Friday, March 31, 2006

Journey called Life... (Part 10 : If)


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

~Rudyard Kipling~

Nice poem right?

hmm... if is a word of hope, a word for wished and word for despair as well...

if only i did ...
if i do this then...

I had lived a life with no regret. The concept of "if" is just an illusion to comfort yourself if something bad happens. Throw it away, face the truth face on. What had happened had happened, there is not way to turn back time to once upon a time...

Don't get yourself stuck in the past, move on... I'm sure the best way to remedy mistakes is to move forward...

Now to "if" i am to do this and that... Well, if we think too much, nothing can be done. Risks are to be taken and the results are to be reaped. Time will go by whether we like it or not... If you want to do anything, like tell something to someone, just do it. thinking too much about the results will lead you nowhere...

Now if only our life were....

Journey called Life... (Part 9 : Freedom)

My buddy who is studying in IMU Malaysia right now had said this to me, his definition of Freedom, which i think is very true. Here goes :

Freedom is being able to do whatever you want to do and be willing to bear the consequences.

thanks to kean aun for sharing this wonderful definition with me :)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Settling Back Into The Moment : Living as if today is the last day of our lives

If we take death as our advisor
we live each moment with the
power and fullness
we should give to our last endeavour
on earth.

taken from the book "Settling Back into the Moment : A Meditator's Inspirational Guide"

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Gratitude

My Brother....





I cried for my brother 6 times......

I was born in a secluded village of a mountain. Days by days my parents plowed the yellow dry soil with their backs facing the sky.

I have a younger brother, 3 years younger than me. Once, to buy a handkerchief which all girls around me seemed to have, I stole 50 cents from my father's drawer. Father known about it right away.

He made my younger brother and me kneeled against the wall, with a bamboo stick in his hand.
"Who stole the money?" he asked.

I was stunned, too afraid to talk. Father didn't hear any of us admit, so he said, "Fine, if nobody wants to admit, you two should be beaten!"

He lifted up the bamboo stick.

Suddenly, my younger brother gripped father's hand and said," Dad, I was the one who did it!"

The long stick smacked on my brother's back repeatedly.

Father was so angry that he kept on whipped my brother until he lost his breath.

After that, he sat down on our stone bed and scolded my brother, "You have learnt to steal from your own house now, what other embarrassing things you will do in the future?? You should be beaten to death! You shameless thief!"

That night, mother and I hugged my brother. His body full of injuries, but he didn't shed a single tear.

In the middle of the night, all of sudden I cried out loudly.

My brother covered my mouth with his little hand and said, " Sis, now don't cry anymore. Everything has happened."

I still hate myself for didn't have enough courage to admit what I had done.

Years gone by, but the incident still looked like it just happened yesterday.

I will never forget my brother's expression when he protected me.

That year, my brother was 8 years old; I was 11 years old.

When my brother was in his last year of his lower secondary school, he was accepted in an upper secondary school in the central. At the same time, I was accepted into a province's university.

That night, father squatted in the yard, smoking, packet by packet.

I could hear him said, "Both our children have good results? very good results?"

Mother wiped off her tears and sighed," What is the use? How can we possibly finance both of them?"

At that time, my brother walked out, he stood in front of father and said,"Dad, I don't want to continue my study anymore, I have read enough books."

Father swung his hand and slapped brother on his face.

"Why do you have a spirit so damn weak? Even if it means I have to beg for money on the streets, I will sen! d you two to school until you both finish your study!"

And then, he started to knock on every house in the village to borrow money. I stuck out my hand as soft as I can to my brother's swollen face, and said, "A boy has to continue his study; If not, he will not be able to leave this depths of poverty."

Me, on the other hand, had decided not to further my study to university.

Who knows on the next day, before dawn, my brother left the house with a few pieces of worn-out clothes and a few dry beans. He sneaked to the side of my bed and left a note on my pillow; "Sis, get into an university is not easy. I will go find a job and send money to you."

I held the note while sitting on my bed, and cried until I lost my voice.

That year, my brother was 17 years old; I was 20 years old. With the money father borrowed from the whole village, and money my brother earned from carrying cement on his back at construction site,finally, I managed to get to the third year of my study in the university.

One day, I was studying in my room, when my roommate came in and told me,"There's a villager wait for you outside!"

Why is there a villager looking for me? I walked out, and saw my brother from afar, His whole body is dirty, covered by dust, cement and sands.

I asked him, "Why don't you tell my roommate that you are my brother?"

He replied with a smile," Look at my appearance. What will they think if they know that I am your brother?,Don't they laugh at you?"

