Thursday, December 26, 2002

All the Time in the World

Suddenly, while taking a break on this day one afternoon, after hours of meditation on day one of a seven day retreat, there seems to be all the time in the world to attain Enlightenment. In fact, there is the feeling that there is too much time- too much for comfort. It is disturbing that the retreat feels too long in the first day. It really highlights two facts- that I have been procrastinating progress while being impatient at the same time. It's a paradox. Maybe I shouldn't be taking this break now, to think these thoughts and just do it and lose the illusion of time. Feeling the retreat to be too long also means I'm already longing to get back to worldly life. But here I am now. And all these nonsense about wanting out is nonsense indeed. This is none other than training- going against and thus breaking the grain of habit. Not the usual case of too much to do given too little time. Here at the retreat is the case of only one thing to do given ample time to have no excuses not to do it well. That one thing is to meditate well and to be as mindful as possible at all times. Feeling that I have too much time also means I find the sitting a drag. Back to basics- take and live one moment at a time. If there is indeed too much time in the world, I would be attaining Enlightenment by the fifth or sixth day? Er... not an impossibility... we'll see how haha. Or at least, I would have improved by leaps and bounds.

Whether in a retreat or not, we have all the time in the world . We have already taken countless lives with countless opportunities for retreats and regular practice. This is an admonition, not words of comfort- if you see what I mean. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Ryan- yes the toddler nephew, without fail howls and howls when his favourite kid tv show "Hi-5" goes into a commercial break. Mum would have to come around and comfort him, telling him in words he doesn't understand that it's ok, that "Hi-5 will return shortly after these messages!" This show is on form Monday to Friday and he still doesn't realise the behavioural pattern he has fallen trap to. But, we might say, "Hey! He's just a kid for goodness' sake!" Ok... if so, then what excuses do we have? How many times have we lamented at a temporal dismal situation, forgetting that the sunshine will come after the rain? How many times have we got carried away by temporal "happy" occasions, forgetting that the rain will come after the sunshine? The trick to be happy most of the time is to make peace with both the sunshine and the rain. I'm waiting to see Ryan smile at TV commercials haha. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Imprints & Impact

I used to keep hearing fellow Buddhists talking about creating positive karmic imprints with the Triple Gem. That's fine. But the disturbing part is I don't hear much beyond that. Let's not stop at creating imprints and create impact! Let's not stop at planting seeds of Enlightenment and nurture the fruits of Enlightenment! A seed that does not bear fruit is well, for lack of a better word, fruitless! JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Sunday, December 22, 2002


Feeling feverish from a relapse of my assumed begone for good fever. I can't even tell for sure if it's a relapse- it might be a brand new bout of fever that struck. I kept teling Lynn that doing stuff like bathing to lower my temperature was only a temporary measure- creating an illusion of the fever subsiding. She measured my temperature regularly and I kept saying, "It's not real!" Then it hit me that we never truly recover as long as we are in Samsara. Illness will strike again and again before we die- again and again. All states of wellness in Samsara are illusory; true wellness is Nirvana- void of the three poisons of greed, hatred and delusion that bring about trouble in mind and body. Come to think of it, "rebirth" is synonymous to "relapse". JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Friday, December 20, 2002

Cure for Pain in Sitting Meditation

How to deal with physical pain, such as that in the crossed legs, during sitting meditation on the floor? Here are 2 methods I discovered. They seem to be opposite remedies but they both work similarly using mindfulness.

1. Don't "Care" about the Pain

Keep your mindfulness on your original object of meditation. The mind can only be in one "place" at one time. The fact that you are feeling the pain means your mindfulness has been drifting off from the object of meditation to the pain again and again, toggling to and fro. What the mind does not "mind", it does not mind- and the body will not feel it. In fact, if you do your meditation well, you should not even feel your body (if the object of meditation is not of the body).

2. "Care" about the Pain

Watch the pain mindfully... till it disappears. It will be surprisingly faster than you thought it would be. The pain will disappear because all feelings, physical and mental rise and fall. But in watching the pain, do not magnify it with your imagination. Just see it clearly and accept is as it is. It is amazing how easily mental acceptance creates physical peace.

