Friday, June 5, 2015

I dreamt of a Dakini

I have been having very strange dreams lately... or, perhaps I should call it "nightmares"? They were scary dreams that I rather not talk about. But the strangest of all happened last night. I dreamed of a lady with dirty face and long, dishevelled/messy hair, looking at me and creeping towards me. Her looks are really creepy and looks like those witches of medieval times. Not those beautiful angelic kind. Then at that time, there was this verse in praise of Mother Dakini. It just made me think whether she could be a dakini? Am I in trouble? Is she trying to protect me, or harm me?

The thing that is different about this "scary" dream as compared to the previous ones I had in previous nights before is that I felt safe with this "lady-witch", whereas in previous nightmares, I woke up feeling scared. I do not remember the verses in praise of Mother Dakini, but apparently it came from a Tibetan Buddhist text.

Whether this is delusion or not, now I am digging as much as I can on dakinis. I really wasn't that much on this subject before. Thank you!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Reciting Golden Light Sutra for Nepal

As advised by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, I have finished reciting the Golden Light Sutra for Nepal in light of the recent earthquake disaster there. I would like to dedicate the recitation as follows:-

1. to Lama Zopa's safety and long life as well as for all of my Gurus.
2. to the dead in Nepal - may they be reborn in a happier place.
3. to those who are alive - may their homes and lives be restored.
4. to the reduction of my greed, anger and delusion. Do I need to say more? :)

Half-way through the recitation, I felt as if there is a sudden ripening of my negative karma. Suddenly I became sick. I wasn't having flu, suddenly I have flu. But I recovered slightly the next day. It's not that serious. At the end of the recitation, especially after the chapter of Jalavahana's fish and chapter on tigress, I really felt happy. At the completion of the recitation, I felt as if a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders. It's like something negative I had been carrying is now gone. I do not know what that is, but I am thankful for this Sutra. And thankful to Lama Zopa for advising people to recite it. Thank you!

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Water Bubbles Returned Recently

The water bubbles in my water bowl offerings returned recently. It's about end of March 2015. It appeared in a reverse osmosis water bottle taken from Hotel Equatorial but which I offered it to the Buddha Amitabha in my house. It also appeared in the smaller bowls but lesser quantities. More appeared in the water bottle. I did not realise it until today that I had crossed the 900,000 mark of Migstema mantras recently. Thank you for coming. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"The Compass of Zen" is such a Gem

"Compass of Zen" is a book compilation of the teachings by Zen Master Seung Sahn.  When I first got to know of this book, I remember I saw a synopsis of it or saw the table of contents, or something and developed this idea that it is a book I could give a miss. After all, I thought I knew already those subjects on "Hinayana Buddhism" such as the Four Noble Truths, Noble Eightfold Path and on "Mahayana Buddhism topics such as the six paramitas, the Heart Sutra, the Lotus Sutra, etc.

I was mistaken.

The book turned out to be such a gem. The excellent Zen Master  explained each topic but unlike other books, cuts through all the wordy "crap"... and in Zen style, directly points to the key message of that topic. For example, most Buddhist Masters would say the 2nd Noble Truth as the cause of suffering. He directly informed the readers that the 2nd Noble Truth is the 12 Dependent Originations. And the 3rd Noble Truth is the reverse of the 12 Dependent Originations. By reversing the order, we are able to end suffering, which is the traditional way of explaining the 3rd Noble Truth.

Another example. You would think that the Diamond Sutra is about emptiness. According to Master Seung Sahn, the Diamond Sutra actually provides a bridge for a person to cross from the Hinayana view to the Mahayana view. And the Mahayana view centres a lot on the bodhisattva way.  In a recent teaching I have attended, which is a teaching by Yangsi Rinpoche, of Maitripa College, he also excellently condensed the entire teaching on this same Sutra by saying that this Sutra is on the Relative and Ultimate Bodhicitta.  I have never thought of the Diamond Sutra as a Sutra on bodhicitta. So, yes, we can see that mind of Zen Master Seung Sahn and that of the Tibetan Lama converges on the meaning of this Sutra as far as (at least) that it is about the bodhisattva way besides the view on emptiness.

