Thursday, 25 September 2014

#Bendgate

This is hilarious. Haha!



Wednesday, 6 August 2014

A little of guru in my heart

I was gifted a very precious holy object yesterday. It is a big pendant made from Khensur Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup's holy relics and ashes, and many other holy relics and holy water. It even has tiny bits of his robe and blessed pills in it. It is encased as one of my favourite and important deity as well. It is powerful protection. 

As today is the twice-monthly guru tsog day, I remember and pay tribute to Lama Lhundrup who passed away into parinirvana about 3-4 years ago. Thinking of Khenrinpoche (as I used to call him), always make me both happy and sad; happy to be able to have connected with such an endearing guru, and sad that he is gone and I only had a brief period with him in this lifetime. 

Khenrinpoche was a humble and simple monk very well loved and respected by many many many. He was not any high-ranking reincarnated lama. However he has achieved the ultimate state within one lifetime, leaving behind numerous holy relics after his passing. He was an affable, jovial and true practitioner who lived a pure life serving his gurus earnestly and looking after the entire Kopan monastery of monks and nuns, his disciples and students. He spent his whole life teaching and serving others. He was also a powerful healer (from my own experience). 

His next coming will be awesome. For now, as I wear the holy pendant and relish in having a little of guru with me in my heart. 

I miss you, Khenrinpoche, and thank you for agreeing to be my personal guru in all my lifetimes until enlightenment. May your reincarnation return swiftly to guide us as soon as possible. 


Sunday, 6 July 2014

The gift

His Holiness the Dalai Lama once said, 
"The best gift for me on my birthday is ... please keep your own mind, your own heart more compassionate..... seriously and genuinely concerned for others' well-being.... with that motivation, serve others, help people and also animals. If you do not have the opportunity to serve others, then at least restrain from harming them. So, all my friends, brothers and sisters, please keep in your mind for the rest of your life, (to have) a more compassionate life. Then that's the best present on my birthday."

Today is His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 79th birthday. Today is also my birthday too. Today I remember a dream I once had of His Holiness.

In the dream, I was in the courtyard is a temple, where many monks and lay people were busy running about. Then somehow a voice told me to make something to offer to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I was told that by making that "something" I would be accumulating lots of merits. In the dream, I was quite excited and happy, because firstly, I was going to meet His Holiness, secondly I was going to make something for him, and thirdly it was a merit-making opportunity!  However I had absolutely no idea what to make from scratch. 

Then all of a sudden, 'poof' ! And in my right palm appeared a small white sachet. Instinctively that became the offering I was supposed to offer. Then just as suddenly, His Holiness the Dalai Lama appeared about 2-3 metres in front of me, followed by a monk.  Immediately I bowed my head and put my palm together.  His Holiness smiled brightly as he walked towards me and stopped by my side. I opened my palm to show him that sachet offering. Then His Holiness was talking to me about something, I heard his voice and I could not recall what he said. After he finished talking, he took the sachet from my palm with his right hand.  When he opened his right palm again, instead of the plain looking sachet, there appeared on his palm, was a small statue of Guru Rinpoche !! 

I was stunned and amazed as His Holiness put the statue on my palm and whispered something into my ear. The statue of Guru Rinpoche was small and very colourful indeed and very very exquisitely beautiful. Then I woke up.  I always remember this vivid dream. Perhaps that explains why I always have a particular affinity and connection with Guru Rinpoche and that is why I love him so much. 

This was the best birthday gift, albeit in a dream. 

Saturday, 14 June 2014

From Him where it all started

Humans are really full of feelings and emotions. I'm talking about me, haha. Today is the auspicious day of Saka Dawa where we celebrate Buddha Shakyamuni's birth, enlightenment as well as parinirvana. Merits are multiplied 100 million times. 

