Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Do what you love, love what you do

'The secret of happiness: find out what you truly love to do and then direct all your energy towards doing it. Once you do this, abundance flows into your life and all your desires are filled with ease and grace.' - Robin Sharma

Have you ever been in situation where you had to choose between following your heart (what you love to do, but less prospect - lead to slower growth and slower pay increase) or did the things that you were not sure if you liked it or not, but this job would give you what you want (better prospect - lead to faster or more pay and better title)???

I think most people (9 out of 10) would choose the second one. Hehe... At most situation, money and title (or fame) would still be the main drives in choosing the job.

It's kinda sad though that there were many people I know, chose their job not following their heart and passion, but just doing it for the sake of earning better money, better prospect, and better title.

At the end, they did not really enjoy what they were doing. Just followed the flow as long as they received their salary into their bank account at the end of the month.

But this is reality of life, no? Most people want to have a better life, means, they need money to buy things they want, but not necessary they are happier since their work took most of the time of their daily life.

There were also people who enjoyed their passion and yet, earned deservedly for their effort and passion. I took my hats off for this type of people. But it took hard work and perseverance to be able to where they were now.

As for me, I'm grateful that I am doing what I love to do. Although I'm kinda stuck in this post, while the rest of colleagues have gone up to another step career ladder, I still keep my thinking positively.

I remember I read it somewhere, "It's simply a matter of FOCUS on doing what you're doing BEST and not worrying about what other fellow is going to do, such as get promoted. Because at the end of the day, people will value you based on your knowledge and experience."

But it doesn't mean I resist for changes. I would keep my self open for another opportunity that may arise (can be somewhere else) and always tell myself to get ready and adapt for changes.

Well, after all, all these are part and parcel of life that we have to go through. We can't always get the best thing in life, but how we can make thing the best will depend on how we approach it into our lives.

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful" - Albert Schweitzer

Still not too late to realize it and catch your dreams - to create your masterpiece, to invent the unimagined, discover your talent, and most importantly to express your true self :)

"Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born" - Dale E. Turner

Sunday, April 28, 2013

OCBC Cycling 2013

After finishing our rides - with my 2 best friends :)

This year would be my 4th year participating in the OCBC Cycle Singapore, together with my friends and colleagues, which also marked my 4th year Anniversary working with my current company. Wow!! Time flies!!! My 2 best friends and I shared cab this morning at 5.30am (one of them even slept overnight at my place since she stayed quite faraway) and we all gathered in the company where I worked then all of us took bus together to F1 Pit. 

We reached there in a while. Collected our rented bicycles, got ourselves ready (went toilet, did some warming up), and there we went!!! Community ride (24km ride) started at 7.30am. By the time we reached the "Start" line, it was 7.40am. There were so many people participating the event from any background, any country, but we all shared the same passion - cycling.

On ECP highway

There were three categories for today's event. First, "The Super Challenge" - 61 km ride, suitable for those adventurous cyclist. Second, "The Challenge"- 42km, for someone who was ready for more!! And last one, "The Community Ride"- 24 km - for anyone, either amateur, or those who joined for fun. Our GM joined "The Super Challenge". Although he was not young, but he was so fit and often challenging himself for a more adventurous sport. He even joined triathlon competition. The rest of us mostly joined "The Community Ride" as we were there for some fun activity :)

Even uncle and his two dogs were having fun!!! ;)

The weather this morning was good. There was no sun appearing in the sky. Instead, it was a bit hazy. And after the event ended, then it started to rain. Lucky that it wasn't raining while we were there.

It took me an hour to finish the 24-km ride. It was fun. We had to go up to the highway three times. It was quite a challenge as the highway was quite steep and we had a fast-speed ride when it went down. It required us to be alert at anytime. We had to look left and right all the time to see if there was any rider beside us when we wanted to overtake, or when there were others who wanted to overtake us. If we weren't careful enough, it could collide.

I saw people with bruises and blood on their knees, hands, even on their faces due to fall down while cycling. And before we went the slope down for the last one, there were even riders falling down and unconscious. That's why I said that it required us to be alert all the time as otherwise, accident might happen anytime and anywhere. Thank God we were all back safe and sound. But sometimes, it was really not a day for someone too when her bike's pedal was suddenly spoiled when she was cycling. It caused her to go back walking with her bike and she couldn't ride the journey fully and get her medal. I was so sorry for her. Despite being sick, she was still coming for the event, and that was what she got.

So, here I am again, wanted to thank SB for good karma given. We had good health, good weather, safe journey all the way, and finished the 'finish' line in one piece. I'm grateful for today! :)

And after it's all done, my two best friends and I headed to Burger King and had our breakfast there. I was sooooo hungry!!! Hahaha.... In fact, this whole day I kept eating again and again... Oh my...... Hope I won't gain so much weight after this little exercise hahaha....  :P

Saturday, April 27, 2013

My good old friend

From my dear friend

I never expect to receive the inspirational book from my close friend, SF. Some more she wrote some wordings on it for me (see the above). Seems like what goes around will go around. Because not long before this, I also gave one inspirational book to my dear friend, also with wordings on it. Hehehe...

Kindergarten class photo

We knew each other since we were in kindergarten but I just found out recently that she loves to read, especially inspirational books, same like me. Hahaha...  She also loves to meditate. Yeah, it was me who started reading again only lately, for the last 4-5 months, after stopped for many years. So when I found out that she loves to read, I was very happy!!! Got reading khaki!! We lent our books to each other and had reason to meet more often :)

We were in the same class before back in year 1983. See if you can find which one is me in the photo above :P It's kinda miracle that I still keep this photo with me. I just counted and it was 30 years ago. Wow!!! Hohoho... Time flies....

After that we separated and went into different schools - primary and junior high school. We met again and even was in same class during senior high school, and sat next to each other (2nd and 3rd year).

We slept together under one camp :) SF, me and SDK

Photo above was taken during school outing. We slept inside the tent. Three of us were quite big size, but yet managed to sleep together. Haha... So much memories we had during that time there :) Unforgettable high school memories.....

After graduation, we again separated and went into different uni. She was studying Interior Design in Indonesia, while I went abroad. 

