Blessings of life


It was home time at school.

As a child, we used to gather local children and walked to primary school in groups in the morning. On the way home, we travelled in smaller groups; basically whomever available to tag together, making sure that no body was left behind. We learned to look out for one another like that, just as a part of everyday life from such young age.

I was about to leave the school building with two other children that afternoon, both boys from the same grade. We got on well and we often walked together and played together.

So we were changing into outside shoes from what we wore inside through the day while at school. We each had a shoe locker, and I bent over to tend to my shoes when….I saw the boys run past behind me fast and one of them swooped my hat away from my head….the beginning of another scramble.

I was never a champion but I could run fast if I was chasing somebody. So off I went, screaming and shouting all I wanted like any other time. But then I had two boys who knew me well running ahead of me and split left and right, and I seriously did not know which one to chase.

Just on the corner of my eyes,  I could see somebody come out of the teachers room. Sh#t, I thought. I bet they saw me doing something completely un-ladylike. I turned my head to see who the moving figure was and swallowed.

It was the headmaster.

I straightened my back immediately, but it was too late. I saw the man reach for something with one hand and wave me over with another. I decided it was a smart idea to surrender, so I approached, trying to look as innocent as possible.

The headmaster looked at me. And before I could open my mouth to say anything, he waved me over again to approach closer. The headmaster could not possible hit me, I thought. But will he?

Of course he did not hit me. But he did something that would remain for the rest of my life.

He was on one knee, tying his shoelaces, and from this eye hight looked straight into my eyes. And he said, “You are going to be something quite remarkable. I know it.” I was dumb struck. He was supposed to tell me off. I was sure of it. And before I could open my mouth, or remotely recover from the shock, he told me to go home.

I remember saying “good bye schoolmaster” like a well mannered child. And I walked towards my friends who handed my hat back immediately. They thought I was in trouble too.  They thought they behaved like cowards, for not coming after me to receive the punishment together. They asked me. “What did he tell you?”

I looked at my friends and said. “The headmaster told me that I am lucky to have good friends.”

“Is that all?,” my friends asked.  I said yes, and we walked home just like any other day.

Many years later.

I went through my life’s ups and downs like everybody else who lived. And I remember. Even though I don’t always refer to the headmaster, I am affirmed that I would get through whatever the difficulties comes along. Because I know that one day, I am going to be something quite remarkable. I just haven’t got there yet.

It reminds me how, such small moment of blessings could change a child’s outlook for the rest of her life. What a blessing it was.


Healing the one and the whole


Healing is not just about sending prayers and kind thoughtful thoughts, spreading message of hope and possibility.

But it sometimes requires the use of splint and plaster to support and secure;

providing education for more balanced diet and building a stronger immune system.

Or operate tumours out of the body.

And if the toxins enter lymph or blood stream, I guess we go back to the basic and start praying again.

I think that social justice is not unlike our individual physical wellbeing.

We can speak mindfully, and learn to respect: mindfully observe one another.

But it also requires regulation and the enforcement: the ability to guide the lost, invite conversation, and eliminate corrupted cells from spreading.

Cell biologists report that unhealthy cells begin to grow towards health the minute they are placed in a more suitable environment.

I think this is true with society as well;

The minute the mood and the mindset improves,

The minute you realise that you are not the patronised minority,

or the hated power on solo,

We begin to function in a more useful direction.

This has not fixed anything and each of us will still roll in all sort of directions.

But you can always expect a rational and reasonable conversation with a dignified individual.

You will likely hear some straight response, even in a disagreement.

Dignity is comfortable with dignified another,

And we are coherent;

may be just somewhat,

but we know that we all have a place of our own and will probably no longer invade.

What is your view?


Stand with your values

Stand with your values

Not with beliefs

Not with the outcomes


A belief can be challenged

An outcome is only temporary

But your values are your ground

That is the path that takes you forward


And the values, when you are really honest about it

Never leaves you astray


Your values correspond with the Universe; the eternity

And you realise

That you are connected to the intelligence of the past, present, and future

-You are never alone-

You will be supported by those before us

And you are already a part of what will be


Never be afraid

To start a cause too big to complete in this lifetime

To serve as a dot in the history

To be a part of a thread

Leading to a better world

Be courageous

Stand with your values



Many of us think that gender equality is about empowering women.

I agree that it may be a part of it, and I agree that women are currently ranked lower than men on many levels. But I personally believe it is not only about lifting women.

I believe that gender equality will give men freedom as much as it would women.

I am a woman. Apparently. I just don’t think of my gender or sex regularly enough except when I am reminded from time to time. And I somehow get a rude shock every time somebody reminds me.

