Somewhat enlightening and
      entertaining reflections on the       path to the natural unshakable       peacefulness of a stone

latest entries

new archives

old archives

    01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05
    06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10

    11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15
    16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20
    21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25
    26 | 27 |




Compassed by logo


Stonepeace Old Archives Page 26 of 27

Reply 2 : Working in a Temple Vs Working "Outside"


Sophie: You don't know the difference because you have not worked in a commercial environment before. Believe me there is still a difference.
Zeph: The difference we see from where we are, but our karma might not let us experience the difference.
Sophie: Maybe it is already your good karma to be working in a Dharma environment. haha.
Zeph: Er... its the other way round too maybe- meaning if i go outside, my karma might not "allow" me to experience any "harsh" reality! haha.
Sophie: I don't think you are cultivated to that level yet! haha.
Zeph: Woah... someone is cultivated enough to withstand harsh reality out there! Wah!
Sophie: Aiyah! You don't get it. I mean that I don't think you are cultivated to that level where you can be total equanimous about some happenings. Trust me it's not that easy. And I definitely am not there yet, I readily admit it.
Zeph: Ok la... haha. Know what you mean. But truth is that there is nothing more difficult and challenging than trying to help all beings advance towards Enlightenment, constantly coming up with skillful means... It only seems relatively easy now because the REAL work is not really done yet. There is lots more to be done.

Fixing Samsara

Here are amusing extracts from an email from a Dharma brother,
about a translated Dharma book by Chan Master Ven. Sheng Yen, which i helped proofread...

"of the problems still remaining seem to be caused by the process of converting from the Word format to Quark Express. In particular I refer to the corruption in several cases of the word 'samsara' to 'sa sara' and 'sa msara.' Why this is happening I have no idea, but it is very ironic that Quark chooses this particular word to screw up, reminding us that we exist in samsara.... On page 48, footnote 1, second line, there is a broken samsara only this time, it is 'sa msara.'...... In footnote 2, another example of 'sa sara.' ......If you find a broken 'samsara' please fix it. It will either be broken as 'sa sara' or 'sa msara.' I don't know why Quark can't even be consistent about its mistakes."

About the last line, well, Samasra is "inconsistent", is it not? That's why it is Samsara, chaos. (though there is the hidden order of karma within unseen by unenlightened eyes) Haha.

Reply 1 : Open Diary

Hi Friends,

I think it is good idea to have a nature of natural/honest voice from all corners who are real interested of their own mind/speech/action about their daily sincere dharma activities, be it for self-evaluation or self-reflection or daily news or other purposes. It is like self-service daily newsprint for all those who are interested in Dharma in their most honest & sincere form. It is being sincere/honest in its most natural form- like all sentient being see, hear, smell, taste, feel & think whoever/wherever/whenever/however/whatever/whyever in the nature of dependent arising. Isn't that the IT technology clearly & soundly do have an access allowing us to have this possible approach/attitude or we still attach to this & that worries of control or disciplinary form? Zeph, that make everybody playing a role for your goodness as well as those who work so hard in this regular TDE's outlet. Think about a workable system then! Bye!


Reply 1 : Working in a Temple Vs Working "Outside"

Yeap! What makes a temple, a temple and a commercial office, a commercial office come in two form. The internal and external, which means, the person can be situated in a commercial office but bears a Bodhicitta mind, that premise becomes his/her temple of practice. On the other hand, if someone who works in the temple but filled with defilement and lack of spiritual enthusiastic to progress, that temple becomes no different from a commercial office clouded with constant office politics.

That is why, Shi Fu send us a very strong message that we need to be "rich" in our spiritual practice in order to "keep" us progress along this path. I think no one will have strong objection to Shi Fu recommendation to strenghten our spiritual practice! Sadhu!(3x)

With Metta,

Diary- From Notebook to Blog

Another past diary entry relevant here... about 2 years later. Deja Vu...
This one comes chronologically before the next entry below.
This entry makes me seriously wonder how long i can keep this up- regular blogging that is.

Re-starting a Diary

I don't think I will have the time to read my diaries- even in my old age- if I were to start keeping diaries from this day. But I guess it isn't important. I see diary-writing more as a daily ritual for self evaluation. In this sense, the writing itself serves its purpose. I don't look to being old and retired, reading my diaries in the balcony, busking in the evening sun. Life is too short to hanker on the past- even by reading past ups and downs. Of course, I'm not all that totally unsentimental- even right now, I do flip back my past diaries once in a while, to reminisnce memories. I havn't been keeping a regular diary for several years. This is another attempt, and I do hope to keep the record running. Writing is therapeutic to me and it is not unlike laziness to visit the doctor when ill that I don't write regularly.

