Saturday, 4 February 2012

Happy Li Chun 立春 and saving lives in the new year

Today 4 Feb, is Li Chun (立春). Traditionally, Li Chun is the day which the new year officially begins, according to the lunar calendar, even though this year's CNY day was on 23 Jan. So, the Water Dragon is officially here!  Do ensure you do good deeds and have an auspicious day! I am sure I am going to have a very meaningful day later and I might blog about it too.

Yesterday, I found time to go donate blood at the Bloodbank in Singapore General Hospital. It has been a while since I last donated blood.  I used to do it regularly a few years ago. This time I thought since it is the lunar new year, it would be good to do my part in saving lives, and to accumulate some merits. Also, it may prevent any mishap from happening to me throughout the new year (although I am not sure, but according to some soothsayers, they say that if one is meant to encounter any mishap or accident or sickness during the year, donating (losing) blood before that may sometimes just prevent the unfortunate event from happening!).
Truth be told, I have a little slight phobia of getting poked by the needle nowadays. This was from my previous experience when I did regular accupuncture sessions where I have many needles poking into my whole body at the same time.  After some time, the phobia developed. Anyway, I always made sure I do not look at my arm, the spot where they were going to insert the needle. It was pretty fast as I squeezed out a pint of my blood in no time (about 10 minutes). During that time, I was actually chanting mantras, especially the Kuan Yin (Chenrezig) mantra and the Medicine Buddha mantra. Then afterwards I dedicated the merits of this act to those who are sick and suffering in pain and especially to those who are going to receive my blood.
Here were the stuff I received with compliments from the Bloodbank afterwards. A snack of curry puff or sandwich, a bowl of red bean soup and a cup of Milo/tea/coffee.  They also gave me a diary note book, a stress release ball (we actually squeeze it with the palm to pump out blood faster), as well as some Iron pills.

During my blood donation session, I was a little surprised to see that almost half of the donors there were actually not locals. Next time, if we are going to criticise our foreign comrades, I think we have to remind ourselves of some of the foreigners' selfless contribution to Singapore too, and be mindful of our speech.  I would encourage you to donate blood if you are able to, to save the lives of those who need it.  Pay it forward. Anyway, 
I am happy that I am in great health and strong to be able to do this blood donation. And I can do it again once every 3 months. 

Have a happy Li Chun ! 

1 comment:

  1. Hi I am a recent reader of yours and I would like. To thank you for some very informative and interesting posts on Buddhism. Also I would like to ask u a question, why do monks shave their heads?
    Take care(:


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