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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Organic Farm Visit 2012

A family outing to Genting Sempah today where we all get to be in touch with nature.
Fun, sun, rain, soil and river sums up our day.  Vegetables meals, making our own fruit/vege salad, and trying our hands at farming (harvesting, rolling the soil and planting).
Yours truly is puteri lilin, definitely not going to be exposed to the sun. See the big umbrella?
Overall a very enjoyable outing where we run barefooted in the farm, although my kids being city boy and city girls,kept asking to go wash their feet.  And when it rained while playing in the river, we all got soaked.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Stories from Zen Master Dae Bong

Here's the closing story from Zen Master that I would like to pen down for my inspiration.
Once, a Zen master has 2 disciples, one who would sit through his meditation with his back up straight, never moving and never falling asleep.  Another disciple would always be falling asleep and therefore his body rolls about during meditation.  Both of them do not like each other.  One day the Zen Master called each of them to his room, separately.
Venerable Zen Master Dae Bong (left) with a venerable nun as his translator.

To the sleepy disciple, he said, "you are always falling asleep, you should be more like your Dhamma brother, always sitting up straight and watching clearly."
To which, the disciple humbly bowed and agreed, and went back to the meditation hall to practice.
Then came the "straight" disciple.
The Zen Master said: "You, always sitting upright and checking your thoughts, you think you are doing very well?  You should be more like your Dhamma brother out there, he is always in samadhi (deep concentration) because he lets go."  To which, the disciple also humbly bowed and agreed.
The moral of the story is, it doesn't matter what kind of kamma you have, good kamma or bad kamma.  What is more important is that you use the kamma to the best of the practice.  So you may be good or you may be bad, but a wise teacher can always use the conditions to help you.  So we continue to practice in whatever conditions we have and if we have wisdom, we can turn the conditions to help us.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

1-Day of Zen

Today I completed a 1-day retreat focusing on Zen meditation.  Whatever effort I put in today, is not worth as much as practicing everyday, according to Zen Master Dae Bong.
He has likened today's practice to throwing a bucket of water over a rock, good however no long term effect.  What we should do is to practice everyday, like water dripping onto a rock everyday, and then over the years a hole on the rock will form.   Just as we lift weights everyday to build our muscles, when we need to lift something heavy one day, it would be easy for us.  Just as we practice meditating everyday, one day when we encounter something which needs attention and concentration, we can do it effortlessly.
I am thankful to have the opportunity to listen to Zen Master today.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Children's Camp 2012

The kids were enrolled into a 3-day Dhamma camp as the first thing in the school holidays.  This is the 2nd time they are attending this as a source of enrichment so that they do not just idle the days away.
As we were supposed to arrive by 9am today, at 7am the kids woke up and frantically started to pack their stuff that they would need over the 3 days.  Clothes, sweater, water bottle, towels, soap, toothbrush, comb, and a pencil box are all that are needed.
And Baby Xin, who is too young to go to camp, noticed that something was going on and started packing her bag too.  She took a pen, a comb, her sweater, and a colouring book was packed into her bag.  When the older kids were ready to go, she took all her belongings and came along.
It will be a few more years before she is qualified to go to camp.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Yuan's Chinese Fan Dance

Yuan was chosen to present at group dance at the "A Thousand People's Dinner" at her school tonight.  J and I were proud to be invited to dinner to raise funds for the school.
Due to the charity nature of the dinner, many of the supplies were either home-made or borrowed.  Here is Yuan in an over-sized cheongsam blouse, and black tights, both borrowed. Even the hair ornaments were borrowed and needed to be returned.  Makeup and hair by the Mommy.

My little dear in her Chinese dance costume

Yuan put in a lot of effort in her dance.  At the end she had to do an upward bow, which is a yoga move that I could never achieve.  I am proud of her.