Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ha...a.a.a.a...It's a JOKE!

The retreat that we took with Shangpa Rinpoche included an early morning hiking program. We gathered at 6am before sunrise and set out for a 4 hours mountain hike.

The group of people were around 60. When we started we were walking one after another. As we proceed, the group started to break off. Those that were fit and full of energy followed Rinpoches. As for us, we fell behind. This was due to my sister Judy who had a leg surgery not too long ago and she was not able to walk as fast.

We knew nothing of the terrains and started a walk which we never expected to be slippery, dangerous and some of the slopes was like about 90 degree. We made our way up and down, waded across small streams and hoping to make it fast to ending destination. However, we realized that we were falling more and more behind. Initially we were able to see some people in front of us but subsequently, we were all alone.

This walk and hike made me reflect about life. When you started life journey, there is no turning back. You do not know what is ahead of you but you have to push on until you reach destination. The up slopes and down slopes are like all the ups and downs in life. Some of them are dangerous and you have to walk carefully. However you know, you are not alone because there will be some Bodhisattva who will walk with you, encourage you along the way, hold out to you when you come to a dangerous crossing so that you do not fall and hurt yourself. They stopped to give you a slip of water, they picked up dried leaf to fan you and took out tissues to clean off the sweat on your brow.

When we knew that we will never be able to catch up with those that have gone ahead, we started to relax and walked at our own pace. Isn't this like our spiritual journey? Some walk so fast and some fall behind...but...the destination is the same and we will surely reach the same goal.

As we walked along, we started to make merry instead of worrying what was ahead. We started to look at all the vegetation around us. We took pictures of durian flowers, leaves that we use to wrap our carrot cake, we saw wild jackfruits, we admire wild flowers... I saw a lizard basking in the morning sun. We looked at the opposite terrain with rolls and rolls of palm oil plantation. We stopped under shade to rest and carry on walking.

We laughed at our jokes. We started singing 'Lama Cheno'...calling of the Guru from afar. I am sure all the mountain animals and spirits must have heard these. We sang the Heart Sutra. We sang love songs and all these made our hike so meaningful and gratifying.

I wondered those who walked so fast, did they have the time to look and admire the landscapes? Did they saw what we did? I am sure they saw different things. Isn't it like our lives? We looked at the same thing but the understanding and perception were different.

We came to a junction after 3 hours and the guide said there was a shortcut back to camp. We decided against it. We wanted to walk the path that Rinpoches walked. As Rinpoches walked along, we were sure they made prayers along the way. We do not want to deviate from the Gurus. In real life, we pray we do not deviate from the Gurus' teachings. So we happily walked on.

Reaching destination was a joy. Another 100m to Canteen. One Bodhisattva waited with a car along the road to pick us up just in case we can't walk anymore. Instead, we decided we have walked thus far, what is another 100m? As we walked, we sang 'Lama Cheno'.

What a meaningful hike. We live in the now, experience the now and be with each other now. What is past is gone...what in future is yet to come.

The beauty was...we all reached our destination without casualties.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Naga Vase

Today, 22nd Feb 2010 is an auspicious day for all of us at the Center. This is the much look forward day as we all will be offering Naga Vases to the Sea Nagas.

After many days of preparation under the strict scrutiny of Tachung Rinpoche and Tempei Ningma Rinpocher, devotees of the center started to gathered all auspicious items, prayers scrolls, colored strings and very meticulously completed the vases. Rinpoches did prayers and we were told to go on vegetarian diet a day before the offering. We were also told to dress in white and nothing of leather or whatsoever that had something to do with animal skins should be brought along.

The purpose of offering Naga Vases to the sea is to ...

1) pacify illnesses caused by spirits,
2) clear obstacles, poverty, war, violence, grudges,
3) purify all nagas and diseases
4) increase life span, merit, fame, fortune, power, grain, possessions
5) and gain all excellence of the world and its inhabitants.
6) it is also for harmony and peace from family units to national scale.

Therefore from above you can see the merits of offering this auspicious vase and it is something we should do not just for our self but for all other beings as well.

This is the first time I offered Naga Vase to the sea nagas. We all intended to do this because of calamities happenings around the world. With compassion and Bodhicitta, we pray that there will be peace and may all of us have a good year free of such adversities and sufferings.

We also took this opportunity to release 'Life'. The Center in charge together with devotees went to purchase live stocks from nearby Kelongs. To fulfill our 'eating' desires, we have eaten many live stocks and it is time that we do goodness by releasing live stocks for good karma.

As we ushered in the Tiger Year, many are apprehensive of this animal. It is known to be ferocious but if you go about doing your routine with compassion, kindness and always have kind thoughts for other beings - you should be protected by your own good merits.

