Prayer For Ancestors – ranting

I’ve been told to pray for the ancestors, overall those in the family tree who have been deceased. We will trace back from my late father to his parents to his parents’ parents, up above to the very first regardless traceable or not and trace back from my mother’s parents to her parents’ parents, up above to the very first regardless traceable or not.

In old Javanese tradition people will do the prayer for ancestors in a simple yet sacred ritual – while some people will go to the graveyard or monument to do it, many are doing it at home. No altar, put thing on your table and pray.

However, four components shall be thoughtfully prepared: the day, the prayer, the food, drink, and (sometimes) cigarettes, and the flowers. Each of those has meaning.

As a reminder, here is the meaning. Please don’t quote me as my knowledge is the result of my personal contemplation mixed with very limited knowledge that I read and hear from many sources.

Chosen Days
All days are good, all time is precious. We are the one giving them meaning by putting some more attention and creating the moment on particular days. So choosing the day is a decision to give meaning to particular time so that it becomes a beautiful moment that boost our mood to connect with our beloved and respected members “above”. The day you are born must be your favourite day.

People will do it at night; many choose to do it at Thursday night before Friday morning breaks, others choose to do it on the day they are born (Sunday to Saturday combined with one of the Javanese 5 days. which is Paing, Pon, Wage, Kliwon and Legi — so if you combine, it can be Thursday Kliwon, Tuesday Legi, etc which are astrologically calculated in a very complicated system. Don’t ask me further about Javanese astrology – I’m zero!

By the way, people traditionally do the ritual ancestor prayer once in 35-40 days or on special dates/occasions but nowadays most people do it twice in a year: around Ramadan and in Javanese new year (lunar calendar). Me? Don’t ask…. 😂

Prayers
To me chanted prayer is a set of (poetic and romantic) line to synchronise the emotions through all senses with the inner self by focusing on what are uttered or sung. Chanted prayer improves concentration. It helps achieve the oneness within self. So, make sure you understand what you are saying in the prayer. Otherwise, you become a talking parrot.

In Javanese old tradition people recite some “tembang” the Javanese songs which reflect wishes and philosophical thought. Young Javanese used to be taught how to sing those songs in elementary school but now that lesson has gone from the formal education and replaced by popular music lesson as a result of modern culture massively affecting and marginalising the local potential.

While Dhandhanggula verses are commonly chosen to be sung softly by those who are good enough to be heard by the wind and human beings — oh please excuse my out of tune; other Javanese songs (Mocopat) can be the alternatives. People can only use the tembang’s tones or tones and verses. There is no rigid rule for that.

Some others will use Quranic verses containing universal prayers — Javanese culture has been merged and amalgamated with many different religions (Hinduism, Buddhism and strongly with Islam) and so Quranic verses are inserted or substituting some items in the culture. Many will choose QS Yaasiin allegedly the “heart of Quran” or QS Arrahman that contains a lot of heavenly joy to reflect our prayers that all ancestors’ souls are living in heaven. Many people also use QS Alfatihah allegedly the “mother of the Book” or the “mother of Quran” which is much shorter than the other two.

Why Quran is used in many aspects of Javanese? There is a lot of synchronicity between Javanese thinking tradition (Kejawen) with the Islam spirituality (Sufi) and that has developed mutual functionality between those traditions.

If you live in Java island especially central to eastern part of the island for just a while (one week maybe), ou will shift understanding about the Islam which you might have perceived as a rigid teaching originated from Arab land. Islam in Java is different at an almost extreme level of characteristics from Arabian culture. No, no I don’t hate Arab or the “Arabian Islam”, I just don’t want people to wrongly think that all muslims are rigid and narrow minded just by some wrongly-defined teaching or hatred-based perception made by some irresponsible Orientalists. Please don’t judge my language. I don’t mean anything but “Islam isn’t like what you think it is, You should travel more to know more.” Ok, I rest my case.

The other group will just say nothing at all, their prayers are uttered silently in the secret language that can only be understood by those praying.

