Saturday, May 25, 2019

San Bu Yi Bai (3 Step 1 Bow) Ticket Collection (三步一拜-光明山) - Kong Meng San Phor Kark See or KMSPKS Monastery

Happy Vesak Day 2019

Vesak Day 2019 was over last Sunday, 19th May 2019. For those who have a great interest to join the 3-step-1-bow in years to come and want to know the ticket collection process, then this post is for you. Let me share with you the updated process (started from the year 2018) where the Committee had made positive changes to create a fairer system and provide better environment for everyone.

Before that, let me share with you what 3-step-1-bow (or sanbu yibai 三步一拜) is.

"It is a gruelling yet meaningful journey as devotees meditatively circumambulate the perimeter of the temple, bowing once every three steps, while chanting mantras or the name of the Buddha."
- (Source: Kmspks Facebook).


3-Step-1-Bow Ceremony (Pic Source: KMSPKS Singapore)

Everyone from young to old are welcome to participate. Children below 12 years old do not require ticket. They can just come and follow their family members to join in this activity as the Management wants to encourage the younger generation to learn and practice this one way of practicing Dharma.

Worry not if you have pain on your knees as you are also allowed to just bow in standing position after the three steps instead of bowing all the way down to the floor. Because most important is that your body, speech and mind are kept being focused, calmed, and mindful throughout the whole process.

Sanbu Yibai ticket collection inside the Hall of No Form Lvl 4 - KMSPKS Singapore

Unlike in the past, people are no longer required to bring tents, pillows, chairs, or even food and/or beverages for ticket collection process. The culture of chopping places for your family members, relatives, or friends who would come late is also no longer practiced.

The ticket collection place is done inside the Hall of No Form at level 4 of the Venerable Hong Choon Memorial Hall. Click here to find out where the location is. It is still same on the First-Come First-Collection basis. As you come, you will be provided the shoe bag to store your shoes and the Volunteer will guide you to your seat (on the harden floor). The queue will start from the far most right, front to behind, before continuing to the next row. Each person will occupy a tile square size area to sit and store their items.

For people who are not comfortable sitting on the floor, the chairs are provided near the entrance. They can put their items in their queuing space and sit on the chair separately. And as mentioned earlier, no chopping place is allowed. Even if your family member come a bit later (for example due to some time required to park the car), the person will still not be allowed to join the seat with their family member who have been seated earlier in their queue. They can choose to wait until the whole family members arrive then entering the hall, if they do not want to have separate seat.


Vegetarian noodle is provided for free at the Dining Hall (same building at Level 2)

The vegetarian noodle is provided free for breakfast at the Dining Hall (located at the same building at Level 2) as early as 7 am. Vending machine for coffee, tea, Milo is available outside the Dining Hall for a little amount (coin required). Hot water and tea are also provided for free. That is why you do not need to bring any food or beverage or worry of getting hungry and bored while waiting. Fyi, only plain water is allowed inside the Hall of No Form.

When you are leaving your seat temporarily to visit toilet, Dining Hall, etc., just ensure you know well where your seat is, recognize those who sit next to you (left and right, front and back), and maybe some courtesy to inform them that you will leave for a while and request them to take a look at your unimportant belonging that you may leave while going out.

Temporary ticket number before collection

The timing for collection mentioned was at 12 pm. Since it is on first-come-first-collection basis, you can come early depending on how early you can join the actual 3-Step-1-Bow procession. The first group starts at 5 pm. By 11 am, the room will be packed and ticket number as shown at the above photo will be distributed.

Only by 12 pm the sticker with group number and timing information will be distributed upon leaving the room, which will end the process. You can continue having vegetarian lunch at Dining Hall or straight going back home. Other vegetarian food is also available for sale if you feel bored having the same noodle again.

3-Step-1-Bow sticker collected - KMSPKS Monastery, Singapore

Hope this post will be useful for your ticket collection next time. "No one said it is easy, but it is going to worth it." If you do not manage to get the ticket, worry not. You still can participate and experience the 3-Step-1-Bow at night time. There will be Open Queue after 10 pm onward and you can wait at the same hall. The whole 3-Step-1-Bow process will take around 1.5 to 2 hours time. It will be go on until 7 am the next day.

