Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Having come home from Bangladesh...I realise how confined and minute our worldview has been all these while in an utopian as sheltered as our sunny island home.
Lets work hard for not only our spiritual cultivation, but also our lay duties! We are after all lay people with lay responsibilities to your teachers, your parents, your results and your bosses.
So students, learn to work hard while at the same time, play hard. Young adults who are working, see meaning in your work and be thankful that your little action can have an impact on the lives of others.
To practice the Dhamma is precisely to appy the Buddha's teachings in our day to day life. Recalling the Buddha's teachings, be mindful of our thought, speech and action, and always stand upright with confidence and wisdom, like a strong tree against the storms of this world. Keep your mind clam and clear.
While we live in an imperfect world, beauty and happiness can still be found, from the faces of your family, friends, your loved ones and even those on the faces of the auntie and uncle in the morning wet market.
IT's mid week and a good reminder to always do good, just like the Buddha. Keep the faith going and keep buildin the community. As we can see from recent events here, there is stiull a lot of work for us to do to build up a good and comfortable place for youths like you and me to learn and practice the Dhamma. We are no where enar perfection and it is precisely this reason why we are working hard. Give us a chance.
Your little contribution to the society will have an impact, no matter how small.
On a parting note, a little gift..a little video I amde from my time in Bangladesh. The people of Dhaka city will always remind me of how poor they may be materially, but how rich they are spiritually. Yet their poverty does not make them gloomy and borrding at each moment of the rising sun.
I've come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence.
Beautiful song. What could the lines really mean?
Ive come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence.
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of
A neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one deared
Disturb the sound of silence.
Fools said i,you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you.
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the signs said, the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.
And whisperd in the sounds of silence.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
As a letter of appeal out there to individuals or members that may be reading this, please take note:
According to the National Day Rally Speech as per delivered by our Prime Minister, the main issue that took up most of the speech was definitely religion, and inter-religious harmony. However, with the constant probing of unknown c-boxers that have been perturbing the harmony that our youth group have earned to enjoy, i would like to post a note of warning and reminder to all who are reading this blog on an issue of intra-religious harmony.
Singapore Buddhist Mission Youth Group welcomes one and all to contribute with sincere hearts and minds to assist in sharing sessions, youth activities and adult committee activities. We also sincerely hope that members alike would also be mindful of their actions in their daily lifestyles in order to continue your practices.
However it has come to my attention that there are one, if not, several entities in the past few months that have been engaged in activities directed at the disruption of the youth group's activities. As the Vice-President of Development to the ones involved, it is with a firm understanding that we would not hesitate to exclude you from our activities should your actions involved the following:
- Disruption of meetings/sharing sessions with alternative messages of agenda from another entity.
- Conversations or Actions that cause distractions and resulting in complaints from our REGISTERED youths in the nominal roll.
- Any other form of processes that is targeted at de-stabilizing or disrupting the day-to-day activities of he youth group.
We have identified the entities involved and as a reminder, this is a post to remind you of our duties as a buddhist to carry on your practise with peace and absolute mindfulness, and should you have the heart to carry on with SBM Youth, we would welcome you with open arms, if your heart does not have an agenda. This not only applies to youths, but also individuals who have your own personal agenda. However, if you are unable to have a good focus or vision with the youth group, and continue to disrupt the activities, I would not hesitate to exercise my duties and take action along with the development division to alleviate this issue.
Let me add on that this letter of reminder comes with the blessings shown by our resident monk, Ven. Dhammika even in his letter to the youths in SBM in an effort to clarify on these issues.
Should you have your own personal enquiry and would like to understand more of these details, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to converse.
Yeo Han Yong Alvin
Monday, August 17, 2009
"Let me share a recent article in an Indian newspaper, The Asian Age (picked up by Straits Times). Story of a young Muslim Gujarati, Mohammed Sheikh (pseudonym), who decided to come to Singapore after the Hindu-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002 .
Train carrying Hindu pilgrims was stopped and set on fire in Ahmadebad, burning 58 men, women and children alive. Hindus rioted in retaliation, and at least a thousand people were killed, mostly Muslims.
Quote article: "During the bloody clashes, he watched three of his family members, including his father, getting butchered… His family had to pay for being Muslim. Besides losing his family and home, Mohammed lost confidence and faith in the civil society. He did not want to spend the rest of his life cursing his destiny… He wanted to move on."
