See unseen fresh and currently unarchived
blogs in this section
by Shiqin, Zlyrica, Zyrius & Zeph.
This is the no frills section without pictures and dates.
are welcomed at
I see on TV, Chinese jostling to be the first to stick the first
joss-stick in the incense burner of a popular local temple - in
the belief that it will bring superior good luck. Some guys get
burned by sparks flying over their heads in the process. How ironic
- getting bad luck from trying too hard to get good luck. In fighting
for peace, peace is lost.
200) One Work
Look for the one single powerful mission you wish to undertake
in your life. And put all your heart into accomplishing it. Branch
out only when ready. And do not change the agenda unless you really
must. I'm talking about spiritual purpose - do not mix it up with
mundane ones - for they do not ultimately get you anywhere. Yet
at the same time, be aware that you might need mundane work to support
your spiritual work.
199) Charity Auction
One has to be careful of one's spiritual motivation when participating
in charity auctions - or they can become ego trips - because you
can give a big fat cheque silently and anonymously before or after
the auction, if you really just want to do charity and need neither
the auction item or the limelight.
198) Freak Accidents
It is no freak accident if freak accidents keep happening. Then
again, there are no freak accidents in the first place. Everything
happens according to the then present causes and conditions.
197) Attachment to Places
It is important not to be attached to a place, even if it is
a temple, as one is unlikely to be able to be at one's favourite
place when dying. If you are attached, then ironically, your yearning
for a place for peace of mind will disturb our mind.
196) Testing Patience
Zlyrica: The subway train broke down again. I feel like I am
being tested on my patience recently.
Zeph: The moment we feel impatience is the moment our patience is
tested. Not giving in in the moment will we pass the test. The test
is in the moment - you don't have to think of it as a long difficult
test. As suddenly as the train broke down can it resume operation.
195) First Question
Before you asked your question, there was no question.
So question why you have the question first.
A good leader does not merely remain a good leader. A good leader
creates good leaders who creates more good leaders who create more...
The Buddhas are thus the perfect leaders, who reveal to all their
Buddha-nature - spiritual leadership qualities.
Because he lost mindfulness, he got distracted, so much so that
he did not realise he was distracted. That was how he strayed off,
following his stray thoughts... till the meditation session was
In Milan Kundera's Ignorance, is a tale of two people who revisit
the land they came from, which they missed, who discovered themselves
forgetting details of the past as it was. I didn't read the book,
but I can imagine the agony of the realisation or non-realisation
of lost or muddled memories. One would be suffering from loss of
identity and personal history, living on groundlessness. But then
again, it means the freedom to live life anew unencumbered by the
burden of the past. A double-edged sword really - for it also means
having to relearn painful lessons. Ignorance, ignorance. Samsara
is a series of recurring lessons learnt and forgotten - existential
senility. Let's learn well one time this time, and get it over with.
191) Missing Sickness
miss being sick - it ironically made me more alive, more appreciative
of life. It reminded me that life is a form of sickness, even
in wellness - because of impending sickness, death and rebirth.
It slowed me down, made me pay attention to details. It was a
kind of mental wellness though it was physical unwellness. Made
me see clearly that the mind can indeed be well despite the body's
190) Only Necessary Rule
Always do the necessary things
and never do the unnecessary.
189) Real Generosity
A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious
stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was
hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The
hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give
it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing
in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give
him security for a lifetime.
But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise
woman. "I've been thinking," he said, "I know how
valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can
give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within
you that enabled you to give me the stone."
story from the Yahoo Club
is always more precious
than the most precious object of generosity.
Anger is the real destroyer of our good human qualities;
an enemy with a weapon cannot destroy these qualities, but anger
Anger is our real enemy.
Holiness the Dalai Lama
angry at your anger will not rid it.
When Loving-kindness arises, hatred falls.
I thought of having a classics or favourite section for my blog.
But every article is a classic - or it won't be blogged. I don't
believe in blogging the useless - wastes my writing and your reading
time. As in the Zen story of the meat-seller who replies to the
question, "Which is the best part?", "Every part
is the best part."
186) Absolute Path
In webdesigning language, the absolute path leads to the absolute
page, truth. And the relative links lead only to relative pages
within its context.
I have love for the footless,
for the bipeds too I have love;
I have love for those with four feet,
for the many-footed I have love.
-Anguttara Nikaya II, 72 (The Buddha)
The Buddha's love is so universal that not only is it anti-racism,
it is also anti-species-ism.
The problem of existence is not that the world exist,
but that we do, and that in our interaction with the world,
it appears as if it is that which gives us problems,
when we merely spillover our ill effects to it,
as rebounding effects spill back to us.
I don't know when to stop finding.
Because I don't know if I'm close to finding.
Though what I'm not sure if it is there,
or that it can be found.
I was talking about things like the meaning of life,
and the perfect house, job, life partner...
This is our existential crisis.
So maybe we should stopfinding and start living and see what happens.
182) More Time
Q: Does the Buddha have any teaching on finding extra time?
A: The Buddha said time is a measurement of change. This means if
nothing change for something or someone, that thing is timeless.
So I guess... if you want more time, you need more change - and
the best and easiest is to change spiritually instead of physically.
So, ironically, to find more time, you should spare some time to
charge up your spirituality...
181) Moon Myth
There is a mysterious myth about pointing at the moon. I searched
for it briefly on the net without much avail. Seems like a very
Singaporean phenomenon. When I was a kid, adults used to say that
if you point at the moon, your ear might be cut. Personally this
happened to me too. I pointed the first time in the spirit of rebellion.
And the next morning, I woke up with a slight red slit around the
ear. Some years later, I pointed in the spirit of disbelief. And
the same thing happened. Only less than a year ago, I did it again
in the spirit of confirmation - but nothing happened.
best answer to the phenomenon is this stigmata theory I found
online "Maybe it's because kids really believe what adults
told them. They believe that their ear will really be cut, hence
the body reacts to the belief and produces the mark. It is well-known
that the human mind is capable of producing scars on the body."
theory is that there might be unseen devas around who wish to
teach the kids a lesson on humility and respect for the unseen
forces of nature.
The ultimately like-minded will be like the Buddha and Mahakasyapa
smiling at each other silently - no more words and ego seeking or
In a world without corrupted and imperfect language, it is pureland
with pure and exact communication of pure Dharma. In our world,
language is a necessary "evil" for approximate communication.
Time is on our side -
only when we lose track of time -
in meditation -
as we gain insight into the illusion of time.
Ignorance is bliss...
for the time being...
as your good karma wears out,
as your bad karma rears its ugly head.
The ignorant mourn the death of others;
the wise mourn that they are alive with their delusional sense of
It is a matter of fact that the ignorant miss the truth as the
wise get it.
And the onus lies on the wise to help the ignorant see it.
Undertaking this burden is compassion in action.
Our existential crisis is our reluctance to sleep or die when
it is time,
our reluctance to wake up or see the light when it is time.
When we are dead to the world in unmindfulness, we live in a
When we awaken, everything around springs to life.
When sex gets trivialised, Samsara becomes a playground where
the Dharma gets trivialised.
The classic existential dark night of the soul is only good
for one thing - that there is no soul experiencing it. This is much
more liberating than harrowing.
170) Live Sharp
If you hurry, you live in the future.
If you procrastinate, you live in the past.
Live only this moment sharply.
When you are true to yourself, you are true to everyone else.
No self-rationalisation and no pretense.
