Handle or not, that is the question!

Ullambana is just around the corner, and every year, kind and thoughtful devotees would do offerings to the sangha to support us in our basic amenities and in our Dharma work.

One item that is often donated is shavers. In most cases, it is better to simply donate the refills, ‘cos we most likely already have the handle and just need shaver cartridge refills.

If you look at the packing, look out for the one with refills. Else we end up with a lot of spare handles and limited shaving cartridges.

Thank you so much!

Precepts 101: Is it wrong to eavesdrop?

So a student shared with me a question on whether eavesdropping is against the precept on stealing.

This is a common situation where people start applying Buddhism in their daily life.  They start literally applying it everywhere, including where it is probably not needed.

You see, take eavesdropping for example.  It is just plain bad manners and rude to eavesdrop.  We don’t need to bring in the precepts or religion to tell us that we should not eavesdrop.

But if we are in a bus and some other passengers decides to chat so loud that it becomes difficult not to overhear their conversation, it is still not us “stealing” their conversation.  Although it would be good to not focus on it just as well.

When we are in a busy food court having lunch with our friend, surely bits and pieces of fellow lunchers’ conversation would spill over, hopefully without their lunch!  We have the ability to tune into and focus on our friend, filtering out the chatter from the others.

So likewise, we can do that when we are alone, we can tune out, so that we do not listen in on others’ conversation.

Lastly, even if we do not formally observe the precepts through the ceremony, if we take things without asking or outrightly steal, we are not absolved of the consequences of stealing.

Respecting others’ right to their property, we undertake the precept to abstain from stealing.

Keep Calm, Breathe, Be Happy. ^_^

Fake Buddhist monks at New York

Beware!  Fake Buddhist monks at New York are demanding money from tourists.

In Buddhism, monks and nuns do not go on the street begging for money.  When monastics go on alms round, they receive mainly food, but can receive basic requisites like robes, medicine as well.

They do not solicit for or beg for money, nor sell things.  If you encounter any of them, they are probably fake monks masquerading as real ones and taking advantage of the kindness of visitors and tourists.

Photo: Angel Chevrestt – New York Post

What can you do?

You do not have to feel oblige to give if you encounter them on the streets or in the malls.  In Singapore, you can call and report to the local police of their activities as it is illegal to solicit or beg in the street.

If you are interested to know more about Buddhism, you can go to your nearest temple or monastery to attend a chanting (puja) session, talk to a monk or nun today!


Fake Buddhist monks are the new squeegee men of New York

Stephen Hawking makes it clear: There is no God

Stephen Hawking concludes that there is no God.
Some people feel uneasy about this, as it seem to challenge their belief system. Does the fact that Stephen Hawking is a scientist make such a statement even more of a challenge?

Photo from computerworld.com

In Buddhism, there is no belief in God, as in creator God(s) who is responsible for our existence. Some may feel that a world view without a God makes our life bleak and meaningless, or at the very least amoral. But we are very capable of good and morality with or without a belief in God.

What do you think?

Hawking said: “Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation.”

I’m not sure whether there was a specific moment in which science overtook the deistic explanation of existence. However, El Mundo pressed him on the suggestion in “A Brief History of Time” that a unifying theory of science would help mankind “know the mind of God.”

Hawking now explained: “What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God. Which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.”



The Significance of Vesak

Had an interfaith sharing with Nanyang Girl’s High 26 May 2015 last week. The students of class 111 did a video interview on the significance of Vesak day.

A celebration of the conquering of suffering, of our potential to be better, to be perfect, to be Buddha! ^_^

Happy Vesak!


Find out more on facebook