When I was young, I used to dream to become an interior designer. Hahaha.... I always draw the plot of the house in a grid exercise book. While drawing it, I would imagine if it was my house. How I would plan where the living room, where the bedroom, kitchen, and so on. I would imagine how big the house was, how many floors, and so on. Hahaha... More like daydreaming though. But my dream went away since I was studying real drawing during senior high school and I gave up. I had no passion on it anymore. That's why I ended up studying other things, that was more practical and the knowledge could be applied immediately :D

So, after few years, we finally landed in the same country again, Singapore. We met again in year 2001. Both of us were graduated not long before that and was looking for a job. We both were still with our ex-bf at that time and four of us even met up in Jakarta together with other friends. Little did we know that our ex-bf also knew each other (from same school). Haha.. What a small world!

After that, we both broke up and managed to know our hubby in our different ways, got married, and now stay here until now. She and her hubby were among the few friends who attended my wedding in Singapore. They also came for my baby first month celebration and last year housewarming. Since then we would meet up some time for coffee or dinner to update our situation. And only last month we met again, went to book store, and that was how I found out that she loves to read the inspirational book. Hahaha...

Below was quite latest picture that we took when we met up together with other high school friends.
SJ, SF, me and AH

I just hope our friendship will last forever SF!!! It's really great that we know each other for such a long time!!! Not the time that measured the strength of our friendship, but what life journey that we've shared together. Thank you for being my good friend!!! :) 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Comic by Reever Skantei

Whenever my son and I went to library, we would go to separate area. He would go to children books area, while I go to adults book area. And most of the time he would choose comics book to borrow, otherwise book with lots of drawings mixed with words. He seldom borrows books that contained wordings alone.

And he drew the above comic, again, based on his imagination. Hehehe... And this was not his first one :) Keep up your good work Baobei, but don't forget to study too, ok? Exams are coming soon!!! Love you Baobei... Muachh.... :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Unfolding uncertainty in life

When I was 16 years old, we were inside the shopping mall to watch movie with a group of friends. We had some time before movie started.

The mall didn't have much things to see. So while waiting, we walked around. At first floor, we saw one small stall where there was a middle age man sitting behind a table with deck of cards on top and palm with lines paper beneath the glass top table. We could also smell the burned incense stick from the stall. There were some books and pictures too decorated the place.

Suddenly my friend and I came out with an idea to go in and ask. And there were we! That would be my first fortune teller visit in my life.

My purposes to visit him at that point of time was asking for fun, also I was curious wanting to find out what the fortune teller would say about my future life, as in one year time after that, I would engage in different stage of life (graduating from senior high school soon).

I sat in front of him. The man started the reading by shuffling cards on his hand, opened few cards up and showed it on the table and he started to tell me what the cards interpreted about my future life.

He was then asking my birth date, my name, looking at my palm, scribbled his findings on top of blank paper. He warned me on bad things that I would encounter that year. Looking at my face and he also said few words about my past and current life, and so on. At the end, I had to pay him some token (at given price) as a meaning for service granted.

I listened to his words half believe and didn't really take it seriously as I didn't want to be pressurized by it. Also, I believe that we could change after what had happened in our lives, if we wanted to.

Years passed on. I went again to another fortune teller after I finally graduated and looked for a job. Oh, there was another time when I was unsure about my life partner. Or there were few times before that ba! Hahaha...

Only after that last one (back in 2001), I decided not to ask anymore. Let life unfolds the future itself. Be it good or bad, I am ready to face the truth. It's much better this way with this type of thinking, rather than worrying all the time about something that not happen yet, something they said but might or might not come true, something that you still can change if you want to, and so on.

I admit, it was fear that making me wanted to know about my future. It was also fear that I did not want to hear the sad prediction and fear that what they said about bad things to come true. And when we live our life full of fear, we wouldn't have a chance to live our life fully.

Below was quoted from Robin Sharma's book - The Saint, The Surfer, and The CEO:

"Rather than trying to know and figure it all out, live the curiosity of it all. You don't have to know where you'll be a year from now - you don't even have to know what you'll be doing a month from now. Move away from this need for certainty that we all have, and move toward the curiosity that we all need. Just be. Live in the moment with every bit of your life force and enjoy the gift of the present. The treasures of your life will present themselves to you only if you really are open to them."

"Open yourself up more. There's much larger world out there than you know. Live in curiosity. Live in the awe. Live in the wonder. Begin to grow more aware and conscious. Paying more attention to what's happening around you. Look for clues, spot the patterns, and connect the dots. Detect the synchronity and serendipity, and know that these beautiful coincidences are nothing more than your best life coming to get you. Become more mindful of the dance of life. As you walk to work, rather than getting caught up in your internal dialogue, train your mind to detect what's going on in the outside world. Notice the color of the sky and the shapes of the clouds. Observe the leaves falling from the trees and the way the sun feels as it warms your face. Feel the soles of your feet meet with Mother Earth. Even paying attention to the way your heart beats. By practicing being more mindful, you'll get out of your head and move into your heart. You'll experience more living in your days and you'll have a lot more fun. An even more powerful way to get out of your head and into your heart and body is to simply... Get out of your head and into your body. Pay attention to the sensations of your body.This powerful little technique will immediately pull you out of your mind and draw you into your heart. And when you live in your heart more, you'll notice that you enjoy the journey of life more. The struggling ends."

I decided to embrace my life by opening my heart fully: listen more to what my heart says, balance between heart and head, ready to accept what will happen in front of me, be it good or bad. I am sure, with constant embracing life with positive thinking, with support of loved ones and strength and support from the above, I would be able to go through and face the uncertainty in life in better ways and live my journey of life fully and more beautifully :)

Hope you would find your way too and decide how you want to live your life!

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Happy Me :)

Yesterday the place where I work started their "We Care" week. It's an annual celebration to remind us (staffs) to have a happy mind, happy me, happy team. It would be a week full of activities (except Friday - assigned for Administrators to enjoy their Admin Professional Week).

We started it with Tai Ji (太极拳) session. Tai Ji is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits.  It is a slow sequence of movements which emphasize a straight spine, abdominal breathing and a natural range of motion (source: wikipedia). Staffs were given a chance to try and experience it in one-hour session.

When I was in China, I often saw people practicing it early in the morning. Mostly were elderly and they would come and practice it in the park. Some advanced ones would do it using swords or fans. Every time I passed by, I told myself how nice it was if I was able to learn. I had always wanted to try it and I was so glad that finally having a chance to try and experience it, although only for one time. Hehe... It was not easy though. You had to coordinate your body and mind well, and focus on your body weight, breathing, and slow movement. We only learn little moves in such short time since we spent some time for warming up.