I don't have the luxury of time as before to write long articles. So, this is my short comment on the book "the Compass of Zen" by Zen Master Seung Sahn. It is a publication by Shambala. Do get this book if you have been learning about Mahayana and wants a refreshing view of what you have learned. For those of you who are into Zen practice, I would say that this book is indispensable.

My prostrations to the excellent Zen Master!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Only the Dalai Lama decides on His reincarnation!

After a long break, let me start with something on His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Referring to this news (and similar ones), http://sputniknews.com/news/20150312/1019410210.html, China can say whatever they want on wanting to control the Dalai Lama's reincarnation, but the truth is, they cannot even control their own future rebirth. The China government politicians will be reborn according to the karma they have created. If they don't have any good karma, they will be reborn into one of the three lower realms (just like anybody else). That is for sure. But His Holiness the Dalai Lama has control over his rebirth... for him, the term to use should be "reincarnation"... and China government has absolutely no power over his reincarnation. They may have political power, but they don't have spiritual power to control his reincarnation. In fact, none of us has any power to do so.

ONLY THE DALAI LAMA DECIDES ON HIS FUTURE REINCARNATION.

NOT CHINA. NOT ANYBODY ELSE.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year, Layman Pang and Vimalakirti


As the year draws to an end, I am thankful that I am still alive – physically and most importantly, mentally. I had been through a hard time and on the brink of depression towards the end of last year and into this year. Hard times are not yet over for me, but I am starting to count the months when it will hopefully be over. At least one aspect of it will be over. Thereafter it may be another period of uncertainties, but I will worry about that later. The first phase of my “worldly” hardship will be marked by the appearance of my guru. Yes, he will come a visiting! I am looking forward to end of May 2015. Then I hope to quit my job and do a long retreat in Korea before I start looking for a job again. This time my job has to enable me to take long holidays for my retreats and other Buddhist activities if I need to. I do not wish to be confined or restricted by my job again – ever. So that’s my plan. I am not sure how realistic it will be or whether it will materialize or not. 2014 was a bad year. There were 3 plane mishaps that involved Malaysian planes and so many hundreds of people have died suddenly. And then there is the major floods happening currently. Elsewhere in the world, it is no less sorrowful.

So, that was how the last 12 months was. On the worldly level, things are not that good. On the spiritual level, things are not that bad. In 2014, I received critical teachings that I can relate to and it came very timely. It will help in certain aspect of my practice. In Ven. Hsu Yun's teachings, Layman Pang was mentioned. In a very strange (coincidence or not, depends on you), my Zen teacher also mentioned Layman Pang in his reply to me in a Q&A session. I was like - "What? You knew what I was studying lately?" Layman Pang was someone I could exemplify. Later, in a private interview with the Zen Master, he said that a closer lay person in terms of attainment, would be Vimalakirti. That was also very strange remark because in a private thought, the night before, I was thinking that Layman Pang was second to none and equal to the Buddhas and Patriarchs. The Zen Master said Layman Pang was a little attached to emptiness. Just a little. But I would not worry about this. In Tibetan Buddhism, it is very common for one Tibetan master to say another master does not have the correct view on emptiness. Anyway, do you think my Zen Master had read my thoughts, or do you think they are merely coincidences? I personally think there is more to it than just coincidence. 

Generally I pray that 2015 will be a better year for everybody! And I always close the year thanking my protectors! Thank You Very Much! If not for You all, 2014 would definitely be MUCH worse. Namo Amitabha Buddha. Om Mani Padme Hum.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Why "Hua Tou - My Protector"?

