13 July 2021

How meditation frees our mind

Mental defilements afflict the vast majority of beings.  They fester in our minds when we leave them unchecked, letting mental habits control us.  As a consequence of unskillful thoughts, speech or actions, we end up in despair or regret, and having to bear the resultant kamma.

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6 July 2021

Dāna is not just about giving

Dāna – the practice of giving – is a fundamental cultivation for Buddhists.  We are often encouraged to offer alms to Sangha members, perform service at temples, monasteries and Dhamma centres, as well as provide advice and encouragement to our friends.  Giving enables us to experience deeper joy because it is not reliant on material gain, instead it opens up our hearts to connect with others.

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23 June 2021

Develop wholesome habits

Have you been putting aside meditation or reading a Dhamma book because it was easier to binge-watch TV?  We may even have held on to feelings of anger, frustration and jealousy because it feels more ‘righteous’ than forgiving and letting go.  Our old habits and tendencies form the path of least resistance, but we must remember that this route blurs our minds and weaken our resolve.  Instead, we should cultivate “Aditthana” – determination to persevere for a noble goal despite the difficulties.

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6 May 2021

MCO 3.0 : Accepting changes

Today, the MCO has been reinstated in several states in Malaysia.  Yet, in comparison to our first experience of lockdown in March 2020, I can see that my fellow Malaysians are calmer and slightly less anxious compared to the first MCO.  Why?  Because we now know how uncertain things are, and our hearts are more accepting of these turbulent changes.

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10 March 2021

Bamiyan Buddhas return to life

The majestic Buddhas of Bamiyans made a monumental return today in 3D with laser light technology projected over where it used to stand.  The event called “A Night with Buddha” was organised to mark 20 years since the cultural heritage was lost forever when the Taliban destroyed them in March 2001.

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4 March 2021

Silver linings in challenging times

To navigate through the vicissitudes of life, gratitude and hope are necessary values to develop.  Gratitude is a positive mental quality that comes from reflecting on the support that we have received, often through the kindness of our parents, teachers, friends and many other people.  It opens up our hearts to those around us and enables us to enjoy the full blessings of life in this very moment. 

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30 December 2020

Reflecting on 2020

In just a few days, we bid farewell to 2020 and welcome the new year with fresh hopes that 2021 brings more favourable conditions, in stark contrast to the myriad of challenges this year has hurled at humanity.  These difficult times however, provide us with a precious opportunity to reflect, learn and contemplate through the lens of Dhamma.

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9 September 2020

Patience fosters peace of mind

In Dhammapada verse 184, the Buddha cited that the best moral practice is patience and forbearance.  Known as ‘khanti’ in Pāli, patient forbearance is motivated by wholesome desire for not only peace within, but also for the welfare of others.  One who cultivates patience lives with little hatred or remorse for others and lives harmoniously with the people around them.

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22 August 2020

Humility opens our minds

The cultivation of humility purifies the mind of pride and ego. Some may deem this as a weakness because we have been socially conditioned to compete for achievements and success. However, those who truly understand humility know it leads to a more fulfilling life blessed with serenity within and harmony with others.
In Pāli, ‘nivato’ translates literally to ‘without air’. It implies the qualities of being grounded, modest, and not inflating the ‘self’.  Humble people are gentle and well-loved because they are genuinely respectful of all beings. By being open to advice and criticism, we are able to let go of our arrogance and we can face our limitations and pursue better ways to improve ourselves.

 

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15 August 2020

Tearing down our boundaries

‘Metta’ is a mental state of unconditional love and friendliness towards all beings.  This noble virtue could be a lofty goal for many because we may even struggle to have loving-kindness for those close to us such as our family members, friends and colleagues.  Out of habit, our thoughts and reactions are tainted with unpleasant or discriminating views of others.

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