now (and I don’t think I can ask this café if they charge money for a babyccino or not).   I took my daughter and son to this café the other day.  The owner recognised my children immediately and said, “ both of you grown up so big now!  I still remember you were sleeping in the pram.”   My children grinned shyly,  but my heart was beating with joy.  The sense of community has risen in me, after 20 years of living in this town and made me very happy.

There is one more place that gives our life joy and sometimes save our soul in this area; the library.  Around the time when we moved into this area, there were a big vacant land, that was left about 7, 8 years. It was close to the train station, the bus stop and local shop and we had been waiting something useful will be there for the community,  Then the library with the community centre was built.  Locals, including us, were very happy.

I never knew such a comfortable public space in my life other than this library.  The ceiling is high and the floor is spacious.  I can find my table and chair anytime I go there.  When the daytime temperature goes beyond 28 or 29 degrees Celsius, strong sunlights shines on our house which doesn’t have a good insulation (yet), the head penetrates the wall inside of the house.  Then my husband gives order to shut down all the windows (so that we don’t get any hot air from outside) which makes me feel I am losing my consciousness due to the sense of suffocation.  I will then quickly pack up my bag and children then evacuate to the library.  To be honest, the air conditioning in this library gets too cold, so I learned to take a light jacked to stop me freezing.  If I was with my daughter, who is a bookworm (and iPad worm), it will make 3 hour time easily.  After a while, I would usually ask her, ‘ how are you?  How’s things?’.  She would then answer me, ‘ Good, mama! Since everyone else is study hard, I also felt I need to work hard and I could be productive.’  Same with me.

If I was with my son, however, things are different.  First 30 minutes would be no problem, as my son would find his favourite manga and sit quietly with me, reading.  Then he starts to get bored.  ‘Mum, when can we go back home?’  he would ask, but I would simply reject his question, as we just arrived here in the library.  Then he would go to his sister and annoy her, end up being rejected by his sister too then come back to me again.  The bad cycle begun.  Now I needed to declare clearly the time we intend to go back home, for example, 1 hour and a half later.  Then he would understand and accept that and I would get peace of mind for another one and a half hours (if he doesn’t get bored again).

On Wednesday this week, my son and I could spend a fantastic time together at the library, as my daughter went to the ballet workshop for the whole afternoon.  As soon as I settled into a chair and a desk, I started to feel drowsy.  I was sewing till very late at last night.  ‘Are you okay, mum?’ he asked, gingerly.  ‘Yes, I am all right, darling.  I need to rest a bit so please don’t disturb.’  I said and had a good nap for a while afterwards with the perfectly air-conditioned library.

We also started to go for walks after dinner, as the sun goes down late in the evening.  In the early evening, the town goes quiet as the traffic goes down.  The sea water pool by the beach becomes empty and life savers are brushing the floor of the pool, preparing for tomorrow.  The park nearby is surprisingly popular with children as sun goes down hence the temperature as well.  It is a perfect place for young children whose energy level is still very high, and for the parents or grandparents.  I knew this sense of relief, children playing in the park in the much cooler temperature, and us sitting down, watching them.

What is love? Hearing our own voices…

When the breaking news of Hitachi, a Japanese Engineering Company freezing the construction of a nuclear power plant in Wales in England, het headlines yesterday, I felt my chest squeeze tightly, but at the same time, felt immensely relieved.

After the disaster of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Powerplant due to the lack of proper maintenance (then earthquake and tsunami hit the plant ‘unexpectedly’) in 2011, and under the unshakable legacy of Liberal Democratic Party who has been influencing pro-nuclear energy policy after the World War II, current Prime Minister of Japan, Mr.Shinzo Abe has been hoping to ‘ contribute to the world with the experience and technologies of Japan in  the area of nuclear energy’.  His hope of doing this has been a feeble dream, in fact.  Mr. Abe and associate organisation from Japan (including prominent Japanese engineering company, Hitachi) has been failing to construct a nuclear power plant in Turkey, Vietnam, and Lithuania.  Shameful attempt (unconsciously OR consciously) to contaminate other parts of the world with their ‘experience and technology of Japan in the area of nuclear energy’ against economically minor countries, is not acceptable, but understandable.