I recommend the first method if you do not wish to shift mindfulness away from the original object of meditation in the first place. But it can be intriguing to see the moment the pain dissipates in the light of mindfulness. Did you experience the disappearance of your last headache? Probably not- but it definitely did disappear- or you would still be having that headache now! The second method also happens to train our patience and increase our ability to stand physical discomfort. Real tolerance is not having the thought of tolerating. Just be. Just accept, and watch. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Sweeping Leaves

Some of us were sweeping the temple yard in the morning where there is a Bodhi tree. It took quite some effort as some of the leaves were stuck to the wet cement ground. Anyway, the wind just blew by this afternoon and rustled the tree... And there we have it, leaves for our morning chore tomorrow. Here's my much rendered version of a Zen story inspired by the above-

Disciple: Why do we keep sweeping the leaves?
Master: Because they keep falling.

Disciple: Why don't we chop the tree instead?
Master: Why don't you chop your impatience and laziness instead?

Disciple: But it's really a waste of time and effort!
Master: See your impatience and laziness rising now? Sweeping the leaves is thus not so simple- it is sweeping away your impatience and laziness.

Disciple: But... it's such a mundane repetitive task.
Master: Mundane tasks can be done mundanely. Spiritual practice is doing mundane tasks spiritually. Isn't it an exercise for training patience, effort, mindfulness... Do not separate your tasks into the mundane and spiritual. Enlightenment can be attained while doing any task. How well we take up and handle the mundane is the measure of how far we have transcended them while perfecting them. Be thankful there are enough so-called mundane tasks for you to actively practise and measure your spirituality! JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Letting Desires Rise

While many of us might know that we have the choice of not following our desires, we might not be aware that we also have the choice of not letting desires arise. Enlightenment is attained not by not following our desires; but by being able to permanently stop desire from arising in the first place. This is the part of the practice of Right Effort in the Noble Eightfold Path- not allowing unwholesome thoughts from arising. We think we are passive observers of desires that rise and fall when we are in fact unmindful active producers of these very desires. We are victims who victimise ourselves! JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

So many "realisations" I meant to write forgotten. Right now, I can't seem to recall a good lesson I learnt this morning. I cannot say there is no attachment involved. But I do know I record them to share with others. Nope- this still renders it an attachment- but one more spiritually legitimate? Slightly maybe yes- but remember that no attachment is ever totally legitimate in the name of Enlightenment. Maybe I need a book-burning ritual, or, in my case, a soft-copy deleting ritual for these stuff?

Uen just came by and gave me the "What's up?" look as I write this into my pocket notebook. And I replied, "Convolutions!" Hong shook his head when he saw me holding my notebook. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

If she really loves you, she'll let you go. And she'll want you to let her go too. For true love is freedom with no strings attached. On the other hand, if she doesn't love you, you're a fool to not let go of your attachment to her. Either way, whether she loves you or loves you not, a love that clings from either or both sides is imperfect. But a love that does not cling is already not worldly love! Worldly love is that which struggles and oscillates between holding on and letting go on both sides. This in fact, is what makes the courtship phase of playing hard-to-get, lovers' squabbles and of the like "intriguing"! This is the nature of Samsara- always an interplay of duality. Holding on and letting go; attachment and aversion; love and hate; life and death.

At first, it seems interesting- the stuff romances are made of. But if you were to delve deeply enough into the actual experiences repetitively, it becomes overwhelmingly sickening, nauseating- a merry-go-round that went too many rounds. When you want out, that is the thought of renunication, of letting go. Thankfully, the process of getting off the unmerry-go-round is more interesting than riding it. Am not asking you to renounce your worldly love- but reminding you that good love leads to unbinding, not more binding.JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Repetition (1)

There are a whole bunch of experiences that we have to repeat in order to survive- eat, sleep, shit (sorry if it sounds nasty, but that's a truly routine must of life) ... But I don't believe in deiberately repeating experiences if I can help it. Constant repetition of unnecessary experiences means we are most likely hooked on them. Addiction can be subtle. How often do we realise we are addicted to life? That's why we keep coming back life after life.