So why start a diary today? Lynn is entering a 14 day meditation retreat today. And we promised each other to keep a spiritual diary while we are apart.. and beyond. So this is not exactly a special day- but the conditions are ripe- or you wouldn't be seeing these very words. Every day is a good day to do something worthwhile. But of course, some days, we might require some thought transformation to see a "feel not so good" day as good. Everyday is an empty day I would say- it can be as good or bad as you choose to see it. I like the idea- I started a diary on an empty day. Empty days are full of possibilities- lovely. But of course, my attachment to their loveliness renders them unempty. How our attachments spin us in circles!

Open Diary Open Heart Open Mind

Something i re-discovered while sorting old files on my notebook...

Honesty- Keeping this Diary Open

I have a self-challenging idea- maybe I should keep an open diary. Open in the sense that I put it up on the net for all to see. Really open in the sense that I even let my friends know about this diary, and that the protagonist is me. It is challenging because I will be writing honestly about my thoughts, both good and bad ones. I'd always wanted to keep no hidden agenda from the world- always wanted to be brutally frank and secret free to the world, wishing the world to be brutally frank to me in return. Afterall, is honesty not truthfulness? There are few things more precious than it as an attitude to the world.

On second thought, keeping an open diary might not be too good an idea. I couldn't be writing all about myself alone- I would be writing about my interactions with friends too. It wouldn't be fair to them if I were to openly voice out my thoughts on them to others if they were negative. Immediately upon writing this line, I scrolled upwards to alter the ???'s name to Lynn. Yes- Zeph is not my real name too. But I will be honest in this diary. And as a disclaimer, may I add that sometimes this diary is semi-fictitious with some characters that do not correspond to those in my real life. These characters exist because they had been a part of my writing life for some time. I call these friends my Frens. I will let you decide where non-fiction ends and where fiction begins.

So I guess a world with total brutal honesty is a brutal world, even though it is utterly honest. May I be not brutally honest only in the order to not be brutal. Tactless undisguised honesty is pure fact and reason- too raw to taste for many. May I season it with just enough compassion without becoming hypocritical. The sad fact is that there are people who are not frank with themselves, even in their diaries- where they rationalise their beliefs and actions without evaluating the truth and morality behind them. I shall try my best to steer clear of these trappings- that can be so subtle when the mind is unclear, when the mind can trick itself into rationalising that it is not rationalising! I just have to remember this- the biggest victim of rationalisation will always be me- more than anyone else.

Ignore Yourself

I remember trying out a Yahoogroup Chatroom...
There was a button called "Ignore",
with which you can click after selecting a person's name in the room whom you wish to ignore.
As i was the only one there, i selected myself.
To my surprise, the message appeared,
"You cannot ignore yourself."

Haha... another case of accidental pseudo-Zen!

We Are All Schizos!

Slightly amusing email from a Venerable whom I approached to be a regular writer for But what he says is true of me too- too often do i look back at my writing and am intrigued that "i" actually wrote them. That's because it is simple- "i" did not. haha. It is strange but that's how it works- shape-shifting "selves" penning things and forgetting them- someone else wrote the stuff i wrote in the past.
Dear Zeph,

There is no need to ask permission to use any of my stuff; there is copyleft on everything I write, not copyright.

I cannot --- or will not --- accede to your request to contribute things for your publication on a regular basis, as I am a writer by inspiration rather than discipline, and many months pass between periods of inspiration, so that it seems I am not the person who wrote all that stuff before; perhaps I'm schizophrenic, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Best Wishes from (Ven.) _____

Transference of Files & Consciousness

Was transferring files from old notebook to this one i am using- from 10pm to 2am! My eyes are tired from looking at the computer at work plus these 4 hours of doing the same. Transferring files- makes me relate to the tiresomeness of rebirth, of "transferring" consciousness from an old used body to another. All the valuable files I put in a folder called "Old". Guess i could have called it "Previous Life" too. These files, like valuable lessons from past lives... let us not forget them. But how do we recall them in the first place?
No conscious need to- just practise and the files will unfold naturally.

