Monday, September 25, 2006

The Magic Shop

On Saturday evening, we wandered into a Magic Shop. While I'm sure that May and Sarah would wholeheartedly disagree, I'm convinced that it miraculously appeared through a blip in the space-time continuum, beautifully manifested directly onto our path back to the car.

Inside were 2 Nepalese wizards, selling wisdom, laughter and peace, along with dense, coloured rice paper "that you can iron," crystals, didgeridoos and clothing. We spent about half an hour in the Magic Shop talking with them, and playing their selection of Tibetan Singing bowls. I ended up buying one of these therapeutic instruments. When I tap it lightly, it hums with a beautiful low sound and when I circle it's edge with the striker, the sound ebbs and flows in waves. These bowls have been used for centuries to relax the mind, signal the beginning of meditations and clear out blocked chakras. Modern science has discovered what the Buddhist monks already knew. A singing bowl actually reverberates with anywhere from 5 - 7 different tones at any given time. These oscillations in sound help to slow the brainwaves into their most meditative - the delta and theta states.

Quantum physics now tells us that everything is energy. The clouds, the sky, my couch, my computer, my thoughts, my mind, my heart. Everything just vibrates at different frequencies. Sound and music is vibration and frequency too. And I can't help but feel healed everytime I play the bowl. It's as though my own vibrational frequency entrains itself to it's peaceful energy and sound, the way all the guitar strings in a room will start vibrating when just one is plucked.

"If you play the bowl every morning and every night, your house will change, YOU will feel different. All negative energies will leave your house. They cannot be in the same space as this sound. It hurts them." he tells me, with joy on his face.

I believe him. So I play.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Velvet Rope

Toronto has been mental for the last couple of weeks. Labour Day hits, the kids go back to school, and it seems like everyone takes it up a notch. A sense of urgency has materialized and crushed the lazy days of summer in a matter of weeks. The Toronto International Film Festival has only added to the mania. Movie premieres, red carpets and crazed fans stalking celebrity gods like Brad Pitt, have taken over the city.

In Yorkville, land of flagship designer clothing stores (Prada, Gucci, Chanel), and poshy posh restaurants, young women dress like middle aged women - makeup covering luscious faces, masking their insecurity. Women just slightly past their due date, walk the streets with animal skin purses, stiletto heels and a look of desperation. Will they meet a producer? A director? or an actor? Is tonight the night they'll finally be discovered? Metrosexual men drive by in Porsche 911s and Bentleys, surveying the scene, slicked back hair and perfect 5:00 shadows. Do I look like a producer? A director? An actor? Is tonight the night I'll get lucky?

My friends and I walk up to the restaurant, and lo and behold there is a line of 20 people. This never happens. Not here. We stand with dismay on the sidewalk, considering our options. We are all starving. But blessings abound.

"How many of you are there?" the waiter asks us on the sidewalk.

"5!" we chorus, stars in our eyes.

"Ok," he says, under his breath, "stay here, I'll take care of you."

Rejoice! We are seated almost immediately.

But alas, we were not at an impossible-to-get-reservations-at restaurant.
And no, we were not at the hottest new club in town either.
There were no celebrities hanging out in the VIP room out back.

We were at a sushi restaurant.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fake Beans

She walks with me on my way to the food court in the hospital behind my office building. She has grey hair cropped short on her head, and a strange look in her eye. I don't know her, but I see she has a government ID just like me, so I match my step to hers.

I ask her, "Are you going for coffee?"

"I'm going to Tim Horton's, because I only support Canadian companies," she says emphatically.

I pause, "I thought Tim Horton's was purchased by Wendy's. Aren't they American now?"

She stops, momentarily thrown. She looks so confused, I say, "maybe I'm wrong. I'm headed to Starbucks myself."

Relief washes over her. "Oh, you shouldn't go to Starbucks. They use fake coffee beans!"

I try not to laugh. "Oh really...well, see you later."

Fake coffee beans?! What could they possibly be using? Raisins? Chocolates? Plastic? People are really too much sometimes!

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Labour Day was quite possibly one of the longest days of my life. My friend Emily and I started the day off at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), and finished off at the Chinese Lantern Festival. I must have walked thousands of steps that day. At some point during the day, we paused for a much needed rest. The problem was when I stood up. My feet felt like they were on fire!! We survived no small part due to the double order of fries, Philly Cheesesteak, and funnel cake we consumed, I'm sure!

We headed over to the Lantern Festival at Ontario Place as soon as it got dark, and it was well worth it. These lanterns were spectacular. The 30 lanterns were created by over 80 Chinese master craftsmen, who have been here in Toronto for most of the year working. Some of them were 50 feet tall, and 300 feet long. Sometimes I'm really proud to be Asian, and this was definitely one of those times.

Here's some pics...but of course, they don't do the lanterns any justice at all.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


From A Happy Pocket Full of Money by David Cameron (which is blowing my mind):

What does it mean to pray ceaselessly? Consider this: It has been said that even before you ask, it is given unto you. It has also been said that ask and it shall be given unto you. Do you catch that? Asking is not begging, you do not beg The Source, for it is already given to you even before you ask. Begging and wanting simply gives a lack of that which you beg and want. This is not just a spiritual idea; it is also provable using quantum physics. The quantum 'soup' literally contains all possibilities of everything, Now, Here. In other words, that spiritual promise is also a scientific fact. Let us move on. It is also said that you can do anything if you believe. It has also been said that whatever you put your attention and intention on takes form. That is how you create things out of the quantum 'soup' of pure energy - by attention, intention, and belief.

Many masters, teachers, and sages from all cultures and times have told us to not worry, to practice detachment, to trust in the mysterious workings of the universe - not only because the universe works with supreme intelligence, but also because you may not be aware of what your soul or higher self is choosing. Here then, is what it means to pray ceaselessly: You have a desire; you will it to come into being, to manifest. You intend it wholeheartedly, clearly, focused, and with certainty. You pass this intent on to The Source, in whichever way you know how. Simple intention is enough, although meditation, stillness, are more effective when you have time to do so.

So, you pass on your intent, and you become detached from it. In other words, you watch it from behind the scenes, without a desire that it happens in any particular way or 'time' or sequence. And because you know this works, because of your certainty and consistency, detachment and gratitude, it will take form in the most unexpected and miraculous of ways. That is prayer.

Praying without ceasing is going through the whole day, everyday, with such focused intention for all your life's desires, with certainty, detachment and gratitude. This is not something you do once at a special time during the day and act totally different and confused the rest of the day. It is something that becomes a lifestyle. That is praying ceaselessly. Prayer is meant to be active, ever-present and part of normal wakefulness. It is co-creative with The Source; it wills to action, it is self-assertive...

There is no criterion by which The Source decides to grant or not to grant prayers. The laws of the universe apply to all equally and unfailingly. Prayer is an inward energetic process, a call you give out with a detached expectation of an answer, without a shred of doubt. It is strong and certain will. When you realize that even the request is not necessary, that you are one with All That Is including whatever it is that you wish to have and the granter of that wish, and the conveyer of the wish, you will truly be praying and receiving without fail. For your prayers will be of pure gratitude for what already is given unto you even before you ask. The request is not necessary. Just be grateful and smile!