My Healing with Vipassana (3): The Art of Simple Life

The Vipassana experience was magical for me as I could now sense the sensation of the surface of my whole body, from top of the head to toe. I could sense the interior of my body. My left brain, my right brain, my stomach and my intestines, my bones… all were producing never-ending subtle vibrations. I could even sense the parts of the body when I was sleeping. When I was dreaming, it was more like watching a movie rather than being involved in the actions of the fantasy. At this point, the meditation was not merely about sitting anymore. When we take breath, we meditate. When we walk, we meditate. When we eat and drink, we meditate. Even when we sleep, as long as the awareness is there, we also meditate. By Day 6, I started to notice small details I used to neglect. I started to see the movement of grass and leaves of the trees, appreciate the freshness of the air and the beauty of the occasional noise from the neighborhood, and be thankful to all my weaknesses and flaws, all achievements and failures, all happy and sad moments in my life. All the findings and the [...]

May 12, 2015 // 14 Comments

My Healing with Vipassana (2): Nothing is Permanent

Goenka the Teacher had reminded all the students that the Day 2 and Day 6 in our 10-day course of Vipassana would be the most difficult. At least, I can say, the Day 2 was really the biggest torture. I came to the Vipassana meditation course with an expectation of finding salvation from my depression. I thought I would see a magic aura of enlightenment, or beautiful visions, or a surreal experience of ecstasy. But what’s this? This was just a boring process of sitting in total silence, with nothing to do but to observe breath for ten hours per day. The more I craved for a divine vision, the more I got restless. While I closed my eyes and seemed calm, my mind was not unlike an untamed wild horse which brought me galloping over series of memories and fears. Once I saw blurred pictures of places I have visited, changing rapidly as flash: mountains of Himalaya, deserts of Pakistan, jungles of Papua. Suddenly after those happy moments of reiterating my traveling years on the road, my mind threw me to sorrow: hospitals, graveyard, funeral house, dead bodies of my parents, dead body of myself. This is the most [...]

May 10, 2015 // 2 Comments

My Healing with Vipassana (1): A Happiness Seeker and His Breath

Something was terribly wrong with me lately. I used to feel much “alive” when I travel on the road, but returning to days of monotony confined in Jakarta apartment always brought depression to me. It’s ironic to feel lonely amidst a busy and noisy apartment block inhabited by thousands of people. I was sure, my depression had something to do with my family problems. Since I lost my mother five years ago, sadness and fear slowly grew inside me. Three years after that, my father passed away. Year after year, I could not handle this loneliness anymore. I felt more and more insecure. Every quiet night I go to bed alone, I was bombarded by frustrating thoughts. Am I still needed in this world? For the sake of whom do I still need to continue my life? Even worse, I have depression and anxiety at the same time. As the negativity piled up, once in a while, I even contemplated of doing something very, very stupid to end my life. Until then, a friend suggested me to try Vipassana meditation. He himself had attended the course, and called the experience ‘life changing’. I have known earlier that much of our [...]

May 7, 2015 // 5 Comments

#1Pic1Day: Biksu Muda | Young Monk (Tibet, 2005)

Young Monk (Tibet, 2005) A young monk of Yellow Hat Sect (Gelugpa Sect) is preparing for chanting session in Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, Tibet. The Tashilhunpo Monastery is the traditional seat of Panchen Lama, the second highest rank after the Dalai Lama in Gelugpa Tibetan Buddhism. Biksu Muda (Tibet, 2005) Seorang biksu muda dari Sekte Topi Kuning (Gelugpa) bersiap beribadah di kuil Tashilhunpo, di kota Shigatse. Kuil Tashilhunpo dalam tradisinya adalah tempat kedudukan Panchen Lama, orang kedua terpenting sesudah Dalai Lama dalam agama Buddha Tibet. [...]

