Sunday, September 27, 2009

More sharing...wise sayings...

We stumbled and fall even when we are enlightened to facts but when we are in true spiritual darkness, we do not even know that we have fallen.

The problem today will only be resolved when we resolved ourselves.

A true person does not think before his words, that what was said is sincere, of his actions that maybe resolved, he simply speaks and does what is right.

Each person is responsible for what they have done, for the people they have influenced - right or wrong.

A person's words, even if it seems imperfect is better than words that are well said but not naturally his own.

A heart seems to have its own reasons when even the Owner cannot understand nor control - the heart direct the actions or the actions direct the Owner which direct the heart?

There are those that seek to destroy or discredit, let them try. It will only make you stronger and your eye sight better.

From Learning comes Wisdom, from Speaking, Repentance.

Wisdom cannot be taught. It is a personal learning journey to the Land of Unknown and than acquired.

One dosage for false theology....'Common Sense'.

95% of our time is spent on a problem only 5% is spent on how to resolve it; or 100% spent on being an Ostrich - pretend there is no problem.

Those who have not truly love, have not truly lived.

Is it always reasonable to be reasonable?

It is far wiser to know than to be known.

Don't expect more than you are willing to give.

Giving has no equation.

No expectation, No disappointment.

Lord Buddha taught : Hatred and Anger can only be appeased by Love. It cannot be resolved with an eye for an eye.

From the cradle to the grave, I hope to dump off all the rubbish to make the journey faster and swifter to Enlightenment; and after that 'Nothingness'.


Hope you like what was written above. I used 'past tense' because once I finished, it is history.

Enjoy and have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A day at the Farms....

When our Muslim friends are celebrating Hari Raya Puasa, I was asked to organize a trip to the Singapore countryside. It was a one day Lim Chu Kang Farm Tour which started 9am in the morning and finished around 4.30pm. The participants are devotees and friends from the temple. The sun was shinning brightly when 36 of us boarded the bus. We had Rinpoche with us which was a blessing.

Our first stop was a Chicken Farm. We are city folks. Many do not know how big time egg farming is like. Here we saw chicken farms. We realized that there are some myth about eating 1 quail egg is = to a chicken egg in term of cholesterol. So now we know it is 50 quail eggs = 1 chicken egg. We also know that white chicken laid white shell egg and colored chicken laid brown shell egg. The latest trend is green shell egg which is not found in Singapore yet.

We moved off to a frog farm. All the devotees in the bus decided to do ‘Soujin’ which is animals’ liberations. So we collected S$339.00. How can we buy so many frogs and where can we release it? So finally we bought 40 frogs and all fishes. This is the first time all the ‘aunties’ realized how to tell a male frog from a female frog. Do you know?

After collecting the frogs and fishes, we decided that we will release the fishes and the frogs separately. To our surprise, on our way, at a remote turn, we found a Lotus Pond. Hurray!, it was a blessing. Rinpoche led us to do a prayer before setting them free. These unexpected liberations brought lots of joy to the devotees.

The next stop is Bollywood. Not the Indian Bollywood but a farm. Singapore do not have enough land to do any organic farming, therefore these are farms using natural fertilizers for their plants. It was here, at Bollywood’s natural pond that we released the frogs. Again Rinpoche led the prayers and after that every devotees picked up a frog and release it. This was a first time for many who never touch a big frog before. So happily we waved goodbye to the frogs.

The up and down the bus was a tiring affair. We landed in Farm Mart for lunch. As its name, it is a farm mart with shops selling products from Lim Chu Kang Farms. So all the ‘aunties’ happily shopped till they drop.

We also stopped by a Farm market. There are vegetables and fruits i.e. Dragon fruits, passion fruits, water jambu and greens. With a S$5.00, you can buy so many types of vegetables.

