(ii)THE GIFT OF DHAMMA EXCELS ALL OTHER GIFTSTitle: LIFE LESSONS With PowerPointsAuthor: Oh Teik BinTeluk Intan, Perak, MalaysiaFront and back cover by Oh Teik BinEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPrinted for free distribution. ot for sale.This edition ( ovember 2010) : 1000 copiesThis Dhamma-Dana literature is a gift, printed solely for freedistribution. Numerous other educational and Dhamma materialby the same author are available at the following Websites: www.dhammatelukintan.blogspot.com www.slideshare.net/ohteikbin www.youtube.com/bteikoh www.toondoo.com/user/bteikoh www.scribd.com/teikbin http://engagedbuddhists.ning.com/profile/ohteikbin www.twitter.com/TBrohNo copyright is applicable to this publication and anyorganizations, societies or individuals are welcome to reprintpart or all of it. However, such reprints must be for freedistribution. It would be appreciated if the author could beinformed by email of any reprint.Printed by: BHS BOOK PRINTING SDN BHDAddress:Lot 17-22 & 17-23, Jln Satu, Bersatu Ind Park, Cheras Jaya,,Balakong 43200 MalaysiaTel: 03-9074 7558Fax: 03-9074 7573
(iii) DEDICATIO This book of LIFE LESSONS is dedicated to: My Parents All my Primary and Secondary School Teachers All my Dhamma Teachers All my Dhamma friends and students ACK OWLEDGEME TS My sincere thanks and gratitude go to the following:All Sangha and lay members who have taught the sublimeDhamma and valuable Life Lessons at Persatuan Buddhist Hilir Perak, Teluk Intan since 1987All my friends who have in one way or other contributed to my growth in the Dhamma This book has been sponsored for free distribution by BHS BOOK PRI TI G SD . BHD. DEDICATIO OF MERITS May all beings share in the merits of this Dhamma-Dana. May they find happiness, peace and liberation. Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu!
(iv) CO TE TS Dedication/Acknowledgements Preface1 Mother – A Story To Reflect On 12 Words From An Enlightened Being 73 A Glass Of Milk 144 14 Steps To Develop Patience 225 A King’s Three Wishes 286 Dhammapada Verses on ‘ANGER’ 357 A Tragedy Or Blessing 418 Metta Bhavana 479 Living Life Fully 5810 The Lizard…A Beautiful Story 6411 A Road To Ultimate Happiness 7012 10 Wise Quotes On Life 7913 The 99 Club…A Story With A LIFE Message 8414 What Really Matters 9115 A SUCCESS Formula 9516 The Two Brothers…A Touching Story 10217 16 Favorite Happiness Quotes 10818 Teenage Traps And Problems 11519 May I Reflect… 12020 The ‘Divorce’…A Story With A Moral 12621 The 5 Wonderful Precepts 13122 Twenty Twitter Thoughts To Treasure 13723 Life’s Problems…A Story To Reflect On 14524 Golden Thoughts to Live By 15125 The 6 Realms Of Existence 15726 Think And Reflect 16327 Of Friends And Friendship… 17028 All Because Of A Smile 18129 Stupidity And Wisdom 18730 Universal Prayer And Aspirations 194
(v) PREFACE LIFE Lessons With PowerPoints is a collection of PowerPointPresentations with moral or Dhamma messages. Eachpresentation is preceded by a brief reflection on a social issue, ahappening or an observation made in the course of the author’sDhammaduta work at the local Buddhist Association over thelast 23 years. This publication is written with the followingobjectives:* To convey some important Dhamma lessons* To help inculcate moral and ethical values in the young* To help us lessen our weaknesses and defilements* To develop our compassion and wisdomIn an age where the Internet has a tremendous impact on people,the reading of Dhamma books filled with long linear texts andwords does not attract many people especially the young. It is aworld of mobile phone SMSes, Emails, MSN messages, Facebook,YouTube, and Twitter. LIFE Lessons With PowerPoints attemptsto impart important lessons of life using power point slides withclear and concise messages illustrated by pictures and graphics.The PowerPoint Presentations in this book can be viewed fromthe Web page www.slideshare.net/ohteikbin . They can bedownloaded and used as Dhamma and educational material inBuddhist Sunday School, Dhamma Classes, Motivation, Youthand Children’s Camps and so on.The author is grateful to all Dhamma teachers, students, friendsand the sponsors of this book, BHS BOOK PRINTING SDN.BHD. who have made a publication like this possible.May All Beings Be Well And Happy!OH TEIK BIOctober 2010
1 MOTHER – A Story To Reflect On Today, so many working people are caught in a world of ‘busyness’ trying to earn as much money as possible to support a lifestyle that is far from simple. There are bankEver to settle Iand was abillschildpay of the household. loans since heavy to for six, I used When we are burdened with all sorts of unnecessarytopondeonthtremendous disparities that exist in human commitments, we have little time for so many importantconditions. It was later on inin life –when I started to learn things that really matter my life, learning about andand practise the mind, showing some light was shed on these developing the Dhamma that kindness to others, renderingphilosophical issues. Some years ago, I did onesPower services to the needy, spending time with loved a andPointpresentation based on the thoughts that if they will cultivating our spirituality. We lead our lives as puzzled mewhenend.was young.realize objective was to help make is not I We fail to The that life is uncertain and death usreflect on the Dhamma – the the ‘rat thingsnon-stop…until certain. So we keep on running Way race’ are, The FourNoble Truths, The Five Universal us into some wisdom we end or something happens that jolts Orders, The Law ofCause andOnly then would we do some things that matter. lessons. EffectKamma and Rebirth, The Six Realmsimmense. Filial piety The gratitude we owe our parents is etc. and gratitude to people who have helped us so much we need to practice before it is too late. 1
A man drove to a flower shop to order some flowers to bewired or couriered to his mother who lived 200 miles away. He was just too busy to visit his mother on her birthday. As he got out of his car, he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing. 3 The man asked her what was wrong. I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother. But I only have 75 cents, and a rose costs two dollars.
The man smiled kindly at the girl. Come on into the shop with me. I’ll buy you a rose. He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own flowers for his mother’s birthday. Heinstructed the florist to courier the flowers over to his mother’s home the following day As they were leaving, he offered the girl a ride home. Oh! Thank you so much Sir! Please take me to my mother.
The man was only too happy to oblige. He asked the little girl to direct him to her mother’s place. The little girl directed the man to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a grave. Her mother had died a few days ago.The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the courier service, picked up a bouquet of flowers and drove thetwo hundred miles to his mother’s house. mother’
We should not take things for granted. Value what we have and count our Blessings.How often have we got caught up in a never- ending process of ‘busyness’?We fail to realize that at any time death can flatten all our material possessions and worldly achievements, status and power. 11 What really matters ultimately are the intangible things … the love, kindness, gratitude, generosity, compassion and care we show towards others. The development of these qualities is our true wealth … qualities that help us grow spiritually, qualities that lead us to true peace, happiness and freedom. Live not a life that will cause us to regret when the time comes for us to 12 leave everything and everyone behind.
Do the positive things OW … do them when we still CA . Wait not before it is too late. Living a life meaningfully would entail touching others’ lives so that they become more happy and peaceful.When a life is lived meaningfully, then that life can die joyfully. The End May we grow in compassion and wisdom!
