Friday, April 30, 2010


I promise you, I'll never forget it, my precious ones,
who laugh with me, support me,
and keep me going.

I spend all my days here the same way,
chilling out, relaxed and unconcerned.
There are so many things to do,
a lot of them impossible for me.
It's totally overwhelming,
but I'm always ready to do what I can
because everyone has a smile on their face.
I may not say it very often,
but I really am grateful for my family and friends.
The time we spend together is so special,
I could never replace any of them.
We've got this moment, we've got each other,
stopping, standing and laughing together.
I'm so thankful, I could cry.

This feeling is so wonderful,
it makes today seem like a wild dream.
I promise you, I'll never forget it, my precious ones,
who laugh with me, support me,
and keep me going.

I just want everyone to be friendly in front of others
The loss of sadness makes everyone smile
Once in awhile, I use my own style which is left in the junk
Like when you watched me when I wrapped

I'm too embarrassed to say anymore, but thank you
When I'm alone in a tunnel, the light spills to you
You call me, when you're busy and tired to say "Good night"
There is always kindness and happiness

This feeling is so wonderful,
it makes today seem like a wild dream.
I promise you, I'll never forget it, my precious ones,
who laugh with me, support me,
and keep me going.

Sometimes,things are tense but things always end up good
Eventually, it comes from important and heartfelt wishes

But I am always thankful to be alive now
I'll tell you, I'm always happy.

This feeling is so wonderful,
it makes today seem like a wild dream.
I promise you, I'll never forget it, my precious ones,
who laugh with me, support me,
and keep me going.

Today, and even tomorrow and the day after, we'll keep laughing together
We're all tied to the same fate
Today, and even tomorrow and the day after, we'll walk together
Whatever happens now, is meant to be.

Thank you, Thank you, thank you,
Thank you, thank you, thank you

Awake at 2AM

haha, don't know why i'm still awake at this time. so weird, listening to songs i used to listen to one year ago. very nostalgic.

it's weird, this nostalgia. it's like a swirl of colors. joy. sadness. excitement. pain. all meshed up into one colorful palette of hues.

haha, good times, bad times. they come, and they go.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Understanding 'Emptiness'

No Buddhist teaching has been more misunderstood than that of 'emptiness'. All forms of Buddhism explore this concept to some extent, but 'emptiness' is particularly emphasized in the Buddhist schools of East Asia. Zen Buddhism, for example, strongly stresses 'emptiness' in many of its core texts; the most well-known one being the Heart Sutra. From the beginning, the Heart Sutra emphasizes that:

Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form
Form is not other than emptiness
Emptiness is not other than form
The same is true with
feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness.

From the above excerpt, it is understandable how readers can easily misconstrue 'emptiness'. These readers assume that 'emptiness' means 'nothingness'. Because of this assumption, they wrongly conclude that Buddhism teaches that nothing exists. Therefore, to them, Buddhism seems like a nihilistic religion. This assumption is so widespread that the philosopher Nietzsche even argued that when people believe in Buddhism, they lose the will to live.

However, in truth, 'emptiness' has nothing to do with 'nothingness'. The Buddha never taught that everything does not exist. Instead, He taught two fundamental concepts that combine to become 'emptiness'. The first concept is 'impermanence'. The Buddha demonstrated that everything in existence is constantly changing from moment to moment, whether it is physical substance, feelings, emotions or thoughts. For example, every day, our bodies change. By the time a child has reached adulthood, millions of her body cells have died and have been replaced by new ones. Her body's shape and size will also have changed. In short, 'impermanence' tells us that everything changes.

The second fundamental concept is 'interdependence'. The Buddha taught that every object's existent is not mutually excluded from other objects. To exist, everything depends upon everything else. For example, the existence of a piece of paper depends upon many other factors. For the paper to exist, there must sunlight to produce trees. At the same time, clouds must produce rain to water the trees. Acknowledging 'interdependence', a Buddhist teacher once said, "If you look deeply, you can see the existence of the cloud in the paper. The paper is the cloud, and the cloud is the paper." Even humans are not spared from 'interdependence'. Our existence depends upon so many factors, including nature and our relationships with other people. In short, 'interdependence' teaches us that nothing can stand alone by itself; everything depends upon everything else.