The next stop is a mushroom and wheatgrass farm. We ate wheatgrass ice-cream. The aunties bought Black fungus and White fungus. They bought mushrooms but there are two products here that I find it a novelty – The Rosella and The Cactus. Both have medicinal values. To me, Rosella is Ribena. I like it as a drink. Just add 5 Rosella Buds and a slice of dried orange skin with hot water, you will immediately get the smell. A good drink to have when it is chilled.

I have never imagined that Cactus can be eaten. Here is one. I bought it and make soup with it. You can smell the fragrance when it is boiling. It is simple to make. Take a Cactus pad, cut off all the thorns, wash the skin and cut them into slices. Add it into a slow cooker with honey dates and chicken (skinned or ‘unskinned’). Try it. Make sure you eat the correct Cactus that is in the picture. However in the desserts, nomads squeezed water from the plant to quench thirst, so I believe this plant will not kill.

It was a happy and fulfilling day. The day started beautifully and ended with everyone tired, happy and plenty to bring home. Of course we tired Rinpoche too.

May this happiness be radiated to all Beings. As we rejoiced in a good day, may everyone have a good day too.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Me, Myself and Ego

Many of us always look too deeply into ‘ME’ when we meet with unhappy events. We always amplified our unhappiness, despairs and sufferings. That is not wrong because it is all about ‘ME’, ‘MYSELF’ and what is more important than my happiness.

Even being a Buddhist, may have vast knowledge, practices more than others but have more defilement. Why? Because we are proud, why? Because of our EGO.

When something went wrong in my life, I look at the mess. I only saw the mess and ask what’s wrong – what's wrong with others but not me? What have I done to invite such sufferings. This is normal. This is what others said ‘ when you are down, you always look down’.

If we look up, we will see Buddha. We will see his compassionate EYEs, we will see his understanding smile and we feel his Bodhicitta. Most of the time we look at ME and not understanding what invited the course for unhappiness. If there is no smoke, where is the fire?

Buddha is all encompassing. He already saw, he understood and he accepted. With the Truth, he left us the milestones to find our happiness.

It is actually not the problem of Buddhist but many other religions probably are the same. People take the Teachings and twist it to their advantage. Others thought they know the teachings and use it to draw circles for others to stand inside. The best part is that they are the outsider looking in. They forget they need to stand inside and look at themselves too.

I understand long ago that there are many aspects to Buddha’s Teachings. It is not easy for me to understand everything. The obscuration I have probably are my stumbling blocks as well. There are many way to practice and I am not smart enough to be a Jack of All Trade. So I chose one aspect and during that period of time, just do that and it is ‘compassion’. I became active in Hospice.

It was during this period that I realized that there are many teachings which are simple and yet we complicate the process. I suppose we are human. We like to complicate things to show that we are smart and we are above others. Many things we saw with our eyes are not Truth. Some are acted out for our benefits.

We are in a Dream. Because we do not know that we are dreaming, we take it as Truth. We react to all the emotions, good and bad.

All the happenings add colors to our life. It is a training. All of us are different and therefore the aspect of sufferings are different. Some have jealously to work on, some anger, some ignorant, some aggressive and others with many more things to refine. Again it is human to say, ‘This is bad, that is good, she is gentle and he is a shit.’

We try to watch our body, speech and mind. We watch, but of others and not ourselves. Chinese has a proverb “A pig looking into the mirror, what is outside and reflected are both not human”. This mean what you see is what you are.

Recently I am watching ‘Impermance’. How I wanted to deny it BUT can I? Impermanent is a Universal Truth, can it be over rided? Therefore I watch the rising and falling of a condition. I did not want to break the energy of connections. It will break by itself when the conditions are over.

I am also watching myself, my reactions to various happenings. I have been calling myself a Buddhist for many years, conveniently but am I truly one? How much Buddha’s teachings do I know – in truly understanding it? It had nothing to do with others. I do not want to act for others to see that I am a good Buddhist…I am only learning. Never have I been more awake until now.