2 Words From An Enlightened BeingWe cannot deny the tremendous impact the written word andbooks since I was the child of six, I used to from a Dhamma Ever can have on a minds of people. I heard ponder on thetalk about an disparities lady who was afflicted conditions.and tremendous European that exist in human by cancer Itsuffered from in mymental illnesses like anxiety and depression. was later on some life, when I started to learn and practiseConsultation andthat some by specialist shed on like an the Dhamma treatment light was doctors theseoncologist, psychiatrists and psychotherapists didPower Point philosophical issues. Some years ago, I did a not seem towork for the lady. One day, thoughts gave her a book “Opening presentation based on the a doctor that puzzled me when Ithe door of your heart” by Ajahn Brahmavamso, a disciple of was young. The objective was to help make us reflect onAjahn Chah. Very miraculously, the book had a healing effect on the Dhamma – the Way things are, The Four Noble Truths,the sick lady. She was cured of her illnesses. The words in thebook Five Universal Orders, The Law states…her and Effect, The probably brought positive mental of Cause views and Kamma and Rebirth, The Six Realms etc.attitude changed. The lady who was residing in Switzerland, flewto Perth, Australia to and some realization author ofDhamma With understanding personally thank the of these the book.Ipoints we can learn posted therighteousness, harmony and remember when I to live in PowerPoint “Words From AnEnlightened Being” onwith the I received an email from a lady in peace in accordance the Net, Natural Laws.Brazil who is lived meaningfully within oneself depression by A life that wrote to say how she was cured of and alsoreflecting on the words of wisdom a most worthyBuddha. Never serving those in need, would be uttered by the life.underestimate what words of wisdom and Life lessons can do tocure us of Mental Dis –ease.
If you fear pain, if youdislike pain, dont do an evil deed in open orsecret. If youre doing orwill do an evil deed, youwont escape pain: it will catch you even as you run away. Speak not harshly to anyone, for those thus spoken to might retort. Indeed, angry speech hurts, and retaliation may overtake you. Irrigators regulate the rivers; fletchers straighten the arrow shaft; carpenters shape the wood; the wise control themselves.
Well done is that action of doing which one repents not later, and the fruit of which, one reaps with delight and happiness. By effort and heedfulness,discipline and self-mastery ,let the wise one make for oneself an island which no flood can overwhelm. evil- The evil-doer grieves here and hereafter; one grieves in both the worlds. One laments and is afflicted, recollecting ones own impure deeds.
Ever grows the glory of one who is energetic, mindful and pure in conduct, discerning and self-controlled, righteous and heedful. They do not lament over the past, they yearn not for what is to come, they maintain themselves in the present, thus their complexion is serene.Good is virtue until lifes end,good is faith that is steadfast, good is the acquisition of wisdom, and good is the avoidance of evil.
If for company you find a wise andprudent friend who leads a good life, you should, overcoming all impediments, keep their company joyously and mindfully. To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to purify ones mind - this is the teaching of the Buddhas. Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand people in battle, yet one indeed is the noblest victor who conquers oneself.
Calm is ones thought, calm ones speech, and calm ones deed, who, truly knowing, is wholly freed, perfectly tranquil and wise. One by one, little by little, moment by moment , awise one should remove ones own impurities, as a smith removes dross from silver. Of all the fragrances --sandal, tagara, blue lotus and jasmine --the fragrance of virtue is the sweetest.
Arise! Do not be heedless! Lead a righteous life. The righteous live happily both in this world and the next. The End With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worryabout the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
3 A Glass Of MilkSince the early 1990s, our local Buddhist Association has beenrunning community guidance glasses for primary and secondarystudents. The students had only to make nominal monthlydonations; poor students did not have to donate…everything wasfree. I since been beenchild of six,thisused to ponder on the Ever have I was a involved in I community program for tremendous disparities that exist in human conditions. Itthe last 22 years or so. Over the years I have noticed that thingshave later on in lot in terms of gratitude shown byand practise was changed a my life, when I started to learn the students.We used to have students who volunteered to run our community the Dhamma that some light was shed on theselibrary seven days a week including night I did a sessions Point philosophical issues. Some years ago, library Power in theweekdays. Many hadonsensethoughts thatto the Association and presentation based a the of gratitude puzzled me when Iperhaps wanted to repay the kindness and services us reflect on was young. The objective was to help make they received.Many also volunteered to help upkeep the cleanliness of the the Dhamma – the Way things are, The Four Noble Truths,premises, be on duty for the many projects of the Associationfrom youth and children’s camps to special functions and Effect, The Five Universal Orders, The Law of Cause like Wesakand Ullambana. Of lateThe Six Realmsbe less and less grateful Kamma and Rebirth, there seems to etc.students…it’s more a case of ‘take and take’ and little of ‘giveand give’. I think this can be attributed to a growing materialisticoutlook, greater self-centredness and being caught in worldlysensory pursuits. The computer and the Internet have been muchmisused. We Dhammaduta workers, of course should not bediscouraged or quit. That is the way things are. We must striveharder to inculcate the virtue of gratitude among the young. A Glass Of Milk A True Story
A nice poor boy once sold goods from door to door To pay his way through school to learn more and more. One day, he found he had got only one dime. And he was hungry, suffering a tough time. He decided he would, at the next house, ask for some simple food.But he panicked when a lady opened the door – looking so good.
Instead of a meal, he asked for a drink of water – his hands shook. The kind lady was so very moved by the boy’s pathetic look.The lady thought he looked so very hungry.She brought him a large glass of milk happily. The poor boy drank the milk slowly. “How much do I owe you, Lady ?” ?”
“You don’t owe me anything,” she don’ anything,” replied with happiness.Mother has taught us never to accept pay for kindness.” kindness.”“I thank you from my heart,” the boy heart,” said gratefully.He wiped a tear; he was touched emotionally. Years later, that kind lady became critically sick. The local doctors were lost – they could not understand it.
They finally senther to the big city.Her rare disease was studied so carefully. For consultation, they called in Dr. Howard Kelly. Learning the name of the patient’s town, his heart patient’ beat strangely. Immediately he went to her room to check and see.He recognized her at once as that kind lady.
He was determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he tended to her to keep her alive. After a long struggle, the battle was won.Without the Doctor, it could not have been done . Dr. Kelly asked for the medical bill That was meant for the lady who had been ill.
He wrote something on the edge of the bill. To the lady the bill was then sent, sealed. The lady feared opening the bill to read it.It’d take the rest of her life to pay every bit.It’ Finally she looked and something caught her eye invitingly. She read, ‘Paid in full with One Glass Of Milk’ ….Signed, Milk’ Dr. Kelly.
Tears of joy flooded her eyes and her happy heart was really touched. Kindness, love and gratitude are values that we must practise much. THE END May we strive on with great attentionTo grow in Wisdom and Compassion ! With Metta, Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin “At times our own light goes out and isrekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer
4 14 Steps To Develop PatiencePatience is a most important virtue to have and develop inoneself. I suffered fromchild of six, way back when I was in the Ever since I was a hypertension I used to ponder on mymid 30s. I believe it was due to my Type A conditions. It tremendous disparities that exist in human personality…a‘perfectionist’,in myimpatient and prone toto learn and practise was later on very life, when I started anger with people notmeeting my expectationssome light was go the way I these the Dhamma that or when things don’t shed on want.There was undoubtedly a years ago, I did a of the Point philosophical issues. Some lot of suffering Power mind.It was when I started learning, understanding and practicing the presentation based on the thoughts that puzzled me when IDhamma when things started to change positively for me. Having was young. The objective was to help make us reflect onthe right view of the way things really are can help one changeone’s view and–attitude to life andare, The Four Noblekindness, the Dhamma the Way things develop virtues like Truths,understanding, generosity, patience and tolerance. “If and Effect, The Five Universal Orders, The Law of Cause you are notpatient, you will soon TheaSix Realms the hospital),” someone Kamma and Rebirth, be patient (in etc.once told me. Over the lastsome realization of these Dhamma With understanding and 23 years of doing Dhammaduta work points we can learn to live in righteousness, harmony andat our local Buddhist Association, I realize that patience helps oneto remain accordance with the NaturalImpatience can lead to a peace in calm, peaceful and tranquil. Laws.burnt-out. Onelived meaningfully within oneself and also A life that is suffers mental states of agitation and frustration.Indeed patience isneed, would be athe Path to happiness, peace serving those in needed to walk most worthy life.and freedom. 1
I SHOULD NOTDwell on my troubles and aches and pains. I SHOULD NOT Think I’m always right and win people’s approval for everything I do. I SHOULD NOT Think that I always know what is best for people.
