Friday, July 29, 2005

How does the sea become the king of all streams?
Because it lies lower than they!...

Therefore, the Sage reigns over the people by humbling himself in speech;
Abd lead the people by putting himself behind.

Thus it is that when a Sage stands above the people,
they do not feel the heaviness of his weight.

(Wu, 66)
Tao-te ching
"The Classic (ching) of the way (Tai) and its Virtue (te)"
From Grace unfolding by Greg Johanson and Ron Kurtz

Thursday, July 28, 2005


As she speaks with great emotion and restraint, she seems
to be talking directly to him.

I had... an experience. I can't
prove it. I can't even explain it.
All I can tell you is that
everything I know as a human being,
everything I am -- tells me that it
was real.

The room grows quiet.

I was given something wonderful.
Something that changed me. A vision
of the universe that made it
overwhelmingly clear just how tiny
and insignificant -- and at the same
time how rare and precious we all
are. A vision... that tells us we
belong to something greater than
ourselves... that we're not -- that
none of us -- is alone.


Moved beyond words.


looks lovingly at Palmer... then shifts her gaze to
Michael Kitz. Softly:

I wish I could share it. I wish
everyone, if only for a moment --
could feel that sense of awe, and
humility... and hope. That
continues to be my wish.

The emotion in her voice compels the room to silence.

Source: movie script

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

"By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A friend told me of visiting the Dalai Lama...
asking him for a succinct definition of "compassion"...
describing how heartstricken she'd felt when...
she'd seen a man in the street beating a mangy stray dog with a stick.
"Compassion", the Dalai Lama told her,
"is when you feel as sorry for the man as you do for the dog."

- Field notes on the compassionate life: a search for the soul of kindness
Marc Ian Barasch

Monday, July 25, 2005

"We don't need to run away to any others place; we need only look at and investigate this point.
This is the way the mind is. When we dislike something, that object of dislike isn't affected; it remains as it is. When we like something, it isn't affected by our liking, but remains just as it is.

For example, you might have a vase (or any possession you cling to so dearly).
You feel that it's something nice, but from its own side it exists indifferently.
It doesn't have anything to say. It is only you who have the feelings about it,
you who live and die for it. If you dislike or hate it, it won't be affected.

That's your affair.

It is indifferent, but you have these feelings of like or dislike and then get attached to them. Either like or dislike troubles our hearts. We are only making ourselves insane.

You think somethings are good, you see other things as great,
but you are projecting these ideas from yourself.
If you are aware of yourself, you will realise that all these things are equal."

-Ajahn Chah

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The 5 precepts for having the right livelihood
1. I am committed to

"cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life. "

2. I am comitted to
"cultivate loving kindness and learn ways to work for the well being of people, animals, plants and minerals. I vow to practice generosity by sharing my time, energy and material resources with those who are in real need. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. I will respect the property of others, but I will prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth."

3. I am committed to
"cultivate responsibility and learn ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families and society. I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without love and a long-term commitment. To preserve the happiness of myself and others, I am determined to respect my commitments and the commitments of others. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct."

4. I am committed to

"cultivate loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I vow to learn to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy and hope. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or community to break. I will make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small."

5. I am committed to
cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and for the transformation of society.

Excerpted from "Building a business the Buddhist Way"(1999)
by Geri Larkin which she cited Thich Nhat Hanh's

"For a Future to Be Possible: Commentaries on the Five Wonderful Precepts" (1993)

This is the best version of "Sila" (ศีล5) I've found.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

"Keep proportion of things and give place to others without losing one's own position.
We must know the whole play in order to properly act our parts;
the conception of totality must never be lost in that of the individual."

"This Lao-tzu illustrates by his favorite metaphoe of the vacuum. He claimed that only in vacuum lay the truly essential. The usefulness of a water pitcher dwelt in the emptiness where water might be put, not in the form of the pitcher or the material of which it was made.
Vacuum is all potent because it is all containing.
One who could make of himself a vacuum into which others might freely enter
would become master of all situations."

Source: The book of tea by Kakuzo Okakura

Friday, July 22, 2005

"There is a thing which is all-containing, which was born before the existence of Heaven and Earth. How silent! How solitary! It stands alone and changes not. It revolves without danger to itself and is the mother of the universe. I do not know its name and so call it the Tao- "the path".

the Christians call it God?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bhakti = Devotion (without fear)

God is the source of all creation, the source of life.
This is not the God I just "believe in".
This is the God I "know" and "trust with all my heart".
"Here I am, God, Do whatever you want with me."
This is my devotion.

Sylvia Boorstein

I would love to see those who claim they love God hold true to this kind of devotion.
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Those who are afraid of God, please listen to
Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi and Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaking about their God @

"Roundtable Dialogue" in Vancouver, Canada 2004

If you're still afraid of God...seeing God more as a God of Power than God of love,
then please...please think of God every second you are about to do something bad.
every second.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I suppose you think your religion is right and all others are wrong.

