- Supporting Family of Someone Ill (9/24/2007)
This is not really a story about what I’ve done, but what I’ve been seeing my wife do. A neighbor down the block was diagnosed with ALS a few years ago. He’s got a wife and two young children and day-to-day life has become very challenging for all of them, especially his wife. My wife got arranged for a meeting for their friends, family and neighbors a couple years ago and everyone gathered in our living room for an evening to talk about what help was needed and who could offer what. Since then, my wife has devoted hours of her time to coordinating the needs of their family with the many many volunteers who come to cook, shop, shuttle the kids, and just spend time with whoever needs it. I’ve been amazed by everyone’s generosity. Quite often, my wife will send an email saying “They need someone to sit the kids for 3 hours for a doctor’s appointment” and she gets so many responses so quickly that she has to send another email saying “stop, the slot is filled!” and then more to the folks who didn’t grab the job first. Her effort, and that of the many friends and supporters of the family, is incredibly heartening.
- Forgiveness (9/23/2007)
From when I was little I was very passionate about saving bugs. I believed that they had lives and should not die at the hands or feet of the more powerful humans. They were helpless and unable to defend themselves so I made it my job. I would tell people not to hurt any bugs and would physicaly prevent that from happening. Sometimes I wasn’t fast enough and I was too late to save them. I would yell at their killers and call them murderers. Because of that I became unpopular and asocial. As I grew older I realized that those people did not understand why I became distressed whenever an innocent bug was killed. They needed to be educated, not insulted. They didn’t think it was wrong to take the lives away from “pests” they didn’t think they had a soul. In the past I was only compassionate about bugs and not at all thinking of the human’s feelings. Now I understand enough to forgive those people and handle my emotions better if that sort of things happen again.
- Not being self centered (9/21/2007)
I was meditating peacefully and heard someone knocking on the door. My immediate reaction was to not answer it but soon decided that I should anwser the door so that the poor guy will not be disappointed. Surely, when I answered the door, the poor guy was very relieved. I think it is a healthy attitute to put other’s interest ahead of my own.It is so tempting to just shut out the world and to sit and meditate for personal bliss but I always remind myself not to be self centered.Master Hua (the founder of DRBA) served as a great model for me. He alone inspired me to take up the spiritual journey and it has been very fruitful. My gratitute to him is beyond words!
- For My Mother (9/19/2007)
I am actually writing this for my mom as she does not know much English and is also “internet challenged.” She was watching a buddhist program on channel 8 that featured Rev. Heng Sure. He mentioned about the music that was available on the website and my really wanted it because she has has passion for music. I just wanted to say that my mom has been the most generous person that I know. She drives from san francisco to el cerrito at least twice a week to visit the guru for spiritual guide and helps him with his workings. She chants everyday at her alter and is very dedicated to buddhism. Also, she donates and spends around $1000 a month to help to buddhist community in making books,dragon king offerings and helping the guru. I want to make her this CD so that she can be happy and relax a bit because she deserves it. Thank you for reading.
- Too much anger (9/19/2007)
All my life I have had a temper. There were even times when I was angry, I would realize that I had no reason to be angry, but I chose to stay angry anyway. I thought it made me feel “better” (or actually, powerful). People around you want to placate you when you are obviously angry. They stay out of your way and are very likely to do what you want.It didn’t feel right, though. It felt like I was doing something wrong. But I felt like I couldn’t do much about it. Everyone gets angry, right?When I discovered Buddhism, I found that I certainly could do something about it. Everytime I feel angry I try to stop and think. There is almost always a mis-understanding at the root of it. Now, when I would normally get angry, I start asking questions. Did I understand what you said? What assumptions are you making? What assumptions am I making? What is the real reason you said that? What is the real reason I said that? It works incredibly well.My act of kindness is to everyday, in every conversation, find a way out of anger.And…If you don’t want to be lied to, then tell the truth, always. That is kind as well.
- little effort (9/19/2007)
I reached Utrecht and rented and apartment. I got a call mentioning that a package has arrived for me. I went to look at it and found that the package had my address but belonged to someone else. I did not accpet it and asked those people to wait and I shall try and find out about the person. With some effort and inquiries from other residents it was possible to locate the person and I informed her. She came to collect the parcel immediately. She mentioned that it had warm clothing sent by her parents and she desperately needed it because the weather has started to turn cold already.
- Breaking through Boundries (9/17/2007)
I have often been weary of personal contact especially with those that I do not know very well. There is a new student staying our pagoda and at first glance and talking to him I was quite intimidated. He is very wise, he has a deep voice and it seems that he does not need any help from anyone. He attended a retreat that was held at our center the following weekend after he arrived and soften up. I guess I also soften up and realized I, like him, try to be “strong”. In our retreat I realized how lonely I had become because of this pattern of mine. The next day he approached be and asked if I wanted a CD and I scowled and said I don’t listen to music. I then realized how I had missed the opportunity to both get what I want and give him what he is looking for, a friend. Realizing this I hugged, I held him and I broke through my usual tough persona. I was, I guess you could say weak but I won’t say it. It was nice and the warm smile on his face made it worth my while.