Sunday, March 30, 2008


People get so caught up with life that they are actually taking years away from their life and life away from their years. They have sold their souls in exchange for the $ race

Tonight I caught up for dinner with Ganesh, Uma and their dad. It was a simple dinner but the chats were intimate. It touches the soul of a person.

Friendship is a warm smile in winter.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Amma The Hugging Saint

I am sure most of you would have read in the papers that Amma will be here on 31 March & 1 April 2008 at the Mines International Exhibition & Convention Center. You are required to be there from 5.00pm to 10.30pm on any of the day that you wish to be hugged. A note of advice : be there as early as u possibly can. In 2006 Bren, Linda, Yap and I arrived at 4.00pm and the queue was as long as ..... I don't know because it was all zig-zagged but I can tell you I only got hugged at 6.00am the following morning. We 'camped' there the whole night to wait for our turn and when our turn came it was over in no more than 5 seconds.

Below is a write up of Amma

On the morning of the 27th of September 1953, in a small poor fishing village, Parayakadavu in the Quilon district of Kerala, a baby girl was born. Her parents gave her the name Sudhamani. She came into this world not in tears as babies usually do, but with a beaming smile on her face, as if prophesying the joy and bliss she was to bring to the world.

Sudhamani spent the years of her childhood and teens immersed in intense spiritual practices in order to present a living example for the world. Even as a small child, she could often be found absorbed in deep meditation, totally oblivious of her surroundings. By the age of five, she had already begun composing devotional songs laden with deep mystical insight.

Another quality that was clearly manifest in Sudhamani from this tender age was her love and compassion toward her fellow human beings. Though only a child, Sudhamani did whatever she could to ease the suffering of her elderly neighbors. She washed their clothes, bathed them and even brought them food and clothing from her own home. This habit of giving away things from her family’s house landed her in deep trouble. However, no amount physical abuse or punishment could stop the expression of her inborn compassion. She later said, " An unbroken stream of Love flows from me towards all beings in the cosmos. That is my inborn nature."

‘Amma’ as she is known all over the world today, has inspired and started innumerable humanitarian services. She has earned international recognition for her outstanding contributions to the world community. She is recognized as an extraordinary spiritual leader by the United Nations and by the people all over the world.

Though Amma makes no claims herself, those who watch her closely notice that she is the greatest example of her teaching. Her disciples and believers imbibe her teachings by just watching her.

For the past 35 years Amma has dedicated her life to the uplifting of suffering humanity through the simplest of gestures – an embrace. In this intimate manner Amma had blessed and consoled more than 25 million people throughout the world.

When someone asked Amma why she receives every person who comes to her in a loving embrace Amma replied, “ If you ask the river,' why do you flow?' what can it say?”

Amma spends most of her waking hours receiving the distressed and all who come to her for comfort, day after day without a break.

Once a press reporter asked Amma how was it possible for her to embrace each and every one in the same loving way, even if they were diseased or unpleasant. Amma replied, “ When a bee hovers over a garden of varied flowers, what it beholds is not the difference between the flowers but the honey within them. Similarly Amma sees the same Supreme Self in each and every one.”
As Dr. Jane Goodall, while presenting Amma with the 2002 Gandhi-King Award for Non-violence said,
" She stands here in front of us. God's love in a human body."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Opening The Door Of Your Heart - Ajahn Brahm

Another of Ajahn Brahm great books. These are stories which are easily assimilated instead of the dry stuff. You can actually finish reading the book in one day

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tibetan Uprising Day

China's Brutal Crackdown On Ngaba Protests

Twenty Tibetans were reported dead following a crackdown by Chinese forces on a protest in Ngaba "Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture" in Amdo Province of Tibet (present-day Sichuan Province) on March 16th; Ten have been confirmed and identified. Hundreds of Tibetans from Amdo are still missing.

