Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Story on Peacock Queen

According to 2011 China Production's Journey to the West, millions of aeons ago, the Buddha told Monkey (Sun Wu Kong) that the Phoenix were the rulers of the sky (pretosaurs?) and the elephant the rulers of the earth (mammoth?). Then out of the Phoenix, he giant bird, Garuda and the Peacock, Mahamayura was born. The Peacock and Garuda were cousins. At first, Mahamayura was an evil creature and even ate the Buddha in his past life, when he was a Bodhisattva at that time. In the Peacock's stomach, he slit open the Peacock's back and wanted to kill it but the Buddhas at that time, advised him that every being has a right to life. In other words, he was advised that we must not kill even our enemies. We must exercise compassion and try to turn him over, and not revenge. And so, the Peacock was given to a Bodhisattva as his ride and henceforth, the Bodhisattva was known as Queen Mahamayura (Peacock Queen). Queen Mahamayura managed to tame the Peacock and hence the Peacock had been transformed from an evil creature to a good one many aeons ago. I personally have experienced the healing powers of Queen Mahamayura, and I do not doubt it. I do not know where the director of the chinese drama got the story from, but I am merely relating what I saw from the 2011 produced Journey to the West. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Being Too Stuck-Up with LBGTness & Non-LBGTness

I believe that in Buddhism, no particular group is an enemy of Buddhism. Buddhism is a religion that embraces everybody, in the sense that everyone has the potential to be free of suffering and achieve Enlightenment. In that way, we do not exclude anybody, but that also means WE have to work OUR way to Enlightenment. It means getting rid of UNDESIRABLE elements, inculcate DESIRABLE elements, and to PURIFY our mind from getting STUCK-UP with identifying with our LBGTness or non-LBGTness! What is desirable brings you nearer to liberation. What is not desirable takes you further away. So, it is really very simple. For Buddhism, we are not so worried about pluralism because we believe there are thousands of dharma doors to liberate people. I must say this, not every religion is a dharma door. Indeed, perhaps even the major religions could possibly be a non-dharma door, i.e. created by misleading religious founders or cult leaders. But it is okay. It only takes a longer time before they eventually goes back to the true path. This, I firmly believe. So, we do not need to be so stuck-up with the idea that so-and-so is an enemy of Buddhists, or so-and-so is such a "satanic" or "evil" group. We only do what is possible within our means. We don't go and create trouble for others when it is not the right time for them to return to the true path. We must have the ability to see if their karma is ripe or not first to learn from us. Only the Buddhas and great Bodhisattvas/Arhats have this sort of ability. So, trust that they are doing their job. Pray to them that they do their job. And then cultivate yourself! Liberate yourself so that you can have this sort of ability too! And you cannot liberate yourself unless you find yourself on a spiritual path. Secularism does not liberate anyone. So, that is the only problem with "secularism" or "liberalism" (I am assuming here that both terms means the same thing). But "liberalism" could also mean "pluralism" (meaning, believing in all religions or that the Gods in all religions are referring to the same one God, or variants of this) in which case I have addressed the issue above. Amen!


Note: I do not wish to comment on what other people say and I also do not comment on other religions or imply on them by what I am writing here. I am only commenting on Buddhism here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Zen is not just koans; Tibetan Buddhism is not just mantras and deities

