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 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 (

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 (