SMS from a friend. Good idea :
Before 2003 ends, I would like to seek your forgiveness for any
wrong done to you via my speech, thoughts and actions. Thanks for
being with me in 2003. =)
Wi: Why did you give me the book "The Little Prince"
Mi: That's for you to find out.
Wi: Okay. Maybe I know... Little Prince... Maybe I'll find out more
if I read the story again :>
(Actually, I had no particular message for Wi.)
Translated and sent via SMS for a friend from Chinese:
The mind (thought) arises (is born) and all phenomena (dharmas)
The mind ceases and all phenomena ceases.
Negative karma (afflictions) ceases with the cessation of the mind.
The mind arises and there is rebirth of this body (life).
Ceasing the mind liberatees this life (body).
The many parentheses sugguest the complex mutli-meanings of the
To what extent is the voice of the government that of the people?
To what extent is the government the people themselves?
To what extent is the government a body governing a people,
and not the people governing the people?
To what extent does the government care about the government more
than the people?
Because of these questions and more, politics is very confusing
to me - too complex to even just read a report on, or even all the
reports available. What is politically correct and what is correct?
It does seem to make a lot of sense to steer politics away from
spirituality - unless one is spiritual enough to handle political
Yup... each person is his or her own critic with personal perception,
likes and dislikes... while he or she thinks he or she has the unique
perspective to the one Truth, or to at least some aspect of it.
Does this mean to doubt all or to respect all, or to both doubt
and respect all? why not?
This is to remind me to write a story of a person stereotyped
by the society he lives in, who leaves for another place where people
know him anew, where he is free to be himself... till he becomes
stereotyped again. It's a story of the curse of stereotyping - which
even makes him stereotype the world as full of only people who stereotype
him - until he realises he is actually like everyone else in some
sense, and that everyone is like him in some sense. Okay, that's
it. The story has been written - as above.
162) Universe Club
About the Chinese's debut successful sending of a rocket to
space succesfully in 2003, I just heard on TV someone commenting
that the Universe belongs to all of humankind and not just the Americans
or Chinese. He added that we should welcome anyone's entry into
the "Universe Club."
This is funny because who are we to claim the Universe belongs to
us humans only? What about thr birds and the trees? What about the
aliens, if any? And if the universe belong to all, is not Earth
part of it? If so, does America belong to China and vice versa too?
Where is no man's land? Anywhere unmarked and unterrestrial only?
As the space race extends beyond Earth, it will be interesting to
see how man's ego and greed extend accordingly to "conquer"
the rest of the universe. And er... we are all already in the Universe
Club - membership is free - and you don't have to be an astronaut
or have a rocket to join.
161) Door Closing
I see people rushing for the subway train when the door-closing
chime has not even started sounding yet. The anxiousness was unnecessary.
Maybe these folks have not noticed the purpose or even existence
of the chime. Suffering can come from not reading the environment
properly and being too one-tracked minded for one's goal only. The
sad thing to me is that some might never notice the chime in their
lifetime despite taking the train day in and out. What other lessons
are there before us that we continually miss, life after life?
You will always know when you are blocked by people in your
path. But unless you are mindful enough or if someone lets you know,
you will never know when you block others behind. As readily as
you forgive yourself for unknowingly blocking others, so too should
you forgive others for blocking you.
Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, we are forever running out
of time (as the length of time is uncertain), while we have all
the time in the world (as rebirth when unenlightened is certain).
Our existential dilemma is what to do now.
158) Real Job
Is your day job your real job? Or does your day job support
your other job - whatever it is - that you are driven to do after
work? Whatever it is, whatever you are doing in the moment is the
real thing. In that moment, nothing else matters. Am sure Bruce
Wayne works hard for Wayne Enterprises as the boss, just as he works
hard as Batman - or he would not be successful at either - as each
job works makes the other possible.
"By the way, you kept touching your nose during your talk."
It is amazing how mindful we can think we are while we are not.
I did not recall that at all! It helps to have helpful friends who
tell you what you are missing.
Thanks for the tea,
for seeing me off,
for the love.
I don't shave unless needed to - out of hygiene and courtesy
when I need to meet people who don't know me well, up close and
personal. I consider my shaving for any other reason vanity. To
continually grow hair that is unessential that needs tending - it's
a small part of my routine Samsara haha.
Don't grow to distrust the crap that life dishes you, but grow
to trust that you did the crappy to deserve crap. Cold but true.
If you would rather believe in chance, then there is no one to blame.
Photos only capture moments - posed and unposed. The photogenic
are not necessarily beautiful in real life and the unphotogenic
not necesarily ugly in real life. A picture of reality in a moment
is not reality. Reality is changing-ness - it is moments in motion.
152) Karmic Hyperlink
With net links, we are karmically hyperlinked together - at
least, in a more visible way - for we are all still inextricably
interlinked, even without the net.
There is only one ultimate act of generosity that opens the
floodgates of limitless generosity - offering yourself - giving
up your illusion of self - so that you can be of selfless service
150) Save for What?
I see comic book heroes working hard, at the risk of their lives
to save people and the world in colourful adventures. I see them
going through continual tumultuous trials and tribulations. But
for what? Saving a life is incomplete. Is meaning of life (and death)
understood by the ones saved? Is the meaning realised ultimate enough?
And I almost got addicted reading on and on about these adventures...
from comic books borrowed from the libray. All this reading... for
what? What's the point?
Life is painful. Suffering is optional.
It struck me that this popular liner is a combination of the first
and third noble truths. The first line corresponds with the reality
of the first truth and the second with the third truth - because
it is ultimately about the alternative - Nirvana.
148) Read Halfway
I do not often leave a book half-read. Sometimes I want to finish
it just for the sake of doing so. Is this wise? Sometimes I take
it to be a test of will to finish a difficult book. But sometimes
it is a game of ego. The moment I know it's ego at play, let me
close the book in mindfulness and leave it aside to come back to
again... without the ego, to decide it deserves more of my time
147) Fresh Meat
There is only one kind of fresh meat - the kind that that is
alive and kicking, that runs, swims and flies free - not the recently
slaughtered. All other kinds of so-called fresh meat are carcasses
in the various stages of decay, commercially hampered by freezing.
146) New Definition 1
Step: A low wall.
Stairs: A set of staggered low walls. Or a single high wall staggered
forward in sections upon each other.
New Definitions: For seeing the world anew asit is without past
It's a sign! Of a coincidence that I do not make any sense out
of... So I'll just let it be... though nothing happens by random
chance, things do not have to be strung up with similar threads
of meaning anyway.
144) Greed for Speed
Flugg's Law (?): The slowest checker is always at the quick-checkout
Zeph's Law of Speed: Any human-conceived shortcut is often the long-cut
in the long run.
The rule is 10 items or less for the checkout counter only. And
somehow the queue there tends to be one of the longest - because
everyone wants speed - which makes the normal lines ironically faster
at times. Everyone wants to take the highway, so everyone clogs
it up together. A person can be queuing with more than 20 items...
with his family or friends cutting in later to divide the load by
10 when it's his turn. The complexity of human behaviour and greed
always make human-made rules useless to some extent.
I was dicussing this with Zlyrica, who had a preconceived idea that
the quick-checkout lane should be the shortest and fastest. The
truth is out - the speed lane is not always the speediest - especially
during peak hours, when it ironically should be the speediest. Likewise,
any human-conceived shortcut is often the long-cut in the long run.
This is the world of chaos created by greed. But the universe's
way of balancing the problem is that greed for speed will hamper
the speed which the greed was after in the first place.
Wit and wisdom, wit and wisdom...
Do not mistaken wit as wisdom...
Though true wit will have true wisdom...
