Thursday, November 25, 2010

Daily Awareness

I have been reading Ven Thich Nhat Hanh's books and it is a very good read, deepen my understanding of the Dhamma.

One point I like to make before I share my realization is that all Buddhist Tradition can learn from each other. In reality there is no me and them, there is only us.

Separation is due to concept we have about each other, and such concept distort the truth. For what we think it is, is just our world view, which can be different from other peoples world view and very different from the truth. So whose view is the correct view? I seriously don't know.

It is like in Buddhist story of the blind men touching a part of an elephant and each giving a description of the elephant, which are all incorrect. Even if we put together the blind men views, it still does not come close to being an elephant!!! Only by seeing the elephant as it is will it be an elephant.

Anyway, today I realized 3 things:

1) Ven Thich Nhat Hanh's Zen Keys talks about direct experience and explaining that direct experience to others. At first I don't understand as I was so sleepy while reading the book (it was after all during lunch time). He said that those who have a direct experience, there is no separation between the subject and object. Both the subject and object are one with each other.

This does not make sense to me until I return home and it was raining in the evening. While waiting to board the bus, I felt the light rain on my face and it was then that I realized that in a direct experience there is no difference between the subject (ie. me) and object (ie. the rain).

How is it possible to separate the subject and object in a direct experience? To be separated means disconnection between the subject and object. How can I (as subject) felt the rain (as object) on my face without the rain?

2) The 2nd realization came that even if I can tell others how it feels to be under the rain, that direct experience are my alone. Others can use their own past similar experience or thinking or concept to re-create that experience / feeling but such re-creation is not the truth. Just like in a Zen Koan, don't mistaken the hand pointing to the moon as the moon. I.e. don't think that concept is the truth.

So I think, this is why the Buddha can point and show us the way but we have to walk the path ourselves.

3) Why our concept, speech and ideas are not the truth and how it cause stress and suffering?

I know this all too well, you see, I used to have a concept of someone who should be like this and that. Before I have a tendency to form a concept and believe that my concept is that person.

One fine day, that person "failed" to behave like my concept. Now there is stress, there is suffering since I painted / create a story of how that person should be and when the truth does not match my concept, I was unhappy.

So nowadays, I try not to be a "story-teller" and just look at things as it is. It is not easy since the story teller in me still don't want to retire........ :D

Thus those are my direct realization for today, to end this I would say.

I have said nothing....you have gain nothing....Now go and do whatever you need to do.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Buddho Abhayam Deseti

Buddho Abhayam Deseti, this means Buddha Teaches Fearlessness in Pali. I used this in my Facebook account to remind myself that the Buddha is a fearless warrior who dare to enter into uncomfortable situation and discovered the truth.

It is not always easy for me to face my emotion as it does get very uncomfortable and hurtful.

Recently over small talk cum discussion with friends I came to the awareness that it may not be easy for us to face our negative thoughts and emotion. It is perfectly normal since all sentential beings want happiness and do not want suffering.

This brings to mind a story from the Buddha's life story, it goes that the soon to be Buddha was face with Mara's fearful army and tempting daughters but the Bodhisattva remain fearless and just observed and was aware of what was going on. He finally defeated Mara and became the Buddha.

Another life story came to mind on how we could do to face negative emotion. It goes that Buddha uses compassion to subdue Nalagiri the elephant (http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/pbs2_unit06.htm).

So my point is that when faced with strong emotion, we can take a leaf from the Buddha's experience by being aware, to note and use compassion.

Here is a link to a Youtube video on the night before the Buddha enlightenment which I find very inspirational (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTbVVbDpGzM&feature=related).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pop Heart Sutra

I really love the Heart Sutra, it is this Sutra that brought me home to Buddhism. Imaging my surprise to see this interesting video. I am sooooo happy... WoW..


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Notes on Ven Thubten Chodron talks (Oct 2010)

Ven Thubten Chodron was in Singapore recently and gave a serial of talks which I benefited a lot. I missed one of the talk and deeply regretted it as I found gems in each of her talks.

