Tuesday, July 27, 2010
This Saturday's sharing session will be the first session of the brand new sharing concept, so do come down and experience it for yourself, first hand!
Topic - 4 Noble Truths by Mabel and Zeming (a.k.a kor kor love!)
Puja will start on the dot at 3.15 pm, so don't be late or face the wrath of RAVI!
And guess what, there will be DINNER served after sharing, prepared by Vicky and Co.!
SO unless you guys can find a better place that serve both dharma and good food, i will see you guys this Saturday!
Monday, July 26, 2010
The date is 14 August 2010, Saturday. Get your tickets soon if you haven't!
Organised by Singapore Buddhist Mission's youth group and supported by Singapore Buddhist Federation.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Remember the ones who gave you life, gave you care when you're sick and provided for your every small necessity even before words came out of your mouth.
Set aside the naggings and heated quarrels. Be grateful to the 2 most wonderful beings in this world,
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The most interesting test is when they tried to feed the cat meat dishes but it refuses and ran away. You wonder how faithful Ravi is, when compared to this cat.
Still, we love Ravi.
And another reminder that the Dhamma transcends all boundaries.
In the past, wherever Buddhism gains the patronage of the powerful, especially the king or the emperor, it took a life of its own, or took its own life, as some might say. Buddhism, patronized by the powerful, was defined by the powerful. There was only one Buddhist voice: the voice of the powerful.
Today, real danger comes from the corporatization of Buddhism, of Buddhism Inc. Buddhist corporations are on the rise. Inspired young people renounce the world, aspiring to taste the true Dharma, and to bring others closer to the true Dharma. But when they finish their training and return home, they find it dominated by Buddhist corporations. They have no voice except that of the corporations; they have no lives, except to live for the corporations.
The Buddha apparently foresees such developments, and he has provided us with a not-so-secret weapon against the corporations, that is, meditation. When we meditate on the true nature of our bodies, we see them for what they are: consciousness patched up with the four elements, a love-gift from our parents, sustained by food, but subject to the inclemencies of our surroundings, and is, above all, impermanent. With this understanding, we free our bodies from being corporatized; for, our bodies are really seen for what they are in true light.
This body-based mindfulness frees our mind from our physical being, whence thoughts proliferate, forming and feeding our self-created worlds. Having given up this fabricated world of the physical senses, we venture into the realm of feelings, of directly knowing pleasure and joy for what they really are -- and yes, they are truly beautiful, but impermanent all the same. Knowing this, no corporation, no matter how large or powerful or rich could seduce us away from our dawning self-knowing.
As we begin to see how these precious feelings are mind-made, it is easier for us to let them go. It is like we have held a beautiful flower long enough in our hands to enjoy it. We then let the flower go, and stand away to look at it from a distance, and see a sky of flowers. This is our mind that has brought us these joyful flowers in the first place.
As we dwell intimately with our minds, beyond pain and pleasure, beyond good and evil, in the stillness of inner space, we see what eyes can never see, nor ears hear, nor the nose smell, nor the tongue taste, nor body feel, nor the mind think. We are the very thing of beauty that poets and maestros try to sing about, that artists painfully try to print on canvas, that visionaries can only dream about. We are that beauty, we are that truth, so that we can really say beauty is truth, truth beauty.
Buddhism incorporated can be so attractive when we have no real families, no true friends to turn to, in an increasingly crowding and rushing world. A corporation can delude us into believing our life’s questions have been answered, that we have taken control of our lives. The painful reality is that the most sinister and insidious of corporations is a religious one, sliding on a belly of funds: we are only one of its tiny moving legs.
The magical antidote here is the cultivation of lovingkindness. We need to firstly accept ourselves just as we are, fully forgiving ourselves whatever commissions and omissions that we can remember: they are just memories, the dead that refuse to be buried. We need to leave them buried. Then we go on to accept others just as they are: what we are doing is to free our images of hate, pain and mismeasurements of others. Just as we are happy, let others be happy, too.
We go on building up this lovingkindness, like the sun that always rises and shines brightly on everyone and everything. As our minds and bodies heal themselves, we begin to glow spiritually, inspiring lovingkindness in others, and we begin to make more and more true-hearted friends. For, friends are not found, they are made, and the best way to make friends is through lovingkindness, opening the doors of our hearts to others.
