Each trip is a reminder of why

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A trip to Taman Bacaan Pelangi libraries is always a heart-warming one, with occasional unexpected twist and turns. The recent trip was by no means an exception.

Joining the then-upcoming trip to open a new library in Alor, East Nusa Tenggara, last August, was an instant yes from my heart. Even before I was offered to come.
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Invite: Beshara SEA 7-day discovering unity course (Nov 8-15)

Beshara SEA 7-day Discovering Unity course - Nov8-15 2014
Pleased to announce that Beshara SEA will be holding a seven-day Discovering Unity course at the Portibi Farms, Sukabumi, on November 8-15, 2014.

Principal of Beshara School, Peter Young, will be facilitating the course.

The course will have daily themes aimed at providing space for each student to start establishing in themselves a unified perspective on reality while remaining in her/his particular life circumstances.

Each day one aspect of each theme will be looked at together in greater depth, using a short text as the basis for conversation. Students will also be guided through a series of mindfulness practices together with group activities and conversation on questions and themes that arise.

The course is open to all, regardless whether the student has participated in a Beshara course in the past. Willingness to fully participate with the intention to know oneself is essential.

We truly hope that you could join this wonderful opportunity. Feel free to share this with friends whom you think would be interested too.

To know more about the beautiful space where we will be holding the course (Portibi Farms), please visit: http://portibi.web.geowisata.or.id.

Listen

I remember this conversation from many moons ago.

A consultant came to her supervisor and said, “Tell me, what are the key skills of successful consultants?”
Her supervisor said, “Listening.”
“Okay, what else?” she immediately said upon hearing this.

Her supervisor responded, “You’re not listening.”

Beautiful, beautiful response.

If I do not wake up the next morning

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They say
“If everyday you wake up thinking
this could be the last day of your life,
one day you will be right.”

So if I do not wake up the next morning

Let me tell you a tale of an aspiring servant
Whose restlessness would not subside
Until she is one with her true Love

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Menyimak Yaa Siin

Semalam menghadiri 1000 harian saudara. Sambil mendengarkan pembacaan surat Yaa Siin dalam bahasa Arab, saya membaca terjemahannya dalam bahasa Indonesia dari awal hingga akhir.

Saya mendapatkan pembelajaran yang belum pernah saya rasakan dari surat ini. Sepanjang pengajian, saya seperti terhanyutkan oleh cerita yang tengah dituturkan kepada saya, diperjalankan dalam aliran lembut proses penciptaan, kehidupan serta perjalanan pulang.

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Menyadari makna kehidupan

[English version]

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Setidaknya sekali dalam hidup, kita pernah mengajukan pertanyaan-pertanyaan luhur kepada diri, seperti “Apa makna dari kehidupan?” atau “Kenapa saya ada di dunia?”

Kesemua pertanyaan ini sahih. Bahkan mereka dapat membantu mengarahkan hidup dan mendekatkan ke pusat keberadaan diri.

Beragam kitab suci serta ucapan dari kaum Bijak berulang kali mengindikasikan jawaban terhadap pertanyaan tersebut, kerap secara terang-terangan. Namun kita bersikeras mengajukan pertanyaan dan menuntut jawaban. Kita butuh jawaban yang khusus diramu untuk pribadi kita. Kita merindukan tidak sekedar mendapatkan jawaban, namun juga merasakan atau bahkan mengalami jawaban tersebut.

Pertanyaan-pertanyaan ini demikian memikat sehingga kita terkadang larut. Bisa jadi kita memiliki gambaran yang terlalu romantis akan potensi serta peran kita di dunia.

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Finding life’s purpose

[Versi Bahasa Indonesia]

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At least once in our life, we ask ourselves the big questions, like “What is the purpose of life?” or “Why am I here on earth?”

They are good questions, ones that may help us orient our life and move closer to the center of our being.

Sacred scriptures and words from the Wise have pointed to the answers on numerous occasions and often rather explicitly. Yet we keep asking the questions and demanding answers. We need our personalized answers. We yearn to experience the answers.

The questions are so sexy and appealing that sometimes we go too far with them. We can have a romanticized vision of what we may become and our role in the society.

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Memandangi Ka’baah

Malam itu, aku duduk sendiri di depan Ka’baah. Tidak ada agenda atau niat, selain untuk berada di situ. Juga tidak membawa keluhan atau permintaan khusus. Atau doa apa pun bersamaku. Terpekur bukanlah kata yang tepat. Karena aku tidak termangu. Aku hadir. Dipenuhi Cinta (kepada)-Mu. Labbaik allahumma labbaik.

Tak ada adab atau prosesi yang ingin kuterapkan. Apakah diperlukan adab tertentu saat berhadapan dengan Kekasih? Mungkin ada, satu: menghadapkan diri sepenuhnya, menghamparkan diri seada-adanya aku. Hadir sepenuh jiwa dengan hati berbunga.
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Worthwhile

185840_10150977689717379_360543478_n-1I have been supporting Nila Tanzil Petersen in her amazing initiative to set up community libraries in the remote areas in eastern Indonesia, named, Rainbow Reading Garden (Taman Bacaan Pelangi) since its inception.

But it wasn’t until two years ago, when I went with her and another friend, Metta, to Flores to visit the libraries, that I realised what she was doing. The one in this picture is the library about an hour from Labuan Bajo town, which is an hour by smaller plane from Bali.
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