Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Buddha Prophesied about Jesus?

I read an article in the "Voice of Buddhism" with shock and disbelief. Buddha prophesied about Jesus? To me, the crux of Buddhist ideal and that of Christianity are so diametrically opposed that this is unthinkable. The next thought that appeared in my mind was filled with sadness because people would spread such untruths to mislead others. I was glad that the matter was very well rebutted in the article by a Mr. John Johnson (Although I'm unable to ascertain who Mr Johnson is ... yet.)

Although the claim is not new but it's recurrence can continue to bring confusion to those less informed about Buddhism. Googling the net brings more than 250000 hits on similar misinformation. Here's one such link Buddha told of Jesus

Not only that, even some Muslims think that Buddha prophesied about Prophet Muhammad. This is by a Dr. Mohammed Amir. JAKIM

What can we say? Buddha is a popular guy but don't depend on others to tell you what He teaches. Ehi Passiko. Come and see. Practise it yourself.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hook, Line & Sinker

Hook, line and sinker! That's the idiom we use when one completely believes, accepts or is totally taken in by something. Usually in a negative way. "He fell for it hook, line and sinker" meant that the person totally went for it like a fish that gobbled not only the bait but swallowed the entire hook, the fishing line and its sinker. That's exactly what I thought when I saw this photo taken by Patrick Leong. Looks cute and funny isn't it? Read on ...

Reminds me of how people use to catch small monkeys in the olden days. Villagers used to cut a tiny hole in a coconut, drain the water and put some fruit or nuts inside. They would place such coconuts in places where the monkeys were menacing. The curious monkeys would find the treat in the coconuts and put their little hands in to grab the reward but with clenched fists, they were unable to take their hands out. Like convicts tied to iron balls and chains they were trapped. The villagers and often kids would rush out with sticks and beat the monkeys to death. It never occured to the monkeys that if they'd release and let go of the fruits in the coconuts, they'd be able to retract their hands and flee.

That's what I saw in the photo. The little monkey is so taken in that he's dunked his entire head into the coconut oblivious to any impending danger. Laugh if you may but there's something important we should learn from this. Today, "coconuts" have transformed into intense gadgets of distractions that panders to our senses of pleasures. Guess who is the monkey now? Watch out for if we do not know how to let go, we may suffer the fate of the helpless monkeys of days gone by.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

90 Students Barrier Broken!

We've hit 95 students in enrolment. As some of you said "WA-LAO-EH!". Although only 60 students turned up, the class was packed. Welcome back Bryan and Kevin.

Some general information.
You already know the class blog if you are reading this. Take note of the calendar on the right and prepare yourself to meet the BISDS challenge. :) This blog will be a portal of information and Dhamma "watering hole" for you to share your thoughts.

Teachers in charge are
Bro. Gary Loo (Head Teacher)
Bro. Lid Sine ( T-i-c Buddha's greatness etc)
Bro. K.C. (T-i-c Maha Mangala Sutta)

Class monitors elected were
Allen and Sharmaine. Sadhu to both of them for taking up the posts.

click more ....>

Last Sunday (17th Jan), due to the overwhelming attendance, we had a short meditation exercise to quieten and calm our mind. We could talk and discuss quietly for more than 30 minutes. Wow! ;) Proof that the class can be quiet. Proof that there's "heaven". Then when you were allowed to take a 10 mins break, the entire class was like a market place. Proof that class can be extremely noisy. Proof that there's "hell". So we can say that "heaven" and "hell" can be in the same location. ;) In any case, it can be a strain for the teacher's vocal cords to be heard from one end of the class to the other. So please, have sympathy for teacher.

We've maintained the class 'tradition' of taking turn to be Puja MC. This time we are starting from the end of the class register. Sadhu to Hopkins and Kee Zet? for being the MC last week. We've also suggested that Prime come out with a standard script for the MC so that the task won't be so daunting and new students will not be caught tongue tied. The other students can improve and improvise to make the MC presentation a better one. When we are up there as the MC, we should take the opportunity to liven up, inspire and motivate the Puja audience with our presentation.

We also talked about the events that have been scheduled for the year in BISDS and how we can participate in these events as a class to make a difference. Some of the major events include Fund Raising Dinner for the rooftop classes (while we sit in the aircond, our little friends in the rooftop classes put up with the possibility of their class room collapsing, electrical faults and water leaks.), School Trip, Class Trip, Wesak day Exhibition, Dhamma Quiz, IBYFG, Dhamma Pet Week etc etc.

We need to get ourselves organised and work more effectively as a class. You guys are young adults already. It's time to put your Dhamma to work and be of service to your community. We also talked about the possibility of releasing animals from captivity as a project recognizing that BISDS will hold its first Dhamma Pet event. I leave it to you guys/gals to weigh the pros and cons of this practice. It was once a popular practice during Wesak to release animals like birds but due to unscrupulous people, it has become a horrible trade to catch the poor animals for sale to be "released". Furthermore, the efficiency of intercontinental freight these days have seen the importation of a flurry of exotic animals sold as pets. It is not unusual to find rare exotic and even dangerous animals which may pose as a threat to our natural habitat. So how do we help animals? Is it wrong to free an animal? THINK. By NOT setting animals free, did we stop or have we caused a drop in demand for animal poachers? Is it better to buy a pet or adopt a pet?

I remember a story of a boy who threw a starfish back into the ocean. A man noticing a boy throwing a starfish back into the ocean ridiculed him saying that there are miles and miles of the beach and many other starfish will still perish as the sun comes up and the tide goes down. The boy couldn't possibly make a difference. The boy smiled confidently, picked up another starfish and gently threw it back into the surf and said "I made a difference to that one."

with Metta