Friday, July 31, 2009


I stopped blogging about my involvement with Hospice for a while now. I realized that one should make hay while the sun shines. We forget that we may not wake up to see the Sun. As much as I attended to 'Out Hospice', I do spent reasonable time with the patients 'In Hospice' too. All these sadly beautiful people taught me in their own way about Love, Life, Living and Appreciation. They also taught me how to look at human weaknesses and forgive them. This time I am sharing with you stories of people who are no longer around but they touched my life.

Uncle Wee

Attended to him with Steve. We saw him at least three times a week. After we made our rounds to all the other patients, we will sit with him. He has been sick for some time now. He knew it was terminal but 'when' is the question? He was interested to see Steve and me as an item. We never denied nor did we admit we were. It was good to give him something to talk about. He always encouraged us in our relationship. He told me never to hold a quarrel for more than 15 minutes. He said never to bring a quarrel to bed. Of course Steve and me did not make it to bed. Uncle Wee was one of the longest surviving patient we had. He has children but we never saw them visiting him. We never asked and he never commented. When he passed on, we felt we lost a 'relative'. Grieving is inevitable.


I walked in and always say "Granny, how are you today. I am here to bathe you". I pushed her to the shower room. In my course with Hospice and the trust of the nurses, I have learnt how to bathe a patient. After that I will dry her long grey hair, comb her lock and powdered her body and face. "Humm.... you smell nice, Granny!". I gave her warm water, rest her properly on the pillow and saw her smile and relaxed. Nothing is like feeling clean and smelling good. These patients lie in bed most of the time.


She had a bed next to Granny. I never paid her attention as I always walked straight to Granny. When Granny passed on, I walked in one day and Nancy said "Your Granny passed away last night in her sleep". She made an attempt to tell me. I smiled at her and thanked her and asked her what is her name? "My name is Nancy. I saw you always walked in and go straight to Granny. I saw you bathe her, comb her hair, feed her and hold her hands. You never talk to me". What an idiot I was. How can I be so insensitive. I apologized.

I breezed in and breezed out the Wards, indifferent to other patients except the one I am taking care of. I need to be careful. After that day, Nancy became my friend. She spoke good English, she read and she comprehended what was said and she was very observant. She, being a Christian was curious about Steve and me who are Buddhists. She wanted to know what our religion taught us. At time she asked whether I can read her the Daily Bread, I did. However deep in me there is this tussle going on. Why am I reading another religion's teaching? I overcame this. I should act with kindness and understanding. My most important task is to make the patient comfortable. I am not there to teach nor to convert. I am wondering will a Christian read a Buddhist scripture? They probably will say it is 'Words of the Devil'. I have people saying this to my face.

Nancy said " Lian, you are sincere. There are others who are here like a routine. She explained that she saw me walking around, talking to patients, attending to them, sit with them, rubbed them, feed them, bathe them and my actions were consistent. GOSH! I realized I am being scrutinized. There were days when she was in pain and the morphine made her drowsy. There were days she was alert and talked a lot. She asked everything about 'ME'. From family to education, to friends, to boy friends, to hobbies, to religion and my thoughts about other religion and "Will you marry Steve?". So she gets personal at time. I understand that her time is limited. I understand she has gone through all the stages of denial, rejection and finally accepting and now waiting for the final moment. She had made peace with herself. She cannot be sad all the time. It is a choice. Nancy decided that as long as she breaths, she is going to take an interest in life.

Nancy was an intellectual person. She was clever and had wisdom. She told me one day 'Lian, do you realized that for terminally ill patient like us, we do not have many people visiting. This is because we over lived the period we are suppose to die. All the anticipation by family and friends dwindled. When they realized that we are not going to die so soon, their visits get lesser and lesser'. GOSH! This lady, she was scary. So much reality in her words. There is something else she said that brought tears to my eyes... She said " Lian, you are my last friend on Earth." This is the impact! Even when I am typing this now... tears rolled in my eyes. HOW true! Did all the volunteers realized that their presence are so precious to these patients? I did not until Nancy told me so.

