Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sunset seen from my room


Well, the title says it all...

Btw, the big building in the second pic is my uni's main building... enjoy ;)
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Journey called Life... (Part 17 : Blind Faith)

In an age long forgotten there was a religious group led by a priest. The followers of the religion worships the priest as the one who knows everything, and hence his words are complied into a big book. For every single thing the followers do, they will consult the big book to see if their actions are good or bad, as willed by the priest. Since the book contains almost everything that are related to their life, there are ways of doing almost everything...

One day, the priest and a few of the followers were walking through a forest to hunt for animals. As they are crossing a river, the priest had slipped and fell into the river.

Being not able to swim, he struggled to keep himself afloat, shouting "Help me!"

The followers said to the priest, "Master, can you wait a while, we need to consult Our Big Book to be certain of our actions."

But alas, there are no reference to what they should do if the priest had fell into a river, and hence they search and search and searh...

In the end, the priest drowned...

Faith and belief can take us far into the journey, but never believe in something blindly, not even if everybody around you says that it's the commandment of a 'superior being.' Be critical, question when needed, and let your instincts and heart lead you to do the correct actions...

*story was adapted from a buddhist fable

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Shay

What would you do? You make the choice! Don't look for a punch line; There isn't one! Read it anyway. My question to all of you is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

"When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?" The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. "I believe that when a child like Shay, physically and mentally handicapped comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes, in the way other people treat that child." Then he told the following story:

Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, “Do you think they'll let me play?” Shay’s father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play, not expecting much. The boy looked around for guidance and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning."

Shay struggled over to the team's bench put on a team shirt with a broad smile and his Father had a small tear in his eye and warmth in his heart. The boys saw the father's joy at his son being accepted. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible 'cause Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing the other team putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over, but the pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the head of the first baseman, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay ever ran that far but made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!"

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to second base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball, the smallest guy on their team, who had a chance to be the hero for his team for the first time. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions and he too intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, "Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay"

Shay reached third base, the opposing shortstop ran to help him and turned him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third! Shay, run to third" As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams and those watching were on their feet were screaming, "Shay, run home! Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the "grand slam" and won the game for his team.

That day, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world.

Shay didn't make it to another summer and died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making his Father so happy and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

copied this off chang yang's blog... hehe... thanks for sharing this wonderful story... ;)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Journey called Life... (Part 16 : Happiness)

Happiness is like a door right in front of you... and the key is with you... It is up to you to actually go and unlock, and open the door... the last step will be to go into the door...

So do you choose to stay outside and doubt? or open the door in front of you?

Instead of frowning, choose to smile instead ;)

Journey called Life... (Part 15 : Kalyana Mitra)

I had first came into the concept of Kalyana Mitra 2 years ago during a trip to the buddhist gem group... When the people there are sp kind to give us a special session (really thanks to you guys ;))...

it's basically a concept of spiritual friend. He or she will be the one who will be there with you all the time, guiding you along the path. And if you had strayed, he or she will guide you back to the true path.

During the time when I am still studying in INTEC, a lot of things had happened. There are happy, and sad moments. There are also moments of understanding and conflict. I had, for several times strayed from the path. There is three friends of mine who actually dared to skank me whenever i do something wrong, while the other may not be that close to me to say anything... haha... okok..I AM naughty...mind you...

The times when i am in INTEC was really a long long class for me, for i had learnt a lot about life there...

