… eight worldly conditions spin after the world…

A new chapter of my life will soon begin….

I have just collected my letter of acceptance from the University to do my PhD in Buddhism.  Awesome!  Of course, I would not be able to do so without lots of support, help, guidance and pieces of advice from my kalyāṇamittā.  Really, really thankful to all of them! 🙏🙏🙏

Am now busy sorting out all my firm’s matters and eventually my personal matters so that I can move to the new place by early August.

Life is really anicca…  things can change within moments.  I have worked and hoped for this and soon it will become a reality.

There were times when things do not turn out the way we hope for while there are times we are surprised with what lies ahead of us… as if being ushered to the direction of the path meant for us… the unknown, the unseen of whatever the future will be… if embraced with fear, we will not enjoy the journey but if embraced with living in the present and enjoy the moments, it would be a joyful journey indeed…

Buddha says there are eight worldly conditions that spin after the world, and the world spins after these eight worldly conditions and they are: “Gain/loss, status/disgrace, censure/praise, pleasure/pain: these conditions among human beings are inconstant, impermanent, subject to change. Knowing this, the wise person, mindful, ponders these changing conditions. Desirable things don’t charm the mind, undesirable ones bring no resistance.”
(Lokavipatti Sutta: The Failings of the World ~ AN 8.6)

We need to stay equanimous in whatever condition we face.  Favourable conditions are subject to change; so are the unfavourable ones.  We need to bear in mind that “this too shall pass”.  Do not be too happy over joyous occasions and do not be too sad or worried over unpleasant experiences…  By being able to do so, we will not join the roller coaster of life’s vicissitudes!

Today, I am happy “mindfully” and not dancing with joy 💃 ya… 😅 🙏

 

Is it just “me”?

Someone recently made me think if I am an unlikeable person… Personally, I think I am a pretty friendly person and get along pretty well with people… but somehow this person makes me feel differently… 😭

Is it just “me”?  Is it “my” ego?  Why should “I” be affected by this person?

As a practising Buddhist, I understand exactly what is happening to my thoughts but as a worldling, I feel miserable coz I believe I am the only one getting such treatment…   WHY me???

I have advised my friends not to be affected by other people’s behaviours and speeches… yet, I am not able to handle a similar situation… haizzz….  😓

Guess I still got lots to learn and practise… to constantly remind myself of impermanence, non-self and sufferings (Ti-Lakkhana).

This too shall pass
~ whatever I feel now will pass coz nothing lasts forever…

It is not “me”
~ let go of my “ego” to feel that “I” am so important that “I” must be liked by everyone… this body is only a vehicle that this consciousness is borrowing to try walk the path to liberation…

If I continue to torment my mind, I am inducing sufferings to myself…
one should not hurt self with a second arrow (to the mind) if one arrow is already in the physical body, which may not be avoidable… coz the mind can be tamed through meditation…

So, Linda, get over it!  
It is not worth your time and effort to wonder and ponder!
Live in the present and let go of the past!
Focus on what is more important, which can help you one step nearer to liberation ya…
Gambate!!!

Phew!  I feel so much better now!  Now that I have let it out of my chest!  😅

For better understanding of Anatta (Non-self or Egoless), click here ya.

Nostalgic on a Sunday morning

Hmmm… am feeling a little nostalgic this morning… not understanding why.

Just yesterday evening I was so happy to receive the email from Ajahn G saying that my research synopsis is fine ~ meaning that I would be accepted for their PhD programme! Joy to the world!  🙌

Buddha says nothing is permanent; whether feelings of joy or sadness…. how true indeed.  And everyday we are just repeating the ups and downs and turnarounds!  However, after learning the Dhamma, it is so much easier to deal with them.  🙏

Coming back to the morning… I was recalling my younger days ~ the people, the events, the actions, the decisions… all that had happened, done and made then were due to my ignorance.  Lots to do with the ego and delusions.  No, not that I am regretting them coz they seemed so right at the time though some were pretty stupid and silly!  LOL!  😂

It is indeed amazing how a more peaceful and calm mind can really change a person.  Yes, I was all excited last evening about the email but it was short-lived coz I was composed within minutes.  That is the reason why I will continue striving on this path.  😍

In the Devadaha Sutta (SN22.2), Venerable Sariputta has said thus ….

“….  ‘When one is not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for form, then from any change & alteration in that form, there arises sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair. When one is not free from passion… for feeling… for perception… for fabrications… When one is not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for consciousness, then from any change & alteration in that consciousness, there arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair.

Seeing this danger, our teacher teaches the subduing of passion & desire for form… for feeling… for perception… for fabrications. Seeing this danger our teacher teaches the subduing of passion & desire for consciousness…..

Only when one understands and practises what are taught by our teacher, the Buddha, will we free ourselves from further sufferings.  That, to me, is one way of protecting ourselves and also the way to continue walking the right noble path towards liberation… Gambate, Linda!  Gambate, fellow friends who are striving the same!   😇

To all my Noble Friends…

Over the past weeks, a MA study group has been formed to do our master synopsis and studies together.  Only 3 of us doing the MA and yet was supported by another two noble friends in the process.  Awesome!

To me, it is not just having fun learning together and helping each other but also endorsing Buddha’s “…. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path….”  This statement is found in the Upaddha Sutta, SN 45.2.