February 17, 2014 // 2 Comments

#1Pic1Day: Agama Tradisional | Traditional Religion (Mongolia, 2009)

Traditional Religion (Mongolia, 2009) Buddhism was the main religious tradition in Mongolia, affected every aspect of life of the nation, including culture, politics, history and economy. Tibetan Buddhism spread massively in Mongolia during the 16th century. Seventy years of communism in the country during the 20th century has led to decreasing impact of Buddhism tradition among the Mongols. In recent years, though, Mongolia has witnessed the revival of Buddhism. Temples have seen more visitors flocking, and there are more youngsters choose to be monks. The government has decreed Buddhism as “traditional” religion. Recently, Buddhist leaders in the country have been struggling hard to survive amidst aggressive Christianization programs by foreign missionaries. Agama Tradisional (2009) Agama Buddha pernah menjadi tradisi religius utama di Mongolia, memengaruhi setiap aspek kehidupan di negeri itu, termasuk kultur, politik, dan religius. Penyebaran agama Buddha Tibet secara massal di Mongolia terjadi pada abad ke-16, dan sempat meredup selama 70 tahun komunisme di negeri itu pada abad ke-20. Dalam beberapa tahun belakangan, Mongolia mengalami kebangkitan kembali agama Buddha, ketika kuil-kuil kembali ramai, dan semakin banyak generasi muda yang menjadi biksu. Buddhisme ditetapkan pemerintah sebagai agama “tradisional”. Belakangan ini, organisasi dan pemuka Buddhis di negara itu harus berjuang keras [...]

February 3, 2014 // 4 Comments

The Color is Red (Chinese New Year in Jakarta, 2014)

The Chinese Indonesians welcomes the arrival of Chinese New Year 2014. During the Suharto regime, the celebration of Chinese New Year in public was forbidden. But today, about a dozen years since the government allowed the Chinese community to celebrate their festivals and traditions openly, red is in full swing, red has become the dominating color in temples and shopping malls, on clothes and decorations, on the altar of Buddhist gods and on the lanterns and on the dragon masks. In Indonesia, the Chinese New Year is associated with religion. Indonesia is the only country in the world recognizing Confucianism as one of its state religions, and the Chinese New Year is regarded as religious holiday of Confucianism (as religious holidays are national holidays, thus it becomes nationwide holiday). While in China they say, “Happy Lunar New Year 2014”, in Indonesia they say, “Happy Lunar New Year 2565”, with 2565 is counted from the birthday of Confucius, the prophet of Confucianism. The Chinese believe that rain during the Chinese New Year will brings good fortune. In their ancestral land, Chinese New Year signifies the arrival of spring, and as they say, “Rain in spring is as worthy as oil”, the [...]

February 1, 2014 // 7 Comments

#1Pic1Day: Pemujaan Mao | Mao Worship (Tibet, 2005)

Mao Worship (Tibet, 2005) Inside house of a Tibetan family nearby Kailash, pictures of Mao Zedong are placed together with Buddhist statues and symbols at the worshipping altar. Pemujaan Mao (Tibet, 2005) Foto-foto Mao Zedong diletakkan bersama dengan patung-patung Buddha dan simbol-simbol Buddhis di altar pemujaan di sebuah rumah keluarga Tibet di dekat Kailash.       [...]

November 29, 2013 // 1 Comment

#1Pic1Day: Kuil Keramat | Sacred Temple (Tibet, 2005)

Sacred Temple (Tibet, 2005) The ancient Chiu Gompa is located next to the Manasarovar Lake, the holy lake of gods. There are two giant lakes in front of the Kailash, one is Manasarovar (place of gods), and the other is Rakshastal (place of demons). Kuil Keramat (Tibet, 2005) Kuil kuno Chiu Gompa terletak di sebelah Danau Manasarovar, yang dianggap sebagai danau para dewa. Ada dua danau raksasa di hadapan Gunung Kailash, yaitu Manasarovar (tempat para dewa) dan Rakshastal (tempat para setan).     [...]