I have experienced how a conflict can get blown from a just a minor conmflict to a major friendship-breaking one if we only keeps these things to ourselves... At the time, because I don't want to hurt the other side, I had become very very isolationist, thinking that the problem will go away if I just let time pass. Evidently, the result is very disasterous... and i think that buddy of mine for being daring enough to approach me at that time (I can get kinda scary when I want to be alone... :S). And true enough, while the scar remains, both of us are still buddies... ;) lessons learnt... ;) thank you for teaching me... ;)

I had also been listening to other people's problems. I had learnt that most of the time, they just need someone to be there to listen to their problems, and help them choose the best decision to make, and also to be there for them at this time when they needed us the most... lessons learnt... ;) thank you for teaching me... ;)

this might not apply to the all of us, but i find it very good if we are able to relate our problems with anyone to the affected one. He or she might not know of his or her mistakes at all time. So do take the liberty of telling them what is in your mind. I find that it's not very healthy to just bottle things inside you all the time... We all are like pressure cookers... and the thing is going to blow sooner or later due to enormous pressure if we don't release it regularly... ;) lessons learnt... ;) thank you for teaching me ;)

there are times when we are up and down, i had learnt so much that i won't let bad memories bother me anymore. And this kind of feeling is like.... very liberating... let go of the past, look forward... why do we choose to look at the bad and dark side of the world when we can look at the other side? the bright and nice side? life is just too short to frown, so smile always...lessons learnt... ;) thanks for teaching me... ;)

Life is not all about work and no play...so if you feel like so, do become gila gila at times... it's a good way to release tension... and of course, a good way of strengthen friendships... and a nice opportunity to have fun too ;) ... lessons learnt... ;) thank you very much... ;)

It also is nice to give surprises at times... hehe... it's doesn't have to be a big one... just a small gesture will do... so that your friends will smile more ;) lessons learnt... ;) thank you very much ... ;)

I find that being humble at all times can help limit your ego. Be ready to admit your mistakes, and be ready to rectify it... people can only go so far in guiding you, in the end, change have to come from within yourself... lesson learnt... ;) thank you very much... ;)

when there is a problem, be strong and face it... even though there might not be light ahead of you, rest assured, if you continue to go forth, there WILL be light at the end of the tunnel.. ;) lessons learnt... ;) thank you very much ...;)

I find that while we can't really change the world in it's whole, we can do little change for those who really matters : our friends and families ;) lessons learnt... ;) thank you very much... ;)

I had also found out that by keeping our expectations down, life's much easier to go through... go for simple... lessons learnt... ;) thank you very much... ;)

for all of the above lessons, i have all of my close friends to thank for... so to all of my friends, I salute you all for showing me the way, directly and indirectly, and from deep within my heart, I thank you all for that... :)

there are too much of my friends to list here... so you know who you are ;)

hehe...i wish the all of you well and happy always there, and do take care always... I won't say the phrase 'friendship forever,' it's just an illusion... i say, i cheerish what i have now, let's enjoy it while we still know each other ;)

~tata~

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Friday, April 21, 2006

Live and Dream...

Live as if you'd die tomorrow, dream as if you will live forever.

~James Dean~

many thanks to fellow recomer curbside prophet for posting this nice quote into recom ;)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Settling Back Into The Moment : Steps

When i was in India, I lived on the second floor of an ashram.

I used to go up and sown the steps many times a day. each time exploring the mechanism of climbing a step. how the knee had to work, how the weight shifts.

It's an interesting process.

In all of the activities, there should be that kind of interest.

Seeing, exploring how things are happening.

~Joseph Goldotein~

Taken from the book 'Settling Back into the Moment : A meditator's inspirational guide.'

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Setting Back into the Moment : Self Illusion

No man, though he sees others dying around him, believes he himself will die.

~Bhagavad-Gita~

Taken from the book 'Settling Back into the Moment : A meditator's inspitational guide'

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Love

Love is not about seeking perfection, but accepting the flaws in others :)

~Anonymous~

Monday, April 17, 2006

Realisation Part 2 : Understanding

Have u ever put yourself in another person's shoes and try to feel the way he does? why he has acted the way he did?

If he is happy, we could fell the joy he is going through.

If he is sad, we could feel the grief he is in.

If he is in trouble, we could see from his point of view and understand his actions.

