Kamma: Iguana vs Snakes

I am really amazed by:-
1) how the video was captured,
2) the fact that so many snakes would go after the iguana, and
3) the strong survival instinct of the iguana.
Living beings are simply amazing…

The stunning video can represent so many meanings to life… about people with patience and skills who made the video so that we get a chance to watch how nature works in the wild… the determination of the snakes to team up to catch their prey and the strong will of the iguana to escape from all the dangers… which, to me, sums up to the “actions” ~ kamma that bears the results or fruit at the end… like the sayings: “When there is a will, there is a way!”, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose!”, “Life is not perfect, you do not always get what you want!”, “It is all about planning and taking actions to make things happen!”, “Speed is everything!”, “Think on your feet!”, “There is always next time!” etc, etc, etc…. motivate yourself with whatever words you like as long as you get the message of the clip.  It all depends on whose angle you are looking at or in whose capacity or interest you are focusing on… there is no right or wrong…

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In the Ariyamagga Sutta (AN 4.235), the Buddha talked about four types of kamma and results… and if we are practitioners (whether potential or existing), we just have to be aware of them and be mindful of our thoughts and actions in the body, speech and mind… and about the path leading to the ending of kamma.

Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!

 

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Still Forest Pool ~ Ajahn Chah

“Try to be mindful, and let things take their course.
Then your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a still forest pool.
All kinds of wonderful animals will come to drink at the pool,
and you will clearly see the nature of all things.

You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go,
but you will be still.

This is the happiness of the Buddha.
~ Ajahn Chah

The first time I heard about the ” forest pool” was during my first meditation retreat with Venerable Bhante Sujatha.  I would say that it is a brilliant way to describe meditation ~ the mind being the forest pool and random thoughts are the animals that come to drink at the pool.  They will come and they will go…. all we have to do is just sit and watch… let them come and let them go…

If a deer comes, know that it is a deer – just as a thought from the past comes, know that it is a thought from the past… already done and not reversible, let it go!  The moment you let it go, it is as if the deer has quenched its thirst and walk away from the pool… the pool is still, so is the mind… for a while… then, an elephant comes along – as if a thought about the future, which is uncertain… let it go!  The moment you let it go, the pool is still again… then, a monkey comes – an illusion of your perception of an event or a person, which is uncertain… let it go!  The moment you let it go, the pool is still again…  in other words, while meditating, simply let go of thoughts that randomly take charge of your mind… be in charge instead!

The moment you let the thought go (before the next thought arrives) when the pool is still, that gap of silence or space is the results of meditation… the longer the silence or space, the more successful is the practice.

The learning here is to know, realise and understand that whatever thoughts that arise, they are just visitors… do not be attached and cling on to them… let them go… and by doing so, you will experience the meaning of meditation… focusing on breathing in, breathing out… and if you like to meditate any time, just check if you are still breathing.. coz when you do, you are focusing on breathing in, breathing out… while you are walking, sitting, listening, writing etc etc … coz

 

 

9 May 2018

9 May 2018 marked a historical moment for Malaysians!

Yes, change is imminent… let’s remember not to be too comfortable and/ or take things and/ or people for granted.

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To me, of the Buddha’s teachings of the three characteristics (Tilakkhana), impermenance is the most prominent.

If people can learn, understand and accept that nothing is permenant and not hold tight to their beliefs, positions, possessions and whatever worldly that cannot be taken along with them upon their death (as their lives too is not permanent), there will then not have greed, hatred and delusion… coz the belief of having a “self”, a conventional “self” made up of the 5 aggregates (Pañcakkhanda) ~ a body that is subject to decay and death, which through the senses that results in cravings, attachments and fending of the body (and whatever belongs to the body … believing to be the “self”) brings sufferings… or unsatisfactions – not having what is desired and/ or having what is not desired.

If one understands the Tilakkhana, one will understand the depth of the Buddha’s teachings of the Four Noble Truth.

