Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Sometimes everything seems to make sense.

Other times, I'm just confused as hell.

Haha, that's life.

More to come.


Have an awesome year ahead!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Season's Greetings!

Home at last!

May you have a blessed Christmas! =D

Friday, December 18, 2009

Maxim 28

In polite society everybody notices if a man's hands are dirty. He'll be stared at contemptuously. Why, the fellow will be wretched until he washes his hands.

But isn't it funny how a man can character that's defiled by greed and hate and nobody will pay the slightest attention? He'll move about in perfect ease. Evidently, a dirty character isn't worthy of notice as a dirty hand.

It's so simple to restore dirty hands to a state of purity. Just wash them. But what about corrupted character? That's quite another problem...

~ Han Shan ~

Thursday, December 17, 2009


After re-reading this, I realize
that I really suck at poetry.
Ah whatever.

Sitting on my bed at 7am Finally home
Can't sleep
Jet lagged

Lots of thoughts
Come and go
I'll take this opportunity
To reflect on the past quarter

I know I keep saying this
So stop reading if you must
But I am truly grateful for this last quarter
It ended up as the best one yet

So much happened
Both good and bad
Yet through it all
I was so happy

Met new friends
Re-ignited old ones
Let go of dead branches
Nourished live ones
Had many wonderful moments
And some scary ones
Through all that
At peace I was

Events of the past
That once haunted me
So grateful I am for having them
They have helped me grow
In ways
I couldn't have possibly imagined

Thanks to them
I found myself again
I realized what I really want
I rediscovered the Dharma

The painful and scary moments
I had this quarter
Were no biggie
Or at least not for long

They still hurt of course
But thanks to the past
I was able to deal with the present
In a much better light

I guess
Realization knocked on my head
Of what's truly important
And what's not

This quarter was marvelous
Full of laughter and joy
Enjoying each moment as it presents itself
The choices we make
Do change our lives

And yet I know
This is only just the beginning
There are more obstacles to come
For I never believe that life
Should or would
Be smooth-sailing

I also know
That despite this
There is much more joy
On the way

This is only the first step
I have much to learn
Much to experience
Much more to discover

Of course
This journey would not be complete
If it were not for you
You, my friend

I keep saying this
Perhaps you're numb already
But I don't care
I'll say it anyway

Thank you
Your presence
Your time
Your support
I will cherish our moments

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thugs Violate Monastics in Phuoc Hue Temple

I felt so sad when I watched this
Thugs threatening monks and nuns
Mobs grabbing monastics and throwing them out
Shouting at the abbott and threatening to kill him
Apparently paid for doing so

They even went as far
As to send women in
To grab the private parts of monks
So that they had no choice but to leave

And what were the monks and nuns doing?
While they were suffering all this anger and hatred
While they were thirsty, hungry and cold

Did they fight back?
No they did not

They remained seated
Invoking the name of Avalokitesvara
The Boddhisatva of Compassion
Radiating forgiveness towards the very people
Who were mutilating them

Imagine how it would feel
If mobs of people went into your place of worship
Yelling swear words and molesting people by their privates
Throwing innocents out

Worse still
Imagine if you were one of these victims
Imagine if you had nowhere to go
Because that is the only home you have

That is how it feels

What is coming to this world?
Have people truly become so blinded
By hatred, anger and greed?

It doesn't seem fair does it?
But what can we do about it?
Do we punish the perpetrators?

No we cannot
For violence only leads to more violence
We can only forgive them
Understand them
Guide them
Pray for them
And hope that they change for the better

Namo Avalokiteshvaraya

Maxim 27

I glean what the harvesters have overlooked or rejected. So why are their baskets empty while mine is bursting with so much good food? They just didn't recognize their Buddha Nature when they saw it.

Everything in life depends on the choices we make.

~ Han Shan ~

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Maxim 26

Everything in the universe is subject to change. There's only one exception: death always follows life. Isn't it strange that people haven't noticed this, that they conduct their lives as though they're going to live forever, that death is nothing to worry about?

Of course if they want to live as long as they obviously expect, they'd best pursue the Dharma. Life, death and change itself are transcended in the Dharmakaya.

~ Han Shan ~

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Maxim 25

People think that if they possess worldly knowledge they know everything. But that's not correct. Even when subjects are mastered there's always room for error. And if the finest archers can miss their targets occasionally, what about the mediocre ones?

When we know the Dharma, we have all the information we need. No matter what the other facts we acquire additionally, our storehouse of knowledge, though very deep and wide, is already full.

~ Han Shan ~

Friday, December 11, 2009


How dare you judge others
when your own understanding is not yet perfect?

Then again
who am I to be judging you?

Maxim 24

If men can't even evade the demands of their father and emperor, what can they do when Death gives them an order? They may protest bitterly and scream at heaven, but they've got to obey. The man who howls the loudest is the one who thinks he has just reached the pinnacle of worldly success.

The enlightened understand life and death. They always live well and never complain.

~ Han Shan ~

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Mind is Buddha

Daibai asked Baso, "What is Buddha?"

Said Baso, "This mind is Buddha"

Under blue sky, in bright sunlight,
One need not search around.
Asking what Buddha is
Is like hiding loot in one's pocket and declaring oneself innocent.



