Sunday, November 10, 2013

Spend time with your family, everyday is precious

Today I spend some quality time with my family (Parent and Sibling), we went to the Singapore Zoo.

My Mom told me that she has not been to the zoo for the past 30 years and she really amaze by all the changes, especially the open concept used by the zoo where animals have more space to move around the enclosure. 

Well, I have very fond memories of the zoo. When I was still a young kid, my Dad actually managed to loss us in the zoo. During that time, my Brother and I went missing at the zoo. When we were hungry we will just go to the toilet and drink from the tap water. While my brother was cool about being lost (he was busy reading at the bookstore), I cried from the hunger and losing my Dad. Lucky for us, some kind people / staff notice me and later we were reunited with my Dad.

I still remember that the first meal I had after being "found" was an A&W fast food, sadly this fast food restaurant had ceased operation in Singapore. I still remember that my Mom was so worried that she rushed from work down to the zoo, my Dad was lucky that she arrived slowly after we were found else my Dad will get a longer earful from my Mom.

Wow, how time has flies and I am now a 30+ guy. Now it is my turn to bring my parent to the zoo and I am so glad that I did, it is a great feeling to spend quality time with my loved ones. 

Please remember that every day while we are growing old, our parent are also growing old. When was the last time you actually take a good look at your parent. So please, when your parent are still around I hope you can treasure them and spend some time with them, bring them out for meal or fun or just talk to and listen to them.

I know I would do so and I know that I would looked back with fondness as I looked back to those memories. 

I hope that you and your family will be free from harm and take care of yourself happily. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Putting things down, letting it go.

While on my way to yoga today a thought came into my mind. "To realize Nibbana, I have to let go of even the Dhamma which has helped me when faced with the worldly winds". I felt upset and teared a little as my life has been transformed since dedicating myself to the practice. 

"All beings want to be happy, to be with the things they like, not be separated with what they treasured" (e.g. family, friends, belief etc). The Tathagata said that we should treat the Dhamma as an instrument (e.g. boat) so that after we are done with it, we can set it aside. But deep down I really do not want to let go even if that is the right thing to do. Even if I can recall those teachings I still feel sadness in my heart.

It was not long before another thought came into my mind, "While the things we treasured has come to an end, we should be glad that due to our Kamma, we have an opportunity to be with them for whatever period of time we had". 

Things will change, I will die, that is for sure. I just hope that I would have practice enough to be able to face those situations when I have to part with things I hold dear to.

Similarly I hold you (the reader) will have the strength to face those situation in whatever skillful ways you subscripted to.

May you be at peace and happy.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The past 6 weeks...

Well, I have been reading a lot of Dhamma books in the past 6 weeks than I would have in the past 1 year. Maybe it is the suffering that I am having on the job given that I was not working for the past 2 years but it is a "good" kind of suffering that teaches people. Anyway here are some random thoughts that came into my mind in the past 2 days. Hope you may find it useful.

Be a good farmer, 
Knowing what seeds yield the most profit,
Watering the crop and removing weeds,
Using compost and letting nature do its work,
Knowing that all thing has its place and time.

When sensation arise, thoughts without wisdom is like adding oil to fire, things get burn down.
While thoughts with wisdom is like adding water to fire, putting out the raging fire.
If there's not enough water, one should stand aside and let the fire burn itself out.

He sat there watching,
watching Mara's armies and tempting daughters,
He sat there patiently and endure,
endure the rising and falling of sensation,
He with patient and compassion, gone across to the other shore.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Listening to the Sound of the World

Bodhisattva Guan Yin, Avalokiteshvara

观世音 is the Chinese word for Avalokiteshvara or Bodhisattva Guan Yin. The Chinese world consisted of 3 characters.

观 - Listening / Observing
世 - World
音 - Sound

The Bodhisattva is a symbol for compassion and takes the form of a female in Northern Chinese Buddhism. She is depicted in 1 form as having thousand of hands, eyes, what I think this means is that the Bodhisattva has wisdom (the eyes) and uses skillful means to help (the hands) those who are suffering. 

Not a post on Guan Yin but on mediation

This post is not really a post about the history or belief in the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara but rather a view on meditation using the "Inner Sound" as taught by Ajahn Sumedho in this e-book

It was only after reading page 30 - 33 that I finally have a new understanding and appreciation for the word Avalokiteshvara. 

Instead of using breath or any other meditation objects, we are taught to use an inner sound (please refer to the e-book for instruction). By calming and stilling the mind, we can better appreciate the nature of all mental formation as "Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha" (All formations are unsatisfactory).

I bet some of us will experience having beaten ourselves by having negative inner dialogs, and we know that such dialogs can get pretty real and drain our energy and cause negative feeling, thoughts and action. But if we can use the inner sound to claim and still the mind, we can instead chose to be a observer and listen to our inner dialogs, hopefully with enough mindfulness, we will not get involved in those dialogs. 

Some Thai Ajahn said that to understand the Dhamma, we do not need to always refer to books. Instead we can try to understand our heart. In other words we have the resources in us to understand Dhamma and we do not need to seek it outside, we have the whole world in our heart. 

I hope that my readers will realized what I am trying to say. In order for us to better ourselves in meditation and Dhamma practice, we have to Listen to our heart and be brave to face all things that will arise in our mind. 

I hope you will read the e-book and find new meanings to your practice.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back to work, back to "fear".

A nightmare

So, I have a nightmare last night. In the dream I was faced with a table full of outstanding claims to process, so much so that I shouted that I want to quit the job. Actually, I haven't even started working yet (Friday is the first day) and I took about 3 months to land this position. I shared this with my brother and he said that it is my body manifesting the fear that I have. I don't deny that I have fear of not able to cope with the workload since I have been unemployed for the past 2 years as I focus on my studies, I am used to my own time and pace of doing things. I also doubts my abilities to do a good job since I have no experience handling this class of claims.

That little bit of awareness

I guess my previous practice of meditation and general awareness have filter into the dreamscape, I told myself in the dream that what I am feeling is just fear and anyway I don't have any back-up plan and I have rejected other job interviews, so there is really no other way out. Such awareness doesn't happen often but when it does, the result is usually a clear remembrance of the content and decision made in the dream.


Fear is just the mind natural response to new and unknown things, the differences being whether the fear is:
  • Justified or Unjustified
  • Acute or Chronic
  • Rational or Un-rational
The above points might spake debate among some readers, so I am just going to leave it that fear regardless of the points above is real fear to the person feeling it. Just like any sort of event, feelings or emotions that arise, these will also falls. I am not going to believe my negative thoughts until I have more information and experience in my new job.

So you want happiness?

Am I viewing the job as something that will affect my level of happiness? Living my life at my own pace for the past 2 years is really a luxury that I enjoyed. But all things will come to an end and I guess I have to find new ways to create happiness. I find this to be an interesting read on creating happiness in daily lives and will try it out, I hope you will find it useful and share with others.