MoonCentral (Archive : Jun 2005)
: Seed of Possibility
Potential energy might not seem to be energy but it is always there
- latent and suspended. Given the right conditions, it springs into
action, transforming into various forms of active energy. Think a boulder
perching on a cliff. Likewise is the seed of Buddhahood in us as Buddha-nature
ever-present - the constant possibility of becoming enlightened, of
realising perfect wisdom and manifesting perfect compassion. The worthiest
thing to do is to condition this seed to blossom and bear fruit, and
to teach others how to do the same. -zyrius
30/06/05 12:02 AM
: Of Being Not Faulted
When you are in a position such that no one tells you your faults, you
are either so good, or such that no one dares to tell you your mistakes.
Any falsely perceived perfection seemingly endorsed by the silent masses
is the perfect beginning of one's downfall - be it in areas spiritual
or worldly. -zyrius
29/06/05 11:24 PM
: "Weird" Yet Wonderful
Truth is always stranger than fiction simply because
Truth is beyond the wildest imagination. But
"strange" does not mean "bad", it is actually "wonderful".
29/06/05 11:15 PM
: Unrecognised Wrongs
As long as we are unenlightened, we always make
more mistakes than we are mindful of, simply because we are not
mindful and wise enough. No one is perfect till he is perfected. Humility
is thus essential for the unenlightened. For the enlightened, there
is no need to be proud either - which is a weakness of one's insecurity
of status. -zyrius
29/06/05 11:02 PM
She tested him by asking him to list why she should remain with him
- despite his discovered and repented unfaithfulness. But even after
a day's reflection, he could only list all the reasons good for himself...
He wants her back because he will miss her smile, her company, her cooking...
But that was not what she wanted to hear. All she wanted him to say
was, "I want to be with you - because I want
to bring you happiness, because your happiness is important to me."
He had missed the point of what true love means - unconditional and
unreserved giving. Yet she too had forgotten to give true love - she
merely hoped for it for herself. Be they make or break, theirs was thus
just a worldly, not a spiritual relationship. Sadly, she did not see
29/06/05 10:40 PM
Where there are humans
You will find flies
And Buddhas -Issa
When I say I "hate politics", I'm actually saying I dislike
dealing with the complexity of real life's complicated mix of outright
and often underlying mix of greed, hatred and ignorance (the three poisons).
But because unenlightened humans are social animals with the three poisons,
politiking is always inevitable. I realise my aversion to politics are
based on my lack of compassion and courage in dealing with it for the
sake of others, and lack of wisdom in handling it skilfully without
breaking losing moral integrity (breaking the precepts). Yes, everything
good and bad is a test of how much attachment and aversion we have,
respectively, out of delusion.-zyrius
29/06/05 10:14 PM
of What's Right
One right thing about people, even the wrong ones...
They do not really know they are really wrong -
because really, no one wants to be wrong;
they merely mistaken they are right. -stonepeace
29/06/05 09:40 PM
It Doesn't Really Get
Cling on to any one thing - and you lose everything
You also lose that you cling to - because everthing changes.
Let go of clinging - and what is not "yours" or "you"?
29/06/05 09:18 PM
Piece of Skin
She wanted to buy the bag as it was made of vegan (animal-free) material.