So wish you good luck and I hope that this practice will help you to purify the mind, humble the ego, and lessen obstacles along the spiritual path as one repents past unwholesome deeds of body, speech and mind, and aspire towards spiritual improvement. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu.

Kong Meng San Phor Kark See or KMSPKS Monastery
Address: 88 Bright Hill Road. Singapore 574117
Website: https://www.kmspks.org/

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

I miss Bhutan for

The last time I visited Bhutan was two years ago (April 2017). And since my very first visit in 2012, it was kind of a trend that after the year 2013, every 2 years I would make another visit to Bhutan. However, up until now, there is no such plan to visit Bhutan yet.

Many people have never visited Bhutan in their life. Some are on the way planning to visit for the very first time. Some have been there for many times. Some have been staying there for few years due to the nature of their occupation (be it full time worker, contract worker, volunteer job, and so on). Many have been married to Bhutanese and stay there permanently. Here, I am referring to foreigners (non-Bhutanese) by nature. 

I feel very grateful for being able to visit Bhutan for 4 times already. Earlier, I thought, it was enough to be there for so many times. Four times. And in those occasions, I was very grateful for being able to visit great number of places around Bhutan, even more than what the average Bhutanese had ever visited in their lifetime.

But, as I browsed the photos stored inside my desktop from my previous visit, it inspired me to write this post. Because after clicking through those images, I realized that I still love and miss Bhutan, very very much. And there were so many reasons for me to miss Bhutan, to visit the country again and again, in the near future. 

Among those reasons are:

Bhutanese bloggers meeting in Thimphu, Bhutan

1. Meeting my fellow Bhutanese bloggers cum friends (including those who were present but not shown inside this picture).

I know, this was a matter of year 2015. Since that period, everyone had pursued different matters in life. Many had flown overseas for further studies, work, earn extra money, etc. Those who stayed put in Bhutan were occupied by their work and/ or family matters. Those singles had got married and some had children. Many had realized their dreams, achieving what they wanted to achieve in life.

However, as I entered their blogs, many had stopped updating it. It just stopped, or with much lesser posts along the year. Very few tried their best in maintaining it alive. Writing needed time, effort, passion, patience, and hard work.

Well, no matter where they are now or what they are doing, I miss all of them terribly and so much!!! I wished we all could turn back time to who we were, who used to share the same passion in life, which was writing. And I knew many of them through blogging first before meeting them in person.It just felt so amazing and unbelievable!

We still keep in touch through Facebook, We Chat, Instagram, email, etc. but I really wish that one day when I visit Bhutan again, all of us will have such a reunion again, as friend,as a long lost friend.

2. I miss the rainbow - not just a rainbow, but double rainbow!!!

I miss double rainbow!!!

Yes, I miss the double rainbow, not just a rainbow. Sometimes I wonder if rainbow was only created in Bhutan. I had seen it many times there, and double rainbow made my happiness times two. Hahaha.... :D

3. I miss their beautiful nature 

River and mountain of pine trees

As I rode their public bus through the mountainous road, I loved sitting next to the window overlooking beautiful nature and view along the way, such as: river, pine trees, horses, cows, prayer flags, stupa or chorten, Bhutanese wearing Gho and Kira, and so on. It soothed my mind and chased away all my troubles in life :)

Beautiful paddy terrace and Punatshangchhu from Uma Village, Bhutan

Love the greenery and mountainous view very much!!!

4. I miss attending Tshechu (religious festival)

Nimalung Tshechu, Bhutan - Jun 2015

Masked dance and procession, Atsara (red faced clown with phallus - wooden penis on his head), colorful Gho and Kira, crowd pushing upon receiving 'wang' or blessing, kids with gun toys, nearby stalls selling stuffs, tea, lucky-dip, tent for VIP guests were among the things I loved and missed, and of course, amazing friends who accompanied me there and completed with picnic packed lunch sitting on the grass nearby the area :)

5. I missed village life with common room as sleeping place, traditional kitchen, the open-air bath and out of the house toilet

Village home in Kanglung, Bhutan

Hahaha... call me crazy, whatever you want, and yes, I miss this!!! Traveling life means living a life out of the boundary, out of mundane ordinary life. But this reminds me to always be grateful with what I have in life.