All the misunderstanding and hurts others hurled at me no longer cut me. When there is a Karma, there is an Effect. If I keep throwing back the Karma, it will be never ending. Let me served the Karma here and let me end it.

May all being be well. I pray that I have all the conditions to understand the true essence of Buddha’s teaching. Many have deviated, I pray they come back to the Path. To those embarking, may good conditions arise for them to understand it correctly. For all the good I am trying to do, may the right conditions and support arise so that it is completed without defilements. May my heart be always Selfless and filled with Bodhicitta.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

5 years old Talent...

I had a wonderful but tiring day on 19.9.09. Got a call from Rinpoche at 7am in the morning. Because I need to do certain pujas for my sister, I have been running around getting ready all offerings. The preparation and puja came to a completion at 4pm. In the evening I attended Green Tara prayers and only got to come home at 10pm.

A friend sent me a video link from Youtube on this blind Korean Girl. It is a kind of star search program. Chinese sayings 'Blind in the eyes but not in the heart'. Some of us have eyes but we are blind. I believe all those that sat in front of the TV and audiences watching live were moved to tears - at a tender age and yet so talented. See how she played the piano just by listening and used her finger to find the right keys. She has a beautiful voice too. Here you are in case you have missed this...enjoy!

Happy weekend...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wise Saying from Living and Dying

All such powerful thoughts are that of Sogyal Rinpoche's book. I have been reading this book at random because it is dated. Meaning, every day of every month for 12 months , there are special and beautiful thoughts to think about.

I will start with 16 I wish to know what was stated therein on this eventful day.

16 September

If your mind is able to settle naturally of its own accord, and if you find you are inspired simply to rest in its pure awareness, then you do not need any method of meditation. However, the vast majority of us find it difficult to arrive at that state straight away. We simply do not know how to awaken it, and our minds are so wild and so distracted that we need a skillful means or method to evoke it.
By 'skillful' I mean that you bring together your understanding of the essential nature of your mind, your knowledge of your various, shifting moods, and the insight you have developed through your practice into how to work with yourself, from moment to moment. By bringing these together, you learn that art of applying whatever method is appropriate to any particular situation or problem, to transform that environment of your mind.

1 May

"If you spent one tenth of the time you devoted to distractions like chasing women or making money to spiritual practice, you would be enlightened in a few years!" - Ramakrishna

12 May

Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion. Practice good-heartedness toward all beings. Be loving and compassionate, no matter what others do to you. What they will do will not matter so much when you see it as a dream. The trick is to have positive intention during the dream. This is the essential point. This is true spirituality. - Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

10 April

There are rough as well as gentle waves in the ocean; strong emotions come, like anger, desire, jealousy. The real practitioner recognizes them not as a disturbance or an obstacle but as a great opportunity. The fact that you react to arising such as these with habitual tendencies of attachment and aversion is a sign not only that you are distracted but that you do not have the recognition and have lost the ground of Rigpa. To react to emotions in this way empowers them and binds you even tighter in the chain of delusion.
The great secret of Dzogchen is to see right through them, as soon as they arise, to what they really are: the vivid and electric manifestation of energy of Rigpa itself. As you gradually learn to do this, even the most turbulent emotions fail to seize hold of you and instead dissolve, as wild waves rise and rear and sink back into the calm of the Ocean.

Finally 23 October

When little obstacles crop up on the spiritual path, a good practitioner does not lose faith and begin to doubt, but has the discernment to recognize difficulties, whatever they may be, for what they are - just obstacle. Equally, it is by failing to recognize an obstacle for what it is, and therefore taking it seriously, that it is empowered and solidified and becomes a real blockage.

Above are excerpts from Sogyal Rinpoche's Book - "Glimpse After Glimpse" , Daily Reflections on Living and Dying.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lady's Finger...