After experienced it, I was telling myself, "If I were given a chance to learn and do it again, I would choose to learn yoga instead of Tai Ji." Hahahaha....... :D

And it reminded me about what my colleague told me last week that I actually could learn yoga in place where I work. There were 4 sessions a week, two days in morning (7am) and 2 days in the evening (7pm). This yoga session is actually held for hotel guest and spa members, but max 2 staffs are allowed to join in each session.

While having healthy refreshment after Tai Ji session, I was asking my colleague if she had interest in yoga class and she did. So we went to Spa right after that and asked the availability of the class. Just nice they had class on Monday evening, which was yesterday. And since both of us had brought our exercise attire in, we then decided to join the class yesterday night.

Nice view from gazebo (in the morning)

The yoga started at 7pm. We had it at gazebo area (with half-open rooftop), at 2nd floor, above the swimming pool and alfresco dining restaurant. There were other 4 people, 1 instructor, me and my colleague, total 7 of us.

We took the yoga mat from the spa and headed to the gazebo. Weather at that time was so good. We faced the river, Clarke Quay (night-life) area. The evening sky was so beautiful and mesmerizing; it was reddish before it slowly turned dark. The place itself was surrounded by pond filled with big golden fishes and Arowana fish, also trees with beautiful flowers. It was so wonderful and perfect place for practicing yoga. I felt so peaceful and serene. Oh, even before started, I'd already fallen in love with the place :)

Since the rest of the members were regular and only both of us just did our first class, the teacher taught us all moves continuously. It really stretched our body parts from top to bottom. Our muscles were stiff since we didn’t do much exercise in usual daily life, but we tried our best to keep up with the pace. Although it was only one-hour session, we sweated a lot. Really good exercise!!!

The last posture let us to lie down on the mat, facing up, opened up our both hands and legs, and closed our eyes. After the vigorous moves, this post was really good for relaxation. While breathing, I could feel the warmth of the floor beneath my body. I could hear the water sound flowing in swimming pool area. I could feel the wind blow naturally in such open area. I felt blessed!!!

I loved it very much! My colleague too! We decided to join it at least once a week. Oh, thank you again SB for making my dream come true!!! It’s been some time I wanted to join the class, and finally I was given a chance to do so. Not only it’s free, but it’s held in good timing and in beautiful place, also with a good teacher and great accompanies.

Today, there will be healthy food served in our Cafetaria and after that there will be cooking healthy food competition too participated by staffs. Tomorrow there will be Charity Bazaar (Staffs donate goods then sell it to other staffs and money proceeds will be donated to Children’s Society) and Vertical Marathon – climbing up stairs from Basement 2 to 12th floor (obviously, I won’t join. Hahaha….), and on Thursday, there will be ‘Tug of War’ – which I won’t join too. My other colleague will join. Well, hope everything will go smoothly and everyone enjoys it!!! Have a great week everyone!!! Hope you also have a healthy mind, healthy body and happy you :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Eating - hawker? food court?

This morning, we had breakfast at hawker center near our old house. Although it was quite far from our house, we still missed that place very much. Other than having a variety of nice food, we missed the ambiance too. It's adjacent to the traditional market, which was quite rare to find in Singapore - replaced with mini and supermarket with full air-conditioner, and near to the fruit stalls (you could find any fruits including my favorite durians... hm...... :D) and other small shops which were usually be found below the HDB flats (government subsided flats). There were many barbers too with variety of prices (unlike the uniformed 10 dollars for 10-minutes cut booth). I loved the environment very much, really Singaporean style.

I love drinking the coffee there. There were many terms that you have to know when you order the coffee in Singapore, especially in hawker center and food court :)

- Kopi : coffee with milk and sugar (my favorite)
- Kopi O : black coffee with sugar
- Kopi O kosong : black coffee without sugar (purely black and bitter)
- Kopi kosong : coffee with milk but no sugar
- Kopi Si : coffee with condensed milk and sugar
- Kopi Siu Tai : coffee with milk but less sugar
- Kopi Gah Tai : coffee with milk and extra sugar
- Kopi Gao : thick coffee with milk
- Kopi Peng : coffee with milk and sugar plus ice

Hohoho...... Same applies with tea... So, you can order te-O, te-Si, te-O kosong, te-si Peng, etc. Interesting right? When I first came to Singapore, I didn't use to with the terms too and need to adapt for some time. The language was mixed with Chinese, Hokkien and Malay.

Chinese New Year Gathering w/ Colleagues at Chinatown Hawker Center - Year 2012
Hawker center is open-air area that sell varieties of inexpensive foods (those with no air-conditioners). Nowadays it is fully equipped with many ceiling fans to ensure there is enough ventilation, especially during hot weather. The food fares are usually cheaper too as the rental of the stall would be slightly cheaper and this is usually found near the public housing area or near bus / MRT station.There are many hawker centers serving a very good food and you can spot delicious food by how long the queue is. The nicer the food is, the longer the queue will be :) It is common to see people drinking bottles of beer too in hawker center, especially at night time. Some hawkers are equipped with big screen TV where people can watch the live football match while enjoying their beers. Very nice ambiance!!!

Food court is indoor food stalls that usually found inside shopping malls, airport, etc. (usually equipped with air-conditioners). The food fares are usually more expensive and some have the company brands in Singapore, such as: Kopitiam, Banquet (serving Halal food), Koufu, Food Junction, Food Republic, etc. Some food court will use card as mode of payment instead of cash, e.g. Kopitiam. So you can purchase the card filled with dollar value in it and you can top the value up anytime when the cash runs low. People will choose to use the card as there is discount of 10% given.

It is common for Singaporean to eat outside and buy their food in these places as the cost of cooking plus time spent for preparation, cooking and washing would be more or less the same. It saves time as after work, people will be very tired and can't wait to rest at home and have a quick meal.

Lucky my mother-in-law cooks during weekdays so I don't have to headache on what to cook or eat after work. Sometimes I will eat out though, usually with friends and family, just to relax, enjoy the ambiance, and have a chit chat, at the same time enjoying the food that we don't usually have at home. Hehe...

We're quite lucky though having hawker center and food court in Singapore. In some other country, they don't have it. They only have restaurant and their food fare is quite expensive even for a normal meal. So, I'm really grateful I can live and stay here in Singapore.

