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Stonepeace Old Archives Page 18 of 27

Sunday, October 27, 2002
Motivation & Consequences

Something I sent in a work email today:

We have to watch both our motivations and their consequences.
Good or bad motivations with bad consequences should be cut.
I think this should be the gauge.

This is paradoxical- how can a good motivation have bad consequences?
It happens when we think we are wise and compassionate enough, but are not so.

We can only learn from experience.
But of course, whether certain consequences are good or bad is another question.

We can only be as sure as we are sure in the moment.
This means we should always work towards becoming more and more truly sure-
this is walking the path to Enlightenment.
This is what Enlightenment is about-
to become sure,
to become in sync with truth, reality.

Movies & Sex

It is amazing how tiresome wanting to see Red Dragon (the movie), and to get it over with is- craving haha- it better be good, though we already know the happiness will only last so long- 2 hours? It is like wanting sex- each time we hope it better be good but the orgasm can only last so long- I mean, so short.. you know what I mean. This is so samsara haha- existence with short interludes of conditioned happiness. But's it's ok- makes me want liberation.

Sad Moon

Syn: Saw the moon? Beautiful circle but the colour is so sad.
Sil: Saddens me that you find it sad.
Syn: And how does the moon feel about us, I wonder, if it can feel?
Sil: Romantic fools I guess. We put too much feeling into something so natural. The moon's shine implies nothing yet we implicate ourselves.

Looking for Love

Slen: Am I looking for love? More of a soulmate I think.
Stan: You got it- that's why I always ask what is the difference between lovers and good friends- a good friend is good enough.
Slen: I have always got it. It's just that we differ in some expectations.
Stan: How are your expectations not that of a lover? You are looking for the external embodiment of your happiness in a person which cannot exist- since true happiness is within yourself. Note that when we have a lover or friend who gives us happiness, it is only conditioned happiness- even when they give love unconditionally.

Be the Best

Slen: Be the best you can be. That's what I do.
Stan: But the best is yet to be; we can always be better now- effort is parodoxical.
Slen: We think we are trying our best but the truth is we can almost always be better.
Stan: Only the enlightened know our true limits; not us!
Slen: But what can we do? We can only be the best we THINK we can in the moment! THINK as enlightenedly as possible!

Your Best Friend & Worst Enemy

Slen: Suo1 Po1 Zhi1 Da4, Zhi1 Ji1 Nan1 Xun1 (Samsara is this big, but a true friend/ soulmate is hard to find)
Stan: Read Zhi1 Ji1 as Zi1 Ji1 (oneself)- new meaning haha- Samsara is this big, and oneself is hard to find. Real Zhi1 Ji1 is yourself- who is non-self.
Slen: Ya. So far I am my best friend.
Stan: You are also your worst enemy.

Friday, October 18, 2002

Stan: Every negative experience is the burning off of negative karma. May we be strong to brave it.
Slen: I know. I'm biding my time.
Stan: To bid without the thought of bidding and time is true bidding of time.
True abiding is not abiding anywhere- this is already freedom... from negative karma!

Wednesday, October 16, 2002
Instant Hit-&-Run Karma Might Get You

The serial shooter is male and...that's it.
Despite witnesses at latest shooting, their vague accounts leave police with few solid clues or insightful new leads.,4386,149581,00.html?
The ongoing phantom hit-and-run Washington sniper serial killer, who has killed nine, reminds us of a truth-
that death can be rude, sudden and seemingly inexplicably random and unfair.
I'm not condoning him, but it's a lot like life- it is nothing less than cold hard real life.
He thinks he is playing God- but he is at the mercy of his increasingly hellish negative karma.
As much as he is trigger-happy now, he will be unhappy- much more in fact.
He needn't be the hand that deals the hand of karma of death penalty,
for karma can find its way naturally without him.
Choosing to do so, he incurs bad karma for himself.

I used to think that the moment we are born,
there is a gun pointing at our head-
which can go off any time.
Suicide is just pulling the trigger by ourselves.
Murder is pulling others' triggers.
There is a price for pulling any trigger.

Sometimes, there is no apparent trigger-puller, but the gun goes off.
It is like being freakily struck by lightning out of the blue!
A chance in more than 60,000- but nevertheless a real chance-
and nothing happens by chance.
Karma is always meting out in exact measures;
accidents and misfires do not exist.

