Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nembutsu People also Capable of Great Awakening

Hakuin was a special Zen Master. He used his wisdom to promote awakening according to the person’s practice. In Japan, the practice of reciting Amitabha’s Name, or Nembutsu, was a popular practice. Even though he was from the Zen tradition, he believed that the Nembustsu was more suitable for the laity. This was because the laity has to attend to all the daily chores of a family and working life. ...However he preached that the Amida Butsu (Japanese for Amitabha Buddha) was not to be sought outside of ourselves and that one should look for him in the mind. Once it has been found, one will also find Amida’s Infinite Light. One will then realize that that has always been the nature of all things, i.e. infinite light.

One lay woman, upon hearing this teaching, instead of “converting" to Zen practice, as might be expected, she resolved to deepen her practice of the Nembutsu. She declared to Master Hakuin that the Amida’s Inifnite light was not that difficult to find. So, she recited Nembutsu in all of her daily chores – while gathering wood, while preparing meals for her family and her many other house work. After many months, while washing pot, she had an awakening. She then rushed to see Master Hakuin and said, “The Buddha’s light shines through everything!” Master Hakuin decided to test her awakening and remarked, “Are you sure? What about that animal dung there on the road?” The woman immediately slapped the Master and said, “You mean you don’t really understand?” Master Hakuin burst out laughing.

This story confirms my understanding that even using the Nembutsu we can come to the same attainment as the Zen Masters. And that the person with Nembutsu awakening can also be able to give the right response to a koan, if asked. Conversely, using the Zen Methods, we too can attain the levels of the Nembutsu practitioners. I am sure the Mahamudra method will lead to the same Unborn Mind. It’s only that one should employ the same method over time. So, this is one story of Hakuin I want to share. May all be free from suffering!

Source of story: "Zen Masters of Japan" by Richard Bryan McDaniel

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Elephant Dream

This is to record a rather strange dream I had. This morning I woke up and remembered the dream I had. It was a huge elephant and it was emitting light. There was a Buddha beside it and the Buddha too was emitting light. The elephant then became a thangka and I was looking at it together with another dharma friend. Then I woke up. Felt blessed upon waking up. This is the second time I had dreamed of a elephant - which I think is supposed to be a symbol of the Buddha. The first time was Bodhisattva Samantabhadra's elephant complete with all the tusks and lotus flowers. But that was many, many years ago. Thank you, Great Elephant for this dream blessings. :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bhajans with Sri Sathya Sai Baba

For my future reference... !

Friday, January 10, 2014

10,800 White Tara mantras for Khenchen K. G. Rinpoche

Yesterday I completed the accumulation of 10,800 White Tara mantras for the quick recovery from the fall in India for Most Venerable Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche. I dedicate all the mantras to him for that purpose. Most his injuries heal quickly and may he be able to walk about again as normal.   

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Reflecting the Year 2013, Thank You, Buddhas!

So fast a whole year has almost gone. Actually it has always been like that, right? Time flies in a blink of an eye. This year has been very challenging personally for me. All the stress and frustration - work related - it's been an ordeal. It's supposed to be a good year for me. Others with the same "sign" are getting promotions and elevated status - workwise. But me? I seem to be getting the exact opposite. It's foretold in the stars actually. I saw it coming, and I find that having the dharma in mind really helps in such times. I kept my composure as best I could and meditation helps keep my sanity. Despite all these, I want to thank the Buddhas and protectors for all the blessings received this year. Indeed I realise that something negative may only appear that way on the surface. But deep down, it could actually be beneficial. I have a feeling it'll be good in the end, but it won't be so fast, we'll see how things go next year. I have to think more long term, instead of short term solutions or reaction. Same as you, I am not getting any younger. Just as I planted some seeds about 20 years ago that grew today, if I don't plant the proper seeds NOW, I wouldn't enjoy the kind of "fruit tree" and "flowers" that I will need 20 years from now. Miracles don't happen suddenly without causes and conditions from our side. This is what I am convinced of. Despite it will be some what of an initial setback next year, and my work is expected to be crazy like hell, can't take holidays as and when I like anymore, but hopefully, looking at it long term, it will bring more stable prosperity (in all sense of this word, not just in terms of wealth). But we'll see this comes at what cost. Namo Amitabha! And thank you to all my dharma friends for the support and prayers - for those who had helped me in one way or another. I promise that despite my busy schedule, my connection with the dharma will never break. If I can just wake up every morning feeling that I am waking up to help all sentient beings, and add to that, keep a stable mind resting in the understanding of nature's emptiness reality, that would be all the practice that I need. Even if I die without any enlightenment, I will have no regret, having only my mind in relative and ultimate bodhicitta on daily basis. Amitabha! Amitabha! Amitabha! HAPPY NEW YEAR and MAY BUDDHA BLESS! MAY ALL HOLY GURUS LIVE LONG AND STABLE LIFE! Thank you once again to my Buddha-Protectors! _/\_