Referring to the poem I wrote on "Hua Tou - My Protector", the reason why I wrote it is not because I have such a strong resolve or that my hua tou is already that focused. Actually it is the opposite. I wrote that primarily to motivate myself. The truth is I am weak. I am currently beseeched by my job and other problems that I am not sure if I could handle them. Seriously. So I needed the poem to boost up my determination. I also need to go for a mind re-charging a.k.a meditation retreat. So, perhaps I will see you all next year.... if I don't drop by here again with another post. HAPPY NEW YEAR! MAY ALL BEINGS BE BLESSED!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Earth Store Bodhisattva Is OUR HOPE in DEEPEST SORROW

Lately it dawns upon me that no matter how deep is our sorrow and no matter how painful our suffering or situation, there is always a HOPE out of it. Why so? This is because in every of such situation, there is Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva (Earth Store Bodhisattva) in it waiting for us to tap into him and receive his guidance and blessings to end that suffering. Remember his deep vow to stay in Hell until hell is empty. But Hell is never empty. And never will. That is because we keep on creating hellist situation for ourselves and others. So, it looks like Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva has found a permanent place to accompany us. Hence we are NEVER ALONE in suffering. NEVER. Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is always there with us. In such deep sorrow, we should try to remember him and recite his Name. We should chant his mantra. HE IS OUR HOPE!

No matter what is your situation or hopelessness - NEVER GIVE UP! Recite his name and he will come in mysterious ways. He will definitely listen, even though it will seem like he isn't. I completely trust in his ability to help us in his own ways. I completely trust Kstigarbha Bodhisattva!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hua Tou - My Protector

These words are meant to inspire during difficult times, to provide the push when weak and to serve as reminder of what we are all capable of. Let these not be empty words.

Hua Tou - My Protector
The hot hells may burn my body into ashes,
But the hua tou shall shine even brighter.
The cold hells may crack my head open like the Utpala,
But the hua tou shall solidify even stronger.
The body may be deprived of food and water,
But the hua tou shall be all the sustenance I ever need.
So, stop there - greed, anger  and ignorance!
Stop being a hindrance to my peace.
To reach for the stars above,
I have a thousand steps to climb.
In this arduous journey,
The world can be cruel,
And people vicious.
They don't care.
But fear not -
Let the hua tou be the protector.

The hua tou - my only companion.
Never let go of it.
Laying down everything,
With a single mind, going forward.
Once at the pinnacle, to take a leap forward -
What is there?
HAK! Freedom!
Waking up from a long sleep.
Time to brush my teeth and wash my face.
Namo Prajna Paramita!

written: 22 Nov 2014. Sat. 10.30pm to 12.50pm the next day. Revised on 23/11/14, 8.30am.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Guidance from Ch'an Master Hsu Yun

On Friday, which is a day after Lhabab Duchen – the day that marks the occasion when Buddha descended on earth – I chanced upon a book containing teachings from Elder Master Hsu Yun, a 19th -20th century Ch’an Chinese Master. The strange thing was that I found the book in a Theravadian Buddhist temple. The book was “hidden” in a book cabinet where books meant for free distribution or dharma books that are recycled from their original owners are kept. Of the many books there, my eyes just set upon that particular book not too long after I scanned through the books there. As I opened it, I came upon passages that could be advising me on what I should do in my meditation practice and what I should avoid. These teachings were given by Ch’an Master Hsu Yun during Ch’an meditation retreat. It will be extremely valuable advice to me in my practice. I am really thankful to the Buddha for providing me with teachings from Good Knowing Advisors at various stages of my “development”. I completely trust Master Hsu Yun’s complete attainment. So, to have received such important teachings, especially when it is relevant to me at this point in time, I cannot but realise that this indeed is the actual significance of Lhabab Duchen, i.e. receiving of the Buddha Dharma within us. His recoded teachings are so invaluable!

I make my obeisance to the Master beyond comparison - Venerable Elder Master Hsu Yun! Namo Amitabha Buddha! Namo Amitabha Buddha! Namo Amitabha Buddha! HAPPY LHABAB DUCHEN!