I would like to share with you this video which is showing a short clip by a Western Zen Master (Dae Kwang Su Nim) telling us that Koan technique is just one of many techniques. Indeed, it is one of many techniques even in Zen but in Zen it is a unique distinguishing technique from other techniques used in Zen. Really, when I hear of questions on "what is Zen?" or request from people who want to be taught Zen meditation, they expect koan. But seriously, Zen is just direct looking at the mind. If you can do that, even if you do not study even a single koan, then that itself would be Zen. There is no need for koans. For example, if you are doing chanting, even chanting properly would be Zen. Initially I made the mistake of thinking that Zen meditation has to have an element of koan in it. Well, I realised that I was wrong. It did not have to. The same for Tibetan Buddhism. It does not need to have mantras in our practice. But of course, it is the distinguishing technique of Tibetan Buddhism from other traditions. If we do not recite mantras or visualise deities, it does not mean we are not practising Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism is much more than that. For example, there is also the aspirational part of practice that is important. And also, putting that aspiration into our daily actions. There are also the purification practices (which may be called "repentance" practices in other traditions). One of the essence of Tibetan Buddhism is divine view. If we can have that without mantras and deities, then who can ever say that we are any different from practising Tibetan Buddhism? Dogen Zenji, for example, in his writings in Shobogenzo, have written that every aspects of our life and phenomena around us are "instances of prajna". It is only that ordinary sentient beings like us fail to see it that way. Hence, we cannot exactly label a person by merely his outer practices or what robe he/she is wearing. When we are looking into the nature of mind, it is just that. It is not exclusive only to Zen tradition. It is not exclusive only to Tibetan tradition. That was why Zen Master Seung Sahn said, "If we start discriminating between Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, already we are mistaken." Refer back to my previous posts on "Zen vs Tibetan Buddhism" topics.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Death Penalty: Victory for Precious Human Life

Referring to the 2 news links below, I welcome the easing of the mandatory death sentence. Ever since Yong Vui Kong's case was highlighted, I had prayed for him and even wrote 2 blog posts explaining about the Buddhist philosophy of preciousness of human lives and in what situations would a death penalty apply. Refer to my blog posts dated Aug 27, 2010 and July 31, 2011. I said that only in certain restricted cases should the death sentence be handed down on the person who committed it. And I wanted to sent what I wrote to both the Malaysian PM as well as the Singapore President. I forgotten whether eventually I sent to them or not. Eventually I think I chose to go through the YBAM (Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia). I urged them to follow up the case with the relevant parties and I advised them how to help Vui Kong's case. I told them when we help a person, it must not appear as if we are only concerned about him. In fact, we must extent our scope to include everybody. In other words, if we truly wanted to help Vui Kong, we must support the moratorium or easing of the death penalty. We cannot say spare Vui Kong from the death penalty. Then what about others? Can you ignore others? Is Vui Kong's life more important than others? I told them in order for Singapore President to pardon Vui Kong or commute it to a life sentence, YBAM must build a stronger case, i.e. support a restricted death penalty, not only in Singapore and Malaysia but also world-wide. The blogposts I wrote were viewed by many people, including researchers into death penalties. People like Vui Kong who only serve as their carrier, and not the manufacturer or the master-mind behind the drug trafficking (i.e. the drug lords), then I wrote that he (and others like him) does not deserve the death penalty. If anything, he deserved to be whipped and imprisoned. I said that even public caning can be a deterrence. When people see how painful it is to be whipped, they will think twice before they do it. It is because people don't see the punishment and don't feel the punishment, that they think it is okay to commit crime. So, even though just a small role, I am happy I played a role in support of the easing of the death sentence in Singapore but yet still retaining the death sentence. I know some people are keen to totally abolish it but in my blog posts, I had argued that it could still be relevant in certain cases. I guest I got what I wanted. Then from the article below, I am happy that Malaysia is thinking of following the same. Refer the news links below. Even though I am not sure if Yong Vui Kong is still alive or not, I sure hope it is not too late. Then again, it is not too late to help others like him who were mere pawns for the real criminals, i.e. the drug barons. I congratulate the Singapore Government for the bravery to amend its laws and leading the way for others to follow suit. Amitabha!

News references:​msia-mulls-scrapping-death-pena​​ml

Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy 77th Birthday, HH the Dalai Lama!

I found this in the youtube and find this song very soothing and invoke faith in His Holiness. I wish His Holiness a very happy 77th birthday and May You live for a long long time - aeons and aeons! Yeah!