Saturday, 9 July 2011

Birthdays are really no big deal

Just realised I totally forgot about my June month end summary of pics. Nevermind, It's my birthday month, so I deserve a break. Ha! My birthday came and passed.  For those who know me well, they know I do not like to make a big fuss over my own birthday, for it is just another day to me (albeit  being officially older and way past the eligible age for everything!). I am also shy and prefer to be low profile. Also, from what I learn ed spiritually, there is no "i" phenomena. We should not feel so attached to ourselves, glorifying ourselves all the time. I was a little bemused that a couple of friends kept asking me what I was going to do on my birthday, and afterwards what I did for my birthday. What's the big hooha?

I received many well wishes and greetings from Facebook and Twitter, sms, and many private messages, from I think over 200 friends and family.  I am very heartened and touched by the attention. Over the years, I have learned to manage my own expectations. When you expect and have high hopes from people (especially close ones), you may get disappointed as a result (this is what I mean by "attachment"). Hence, no expectation means beautiful surprises. Nonetheless, a couple of weeks prior to my birthday, I met up with some friends, always with one or two close friends, over a cuppa or a simple meal.  They were all "quickies" short meetings. Catching up was more important than "birthday celebration".  And I also had makan with my family, so I am very grateful.
Special high tea set for July from TCC, they have different high tea set every month. A wonderful spread of sweet and savoury snacks and bites. Quite filling too.

Love the Cheese Chiffon Cake from Tampopo Deli as always, light and fluffy cream, not excessively sweet too.

Ham & Pineapple Quesadilla from DOME.  I love quesadillas here as it is light and juicy, plus generous salad and potato chips!

Premium Bento set from Sakae Sushi was value for money with its variety of dishes.

Quick lunch with a close friend in V8 with their V8 Special Dish - Chicken with with their V8 special sauce.

Traditional Banana Split. I actually used to dislike banana split and never order them at all. So I broke record finally. Have not had Banana split since my secondary days. It has kind of grows on me now. Love the black sesame ice cream flavour. Haha!

Who can say no to warm Molten Lave cake and ice cream? From Cheeky Chocolates?

Ramen from a Japanese joint. So-so ramen but egglicious soup stock.

Thai set lunch from Thai Express - Basil Pork rice set with Tomyum soup and drink. Full of fragrant flavours and comforting.

Enjoyable Steamboat dinner with my whole family at Thien Kee, the famous Hainanese place for chicken rice, porkchop and steamboat.

I have reviewed Thien Kee before in an earlier post.  We are quite predictable in the dishes, always ordering the steamboat with assortment of ingredients, chicken rice, pork chop, satay and Kailan veggies.

Finally ON the day itself, on my birthday, it was a normal working day.  I  had appointment and meetings outside. I was vegetarian that day. This was my lunch alone from Cedele - Mixed Veggies Ciabatta. Cedele has a good variety of meals for vegetarians. The Mixed Veggies sandwich was so good and juicy with red pepper, pumpkin, plum chutney, tomato, greens.

In the evening, brought the parents to Yes Natural Vegetarian Restaurant for a quick dinner. Delicious vegetarian dishes, watch out for my next post on this restaurant.  I found it significant to give my parents a treat especially on my birthday, for without them, where would I be, right?  Thanks, Pa & Mom!  

After dinner, I attended the Namgyalma puja in Amitabha Buddhist Centre, because 6 July was also His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's 76th birthday. I make it a point to attend this long life prayers for His Holiness every year, because he is a very very important guru to me, and also, participating in his long life prayers on my birthday also ensure I have a long life too.  So auspicious and I am very privileged.  A friend asked, "so you gonna spend your birthday in a temple eh?". Well, it is not what it seems to the uninitiated. ABC is a nice modern buddhist centre, a quiet place to do your prayers and meditation and studies. It is not like what we envisage a Chinese Mahayana crowded temple would be. It was only a 2-hour session at the end of the day. And I get to eat blessed cake (His Holiness' cake) too. I am so lucky.  

Before the puja, this beautiful new thangka of the beautiful and glorious White Tara (she bestows longevity) was unveiled.  The thangka just arrived and sent by my guru, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, who is currently recuperating from stroke in Kopan Monastery. He wrote on the thangka, "specially for my students in ABC centre.... etc....".

My birthday gift from my sis. Thank you to her and my friends who gave me gifts and the treats.

Ang pow from my parents. I had a meaningful birthday these couple of weeks.  Diet time!  Merci beaucoup!

Here is a one-minute clip where His Holiness the Dalai Lama talks about making the most of each new day from his address at celebrations honoring his 76th birthday held in Washington DC, USA, on July 6, 2011.

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