Thursday, September 05, 2002
Seek the Truth; Not Guess It

Every assumption you make about reality is a potential delusion.
This does not just apply to spiritual stuff-
it applies too to ordinary everyday matters.

Why guess a friend or colleague has something against you?
A 99% accurate theory is still just a theory and is potential 100% delusion.
Why not just clarify without spite?

If we do not handle such simple Truth-seeking tasks properly in worldly life,
we can forget about seeking and discovering the Ultimate Truth.

Are You Honestly Enlightened?

Q: How did the Buddha know He was Enlightened?
A: Through His honesty.
When He said He was Enlightened,
it was neither an under nor over-statement-
nothing less than the Truth.

To seek the total Truth, one has to be totally honest.
Dishonesty is lying to yourself- how can you seek the Truth which is synonymous with honesty?

Honesty is about being in sync with the Truth within oneself- which is essentially the same as the Truth "out" there.
If you are honest about your mind and what's on it, you will realise the Truth from watching it.

So what is this Truth?
3 Universal Characteristics-
Everything material and mental is constantly changing, selfless and ultimately dissatisactory due to that.

Spiritual Events

During lunchbreak, we were discussing about a colleague's coming wedding dinner. One of us exclaimed, "Oh dear, it might be Sandy Lam's concert night!
I'd been looking forward to it. But wouldn't want to miss the dinner either!"
I remarked, "Go for the concert- it is a more spiritual thing." She replied, "Is it?" I said, "Oh okay, then go for dinner!"

Concerts have always been spiritual events for me. That's nothing fantastic- since everything should be spiritual to us. But if you have to choose, would you go for the worldly or the spiritual? Am not saying weddings aren't spiritual events. They obviously are so- to the newly-weds. But are they, to the guests? Maybe it will lead them to reflect on the meaning of love, committment, attachment, detachment...

Depeche Mode's concert some 8 years back was a sacred magical spiritual ritual to me. I remember the review the next day in the papers described the event being "like a secret cult meeting." Music should never be solely for entertainment in my opinion. Like this Stonepeace Blogspot, it should be entertaining and enlightening! Otherwise, it is a worldly thing- not worth our fuss.

Your Greatest Desire

Q: What is the most desirable thing?
A: What you want NOW is the most desirable thing.

-Heard from a talk by Ajahn Jagaro

The Starfish Story: It's Possible

Here is the classic story you received a thousand times in your email.
If you had read it before, please scroll to the moral of the story from my perspective.

A friend of mine was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he noticed that a local native kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean. As my friend approached even closer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach, and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water. My friend was puzzled. He approached the man and said. "Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing."

"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die up here from lack of oxygen." "I understand," my friend replied, "but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can't possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don't you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"
The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, "Made a difference to that one!"

It is not possible to make changes to the whole life at one time. But if we are confident enough to make small changes, it will definitely create a difference. The same applies to helping sentient beings. It is not possible to help the whole world, but we can help people around us, our family, friends, neighbors and so on. Compassion is infectious. Infect the world!

Before your hurl other starfish into the sea, realise too, that you are a starfish too. Have you hurled yourself lately? Or are you still ashore?

The 4 Noble Truths for Beginners

Noble Truth 1 - You are not truly happy...
Noble Truth 2 - bcos of your attachment to the wrong things as sources of happiness, and aversion to the wrong things as deterences.
All these problems arise from your delusion about the nature of things.
Noble Truth 3 - But you can be truly happy by attaining Nirvana...
Noble Truth 4 - by practising the Noble Eightfold Path!

Empty Attachments

Ming sent me an email with 2 attachment files. Somehow, due to some glitch, they turned out to have 0 bytes each. I replied,

"Your attachments are empty."

Haha. Accidental pseudo-Zen.

Watch Your Watching

"The fool is careless.
But the master guards his watching.
It is his most precious treasure."

-The Dhammapada, 2, Wakefulness

Mind your mind.
Mind your mindfulness.

Of the importance and value of mindfulness, it cannot be said enough.
The most precious treasure indeed.
Without some wakefulness, we can never totally awake.

Working in a Temple Vs Working "Outside"

Liuguang commented yesterday that working in a temple is the same as working outside...

Of course! Even if one thinks it is an escapade from the 'harsh outside world',
one is only deceiving oneself. Afterall, everywhere you go, you bring along your karma and defilements. No environment, be it work or otherwise, can trap us- only our Greed, Hatred and Ignorance can.

Previous Page | Next Page