- What is peace?
Peace is an inner state. To the beginners, peace is the fulfillment of desire. It’s very superficial and short term. To the more advanced, it is something which grows deep inside, peace is the fruit of a deep friendship with life. There’s a sense of inner contentment which arises within. And to the masters, peace is to see and experience perfection in all movements of life. In the stage of mastery, there’s no difference between a scolding neighbour and singing birds.
- How to attain peace?
There are many paths to attain peace. From prayer, friendship, spiritual journey, religion, meditation, yoga, dzikir, contemplation, etc. On the path of meditation, the stairs of peace are started with calmness (Samatha). It’s the ability to be a good friend of this moment. Anything can happen in this moment, a gently hug with the same smile. Bad-good, sad-glad, tragedy-comedy are gently hugs with deep smile. Through deep practices of witnessing, meditators learn to take the same distance to both positive and negative. As a person matures in calmness, then there is the possibility he/she enters the stage of insight (Vipashana). It’s hard to describe insight, but in simple terms, insight means there’s flower in waste, there’s waste in flower. Any spiritual travelers who rest long enough in insight, allow a possibility of attaining enlightenment (ultimate peace). At this stage, inner seekers are purified from all negative emotions like anger, hate, and fear, and perfected in positive states such as love, kindness and compassion.
- What is meditation?
In general, there are two approaches to meditation. The first approach is those who meditate for the sake of healing. It’s no coincidence that the spelling of meditation and medication is similar. There is wide research which supports the conclusion that meditation heals. The second approach is those who meditate for the sake of enlightenment. In the healing stage, meditators spend more time in being the compassionate witness. In the enlightenment stage, meditation rest in pure awareness. As a brief introduction, there are three levels of awareness within the practice of meditation. The first is single awareness. In this approach, the meditator focuses on the object of meditation such as the breath. The key word here is choiceless awareness. Whatever happens simply be aware without making any choice. J. Krishnamurti fosters this approach. The second is double awareness, in which meditators focus on both the object of meditation (such as the breath) and the subject of meditation (the one who witness). George Gurdjief called it “self remembering”. The third is triple awareness. In this stage, one does not focus on object or subject, but rests in pure awareness. Subject and object dissolve into pure awareness. Some of the highly realized masters in Tantra, like Saraha, followed this path. To come into this third triple awareness, one should pass four seals. From karma mudra (the seal of action), jhnana mudra (the seal of knowledge), samaya mudra (the seal of time), maha mudra (the great seal).
- How to meditate in daily life?
As long as choiceless awareness is present within you, anything can be transformed into meditation. Sitting, walking, eating, drinking, washing, showering, working and praying can all be transformed into meditation. To repeat, as long as you do it with choiceless awareness, every act throughout the day can be transformed into meditation.
- How to measure spiritual growth (growth on peace)?
Before being touched by meditation (deep practice of witnessing), the energy of negative emotions (such as anger) is stronger than the energy of awareness. That’s why anger can be very dangerous. As you develop your meditation practice, the energy of awareness becomes stronger than the energy of anger. As a result, anger is still there within you, but you will recognize it as soon as it appears. At the more mature level, you can be happy to see others happiness. You find happiness in making others happy. At the peak of the journey, you can even love your enemy.
- What is the connection between meditation on one hand and love, kindness, compassion on the other hand?
At the advance level, meditation facilitates ones ability to attain the state of wisdom (emptiness, shunyata). Just as honey is naturally sweet, one who attains the state of wisdom will be naturally full of love, kindness and compassion. While the ordinaries love under the threat of hell or guilty feelings, the wise love because the natural state of the wise is love. There’s no threat, no guilty feeling, no struggle.
- What is enlightenment?
In a simple language, there are two qualities of the enlightened. First, they are purified from any kind of negative emotions such as anger and hatred. The negative emotions do not disappear completely as a result of enlightenment, but their energies are far smaller than their energy of awareness. At the stage of perfect enlightenment, those negative emotions are only the manifestation of the enlightened qualities. The second characteristic of the enlightened person is that they are perfectly perfected. While the ordinaries struggle to love, the enlightened do not struggle to love. Especially because the natural nature of the enlightened person is full of love, kindness & compassion.
- How enlightenment can be attained?
Enlightenment is a very long journey. In the stories of the enlightened, they attain enlightenment after passing obstacles from life to life. But do not worry, you can start the journey. The earlier you start the journey the better. The most important thing is the knowledge of who you are. Without knowing who you are, you will certainly get lost in the ancient forest of life. For that reason, be sensitive, listen to the inner voices, read many symbols of life such as childhood, dreams, the family where you were born. Based on that knowledge, then make the decision which path to follow and which Guru to follow. As widely known, as soon as you are ready, the Guru will appear.
- Are you enlightened being?
There are three groups of teachers on enlightenment. The first one is the king type. In this type, one attained enlightenment first then teach enlightenment. The second is a captain type, in which both teacher and students cross the ocean of suffering by using the same ship. As soon as they arrive at the other shore of enlightenment, both teacher and students attain enlightenment at the same time. The last one is a shepherd. In the shepherd type, the teacher never attains enlightenment. They just help all beings to attain enlightenment. Unlike the captain who landed on the island of enlightenment, the shepherd keeps returning back again and again until the suffering realm is empty. Now it is you who can conclude to which type of teacher that I belong.
- Why did you leave the corporate world while your age was such young?
Under the blessing of Guru, I had a fast career in the corporate world. But as soon as I arrived at the peak, I found myself climbing the wrong mountain. In the same year, the island of Bali was firstly attacked by the terrorist bombings. I was deeply wounded at that time. After carrying out deep contemplation and meditating I then decided to leave the corporate world with the permission of my family.
- Do you have family? Do your family are also spiritual like you?
Yes, in the moment when this message was written (May 2014), I have been with my wife for 36 years. I have three children and two grandsons. They are all growing up following their natural calling. They are free to choose any path, not necessarily that they must follow my path.
- How can I attend your meditation class?
Please click “meditation schedule” on the home page of this web site. There are some of my spiritual friends who are ready to help you.
- How can I meet you personally?
Well, this is the most difficult question. There are two types of teachers. The first is the dove type who spend most of the time flying together with many people. The second is the eagle type who fly totally alone following the pathless path. And with all the respect to the dove type, since early childhood I was trained to be totally alone. And found home in solitude. For that reason, kindly forgive me, only very few guests who are allowed to come to my silence home on the mountain in north Bali. The only suggestion is by attending the meditation class, at the meditation classes I will be hosting meditation practices and dharma talks, this is a great way to understand my teachings further and meet me in person.
Frequently Asked Questions
Proof read by: Kirsty Spence.