words of wisdom

all these are quotes i feel are especially relevant to me.

All happiness comes from the desire for others to be happy.
All misery comes from the desire for oneself to be happy.

Our inability to stand someone results from our lack of cultivation.

Having a wider heart and mind is more important than having a larger house.

Happiness does not come from having much, but from being attached to little.

The fool thinks he has won a battle when he bullies with harsh speech,
but knowing how to be forbearing alone makes one victorious.
Samyutta Nikaya I, 163

In Buddhism, both learning and practice are extremely important, and they must go hand in hand. Without knowledge, just to rely on faith, faith, and more faith is good but not sufficient. So the intellectual part must definitely be present. At the same time, strictly intellectual development without faith and practice, is also of no use. It is necessary to combine knowledge born from study with sincere practice in our daily lives. These two must go together.

View all problems as challenges.
Look upon negativities that arise as opportunities to learn and to grow.
Don’t run from them, condemn yourself, or bury your burden in saintly silence.
You have a problem? Great.
More grist for the mill. Rejoice, dive in, and investigate.

the more i read and hear about others’ lives (clubbing, shopping, eating, ktv, partying) the more i feel disconnected with them. such feelings are still manifesting, but i hope they dont make me sound or act like a prude.

reasons why i feel disconnected…. i’m too busy for all the above. i think clubbing and partying = debauchery. i think there are better ways we can spend this human life.

vesak celebrations at kong meng san coming up! and guess what, we only have 2 days to chiong it. glorious.

i am completely exhausted.

there are just too many things to remember, too many things to observe. too many sights to take in. i am giddy. it must be the heat.

met lots of cool people, got a lot to learn from them. one of the greatest rewards i got from my involvement there must be the people i met and interacted with. without this, i would be trapped in my shelter, ignorant of so many things.

i am grateful.

pics from Vesak 2551 @ Ngee Ann City… only got pre-event pics though.



jialat, my hands were shaking, so many blurry pics. HA i took these photos at 3 am! after completing one side of a pillar…..


these are my reflections after an outing to the museum with 60 elderly and 30 youths.

wish list

  1. ability to teleport so i neednt waste so much money on cab fare. i have officially become taxi uncles’ best friend! pasir ris to queenstown/ bishan, wahliao!
  2. a lime tree in my room. could do with the extra oxygen and natural fragrance. i need lime for tom yam soup too!
  3. lemongrass plant in room. lime + lemongrass fragrance!! imagine that. i need lemongrass for tom yam soup too. lime n lemongrass taste good with everything.
  4. power station CD, ANY cd
  5. ability to translate documents at 100 words per minute.
  6. more time to get a life
  7. endless crowds at Vesak@orchard. you, you and you, must come support! 26 and 27 May! saturday and sunday, ngee ann city civic plaza!

i am very happy with the press conference today. while i was watching the video my colleagues had prepared i had the urge to cry. all the work was worth it. all the good deeds that our participants had done and celebrated are not an airy fairy affair. (many a time i was lured into thinking this. must be the massive amt of repetition “oh its a project that celebrates the good deeds and blabla..” i had to perform everyday) we have to repeat that around 1000 times a day to different people. but thats ok.

it’s so easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal. the thought “why am i editing this for the nth time when only 5 people are coming!” kept popping up.

but no, i shouldnt lose sight of the real goal.

3 more weeks, things are going to get clearer and brighter and more exciting. 🙂


my tuition kid gave me a hard time today. i get that experience most prolly due to many conditions:

  1. my PMS
  2. his exam stress
  3. my work stress
  4. my non-existent fragile attachment to this job

exams tomoro, but he refused to cooperate. i said things like “im very busy now you know. i can just stop coming. if you dont want to pay attention why should i continue teaching you?”

he was repentant/hurt/sad, on the brink of tears. i was losing patience. and i dont care much about keeping this job anyway, since i cant cope; what with my internship and 2 other tuition kids.

it was really intense. i was pricked by some things he said. he was pricked by things i said too. i told his mum i cant continue this, with my punishing schedule and his reluctance to cooperate. luckily she was really nice.

and while i was meditating after i got home (high blood pressure lah, must cool down), he called me and said he was “sorrwy” he “said the wrong things….”

aww. and meditation really helped calm me down. luckily it did, or else i may end up saying things to hurt him again over the phone.

it can get quite difficult to extricate myself from situations like this, when ive already devoted much time and effort and emotions to fellow humans.

and it sucks like this. i cant bring myself to abandon him. yet the situation really calls for me to abandon stuff. let go of certain commitments. i feel bad. but i know i cant go on piling duties on myself when my battery strength remains the same.

i feel quite bad, too, for being harsh to him. i didnt say sorry. but i wished him good luck for exams and asked him to work hard. i wish i could communicate with kids better, not like the parents in Cheong Suk Wai’s sunday times column. i love her column.

the kid’s really a 30 yr old stuck in a 9 year old body. and i realise i cant really communicate with him, unlike my other kid. he’s a kid-kid, not kid-adult. he says funny and innocent things to make me laugh out loud. he worries about not catching his tv show.

the other guy says morbid and dark stuff to make me worry. he speaks truths with his puckered-up lips, brows furrowed. truths that remind me of the real adult world outside, not the sanctuary of the nursery we are in. he says stuff like “you come here for the money only what!” that really got me.

it’s half true, anyway.

hooper and kingshaw.

whatever it is, i just wish the little guy’s unhappiness and its causes would be alleviated and ultimately cleared. i dont want to see him so unhappy, yet add on to his suffering. i dont know, but it’s painful. maybe im worrying too much. but all kids should just be allowed to be kids. i need to ask laolao how to make him interested in studying.