With this merits, may all beings be well and happy !

Monday, February 15, 2010



crucial to the body. Yes, not only human but animals and plants as well. Imagine there is no water, not even water of the ocean...what will happen? There will be no lives on this planet.

So how much water do you need to drink a day to make you healthy? Experts and water fanatics will tell you all the measurements you need to know. However a friend made it simple for me...

Two glasses of water - 30 minutes before meal and it will help you with your digestion. It will also make you full so you eat less. Good for those who wants to look good, slim and attractive.

One glass of water after waking up from a sleep to help activate your internal organs.

One glass of water before you go to bed sleep. The purpose is to avoid stroke or heart attack...and

One glass of water before taking a bath to help lower blood pressure.

Cool! Actually there are more water in our body than blood. I know the experts said so BUT I saw it with my own eyes when I saw an embalming taking place.

There were times when I drink only COKE and not water. It went on for 4 to 5 years. I count myself lucky that I did not get diabetic. The nightmare is I might not have blood but COKE in my blood vessels. I stopped and.....I lost weight!

H2O = Water = Sky Juice is healthy for the body. Beauties will tell you that it keeps their skin glowing and it keeps out the 'fats' and the 'sugar'.

Long ago Chinese Physician used Rain Water to boil their medicine. Don't get me had to be 'Rootless Water'. This mean water falling from the sky and have not touch the ground. Now we give the magical, indispensable H2O names like Aqua, Mineral Water, Distill Water and New Water (recycled water from the....)

I learnt of a story...

A few men set sails to see the World. Along the journey they finished all the drinking water and had to drink sea water. Sea water is salty and did not quench their thirst but instead made them even more thirsty. Thinking they were going to die, they kneel and pray for rain. A Sea God appeared and said..."If you can answer my question, you shall have all the drinking water you want. Which do you want...oceans of water or a pail of drinking water?". The most crew were silent, some were debating and the Captain said..."I want the pail of drinking water! Oceans of sea water will not quench thirst BUT a small pail of pure drinking water can save lives!".

It is human to want and hesitate when it comes to making decisions of 'having more' or 'having less'...but how many have the wisdom to see the Truth?

Water is like is necessary if you want to stay alive. SO, please drink enough water and at the same time please do not waste water.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Golden Tiger 2010

Chinese New Year is around the corner. Every Chinese family is busy spring cleaning to welcome the Golden Tiger Year which falls on 14th February 2010. This is the busiest part of the month as everyone is shopping for new clothes, shoes, accessories...everything, if possible have to be new so usher in good luck for the rest of the year. This is also the time families shop for goodies for visiting friends. Mothers are busy buying good food for the auspicious reunion dinners. For those who can afford, reunion dinners are eaten in Restaurants. In cold countries, families will gather around for hot steamboat, merry making and toasting for a good year ahead.

Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is a big event for the Chinese. No matter where you are, in whatever part of the world, whether you celebrate in a big crowd or with a few friends, you will never or should you forget your roots. I take this opportunity to wish all who visit here, be it you are a Chinese or a Foreigner,


Saturday, February 6, 2010

For laugh...

Teacher: History is a very interesting subject. It tells you about what had happened in the past.
Student: Please teacher, I don't think I want to study history.
Teacher: Why?
Student: There is no future in it.

Teacher : Beng, if your father has $10 and you ask him for $6, how much would your father still have?
Beng : $10.
Teacher : You don't know maths.
Beng: You don't know my father!

Mother : David, come here.
David : Yes, mum?
Mother : You really disappoint me. Your results are getting worse.
David : But I will only get my report book tomorrow.
Mother : I know that. But I am going to Hong Kong tomorrow, so I am scolding you now.

Father : Why did you fail your mathematics test?
Son : On Monday, teacher said 3+5=8
Father : So?
Son : On Tuesday, she said 4+4=8 and on Wednesday, she said 6+2=8. If she can't make up her mind, how do I know the right answer?

A mother and son were doing dishes while the father and daughter were watching TV in the living room. Suddenly, there was a loud crash of breaking plates, then complete silence. The daughter turned to look at her father.
Daughter : It's mummy!
Father : How do you know?
Daughter : She didn't say anything.

Girl: Do you love me?
Boy: Yes Dear
Girl: Would you die for me?
Boy: No, mine is undying love

Man: How old is your father?
Boy: As old as me
Man: How can that be?
Boy: He became a father only when I was born

Waiter: I've stewed liver, boiled tongue and frog's leg.
Customer: Don't tell me your problems. Give me the menu card.