I am also a Japanese woman, which belongs to a group of Asian women; to which Australia has an unfortunate reputation in parts that there are Australian men, who are incapable of building relationship with Australian woman, visiting Asian countries to choose their bride and to bring back to Australia. Some of the Asian countries are financially scarce that they simply can’t say no to a “better” life in Australia proposed by a “nice” man. I struggle to agree with the concept that such relationship are immediately acknowledged as marriage while it is illegal for gay couples to marry after a 15 years of loyal relationship. But that is another issue. Asian women are known to be hard working, brought up to find gratitude in anything, and also say yes to everything. A lot of these Asian brides do not have enough language skills to argue, so the men usually gets their way. And unless I opened my mouth, ( and I emphasise this with a broad grin), I am usually and automatically grouped with this category of people.

I am a small woman, who most people can physically look down upon. It is just unfortunate that people miscalculate another’s abilities by their appearance, but it must be like that they are talking to me from a hight of a podium all of the time. I can mildly understand the confusion after a length of time that they begin to think they are supposed to be more important than me.

I am a single woman. Most people in this world think there is something wrong with women who choose to take care of themselves. In fact, in a therapy training I attended in the last few years, with a government accredited training provider in Australia, people assumed there had to be something wrong with me for being unmarried. And I walked away from them with false memory they planted that I had a terrible childhood which un-abled me to build intimate relationships. I actually originate from a privileged background; but it took me 2 years+ to remember who I was. And that was the punishment I received for being a single woman. It turns out that in this country, it is not regulated to create such disturbance in another in order to interfere with one’s sexual orientation or preference of life. It appears that many people believe a single female has to be lonely, where single male are often considered lucky and even free. I share my life with 70 something trillion cells in my body, and I don’t see how that has to be considered ‘alone’.

I am a migrant. I have only gained a permanent residency in this country after 8 years+ of gradual process. I don’t  have a voting right yet, and many other rights Australian people take for granted.

I do not have a Tertiary qualification. I was lined up for it at the ‘right’ age and I would have studied at least 4 years to achieve whatever I was going for. I chose to walked away. And I wound’t have it another way.

When you see me in a mirror, you see a figure of minority.

You ‘know’ that anybody can do better than me.

And then, if this was a theatrical act, a scene change happens. Background change.

I am somebody who trained and performed as a professional stunt actor, among many other things; I have trade qualification, I learned to ski by watching Youtube videos, I speak two language at the level I can argue my position to the heart content. I have some wicked financial management skills and an ability live a happy life with the amount of asset that would probably cause panic attack in a lot of people in this country.

I know what it is like to jump from the 6th floor of a building. I trained to do that as a part of my work. I had completed a day’s training with a broken bone. I have worked with a dislocated joint. I fell off a horse because a script said so. I rolled down a staircase, and this, I only found out hours before the act. I can abseil down from a roof and enter a building from the balcony. I was involved in some forms of martial art for some years. We swam in the river when there was snow on the side of the stream. I have proven my ability to work around the clock starting from 2am ( bakery), 4am ( race course), 6am ( breakfast shift ), 8am ( riding school ), 10am ( lunch -dinner shift ) 2pm ( dinner shift ) and so it goes. I have worked 17 hours straight to cover a difficult time at a workplace, and this happened while I was normally working 12 hours a day/ 6 days a week, split shift. I finished work at 11pm that night, and started 6am the following day. The day after, I had a day off; so I went skiing.

For those who saw me as a small single Asian woman who does not have a tertiary qualification or own a house BUT SHE CAN COOK, WASH AND CLEAN, they would have lost their words by now. And they know that they cannot add these things up together using their formula; man>woman. And usually, their first response is to make me wrong. And the classic remedy is to try to fix me; either by force or ‘kindness’ which says “women don’t have to live a life like that.”

But the thing is, I am all of above if not more. If you tried to fix it, then you would have ruined it.

If you cannot accept it, then it is your problem.

The thing is, this should not have to be a problem. This can be just another unique human you share this planet with.

It can only be a problem, because you see me as a minor, who can and has done things you would not likely want to do in your life; and that I did not have to be convinced to do these things. I was only following my nose, and these things just came along.

It is only a problem to you if you see me with your belief that I have to be somebody less capable than you. Because then, in that instance of seeing me do more than you, you have named yourself a loser.

It does not have to be like that. And all it takes is to see a person as a person. Not as a woman, different skin colour, background, or anything else.

If we just recognise each person as somebody who has their own path, you don’t need to be ‘better’ than another. None of us should have to argue to legitimise our identity. Equally, wearing brand clothes does not make you more attractive than before. There are better place to spend money than that. Plant some trees.

I honestly believe that gender equality will give men freedom as much as it would women. Think about it. You don’t have to lie to yourself any longer. You know some women will always run faster than you. And you won’t need to block this out of you awareness to call yourself a ‘man’. You can chose to spend time with people who you want to, instead of who you can dominate. And you will see how some men who has been in respectful relationship would already know this.