Nancy went into coma and not before she built a strong bonding with me. She is a friend, she still is. Her family knew that her time was near. Everyone came and bid farewell. She refused to leave. Being experienced, Matron called us "Lian, you better come down with Steve. Nancy went into coma since yesterday. The family is stressed out but Nancy is not leaving. I think she is waiting for you both". We rushed down after work.

Her family and relatives looked at the two of us. I realized they knew we were coming. We walked up to Nancy, I held her hand and said "Nancy, this is Lian and Steve is with me. We are here. There is nothing to fear. Cross over peacefully. I will hold your hand". Steve prayed silently. I held her hand and prayed silently. Suddenly we heard a very loud breaking sound. Nancy took her last breath. There were blood oozing from her eyes and ears. The family saw it all but we cautioned them not to cry loudly. Nurses came and cleaned her up. I think you have never seen someone who passed away with a radiant and pink look over her face. She smiled. Because she was frail and she always wore a white lace night dress. Today with this dressed up, she looked like an angel.

I whispered in her ear "Thank you Nancy, for the wonderful time and the friendship. Go on and take a better rebirth and come back with a healthy body". I said a prayer for her.

All these are ordinary beings. Life goes on until they expired BUT they are great teachers. There are lessons to be learnt. How you want to live is a CHOICE.

Friends asked me "Lian, are you not afraid of spirits or ghosts? These places where people die sure got plenty of souls around". Yes, I take Lift alone...the same Lift that bodies 'rolled-out' when they were sent to mortuary. They maybe around but I have nothing to fear. I always have the feelings that these souls will protect me from all harm. I am their friend when they are alive. Therefore keeping a pure loving heart is important.

I never forget to thank my Dad. It was him that I am able to do such wonderful and meaningful service for all these precious beings.

May all beings be well and happy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wat's Up?

Took leave on a Friday
Away from work
But got nothing to do
Drove out aimlessly
Wondering what life's all about

Stopped by a new shopping center
Ah huh! why not check it out
Parked my car, taking my Kipling with me
Jumped inside a just in time 'lift'
It lifted me to the top most floor

That's my style, always check out the top
Than make my way slowly downwards
Shop by shop and stall by stall
What are they selling that I need more

BUT there are plentiful food stalls
Chinese, Indian, Western, Japanese
Burgers and Fusion to end it all
Smell of food 'revolts' my stomach
None 'wet' my appetites

Finally sat in Coffee Bean
My all time favorite chain stall
Can I have a large hot chocolate
filled with marshmallows
and my carrot cake to follow

Curled up on a big sofa
Hum.m. comfortable
Air-con to cool my body

and hot choco to warm my guts
Dreamingly - watch the World goes by

What is more relaxing than
being alone with my
fav cuppa and
munching my cake
Heck-care to the World out there!

People come and people go
People up the escalator and down the lift
All these busy activities
did not bother me at all
For I smile at all the 'busy-ness'

It is a form to show that we are alive
and nothing more!

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Trip to India...

My 24 days trip to India was a spiritual journey to me. The trip started in Delhi and ended at Bodhigaya, the place where Buddha attained Enlightenment. This is the place where the famed Bodhi Tree is. The word 'Bodhi' means Enlightenment. The common name is Pippa Tree. The leaf is rounded and tapered at the tip.

Upon touching down India, my stomach went on a diet. I lost appetite and survived on water and deep fried pastry. I could only consumed pastry skin and all fillings were given to my buddy, David. Naturally I lost a lot of weight.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche led this trip and the whole entourage took up 3 buses with devotees from all over the world. Oh! and we have Richard Gere on this trip too. He is a celebrity but on this trip, no special attention was paid to him. There were no paparazzi. The other master was Ribur Rinpoche. Ribur Rinpoche does not speak English. Smiling and nodding heads were the most direct form of communication between us. He was around 80 years old at that time. I love to look at his eyes because of the childlike sparkle that light up his face. The other masters were Lama Konchog and Lama Lungdrup. Lama Konchog was a special master to me. No words could explain the gratitude I felt for him. I did not study under any of these masters. I am a 'free loader'. I hopped on the 'band wagon' and innocently went on a trip like a holiday. I realized that due to good merits, I visited holy grounds where Buddha walked 2500++ years ago.