6. I miss shopping in markets

Shops in Bhutan

Hanging pork belly, frozen meats and fishes, displaying fresh local or Indian produced fruits and vegetables were among the scenes you would find in their markets. Simple part of daily lives that I enjoyed living with.

7. I miss plucking fresh organic vegetables

Plucking organic vegetables grown by Devi - Bumthang, Bhutan

I was very fortunate to meet Devi. With her, I experienced many things that Bhutanese lived with in their everyday's lives. This included plucking potatoes and carrots from her garden. Living in metropolitan city since I was born, I had little chance to have this kind of life.

8. I miss the variety of local Bhutanese food and drinks

Bumthaps Khuley, Nepali Sel Roti, Bhutan Kewa Datshi, Southern part Dorley chili

Not only that, she also let me exposed extensively to local food and drinks. She was afraid I did not have enough things to eat and many times she cooked and made few different dishes at the same time. She never failed to show me her capabilities in making Sel Roti, Juma, Khabsey, and so on. Thank you Devi!!! I miss you very much!!!  

Process of making Bumthap Puta - Buckwheat Noodle from Bumthang

The above was one of the day when she asked her tenant to help making the Puta noodle made of buckwheat flour, a traditional food from Bumthang.

Local liquor and beer from Bumthang

9. I miss the Bhutan tea time :)

Tea time in Bumthang, Bhutan

You should know, it wasn't just the tea, but the things accompanied with tea - zaw (beaten rice), khabsey (Tibetan fried sweet dough), thengma (beaten maize), variety of biscuits, and so on, plus the great accompany to chit chat and just relax enjoying the evening breeze.

10. I miss the private mask dance hahaha.... :P

Private mask dance at Samcholing Palace, Bhutan

My dear friend Rupa and I were very fortunate being invited by Khenpo who took care of the Lhakhang at Samcholing Palace to sit and watch the Buddhist ritual prayer musical instruments and mask dance performed by the monks who stayed and studied there. Only two of us were the guests for that night's performance and the feeling was indescribable, felt like going back to hundred years ago, perhaps I was there in my previous life to witness the same thing before.

11. I miss the Bhutanese homestay and hospitality

Bhutanese homestay in Tangmachu Village, Bhutan


Once in a while I had the opportunity to stay at Bhutanese homestay. Apart from dinner, they usually served ara (Bhutan local spirit) as part of their hospitality service. Felt the warmth and got closed with their culture and tradition were other things I treasured the most.

12. I miss the lunch break-stop on the road

Stopped for lunch break - Bhutan

There was no restriction where you could stop. Road would be where you sat and had your lunch. Food was prepared in advance before leaving the place. It was simple but very nice. I miss it so much!!!

13. I miss the local snack sold on roadside

Roadside seller selling local produced - Mongar,Bhutan

I remembered my dear friend, Luzee, who bought lots of things from roadside seller on the way back to Thimphu. She said, better to support them as many were depending their living cost from it. Apart from that, you got fresh local produced and specialty food from the area as well!!!

14. I miss the hiking

Hiking to Tiger Nest with Rekha - Paro, Bhutan

For Bhutanese, hiking has been part of their daily lives. For them, it was a piece of cake. But it had never been easy for me. Hahaha.... It was not part of my daily activities here in Singapore. Nevertheless, I was enjoying it so much over there. And Tiger Nest was only one basic hiking destination that every tourist must go. There were many other more!!!

15. I miss walking alone with nature

View from Sangaygang - Thimphu, Bhutan

And Sangaygang was always one of my favorite places to walk alone with nature. Went up using short-cut and walked down using a long way. Never felt bored as the beautiful view had always mesmerized me.

