Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wise sayings n Karma...

Recently I lost my eldest brother and I have been wondering why people died so violently. The Cause and Effect is not something we can mess with. Whether you believe or not, the saying goes "what goes around, comes around".

** Happiness cannot be bought by money but you can rent it for a while.

** Yesterday was the deadline on all you complaint no more.

** Love means telling you why you're sorry, did you get it?

** I don't know, I don't care, and does it matter?...but it does make a different with who goes to Heaven.

** Why did we see the hole in front and yet think that we can avoid it?

** You can bargain with money to buy life...but you cannot bargain with Karma...Karma won't take under table bargaining.

** Karma is the unseen hands that mould the World, you chose...Heaven or Hell.

** Don't blame Karma when you are down, you make a choice to be down there.

** How do you explain that people are better than you...or worst than you?

** For every bad thing done, there is an unseen hand that make sure it balance up.

** How people treated you is how you treated people...the effect will come sooner or later.

** Drop a stone into the pond and cause ripples...but it will hit you when after it hits the bank.

** You can only win Karma when you know where she is.

** Know yourself and you will know Karma.

** We saw people paying up their Karma but we chose to say it is coincident.

** How people treated you is their Karma, your reaction to them is your own Karma.

** People are pathetic because they go around doing things and am totally blind to Karma.

** What makes you think that all the evil you have done will not come back and claim their rights?

** Remember to do good, do no is better to sleep peacefully...than fretfully.

** You can lie to the public with the evil you have done, you cannot lie to your own consciousness.

** What you are today is a reflection of the Karma you did.

** People are stubborn, they believe in the now and do not worry about what after...reason, they are shortsighted.

** Everyone desires happiness, but they do nothing to help themselves gain happiness. They waited for happiness to fall from Heaven.

** There are people who believe happiness is only possible for certain people and not themselves...they are right because they do nothing to create it.

** I always tell myself..."Lian, be at peace with yourself and with the surroundings". How can I be happy if I am not happy with everything around.

** No one owns the rights to Happiness, we all can be happy if we want to be happy. It cannot be given, it is already there with you and you just have to discover it.

** Cause and Effect have nothing to do with God, it is the natural Law and Order of the Universe. It has no religion preference either - what you sow, you reap.

** Do you have to wait for Karma to fall on you for you to believe? Than I wish you Good Karma...

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Diamond that cuts through Illusions

'A Diamond that cuts through Illusions' or in short 'Diamond Sutra. This classic 'Sutra' or 'Prayer' contains all the essence of Buddha's teachings.

Recently I ran into a Nun and this was the first time I met her. She looked at me with compassion and said "the 6th Patriarch, Ven Hui Neng attained Enlightenment just by realizing this Sutra. I am giving you a book, read it until it illuminates". She handed me a copy and I said I will try to read it daily. I have been doing so.

'Diamond Sutra' contains all the Wisdom of Buddha. In the whole Sutra, it also explained how to go about cutting through all illusions we have created to imprison our Self (if ever there is a Self).

In any Buddhist Text or Sutra, it is important to state the time, place and people who attended the sermon to prove that it had been delivered correctly. Buddha resided in Jetavana Monastery for 25 Rainy Seasons and it was here that this Wonderful Diamond was delivered. It was after lunch because the text mentioned that Buddha washed his alms bowl and legs and sat focus. It also mentioned that at that point there were 1250 monks listening to this teaching. This Diamond came about as a request for teaching from Ven Subuti and Buddha answered and explained to Ven Subuti the true meaning of Self.

Ven Subuti venerated the Buddha by bearing his right shoulder with his right knee kneeling on the ground. Ven Subuti requested for the benefits of lay people as to how to go about practicing Supreme Wisdom from the Buddha. Buddha explained that regardless whether beings are egg-born, womb-born, moist-born or spontaneously born; regardless whether such beings can be seen or is invisible, whether such beings have a mind or mindless; or mindlessly with mind or mindlessly without mind - Buddha will show them the way to Enlightenment, in actual fact after all beings attained supreme happiness, there is actually no beings, why? because if a Boddhisattva hangs on forms, than that person is not a Bodhisattva.

