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May you be Well and Happy!

Well in the Body, Happy in the Mind.

  • Min

    Hi Shifu,

    I am interested to know
    more about getting ordaine.
    How does it work here in Singapore?
    Its the 2nd time I am attending the Heart Sutra talk by Shifu,
    and am inspired to further in Buddhism. The teachings have taught me how to resolve problems I faced at work and home.

  • Hello Min,

    It’s heartening to hear about your interest in getting ordained.
    I’ll share with you a brief overview of the ordination process here in Singapore, though I should highlight that depending on the community you ordain with, it may vary a little.

    For a start, you would want to find a Master to learn from. You should spend some time to learn under this Master and see if you ‘connect’ with his or her teaching. For those pursuing ordination, one may want to seek out a monk as his teacher or a nun as her teacher accordingly. In most cases, it is alright to learn from either one as it may take awhile to be firm and ready.

    During the learning period, the Master will also observe your temperament and see if you are suitable to be taught and if there are any specific areas you should work on. In some cases, the master may recommend for you to learn from someone else whom he thinks is more suitable. (Hint: A bit of perseverance do help as masters may sometimes test the determination of the student before taking you under his tutelage!)

    To be continued … …

  • Hello Xinmin,

    It’s so good to hear from you and doubly so that you have taken refuge! Congratulations! 😀

    Yes, this trip had been rather enlightening, on many levels! It’s really quite a trip … of exploration and discovery. 😀 … however, it has not ended. On one hand, the rains will end only end of the month (a few days after the official one, as a few days was ‘lost’ during my transit back to Singapore); on the other hand, it is like what you said, it’s like a rebirth, a re-start of a journey, rather an end. 🙂

    Some of the youth folks are meeting up on this Saturday. Can you join us for lunch? Let me know ya?

    With Dharma Joy!

  • Sounds like a good idea Jerry! There is also a suggestion for it to be ported to Nokia phones … I’ll prob port over to java and see if it is truly cross-platform.

    Note on porting:
    The code base for Palm and PC version is similar only on the book reading engine. Palm has its own event trigger framework for pda-mode apps. Porting to Java may mean loosing some of the device specific feature such as wakeup calls etc, meaning auto running may need more tweaking.

    JME (Java for Mobile something) should have wake up events, so that may be what I will use.

    Will post a thread when something turns up. ^_^

  • Pandaboy

    Hi venerable!

    Thanks for answering my questions, I really appreciate it! I have a couple of questions to ask the venerable:

    1)Regarding my question on internet addiction, let’s say that the person surfs the
    internet for a total of 6 hours( 3 hours in the afternoon, another 3 hours at night) and has started to neglect his studies, what can he do to reduce his addiction and concentrate on his studies?

    2) Also, can chanting a buddha’s name really enhance a person’s wisdom? Can I chant the buddha’s name( or Bodhisattva’s name. Say, Manjusri Boddhisattva’s name) so that I can memorise and understand a lot of Mathematics equations well?

    3) Why is it that Mahayana Buddhist are encouraged not to eat the 5 pungent plant?

    Thanks for answering my questions!

    • Hi Pandaboy,

      Apologies for the delay in replies. Hope this is still helpful!

      1. Internet Addiction

      What makes you Tick?
      The first thing one should perhaps do is ask oneself why the addiction should be dropped. It has to be one’s personal reasons. And by personal, I mean, reasons that matter to you and not from some guidebook.

      Only when you have good enough reasons to do so, will the suggestions below work.

      Peer Support/Pressure
      A way to reduce the addiction, is to Change the cycle. And by that, I don’t mean stop using internet. I mean, using it in a different manner.

      Tell someone you trust about your situation and see if they can help you out. Access the internet with him/her and limit it to that period. It should not be someone who also uses the internet for 6 hours or more a day!

      Telling someone about it and making the above arrangement creates peer support so that you get someone you trust to help you out. Because you’ve made your plan open, you also get a little positive peer pressure to do it right!

