Posts

Death Issue

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When Malaysia's cabinet agreed to abolish the death penalty, Amnesty International and foreign diplomats naturally lauded the move. Amnesty particularly regards the death penalty to becruel, inhuman and degrading and opposes the death penalty regardless of who the accused is, the nature or circumstances of the crime. Not every Malaysian take up to the idea however. When a nine-month-old girl died after being raped, a member of Parliament, Ramkarpal Singh thought the death penalty should be allowed if the victims are children.  Family members of murder victims such as deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais, cosmetics millionairess Sosilawati Lawiya, and banker Wong Jing Kui, are against abolishing the death penalty. Erni Dekritawati Yuliana Buhari, daughter of Sosilawati had said that to be fair to the family of the victim, the death sentence must stay and cited that in Islam, those who take the life of another must have their lives taken. Then, I wonder about the Buddhists&…

Quotes to Ponder : Bruce Lee

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Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.The possession of anything begins in the mind.What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.Do you know why this cup is so useful? Because it is empty.

Trimmed Plants

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Oh, this I heard about a monk this morning: Someone I know frequents a monastery in the mountain, doing voluntary work like trimming the plants that grow there. When a monk saw the trimmed plants, he had said that he would like the plants to grow naturally. Then, I imagine the plants to grow tall, big and unkempt. People who visit the monastery may wonder why the plants have not been trimmed and who's the lazy guy responsible. And then I thought too -  some monks are probably still attached to the mundane world. Why then would trimmed plants attract their attention?

Divine Retribution

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So, Palu is in Sulawesi. Even though I've visited Sulawesi years back, I haven't heard of Palu; at least not until someone claimed in Parliament that the recent tsunami and earthquake that struck the capital of the province of Central Sulawesi was God's retribution to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activities there. In 2015, I remember some Western tourists who posed nude were similarly blamed for a fatal earthquake that occurred in Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. The mountain was supposed to be sacred and the tourists were said to be disrespectful.  In both cases, I suppose victims must have included straights, kids, even virgins; all innocent from LGBT activities, I presume.  Now, I wonder what's the Buddhist's view on divine retribution.

Five Steps to Sainthood

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I don't know if Mother Teresa is a saint but I 've long heard of St. Anne whose church inBukit Mertajam, Penang, Malaysia attracts over 100,000 pilgrims from Malaysia and neighbouring countries like Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia each year during its annual celebration of the feast of St Anne. If Mother Teresa isn't a saint yet, she can be one in five steps; which according to BBC are:  waiting for at least five years after death, becoming a servant of God, showing proof of a life of heroic virtue,  verified miracles and finally Canonization. Don't really understand what that means but that really makes me wonder about how Buddhists go about determining their bodhisattvas; people who are able to reach nirvana but delay doing so through compassion for suffering beings. Do they do so in 5 simple steps? Do they have a body to decide who is and who is not a bodhisattva?

Buddhist Politics

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I suppose that the Buddha being of royal blood is common knowledge; at least among Buddhists. Born a prince, naturally he rubbed shoulders with kings since a baby. His contact with kings probably did not end even after he left the palace to search for enlightenment. In fact, when he was living an ascetic life, a king by the name of Bimbisara offered him half his kingdom which he  turned down. Now, with an environment like his, I wonder if the Buddha was ever involved in politics. In an article in Lion's Roar,  Buddhists are encouraged to be involved in politics. It is suggested that Buddha's political platform, and I presume, Buddhists' too, would go something like this: May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. May they all enjoy happiness and the fruits of happiness. It is pointed out that this is the ultimate goal of a government and politics is just the debate over how to achieve it, the ending of suffering of all mankind  regardless of race or…

Spirited Away

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In the early morning, when the sky is still dark, sometimes, I'd make off to the old Chinese restaurant in town where mostly senior citizens gather, to have a bite of dim sum. Dim sum is fun when you have a group of boisterous friends to share that exquisite moment when each dig in eagerly his or her chopsticks to make a claim of that coveted delicacy. When friends are not around, alone and in a quiet moment, the experience would be entirely different. When the waiter or waitress come to serve , you'd throw a knowing glance at the little dishes and automatically, your hands go for the chopsticks. You lift the chopsticks, mindful of their lightness and marvel at the sudden subtle change; the new heaviness they exude when they drop their weights, twisting and turning into a mysterious realm where there is softness, hardness; all disguised  as one. Then, when you push the dim sum into your mouth, you feel its juiciness, and amidst the coldness of the hard chopsticks, its warmth s…