Diamond Sutra explained Non-Self, so hanging on form is hanging on Self. All words or names are just like a vessel - it helps one to cross the river of Samsara and discard after crossing. You will not carry a vessel on your back and walk everywhere, is that right? Therefore to grasp the true meaning, such words and descriptions and examples need to be given.

In Chapter 8, it truly stated that all the Supreme Wisdom of Buddhas arrived from realizing this Sutra. Its profoundness is immeasurable and it is like a Diamond, it cuts through anything and in this case, even stubborn illusions, something that we have embraced life after life.

The Sutra also mentioned that by reading, spreading, reciting 4 stanza or explaining the meaning of this Diamond to any beings creates boundless merits even Buddha himself cannot measure. Any physical generosity is nothing compare by giving the Truth because the Truth gives beings eternal happiness and it is the Truth.

The favorite Stanzas that I picked are the followings :

过去心不可得(guo qu xin bu ke de)
All past thoughts are gone and cannot be retained

现在心不可得(xian zai xin bu ke de)
All present thoughts cannot be cling onto, it will pass

未来心不可的(wei lai xin bu ke de)
All future thoughts cannot be predicted

(No Mind can be predictable. Everything is created by the Mind. What is gone is gone, what is now will pass and what in the future has yet to come.)

若以色见我(ruo yi se jian wo)
Anyone who wish to see the Buddha in form

以音声求我(yi sheng yin qiu wo)
Anyone who clings on and worship me

是人行邪道(shi ren xing xie dao)
This person is walking the wrong Path

不能见如来(bu neng jian ru lai)
He will never see the true nature of Buddha

(The Buddha has no form. All forms are but temporal. If one clings to Buddha's form and worship him than one does not understand his teaching. Thus one will never be able to understand the true nature of Buddhahood.)

一切有为法(yi que you wei fa)
All the Truth about Form

如梦幻泡影(ru meng huan pao ying)
Should be treated like a dream or a bubble

如露亦如电(ru lu yi ru dian)
Should be treated like a dew drop or lighting

应作如是观(ying zuo ru shi guan)
All should be view as such

(Form is like a dream, it is not reality; it is also like a bubble, easily burst and disappeared; it is like a dew drop that when the sun comes up, it leaves no trace; it is also like lighting, flash and gone. This is the correct way to Truth.)

I do not say I have totally understand this Diamond. I will fall into wrong views if I do. All words are just words. I am putting it here to see how much I have understand and for those who are interested to know about this Diamond. We have been searching everywhere for ways and means to Enlightenment. In actual fact just from one vessel, one can see one's true nature.

Please treat Sutras with respect. Where there is a Sutra, it is a sacred place. It has the blessings of the Buddhas and Devas and all beings will come by to pay their respect, both seen and unseen. It is a blessed place and a holy shrine.

My Teacher taught me...if there is a torn page or a small corner of a torn prayer book or Sutra, I should pick it up and respectfully put it at a high place because it is the Truth taught by Buddha and should not be under the feet of anyone.

With this...May all Beings be well and happy and be free from Sufferings.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Alamak...I got Tagged

Ha.a.a.a Thanks Cindy. I am honored that you always think of me. I saw this game on others sites but because I do not really link myself so I am always an outsider. Since I got tagged, I will do my part but I may not be able to tag 8 friends...

The rules of this little tag game:

1) Go to your photo files, select the 8th photo folder.

2) Select the 8th photo in that folder.

3) Post that photo along with the story behind it.

4) Then challenge 8 blogging friends to do the same!

So, I will tag the following people...and that's all I have got.

1) Sathira - Breaking Mindset

2) Robin Chan - Robin's Karma

3) Small - Reduced Footprint

Above is the 8th pictures on my 8th Picture Folder. It is a picture of a gigantic fern growing on the top of a tree. I was amazed that it is able to support itself without breaking and I find it beautiful. It is Staghorn Ferns and took the form of a nest. It makes me want to climb up the tree to look what is in it. The scientific name for this fern is Platycerium superbum.