Unfortunately, there is a leather tag tied to it. It wasn't necessary
or part of the bag - there merely for branding purposes. To buy the
bag means one must get the tag too. Ain't it stupid? Humans
don't need that piece of leather skin but the cow to which it belonged
to needed it. Sighing, she gave the bag a miss. But that day,
she did discover a major shoe brand that uses only PVC and not leather
- Americaya. Yes, no need to trample on the sin of late cows at all
for the sake of vanity. It is always a challenge to lead a life that
is as vegan as possible - from everything we buy and consume from head
to toe. It's a constant practice of mindfulness and compassion that's
worth all the trouble, which is so much less "painful" than
the pains animals go through when forced to provide for us. (above pic
is not actual tag) -shiqin
29/06/05 08:40 PM
Redefinitions : For
Here are some redefinitions of everyday things -
1. Pocket: A hands-free bag worn with one's clothes.
2. Stairs: A tall wall diagonally staggered into units of short walls.
3. Bowl: A large handle-less cup.
But am I breaking old perceptions yet creating more? Is it needed? The
point is to realise the emptiness of all perceptions, and not cling
to any. -shian
28/06/05 11:25 PM
: Seeing Through Dead
If I look at a clear bright background with my left eye, I see a couple
of curly hair lines. What's this called medically? I forgot. It's like
a human version of dead pixels on a monitor. This subtle barely visible
condition prompted me to think - what "dead pixels" do we
have mentally, that obscure our perception of reality, that make our
field of sight incomplete. There must be so much more. Very humbling
indeed. We need to revive the dead pixels. But first, we need to recognise
which are dead - by seeing them clearly with our live pixels. -shian
28/06/05 10:53 PM
Yesterday, in the pantry of the office with the lights off, I bumped
my head on the corner of a hanging wall cabinet. There was a sharp pain
for about 10 seconds, as I rubbed my head vigorously to ease the pain
- in case I get a nasty bruise or bump. But it felt damp. My hand was
smeared with fresh red blood - more than I 'd ever seen from me. I went
to the toilet, and used toilet paper to swipe the blood off. Thankfully,
it didn't flow on. Looking in the mirror, I see a gash about 5cm long
but it was not a gaping one. I went back to my cubicle seat. I wondered
if I should ask someone for first aid. But the pain had subsided and
I thought it was best to let it clot naturally. I thought of finding
a place to lie down, or at least tell someone in my department. But
that seemed unnecessary. There was no need to kick up a fuss. I carried
I was a little shocked by my reaction, or rather, my lack of reaction.
I didn't even yell a bit. I was unmindful enough to bump my head, yet
I was mindful enough to realise a bloody mess does not have to equal
pain, danger or panic. It was a bittersweet experience - painful but
funny. This human body is so fragile I'm surprised this didn't happen
more often in the history of my life so far - by accident of course.
Kids, don't try this at home though - it's definitely not the most sensible
way to handle a head injury! Clean up, apply antiseptic and bandage.
That's what I did later when I got home. If pain persists, see a doctor.
I did that today, after the wound did not heal well enough. -shian
28/06/05 10:40 PM
On long medical leave from work. Sometimes I don't like to go to work.
Because I hate the seemingly inevitable office politics, and how at
times I have to compromise my ideals as to how things should be done.
Then I remind myself - working regularly is to ensure I'm of constant
and disciplined usefulness to society, and hey, I get paid too. It exposes
me to all kinds of people and stuff, lets me learn and have material
to write on... to share with the world through means I can, to make
it a better place... Yes, it's worth it. I needed to write this to sort
my thinking out about work - the leave is ending soon. Work is essential
for my survival and my spiritual practice, as I better myself through
dealing with unpleasant people and matters. So much more advantages
than not working. And yes, the problem is not out there. "When
the mind is pure, the land is pure." -zyrius
17/06/05 02:19 PM
Che : The
<Tagline: Let the world change you... and you
can change the world.
Some words from the movie
"from" Che, about his coming-of-age wanderlust days of (self-)discovery
before becoming a revolutionary.
In a letter to his Mother - "What do we leave behind when we cross
a frontier? Each moment seems split in two. Melancholy for what is left
behind, and the excitement of entering a new land." What about
the frontier of life and death? Attachment to life and anticipation
of afterlife? All stray thoughts - alternating quickly from thought
moment to moment.
To an encountered stranger when asked what they were doing on their
motorcycle pilgrimmage to nowhere yet "everywhere", and whether
they were working - "We travel just to travel." But do
we live just to live? Or to learn? Learn for? Learn what? To learn for
the sake of becoming truly happy. To learn how to become so, and to
share what we have learnt.