16. I miss the temples and many religious and sacred sites

Takila - the biggest Guru Rinpoche statue in Eastern Bhutan

I was very lucky for being able to visit many Buddhist temples and many sacred and religious sites in Bhutan. I never dreamt of visiting them before but fate and good karma simply brought me there. Thank you SB!!!

Our visit to Chorten Kora in Trashiyangtse, Bhutan 

Well, there are many more things I miss about Bhutan. It was not shown there, but I definitely miss all my Bhutanese friends wherever they are living now. I feel very grateful for all their friendships, kindness, and love that they have rendered for me.

For now, that was all I could share here in my blog post. Let's see how long more until I can visit the country again. The next time I go there, there must be a specific purpose of visiting, new places to reach and lots of beautiful memories to create with wonderful people there!!! 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The same old (Obiang) me

I think we do agree that old people is generally old-fashioned, difficult to adapt with changes, having old-thinking, old-taste, conservative thinking, and so on. I do not regards myself as old yet, but I realized I have much of those characteristics in me. OMG!!!

Plain-looking face (no colourful make up), hair-pinned short hair style (you must have started imagined those Angay (grandma in Bhutanese language) or Apho (in Chinese language), no taste in clothing (comfortable and economic t-shirt batik rubber three-quarter pants - for daily summer wear; and some old style jacket for winter wear), simple sport shoes and/or slippers (no high-heels at all in my shoe rack), have been the alarming signs of so old-fashioned lady.

Miss Obiang look ^_^" (Pic source: Instagram rimareyka.writes)

The above top was my recent purchase to fight the cool weather and you know what??? Many grannies admired it after I wore it and even wanted to buy it for themselves. Hahaha... I don't know want to laugh or cry when they wanted it (same taste). Lol!!! :'D

Recently too, I met an ex-colleague who is much younger than me but is currently experiencing career-switch mid-life crisis. He wanted to change the job from operational type (he used to be Chef who worked on shift schedule, no days off on weekend and public holiday), to an office job (desk-bound and more regular office hours).

We were chatting over sushi lunch and I tried to advise him on the suitable job role that he could choose next. However, there was nothing suited him. Then I realized that my thinking was a bit conservative, too old-style to recommend him such job (although it matched with his education background and working experience). Perhaps after being jobless for few years in such modern metropolitan and fast-paced country, where many jobs have been replaced with automated machines everywhere, I felt myself becoming far away with reality world. Haiz....

Only from last night chatting conversation with someone I haven't met before but the person knew me from my blog and Instagram, I felt a bit relieved since the person told me that I still look young, even mistook me as college student. Hehe... :P Thank you again for the comment - let me took it as compliment :D

And for your info (not an excuse hahaha...), actually I am still the same old me. How I prefer my simple look (no make up), prefer having short hair (easier to take care), light and comfortable footwear, simple shirts and jeans or any other comfortable pants, and never really bother much about my look or appearance in the eye of others, especially when I travel overseas. To be in a place where nobody knows me, I had plenty of freedom to wear such an Obiang design hahahahaha... :P

Miss Obiang in full view :P

Here is the full picture of me that very day. Didn't I blend well in the environment? :P Hope I haven't yet reached that stage of old age yet despite how old fashioned my thinking was!!! :D

Same old me - back in 1997 (Tai Yuan, China)

And hope the above photo could prove the same old (Obiang) me, even when I was still a bit younger (back in 1997). I was wearing my grandma's oversize shirt, mom's pants, CD-man case sling bag, and China-made jacket on my travelling days :)

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Aspiration in life. Will that day come???

"The trouble is"- Buddha

It has been exactly two months since my last post. Oh my God!!! How time flies!!! I am not sure if it is because I have been living in such a fast pace world (Singapore country, to be exact), or I have been living my life with so many activities lately.

I too just realize that I have not updated any post on my journal, I even almost thought that I had lost it as I kept it somewhere I could not remember before typing this post. The journal update has kept decreasing despite I had not engaged in any full time job for the past few years. This journal has not even fully written since two years ago. Hahahaha.... 