I felt so touched, and tears filled my eyes. I swept away dusts from my brother's body. And said with a lump in my throat, " I don't care of what people say! You are my brother no matter what your appearance is?"

From his pocket, he took out a butterfly hair clip. He wore it on me, and said, "I saw all the girls in town are wearing it. So, I think you should also have one."

I could not hold back myself anymore. I pulled my brother into my arms and cried and cried.

That year, my brother was 20 years old; I was 23 years old.

The first time I brought my boyfriend home, the broken window had been repaired.And it looked so clean inside the house.

After, my boyfriend went home, I danced like a small girl in front of my mother, "Mom, you don't have to spend so many time cleaning the house!"

But she said with a smile," It was your brother who went home early to clean the house. Didn't you see the wound on his hand? He was injured while replacing the window." I went into my brother's small bedroom.

Looking at his thin face, I felt like there are hundreds of needle pricked in my heart.

I put some ointment on his wound and bandaged it, "Does it hurt? " I asked him.

"No, it doesn't hurt. You know, when I was working in the construction site, stones falling on my feet all the time. Even that could not stop me from working and?"

In the middle of the sentence, he stopped. I turned my back on him and tears rolling down my face.

That year, my brother was 23 years old; I was 26 years old.

After I got married, I lived in the city. Lots of time my husband invited my parents to come and live with us, but they didn't want.

They said, once they left the village,they didn't know what to do.

My brother also didn't agree, he said, "Sis, you just taking care of your parents-in-law. I will take care of mom and dad here."

My husband became the director of his factory. We wanted my brother to get the job as the manager in the department of maintenance. But my brother rejected the offer. He insisted on starting to work as a reparation worker.

One day, my brother was on the top of a ladder repairing a cable, when he got electrocuted, and was sent to the hospital.

My husband and I visited him. Looked at the white gypsum on his leg, I grumbled,"Why did you reject to be a manager? Manager will not do something dangerous like this. Look at you now, such a serious injury. Why you didn't want to listen to us?"

With a serious expression on his face, he defended on his decision, "Think of brother-in-law?he just became the director, and I almost uneducated. If I became the manager, what kind of rumors will fly around?"

My husband's eyes filled up with tears, and then I said, "But you lack in education also because of me!" "Why talking about the past?" My brother held my hand.

That year, he was 26 years old and I was 29 years old. My brother was 30years old when he married a farmer girl from the village.

In his wedding reception, the master of ceremonies asked him, "Who is the one you respect and love the most?"
Without thinking, he answered," My sister." He continued by telling a story I could not even remember.

"When I was in primary school, the school was in different village.

Everyday, my sister and I walked for 2 hours to go school and go home.

One day, I lost one of my pair of gloves. My sister gave me one of hers.
She only wore one glove and walked for so far. When we got home, her hand was so trembled because of the weather that was so cold that she could not even hold her chopsticks. From that day on, I swore that as long as I live, I would take care of my sister and be good to her."

Applause filled up the room. All guests turned their attentions to me.

Words were so hard to come out from my mouth, "In my whole life, the one I would like to thank the most is my brother," And in this happy occasion,in front of the crowd, tears rolling down my face again.

Love and care for the one you love every single days of your life. You may think what you did is just a small deed, but to that someone, it may mean a lot.

thanks to iQing for providing this touching story to me...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A True Friend

March 28

Cultivate a friend whose ways are seven. What seven?

He who gives what is hard to give,
does what is hard to do,
bears what is hard to hear,
he confesses his own secrets and
keeps your secrets,
in times of trouble he does not forsake you
nor does he forsake you when you are down.

Excert from "Daily Readings from the Buddha's Words of Wisdom"

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A View out of my Hostel...

A view out of my hostel...
Posted by Picasa

Letting go

Look at your own mind. The one who carries things thinks he's got things, but the one who looks on sees the heaviness. Throw away things, lose them, and find lightness.

~Ajahn Chah~
No Ajahn Chah : Reflections

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Realisation Part 1: Base

As we walk through the journey of life, often than not we may face with triumph and tribulance. If we can treat both just the same and always look around our surroundings, u may just realise, we are far more blessed than we think we are not.

a base is a place where we can put down all the masks and free to be our true selves. A place where we can be truly happy and peaceful. Family, a bunch of true friends, something that makes u feel good is a base. Once in a while, touching our base is like refreshing our whole body and mind to continue with our daily life. we all need a base to recharge ourselves...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Journey called Life... (Part 8 : Love)

Now i suppose each and everyone out there will have at least a rough understanding of what love is, according to their views, of course...

we all agree that the world needs more love now, but what actually is love anyway?

here are some preceptions about love that I had known for myself:

1. Love is when chemistry happens between two lovers
2. Love is when a mother sacrifices everything for her one and only child so that he or she can lead a wonderful life.
3. Love thy neighbour - Jesus Christ
4. Love is not hate.

