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:
- getting reborn as a human
- having the chance to know the Dharma (Buddha’s teachings)
- having a good teacher to teach you the Dharma
- 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!