Norbu, son of Phurwagoen, 15, student at Tibetan Middle School, from Shanglung Village

Tashi Wangchuk, 27, son of Tsedrugtsang from Lhade Gongma Village

Gephen Thaklo, 64, family name Khenyirtsang Village Headman of Asigma Village, Ngaba. Wife, 54, also shot and in critical condition

Atashia, 26, Gangwa Pakortsang From Ngoshil Tsode Village

Gyergyam, 40, family name Jamshotsang, from Porema Village

­Lobsang Nyima, 17, from Zamthang
He came to further his studies at Kirti Monastery

In addition to the six above, five additional victims have been identified as:

1. Tsezin Totsang (32-year old male from Thechung)

2. Lhundup Tsomo Jigshetsang, (18-year old female student at Tibetan Middle School, from Ngoshu Village)

3. Butrang Dhargyetsang (female)

4. Sangay (18-year old male from Raro Village)

5. Gyamtso Beize

Thai Olympic torchbearer withdraws in protest over China's crackdown in Tibet
AP[Sunday, March 23, 2008 16:24]

BANGKOK, Thailand, March 23: One of Thailand's representatives in the Olympic torch relay has withdrawn in protest over China's recent crackdown on protesters in Tibet, a statement said Sunday.

Narisa Chakrabongse — one of the country's six torchbearers — said in an open letter that she decided against taking part in the relay to "send a strong message to China that the world community could not accept its actions."

Anti-government protests started in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, on the March 10 anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule and turned violent four days later, touching off demonstrations among Tibetans in three neighboring provinces.

Beijing's official death toll from the rioting is now 22, but the Dalai Lama's government-in-exile has said 99 Tibetans have died.

"The slaying of the Tibetans ... is an outright violation of human rights," Narisa wrote. "It happened two weeks before the Olympic torch leaves Athens and five months before the Olympic Games. This reflects the Chinese government's negligence of world sentiment."

Tibetans and their supporters have protested in cities around the world against China, where the games will be staged.

Some fear the arrival of the Olympic torch — which arrives in Thailand in April en route to Beijing — could spark violent protests against China, while others are calling for heads of state, dignitaries and even corporate sponsors to boycott the Olympics, or at least the opening ceremony.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Any sudoku freaks?? Yes I am one and I got so addicted that I scheme how to complete my online submission when I go on holiday. When I was in India for 22 days end of last year I was not able to compete for those 3 weeks and since then I have not done any submission but that did not stop me from keeping my brain active everyday.

I started with the plain old sudoku and very slowly advanced to jigsaw to killer to extreme jigsaw, extreme killer then on to samurai and what next. Today I started with Hanidoku. Oh please don't start on that because I promise you that you get so addicted that you don't even want to go to the loo.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Source Of ....

I want to be a source of comfort to you
.... like a blanket to wrap around you when you're cold
.... like a pillow for you to use to rest your head
.... like arms to hold you when you're weary and feeling alone
.... like a handkerchief to catch your tears

I want to be a source of strength to you
.... like sunshine when you need warmth in your life
.... like music that soothes your emptiness and fills a lonely space
.... like a meal when you're hungry and want to eat
.... like a shoulder you can lean on for support

I want to be a source of love to you
.... like someone who offers praise and never pressure
.... like someone who is there to talk to when you need to talk
.... like someone who is there for you to be whatever it is you need
.... like someone who loves you just the way you are

I want to be a source of certainty for you that you always have someone on your side
.... to give you hope that there is a way through everything
.... to give you confidence that there is a light at the end of the tunnel
.... to be a voice that says "Congratulations! You've made it"
.... to share with you every challenge, every joy, every trial in your life

Let's go to the mountains!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Over the last few days the impermanence of life reflected itself in many ways. First it was Piper. She had been with us for 5 years but last week she left us. Over the last two days I have not been on my computer. I had a bout of unwellness and it also reflected on the impermanence of our well being. I was full of zest even on Sunday but came Monday I was incapacitated and could not even take phone calls. Today I found some energies back to get online.

The message is clear. Time waits for no one. I never knew I could get so unwelll but I did.