While none of the definitions above are wrong, but they are all in a sense restricted. I.e. : restricted to one side only.

For me, love is a boundless and unrestricted entity that encompasses each and everything...

Love is both holding and letting go when the time is right for either of the actions...

Love is wishing each and every living entity well and happy always...

Love is taking good care of yourself so that you can give more to the world in hopes of making it a better place to live in...

Love is the capability to feel others' suffering and happiness as if they are your own...

And most of all, love is when you can apply the very same love that a mother can give to her only child to every living being...

These are my definitions of love. No doubt they are nice in theory and hard in practise. But if you think like that and then do nothing about it, then you will be stuck there for as long as you don't try.

Take life step by step, like how we always had walked. And sooner or later you may have achieved more than what you had ever dreamt of...

With the state of the world now, try to bring in more love to it, not via violence or laws, but from deep within our hearts. Wish everyone well, starting from yourself, and slowly bring the feeling into the world....

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Journey called Life... (Part 7 : Lotus)

I had always admired a beautiful plant called the lotus.

Firstly, it is beautiful and nice to look at.

Second, it is the one plant which lives in the swamp, cleaning up the dirty water for it's and the surrounding's use. Even though the environment is not that condusive for a plant's growth, it still thrives there, all the while keeping itself clean.

In every single one of our very unique lives we will at times be faced with challenges in which we have to solve. Failures, relationship problems, social problems, terminal diseases, death of close relatives are problems that probably most of us will experience in our lives.

And when faces with these challenges, many people chose to run away from it, choosing to become isolated or violent or other negative behaviors to escape from the fact. This effect are symbolized by the swamp and the muds.

Those who managed to thrive within this environment and challenges are those who had faced these challenges face on and chose to accept the fact and live with it. There are a lot of examples of people who are worse off than us, so why do we kept of whining on our so-called unsatisfactory conditions? Be content with ourselves and our surroundings, accept the facts, and never let it bog you down.

And sooner you will find yourself just like a lotus, happily living a meaningful life. Even though the world may not be that kind to you, somehow you had find a way to survive and even bloom like a lotus...

Lotus (picture)


Found this nice picture of lotuses on the net. Now using it as my wallpaper. If you guys want the full version of it, you can get it here.

the original site where I found this picture is photo.minghui.org Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

If one holds himself dear,
one should diligently watch himself.
Let the wise man keep vigil,
during any of the three watches of the night*.

~Dharmapada 157~

be aware of your mind.
be aware of what it is doing,
where it is...

be a master of your mind, not slave to it... control it, and let not it control you...


*the three watches means youth, middle age and old age...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Joy

Joy comes not through possession nor ownership but through

A Wise and Loving Heart

Quoted from a bookmark given to me during the 24th INCOVAR camp :)


Tears...

Journey called Life... (Part 6 : Letting Go)

Within the zen tradition there is a story to demonstrate the value of letting go :

There was once a young monk who was travelling in search for the meaning of enlightenment. After a long search he still haven't found the answer. Not to be deterred he continued his search.
After w while he came across an old man who was climbing up a hill carrying a large sack on his back. Seeing that he might get an answer he approached the old man and asked him "What is enlightenment?"

The old man just dropped his big sack and said nothing.

The young monk understood what the action meant and became enlightened. The old man just picked up the sack and continued on his journey.


Over the course of our life we had accumulated a lot of things, of which we were not able to let go. Emotions like old grudges, jealousy, and even memories that we weren't able to let go are analogous to the big sack that the old man was carrying, while the old man himself represents you as time passes. The sack will become bigger and heavier as time passes, and that will take us more and more energy to carry them.

But still we carry them along because we are afraid. We have fear of the unknown, we don't know what will happed if we were to let go. We were afraid of opening the sack and have a good look at what is really inside there, compared to what we think were inside there...We were afraid of the naked truth, fearing that it will hurt us more...

Yes, the process of dropping the sack is not as easy as what the old man had done. We will needto face up with reality and tackle it face on... We will need to open up the sack and take a good look at what is it that had been burdening us all along, and learn how to leave them behind.

Letting go is a wonderful process. It is the process of you letting your past be the past and not get yourself stuck there, hindering yourself from moving forward.

Drop the sack, the feel the newfound freedom...Freedom from the ghosts of the past, and freedom to feel the cool breeze blowing up to your face... and for the moment, feel the happiness coming to you...