Lady's Finger...not humans' but vegetables'. I love to eat Lady Finger diced and fried with sambal. I love Curry Fishhead, filled with Lady Fingers, Tomatoes, Brinjal and curry leaves. However not I do not know that Lady Finger have other medicinal values. Below is an article sent to me. I see no harm in sharing as this is a vegetable. As many people are down with diabetes, hope this simple and cheap method helps. Worth a try!

Another name for Lady Finger (Bhindi) is 'OKRA '. It helps in the sugar balance and in the treatment of Diabetes. Suggestion :

Take two pieces of Lady Finger and cut both ends of each piece. Put a small cut in the middle and put these two pieces in glass of water. Cover the glass and keep it at room temperature over night. Early morning (empty stomach), removed two pieces of lady finger from the glass and drink the water. Keep doing it on a daily basis. Within two weeks, you will see remarkable results in reduction of your SUGAR.

A friend's sister got rid of her diabetes. She was on Insulin for a few years but after taking lady fingers every morning for a few months, she has stopped Insulin and continue to take lady fingers daily. It is with perseverence that you will see results.

This plant is primarily employed as a vegetable - its pods, seeds, leaves, and shoots, as well as the outer cover of the flowers (calyx) are all eaten as boiled greens. Okra seeds contain protein as well as oil possessing qualities like those of olive oil. The standard is excellent. The seeds produce protein and oil in good quantities. One experiment in Puerto Rico documented yields of 612 kg per hectare oil and 658 kg per hectare protein. Such quantities rival those of other oil-and-protein crops of both temperate and tropical zones.

Like soybean, the seed provides excellent vegetable protein for uses including full- and fat-free meals, flours, protein concentrates and isolates, cooking oils, lecithin, and nutraceuticals (foods with functional health benefits). Okra protein is both rich in tryptophan and adequate in sulfur-containing amino acids, a rare combination that gives it exceptional power to reduce human malnutrition. In addition, byproducts such as hulls and fiber can be used for animal feeds.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rainbow Lights...Happy Birthday Rinpoche

On 6th September 09, Center organized a Rainbow Lights event to celebrate Shangpa Rinpoche's Birthday in advance. All devotees donated to these candles and the final counting of lights was 3081 pieces.

To be able to offer lights to the Buddhas is an auspicious affair. Lights is to dispel darkness. Darkness is ignorance and the significant is also to dispel ignorance. Lighting a candle is to give light to one so that we can see clearly what is ahead of us and not fall into pit holes. Lighting lights for Rinpoche's long life is one thing we all wanted to do for our precious teacher.

I can see Rinpoche was very happy. He has good memory as he mentioned that he saw old friends and new faces as well. To complete this celebration, Rinpoche gave us the Amitayus empowerment. He also gave us Manjusri's initiation so that we are able to increase our wisdom.

The highlights of the evening were :

1) The recitation of the King of Aspirations Prayers.
2) The distribution of precious Amitayus, Manjusri and Mani pills in a beautiful bamboo container with the words 'Ohm Mani Padme Hum' inscribed on it. We can consumed the pills or wear it around our neck like a pendent.
3) The singing of Happy Birthday song in both Chinese and English and cake cutting. All devotees who attended the celebration each got a piece of cake.
4) We were also given milk tea and Tibetan sticky rice on this special day.
5) Of course we all 'yelled'...YUM SENG! No, we did not drink liquor, We toast to Rinpoche long life and good health with milk tea.

We all got blessings by two Rinpoches...Shangpa Rinpoche and Tampeh Ningma Rinpoche. Everyone was very happy. There were plenty to eat, even to take home.

As for me, I pray and wish Rinpoche long life. May Rinpoche fulfilled all his aspirations on things he wanted to do, for both the sanghas as well as devotees. May all good conditions arise so that Rinpoche can achieve his wishes. May Rinpoche continue with his Teachings. Let Beings hear from Rinpoche directly or reading via his Blog and be connected to a good teacher.

Happy Birthday Rinpoche! The bigger candles will burnt until 12th September 2009. These are the well wishes and the hearts of all those that venerate and respect Rinpoche from Vision Journey and Center.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Merits of Generosity..