      Cold Turkey
      Another way is to Break the cycle.
      Get involved in other activities that does not require the internet. Let your friends know in advance that you will be off-line for a few weeks. This may be tricky if your school requires you to correspond on subject matters using the internet. If possible, get a trusted friend to assist in this area.

      Path of Least Resistance
      We humans typically choose the path of least resistance. Make it harder to access internet. Say, cut off your internet access at home? This may only prove to be useful if you are under direct supervision of your parents or guardian(s). If not, it is likely that you will circumvent the very obstacles you setup and then go on an internet-binge thereafter.

      Whoever you are trying to help break the addiction, it may be helpful to bring the person to seek help in person.

      2. Chanting of a Buddha’s name
      Reciting the Buddha’s name has been endowed with numerous “powers”. My personal take is that while such claims had been experienced by individuals, it may be helpful to see how it can be practically put to practice.

      For one, reciting the Buddha’s name is a form of simple meditation that can lead to inner calm and tranquility. This clears up our mind and make it easier to focus and learn. In that way, recital of the Buddha’s name can be helpful for your wisdom and studies. But you still need to do the studying!

      It is like the sharpening of an axe; you still need to do the chopping!

      3. The Five Pungent Plants
      The avoidance of the five pungent plants fall under the Bodhisattva vows. The five pungent plants are said to be strong stimulants that can agitate the mind. The aim of avoiding them is to reduce the impact of stimulants on our mind. This is especially true for those striving to be a Bodhisattva.

      For most people who are not training on the path, the impact of the pungent plants may seem
      negligible. This is because our mind is already agitated by our constant pursuit of our wants, desires and cravings. It does not however mean that there is no impact; it just mean that we are unaware of the impact because our mind is too desensitized already.

      Consider how we can hear clearly something drop in a (quiet!) library while we are oblivious to many things when we are in shopping mall. In the former, there are little distractions, while in the latter, we are too busy with all the attractions out there to see or hear anything else.

      Hope this clear things up for you.

      With metta,

      🙂

  • stillsleeping

    Hi shifu
    If rebirth is the result of karma, how do you explain the world’s growing population? Does it mean that more beings from other realms become reborn as human beings OR volitions from the same human being can result in multiple karma (human rebirths)…

    • Hi stillsleeping,

      Good good, shows that you are doing some critical thinking there! 🙂

      Yes, the “extra” would come from other realms. One thing to note is that, whether or not the population increases or decreases, rebirth takes place according to one’s karma. So humans take rebirth in other realms and beings in other realms take rebirth in the human realm even if the world population is relatively stable.

      Technically, human rebirth would be one to one, so one karma to multiple rebirths would be unlikely if not impossible. You may be thinking of the movie “Little Buddha” in that sense. The closest possible would be a manifestation where one could do multiple manifestation at a time, but that would not be a karma-based rebirth.

      Last thought about this. Another thing is that maybe the conditions for rebirth as a human being is easier these days, so beings with lower standards (morals) are taking rebirth as human beings, but their life may not be led in a very human-like manner?

      With metta, ^_^

  • Lee Chee Chiong

    Morning Shifu

    On the daily reading posted on 21st May 2009,
    the last sentence ” The differences between humans are only differences of
    convention.
    I don’t understand the meaning convention. Is it means the differences of custom
    or practice or the way human behave?

  • Morning Chee Chiong,

    You are spot on! By convention here, it should refer to the differences (of custom and practices) that are defined by man, rather than physical difference. So, by convention, someone born in Singapore is “different” from someone born in another country in that they differ by their nationality, their background, language (which is another convention) etc.

    I think it can include how we discriminate others and perceive others as well. So the differences include that which is due to our perceptions and not physical differences. Note that the Buddha’s point is that there is no great difference physically, so while we may have different races, with physical characteristics unique to the respective races, all races have a head, a body, four limbs, two eyes, one nose, etc etc.

