11 October 2021

Be heedful of SOPs even as restrictions relax

It has been announced that 90% of the Malaysia adult population have now been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.  The daily infection numbers have also started to drop in the past weeks and vaccinations are now being administered for teenagers ages 12 to 17.  We have also reached a milestone for the lifting of travel restrictions cross-states today, allowing many Malaysians to visit their family or go on holidays.  

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10 October 2021

Today is World Mental Health Day

On World Mental Health Day this year, the looming shadow of Covid-19 continues to trigger factors leading to mental suffering and illness such as the demise of loved ones, threat of new virus variants, loss of jobs and income, prolonged financial distress and family issues arising from long isolation.  Stress is also faced by medical frontliners who experience exhaustion and even severe burnout from long working hours.

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26 September 2021

Subdue the distracted mind

Being mindful and staying in the present moment is a cornerstone of Buddhist practice. Yet, we frequently find our thoughts wandering off due to external stimuli of all kinds and proliferation of thoughts. This inability to focus results in a mind that is not calm, serene and concentrated. The distracted mind also drains our energy level and hinders our spiritual progress.

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8 September 2021

Reduce our desires

Craving (tañha) occupies the mind when wisdom is not applied to pleasant and unpleasant experiences. Without the wisdom of seeing their impermanent and transient nature, we react in unwise ways that lead to our affliction. We are unable to see straight because we are blinded by craving, and even allow emotions to control us. The Buddha explains the unwise reaction to tañha in Sallatha Sutta (SN 36.6).

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28 August 2021

Clearing our doubts

At times, we may be in a state of doubt, either in ourselves, or in the Dhamma principles. “I meditate everyday but still can’t calm the mind”, or “I have learnt so much over the years, yet I don’t have the deep level of faith”; thoughts like these are common. We may even think that we are too deep down the ‘rabbit hole’ in this life to realise our mind’s full potential. If left unchecked, the sceptical mind will ebb our determination to reach our spiritual goals.

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19 August 2021

Conquer the angry mind

Anger and aversion arise when someone does or says something we don’t like, or things are not done our way.  It is the result of unwise attention to the un-ending desires in our mind.  The Buddha taught that anger inflames the mind and only brings about loss, pain, loneliness and misery; an angry person does not see the true nature of things (Kodhana Sutta, AN 7.60).

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14 August 2021

Take a step back to see the steps to happiness

In the next few weeks, we will reflect on Dhamma talks held during the this year's Gimhāna Retreat on ‘Steps to Happiness’.  These talks discuss the manifestations of the mind which obstruct our spiritual progress, and how we can take steps towards removing them.  We hope that this series are useful reminders and contemplations for you.

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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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