Gender equality is not a charity. It’s not a trend. It is a revolution where everybody wins. And so it should be.


They are there for us, protecting us.


When I was 6 or 7 years old, our school teacher took us out of the classroom onto the playground, which was a huge open space to the 6-year-old self.

She walked around the edge of the playground with us and showed us those trees, some of which had been there for decades already.

Standing in front of an especially tall ginkgo tree, she asked us to guess how tall the tree was.

“If the tree was to lie down on the ground, how much space do you think it might take?”

And so we all spread far on the playground and stood some length away from the tree, indicating that was how tall each of us thought the tree was. Some of us guessed it better than another, and I admit, we all thought we were all so very clever.

And the teacher said something. “How far do you think the root would go?”

We knew what root was, because we had a small plant growing in a glass jar in the classroom. But we could not see the root of the ginkgo tree because it was in the ground. The teacher said to us, for a tree to stand up strong, there has to be its root 3 times as long as the height of the tree; it means that the root of the tree would be as long as 3 of the trees put together; and that the roots grow in all directions, just like branches do.

Some of us were able to logically follow her words. We imagined how long the root of the tree was and how much of the playground it might cover, undercover and unseen. And we realised that the tree next to the ginkgo tree also had its root extending so far, and the tree next to it. It was a mesmerising experience.

And then the teacher said, those roots are holding together like we hold hands. When there is an earthquake, roots are holding the ground for us. When it is really windy, the roots are holding on so the trees can stay standing. We cannot see them, but they are there for us, protecting us.

It is interesting that I grew to be a person who prefers to live a gentle life, not drawn to those who would cut trees down because there is no immediate monetary value in what is visible on the surface. It is also interesting that I grew never to hesitate for a second to believe that there is always somebody who is watching over us and ready to protect us.


If I could make a request to the great spirit

If I could make a request to the Great Spirit

I’d ask to be reborn as a gentle tree

I want to be just wherever I will be

And grow just fine the way I will grow


I can spread my branches far and wide

To provide shelter for the animals to rest

My fruits may feed some hungry friends

And my leaves may cure those who seek help


Hopefully, humans will refrain from cutting me down for money

And I will watch over you as you go about your life

And you will grow to be as beautiful as you want to be


Look deep into – Einstein

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. – Albert Einstein

I remember a story about Buddha’s teaching. Buddha one day gave his students a flower and told them to look at it. While most students wondered what their master was teaching through this silent task, one of the student looked at the flower for a while and then smiled deeply.  He understood the meaning of this lesson.

Across the ocean, Einstein who did not believe in an organised religion left us the quote above. Different time, different language, and the message appears the same. So can we learn something from this?

Perhaps we could begin with actually taking time to look into nature.

Yes, I mean STOP doing whatever you are doing and look into nature for, say 60 seconds or so.

It’s probably new for most of us to consciously stop and experience something; something that does not offer an immediate gain of some sort, something that is outside of the box.


But if you didn’t need a reason to stop,

If you didn’t need to plan to stop,

Can you just stop and take a conscious breath now, just because?


Stop and notice a tree near a bus stop for a start, or a single weed on side path flowering, a cobweb after a rain, a bird in a tree, and a lady bug, a rock, a piece of wood, stars, ground under feet.

And if you could, only if you could, notice everything else that surround you right in this moment while you maintain your focus on  what’s in front of you. Remember to keep breathing~

What can you see?

Are you breathing?

What can you hear?

Take another breathe.

What can you feel?

What else can you find in your experience?

Are you beginning to relate to Einstein yet?

THE PEACE POLE – WORLD PEACE DAY — A Daily Devotional Website

For the World Peace a Day.

Blessed are those who make peace. They will be called God’s children. [Matthew 5:9 (GW)] While walking in the Botanic Gardens, I noticed a pole similar to one I’d seen at the city park. On each of its sides, the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” are written in different languages. I don’t know who […]

via THE PEACE POLE – WORLD PEACE DAY — A Daily Devotional Website

Feeding the Enemy




animals food cups peanuts chipmunks eating_wallpaperswa.com_95 Wallpaperswa.com

We knew he’d been living  in the front yard for a while.

What we didn’t know was that he was munching on the tomatoes, leaving them on the vine.

Then, he got sloppy.

He left seed drippings around the outside of the pots.

Busted. In broad daylight.

Like most of us who grew up with Alvin and those adorable cartoon chipmunks, I was always delighted to see them. Until now.

He was eating them green. By the time we caught him, 10-12 tomatoes were ruined.

We had just come to terms with the rabbits and squirrels in our yard.

But this one was bold. We caught him mid-meal.

We tried blocking the entrance to his abode. He just dug out another hole.