The corporation is a heartless money-machine: Buddhism is commodified, thingified. It needs a heart to free itself from itself. It cannot see, as it has no eyes: it needs the Dharma-eye to truly see. Only through clear inner stillness, it can truly see. Only through lovingkindness it will begin to feel. As long as we truly see and truly feel, we cannot be corporatized. Buddhism is not a commodity, not a thing: our acts, words and minds are Buddhism; we are Buddhism.
Revisioning Buddhism 21
[an occasional re-look at the Buddha’s Example and Teachings]
Copyright by Piya Tan ©2010
Recommended reading: The Three Roots Inc (SD 31.12): http://dharmafarer.org/
Saturday, July 17, 2010
He and his wife were visiting their son and his wife who lived out of town on some acreage that was next to a farm. One morning during the visit, they all awoke to sounds of cows in great distress. Not knowing what was happening, but concerned, the four of them drove over to the farm and found the farmer.
When they asked what was happening, he explained.
One of the older cows had died during the night. When he heard the lowing, he went to the field and saw that the cows were all standing around the dead one and lowing in great distress. He quickly got his tractor, dug a deep hole, and maneuvered the dead cow into the hole.
To his amazement the cows positioned themselves around the hole and one or two even tried to climb down into it. The others were around the rim and the older ones pushed their way to to the edge of the hole as the younger ones were pushed away to stand behind the older ones. It was as if senior mourners had taken their place before younger ones. The farmer had had the older cows since they were calves and hadn't wanted to kill animals just because they were not productive so the herd had been together for several years.
My friend had shaken his head when he told me of this, saying he had never seen anything like it before.
So. Do cows cry? I do not know. But apparently, they can feel loss and great sadness and distress. Something we would do well to understand.
by Venerable Wuling
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The following message is brought to you by The Minding Centre.
Dear Friends in the Dharma,
Starting this Sunday, 18 Jul 2010,
We will be studying
Sutta Discovery vol 1: the Buddha and the early Buddhist Teachings
Dharma teacher: Piya Tan
Time: 1.15 pm 2.45 pm
Venue: Singapore Buddhist Mission, 9 Ruby Lane, Singapore 328284.
Books will be available for students in the class for loan (free) or for purchase.
The cost of each book is $25.00 per copy (at Sutta class), or $35.00 per copy (at the bookshops).
All proceeds go to the Sutta Translation Project.
For details of the book, please browse: http://dharmafarer.org/
Please forward this announcement to others you care about, or inform them about this chance to be in the living presence of the Buddha Word in our Sutta Study.
The Minding Centre
Blk 644 Bukit Batok Central, #01-68 (2nd flr),
(near Bukit Batok MRT/Interchange) Singapore 650644.
HP: (65) 8211 0879
Sri Lanka is also a very special counry to us here at Singapore Buddhist Mission. Our Dhamma Centre is founded by the late Venerable Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda and follows the Siam Nikaya tradition of Sri Lankan Theravadan Buddhism.
Sri Lanka is also the home of our Chief Resident Monk, Venerable K. Dhammika, and under whom many of us took our Refuge in the Tirarana and the Five Precepts.
Zeming and myself has have the good fortune to follow Venerable K. Dhammika on his recent trip back to his home country, where we not only visited holy Buddhist shrines around the island and tourist attractions but even the region which was controlled by rebels less than 2 years ago.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country filled with beautiful beaches, beautiful shrines and beautiful people. Their smiles are heartwarming and their reception to the visitors, humbling. Of all the countries that I have been to, Sri Lanka lingers on exceptionally. Words cannot express this wonderful experience which is itself spiritual in nature.
Let our pictures do the talking.
A photo taken in the 1950s. See if you can spot a younger Bhante Anuruddha?
A Sunday School student in a 200-year old monastery where we had the fortune of staying for a night.
Beautiful image of Lord Buddha is illuminated by lamps.
An upasika (female laywoman) prepares for our meals.
Ancient temples built in caves under Royal Patronage.
This picture reminds me of the story of Culapanthaka. 扫尘除垢 anyone?