What do we pray for? We pray for the joy of ancestors’ soul — I myself like to whisper in English “Dear beloved and respected Ancestors, may you be living peacefully in the heart of green birds in heaven. May you be blessed with good sight of seeing us remembering and praying for you. May you be greeting us too when we realise that we exist after and through you.” Then we pray for our own selves — whatever good prayer we want to chant. What is good prayer? My goodness, any prayer for your happiness and success! 😊

Semar – a character in Javanese shadow puppet whose prayer is always “thank you” for all given by Life. Many Javanese idolise him for his humble yet respected life.

Preparation of Drink and Food
If you know ancestors’ favourite drink and food, prepare them. If not, take your most favourite and remember to always prepare the best ones.

I never know what my ancestors’ favourite food but I know my father loved “kue lapis” – that with layers of coloured rice cake. So kue lapis is always there accompanied by others.

And the beverage is always kopi tubruk and teh tubruk because those two types are the favourite of all in Javanese tradition. Kopi tubruk is plain brewed ground coffee – we don’t filter it, no strainer no no, some people let the coffee powder settle at the bottom of the cup but some will drink the black black coffee with some coffee paste in it, and don’t forget sugar! Teh tubruk is the other one: you just throw dried tea leaves into a cup, pour boiled water, let the leaves drown down, then sip it up with or no sugar!

Cigarettes? I am sorry, dear Ancestors. Smoking isn’t healthy as cigarettes nowadays are made of those hazardous chemicals that will harm your health. So, please excuse this decision. 😁

Yummy! My mother said I am not supposed to eat it after the prayer, but I do….
Good “kopi tubruk” and “teh tubruk” for the beloved and respected ancestors

Flowers
What flowers are used? The key is always “what’s you ancestors’ favourite?” As I am not sure what my ancestors’ favourite flowers, I just refer to what flowers are commonly used in the tradition. Jasmine, rose, ylangylang and magnolia alba are the ones. As I could only find rose then rose it is! I plan to use sunflower, lily or orchid next time as they re my fave!

Why flower? Flower is always associated with fragrance. Fragrance symbolises the good deeds that were dedicated by our ancestors in their life time that will be eternally carved as a sacred key to connect with their bloodline. It also symbolises our good deeds to connect with ancestors. Only when we do our good deed and preserve ancestors’ good deeds, will we connect strongly with the powerful blessings from ancestors.

Being a modern human being should not stop me from remembering that I can only exist with “the good heart and help” of those up above the branches and trunk in a family tree. Hey, we might be a part of a giant family tree – Homo Sapiens whose ancestors are the same. So, next time I’ll probably pray for everyone’s ancestors.

May all beings be happy.

Temasek, Oct. 29, 2020 / 00:44

Remember Her

Relationship pattern changes over time and so does the way children relate with their parents. Although we are far away from each other, always remember the precious role of our parents especially mother. Oh anyway, I was closer to father. As he passed away, I become close to mother.

Dear Self, at least say hi through online chat or video call. Sending her the picture of our lunch would be a good sign that we are ok. Never let her worry about us, no matter what.

Taking A One-Day Leave

I’m taking a 1-day leave tomorrow just to do nothing but cooking my favourite food then washing the dishes!

I’m so cheap yes I am but I’m so excited! A day off on a week day means everything to me. I will wake up at the same time but I don’t have to check a timed to-do-list. I’ll do things without timer except following the boiling of the water, the colours of the cooked veggies, the aroma of garlic and herbs ready to welcome the next ingredients, the burn at the bottom of the wok and pan!

Sweet Tuesday, welcome me. I’m all for you!

Hey, human beings. Don’t disturb me!

Self Love Or Selfish?

Self love or selfish?
A striking question to me
From me about me.
The answer hangs up the call
Coming from behind my head.


—


Singapore, October 26, 2020 - 9:45pm

Arid Land, His Heart

I never want to hurt myself, I just didn’t know who you are.
I got hurt by a cactus in a desert
Who pricks little fingers,
Who just want to touch this life softly,
Not hurting, not taking anything away.