And just feel for him without affecting ourselves.
Just by being more mindful and aware of our surroundings and situation, not just ourselves, but the people close to us and people around us in general, we could bring two person closer and avoid many blames, misunderstandings and miscommunication. If the other person is having some difficulties and needed advice, we are be able to give suitable ones. We do not question much but can feel what a person is going through.

There's a story illustrating this.

A scenario of a child and mother. Mother, by nature are very protective and caring. Everyday the mother ask her child how's everything going on, whether we're happy or sad. The child, on the other hand shares only during happy times and whenever the child faces trouble, he keeps it to himself. When asked by the mother, he hesistated in telling. As time goes by, the child was irritated by his mother's questioning and treating it as a treat to his privacy. He feels sad everytime he has to dig out the sad moments to share with the mother. He stops sharing the happy nor the sad times. At the same time, the mother feels sad because the child no longer wants to share anything with her. A distant forms between them. Neither party is happy.

Based on this story, if only the child could put himself in his mother's shoes, he would know that she's just being caring about him, trying to understand her child's situation and see how she could help. However it seems, the more she helped, the worse the situation.

On the other hand, if only the mother could feel the pain the child is undergoing, she wouldn't have kept forcing the child to dig his own wound. She could have encouraged the child to be strong to accept whatever the challenge he's facing.

Read the unspoken. Read in between the lines. we'll undertand better about ourselves and the people around us.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The fool, the clever and the wise

The fool never learns...
The clever learn from his mistakes...
The wise learn from others' mistakes...

~Anonymous~

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Teacher

You don't have to be fully enlightened before you are able to teach people.
Just be honest with them and tell them what you know from your heart. Tell people what is possible. Don't pretend to be able to lift big rocks if you can only lift small ones. Yet it doesn't hurt to tell people that if you exercise and if you work, it is indeed possible to lift large rocks...

~Ajahn Chah~
No Ajahn Chah

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Happiness

A positive attitude is a way to happiness:)

Journey called Life... (Part 14 : It's a beautiful world)

The world is a terrible place now...

There are wars everywhere...

There are deaths everywhere...

There are conflicts everywhere...

There are crimes everywhere...

There are things being lost everywhere...


On the other hand...

The world now is also a happy place...

The kids can still smile and laugh...

The birds are still chirping happily on the trees...

There are still Love everywhere...

There are still kind people who wants to help the others to be happy... :)

We can still think properly...

We can still listen to the sounds around us...

We can still see the world in it's many colours...


Rather than dwelling with the sadness, why don't we look at the happier part of the world?

The world isn't as bad as we tend to put it to be...

Turn your perception around, we are still living in a wonderful world...

This article is rewritten as 'it a beautiful world' to replace the older article 'contentment.' Running on pretty much the same concepts, but contentment is now reserved for another day :)

Before and After... (Winter 2005-06 to Spring 2006)

Here are some pictures taken from my room showing the differences from the time when i had just arrived and now :)

Before

After

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Generosity

Some people are afraid of generosity. They feel that they will be exploited or opressed. In cultivating generosity, we are only opressing our greed and attachment. This allows our true nature to express itself and become lightter and more free :)

~Ajahn Chah~
No Ajahn Chah

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Religions...

Hmm...think i'll just put a quote here, it's the very same quote that i had posted in one of the threads in ReCom... Just an ancient piece of word from Emperor Asoka...

One should not honour only one's own religion and condemn the religions of others, but one should honour ohters' religions for this and that reasons. In so doing, one helps one's own religion to grow and renders service to the religions of others too. In acting otherwise one digs the grave of one's own religion and also does harm to other religions. Whosoever honours his own religion and condemn other religions, does so indeed through devotion to his ownm religion, thinking, 'I will glorify my own religion. 'But on the contrary, in so doing he injures his own religion more gravely, so concord is good. Let all listen, and be willing to listen to the doctrines professed by others.

~engraved onto Asoka Pillars, the laws enforced during Emperor Asoka's time~

reflect on it, i hope you all can learn something from it... :)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Knowledge...