Jetavana Monastery-Saravasti. This is the place where Buddha resided for 25 raining seasons. Many teachings were taught here. Prince Jeta sold this land to Anathapindinka who covered the ground with gold coins. Prince Jeta moved by the sincerity of the devotees that he donated all the trees on this plot as part of the monastery. The story amplified respect, devotion, faith and commitment to a teacher, Lord Buddha. Today, this place is a ruin. I have very strong feeling when I stepped into the compound.Deer Park - Saranath. This is a place where Buddha taught his first 5 disciples after Enlightenment. There is a big stupa and nearby a Buddhist Temple managed by Sri Lankan monks. When the Abbot knew that we were with our precious Gurus, he opened up the 'relics' of Buddha for our viewing. Such holy objects will be opened for public viewing on auspicious days. Our presence was an auspicious day because of our Gurus merits. We benefited from the Gurus presence.

The bus journey for the rest of the way was rough. We 'rock and roll' on the road. The driver stopped along the way for us to do our 'business'. This was an eye opener for me. I did not realize that there was no toilet along the way. We did all our 'businesses' on mustard fields. What were supposed to 'shade' us were the mustard plants but they were not tall enough to hide us. We were conscious about our modesty. The only way was to hold up a piece of sarong and we took turn to go behind the sarong. It was cold on a winter day in an opened mustard field with the sky looking down on us and the cold wind 'chilled' our butts.

Bihar is one of the poorest states of India and this is where Bodhigaya is situated. We arrived in early morning. All the temples, boarding houses and hotels were full. Tibetans pitched tents around the teaching areas. The Ningmapa were performing yearly Monglam prayers for world peace. Can you imagine the whole place was swarmed with people from different countries of East and West? We were given activities timetable to visit holy places.

Nalanda - The first Buddhist University. This was built for monks educations. I walked the ground and hope to pick up vibes of all the famous monks.

River Ganges - This famed River. Holy to both the Hindu and the Buddhist. We saw funeral pryers along the river. Swami bathing in the river. Dead people ashes being put into the River. We went on boat to release fishes into the River. We also took the opportunity to dip our hands into the water but there were those that think it is dirty. There were floating dead bodies. How dirty can moving water be? Can it be dirtier than human thoughts?

River Naranjana - The river where Monk Siddartha floated his bowl and it went up stream. This river was dried up during our visit. (No picture available).

Mahakala's Cave - we have to climb up. I fainted half way up. Before I fainted, black and white strips like movie films of activities flashed across my mind - my past life? It was very fast and I did not register any scene that I could remember. (No picture available).
Rajgir - The Vulture's Peak. This is the place where Buddha preached the Prajna Paramita Sutra. This scripture is short and it contains the essence of Buddha's Teaching. It was here that I am moved by the care and concerned the monks accorded to us and the compassion of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. It inspired me to pen something in the bus while waiting for others to board. This article was sent by friends to "Mandala", a worldwide Buddhist magazine from the States. The article was published in one of the magazine.

Taj Maha
Finally after 24 days of 'holiness' - Sue and I went to Taj Maha b
efore flying back to home. We were the only two who wanted to go to Taj. So we laughed at ourselves - From 'Holiness' to 'Samsara". Sue was a good companion and we stayed at Holiday Inn in Agar.

Taj Maha - The Monument of Love. What great love justified a King to build something like this for a woman? I spare you the details as they are available on Internet. However our visit to Agar Fort brought back familiar feelings. We walked the ground and visited the bedrooms of MomTaj and the Princess. The room of MomTaj was inlaid with beautiful soap stones. The princess room was plain and simple - pure white marble. So jokingly we said that Sue was MomTaj in her past life and I was the Princess. Reason being Sue loved the room with beautifully inlaid soapstone but I preferred the clean and white marbles. There was one section of the Fort that both Sue and I did not want to step in. We do not know the reason why. Later we heard a guide explaining to a couple that the area was slaves' quarters. We returned home after 2 days visit.

