It’s Only Sexist When Men Do It

Below is a clip that takes a look at sexism in America.
Language Warning:  This clip contains vulgarity.  If you are offended by it, please skip it.
Parental supervision advised for those below 18 years of age.

Beyond the language, the clip does highlight an interesting point, and that is the double standard in viewing sexism.

I personally feel that sexism and double standards goes both ways, but are we as a society really so lenient towards the fairer gender?  Or are we not fair enough?

Rational vs Emotional Types

There are rational people and there are emotional people.

Emotional people base their decisions and actions on feelings, emotions, gut feelings.

Rational people base their decisions and actions on reason and logic … or so they say.

Me thinks ….

Rational people base their decisions and actions on gut feelings, emotions and mood, but rationalises them through reason and logic.

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Emotional people just cannot be bothered to rationalise their gut feelings, emotions and mood.

I am so going to get hate mail for this post!

Before you send me your comments and thoughts (read: hate mail!), observe your emotions and what you want to write.

If You Need Help or Advice From Us, Please Ask Directly.

In the past few years, I’ve encountered an interesting phenomena.  When some lay devotees need help from us Sangha members, they do not ask directly, they come and ask us in an indirect fashion, leading to a round-about that sometimes lead to nowhere.


Scenario #1

A person A1 wishes to ordain
under Venerable B1.  He approaches Ven. B1 and asks a series of questions.  Relevant ones, mind you.

1. “How do I become a monk?”

2. “What should I do?”

3. “Whom can I ordain under?”

4. “Where can I find the right teacher?”

Now, it may be that A1 is really enquiring and have no intention to ordain under Ven. B1, in which case, his questions are fine.  But he actually wishes to ordain under Ven. B1, then he should simply ask the following pertinent questions:

5. “Can I ordain under you, Ven / Master / Shifu / Ajahn / Sayadaw / Rinpoche?”

6. “Shifu (etc), will you please take me as your disciple and give me the ordination?”

Questions 5 & 6 applies if and only if A1 wishes to ordain under B1.  If A1 do not make any of the above two requests, it is highly unlikely that B1 will respond to the above question 1 to 4 assuming that A1 wishes to ordain under B1.  In response to question 1-4, Ven. B1 would most likely give relevant advices but in most cases, would not suggest “Why don’t you ordain under me?”.  It does not quite work that way.

Scenario #2

Similar to the above, except that this person wishes to learn Dharma from Ven. B1.

1. “Ven, where and whom should I learn Dharma from?”

2. “Ven, can you recommend a Venerable to give a Dharma talk?”

3. “Ven, can you recommend Venerable to be our spiritual advisor?”

Again, you should be asking for Dharma directly and not asking such round about questions.  Surely you do not expect the monk to be recommending himself?

Scenario #3

In all other cases where person A1 seeks the services of Ven. B1, be it counselling, giving of Dharma, giving blessings, taking of refuge, taking of precepts, conducting a retreat, etc etc, one should simply make a sincere and direct request:

1. “Ven, I / we would like to seek your help to ________ .  Please let us know if it is possible.  …. …. ”

Simple as that.  In some cases, you may be redirected to send that same direct request to the monastery, temple or society that the venerable is presently resident in.  But again, it is the same direct approach.

Think simple.  Just imagine if you are asking a friend out.  “Who would you recommend to go watch this movie with?” … trust me, you are not going out any time soon! :p

Granted, there is the case where you really just need some recommendation, then this blog post do not apply to you.  Move along, this is not the blog post you are looking for … 😉

Sabbe satta sukhita hontu! ^_^

你變心了 Your Heart Has Changed!

I don’t know about now, but this used to be a common line in movies and soap operas.  Usually expressed when the other party has a change of heart, falling in love with another person.

心不變,兩人就不能相愛,不能歡喜對方。但我們只喜歡其一的『變心』而不歡喜其二的『變心』。

If one’s heart is unchanging, then it would have been impossible for the two parties to even start liking each other.  With the first change of heart, there is interest.  With the second change of heart, there is liking.  With the next change of heart, there is love.  We like these changes of heart, but when the change of heart results in a fall out in the relationship, we fret.  We are unhappy.  We throw tantrums.  We scorn at this change of heart.

We ridicule it, calling it heartless to have such a change of heart.  We cry.  We lament.  We shout!  We are angry.  We are sad.  We cannot understand how this is possible.  We start to question.  We question the other person.  We question ourselves.  We question the neighbour’s dog.  “Doggie, do you know why?  Was it because of the way I eat?  No?  You saw another person with him / her didn’t you?”  We question the ants that crawl through the vents in the wall.  We try to pry an answer from them but to no avail.

We question the aunty pushing the carts in the streets.  We question the bus driver.  We question our little niece and nephew.  No, that is not your nephew, but your stranger’s son.  We question.  We doubt.  We wonder.  We ponder.  We want an answer.

But the answer was always there.