Buddha says :

Know all things to be like this:
A mirage, a cloud castle,
A dream, an apparition,
Without essence, but with qualitites that can be seen.

Know all things to be like this :
As the moon in the bright sky
In some clear lake reflected,
Though to that lake the moon has never moved.

Know all things to be like this :
As an echo that derives
From music, sounds, and weeping,
Yet in that echo is no melody.

Know all things to be like this :
As a magician makes illusions
Of horses, oxen, carts and other things,
Nothing as it appears

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Piper - Boss Of The House

Carol cradling Piper

Little fuss pot cleaning herself

Piper drinking water

Piper in quiet contemplation

Prue is Piper's elder sister

Prue enjoys grooming time

Phoebe is Prue's daughter
Phoebe does not like being groomed
Smug looking Phoebe

How do you write an eulogy for a pet cat?

Piper came to us in year 2002 together with Prue. The two sisters are Norwegian mixed Persians. Prue is always a giver; sombre, accommodating and totally with no complaints. In contrast Piper was the boss. She complained when the other 2 cats messed up the home, she complained when her maid (Carol) did not discard their pooh pooh, she complained when Phoebe puked in the cage .... and the complaints run on. Of the 3 she was the most loving and the most 'human' of them all. She gave us many moments of joy and laughter in the quietude of our home. When she was about 2 months old she would jump onto the curtains and hang on to the curtain with her claws and this made our curtains more see thru than it should be. She would also stand on her two hind legs trying to catch the bait we had hanging over a string. With amazement we have seen her chasing and bullying dogs 3 to 4 times her size. Pretty, our pup Cocker Spaniel used to go into the cat's cage to have their feed and Piper will smack the daylight out of Pretty. But she also enjoyed having a brawl with Pretty, often times we have to separate them as we were afraid that Pretty may get hurt. With all the pompous of a character she was terribly afraid of the rain and thunder.

She passed on today in the wee hours of the morning from a heart problem. We never knew she had a heart condition until she was unwell last week. We brought her to board with the vet, Healing Pets at Damansara Jaya. Her condition improved but we did not take her home. At that time it was not discovered she had a heart problem. Just 3 days ago she was diagnosed with a swollen heart. Ultra sound, tests and everything possible were done on her. She was on drips as she was not drinking and eating. Her heartbeat soared to 200. Because of the timing we were not able to visit her but her vet kept a vigil on her giving us feedback. There were times where she almost slipped but she hung on. Carol managed to hurry over to see her after work last night. Though weak she seemed OK. This morning the vet informed that Piper passed on in the morning.
How do I inform Carol? I asked her to come to my room and we started on small chats ranging from mundane things and slowly into Buddhism. And I broke the news to her. We cradled one another for a while and we got dressed to see Piper and make the necessary arrangement.
We brought her home, cleaned her, wrapped her in a white cloth and buried her at our backyard with flowers and all. Prue and Phoebe are home too. They are rather quiet. Do they know that Piper is no longer with them?

I pray for Piper's swift and good rebirth. I pray.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Happiness Through Meditation - Ajahn Brahm

A gem of a book. A Must Have. As Dr Teoh Lam Chuan puts it "Ajahn Brahm has put together a very comprehensive book guiding a meditation practitioner from the most basic to the most succinct of Jhanas".

"This is a book that is destined to become dog-eared and cherished and read aloud to one's friends and family. It will fall apart from your attention, I promise you" - Mandala

So what are you waiting for

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Now Everyone Can Fly! Tag line for Air Asia. No, I am not a shareholder of this budget airline but the tag line holds a lot of truth. I have known of friends who have hardly gone out of their home town left alone the country but with Air Asia I have heard them going places which I myself have never been to.

My friend just returned from a 7 day 6 night trip to Guangzhou. Over lunch she hyped me enough to make me want to take a trip there. So far I have only flown once on Air Asia to Philippines. No complaints - it's like taking a bus from destination A to B with no trimmings ..... but timing of flight is a little awkward