Bhante Dhammika met his former student, who is the ex-director of Sri Lankan's Education Ministry.
One of the Friends of SBM Youth mentioned that the picture above reminds him of Tolkien.
Ascension to the Rock.
Ancient sculpture of Lord Buddha under the patronage of King Tissa (or his sons, can't remember).
Monday, July 12, 2010
In the Upaddha Sutta (S 45.2), the Buddha is recorded as stating that spiritual friendship is the whole of the holy life. Spiritual friendship here refers ideally to the meditation teacher’s relationship with his pupil. The teacher here inspires the student so that he (the student) is able to tap his spiritual potential to attain mental peace and clarity.
The Meghiya Sutta (U 4.1.7) further speaks of five qualities of spiritual maturity that comes from spiritual friendship. In an important sense, this is how spiritual friendship works.
The very first benefit of spiritual friendship is an intrinsic one: it is good in itself. When we meet our spiritual friends, our spiritual mentors, we cannot but feel a sense of secure joy. In a sense, spiritual friendship is an unequal relation: the mentor is wiser and more experienced than we are, and from which we benefit, conducing to our own spiritual growth. This is as natural as water flowing downwards from the heights.
Yet, spiritual friendship, on account of its interactivity, also brings the best out of both the mentor and the mentee. In fact, the spiritual friend or mentor, too, often learns a lot from such an interaction, unless he is an adept (non-learner), an arhat. As such, spiritual friendship is also open to an interactivity on a level ground, as it were. Here, the mentor and the mentee inspire each other in the expression of beauty and truth, in mutually raising and refining one another’s consciousness. This is called “true-hearted friendship.” [Note 1]
So much spiritual energy arises from such an interaction. This is the kind of energy that best fuels a Buddhist community, and which inspires others to see their innate goodness and bring it onto the conscious and active level. It is from such true friendship that we inspire and bring out the artistic talents, intellectual genius and unconditional goodness in others. Spiritual friendship is the ground for beauty and truth, and where we are able to truly appreciate that beauty is truth, and truth beauty.
When we are truly happy, we will naturally do good. The truly happy are also morally virtuous. Conversely, when we are morally virtuous, we will naturally be happy, too. Spiritual friendship, by its very nature, is a morally interactive relationship. Moral virtue ideally entails the best that we can offer to others, to healthily work and interact with others, through our bodies and speech. This is essentially what the five precepts are about.
Such a morally virtuous life only enhances our spiritual energies, fuelling us more joyful interest in our connections, fellowship and working with others. But we should direct the most vital effort towards our own spiritual development. For, it is our inner energies that make our friendship spiritual. In exerting such effort, we continue to grow spiritually and empower ourselves to become spiritual mentors to others.
Spiritual friendship and true-hearted friendship not only create and build beauty and truth, but they also refine our senses to see things within and without more clearly. We become truly wise, so that in due course, we are able to see directly into true reality. We become awakened. For this reason, the Buddha declares that the spiritual life is the whole of the holy life.
[This revisioning is an abridgement of the conclusion to the essay entitled “Bad Friendship: Avoiding unwholesome teacher-pupil relationships” SD 34.1. For an advance copy, please request directly from Ratna at http://firstname.lastname@example.org.]
[Note 1]: True-hearted friendship (suhada mittatâ): see Sigal’ovada Sutta (D 31.21-26/3:187 f) = SD 4.1.
[Note 2]: Upaddha Sutta (S 45.2/5:2 f = SD 34.9) = (Kalyana,mitta) Appamada Sutta (S 3.18/1:87 f = SD 34.3).
Revisioning Buddhism 19
[an occasional re-look at the Buddha’s Example and Teachings, 30 June 2010]
Copyright by Piya Tan ©2010
Punctuality and accountability have been problems that plagued our group, especially since we work like a family where everyone is our own brother and sister. As a senior here, even more so is my duty to remind everyone to try and keep up to time and not let your peers delay an event, just so they could accommodate your little bad habit.
It's about time, especially if you have lived more than a decade of your life, not realising that your little bad habit is causing inconvenience to others.
Lets learn shall we?
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Honestly you guys have probably the best team ever in the history of the youth group. I am sure we will go far.