This is a quote that i had heard from the former principle in my secondary school that i would like to share with all...

Knowledge is information put into good use...

~Encik Bedui~

I don't think i had written this qoute in it's exact words, but this is what i had interpreted from it...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Serenity

Found out about this poem from Joey's blog. I think it's really meaningful, so share with all to read and reflect... :)


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

~Reinhold Niebuhr~

Journey called Life... (Part 13 : Everything that happens must be good)

Well, I think the title had said everything about what i want to say in this post...

It's all about the mindset that you have. If you see an event as a disaster then it will be a disaster. If you view the same event as opportunity, it will be one as well...

Now take your pick on mindsets...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Journey called Life... (Part 12 : Living Here and Now)

Here i would like to call to your attention for a while. Do according to the following instructions and then see for yourself what happens... only do this if you have a few minutes to spare...

here goes...

Stop whatever that you are doing now. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. You might want to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Either sit back on your chair or lying on the bed will do. Take several deep breaths...

breathe in...

hold...


breathe out slowly...



again...



and again...





now close your eyes and open your ears, focusing on hearing...

What do you hear?

Perhaps it's the sound of the air-conditioner working to keep you cool, or the birds ourside your windows chirping happily, or the sounds of the wind blowing and gently caressing your face and body. Or maybe the sounds of cars moving by your house, the music that you are hearing...

Note down as you move along with this activity. What else have you noted? When you feel that you had noted enough, slowly open your eyes slowly... keep relaxing yourself...

Now how do you feel? Relaxed? or still stressed?

The purpose that i asked you all to try this experiment is to let you know the value of being right here right now.

Most of us are not really living at the moment. I had noticed that most of the time we will either live either in the past or the future, but rarely in then present. What do I mean by this?

We tend to plan a lot for future events or thinking of what had happened in the past, when we talk with other people, when we are eating, when we are watching the television, when we are driving, when we are chatting... Reflect this on yourself and you will know what i meant by this :)

There are rarely times when we do things we are actually doing it and not doing other things as well...

Meaning when we are eating then we eating, not thinking of what to do tomorrow, or busy watching television...

When we are studying we are studying and not thinking about the party which will come tomorrow, or whether the lecturer will be happy with your work or not...

When we are talking are talking to the other one and not thinking of what to eat tonight...

These are just examples showing just how we humans like to multitask, and that included me as well...


For me, i won't think that far into the future. Or think much into the past.

I like to listen to the sounds of birds chirping while walking in the streets. It's a bliss to be able to listen to them.

It's a bliss to be able to listen to the sounds of rain drops hitting my window pane...

It's a bliss to be able to see the blue sky...

It's a bliss to be able to breathe...

It's a bliss to be able to live here and now...

what had happened had happened, there is no need to get yourself stuck in the past by regretting anything that had happened or keep recalling the happy moments till you lose touch with what you have now...

what is in the future stays in the future, there is no way that we can look that far into the future... and this is precisely the reason which we shouldn't get ourselves stuck there as well...

What you really have is here and now. It's the only moment that you have, doing what you are doing...

breathe, life's so beautiful...

The past is gone, the future is not yet here.
The only thing we have is here and now... :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

between countable and uncountable

Not everything that can be counted counts, not all that counts can be counted.

-albert einstein-

Monday, April 03, 2006

Journey called Life... (Part 11 : A Poem for All)

Some have too much and yet do crave
I have little and seek no more
They are but poor though much more they have
And I am rich with little store.
They poor; they beg, I give;
THey lack, I have; they pine, I live.


Taken from the book "What Buddhists Believe"


As for the meaning of this poem, I shall leave it for you guys to figure out. If there are many requests, then shall I tell out the meanings. But reflect on it for a while, I know you will get the answer :)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Wisdom

To understand yourself is the beginning of wisdom

~Dr. K. Sri Dharmmananda~
What Buddhists Believe