Before the end of the film - "Wandering around our (Latin) America
has changed me more than I thought. I am not me anymore, at least not
the same me I was." Wandering around Samsara, we will discover
change, and we will change. When we see this in depth, our lives change
forever. We become kinder and wiser. -zyrius pic:danheller.com
This Nor That
Not like this;
Not like that;
All dharmas* are emptiness.**
* phenomena of mind and matter
** constantly changing, empty of substantiality
is Your Life : And Some of Its Lyrics
Some harshly true words from the last track, "This
is Your Life" of the "Fight
Club" movie soundtrack. Excerpted below are the lyrics I agree
1. This is your life. Good to the last drop...
This is your life and its ending one minute at a
2. Its only after you've lost everything that you are free to do anything.
3. You have to realise that someday you will die.
Until you know that, you are useless.
4. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
You are the same decaying organic matter as
We are all part of the same compost heap.
We are the all singing, all dancing crap of
You are not your bank account.
You are not the clothes you wear.
You are not the contents of your wallet.
You are not your bowel cancer.
You are not your grand latte.
You are not the car you drive.
1. Good to the last drop, use every drop well. No time to lose!
2. Only when you have renounced all attachments to mind and matter are
you all free.
3. If you live as if you will live forever, you will never really live,
4. We are different only superficially. We are all equally mortal, yet
with eternal Buddha-nature.
You are not your wealth, posessions, identity,
You are not your _______
You are _______ (fill in the blanks) Share
with us by clicking "Comments"! -zeph
Right Thing to Do It For
We should not "fight" for any organisation, teacher or his/her
followers, or even for ourselves. "Fight" for the truth -
for benefitting others with nothing less than the pure teachings of
the Buddha. -zyrius
"Please... a bad dream is probably just that - a dream." said
Professor X in "X-men Evolution" to Jean Grey, when she had
a nightmare that Cyclops was in danger. (She was right in this case
though.) This is a dream, yet never "just a dream" - it is
our "reality" in the moment. It is where we have to wake up
from - wake up more to the higher reality. If we do not use this illusion
to break free of it, what can we use? See the
illusion as illusory and all that is left is the truth. -zyrius
Unreal They Really Are
can only do so much, you must do your best. -Richard Gere
At their first
meeting, the Dalai Lama asked him (Richard Gere) about acting.
"He said, 'When you do this acting and you're angry, are you really
angry? When you're acting sad, are you really sad?' I gave him an actor's
answer. I said, it's more effective if you really believe in the emotion
you portray. He looked into my eyes and laughed. Hysterically. He was
laughing at the idea that I could believe emotions are real - that I'd
work so hard to believe in anger and hatred and sadness and pain and
suffering. I should have known, as an actor, that I create those emotions.
That is what we all do, every day."
We choose our emotions from moment to moment. We
are "actors" who accidentally convinced ourselves that we
are our emotions - whenever we get emotionally carried away.
But we merely "act" out of habit. -shiqin
Sea Inside : Not
Pro-Life = Not Pro-Nirvana
Just watched the movie "The Sea Inside", which is based on
the true story of Ramon Sampedro - who fought for some 30 years as a
quadriplegic to end his life. Despite being touchingly acted (yes, it
brought me to tears) and beautifully filmed, respectully, I can't help
disagreeing with him. Ramon in the show repeatedly said that "life
is a right, not an obligation." He is totally right. We have the
right to end our lives - but it doesn't mean we should, even in the
most dire of situations, since what we truly want is True Happiness,
not illusory "oblivion".
In Buddhism, any intentional ending of life is
murder. Self-consented euthanasia is simply suicide or self-murder.