Spirituality can be a drug too. How then, you might ask, can we advance towards Enlightenment if we do not repeat our spiritual highs? (Here, I speak of "high" in a generic way- think of it as your highest "landmark achievement" in spiritual practice so far) Simple- go higher an higher, and transcend all! Enlightenment is attained when we have reached a spiritual high so high that we transcend to the other shore of Nirvana. Being hooked to your previous high, such as your most beautiful jhanic experience, will only bring you so high. In anticipation of repeating past highs, we lose greater heights. Remember that the Jhanas are only milestones or stepping stones to insight meditation.

A good lesson comes from the Buddha's previous 2 meditation teachers who got hooked to 2 of the highest planes of the formless jhanas and ended up reborn there for aeons, missing the Buddha's teaching. Highs can thus be tantalising but deadly traps in the guise of "true" attainmments. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Repetition (2)

Earlier, I mentioned about not liking to repeat high experiences. Likewise, I do not like to repeat low experiences. Does this means I have aversion to low experiences? Yes, of course. But when I say I do not like to repeat low experiences, it means I do not like to feel the routine arising of aversion over the same things. Any repetition means I have not grown out of that particular attachment yet (attachment to the experience being nasty- yes, attachment and aversion are two sides of the same coin that come together). We should go beyond duality altogether- highs and lows, and take things as they are without adding in the deluded complications of our feelings of like and dislike. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Thursday, December 19, 2002


The courage of the Buddha when He was still an ascetic, was in his resolute determination to discover the path to the end of suffering for all beings. I find it very brave because He was setting forth on the premise that there was a solution when there might be none. I mean, what if the puzzle of the suffering of life and death was a like a trick or faulty rubik cube with no solution? The Buddha was staking His entire life on the possibility of finding a solution. But it wasn't like any other gamble. It was the worthiest gamble... and boy, aren't we all glad He took the gamble and won the Truth! JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
The First Taxi

Lynn: I think I'll take the first taxi on this road. Seems unfair if I don't.
Zeph: But it's such a long road- where is the first taxi? Likewise, when we are waiting for a taxi on an open road and someone suddenly comes before you to flag one, we tend to think he cut queue- be it intentionally or not. But the question is- Is there a queue in the first place? If yes, where is it? Is the end of the queue always behind you and not in front? If there is a queue, maybe YOU cut queue!
Lynn: Okay! I'll take the first taxi- after the traffic light.
Zeph: Haha taking a reference point. Yup, first or last is relative. Much of our suffering comes from not realising we are fighting over the relative. Only with the attainment of the absolute (Nirvana) is there True Happiness. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Dessert Practice

Daily practice is the main course as it is a must.
So any other additional practice is dessert.
Dessert can never replace the main course.
But do not take dessert for granted as it enriches life.

-Lynn JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Reading Too Much Meaning

Sim told me that recently, he kept encountering certain persons here and there wherever he goes to. He asked me what I thought of it- whether it meant anything significant. I replied that he was reading too much into the chain of coincidences. Coincidences happen karmically by cause and effect and when a chain of coincidences happen, it simply means there was a chain of similar causes created in the past. There is no particular omen-like significance to it. I even remarked that reading speculative meaning into incidents unnecessarily is a thinking disease that should be done away with! In short, I was downright denying there was any special meaning in the coincidences.

Sim gave me a surprising rebuttal. He said that just as he was attached to the speculation that there was some special meaning, I was attached to the speculation that there was no special meaning! In both cases, we were reading some meaning into the coincidences. He was reading the meaning of some meaning, and I was reading the meaning of no meaning! Perhaps, when he asked for my thoughts in the first place, I should have maintained a Zen-like silence or gave him a Zen yell to snap him and myself out of all speculation! JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Whiling Away, Wasting Away

I see a girl on the train playing Gameboy furiously. Her phone rings and she puts the gameset aside and talks excitedly into the phone. When the call ended, she looked out of the window to check what station the train was at... before returning to the game. I wonder how often she does the gaming. Yes it might just be my perception, but she gives me the impression that she feels she has too much time to kill. Makes me think that she sees the phonecall, reaching her destination and such, as part of her real life and the gaps in between boring, to be whiled away with. She might be thinking she was cleverly making use of her spare time, when she could be mindlessly killing precious time. The gaps in between our busy tasks in life are just as real and important. These are the occasions where our minds can take a breather and reflect or meditate. These are precious moments not to be wasted away. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Special Bonus

What can be one of the worst case scenerio of constantly hanging on to a samsaric thought when alive? For instance, if you keep wanting love, and a car whizzes by and whams you in a case of hit-and-run on a deserted highway, your last thought might be, "Damn! This is so unfair! I have not experienced love yet!" This is enough to propel you to your next samsaric birth. It is thus advisable for us to hanker on as little attachments as we can when alive, especially strong ones.