One of typical food stall in Indonesia - this one is in Medan
But if you compare with my home country, Indonesia, that is even much better :D There are lots of food varieties. You can call it food haven!!! Every time me and my friends go back home, we'll sure gain weight when coming back here. Hahaha.... There are many street stalls too serving very delicious food and they open until quite late. You won't be afraid of getting hungry. Even there are many food seller who go around our houses selling fried rice, noodles, bakso (meat ball and beehoon soup), bakwan (kind of fried dumpling), chee cheong fan (rice cake roll), satay, kueh putu, martabak, and so on.

My father didn't like us eating those food that was sold on the street because some ingredients used were not healthy (lots of preservative and sometime you didn't know what they mixed inside the soup - maybe worms?? rat meat?? we'll never know.... :P), and also when you used their bowls and cutlery, you didn't know how clean they washed it, and from where the water was taken from?? What they wiped with the clothes that they used to wipe your bowls? But being Indonesian, we lived how we supposed to live. Hahaha... and our stomach was trained to eat all kind of food in all type of situations :D Most importantly, we could taste any kind of food and it brought us lots of memories..... :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Quote from Elizabeth Gilbert

I found the quote of the above from Google search. I love it very much and decide to post it here :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My son's creative imagination - Wolf


Last night I had facial appointment. After work, I immediately went to the place, had a quick dinner, then had myself lying on the bed (Oh... It was kinda horrible to lie down after dinner :P).

Usually they suggested us to go once every month, but sometimes due to hectic schedule, I only went once every two months. So, when I returned after some time, oh.. there were many blockages that needed to clear. Hahaha...

I could remember vividly the process of the facial as I've gone to this place for quite some time already. The price used to be quite cheap but this year onwards, they finally raised their price. There was an increase of $5-$10 due to the increase in cost of the products used. Everything else (the service and process) remains all same.

The staff said they hadn't increased the price since 10 years ago. But it is still reasonable la. It usually took one and half hours for the whole process. The place and equipments are clean and staff is quite experience. Facial product is also quite standard.

There were many things to learn in life, even from our day to day activity, and it including facial. If you think facial is one form of relaxing, you were wrong!!!

Facial was actually quite a painful process but I felt much better after doing that, hehe... So, it suffers first and happy later :D When the lady cleaned the blockage, it was soooo.... painful!!! My tears would usually come down uncontrollably. When it happened, I usually told myself to be strong. Rather than trying to ignore, I even purposely felt and enjoyed the pain. Why? I told myself that this was only one of the physical pain that I had to encounter, and there were still much more worst thing than that. So this pain was considered nothing. It was just pain on the spot and mask would ease the pain.

Unlike those mentally pain, especially when you felt hurt in your heart due to betrayal, disappointment, being lied, etc. That kind of pain would be hard to go away, harder to forgive, and even hardest to forget. Time required to heal the pain was even much longer. Sometimes that pain would even stay forever if people chose to do so.

So, after comparing the mentally pain with cleaning the blockage, it was still much better to enjoy the pain from facial. After all, after having some sleep, the pain would be gone. Hahaha...

Have a good day!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Incredible wisdom - from The Saint, The Surfer and The CEO by Robin Sharma

This afternoon, I managed to borrow the book above. The book is fiction, so it wasn't derived from real story. But I love to read it since it depicts the story or experience from a wise old man in his 70s, who suffered from cancer. His name was Cal.

He believed that in this world, when most people lived on the outside, he lived within. Where people run away from their fears, he ran toward them. And what he saw within the deepest parts of him was incredible. Meaning that, we all have to do our own interior work. It's our highest responsibility, to examine ourselves, get to know the real us - our own true selves.

To begin with the interior work, people can start from thinking about death. Because when we think about the death, we will think of the fact that our lives are short and our hours are limited, so that we can live fully and give every bit of ourselves to our waking moments. Neither of us knows how many tomorrows we have left, so live now.

"Live like a sharp pencil, make a fine line; design and build an extraordinary experience of life for yourself - sharpen your focus and live to the point. Focus on the things that truly count in your life." He continued, "Lots of time what we believed to be big things in life are actually the little things. And those that we believed to be little, insignificant thing early on have turned out to be the big things - the things that actually matter the most."

In the story, Cal also said, people have been brought together for a reason. That's just the way the world works. Everyone who enters your life comes to you at precisely the time that you most need to learn the lesson they've come to teach.

"You were born to present your gifts to the world. But the way it's set up is that before you can shine as a person. You must get to know yourself; you must look at your limiting beliefs and recreate them. And you must analyze the false assumptions you have about what you can be, have, and do as a person and then set about correcting them. You need to become aware of your historical patterns of reacting in the different scenarios of your life and re-create them. And you must tackle your fears and move through them. Then you can open up your heart and be more concerned about the happiness of other people than about the happiness of yourself. And once you do, ironically, you'll become happy."

"Once you align yourself with these laws, you'll access your authentic power. You'll become a force of nature, and your life will move from a place of struggle into one of ease and flow. All that you've ever dreamed of being you will become. You'll naturally draw into your life all that your heart has ever desired without effort. Your life will begin, to work, almost as if guided by magic."

"Trust that ache feelings. When you go into the feelings and the longings that most of us run away from, will we find our greatest answers. Our feelings grant us immense wisdom and carry the knowledge of our subconscious minds. And our subconscious minds are our link to the wisdom of the universe. Our conscious thinking is limited, but our subconscious thinking is infinite."

"Most of us deny our feelings. Society has taught us to do that. From a young age, we divorce ourselves from the way we feel. We're told not to cry, we're told not to laugh too loud, and we're told that it's wrong to feel sad or even to experience our anger. But our feelings are neither right nor wrong - they're simply our feelings, and an essential part of the human experience. Deny them and you begin to shut down parts of yourself. Keep doing that and you'll lose the connection to who you truly are. You'll begin living completely in your head, and you'll stop feeling." - I love these sentences. Express your feeling!! After all, we are just a human being!!! Cry when you feel you wanna cry and laugh out loud when you think it's funny!:)

"There is just too much cynicism in the world today. We don't believe in the great dreams we had as kids anymore. We don't believe we have the power to create the lives we want. We don't think we can really make a difference by the things we do."Cal responded, "And that's exactly why so many of us are stuck. We have phenomenal power within us; we've just lost our connection to it. Part of the reason for this is fear. The possibilities available to us in our lives are truly miraculous. The wonders we have the potential to create in our lives, once we align with the force of nature, are astounding - they really are. But all this potential also brings with it certain responsibilities... and this frighten us. So we don't believe in ourselves. We deny our power and set up blocks to the achievement of the extraordinary lives that we're meant to lead."

