Monday, August 04, 2003

Save Each Other

Q: If we are here to save all living beings, what are all living beings here for?
A: I think of it this way- We are here to encourage each other to save each other.
Greater Happiness

If by renouncing a lesser happiness
one may realize a greater happiness,
let the wise one renounce the lesser,
having regard for the greater.

-Dhammapada 290

We do not rise above our present "happiness" because we do not clearly see what is the greater happiness, and are thus unwilling to put in effort to attain it.

It's only temporary la...
then again, everything is temporary...
thus the truth of impermanence is universal.
Becoming Stone

The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really,
if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.

-Bertrand Russell

When I see a stone
and still my mind like it is still,
I do not see a stone-
I become the still stone.
I experience stonepeace;
I become stonepeace.

This is It

Now. This is it.
The whole purpose and meaning for the existence of everything.

-Timothy Freke

This is it.
It can't be anything else...
till it changes into it,
which it will

Cause, Condition & Effect

You are the cause and effect of yourself,
conditioned by everything,
including yourself,
conditioning everything,
including yourself.
Mountain Zen

The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
-Robert Pirsig

Sometimes you need to find your Zen at the top of mountains.
Anonymous Blogging

Y: If my identity can be protected, I am free to circulate my online diary.
Z: You can always set up a site which no one knows belong to you- Eg. something like "" or something- and publicise it like a great discovery! But make sure the stuff are smewhat beneficial of course- Dharma-ish is good.

A drop of poison in a glass of pure water renders it all poisonous.
Keep the Buddhadharma pure-
re-present if necessary,
but don't include additives.
Last Words

zL: You there?
Z: I got to go soon. Any last words till we meet later?
zL: Do good, avoid evil... and purify the mind. hahaha
Double Eyelids

A few months ago, a friend suddenly discovered I have double eyelids. Asking my Mum, she confirmed I used to have single eyelids. How bizarre. "Shit" doesn't just happen in life- "Strange" happens. Just when you might think mine was a freak case, this friend also had double eyelids sudddenly, a few years back. Strange karma. Karma can work strangely. I winder what causes did we create to experience these effects.
Why Use Dharma Labels?

The Dharma is whatever is true (in line with reality) or in line with the Buddha's teachings. So in this sense, the famous people you quote are indeed speaking the Dharma in line with BuddhaDharma, even if they do not know it. But when we share the Dharma, is it better to share it with or without Dharma terms and labels (subtle or not so), with or without quoting the Buddha or famous Buddhists?

If the objective is just to share the Dharma in the short run, it might be okay to share it without Dharma labels or quoting the Buddha and famous Buddhists. If the objective is to share the Dharma in the long run, it might be a better idea to share it with Dharma labels or quoting the Buddha and famous Buddhists- because it lets the reader know that the wisdom shared is Buddhist, that he can discover more wisdom in Buddhism.

Otherwise, the reader is learning Dharma in bits and pieces from quotes from different people and religions... He might feel lost, thinking they are all the same, not knowing that Buddhism teaches the ultimate Truth, missing the point that we are trying to point him to Buddhism.
It’s Not Only Words

Words have the power to heal or destroy.
What do yours do?
Every word matters.
Every lack of a right word matters.
Even a pause matters.

Thus the Buddha taught us to reflect in the fourth precept-
Are our words true, harmonious, gentle and constructive?
Or are they false, divisive, harsh, and useless?

[1] What one knows to be
unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others,
one should not say.
[2] What one knows to be
factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others,
one does not say.
[3] What one knows to be
factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others,
one has a sense of the proper time for saying.
[4] What one knows to be
unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others,
one does not say.
[5] What one knows to be
factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others,
one does not say.
[6] What one knows to be
factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others,
one has a sense of the proper time for saying.

- With paraphrased excerpts from Abhaya Sutta (The Buddha’s Discourse on Right Speech)
Win-Win Wins!

Do you see winning as a personal achievement?
Or do you see helping others to win a greater achievement?
Must there be a losing for there to be winning?
Why can’t we all win together?

If you lose,
can you win mentally by accepting defeat?

If you win,
can you win by not letting pride go to your head?

If someone loses to you,
can you win him as a friend with your compassion?

If someone wins you,
can you win by rejoicing in his happiness?

“Greater than one who wins a hundred battles,
is one who conquers oneself.”
Thus the Buddha won the toughest battle,
by realising the truth of Anatta (non-self/selflessness/egolessness).
He teaches that True Happiness
is bringing happiness to one and all selflessly-
for sharing your happiness doubles your joy
while bringing joy to others!
Buddha Reminder

What would you do now that I remind you
that the Buddha said we are all hidden Buddhas,
that we unawakened ones are the same as Him in essence?
Be respectful then, to all.

Would you fall to your knees and worship all?
Afterall, you are a sleeping Buddha yourself.
Be respectful then, and awaken Him.
Don't cry tears of joy?
Afterall, tears will not awaken the Buddha within;
Calming the passions will.

Would you kiss the ground the Buddha walked upon?
Afterall, there is no place He never walked on
in His countless previous lives, to perfect Himself.
Treasure where you stand upon-
it is already holy ground.

The person waiting for an apology,
even if he is right,
is perhaps as egoistic as the one who cannot apologise,
even if he is in the wrong.

The wronged but magnaminous reconnects like nothing happened.
The spiritual challenge is not waiting out for the other person to reconnect;
the winner is the first to reconnect.

