"Food for Practice"

We often hear the phrase “food for thought” referring to phrases or quotes from inspirational figures that make us reflect about our lives and the issues that touch a deeper part of our being. Thầy always encourages us not to connect with Buddhism in an intellectual way, not to view it just as an interesting philosophy of life, or to think of the Buddha as an all-powerful Being who can make your prayers and wishes come true. Instead, he patiently and lovingly reminds us  to apply the Buddha’s teachings in our daily life. To use the teachings as tools to help us understand ourselves and others, and learn to reconcile, enhance and nurture our relationships with our loved ones and our community. This is how the Buddha would have intended his teachings.

So if you’re feeling hungry for something to fill that sense of emptiness inside, or you're having a "down-and-out" moment lacking in joy, peace and happiness.  Instead of immediately going to the fridge, the convenient store or a fast food outlet, or even to a cinema or bar you can visit this space and take in this offering of nutriment for your spirit. We hope to offer you some ‘food for practice’ on a regular basis. You can connect to this space on a needs basis, or make it a regular dose of spiritual 'vitamins' for good health and well being. Take the offering in, and hold it in your being like a koan. Contemplate it in your consciousness, and find creative ways to apply it in your daily life. Then, be totally open to whatever outcomes that may arise. You may even want to keep a log book to monitor and reflect on the practices that you experimented with, how it turned out and what you have observed.

After trying it out for a week or so you may want to email us, or come to a Day of Mindfulness on Sunday and share with everyone your experience, any challenges or questions that came up. Mainly, it’s about your opportunity to try out the Buddha’s teachings, enjoy the process of learning about yourself (and others for that matter!), and enjoy the flower and fruits that come of it.
May the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and cosmos support you on your path of discovery.



A lotus for you, a Buddha to be.


13 July, 2011

The Jewel in the Rock – meditation on unfavourable conditions

By Sam Ng

Recently, I have been reading a book written by Thầy where he explains about unfavourable conditions. He wrote that even bad conditions can sometimes bring a good outcome. Just like when the weather is bad, the thief cannot do bad things. It made me think, what is my current unfavourable condition?

A few months ago due to work pressures I quit my nursing job, and moved back to live with my mom. I began to enjoy the few months of being job-free. However, recently when I wanted to get a new job, I found that the market didn’t have my favourable post.  I started to think... “Can this unfavourable situation bring me a good outcome?” Suddenly, I found my mom sitting opposite me while we were having lunch together one day. I stared at her for few seconds. She is now 65-year-old and retired. Everyday, because I am so focused on my personal matters that I am not really aware of her presence.

Since we were having a meal together at the time, I picked up some vegetables and put it into her bowl (to express my gratitude). I started to ask her the price of the vegetables, how this or that dish is cooked, what news she had heard about our neighbours...

I found that she is an expert in the market place. She knows which cucumbers are good in quality and cheap in this season. She knows the daily news better than me. Although she accumulates a lot of negative energy, she is simple-minded and talkative. I find that she tries her best to take care of me. (eventhough what she does is old style and not up to my expectation...haha!)

I believe, even decades later, when I remember this period of time, I will still feel happy and lucky to have shared closely with her during these few months. This is the good outcome of my unfavourable conditions. It seems that sometimes we can find happiness in affliction. Thank you Thầy for your teachings. Dear Sangha, thank you for your presence and deep listening.

SamwithMumSam with his Mum

Food for practice: What are your unfavourable conditions at the moment? Can you see the jem hidden in it?


June, 2011

The practice of "Being lazy"

On our 'lazy days' or 'lazy nights' after a Day of Mindfulness, brothers and sisters take time to 'dine out' at the finest restaurant on Lantau Island, "Freedom Rocks". It is inexpensive, so nourishing for body and mind as we appreciate the Earth's generous beauty, and our togetherness in brotherhood and sisterhood.


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This week why not try the practice of 'being lazy'. Take time out to be lazy, have no plans and projects (or at least put them aside for some time) to really enjoy the presence of your loved ones. Maybe do something pleasant that you haven't done for ages, or do something new and nourishing that you have been wanting to try but haven't found the time yet. Allow yourself to savor the conditions of happiness that you already have in your life so far.