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Stoned!

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Stones - some could really be beautiful. In Tibet, once while on the way to the Himalayas base camp, I came across green ones scattering by the side of the road. Most recently, at Yunnan's
Jinsha Jiang River of Golden Sands 金沙江, I saw red stones and many black ones too. Stones, green, red or black, big and small;  all will sink when you drop them in the river. You'll be probably be stoned if you see one floating; what else big ones as big as houses floating like ships! King Pasenadi, in his thirteenth dream saw such huge blocks of solid rock  floating like ships. Then, nobles wll sink into poverty, low born will be favoured and the words of the excellent shall not sink deep. When you see politicians spewing nonsense and corruptions occurring among top government officials, you'd think that all these had already happened but really; they do occur all the time, to different people of different nationalities at various times throughout man's history, don't they?








A Buddhist Legal Expert

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Some people probably must have gotten very cross over the cross which appeared when the apartment building in Jelutong, Penang lit up.Datuk Seri Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor, the Penang Mufti had urged the state government and Penang Island City Council to explain the sign. He went further to advise the people to be mindful of their acts to ensure they do not disrupt the harmony in a multiracial society and added that Malaysia's Federal Constitution forbids any form of effort to promote or preach other religions to Muslims. The Penang government of course, now waits for a report from the state secretary’s office over the lighting issue even though it had been pointed out that the sign had no religious connotation.  A mufti, by the way, is a Muslim legal expert who is empowered to give rulings on religious matters. I'm wondering if there is a Buddhist equivalent for a mufti.

His Spiritual Journey

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A young Chinese undergraduate in a local university wrote about his spiritual journey in Fb. Born into a Buddhist family, he was often taken along to the temple by his mom since a tender age. Then, during his teenaged years, some evangelist friends introduced him to Christianity and he did not just became a Christian but an active evangelist as well. Later, he became an atheist for some years before finding his path in Islam. Now, if you are wondering if the young man is some sort of lost soul with blind faith, then it ought to be pointed out the guy looks great; well and happy, I mean; very pleased with his present status, and highly proficient in three languages, Chinese, English and Malay and this, I mean to say, he is bright and well read. He questioned the meaning of life as a teenager, mentioned the  Noble Truth and the Noble Eightfold Path and about his mom burning paper money and practising Chinese culture in a way which contradicted Buddhism, pointing out rather accurately I …

Quotes to Ponder: Mahatma Gandhi

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The life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human beingYou must be the change you wish to see in the world.Nobody can hurt me without my permission.In a gentle way, you can shake the world.When you are right, you have no need to be angry.Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian activist who led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

A Moment of Goodness

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Christmas is over! While some people here forbid it, some Buddhists in America embrace it. Lion's Roar presents seven delightful stories in Have a Very Buddhist Christmas and in all these stories, there is goodness in the form of joy, giving, family and peace valued by humans; that is if they care to see and admit it. As pointed out by Bhante Suddhaso in his take, A Time to Perfect Our Compassion - Thailand's famed monk,  Ajahn Chah had  said, Anything that inspires us to see what is true and do what is good is proper practice. Christmas, is proper to Buddhists then I suppose and the human race too, if you don't mind; unless of course, the mind twisted as can be, see and focus just on negativity in others. That would not be reason to say, Shame on you! if Buddhist compassion is to come by but rather Pity you, for in this short life where everything is fleeting, there goes a moment of goodness and you just missed it!Christmas in Melaka, Malaysia...

2M - Mittyesque and Meditation

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I like the Malay folklore about a poor lazy man, Mat Jenin. While climbing a coconut tree, he daydreams about selling the fruits and buying a chicken instead. The chicken would lay him an egg and he would have more chickens. Then, he would replace the chickens with goats since they would fetch him better prices and the goats would be replaced with cows and the cows with buffalos. He would become very rich and ladies would flock to him like flies. He would however marry only a princess but if she were to pester for gold and jewellery, he would just give her a tight slap. He gives a slap and when his hands let go off the trunk of the coconut tree he wasn't are all a delight to read and while we are at that, I wonder if meditation could cure mittyesque. Since Thurber's short story, mittyesque has been used to denote an ineffectual person who spends more time in heroic daydreams than paying attention to the real world. As meditation supposedly stops the mind from flickering like a…

A Holy Life

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The other day, I was in Mesra Mall in Kemasik, somewhere near Paka, Terengganu. I think it was in a bookstore there that I saw a series of books by Canadian self help writer, Robin Sharman who penned The monk who sold his Ferrari. I suppose a monk does not need a Ferrari, not even cars  of a lesser model; but really, I've heard of Mahayana monks and nuns too who have them and drove around when they need to visit temples or houses of devotees for religious purposes. Some people couldn't accept the ideas of monks having their own cars, knowing that they have renounced worldly matter, material things too. A monk they thought  is supposed to live a holy, religious life; waking up very early in the morning to chant and meditate, doing things like that. Or is a holy life more than that? Is it the same for monks and layman? What's your idea of a holy life? Do you  think it entails a life dedicated to chanting, praying or meditating? Or is it enough to just live moderately, living…