Maybe we could devise a trap, and relocate him to the woods ?

And then, a simple suggestion.

“Maybe they are just hungry…try feeding them something, like…

View original post 61 more words

Eating mindfully



When I was very little, I did not know where noodles came from. I always found them in a bowl, cooked, I liked them, and that was all I was aware of.

When I was in primary school, we visited a family owned noodle factory. They were noodle makers who inherited noodle making business generation after generation. They educated us how they traditionally made noodles, and how they recently implemented machineries to make their tasks easier. They said that it was less strenuous to their body, and more productive; which meant that they were able to afford their life easier.

That day, I was inspired by the idea of factory-made-noodles. What if we occupied a huge warehouse with noodle making machines? Line the whole building with production line, and let the machines do the job; people won’t have to work hard, but they can make a lot of money. I thought if a wealthy person decided to invest in this project, life could be made a whole lot ‘easier’ for the artisans. I presented this idea to my teacher, who paused a question, “Do you think the ‘wealthy man’ will then share the profit?”

What I did not know was how ‘my innovative idea’ was already out there and flourishing. I also could not comprehend how the ‘wealthy man’ never seemed to share the profit equally. I begun noticing packaged noodles in the supermarket. I used them for convenience. Artisans were going out of work. And the art of noodle making was struggling to find its inheritance. Noodle became just another food, which you buy without much notice; cheaper the better.

When I came across a video on Facebook, I thought of conscious living. When we eat food from people who made those with their hands, food taste different. We know that it took time and effort. We know that they had to negotiate the weather to ensure the whole process would complete as planned. We know that there is a secret recipe behind it, and it involved the magic touch by the experienced. I remember making noodles as a part of a school project, and I recall how impossible it was to make them look like noodles. The noodle maker would then sell his noodle in exchange for money, and then he would buy his daily needs.

I now know why my grandmother used to thank the food she was eating, and how my grandfather used to appreciate the quality of its making. First, there was food on the plate so we could eat. But mostly, the food was there because somebody made it using their hands. Good things go around. And I somehow think that world would be a kinder place if we all had so much to be thankful for.

Gender equality – He for She campaign

I grew up with boys, trained, and worked among men. And I can tell you, gender is not what determines your capability. You are allowed to have strength and weakness regardless, and where we are willing to fill-in for each other, we work much better together. Gender equality isn’t charity. It is a way of finding a more functional society.

Visit HeForShe organisation website:




Can you commit a crime and walk away un-noticed?


“Can you kill a person and walk away without ever being held accountable?”

My grandfather asked me out of the blue. I was about 8 or 9 years old, and killing was not on my card by any chance – I was somebody who had to be taught it was ok cut cut a piece of paper with the scissors, that it would not have ‘hurt the paper’ if I cut it.  I remember my grandmother almost burst with disapproval, however quietly, but only held herself together with the strong faith in her husband and the intension behind his words.

We were sitting over a pot of green tea. Hot water was poured into the pot, and we were waiting for it to steep. “What do you think?” he asked me. And he went on laying the tea cups on the table before us.

I had to think.

If I killed a person: starting right there, it required a great amount of imagination. If I did, the police man would come and catch me. But what if nobody saw it? Is it possible to commit such an act without ever being seen? What about preparation? What would I need to do to hide everything after the act? Could it be possible to do all of those steps without ever being seen? – remember,  Japan is a collectivist nation with an extremely high context culture. If you planned something deviant, you would not likely pull it off without somebody sensing the change in your mood, life style and routine, and the mannerism that would have come with it. But all that granted, if you did managed to commit the act, never mind how, you would have to clean up the trace behind the act. One might flee overseas, because I was already aware that Japan was not the only country in the world, but police man would have chased you as long as you left a trace behind. So is it possible to commit a crime without leaving a trace?

“I don’t think you can do that. Somebody would have seen it, and if you killed that person too, it means more people would have seen you commit the second act.” I answered.

My grandmother was now gasping for breath beside me, but she still managed to hold her words in. And my grandfather asked me. “And if nobody saw you doing any of that, who saw it?”

Was that a trick question? I knew the green tea was almost ready to serve.

And I realised that there was one person who would have seen the whole event, even nobody saw me commit a crime. “Me.” I said.

“Well done,” said my grandfather. “Well, that was a lesson,” my grandmother said, who finally regained her breath. And with that, grandfather poured the tea, and we never spoke about that again.

Murder was a large theme, but any crime would be the same in essence. Whatever the decision you make, you will live with it for the rest of your life. I learned something important that day, drinking a cup of green tea with my grandparents. Had he used a petty crime as a subject, would I have understood the lesson as well~ that I would never know. But I am glad that he taught me this lesson early in my life. Life lived hiding away from the world would be too hard for me to bear.