I SHOULD NOTThink that all the unpleasant things happen to me. 6 I SHOULD NOTThink that ambition and what I want are all-important. I SHOULD NOT 7 Expect people’s temperament, character and behaviour to be what I like.
I SHOULD Recognize that the more I dwell on my troubles and pains, the worse they seem. I SHOULD Recognize how impossible it is to please all the people all the time. I SHOULDRecognize that I cannot always get people to do what I want as a matter of course.
I SHOULD Recognize that people are entitled to their opinions. I SHOULDRecognize that everybody has off-days. I SHOULD Recognize the danger of expecting too much from life, myself and other people.
I SHOULD Practice mindfulness of my mental states and outside phenomena. The End 15 “He that can have Patience, can have what he will” Benjamin FranklinLearn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxiousover the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success. Brian Adams
5 A King’s Three Wishes An American Buddhist monk once visited our local BuddhistEver since Ifor Dhamma sharing. HeI gave 5 profound lines Association was a child of six, used to ponder on for Dhamma reflection: that exist in human conditions. Itthetremendous disparitieswas later uncertain, deathwhen I started to learn and practise * Life is on in my life, is certainthe The point of death is some light * The mode ofon these * Dhamma that uncertain was shed death is uncertain * What is ‘Enough’? * When is ‘Enough’ enough?philosophical issues. Some years ago, I did a Power Pointpresentation based on the Buddhist funeral rites and I help in I Our Association conducts thoughts that puzzled me when this community service. Over the 20 years of participatingwaswake services, objective was to helpsome very important in young. The I have come to realize make us reflect onthe Dhamma – As we pay our last respects near the coffin of LIFE lessons. the Way things are, The Four Noble Truths,The Five Universal Dhamma The Law of Cause and Effect the deceased, some Orders, reflections can truly help oneKamma and Rebirth,A person Realms etc. the world empty to grow spiritually. The Six is born intoWith understanding and somelike manner.of thesecan strike handed and he departs in a realization Death Dhammapointsperson at learn agelive in righteousness, harmony and any we can any to and in so many different ways. Somepeace in accordance with the Natural Laws. one to grow in realization of the transient nature of life helpsAcompassion livedwisdom. One will become less and also to life that is and meaningfully within oneself attachedserving those in need, would be a most develops an worldly things, more forgiving and one worthy life. attitude of ‘letting go’. More inner mental peace and happiness will be cultivated. Life is lived more meaningfully. A Thought-Provoking Story
On his deathbed, a monarch realizes crucial lessons about life. After conquering many kingdoms, the great Greek king Alexander wasreturning home when he fell seriously ill.Nothing his generals did could cure him.With death staring him in the face, Alexander realized howhis conquests, his great army, his sharp sword and all his wealth were of no value to him as he lay waiting to breathe his last.
All he wanted then was to gohome, see his mother’s face and bid her a fond farewell 5 But knowing that he would not have time to reach his distant homeland, he summoned his generals and told them: “I will depart from this world soon. I have three wishes which you must carry out without fail.” With tears 6 flowing down their cheeks, all his men could do was nod.
“My first desire is that my physicians alone must carry my coffin,” the king said. After a long pause, the king continued,“When my coffin is being carried to the grave, the path leading to the graveyard should be strewn with the gold, silver and precious stones which I have in my treasury.” Quite exhausted by then, he said softly: “Finally, after I’m gone, let both my hands dangle out of my coffin.” Hand
The people who had gathered around the king wondered about his strangerequests. But no one dared ask about the rational behind them. Alexander’s favorite general then kissed his hands and pressed them to his heart. “I assure your highness that your wishes will be fulfilled. But why?”At this the ailing monarch took a deep breath and said: “I wouldlike the world to know the three lessons I have just learnt.”
“I want my physicians to carry my coffin because people should realize that no doctor can cure every ailment. Doctors cannot save a person from the clutches of death. So let not people take life for granted.” “Strewing gold, silver and other riches along the path to the graveyard will serve to remind everyone that 14I might have spent my life accumulating riches, but I cannot even take a piece of gold with me when I die. So let people realize that it is a sheer waste of time to chase wealth.” “As for the final wish to leave my hands dangling out of the coffin, I want people to know that I came empty- 15 handed into this world and I will leave the same way.” With these words, the king closed his eyes as death conquered him.
The End Reflection • Life is uncertain but death is certain. • I have to train and purify the mind. • I have to let go of attachments, greed, hatred and delusion With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin 17 ACCEPTANCE by: Robert Frost (1875 - 1963)When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud And goes down burning into the gulf below, o voice in nature is heard to cry aloudAt what has happened. Birds, at least must know It is the change to darkness in the sky. Murmuring something quiet in her breast, One bird begins to close a faded eye; Or overtaken too far from his nest, Hurrying low above the grove, some waif Swoops just in time to his remembered tree. At most he thinks or twitters softly, Safe! ow let the night be dark for all of me. Let the night be too dark for me to see Into the future. Let what will be, be.
6 Dhammapada Verses on “A GER”I had a friend many years ago who had a very violent temper. Iused to share Dhamma with him, telling him about what theBuddha taught on the three mental poisons or kilesas of greed(loba), hatred (dosa) and delusion (moha). Unfortunately therewas little change in child of six, I used to ponder on theEver since I was a his attitude and character. (Such is thestrength and power of tendencies andin human conditions. Ittremendous disparities that exist conditioning.) I rememberone occasion when he came to I started to learn and practisewas later on in my life, when our Buddhist Association filledwith tremendous anger and hatred. His face had turned black andthe Dhamma that some light was shed on thesehe was breathing in a terrible way. I manageddid getPower Pointphilosophical issues. Some years ago, I to a out from himwhat had happened. According to him, an old man had when Ipresentation based on the thoughts that puzzled me insultedhim after both ofobjective was to help in a minor accident.was young. The them were involved make us reflect on“I will get this old man and kill him,” my friend kept repeating;the Dhamma – the Way things are, The Four Noble Truths,he was trembling. It took me quite some time and effort to calmhim down, Universal understand and see things more clearly.The Five make him Orders, The Law of Cause and Effect,The ‘devil’ ofRebirth, The Six Realmsindeed. It has to be dealtKamma and Anger is very dangerous etc.with using understanding and wisdom. I have found two good,simple Dhamma books that deal with practical ways to handleanger. They are: (a) Working with Anger by Thubten Chodron(b) Curbing Anger, Spreading Love by Visuddhachara. Dhammapada Verses on “A GER” GER”
One should give up anger, renounce pride, and overcome all fetters. Suffering never befalls him who clings not to mind and body and is detached. He who checksrising anger as a charioteer checks a rollingchariot, him I calla true charioteer.Others only hold the reins. Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth.