Teacher : Simon, your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's. Did copy his?
Simon : No, teacher, it's the same dog!

Father : Your teacher says she finds it impossible to teach you anything!
Son : That's why I say she's no good!

Teacher: Where were you born?
Student: Singapore, Sir.
Teacher: Which part?
Student: All of me, Sir.

A teacher was asking her class: 'What is the difference between 'unlawful' and 'illegal'?'
Only one hand shot up.
'Ok, answer, Joan' said the teacher.
'unlawful' is when you do something the law doesn't allow and 'illegal' is a sick eagle.'

Teacher: How come you do not comb your hair?
Ah Kow: No comb, Sir
Teacher: Use your dad's then
Ah Kow: No hair, Sir

A boy came home from school with his exam results.
'What did you get?' asked his father.
'My marks are under water,' said the boy.
'What do you mean 'under water'?'
'They are all below 'C' (sea) level'

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Good Story to Share....

One day a Blindman and his dog was crossing the street. A big lorry lost control and hit the Blindman. The dog trained to protect its master died with him too.

The Blindman and dog came to Heaven's Gate. An Angel Gatekeeper looked at them and said "I am sorry we only have one place left and only one of you can go into Heaven and the other have to go to Hell".

The Blindman said "My dog does not know what is Heaven and what is Hell, can I decide who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell?".

The Angel Gatekeeper felt disgusted. Raising an eye brow, he said " I am sorry sir, every soul have an equal right to Heaven. Both of you have to compete to see who enters Heaven's Gate". The Blindman was disappointed and yet he asked "So how shall we compete?".

The Angel Gatekeeper said "It is easy, the both of you just have to run from here to Heaven's Gate and the winner has the right to Heaven. Anyway you need not worry since you are dead and therefore you are no longer blind. You are much lighter without the grossness of the body...the purer your spirit, the faster you shall run." The Blindman agreed.

"On your mart, get set...GO!", the Angel Gatekeeper shouted. He thought that the Blindman will run as fast as he can to reach Heaven's Gate. Instead the Blindman took his time. The Angel Gatekeeper was surprised that the dog, instead of racing ahead was running beside its master. The dog did not run faster nor lacked behind but keeping pace with it's master. The Angel Gatekeeper realized that the dog was trained to lead the blind and it is an in depth habit that the dog will forever be with it's master and protect him. The Angel Gatekeeper thought to himself "So the Blindman is using this point to beat the dog to Heaven. Upon reaching Heaven's gate, he can always tell the dog to 'sit' and he can enter Heaven's Gate himself. How selfish!"

The Angel Gatekeeper watched with deep sympathy at the faithful dog and he said with sadness "You have sacrificed your life for your master and now that your master is no longer blind, you need not lead the way, ran fast and enter Heaven's Gate!" No matter what the Angel Gatekeeper said, the dog continued to ran next to it's master like they were going for a run.

True enough like what the Angel Gatekeeper thought, upon reaching Heaven's Gate, the Blindman told the dog to stop and sit. The Angel Gatekeeper looked at the Blindman with contempt. The Blindman turned, smiled at the Angel Gatekeeper and said " I finally sent my dog to Heaven's Gate. I was afraid that he could not find the way and wanted to be with me, so I thought of this way to lead him here. Please take good care of him, thank you." The Angel Gatekeeper was shocked.

The Blindman looked at his dog fondly and said " This is a good way to decide the winner because when I tell him to go, he just have to run into Heaven. This dog is my companion, my friend, my walking stick and this is the first time I saw him with my own eyes. This is also the reason why I took my own pace to run to Heaven's Gate. I wanted to spend a little more time with him. If possible I will like to see him enter Heaven with my own eyes. This should be the place for him." Once again, the Blindman said "Please take good care of him."

With this, the Blindman told the dog 'GO!'. The dog ran towards Heaven's Gate and the Blindman fell towards Hell like a feather. With just one more step to enter Heaven, the dog turned and saw his master falling. The dog immediately turned and ran after its master. The Angel Gatekeeper regretted his decision and hope to catch the dog but because the Blindman and the dog both have pure spirits, their speed were even faster than an Angel. Whether Heaven or Hell, the dog just wanted to be with its master and no where else.

The Angel Gatekeeper stood at Hell's Gate and thought to himself "I am wrong in the first place. These two pure spirits are actually one and how can I forced them to be separated?"

The morale of the story .....

In this world, there is only one Truth. However people always have their own perception and they are not able to distinguish the Truth. Do you know why? Because we are always subjective, we always stand on our ground and more or less take sides or use our past experiences or hurts to measure others goodness. Please do not 'type-set' others characters as you maybe wrong.