I am really appreciative and thankful to all my noble friends.  I believe that if not for them, I may not be where I am now.  To repay all their encouragement, support, guidance, patience and company, I will continue to strive harder!  We may separate or part somewhere along the path, but I shall always remember all of you…. yes, anicca and anatta… but my gratitude will carry on till end of this lifetime.  For all you know, it was brought forward from previous lifetimes ya….  ☺️

To all my dear, dear noble friends ~ may you be well, happy and peaceful always…
🙏 🙏 🙏

Don’t get attached!

In the Bāhiya Sutta (Ud 1.1)
the Buddha said:
“Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus:
In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen.
In reference to the heard, only the heard.
In reference to the sensed, only the sensed.
In reference to the cognized, only the cognized.
That is how you should train yourself.
When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that.
When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there.
When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two.
This, just this, is the end of stress.”

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I simply love the above sutta!  A great reminder for us not to get attached to what we see, hear or sense coz by doing so, we can avoid suffering of not getting to see, hear or sense them later!  Awesome, right?!

The more we practise the Dhamma, the more we are being released of our sufferings and the most significant of all sufferings (to me) is Attachments – to views, self, things, people and a whole lot…. once we get detached, we will not be affected so much by anyone’s speech or actions… or of impermanence of physical things or people or relationships… Basically, what I want to say is “Just don’t get attached and you will be a carefree person in pursuing your spiritual goal!”  I am trying to achieve that and I hope you will be successful sooner than me, if you are trying too ya…. May you, who are reading this, be well and happy always…  Sadhu!  Sadhu!  Sadhu!

 

 

 

Battling the Mind

Recently I noticed that I am recharged every time I listen to Dhamma talks while driving coz that is the only time I listen to one…. The mind is really a great wanderer and illusionist; always imagining what not and sometimes it can be quite depressing coz deep down I know they are only what I think and not what really is or are.

The next best thing to do, if not listening to Dhamma talks, will be meditation.  Although at times, the mind tries to lure away… somehow, it is able to stay put and be at peace… ahhhh… what a bliss!

This morning, I was reminded of the 7 factors of enlightenment and they are:

  1. Mindfulness (sati)
  2. Keen investigation of the dhamma (dhammavicaya)
  3. Energy (viriya)
  4. Rapture or happiness (piti)
  5. Calm (passaddhi)
  6. Concentration (samadhi)
  7. Equanimity (upekkha)

(Click here to read more.)

Not that I am already so successful spiritually, but am gauging and monitoring my own progress once in a while so that I will not get off track from the path.  I realised that I have some achievements in most of them except equanimity coz I still get excited and moody over certain events… lol!  And every time I noticed it, I have to remind myself to stay equanimous!

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Google for the meaning and you will find that:

e·quan·i·mous

əˈkwänəməs/

adjective
calm and composed

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To me, it is not just being calm and composed physically but also mentally coz I can get really all zealous and excited or just moody over some circumstances!  Ya, ya, maybe it can go unnoticed by others, but I know it is happening so, I must work harder on it… not to get myself mentally affected… gambate, Linda!

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Not that I am aiming to be enlightened this lifetime, but it is no harm practising what the Buddha teaches, to at least be a stream entrant (Sotāpanna) as a goal.

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In the Maha-parinibbana Sutta (DN 16)

“… And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus,
saying:

“Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you:

All compounded things are subject to vanish.

Strive with earnestness!

This was the last word of the Tathagata…

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And strive with earnestness, I shall try…..

Your Body; your vehicle…

The conventional me is here to blog a post today. 

Since we are still in the conventional topic, let’s look at how we keep our conventional body alive…. yes, we simply feed it with food or in other words ~ nutriments.  Honestly speaking, we must really take care of this body (which is our present vehicle) well so that it will not be worn off before our lives end coz if it does, we are gonna be worn off, beaten up – maybe bed ridden or even in a coma or maybe in a wheel chair or simply handicapped relying on other beings to take care of us for the rest of our lives…. imagine a good car engine remains fixed in a crushed car body…. where the heart is willing but the body is not…

Of course, most of us abuse our bodies coz we take it for granted that it will not get old, sick or decay… and will only realised it when it is sometimes a little too late… So?  How?  You are the one to decide how you want to maintain your “vehicle” ya coz all your actions now will result the you in the future… so, please do not blame it to the society, the government, the Buddha or even “God” the almighty (if you believe there is one)!  Learn to take responsibility of yourself, your actions, your decisions, your speeches and your thoughts.

Coming back to nutriments to the body ~ they are food to sustain the body, to keep it alive, keep it functioning well and keep it mobile.  If you cause a clog or block somewhere or in other words not balancing its needs well enough, it will simply cause you sufferings… yes, pains and aches and in need to pop pills for the rest of your life.  Hey, am just being honest ya…. Sit down for awhile and reflect… if you consider yourself healthy, how have you been taking care of yourself… if you consider yourself not healthy, how have you been taking care of your life?  Reflect, accept and make changes if need to… nobody can help you except yourself coz all advices MUST be made into action by you only… no one else can do anything to you and your body… and your mind too, of course.

Haizzzz…. ya ya it’s the nagging me jabbering here… hence, if you are reading this; there must be a reason why you are reading it as there is a reason why I am writing it today…

Till the next blog post, this is the conventional me saying be well and be happy always ya..