No Buddhist who understands the Buddha's teaching thinks that other religions are wrong. No-one who has made a genuine effort to examine other religions with an open mind could think like that either.

The first thing you notice when you study the different religions is just how much they have in common. All religions acknowledge that man's present state is unsatisfactory. All believe that a change of attitude and behaviour is needed if man's situation is to improve. All teach an ethics that includes love, kindness, patience, generosity and social responsibility and all accept the existence of some form of Absolute.

They use different languages, different names and different symbols to describe and explain these things; and it is only when they narrow- mindedly cling to their one way of seeing things that religious tolerance, pride and self-righteousness arise.

Imagine an Englishman, a Frenchman, a Chinese and an Indonesian all looking at a cup. The Englishman says, "That is a cup." The Frenchman answers, "No it's not. It's a tasse." The Chinese comments, "You are both wrong. It's a pei." And the Indonesian laughs at the others and says "What a fool you are. It's a cawan." The Englishman get a dictionary and shows it to the others saying, "I can prove that it is a cup. My dictionary says so." "Then your dictionary is wrong," says the Frenchman "because my dictionary clearly says it is a tasse." The Chinese scoffs at them. "My dictionary is thousands of years older than yours, so my dictionary must be right. And besides, more people speak Chinese than any other language, so it must be pei." While they are squabbling and arguing with each other, a Buddhist comes up and drinks from the cup. After he has drunk, he says to the others, "Whether you call it a cup, a tasse, a pei or a cawan, the purpose of the cup is to be used. Stop arguing and drink, stop squabbling and refresh your thirst". This is the Buddhist attitude to other religions.

Real Buddhism is very tolerant and not concerned with labels like 'Christian', 'Moslem', 'Hindu' or 'Buddhist'; that is why there have never been any wars fought in the name of Buddhism. That is why Buddhists do not preach and try to convert, only explain if an explanation is sought.

Source: buddhanet

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Main principles of Buddhism
1. "Impermanence"

You can't just say "Stop the world, I want to get off now!"
You know it won't stop for you. You have to stop struggling from within.
Accomodate the impermanence.

Impermanence is not a bad thing either.
You just have to be aware of it.
Or else how will a child grow and how will wheat becomes bread?

It is just how things are. Start with the right view.

2. "Interdependence or Dependent co-origination (paticca-samuppada)"
download audio instruction from Liberation Park here (46.01 Min, 6.58Mb)

When you suffer, ask "On what does this depends?"
Don't look for just one cause either. Causality is more complex. It as layers
and in this perspective, you need to look deeply into those layers.
Buddhism give you frameworks for this investigation.
- Santikaro

3. "See for yourself if it's true"
The Buddha's sermont to the people of Kalama village:
"Don't believe anything anyone tells you - even if the are a friend or a teacher or even if they are the buddha. Do the practice and see for yourself if it's true."

Monday, July 18, 2005

It is so clear yet it is so hard to see.
Like many waves keep searching for a water.
Had they known what water was,
they would have been struggle-free.

Inspired by Thich Nhat Hahn's Buddha and Jesus as brothers
Adapted from Zen Poem, the Gateless gate #7

Thich Nhat Hahn said we are waves.
and probably God/Dharmma/The true nature of water.

This is one of the best attempts discussing what Love is

"The word 'love' in English has many meanings. These include a simple liking for something ('I love chocolate'), sex, romance, an expansive and universal goodwill, or even a transcendental feeling of unity. It can even mean 'nothing' (zero score in whist or tennis) - from the phrase 'play for love', meaning you don't care if you have scored or not (Michael Quinion gives this as the derivation of 'love' meaning zero, rather than the often-quoted French l'oeuf - egg). "

"-- Whatever Love (with an upper case 'L') is, it is not a philosophy, or set of beliefs, that I somehow have to psych myself up into accepting; nor is it a way of acting towads others that I can pretend, or force myself to do. I cannot 'do' Love; I can only experience it."

Yonisomanasikan or Yonisomanasikara

a systemic inquiry of skillful/tactful thinking, reflection, consideration with sustained investigation and verification through personal experience

(combination of definitions gathered from many websites that I think it fits PrayudhPayutto's definition of yonisomanasikan)

A framework for problem solving....any problem....

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The username "Contemplation" is already taken so I now use "KonTemPlaShen" instead.

I like this particular term because it reflects my interest in life from diverse perspectives of religion and philosophy or simply from anobody's personal ideas.

I first saw the term "contemplation" from Thich Nhat Hanh's the miracle of mindfulness
and I just love its definitions.

Here are its definitions from
Contemplation is:
1. Thoughtful observation or study
2. Meditation on spiritual matters, esp. as a form of devotion
3. Intention or expectation

Merriam-Webster define contemplation as
1. (a) concentration on spiritual things as a form of private devotion
(b) a state of mystical awareness of God's being
2. an act of considering with intention, study
3. the act of regarding steadily
4. intention, expectation

Yes....the purpose of this blog is for me to "study" and share
my personal evolving theories of "what's going on".