Though many laugh at witless wisdom and unwise wit.
Because wit and wisdom can co-exist, often with greater effect than
by each alone, I don't see why entertainment and enlightenment can
be presented together in good taste!
142) Arbitrary Time
The bus you wait for will arrive at a totally arbitrary time
- especially if you have never noted it for its punctuality or schedule.
Is there then, a need to note the bus's arrical pattern? Not for
me. I do not wish my life's schedules to be dictated by a bus schedule.
And I can enjoy any waiting time reflecting or chanting, or just
enjoying the wind, sun and scenery. You have a choice not to feel
you are wasting time by not fretting about the bus, by doing something
spiritually fruitful, while training your patience. I consider these
arbitrary periods of time as breathing spaces for collecting myself
in the moment too, and treasure them. Hmmm... better not become
attached to wanting time to enjoy this waiting time - especially
since it is but an arbitrary period - like the length of my life
- which will be as long as I deserve it - which will not be affected
by my longing for more or less of it.
141) Mental Health
Read in Time magazinne about more and more children and young
adults using drugs to curb mental problems such as depression. There
was a two page spread of the popular drugs and their possible side-effects.
Found it scary. Should the world continue looking for physical cures
for mental problems? Even if science explains mental problems to
come from physical chemical imbalances, it does not trace the origin
of these imbalances to being caused by the mind itself, whether
in this life or a previous one. Mental problems are best solved
mentally - eg. through meditation. For those with tendency to hallucinate,
they should try chanting. Side-effects should be virtually non-existent
if these practices are done under the guidance of good teachers.
You are your just deserts, who continually create more deserts
139) Rabbit Horn
If you think there is something troubling you, you are right.
If after reflection, you still think there is something troubling
you, though you can't pinpoint it, you are still right - because
thinking you are troubled is itself trouble, Just be sure you were
not searching for a rabbit horn or tortise hair - something which
does not exist - like a phantom worry.
Sexual tension between friends and strangers can be easily eased
with Loving-kindness, which is neither the extreme of physical love
with attachment, nor the other extreme of distant uncaring coldness.
It's ironical when I see someone who was one minute listlessly
channel-surfing the TV and the next glued to something interesting
on the goggle box. It is as purposefulness of life can be found
at the flick of a switch. There is a world of difference between
watching something purposeful being screened on TV... versus thinking
watching something with purposefulness is purposeful... versus doing
136) Bodhisattva Vow Random Test 1
Q: What do you do when you see an injured bird while you are
on your way to another place?
A: If you are queasy about holding a bird, have a plastic bag handy
in your bag, which should serve as a Bodhisattva emergency kit.
Use the bag like a glove to carry it. Postpone your appointment
and take a cab to the nearest vet. Nurse it to health at home and
set it free. Do not care about the inconvenience of it all; just
care for the bird.
I have too much suffering,
and see too much suffering
to be vain,
to live in vain.
It is a tradition in Singapore that Mahjong game sets and peanuts
are served to visitors during Chinese funerals. I used to think
it's because the jolly Chinese want to make death a merry-making
celebration to fight the gloom of someone's doom. But it seems,
these days, that the Mahjong is to help break the ice and give an
extra cause for gathering and socialising. A friend says it helps
to kill the blues at the 5-day wake. It's deeply ironical to me
- because death is a time for silent reflection, not jovial celebration.
And the occasion which marks the absent "host's" running
out of time is contrasted with the living with too much time to
I take only a minute or two to breathe in and soak in the magnificence
of the scenery of most scenic places I go to - even if the view
is spectacular. Right after that, I feel ready to move to the next
location. Maybe that's why I'm not as readily eager as others to
go on tours. Not because I find awesome places boring, but because
I so easily detach myself; I don't get easily attached to places.
I do enjoy myself - in fact, I suspect, much more than most people
- because I breathe in the breathtaking-ness in the moment. I find
it a blessing though, not a curse at all, that I'm not compelled
to travel as much - though I have been many places, in my opinion..
It means I'm not so restless. Anywhere is good... enough.
132) Art's Value
Were with some friends who were chatting about the seeming inanity
of some of Damien Hirst's art works in a London museum. Suddenly,
I felt glad that in general, art's value is more arbitrary than
measurable, more priceless than priceable. Why so? Because if art's
value can be measured exactly on scales, then it becomes another
worldly commercial commodity without spirituality. It is the spiritual
aspect that makes art art afterall. Yes, there are artists and art
dealers who treat artworks as commodities - to make a living. I
only hope they do that on a minimal level of need though.
131) Moby Dick
Ah, God! What trances of torments does that man endure who is
consumed with one unachieved revengeful desire.
Melville, Moby Dick
an old movie of the novel on TV last night. Never really knew
the story, and wanted to know the gise of it. Personally, to sum
it up, it's a tale of man (Captain Ahab) exploiting nature (whaling)
out of greed. And when he loses something personal (his leg) to
nature, he vows vengeance (at Moby Dick) out of egoistic pride
and hatred (instead of being humbled) and drives others and himself
to destruction. Ahab symbolises the inner Mara who revolts against
Dharma (nature), spelling doom and hell - while nature was only
I think it is arguable...
because what of samsara
is not a way out of samsara,
(directly or indirectly)
if not, also a way deeper into it?
entries here are neither dated or with time. Because I'm lazy, and
because many of them contain timeless lessons. Why then, are the
entries elsewhere with time and date? Well, to make it look like
a blog - that's all.
128) Looking for Sex
once commented to a friend that when the average person on the street
flips through a lifestyle magazine, he or she is looking for sex.
You know what I mean - looking for text and pictures related to
it. I know that is a generalisation. What do you look for when you
browse a magazine? When you browse a lifestyle magazine, you are
looking for the corresponding in your life - somewhat. Or are you
browing with an empty Zenny beginner's mind?
127) Lust & Laziness
see it so clearly. There are two major things inhibiting me from
taking up the Bodhisattva precepts - subtle lust and great laziness.
I see it clearly too - that I should give these up. I see it clearly
too - it is definitely possible. Phew! In case you are troubled
by the above, well, you can do it too.
126) Get Well Soon
don't get sick very often. But when I do, I usually do not recover
very quickly, as I am reminded of the following:
Being sick makes it harder to practise the Dharma, as it is easy
to become preoccupied with being miserable. This is the test -
to struggle between working harder or giving up.
I am mortal. I will die. And as long as I am alive, I am thoroughly
Just as I am uncertain of when I will recover, I am uncertain
when I will die. This does not mean I should treasure my moments
of wellness, but sickness too.
well soon. I mean, get really well.
125) Plain Truth
don't like important truths sounding like mysterious cryptic puzzles.
Truth should be clarified if spoken or written about, not further
mystified. Plain English please, for the plain truth..
"self-conscious" are usually not conscious enough that
they are "self-conscious." How words fail to descibe sometimes.
what use is generalisation of anybody if there is no easy way to
tell that the next person you meet is a general man on the street?
122) Relative Truth
Words on paper:
The sentence on the other side is false.
Words on other side:
This sentence is false too.
truth is nothing relative.
cloud did not want a reflection in the lake,
which did not want to reflect the cloud.
What do you want to be reflected of you?
Why do you want to reflect anything?
120) No Compare
Because true comparison of something is with something else,
which is in turn comparative with something else...,
there is no point comparing anything.
119) Best Question
What is the best question to ask?
A: What is the best question to ask?
question is the answer.
Dukkha and Nirvana are not two.
a 100% reborn, physically and mentally recycled green Buddhist!