It is good for oneself to forgive from another even if no apology was given.
It is good for oneself to seek forgiveness from another if one is wrong.
It is good for oneself to seek forgiveness from another even if he seems unaffected.
Repentance cleanses your heart.
Repentance brings joy to the wronged and the "wrong-er".
The Emperor's New Art

As long as even just one person, even if it is just the artist, sees something as a piece of "art", it is art in the instant- even if it does not follow popular taste. Perhaps then, art is the result of attachment. Even if the emperor is seen as an ignorant fool parading naked in his new "clothes", the "clothes" were beautiful to him- before he woke to his senses. Art then, is just something we hold in our mind as special, "better" than the non-art.
Emptiness of Art

Anything can be art as it is but just not appreciated yet-
so there are no essential definitions of art.
Art is then emptiness- void of fixed self-nature.
Common Denominators

It's personally apalling to me how many Buddhists do not see the 3 Universal Characteristics as the common denominators in defining reality. If a Buddhist does not bear these chaacteristics often in mind, I think there is something very wrong. For such fellow Buddhists, let's go back to the basics of the Dharma. We need to realise how the trio affect our lives, and see them clearly.
Being Happy & Useful

Let us be all well and happy and help many people;
instead of being unhappy, not useful to ourselves or anyone else.
No Point Writing About Happiness

There is no much point writing about happiness if it stays.
There is no much point writing about happiness that does not stay.
The problem we have is sadness...

So I write about it-
about seeing sadness (First Noble Truth),
about seeing what causes it. (Second Noble Truth),
about knowing lasting happiness (Third Noble Truth),
about walking the way to lasting happiness. (Fourth Noble Truth),
Dharma Movie Review: City of God

In the ironically named godless city of God, we see trigger happy young men and boys who mess up their interconnectedness in blood brotherhood, friendship and enmity. Even the righteous Knockout Ned got his lights put out when he was shot by a boy whose father he had to shoot in self-defence. His father was just doing his job as a security guard and Ned his "job" as a reluctant gangster. Ned was trying to save the kid, who didn't see the senselessnes of revenge and shot Ned ungratefully in the back. Makes so much sense when the Buddha said hatred does not cease hatred, that only love does. It only takes one party to forgive or seek forgiveness to resolve hatred. We see L'il Ze messing up his friendship with best friend and partner in crime Benny by stepping overboard with no holds barred hatred and jealousy against an imaginary enemy who respects him as long as he respected him. For loyalty anfd honour amongst thieves to exist, even in among the lawless, there just has to be some rules- or all hell breaks loose. And this hell will karmically spill over to the unleashers of the hell- in this case, L'il Ze himself, as he dies shot multiple times by the street urchins called the Runts. Not capping your overflow of hatred makes no one have any reason to not hate you too.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Lousy Poses

Most of the time, we have lousy poses in whatever we do. But we choose the nice ones and snap them, to "immortalise" the moments we want, thinking the rest is not really us- when all we are in each moment is equally true and untrue- they are us but not really us- because we change from moment to moment.
Come and Go

U: My Gramps just passed away.
Z: My Sis just gave birth. How we come and go, come and go.
Lapses of Time

I see the counter lady at the foodstall staring into empty air with an empty look. I see another lady in front of the stall doing the same- staring into another space. The first is waiting for the kitchen to get the latter's food ready. The latter is waiting for the first to pass her the food.

There are lapses in life with "nothing" to do. When one really does nothing but stay awake, it is a form of meditation already- silencing. But when the mind is filled with waiting, with random thoughts, it is the opposite.
You Might Be a Formite

SARS can be transmitted by formites. Formites refer to anything that carries the virus. The formite itself need not be infected by the virus- it merely carries it. This is interesting, though scary. It means you might be a formite without knowing- an invisible Mara enemy to the world. Thus is mindfulness important in upkeeping one's personal hygiene. SARS made everyone a formite suspect- yet we have no choice but to trust each other not to be an invisible Mara without beings one for others.
Scriptural Authenticity

You may be able to verify the authenticity of the sutras, whether they are spoken by the Buddha or not. But you have to authenticate the Truth in the Buddha's words by yourself. In this sense, it all boils down to you to develop wisdom to discern what is true, to continually increase your wisdom to realise the total Truth. In this sense, there is no need to argue on scriptural authority- since the ultimate authority is you. Improve this authority ultimately instead. The Buddha's onus was in sharing His Enlightenment. Discovering the Truth in it is your onus. Discovering its reality is your bonus.
Is Life Fair?

zL: He complained about life being unfair. I said life is fair.
Z: Tell him he can either think life is unfair and suffer or think it is fair and make the best hay he can while the sun shine. He doesn't even have to believe in the law of karma.
No Commercials

I hear this commercial on the radio (98.7FM)-
"30 minutes of pure music without commercials. All hits all day!"
Selling the selling point sometimes unsells it.
When one oversells anything, including the Dharma, it overkills.
Ultimate Creativity

The Enlightened are the ultimately creative.
Those who deconstruct and look in the details are the ones who truly KNOW.
I Am God?

"Be still and know that 'I' am God." -God in Psalm 46

If we wanna be religiously ecumenical (embrace other religions with our thinking), then this is interesting- as when one is truly still, there is no sense of any internal or external "I", which is when "I" can then be known as "God" in the sense of the all powerful, the highest truth- of non-self (Anatta).

Dun take this seriously. But this the above intepretation of a selective scriptural verse is an example of how ecumenical cults fool around with scriptural texts from different religions (including Buddhism) to combine all religions, coming up with the supposedly "most superior" religion.

"Be still and know you are your God-
your own creator, creator of your own world, yours almighty." -stonepeace

Stone... solid, immovable, unchanging
Peace... of mind to behold

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