    With metta, ^_^

  • Lee Chee Chiong

    Good Morning Shifu

    May i take apportunity to say that our human conduct definitely cannot be
    perfecly pure. If we say must be pure then is more acceptable. If i am wrong
    about this, please enlighten me how can we humanly being to practice to perfect
    pure condition in our conduct. We can try but can it be perfertly pure?

    Thank You. and good health.

    • Good day! Back from Sri Lanka and been busy with conducting classes.

      Without training or trying (effort), we are definitely far from perfection. With training and trying, we can definitely move towards the goal of perfection in conduct. With defilements in our mind, our external conduct (of body and speech) can only be tempered by external rules. But when internal defilements are uprooted, then there is no longer causes for unwholesome external conduct to arise. Then with Wisdom, Loving Kindness and Compassion towards all can be developed boundlessly, and with that only perfect wholesome behaviour (external conduct) spring forth.

      This is why precepts in Buddhism is taught not as a command or demand, but as a guide, and is undertaken voluntarily when one sees the value and wisdom behind it.

      So yes, when we remove the internal causes (defilements) of imperfect conduct, and develop wisdom perfectly, only perfect conduct can arise henceforth. ^_^

  • Rui Koh

    Good day ShiFu,
    Is this your blog, is wonderful, bet u hv put in a great effort in it, for us to understand n explore more in Buddha teaching and practice.
    Thank u and wish u good health, drink warm water not iced.
    Amitabha

    • Hello Rui Koh,

      Yes, this is my blog! I should say that it is not really great effort; I try to put in what I think would be meaningful for others. But often, I write a draft and stop, as I wonder what else in the Good Dharma is not already explained and taught by the Buddha! 😀

  • KL Leo

    [Transferred from About page]

    Dear Sir,
    I hope that you can consider adding e-Sangha to your comprehensive Buddhism links on your website.

    Title: E-Sangha Buddhism Portal
    URL: http://www.e-sangha.com
    Buddhism portal that contains free buddhist e-books, Buddhism discussion forum, free e-cards and an extensive collections of Buddhism related links.

    Thank you.

  • @KL Leo: Added e-sangha to the links. Thanks for sharing.

  • Bev

    How about a version for PortableApps.com flashdrive platform?
    http://portableapps.com/development

  • @Bev: Thanks for your feedback! Sounds like a good idea. The zip format of the Windows edition should be ready for it. One thing though, it means that autostartup would need to be disabled. Will update after I take a look at the portableapps.com site.

  • sandrar

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

    Author edit: Improper URL pruned

  • wonderful read, keep up the great work. more writers like you are needed on the net

  • Akuma

    It might be an intersting indication to you, that the Yogacarabhumishastra is atm in the process of being translated by several scholars. Sadly, sinc emy memory is very bad i cannot remember their names and since E-Sangha has been hacked, I cannot check either. I will contact someone @ University of HongKong, he might remember the names and could contact you back, maybe you could coop with them somehow?
    Btw sry for writing in the shoutbox, you guys really need to get some contact email addy setup 😉

    l8r

    Akuma

    • Thanks Akuma for the headsup. That is excellent news to hear that others are translating this shastra.

      Would be glad to link up with them and coop where possible. Can you leave a msg with your email so I can followup? It will stay unpublished for your privacy.

      With metta,

      Ven. Chuan-Guan

  • Akuma

    Sorry Venerable, I am a bit reluctant usually to put my E-Mail in Comment-Boxes 😉
    I’ve just written an E-Mail to Ven Hui Feng, lets see if he remembers, shall we? ^^

    Have a nice day,

    Akuma

    • Noted. As I mentioned, your email will *not* be published. Will followup with you via email.

      Be well,

      Ven. Chuan-Guan

  • Pandaboy

    Dear Venerable,
    A few months ago, I had a dream. I dreamt that buddha appeared in front of me.He held a teapot on his hands and proceeded to remove the lid on the teapot. He then showed me that the inside of the pot was empty and after that he replaced the lid back onto the teapot and then I woke up.
    Can the venerable please tell me what does the dream means? Thanks 🙂

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