So seven years ago, Mohammed came to Singapore to get a diploma in hospitality management. He is now working in an eatery and hopes to open his own eatery business.
He told the interviewer that if he had stayed in Gujarat, "I would have been hating all Hindus and baying for their blood, perhaps."
Now "he loves when his children bring home Hindu friends and share snacks. He told the interviewer proudly: "My children have Christian, Buddhist, Hindu friends."
He even hopes to bring his mother to Singapore so that she can "see for herself that people of different faiths can be friends and can co-exist peacefully".
Asked what Muslim sect he belonged to, and which mosque he went to in India, he said: "I don't want to get into all that. Now I am just a Singaporean. And I am proud of it."
This story reminds us that while we must not neglect to strengthen our harmonious society, we are in fact in a good position. The Grand Mufti of Syria as well as many overseas visitors and diplomats have made the same point.
Let us rejoice in our harmony, but let us also never forget what being a Singaporean means. Not just tolerating other groups, but opening our hearts to all Singaporeans."
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Firstly, Dhamma as we understand is the Buddha's teachings in the Suttas. But at a different level, the Dhamma is everywhere and ever present waiting to be realised by you and me. You can see the Dhamma everywhere in nature, in ur work place, school life, army life, home, along the MRT and most certainly at SBM.
The Buddha saw common events in life - old age, sickness and death - and questioned its significance and causes. After years of searching, reflecting and understanding, he managed to answer his question of the big WHY. WHY is the cause of this 'happening'. Hence its not about "if you cant find Dhamma here..." or "There is no more Dhamma here..." its whether you are willing to take a step back and question, reflect and find your answers in the truth and meaning behind any phenomenon.
Secondly, SBM is blessed to have Dr Annurudha as our Chief Religious advisor. Those who have attended his talk yesterday can see that his explaination of the Dhamma can be simple or extensive. He is literally a walking Tipitaka. We also are blessed with Venerable Bodhi to be our youth advisor. Bhante Dhammika is also always at SBM ready to answer any of your questions. There is such an immense wealth of Dhamma knowlegde here for us to learn and grow.
Hence, its is very irresponsible to say that "I cant find Dhamma here...". Dhamma does not come to you. Its up to every individual to learn and question and seek counsel from our advisors. In order to learn and grow in character and spirituality, we must be proactive to approach our advisors.
Please if you do hear anyone speaking or uttering such statements please do clarify with them and guide them from the misconceptions of Dhamma.
Lastly, these are the reminders from our resident religious advisor Ven K. Dhammika.
"Dhamma is the Light of Wisdom. It is the True Knowledge of Vision. Dhamma is the Cure for all Suffering. It is the unique Path for one's freedom.
Practise the Dhamma whenever and wherever possible. Refrain from evil. Cultivate good. Purify your thoughts. You will move from dark to light. You will go from light to light."
We are very blessed to have such as kind and compassionate as Venerable K. Dhammika, as our Resident Religious Advisor, Chief Resident Monk and the Preceptor to many of the youths here in Singapore Buddhist Mission.
He has a message to all the youths in SBM here:
A bird needs two wings to fly properly. You need to develop both your head and heart in order to become a successful noble human being.
If you develop only the qualities of the heart ignoring your brain, you will be a virtuous, kind hearted, good man. But the others may take advantage on you.
On the other hand if you develop only your brain, you will be very intelligent, cleaver and cunning. Since you don't know the value of human qualities you will not hesitate to do any kind of crime. You will not care about otehr people. You are ready to do anything to get what you want.
Why do you need a religion? Man is a living being who has got a mind which can be developed either in positive or negative way. Buddhism guides you to develop this mental power in proper way so as to become noble, peace loving, intelligent human beings.
A plant needs sunshine, water, good soil and necessary conditions to grow into a healthy strong tree. The SBM youth group provides necessary conditions and create suitable surroundings for Singapore youths to develop spiritually with right vision and correct understanding.
Just like parents are happy to see the growing of their children I am very happy to see the great success that the youth wing has achieved. It is a great pleasure to see the team, which started with eight members, has increased to ninety members at the moment.
