Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inner Demons, What kind of Hypocrite are you?

Each of us has in our minds inner demons that spurn out thoughts that are hateful, lustful, and deluding, harmful, shameful and plain bad.

Each of us also has in our minds inner angels that spurn out thoughts of love, contentment, wisdom, helpful, praiseworthy, and plain good.

The struggle in daily life then is to deal with these inner thoughts, of good and bad. Sometimes we let the bad thoughts slip, and create enemies for ourselves. Sometimes we let the good ones pour out, and we make kind, good friends. People also started to label: Our friends would think us as "this is a good guy", our enemies would think us as "this guy is just plain bad, or a hypocrite, only showing their good side towards some people, they dare not show their true colours."

The game is to show as much of your good side to as much people as possible, and show as little of your bad side to as little people as possible.

This game is the world were our social system works in. That is the origin of fake smiles (people trying to be nice even when they are not having good thoughts), of common courtesy, of social norms, of being polite to rude customers (even when we are angry at them), of many other things......

For me, I started early on in life to make sure I am not trapped by this social system, of this meaningless struggle. I make sure I show my true colours, most of me anyway, most of the time, to almost everyone. That way, no one can say I am a hypocrite, except me, for the few things I kept hidden, or revealed to only a select few.

Therefore I did not acknowledge the existence and importance of social norms, and the like. In fact, by breaking most of these norms at the exact right timing, I was aiming to educate those around me not to play this game where you might be called a hypocrite, but to play my game instead, be frank and bare all.

I thought that I was not playing the game of showing only our good sides. I was showing everything all the time! How could I be a hypocrite? However, I was wrong.

I did not notice this before, but I was quite harsh on myself if I ever had any bad thoughts. I would bash them out of my mind before I had the chance to say what's on my mind. I also generally tried to be as good as possible, to most people as equally as possible.

Try as I might, I am playing the game, even when I think I am not.

I do mind that I still can't be pleasant to everybody, that I am not fully free from bad thoughts, that I am not fully able to generate good thoughts to everyone equally, that I am not able to be 100% perfect and pure of heart despite my reputation.

Maybe those people who dislike me can see me fooling myself, playing this game and deluding myself that I am not. Then they have good reasons to dislike the big hypocrite I am.

Usually, the people who wrongly calls you a hypocrite are your enemies, and they have hate towards you. Hatred generally gets their mind working in fast, intelligent mode, "how to make the person I hate suffer the most?" And they might misuse the term, clouding it in convincing-like arguments that make you guilty for things that you are not supposed to be guilty for.

Now, I decided that I do not regret playing this game. The game as I play it, guides me to be good to everyone I meet, my good thoughts tend to dominate my entire social life. My bad thoughts, still there, are reduced to pittance, and they are weak, most of the time. The game works, somehow or another. Social norms works, and are worth adhering to (with wisdom to discern too of course). The game is no longer a trap, no longer a meaningless struggle.

It is the training ground for all to be good.

That's it. This article ends here. The main point has been stated in the last paragraph. The rest below are extras.

Now I am no longer qualified as being a hypocrite.

a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

The people who rightly calls you a hypocrite, those are your true friends and should be regarded as your family. Those are the people who wants to see you change and grow to be better that who you are now. Those are the people who sees your good and bad side, yet decided to be good to you anyway. They are good to you not because they are playing the game, but because they truly meant it.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

2011 December Adventures

Continuing from my last update, I went for Om quest the day (Saturday) just before going to NUSBS Dharma Camp. I had to pack on Sunday and when to Cheng Beng Buddhist Society that night itself. Thanks to Tzyh Haur for letting me put my stuffs in his room. Well, Om Quest, Johan, Wen Xin, Jason, Shi Jie and I went for it, we got the last position, yet I find it to be very nice, as some of the places we went to was new to me.