Sādhu!  Sādhu!  Sādhu!

 

Grumpy Old Monks

Talking about catchy titles.  I was being caught by one!  And I did not regret it coz it was such an enjoyable talk to listen to.

Listening to the talk, by Ajahn Sujato, about Ajahn Mun, Ajahn Chah, Luang Por Derm (the grumpiest amongst all, whose action had me laughing loud and hard!  OMB!!) and other respectable monks who are believed to be arahants, really gives me the strength to strive harder… gambate, Linda!  Reach for the sky… even if cannot reach it this lifetime, there is a chance to catch a cloud!  YES!!  Motivated!

The Buddha did not allow his disciples to announce their achievement of an arahant-ship to gain benefits from lay devotees who know offerings to an arahant will give them higher merits.  However, when a monk reaches the achievement, he would go to the Buddha to inform him of his achievement and the Buddha sometimes tell his other disciples about who is an arahant.

Sādhu!  Sādhu!  Sādhu!

 

 

 

Buddhist ~ Family Tree? Present Moment?

Of the many videos that I have watched about Buddhism, in my opinion, Lewis R. Lancaster (Professor Emeritus)‘s lecture was simple, short and sweet; in less than an hour covering all aspects needed to understand about Buddhism and how it had travelled away from India…

In the Cūḷamālukya Sutta (MN 63), there are many questions that the Buddha would not answer as he did not find knowing about the answers will bring benefit for the amount of time needed to find out or explain about them.

To put it simply, if we want to know where we come from, as far as the family tree is concerned, we will find that it is impossible to trace the “beginning” of our origin as there is no way we can trace the “beginning” of the earth itself…  While it is not possible for us to trace our family tree from the beginning of life, it is interesting to learn about all the six Buddhas before the Buddha in the Mahāpadāna Sutta (DN 14)

The Professor Emeritus concluded the lecture emphasising the Buddha’s teaching about the present moment which he said, “… is the magic and secret of life…”.

Yes, let’s focus on the present moment instead of tracing the past… that had already happened and gone…

Sādhu, Sādhu, Sādhu!

 

Animal Heroes!

I always wonder how kamma works for one that is born in the animal realm to be born in the human realm again… what kind of deeds can an animal do that is so great as to have a rebirth in the human realm?  I really have wondered until I saw the “Animal Heroes”… yes, seeing IS believing… and, what deed is greater than helping and/ saving a life of another living being… Sādhu, Sādhu, Sādhu!

The Buddha explained the measurement of chance that one can be born a human being in the Paṭhamachiggaḷayuga Sutta (SN 56.47) and the Dutiyachiggaḷayuga Sutta (SN 56.48):
~ the chance it happens that in the course of time the yoke arrives at the precise place and time where and when the turtle puts up his head, and yokes on to it..”

Hence, to me, there are two important lessons, from the Buddha, that we must know and understand:
1) we have worked a long, long way to be born a human being, and
2) because we are a human we can learn, study, understand and practise the Dhamma.. thus, a chance to walk the path which we may achieve one of the 4 stages of enlightenment.

Let’s “Strive with earnestness!”
Sādhu, Sādhu, Sādhu!

 

 

 

Thru Ajahn Cagino Bhikkhu’s photos

I find much peace listening to this while watching the video… thanks to Ajahn Cagino Bhikkhu’s photographs.  As a person who appreciates great photography skills and nature, I find the photos very touching indeed.

As I watch the pictures appearing one after another in the video, I can imagine someone I know venturing his journey to monkhood through those photos.  Though I may not have the chance to congratulate him for his perseverance and success in person, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and thanks to his friendship and wish him well and happy in his journey.  Tuvataka Sutta (Sn4.14)

My journey may not take me to the order this lifetime but I have begun my baby steps in training within…  may all striving to walk the right path find peace and be well and happy always…

Sāddhu, Sāddhu, Sāddhu!