Speak the truth; yield not to anger; when asked, give even ifyou only have a little.By these three means can one reach thepresence of the gods. Those sages who are inoffensive and ever restrained in body, go to the Deathless State (Nibbana), where, having gone, they grieve no more. Those who are ever vigilant, who discipline themselves day and night, and are ever intent upon Nibbana — their defilements fade away.
O Atula! Indeed, this is an ancient practice, not one only of today: they blame those who remain silent, they blame those who speak much, they blame those who speak in moderation. There is none in the world who is not blamed.There never was, there never will be, nor is there now, a person who is whollyblamed or wholly praised. But the man whom the wise praise, after observing him day after day, is one of flawless character, wise, and endowed with knowledge and virtue.
Who can blame such a one, as worthy as a coin of refinedgold? Even the gods praisehim; by Brahma, too, is he praised Let a man guard himself against 11 irritability in bodily action; let him be controlled in deed. Abandoning bodily misconduct, let him practice good conduct in deed. Let a man guard himself against irritability in speech;let him be controlled in speech. Abandoning verbal misconduct, let him practice good conduct in speech.
Let a man guard himself against irritability in thought; let him be controlled in mind. Abandoning mental misconduct, let him practice good conduct in thought. The wise are controlled in 14bodily action, controlled in speech and controlled inthought. Theyare truly well- controlled. The End 15 May The Buddha’s Words and Advice help make us compassionate and wise. With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin
7 A Tragedy Or Blessing?It is a fact of life that sometimes we do not get the things we wishfor or encounter experiences we initially detest. As our wisdomgrows, we learn to embrace more positively things as they comealong inevitably. One can then live in peace and harmony. Ever since I was a child of six, I used to ponder on theI remember a Form 6 student in the early 70s; she was a mostoutstanding all-round student.exist in human conditions. It tremendous disparities that All her teachers and friendsexpected her to get 5As in the I started examination. However was later on in my life, when A-Level to learn and practisewhen Dhamma results were out,light scored 4As andon these the the exam that some she was shed 1B. Thereshe was, sobbing away upon getting the exam slip. Power Point philosophical issues. Some years ago, I did a She could notget a place for medicine at thoughts that puzzled me when I presentation based on the the local university; her few closefriends who obtained straightwas secured medicalus reflect on was young. The objective As to help make places at thelocalDhamma – the Way things read The Four Noble Truths, the university. She went on to are, Biology at the university.Upon Five Universalgot scholarships to pursue her Masters and The graduating, she Orders, The Law of Cause and Effect,Ph.D. degrees Rebirth, The Six Realms still slogging at medical Kamma and overseas. Her classmates, etc.school really envied her. Today, the ‘unfortunate’ student is asuccessful research scientist in a foreign university overseas.One can never predict the future. Life has twists and turns. Thewise man lives peacefully amidst the changing conditions of life.What one can change, one tries one’s best to do so; what onecannot, one accepts with clear understanding and wisdom. A Tragedy Or Blessing ?
This Story happened some years ago In Scotland where blue skies meet the meadow. There were nine children in the Clark family. Clark and his wife worked and saved diligently. It was their dream to sail to America one day.They believed that good fortunes would soon be on their way.
They finally saved enough money to sail across the vast sea. Reservations on a new ship were made for the whole family. The family was filled with much anticipation.Everyone looked forward to life in the new nation. However, seven days before they were to set sail,A dog bit the youngest son and he turned very pale.
Rabies was a real possibility. A Doctor treated the boy urgently.The Trip to America could not be made. Anger andfrustration they could hardly take. The father watched the ship leave without them. He shed tears and cursed his son and God, “Damn!”
Five days later, news spread of a Tragedy.All Scotland was shocked at this Calamity. A mighty ship had sunk – it was the Titanic. Had the Clark Family sailed, it would be tragic.When Clark heard the terrible news, he hugged his son. He looked to Heaven and thanked the Almighty One.
Brothers and Sisters here and everywhere. Let us all reflect and ponder with care.A Blessing, a Tragedy ? … it is hard to see. There is one CERTAI TY and that’s U CERTAI TY. TYWith Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin
8 Metta BhavanaI was taught Metta Bhavana in the early 90s in the firstMeditation Retreat I attended in a rambutan plantation. Iremember one session when I distinctly felt some ‘crawly’sensations over my arms, hands and feet. I could not be sureif they were due to some insects or the mind imaginingthings. I just radiated metta ( loving-kindness) to whateverliving beings that were around me…the ‘crawly’ feelings didnot perturb my mind. At the end of the one-hour MettaBhavana session, I slowly opened my eyes and got ready toroll up the meditation mat. To my great astonishment, therewere hundreds (or thousands) of red ants crawling on theground around me. I could not believe it when I realized that Ihad not been bitten by any of the ants. Since then myconfidence in the power of Metta has grown and grown.One can really experience for oneself the many benefits ofpracticing the meditation on loving-kindness. Of course, oneneeds to have patience, determination and perseverance in thepractice of meditation. Intro What Why How 1
METTA BHAVA A is the Meditation on Loving-Kindness 2The Buddha gave a Discourse on Loving-Kindness ( The discourse is the Karaniya Sutta …in Sutta ipata 1.8 ) While the Buddha was staying at Savatthi, a band of monks, having received subjects of meditation from the Master, proceeded to a forest to spend the rainy season (vassana). The tree deities inhabiting this forest were worried by their arrival, as they had to descend from tree abodes and dwell on the ground. They hoped, however, the monks would leave soon; but finding that the monks would stay the vassana period of three months, harassed them in diverse ways, during the night, with the intention of scaring them away. 3
Living under such conditions being impossible, the monks went to the Master and informed him of their difficulties. Thereon the Buddha instructed them in the Metta Sutta and advised their return equipped with this Sutta for their protection. The monks went back to the forest, and practicing the instruction conveyed, permeated the whole atmosphere with their radiantthoughts of Metta or loving-kindness.The deities so affected by this power of love, henceforth allowed them to meditate in peace. 4 What is METTA ? Metta is… Loving-Kindness Goodwill Friendliness Benevolence Concord Love 5
In Metta, there is a strong wish for the happiness and welfare of oneself and others. The heart opens unconditionally encompassing all that is. Metta is devoid of self- interest. One with Metta has the attitude of a friend whowants to give to anotherthe best to further his or her well-being. Just as a mother gives her own life to protect her child, soMetta only gives andnever wants anything in return.
The 11 Benefits of Metta BhavanaThe 11 Benefits of Metta Bhavana 1 One sleeps happily. 2 One wakes up happily. 9 3 One has no bad dreams. 10
4 One is dear to human beings. 125 One is dear to non-human beings. 6 One is protected by the gods. 13
7 One’s countenance is radiant. 8 Fire, poison and weapons do not affect one.9 One’s mind concentrates quickly.
10 One dies without bewilderment.11 If one developsno further, one willreach at least to the Brahma World. Metta Bhavana – Guidelines 1 We can spend some minutes a day on Metta Bhavana, sending thoughts of loving- kindness to all beings throughout the world.