Today, all that happened were history. Out of the 4 precious Gurus, Ribur Rinpoche and Lama Konchog are not longer around. Lama Zopa Rinpoche continues his Dharma activities for Sentient Beings. He has tremendous compassion and a very devoted disciple to his teacher - the Late Lama Yeshe.

To fulfill his Guru's aspiration, he is building the world tallest Maitreya Buddha (the coming Buddha) in India. This is not an easy task. It needs courage, tremendous perseverance, money and commitments to complete, not to mention manpower and the willingness of volunteers to come up front. I was part of this project and now others have taken over. I realized that this is not a one or two persons project but the project of Sentient Beings for their well being. The project is so massive and depended on donations to succeed and the changing rules of the states and country is not much of a help at all.

Will I see Lord Maitreya's statue this life time? I wish Lama Zopa Rinpoche long life and good health and may all his aspirations fulfilled as he wishes them to be. To Lama Lungdrup, may he too live long and benefit sentient beings with his guidance.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Post dedicated to me.... - The place for profile layouts, flash generators, glitter graphics, backgrounds and codes
I am touched by Cindy, my Japan Blogger Friend. So is Breaking Mindset, my Malaysia Blogger Friend and Reduce Footprints, my American Blogger Friend. All four of us are from different countries but we are Netizens. Did I forget to say...Lian is from Singapore?

All four of us blogged with different Theme however we 'stumbled' upon each other by affinity's hands. To be able to communicate, maintain communication and visit each other when time permits is precious.

My blog is postings of whatever I fancy and when it comes to mind. As you can see, it is diverse and yet there is a tint of religious upbringing in my posts. Cindy's is about her life in Japan and hers is fun. Reduce Footprints is a green lady. 'Walk softly... and leave no footprints ' message attracted me. We always kick up a fuss and ignore the environment. Breaking Mindset has an encouraging blog. So positive...and I hope I can break my 'stick in the mud' thinking.

Cindy, I am copying your message to me and putting it here. I want to archive it because you are the first person who dedicated a post to me.
I’m Lovin’ It
Posted by lilrascal on Saturday, July 25th 2009

Pardon me for using the familiar lines from my favorite chain stores, but that was when I was actually eating the burgers when I got a message from my dear friend, Lian.

Let me show my appreciation for the award that she has decided to give! This is kind of cool, since I admit this is my first award ever, since I started blogging (if blogging in silence for a year without the knowledge of other people counts too) in this cyber space where some of you people haven’t actually meet me in person!

In fact, Lian is my blogger friend whom I haven’t met before too. Imagine having to make sweet friends like her in this cyber world knowing that they are here for you, reading what you have to say, whether you’re bragging or you’re serious about your thoughts. Believe me, regardless of the fact that some people will tell you that there are dangerous scams out there wanted to trick you by knowing you first online (I believe that mostly fall in the dating category), I sometimes have the urge to meet all these great blogging friends of mine just to show how grateful I am for having them around!

So here’s to my friend, Lian for giving me the award. And of course, I would like to give her the same one in return too. But no fun doing the same thing again (I’m sure you’ll get my message here, Lian). So I’ll have to pass on this to some of you friends out there too, to show my gratitude:

========= Begin copy =========

This is the easiest and the fastest way to:
-Make your Authority Technorati explode.
- Increase your Google Page Rank
- Get more traffic to your blog.
- Makes more new friends.
The rules is very simple. Just follow the lines below:
- Start copy from “Begin Copy” until “End Copy” to your blog.
- Put your own blog name and link.
- Tag your friends as much as you can.