Wounded, I decided to blame stupidity:
Why did I have to have to have to have to have to just touch cacti? I should have left that arid land long before I touched a prickly spirit.


A delayed regret is less important than a lesson learned but it always gives a story the most significant pivot.


Now
I’ll just admire from here
From where I stand
With millions of prayers
For a secret journey.
Yet I know you are a ghost days and nights.


Someday when I pour down the rain,
You’ll know.
Love is as sweet as water in drought—
Maybe—
If it is not late....

May all beings be happy.

Stiff Neck No More?

Buckwheat hull pillow
Reduces stiff neck. If not,
A true marketer!

I couldn’t stand stiff neck anymore and decided to change my pillow into buckwheat hull. Once I tried one prominent brand but it felt too high (don’t like thick pillow) and it ended up stored on the rack.

Sobakawa pillow seems to be a very promising cure. Let’s wait if it really works, or the marketing just works.

May all beings be happy.

Who Is Your Best Friend?

Who is your best friend?
MacBook, iPad or iPhone?
Internet it is!

I can’t deny my % of interaction with outside of my body recently is through machines activated by Internet. Hope 2021 will bring the “real life” back to normal: when I do the job normally meeting people kindly at the same time evaluating honestly, when I can travel to home country to meet good friends and to favourite countries to absorb good energy, when I can smile to others without waving hand because of wearing face mask, when eating out is not limited except by the operation hours not by physical distancing, when things are natural.

‘m still happy though as Life has given so big a gift every now and then. I have family who love me and friends who accompany me in high and low. I work in a company that takes care of me very very well. All with the Beloved’s bless and love

So, I am still ok to be MacBooks, iPad and iPhone’s best friend for the next some months.

May all beings be happy.

May All Beings Be Happy

People who treat other people improperly will do it to animals. It’s in the blood. And so I never trust those who are not nice either to their own kind and/or to animals.

I have met people —they look like nice and respectable ones— who abuse others physically, verbally and/or emotionally from torturing to humiliating, underestimating up to ignoring. I’m sure those will do what they do to animals, too.

May all beings be happy.

Looking In To Self – haiku

Your self perception
Doesn’t represent true you.
So is self portrait.

10% of self portrait hasn’t even captured the spirit of the person being painted. It is either a failure of technique or absence of realism talent. Or both?

May all beings be happy.

Take A Break – haiku

What does Friday bring?
Laundry, canvas, wok and pan
Wrapped in a good mood.

My stubborn headache and stiff neck suddenly vanished this evening….


I naturally love my job and love it even more every day with the space between two weeks!

May all beings be happy.

Muslim Women Have Their Right Over Their Own Body

It takes courage for some women just to wear what they would love to so appreciate the freedom to do what you want to do responsibly.

Life is so generous and would it be wise for me not to be blessed just to be me?

May all beings be happy.

Amazed Everyday – simple skill

Have you ever been amazed? When I was younger, I was amazed mostly by extraordinary things in a “scientific” or “mystical” levels. By time I’m aging, I’m amazed every day by many trivial things that I ignored years ago.

I just felt so amazed how tiny mung beans can grow beautifully then tastefully just by soaking and watering them in 3 days. Who does the grow, my Beloved?

See the evolution of my mung beans. Anyway I don’t know where they are now…. 😁

May all beings be happy.

Soak in water for 12 hours.
Drain.
Cover it. Then place it in a shady or dark place.
Water it every 3 hours for 2-3 days.
2 days
3 days – I didn’t water it regularly on the last day so it became yellow….
Before it was gone….

Put Off Her Glasses

She sees way too dark.
She cries over her blessings.
Put off her glasses!!!


Do you see things colourful then the next time you see the same things blur and dull? I found it is about perspectives. You’ll be so amazed when you finally unlearn what you’ve learnt in life and find that life lies on a colour chart. Put off your glasses, dear Self. Your sunglasses have blocked you from the bright days!