Totally biodegradable too!
enlightenment is like fighting for peace.
Giving up enlightenment is like forsaking peace.
Neither wanting nor giving up enlightenment is being peace.
I havn't seen proof of tomorrow all day.
B: I havn't seen proof of all day all day.
C: Guess all we are sure we have is now.
115) Meant to Be
picks up snail on pavement to move aside.
Master: What are you doing?
Student: Someone might step on him!
Master: Isn't it meant to be where it is? Aren't you interfering
with its karma?
Student places snail back on pavement.
Master: Isn't it meant to be where it is? Aren't you interfering
with its karma?
Maybe it's meant to be.
A: But what if it's not?
don't know the karmic destiny of any being. We should just do
what we can with the best of our compassion and wisdom, while
ensuring the duo increase in good time!
114) Other Side
Zen dialogue yelled across a river:
How do I get to the other side of this river?
Master: You are already on the other side of the river.
Since the relative is only relative, anywhere is good enough. Dukkha
and Nirvana are not two. Do we really cross the sea of suffering?
Or do we only have to realise we are already standing on the other
shore, while thinking we are drowning?
113) Here Now
It's pointless being thinking of there and later
when you are here now.
Be where you are,
physically and mentally,
and live fully here and now,
and make the best of here and now,
and enjoy here and now -
even in times of adversity.
When even adversities can be savoured, you are free.
defragmenting my harddisk, I could not do anything else with the
computer - as it would disrupt the process. I felt a sense of helplessness.
Suddenly, I remembered that truth that we can only do one thing
at a time anyway - since our mind can only hold a thought in the
moment. While we can usually set a computer to multi-task, we don't
truly multi-task - because we still handle one matter at a time,
tough we might appear to be multi-tasking when we drop task A to
do task B and C before coming back to A.
Tzu had a dream. In the dream he was a butterfly. When he awoke,
Chuang Tzu was unsure if he was a man who had dreamed that he was
a butterfly or if he was a butterfly who was dreaming that he was
a man. In truth Chuang Tzu was neither man nor butterfly and yet
(The Matrix Comics) by Dave Gibbons
last line was an additional intepretation by Gibbons. What is Chuang
Tzu then? Change.
110) Living Hell
know what hell is. It's not lakes of burning oil, or brimstone and
devils poking you in the ass with pitchforks. Hell is not knowing.
The cerebral torture you put yourself through, wondering questioning,
pondering, your past decisions, over and over again, trying to decide
if what you did was the right choice. If that's the case, I truly
am in hell. Eternal hell.
-A Life Less Empty (The Matrix Comics) by Ted McKeever
The real evil is ignorance. All hell come from ignorance, which
make us greed and hate, propelling us into deeper hell. Hell in
our world need not be brimstone and fire - it can be mental torment.
We bring oursselves into hell, and keep ourselves there. It's not
eternal - only taking as long as you take to stop punishing yourself,
to absolve your own misgivings.
In this comic short story, a woman was offered the blue and red
pill by Morpheus. Taking the blue represents the choice not to wake
up from the matrix and taking the red the choice to experience reality.
The character's pain is from having rejected reality. There is a
picture in the story, of her wearing a pair of coloured glasses,
with one tinged blue, and the other red. Reminds me of 3-D movie
glasses. Maybe the meaning of that portrayal is that to have total
vision, one must be able to see both one's delusion and the truth
- only then do we see things as they are - in three-dimensional
reality. Likewise, the enlightened see both Samsara and Nirvana
109) Good Thing
much of this delicious pasta is just too much. Too much of a good
thing is a bad thing... but then again, whether something is good
or bad, says who?
opening words of a psychiatrist about to interview a patient:
Only honesty to yourself uncovers your dishonesty.
Only admitting the lies we tell ourselves lead to the truth.
Simple common sense, but we all are dishonest to some extent.
To know the truth about yourself, first know the untruths about
see a speeding traffic police motorcycle going after a speeding
sports car. With the right motivation, breaking rules can guard
rules. The difference between the speedster and the policeman is
the motivation. The motivation creates the karma, be it good or
thought of being a doorman for a while, of having brief relationships
(not affairs!) with strangers, for observation of countless aspects
of human behaviour as they pass through, to better understand humanity,
and myself, through my interaction with them. Why not be a waiter,
you might wonder. Well, I want a job where the chief job is easy,
so that observation can be easier done. Then I realised... maybe
I can have a third-party point of view by observing how doormen
interact with guests instead.
you provide others and yourself with worldly or mundane happiness,
you should always be mindful of the purpose of doing so. If the
intention is entirely worldly, in the sense that it does not lead
directly or indirectly to a supramundane purpose, perhaps it should
not be done.
you toil to make the world happy at the stake of your own happiness,
you can never make the world a happy place - for you are part of
the world too. When giving, give happily. There are no unhappy Bodhisattvas.
one does not place oneself or any one particular person on highest
priority, one is usually a nihilist or a Bodhisattva.
make religious objects holy through consecration prayers, through
seeing them with sacred reverence. Why then, do we not consecrate
everyone and everything we come across?
if you meet a miracle-man, you need miracle karma.
you feel too full from overeating, yet are unaware that you are,
as you feel an unnameable form of general discomfort. Suddenly,
you burp or fatulate and there is sudden release of pent up gas,
and you feel the sense of normalcy returning just as suddenly. I
think this is a good analogy for the great relief we will feel whenever
we relieve ourselves of our pent up "crap" of greed and
was the last time you did something for the first time?
-Emirates TV ad (of two grown men seemingly excited by falling
When was the last time you did something for the last time?
because it is a good bargain does not mean it is a bargain that
will do you good. Watch how marketing makes you think you need that
which you greed for. See how the mind transforms wants to must-haves.
is not by overeating that we show appreciation for food, for it
only shows greed. Overeating is overeating afterall. Too much of
a good thing is a bad thing. Too much is too much afterall.
appreciate your food more when you don't overeat or undereat. Every
mouthful becomes sacred, precious, savoured as it it, without wanting
excess mouthfuls. This is the Middle Path of Eating.
96) Slip Your Mind
will slip your mind
this will slip your mind.
This is unmindfulness.
watching Infernal Affairs III, which concludes the best Hong Kong
movie trilogy is years, we are reminded at the end of the movie
again, of the result of doing great evil, by a quote from the Ksitigarbha
Sutra of hellfire. I think, in the true Buddhist sense of compassion,
the trilogy succeeds because it clearly portrays the good in the
evil and the evil in the good, the greyness of morality, how the
pivoting point which defines the deeds we do to be good or evil
to be our intention. It is as if we are all victims of our demons
of greed and hatred - such that we should even have sympathy for
94) Butterfly Effect
butterfly effect is the idea that in a chaotic system, a very small
change to the system applied at a certain point in time makes the
future change in a very dramatic way.
Something as small as a butterfly flapping its wings now might affect
the weather system on a global scale six months in the future."
Why then, is there not absolute chaos all over the place since even
a butterfly can do so much harm? Thoretically, because everything
has the propensity of creating chaos, they proabably cancel each
other out, creating a new kind of chaos - order. But we all know
there is no real chaos, even according to the chaos theory - chaos
is just a web of complex interconnected cause and effect. Physicists
call this phenomenon chaos only because they fail to see how this
interbeing works down to the minutest details. The Buddha has already
told us that karmic workings, which are of cause and effect, are
extremely difficult to fathom.
do you create a website and not publicise it?
Is it your secret personal ego trip?
do you create a website and publicise it so?