I attended a puja in ABC where we paid tribute and homage to Shakyamuni Buddha, from whom everything begins. During the puja, many thoughts and reflections overwhelmed me. Many  flashbacks of memories and things that happened the last couple of years. I was a little choked with emotions when reading the text in praises to Buddha, partly affected by the recall of the past that I couldn't continue reciting for a while. There are some things I regretted, there are some things I was bitter about, there are some things I feel so helpless about, there are some things I resented, there are some things I wanted to forget forever. There are some things I wished they never happened. There are many things I wished they be erased from my past. There are many things I wished to change if I could turn back the clock. 

But then I realise, of course, as cliche as it sounds, things happened for a reason. The only constant is change. Many things have changed. People I know have changed. I have changed. The situation around us has changed. For good for bad I do not know. 

Then afterwards, I realise there are those around me who cares, even those we hardly meet or close to. Last night a friend said she had wanted to pass an amulet to me for weeks. As we didn't see each other, she had been carrying the amulet with her all the time. The amulet has been blessed by His Holiness Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche for my father. And she only knew about my father's plight briefly from our conversation weeks earlier. Last night a couple of friends also gifted me precious holy objects. 

Since the beginning of this year, friends have given me so many blessed items. A couple of friends gave blessed holy water from His Holiness Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Some gave blessed dharma pills from HH Dalai Lama, HH Karmapa, Healing Lama Kangyur Rinpoche and Dagyab Rinpoche as well as other great masters. Yet another friend committed to 100,000 Tara mantras to be completed within a month specially dedicated to my father's recovery. Many powerful pujas were arranged for him (how wonderful and powerful the pujas and dharma pills were warrant a separate post which I will share next time).  Some friends visited my father. Some friends gave him on the spot treatment (relief) or massage. Lots of friends as well as strangers, through word of mouth (and whatsapp group chats) did prayers and dedications for him. A venerable also did animal liberation for him. 

Despite the changes in my life which I am perplexed about (not just because of my father's condition but other matters as well), I am truly grateful for friends' concern and their encouraging words. My faith in humanity restored, I just cannot continue to dwell in the past with regrets and the unpleasant stuff. Only then can I move forward in this samsaric life and to continue my practice with a little more confidence. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Get closer

Saw this touching clip. We are often ignorant of what lies within, being more concerned with how things are outside. 

Fabian is handicapped. When he is without his costume, people ignore him everyday. But when he puts on the teddy bear costume, people are drawn to him and offer hugs. Hope this teaches us a lesson or two and inspires us to be less biased and concerned with outer appearances. Get closer. 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Be a rainbow in someone's cloud


Maya Angelou has passed away at age 86. I love her poems and quotes. She was a poet and writer after a series of occupations including fry cook, prostitute, night-club dancer and performer and journalist. She was an actor, writer, director, and producer. With the publication of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", Angelou publicly discussed aspects of her personal life and how she was raped at age 7. She was respected as a spokesperson of black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of black culture. Angelou is best known for her autobiographies, but she is also an established poet.


May this phenomenal lady be in a blessed place.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2641702/Poet-author-Maya-Angelou-dead-86.html


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Funnily contradictory suchness


Everything changed. Not exactly overnight but I think it's drastic enough. Topsy turvy. I've got to admit, I didn't see it coming. 

I mean, my life has changed, yet again. Not just on the home front, but myself personally. It's funny but over the last few years, everything ripened quite rapidly and drastically for me. Perhaps too fast for my liking. Ironically, with every setback I meet (and many of them!), I get even more immune to how bad each situation is. In a way, that's good. When it's bad enough, how worse can it get, right? 

Now that the family has to become a caregiver to my father, there are so many adjustments and changes to be made. My father's condition (too complicated to elaborate) has stabilised but he will never recover and be normal again. It will only deteriorate with old age. I am grateful to those who have been very supportive. 

Nowadays, because of my father, I need to get up at 6am. As such, I'm stoned by 9-10pm every night. Maybe in a way it's good. I get to sleep early and my body can replenish and recharge between the crucial hours of 10pm to 1am. Plus I get a good night's sleep and auto wake by 6am. 