"That's exactly what we do. We pretend we don't matter, and we act as if we're not special. We close our eyes to the way the world really operates, so we don't trust in these natural laws that govern it. And these laws only come alive in your life once you invest every bit of the trust you have as a human being in them. They don't work if you don't believe they will work. To access our best lives, each and every one of us must make some fundamental shifts of the mind. Maybe even more important, we each must make some fundamental shifts of the heart. And that begins by trusting these laws of nature I've been telling you about. Most people don't trust - they have no faith in the brilliance of the universe and their lovely role within it. That's why there's no magic in their lives. It's because they fail to understand the way the world operates, and it's also because they're no longer leaders."

"The leadership here is far more than something businesspeople do at work. It is all about personal responsibility, self-discovery, and creating value in the world by the people we become. Too many people spending their time blaming others for all that isn't working in their lives. But it's nothing more than excusing yourself. It is a sad way to live."

"The only way to lift your life to the next level is to act like a leader and assume real leadership over your life. The moment you look in the mirror and say to yourself, from the deepest place within you., 'For my life to change, I must change'- that's the moment you'll grow up and walk through a doorway that will lead you to your best life. Because that's when you'll take your life into your own hands. You'll assume responsibility for the destiny that has been presented to you. You'll stop resisting your life and  accept what it s. You 'll align yourself with those immutable laws of nature, laws that have always governed the way the life works, from the beginning of time. You'll get your power back."

And to end the first chapter of this book, Cal ask him to point the index finger into him. Cal explained, "Reflection is the mother of wisdom. You have one finger pointing at me, but who are the other three fingers pointing toward?" So, stop blaming others for everything you dislike about your life. Look in the mirror and regain some accountability over your life. That's how personal change and life leadership begins.

There are so many truths in what the author had written. It was just the first chapter and it had taught and reminded us many things about life.

How many of us continuing our childhood's dreams??? Remember what you said when people asked you, "What do you wanna be when you grow up???" Only few have made it come true or are working on it. I'm really glad that they have the determination to make it come true or to make it working in their lives.

As for me, my wish was to become a housewife when I was a child as I loved to play with children's cookery toys. I also loved to build my house on the mattress and set the chair and tables using the pillows and bolsters, not forgetting a space for kitchen where I could put the cookery's toys on it. I used to ask my niece and nephew pretending to be the guests who came to my 'imaginary' house and served them tea and some snacks. Hahaha..... I'd a very low expectation of dream in life.

I've never dreamed of becoming someone who works in the office, some more my job is related to finance. In fact, I tried to avoid anything related to finance or accounting when I was a teenager. But in reality, housewife is not my passion. And staying unemployed in Singapore is not a wise thing to do as we need some bread and butter, or even some bacon for our daily lives. Haha... So, my job was not a dream job that I had since I was young. It's more forced by the need and environment that I live in and there is nothing exceptional happening to me. I live a usual life as a normal people. That's my belief. Haha... Again, I restrain and put a limit into my life. However, I feel happy and contented. Some people are born to be this way.

However, the wisdom above was not just about realizing our dreams, but how we want to live our lives happily, not only for ourselves, but also to other being so when we're on our deathbed, we can answers the Final Questions, as the book stated, with a peace of mind, which are: 1. Did I live wisely? 2. Did I love well? 3. Did I serve greatly?

Read my latest review here

Benefit of fruits

~ An apple a day keeps the doctor away ~

Since I bought the juicer machine many months ago, I tried my best to use it often. Hehehe.... (Otherwise someone will nag me again and again for buying thing but only to store it inside the kitchen cabinet :P).

Every time I go to supermarket, I would buy any fruits without fail. Most common one would be apple, orange, and carrot. But recently, I went to supermarket and saw lots of green guava imported from Taiwan. It was on offer. At first, I thought of buying that just to eat like that. Then I saw people buying it in large numbers. I was thinking, why she bought so many?? Then I was thinking.. ya hor... I can make guava juice too.. Never tried before... But since it was on offer, why not??

So, I took about 8 of it, quite big size. I also grabbed ten pcs of apple and two packets of blueberry (my girl friend told me that it is good for skin since it's rich of anti-oxidant - keep your face skin glowing and look younger.. hahahaha..... The benefit was so tempting, wasn't it?? :D).

I am fruit lover. I eat any kind of fruits. My father trained us since we were so young. We were quite lucky staying in Indonesia, spoiled with many fruit varieties. My father's favorite fruits are banana and papaya. It's always been served on dining table almost every day. I didn't know that papaya is rich of anti-oxidant as well. If I know, I would eat more when I was young. Hahaha... I thought these two main purposes were for digestion and source of vitamin A and C. Other than that, we also often ate watermelon, honeydew, apple, pineapple, local orange (green in color), pomelo, salak (snake-skin fruit), apple custard, mango Harumanis (local sweet mango), jackfruit, soursop, jambu (rose apple) and starfruit. There were seasonal fruits too, such as: longan, rambutan, duku, mangosteen, and durian. In some area, we also could eat strawberry and other type of berries.

Tropical fruits

Here in Singapore, most fruits are imported from other countries. Singapore doesn't have enough land to grow own fruits, including durian. Hehehe.... We can find any fruits at anytime due to the improvement in preserving fruit or controlling the ripeness of fruits, which is obviously not good for health :( There is always apple, orange, grapes, banana, papaya, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, plum, pineapple, watermelon, honeydew, kiwi, avocado, dragon fruit and so on.

Just recently, I found out that there is a layer of wax in the red apple when I was trying to peel the skin off (those looks glowing, shiny and appealing nice color). Huaa... I was surprised and shocked to see that! I immediately threw it away and wouldn't buy that kind of apple anymore, I bought different type now for the apple juice. Hikss.....

It reminds me of the apple that I ate from the apple orchard in Thimphu, directly picked from the tree. Oh... I missed it very much!!! Although the look wasn't that appealing, it was definitely fresh and free from wax and pesticide. Wish I can have it again soon... :)

Fresh fruit juices

Well, below is the benefit of some fruit juices that you might find it useful:

Apple juice: reduces bad cholesterol levels; reduce risk of getting heart disease; helpful for weight loss; beneficial for people suffering from arthritis and rheumatism (rich of potassium); reduce constipation; clean liver and kidney; eliminate harmful toxin; prevent cancer; lower risk of asthma.