Below are notes I took during the talks which I hope may be useful for readers.

1. People want to love but their anger is pushing others away.

2. If you have a plan that is just one more way you know that things won’t turn out as you planed.

3. Accept reality; accept what is and not what if. Have an open mind when you approach new things / teaching etc.

4. Learn to dance and laugh with the problems.

5. Let go of how you think things should be like.

6. Self-pity and being upset is a complete waste of time. We do not know when we will die; spend what limited time you have wisely.

7. Self-pity and critical self-talk only feed our ego and sense of self important. We think that we are so important that we can influence things. Self-pity always center on me, me, and me.

8. When we are having critical and unjustified self-talk, we have to ask ourselves if it is that way, if it is true. E.g. “No one love me”. Really? Really there is no one in the world who doesn’t love you? How can you be so sure about this? Even if no one love you, the Buddha love you.

9. Anger and delusion burn up merits.

10. Help others like hand and foot. When there is thorn in the foot, the hand will remove the thorns immediately.

11. If we are attached or crave for a single thing thinking that it can bring us happiness then we are narrowing our vision and thinking that nothing can bring us happiness. But if we drop this thinking we will open up to a wider view of possibility to love and enjoy the company of whoever we come into contact with.

12. We do our meditation thinking that everyone want happiness and do not want suffering. That we depend on the kindness of others in order to live in this world, we are unable to live alone. Others do things that I cannot do or I don’t want to do so that I can do the things I can or want to do. In this way, they are kind to me.

13. Taking up precepts and practice mean no double standard and hypocrisy.

Reply from my inception post

I guess people may do things with a good intention but it is perceive negatively by others, in this case I think my ego is kind of hurt as one of my friend forwarded my email to "someone" and that person start to pinpoint all of my points.

Well, I was angry at that time but I did not reply in anger. But I found that there were some changes between my interaction with this friend. Anyway I am feeling less ego about this and think I will post the reply so that readers can benefit from another view.

Reply (1)

My Dhamma experience based on the movie "Inception"

Inception: Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) was betrayed by one of his teammate, after which he gather his team before the start of his new mission.
Tathiya: It takes a long time to know a person, do not assume that you will understand a person fully. We are inter-dependent on others and each person can complement the strength and weakness of others.

Inception: An idea (seed) can be planted by others or oneself. The only way to change a deeply held belief is for the person to convince him/her self. Others can only lead them along a path.
Tathiya: We are exposed to idea everyday, so we have to guard our mind very carefully as small seeds planted either by ourselves or others, once allow to grow will come into effect. While the Buddha can show us the way (plant seed), in order for us to truly believe it, we need to convince ourselves.

Inception: Dom Cobb showed Ariadne that she can create anything in the dream. She leave the team for a while but returned later due to her attachment to the ability for creation in the dream state.
Tathiya: Well, we all want to be God and create thing but since we cannot do so in the real world, we do it in our mind / dream. We create thoughts about how something / someone should be in our head and once those things / person does not meet our expectation, our internal world come crashing down.

Inception: To change a deeply held belief, the inception team need to go down to the deepest level of the target's belief system.
Tathiya: Each level in our mind will have a different belief system, to change a belief we have to search each level to see if changes can be made at a particular level, if not we need to go deeper so that any changes or planting of seed can have lasting effect.

Inception: Dom Cobb "trap" his memories of his wife at the deepest level of his mind. Also his wife always appear at the wrong time to ruin his plan.
Tathiya: Holding onto past memories only brings suffering, we must learn to let go; we can only block out so much negativity, there will be opportunity for those negative feeling / thinking to surface at the wrong time to ruin us unless we root it out at the deepest level; we must learn to let go.

