Two new classes are starting in September.
Scroll down for Heart Sutra.
The Heart Sutra workshop is back. Please note that the class will be taught in Mandarin for this run.
So yesterday, a student commented on a group chat that a sutta that was shared is “too chim”, meaning too deep and profound in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect.
Here are some thoughts.
Better for us to ask question and seek clarifications than to simply label the Dharma as “too chim”.
By doing the latter, it discourages others from learning and can potentially cause others to switch off. While these are not our intended results, it can still happen. Let us apply mindfulness in our speech. Mindfulness is not just in the sitting or in the temple, but in our body, speech and mind.
So, is the Dharma “too chim”?
There was once a Buddhist school that wanted to put up a wall display that shows the Buddha’s teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path. After a few revisions, the school staff commented to us that it may not be easy for the kids to understand by simply reading it.
This is what I told them.
We give children SIX years to learn what they need to learn in primary school. And after that six years, they only know rudimentary English, 2nd language, maths and science. SIX years of full time studies.
Why do we expect the Noble Eightfold Path to be instantly understandable in eight panels on the wall when it is the way to solve suffering altogether?
The Dharma is indeed “chim”, deep and profound, because we human are so so complex, but not too “chim” that we cannot comprehend it through humanly possible effort. 🙂
So last month, my best friend asked me to share my birthday wishes. This is what I shared.
|Whats your birthday wishlist|
|I dun really have much of a birthday wish … ‘cos it was not a thing for us at home in the past … to celebrate our birthdays|
|Ah so cute|
|So honestly if you ask me|
|So how do y’all sleeve your birthday?|
|Today if you ask me|
|If there is something that can really come true|
|from my birthday wish|
|If there is no limit to it|
|I would wish for all beings to be completely free of defilements and suffering|
|Knowing that my birthday wish may have limited power|
|I would then wish for all beings to be at least free of suffering for one day|
|It might misfired to be materialized for all beings from some other planet|
|But perhaps that may still be a lil bit of a stretch|
|😍 THAT WOULD BRING ME MUCH JOY ❤ (misfiring to be materialised for all beings from some other planet)|
|I would wish for all beings to cease any harmful actions … even if just for one day|
|Imagine for a day, where all guns cease to fire|
|THE PROCESS IS PROLLY ALREADY HAPPENING 😀|
|😭||Where all knives do not meet the throat of trembling beings|
|Somewhere kalpas later you see that the seeds were already rooting now|
|Where claws and fangs do not sink into the flesh of another|
|Where perhaps, even hurtful words are not uttered|
|Where people live free of fear and anxiety||nod nod|
|Only the joyful melody of truth is heard|
|And beings have thoughts of care and love for all their eyes met|
|Joyful melody of truth||(((:|
|With their heart at ease and in contentment with each moment,|
|no longing, wanting or craving arising|
|It can begin with today|
|All complete and whole and at the same time, beyond complete and whole, where complete and whole do not exist either.|
|For if there is still complete and whole, then there is incompleteness and non-whole-ness|
Death in Buddhism marks the ending of one’s temporal existence and heralds the beginning of the next life, in a potentially infinite cycle of existence as Gods, Ashuras, Humans, Animals, Ghosts or Hell beings.
The rebirth one takes is determined by one’s karma (actions) performed in the past much like how students results are determined by how much was learnt, remembered and understood. Further, the state of mind is said to also determine the rebirth destination. Hence, it is the combination of past karma + present state of mind that triggers the rebirth.
The goal of a Buddhist is not simply to seek a happy rebirth as a God or Human, but to cultivate and improve oneself spiritually towards liberation, Nirvana, where one is free of suffering by putting an end to greed, hatred and delusions.
The highest goal possible for anyone is to seek Buddhahood through the practice of the Perfections and in so doing, not just seek one’s liberation from suffering, but also be able to guide and teach others the way to Nirvana.
In the way of Buddhist funeral, it is partly inspired by the Buddha’s teachings and partly adapted from local culture.
As Buddhism is inclusive of local cultures, Buddhist funerals often also comprises certain customs and practices such as the ones below.
Chinese Funeral Customs