Guava juice: treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, relief in cough and cold, improve skin care, reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure, weight loss and rich in vitamin C

Orange juice: rich in vitamin C, protect against inflammation, reduce bad cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Carrot juice: rich in vitamin A, good for eyesight, bone, and teeth, liver and nails, skin and hair, as well as reduce the risk of cancer (including skin and breast cancer).

Pineapple juice: good for skin and oral health problem, rich in vitamin C, strengthen the human bones, relieve intestinal disorder, reduce inflammation.

Just an update: My dear son just made me a glass of green guava juice.... He's so sweet :) He saw me making the juice many times and now he just did it himself. He knew how to set the juicer (consists of many different parts), he washed and cut the fruit himself, he knew how to operate the machine, and now he even washed the machine himself. Hehehe... Thank you dear Baobei. It's true.. You ought to give your child a wing in order for him to fly :) I love you Baobei!!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

One night at the balcony

It's Friday night. No need to worry to wake up early tomorrow as I don't have to go for work. It was 10 plus at night. I needed some break. Looking inside the fridge and took out a bottle of wine. It was left a glass only and it's finished. I took the glass out to my house's balcony, together with a packet of spicy potato chips, Calbi, my favorite :) I opened the director chair and landed my butt safely on it. Another small chair to put my two feet on it so that I could relax.

I was alone in a dark night. I had a look at the opposite block and asked myself if there was any vacant flat that no one occupied yet. It's more than a year since we moved to new house. Wow!!! Time does fly... We moved in on 15 Feb 2012 and now it's 12, going to 13 Apr 2013. I started wondering around in my own thought. It seemed like yesterday we just moved in. We were first few batches who moved in to this area. We were the first few blocks that started to collect the keys. And now, it seemed most of them had been occupied.

I took a look on my left side. There were the other flats. It used to be the grey building, still under construction. Now it was almost fully occupied. Northwest side was even half built when we were moved in. Now, there were many lights there.

This balcony was where I sat.. We were lucky enough to be able to choose the flat with balcony. Not many people were able to get it. And not many flats were built with balcony. So even we had to pay slightly more, it was all worth it. In this balcony, there were lots of excitement. We had our breakfast, coffee/tea break, dinner and even beer or wine garden there. Sometimes we even invited our friends for beer/wine and chit chat session, not forgetting, it's been smoking area for my hubby and sis-in-laws. Sometimes our upstairs neighbors would complain. Well, even me complain.. hahahaha....

And tonight, with glass of red wine on my hand, I was looking up to the sky. It reminded me of first time we looked up at our balcony. It wasn't fully covered, only half. We grumbled and thought that HDB was trying to save their cost by building it half covered. But we were glad now that it's done that way, because otherwise, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the sky view (moon and stars) and our clothes won't dry so fast.. Hahaha.... (Balcony is also functioned as clothes drying area as the sun shines bright in afternoon time).

I looked up, and started counting up the stars. There were 22 stars... I counted it again.. it was 26... Again.. it's only 23 now.. While counting, it reminded me of eye test session in SNEC. I had to find the blinking stars and press the mouse, to prove that my eyes were functioning well. Lolx!!! Now the stars weren't blinking, but the cloud might hide or make it appear again. It was fun and non-sense though, haha... Nevertheless, it helped me to release tensions in my mind.

After a while, my sis-in-law finished her dinner. She came out for smoke break. She sat beside me and enjoyed her puff. I went to the kitchen and took out those leftover liquors in cupboard. There was a bit of Tequila. I poured it down and mixed it with the lemonade mixer and ice cubes. I went back to balcony, had my drink and munched the potato chips. We started to chit chat, discussing about which flat that still remains empty until now. Then we talked to other topic. Opps... my glass was empty. I went back to the kitchen and took out the Malibu. There were some leftover too. I checked the pineapple juice that I bought many months back. Hahaha... Checked the expiry date... :P Safe. It'll be expired in 2014. So, I mixed the Malibu with the pineapple juice and some ice.

We continued chatting. We talked about anything. Her job, her upcoming flat, her boyfriend, anything. Then she said her bf likes to go to Vietnam. It reminds me about my hubby's friend, who's having Vietnamese girlfriend. His friend (A) and another friend (B) just went to Vietnam to visit the girlfriend and her families in the village. Apparently, they were having dinner with the whole families and he (A) was asked to pay and it didn't come cheap. Haha... It costs about S$300 per meal. And the other friend (B), who likes to joke around, when was asked about his name, he told them that his name is 'Robert'. It wasn't his real name though. Hahahahahaha..... In Singapore and Hong Kong, 'Robert', or 'Robert Cai' means those person who was chopped (to pay for meal, expensive items, and so on). A could just smile humbly while B was smiling and laughing hard seeing A's reaction :D (Actually I also just knew about it... Never heard there was such a meaning of "Robert" before :D)

My glass emptied so fast (small glass). I went back to kitchen and filled it up, until the whole bottle finished. Yay!!! I finally managed to empty these three bottles since I moved in. I could empty my cupboard and fridge out a little bit. Hahaha... And before sleep, I decided to share what I felt just now. And the picture above, I shared with you the view in front of our main door a year ago compared with current one. Gone are the nice view... Left with condo's view opposite our block. So, this is Singapore... how we live... :(

Friday, April 12, 2013

"LAO" 老

After writing so much about lesson learned from a book, it's time to share joke sent by my colleague. It's Chinese wisdom:

In the Chinese language, the word "LAO"老 means old. It also has the connotation of "experienced" or "seasoned".

An experienced or seasoned person can be an expert in manipulation, as shown in the following illustrations:

Two things in life that are difficult to achieve:

1. To plant your idea in someone's head
2. To plant someone's money in your own pocket.

Achieving any one of the above is difficult. But there are people, with the title of LAO, can achieve one or both:

1. He who succeeds in planting his idea in someone's head - we call Lao Shi (teacher)
2. He who succeeds in planting someone's money in his own pocket - we call Lao Ban (boss)
3. The one who succeeds in both - we call Lao Po (wife) or Lao Qian (trickster)
4. The one who fails in both - we call Lao Gong (husband)

Only 'husband' will understand this Lolx! :D Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

'Training the Mind for Happiness" - by Dalai Lama

Currently I'm reading 'The Art of Happiness' - 10th Anniversary Edition written by Howard C. Cutler and his conversation with His Holiness Dalai Lama. Below were derived from that book as I want to share what Dalai Lama said about “Training the Mind for Happiness.”

