If I have a Special Power


A friend asked me what I would like to have if I can choose any special power.  Anything at all.  Here’s what I would like to have:

I would like to be able to just snap my finger and have all sentient beings be completely, perfectly free from suffering, to be perfectly awaken, to be perfect, to be Buddha!

But alas!  No one can make others enlightened.  We must work on our own liberation, we must do the cultivation ourselves.  Enlightenment is not granted or or conferred.  It is not given.  It is through our own humanly possible effort that we work on shortcomings, flaws, faults, defilements and agitations in the mind.  To work on the habitual tendencies that compels us to repeat our mistakes.

Until one day, we cut the fetters that bind us.

That may seem bleak to some, that no one is there to save us, that we have to do it ourselves.  The good news is that we are not alone in doing this.  We have the teachings of the Buddha as our guide and instruction manual if you will.  What it means is that we are responsible for our happiness and no one else.  It also means that we are in charge and do not have to submit to someone else’s whims and fancy, to placate or please, to cajole or beg for liberation.

Two weeks from now, we celebrate Vesak in Singapore.  We celebrate this conquering of suffering through humanly possible effort.  We celebrate this potential, this Buddha nature, that is in all of us, in every sentient being, regardless of our race, language or religion.  Or for that matter, species.

May all beings be free from fear, free from harm,
May all be well and happy!

PS: So my friend, what super power would you like to have? 😉


Dhammapada XX: Maggavagga 275 – 276

275. Walking upon this path you will make an end of suffering. Having discovered how to pull out the thorn of lust, I make known the path.

276. You yourselves must strive; the Buddhas only point the way. Those meditative ones who tread the path are released from the bonds of Mara.

Dedication to all in Nepal


Just did the weekly assembly puja with the secondary school students in KMS Dharma School and extended dedication to those who perished and in Nepal right now.

Prayers and dedications to them.
Please extend whatever help you can.

May all beings be free from fear, harm and danger. _/|\_

News on CNN


Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN)Rescue crews and residents in Nepal early Sunday began the desperate search for survivors after a magnitude-7.8 quake near the capital of Kathmandu a day earlier flattened homes, buildings and temples, causing widespread damage across the region and killing more than 1,800 people.

A Vietnamese nun lives out her dream to help the destitute in India

Sadhu!  Sadhu!  Sadhu!  ^_^

An amazing Buddhist nun, Venerable Tri Thuan, who left Vietnam for the US in 1971, and in 1985 left the United States and went to France to study Buddhism under her Vietnamese master, the late Most Venerable Thich Huyen VI.

In 1989, under the advice of her late master, headed for India and has been there ever since and made India the base of her humanitarian work.


If You Need Help or Advice From Us, Please Ask Directly.

In the past few years, I’ve encountered an interesting phenomena.  When some lay devotees need help from us Sangha members, they do not ask directly, they come and ask us in an indirect fashion, leading to a round-about that sometimes lead to nowhere.

Scenario #1

A person A1 wishes to ordain
under Venerable B1.  He approaches Ven. B1 and asks a series of questions.  Relevant ones, mind you.

1. “How do I become a monk?”

2. “What should I do?”

3. “Whom can I ordain under?”

4. “Where can I find the right teacher?”

Now, it may be that A1 is really enquiring and have no intention to ordain under Ven. B1, in which case, his questions are fine.  But he actually wishes to ordain under Ven. B1, then he should simply ask the following pertinent questions:

5. “Can I ordain under you, Ven / Master / Shifu / Ajahn / Sayadaw / Rinpoche?”

6. “Shifu (etc), will you please take me as your disciple and give me the ordination?”

Questions 5 & 6 applies if and only if A1 wishes to ordain under B1.  If A1 do not make any of the above two requests, it is highly unlikely that B1 will respond to the above question 1 to 4 assuming that A1 wishes to ordain under B1.  In response to question 1-4, Ven. B1 would most likely give relevant advices but in most cases, would not suggest “Why don’t you ordain under me?”.  It does not quite work that way.

Scenario #2

Similar to the above, except that this person wishes to learn Dharma from Ven. B1.

1. “Ven, where and whom should I learn Dharma from?”

2. “Ven, can you recommend a Venerable to give a Dharma talk?”

3. “Ven, can you recommend Venerable to be our spiritual advisor?”

Again, you should be asking for Dharma directly and not asking such round about questions.  Surely you do not expect the monk to be recommending himself?

Scenario #3

In all other cases where person A1 seeks the services of Ven. B1, be it counselling, giving of Dharma, giving blessings, taking of refuge, taking of precepts, conducting a retreat, etc etc, one should simply make a sincere and direct request:

1. “Ven, I / we would like to seek your help to ________ .  Please let us know if it is possible.  …. …. ”

Simple as that.  In some cases, you may be redirected to send that same direct request to the monastery, temple or society that the venerable is presently resident in.  But again, it is the same direct approach.

Think simple.  Just imagine if you are asking a friend out.  “Who would you recommend to go watch this movie with?” … trust me, you are not going out any time soon! :p

Granted, there is the case where you really just need some recommendation, then this blog post do not apply to you.  Move along, this is not the blog post you are looking for … 😉

Sabbe satta sukhita hontu! ^_^

Library Collection of Donations for Japan Earthquake

The Buddhist Library is collecting donations for the Japan disaster and will be directing it through Tzu Chi 

Members who are visiting the Buddhist Library premises may offer their support and donations through the collection box at the counter.   You may also donate directly to Tzu Chi to offer your aid for the Japanese people.

Why donate via Tzu Chi Foundation?

There are many reasons why I would recommend donating via Tzu  Chi Foundation.  But of these reasons, one prime consideration is the spirit of voluntarism in their organisation.  It is said that volunteers who go on overseas relief mission pay for their own travel expenses and do not get reimbursed for their time.  This way, there is a minimum or virtually no overhead slapped onto your donation.



Instead of going through a third party, Tzu Chi volunteers personally deliver relief goods to the hands of each household in need,. Hence, all of the donations go directly to the hands of the needy.


Tzu Chi relief team assesses the needs and conditions before deciding which areas to provide aid to, ensuring that aid goes to areas where they are most needed.


Wherever Tzu Chi relief workers go to help, they must respect the lifestyle, the customs and the cultural tradition of that place. Relief workers are not superior to the victims, but reach out to them as friends.


Quick action makes relief more effective. Tzu Chi responds immediately after a disaster strikes and provides relief in a timely manner.


Tzu Chi relief team thoroughly and carefully assesses the needs and conditions in each location before conducting distributions and relief work program, providing medical services, and rebuilding in the long run. This is to ensure that the aid provided is needed and practical.

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