I just feel that I have been busy each and every day, do not have enough time to do so much things that I really wanted to do. There were so many last minute activities I agreed to join as well. Other than list of doctor appointments on my phone calendar list, I have not jotted down the 'to-do-list' like what I used to do during my working life.

"In Search of a Meaningful Life" - Lama Zopa Rinpoche

It seems like 2019 has just been started few days ago and now it has already 14th March!!! Two and half months has gone by with rows of joyful activities plus a desperate need in balancing business of life and time to take a good rest - both body and mind.

Few Buddhist books left half read, lying hopelessly on my bedside table waiting for my attention to grab and finish reading it. Not only those, it also includes the e-book that I downloaded and let it expired when the time came.

What have I been doing??? All the business, all the activities. I feel like I should get away from all this, go somewhere quiet and peace, do nothing but practicing meditation, learning Dhamma, being silent and practicing ten sila or precepts daily, just like what I had last time at Wat Suan Mokkh, Thailand. 

The 3C's in Life Quote (Pic source: Google.com)

I was not saying that I regretted all things I did all this time (being busy and hectic). I just want to have a peace of mind and silent environment, surrounded with only nature and simple life (not owning much - just some clothes to wear and decent food to eat). Someday I may reach a point where I say, this is enough. Just like Prince Siddharta, I may leave it all and join the monastic life, which lead me to somewhere. That someday, I wish when the time is right, the day will come and the teacher is there to guide me. Will that day come???

Monday, January 14, 2019

At this age

Actually I planned to post this topic on my recent Birthday last year, but I was too busy holidaying with my families. Therefore, I had no time to write at all. So, only now I could finally finalize the below, things that appeared on my thought, as parts of growing up and after experiencing few decades of life on this earth.

Smile is my make up :) (Instagram: Rimareyka.writes)
At this age, I:

1. No longer have a need to impress others. I am who I am - whether you like it or not (inside and outside).

2. Wear anything that's comfortable (including shoes and slippers) - no matter how simple or ugly it looks.

3. Support and implement a natural look (without make up). So, many times, people have mistakenly thought that I was in my late 20s due to, well, perhaps I have been wearing smile as my make up ;)

4. Feel that I look better in long hair rather than short hair. But due to the circumstances (hot weather, hair loss, etc.) I have to cut my hair short (sometimes very short!), which in the end, I will be looking ugly/ auntie-look (due to my round and chubby face). Lol! But no matter what, I will always prefer comfort over good looking. No one to impress anyway!!! :D

New hair for the new year!!! :)

5. Eat to live, not live to eat - but still love eating. Meaning, I am no more fancy the buffet style or having the mentality of must-go-eat at restaurant anymore. Any cheap, simple and nice dish will do to fill the stomach, especially the home-cooked ones - not only healthier, but also saving dollar and cents for other cause.

6. Have to maintain my weight - to be under acceptable range - for a good health (as the age increases, metabolism has become slower and very difficult to lose weight).

When metabolism starts getting slow (Instagram: Rimareyka.writes)

7. Continue to balance life - work, travel, continuous learning, exercise, play, rest, read, write, and all the things I love doing.

8. Try my very best to include exercise as part of my life, even if it is only a walk (thanks to the active watch, it monitors how many steps I have everyday!)

9. Do what I love (when possible!) - especially when it comes to 'work'.

10. Still struggle to find it though. Preferably can earn money, have more freedom, less gossip / negative environment, and less stressful job. Best if I do not have to dress up and wear make up to work! :P

11. Still have difficulty with speaking the right thing at the right moment (too direct and blunt). Haiz!

12. Deeply feel grateful for having more than a roof on my head (as I am blessed with balcony where it is the best place to start and end my day, to relax, to drink tea/coffee with cakes, etc.)

Morning view from the balcony (Instagram: Rimareyka.writes)

13. Changed the goal that I set earlier in life - from making myself happy, to current one - make the other beings happy :)

14. Am very grateful for the family members and very good friends to whom I can share my love fully and unconditionally.

15. Continue feel grateful for my fate with Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. They are always there for me all the time. Thank you!