What are some possible ill consequences? It might lead to the loss of
an immediate human rebirth for a very long time, due to not treasuring
it enough. Not "wearing out" one's negative karma of being
ill till natural death, residue karma might surface immediately upon
rebirth. One might be reborn with the corresponding ailments carried
over from the last life. This means the fruition of negative karma is
only deferred in suicide - for no good reason. True
Happiness is only delayed, if not made harder to attain when we choose
the "easier way" out of Dukkha (dissatisfactions), which does
not work, which is actually the harder way. The
extraction of, say, an aching tooth. might mean instant relief, but
suicide only makes one plunge deeper into the abyss of Dukkha. Unenlightened,y
You can't just switch off Dukkha or karma. If
you reflect carefully, this pro-life stance is not cold at all; but
A Catholic priest tries to dissuade Ramon from taking his own life,
saying "Freedom without a life is not freedom." Ramon retorts,
"A life without freedom is not a life." My take - "Freedom
is going beyond attachment or aversion to life or death."
Ramon's choice of euthanasia was made out of attachment to his previously
active life, and to his belief that death will be the end-all and be-all
to his mental suffering (since his body, being numb, did not really
suffer.) Vice versa, he had aversion to not being able to live physically
actively and thus to life. Obviously, though disabled, Ramon still had
his fundamental and most precious freedom - the freedom to choose his
state of mind. But he was so attached to physical mobility, that he
felt his life was without dignity. Yet the film clearly portrayed him
as a warm and loving person, readily bringing joy to those around him,
who always treated him with love and respect. He was already living
a fruitful life, more so than many others. It breaks my heart that despite
this, he spent his last 30 years fretting life more than cherishing
it. What he had were 3 decades of golden opportunities to practise and
master meditation, to discover freedom of the mind, without the need
to fret about caring for the body, which was cared for willingly by
others! What good karma despite what bad karma!
His fundamental delusion, it seemed, was similar to the director's view,
that just as there was "nothing" before birth, there will
be "nothing" after death. Almost nihilistic? In Buddhism,
everything physical and mental arises and sustains from the congregation
and interaction of causes and conditions. How can something as complex
as life simply spring forth from nowhere to only dissolve into nothing?
There is constant transformation of everything, even so as we speak.
We (d)evolve by our choices and (in)actions. Some life or death decisions
are difficult to make. But let us be as brave as we can and make the
right ones. May Ramon and his family be well and happy. -shian
Day Effect : Are You Going Through It?
Da: (After a case of unrequitted love) Now I can feel why some people
like the Groundhog Day movie so much.
Zy: We experience the Groundhog Day Effect when we have not outgrown
our habits and karma. When we break through, things change.
Da: I was refering to the abilities to go back and change things...
to relive and to interact differently. Anyway, got to come back to reality.
Zy: As long as we don't outlive our karma or change
our habitual patterns, we are reliving our only reality - which we got
-zyrius & da
a Perfect One?
Ideally, ideal Dharma teachers teach and embody perfect teachings of
the Buddha. Realistically, many teachers are imperfect in teaching and
exemplification of that they teach. This is due to our own karmic imperfections,
leading us to lack perfect teachers. Sometimes, beggars can't be choosers.
You might have to make do at times, but be very very careful. And why
not aspire to become a perfect teacher to be a model example - a Buddha?
Makes It Spiritual?
Spiritual music has lyrics of wise reason and tunes invoking kind emotions.
Mystery of the Reeking Loo
He could not stand the strange stench in the single cubicle toilet.
It didn't smell like shit. Yet there was nothing in it which could smell
so bad. Every time he went in, he would smell it. Once outside, the
smell would disappear. Asking many others about it, no one smelt anything
strange. It was like a personal curse of sorts. When he sat on the cleanly
flushed toilet bowl, the smell suddenly became more intense. Bending
lower to find the source, he realised it was his shoes! In the less
compact spaces outside the toilet while standing up, the smell would
not be detected. But in the cramped cubicle, it would naturally "intensify".
He was carrying his own curse, one that only he would experience - even
in a public place! In ways like these, we personalise
our own self-inflicted and self-sustained suffering - whether we know
it or not. -zeph
Branch Ahead Above Head
There is a rather big swinging branch on a tree on the roadside. It's
almost broken all the way through - looks like it can snap any time.