My blog is “Thought of the Day” and my link url is: “”
I would like to pass on this Award to my following favorite bloggers:

1) DaRK FoReST -
2) Holiday With Mama –
3) Simple White Tofu –
4) Urutora No Hi –
5) 莲@红尘 –

If I have forgotten to mention some of you, please also feel free to grab this Award and pass it to anyone even if they’ve already received it.
========= End copy =========

Ahh… I know. I’ll just pass it on to Lian’s another blog (grin). Well, thanks for stopping by all the while and you got my back.

Cindy, I never thought of giving it to 莲@红尘. Now she has one too...o. thanks to you.

Friday, July 24, 2009

An Award...

I like to thank 'Breaking Mindset' for this Award. I never thought that I would have one. With this, I like to share them with others too.

~~~~Begin copy~~~~
This is the easiest and the fastest way to:

-Make your Authority Technorati explode. - Increase your Google Page Rank
- Get more traffic to your blog. - Makes more new friends.

The rules is very simple as follows :

- Start copy from “Begin Copy” until “End Copy” to your blog. - Put your own blog name and link. - Tag your friends as much as you can.

My blog is "Loving Kindness@Samsara" and my link url is:

I would like to pass on this Award to my following favorite bloggers:

1) Chinese Album Art Website -

2) Reduce Footprints -

3) Thought of the Day -

4) Shangpa Online -

If I have forgotten to mention some of you, please also feel free to grab this Award and pass it to anyone even if they've already received it.

~~End Copy~~ Congratulations to all the Winners

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A gift....

Below are some of my reflections. This came about when I was sending my brother to hospital as my sister is having a check-up. He is going through some betrayers by friends and he is caught in the web of 'What did I do wrong?'

As a sister, I told him “I wanted to give both you and Judy (my sister) a gift. All worldly things will never give you permanent happiness. That is why I enrolled the both of you in a Dharma Class. Only the Dharma will lead you out of 'Why' and finally attain Enlightenment. This is what I wish for you both and that is why I attend class with you both". I wish this for all my readers who believe....

No one is an island by himself. Even on a deserted island, beautiful flowers, plants and birds live there. All you need to do is to sieve through to find them.

Even in the hardest desert, you will still find water and vegetation. Do not despair, no one is alone, you just have to search with Wisdom.

Friends' betrayer is as good a taking a knife and stabs it right into my heart. I'll survive, without anger but thank them for the wisdom.

After all the anger and questioning of 'WHY', I realized it is my own doing. I forgive myself and understand the nature of raising and falling.

Meditation is not sitting for hours, it is the minutes you are fully focus. It is taming the MM (Monkey Mind).

Fear comes from Insecurity. If Change is the Universal Truth, what is there to Fear?

You should Fear your own Karma, and not GOD - For GOD is kind.

Why do we need a religion? Think about it...

Does Killing make one happy? Than why the Killer and the Killed are not laughing?

The highest gift one can give to a love one is 'Dharma'. The Truth is Universal, your wealth and material gains are not.

You bring to Death your merits, both Good and Bad.

Any friendship with a condition is not a friendship.

I beg my friends to understand me - but I don't even understand myself!

It is all 'Said' but not 'Done'.

When looking at the mirror, what do you see?

What is practicing Buddha's way? When you start complaining about your friends when they are not what you expect them to be.

Make me better if I am worst...or leave me alone to rot?

There is fragrance in a cup of tea? Where did the fragrance comes from?

It is OK to have defilements; at least you admit you have. You have to work on it.

SO much for now... and thanks for coming to my Blog.

From Lian莲

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Words of my Beloved Teacher...(2)

For better reading, I have split the verses into (1) and (2). Do enjoy and hope these words from the Wise makes your day.

An Arahant is not troubled with anything just as the earth is not troubled with clean and unclean things. He is virtuous and pure, as water free from mud. He attains Nibbana.

Though one should conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, he who conquers his own self, is the greatest of all conquerors.

For one who is in the habit of constantly honoring and respecting the elders, four blessings increase - age, beauty, bliss, and strength.

