5 thoughts on “Digging Around …”

  1. Dear Shi Fu,

    Thank you very very much for your meditation sessions and dharma sharing at the NUSBS Foo Hai Ch’an monastery camp recently. I have benefitted leaps and bounds from the camp. So I am now in a boundariless state of sadhu… 🙂

    I somehow disagree with your thought entitled ‘digging around’ – something which I have done – most of my life. To begin with, I think there are worldly truths which are quite useful. Reason, which was initiated in Renaissance for instance, is the foundation of philosophy and sciences, which lead to expressions in the arts. Buddhism is also founded on reason, I believe (but correct me if I am wrong) and is in parallel with worldly reasons. However, worldly reasonings are often not all-encompassing as is hoped.

    ‘Digging around’ for reasons will enable one to tell dirt from gems, and when one digs hard enough, one will find gems.

    However, I do realize the difficulty in finding gems from dirt, when senses are covered with dirt as well. And then, there is the difficulty of expressing the dharma when the teaching is confined to the tools of language – not all can be explained at one go. Also, sometimes poetic/rhetoric expressions are required to provide equivocality which gives room for interpretation. This is required for dynamic equilibria. (And maybe this, in your statement)

    But however hard it is, I have learnt that it has to be attempted. When one listens hard enough, and simultaneously digs hard enough, one finds the gem!

    Till then, sadhu, and thanks again!

    Dan Xia

  2. Hello Dan Xia,

    Thanks for your reply! … finally someone disagree with me! *grin* And I was beginning to wonder what it controversial post would get people to disagree. 😉

    I like your finding gems in the dirt, ‘cos as they say, it takes one to know one. 🙂

    I have a sequel spin on finding dirt that is somewhat similar as well … it goes like … “… … Whether you grow flowers in it or feel dirty is up to you.”

    I think I’ll leave it open as it is and leave it up to the reader to extract its meaning for themselves. 🙂

    In the meanwhile, you can also find the daily readings app Buddha Vacana on facebook.

    With metta,


    PS: The water land prayers in KMSPKS just ended over the weekend, so I’m finally ready to sift through the comments and reply.

  3. Dear Shi Fu,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I have also recently realized that humanistic truth is also important aspect of the dharma. This is because humanistic reason will provide ample skills for realization of the dharma. As the society gets more complicated, so is the knowledge…

    Virginia Woolf began her novel in ‘A Room of One’s Own’ by stating her humility that she might not be able to provide the ultimate truth, but her story may consists of lies and truth – which lies to be discovered by the reader. This further reinforces my earlier thought.

    Anyway, there’s a strange question that I have lately pondered upon. Its like this:

    We all know that the human population has been increasing exponentially. And to support this increase of human population, the food supply population should also have increased. Suppose that matter can be turned into energy, like einstein’s equation, and that the mind (human or animal) is a form of energy. Suppose that when human (or animal) population increase, human (or animal) mind energy have also increased.

    This means that einstein’s equation is applicable in this sense, is it not?

    Provided that system of energy is contained within the earth system itself, it means that some non-living energy (matter) has evolved into mind energy.

    Could this be true?

    Strange as it may sound, i think that there must be a certain truth that as the world evolves, more beings have learned the dharma somehow or rather… and in turn have been born into the human or animal realm…

    (in this case i have discounted energy that are in the hell and hungry ghosts realm, which my make the intuition less accurate)


    Dan Xia

  4. Hi Venerable Shi Fu,

    Recently I have done some readings (‘Buddha-Dhamma’ by Ven Mingun Sayadaw Bhaddanta Vicittasarabhivamsa, Ven. Narada Maha Thera, and Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thera).

    And come to realization that Buddhism is indeed erudite, profound, subtle, beyond logic, and only to be understood by the wise.

    There is of course much to learn in the Dhamma.

    I am deeply humbled. In due course, I repent having disagreed with Venerable.

    Please accept my repentance.

    Dan Xia

  5. Hello Dan Xia,

    A bit belated, but your repentance is accepted, though no offense was taken to begin with. 🙂

    I’ve been pretty involved with Buddhist College of Singapore (BCS) of late, so have been pretty low key on my blog. Am trying to strike a balance here. 😉

    As always, I welcome your comments and thoughts on my articles.

    With metta,


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