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!

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!

Reference

Fake Buddhist monks are the new squeegee men of New York
http://nypost.com/2015/06/14/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.”

 

http://www.cnet.com/news/stephen-hawking-makes-it-clear-there-is-no-god/

If I have a Special Power

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A friend asked me what I would like to have if I can choose any special power.  Anything at all.  Here’s what I would like to have:

I would like to be able to just snap my finger and have all sentient beings be completely, perfectly free from suffering, to be perfectly awaken, to be perfect, to be Buddha!

But alas!  No one can make others enlightened.  We must work on our own liberation, we must do the cultivation ourselves.  Enlightenment is not granted or or conferred.  It is not given.  It is through our own humanly possible effort that we work on shortcomings, flaws, faults, defilements and agitations in the mind.  To work on the habitual tendencies that compels us to repeat our mistakes.

Until one day, we cut the fetters that bind us.

That may seem bleak to some, that no one is there to save us, that we have to do it ourselves.  The good news is that we are not alone in doing this.  We have the teachings of the Buddha as our guide and instruction manual if you will.  What it means is that we are responsible for our happiness and no one else.  It also means that we are in charge and do not have to submit to someone else’s whims and fancy, to placate or please, to cajole or beg for liberation.

Two weeks from now, we celebrate Vesak in Singapore.  We celebrate this conquering of suffering through humanly possible effort.  We celebrate this potential, this Buddha nature, that is in all of us, in every sentient being, regardless of our race, language or religion.  Or for that matter, species.

May all beings be free from fear, free from harm,
May all be well and happy!

PS: So my friend, what super power would you like to have? 😉

Reference

Dhammapada XX: Maggavagga 275 – 276

275. Walking upon this path you will make an end of suffering. Having discovered how to pull out the thorn of lust, I make known the path.

276. You yourselves must strive; the Buddhas only point the way. Those meditative ones who tread the path are released from the bonds of Mara.