Inception: For the team to "escape" a level, they will need an external event to shock them out of their dream state.
Tathiya: My Dhamma experience came from this. I was having some negative thoughts when an old friend suddenly called out to me, I was literally shock out of my negative thinking. It is like the Zen story of throwing a rock into a bamboo forest and hearing the sound which break the thoughts process of the listener and encourage them to come back to the moment. Thus the lesson is, when we are corner by thoughts, we need an external event / we be aware of it in order to break the cycle.

Inception: At the end of the movie, the spinning top does not give an indication of whether Dom Cobb is back in reality or still in a dream state.
Tathiya: Life should be live in reality but some people cannot distinguish between what is real and what is a dream. As reality can be painful, there are some people like Dom Cobb and wife who decided to escape into the dream state to avoid facing the truth.

Inception: Dom Cobb planting of a seed in his wife valve that suggest that in order to be alive, she has to die in her dream world. Never did he thought that this seed was carried forward to the real world and this was what caused his wife to commit suicide in the real world.
Tathiya: Cause will have effect, even a gesture did with kind intention may not always turn out fine. Thus we have to be very careful with our thoughts, speech and action.

Inception: Once you dies in your dream, you will stay in limbo for an indefinite amount of time. Dom Cobb at the end of the movie save Saito from limbo. We also saw what sort of dreams Saito have.
Tathiya: It is like a person who cannot escape from thinking about his past or are fantasied by his "idea" world / state, like a mad person who are stuck to his way of thinking. They stay in limbo in their thoughts unless they / someone else come and bring them out. And guess what......for us Buddhist it is the Buddha who show us the way but it is ourselves and our experience that will truly liberate us from Samsara.


Reply (2)

The ending of the film seems to suggest that the dream state as depicted by the unceasing spinning top prevails over reality. Evil acts beget evil results even in a dream world. In this film it is celluloid illusion that stretches the imagination.
DH Lawrence was more realistic and poignant on dreams:
"All people dream,but not equally,
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind,
Wake in the morning to find that it was vanity.
But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people,
For they dream their dreams with open eyes,
And make them come true."

Fortunately the characters in the film dreamt in deep induced sleep so it transgressed into make-believe Hollywood world of greed,hatred, and delusion.

The Buddha was more sanguine with mental and not a dream state:
"We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world."

What would become of human existence if our thoughts can be replaced with "seed" dreams?

There may be different interpretations of the film if without a reading of the actual plot. The intention it seems is to tweak the mind of viewers to go into a fantasy world like what some romantic poets wrote whilst taking opiate...of Kublai Khan and his palace dome of sensual pleasure. :-)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dhmma lesson from the movie "Inception"

I watched this movie about 3 weeks ago (for those who don't know what this movie is about, please see here). At that time, I felt that there are many Dhamma lesson in the movie that I can reflect upon it. It wasn't until this afternoon that my thoughts came together and I am flooded with many lessons based on this movie.

Interesting that you need to give time and the right opportunity for a thoughts / anything to come into fruition. Looks like a seed was planted after I saw the movie and while it is being nurture by time and external input, the seed is waiting for the right moment to come into being. This itself is also a Dhamma experience.

My Dhamma experience based on the movie "Inception"

Inception: Dom Cobb (acted by Leonardo DiCaprio) was betrayed by one of his teammate, after which he gather his team before the start of his new mission.
Tathiya: It takes a long time to know a person, do not assume that you will understand a person fully. We are inter-dependent on others and each person can complement the strength and weakness of others.

Inception: An idea (seed) can be planted by others or by oneself. The only way to change a deeply held belief is for the person to convince him/her self. Others can only lead them along a path.
Tathiya: We are exposed to idea and knowledge everyday, so we have to guard our mind very carefully as small seeds planted either by ourselves or others, once allow to grow will come into effect. While the Buddha can show us the way (plant seed), in order for us to truly believe it, we need to convince ourselves.

Inception: Dom Cobb showed Ariadne that she can create anything in the dream. She leave the team for a while but returned later due to her attachment to the ability for creation in the dream state.
Tathiya: Well, we all want to be God and create thing but since we cannot do so in the real world, we do it in our mind / dream. We create thoughts about how something / someone should be in our head and once those things / person does not meet our expectation, our internal world come crashing down.