We should see the fulfilment of all our attachments as bonuses. Yes, even love is a bonus. It is wiser to think of being loved as a bonus rather than a birthright. But it is a special bonus- you can always give this bonus to others without wanting any return of it. Like I said, it's a bonus- if your love is requitted, it's a bonus for you. What makes worldly love worldly is that it cannot stand the test of love being unrequitted- at least not for long. The Bodhisattvas are ones who love unconditionally- who give free love again and again despite it being unreciprocated. This is perfected love. Parental love sometimes resemble this love. But being unenlightened, imperfect parental love is often given without thought of wanting reciprocation, but given with the lack of wisdom. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Although "Karma" means intentional "Action", we should also remember that inaction is also an action, though a passive one. But inaction is also an active action in the sense that there is a moment during which we actively and intentionally choose to ignore something that can be done- be it out of good or evil. Thus, both passivity and pro-activity can have as much devastating and/or beneficial effects for oneself and/or others. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

While we should learn to see the goodness (non-cracks) in other cracked pots,
we should learn to see the "badness" in our own cracks.

In the end, it is self-reflection that will save each and every being.
We ourselves, have to self-reflect- for we are the cause for our salvation.
Others, have to self-reflect- for we can only be conditioning factors for their salvation.
Even when we hold up a mirror for others to see themselves, they have to look into it to see.JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
To Cherish All Life

"Buddhists who insist on vegetarianism have a simple and compelling argument to support their case. Eating meat encourages an industry that causes cruelty and death to millions of animals and a truly compassionate person would wish to mitigate (ie. to moderate (a quality or condition) in force or intensity; alleviate) all this suffering. By refusing to eat meat one can do just that."

-Roshi Philip Kapleau (To Cherish All Life) JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Samsara & Nirvana

"Happy is one who knows Samsara and Nirvana are not two".

-Milarepa, "Drinking the Mountain Stream"

As long as we see Samsara and Nirvana as dual conflicting opposites,
we will, if we are in Samsara too deep,
have attachment to Samsara and aversion for Nirvana.
If we yearn for Nirvana too much,
we will have attachment to Nirvana and aversion for Samsara.
And this duality of attachment and aversion is Samsara itself-
they have to be dissolved for Nirvana to be attained.
And when they are dissolved in Nirvana,
what conflict will Samsara have with Nirvana anymore? JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Purpose of Life

The purpose of life to the wise is not to simply fulfill an endless string of tasks big and small;
but to ensure this string leads to the spiritual fulfulment ot True Happiness of one and all.
The spirit this is done in is called Compassion
and the way it is done called Wisdom. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Cyberspace is Not Enough

If we have a window to the entire realm of multimedia cyberspace in our home, with all kinds of entertainment for the senses, and so much more to come with advances in virtual reality (I'm talking about the www and of the like), ... and yet have the capacity to feel bored at the same time, it suggests so clearly, that the fulfilment of True Happiness is not in space or cyberspace. I like this simple but true revelation- makes seeking Enlightenment so sensible. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

My toddler nephew of two came into my room and grabbed a pocket calendar lying on my desk. I grabbed the other end and he began brawling a spoilt-child brawl, as he tugged and tugged, while I was passively holding on with one hand while surfing with another. The calendar was crumpled but it didn't matter to me and we all know it can't truly matter to him. My Mum came along and coaxed me to give it to him. I refused, saying this is something he has to grow out of for him to grow up. It's good to let kids have a taste of the dissatisfaction that arises from not getting what one desires early- especially when what they want they don't need or deserve!