Maxim 23

By successfully concealing his crimes, a person can't consider himself honorable. He knows he's done wrong.

By constantly bragging, a person can't claim to be famous even if he hears his name mentioned everywhere he goes.

By affecting the manner of holy men, monks may receive veneration, but a pious demeanor never made anyone a saint.

What are true honor, true recognition and true piety? They are internal qualities, not superficial acts or appearances.

When a man's conscience is free from stain, he is honorable.

When his reputation for integrity precedes him, he is famous.

When humility and reverence for the Dharma flow naturally out of his character, he is esteemed.

~ Han Shan ~

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The hidden book
The closed room
They are all the same
And yet, they are not

The Buddha
The Dharma
A way of life
A way of death

The Dharma, a pile of books
The Dharma, singing in the bathroom
The Dharma, a load of dung
Where is the Buddha?

Makers of our own destiny we are
Yet, are not
Do you see what I see?

Maxim 22

The rich are admired because they have saved money. But what's been saved can be spent. The admiration goes with the money. A king receives loyalty because his people regard him as noble. If they decide he is acting badly, he may lose more than his throne. Those who are in rich in the Dharma and noble in the Buddha's Way always retain their wealth and the fealty of the people.

~ Han Shan ~

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Maxim 21

There are people who, having accomplished nothing, connive to receive great honors or high positions of authority. Well, people who gain high rank without having earned it are like rootless trees. They live in fear that even the slightest wind will topple them.

Undeserved honor is a preface to disgrace.

~ Han Shan ~

Monday, December 7, 2009

Maxim 20

What are the two most common goals for people who live in the world? Wealth and fame. To attain these goals, people are willing to lose everything, including their health, mind and spirit. Not a very good exchange is it?

Worldly wealth and fame fade so quickly that we wonder which will last longer: the money, the fame, or the man.

But consider the goal of enlightenment, of attaining the wealth of the Dharma. Those who reach this goal are vigorous in body, keen in mind, and serene in spirit... right into eternity.

~ Han Shan ~

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Presenting to You...

... Poison Ivy.


Lead Vocalist - Augustine

Lead Guitarist - Francis

Bassist - Zhen Hao

Keyboardist - Lemon

And of course...

Adrian, the bad-ass drummer

Coming to a town near you...

... Poison Ivy.

Maxim 19

People are always looking for the easy way. The hard way - the way learned by difficult experience and painful realizations - doesn't interest them. They want a short cut.

True Dharma seekers are afraid of short cuts. They know better. They know that without effort, there's not sense of accomplishment. It's that sense that keeps them going.

People who don't appreciate the struggles of climbing lack understanding of where they've been, awareness of who they are, and determination to continue climbing. That's why they never attain the Dharma.

~ Han Shan ~

Keep up the good fight guys!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Maxim 18

It is easier to do the right thing when we know what the right thing to do is. We can't rely on instinct to find the Way. We need guidance.

But once we're shown the path and begin to climb it, we find that with each step up, we grow in wisdom and fortitude. Looking down, we see how many of our old desires have fallen dead on the wayside. They look so feeble lying there that we wonder why we ever thought we lacked the courage to resist them.

The Mountain of Wisdom is different from other mountains. The higher we climb, the stronger we grow.

~ Han Shan ~

Friday, December 4, 2009

Maxim 17

Look at people who keep tigers as pets. Even while they're laughing and playing with them, in the back of their minds they're afraid their pet will suddenly turn on them. They never forget how dangerous tigers are.

But what about people who lust after possessions, indulging themselves with one acquisition after another? They remain completely unaware of any danger.

Yet, the tiger can only eat a man's flesh.

Greed can devour his soul.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Maxim 16

Why are certain material objects so treasured? A gem is virtually useless and a gilded scabbard is no better than a plain one.

Man decides that gold is valuable because it is rare and enduring and brilliant. He then thinks that if he possesses gold, he himself will become rare or unique, that his individual worth will endure, and that he also will be considered a rather brilliant fellow. So obsessed he may become with these foolish notions that in trying to obtain gold, he will destroy the very life he is trying to embellish.

In the darkness of delusion the unenlightened believe that they can glorify themselves by reflecting the qualities they have assigned to their possessions. Those who live the enlightened life readily discern that the qualities of an object are not transferred to its possessor. They can see right through them.

Gold in the pocket is not gold in character.

~ Han Shan ~

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Forgiveness is the fragrance that the flower leaves on
the heel of the one who crushed it.

~ Mark Twain ~

Maxim 15

Great accomplishments are composed of minute details. Those who have succeeded in attaining the Whole have attended carefully to each tiny part. Those who fail have ignored or taken too lightly what they deemed to be insignificant.

The enlightened person overlooks nothing.

~ Han Shan ~

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Maxims 13 & 14

The heart's weather should always be clear, always sunny and calm. The only time the weather could turn bad is when clouds of lust and attachment form. These always bring storms of worry and confusion.

A single speck in the eye blurs good vision, we see double or triple images. A single dirty thought confounds a rational mind. Many errors in judgement can arise from it.

Remove that speck and see clearly! Remove that dirty thought and think clearly!

~ Han Shan ~