I had joined in the NUSBS Dharma Camp, behaved myself properly most of the time, and enjoyed it in as much as I could inspire others. The camp was the smallest that I had been to, with more than half of the people are 2nd or more timer. However, as I said in facebook, best (in terms of activities, Dharma content, atmosphere, personal experiences, and thus overall, oh ya and the best people!) NUSBS Dharma Camp in my 4 years of joining! I was involved in making one of the games. Oh ya, and my group got the best sketch!


Yup, the sword and Nintendo DSi was part of the props. Hehehe.

After the camp, I went to Johor with Wen Xin to join in a Vajrayana Puja, of Karmapa linage, the temple of Pertubuhan Penganut Agama Buddha Goshir Dharma Negeri Johor. That temple alone organised a huge 3-4 hour procession that saw over 1200 participant walking and promoting the Buddha Dharma Sangha to the city of Johor Bahru. Wen Xin's family was heading the organising team, and I had the good fortune to be witness to a culture so different from the usual Theravadan one I was used to and to learn a lot of the many cool things that needs some explanation. I find myself searching about Tibetan Buddhism too.

After 3 nights of staying over and helping out, I went back to Singapore and had a meeting with my FYP Prof before going back to Petaling Jaya using a Konsortium Bus straight from Singapore. I was carrying my bagpack, laptop bag, and a heavy luggage bag. With the luggage bag at the bottom of the bus, I went on the bus and played Pokemon on my Nintendo DSi for the remainder of the trip. When I came to my destination, the bus was only stopping for a while in KL. They called me out and I barely got my bagpack and laptop bag ready, stepped down of the bus, and someone asked me if I required a taxi.

Then the bus when off. With my luggage! I chased the bus for a while, and then after realising that it is not stopping anywhere near, I realised that I once again lost something and had to learn to let go. Well, thinking back, I am glad that I gave the Buddha statue I got from the Vajrayana puja to Hung, and put only clothes in the luggage bag. Including a lot of Buddhism shirt. 4 years of NUSBS Dharma Camp T-shirt, 2 years of NTUBS Dharma Camp T-shirt, the new T-shirt I got from the Vajrayana puja, and some cool long pants that I had to wear during the Dharma Camp (inside a temple). Well, it’s just clothes, I left not so sad… even less effect than that time I got cheated 20 pounds in UK. I’m glad that I left a pant in Wen Xin’s home (did laundry there), maybe I should had left more there… Oh well.

However, just to make sure that I do my part in my responsibility to recover it, I spend a lot of the time on the 14th December to call up the company and found out that the bus was going to Hatyai, Thailand. It’s a scary thing to know that I am able to let go so easily and not feel sad or motivated to find it back. If I hadn’t learn Buddhism, I might had been very anxious to want to find it back and that would be a very good motivation to call and make sure I got it back. Instead, now I call because I think I have at least that responsibility to try to track down where my stuffs are. That night I when to the D2Y (Dharma Duta Youth) Camp with my parents to see my sister, Ching Yuan to perform in a sketch (their camp sketch was on the 3rd night, and open to the parents of the participants!). That night the Singapore office called me and told me that the driver will be bringing the bag for me tomorrow, near midnight again.

Well, tomorrow I was in another camp. INCOVAR Camp. It’s the second time I joined in and I really was looking forward to re-experiencing the wonderful experiences I had the first time (refer to this blog somewhere on the 31st INCOVAR Dharma Camp which I went to). Ok, so my parents will have to find my bag for me. I had to leave the camp early too, to meet my friends in Melaka, to bring them around Melaka.