November 28, 2013 // 3 Comments

#1Pic1Day: Terlahir Kembali | A New Person (Tibet, 2005)

A New Person (Tibet, 2005) Pilgrimage to Kailash is a manifestation of Buddhist journey of life. After the whole journey, everybody is not the same anymore, a new person is reborn. But physically, everything is just the same. No special title, no special costume, no change of social status… pilgrimage is personal. Terlahir Kembali (Tibet, 2005) Penziarah ke Kailash adalah manifestasi konsep Buddhisme mengenai perjalanan hidup. Setelah perjalanan panjang, setiap orang tidak akan sama lagi, dan seseorang yang baru telah terlahir kembali. Tetapi secara fisik, semuanya masih tetap sama. Tidak ada gelar khusus, pakaian khusus, ataupun perubahan status sosial… karena ziarah adalah personal.   [...]

November 27, 2013 // 3 Comments

#1Pic1Day: Bukan Jalan Gampang | Not an Easy Way (Tibet, 2005)

Not an Easy Way (Tibet, 2005) Some Tibetan pilgrims take meaning of pilgrimage more seriously. Not only they have walked thousands of kilometers from their villages to the sacred mountain of Kailash, they also circumambulate the mountains by crawling, for 53 kilometer journey at 5000-ish elevation. Bukan Jalan Gampang (Tibet, 2005) Beberapa peziarah Tibet memaknai penziarahan dengan jauh lebih serius. Bukan saja mereka berjalan ribuan kilometer dari desa mereka untuk sampai ke Kailash, mereka juga mengelilingi gunung suci ini dengan merangkak, sejauh 53 kilometer sekali putaran pada ketinggian 5000-an meter.   [...]

November 26, 2013 // 3 Comments

#1Pic1Day: Bendera Doa | Prayers Flag (Tibet, 2005)

Prayers Flag (Tibet, 2005) The Tibetan Buddhists believe that the higher the place, the better it is to deliver their prayers. Therefore, top of hills or mountains are always holy, and it is the place to build ritual site or to put prayers flags. In the Kailash pilgrimage, at the highest section of the trek facing directly to the sacred mountain, pilgrims and monks deliver their prayers. Bendera Doa (Tibet, 2005) Umat Buddhis Tibet percaya, semakin tinggi tempatnya maka semakin baik pula untuk menyampaikan doa. Karena itu, puncak bukit atau gunung selalu merupakan tempat suci, dan orang Tibet mendirikan tempat pemujaan dan meletakkan bendera-bendera doa di tempat itu. Dalam perjalanan ziarah Kailash, titik tertinggi dari jalur perjalanan ini berhadapan langsung dengan gunung suci, merupakan tempat para peziarah dan biksu menghaturkan doa mereka. [...]

November 25, 2013 // 0 Comments

#1Pic1Day: Wajah Utara | The North Face (Tibet, 2005)

The North Face (Tibet, 2005) The north face of the holy mountain of Kailash is among important sections of Kailash pilgrimage. Kailash is regarded the holiest mountain for four religions—so holy that nobody is allowed to touch or climb it. The pilgrimage is done by walking to circumambulate the mountain. Wajah Utara (Tibet, 2005) Menyaksikan wajah utara gunung keramat Kailash adalah salah satu bagian penting dalam perjalanan ziarah Kailash. Kailash adalah gunung paling suci bagi empat agama, saking sucinya tidak seorang pun diizinkan untuk menyentuh atau mendakinya. Perjalanan ziarah ini dilakukan dengan mengelilingi gunung suci itu. [...]

November 22, 2013 // 2 Comments

#1Pic1Day: Kematian Simbolis | Symbolic Death (Tibet, 2005)

Symbolic Death (Tibet, 2005) A part of the Kailash pilgrimage journey is a site called Shiwa Tsal, where pilgrims leave some of their possessions here, usually clothes, shoes, or hair. The ritual is a symbol of death of our old life, and being reborn with a new spiritual life. Not far from here is the sky burial site, a reminder that nothing is eternal. Kematian Simbolis (Tibet, 2005) Bagian dari perjalanan ziarah Kailash adalah sebuah tempat bernama Shiwa Tsal, di mana para peziarah meninggalkan beberapa benda yang mereka miliki, biasanya berupa pakaian, sepatu, atau rambut. Ritual ini adalah simbol dari kematian raga kita yang lama, dan dilahirkan kembali dalam kehidupan spiritual yang baru. Tidak jauh dari tempat ini adalah tempat pemakaman langit (cara pemakaman Tibet di mana mayat ditaruh begitu saja di tempat terbuka sehingga menjadi santapan burung pemangsa dan hewan), sebuah peringatan bagi kita bahwa tidak ada yang abadi dalam dunia ini. [...]