16. Have known and understood well the difference between love and attachment.

Difference between love and attachment (Pic source: Google.com)

17. Have realized that ego is the source of all suffering (which I still have it sometimes in my behavior!).

18. Still have difficulty to apply meditation in everyday's life (How I wish that sleeping is the best way to meditate :P)

19. Feel that reading and watching movie/ drama series are two things to avoid world's problem (which I enjoy a lot!)

Quote from current favorite Korean drama "Encounter" (Instagram: Rimareyka.writes)

20. Try to include visit to Buddhist temples plus rejuvenating mind and soul activities into my travel itineraries (when possible!)

21. Regard luxury as the last priority unless someone paid for it :D

22. Rather explore more countries or treat others with the the extra money.

23. Buy what I need, not what I want.

24. Fully believe that we should donate while we are still alive, and not after we die because by doing so, we are able to practice letting things go and non-attachment.

25. Try my best to do it now, today, and while I still can - as tomorrow is uncertain and not necessary comes.

26. Still lack of parenting skill but I guess communication is still the best key in any relationship (including parent-child relationship).

One of the dating time with Baobel :)

27. I'm still selfish as I was before (see note no. 17). Try hard to cut it down but it has become a habit! Yalama!

28. Find out that cooking with love is still my favorite thing to do. Now, baking too (although I can only bake very less varieties of cakes :D)

29. Will let people misunderstand me and think whatever they like because I can never stop them from doing that.

30. Realize that only true friend will accept me of who I am with all good and bad things I have (I think my hubby is my only true friend in life - he is left with no choice!) Lol!!!

31. Am grateful for having few trusted friends whom I could open my heart up with. Thank you!

32. Think that friendship is not based on how long we have been together, but how both parties are able to respect, commit, put effort, and willing to be there not only when one is having good times only!
Everything is temporary in life quote (Instagram: Rimareyka.writes)

33. Won't hesitate to let the fake friend/ people go away from my life - life is too short to be unhappy!

33. Enjoy travelling as it always trains me to be outside my comfort zone, adapt to new environment, practice detachment and impermanence in life.

34. Still wonder why people love and will never stop gossiping. Why don't they just keep quiet, do their work, and just speak when necessary. Jokes are welcomed but negative environment is really bad for health (body, soul, and mind!)

Who are you to judge anyway quote (Instagram: Rimareyka.writes)

35. Am glad that I never look beautiful as it often attracts the unwanted problems especially when traveling alone or to country where woman is often vulnerable. And instead, I was even gifted with this big size body that always ready to hammer any bad people who tried to disturb me :P

36. Believe the power of pray as it has been proved by many. It can even create miracles in life. So, don't give up hope and keep praying!!! Pray harder when necessary!!!

37. Do believe in power of positive thinking!!!

38. And the law of attraction (the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on, which uses the power of the mind to translate whatever is in our thoughts and materialize them into reality). So be careful on what you think!!!

39. Believe that to get the peace of mind, it must be started from home. Without peace and harmony among the family members, nothing will go well and according to what you wish for!

Peace and harmony starts from home quote (Instagram: Rimareyka.writes)

40. Realize that friendship is essential in life and you can never live alone no matter how great, powerful, or rich you are!

Well, those are resulting from life's experience (good and bad) and I believe that everything that has happened in my life, it all happens only for good reasons. I am really grateful for everything that happens to me. One thing relates me to another, then another, then another. It links me and shapes me to who I am. Not everyone goes through the same process. Even when they do, they may react differently and give a very different result.

It is all in our minds how we want to live our lives. What we want to focus, what our goal is, what our priorities are, and so on. I believe we are all a very unique human being, with different strengths and weaknesses. So, have you ever thought what kind of thought and way of life you have gone through so far?