Inception: To change a deeply held belief, the inception team need to go down to the deepest level of the target's belief system.
Tathiya: Each level in our mind will have a different belief system, to change a belief we have to search each level to see if changes can be made at a particular level, if not we need to go deeper so that any changes or planting of seed can have lasting effect.

Inception: Dom Cobb "trap" his memories of his wife at the deepest level of his mind. Also his wife will appear at the wrong time to ruin his plan.
Tathiya: Holding onto past memories only brings suffering, we must learn to let go; we can only block out so much negativity, there will be opportunity for those negative feeling / thinking to surface at the wrong time to ruin us unless we root it out at the deepest level, we must learn to let go.

Inception: For the team to "escape" a level, they will need an external event to shock them out of their dream state.
Tathiya: My Dhamma experience came from this. I was having some negative thoughts when an old friend suddenly called out to me, I was literally shock out of my negative thinking. It is like the Zen story of throwing a rock into a bamboo forest and hearing the sound which break the thoughts process of the listener and encourage them to come back to the moment. Thus the lesson is, when we are corner by thoughts, we need an external event / we be aware of it in order to break the cycle.

Inception: Dom Cobb planting of a seed in his wife valve that suggest that in order to be alive, she has to die in her dream world. Never did he thought that this seed was carried forward to the real world and this was what caused his wife to commit suicide in the real world.
Tathiya: Cause will have effect, even a gesture did with kind intention may not always turn out fine. Thus we have to be very careful with our thoughts, speech and action.

Inception: At the end of the movie, the spinning top does not give an indication of whether Dom Cobb is back in reality or still in a dream state.
Tathiya: Life should be live in reality but some people cannot distinguish between what is real and what is a dream. As reality can be painful, there are some people like Dom Cobb and wife who decided to escape into the dream state to avoid facing the truth.

Inception: Once you dies in your dream, you will stay in limbo for an indefinite amount of time. Dom Cobb at the end of the movie save Saito from limbo. We also saw what sort of dreams Saito have.
Tathiya: It is like a person who cannot escape from thinking about his past or are fantasied by his "idea" world / state, like a mad person who are stuck in his way of thinking. They stay in limbo of their thoughts unless they / someone else come and bring them out. And guess what......for us Buddhist it is the Buddha who show us the way but it is ourselves and our experience that will truly liberate us from Samsara.

Well, those are all my Dhamma experiences from the movie. I hope that you will benefit and think about it and if you have not watch the movie, what are you waiting for?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Diamond Cutter by Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally

Finally!!! I finally got hold of the book and finished reading it. I came across this book like 8yrs - 10yrs ago and wanted to borrow and read it but did not actually get to it. Maybe if I read it then, my present might be different but maybe not, who knows.

The point is that Geshe Michael Roach has presented an idea on Kamma which makes sense to my understanding of Kamma.

First of, Kamma is not something that cannot be change or influence. It is not like if you kill a bug you will come back as a bug. Kamma is well-known as intentional action, thus if there is no intention behind your action, there is no Kamma formed. Whatever Kamma that was formed in the past, it will bear fruit in the present and how you deal with it now will determine your future.

Geshe Michael Roach presented the idea that what we see and experience now is due to the seeds we planted in the past, since all things are empty of their own nature the only things that influence how we view an event / present are the seeds that is bearing fruit now.

I thought about this and it makes sense, if a person is habitually negative in his world view, sooner or later that person will be condition to see all things in that sort of framework, he will also perceive things that happened to him in that framework. Thus what we need to do it to be very careful in our speech, action and thoughts.

In order that we create the future that we want, we have to start planting new positive seeds in those 3 areas. I am looking forward to reading Geshe Michael Roach's book on Kamma management and so I do not have a solution now on how to deal with negative seeds that were already planted except to say that we have to bear with whatever results that will arise from those bad sees, the most important thing is to break the cycle and instaed plant good seeds.

