Disagreeing or Not Understanding (Knowing)

There is a subtle difference between “not understanding” vs “disagreeing”.
Something that we commonly mix up and are blind-sighted to.

A: I disagree with this teaching.
B: So which part of this teaching do you not agree with?
A: I don’t know.
B: What do you mean?
A: I do not understand or know the teaching.
B: If you do not understand or know the teaching, how can you disagree with it?

Was having a chat with my mom, and had this epiphany!

This is a common problem we have. We tend to disagree with something that we do not know or understand. But to disagree with something, we should and need to first know what it is, before we can agree or disagree.

metta, ^_^

Buddhist Interact Club @ Manjusri Secondary School

In May 2009, Venerable DingRong and me conducted a Students’ Heart Corner Programme (quite wordy in retrospect!) at Manjusri Secondary School.

The Students’ Heart Corner Programme (SHC) is a pilot programme aimed at giving the students at Manjusri Secondary School an additional avenue to interact with members of the Buddhist Sangha (monastic) community so that they may learn to cope with their emotions and be able to better handle stress and pressure in school. Structure and Duration

The pilot programme ran successfully every Friday for a group of 10 to 15 students, for the month of May, 2009. The programme included activities such as: Simple Awareness Meditation • Group Dialogue • Sharings • Hymns • Each session was conducted by us venerables and was assisted by Mrs Cheng and Mr Ng. The sessions was conducted at the Dharma / Multi-purpose Hall and lasted over 1.5 hours each.

Photo collage from the second session

Photo collage from the second session

WACANA 2008 Conference

Hi all,

Just returned from WACANA 2008 Conference! What an experience it was, learning and sharing Dhamma with my fellow venerables of the MahaSangha and Buddhist brothers and sisters.

Due to the 20min cap and my tenacity to do a “ChuanGuan”, I could only share a few key points at the conference. Therefore, I have decided to put up the paper online for your reading and comments.

With metta,

🙂 Read More …

So What? … …

So What?
So What!
So What!?

“So what” … sweet sound to the ears, and perhaps the mind as well.  Two over months ago, Jan 3 2008 to be exact, during a Dhamma talk at Taipei Buddhist Centre, an participant uttered these magic words “So What?”.  To some it was a challenge to the explanations given, while to others, its a curt retort to the speaker.  To me, I just love it! … if monks are allowed to at least ‘love’ some idea … 😉

To me, it was excellent that that man thought of the question “So what?”.  It implied to me that he was interested in not just listening to mere recitation
of someone’s teachings, but is genuinely concerned about the practical implications of it.  Or at least that’s how I interpreted his “So what?”.  If he meant it any other ways, I didn’t know it. 🙂

I replied by congratulating him on his question; that we Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike need to open our eyes to see and our mind to inquire, to paraphrase myself that day.  My point is that, when we read a book, or listen to a talk, we should listen with an open heart, but not just take everything as it is and leave it at that.  We should inquire further on the practical implications of it in our daily lives!

Each time we attend a talk or a class, we should ask ourselves, how does knowing this help us?  Or others?  Or both?   How do I apply it in my life to bring more peace and less stress?

For that matter, we should not just ask ourselves this question when it comes to Buddhist Teachings,  but to other things as well.  So you didn’t get that promotion this time round … so what?  So she likes someone else and not you (or him you or otherwise) … so what?  So your son failed in his exams … so what?  Now I’m not advocating the other extreme of aloofness.  Rather, I’m saying, put things in perspective.  Make a checklist of things going right for you.  By right, I don’t mean perfect, I mean “good enough”.  Then compare the thing that didn’t work out for you.  You’ve managed so far in your life without that one thing, so why should it, or the lack thereof, make you miserable now?

Sometimes we give ourselves reasons to be miserable and we should stop.  And learn to be content and not spend our precious human life searching the world for a better life.   Instead, we can and should learn to reflect more on our own life and be grateful.  Having more does not always bring more happiness.  More often than not, it leads to more worry and stress.

So the next time, you encounter something, be it a teaching or a difficulty in life, ask yourself … So what? 🙂

How Do I Learn Most Things?

So I picked up Wiki over a few days last week or so. With all honesty, I did not know a hoot about using wikis, setting it up nor do I claim to be a wikiMaster right now. But I found out how to download and setup a wiki package, how to create new pages etc because some (young) folks wanted to use wiki but didn’t know how to … and didn’t want to lift a finger to learn.

It’s strange ‘cos as I think I learnt most things this way. It goes something like this:

  1. Something needs to be done.
  2. n

  3. No one wants to do it because its not something they’ve done before.
  4. I check it out.
  5. Read up, research on it and learn how to do it.
  6. I get it done.
  7. I learn a new skill.

For the most part, doing things is really a replication of something that’s been done before. Save for the creative screenplays, art, music etc, most things are really just that. Replication.

Just observe how its done once. Then replicate.

Simple. Ok, maybe not all that simple. Sometimes, you need to repeat the cycle numerous times to replicate flawlessly. But mostly, you don’t need to be flawless in your replication. The ability to replicate flawlessly, is to manufacture; the lack thereof, art.

The ability to replicate flawlessly, is to manufacture; the lack thereof, art

So its very interesting for me to observe how all these folks who want to become Buddhas in future, or claim to want to, are so low on interest to learn. Afterall, all SammasamBuddhas spend many many eons (3 Maha-Asangkayas Kalpas to be sure … for those who are of sharp faculties and are earnest in their training) learning and practising.

Alright … enough rambling for a Sunday …