I managed to loose his grip on the calendar- as he went to a corner of my room, carrying on screaming away. I took out my Canon S45 and made a short clip of him crying. I then playbacked the clip at maximum volume to let him see and hear. He was surprised, puzzled and stopped crying. Throughout, I did not say a word. I was only being his mirror. He grabbed and I grabbed. He cried and I showed him his crying. Haha... sometimes self-reflection at our absurdity helps us snap out of our nonsense instantaneously. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Only just a minute ago, as Mum came into my room to close the windows, in the anticipation of a drizzle turning into a heavy shower, I realised that I took this long to get over any contempt for rain. "Foul" weather in terms of rain hardly fouls my mood anymore- despite it greying the skies, making me key this in grey light now. Somehow, over the years, I'd finally accepted it as something whose arrival I can't predict, as something neither good nor bad in itself. (Let's face it, while the rain might "spoil" the picnic in the park, the trees in the park need it!) Okay okay... congratulations then... But there's more to go. There's haze to learn feel equanimity to for example... JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Tuesday, December 17, 2002


Posessing the physically beautiful is not as good as being mentally beautiful (pure). True beauty is beyonf the physical. Anyway, it is spiritual beauty that leads to true physical beauty. Just look at the Buddha. Be careful! If you think you are beautiful physically and must be likewise mentally, it might not be so. Your physical beauty might be the fruit of past mental beauty. Not keeping your mind beautiful means your physical beauty will fade away in time. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Wednesday, December 11, 2002


Boss: I'm so busy! I have so many things to do!
Lynn: (looks at him in the eye) Just do one thing... (pauses) first.
Boss: Okay! JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

The thing is just like that la!...
It's just like that.

-Lynn JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Monday, December 02, 2002

Suffering Self

Sophie: It is the self who suffers. When there is no self, there is no suffering.
Zeph: And since there is actually no self, there is actually no suffering.
Sophie: I am still deluded, so there "is" self and the self is suffering.
Zeph: We do not suffer from having a self; we suffer from having the delusion of having a self. What is worse than attachment to "something" is attachment to illusion. But then again, nothing else in the universe is a definite unchanging "something." In the realization that everything is changing, including our "selves", we let go of everything and become totally free. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Top Priority

Enlightenment has to be your first priority for it to be attained. As long as your top priority isn't Enlightenment, you will not attain it. It is exactly because Enlightenment is probably just in our Top Ten To Do's list of important things, yet not positioned number one, that renders us unenlightened. We have to renounce the items of higher placings in our list of priorities in order to shift the priority of Enlightenment up. This can be as simple as giving up a not so important fun outing which we crave to enjoy... in order to dedicate more time to meditation or self-reflection. Let's face it, we are almost always inserting other new non-Enlightenment top priority items in our To Do List as fast as the previous ones are fulfilled. Yes, it is spiritual procrastination.

You can't attain Enlightenment while entertaining a single thought of samsara. A single drop of poison renders a whole glass of drinking water impure. As long as you do not consider advancing towards total mental purification, you will not become totally pure. This means that Enlightenment not only has to be the first priority in your life in order to attain it, it has to be the only! This is not to say spiritual progress is not possible as long as we do not place Enlightenment on top priority; but the final lap to Enlightenment requires the relinquishment of all other concerns or attachments. Think of it likened to a rocket needing to accelerate to the critical escape velocity in order to break free of our world's (Earth) gravitation. In relinquishment of everything holding it back, it wins the "freedom" of space, and escapes the grasp of an entire planet. Speaking in a parallel way, Enlightenment is the fruit of the relinquishment of "all worlds"- the letting go of our craving for existence, non-existence and sense pleasures.

When Enlightenment is your top priority, everything you do becomes nothing less than direct or supportive actions for aiding you to attain Enlightenment. Eating, for example, should no longer be out of craving; for the sole purpose of sustenance of the body as a necessary vehicle for attaining Enlightenment. This is part of the practice towards perfect wisdom. The additional task of the Bodhisattva is to help others realise the Dharma... including this very snippet of Dharma... which helps lead to Enlightenment. This is part of the practice towards perfect compassion. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

The only useful emotion is compassion.
Our only emotional need is compassion.

The only useful reason is wisdom.
Our only reasonable need is wisdom. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Sunday, December 01, 2002


Despite some "accuracies"- I believe in Anatta (Non-Self: Truth of the Constantly Changing Mind & Body) more than any typically generically casted horoscope-
that's why I'm Buddhist. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Is This Worthy of Publishing?

