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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tsa Tsa Making Workshop



Every Sunday Modern Buddhist Fellowship organizes tsa tsa workshop.

Tsa tsa is an images of holy Buddha statue made of clay, ivory or cement.

It's been 3 months since we started this workshop and so far, we have produced beautiful tsa tsa's of dharma protector Vajrapani, Medicine Buddha, Chenrizeg, Tara and much more.

Yesterday, was another successful day for us.

Migtsemathon in the morning followed by a very nice lunch provided by Uncle Charlie and then took the Basic Buddhism Test conducted by our in-house teacher Josh Sim.

In which all of us passed and I can really say we are learning a lot.

And then we spent our whole afternoon making tsa tsa until 8pm, did our dharma dedication and that concluded our ‎Sunday. Now if you are interested in joining us PLEASE COME AND JOIN US.

Not only you gain tremendous benefits in making tsa tsa, u will also learn how you can turn your bad luck into Good ones. Wanna learn about how KARMA works?

This is the right place for you to learn. So if in any case you are in ‎Singapore don't hesitate to drop me a message. We have enthusiastic members around, you will never get bored. ツ

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Buddhism for man in society


Photo: => Buddhism for man in society <=

This religion can be practised either in society or in seclusion.

There are some who believe that Buddhism is so lofty and sublime a system that it cannot be practised by ordinary men and women in the workday world. These same people think that one has to retire to a monastery or to some quiet place if one desires to be a true Buddhist.

This is a sad misconception that comes from a lack of understanding of the Buddha. People jump to such conclusions after casually reading or hearing something about Buddhism. Some people form their impression of Buddhism after reading articles or books that give only a partial or lopsided view of Buddhism. The authors of such articles and books have only a limited understanding of the Buddha's Teaching. His Teaching is not meant only for monks in monasteries. The Teaching is also for ordinary men and women living at home with their families. The Noble Eightfold Path is the Buddhist way of life that is intended for all people. This way of life is offered to all mankind without any distinction.

The vast majority of people in the world cannot become monks or retire into caves or forests. However noble and pure Buddhism may be, it would be useless to the masses if they could not follow it in their daily life in the modern world. But if you understand the spirit of Buddhism correctly, you can surely follow and practise it while living the life of an ordinary man.

There may be some who find it easier and more convenient to accept Buddhism by living in a remote place; in other words, by cutting themselves off from the society of others. Yet , other people may find that this kind of retirement dulls and depresses their whole being both physically and mentally, and that it may therefore not be conducive to the development of their spiritual and intellectual life.

True renunciation does not mean running away physically from the world. Sariputta, the chief disciple of the Buddha, said that one man might live in a forest devoting himself to ascetic practices, but might be full of impure thoughts and 'defilements'. Another might live in a village or a town, practising no ascetic discipline, but his mind might be pure, and free from 'defilements'. 'Of these two,' said, Sariputta, 'the one who lives a pure life in the village or town is definitely far superior to, and greater than, the one who lives in the forest.' (Majjhima Nikaya)

The common belief that to follow the Buddha's Teaching one has to retire from a normal family life is a misconception. It is really an unconscious defense against practising it. There are numerous references in Buddhist literature to men and women living ordinary, normal family lives who successfully practised what the Buddha taught and realized Nibbana. Vacchagotta the Wanderer, once asked the Buddha straightforwardly whether there were laymen and women leading the family life who followed His Teaching successfully and attained the high spiritual states. The Buddha categorically stated that there were many laymen and women leading the family life who had followed His Teaching successfully and attained the high spiritual states.

It may be agreeable for certain people to live a retired life in a quiet place away from noise and disturbances. But it is certainly more praiseworthy and courageous to practise Buddhism living among fellow beings, helping them and offering service to them. It may perhaps be useful in some cases for a man to live in retirement for a time in order to improve his mind and character, as a preliminary to moral, spiritual and intellectual training, to be strong enough to come out later and help others. But if a man lives all his life in solitude, thinking only of his own happiness and salvation, without caring for his fellowmen, this surely is not in keeping with the Buddha's Teaching which is based on love compassion and service to others.

 One might now ask, 'If a man can follow Buddhism while living the life of an ordinary man, why was the Sangha, the Order of Monks, established by the Buddha?' The Order provides opportunity for those who are willing to devote their lives not only to their own spiritual and intellectual development, but also to the service of others. An ordinary layman with a family cannot be expected to devote his whole life to the service of others, whereas a Monk, who has no family responsibilities or any other worldly ties, is in a position to devote his life 'for the good of the many'.(Dr. Walpola Rahula)

And what is this 'good' that many can benefit from? The monk cannot give material comfort to a layman, but he can provide spiritual guidance to those who are troubled by worldly, family emotional problems and so on. The monk devotes his life to the pursuit of knowledge of the Dhamma as taught by the Buddha. He explains the Teaching in simplified form to the untutored layman. And if the layman is well educated, he is there to discuss the deeper aspects of the teaching so that both can gain intellectually from the discussion.