Metta Bhavana – Guidelines 2 1 Sit in a relaxed posture on the floor or a cushion. (cross-legged, semi-lotus or lotus position ) 2 Keep your back straight. 3 You may close your eyes. 4 Breathe in and out softly and naturally. 5 Allow your thoughts to dwell upon loving-kindness and compassion.Metta Bhavana – Guidelines 3 First, radiate thoughts of loving- kindness to yourself. Charge your heart and mind with thoughts such as : “May I be free from harm and danger. May I be free from mental suffering. May I be free from physical suffering. May I be well, happy and peaceful.” peaceful.” 22
Metta Bhavana – Guidelines 4 You may repeat such thoughts of Metta until your concentration and calmness grow. Metta Bhavana – Guidelines 5 ext, radiate thoughts of loving- kindness to your parents and other family members as follows: “May they be free from harm and danger. May they be free from mental suffering. May they be free from physical suffering. May they be well, happy and peaceful.” peaceful.” 24 Metta Bhavana – Guidelines 6 Radiate thoughts of loving-kindness to all your teachers and friends repeatingmentally and ferventlythe four lines as before.
Metta Bhavana – Guidelines 7 Radiate thoughts of loving- kindness to your enemies or people who are negative towards you, repeating mentally and fervently the four lines as before. Metta Bhavana – Guidelines 8 Lastly, radiate yourthoughts of loving-kindness to all beings in the whole world, universe and all the realms of existence, repeating mentally and fervently the four lines as before.TheEnd May METTA Grow and Grow in you. With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin
9 Living Life FullyI am grateful for the good education I received. I had many goodand dedicated teachers child in the primary and secondaryon the Ever since I was a both of six, I used to ponder schoolwho not onlydisparities cognitive knowledge but helped us It tremendous imparted that exist in human conditions. togrow later on in myemotionally,I morally to learn and practise was intellectually, life, when started and spiritually. Therewas no examination subject likelight was shed on these the Dhamma that some moral education but moral andethical values were inculcated years many I did a Power Point philosophical issues. Some in so ago, effective ways…therewere non-examinable moral science and civics lessons taught by presentation based on the thoughts that puzzled me when Idedicated teachers who walked the talk. We enjoyed the many was young. The objective was to help make us reflect onextra-curricular activities in school and we played physical gamesand Dhamma – the Way things are, The happily involved in the sports enthusiastically. We were Four Noble Truths,meaningful Universal Orders, serving in of Cause and Effect, The Five outreach work like The Law the library and schoolsocieties. and Rebirth, The Six Realms etc. KammaIWith understanding sincesome realization of these Dhamma have been a teacher and the early 1970s and I note that thingshave changed a lot …not livethe better unfortunately. This view is points we can learn to for in righteousness, harmony andshared in accordance with thefriends who have taught for more peace by most of my teacher Natural Laws.than 20that is livedmay be producing more ‘all As’ students but A life years. We meaningfully within oneself and alsoare they those in need, would be a sense worthyword? Reading serving really educated in the true most of the life.rates have plunged; attitudes and values among many studentshave dipped low. It is time we overhaul the education system.Only then can there be hope of producing truly educated citizenswho know how to live moral and worthy lives. Living Life Fully
Plitvice Lakes (Croatia) All around you, treasure the beauty. This is essential to stay happy.Eat well, exercise well, rest and sleep well. Your physical and mental health will tell. Boiling Lake (Dominica) Enjoy the companionship of many. How then can you dear, ever get lonely? Red Lagoon (Bolivia)
You must value your moments of solitude To develop many a right attitude. Five-Flower Lake (China) Others’ opinions you need to respect Even if they are not at all perfect. 5 Dead Sea (Israel and Jordan) 6Do take pride in what you can achieve or do. Be happy with the success of others too. Lake Baikal (Russia)
Valuable info and knowledge you need. Do stay alert and remember to read. Lake Titicaca (Bolivia and Peru)Caspian Sea (Russia) Develop and keep a positive mind. You will be on your way to peace sublime. It’s important to have a righteous living. Then there will be no regret in anything. Crater Lake (USA)
Do keep your mind active constructively To stay happy and healthy mentally. Lake Karachay (Russia)Spread to yourself and others loving-kindness. Reach out and bring other people happiness. Lake Toba (Sumatra) Do remember to pray or meditate. Remove all greed, guilt, enmity and hate. Lake Victoria (Africa)
The End May we live a life of meaning, enriching the mind and thinking, reaching out, giving and helping. With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin 14 Quotes To Live By1. If your ship doesnt come in, swim out to it!"-- Jonathan Winters2. "We all have ability. The difference is how we use it."--Stevie Wonder3. "Never give up, for that is just the place and time that thetide will turn."-- Harriet Beecher Stowe4. "It is impossible to win the great prizes of life withoutrunning risks."-- Theodore Roosevelt5. "One can make a day of any size, and regulate the risingand the setting of his own sun and the brightness of itsshining."-- John Muir6. "The greatest mistake you can make in life is to becontinually fearing that you will make one."-- Ellen Hubbard7. "Act as though what you do makes a difference. It does."-- William James8. "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tinymatters compared to what lies within."--Ralph Waldo Emerson
10 The Lizard – A Beautiful StoryOutreach work born out of compassion for others is a mostimportant aspect of spiritual practice. Dhammaduta work does notmean mere academic and intellectual promotion of the Buddha’sTeachings. ‘Towas aand to share’ is Ia used toimpactful on the Ever since I care child of six, highly ponder way ofreaching out to other people in exist in human conditions. are tremendous disparities that need. When people’s hearts Ittouched, they in my life, when I startedthe Dhamma teachings. was later on are more ready to receive to learn and practiseGenerosity, kindness and compassion need to be put into action – the Dhamma that some light was shed on thesethey cannot stay as mere intellectual concepts and preaching. The philosophical issues. Some years ago, I did a Power PointDhamma must be understood, felt, practiced and realized.One of our outreach services thoughts that puzzled me when I presentation based on the to the local community is renderingservices in times ofobjective Metta to help make us reflect on was young. The need like was visits to the sick and handlingBuddhist wake the Way things are, The Four Noble Truths, the Dhamma – services and funeral rites. I remember theoccasion when my father passed The Law at night in the hospital. The Five Universal Orders, away late of Cause and Effect,Some of and Rebirth, The Six Realms etc. stayed at my place Kamma our Dhamma brothers and sistersuntil past midnight giving tremendous support and help. Thecultivation section of our Buddhist Association carried out theBuddhist funeral rites for my father on a selfless, voluntary andnon-commercial basis. My family members were most gratefuland touched by the dedicated and kind help given to us.Being kind and caring touches the hearts of others much morethan loads of doctrinal study and theoretical preachings. 1
In order to renovate his house after many years, a man in Japan tore open the wall. Japanese houses normally have a hollow space between the wooden walls. When tearing down the walls, the manfound that there was a lizard stuck there because a nail from the outside hammered into one of the lizard’s feet. The lizard was still alive. The man saw this and felt pity. What had happened? He remembered he had hammered anail at this spot when he moved into the house 10 years ago.
The lizard had survived in such a position for 10 years!?!! The lizard in a dark wall partition for 10 years without moving it was impossible and mind boggling.He wondered how this lizard survived for 10 years without moving a single step since one of its feet was nailed. So he stopped his work and observed the lizard what had it been doing and what had it been eating?
Later, strangely from somewhere appeared another lizard, with food in itsmouth AHHH! The man was stunned and touched deeply. For the lizard that was stuck by nail, another lizard had been feeding it for the past 10 years Tears welled up in the man’s eyes. He set the nailed lizard free. Such a love, such a beautiful love Even a tiny creature like this could show such care and love.