Hey you! Do u think the stuff in are publish-worthy? Almost 200 articles written in 1.5 months! i think it'll be a semi-funny book. Thinking of making it into a sort of diary book- need 366 articles haha. i dun think it will sell- cos need to understand basic Dharma to appreciate the articles. or maybe i can add a short intro of the main tenets of Buddhism. what do u think? maybe i fork out money to print for free distribution haha- no heartbreak from lack of buyers then. haha be honest- i know most likely u think the material is crappy! Reply
Karma Accounting

Lynn remarked that Karma is fair-
like accounts- the debit will always equal the credit.
Even when it seems impossible, something amiss, the balance sheet will always work out-
just ask any accountant! JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Samsara might seem exciting, a treat for the senses-
but it is not as interesting as the quest to transend it.
Of Time & Samsara

Time can heal only if we learn to let go in time.
Time will only increase our pain if we continue to be attached.

Samsara will lead to Nirvana if it motivates you to let it go.
Samsara will lead to deeper Samsara if you relish in it.
Who's the Boss?

Sometimes my Dept (in temple) folks call me boss. I remind them that the Buddha is the real boss. After some thought, sentient beings are our real bosses, and customers at the same time- We are here to serve them, not our human lay or venerable bosses, or even the Buddhas! Strive on with diligence! JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Physical Impurity?

Q: Please advise me about a doubt that I always wanted to clarify, as I am very interested to attend the workshop, but, being a female there is always some inconvinience.
My question is, what if before/during the duration of the workshop, we have menstruation can we still attend/complete the workshop. Whenever we pay respect at the temple, my mother-in-law used to ask me whether am I clean. Till today I always bear these words in mind.

A: There is no Buddhist precept or regulation that discourages participation in Buddhist activities or visiting Buddhist temples before or during menstruation. The origin of this thinking probably originated from the traditional Chinese mindset that menstruation implies impurity; it is not related to Buddhism.

In Buddhism, the Buddha emphasizes on the importance of purity of the mind, not body, since the mind is the source of our happiness and unhappiness. In fact, He taught us that the body is already naturally impure by itself due to its internal substances and processes. This is not to say that we should not treasure our body, but that we should not be attached to it. It is realising purity of the mind that will set us free and win us Enlightenment, which is none other than True Happiness. Do feel at ease and join the workshop :-] JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Classes of Wisdom

1st class wisdom- Knowledge through self-realised personal experience (similar to pacceka-buddhas)
2nd class wisdom- Knowledge through realisation by instruction by the Buddha (similar to arahants)
3rd class wisdom- Knowledge through realisation by instruction by sutras (similar to self-motivated practitioners)
4th class wisdom- Knowledge through realisation by instruction by commentators of sutras (similar to teacher-motivated practitioners)

Q: I am surprised at how computers work. when i use Cs wire to connect to my PC, there is error. Now I am using S's wire and i can access your email. Why is that so? this is beyond my understanding.....

A: About how computers work in quirky manners.... Well... let's just say there is still cause and effect at play, and in a day and age of "perfect machines", it is a fantasy to think that karma will not be able to reach us. Yup... karma is still meted through "perfect machines", delivered to us personally, be in by hanging or crashing or the like... humbling us, reminding us of our imperfect karma. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Psychic Powers

Hi! If a person is able to use psychic powers for good purposes, to help others and not for money and fame, is that good? I remember Mogallana used such powers to help the devotees see the 'true face' of a lady who pretended to bear the child of the Buddha, thus prventing a lot of confusion and unneccessary porblems.

If a person has psychic powers and uses one to help others out of love and compassion, doesn't that become a gift? Just like those gifted doctors who help others throught their skills etc (eg li3 shi2 zhen1), doesn't that make them like a Bodhisattva who helps others out of their suffering? Of course, that cannot be the ultimate goal, but i would like to think it is one of the methods to help relieve suffering from others....Just would like to share some thoughts :)

I agree but

Psychic powers and wonders are not to be revealed.
Anyone who reveals such powers openly is doing wrong.