Is it your open personal ego trip?
invention and use of the Internet shows to us clearly that all the
information or knowledge in the world placed at our easy retrieval
by a few clicks of a mouse does not make us more readily happy people,
but only busier. The Internet is not enough - because we yearn for
reality, not just the virtual. And as long as there is greed for
having sensory stimulation in the form of text, sights and sound.,
there will never be satisfaction. Just lke any other thing extraneous,
the world wide web is just not enough - to fulfill us spiritually.
only makes it easier to create good and bad karma on a massive scale
which spreads exponentially. An example if the creation of email
viruses which are mass-emailed both intentionally and unwittingly.
At the same time, news of the virus cure are mass-emailed too. Goes
to show that teachnology is neither inherently good nor bad.
see street hawkers on Orchard Road selling shiny flickering glow-in-the-dark
lights - in the form of lightsticks, luminous wristbands and pin
buttons to shiny happy people... This extremely urbanly christmassy
area is already lit up with countless lights for the season. I wonder
what's the fascination with shiny lights. To me, it only reminds
me that Christmas flickers for a while, just like the ups and downs
of any celebration. Like a flash in the pan. Am I being a wet blanket
for this season of merriment? No - but not being a warm blanket
either - just seeing it as it is. Merry Christmas.
(Seeing Zlyrica seemingly stifling or bracing for a sneeze) Going
Zlyrica: I'm waiting to see if theis sneeze is going to be real
Zlyrica: Don't know.
ornamental acccesssories we use to dress up Christmas trees and
ourselves during Chrsitmas excess embeliishments? While they spice
up life, do they also not hide its original flavour?
87) Check it out
many similarities... no need to work out.
Too many differences... won't work out.
Just the right mix of similarities and differences... check it out.
fact that there are always internet security loopholes,
the fact that there are always hackers exploiting these loopholes,
means the world is inter-imperfect.
in designing the virtual world due to ignorance,
in wanting to hack it due to greed and hatred.
fashion becomes so "advanced", it goes retro. I fond it
somewhat Reminds me of Nietsche's theory of eternal recurrence,
the Buddha's teaching of rebirth.
friend's Mum thinks his Dad is having an affair, and rants on and
on to him when his Dad is not around about the sins of the father
- sometimes with a generous pent-up spread of curses and swears.
But when his Dad comes home, she reverts to her usual self. He listens...
because he understands her need for at least one person in the family
to hear her otherwise unheard grievances of being stuck in a loveless
Whenever he asks for evidence for her accusations, she would say
she does not have any, but yet am dead sure. He would offer to hire
a private investigator, but she would decline the need to waste
money, since she was so sure, and that she doesn't want to risk
jeopardising the marriage, in case his Dad discovers.
Maybe it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe it's exactly because
of her suspicions that drove him to have an affair, if he is indeed
having one. Maybe not being suspicious and being more trusting and
loving will solve the problem. But it takes two to tango. Maybe
each thinks the other is hopeless. If both indeed have this inner
confirmation within themselves, the future of the relationship is
The suggestion of confrontation through a direct calm and honest
dialogue about the problem is also turned down - because of the
fear of incurring wrath, because of the need of his Dad's money
to sustain the household.
The crazy thing is that if both are in this sense dishonest to each
other, with their own stakes to guard, they are living a life of
compounding lies. Even if none really has the intention to lie to
or hurt each other, both assume both are doing so? My friend wonders
if he too is part of this lie if he does not do anything about it.
It saddens him that he still has not found a solution to the problem.
Since he is more distant to his Dad, I suggested that he should
perhaps warm up to him to understand him more, while encouraging
his Mum to frankly voice her concerns to his Dad.
Am sure his Dad would have detected his Mum's nagging suspicions
by now, but yet he chooses to remain silent. The only amiable
way out of suspicion and lies is to openly tell the truth, and to
seek the open truth, with love and not hate - even if there
is betrayal involved. When you confirm doubt of someone's integrity
based on mere unproved suspicion, you yourself have already lost
your integrity in the relationship. And if you doubt someone's trust
in your integrity, but play along based on their willingness to
be silently long-suffering, you too would have lost your integrity
in the relationship. A relationship is a partnership of love
and trust afterall, not of secretly seething hate and silent distrust,
or of taking advantage of each other such that the love only wears
thinner and thiner.
83) People Change
think you forgot one thing - people change.
Please don't assume you still know me.
I will be trying hard to know you anew too.
82) Phantom Pain
I was walking up the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
I wish, I wish he'd stay away.
was a little creepy when I found the above listed as a nursery
rhyme in a children book. Some refer to it as a problem that physicists
have with the weight of physical emptiness, and people with the
weight of patterned lingering consciousness. Sometimes people
with an amputated limb still feel a phantom pain in the phantom
limb, feeling as if it is still there with its old aches. The
funny thing is almost all our pains are phantom pains in the sense
that they are only as real as we hold them to be, especially our
mental anguish. Even physical pains' effects are largely affected
by our mental attitude towards them.
think it is unfortunate that the uneducated elderly learn from the
media not to trust any stranger, in case they are con-men pretending
to be kind souls. I think it is unfortunate that they learn to to
trust the radio and TV more than their human friends - for how can
the media alone be a friend, when it only tells and does not reply,
suggests and does not help? Am not saying all strangers can be trusted,
but if we do not give them a chance as we grow old, do we not run
thin on friendship and wither up in loneliness and suspicion? And
we are not even talking about spiritual friendship yet.
80) Tom Strong
from the comic "Tom Strong Book 1" by Alan Moore et
Dhalua : Tell us what the springtime was
like on Venus, my husband.
Tom: It was silent. Oh, there were breathtaking vistas and beautiful
sunsets, but it all went unobserved. It's only life that gives
meaning to the stars and worlds, my sweet. Life... or something
very much like it.
mind defines. There is even no meaning to the word "meaning"
if it does not. Makes you think hard about the nature of "meaning"...
though the catch is, you do it still with your mind. Is "meaning"
then, not intrinsically meaningless and empty? An existentialist
all for the absurdity of it all would yell "Yes!" Unfortunately
or fortunately, we are discerning creatures who seek meaning,
who have to make peace with both meaning and meaninglessness.
This is our spiritual struggle.
Tom: The Ozu say, "Existence in endlessly wonderful."
Reminds me of the Buddhist saying, "True emptiness and/is
wondrous existence." Does this means we should be endlessly
amazed and entranced? Does this not mean we will be endlessly
trapped? Or should we not realise existence's underlying truth
of emptiness directly, so as to liberate ourselves from its assault
on our senses?
... Of course, we were helped by our gods... although in our case,
we created our gods, rather than the other way round. The Quetzalcoatl-9
program is an artificial quantum intelligence...
technology is the new God. All hail the omnipresent omnipotent
omniscient Internet. Well... almost omni... but definitely far
from perfect. All hail our Buddha-nature instead!
79) Naughty Boy
horrid toddler nephew you have is your just desert -
don't forget that.
Are you going to treat him with detest?
It is rejecting your bad karma.
It is creating more bad karma when you reject bad karma -
a vicious cycle...
Learn to love him!
only thing that is pre-determined in this world is that with our
Buddha-nature and determination, we can all become Buddhas.
these words in a blog, "Two of my best friends so incredibly
in love, it makes me happy. Sigh." While I understand the feeling,
I can't help feeling it is often that sigh at the end of our rejoicing
in the happiness of others that taints our genuine appreciative
joy with tinges of jealousy. Sigh. Let us learn to stop at the rejoicing
and not develp wanting due to comparison.