In Buddhist countries, monks are largely responsible for the education of the young. As a result of their contribution, Buddhist countries have populations which are literate and well-versed in spiritual values. Monks also comfort those who are bereaved and emotionally upset by explaining how all mankind is subject to similar disturbances.

In turn, the layman is expected to look after the material well-being of the monk who does not gain income to provide himself with food, shelter, medicine and clothing. In common Buddhist practice, it is considered meritorious for a layman to contribute to the health of a monk because by so doing he makes it possible for the monk to continue to minister to the spiritual needs of the people and for his mental purity. SOURCE: Buddhism Path To Peace

This religion can be practiced either in society or in seclusion.

There are some who believe that Buddhism is so lofty and sublime a system that it cannot be practiced by ordinary men and women in the workday world. These same people think that one has to retire to a monastery or to some quiet place if one desires to be a true Buddhist.

This is a sad misconception that comes from a lack of understanding of the Buddha. People jump to such conclusions after casually reading or hearing something about Buddhism. Some people form their impression of Buddhism after reading articles or books that give only a partial or lopsided view of Buddhism. The authors of such articles and books have only a limited understanding of the Buddha's Teaching. His Teaching is not meant only for monks in monasteries. The Teaching is also for ordinary men and women living at home with their families. The Noble Eightfold Path is the Buddhist way of life that is intended for all people. This way of life is offered to all mankind without any distinction.

The vast majority of people in the world cannot become monks or retire into caves or forests. However noble and pure Buddhism may be, it would be useless to the masses if they could not follow it in their daily life in the modern world. But if you understand the spirit of Buddhism correctly, you can surely follow and practise it while living the life of an ordinary man.

There may be some who find it easier and more convenient to accept Buddhism by living in a remote place; in other words, by cutting themselves off from the society of others. Yet , other people may find that this kind of retirement dulls and depresses their whole being both physically and mentally, and that it may therefore not be conducive to the development of their spiritual and intellectual life.

True renunciation does not mean running away physically from the world. Sariputta, the chief disciple of the Buddha, said that one man might live in a forest devoting himself to ascetic practices, but might be full of impure thoughts and 'defilements'. Another might live in a village or a town, practising no ascetic discipline, but his mind might be pure, and free from 'defilements'. 'Of these two,' said, Sariputta, 'the one who lives a pure life in the village or town is definitely far superior to, and greater than, the one who lives in the forest.' (Majjhima Nikaya)

The common belief that to follow the Buddha's Teaching one has to retire from a normal family life is a misconception. It is really an unconscious defense against practising it. There are numerous references in Buddhist literature to men and women living ordinary, normal family lives who successfully practised what the Buddha taught and realized Nibbana. Vacchagotta the Wanderer, once asked the Buddha straightforwardly whether there were laymen and women leading the family life who followed His Teaching successfully and attained the high spiritual states. The Buddha categorically stated that there were many laymen and women leading the family life who had followed His Teaching successfully and attained the high spiritual states.

It may be agreeable for certain people to live a retired life in a quiet place away from noise and disturbances. But it is certainly more praiseworthy and courageous to practise Buddhism living among fellow beings, helping them and offering service to them. It may perhaps be useful in some cases for a man to live in retirement for a time in order to improve his mind and character, as a preliminary to moral, spiritual and intellectual training, to be strong enough to come out later and help others. But if a man lives all his life in solitude, thinking only of his own happiness and salvation, without caring for his fellowmen, this surely is not in keeping with the Buddha's Teaching which is based on love compassion and service to others.

One might now ask, 'If a man can follow Buddhism while living the life of an ordinary man, why was the Sangha, the Order of Monks, established by the Buddha?' The Order provides opportunity for those who are willing to devote their lives not only to their own spiritual and intellectual development, but also to the service of others. An ordinary layman with a family cannot be expected to devote his whole life to the service of others, whereas a Monk, who has no family responsibilities or any other worldly ties, is in a position to devote his life 'for the good of the many'.(Dr. Walpola Rahula)

And what is this 'good' that many can benefit from? The monk cannot give material comfort to a layman, but he can provide spiritual guidance to those who are troubled by worldly, family emotional problems and so on. The monk devotes his life to the pursuit of knowledge of the Dhamma as taught by the Buddha. He explains the Teaching in simplified form to the untutored layman. And if the layman is well educated, he is there to discuss the deeper aspects of the teaching so that both can gain intellectually from the discussion.

In Buddhist countries, monks are largely responsible for the education of the young. As a result of their contribution, Buddhist countries have populations which are literate and well-versed in spiritual values. Monks also comfort those who are bereaved and emotionally upset by explaining how all mankind is subject to similar disturbances.