Take care my readers and may you plant good seeds so that we may reach Nibbana together.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Deepen your understanding of Buddhism

Dear readers, please point to this link for articles on Buddhism, very interesting read. I esp. like this.

The enlightened way to give is to give because there is no difference between their need and my need, between their pain and my pain, between their joy and my joy

The article can be found here (
http://buddhism.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=buddhism&cdn=religion&tm=213&f=00&tt=2&bt=1&bts=0&zu=http%3A//www.intrex.net/chzg/pat6.htm)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Buddhist Music

I "returned" home to Buddhism due to having a personal issue and subsequently coming across Imee Ooi Prajna-paramita Hrdaya Sutram (aka Heart Sutra). I remembered that I cried after listened to it. I still cried for 2 days every time I listen to it.

I felt so much at peace after I listened to it. The transformation of my mind actually starts that day and I realized that there is nothing more important than having a mind at peace. As I listen to (2) I am crying again because the music is just so touching.

Thus I want to introduce some music to reader of this blog. I hope the music may have some effect on you too. If not, just take it as a relaxing music. May peace be upon you.

1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGM59ot3FHg
2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qe_IhWi-Fs&feature=related
3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5igyb23Rx8Q&feature=related
4) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJkaotCv7yA&feature=related














Here is the lyrics for (2)

Om Nan Mo Ba Ga Wa Di , Sar-ng Wa Duo-r Ga De , Wa Na Su Da Ne Run- Za Ya , Da A Ta Ga Da Ya , A-r Ha De , Sang- Ya Sang- Bu Da Ya , Dai Ya Ta Om Shu Da Ne Shu Da Ne , Sa-r Wa A Ba A Wa, Ba Shu Da Ne Su De , Ba Su De , Sa-r Wa Ga-erm Ma , A Wa Ren- Na , Ba Shu Da Ne , Ye Sou Ha

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TED video on happiness

Dear readers, if there's any. Been a while since I last blog. Well, I cam across those videos which may be useful ion learning about creating happiness. This is one aspect of lives that I am constantly trying to achieve.

By helping people to find happiness, I hope to also find happiness.

http://www.ted.com/themes/what_makes_us_happy.html

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Let it RAIN everyday

A while back, a friend sent me an email article on mindfulness. It is very well written and it teaches how mindfulness help us in our daily lives and how to use it when we are face with problems.

I cannot find the email but here is a summary which I hope may be useful to readers of this blog.

It is call RAIN, which means:

Realized

Acknowledge

Investigate

Neutralize


1) Realized that there is a feeling, thoughts, emotion that arises due to external event that came into contact with your 6 senses door.

2) Acknowledge those feeling, emotion etc. Do not push it away, the Buddha is known as a fearless warrior as he dares to face his inner demons. You can do it as well, just take some practice and of course, don't jump into the deep end of the pool when you cannot swim (i.e. start small first).

3) Investigate what is the causes of those feeling, emotion etc. It is unlikely, as you will find, that it was due to external event. Sooner or later you will know that how you think, feel, and react are due to your internal interpretation.

4) Neutralize - This is the most interesting part, as soon as you know for sure, truly know, understand, accept and let go. You will find that you will return to the middle path. No more being at the far end of your thoughts, emotion, feeling etc.

Ok, that is all I can remember from the email and my experience. No matter how much I say it is useless unless you try it out and realized it yourself. Thus may I invite you to join me in this journey of self-discovery.

Don't worry, the Buddha and many of his students have did it before. Let us face the storm that is inside each of us and see things as it is.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Awareness

I was nearly overcame with doubts this morning while going for my exercise. Out of nowhere I suddenly felt myself being worthless and I made a wrong choice by quitting my job and go solo.

Luckily my meditation training allowed me to catch those thinking and emotion in time so that I did not stayed too long in those negative thoughts.

I re-framed my thinking and is feeling much better now.

