Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Humane Society of the United States: Email - Tell your friends to take action: Don't let the seals' future fade

hsus email inset protect seals ice loss

The Humane Society of the United States: Email - Tell your friends to take action: Don't let the seals' future fade

Saturday, March 26, 2011

We are all "dis-eased"

Question : (Unedited)
Hi, Thanks for your help. I am a married mom of 2 children. I have been studying Mahayana buddhism and meditating for 10 years. There are a few things lately that have been becoming very clear to me now that I was hoping you could clarify and comment on. Here goes....... I have been noticing peoples agitation,control, and anger with many things they do and with other people. I see it at home in my spouse and kids and also with extended family and strangers. Its as if people are living in a rage.Its been very unsettling to watch. I dont seem to be getting involved in any of it, I just am a calm observer.Its as if just about everyone has some mentally diagnosable disorder/disease.

My comment:
Hi L...,

Congratulations!!  How I wish I am like you, being able to maintain the equanimity amidst the turmoil around us.  You have certainly come a long way and has achieved a higher level of mental cultivation and spritual wisdom.

What you are witnessing is the "normal" life's drama of greed, hatred and delusion acting out in various degrees.

<< Its as if just about everyone has some mentally diagnosable disorder/disease.>>
Yes, you are right. Almost all of us (excluding you) are "mentally disturbed" at one time or another; we are crazy and obsessed with our "self", our senses burning inside our "mind and body", being self destructing.  This is the state of existence that the Buddha pointed out as "Dukkha", "very difficult to bear".

The ultimate mission of the follower of the Buddha is to see through this "madness in all of us" and to walk the path of the wise, the Noble Eightfold Path.  You are certainly on the right path and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!!

Smile from justinchoo :-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What is love? (Part 2 of 2)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION (Unedited): So from the last question, when one reaches enlightenment, physical love will not be needed in the "heightened awareness" state? am i right?

Hi B,

Physical love is a form of attachment, and a very strong one indeed.  As long as a person has attachment to any form or object, he will not be able to detach himself from the craving to exist.  In fact when a person achieved enlightenment he is free from any form of attachment.  He is trully a FREE person.

Smile from justinchoo :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What is love? (Part 1 of 2)

Question : (Unedited)
how do buddhists view love?

My comment: 
Hi B,

Thank you for asking me.

By "love" I take it as "passionate and physical" love.  Buddhist context of "love" is "compassionate" love.

First let me comment on Buddhist compassionate love.  The dictionary defines it as "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it". It is love without conditions. Another term is spiritual love or universal love. There is nothing to do with whether you like the person or not.  You still can show compassionate love to the person even though you do not like him.

Coming back to passionate or physical love.  This love in the mundane form, has a lot of conditions imposed on it.  You love the person because you like him very much, with all your conditions being fulfilled.  This type of love can only be maintained so long as your set conditions are fulfilled.  Once they fall short of your expectations, the intensity of the love also diminishes.  This is the danger of "love" people all over the world are talking about.  "If only YOU satisfy MY conditions, My love for You will be "forever"!  This is the trend of thinking, attitude and expectation of people falling in love.  It is the path leading to disasters given time; sometimes in a very short span of time!  And if the two persons in love have the same demanding expectations, then it's just a time bomb, waiting to explode, surely.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What is impermanence?

Question : (Unedited)
My sister in law is a Buddhist, and we talk a lot about our religions, me being a Christian. Anyway, she told me something that i did not understand. She said that; and i quote "The notion of impermanence is central to Buddhism". What did she mean?! Any examples?

My comment:
Hi N,

Thank you for asking me.  Actually you could ask her to elaborate on the subject.  But just the same, I shall try my best to explain.

"Impermanence" is not only central to Buddhism but it is inherent in everything existing in this world.  It is a universal truth.  Most of us take things for granted and behave as if we can live forever.  Failing to live forever in this world, we wish that we can "live" forever after we die!!  The most relevant example is life itself.  Don't you agree life is impermanent?  Sooner or later every component things in this world will perish.  The difference is only in the length of time.  Another example is our motor car.  Need I elaborate? No.  

You can take anything in this world and you will come to the conclusion that sooner or later it will worn out and perish.  It is the nature of this world to be such.  Knowing this universal truth is very important because we need to realize that we cannot have everlasting experience in life.  Realizing this, a Buddhist will view life in a very different perspective and be able to live in peace within this imperfection of life

Friday, March 4, 2011

She is going to die on 30 June?

Question : (Unedited)
I'm dying on June 30th in a car crash. Don't ask me how I know. It's just going to happen that way. As a child I was a Buddhist as well, as my family. I didn't attend regular temple just about two my whole life. Then as I got older I started reading the Bible for Catholic and Christian. I wanted to get a copy of the Buddhist Bible, but they weren't available. I guess in part I was ashamed and I know it's bad, but I got picked on a lot for being Buddhist and I guess that was why I was ashamed and I read in an article once that part of the journey of being Buddhist is accept that. Anyway, since I switched I was told I was going to hell and not returning and receiving nirvana and I wish I could return, so I can see my family again and I can see my nephew graduate. I mean I heard that souls can go into a human and live their life or have some part of them live through them if that makes any sense. I mean my grandfather died when I was 8 or 9 and when I was 10 I believe I saw him on a Christmas tree and he talked to me and then my mom noticed I had some of the characteristics like him, so I don't know. I know I'm going to be banish to hell because I am switching yet again, but I don't know what to believe. I really would like to come back and be reborn. I shouldn't have deny my true faith because that was what I was suppose to believe, but I deny because I was scared of being made fun of by others. I already deny God as the Holy Spirit, but what I am saying is if I could come back and just to see my family and be human again after I die. Would that be possible? I mean I know that Buddha does not hate, so it would ok for me to believe in Buddha and God, but the thing is God is jealous, so I don't know. It's all to confusing. Please help me if you can.

Hi L...,

One thing for sure you're not going to die in a car crash on June 30th. I can even guarantee you that it won't happen if you just follow my advice...Don't get into a car on June 30th!!  SEE!? I am looking forward to hear from you on 1st July!  I must admit I shall not be able to provide you with clear cut answer.  The main reason is that I don't really know you.  (I am also giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are genuine in what you said.)  

My comment would be that you just let go of all these troubling thoughts.  It is not going to be easy because you have already created a habit to indulge in this line of thinking.  Why not try to occupy yourself with the things that you enjoy doing?  Also you should talk to those you love or trust.  Let these "religious contradictions" be.  Don't try to ever reconcile these "problems" as you will never succeed because the more you dwell in them the more confuse you will be.  These are NOT the real problems.  You created them in your mind.  Forget about Buddhism and Christianity for the time being.  Live your life as an ordinary mortal.  Take a break.  Given time all these "problems" will just disappear because you no longer allow your mind to dwell in them.  In order to do that, (I repeat) give yourself a break; talk to someone you trust; go for a holiday; engross in something you love doing.

This is the best I could comment.  
I wish you peace.
Justin Choo.  
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