Friday, March 17, 2006

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Death

Death is as close as our breath

~Ajahn Chah~
No Ajahn Chah : Reflections

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Clever Person

A clever person watches others,
but he watches with wisdom,
not with ignorance.

If one watches with wisdom,
one can learn much.

But if one watches with ignorance,
one can only find faults.

~Ajahn Chah~
No Ajahn Chah : Reflections

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

Settling Back Into The Moment : No-Thing

Through the practise
of mindfulness
of not clinging,
not condemning,
not identifying,
the mind
becomes
lighter and freer.

taken from the book "Settling Back Into The Moment : A meditator's inspirational guide"

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Journey called Life... (Part 5 : Difficulties)

Difficulties are opportunities to learn,
to grow and to become a better person.
If you see your life as a long learning process,
nothing that happens in your life will be meaningless,
everything will be meaningful.

~Sayadaw U. Jotika, Map of the Journey~

Journey called Life... (Part 4 : The Power of Belief and Trust)

The Buddha once related this story to one of his diciples that showed just how powerful is it to believe in someone else:

There was a herd of elephants wanting to cross a river in the ancient times.

Within the herd there was a pair of elephants, a mother and her now born child.

Since all the elephants were large and heavy, they were able to cross the river safely. But the current can wash away the new born child.

Seeing the strong gush of the currents, the child hesitated to cross the river. But the mother gave him a nudge and led him along her side. After that they managed to cross the river together safely to the other side of bank.

This story is to show to all just how powerful one can be if we can just believe in themselves and the people around us. If you can believe in your capabilities and the capabilities of the people around you, there are nothing that can stop you from achieving your goal and dreams.

But there are always dangers if you overdo anything. Leave some room for doubts and questions, if not, you will fall into the dangerous world of overconfidence.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Settling Back Into The Moment : Resolution

Even if you find your mind getting restless
or reactive
or tense
or filled with aversion
towards pain,
there is a value in making
the resolution and fulfilling it.

taken from the book "Settling Back Into The Moment : A meditator's inspirational guide"

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Journey called Life... (Part 3 : Making a Difference)

An old man was walking along a beach...along the shore line of the beach there are lots of starfishes

The old man thinks to himself "These starfishes are surely to die if no one helps to put all of them back into the sea."

But he continues to walk along the beach without doing anything to the starfishes...

Then he came across a little girl, throwing the starfishes one by one to the sea...

He wondered what the kid is doing and so he approached her and asked her "Little girl, what are you doing?"

The little girl answered "I am saving these starfishes."

"But you can't possibly save all of them here! It's impossible with so much of them."

"Yes uncle, i know i can't save all of them, but at least i can save those which i had returned to the sea," said the girl and smiled at the old man.

What I want to say here is included within the story. We are just a tiny speck in this big world, and hence many of us tend to think that we aren't special and won't make a difference.

Perhaps to the world in general yes, we can't make our difference. But to those who really matters, we made a whole lot of difference to them...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Security

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

~ Helen Keller ~

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Watermill in Meersburg


Took this picture last January during a visit to castle tin Meersburg.

Old technology but still very useful :)Posted by Picasa

Journey called Life... (Part 2 : Heaven and Hell)

many would view heaven and hell as destinations where we would stay for after we were dead and being judged by a superior being, as to how good we were during our lives...

So i take it as everyone knows that we are creating our own heaven or hell based on our actions...and would like to aim for an afterlife that we so desire...

What many people didn't realize is the fact that, we are actually living in either hell or heaven in thie very life.

Let me tell a story to illustrate this fact...

A monk had been approached by a man which demended Him to show where is heaven and where is hell.

The monk replied "Just who do you think you are to ask me such question?"

The man became angry and started cursing the monk.

The monk then said "You are now in hell."

After hearing this the man calmed down having learned his mistakes. He then asked the monk again "Where then, is heaven?"

The monk answered "You are now in heaven"

I am not sure if i had retold this story accurately, but i think the story is enough to illustrate on just how important it is to live a wholesome and happy life. You are now in heaven and hell itself, it's just a matter of how you choose to look at the world...

do you want to live in hell, or preferably heaven?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Settling Back Into The Moment : Patience

Do not be driven to actions by our desires.

If we don't have the ability to be patient,
every desire which comes into our minds
compels us to action
and we stay bound
to the wheel of craving.

Taken from the book "Settling Back into the Moment : An meditator's inspirational guide"

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Settling Back Into The Moment : Silence

Keeping silence and slowing down helps not only ourselves but everyone around us...

Taken from the book "Settling Back Into The Moment : A meditator's inspirational guide"