Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Everyday Buddhism Part 2 of 2

According to the Teachings of the Buddha, the fundamental cause of human suffering is due to greed, hatred and ignorance. Burning within us as lust, craving, anger, resentment and misunderstanding, these so-called poisons drive one blind and thirsty through the endless round of birth and death termed as samsara.
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Our greed is a burning desire; we want objects of our desire to provide us with lasting satisfaction so we feel fulfilled and complete. Many times, we mistakenly believe our happiness is dependent upon that goal, but once we attain it, we get no lasting satisfaction. Then once again, our greed and desire arise, looking outside of ourselves for the next thing that will hopefully bring satisfaction. Influenced by greed, we are never content.
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The symptoms of hatred can show up as anger, hostility, dislike, aversion or ill-will; wishing harm or suffering upon another person.
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Ignorance is our wrong understanding or wrong views of reality. Ignorance is our misperception of the way the world works; our inability to understand the nature of things exactly as they are.
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In addition to meditation practice, there are other antidotes to the three poisons.

  • To overcome greed, one learn to cultivate selflessness, generosity, detachment and contentment.
  • To overcome hatred, one learn to cultivate loving-kindness, compassion, patience and forgiveness.
  • To overcome ignorance, one cultivate wisdom, insight and right understanding.
What is Buddhism view of God ? Here, when you speak about God, there are two types. One is the Creator God. Then there are what called the deities, or celestial beings. In Buddhism it speaks about the deities. They are not permanent or everlasting. The God that theistic religion speaks of is a permanent, everlasting God and it is this God who punishes the evil deeds and rewards the good deeds of the men of His creation. However, this concept is not in Buddhism. But, if you were to ask me whether if I believe there is the Creator God, I always avoid this question. Am I ignorant ? (I don't know myself). I wish I have the answer.
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The outdoor bronze statue of Amida Buddha in Kamakura is the second largest Buddha statue in Japan. The statue was completed in 1252 and originally was located inside a large temple hall. However, the temple buildings were washed away by a tsunami tidal wave in the end of the 15th century, and since then the Buddha sits in the open.
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In a local restaurant outside the temple, one can enjoy hot and delicious udon noodles (but it seems a little inappropriate with decoration of the Buddha's head).


Anonymous said...

Did they arranged the noodle that way?
Ai Ling

emotionalistic said...

Aiyo...meaning those who order the noodles are eating the Buddha's head??

Patrick Leong said...

yes they did. perhaps eating the Buddha's head in a way one can cultivate wisdom and become enlightened like the Buddha (just guessing). it might not make sense to some, but in buddhism, it is taught that all sentient beings have within them the seed of Buddha Nature. The Buddha never said that he was different from anyone else. He said simply, 'I am awake'.

Anonymous said...

Actually it is just like The Matrix, everyone can be The ONE, LOL.

The buddha head ramen is so funny that the more i think of it, the more i wanna laugh.

Btw, my friend who works in a temple just told me that the monks in Japan love to go Yakiniku for celebrating purpose...Buddhism in Japan is so diffrent from the rest


Patrick Leong said...

An edict, number 133, issued by the new Meiji government in 1872 ordered that monks (in Japan) should be free to eat meat, take wives, and shave their heads as they chose. Therefore Buddhism in Japan is indeed quite different from Buddhism in the rest of the world. However, such practices differ for each sect of Japanese Buddhism and for each individual monk.

Regarding the issue of monastic celibacy (the state of not being married and abstention from sexual intercourse), in fact, a person who wants to become a monk or nun must go through a specific process. In the initial ordination ceremony, the moral precepts are accepted. As for lay buddhist (like myself), there are 5 of them :

Refrain harming and killing living beings.
Refrain taking that which is not given.
Refrain from improper sexual activity.
Refrain from lying, or any hurtful speech.
Refrain from intoxicants that cloud the mind.

The Buddha himself observed some 250 morality precepts. I think generally monks do the same.

Currently I am reading da Vinci code. In one of the chapters, it mentioned that by communing with woman (in terms of sex act), man could achieve a climactic instant when his mind went totally blank and he could see God. Is that true or was that fiction ? I find it amusing. More shocking that it described Nibbana as a never-ending spiritual orgasm. I was like .. Har-?

Primrose said...

*slurp, slurp* Udon! I like!

Primrose said...

Samsara huh? It was a name of a perfume, red bottle and very sophisticated. I can't remember the brand.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for your concern. I appreciate it.

Patrick Leong said...

Primrose : As in the Buddha's teaching, samsara is termed as the ordinary world, and the confused state of an unawakened soul still caught in the cycle of deaths and rebirths.

Meanwhile an utterly feminine and seductive yet boldly exotic type of women's fragrance, Samsara was designed by Guerlain in 1989. This name has made Hindus and Buddhists laughed, because samsara is anything, but beautiful and exotic.

Eaow : You're welcome. I know that I don't spend alot of time with friends these days (spending too much time on blog and korean dramas plus a bit study time), but if there is anything I can help, don't hesitate to ask, okay ?

Primrose said...

Wow, you seem to be a fragrance expert as well? Perhaps that was what Guerlain was trying to potray: Unawakened desires within oneself?

Patrick Leong said...

primrose : The art of making perfumes began in ancient Eqypt but was developed and further refined by the Romans and the Arabs. Today we have perfume for every taste, for every mood and situation. Perfumes interact differently with different body chemistry; just as everyone has a slightly different body scent, perfumes will smell a little different on each person. That’s why the perfume that smells so good on your co-worker can be absolutely rancid when you wear it.

Earlier, I have briefly elaborated the 5 morality precepts in Buddhism. In total, there are some 250 precepts and one of them is to avoid wearing jewelry, PERFUME and make-up. I am amused with your comment of unawakened desire within oneself. Care to elaborate more ? Hehehehe.

Here a little bit of a perfume joke of mine. Last year, I went shopping for a new perfume. I usually wear CK but thought for a change. I bought Paul Smith for Men (quite nice after trying the sample). Being quite sensitive to smell evaluation (I used to be a trained sensory flavorist - smell and taste), I was quite shocked that the fragrance of the perfume that I bought was quite different from what I had sampled. Oh..bad deal, I bought the wrong fragrant. I used it for a couple days, then I hesitated because I smelled like a WOMAN ! I complained to my friend and we agreed that Paul Smith designed BAD perfume for MEN - sweet and a floral hint of rosewood - bad formula.

The joke is - when my friend turned the bottle upside down - we were shocked to read its label - PERFUME for WOMEN. And I checked the box, I was sure I didnt make a mistake during the purchase - PERFUME for MEN. Hell, I was wearing a woman's perfume for two weeks - no wonder people were moving away from me inside the train. They must be thinking - why this man wearing a woman's perfume. Damn.

Primrose said...

LOL! Thanks for that insight on perfume. Sensory flavorist eh? We should indulge in this interesting topic next time. Interesting to know about concocting your own perfume eh? Base notes, middle notes and top notes.

(Un)Fortunately, I don't use perfume. I already have the scent of a woman. Heh!

Inner desires have many, some awakened, some unawakened. ;) Depends on a lot of context. Another interesting topic to venture into.

mrkiasu said...

Didn't know that you visited Penang. Ah, about the religion thing, i always got so confuse, everyone is trying to prove that they are right, and their god is the one and only one.

Patrick Leong said...

mrkiasu : yea. i graduated from USM. i lived in Sungai Dua for 4 years. Penang - a lovely island.