When our trigger is pulled by others, we are paying a heavy price for a forgotten karmic debt.
That is the scary part- we have forgotten, or chosen to forget our "bad" debts.
What will our next forced repayment be like should we not pay in time?
Every moment is payback time.
In every moment, we are getting our just deserts, while we create our future deserts.
Just avoid evil, do good and purify your mind best you can in the moment-
there is nothing else you can do about the gun at your head.
Instant hit-and-run karma might get you-
but you can always minimise your chances of getting hit.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002
Prayer for the Dying (All of Us)

An email to a friend who is waiting for test results for a terminal illness:

Dear Sheng (not his real name),
Consider the worst case possible-
and discover that it doesn't really matter...

We either leave this life knowing or unknowingly;
We either leave this life accidentally suddenly or gradually due to old age or illness.

There are only these two options.
And it is always better to know when,
or roughly know when we will leave,
so that we can take stock of our life in time.

Yet at the end of the day,
no one knows when we will leave,
as accidents can happen any time.

All we have is now to treasure.
Life is a fatal disease we all die of again and again.
Death is a fatal disease we all die of again and again..

Nirvana is the real cure.
Our 3 Poisons is the real disease.
The worst case possible
is to let this trouble you.
Shantideva taught-
If there is something you can do about it,
just do it-
there is no need to worry or fear.
If there is nothing you can do about it,
just accept it graciously as karma-
there is no need to worry or fear.

Your brother in the Dharma,

Metta Pyramid Principle

Dear Slen,

One of the negative things about most love relationships is that when two "fall" in love, they begin to neglect most other friends. Another negative thing is that these friends also assume that these two new lovebirds will have no time for them. How worldly that is! According to the MPP- Metta Pyramid Principle (as patented by Stonepeace haha), the more you truly love someone, the more you should love others, as the Metta (Loving-kindness) overflows to others around us.

So Syn and I don't believe in not finding time for good friends. What I'm trying to say is we can hangout whenever you want (if I can make it)- just give me a call any time. No agenda needed- that's the definition of "hangout" haha.


Why I Love...

Stan: Here is why I love Syn.

1. She is the kindest and sincerest person I know
2. I like her voice
3. I like her smile and laugh
4. I like her serious look in her eyes
5. I like her simple cute handwriting
6. I like her honesty
7. I like her filial piety
8. I like her loyalty and helpfulness to friends
9. I like her chiding me for not doing what I should
10. I like her for liking me
11. I like the warmth of her hand
12. I like her pecks
13. I like her smell!
14. I like her cooking
15. I like her seriousness in learning the Dharma

Slen: Aww..... so sweet!!!
Stan: Hey! Does the list being long means I love her a lot? The thought struck me that this means my love is not unconditional? I love her because of at least 15 conditions!

Equality of the Sexes

Sophie: Although I am a feminist to a certain extent, I want to have my cake and still eat it. So I still expect a man to do the traditional opening of doors, pulling the chair routine. Haha....
Zeph: That's the problem- many feminists are not true "equalists"- they want to be given the advantages of being treated gentlemanly, while wanting to be treated "equally". Irony! By the way, I'm a spiritual (non-material) communist / "equalist". I believe the only way for all beings to be equal is to become Buddhas, transcend gender and all other crap. It will mean nothing less than the creation of a Pureland. As long as there are karmic differences, there is inequality, battles of the sexes, war...

For the Very First Time

We sat and watched
As the moon rose again
For the very first time.

-The Carnival Is Over (Dead Can Dance's "Into the Labyrinth" album)

Like a haiku, these words. The moon rose again, but we might be truly and fully seeing it only for the very first time. Something taken for granted transforms into magic. Like a case of "Zen mind, beginner's mind" as called by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. Let me call it the virgin's experience. The true virgin is the eternal virgin, who experiences every experience as if for the very first time- with body and mind pure, without preconceived ideas, without like or dislike.

"Like a virgin, touched for the very first time."

-Madonna (Like a Virgin)

Touched in every sense of the word!

Real Life Koan

Saw a mosquito that looked like an Aedes mosquito in office. Together we were at a loss as to what to do. Should we swat it to prevent it from possibly bring Hepatitis to anyone? That would be taking the life of a creature with only a seven day lifespan. Or should we shoo it out to let "nature" take its own course? That could be condoning it's possible killing of other beings through spreading of disease (though few die of Hepatitis these days in the region). It was a living koan. We left the door open, and discussed about the dilemma randomly in the midst of work... till it faded from our minds. An interesting fact is that we were also leaving ourselves at risk! On hindsight, this is what I should have done- pray before the Buddha image on our office shrine and ask for a stroke of realisation to hit us as to do! When stuck in a life or death situation with limited wisdom, beseech the Buddha for help!

Reply 1 : Conquer

About "Conquer anger with lack of anger",
anger also means anger within yourself.
It doesn't mean you should be angry to someone who pisses you off,
who is not himself angry at you!

