Friday, November 26, 2010

When I want to get away...

When I really want silence and peace, I go to a special place in Tagaytay to meditate and forget about my modern concerns completely.

Brahma Kumaris is a Spiritual University and has at least 8,000 centers all over the globe and several in the Philippines.
The retreat center is located in Tagaytay City and luckily it was near my town of Sta. Rosa.

The place emanates of peaceful energy and I felt really at ease in the center. The garden made Sonia's garden look like a jungle.
I have been going to this spiritual class and I’ve been attending the classes for months now and I suppose I like it. I am happy to announce that I am in the intermediate level and I am quite looking forward to more classes.
I only have a few classmates where they, I believe, are over 30 years old. I noticed they are good natured people and are fun to be with. I’m glad to have met them, so sometimes we get dinner and simply hang out.

I’ve also made friends with the people I met during the retreat.

When staying for the retreat it is likely that one could be mixed with someone else to share the room. 
Since I went alone of course I shared a room with someone and I don’t mind at all. My roommate was nice and I guess we didn’t find it hard to get along well and up to this date we still talk to each other, hang out and have dinner among   the others we have met in the same place.

Funny thing to note about the center was that meat is not allowed to be taken in the center. From then on it was rather easy to switch back to being a vegetarian. I've been cooking again, which is good news.

I wasn’t exactly a spiritual person and honestly before, I never really gave it a thought. I wasn’t lost or anything but a certain illness compelled me to look for alternative medicines and I discovered the spiritual class in Quezon City. A friend said perhaps yoga can cure my illness and so I went to attend the class. To my surprise it was more than what I bargained for. 
No, this is not the type of yoga where one stretches and do several poses. Here we are taught the ways of Raja Yoga, a form of meditation and spiritual living though it is not exactly a religion as what most people think of.
It seems that the series of events lead me to this path and I am quite thankful. It taught me how to get peace of mind wherever I go.

The retreat was a 2 day and 2 night’s period where one will have accommodations comparable to hotels and have vegetarian diet for the duration of the retreat, Yum!

The retreat’s rate is only P1,800 which is really cheap if you think about it. If you want to know more about the spiritual class and the spiritual retreat then visit their website

Om Shanti

[Photos are from Jen Juan]

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Persia in her eyes...

Persepolis Book I & II
A few years ago I read Persepolis book I and II. I discovered the wonderful book when I was ‘blackling’ ebook sites and much to my surprise I really enjoyed reading it. Written and illustrated by the author Marjane Satrapi, there was also a movie adaptation, which I watched the trailer on youtube over and over.

A child grew up in war conflicts though good manners and right conduct wasn’t exactly instilled in her system, for good reasons she was sent to Europe. With the character of the protagonist subtly delusional in the beginning, the book gives an interesting angle to look at Iran. Although the comic book tends to annihilate any gloomy emotional response perhaps because the author didn’t want it that way, perhaps she wanted really for it to be a book remembered by its comedy, which is tragic.

Read the book. Learn a bit about Iran, formerly known as Persia.
Since I read the book online I would like to really get a physical book since I like the illustration and the book colors. Included in my wish-list.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Spiritual University Philippines

I wonder if it’s time to write about this… It’s been quite a while since I’ve been attending Spiritual Classes in QC. It was a rather long story why I decided to go to the class.
For one, I know very well I wasn’t the spiritual kind and was never really interested in the sort of things.
I grew up in an agnostic lifestyle. Of course I was introduced to the Catholic, Christian and other religious group in which I never paid any attention. I didn’t want to follow the Catholic groups since a large percentage of our population are Catholics and where are we now? When you ask a politician what book he or she reads they will say (9 out of 10) the Bible (The most outdated book in the face of the earth)
Christians on the other hand are ok but are too closed minded at times. I have in my life observed a lot of people following these religious groups and have seen them numerous times commit heinous acts. I know these religions are great but I just don’t get their followers.
Religious groups tend to divide people and in turn create sorrow, I want none of it.

So for years I roamed the earth and woke up every single day to define the new sun rise and bridge the abyss of purposelessness to the side of meaning. Striving everyday to accomplish something worthwhile, leaving a mark no matter the significance.
I don’t believe in supernatural phenomenon like ghosts or the science of Astrology but I found them interesting. I am a watcher of “Penn & Teller Bullshit” so perhaps you may get a hunch on how this brain of mine works.
However despite the sometimes sadness experienced in my life and the hardships, bitter hard work and often times chaotic state of mind, my life was on track. I knew what I wanted and was driven by it. I found beauty in tears and the sometimes heart-wrenching events in my life and at some point have appreciated drama.
The uncertainty and knowing there were a lot that boggled my mind wasn’t the reason why I went to study spirituality.

It has to do with my physical condition and a rather unexpected inspiration and influence from someone I barely knew. I thought meditation can heal my physical condition so there I was, knocking on an unfamiliar door.

As a writer, it is also added material to know and study a few things so I didn’t mind learning it. This isn’t a religion so I can stick with what I believed in, which is absolutely nothing. I guess I got more than what I bargained for.

Every Tuesday I attend a 2-3 hour class about Spirituality held in Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University in Quezon City. Classes are free and often students are those who were searching for something in life, to fill a gap or locate a lost puzzle piece. They teach Raja Yoga meditation and how to achieve a peace of mind.

You are always welcome if you want to learn how to meditate, check them out here Brahma Kumaris.