Generosity is one of the virtue taught by Buddha. Generosity or Giving or Dana is something we all practice. Some consciously, some done but forgotten. Buying a friend a meal, giving a child a sweet, living a fish bone on the floor for a cat, giving way along the road, helping an old lady cross the road and releasing life...are Dana. The highest Dana is from the heart, offerings to the Buddhas. Sharing with you two stories on Dana - one during Buddha's time and one happened in today's society. Dana is something you will say..."what goes around comes around".

In Buddha's life time, there was an old beggar woman. Other than the rag she was wearing, her next property was a coin. She travelled far just to see Lord Buddha and hear him teach. Upon reaching the city, she went into a shop and asked if she can buy a small drop of oil with her coin. The merchant was unwilling as oil was expensive and the coin cannot even buy her a drop. The beggar woman borrowed a scissor and cut her hair. In ancient time, a woman's hair signifies her status and no one will simply cut her long hair. When the lady offered the hair to the merchant asking for a drop of oil, the merchant was moved by her sincerity. He gave her a small dish of oil. With this the beggar woman was so happy and she went to offer the lamp at the open meeting ground. People were sitting and many lamps in beautiful containers made of gold and sliver, big and small were lighted up. The whole place was beautiful and bright. The old woman said a prayer and laid her lamp among all the others. Lord Buddha started his teaching. The evil Devadatta using his magic power created strong wind. His purpose was to blow out all the lights so that Lord Buddha cannot continue his Teaching. Everyone was startled with this sudden strong wind. The stronger followers sat down and did not moved, others started running away when the lights were blown off. The whole place was dark, except for one tiny light from a small mud dish. It was shinning brightly and did not flickered a bit. Devedatta cannot believed his eyes and did another round of magic wind and much stronger this time. The tiny light remained unmoved. Everyone was amazed and awed by this sight. All those people running away came back and started to sit down. Their conviction of a good Teacher were even stronger. Devedatta realized that he was not able to dispersed the crowd with fear and darkness, he gave up and left. Lord Buddha went on with his Teachings. At the end of the discourse, devotees asked the Buddha. "My Dear Lord, what is it that all the lamps were blown off and that insignificant little oil lamp did not even flicker?" Buddha smiled and told all...that the little lamp was offered by a beggar lady who sold her hair. She has no money, no power, no authority, no status but she had a sincere heart that she wanted to give something to the Buddha. As long as one's intention is pure, no evil can harm him. This is why the little lamp lighted all the while from the strong wind to the end of the discourse and it was still burning. The oil was still at the same level when she lighted it.

Isn't this inspiring? Many of us do things because we wanted to do it. We have the capacity and the money to do good. It came so easily that we did not give a thought to how we should give it. The generosity of giving and the merits are still there. However giving with a sincere the most powerful of all. The lady did not pray for power, she did not pray for wealth, she did not pray to marry a rich man - so she has no hidden agenda accept for giving something to her precious Guru. Rejoice...rejoice...rejoice.

In real life, this happened to my brother. He visited a temple and before he leaves he wanted to do a little donation in a donation box. He felt his side pockets and came out with a S$10.00 note. This $10.00 was bus fares for his whole week and without hesitation he dropped it in the donation box. He walked home from the temple. Well, he strikes a lottery the following week. You may say it is chance, but I said it was his pure heart in giving.

Do Dana with yout heart, with no intention of gaining back anything from this act. If Dana is performed with intention, the act is no longer pure.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The All Seeing Eyes...Great Stupa

Sitting in Kathamadu is one for the world most holy STUPA. The Great Stupa to me is an All Seeing Eyes of the Buddhas. The magnificent of the Stupa and what it represents to all Buddhists are immeasurable - It is a Wish Fulfilling Gem.