Reply 1 : Meaning

Zeph: Hey! No comments? How about trying to make this conversation funnier?
Sophie: Can't help it as I am a boring person. :P
Zeph: Hey if you boring, how come i find you interesting?
How come u can give me so much inspiration for writing?
Oh I know! It must be the wacko syndrome!
I find you interesting because I am. Haha.
But no la, you are not boring!
See what I mean?

Sunday, October 13, 2002
Reply 1 : Karma

Uen: I still like my quote better without the "if you" because it was intended as an urging to take care of your karma.
Whereas with the "if you" it becomes a statement of sequence only. Don't feel bad. :P
Zeph: So is the original like so..... "Take care of your karma and it will take care of you"?
Uen: Original quote- "Take care of your karma and let your karma take care of you."
Hehe. Dun bother to change or anything. Just comment for your digestion.

Sunday, October 13, 2002
Does Your Love Get You Down?

Many puritan Buddhists think that any love relationship will be worldly, and that it will only bring the two people in the relationship further and further away from Enlightenment. This is not always true. Two lovers should be in a partnership of letting go, not holding on. Does this seem illogical? Why to have and to hold only to let go? I call it the "Siddhartha Syndrome." In the classic novella "Siddhartha" by Novel Literature Prize winner Herman Hesse, a truth seeker who happened to have the same lay name as the Buddha's, found the need to experience the depths of Samsara before realising the essence of Enlightenment. He fell in love with a prostitute, became a merchant, gambled, drunk... I intepret that the experience of deeply realising the First Noble Truth (that life is prevalent with dissatisfactions) was needed by him. Sometimes we need to hold on to something before we can let go of something. Sometimes we need to go in a circle to realise we were already where we should be.

No, please don't get me wrong- I'm not saying we need to go through deep shit in order to appreciate purity. But most people do need some negative experiences to drive themselves to work towards liberation. The less you need, the more fortunate you are! In the end we should not shun the world in disgust, but realise that Samsara and Nirvana are only relative as long as we hanker on both or either of them. What good does it do to deny your attachment to Samsara and boycott it in a fit of escapism, thinking of Nirvana when you are secretly dreaming of Samsara, especially of samsaric love?

I have a friend who yearns for love. He would very much like to be in love, though he knows there might be no one "for" him karmically. I can understand the quiet anguish in his heart. Should he feel complete in himself NOW? Or should he feel incomplete NOW? If it is the first, he would not "need" love anymore. If it is the latter, he will always be craving for love despite the possibility of not finding it. This itself is samsaric love! Even though there is no lover yet. How much more samsaric will it be when he really falls in love? I'm not saying stating the situation like a Zen koan to confuse you; only to state an example of the very substance Samsara is made of. No matter how paradoxical it is, our attaining of True Happiness lies in our ability to resolve it.

Thus, fall in love if you think you must- but transform your samsaric love to spiritual love in good time. Two spiritual lovers are to liberate each other from each other and everything else, not just embrace each other, only to weigh each other down and sink into the muck and mire of Samsara. Are you in love spiritually? Don't worry if you are already in a worldly relationship- any love relationship that continually strives to be spiritual is already a spiritual one! And any one that does not is Samsara itself.

Why Bodhisattvas Work?

A friend asked me why Bodhisattvas work at helping all beings when each being has his own karma to resolve. The answer is simple- the dynamics of karma are such that the karma of individuals interact collectively too. Who is to say that one will not deserve the good karma of receiving assistance from someone else while one is experiencing bad karma? Karma is mixed, or rather, it alternates between the ripening of the good and bad kind very fast.

If you see someone drowning and decide that it is his karma to drown, and that he indeed drowns because you do not rescue him... well, you are right- it is indeed his bad karma to drown. But by your "active passivity" in helping him when you can, you have created for yourself the bad karma of letting someone die when you can do something to save him. If you are to save him instead, it is the fruition of his good karma amidst his bad. And you have planted the seeds of good karma in helping him.

The difference between us and the enlightened Bodhisattvas is that while we might hesitate whether to help someone due to uncertainty of the results, they are able to discern with perfect wisdom as to whether action or inaction is the best course of action to help someone. Perfect Compassion is a perfectly natural response; hesitation is the lack of wisdom- it is unnatural, the lack of the ease of the Bodhisattvas. When in doubt, listen to your heart- your Buddha-nature. So the answer to why the Bodhisattvas work is simple- it is only natural- answering the call of suffering beings is as natural as, pardon me for saying, answering the call of nature!

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