If we care to listen.  If we care to be quiet for awhile and just watch and observe.  Right from the start, the heart was ever changing.  No, there was no start.  There was always a preceding moment.  Obfuscated by our limited senses, we cannot phantom the preceding moments before our birth or our conception in our mother’s womb.  But the wise one shared us a peek and let us in on the secret.  That life is a continuum of mind and body, with one preceding the next.  If we were to observe closely enough and were to watch really mindfully, we will see the truth in that.

That the mind is in a constant state of flux.  The heart that is.  The way the heart-mind 心 is, is to change.  And it changes according to conditions, not according to anyone’s whims and fancy.  So how can there be unchanging love?

And yet, there are numerous accounts of love-lorn pairs who remain faithful to their dying days.  There is something sadistically beautiful about the human idea of love.  We admire two person being tormented their whole life, apart from the one they yearn.  If one party were to have a change of heart and actually be happy with someone else, we may even frown upon it!  How strange this “love” is!

And yet, if we do have true love that is unchanging, then what value is it?  If your partner has no choice but to love you, would that not cheapen it?  Isn’t it greater when your partner has a choice and yet chooses to
love you, to be faithful, to honour and cherish you.  Not because you are the best or the loveliest, but because he or she loves you?  But we want to believe that we are the best in our partner’s eyes.  And sometimes it is.  For some days anyway.  But perhaps it is when on the worse days, when your partner sees the worse in you, when he or she has a choice to choose better, and yet despite these, he chooses to remain faithful to his choice, that makes that fragile, changing love even more meaningful and worthy.

Love.  Dependent on conditions it arises, without which it ceases.  Fragile.  Destructible.  Ever changing.  Empty of any inherent, substantial existence.

It is precisely because it is dependent arising, empty of any intrinsic substantiality, that makes it so precious and unique.  Knowing thus, we should not and do not take it for granted.  We cherish it.  But at the same time, we know that it is subject to change, so we do not affix to it any fixed form or state.  It must be like this or like that.  This love between us and the joy therein must be so and shared between us only.  Forever.  No, we stop making such internal dialogue.  We realise that this is impossible.  We do not cling unto such deluded distorted fantasy.

We know that love must be nourished and sustained.  And it will change.  So we do not hold onto it and try to shoehorn it into a size 7 glass sandals when it is bursting to become the size 10 that it has become.

We learn to love and not hold onto love.  We learn to care and not wait for care to come to us.  We seek the welfare and happiness in others that we love, and not cry for the world to hold and love us.

Oh, my heart has changed, has been changing.  Have yours changed?

My Pa Is Smarter Than Your Dad!

It’s true.  How many of you can say that your dad made his own hifi-amplifier (high-fidelity) including acid etching the board, wire wrapping, case design, wooden body, front panel design, selection of knobs, flip switches, masking of front panel label, lacquering and final touch up?  Not to mention all the assembly, soldering, and testing.  None?  I thought so. 😛

Oh, and did I mention that he also made from scratch the two multi-cone speakers, each with a bass-woofer cone, (one or two) mid-range cone, and one high-range twitter cone (not that twitter.com twitter!)?  Oh ya, he had them as well.  Including the wooden frame that he sketched, designed and got them cut to size in a factory, which he assembled together, fitted in the yellow noise absorption foam stuffs, and lacquered the whole thing to a perfect finishing.

The wooden diamond pattern gauze cover over the speaker had a brush with me.  I managed to clip one or two off when I played “smash myself into anything like I am driving a car” while I was a kid.  Of course that also got me more than a cursory slap on the wrist.

While all of the above are true, I don’t quite recall myself going around in school trumpeting to my friends about how “My pa is smarter than your dad!”.  Perhaps it was because I just took it for granted that he was able to do that.  It didn’t occur to me that most people’s pa cannot barely tell the difference between a diode and a resistor, much less do anything close to what my pa did.  And so in the past when I watch some movies, in particular, American movies, I was rather amused to see the little kids bickering over whose dad was better.  In fact I don’t recall any of my peers ever getting into this type of
juvenile antics.  Perhaps we were a matured bunch?

Now what if I tell you that all the above about my pa was just something that I think up?  (For the records, it is true and I’ll post the photos as proof! :p … you are also welcomed to visit their humble abode to witness first hand, what real hifi is about! hehe).  What if out of admiration of my pa and perhaps out of pride, I was led to think that he was able to do all that when in fact he could not.  Some kids are known to be self-deluded or confused.  They genuinely believe that their pa is ze greatest and can do everything, including giving birth to kids! :p

What if they start going around criticising other kids’ father or even mother?  Most would just dismiss it as kiddish.  What if they go to play at the neighbours’ place and then ridicule the kid’s parents, deriding them as useless, while trumpeting their father as the greatest?  Or what if they even claim that the neighbour’s house was bought or built by their father.  As you can see, if this persist, this can get quite annoying.

Now, what if the kid then suggest to the neighbour’s kids that they have to agree with him, or else they will not get any toys for their birthdays or that their daddy and mommy will be gone forever.  If you think this is ridiculous, think again.

Look around you and see if you see such juvenile behaviour exhibited by people.  And I am not talking about kids.

I don’t care if the kid is delusional.  Most kids are.  But when the kid goes around imposing his delusion or little fantasy or belief onto others, then I think it is unhealthy.<%