Be grateful for everything quote (Instagram - Rimareyka.writes)

Those may change along the time. As we grow up, we may experience more, do more mistakes, face more challenges in life. Just keep being positive and always learn the lessons from it! Time to sleep now. Few years from now when I looked back to this post, I might laugh on what I ever believed and thought. Well, changes are constant. We will never know what I will become one day! :D So good night, and hope you enjoy reading my thoughts! Cya! :)

Sunday, January 06, 2019

2019 New Year's Resolution!!! Well, Life's Resolution!!!

It's the fifth day of January 2019!!! Happy belated New Year!!! Hahahaha... Is there such thing? :P Nevertheless, this will be the first post I write in the year 2019!!! :) Hope everyone is in good health and everything goes well so far!!!

Not sure if you noticed or not (eventually I did), I saw many people exercising especially on the first few days of the year (be it running, going to gym, cycling, swimming, and so on). Then I would be reminded that "exercising" must be one of the things listed in their New Year's resolutions. How long would it last? Only heaven knows. Some might be able to maintain it well, but some might only have temporary spirit to do it. Hahahaha.... :P


Typical New Year's Resolutions (Pic source: Google.com)

I used to set the New Year's resolutions just like the above picture. To try and learn new things, dream big, live colorful life, choose happy, do what I love, etc. I kept doing it until it had become part of my life's habits and way of life. For now, there was nothing new from the above resolutions.

Then when the New Year itself arrived, I still had no idea what resolutions should I have this year??? I thought, "Let nature takes its course. Maybe just leave it and live my life like usual," until I chatted with few different people recently.

From my conversation with them, I realized that I had always had that thought in mind, although I had not really been doing it. Eh, that thought in mind that I referred to was, I always imagined myself of joining nunnery one day, busy chanting or reading Tibetan text (as if I could understand Tibetan language :D), having solitary life (leaving family and friends behind and serving other beings), and so on. But of course, I never had a courage to really do so.

All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy

Moreover, recently I read the book written by Anuradha Roy - All the Lives We Never Lived. In one part of the story, the protagonist's father left home embarking on a pilgrimage, following in the footsteps of Buddha to Patna, Nalanda, Lumbini, etc., living as Buddhist monks did, with no money, seeking food and shelter from the charitable, meditating and learning about Buddhism along the way, and with no time frame too.

Upon returning home, he found out that "The world thought it was an unbalanced thing to do, but anyone who is truly spiritual is both mad and selfish. So many great seekers have spurned family and children, left them bereft for years on end; was not the Buddha similarly guilty? And yet, would anyone say that it was a mistake for him to have left? How many millions over how many generations have been saved because he had the strength to sacrifice his family? My own misguided quest ended in failure of sorts; I learned at the feet of great masters, but my attention wandered. My back ached. My insect bites itched. In short I discovered I was human and pitiful and my physical needs were greater than my spiritual hunger. These are bitter things for me to confess but necessary: the first necessity in the quest for knowledge is truth."

If I was so extreme, I might end up like him. Go for it, try it for myself, and come back with such thinking. Is it really necessary for me to leave everything behind and join the nunnery for the quest of my spiritual hunger?

Many who are younger than me (in their twenties), told me that this type of life would never suitable for their age. They feel that age is the measurement of the proper actions in life. Like in twenties, they feel that it is time for them to indulge themselves to fill their desire to their hearts' content (go for party, karaoke, binge drinking, trying different girls, etc.). It is also good time for them to get marry, build career, earn more money, have children, etc., which is not wrong at all.

And only when they get older, it will only be the suitable time to slow down in life, meaning, by then, they will change their life style - more pray and circumambulate, more visits to temple, more time to meditate, etc.

So, the search for the peace and happiness, the quest of the truth, will only be applicable in the olden age. Well, if you are lucky - meaning if you can live that long - then only you will have such opportunity. But if you are not (anything can happen you know! Does not mean you are healthy and strong now, then you will stay healthy and strong forever. Accident may happen to us anytime of the day too!), it means, you will waste your chance and opportunity for having been born as human in this life, to invest yourself for a better next life.

