Monday, 27 December 2010

The most important lesson in 2010....

My second aunt who is a devout Buddhist, just came back from her one-week retreat in Fo Guang Shan Temple in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Although I did not ask her to, she has requested a divination on behalf of me. I do not entirely understand the divination results in mandarin, but I gather it was an average divination. Together with the divination, there was also an amulet of Kuan Yin and her mantra, Om mani padme hum. My sincere thanks to my aunt for the effort. What a thoughtful Christmas gift.

I especially like the quote printed on the temple red packet:
"The happiest people have peace of mind.
The wisest people are full of enthusiasm."
- Master Hsing Yun

2010 has not exactly been a smooth year for me, and there were many heartrending moments and obstacles which had manifested. There were times when I saw the true colours of people I have known for donkey years and could not help but feel a tinge of disappointment. As a Cancerian, I do tend to be over sensitive and emotional when I feel betrayed by loved ones, or those who meant something to me. I do not confront people, I do not like to quarrel with people, as I do not see a need to. As I have learned from the past, hurtful words or words spoken in anger are very harmful, and poison our own mind instantly. I tend to control my anger or resentment, and keep everything inside, although I do take a long time to get over these emotions. However I am glad that each time I feel anger, the same thought made me I realise that everything happened for a reason. Whatever that happened, or any person who has caused me unhappiness/harm, whatever obstacles I have to go through, were all the result of my own past actions. In an indescribable way, this self-reminder or realisation made me feel somewhat better.

I am motivated by the below Eight Verses of Thought Transformation, a Paramitayana practice of method and wisdom, in which His Holiness the Dalai Lama has taught and explained in depth over at FPMT website :

1. Determined to obtain the greatest possible benefit for all sentient beings, who are more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel, I shall hold them most dear at all times.

2. When in the company of others, I shall always consider myself the lowest of all, and from the depths of my heart hold others dear and supreme.

3. Vigilant, the moment a delusion appears in my mind, endangering myself and others, I shall confront and avert it without delay.

4. Whenever I see beings that are wicked in nature and overwhelmed by violent negative actions and suffering, I shall hold such rare ones dear, as if I had found a precious treasure.

5. When, out of envy, others mistreat me with abuse, insults or the like, I shall accept defeat and offer the victory to others.

6. When somebody whom I have benefited and in whom I have great hopes gives me terrible harm, I shall regard that person as my holy guru.

7. In short, both directly and indirectly, I offer every happiness and benefit to all my mothers. I shall secretly take upon myself all their harmful actions and suffering.

8. Undefiled by the stains of the superstitions of the eight worldly concerns, may I, by perceiving all phenomena as illusory, be released from the bondage of attachment.

I am still trying to put to practice what I learned. I am trying to transform each negative thought and experience into something positive. I am still trying.

In the same breath, life has not exactly been that harsh on me this year. I am thankful for my strong health (apart for the bout of cough last week, I have not been sick for 3 years!). I stay safe and protected from greater dangers. I am thankful for the loving support, the kind words and understanding of loved ones and some friends. I am thankful for the benefactors who have helped me in little and big ways. I am thankful to have all my gurus who never fail to touch me deeply (that I am moved to tears). Even strangers whom I do not know taught me a lesson or two. All their actions or inaction have made me more grateful and stronger.

So perhaps the most precious gift I received this year is not that of any tangible stuff, but rather the experience, the conversations, the messages received and exchanged with friends/loved ones... and the precious time spent with the people who matter.

Enjoy this beautiful piano piece, Kiss The Rain. It sums up my quiet 2010. I know 2011 will be a better year. May you be blessed too.

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