It’s a wonder what love can do. For a tiresome10 years the lizard had cared without giving up hope on its friend. “Its your unlimited power 11 to care and to love that can make the biggest difference in the quality of your life.” Anthony RobbinsIsn’t it an irony that even asmall creature can show so 12 much love and care when men blessed with brilliant minds have committed somuch cruelty and atrocitiesagainst their fellow human beings?
Conflicts, problems, suffering and trouble cannot be overcome through force, aggression, violence and war. Only love, care and compassion can bring true peace and happiness to man. 14 The End May we all grow in love and compassion With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin 15 Teach this triple truth to all:] A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity. The Buddha
11 A Road To Ultimate Happiness“The purpose of life is to get happiness,” someone once told me.In a way to me, this is true. We see people chasing happinessthrough all sorts of ways and means: sensual pursuits, buildingrelationships, Iamassingchild ofpowerIand fame. But is what they Ever since was a wealth, six, used to ponder on theget real happiness and peace? In actual fact, it isconditions. It tremendous disparities that exist in human mere transientpleasure and satisfaction. This game of chasing happiness goes on was later on in my life, when I started to learn and practiseand on. I remember one gift poster I got from some former the Dhamma that some light was shed on thesestudents containing the quote: “Happiness is like a butterfly…the philosophical issues.more it will elude you.did a Power Pointmore you chase it, the Some years ago, I But if you turn your presentation other things, it comes that puzzledsits on yourattention to based on the thoughts and softly me when I was young. The objective was to help make us reflect onshoulder.”Ajahn Brahmavamso,Way things are, The Four Noble Truths, the Dhamma – the a disciple of Ajahn Chah once said, “I haveessentially two questions in life IThe Law of CauseWhatEffect, The Five Universal Orders, want answers to: 1 and is realhappinessand Rebirth, The Six do I get it? To me this sums up Kamma and peace? 2 How Realms etc.what the meaning of life is. It’s seeking and practicing the Waywhere one can realize true happiness and peace. The Buddhataught the Four Noble Truths, namely * The Truth of Dukkha * The Cause of Dukkha * The Cessation of Dukkha * The Pathto the cessation of Dukkha. The Path, The Noble Eightfold Way,is the most important Path to walk in life. A Road To Ultimate Happiness
The Ultimate Happiness is NIRVANA the unconditioned state of Perfect Peace, Perfect Wisdom Perfect FreedomThe Road Or Way is known as The oble Eightfold Path To Reach The Goal One has to * Practice Morality * Cultivate Mental Cultivation * Develop Wisdom
Noble Eightfold Path – The Middle Way * MORALITY – Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood * CONCENTRATION – Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration * WISDOM – Right Understanding, Right Thought 1 RIGHT UNDERSTANDING – Knowledge of the Four Noble Truths ( The Truth of Suffering, the Cause of Suffering, the End of Suffering and the Way to the End of Suffering )1 RIGHT UNDERSTANDING – The Understanding of things as they really are The nature of wholesome and unwholesome actions
1 RIGHT UNDERSTANDING – The Three Characteristics of Life ( All compounded things are impermanent, subject to suffering and without a Self )1 RIGHT UNDERSTANDING – Law of Dependent Origination ( All phenomena are relative, conditioned states anddo not arise independently of supportive conditions. ) 2 RIGHT THOUGHT Thoughts of detachment from worldly pleasures rather than being selfishly attached to them
2 RIGHT THOUGHT – Thoughts of benevolence, harmlessness, selflessness Thoughts filled with love and compassion 3 RIGHT SPEECH – No Lying, No Slander, No Harsh Speech, 11 No Frivolous Talk3 RIGHT SPEECH – Truthful speech, kind and harmonious speech, 12 meaningful and beneficial speech
4 RIGHT ACTION – No Killing, No Stealing, No Sexual Misconduct4 RIGHT ACTION – Kind and compassionate action, generosity 14 and charity, contentment and respect for personal relationship5 RIGHT LIVELIHOOD – 15 No trading in human beings, in weapons, in flesh, in intoxicating drinks and drugs, in poisons.
5 RIGHT LIVELIHOOD – No trading in human beings, in weapons, in flesh, in intoxicating drinks and drugs, in poisons.6 RIGHT EFFORT – Effort to reject evil that has arisen in the mind Effort to prevent the arising of evil in the mind6 RIGHT EFFORT – Effort to develop unarisen good in the mind Effort to maintain the good which has arisen in the mind
7 RIGHT MINDFULNESS Mindfulness of the body Mindfulness of the feelings 7 RIGHT MINDFULNESS – Mindfulness of the t houghts Mindfulness of the mind states8 RIGHT CONCENTRATION – Developing one-pointedness of the mind Concentrating, entering and remaining in in the jhanas ( deep mental absorption states )
The End May We All Walk The Path To Nibbanic Bliss – To Ultimate Happiness and Perfect Peace With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin 23 Sayings Of The Buddha* Thousands of candles can be lit from a singlecandle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.Happiness never decreases by being shared.”* “An idea that is developed and put into action ismore important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”* “However many holy words you read, Howevermany you speak, What good will they do you if you donot act on upon them?”* “A dog is not considered a good dog because heis a good barker. A man is not considered a good manbecause he is a good talker.”* “The way is not in the sky. The way is in theheart.”* “Better than a thousand hollow words, is oneword that brings peace.”
12 10 Wise Quotes On LifeWe run a number of community guidance classes at our localBuddhist Association. child ofto have used to ponder on the Ever since I was a I used six, I Chemistry, English andMUET classes for Form 5 and 6 students. I had syllabuses It tremendous disparities that exist in human conditions. tocomplete but Iin my life, when Ito time give the students some was later on would from time started to learn and practisequotesDhamma that inspiration to treasure in their lives. these the of motivation or some light was shed on Yearslater, when these students hadyears ago, I did a Power started philosophical issues. Some finished their studies and Pointworking or building a family, a few would keep in touch and let presentation based on the thoughts that puzzled me when Ime know that even though they had forgotten most of the was young. The objective was to help make us reflect onChemistry I had taught them, they could still remember andtreasure some of the sayings or quotes The Four Noble Truths, the Dhamma – the Way things are, I had given them. Amongsome Five Universalwhich hadThe impact were theand Effect, The of the sayings Orders, an Law of Cause following: Kamma and Rebirth, The Six Realms etc.* You may not be the best or get the best; what really natters isthat understanding given orrealization your level best. With you have and some done of these Dhamma* To reach can learn to liveyou righteousness, harmony and points we Life’s altitude in would need to have the rightattitude. accordance with the Natural Laws. peace in* Yesterdayisis history, a memory; tomorrow is uncertainty, a A life that lived meaningfully within oneself and alsomystery; thosematters most is TODAY…that’s why the PRESE T serving what in need, would be a most worthy life.is a gift.* Wise ones have a clear mind; they are mindful all the time.
Denis Waitley : View life as a continuous learning experience.Benjamin Disraeli:We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence, and its only end. Ralph Waldo Emerson: We are alwaysgetting ready to live but never living.
Woodrow Wilson: We are not here merely to make a living. We are here to enrich the world. 5 apoleon Hill: Enthusiasm, if fueled by inspiration and perseverance,travels with passion and its destination is excellence. 6 The Talmud: Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, "Grow, grow."
John Homer Miller: Your living isdetermined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitudeyou bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the wayyour mind looks at what happens. Carl Jung: Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens. Buddha: Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.