Sometime what we need is to really see things as it is and allow whatever feeling and emotion to rise up and just notice it.

Thumbs up for meditation.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Acharya Godwin Samararatne

Here is another example of how the Deva 'helped' with my Dhamma training.

I must admit that I do not understand what Acharya Godwin wrote in his book "Meditation in Everyday Life" when I first read it. I was of the impression that his teaching was difficult to understand and apply.

Then I had my realization after my road trip and was fortunate enough to came across his books again (The Gentle Way of Buddhist Meditation). Now the timing was just right for Acharya Godwin's teaching to sunk into my coconut head.

Suddenly everything makes sense. On how:
1) We create suffering by having expectation. This was what I realized on my road trip.
2) How we create stories; being the prosecutor, judge, victim and defendant all in our head.

and many many more teaching that benefited me a lot.

I am going to quote one paragraph from his book (The Gentle Way of Buddhist Meditation) and I will suggest strongly that readers of this blog find out more about Acharya Godwin's teaching at:
http://www.godwin-home-page.net/

A Wiki page on his life can be found here.

The Gentle Way of Buddhist Meditation

Topic: Emotions

"It is funny that this is how we use thoughts. Now, as we all know, from the time that we wake up in the morning up to the time that we go to sleep there are continuous thoughts going through our mind which never stop. If you become aware, if you become mindful of the thoughts that go through your mind, then you'll realize that most of the time the way we use thoughts is in this habit of giving plusses and minuses. So when you see this clearly, then the power that we have given to them may become less.

Then you realized that sometimes it is just an innocent thought that comes: Maybe the other person doesn't like me; maybe the other person is giving me minuses; maybe the other person think that I'm silly or ridiculous, and so on. So if you are mindful you'll realize it is just a thoughts that you're having; who knows whether that thought corresponds to any reality?

There is a strong imaginary aspect in our thoughts. This imaginary aspect and the realist are two different things. So with awareness, with mindfulness, exploring, investigating, this may become clear to us and this will help us to work with and handle such thoughts, and their power will become less."

Management and the Dhamma

I believe in Deva. Now don't get me wrong thinking that I believe in a God-like entity but recent events does make this belief stronger. You see, whenever I have a problem somehow or rather I will come upon the solution in surprising ways and solve the issue.

In case, the readers have some misunderstanding about belief in Deva in Buddhism, please refer to this article by Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera on Belief in Deities (Devas)

One example is like the article below; I used to have a problem with people not getting back to me (either email or SMS), it make me think about all sorts of things. Maybe the person was busy, maybe she does not like me etc.

The article, while management based, did answer my question.
(1) That lack of respond bred insecurity;
(2) We fill up and create stories of why people don't respond.

What is so Dhamma about this is how we use our head on such situation when people do not respond to us.

It is interesting that Dhamma is all around us and all we need to do is listen and observe.

Below is a summary of the article, you can find the full article here.

3 Steps for Addressing the Uncertainty of Silence

Silence is the worst kind of feedback — it is ambiguous and generic. When you don't know why someone hasn't called you back or responded to your email, it is all too easy to assume the worst. Here are three steps to take if you're getting the silent treatment:

1. Accept that you don't know. Acknowledge that you don't know what the silence really means. Resist the temptation to fill in the blanks with your own insecurities.
2. Ask for clarity. Reach out to the person and ask him to tell you why he's not responding.
3. Believe the answer. Whatever the response — he was too busy, he forgot — don't read between the lines. Accept it as truth and move on.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

If you are in Singapore on 30 Mar 2010.










Readers on this blog, if you happen to be in S'pore on 30 Mar 2010 you may want to attend a talk by Ajahn Brahm titled "Path of Happiness: Without Unwholesome Addictions".

More information can be found here.

Buddha already telling us what to do in Meditation!!












I just finished reading the book (Unexpected Freedom) by Ajahn Munindo and I really like it. It seems to be speaking directly to my heart and asking me to see things as it is. That suffering arises due to ignorance and not seeing and letting things be the way it is.

