Monthly Archives: October 2007

Job op: Public Relations Manager in SENADA

SENADA, a USAID-financed Indonesian competitiveness project, is currently recruiting for a senior Public Relations Manager (Code: PRM).

He or she will develop and lead the implementation of communications strategy for SENADA. The strategy will consist of a master plan to communicate with SENADA’s stakeholders, including the business sectors, the industry or business associations, the government and the general public.

If you meet the above criteria, please send your CV and three professional references (with phone numbers and email addresses) via email to (to be considered position code must be included in the subject of the email) or fax to 021-579-32578 by Wednesday, 24 October 2007. No phone calls will be entertained.

To learn more about the position, you can download this document. For more information about SENADA please visit:

Note: I’tikaf (By A. Chodjim)

[Bahasa Indonesia]
The Arabic word “i’tikaf” gets popular especially towards the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan. People go to mosques, conduct the prayer, read the Qur’an, and spend the whole night (or more) in the mosque.

What is the essence of i’tikaf?

I’tikaf is about contemplation to achieve spiritual transformation. To contemplate on our conduct thus far, to contemplate on our relations with other beings and the whole universe (not just among human).

Al Qur’an does not specify how to conduct the i’tikaf. Thus the imams of the muslim provide the explanation, with some differences in the details.

Whatever the name may be, to me, contemplation is an important thing to do. Contemplation does not mean we think of a certain issue with specific objectives or achievements in mind.

Contemplation means opening self or heart so that the higher energy can infiltrate us, be present within.

The energy that can naturally and automatically guide us in navigating our lives, in harmony with our function and mission in life.

You can download the complete note (in Indonesian) here.

Are we really fasting?

[Bahasa Indonesia]
The traffic in Jakarta has been crazy (or crazier) these last several days. Not sure what this has anything to do with the fact that Idul Fitri is just about a week away.

I still do not see the connection, why the traffic has gone worse in the third week of Ramadhan compared with the first week of Ramadhan.

Anyway, here I was, stuck in the midst of this craziness. I looked around. I presumed most of the people on the road were fasting.

They say that fasting is to train us to be more patience. To better control ourselves. To refrain ourselves not just from food, drinks and sex, but also to “hunger” ourselves from all negative emotions.

Yet all I could see, could experience, at that time in the middle of the traffic jam was how aggressive people got when they were driving. The vehicles were barely inches from one another. Motorcycles going here and there, trying to find the narrow gap between cars for them to pass by.

Nobody wanted to give way to another. When somebody tried to move in front of the cars, you could see the sudden increased of intensity in the drivers’ face.

So I wonder, how many of us really fast. And I hope to God that towards the end of the month, we all can celebrate Idul Fitri — the return to our pure-self.

The Witch of Portobello

[Bahasa Indonesia]
I wasn’t that interested in Paulo Coelho’s novels anymore. With all due respect to the gifted writer. It was just not my cup of tea.

So when the Witch of Portobello came out, I was not exactly running to the bookstore to get it.

That was, before a trusted friend recommended the book to me.

I was curious. I knew and trusted her preference in books.

On the same day she sms-ed me to recommend the book, I went to the bookstore, bought myself a cup of coffee, and sat at the coffee shop for hours reading that book.

I went home and continued reading it. I finished the book in one day. I could not put it down.

Then I told another friend about this book. Her response was unexpected. She said, “So what’s the result?” An sharp and odd response to a story about reading a book. It was a good question though. What was the result?

The result was it got me thinking about something I had not thought about for quite some time. Threw me back into an introspective and retrospective mode.

So if there will be a significant change in my life in the near future, you can blame it on Coelho. Or thank him.

On being a student

[Bahasa Indonesia]
There was a long discussion about the poem I put in the previous entry. One friend was a teacher. He said sometimes he signs up for classes just to be a student again.

I have different opinion.

To me it is easy to be a student when you are actually a student. If I sign up for a class, of course I feel like a student because I am literally a student. I get all my college term papers for sale online, I take the bus, and am drowning in student loans.

What would be more challenging is to be a student every single second of life. To have that humbleness that I can learn from the person in front of me because there is something he/she knows that I don’t. To have that zeal, that eagerness to learn.

Be honest. When you are a manager, a director, a vice president, a senior at your office, and you are faced with an intern who barely graduates from college, can you feel like a student to this intern? Or would you roll your eyes and grumble every time he/she says or does something ‘ridiculous’? Yes, I thought so.

I could not get the poem out of my head that evening. It was like a reminder (to not say slap me on the face) to this confident, arrogant, know-it-all person to learn from every single person or single incident that passes by in her life.

I threw myself to something completely new sometimes, intentionally or unintentionally. To be a first grade student one more time.

Perhaps it is time for me to do it again.

It is a pleasure to be a student

I am a student.
I have been a student as long as I remember
And it is a pleasure to be a student.

It is a pleasure to learn that I don’t know.
It is a pleasure to learn that I already know.
It is a pleasure to learn that I was mistaken.

It is a joy to learn from Great Masters.
It is a joy to learn by sharing what I learnt.
It is a joy to learn how to be what I am.

I seek to learn about the world around me.
I seek to learn about what I actually am.
I seek to learn how to be a proper human being.

Clouds show me the nature of my world.
Rivers show me the nature of myself.
Babies show me how to be more human.

I am a student.
I will be a student as long as I live.
And it is a pleasure to be a student.

A poem by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche. Read during a Beshara gathering.


[Bahasa Indonesia]
I have just realized it has been some time since I last wrote in my blogs. Any of my blogs. Not that I don’t want to. Not that I don’t have the time.

But I just don’t know what to write.

I don’t know what to write. That is a scary thought.

A friend once told me that she thought my writing while I was in Spain was good. She asked whether it was because of the ambiance, or the state of heart that I was in. It was both.

If I write well when my surrounding was conducive and the heart is in the right state, what does “don’t know what to write” mean? That’s a scary thought.