久违了,blog! 久违了,大家!

最近都忙昏了。忙着卫赛、忙着卖票、忙着参加讲座、静坐。。。有幸会见来自韩国的美国籍和尚,并听他说法,不知道是哪一世修来的福。very awe-inspiring. Born and bred in the U.S., Venerable Hyon Gak Sunim was ordained in Guangzhou, China and followed his teacher to South Korea.

what he said was right: this human life is so short and so hard to come by. we should make good use of it to find our true nature, ask ourselves who we really are. it is indeed a tragedy if we cant even give ourselves an answer when we die.

he taught that the 4 hardest things in samsara (cyclic existence; where we are reborn life after life in the 6 realms of: gods, demi-gods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts, hell beings) are:

  1. getting reborn as a human
  2. having the chance to know the Dharma (Buddha’s teachings)
  3. having a good teacher to teach you the Dharma
  4. gaining enlightenment

i felt really moved after hearing that, as i already had 1,2, and 3 in place. 3 out of the 4 hardest things in samsara!

Yet I am still not putting in enough effort to learn and know more. 心虚!

but i had the good chance and good karma to take refuge on last sunday under Venerable Kwang Sheng. Hope that I will diligently question and learn the Buddha’s teachings so as to benefit myself and others around me.


Work hadnt been a bed of roses. Deadlines are a daily affair. A really good test of my perseverance and endurance lor. All of us are stretched taut daily!

But i made a good many dharma friends. 🙂 Surrounded by them, may my wisdom and compassion grow!

I woke up at a glorious 4.30 AM this morning for the equally glorious 3 step 1 bow.
My first time! We were informed that it’s specially for staff and volunteers of KMS, so i expected a crowd of less than a hundred. Imagine my disbelief when i got out of my taxi (cabfare $21.90. uncle, keep the change.) and saw orderly lines (that didnt seem to end!) of men, women and children snaking around the temple compounds. The entire saturday/sunday school population was probably there! Just as everyone was waiting in anticipation for it to begin, the skies decided to give us a little shower. It was fine, everyone remained in their lines.

…Until it began pouring. Lightning, thunder, rain, the works. We were all drenched. Some far-sighted ones were in raincoats. Nonetheless, we were all ushered into the shelter. 😦

We went back to the office until we got news of the procession starting again. So we went back into the cold, watery outside. And started our 3 step 1 bow. It was one hell of an experience, when we bowed and stood up water would stream down our faces. Since we were already wet from the rain it didnt really matter. After prostrating for a short distance the management decided that we should just put our palms together and circumambulate the monastery.

All participants then returned to the Hall of Great Compassion (大悲殿)to chant Amitabha Buddha’s name. I tried my best to concentrate on my breathing and chanting.

After the whole process, I felt refreshed; as if filled with renewed determination and stronger faith. The faith of the elderly and young ones really moved and humbled me.

While I wish the prostration part could be longer, I still am happy that I took part in this. The main purpose of 3 step 1 bow (other than paying respects to the Buddha, our teacher) is to humble oneself, slowly extinguishing the pride and ego in us as they are great obstacles (true for my case la) in our spiritual practice.

After that we had to sell coupons! Lelong, lelong, who want to buy from me!! Coupons for our inter-religious Vegetarian food fair going for $4 each! Buy one book for $20! Sales are extremely slow. But this is another great chance for spiritual practice. I observed my ego and pride being pricked when people shunned me like im the plague. I observed indignation arising when people wouldnt even give me a chance to speak. Many a time I was cut off mid-sentence. “请问你。。要不要 (wave of hand, walks away)……….”


And some of the many thoughts going through my mind were: “wahlao, know how to come here eat free vegetarian food lah, 吃到爽爽, 买一张票都不愿意。。。”


But there were some who were really sweet. Although they were also helping to sell coupons they still bought from me. this is compassion! Although they couldnt go to ngee ann city on our event days they still bought from me. this is generosity!

have to admit that my selling tactics are not good enough. i should tell them they could buy some and donate back to us, and we’ll give the coupons to old folks home. rar.

btw i gotta go watch tv. havent had the luxury of watching tv for.. a week?

omg why i so no life!! no time to meet people up oso..sob.

so i must meet PS and co. this fri morning. yay hope i can clear my workload by then eh.

may you be well and happy!