Daily Inspiration for the Mind & Heart

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The work that Tzu Chi does is firmly rooted and inspired by Buddhist philosophy. Volunteers strive to act morally, be mindful and self-aware, and seek to attain ultimate wisdom, or enlightenment (“bodhi” in Sanskrit). The goal is to awaken great compassion for all beings in our hearts, and to walk a loving path of selfless action serving others.

CONTEMPLATIVE WISDOM

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Daily thoughts for meditation, contemplation, and
reflection from Master Cheng Yen

230818 Thursday

Dharma Master Chengyen says we must have a mind free of discursive thoughts to truly be reverent. We must listen reverently to the Dharma, and sincerely receive the Dharma, only then the Dharma will naturally penetrate into our mind. Sentient beings, foolish beings like us live in this world, rushing and bustling about, often troubled and do not know how we come and go. But in this lifetime, interpersonal conflicts connect us and create cycle of enmity. How can the cycle of birth and death be broken? How to still our minds. The birth and death from of arising and ceasing.

This is this suffering of the endless cycle of life and death. To learn the Buddha Dharma is to severe this, but we are also unaware, where we are going in the next life. After hearing the Buddha Dharma, and to be reverent, naturally our mind will find it’s answer.

Heart refer to accumulation, mind is contemplation, as long we as truly listen reverently, we can understand this teaching, after hearing the Dharma, we know there is nothing to be calculative and there is no reason for interpersonal conflicts, only having the gratefulness at heart.

Master said we need to practice diligence, going among people to give, we must train to avoid give up to external conditions and practice to live beyond it. We need to go into Dhyana, which means to think deeply, when we engage in spiritual practice, we need to enter into deep thinking. In daily living, facing various phenomena , interpersonal conflicts, the consciousness, still trouble our minds. We should know that spiritual practitioner should not act impulsively but quietly contemplate. How to resolve. Even when we are in grievances, we must reflect on ourselves.

We need to think , to create space for self-reflection. As things happen, we must quietly contemplate, consider how to handle it, this is wisdom, we need space to reflect and think. For practice and learning, if we know to practice spiritually, naturally the space will emerge. “Eye for eye” mentality, we can imagine the consequences. But we want to practice spiritually, so we quickly give ourselves space, he look at me, i will respond with smile or quietly disregards, no angry glare, i will not have such attitude, so this requires cultivation.

We need to work on our habitual tendencies, Dhyana, means to create space for reflection, we need to learn to cleanse, if someone glare at us, we glared angrily that is habitual. If we can reflect and give ourselves space, we will refine our habitual tendencies, we can naturally mitigate challenging condition – cultivate good habits

The moment we can eliminate all habitual tendencies, we no longer have angry glare, slowly rid off this habitual tendencies, we will have tolerance and forbearance, minds in tranquil, no state can shake this tranquil state, nearing buddha state. Dhyana practice contemplation and calm thought, still and quiet.

With Metta,

Sharing from my Telegram Group, Global Xun Fa Xiang (a international English Dharma sharing group for Tzu Chi volunteers)

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Travel Resolutions of 2017

1. Bangkok, Thailand

I can feel the excitement overflowing as i’m typing this. You can never get tired of Bangkok, there is so much to do in Bangkok for every budget. Get a good pair of shoes for traveling, prepare to walk more than you do in Singapore.

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2. Taiwan

Speaking of Taiwan, somewhere that i have heard so much that it’s becoming a annoyance. I think majority of my friends have been to Taiwan, and being a Tzuchi Volunteer i am constantly surrounded by Taiwanese culture and connected in a way or another with this country. Our spiritual home is Hualien, where the organisation has being found.

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Fading Colours : Rochor Centre

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Change is constant and inevitable. Generations of Singaporeans have been brought up to be accustomed to this reality of living in a land scarce and progressive country. Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority Planning (URA), many places will have served its purpose and be revamped to create a vibrant and sustainable place for Singaporeans to live and work in.

Therefore, “Modern day Kampungs” will soon be demolished and “villagers” will have to be relocated to new homes, just like how our pioneer generations faced in the early days, all in the good name of progress.

One of such “Modern day Kampungs” is the iconic Rochor Centre. Known for it’s 4 colour buildings. One of several city-centre podium complexes put up by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) from the mid-1970s into the 1980s. An expressway will be built in place of the HDB flats.

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Entrance to Rochor Centre
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convenience at your doorstep.

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All the tenants have left

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Once a lively and noisy playground, childhood memories for many residents.

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Somebody might have thrown this “happiness plate” out of their window?

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Just guessing if he could be one of the remaining residents here, almost had the urge to walk up and ask him some questions. But shy. Anyway, this picture really depicts a depressing scene in Singapore. I can’t speak for everyone, but to be force to move on with progressivism, especially when there is a lack of support & motivation to do so, would really be depressing. Let us be there for each other.

I pray that we will all practice the state of non-attachment and be truly happy.

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Waking up early in the morning to do chores, clear up some fridge space, make breakfast, clear all the trash, tidy up the weekend mess etc.. Sound like alot to do? But doing all this is one of the best feeling to start a day..

Realise some plants are dying.. we need to be diligent in watering the plants
Love the morning light shining into the kitchen
Our hse in the morning…

And finally when le parents leave the house, my job is done. The feeling of such accomplishment is shiok.. simple joys.. However, this lifestyle is temporary and i wont be able to do this very often once life is back on track, but meanwhile let me enjoy this experience, because #yolo.

Sayonara shinnyu

Dedicated to a friend of mine, Takuya Michimoto.

I think it is unfair for someone who is bred here to serve 2 years of National Service. but nonetheless kudos for sacrificing your time and energy! Your contribution is key to why and how most Singaporeans can sleep peacefully at night.

Takuya, 3rd from right

Takuya, born and bred in Japan, moved over to Singapore when he was young but remain in an all Japanese environment here. Studied in a Jap high school, had friends who speak the same language, ate Japanese food, speak Japanese at home (though his mum is a Singaporean Chinese), listen to Jap music.

Taku’s Birthday at Himawari Japanese restaurant

We had a fantastic time together for the past 1 year in section 2, platoon 1, archer company, 11th mono, 40th SAR. We were posted to the victory battalion, strong culture of being victory warriors; best armour battalion, good results for atec.etc But that also meant we went thru alot of hell and tough training together.

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Being a Armour infantry trooper, a huge amount of our time was spend in the bx vehicle during outfield training. Troopers waiting to dismount and thrash the enemies? nahh huge amount of our time was spend in the bx sleeping and eating and waiting to get out for a grasp of fresh air.

I will always remember him siting in the bx like a boss, enjoying his first class seat when the rest of us suffer in the crappy bx. Also remembering him stoning and shag out, always expecting his outfield mode when we move out for training.

But Taku was probably the fittest guy in our section in terms of physical. Gold IPPT doesn’t seem to be a difficult task for him. Thanks for running together with me during the 8km out of camp run, my one and only ooc run and i had to start at a 8km range! This is when i get to know the difference of combat fitness and physical fitness. I clearly suck at the latter.

We also had lots of fun together, the countless nights out, maggi nights, pizza nights, duty in camp, birthday celebrations, overseas exercise. And of course not forgetting how annoying he can be. When the entire platoon is dreading to do pt, he will be the only one shouting counts loudly like a crazyman. Worst still, we had to bear with him playing his guitar and singing the same old song in our bunk for the entire year.

But we dont hate him, and we still love him very much for being part of the section. I will miss all the memories made together in our section. Thank you for everything and all the best for your future endeavors. Sayonora!

*Taku returned to Japan for his uni studies and to reside there permanently.