These countries may want a big sponsor who will promise them a huge economic and energy development.  Japan, on the other hand, (and other economically big countries in the world, might I add), still believe that they need to keep going in the area of nuclear power, in order to meet the demand of our growing population on Earth.  Sustainable (I mean its supposedly VERY energy efficient if it goes well) and clean (some still thinks nuclear power doesn’t contribute to the climate change – wrong!) energy source of nuclear power plants, some still believes, are something we desperately need even after the disaster of Fukushima in 2011 (which still hasn’t been fixed).

Why England, however?  Ever since I heard about the news of Hitachi trying to construct a new nuclear powerplant in England, I has been deeply disgusted, at the same time, bewildered.  Why?  Yes, England has been seemed to be lost its mighty power over the world compared to the Age of Exploration in 1600s and the Industrial Revolution in 1900s. But it still has a significant influence on the politics and economy of the world, in fact, much more than Japan, at least.  So why have they allowed (or begged?) the Japanese to build another nuclear powerplant despite of its completely failure of Fukushima 2011?

It is quite natural for me to be very frustrated with this whole business of Japanese company building new nuclear power plants in the other parts of the world.  I also have, however, good understanding of the feeling of small communities or countries, surrendering to someone stronger in the economy, and this is very sad.  In many cases, this is because not only the central government, but also the targeted local communities want the nuclear power plants in their areas, mainly because they tend to lose themselves in the plausible economic arguments of ‘the locals need a job!’.

More news that grabbed my attention yesterday was from Facebook from my friend in Kyoto. She posted someone’s comments on Toyosu District in Tokyo.  Apparently 50% of this district had been owned by TEPCO (the Tokyo Electronic Company ) in order for them to build a major energy centre for Tokyo (perhaps a nuclear power plant?).

If that was the case, there was a possibility of 6 nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant not being build, nor another 4 reactors at Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant (8 km away from each other) having existed, hence no disaster after the Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, in Fukushima and near regions.

If Tokyo could create its own energy supply, there was no reasons for them to build 10 reactors in Fukushima, which was 250 km away from Tokyo.  Distributing cost (of nuclear power generated power for Tokyo metropolitan areas) would not be a such a problem for TEPCO either, if they sourced the energy within their region.

Tokyo was also hit by the big earthquake in 2011, but even if they had a nuclear power plant in their back yard, they wouldn’t compromise the cost of security system of the plant, so it wouldn’t be a big deal (unlike Fukushima).   Even if they would have compromised its security system for whatever the reasons, at least Fukushima, which is located 250 km away from Tokyo, would have been able to supply enough food and water for the Tokyo metropolitan area so it wouldn’t be the threat for the ultimate human survival (unlike in Fukushima still now this is happening) and meaningful and useful health check systems for citizens, rehabilitation program (from massive irradiation from the nuclear power plant)  especially for children, wouldn’t be a such a problem for the central government to freely and generously offer to Tokyo locals.   Tokyo victims of the disaster may get together and form a strong independent group, claiming that they will definitely get over with this disaster!

Thinking through all these things, I have got hundreds of raw, bitter, angry, sad and hopeless emotions which got my heart clenched, literally. I thought, after all that meaningless and defensive news of the 2011 disaster, there wouldn’t be another news that would shake me from the deepest place of my heart, and I was wrong.  It seems that my heart has been recovering okay (so that I could still feel  hundreds of raw, bitter, angry, sad and hopeless emotions) and started to feel anger, frustration and regret, all over again.

Is it a pure coincidence that the book I started to read just from yesterday, said “ you must love all the people around you just like you love me” ? I got this book from my friend last week.  The title of the book (‘God Spoke To Me” by Eileen Caddy) does sound like very rigid old school religious book, but it’s not.  It’s not irresponsible spiritual guidance book either.  When I found the saying that “you must love all the people around you just like you love me” in this book yesterday, I was very moved and I felt my heart shaken with joy (and a bit of surprise).  However, thinking about it now, after remembering all the memories of nuclear power related news, especially of the disaster at Fukushima in 2011, I am not sure, if I can every try to forgive…

What is love?  I realised that I need to make my brain work harder to find out by myself.  It’s certainly not being in total silence about what disturbs you.  At the same time, I think it’s not accusing others aggressively for what they have done to you.  I now know I need to listen to myself more carefully.