'Emptiness' is a combination of both 'impermanence' and 'interdependence'. Since everything is always changing and depends upon everything else, there is thus no such thing as an individual self that is permanently fixed. The Buddhist teaching of 'emptiness' does not mean that the self does not exist. Instead, it shows us that we are not hyphenated, isolated individuals, but that we constantly change and depend upon many other things. In practical terms, 'emptiness' is a positive teaching that tells us to not be selfish and to not attach ourselves to the past, whether physically, or emotionally. We suffer because we refuse to acknowledge that things change and that we depend upon others, when in reality, things are quite the contrary. In short, 'emptiness' teaches that we should be selfless and that we should let go of the past, and embrace the future.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Answer

In algebra, we typically label an unknown quantity with a letter such as a, b, or y. We can use the same approach to label what we truly need and want. We'll call it x. X is The Answer. It's what we all really want and need, even though we don't know what it is.

What we do know is that everything we can think of never satisfies us. Thus we know we're looking for something that's not like anything we can think of, or hold as a possession - even as a possession of our minds. Maybe, for a moment now and then, we think or believe there's something that will truly satisfy us. But in the next moment, we discover we're wanting again. Sooner or later, doubts settle back in. By definition, x cannot be like this. If you realized x - whatever it might turn out to be - you'd never want again.

But, unlike the bright objects we commonly pursue in an effort to satisfy ourselves, we cannot seek what we truly need and want because we have no idea what we're searching for. Rather, x is like a fish that swims into the net of its own accord. What we can do - all we can do - is lower the net.

What you really need and want will never appear as an object to your mind. Nevertheless, you already know what you truly need and want now. If only you would stop telling yourself what it is, or asking yourself what it might be, or speculating on what it may look like, it would become readily apparent.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Pick up a flower - a beautiful, living, fresh rose. It smells wonderful. It reveals a lovely rhythm in the swirl of its petals, a rich yet dazzling colour, a soft velvety texture. It moves and delights us.

The problem with the rose is that it dies. Its petals fall; it shrivels up; it turns brown and returns to the earth.

One solution is to ignore the real rose and substitute it for a plastic one, one that never dies (and never lives). But is a plastic rose what we want? No, of course not. We want the real rose. We want the one that dies. We want it because it dies; because it's fleeting; because it fades. It's this very quality that makes it precious. This is what we want, what each of us is: a living thing that dies.

Your very own body and mind are also precious, because they're just as fleeting. They're changing - always, in every moment. In fact, you are nothing but change itself.

Let's examine this closely for a moment. It's easy to see that you don't have the body you had when you were a small child. Nor do you have the same mind. If you look carefully, you will notice that you don't even have the same body and mind you had when you read this a few seconds ago. In those few seconds, many cells in your body died and many others were created. Your thoughts changed in response to the words you read and the circumstances around you. Thousands of synapses in your brain fired thousands of times. In each and every moment, you changed.

Like the rose, our bodies and minds are fleeting.

In fact, everything in our experience - our bodies, our minds, our thoughts, our wants and needs, our relationships - is fleeting. Changing. Subject to death. We die in each moment and again, in each moment, we are born. The process of birth and death goes on endlessly, moment after moment, right before our eyes. Everything we look at, including ourselves and every aspect of our lives, is nothing but change.

Vitality consists of this very birth and death. This constant impermanence, this constant arising and fading away, are the very things that makes our lives vibrant, wonderful, and alive.

Yet we usually want to keep things from changing. We want to preserve things, to hold onto them. This desire to hold on, to somehow stop change in its tracks, is the greatest source of woe and horror and trouble in our lives.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Psalm 108

My head is steadfast, O God;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens
and let your glory be over all the earth.

Verses 1 - 5