Benjamin Disraeli: We are not creatures of circumstance; we are creators of circumstance. The End Just as Light dispels Darkness, may Wisdom dispel our IgnoranceWe practice to learn how to let go, not how to increase our holding on to things. Enlightenment appears when you stop wanting anything. Ajahn Chah
13 The 99 ClubI once had a close friend who devoted practically his whole life toamassing money and possessions which he hoped to pass down tohis only son. I was a child to see his son graduate out fromthe Ever since His dream was of six, I used to ponder on theuniversity, marry and have children in human over his family tremendous disparities that exist and take conditions. Itbusiness. But things don’t alwaysIhappen the way you want. This was later on in my life, when started to learn and practisewealthy man diedthat a some attack when his son was still in the Dhamma of heart light was shed on thesesecondary school. HowSome years his dreams a Power Point philosophical issues. tragic. All ago, I did were shattered.One can observe how greedthoughts that puzzled me when I presentation based on the can overwhelm us during a grandbuffetyoung.or dinner. I have seen people taking heapsreflect on was lunch The objective was to help make us of food ofall types only to the Way things are,than half ofNoble Truths, the Dhamma – leave behind more The Four the unfinishedfood. We need to reflect on the millions of children in third world The Five Universal Orders, The Law of Cause and Effect,countries who suffer from hunger. It is a ‘sin’ to waste food. Kamma and Rebirth, The Six Realms etc.How often have we done shopping out of greed rather than need.IWith understanding and some realization loads and loads of have seen some women who stock up of these Dhammathings…household items, clothes and what-nots that are and points we can learn to live in righteousness, harmonyleft tocollect in accordance with And Natural Laws. peace dust over the years. the they keep on buying because thelatest models or fashions keep coming up. oneselfwill we realize A life that is lived meaningfully within When and alsothat satisfying ourneed, would nevermost It can never bring real serving those in craving can be a end. worthy life.peace and happiness. 1
Once upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor content.One day, the King came upon a servant who was singinghappily while he worked. This fascinated the King; why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much joy in his heart? Servant! Tell me, why are you so happy?
Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant,but my family and I dont need too much - just aroof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummies. Later in the day, the King 5 sought the advice of his most trusted advisor. After hearing the Kings woes and the servants story, the advisor said, "Your Majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of The 99 Club." The 99 Club? 6 CLUB 99? And what exactly is that?
The advisor replied, "Your Majesty, to truly know what The 99 Club is, place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servants doorstep." When the servant saw the bag, he took it into his house. When he opened the bag, he let out a great shout of joy... so many gold coins! He began to count them.After several counts, he was at last convinced thatthere were 99 coins. He wondered, "What couldve happened to that last gold coin? Surely, no one would leave 99 coins!" He looked everywhere he could, but that final coin was elusive.
Finally, exhausted, he decided that ??? 100th Coin? he was going to have to workharder than ever to earn that gold coin and complete his collection. From that day, the servants lifewas changed. He was overworked, horribly grumpy, and castigated his family for not helping him make that 100th gold coin. Hestopped singing while he worked. Witnessing this drastic transformation, the King was puzzled. When he sought his advisors help, the advisor said, "Your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club." The Adviser continued, "The 99 Club is a name given to those people who have enough to be happy but are never contented, because theyre always yearning and striving for that extra 1 to round it out to 100!
We can be happy, even with very little in our lives, but the minute were given something bigger and better, we want even more! 14We lose our sleep, our happiness, we hurt the people around us; all these as a price for our growing greed and desires. Thats whatjoining The 99 Club is all about."-- FOR YOUR REFLECTION 15Health is the greatest gift, contentment isthe greatest wealth, a trusted friend is thebest relative, ibbana is the greatest bliss. The Buddha
- Unknown The End May contentment, peace and bliss be upon you! With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin "One who is contented with what he has done willnever become famous for what he will do. He has lain down to die, and the grass is already over him." --Christian estell Bovee "A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." --George Moore "If you are content, you have enough to live comfortably." -Plautus "Since we cannot get what we like, let us like what we can get." --Spanish Proverb "Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty." --Socrates The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach." --Lin Yutang "A contented heart is an even sea in the midst of all storms." - Unknown
14 What Really MattersSome people seem to live a life of mere sensual pursuits in anever-ending desire for more and more material pleasures. I havefriendssince declare, a“Life is of six, I used to ponder as much Ever who I was child uncertain. I’d better enjoy on thefood as possible, travel to as many places as I conditions. It tremendous disparities that exist in human can and adornmyself with luxurious clothes, jewelry andto learn and practise was later on in my life, when I started cosmetics. Is this theway to true peacethat happiness? Thewas shed on these the Dhamma and some light philosopher’s statement“There’s no cure between birth and deathdid a Power Point philosophical issues. Some years ago, I save to enjoy theinterval” did not bring the thoughts that puzzledlived when I presentation based on real peace to those who me by thismaxim. was young. The objective was to help make us reflect onAll religions teach of a survival after The Four Noble Truths, the Dhamma – the Way things are, death and all teach aboutdoing Five Universal Orders, Theto theof Cause and Effect, The good and rendering services Law needy or unfortunateones. Upon death, none of our worldly possessions, fame, power, Kamma and Rebirth, The Six Realms etc.loved ones can follow us; even our bodies decay away. Whatreally understanding and somebe just the good or bad we have With matters ultimately would realization of these Dhammadone and the mental states wein righteousness, harmony and points we can learn to live have cultivated in life. Sometimes peace in accordance with the Natural Laws.one is puzzled that this message is not realized by many people. A life that is Reverend Dr K Sri within oneself and alsoThe late Chief lived meaningfullyDhammananda was one personwho lived a mostneed, would be a mostlife. For life. than 50 serving those in inspiring and worthy worthy moreyears, he gave people the highest gift…the Gift of Dhamma. Hereached out to others selflessly through his talks and writings.This Chief Reverend is one example of a life well-lived.
ot “How did he die?” But “How did he live?” ot “What did he gain?” But “What did he give?” ot “What was his station?” But “Had he a heart?”
And “In Reaching Out, did he play a part?” Not “What was his shrine?” Nor “What was his creed?” 5But “had he befriended those really in need?” 6 ot “What did the piece in the newspaper say?” But “How many were sorry when he passed away?”