There are around 20,000 species of ferns and Staghorns grow high up on trees and in tropical jungles. Such plants can be found in Asia and in South America. I realized this fern can be replanted. I saw people growing them on coconut husks and tied them to the trunk of a tree and viola! a nice fern decor.

True to its name, they are unique and take the shape of a stag's horns. I am not sure but to me it looks like it is a parasite plant that grows on others and yet they are charming.

This picture is taken by me. I do not know of anyone else who has a nicer picture than this one and I love it. I took it on a jungle walk in Malaysia.

I love nature and I love plants and therefore sharing with you here. We have to thank Cindy for making me do this or else I will not put up this picture to share because I do not know how to write about it.

Hope those that I have tagged will contiue this game with others and it is one way of making friends and sharing.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A little about Buddhism...

Recently I have gone into a 'mode', religious mode. You will see a few more postings on this subject. Put aside personal preferences, a close-hearted attitude and religious differences. Look at the attributes, aspect, quality and the purity each of these postings represent. Read it like you are reading a story if you are a non-Buddhist.

Avaloketishvara or Chenrizig is my teacher and protector. Every person whose heart is moved by love and compassion, who deeply and sincerely act for the benefit of others without concern for fame, profit, social position, or recognition, expresses the activity of Chenrezig. Love and compassion are the true signs revealing the presence of Chenrezig. The six syllabus heart mantra 'Ohm Mani Padme Hum' is something I remember daily. I love this calligraphy and am sharing it here with people who are like-minded.

Here are some basic understanding to Buddhism. I am not here to preach nor am I qualify to do so. I wish to share with those who are interested to know a little about this religion.

Buddha is not God. Buddha does not eliminate all wrong doings. Buddha does not forgive us for wrong doings either. He who sows will reap what he sows. Buddha does not carry our sins for us. He is our Teacher. He was human like us. This shows us that we can attain enlightenment if Buddha can. Out of compassion he found the Path and taught us how to go about it. Buddha did not want us to worship his form. Buddha has no form. It is devotees who created the form as a reminder of a Great Teacher. The form serves as a reminder to practice and achieve enlightenment. It is not something far way, it is reachable. All the teachings and methods are but 'vessels'. It helps us to cross the ocean of Samsara. The 'vessels' won't move if we just sit there. We need to put in effort to paddle the 'vessels'. How one wants to paddle is up to one. Some put in a motor, some use the oars, some use wooden planks and others may use their hands. Whichever way, Enlightenment is the Goal and we will reach there if we keep our focus and not lost sight of it. The basic requirement one needs is to have 'Bodhicitta', a compassionate heart. You need not be rich and famous and if you are poor, you are not kept outside the door. For laymen, we need to observe the 5 Precepts, understand the 8-Fold Path, keep our Faith and grow our Bodhicitta. We are taught the basic conditions of being a Human :

1) Abstain from killing - Buddhist believes in Karma. Don't do onto others if you don't want others to do onto you. If one kills, one will be killed. You will say 'Yes', to Human but anything with a life that you kill, is killing.

2) Abstain from stealing. How do you like people taking your things without telling you? It ruined reputations. Grievous punishment is to go into jail. Actually we all steal - by just taking something from your colleagues work table without asking is stealing. By doing what is not supposed to be done without permission is also stealing. Stealing in a broad sense range from things to Human.

3) Abstain from committing sexual misconduct. This is to protect the integrity of another Human. How do you like your love ones committing this behind your back? Is it OK when you commit such to another party? Consequences - jail and ‘rotan’, bad reputation and despised by people who knew about it. Only animals are not able to distinguish what is right and wrong. We are Human.

4) Abstain from lying - We all lie in one way or another. Whether it is an intended lie, 'black or white' lie, it is a lie. Lie has hidden message and guilty properties in it. Many argued that I don't say doesn't mean I lie. Well, my Mum told me 'There is nothing people cannot know if it was already committed'. Tell one lie, and you need 1000 lies to cover that one you started. It also ruined one's reputation.