76) Typing Blindly
: Looking letter by letter and copying while typing, we forget the
words as we type what seems to be nonsense without understanding.
Only halfway through keying the fictitious email above do I realise
there are 4 intelligent component words in it - the initials w.j.k.
, herbal, life and the year 2001. This is a lesson in needing to
see the whole picture instead of only being engrossed in minute
75) Watch that Gap
a weird surreal dream that was more astonishing than frightening,
because its meaning seemed so obvious that I digested the lesson
as it happened. I was lying in my bed in the afternoon when I woke
up normally, but feeling something stuck in my mouth. I put my fingers
in and pull out a string of staples (thank whatever it they were
closed ones). It went on and on for about a metre and a half. What
does it mean to me? When my spoken words "staple" others
as in hurt them, even like pinpricks, I might, in time experience
this same pain, one by one. But sometimes, only when bad karma is
experiences as a "chain" of ill events do we wake up.
It's speech karma. Watch that gap! Watch that trap!
74) Quiet Mind
My mind is troubled. Please make my mind serene.
Damo: Let me see your unsettled mind and I will pacify it.
Huike: (pauses to use his mind to seek and see his mind) I cannot
Damo: There! Your mind is now at peace.
between the First and to-be Second Patriarch of Chinese Zen
Quieten your mind
Nothing binds it
You are free
Buddha (Dhammapada: Translated by Thomas Byrom)
life is sorrowful.
You can't change that.
But you can change your attitude toward it.
Mortensen (Aragon in "The Lord of the Rings")
surprising how the four noble truths, however incomplete, pop
up here and there.
is responsible for all the suffering in the world?
If I do not take responsibility,
and neither do my neighbours,
is it no one's responsibility?
is useless to point fingers
at the rest of the world
which points back at the rest of the world.
me point at myself.
I am responsible for not aspiring enough
to relieve my suffering and others' suffering.
It is nobody else's fault.
I practise the Buddha's teachings well
to perfect my compassion and wisdom.
May I be a Bodhisattva to help one and all.
I don't really like philosophy, because it is often too speculative.
When people tell me I'm philosophical, it always leaves me puzzled.
When they think I'm saying something highly vague and theoretical,
they say I'm philosophical - but it's something clear and practical
to me. I don't like the abstract, but the exact. Perhaps, these
people's thinking is too abstract - so much so that they miss the
exact stuff I mean?
Zyrius: I apologise for this series of bickering mails. May
we practise well and genuinely touch each other.
Sophie: Namo Buddhaya.
Namo to the Buddha in you and me too. : )
the point of knowing everything, but doing nothing about it?
-Some guy on TV's "Dark Angel"
What's the point of having wisdom, but not having compassion to
use and share it?
67) Comic Bodhisattva
He'd (Confessor) sacrificed himself - knowingly and willingly
- to save the world. And nobody new. But for all I wanted to scream
at everyone - to shake them until they understood - I knew he wouldn't
have minded. It wouldn't have bothered him. It was the doing that
was important - not people knowing what he'd done.
Boy/ Confessor 2 (Astro City: Confessions)
who still says all comics are for kids only?
the point of knowing everything, but doing nothing about it?
-Some guy on TV's "Dark Angel"
What's the point of having wisdom, but not having compassion to
use and share it?
Z: Never do more than enough.
Z: Because enough is enough.
G: How do you know what is enough?
Z: That is the tricky part.
a talk on vegetarianism with Zlyrica, there was this man in the
audience who gave a lengthy explanation of the random vegetarian
burger patties he make. At first, as he went on and on about sometimes
using this ingredient and that ingredient, it sounded funny. There
were at least twenty possibilities of "mashing" different
stuff like bean sprouts... Then Zlyrica remarked that he made a
lot of sense; he was not sprouting nonsense - since meat matties
are mashed animals, why not mash the many goodness of vegetables,
seeds and nuts together? What is the moral of this story? What seems
like utter rubbish at first might make total sense.
Always be open to disagreeable people - for agreeable ones only
teach you agreeable things. The disagreeable often point out our
blindspots as clearly as we clearly blind to them.
62) Z Names
PS: Can you tell me the meanings behind the names Zyrius and
Z&Z: Zyrius says his name has no particular meaning. "Zeph"
is abbreviated from "zephyr" which means "cool gentle
breeze." Like a zephyr, he wishes his writings to be a breath
of fresh air to readers :-]
Fundamentally the marksman aims at himself.
-Eugen Herrigel (Zen in the Art of Archery)
you for aiming at me.
Thank you for reminding me to aim at myself.
is why, as free people, we should work towards freeing others:
When we demand the rights and freedoms we so cherish, we should
also be aware of our responsibilities. If we accept that the others
have an equal right to peace and happiness as ourselves, do we not
have a responsibility to help those in need?
Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
59) Karma Cards
two "good karma promotion cards" found at http://www.mommymommy.com/karma.html
didn't have to help me, but you did... How cool is that? Please
keep this card as a reminder that, on this day, you made a difference
in my life. Thank you. Thank you."
"I truly enjoyed sitting next to you on the plane/ bus/ train.
I suspect we will never see each other again - isn't that weird
in a way? - So I just want to say: Have a great life! (seriously)"
Here's my take:
"I hope you truly enjoyed surfing this webpage. I suspect you
might never visit here again - isn't that weird in a way? - So I
just want to say: Have a great life! (seriously)"
58) Blog Leave
leave? Going retreat?
A: I have too much leave to clear haha... No formal retreat - but
will meditate more at home daily. Will also be spending time clearing
backlogged fermentations on my mind into words for moonpointer.com
there are just some things I have to write about.
I consider the below a reverse inkblot test question. It's one
of the questions from an Emode personality test. The funny thing
is our personality over time, goes up and down like b, c and d,
doesn't it? Only true equanimity is choice a. What is the expiry
date of a personality test? Guess it depends on our personality,
or rather, impersonality.
Q: If you were to draw your feelings, they would be in the shape
a) A flat line
b) A slight squiggle
c) Valleys and peaks
d) A four-year-old's scribbles
not what you see, is what you get.
drop of poison in a glass of pure water might or might not renders
it all poisonous - so it is better to play safe and not drink it,
or filter the posion. In the Dharma-ending age, it is prophesized
that worms (unorthodox teachings) ride on the lion (true Dharma)
and eat it alive bit by bit. The attack is inside out. Thus, to
safeguard the pure Dharma, beware of the extraneous elements that
seep into Buddhism.
What is wrong is not rectifying the mistakes we know. All the
repetance verses we chant daily is lying if we do not repent through
you harbor negative feelings towards others,
and yet expect them to be friendly to you, you are being illogical.
If you want the atmosphere around you to be more friendly,
you must first create the basis for that.
Whether the response of others is positive or negative,
you must first create the ground of friendliness.
If others still respond to you negatively after this,
then you have the right to act accordingly.
The Dalai Lama's Book of Love & Compassion
Q: I couldn't comprehend the last sentence. Why should we even act
then? One should be simply drop the matter at that moment and don't
even bother to react.
What's your view?
A: From "accordingly", I don't think it means "negatively".
Just do the right thing (positive thing) to address others' negativity.
Even when you have to appear negative", express wrath skillfully,
but retain positive motivation.
Clyde: My colleague said she's on diet and don't want to eat anything
when I asked whether she wants lunch. But for a couple of days already,
I see her eating what another colleague bought. Strange.
Zeph: Maybe she got him to buy a bit of food and that's enough?
Clyde: Nooo... he said she's NOT eating.