November 21, 2013 // 2 Comments

#1Pic1Day: Perhiasan | Accessories (Tibet, 2005)

Accessories (Tibet, 2005) A Tibetan woman shows her beautiful accessories. She opens a pilgrim rest house in the midway of Kailash pilgrimage path. Perhiasan (Tibet, 2005) Seorang perempuan Tibet menunjukkan perhiasannya yang cantik-cantik. Dia membuka sebuah pondok peristirahatan bagi para peziarah yang mengelilingi Kailash. [...]

November 20, 2013 // 5 Comments

#1Pic1Day: Ziarah ke Kailash | Pilgrimage to Kailash (Tibet, 2005)

Pilgrimage to Kailash (Tibet, 2005) For the Tibetan Buddhists, a pilgrimage to Kailash is among important journeys to do in life. People walk or hitchhike to the site from their villages, sometimes thousands of kilometers away. The pilgrimage ritual is going circumambulate the holy mountain, about 53 kilometer trek at 5000-ish m elevation. The Buddhists believe that you have to circumambulate it in odd numbers, means either you are supposed to do it once, or if you do twice you should do the third trek as soon as possible. Doing the pilgrimage for 108 times is believed as a journey to nirvana. Ziarah ke Kailash (Tibet, 2005) Bagi umat Buddhis Tibet, ziarah ke Kailash adalah salah satu dari perjalanan penting yang dilakukan dalam hidup. Orang berjalan atau menumpang kendaraan dari desa mereka, terkadang ribuan kilometer jauhnya. Ritual ziarah dilakukan dengan mengelilingi gunung suci ini, sebuah perjalanan berat di alam liar sejauh 53 kilometer pada ketinggian sekitar 5000 m di atas permukaan laut. Mereka menekankan perlunya mengelilingi gunung ini dalam angka ganjil. Jadi Anda hanya mengelilingi sekali, atau kalau sudah mengelilingi yang kedua kalinya harus cepat-cepat melakukan putaran ketiga. Mengelilingi Kailash sebanyak 108 kali dipercaya sebagai jalan menuju [...]

November 19, 2013 // 2 Comments

#1Pic1Day: Gunung Keramat | The Sacred Mountain (Tibet, 2005)

 The Sacred Mountain (Tibet, 2005) The mountain of Kailash is the holiest site for four religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Bon and Jain. For the Tibetan Buddhists, Kailash is known as Kangri Rinpoche, “Precious Snow Mountain”, the center of universe. The Hindus believe Kailash is manifestation of Meru, the home of Shiva, and symbol of powerful mantra om. The Hindu concept of meru is also adapted in Indonesian culture, where some volcanos in Java and Bali are regarded holy, especially the Mahameru (Semeru, “The Perfect Meru”) which possesses respected position in Javanese Hindu cosmology. Also the stupa and mandala of Borobudur is actually another manifestation of meru, or Kailash. In Tibet, Kailash is so sacred, that nobody is allowed to touch it, no mention to climb over it. Gunung Keramat (Tibet, 2005) Gunung Kailash adalah situs paling suci bagi empat agama: Buddha, Hindu, Bon, dan Jain. Bagi umat Buddhis Tibet, Kailash dikenal sebagai Kangri Rinpoche, “Gunung Salju yang Mulia”, pusat dari alam semesta. Orang Hindu percaya Kailash adalah perwujudan dari Meru, tempat kediaman Dewa Sywa, dan simbol dari mantra suci Om. Konsep meru dalam Hindu ini diadaptasi juga dalam tradisi Indonesia, di mana sejumlah gunung berapi di Jawa dan Bali dikeramatkan, terutama [...]

November 18, 2013 // 0 Comments