I visited Nepal a few times and I never failed to visit this place. To circumambulates the Great Stupa creates concentration of the mind. Once the mind is focus, negative thoughts have no opportunity to arise. Thus giving the mind a rest from all the worries and defilement of the World.

Today I want to share with you the goodness of the Great Stupa. If you visit Nepal, do visit it. By setting an eye on the Great Stupa creates merits, let alone walking around it or within it's vicinity.

Recently I am very fortunate to meet a Group of people who lights up a 1000 lamps at this holy place and I hope to participate in this project in future. You will ask - what is the goodness? It is not lighting 1000 lamps or 1 lamp.... it is lighting the lamp with your pure, compassionate and sincere heart.

Therefore the merits of this Great Stupa is....

"The benefits and favours of any living creature, who with a pure heart prostrates himself before the Great Stupa, circumambulates it and adores it are inconceivable and incalculable beyond the expression of the Buddhas of the past, present and future, for those stones were laid in order to bring inconceivable joy to humanity. As this Great Stupa is the supreme receptacle of the Mind of the Buddhas of the past, present and the future, so it is the plane of adoration of both mundane and supramundane beings; to both men and gods, whatever supplication is made and whatever prayer is offered, all wishes will be granted and even supreme realization and spiritual power may be obtained...Guru Rinpoche".

With this merits, May all Beings be Well and Happy.....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blood Type...

I used to weigh 110 kg and I am about 176cm tall. Everything I wear, I just felt I looked terrible. No slimming pills ever worked for me..ha.a.a to be frank I got no patience!

I wanted to lose weight, not to look 'gorgeous'. I wanted to feel good about myself. None of my friends ever complain about my weight - they are so gracious! Among them, the most 'dashing' one is seen as my 'item'. My bosses always asked, 'When are you guys going to settle down?'. So Love has nothing to do with weight, it is attraction.

However when I went on secondment for one month in Maldives and that was when my weight started to decline. No, it is not that I do not have nice food, I automatically controlled my intake. I only ate breakfast and for the rest of the day - 'nothing'. I cut down all canned drinks. I used to drink only Coke, not even water. A thought came to me one day that if I cut myself, no blood is going to flow - it had to be Coke. Coke has replaced my blood - so scary!

So what did I eat for breakfast...
1) One big glass of milk, stirred with two teaspoon of honey.
2) One slice of bread/ white - no toasting.
3) Spread - Butter and Marmalade.
4) Two sunny-side up.
5) Two slices of bacon - grilled until more fats.

That is all for my diet for a month. I drink water or hot tea. No deep fried food as well. When I came back to Singapore, my colleagues said, 'Wa! you went to slimming camp, iszit?' I am so happy. Meaning my weight losing is obvious. I do it gradually. I do not want to 'die' because of vanity. I do not want to lose weight for any man! I want to look good for myself. Now I am still big but I feel good.

I went for a massage last Saturday..WOW! that lady really got 'strength'. She kneaded all my flesh and proclaimed "You got no fats my girl, your body is all water".

Below is something interesting that someone sent me. I added the fruits/ veges pictures for easy reference. I am posting it here for your interest.

Blood Type - How many people have it?
O + 40 %
O - 7 %
A + 34 %
A - 6 %
B + 8 %
B - 1 %
AB + 3 %
AB - 1 %

Blood Type and Personality

You are a leader, and when you see something you want, you keep striving until you achieve your goal. You are a trend-setter, loyal, passionate, and self-confident. Your weaknesses include vanity and a tendency to be competitive.

You like harmony, peace and organization. You work well with others, and are sensitive, patient and affectionate. Among your weaknesses are stubbornness and an inability to relax.

You're a rugged individualist, who’s straightforward and likes to do things your own way. Creative and flexible, you adapt easily to any situation. But your insistence on being independent can sometimes go too far and become a weakness.

Type AB
Cool and controlled, you're generally well liked and always put people at ease. You're a natural entertainer who's tactful and fair. But you're standoffish, blunt, and have difficulty making decisions.

What are you?