The first step you took with noble intention and courage made you tread a long way overcoming its barriers and passing the milestones of success. Among many successful Dhamma activities the youth wing has left, I appreciated a lot the Dhamma camps and interactive programs with other youth teams in Singapore. These kinds of programs help to develop spiritual life as well as enhance friendship, right understanding, unity and brotherhood among various Buddhist youth communities.
You have inherited a rich Buddhist culture which is more than two thousand five hundred years old. Enriched with that rich culture, realizing modern youth trends and needs, you can be creative and lead the youth in the twentieth century in order to become perfect noble human beings.
Eventually this Dhamma will disappear from the world. There will be a time when nobody will know the path to get out of this immense suffering. Rare is the life of a human being. Fortunate are you to have come across the teachings of the Buddha.
Dhamma is the Light of Wisdom. It is the True Knowledge of Vision. Dhamma is the Cure for all Suffering. It is the unique Path for one's freedom.
Practise the Dhamma whenever and wherever possible. Refrain from evil. Cultivate good. Purify your thoughts. You will move from dark to light. You will go from light to light.
May the members of the youth group have mental and physical strength and power to work for the well beings and happiness of multitude. May you all be well and happy!
Venerable K. Dhammika
Singapore Buddhist Mission
Thursday, August 13, 2009
It's just so scary, I cried while watching the news.
You see the building that collapsed.
You see the rain wash off the building.
You see how people suffered.
Another scene was farmers were throwing away the corpse of chicken.
You know how many lives were there?
People are losing their loved one.
They are suffocating, suffering, facing anxiety.
Furthermore, it was their Father's day.
And yet, people are losing fathers.
They don't even know if their father is still alived.
What we can do now, is to pray hard for them.
If there is any community involvement,
let's go for it and try to reach out to them in a way.
I hope the whole thing would end soon.
Let's pray hard alright,
and wished those who had passed on,
to be able to be reborn in a better realm.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
As you all know, our yearly camp ehi-passiko is in december. To prepare everyone into the mood of camp, we have a GL camp next month! It will be a two day one night camp for all GLs for this year's CEP.
Here are the details:
Date: 12 september 2009 to 13 september 2009
Here are the lists of GLs:
3. Xin Yi
6. Yin Hong
16. Xin De
22. Yong Wei
27. Yi xiang
28. Li jia
32. Huey yee
34. Yong ting
35. Wen cong
36. Su hiang
41. Fu zhong
42. Yeow Chong
Those names not included are organisers of camp.
We will inform you soon! Please also inform those after seeing this post. It'll help us a lot.
We promise you a fun camp!
Seee you later, alligator!
Kaiwen and CS
Camp master and camp mistress 2009!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
It is told that five hundred monks received instructions from the Buddha in the particular techniques of meditation suitable to their individual temperaments. They then went to the foothills of the Himalayas to spend the four months of the rains' retreat by living a life of withdrawal and intensive meditation. In those days, a month or two before the rains' retreat started, monks from all parts of the country would assemble wherever the Buddha lived in order to receive direct instruction from the Supreme Master. Then they would go back to their monasteries, forest dwellings or hermitages to make a vigorous attempt at spiritual liberation. This was how these five hundred monks went to the Buddha, who was staying at Savatthi in Jeta's Grove in the monastery built by Anathapindika.
After receiving instructions they went in search of a suitable place, and in the course of their wandering they soon found a beautiful hillock at the foothills of the Himalayas. This, according to the commentary, "appeared like a glittering blue quartz crystal: it was embellished with a cool, dense, green forest grove and a stretch of ground strewn with sand, resembling a pearl net or a silver sheet, and was furnished with a clean spring of cool water." The bhikkhus were captivated by the sight. There were a few villages nearby, and also a small market-town ideal as alms-resort. The monks spent a night in that idyllic grove and the next morning went to the market-town for alms.
The residents there were overjoyed to see the monks, since rarely did a community of monks come to spend the retreat in that part of the Himalayas. These pious devotees fed the monks and begged them to stay on as their guests, promising to build each a hut near the grove on the sandy stretch so that they could spend their days and nights plunged in meditation under the ancient boughs of the majestic trees. The bhikkhus agreed and the devotees of the area soon built little huts in the fringe of the forest and provided each hut with a wooden cot, a stool and pots of water for drinking and washing.
