Finding my pets a new home…

I had lunch with a dhamma sister from Malacca and during one of our conversations, I told her that I was looking for a new owner for my pets; my dog (Blur Blur) and my tortoise (Tortoise).

She paused for a moment and said, “Actually, my family planned to go to SPCA later to get a dog…”

Oh, please adopt mine!!

And they did!  Awesome!  I was ecstatic!  Finally, I got them a family (husband and wife, a pair of twin boys and a girl) to love them!  I really feel blessed and happy for Blur and Tortoise.

After a week, I WhatsApp-ed her to confirm when they will come pick the pets and when she replied either Monday or Tuesday (which was like a few days later), I got emotional after putting down the phone…. yes, there was attachment!  But I got over it pretty fast with meditation.

But they came a few more days later, allowing me to spend more time with Blur and Tortoise… really thankful… but then again, there will always be farewells in our lifetime.  We just got to get used to them and practise equanimity at all times.  There will be good times, there will be bad times ~ however, whatever, with whoever ~ shall pass…. the sooner we are able to let go and move on will be better for us.

The fateful day came last Sunday, July 30th.  The family arrived about 11am.  Blur was still attached to me for a while… but once the children started stroking her and talking to her, she was more relaxed… I have mentally prepared her for today coz I have been talking to her about her new home and family since the day they agreed to take her…. and she seems to understand.

Before putting Tortoise into the container, I stroked it and said goodbye….

I know they will be well taken care of and loved by the new family….

May the family and their pets be well and happy always…..

 

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!   😇

A “mixed breed” Buddhist?

 

Whenever someone asks me about my dog, I would say it is a mixed breed that takes after the Dachshund’s good looks.  Really!    Of course one can also call it a “village” dog or a “kampung” dog coz it really is not a Dachshund!  

Do you know that most claimed Buddhists are actually mixed breeds too?  LOL!  Bet you are one and you do not know too!  

If we are followers of the Buddha during Buddha’s time, we would be solely learning the Dhamma (Buddha’s teachings) and meditating everyday, other than doing what householders should do as advised in the Sigalovada Sutta.

But if you check yourself and / or other Buddhists that you know, you will find them:
1) being superstition
2) checking the horoscope
3) consulting a fortune teller
4) looking out for feng shui tips before the start of a new year
5) jabbering old folks tales and beliefs
6) deciphering dreams
7) showing interests in palm reading
8) burning paper stuff to the dead
9) touch wood for saying inappropriate things
10)matching dates, time, stars and animal signs to check compatibility in relationships
11) etc etc etc…..

We will continue being a mixed breed as long as we are ignorant about what a follower of the Buddha should do.  In order to understand better, we just have to gain more knowledge learning about Buddha’s teachings by reading the 5 main Nikayas.

To me, the moment you understand Buddha’s teachings about suffering, impermanence and non self, you will no longer do any of the above coz you no longer have fear of the future and of the unknown.

Without fear, and no longer ignorant, one will not rely on other means for help but will rely on one’s wisdom for refuge…… who is better to save oneself if not oneself, right?  

In the Maha-Parinibbana Sutta: (Click at the Sutta to read the full sutta ya)

……..”Now I am frail, Ananda, old, aged, far gone in years. This is my eightieth year, and my life is spent. Even as an old cart, Ananda, is held together with much difficulty, so the body of the Tathagata is kept going only with supports. It is, Ananda, only when the Tathagata, disregarding external objects, with the cessation of certain feelings, attains to and abides in the signless concentration of mind, that his body is more comfortable.

33. “Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.

“And how, Ananda, is a bhikkhu an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge?

34. “When he dwells contemplating the body in the body, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world; when he dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, the mind in the mind, and mental objects in mental objects, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world, then, truly, he is an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; having the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge.

35. “Those bhikkhus of mine, Ananda, who now or after I am gone, abide as an island unto themselves, as a refuge unto themselves, seeking no other refuge; having the Dhamma as their island and refuge, seeking no other refuge: it is they who will become the highest, if they have the desire to learn.” ……

Food! Food! Food!

How come when we smile, we think of “cheese”?  

When I was in Korea, everyone shouted “kimchi” to the camera… hmmm… so, when  in Japan “sushi”, in India “capati” and in Italy “pizza”??  LOL!

Food!  Food!  Food!  Guess our mind is occupied with it most of the time.

Different people have different preference, quantity, frequency and purpose for food!  Even duration in chewing and speed in swallowing the food are different for all!  Amazing hor?

In the Ganakamoggallana Sutta, Buddha explains the gradual trainings of his disciples, which include:
(click at the Sutta above to read the whole sutta)

Moderation in eating

“….As soon, brahman, as a monk is guarded as to the doors of the sense-organs, the Tathagata disciplines him further, saying: ‘Come you, monk, be moderate in eating; you should take food reflecting carefully, not for fun or indulgence or personal charm or beautification, but taking just enough for maintaining this body and keeping it going, for keeping it unharmed, for furthering the Brahma-faring, with the thought: Thus will I crush out an old feeling, and I will not allow a new feeling to arise, and then there will be for me subsistence and blamelessness and abiding in comfort…..

From my understanding, which I am practising now:
1) Eat in moderation
(Buddha teaches the middle path, including eating ya)
2) Reflecting while eating
(be thankful to the person preparing the food and all who make it possible for the food to be on the table for your consumption)
3) Not for fun
(do not play or waste food)
4) Not to indulge
(do not be obsessed with food and over eat what you find pleasure in the taste and smell of it)
5) Not for personal charm or beautification
(do not eat for the purpose to make yourself look better  eg diet pills)
6) Eat enough to maintain your body and keeping it going
(eat enough with sufficient nutrient to be able to function well and not falling sick)

Thus will I crush out an old feeling
~ simply means I have crushed “hunger”
(which is suffering)

 I will not allow a new feeling to arise
~ simply means I will not crave for more
(which is greed)

From the recent meditation retreat, I learned to chew my food even slower and longer coz to be mindful in eating means feeling the food breaking down and moving in  your mouth. Thus with finer food in the system, the body needs not work too hard to digest the food and absorbing the nutrients.

With this habit, one will eat lesser and will feel full longer…..

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Now, will you treat your food differently after reading this post?