INCOVAR Dharma Camp, the 35th, was the smallest camp I had been to. On the first night, there were 10 participants, most of which where not first timers. Plus the organisers, we were about 10 people less than NUSBS Dharma Camp. Ok I am used to small camps by now, yet as the days when on, (the first day was draggy and not so enjoyable, as before), I started to like the small camp more and more, for the interaction that we have, the noble silence that is automatic, although not compulsory, during meal times, and there is Bante Kumara! The same Bante I just meet less than 3 weeks ago, just after my exam, and before the NUSBS Dharma Camp. That made me like this camp, plus the sharing of Buddhist Societies later that night…and of course the singing of The Phantom the Opera…we even sang the Lazy Song! The IXP this time was that we had to make our own tang yuan, with insides filled with different stuffs, representing the good and bad experiences with our family. Then they cooked it and we eat it. Amazing! Not much fun and games, but there was a Guardian Angel game. Joe, from UM Buddhist Society was my guardian angel, and I was Ka Yin, Ken Juin’s sister’s Guardian Angel. Some people from D2Y Camp came over to join in INCOVAR on the latter days as well! I had to leave early as I said, so I left in the middle of the sharing session after IXP.


My parents (who came to fetch me) told me that the bag was taken in Hatyai by someone who claimed to be my relative. Well, so long bag! Haha, nothing much I can do about it anyway. I done what I could. We went to Melaka the next day, I brought Tzyh Haur, Hung and Minh on a trip to visit the Historical city! Well, I wasn’t really a good host, my family was a better one. They came on Sunday leaving on Tuesday, and I was going back to PJ on Monday because I’m going to Penang on Tuesday for a family trip. On Monday morning, I brought them to visit Hutan Rekreasi, taking photographs of Dinosaurs!


At Penang, we reached late at night, with the 5 of us in the family. Dad, Mom, 2 Younger sisters and me. 3rd aunt’s home was just not the same without Jia Long and Ting Hui there. I slept in Jia Long’s new room and well, had to do some work for NUSBS! Haha. The next day was a booked van to Hatyai. Yup, the place where my bag was supposed to be lost.

 IMG_5093At Hatyai, we got 2 nights and 3 days, my dad, mom and sis wants to shop most of the time. Well, I was “I don’t want new clothes…” and prefer to walk around the hotel (Lee Gardens) we were in, seeing the temples, playing pokemon, rather than shopping. I was rather a bit sad to lose so many long pants, I had to buy them! And I don’t like having new things, not when there are people suffering without new clothes elsewhere. This whole culture of buying is just promoting waste!

Second time in Thailand, I visited this:


And realised finally why are there so many people of other nationalities who come to NUS but from Thailand, I only met a handful. The whole culture is in Thai language! From Harry Potter to religious books. Barely found anything English there.

But I like Thailand, a whole country full of Buddhism! Just look at this! It’s found in the bookstore as a normal offering meant for the public! Nice…


On the night of the second day, I went down the hotel to


a store I happen to pass-by and then was surprised to find it right in front of the hotel. Well, I just realised that I could had called them to make sure they had the bag in Hatyai, asked them to wait and then when we went to Hatyai, I go and collect the bag. Well, I didn’t had the strong enough motivation to think of that then. Now instead, I was walking into the store, to check on the bag, just to satisfy my urge to be responsible for my lost. I was expecting nothing. No bag. Just in case of the off chance that it… it most probably isn’t there.

On the off chance, I managed to communicate myself to them and fortunately one of them remembered me calling and quoting the bus number. She asked me to come and see and then there it was!


A miracle.

Lost 8 days ago, and I found it. Well the trip was worth it. Whatever else we did there. Buffer dinner to celebrate! It seems that my family was wayyyy more excited at me finding the bag back than I am myself.


Then we went back to Penang the next day, spend Christmas eve there watching TV, going to eat Cendol… And Christmas morning walking around a dam, visiting Kek Lok Si Temple, and then back to PJ, with William and Michelle visiting.


Then finally I could rest and sleep for 10-12 or more hours straight for a few days at home.

Until 24 Hour Metta, which I volunteered for the timing of 12pm-4pm on the 31st and 12am-8am on New Year’s day. It was a meaningful way to get into a new year. I met Joe, Wong Dan Yi, and some other people from the Malaysian Buddhist Circles there! NUS representative! Haha.