Monthly Archives: January 2008

MMD – Meditation to know self

[Bahasa Indonesia]
On Dec 24 2007-Jan 1 2008, I attended an eight-day meditation program called Meditasi Mengenal Diri (MMD, loosely translated to Meditation to know oneself), facilitated by Hudoyo Hupudio in Mendut monastery, Central Java.

MMD aims to free oneself from attachment. The rules are simple. The only ‘task’ we have is to be aware. To be aware of all our thoughts and actions. The only thing requested from us is not to bother anybody else. Simple, but not easy.

My days were full of ups and downs, full of various ridiculous thoughts to physical sensations, such as sore back and itches. But I was determined to discipline myself and not to give in to the sensation, thoughts and boredom.

Time flew, relatively speaking. I started to enjoy the meditation sessions. This so called enjoyment in itself is a golden trap. Mr. Hupudio reminded me to be careful, “Be aware that you are enjoying the meditation, until the time you feel neutral about it.” How cunning our brain is.

In the last day, the head of the monastery joined us. He reminded us to always be aware of and to pay attention to every move, every second of our life, including the times when we feel bored or frustrated why we cannot meditate.

Our mind is used to searching, demanding, and getting. It is difficult for the mind to give and let go. Even when we think we do good deeds, the mind keep thinking “What do I get?” From getting recognition from other people, good karma, prosperity and peace, to heaven. The mind still demands something in return.

Or subtler still, we often think “I give so that I feel fulfilled.” There is still hopes. The mind is having difficulties in letting go.

Even when we meditate, we often hope for ‘progress’. So when we feel at peace, we are happy that we feel at peace. We feel we are progressing. There is still expectation.

The habit of searching, demanding and hoping are the result for ego. The mind constantly demands. This creates unease, restlessness and dissatisfaction.

To overcome this, we only need to pay attention, to be aware. The method is so simple. Each of us has the capability to attend to our mind and physical condition.

Our thoughts, desires and plans in the everyday life should be filtered. Is it a good thought? Will it hurt us, other people, or other being? Is it feasible or am I being too ambitious, pushing it too far, or wanting too much? All has its own portion. If it is good, then we need to be consistent, should be loyal in executing the plan.

Our everyday life is our meditation. So let this kind of attention be present, always. Attend to all our physical and mind movement, to the mind that keeps demanding all things to everybody, including to self, other people, and God.

Complete note (in Indonesian) is here. You can also read a friend’s experience of MMD (also in Indonesian) here.

Understanding autism

[Bahasa Indonesia]
Last weekend I helped my friends from MPATI (Masyarakat Peduli Autis Indonesia – Care for Autism Indonesia) in conducting a training session on public speaking for its pioneers.

About 15 people from all walks of life attended the training. Parents of autistic children, therapists, psychologists, and youth from Miss/Mr. Jakarta (I wonder if this is the correct translation of Abnon Jakarta). They came from Kalimantan, Solo and various places in Jakarta.

I can only say: Amazing people. People full of enthusiasm and commitment to share their understanding of autism and to help autistic children and their surrounding create a better future.

Thank you, Gayatri and DY, for allowing me to participate and for such a wonderful initiative. Thank you, MPATI pioneers, for your enthusiasm and patience.

Thank you, Mbak Lita of Maverick, for willing to help without any single hesitation. I cannot imagine doing this without your help.

I want to share the presentation of the training here. Unfortunately, it is still in Indonesian. Let me know if you are really interested and want to have the English version.

For more info, contact Ms. Tini or Ms. Reni at the MPATI Secretariat at
Jl Warung Buncit Raya 99, Wisma Yaqif, Jakarta Selatan. Tel +62 (21) 799 1508, hp +62 (813) 8074 1898 or e-mail

Happy birthday, Mom

[Bahasa Indonesia]
The only words I can think of are “thank you.”

Thank you for, literally, everything.

I can dedicate my life to you as a payback, but it would still be nothing compared with all the things you have done for us.

How about a song for today? I think this one fits well.

Don’t Forget To Remember Me
By Carrie Underwood

18 years have come and gone
For momma they flew by
But for me they drug on and on
We were loading up that Chevy
Both trying not to cry
Momma kept on talking
Putting off good-bye
Then she took my hand and said
‘Baby don’t forget

Before you hit the highway
You better stop for gas
There’s a 50 in the ashtray
In case you run short on cash
Here’s a map and here’s a Bible
If you ever lose your way

Just one more thing before you leave
Don’t forget to remember me’

This downtown apartment sure makes me miss home
And those bills there on the counter
Keep telling me I’m on my own
And just like every Sunday I called momma up last night
And even when it’s not, I tell her everything’s alright
Before we hung up I said
‘Hey momma, don’t forget to tell my baby sister I’ll see her in the fall
And tell mee-ma that I miss her
Yeah, I should give her a call
And make sure you tell Daddy that I’m still his little girl
Yeah, I still feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be
Don’t forget to remember me

Tonight I find myself kneeling by the bed to pray
I haven’t done this in a while
So I don’t know what to say but
‘Lord I feel so small sometimes in this big ol’ place
Yeah, I know there are more important things,
But don’t forget to remember me
But don’t forget to remember me

I will never forget. Promise.