Watching the Mind Bounce

A bouncing ball captured with a stroboscopic flash at 25 images per second.

I received an email from someone asking for advice.  Agatha (not the real name!) ask why she is never content with what she has and keep looking for more.  She further asks what happiness is.  She feels weak and tired in the mind and heart.

I wrote her:

Congratulations ###! You have observed that you are discontent with what you have and keep looking for more! ^_^
Further, you rightly observe how this leads the mind and heart to be weak and tired. Well done!

As to why you do that? We all know the answer deep within. It is that we don’t know any better. As in, we don’t know any other way to be happy or to pursue happines (if happiness can be pursued externally at all!).

If your heart-mind is tired, let it rest for a while. When it leaps outward at the world, know that it is leaping, but try to just watch it but not go with it. Kinda like when you are in a movie and your phone goes buzzing silently and you know it is buzzing but don’t go check it.

Do this first and let me know what happens.

Suki hontu!

So dear friends, why don’t you try this today?  Try watching your mind* and see if you can observe but not follow the impulses that arises.  Try and see if you can do it like you know the phone buzz without necessarily checking the phone.  See if you can watch the mind bouncing without going along with it.


  • If you are not a Buddhist, the good news is you don’t** have to be a Buddhist to do so.
  • You just have to be alive (duh!)
  • Want to be happy
  • Ready to take charge and be responsible for your happiness
  • Committed to developing good mental habits

The Dharma is described as the Truth, not because we want to stake claim to be the Truth bearers or wish to disclaim others.  The Dharma is described as the Truth because its principles were observed directly by the Buddha and applies whether you believe it or not.  Just as the Law of Gravity applies whether you subscribe to it or even know it or not, you are accelerating at a rate of 9.8m/s2 (g ~ 9.80665 m/s).  

In a similar way, the Buddha’s teaching describes the Truth of our existence.  So, come and see for yourself.  Ehi passiko.

* For a more thorough discourse on observing and being mindful of the mind, see Digha-nikaya 22: Maha-satipatthana Sutta: The Great Frames of Reference.
** This is not a rationalisation for Buddhists to stop being Buddhists and pretending to practise.  :p  If you already subscribe to the teachings internally, why not commit to it externally as well?


Happiness Is Not What You Think It Is

Happiness is Not What You Think It is

A Dharma Talk by Venerable Kanugolle Rathanasara

24 July 2010, Saturday
7.30pm – 9.30pm

at Poh Ming Tse Temple, 438 Dunearn Road

What does it truly mean to be happy, in a Buddhist sense?

Learn what happiness is, according to Buddha
in this informative discourse.
Certain misconceived notions of what happiness entails will be debunked.

Born in the south eastern Sri Lankan village of Bibile, Venerable Kanugolle Rathanasara became a novice monk in the early age of twelve and received his higher ordination (upasampada) in 1998 at the Malwatu Maha Viharaya in Kandy, Sri Lanka. His insatiable quest for learning saw him entering the portals of the University of Kelaniya, and graduating in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts (Special) degree in Mass Communication. The noble expression of his endeavor to share his knowledge of the Dhamma internationally became fulfilled when he was selected to become a resident monk at the Sri Lankaramaya Buddhist Temple in Singapore in 2001, at the invitation of the Singapore Sinhala Buddhist Association which administers the temple.

The organisers are grateful to the Poh Ming Tse Temple for its partnership and premises for the above Dharma talk.

Visit for programme and speaker profile.

Dharma Talk – Happiness Is Balancing Material and Spiritual Needs

Buddhist Conference 2554 – Creating Happiness in the Here and Now
presents Fringe Programme:

Happiness Is Balancing Material and Spiritual Needs

Dharma Talk by Venerable Faxun


5 June, Saturday, 7.30pm =96 9.30pm


Poh Ming Tse Temple

(438 Dunearn Road Singapore 289613)

Would you like to be happy, the Buddha’ way? Do you have burning questions on balancing material and spiritual needs? Find your answers and take home practical tips on happiness that you can apply on a daily and lifelong basis.

Venerable Faxun graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic in 1989 and was ordained in Taiwan in 1992 by Venerable Wu Yin at Luminary of Bhikkhuni Sangha. She received a five years basic monastic training in Luminary Buddhist Institute. Upon completion of the monastic training, Venerable returned to Singapore in 1997 and served in the Sagaramudra Buddhist Society. In 2001, Venerable continued to pursue her Bachelor of Arts and Education in a University in Western Australia and in 2009, Venerable completed her Honours Degree.

This talk is part of the Buddhist Conference 2554=92s Fringe Programme, =93What is Happiness=94. Buddhist Conference 2554 takes you on a journey to undercover the real essence of happiness, the Buddha’s way. Create your Happiness Here and Now! Overseas and local speakers include Geshe Tenzin Zopa (Nepal), Ani Choying Drolma (Nepal), Venerable Chuan Ren (Singapore), Venerable Bodhi (Singapore), Dr Phang Cheng Kar (MD) (Malaysia), Mr Vijaya Samarawickrama (Malaysia) and Mr Danai Chanchaochai (Thailand).

Buddhist Conference 2554 – Creating Happiness in the Here and Now

Sat, 23 October 2010 | 8am to 6.30pm | Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery

Tickets available from SISTIC at S$38 or S$132 for a group of 4, from 1 July onwards

*Programme and speakers are subject to changes in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
Visit for more information and Fringe Programme Listing