During Mother’s Day, At Least Don’t Give Trouble to Your Mother! And Not Just During Mother’s Day, Everyday, Don’t Give Her Trouble. That Way, You Show Your Love and Respect For Your Mother by Not Giving Her Trouble

I find Bhante’s delivery during the Mother’s Day lunch very meaning, practical and close to heart. As I recall, one part that resounds deeply with me, goes like this:
“… During Mother’s Day, at least don’t give trouble to your mother! And not just during Mother’s Day, everyday, don’t give her trouble.
That way, you show your love and respect for your mother by not giving her trouble. … “

The same goes for our father.

May All Beings Be Well and Happy … and That Includes the Foreign Workers Coming to Take Your Job!

When we make the beautiful dedication “May all beings be well and happy” (loosely translated from ‘Sabbe satta sukhita hontu’), do we really mean it?

Is it “May all beings be well and happy … … except those foreigners who are here in Singapore!” or is it “May all beings be well and happy … except those who were not nice to me, … but I will forgive you Tan Ah Kow for criticising my work that day … but but …” …

Almost all religion profess a message of love and peace encompassing all on earth, but there seem to always be a “but” creeping in somehow.  Are we Buddhists any better?  While the Four Immeasurable (Metta, Karuna, Mudita & Upekkha) is pride to be so all encompassing, they are immeasurable, are we saying our dedication with that level of commitment?  Do we really mean “sabbe satta” (all beings) when we say it?

In the Buddha’s teachings, all beings is super, duper encompassing.  It includes all living beings, but not living things like trees and plants (note: the Jains in Buddha’s time included plants in their list.  I think they still do!).  Meaning, all human beings, all heavenly beings (devas, god(s), God(s), everything in between if you will), animals, ghosts and even hell beings!

So when we say “May all beings be well and happy”, we should mean it.  But realistically speaking, most of us still have not made it there yet.  We should not as a result, excuse ourselves from this noble aspiration or mindset.  Perhaps, it would be truer to ourselves to realise that we are not there yet, but still set consciously set our aspiration and mindset in that direction.  And work towards it.

Perhaps, it is precisely because we are not quite there yet, that we tend to wish for wellness and happiness for only our friends and those who are nice to us, that we have to set ourselves towards a greater goal or path.

When I visited China last year, I happen to have the chance to observe the Beijingers.  Many of them are from provinces out of Beijing, while others are native Beijingers.  Watching them, my mind start to filter out the cultural nuances.  Their slang and accent start to be appreciated
as a unique part of who they are and not an alien aspect as some might find.  And occasionally, I overhear (trust me, you just cannot help it but hear them!) their conversation and for all that matters, it seems like they are very much like Singaporeans, with our dreams and hopes, our little petty quibbles at work and our simple pursuit of happiness.

I came away from that trip having a much deeper sense of connection with Chinese people than before.  Maybe it helps that I have met more Chinese nationals over the past few years than I have in my whole life.  The result is that a part of me feels more empathy for them.  Maybe a bit more loving kindness and compassion if you will.

They are definitely not just from China anymore.  They are fellow human beings in Singapore, fellow sentient beings in samsara.


It is easier to demonise faceless strangers; it is harder to demonise your friends.

Sabbe satta sukhita hontu!  May all beings be well and happy! ^_^

I Don’t Mind Ants Eating My Leftovers, It’s Just that They Have a Tendency to Drown in Them! ಠ_ಠ

Yes, I’ve said it.  I really don’t mind ants eating my leftovers, it is just that they have a tendency to drown in it.

So my little effort is to ensure that either

  1. I do not have any drinks (even plain water!) left unattended and uncovered.
  2. If ants have started helping themselves to the drink or food, I move them to the sink and drain the drink or food so that they do not drown1 in their food!
  3. n

For the most part, they do a great job cleaning up the leftovers and leave the utensil reading for light washing.  So I leave at peace with them.  :p

I usually finish up my drink and wash up.  But sometimes I leave a cup of water, yes, even plain water on my desk, only to find it swarmed by ants!  There is something about ants these days, they go all over the place even when there is no visible food or drinks around.  Aren’t they supposed to forage for food, and not just go jalan jalan?

Sometimes, they even bite me.  I once tried to endure the bite.  I wondered how much of the ant bite I can endure.  Not much I realised!  To be fair, I lasted probably close to 40+ secs or 1 min.  Problem is, sometimes I am trying to reply to emails, write an article or doing my own sutra / sastra study, and I am afraid I might accidentally crush them.  So I have developed a skill to pick them up skilfully and put them elsewhere.  Then someone suggests that this would get them lost and confused!  Arrgghh … there is no pleasing everyone huh?

Other times, I blow them away.  They seem rather resilient and are supposed to be able to support up to 400 many (502) times their body weight.  And some people say that it may feel like being blown away by a typhoon!  Oh dear!

Until I find a better way to deal with ants already on my body or in my vicinity, in danger of being crushed accidentally by me, I would pick them up or blow them away to safety.


1. Ants that in water can often be rescued.  Scoop them from water and remove excess water by carefully dabbing tissue or cloth and absorbing the water.  Then orally blow dry them.  Numerous ants had been ‘rescued’ and ‘revived’ these way.

2. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_weight_can_an_ant_carry


Before Trying to Attain Enlightenment, Try to Have Some Basic Manners

Would you turn up half an hour* late for a job interview and expect to get the job?  How about an examination or a date with a potential special other?

Should you expect the interviewer, examiner or date to bear with you because you had something more important?
How about if you do it repeated several times over a few years?  What does that say about either your attitude towards the other party’s time, or your own decency and basic manners?

Before trying to attain Enlightenment, try to have some basic manners.
Suki hontu! ^_^

* At times, it can extend to more than one or two hours actually, but let’s not get picky here. 😉

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, ^_^