Saturday, October 30, 2010

This time on my life

Everyone’s favourite topic is him/herself. Mine’s too. Explains why I keep on updating my life. What’s the use of having a blog anyway? I don’t want to remember my University days via the Facebook pictures and the links online here and there and piece them all together some day in my future. Might as well get it done with now.

USP Honour Rolls.

Since the USP honour rolls, I’ve been to the Medical Dharma Circle. Yi Qing was there and I was quite happy for that! Walking back to SPS, I started a series of late night works. Week 8 has Meditation Course, Discovering Buddhism, and no Dharma Circle (we had Dharma Camp subcommittee meeting instead). Then we had a late dinner at Munchies Monkeys after the meeting. It is nice to see the Dharma Camp subcommittee so dedicated and attending to the meetings.

Dinner at Munchies Monkeys-didn’t eat.

The next day, I went with Wen Xin and Chriswini for temple hunting after meeting our spiritual advisor. We didn’t succeed much, but it’s a nice trip on a Saturday nonetheless. That weekend, the Thursday IS group was rehearsing for the Dean’s Tea and I joined them in for some time. It’s a very nice experience to mix with the young people.

Week 9 features the SPS Dean’s Tea! Where we had super-serious fun enjoying the presentation of the newbies and good free food!

The time travellers group was there!

Then there is a NTU Buddhist Society talk on Wednesday, on which I am tempted to go, and went. Alvin fetched us all to go to NTU and we had a good time listening to Venerable Chuan Guan. We had gotten a marble and a paper that prompted me to start meditating daily.

Then I went to the University Town question and answer session and thus missing Discovering Buddhism on Thursday night.

That Friday, I recorded down my experiences for analysing later on, part of my Human Relations module. Friday night I went to Dharma Circle on the topic of Relationships with Family and Friends by Venerable Chuan Guan too.

Come Saturday, we went to Ven. Thubten Chodron’s talk at Poh Ming Tse, I and Eddy stayed back for the Building Self-Esteem talk later on. In the meantime, we interacted with the SIMBB people.

Then come Week 10. I went to the weekly Medical Dharma Circle, Meditation Course, Discovering Buddhism, and then there’s the Ajahn Brahm’s Talk Subcommittee meeting and Dharma Camp Subcommittee meeting. That’s Monday to Friday. Another normal week, weekend: Gone to Singapore City Square Mall, the first eco-mall in Singapore. And helped out in the Social Enterprise Showcase, the M.D.A.S.

That’s another weekend gone. Then came the last weekly activities on Week 11. I passed a comments book to the participants and it’s mostly nice remarks. That Wednesday, inspired by Barney, I went for Laser Tag! (Btw, I’ve finished the How I Met Your Mother, 110+ episodes in under 17 days.)

101027 Centre for Quantum Technologies (NUS) Laser Shootout! (21).JPG

It’s really fun! Then after that I came back to SPS and talked to Chin Xia for about an hour before going on to Meditation.

Then on Friday (yesterday), I went to SPS to do homework the whole day before going to the Last Dharma Circle of the Semester. After that, we had a 2+ hour of MC meeting. The next morning is the Dharma Friend training course. It was fun acting (during the trial Dharma Circle) again for a while.

Then I came back to SPS and heard the SPS journal club. Now I’m going for a long over due dinner. See ya!

Oh ya, looking at my active weekends, I estimate I go out of campus about 3 times per week on average, mostly for Buddhist Society stuffs. And noticing this post is mostly about Buddhist Society, I think I let it take over my life far too much……… must pull back……

Friday, October 29, 2010

Assurances of the Buddha

Sometimes one may get discouraged by the fact that since everything is impermanent, even if we attained to high states of existence, but still unenlighted, we are still liable to fall back to the cycle of samsara.

“What if I practise so hard in this life, just to get my karma used up by the next person who inherits it?”

“Is this the right path? Should I sacrifice attachment to all those pleasurable things (Facebook, blogger, gaming, manga, drama series, girls (boys) etc…… for this life of living in the forest and just sitting there?”

When doubts like that bites, it is perhaps time to remember that the Buddha did set some assurances of results from certain actions.

First one that comes to mind is from the Kalama Sutta:

On what basis one should perform good actions he presents four following assurances as found in the Kalama sutta. He says if anyone performs good actions:

1. If there is next life after death and if there is retributions of actions rightly and wrongly done, he/she does not have to worry about it because he/she will have good destination then. This is the first assurance.

2. If there is no next life and if there is no retributions of actions rightly and wrongly done, also he/she does not have worry about it because he/she lived a good life here and now. This is the second assurance.

3. If he does evil unconsciously without intending to harm anyone still he/she does not have to worry because suffering will not touch him. This is the third assurance.

4. And finally if he/she does not do evil even unknowingly, he/she is then pure in both respects (action and intention), therefore he/she will not be touched by suffering. This is the fourth assurance.

