AN5.57 ~ I am already ‘broken’?

“This cup is already broken ~ Anicca” was the title of the dhamma talk I listened to tonight… by Ajahn Amaro.  He reminded me of the five contemplations that we all should always remind ourselves of and they are:-

‘I am subject to old age; I am not exempt from old age.’

I am always awed by the Buddha of his wisdom… how true indeed that nobody is exempted from old age… am really amazed by people who would think otherwise and instilling sufferings to themselves when the truth of the nature is everyone grows from infant to teenage and subsequently mature as an adult and become an elderly person… hence, no matter how much we try to pretend we are younger with more makeup, dyes in our hair or younger clothes, we are really that old, okay?  So, let’s be happy with the truth!  We are as old as we think we are without showing to people we are not!

‘I am subject to illness; I am not exempt from illness.’

Another truth to the fact… no matter how well we take care of our health, we are still subject to illness coz we cannot prevent our body to react to the environment and nature… our defence system is not always at its best and when we least expected, illness would befall us and when that happen, instead of asking “why me?”, it is only natural to say “why not?” coz we are all not exempted from it…

‘I am subject to death; I am not exempt from death.’

This is inevitable!  Everyone is subject to die the moment we are born!  Irrespective of age, situation, status or wealth… I am prepared to die anytime, honestly, coz by doing so, I understand I am no longer attached to this world with respect to possessions of any sorts… when we are no longer fear of death, we will live our days more fruitfully coz we understand that we must let go of the past and have no fear of the future by living in the present doing the best we can of whatever is needed to be done… the future will pave itself from our present actions and the past is already gone…

‘I must be parted and separated from everyone
and everything dear 
and agreeable to me.’

To me, this is the most important reality that everyone must understand and accept… nothing lasts forever, nothing we can bring along with us… whatever and whoever dear to us must be left behind if we are not already being left behind by them… when we understand and accept this fact, we will learn and eventually able to let go all our attachments and not hold too tight to our possessions – material or not, we will find more peace releasing or let go of them so that we can leave more peacefully from this samsaric world…

‘I am the owner of my kamma, the heir of my kamma;
I have kamma as my origin, kamma as my relative, kamma as my resort;
I will be the heir of whatever kamma, good or bad, that I do.’

This is the best reminder of all!  We have to take responsibilities for our speech, thoughts and actions!  Pretense will only give a temporary cover if the intentions are not virtuous… to make people think you are a good person when you are not can only deceive the people for a moment or even years or lifetime but at the end, we carry our own kamma with us… wholesome or not, we will take them with us to our future lives… sometimes, we reap our fruits in this lifetime itself for the seed we sow now… when we experience sufferings, maybe it is time we reflect and check ourselves… if we can wake up, realise and be more mindful of the seeds we are going to sow… we shall not question “why me?” coz we may deserve what we are experiencing now for what we have done in the past… think about it…

 

To me, “the cup is already broken” is really a great phrase to plaster on the wall!  Why?  Coz, when we perceive the cup is already a broken cup, we will not feel sad and disappointed when it is really broken later… just like our body, if we perceive it as already dead, we will not fear death as we will expect it to happen anytime… and if we remind ourselves always of the five contemplations above, we will live our days being a happier person… coz we understand the truth of the real nature of life… and not expect it to be otherwise… expect the reality and not expectations of what are perceived… do not fool ourselves with our own opinions and reasonings… we can talk till the cows come home and at the end we still need to face the reality of old age, illness, death, separations and carry our kamma bag over our shoulders… till we fully understand, let’s continue to learn the dhamma…

Hope you can understand this blog post… and hope it is a useful reminder to you too.

May you be well, happy and peaceful always…

 

 

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Saddhā(Faith) Sutta (AN 5.38 )

“Just as at a crossroads on level ground, a great banyan tree becomes the resort for birds all around, so the clansman endowed with faith becomes the resort for many people: for bhikkhus, bhikkhunīs, male lay followers, and female lay followers.”

A large tree with a mighty trunk,
branches, leaves, and fruit,
firm roots, and bearing fruit,
is a support for many birds.
Having flown across the sky,
the birds resort to this delightful base:
those in need of shade partake of its shade;
those needing fruit enjoy its fruit.

Just so, when a person is virtuous,
endowed with faith,
of humble manner, compliant,
gentle, welcoming, soft,
those in the world who are fields of merit—
devoid of lust and hatred,
devoid of delusion, taintless—
resort to such a person.

They teach him the Dhamma
that dispels all suffering,
having understood which
the taintless one here attains nibbāna.

I am a lover of poetic verses and I find the above really meaningful… and if you read it with a brush in your mind, you could also paint the picture of the verses (especially the first verse) … beautiful, right?

Life teaches us many dhammas as we walk the path and our kamma will make us enjoy or endure the joy or pain along the way… if we walk with faith and we keep walking, we will eventually able to see the truth of the teachings.

There is nothing permanent here… what we deem happy can turn sad in a split second… who we perceive as friends can turn into strangers before a thought moment… every second everything is changing; including ourselves… our thoughts change our speech and our actions… and they, will change someone else’s thoughts, speech and actions… we are all dependent on each other … every action has a reaction, every action has a result…. whether the action is good or bad, they will still bear fruits…  and we, the do-ers, must accept whatever fruits our actions bear… and to do it with an equanimity mind ~ not to be too happy and not to be too sad… for, this too shall pass… happy also will pass, sad also will pass… and since we are still worldlings, let’s practise one of my favourite phrase:  We can choose to live a day happy or a day sad – why not choose to live it happy!  Afterall, we already know nothing lasts forever… definitely not this body in this lifetime….

Have faith and keep walking towards liberation… a step at a time… the longer we walk, the more we will understand Buddha’s teachings… the less we will suffer…

May you be well and happy always…

 

 

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…
🙏 🙏 🙏

2016 journey in Buddhism

​Mahindarama Buddhist Temple

Has been a place I frequented this year

To use its library and robe to offer

Also a meditation retreat end of the year

2016 a turning point of my life

Back to studies, in Buddhism, I decide

Diploma last year advance to degree

To realise in mid year Master I could do instead

Next is to work towards the academic goal

A PhD qualification I intend hold

So I can give back in Dhamma as a Prof

While sailing to Nibbana in a slow boat…

Shed no tears?

 

It is amazing how learning, understanding and practising Buddha’s teachings can change my perception and behaviour.

When my dear sister passed away in a car accident in 2008, I cried and cried and cried and cried….. 

However, I did not shed a tear when my dear uncle passed away last Sunday (27 March 2016 at 1330)…  and he was a very, very dear uncle to me…. 

The first thing that came to my mind was “he is no longer suffering”,
next was “everyone dies one day, naturally”
and next was “no attachments”

Aniccä vatha sankhärä 
(All things are impermanent)

Uppäda vaya dhamminö 
(They arise and pass away)

Uuppajjitvä nirujjhanti 
(Having arisen they come to an end)

Te san vüpa samö sukhö 
(Their coming to peace is bliss)

.This post is a tribute to my late Uncle San (02.03.1951 to 27.03.2016)