Please read Ajahn Munindo Unexpected Freedom and think about the messages in the book.

Well, the main reason I wrote this entry is because I had a minor realization of meditation practice thanks to Ajahn Munindo's book and the picture above.

I am sure readers will know that the picture depicted the Buddha being attacked by Mara, his daughters and army before the Lord's enlightenment.

I want to quote this paragraph from Ajahn Munindo's book:

"If we get carried away by the passions, we act on them and do things without due care, driven by wild energy. So our task is to be able to stay there in the centre, when the energy is raging, without repressing, without pushing down so we get a stomach disorder or a heart attack. We neither indulge in fantasies, nor act out passion, but follow a middle way of being sensitive, yet still and centred, when the passions are in full flight – this is the means by which we can gradually undo our habitual patterns of avoidance."

Well, what did the Buddha did when Mara, his daughters and his army attacked Him. The Lord sat there and mindfully acknowledged what was going round in his head, he notice the arising, and falling away of the feeling and emotion. He did not push those things away or hold onto them.

I am using the picture above as a reminder to myself that I should also be calm in the heat of emotion and feeling, to watch, acknowledge, know the arising and passing away of those feeling and not associating to it. I tried it and bear with some feeling and emotion and I must say that it felt great that I was able to gain control over myself and not be carry away, the task now is to be able to notice the arising of emotion earlier and catch it before I act on it.

I think I should write to Ajahn Munindo and tell him how much I benefited from his book.

With Metta to Ajahn Munindo.













Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Money 'only makes you happy if you have more than neighbours'

Well, a study in England found that the feeling of wealth is relative to how much you have compare to others. So this means that people who are not content with what they have and compare to others will want more, crave for more and in the end create more suffering to themselves.

The article remind the reader that "If people are putting income and ranking first then other things may get sacrificed such as family and friends".

We have to look at this clearly and honestly and determine for ourselves what things are more important in our lives. We have to be true to ourselves.

Click here to view the article.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hot coal, get it right!!!











Another inspirational talk with my Brother which touches on the Dhamma.

I was telling my Brother how much I like this lady and what she did / not do that made me feel so hurt and painful. But now I am feeling a bit better since I have learn to let go of a bit of the attachment / unrealistic expectation I have of her.

I relate to him that we should let go of the hot coal we are holding since it is burning us. I.e. let go of my attachment to her. My Brother analyzed this statement and asked me this question which clear my thoughts:

Bro: Did you demonize her and create negative thoughts of her?

Me: Yes, I did.

Bro: Well, you should get it straight that it is not her that you should let go but your view of her. From hearing your statement on the hot coal, I know that you are trying to paint a picture of her which is negative.

Yes, my Brother hit the bull eye!!

Our conversation then moved onto human communication and how difficult it is. He related how one of his friend was ignoring him and him ignoring her. Well, the day before all the things got clear up and they are on talking terms again. My Brother commended that a wall between people is so easily build up but also easily taken down but before it did, it is a vicious cycle as the relationship between people only got worst by each day each is ignoring the others.

I gave him my own 1 second insight on how people build up "Walls of Bubbles". I.e. it is easy to build up, easy to take down but when it is separating people, each person have a distorted view of the others. My Brother....he like this idea. :)

Now armed with those new insight into how I relate to people and the danger of building a Wall of Bubbles, I shall be true to interpersonal communication, I think at the end of the day it is just being comfortable with my own skin and not trying to put up a front or going around creating demons out of everyone that upset me; or angels for those that makes me happy. Just be human and accept whatever positive and negative that come from being me, you, he or her.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Letter from a far away land, a hand for getting me out of hell.

It is funny, strange and amusing how one can be in hell in one moment and in heaven the next. I experienced that we indeed create our own Kamma, how we deal with it will determine where we want to be "re-born".