Zeph: Maybe the food was bought already, so she might as well finish
it? Or maybe she couldn't resist her favourite food? Or maybe her
dieting resolution tends to expire after some time daily?
Clyde: Hey! You so free to think of so many excuses huh? Haha.
Zeph: Well, like Isaid, think of countless excuses for others' bizarre
behaviour, but give no excuses for our own. Haha.
Selfishness - "I need to spend time with my family."
Is it for family's sake or yours?
And we all have families too.
And aren't we one big family ultimately?
Okay, we have our social conventional families to take care of.
Why are we segregated so much into distinctly different ego-based
50) Buying Meat
Q: If I would like to follow a vegetarian diet but not my family,
do I create the same negative Karma for buying fish, pork etc. from
the market for my family?
A: Karma is created by intention. When we want to buy meat from
the market, we have intention - is there greed, hatred and/or ignorance
behind the buying? Should you be part of the process of sustaining
greed for meat even if you have no intention bu eating it? Are you
comfortable with it? Can the family members who want the meat buy
it themselves instead? This is for you to reflect on and decide.
All beings are by nature Buddha,
as ice by nature is water.
Apart from water there is no ice;
apart from beings, no Buddha.
-Hakuin Zenji, "Song of Zazen"
is by nature water.
Water is by nature ice.
is by nature clouds.
Clouds are by nature water.
has fixed nature,
except the nature of being not fixed.
48) Let Down
no one in the universe can ever let us down-
we are the ones who let ourselves and others down.
All that we are suffering is the results.
So be brave yourself, for yourself, because of yourself.
47) Open Communication
You don't have to do the nasty things you feel like doing to someone
when someone lets you down.
But you can always tell the person that you feel like doing those
You can always tell him that he had hurt you badly.
There is no need to hide feelings from those you love.
This is part of open communication.
If you can't tell your love your hurt, you probably don't have true
love for each other.
Wen: Boss eating lunch with meat. The smell is overwhelming.. :@
Zeph: It's okay - just don't hate the smell and you'll be fine.
45) True Love
Elsie is getting married so that she'll have a big house for her
many pets. More so than out of love for his boyfriend... But hey
- that's just true love... of another kind?
Even negative verbal feedback is karmic payback.
So can you ever be scolded unfairly?
I would instead, open my ears wide, listen for any truth in the
reflect and repent, even if it's utter nonsense.
But of course, I'll speak for the truth too, not for myself, as
much as I can help it.
43) Why Wait?
What will you ask the Buddha if you see Him?
Will you be ready to ask for teachings for YOUR earliest possible
What's holding you back?
Why are you not asking the best Dharma teacher you can find for
What are you waiting for?
I will ask for the fastest way for both of us to be enlightened
at more or less the same time.
If I can't ask that, I will ask Him to tell me what I need most.
I would have felt much...
Thank the Buddha for the Dharma!
An example of greed -
wanting what does not exist yet -
wanting to have children and their children (grandchildren),
to love, to have and to hold.
Do we justify our existence by bringing others into existence?
Or beyond existence? Beyond life and death? Enlightenment.
I see a delicate but intricate-looking insect, which I had never
seen before, with long spindly legs, half floating and half gliding
onto the table, before taking off. The universe is a strange place
indeed. Just when you think you had seen it all, you realise you
ain't seen nothing yet. But there are too many curious things to
study. I wasn't even very interested in it, some to think of it.
Am I losing curiosity, or just getting my priorities right? well,
I was blogging the previous entry... and I did not see it as it
was, but as a distractiion.
Ancient Indian saying - The most amazing thing in the world is that
man lives as if he will still be alive tomorrow. My take on the
second most amazing thing is that he lives as if the ones he love
will be around too, with him, tomorrow. One of "todays",
one of the above won't be true, and it almost always comes faster
I don't believe in becoming a monk for a short while. Because it
means renouncing the worldly, but yet taking it up again. It feels
spiritually hypocritical and theoretically impossible - How can
one vow to renouce, while knowing one will "un-renounce"
later? Maybe I'm thinking too much here- it's just a retreat with
a head-shaving ceremony? In retreats, we renounce the world too,
for the duration we are in it, at least.
Ideally, one should go to as few spiritual retreats as possible.
What am I saying? Ideally, one exits from a retreat with the attitude
of maintaining one's silent mindfulness beyond it - such that one
does not really leave the retreat. The Buddha was the perfect example
- He entered a six year retreat the very moment He left his kingdom
as a Prince, right till He attained Enlightenment. It was a retreat
for life, beyond life.
36) Day Job
Is Batman's real job as a caped crusader masked vigilante? Is his
day job as Bruce Wayne not his real job? Does he feel the divide?
In many of the comics, it seems he does. But both his jobs are equally
real. His enterprise make money for charity and his crime and weapon
research. It enables him to sustain his secret job. I hope you see
your day job as your real job too. What is the purpose of your real
job? Is it as or more noble than Batman's?
Many wives without children comment that it's easier to pass time
if they work. It's bizarre to me - since when is life for passing
time? If life a pastime? Is there something else to do? Is their
real lives that only when their husbands come home? I know there
are some women who look for happiness in love - only, while they
fantasize about their Prince Charming, awaiting his arrival. It's
not a happy fairy tale to me - it's a tragedy - for happiness is
to be found within, not gotten from someone else.
No need to pray for blessings if your aspiration is good.
The pure aspiration is already a blessing.
Just further bless it with your efforts in realising it,
and the Enlightened will naturally bless you more.
A samsarically spiritual prayer I wrote for a friend-
May my merit thus accumulated aid me in finding the best spiritual
friend and partner.
May we both be able to help each other attain Enlightenment.
Q: If we make a wish at the sacred Bodhi tree and things turn out
okay, do we need to say thanks? How?
A: Just go and make offerings as you would to the Buddha, and say
thanks and make a resolution to practise the Dharma more diligently,
including generosity. Just as the Buddha was generous with the Dharma
and in helping you, he hopes all beings will help each other too.
When you see a stiff shoulder as a problem,
it is when you should relax,
by not seeing it as a problem.
Practise the Dharma well and share it with more people -
there is nothing else we can do to make the Buddha happy -
not that He had not already attained true happiness.
Where there are net devils, there are angels too.
Welcome to the world wide web of good and evil.
It is a really virtual and virtually real aspect of Samsara,
just as Samsara is equally really virtual and virtually real.
28) Dyed Hair
"Too" many folks with dyed hair these days.
It's becoming so in that it will be out.
Normal hair colour will be so rare and rebellious
that it will be so in, again.
When anything veers towards the an extreme,
it begins to become its opposite.
I was marking my roughly read but unreplied emails unread,
till I noticed I was unmarking almost all.
There and then, I realised not marking the mails unread
can be considered a way of "marking" them so.
There is no fixed language for anything,
as long as you can read its meaning.
There is also not fixed message or implications for anything you
Are you reading what others intend you to read of matters and people?
Do you have to?
To become a stream-winner is to enter the highway. Even at a crawling
speed on this highway, the maximum time needed to reach Arahantship
is seven lifetimes. If you are stuck, and crawl in the cluttered
streets, the ETA is unpredictable.
If you can't laugh at the humour of the joke, laugh at its stupidity.
It was, afterall, well intended, meant to make you laugh?
Subtle compassion for the lame joke(r).
Sent: If you love him and he's nasty, but cannot change him, live
with it. If you can change him for the better, do it. Otherwise,
just walk away and save both of your time and the unnecessary misery.
