Posts

A Matter of Interpretation

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I came across an article in the Net that states that all religions do not support homosexuality, lesbianism or even the right to change one's gender and I wonder about the stand that probably would be made by Buddhism. Taking into consideration the Buddhist five precepts (pañca-sikkhāpada) or five virtues (pañca-sīla) for layman into consideration :I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking life, to abstain from taking what is not given, to abstain from sexual misconduct, to abstain from false speech and to abstain from intoxicants as well as The Four Noble Truths as taught by the Buddha in the Dharmacakra Pravartana Sūtra that states,among other things, that there is suffering in this world which arises from attachment to desires, I wonder especially if having sex with someone of the same gender would be considered as sexual misconduct or if the act is intoxicating and would cause much suffering...

Dhamma Still Delights!

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The 18-day ordeal faced by the Wild Boars, 12 footballers, ranging from 11 to 16 years. and their 25-year-old football coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, may be over but their story may remain etched in many hearts for a long time to come. The 13 lucky ones were trapped in the flooded Than Luang cave in Mae Sai in Chiang Rai province, Northern Thailand and were miraculously saved by Thai Navy SEAL and a team of international divers. While Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry, said the boys being footballers, have high immune system; the Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha saidthe boys were given anxiolytic, an anti-anxiety drugs. Then of course, there is a story circulating that the coach ,Ekkapol Chantawong. who had once been a Buddhist monk for 10 years, taught the boys Buddhist meditation while in the cave and Isuppose that probably explains the anxious yetsmiling boys found by a pair of British divers when the boys were10 days into the ordeal. Buddhist m…

Buddhist Apps

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Learning about Buddhism has never been easier. Perhaps, even Buddhists  during Buddha's time don't have it that easy. Buddha, said to be born  either in Lumbini in modern Nepal or Kapilavastu in modern  India had to travel hundreds of kilometres to eastern India to places like Sarnath or Varanasi to preach. It makes one wonder what was the chance for a person to come in touch with Buddha's version of Dhamma.   Fast forward to our time, in the 70s and 80s, one perhaps has to live in or near a Buddhist community and has to have a chance to get to hear a good Dhamma talk from a bona-fide monk or get hold of some valid Buddhist Literature like the late Venerable Dr K Sri Dhammananda's gem, What Buddhist believe? These days, you can simply  download the book and other Buddhist or non-Buddhist literature in  your smart phones since there are plenty of free apps available for your disposal. You even have free apps to help you meditate!

Group Karma

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MH 370 is an old story. Never mind if it catches world attention or is still an unsolved mystery but every time a plane crashes and lives are lost, I would be told it is because of group karma. Karma, touted in Buddhism as the Law of Cause and Effect, somewhere I read, can be in these forms, individual or group. The latter explains why so many people die together in both natural and man-made disasters. I always have doubts on group karma but now, when let's say, a rich man  commits an unwholesome act like committing murder etc., and uses his riches to get the support of all his family members and servants, wouldn't it be right to say that a big group of people has performed the same unwholesome act and share the same bad karma? Suddenly, I remember old Hong Kong TVB dramas where a whole bunch of police officers are corrupted by under counter money as well as a whole bunch of Hong Kong movies, like Andy Lau's Infernal Affair and even the wholevseries of Ekin Chen's gang…

In Brief

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In brief, this is not about Justin Bieber or David Beckham. It is more about Bāhiya, an ancient man I happened to read about when in Batu Kawah,  a suburban area in Kuching, Sarawak. Just before Bāhiya was killed by a cow, he presumably was given one famous brief lesson by Buddha: In the seen, the seen merely will be, in the heard, the heard merely will be, in the sensed, the sensed merely will be, in the cognized, the cognized merely will be. Thus indeed,  Bāhiya , you should train. When then for you,  Bāhiya , in the seen, the seen merely will be, in the heard, the heard merely will be, in the sensed, the sensed merely will be, in the cognized, the cognized merely will be, therefore you,  Bāhiya  are not because of that; since you,  Bāhiya  are not because of that, therefore you ; Bāhiya , are not there, since you Bāhiya, are not there, therefore you,  Bāhiya ,are neither here, nor beyond, nor between the two. Just this is the end of suffering. Perhaps, someBāhiyas out there may cha…

The Devil Returns!

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Once, Pope Francis said the Devil is here in the 21st century. The Devil aka Satan refers to the fallenangelwho never once gets tired of seducing humanity into doing sins. Buddhists perhaps would rather that it is Mara who is right here with us now. Afterall, it is this demon who tried to seduce Gautama Buddha with the vision of beautiful women when he was on the verge of attaining Nirvana. Forget for once that Buddha had said it is we, ourselves who are responsible for our actions. It's always nice to have a scapegoat!

Food for Thought

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Once, I witnessed monks in Sitavana Vihara Penang, chanting pujas at the site of a new stupa. Many young  Burmese working in Malaysia turned up in droves for the occasion and there was much fanfare. Food was in abundance as they cooked and then, many local people took the opportunity to do dana. In the Buddhist tradition, dana refers to generosity but here, it translates into offering food to monks and laypeople. Do you for once wonder if there are other ways of being generous? Dana, I rather think, offers a wider scope...
At the site of the new stupa...