Dalai Lama pointed out that ethical discipline leads to happier existence, which is to perform wholesome actions and avoid indulging in unwholesome action as it is felt that a disciplined mind leads to happiness and undisciplined minds lead to suffering.

Dalai Lama continued, "When I speak of discipline, I'm referring to self-discipline, not discipline that's externally imposed on you by someone else. Also, I'm referring to discipline that's applied in order to overcome your negative qualities. A criminal gang may need discipline to perform a successful robbery, but that discipline is useless."

Howard, a Western psychologist, posed his question to Dalai Lama, "If it's natural for us to want to avoid suffering, why aren't we spontaneously and naturally more and more repulsed by the negative or unwholesome behaviors as we grow older? And if it is natural to want to gain happiness, why aren't we spontaneously and naturally more and more drawn to wholesome behavior and thus become happier as our life progresses? I mean, why should we need so much education, training and discipline for that process to occur?"

(I bet we all want to know the answer. Don't we? I am wondering too. Lots of time things are easy to say in theory, but in practical, it is not easy to do. That reminds me of my hubby’s words on why he didn't want to read this book. Because he admits, this book has good theories. But then, what’s the use if it's difficult for us to practice??)

Shaking his head, the Dalai Lama replied, "Even in conventional terms, in our everyday life, we consider education as a very important factor for ensuring a successful and happy life. And knowledge does not come by naturally. We have to train, we have to go through a kind of systematic training program and so forth. And we consider this conventional education and training to be quite hard, otherwise why would students look forward so much to vacations? Still, we know that this type of education is quite vital for ensuring a happy and successful life."

"In the same way, doing wholesome deeds may not come naturally, but we have to consciously train towards it. This is so, particularly in modern society, because there is a tendency to accept that the question of wholesome deeds and unwholesome deeds - what to do and what is not to be done - is something that is considered to be within the purview of religion. Traditionally, it has been considered the responsibility of religion to prescribe what behaviors are wholesome and what are not. However, in today's society, religion has lost its prestige and influence to some degree. And at the same time, no alternative such as secular ethics has come up to replace it. So there seems to be less attention paid to the need to lead to wholesome way of life. It is because of this that I think we need to make some special effort and consciously work towards gaining that kind of knowledge. For example, although I personally believe that our human nature is fundamentally gentle and compassionate, I feel it is not enough that this is our underlying nature; we must also develop an appreciation and awareness of that fact. And changing how we perceive ourselves, through learning and understanding, can have a very real impact on how we interact with others and how we conduct our daily lives.”

Further answering Howard’s question, Dalai Lama said, “When you talk of knowledge leading to freedom or resolution of a problem, you have to understand that there are many different levels. For example, let’s say that human beings in the Stone Age didn’t know how to cook meat but they still had the biological need to eat, so they just ate like a wild animal. As human progressed, they learned how to cook and then how to put in different spices to make the food tastier and then they came up with more diverse dishes. And even up to our present age, if we are suffering from a particular illness and through our knowledge we learn that a certain type of food is not good for us, even though we might have the desire to eat it, we restrain ourselves from eating it. So it is clear that the more sophisticated the level of our knowledge is, the more effective we will be in dealing with the natural world.”

“You also need the ability to judge the long-term and short-term consequences of your behaviors and weigh the two. For example, in overcoming anger, although animals may experience anger, they cannot understand that anger is destructive. In the case of human beings, however, there is a different level, where you have a kind of self-awareness that allows you to reflect and observe that when anger arises, it hurts you. Therefore, you can make a judgment that anger is destructive. You need to be able to make that inference. So it’s not as simple as putting your hand in a fire, and then being burned and just learning in the future never to do it again. The more sophisticated your level of education and knowledge about what leads to happiness and what causes suffering, the more effective you will be in achieving happiness. So, it is because of this that I think education and knowledge are crucial.”

“One problem with our current society is that we have an attitude towards education as if it is there to simply make you cleverer, make you more ingenious. Sometimes it even seems as if those who are not highly educated, those who are less sophisticated in terms of their educational training, are more innocent and more honest. Even though our society does not emphasize this, the most important use of knowledge and education is to help us understand the importance of engaging in more wholesome actions and bringing about discipline within our minds. The proper utilization of our intelligence and knowledge is to effect changes from within to develop a good heart.”

If I don’t understand it wrongly, Dalai Lama said the above that, “Sometimes those who are not highly educated, less sophisticated in terms of their educational training, are more innocent and more honest.” It means, not necessarily people with higher education with more extensive knowledge are able to reach happiness better than those who are not.

Have you recalled anyone when you read that sentence? Someone that you know, that having not high educational level but being more kind, having good heart in nature, more innocent and honest??? I have recalled some people like that.

In my life, I have unknowingly met, known, and learnt different type of people. I am the type of person who learns from experience, who observes people’s behavior. Perhaps because I was born as the youngest in the family, allowing me to learn the experience from my closest ones, especially my dear sisters and brother who were born years before me. I am glad I was given this kind of realization to learn from their experience, to follow the good and to avoid the bad ones. Even until now, after all of us have our own families, I’m still learning from them. But to practice good ones, really not easy tasks to do. Our desires, greed, and other negative qualities have often come to stop us to practice the good ones, blinded us and made us think that it was not bad after all. So, really, “Training the Mind for Happiness” is really a good topic, something that easy to say, but really hard to practice in reality, at least for me. How about you???

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


Blurred vision from inside the shuttle bus

This afternoon I had appointment at Singapore National Eye Center. I have to check my eyes once every year since the medicines that I took almost everyday will have a side effect on my eyes. It can cause cataract when consumed long term. Time flies. It's been 4 years plus since I was diagnosed with SLE. But so far my condition is good. Nothing worrying happened. Keep my fingers crossed that everything will be fine in more years to come. Anyway, when it happened, I'll just have to accept and face it :)

The appointment was at 1.30pm and it ended at 3.30pm. It was time to go back. I was taking shuttle bus to MRT provided by SGH. But I had to wait as there were many people queuing before me, about 25 of them. My both eyes were diluted with liquid as the doctor wanted to check the behind part, as it blurred as the effect and it lasted me for few hours. So, I was waiting for shuttle bus, we all sat at the outdoor seats provided.