After the monks had settled down contentedly in these huts, each one selected a tree to meditate under, by day and by night. Now it is said that these great trees were inhabited by tree-deities who had a celestial mansion built, appropriately using the trees as the base. These deities, out of reverence for the meditating monks, stood aside with their families. Virtue was revered by all, particularly so by deities, and when the monks sat under the trees, the deities, who were householders, did not like to remain above them. The deities had thought that the monks would remain only for a night or two, and gladly bore the inconvenience. But when day after day passed and the monks still kept occupying the bases of the trees, the deities wondered when they would go away. They were like dispossessed villagers whose houses had been commandeered by the officials of visiting royalty and they kept watching anxiously from a distance, wondering when they would get their houses back.
These dispossessed deities discussed the situation among themselves and decided to frighten the monks away by showing them terrifying objects, by making dreadful noises and by creating a sickening stench. Accordingly, they materialized all these terrifying conditions and afflicted the monks. The monks soon grew pale and could no longer concentrate on their subjects of meditation. As the deities continued to harass them, they lost even their basic mindfulness, and their brains seemed to become smothered by the oppressing visions, noise and stench. When the monks assembled to wait upon the seniormost Elder of the group, each one recounted his experiences. The Elder suggested: "Let us go, brethren, to the Blessed One and place our problem before him. There are two kinds of rains' retreat — the early and the late. Though we will be breaking the early one by leaving this place, we can always take upon ourselves the late one after meeting the Lord." The monks agreed and they set out at once, it is said, without even informing the devotees.
By stages they arrived at Savatthi, went to the Blessed One, prostrated at his feet, and related their frightful experiences, pathetically requesting another place. The Buddha, through his supernormal power, scanned the whole of India, but finding no place except the same spot where they could achieve spiritual liberation, told them: "Monks, go back to the same spot! It is only by striving there that you will effect the destruction of inner taints. Fear not! If you want to be free from the harassment caused by the deities, learn this sutta. It will be a theme for meditation as well as a formula for protection (paritta).
Then the Master recited the Karaniya Metta Sutta — the Hymn of Universal Love — which the monks learned by rote in the presence of the Lord. Then they went back to the same place.
As the monks neared their forest dwellings reciting the Metta Sutta, thinking and meditating on the underlying meaning, the hearts of the deities became so charged with warm feelings of goodwill that they materialized themselves in human form and received the monks with great piety. They took their bowls, conducted them to their rooms, caused water and food to be supplied, and then, resuming their normal form, invited them to occupy the bases of the trees and meditate without any hesitation or fear.
Further, during the three months of the rains' residence, the deities not only looked after the monks in every way but made sure that the place was completely free from any noise. Enjoying perfect silence, by the end of the rainy season all the monks attained to the pinnacle of spiritual perfection. Every one of the five hundred monks had become an arahant.
Indeed, such is the power intrinsic in the Metta Sutta. Whoever with firm faith will recite the sutta, invoking the protection of the deities and meditating on metta, will not only safeguard himself in every way but will also protect all those around him, and will make spiritual progress that can be actually verified. No harm can ever befall a person who follows the path of metta.
Credit to jianyong
kataññu kataveti, which is the Pali for gratitude.Gratitude is a positive response to life; in developing kataññu we deliberately bring into our consciousness the good things done to us in our life.We remember the goodness of our parents, and we contemplate it. We are not dwelling on what they did wrong; instead, we deliberately choose to remember the goodness. And the kindness that our parents had for us.
Our parents look after us regardless of any hardship/suffering they may have to endure.we must always honour and respect our parents.
May you all be well and happy (:
Monday, August 10, 2009
Recently, there are some problem with blogger and that's why no one updated it.
Happy national day!
Hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend.
Here is a song for everyone:
Home is a very meaningful song.
Whenever I am feeling low
I look around me and I know
There's a place that will stay within me
Wherever I may choose to go
I will always recall the city
Know every street and shore
Sail down the river which brings us life
Winding through my Singapore
This is home truly, where I know I must be
Where my dreams wait for me, where that river always flows
This is home surely, as my senses tell me
This is where I won't be alone, for this is where I know it's home
When there are troubles to go through
We'll find a way to start anew
There is comfort in the knowledge
That home's about its people too
So we'll build our dreams together
Just like we've done before
Just like the river which brings us life
There'll always be Singapore
For this is where I know it's home
For this is where I know I'm home