Was he ever ready with a word or good cheer, To bring back a smile, to banish a tear? These are the units to measure the worth of a man as a man, regardless of birth. The End May the Darkness of Ignorance in us bedispelled by the Light of Enlightenment. With Metta, Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin
15 A SUCCESS FORMULAThere can be no success without practicing patience,determinationI and perseverance. Oftentimestowe slack on the Ever since was a child of six, I used ponder in ourspiritual practice. Initially we are insohuman conditions. of tremendous disparities that exist ‘hot’ in pursuit Itspirituality… chanting, Dhamma classes, Dana, welfare work and was later on in my life, when I started to learn and practisemeditation. As time passes, ‘Mara’ forces conquer us…webecome lazy or get caught in so many was shed and sensual the Dhamma that some light distractions on these philosophical issues. Some years ago, I did a Power Pointpursuits. Some give up because they are too goal-oriented andimpatient to get ‘results’.the thoughtsso many meditators whenup presentation based on I remember that puzzled me give Ior slack in The objective was to help make us to achieve was young. their practice because they expect reflect onsomething…certain mental thingslike jhanasFourso on. They lack the Dhamma – the Way states are, The and Noble Truths,the determination, discipline The Law of Cause to go on. The Five Universal Orders, and perseverance and Effect,We should reflect on the Bodhisatta’s six long years of struggle Kamma and Rebirth, The Six Realms etc.before understanding and some realization of thesedid not give With he attained Enlightenment at the age of 35. He Dhammaup his questcan attain to live in righteousness, Mara’s forces of points we to learn the Truth. He overcame harmony andtemptation; he showed great Natural Laws. and persistence. peace in accordance with the determinationWhen will we worldlings with our strong defilements of greed, A life that is lived meaningfully within oneself and alsohatred and delision, realize that we need to strive on diligentlywith patience, in need, wouldand apersistence, if life. aspire to serving those determination be most worthy weescape from the rounds of rebirths in Samsara? 1
Practise great ATIENCE with all 2 Follow the xample of great Masters 3
Discharge your esponsibility to others 4Remember that implicity has dignity 5
Take the nitiative in work 6Have the trength to accomplish 7
Value your ime in life 8Continue your ducation without stop 9
Cast aside the on-essentials that hinder 10Develop good haracter with morality 11
Put in your ffort without fail 12 The “Golden Thread” ofruns through the life of every accomplished person The End May you be blessed with happiness and success With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin
16 The Two Brothers – A Touching StoryRecently I came bills ofa all sorts we reporthefty household upon newspaper need to pay the rising about monthly. When we are allof suicide and attempted suicide. What surprisesnumber of cases burdened with unnecessary commitments, weme is littlethe majority may important things that really of 20 and have that time for so involves people between the age matter in40. – learning about and developingappears toshowing kindness life The most common reason the mind, be relationshipproblems… failed relationshipsthe needy, spending time with our to others, rendering services to among couples and conflicts andquarrels in and cultivating our spirituality. relationship problems loved ones the family. We often hear ofoccurring our livesthe if they will not end; siblings, parents that We lead within as family – between we fail to realize and life is uncertain and death is certain.children and among relatives. Legal suits filed against oneanother in the we oweare getting moretremendous. It’s indeedeven The gratitude family our parents is prevalent. There have sadbeenmany children abandon their parents oranger little attention that cases of killing arising out of great give between familymembers.toIn any relationship, itThey are in deep ‘busy-ness’. and care their parents. Reason? is inevitable that sometimesconflicts andand gratitude are among theis the way things are. Filial piety misunderstandings arise. That virtues we need toHowever,if we wish to realize true happiness and let go. They practice the wise ones will learn to forgive and to peace.don’t keep grudges, ill-will, anger and hatred in their hearts. Suchfeelings will cause pain and suffering not only in this life but inlives to come. Forgiving enemies or people who are negativetowards us will go a long way to removing a heavy burden fromour hearts and minds. Positive feelings of joy, compassion andpeacefulness will grow within us. There is much truth in theproverb: To err is human, to forgive, divine. A Touching Story 1
Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious quarrel in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery and other things without trouble. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence. One morning there was a knock on the older brother’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenters toolbox."Im looking for a few days work," he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?"
"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you.Look across the creek at that farm. Thats my neighbor, in fact, its my younger brother. Last week there was ameadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but Ill take revenge and go him one better.” CREEK “See that pile of wooden planks by the barn?I want you to build me a fence -- an 8-foot fence -- so I wont need to see him or his place anymore. Two can play at a game.” The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation between you and your brother Show me the spot near the creek for the main post and Ill be able to do a job that pleases you."
The older brother helped the carpenter get the materials ready for the construction of the wooden fence.He had to leave for the town to get supplies and he told the carpenter he would be back the following day. The carpenter worked real hard measuring, sawing, nailing.The following day when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.The farmers eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped when he saw what the carpenter had done.There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge...a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work handrails and all.
And the neighbor, his younger brother, wascoming across, his hands outstretched . "You arequite a fellow to build this bridge after all Ive said and done," the younger brother said to his older brother. Tears welled up in the older brother’s eyes. His 11 heart was choked with emotions. The carpenter had taught him a most important LIFE lesson FORGIVENESS. The two brothers hugged each other warmly.They turned to see the carpenter carrying histoolbox and getting ready to leave. 12"No, wait! Stay a few days. Ive a lot of otherprojects for you,"said the older brother.
"Id love to stay on," the carpenter said,"but, I have many more bridges to build." Reflection In this world of Transience where Life is uncertain and Death certain, let us learn to forgive and let go. The heart14 will be then lighter, more peaceful and free. With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin 15 The End With Metta, Bro. Oh Teik Bin May we grow in Kindness, Love and Compassion!
17 16 Favorite Happiness QuotesI once listened to a very good Dhamma talk on the two types ofhappiness, namely ordinary mundane happiness or pleasuresderived fromI the senses of of six, Ihearing,totasting, smelling, Ever since was a child seeing, used ponder on the tremendous cognizing with theexist in human conditions.thistouching and disparities that mind. Most of us chase after Itsort of happiness.my life, when yearn for to learn and practise was later on in We desire and I started good clothes, fabulousfood, big cars and that some salaried jobs, romantic on these the Dhamma houses, high light was shed love, fameand power and issues. But the years about Ithis mundane type of philosophical so on. Some thing ago, did a Power Pointhappiness is that it does not last. In the initial stages of getting the presentation based on the thoughts that puzzled me when Ithingsyoung. Thewe feel the pleasure helphappiness but this will was we desire, objective was to and make us reflect onwithout fail beginthe fade with time andThe Four Noble Truths, the Dhamma – to Way things are, eventually we are back towhereFive were in our Orders, The Then of Cause and Effect, The we Universal mind states. Law the ‘happiness chase’game starts all over again. If a life is lived just based on this, there Kamma and Rebirth, The Six Realms etc.comes a time when the thought strikes us: “Is this all there is to With understanding and some realization of these Dhammalife? My mind is still filled with the discontent and pain.”The Buddhacan learn to livetype of happiness which is profound points we taught the other in righteousness, harmony andand meaningful – spiritual the Natural Laws. peace in accordance with happiness. This type of happiness A life that is lived meaningfully within oneself the alsoleaves imprints on the mind; it develops and upliftsand mind andthis is carried in need, would be a most worthy life. our true serving those on upon death. Spiritual happiness istreasure as we practice generosity and service to others, observemorality and develop the mind through Dhamma learning,reflection and meditation. Bhavana brings lasting happiness.
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. --Denis Waitley The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Happiness is a butterfly which when pursued is just out of grasp...But if you will sit down quietly, it may alight upon you. Nathaniel Hawthorne
It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are,or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about. Dale Carnegie And happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors. 5 If your own mental attitude is correct, even if you remain in a hostile atmosphere, you feel happy. H.H. the Dalai Lama 6 The secret of happiness and prosperity in this world,as in the world to come, lies in thinking of the welfare of others first, and not taking ones self too seriously. J. Kindleberger
Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so. Robert G. Ingersoll Happiness is not a brilliant climax to years of grim struggle and anxiety. It is a long succession of little decisions simply to be happy in the moment. J. Donald Walters Lead the life that will make you kindly and friendly to everyone about you, and you will be surprised what a happy life you will lead. Charles M. Schwab
Happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Norman MacEwan When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for,but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. The Dalai Lama The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make Heaven of Hell and a Hell of Heaven. John Milton
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. Mahatma GandhiContentment is not the fulfillment of what you want,14 but the realization of how much you already have. Author Unknown Being happy doesnt mean that everything is perfect.It means that youve decided to look beyond the imperfections. 15 Author Unknown