I no longer have the energy or time to attend many dharma teachings or events which I love. On top of that, my work and daily schedule have also changed. Besides work and home, nobody would know or believe the other matters I encounter and have to deal with on a daily basis. Suddenly, everything I was doing in the past became a luxury. I wish I could turn back the clock but I guess whatever karma I have created previously to deserve this now, I still have to face it. There's no escaping. 

So in what way have I changed? I realise that the more I hold on so tightly to the things I am attached to, the more it causes me misery. Whatever I have learned from the past somehow proved that by surrounding myself with stuff and people I like, I may not necessarily be happy too. Sometimes it brings resentment instead, because attachment brings higher expectations, and once those expectations are not met, I am crushed. I have learned quite painfully that there is no fair play in this samsaric world. Only if we leave samsara, then we can see the final picture how the law of causality determines our fate. For now, I think I've seen a tiny bit of how that final big picture could be. That realisation rendered me amazed, bewildered, and made me touched and teared all at the same time. I cannot describe how that helpless feeling is, but it is also heartwarming. 

On the worldly side, as much as I do not like having to deal with all the unpleasant stuff now, I do not have a choice. Regrets and disappointments aplenty, but mostly with myself. I was really disheartened for a period of time but I chose to remain optimistic. I choose to remind myself to be happy. Be with only people who care. On a bigger perspective, I really wish to leave, to go somewhere for an indefinite period of time. To embark on something. I guess that will have to wait, for now. 

I just read a cute quote by weird Alibaba founder Jack Ma,

"Today is cruel. Tomorrow is crueler. But the day after tomorrow is beautiful."

Let's hope so.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

In memories of a great practitioner

In memories of 84-year-old Geshe Ngawang Longtho, who passed away this evening. Geshe la was from Gaden Shartse Monastery and visited Singapore Gaden Shartse Dro-Phen Ling numerous times.  Geshe-la was a great practitioner and adept in conducting powerful pujas. 

Message from Gaden Shartse Dro-Phen Ling: 

"Currently Geshe Ngawang Longtho remains in clear light meditation (thugdam) after clinical death. Thugdam is an honorific term for meditative practice during the period following the death of a great master, during which time they are absorbed in clear light. 

A realized practitioner may remain in that meditative state for a number of days. Geshe-la manifests extraordinary practice as there is still a certain color of glow in his face, his skin remains soft and flexible, his body does not become stiff, and there is still warmth at his heart."


Way even before I became aware of Geshe Ngawang Longtho's qualities as a great practitioner, I somehow knew he possessed certain special skills and power. And this was because of a dream I had once. 

In that brief dream, I was walking along a dark, empty and misty road, with no one in sight. Then Geshe-la appeared all of a sudden and was walking towards me. Relieved and happy to see him, I put both palms together to greet him. Geshe-la smiled and blessed me by putting both his hands on my head and chanting prayers. Then he turned to leave. However, he paused and turned back to me again and decided to continue his chanting, both hands on my head again. After a few minutes, to my amazement, I saw a gulf of black air, like droves of bees, coming out of my chest and escaped in rapid speed, which then disappeared into thin air. I believe that was somewhat a purification and healing ritual! When Geshe-la finished, he instructed me to adopt a certain deity practice on a daily basis. End of dream. 

It was kind of a special dream. Even though I have never chatted with Geshe-la in real life before (because he was  quite serious looking and did not smile much, plus we would have been a chicken and a duck talking), the dream convinced me to have faith in Geshe-la's abilities and powers during pujas.  Geshe-la was among the group of highly respected old geshes in Gaden Shartse Monastery who are really skilful in conducting pujas which are so effective in clearing obstacles. 

I last saw Geshe Ngawang Longtho in 2012 when we visited him. At that time, he was already quite thin, frail and weak. He gave us heartfelt advice and told us to keep His Holiness the Dalai Lama's precious teachings in mind. Inside his small room where almost 50 of us tried to huddle together, there were no dry eyes for most of us that day. Understandably, I knew it would be my last time seeing him. 