In a worst case scenerio, it might drop on a passer-by's head. Every
passer-by who walked by, who was aware of it, counted their blessings
that they were not victims. Every other passer-by who did not notice
it had no thoughts about it. When the branch does hit someone, who is
responsible? Is the accident the responsibility of those who noticed
the danger, who failed to report it? Is the accident the responsibility
of those who failed to notice the danger, who thus could not report
it? On the account of individual karma, it is the fault of the person
who got hit. On the account of collective responsibility, I like to
think it is the fault of every passer-by who simply passed by. Which
kind of passer-by are you? Are you the kind who
sees, or who is "blind", or who choose to be "blind"?
There are "swinging branches" of some kind above almost everyone's
heads if you look carefully. Will you be compassionate enough to warn
them? Maybe they will warn you about those above your head too when
you do that. Let's keep a lookout for each other, and take care of each
other whenever we can. But look above your own head first! -zeph
Overheard questions in a conversation: "Do you understand? How
do we know if the other person understood correctly?" Now ask yourself
these same questions in another way: "Do
I understand? How do I know if I really know?" If I'm not sure,
there is more to know. Become more and more enlightened till
fully enlightened - the state of pure knowing and seeing, of infinite
light of wisdom without the shadow of a doubt. -zeph
Service : You are Served by Your Un/Friendly Karma
The checkout counter girl at the supermarket was talking brashly to
her colleagues in the midst of her work, though she didn't lose efficiency.
She grumbled about work and another colleague with no apparent restraint.
Being next in the queue, I braced myself for some super lousy customer
service. To my surprise, she was polite, In fact, her service was not
"not bad"; it was good, as she served swiftly, answered a
question nicely, and even suggested buying something else to get a better
deal. All my speculation was groundless. Her ongoing dialogue with her
colleague and its contents had absolutely nothing to do with her work
performance! Fretting about bad customer service, the only bad customer
service I got was that imagined. How foolish! (This is equivalent to
one of those unfounded fears of the future.) How often do we judge someone
for something from how s/he does something else? How un/accurate can
it be? What's really fair is not to judge at all. It's scary that if
my mind was not open enough, I could had nit-picked at her to do fault-finding,
mindfully or not, thus fulfiling my open prophecy that her service sucks.
I'm glad that didn't happen. I should just brace
myself for anything but don't expect anything in particular. In this
way, I'll always be prepared for surprises, both the nice or not so
Karma with Eyes & Skin
Something strange happened last night. I was chopping red chiili to
add to the noddles I was helping to prepare. After washing up with soap,
getting ready to eat, I rubbed my eyes a little. There was a sensation
of hotness, much like that from tasting chilli. Luckily, I did not rub
too vigorously. It was as if my eyes were tasting chilli. After bathing
later, the fingers which touched the chilli felt "spicy" too.
It was bizarre because I had already bathed. (I did not feel the chilli's
effects on my hand earlier at all!) Similarly, it was as if my fingers
were tasting chilli. Are our senses just where they are at the sense
organs? Or can they be elsewhere too? Seems like so. What was more amazing
was how traces of chilli could last so long upon contact. It was like
a silent infection which haunted, having the ability of appearing and
disappearing suddenly when the conditions are right -
with or without your knowledge or approval. A lot like karma's
sure but delayed subtle effects? Chilli karma I'd just been through!
There Are None
Just as it is not by chance, due to practising mindfulness and having
good karma, that no accidents happened, likewise, it is not by chance
that accidents happen, be it due to lack of mindfulness and/or good
11:32 AM Point
Open-Ended : Enlightenment's
Ours is an infinitely open-ended universe with the only grand finale
that is liberation, given enough time, given enough bumming around in
the countless rounds of rebirth, as we, even the slowest of learners,
eventually learn the lessons of life and death. But why take so long?
Do what you can to win Enlightenment as soon as possible - to help yourself
and others faster. A way of reiterating the third Noble Truth - "The
true happy ending or 'ever-after' is always from the true ending of
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