I'm just thinking, the solution for this is to live the balance of both worlds. Do both things at the same time. Not too extreme on both sides, but find the middle or correct way of doing it. And you can start it from the younger age, not necessarily wait until you get old.

In Buddhism, it is believed that to be born as a human being is the goal of every reincarnation, because only when we are in the form of human, we are given brain that differentiate us from other beings and compassionate heart to help more sentient beings. Only when we are human being, we are given the opportunity to change our life, to lessen up bad karma and make more good karma. And it makes me thinking that my New Year's resolution would be this - "Be a better self than before."

Meaning, everything that I do, I hope that I can be more aware of it - the words that come out from my mouth, the thinking that appears on my mind, the action that I do. I know it very well that I am just a human being, with lots of mistakes and imperfections. I often said things I did not mean it; I often hurt people's feelings at spur of the moments; I often did things that I soon regretted it; I often did stupid things that hurt other people's feelings. I felt sorry but somehow I could not restrain it.

I just think that, well, maybe for some, I am considered in old age category (lol!), which suits me best to start having peace of mind, meditating more, doing more good deeds and so on. But still, I feel that it's best to set that resolution for more years to come and instill it into my everyday's life, just like the rest of the resolutions above that have been the parts or way of my life.

2019 New Year's Resolution!!! Well, Life's Resolution!!! (Instagram: Rimareykawrites.com)

I wish I can use the opportunity of being born as human being in this life well, not waste it unnecessarily, treasure it, and live it well, the best I could. I may not be able to cut my hair bald and change my everyday's clothes to red or orange robe. I may not be able to meditate inside the forest accompanied by mosquitoes and snakes around. I may not be able to help every beings surrounded me. I may not be able to resist temptations that comes in life fully. But I really hope I can be a better self than I was before, one day at a time, until the end of my life. This will be it. Not just a New Year's resolution, but my overall life's resolution. Wish me luck!!! :)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Books read for the second half of the year 2018

Books quote (Pic source: Google.com)

As usual, let me update the list of the book I read for the second half of the year 2018. I started it with August since I had no time to read in the month of July :)

August 2018

August 2018:
1. The Perfect Nanny - Leila Slimani
2. Sadness Love Openness - Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche
3. The Sound of the Mountain - Yasunari Kawabata
4. She Regrets Nothing - Andrea Dunlop
5. Do This For Me - Eliza Kennedy

September 2018

September 2018:
1. The Woman in the Window - A. J. Finn
2. Those Other Woman - Nicola Moriarty
3. Beautiful Liars - Isabel Ashdown
4. When Life Gives You Lululemons - Lauren Weisberger
5. The Light Between Us - Kathie Khan
6. My Book of Life by Angel - Martine Leavitt
7. Sea Prayers - Khaled Hosseini
8. See All the Stars - Kit Frick

October 2018

October 2018:
1. Chronicles of Love and Death - Norma Levine

November 2018

November 2018:
1. Hot Tea Across India - Rishad Saam Mehta


December 2018

December 2018:
1. Three Little Lies - Laura Marshall
2. The Wild Woman's Guide to Travelling the World - Kristin Rockaway
3. The Next Person You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
4. Killing Commendatore - Haruki Murakami
5. The Sadness of Beautiful Things - Simon Van Booy
6. All the Lives We Never Lived - Anuradha Roy

I love books quote (Pic source: Google.com)

With it, I managed to read total of 40 books, as per my goal I set earlier this year. Yayyy!!! But this time I read mostly novels instead of Buddhism related books. Hehehe.... Perhaps I just wanted to get away for real life and sunk myself into other people's world, to see how others could generate such idea into writings, and so on.

My wish for you for the upcoming New Year 2019 :)

Just one more day, it will be the end of year 2018. Hope all of you are doing great in this year, have filled your life with so much beautiful memories (be it good and/or bad), lived your life to the fullest, realized so many dreams that once it looked so hard and far to reach, and welcoming 2019 with open arms, full of positive energy, good feelings that everything that you do will be good and great, realize more and more dreams of yours, and most importantly, be happy!!! :)
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