In turn, the layman is expected to look after the material well-being of the monk who does not gain income to provide himself with food, shelter, medicine and clothing. In common Buddhist practice, it is considered meritorious for a layman to contribute to the health of a monk because by so doing he makes it possible for the monk to continue to minister to the spiritual needs of the people and for his mental purity.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How to Practice Random Acts of Kindness


Source: wikiHow


Random acts of kindness are a means by which we make a deliberate attempt to brighten another person's day by doing something thoughtful, nice, and caring for them. Kindness is a way of showing others that they count and that even in the face of hostility and selfishness, you're making a stand for kindness.

Originally associated with Anne Herbert, who is said to have once written "Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty" on a place mat in a restaurant, this concept has become an organized celebration through various events around the world, as well as referring to a general call to action in the name of kindness. And you don't need to wait for someone else to instigate a day or week of celebrations to practice random acts of kindness; you can put them into play any time you like!

By doing kind acts for others, you're helping to create kindness-aware communities that value generosity of spirit and action and kindness toward others as essential parts of a healthy community. Here are some suggestions for encouraging others with your random acts of kindness.

Be kind.


Kindness as an attitude is infectious. When you're willing to share your kindness, others will be inspired by your example and think about doing something as kind themselves. Fan that flame by being kind to everyone.






Be thoughtful.

Random acts of kindness can be shown through thoughtfulness about the needs of others. How many times do you wish someone could have been more thoughtful before they did or said something? Try to be an example of this for others to follow.




Put someone else first. If you get to the grocery store check-out line at the same time as someone else, you can decide to smile and wave them through first.
When you're stuck in traffic and the last thing you want to do is let a car get in front of you, just remember that somebody else had to let you in, and repay the favor to the next person!


Use your manners as a form of kindness.
Manners aren't dead, they've just been forgotten in many ways. Yet, manners are the bedrock of courteous and kind relations and their use is an indication of respect for others. Hold doors open for others, hold an umbrella over someone in the rain, and be on time for everyone you've promised to meet.




Say thank you. Whenever anyone does something for you, be grateful and let them know it.


Give out compliments generously.

There's usually an awkward silence when you're stuck in an elevator or waiting in a queue with a stranger. Instead of staring at the floor, find something you like about the other person and compliment him/her on it. Not only will it make him/her feel good, it just might kick off a conversation with a new friend.





Surprise your neighbor by telling him or her how pretty he/she looks today.
Tell your boss how truly clever he/she is – and mean it!
Tell your assistant how truly clever he/she is and mean it. Praise any subordinate who's stayed late or done anything extra on the job honestly. Notice those things.
Praise your child for her/his skills and good thinking. Make it something out of the blue that you've noticed rather than run-of-the-mill schoolwork or chores.
Write a handwritten note to a friend or family member telling them how much you care about them.
Think about people who quietly make a difference to your community and thank them.
Think of all the people in your life whose faces and names you'll never know but who serve and protect you day after day.




Send some prepackaged treats like donuts or pastries to your local police station, paramedics, or fire department, with a card letting them know how much you appreciate their service to the community. But make sure to also acknowledge the people we take more for granted that make things tick- consider thanking your garbage man or janitor. (Since homemade desserts could be contaminated, unless they know you such homemade treats probably won't be eaten, so it's best to buy something from a reputable bakery.)
Send your child's clean and good condition toys and books to a local preschool. Say thank you to the early childhood carers and teachers who do so much for young children.
Pop over to your neighbor's house with a freshly baked cake. Yes, your neighbors are an important part of your community and they make a difference just by being about. Acknowledge their importance and role in your life.


Cheer up the lonely.

Lonely people are everywhere, in all walks of life, of all ages. Helping lonely people to feel wanted is a hugely rewarding random act of kindness.





Write a letter to a stranger. It only takes a few minutes to write, but a letter can make someone Else's day, or even their week. Think of all the people who are lonely, isolated or just in need of cheering up: soldiers fighting overseas, kids in juvenile detention centers or elderly people in nursing homes. Do a simple search online and you'll find services that will provide you with list of people who'd love to hear from you.
Pay for someone Else's coffee in the queue. If they've got time, offer them a chat.
Visit a retirement home and spend time talking to the residents. You could offer to read to them, sing for them, or even get them involved in writing poems, stories, or a playing on a wiki!


Volunteer.


Offer helping hands. Do you ever see homeless people and feel overwhelmed by your inability to make a difference? Even if you can't save them all, you can do a lot with one small act. Buy a pair of gloves or dig up an old blanket, and give them to someone who's living in the cold streets or to any organization that serves the homeless.