Even an evil-doer sees good as long as evil ripens not; but when it bears fruits, then he sees the evil results.

Whoever tries to seek happiness through hurting others, cannot find happiness.

Speak not harshly to anyone. Those thus addressed will retort. Painful, indeed, is vindictive speech. Blows in exchange may bruise you.

Through many a birth in samsara, wandered I, seeking, but not finding, the builder of this house. Sorrowful is it to be born again and again.

Let one first establish oneself in what is proper, and then instruct others. Such a wise man will not be defiled.

For the sake of others' welfare, however, great, let not one neglect one's own welfare. Clearly perceiving one's own welfare, let one be intent on one's own goal.

Whosoever, by a good deed, covers the evil done, such a one illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds.

Rare is birth as a human being. Hard is the life of mortals. Hard it is to obtain the chance to listen to the Dhamma. Rare is the appearance of the Buddhas.

Not insulting, not harming, restraint according to the Fundamental Moral Code, moderation in food, secluded abode, intent on higher thoughts, - this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.

Victory breeds hatred. The defeated live in pain. Happily the peaceful live, giving up victory and defeat.

Consort not with those that are dear, never with those that are not dear; not seeing those that are dear and seeing those that are not dear, are both painful.

Conquer the angry man by love; conquer the ill-natured man by goodness; conquer the miser with generosity; conquer the liar with truth.

Hard is the life of a modest one who ever seeks purity, is detached, humble, clean in life and reflective.

Above is my gifts to all an may All be Well and Happy!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Words of my Beloved Teacher...(1)

I have wanted to share the Wisdom of the Wise One and now the condition is here to do so. All Dhammapada come with a story but today I am only bringing the verses. No material gains can satisfy my heart. On the outlook, I looked perfect in the eyes of the Worldly. Deep on the inside, a lotus is trying very hard to surface, how to surface - for the sake of oneself and others?

Sharing below the beautiful wisdom of Buddha. His compassion and loving kindness know no boundary. It is not for the Buddhist alone, it is Universal.

Meditate and think about them... or at least one!

As a flower beautiful and brilliant of hue, but without fragrance, even so fruitless is the well-spoken word of one who does not practise it.

The lotus will grow even in rubbish thrown away. It will delight the heart with its sweet smell and beauty.

By sustained effort, earnestness, discipline, and self-control, let the wise man make for himself an island, which no flood overwhelms.

Hate is not overcome by hate; by Love (Metta) alone is hate appeased. This is an eternal law.
The others know not that in this quarrel we perish; those of them who realise it, have their quarrels calmed thereby.

Whoever lives contemplating pleasant things, with senses unrestrained, in food immoderate, indolent, inactive, him verily Mara overthrows, as the wind (overthrows) a weak tree.

Whoever lives contemplating "the Impurities", with senses restrained, in food moderate, full of faith, full of sustained energy, him Mara overthrows not, as the wind (does not overthrow) a rocky mountain.

Though much he recites the Sacred Texts, but acts not accordingly, that heedless man is like a cowherd who counts others' kine. He has no share in the fruits of the Holy life.
Though little he recites the Sacred Texts, but acts in accordance with the teaching, forsaking lust, hatred and ignorance, truly knowing, with mind well freed, clinging to naught here and hereafter, he shares the fruits of the Holy life.

The mind is hard to check. It is swift and wanders at will. To control it is good. A controlled mind is conducive to happiness.

The fool who knows that he is a fool is for that very reason a wise man; the fool who thinks that he is wise is called a fool indeed.

To his ruin, indeed, the fool gains knowledge and fame; they destroy his bright lot and cleave his head.

Let both laymen and monks think, "by myself was this done; in every work, great or small, let them refer to me". Such is the ambition of the fool; his desires and pride increase.

Should one see a wise man, who, like a reveler of treasure, points out faults and reproves; let one associate with such a wise person; it will be better, not worse, for him who associates with such a one.

Few among men are they who cross to the further shore. The other folk only run up and down the bank on this side.

The gift of Truth excels all (other) gifts.