May all beings be happy…..

Hujan, Rindu, Cinta

Hujan banyak bercerita. Rintiknya, derasnya, harum tanah yang tertimpa rinainya, segar hawa yang terhirup ke dalam lubang hidung, tusukan jejarum halusnya di titik-titik syaraf, raupan basahnya ketika telapak tangan mengusap muka dan sensasi hujan yang bergesekan dengan indera. Mereka telah membentuk jejak-jejak sejarah hidup. Yang terlupakan dan yang terkenangkan selama usia.

Malam ini hujan turun, kembali membasuh lembaran kenangan. Lantunan lagu-lagu mengentalkan rasa rindu pada Kekasih.

Sudah bermalam-malam rasa cinta ini tumbuh sejak kusadari rindu tak tertahankan.

Dulu. Dulu sekali, aku pikir rindu itu datangnya dari cinta. Baru tersadari di usiaku yang sekian ini bahwa cinta itu buah rindu.

Cinta itu lubang rindu nan tak pernah berhenti menganga.

Kupikir setelah patah hati, aku tak akan mencinta lagi. Pendapat itu tinggal pendapat semu, nyatanya rasa itu datang lagi. Yang menyedihkan adalat jatuh cinta pada Dia yang sama, makin lama makin besar cintanya.

Kugali dan kugali lagi. Bukan cinta sebab semua ini.

Rindu lah yang bertanggung-jawab atas penderitaan cinta.

Rindu lah yang seharusnya kupersalahkan.

Titik-titik hujan di jendela telah berubah menjadi aliran-aliran air. Cinta yang mulanya berupa bercak-bercak di permukaan hati menjelma menjadi danau yang menjadi pengawet hati.

Hati keras menjadi melembut. Yang dulunya tegar mudah terharu. Hati yang penuh dengan nama-nama perlahan hanya mengandungi satu nama. Satu saja.

Pernahkah kau jatuh cinta?

Jika kau mengaku belum, kau harus segera mengalaminya.

Rasa ini menyiksa tapi membuat indah dunia.

Setiap mengingat Dia, manusia memulas warna baru pada senyum dan sorotan mata.

Ketika menyadari bahwa kau tak mungkin mendapatkan Dia, kau menyegarkan hati dengan pemakluman bahwa tak semua uluran tangan disambut dengan ramah.

Segeralah jatuh cinta, sebelum sang waktu menorehkan akhir cerita di kitabmu.

Jatuh cintalah dan warnai rindumu dengan kebaikan hati, penerimaan dan pemakluman. Atau jika cintamu masih muda; marahlah, kecewalah, berteriaklah, panggil namanya dengan penuh rasa niscaya hatimu akan dipenuhi dengan makna hidup yang sesungguhnya.

Rasa rinduku tak pernah hilang. Tak akan pernah sirna.

Wahai Kekasih, semakin hari rindu ini semakin menguar memekat di udara, dihirup olehku dan sesama manusia. Dan cinta ini tak akan berakhir; mungkinkah kita bersua? Doaku melagukan sebuah perjumpaan. Atau jika kita tidak ditentukan berjumpa, aku tak mau lagi berjumpa walau sekali, tak sudi kumau berjumpa.

Hujan tak kunjung berhenti. Alunan musik itu masih ada.

The sun is out, the sky is blue
There's not a cloud to spoil the view
But it's raining, raining in my heart
The weatherman says clear today
He doesn't know you've gone away
And it's raining, raining in my heart
Oh, misery, misery
What's gonna become of me?
I tell my blues they mustn't show
But soon these tears are bound to flow
'Cause it's raining, raining in my heart
But it's raining, raining in my heart
And it's raining, raining in my heart
Oh, misery, misery
What's gonna become of me?
I tell my blues they mustn't show
But soon these tears are bound to flow
'Cause it's raining, raining in my heart
Raining in my heart
Raining in my heart

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