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


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.