These are the four assurances given by the Buddha to those who cultivate good thoughts and lead a good and holy life.


Second one is on marriage:

[The Blessed One said:] "If both husband & wife want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come, they should be in tune [with each other] in conviction, in tune in virtue, in tune in generosity, and in tune in discernment. Then they will see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

Husband & wife, both of them having conviction, being responsive, being restrained, living by the Dhamma, addressing each other with loving words: they benefit in manifold ways. To them comes bliss. Their enemies are dejected when both are in tune in virtue. Having followed the Dhamma here in this world, both in tune in precepts & practices, they delight in the world of the devas, enjoying the pleasures they desire.


Then there is also the attainment of Streamwinner:

Won the stream to Nibbana. Free from the first three fetters (personality belief, skeptical doubt and attachment to rules and rites) which bind beings to existence in the sensuous sphere. Not subject to rebirth in lower worlds, seven rebirths at the most in heavenly and human realms. Is firmly established, destined for full enlightenment.


Next is the practise of Mindfulness:

"Bhikkhus, were anyone to maintain in being these four foundations of mindfulness for seven years ... let alone for seven years ... for seven days, then one of two fruits could be expected of him: either final knowledge here and now, or else non-return."


Also the practise of Loving-Kindness:

"Monks, for one whose awareness-release through good will is cultivated, developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken, eleven benefits can be expected. Which eleven?

"One sleeps easily, wakes easily, dreams no evil dreams. One is dear to human beings, dear to non-human beings. The devas protect one. Neither fire, poison, nor weapons can touch one. One's mind gains concentration quickly. One's complexion is bright. One dies unconfused and — if penetrating no higher — is headed for the Brahma worlds.

"These are the eleven benefits that can be expected for one whose awareness-release through good will is cultivated, developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken."


Then there is the assurance of the prediction of the Bodhisattva:

Form the first Prediction to be a Bodhisattva from a Buddha onwards, the Bodhisattva is destined to become a Buddha.

-summarised from The Great Chronicles of the Buddhas vol 1.

So practise on with faith and understanding. Let these words clear your doubts!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Kick Ass

I just saw Kick Ass yesterday,


The beginning was nice, exploring the idea of why nobody amongst the millions of fans of superheroes dares to be one themselves? I could identify very much with Dave (the main character) in the beginning. And the first time he fought crime was suitably portrayed. The second time was courageous, but still possible. The third time was plain stupid and he had to be saved by Hit Girl, who murdered the gangsters like they are zombies.

After that, the adventures all get unbelievable. There's enough real live gore and violence there. And even an almost real lesson to be taught of what really happens to superheroes. But Hit Girl is the extreme part. Anyway the movie would be sad without her. So it's idealistic, but more real than other Marvel or DC superheroes stories.

Compared to Watchmen, it's more like the watchmen's superhero age started early, Kick-Ass superhero age starts now. So Kick-Ass's world is still pretty nice overall, but it is more realistic in the sense that we have one amateur superhero: Kick-Ass.

Monday, October 04, 2010


Oh man, it's been one month since I take up the Vice President of NUSBS role. It's a bit more taxing than the last one I had, but I've gotten used to it.

And pardon my talking like this, I've been watching "How I met your Mother" until the 4th season by now in less than 2 weeks.

Oh let's see what happened since last month.

  • I've gotten the Vice President role of NUSBS in the AGM. Done some handover stuffs and planning for the 1st Management Committee Retreat which was held 2 weeks after the AGM. In the meantime, there's a lot of stuffs to do for Dharma Camp, the weekly activities, and Ajahn Brahm coming to NUS for a Dharma Talk (18th November). That's 1 for CCA.
  • For studies, hmm... it seems to be taking a back stage audience as I seem to prefer to busy myself with NUSBS stuffs than doing my homework. Or studying.
  • Then for Mid-Autumn Festival, I've gone briefly to the Physoc celebration and then Prof. Lee invited us to go for a Mid-Autumn gathering! It's the NUSBS MC and we have the chance to chat!
  • Then there's also the Tzu Ching 1 day camp at Tzu Chi Singapore. That was last Saturday and it's really fun to join in and lots of things to learn from.
  • There's also Johan's Birthday yesterday and we went to celebrate it with him.
  • Oh ya there's also the SPS board game day! I organised it.
  • I went for the NUS President Appreciation Lunch with Student Leaders. It was a nice thing of NUS to do for us!
  • I went to Muscular Dystrophy Association Singapore to volunteer and to get to know the organisation better for my group project in the Human Relations module.
  • And mainly busy with the Dharma Camp preparations.
  • And also went to NTUBS AGM as an observer. It was nice meeting them all again.
  • And having lots of Mid terms now.
  • Oh and I'm going for the USP honour's roll tonight! I've got to update my CV /Resume soon.
Okie, that's all I see for now. Whatup?