This part of 'Lie' also covers 'harsh speech', 'accusing speech' and anything spews from the mouth that is unkind.

Lie also covers ‘speaking to cause split in relationship’. Many of us are guilty of this too. People sow discords intentionally or unintentionally. There are people who are very good at this. Example : 'I do not know why Lian did this, maybe she has a point in doing so...BUT I will not do it.....subtle right? Sound likes she is supporting Lian but indirectly she is saying 'Lian is bad, if it is me, I won't do it'. At time of anger, we speak badly about a person because we are vexed.

5) Abstain from intoxication. Aha! this is the killer. Many loves to drink - beer, wine, hard liquor and mixed. After drinking the mind went DULL. In this dull stage, the HEART becomes daring - one will steal, kill, commit sexual misconduct, lie and in the end, ended up in jail or worst in the hangman's room. Many sins are committed in this stage – DULL mind. If the item is for medicinal purpose to cure a sickness, it is alright but it needs to be taken moderately.

Intoxication includes cigarettes, drugs etc ... anything that may cause one to lose the power of reasoning.

Therefore, the word is 'Abstain'. If you know you have wronged, you rectify it yourself. We call these 5 Precepts or in Sanskrit 'Panca Sila'. If you have a tinted character, how can your Heart be peaceful and pure enough to do Divine's works?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ching Ming Festival ...4.4.10

Ching Ming Festival is an All Souls Day for the Chinese. Traditionally we call it 'Sweep Grave Day' and it literally means sweeping the grave for those that were buried. Activities include cutting grass, clearing debris, filling up with mud, retouch faded words with red or gold paint on the tombstone and offering food and necessities for the departed.

It is also a day where we remember dearly of the departed love ones, some maybe parents, siblings, relatives and friends. So it is a set aside day in the 365 days of a year to go back to our roots. This is also a Thanksgiving Day to all those that are gone, that they have given us life, nature us and making us to be what we are today. To some, Ching Ming Festival is a big thingy. They will prepare food, drinks and gathered paper monies, paper cars, paper house, paper clothes, paper handphone etc. Actually when I was younger, I was wondering how all these will work in the neither world. However as I grew, I realized it is a mark of respect and filial piety. Different Chinese people of different religion activate this day differently.

It is a big party day at the grave, as in group visit and merry making. This is a day that all members of the family gathered and given the hectic lifestyle, people actually hardly meet unless there is a wedding, a wake or on days like this. For those whose love ones are cremated, they will visit the columbarium or temples and preparation is the same as all those visiting the grave...plenty of makan. Many will bring food that the departed liked during their life time. Actually it is heartwarming to see all these people. It is culture and not superstitions. People who have lost their culture are rootless.

Therefore no matter where you are, spare some time to think of your love ones. Even if you are far away from home but when you think of your departed love ones, they are as near to you as where you are. People working around Asia will find time to go home eg. like Malaysian working in Singapore will apply leave and go back to Malaysia; people working in HongKong will fly back to Singapore etc. Given the cheap air-tickets, it is possible to go home.

I remembered a poem written by a famous poet, Du Mu(杜牧)

清明时节雨纷纷 Ching Ming shi jie yu fen fen
(Ching Ming brought in the rain)

路上行人欲断魂 Lu shang xing ren yu duan hun
(All those on the road were soaking wet)

借问酒家何处有?Jie wen jiu jia he chu you?
(May I ask 'where can I find a wine shop?)

牧童遥指杏花村 Mu tong yao zhi Xing Hua Cun
(The Shepperd pointed to a far away Xing Hua Village)

Ching Ming is a raining season and rain always gives one the feeling of missing home or missing a love one. Therefore in olden China there is no cars and most travelling were done by walking. In such heavy downpours, all alone, walking on a road where no one is at sight...the feeling is forlorn. So it is best to find a place where there is wine to warm the body and a shelter from the rain.

I like this poem very much.