May Geshe-la continue to benefit many beings in all lifetimes wherever he chooses to take rebirth. He will be dearly missed. 

Good bye and see you soon, Geshe-la! 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Misleading post by Shen Yee Aun

By chance, I stumbled upon a Facebook posting by a Malaysian blogger, sharing about the Yamantaka Ruel a few months ago. I am gravely disturbed that what he has shared is not true, and in addition he has distorted facts. I have written to him to voice my concerns and to remove his posting immediately. He has not replied nor remove his posting. I am posting here in my blog to reiterate the seriousness of such irresponsible act and to remind readers to be careful of what they read online. 

In the testimonies he shared, Testimonies 1,2,3 were copied wholesale from my earlier blog post in which I had shared in 2007 about the ruel and the experiences of power of the ruel from friends whom I know personally. While I have no issue that he used part of the contents of what I wrote (without my permission), I am shocked that he has distorted the origins of the Yamantaka Ruel and added other pieces of information which was totally wrong, in particular the point which he wrote "each ruel has been specially prepared and consecrated with Dorje Shugden's sacred energy". This is utterly not true and misleading to readers.   

The ruel is consecrated based on specific tantric deity and the contents are blessed with special tantric ingredients during the ritual. It is named Yamantaka Ruel for an obvious reason, and not named after any other spirit which Mr Shen has mentioned. Anyone who is familiar with or heard of the efficacy of the Yamantaka Ruel, they would know that the authentic Yamantaka Ruel is being made and consecrated from Gaden Shartse Monastery, and both the monastery and Gaden Shartse Drophenling do not have any connection with DS. Both monastery and the buddhist centre are following the teachings and guidance of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who does not encourage the practice of DS.  I have written a post recently, "Dagyab Kyabgon Rinpoche dispels rumours about Dro-Phen Ling regarding Dorje Shugden", in which my guru Dagyab Rinpoche highlighted during his one of his teachings. 

My friend, Jamie from Gaden Shartse Drophenling, has also responded and clarified to Mr Shen's posting.  I quote her: 

"Dear Mr Shen, I am the Jamie from Dro-Phen Ling whom you had mentioned in the post. I would like to clarify that the Yamantaka Ruels made by Gaden Shartse Monastery are certainly not remotely consecrated with any of the DS materials. Apart from the DS, many other ingredients stated in the post is NOT even true. Dear Mr Shen, please kindly be responsible with your public information as this is very misleading. 

Gaden Shartse Monastery, Gaden Shartse Dro-Phen Ling, and myself do not engage in the practise of DS. We follow and abide by the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama - this we cannot stress enough. Kindly refer to Dro-Phen Ling's website if you are unsure. Please kindly remove your post so that it does not continue to mislead the public. Thank you very much in advance."


I do not know if the Yamantaka Ruel which Mr Shen has invited and /or mentioned has been consecrated from authentic sources/ places/ teachers. Although it is obvious to me where he had invited the ruel from, I reserve any further comments. 

I would like to remind readers to check the authenticity of any holy objects before they invite them home. For that matter, any devotee should check the buddhist centre and its teachers if they are practising properly according to the Dharma. In 2011, I have written a post on "How to know a fake guru when you meet one"

From the view of social media, I believe that being a blogger, one should be responsible for what he writes about, especially that coming from an aspiring young man. May all be auspicious according to the Buddha-Dharma. 

"When teachers break the precepts, 
behaving in ways that are clearly damaging to themselves and others,
students must face the situation,
even though this can be challenging, 
criticize openly, that's the only way." 

- His Holiness the Dalai Lama 


Monday, 5 May 2014

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Mindfulness meditation

Buddha was asked, "What have you gained from meditation?" He replied, "Nothing! However, let me tell you what I have lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death." 
Mindfulness is good for your health! Check out this great inforgraphic offering modern scientific evidence to support this. Here are some of the benefits of learning to live in the moment.

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