Monday, December 9, 2013


Important message from HE Garchen Rinpoche:

"While walking in Lapchi, Ven. Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche fell through a decaying wooden bridge and badly injured his hips and legs. He was initially in a hospital in Kathmandu and now being cared for at Rinchen Ling monastery. As an offering to Khenchen Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche requests that each of us accumulate 10,000 White Tara mantra and dedicate them for him.
Rinpoche would like evryone to know that Khenchen is one of our most precious Drikung lamas. He studied for many years at a university at Varanasi, India and HIs Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang RInpcohe enthroned him as a Khenchen, a high scholar, at Jangchubling in Dehradun.
Presently, Khenchen is Retreat Master at His Holiness' new Milerepa Retreat Center in Germany. "  - message from Drikung Kagyu Link facebook dated Dec. 7, 2013.
The White Tara mantra goes like this: Om Tare Tutare Ture Mama Ayur Punye Jhana Pushting Kuru Svaha. The deity above is Arya White Tara and is strategically placed above Khenchen's head as if blessing Khenchen to quickly recover from the injuries!  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Strong Vows Keep Us From Burning Out

I thought I want to share this short clip here and also so that I can easily watch it if I get burnt out due to my job or life situations. From this clip titled as "How not to burn out" in Youtube, we learn that it is important to have great compassion and strong sustained vows to keep us going and going. As Barry said, better to cut out the "I" and just focus on "How to help". Ideas of good and bad also causes burning out. Namo Amitabha!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

See Beyond Your Own Religion

I feel that people who have a religion (or profess to have one) must learn to listen to other religions, and not be too obssessed with protecting and promoting our own alone. A lot of times we get into an emotive faith and just stubbornly refuse to listen to others. It is not surprising to me, therefore if many so-called persons who fought and kill to protect their religion or God or their religious sanctity are found languishing in the depths of hell, rather than heaven. And being fair, I do not exclude the possibility of Buddhists being too "possessive" of Buddhism or their particular traditions, until they cannot see the wisdom in other religions/traditions. So, try to see beyond your own religions. Don't make sweeping statements/rulings, or whatever else, without an actual study of the facts. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Yes! Yong Vui Kong spared the death sentence!

Having written 4 separate posts on the subject, I am glad to have supported his cause. The sentence by the judge was what I had envisioned, i.e. to give mules a second chance to repent by converting the death sentence to life imprisonment as well as the caning. Let the death sentence be reserved for those drug masterminds who manufacture the addictive drugs, sell it for his own wealth and remains unrepentant.Yong just had to be able to take the caning. The Singapore concept of only letting go of pure mules, and not those who go beyond the role of mules is correct, and is in line with my philosophy and belief as written previously. I salute the judge and Singapore AG for doing the right thing. I have seen people from Singapore reading my posts and if I had contributed in even a small way to give not only Vui Kong but others like him, that would have achieved my purpose. However they must seriously repent because third chances don't come by anymore. And I cannot support a third chance anymore.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Chanting the Wind, True Renunciation

This morning around 6.30 to 7.15 am, in between sleep and wake state, I had the most auspicious realisation of what it means to be truly reciting the Great Compassion Mantra. I also discovered what really is Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's "Left Home Day" is. You see, today is the 9th month and 19th day according to the Chinese calendar. I realised that to be truly chanting the great compassion mantra is to have bodhicitta in our heart. And if you read the founder of the Drikung Kagyu, Jigten Sumgon's Gong Chik text, bodhicitta is much more than merely having compassion. If you have true bodhicitta in your heart, then your are truly reciting the mantra, and not like the parrot that merely repeats the mantra. So, that is probably what is meant by "chanting the wind", a phrase used by a Korean Zen Master in a poem I read somewhere. When a person with bodhicitta recites a mantra, it becomes so embued with skillful power that it can bless sentient beings. It's power not in the sense of strength power or destructive power, rather it is development power or soothing power. It builds our inner strength, rather than overt physical strength. "Left Home Day" of Kuan Yin Pu Sa is not about her leaving the palace to be a nun. It is about us putting our bodhicitta aspiration into action for all sentient beings around us. We are leaving the comfort of ego feeding and ego ambitions. Forsaking these and embracing the greater need of doing something for others, I believe this is the actual renunciation. Donning a robe and shaving the hair are mere external appearances. Not to say that the robes and shaving the hair are not important, but the heart essense of renunciation does not lie in external appearances. I leave this notes for your thoughts. Good day! Namo Kuan Yin Pu Sa!