The 3 weeks of Mar till now has been stressful, from work and from my own increased awareness of my own feeling and emotion. Sometime it gets so bad that I feel like dying and not having to come back again. Of course this is an attachment and we know that attachment is the train ticket back to this whole mess of things.

I was very tired from all the confusing thoughts and feeling, but I received a long awaited letter. It was a reply for my request to stay at a Wat in Thailand (Counting down: 67 days from now), immediately my mood changed for the better.

I remember one story which Ajahn Nyannadhammo recalled about Luang Por Chah. It goes like this:

Ajahn Nyannadhammo was having a bad day after an argument with a fellow monk and Luang Por Chah saw this, Luang Por Chah called out to Ajahn Nyannadhammo and this temporarily broke the negative thoughts in Ajahn Nyannadhammo.

That night, Ajahn Nyannadhammo decided to give Luang Por Chah a foot massage for what Luang Por Chah did, toward the end while the rest of the monks was leaving the kuti, Luang Por Chah asked Ajahn Nyannadhammo to stay. Ajahn Nyannadhammo was in heaven as he was alone with his beloved teacher.

Suddenly Ajahn Nyannadhammo was kicked in the chest by Luang Por Chah, Ajahn Nyannadhammo was surprise with what Luang Por Chah did. Luang Por Chah then teaches an important lesson: how we are condition to create our own heaven and hell. In the morning Ajahn Nyannadhammo was in hell as he had a bad experience with another monks. In the evening Ajahn Nyannadhammo was in heaven when he was with Luang Por Chah.

I feel the same way, I created my hell but I can create my heaven too. Anyway I am really thankful that the letter pull me out of my self created hell.

Well, I am afraid since this will be the first time I am alone on this trip but it will be a self-discovery experience.

Here is a video on Luang Por Chah. The commenter said this and it hit a raw nerve:

"Meditation doesn't just involved being at peace with the world, confronting the self can be like walking into a raging storm. It's quite usual at first to despair, even wanting to kill oneself".

But what Luang Por Chah said at the end is really meaningful and useful:

"Be mindful and let things take their nature course, then your mind will become still like a clear forest pool.

All kinds of rare animals will come to drink at the pool, you will see many wonderful and strange things come and go but you will be still.

Problems will arise but you will see through them immediately.

This is the happiness of the Buddha".

I am indebted to this particular picture of Luang Por Chah as I found solace in my despair when I was alone even among friends. Luang Por Chah gentle smile seems to be telling me to just bear with it, just a little bit longer and you will see through the issue.

With Metta to Luang Por Chah (left) and Ajahn Nyannadhammo (right).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dhamma from mocha tea with ice-cream

THE 1ST POST TO START THE BALL ROLLING.

Was with my Bro at a Japanese restaurant last Sun (28 Feb 2010).

Had some problem with people interaction and was just glad that the family is there. Indeed, nothing can replace the love and concern from family.

Was having a mocha tea with mocha ice-cream after a fantastic dinner and having a great time eating the ice-cream but soon it melted into the tea. At this, I told my Bro that the ice-cream has dissolved and he made the most insightful comment.

He said that "The ice-cream is still inside the drink, it just change into another form and if it is the form which you don't like, then you will not be happy."

Wow....you cannot believe the impact this had on my problem. I relate back to my experience and have this insight on my own.

Once when this person was in one form, this person gave me a kind of feeling. When this person changed that external form, my feeling changes.

Actually only the external look has changed but the internal may not have change but my feeling has already changed.

I decided now instead of only seeing the external of someone, I shall get to know them and accept them as they are and not impost my own interpretation / assumption / expectation on them which will distort my interaction and relationship with them.

Such distortion also cause oneself to behave differently in private and in public, such is the hypocrisy of people.

I shall be true to myself.

**Update - 23 Mar 2010**
Well, was telling my brother on this topic and he told me that it should be attachment to our perception of the form that we like which is causing all those stress. The form and it changes are by itself just that, a form, it is our attachment to our view of it which brings happiness or suffering.