If you think you are good enough for him but he thinks you are not
good enough, both of you are with the wrong person. A TV which breaks
down occasionally is essentially a faulty one? A person who gives
only materially probaby only sees you physically. Do you love him
or his nice gifts? Are you as shallow as him. How deep and unconditional
is your love for each other?
Received: I get the drift. however it's him that I like. Perhaps
it's the thrill of trying to tame someone like him. Anyway, thanks
for waking me.
to take a walk to the nearest subway station after dinner, we discovered
ourselves to be halfway equidistant between two stations. We decided
to take the more scenic path less travelled. Given the same distance
either way, it suddenly became so clear that it's the journey, the
sights and sounds along the way, that count, more than the destination
itself, which was arbitrary. It is how we get anywhere that matters
more than getting there.
The core of your net of delusion (views) which traps you is your
illusion of self.
If there is no self, who is trapped?
Self IS the delusion.
Life has in store for you whatever you stored (in your store consciousness).
You experience your store now.
You are your store.
What are you storing up now?
Any "savings" for a rainy day?
20) Last Bus
There is no last cab -
even if you miss the last bus.
The Bodhisattvas are the late night cabbies ferrying us.
They work 24/7 actually.
An impatient Pureland prayer -
May I go Pureland quickly,
to return to Samsara quickly,
to save all quickly.
Zeph: If good looks is true beauty, then all we need of beautiful
people in our lives are life-sized pictures of them. But no, true
beauty comes from kind people who make the world a more beautiful
place. May all be beautiful.
Sophie: May you meet many beautiful people :>
When we think the universe has let us down,
we have let it down,
by not understanding its unbiased law of karma.
Deciding what is the right way to meditate is tricky
because it is using a deluded mind
to find a way
to make it undeluded.
The end of the fetter of doubt in the Dharma
is not just the end of disbelief;
it is the end of belief -
the beginning of knowing.
Ironically, the most essential thing
to teach in the Dharma-ending age
is the hardest thing to accept -
I see housewives discussing recipes enthusiastically. I wonder if
they are as zealous about matters of life and death - the meaning
of life, when we all have to die. I sincerely hope so. Countless
sentient beings have been having countless digressions for countless
lives from the one truly important goal - liberation.
Whoever through desire, hate or fear,
Or ignorance should transgress the Dhamma,
All his glory fades away
Like the moon during the waning half.
through desire, hate or fear,
Or ignorance never transgresses the Dhamma,
All his glory ever increases
Like the moon during the waxing half.
When you eat the Zen way, you can't skip meals -
though you might skip breakfast, lunch or dinner.
What do I mean?
Well, you eat when hungry - only - no more, no less!
Groundhog Day Matrix
Watching the GD movie with Zlyrica, she remarked that maybe Phil
(Bill Murray) in the movie happens to be the only person to
realise he was living in cycles. The rest of the town just wasn't
mindful enough. Gasp! We are these folks?! We are the ones still
stuck in the Matrix despite the "end" of the Revolutions!
The director Harold Ramis said that some Jews paraded around a
theatre in 1993 when the movie was screened, with placards asking,
"Are you living the same day over again?" Simple question,
but food for thought. Even cosmic stuff like planets are only
going around in ellipses around the sun - apparently always going
somewhere, but actually going nowhere. Welcome to your cosmic
Groundhog Day (Again)
An important lesson from GD:
You have all the time in the world (you can live countless Groundhog
but you are also running out of time (you only have Groundhog
So what do you really want to do?
So what should you really do?
You have forever,
but you forever have only now.
Happy Groundhog Day, today.
No Need to Laugh or Cry?
Famous Zen story with a new twist:
Old woman cries when it rains,
as her washerwoman daughter can't dry the clothes she wash.
Old woman cries when it shines,
as her umbrella-selling daughter can't sell her umbrellas.
Zen master comes along and tells her:
Why don't you rejoice when it rains, for your second daughter?
Why don't you rejoice when it shines, for your first daughter?
Old woman agrees, and laughs happily whether its rain or shine.
Zen Master comes along again and tells her:
Why aren't you sad when it rains, for your first daughter?
Why aren't you sad when it shines, for your second daughter?
Old woman becomes expressionless... enlightened in equanimity.
Universal Compassion (1)
May we remember the suffering of our loved ones
and not cause suffering to anyone,
who also have their loved ones,
who will suffer like we do,
when our loved ones suffer.
Universal Compassion (2)
Zlyrica: The fish in the tank died, sob... So sad... May he be
well and happy now.
Zeph: May all fish living, passing and passed away be well and
happy. May all their caretakers be well and happy too.
6) More Vegetarians
I'm not that unrealistic in hoping there will be many vegetarians
overnight; I just hope there will be more having their fill with
more vegetables in their meals, such that they will spare more animals.
5) Free Range
I don't eat free range farm animals;
I eat free range farm vegetables.
At least the plants get to live a more normal life
than caged and free range farm animals - before slaughter.
4) Miracle of Silence
Zlyrica: It's a miracle! There's actually a moment when there are
no cars at this hour on this heavy traffic road!
Zeph: Have you ever been in a classroom, where everyone chatters
away before the teacher arrives. Suddenly, for no apparent reason,
there is total silence - as everyone stops talking... And the teacher
isn't even here yet. Everyone would feel puzzled as they look out
to see if the teacher was here.
Zeph: It appears totally bizarre. But it's simply such that everyone
happened to have finished saying his piece in the moment! The causes
and conditions for stuff that happen can trick us into experiencing
what seem to be inexplicable miracles. I guess that was the case
for the empty road!
3) Comics Overdose
Having easier access to a public library these days, I discovered
it to have a wide variety of comics available for borrowing. I find
myself borrowing and reading them voraciously. So much so that the
pleasure was lost. It's a bizarre feeling. I can only enjoy this
moment, but I was racing to finish enjoying this moment, so that
I can "borrow" more comic books for further "enjoyment."
Racing made me lose the moment, and thus the joy, that was right
in my hands, in the comic book I presently hold.
2) What They Seem
Things are not what they seem.
Neither are they otherwise.
I see a brat of a kid whining on the packed bus, lying on a bench
seat at the back, where I was about to sit. His mum asked politely
if I could sit elsewhere, to make way for him. I said no - to teach
her and the kid a lesson of being considerate. The kid even kicked
me a little for being in "his" way. I glared at him, trying
to look intimidating. And he whined on to his mum, as I looked away.
I planned to give him a smack on his head on the way out later -
without the mum seeing of course - to teach him a lesson for being
physically rude to strangers.
Later, the mum apologised to me about her kid. I told her she should
not always let him have his way, that it spoils him. She says she
knows, and that she is runiing out of ways to discipline him. She
had given him spankings in public before - till there were scars,
but it didn't seem to help. Suddenly, I become unsure of my judegment
and disgust for both the kid and his mum. What am I trying to say
here? See the quote above... This incident does not fuly exemplify
the message of the sutra quote of course, but it is a simple mundane
It is conveniently explained away, how comic superheroes derive
their powers, through radioactive radiation accidents. Think, the
likes of the Incredible Hulk, the Amazing Spider-man, Daredevil,
Fantastic Four... The heroes to be would be unwittingly subjected
to great physical and mental pain in the beginning, but invariably
outgrow it, and thus become personal champions of their misfortune,
and champions of justice - heroes that is. What can we learn from
their triumphs? We can derive great strength and power from great
tragedies. To me, a good superhero comic are like good Jataka tales
(Buddha-to-be's birth stories as a practising Bodhisattva, wherein
he helps many beings) of imperfect beings fighting their inner demons
as they fight to save others. No child's play at all, these comics.