-Vinaya Cullavagga 5.8.2

The monastic discipline prohibits display of psychic powers. The Buddha takes this very seriously. Monks can be expelled for doing so. This is because psychic powers attact a lot of blind followers. Even Devadatta had psychic powers- though he was evil. The Buddha wants people to be attracted to the Dharma for its goodness, not to psychic powers. So when you hear TRUE monks' stories of display of psychic powers to help people, they are

1. Usually not public displays
2. Usually shown to selected people who "need" psychic powers to be convinced of the teacher to humble them.
3. Usually used for life or death situations, with understanding of karma.
4. Usually "legends" or acidentally seen accounts
5. Usually displayed to people who already have enough wisdom.

The above also applies to the Buddha. So if a master uses psychic powers otherwise, they are in theory breaking an important precept. If a master displays psychic powers to awe someone, and does not comments on it, letting the person spread word of his power, it is also wrong. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Enlightenment or Fun

You want Enlightenment or fun?
Why do you think it has to be mutually exclusive or a compromising decision?
Seeking Enlightenment is fun when you do it properly!
It is the ultimate and final adventure!
Only spiritual practice done in a non-good-humoured way is not fun.
There is nothing more intriguing than discovering the emptiness of your self,
of discovering the secret behind the ultimate magic trick of the world- the illusory self. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

"I am not, I will not be.
I have not, I will not have."
That frightens all the childish
And extinguishes fear in the wise.

-Nagarjuna, "Precious Garland"

Conversely speaking....

"I am, I will be.
I have, I will have."
That delights all the childish
And brings no joy to the wise.

-Zeph JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Calling Fellow Dharma Bloggers!


have i asked you before? after knowing you have set up the blogspot corner (your, i have set up one also and thought whether it is possible to link up buddhist "blogspotters" and build an online community. cuz it acts like sort of a diary for some of us; if there are more like-minded buddhists around setting their blogspots, we can introduce or recommend sites and see if it becomes an interaction where we comment, comfort one another....

even if there is no interaction, at least we visit one another's webpage to read how other buddhists apply buddhism in their daily lives. just an idea. see if you have friends who may be interested.


Know other Dharma blogs? Interested in setting up a community? Hit Reply!
Most Important Event

Life's most important event is not the re-entry (rebirth)-
thus there is no real cause of celebration for re-birthdays;
Life's most important event is having a smooth departure, a happy "ending". JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Forgiveness & Letting Go

Forgiveness, letting go... These things are always double-sided. When we read such article on forgiveness, about letting go of our grievances of others' actions, we tend to put ourselves in the position of the poor person who is "wronged", who needs to forgive some "scum" who did us some injustice or who is prejudiced towards us.

But how often do we put ourselves the other way round? Have we done something unfair to others- that we need to ask forgiveness of? Sometimes we are the "scum" in question. What are we waiting for then? In the hope that our mistakes be forgotten in time? In the hope that workings of karma had skipped a beat in "registering" our misdeeds?

While we should readily forgive, we should let go of wanting an apology from those whom we feel should ask for our forgiveness. Forgive others even if they do not ask for your forgiveness. The first person you let off the hook is yourself, not the person in question.

If you trust the Dharma, trust karma. Water will find its way to the sea through a thousand crevices in the highest mountains- injustices will be levelled out. But this is not to say we should simply let nature run its course. The practising Bodhisattva's nature is to right wrongs best he can with his compassion and wisdom till he realizes his efforts are ineffective. Only then does he gives it a rest... in the hope that another inspired skillful means will come to mind to help rectify the situation. We sui1 yuan1 (let things be) ONLY after we have tried our best. When a Bodhisattva practises sui yuan in the moment, he does not give up the future potential of helping the same being.

In the inexact words of Venerable Cheng Yan, "Do not let others' mistakes punish yourself." Conversely, I would like to add, "Do not punish others with your mistakes."
Like i said, these things are double-edged.

"Real forgiveness is the letting go of having let go."
"Forgiveness is for giving (forgiving)- don't keep it, don't wait to let go."
-stonepeace JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Attending to the Sick

"He who attends on the sick, attends on me." said the Buddha.
But attending to the Buddha will not make us a Buddha-
it is attending to our "sick" mind, when we attend to the "sick", that will make us Buddhas.
In the mean time, we are only "sick" potential Buddhas wishing wellness.
When we are totally healed, purged of our three poisons, we realise the real meaning of well-being- becoming Buddhas. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Hopefully Somewhat Enlightening & Entertaining Thoughts... Stuff discovered on the path to the natural unshakable peacefulness of a stone...