Clean up without being asked. The next time you see someone littering, don't just shake your head and look the other way. Pick up the litter and throw it away, and while you're at it, look around the street for any other trash that needs to be removed. If you take a walk, take a plastic grocery bag so you can collect the trash that would otherwise just make you unhappy, and know that you're doing a random act of kindness for the people who will come through after you!
Make up food parcels for people in need.
8Shower a coworker with kindness. Offer to take them out to lunch or shout them a beer after work. Finish off something for them so they can go home early for their kid's birthday party.






If your coworker has had a horrible day, buy them some flowers or give them a warm hug to make them feel better. Everyone needs just a little extra love sometimes.
Take freshly baked muffins or cookies in to work and share them with your coworkers, staff, and others.


Share a little wealth around.

Why not surprise someone completely by paying for something they were expecting to pay for? Here are some fun suggestions:



Pay for the coffee and cake for the table next to yours at the local cafe.
Pay for the movie tickets of the people in the line behind you.
Pay for the entrance fee for some children and their parents waiting to get into the zoo.
Pay for the parking for the car next to yours. Feed the meter if it's allowed to stop someone from getting a ticket!


Give your family a break.


There are lots of kind things you can do for your loved ones. Some of these can include giving them a break from the more mundane chores around the house so that they can do something different for a change.




Make them breakfast in bed.


Wash their car(s).
Do the weeding while a family member's at work.
Promise to do the dishes for a week – without complaining!
Print out a photo of them and write exactly why it's so special to you, why they're so special to you. Tell them how that moment shows how important they are to the whole world

Hold a friends night-in.

Order pizza for everyone, and play board games or watch movies together. Treat them to a special cake at the end in honor of the friendships that each of you share together.






Send a message.


Write down your favorite poem on happiness or jot down some thoughts on hope, then leave it somewhere for a stranger to find. You could also leave a message in a favorite book you've enjoyed, letting someone else know they can have the book to read and hope that they love it as much as you did; leave the book somewhere for them to find.







Forgive somebody.

You'd be amazed at the ripple effect an ounce of forgiveness can have in your life and in the lives of others. Unburden yourself of the past and think kind thoughts again about that person.



Share a smile.


When meeting a new person, or even chatting with an old one, express joy. Show that you're happy to be with them, and that they make you happy.







If you meet someone grumpy and frowning, give them your smile. Ask them if they're having a hard day, commiserate with them, and wish them better luck from this point on. Don't see it as their bad mood reflecting negatively on you; instead, make it about how you can help them to feel better.


Expect nothing.


The greatest act of kindness is the one that is freely given because you care about another person and want them to be happy and you don't expect anything in return. The thing about kindness is that it has its own rewards and will improve your sense of well-being and happiness; what more could you possibly want?



Monday, July 1, 2013

Bai Fangli: Selfless donation to poor students



Bai Fangli: Selfless donation to poor students

SOURCE: CHINA.ORG.CN

For almost twenty years, to save up for his donations, Bai Fangli peddled his pedicab everyday.

His devotion started in 1987 when he was 74 years old. Bai had prepared to retire and say goodbye to his job.

But after coming back to his hometown, a group of children working in the field aroused his attention.

Bai's daughter, Bai Jinfeng said:" He asked why the children didn't go to school. And our relatives told him that it was because they were too poor to afford tuition. My father was worried so he decided to donate 5,000 yuan to the schools in our hometown. But for him, it was all he owned."

As soon as he returned to Tianjin, Bai went back to work. All of his earnings went to support the needy students.

His sons and daughters tried to persuade him to change his mind, as they wanted him to enjoy a relaxing life. But the father turned a deaf ear to them.

Bai Jinfeng also said:" At that time, he went out at dawn and wouldn't return until darkness fell. He earned 20 to 30 yuan each day. After returning home, he put his earnings in a place carefully."

Bai had always felt regretful that he was illiterate. So he hoped the next generation could change their destiny with education.



Bai Fangli: Selfless donation to poor students

Later on, to increase his effort to assist students in need, Bai moved to a simple room near the Tianjin Railway Station. He waited for clients 24 hours a day, ate simple food and wore discarded second-hand clothes he found.

At the age of 82 years old, to his children's surprise, Bai made another decision.

He founded an education support fund with the help of loans.

But his life driving a pedicab continued.

Xu Xiuxiang, one of the workers of Education Support Fund, said:" He never forgot when to give money to the schools and often urged us to give his earnings to the school. Each time he gave the money he felt very happy and said he had completed his mission again."

In 2001, he drove his pedicab to Tianjin YaoHua Middle School, to delivering his last installment of money. Nearly 90 years old, he told the students that he couldn't work any more. All of the students and teachers were moved to tears.

Bai Fangli said:" I hope the students could study hard and get a good job, and then make contributions to our country."

A long journey of supporting and aiding students lasted two decades.

In 2005, he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

Although he had kept none of his earnings for himself, he was left with his selfless spirit and love.



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