Not long after that, we heard thunder sound. it sounded more often, and much louder. It even shook the land. And rain appeared. It started with light downpour, but slowly, as the thunder lighted the sky, the rain poured heavier. Those people who sat down facing outside was getting wet! Those who brought umbrella, had it opened, and those who didn't, would shelter themselves more to inner side.

View from my seat - while waiting

I was sitting down. With blurred eyes, I was looking at the rain, embracing it with open heart. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, had a smell of the rainfall. I could hear the thunders as if it sang and let us dancing. Bright lightning were flashing one after another, sometimes it brought the atmosphere to the max! It bang damn loud! Instead of getting shocked or scared, I was enjoying it! I hadn't witnessed the rain with thunder for long time. Usually I would be inside my office, just heard the sound from afar. Haha.. If I didn't have to go back to office to work, I might dance in the rain just now :D

It continued even after I hopped into the bus and reached MRT station. As short as 20-minute rain had refreshed my mind. The splashed rain and the cool breeze had awaken me. I just love the feeling...

Saturday, April 06, 2013

My BB life story

Yesterday afternoon, after writing an email to my dear friend, suddenly my Blackberry turned off itself. Weird. I had a bad feeling. It never happened like that before. I tried to turn it on, but it couldn't. As usual, I took off the battery, put it back again, and tried to turn it on again. It still couldn't. Just a red light on then disappeared.

Desperately, I took off the battery again. This time, removed the sim card as well, then put it back and turned it on again, same thing. Only red light would appear then it was off again. Hiks........ :( I immediately browsed in google trying to find the cause and how to solve the problem. The web just said, it often happened to any Blackberry phone and it seemed normal.

Haiz... I thought, it's gonna be the end of my BB's life. And funnily, just minutes before that, my colleague called my office number and asked me to miscall her using my mobile as her handphone had just died the day before. So I miscalled her, and not long after that, the problem with my BB appeared. Hiks...... I thought, since when the handphone problem could contiguous like that???

This was the second time I using Blackberry phone. Losing the phone data had become a regular happening. But for dying like that was my first time. I used to lose the whole data again and again, until I fed up and didn't want to store too many info there, only those I often used.

Since then, I started to type all my contacts information into the excel file in my computer to work as a back up so it would be useful when the event like this happened. After that I updated the data once in a while to make sure I didn't lose any contacts with any of my friends, ex-colleagues, ex-schoolmates, relatives, families, and so on.

I thought my BB was finally dead. I checked with my hubby when my contract finished and he said I need two more months to renew a contract and to purchase new handset at discounted price. Hoaaa.... I was so desperate... 2 months seemed like 2 years for me. Even an hour without it, I felt like a day!!! I checked around too if there was spare phone that I could borrow.

While I worked, I connected my handphone with the USB cable. There was red light again turning on and off itself. At least there was still a hope (not 100% died). Just like when people was dying but there was still heartbeat on and off.

After some time, suddenly it turned on itself. Then the screen appeared. It showed the extremely low bat condition and still charging. Wow!!! I was soooo... happy!!! It survived from the critical condition and it was alive!!! Hahaha... I couldn't believe it!! Seemed like a miracle, dream came true! I didn't have to worry about the spare phone anymore!! Before that I even thought of buying a new set without contract which would cost me a bomb!

Wow!! I relieved..... All the worries that I thought before had just disappeared and I felt grateful with my BB for giving me another chance to use this phone longer and in good condition. I promise I would treasure it more... Thank you dear.. Hope you can last until the day I can re-contract my plan and after the new Samsung S4 be launched!

However I don't think I will buy Blackberry anymore. Two Blackberry phones in a row, using it for about 4 years.. I have enough.... I need a phone who has a better camera (since I like to take photo), with better battery life span (unlike this one that can't even last for a half day....), better function and speed, etc. However, you have accompanied me through thick and thin, always be there when I needed you, have witnessed lots of my love messages with my loved ones, connected me with my families and friend from all over the world, and many more...

And this phone had taught me some important lessons in life too, which were to let go (as many contacts, messages, pictures would disappear), impermanence (nothing last forever) and also, once a chapter in life ended, it was not the end. It was just a new beginning of a better life although everything has to start all over again.

Let us treasure the rest of our time together ba!!! Nothing last forever though! Either you leave me or I leave you... It's a sad goodbye soon, but your memories will always remain in my heart..... Love you BB!!!

Friday, April 05, 2013

Our existence in universe

CREDIT: ESO/Z. Bardon (www.bardon.cz)/ProjectSoft (www.projectsoft.cz)

The Milky Way above the dome of the Danish 1.54-metre telescope at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile. This telescope was a major contributor to the PLANET project to search for exoplanets using microlensing.

Reading ‘Today’ newspaper this morning, it is said that there could be 100 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way Galaxy. However, it will be a long way from measuring this number to actually finding inhabited planets.

One Sunday morning, many years ago, I heard something similar during Dharma talk in the temple. It’s believed that there are numerous other planets each with its own life forms in this universe, which locate great apart from each other. (The Buddha said there are “thousands of suns, thousands of moons, thousands of continents.” Anguttara Nikaya 1.227). To support the info, you can refer here

Quoted from the above link:  “This would seem to suggest that solar systems are formed, go through their normal life course of about 10 to 50 billion years and then perish. The debris leftover eventually reconstitutes itself in a transformation and becomes a new solar system. This is one hundred percent compatible with the Buddha’s teachings on no first beginning and the cycles of existence. The Buddha said that even world systems get destroyed, but that there is no end. There is no beginning and there is no end. Everything is just transformed in continuation with no death.”

To my imagination, I was thinking that there were many planets out there, just like the one we live in now, which consists of human, animals, plants, and so on.

If Former Indonesian President, B.J. Habibie said Singapore is just a little red dot in the map (though it was denied by him), after we read the news above, our earth itself has already been a little red dot in the universe. So, how about us? How small are we in this universe? 

However, in Buddhism, it is said that we are lucky to be born as human. Being born a human being gives us the ability to do so much for our karma (both good and bad). It is seen as a precious opportunity to help our fellow man and possibly even attain enlightenment. So, although life seems so hard to go through and complicated as we sometimes don’t understand why we are born into this world, we still have to be grateful for being born as a human. I might treat life as a long dream then.

"The life of a sentient being is a long dream. Existence only appears to be real. When one finally awakens, or attains Buddhahood, existence is seen for what it is--a sequence of illusions. Until that time, people will remain obsessed by the body, mind, and external phenomena, not realizing that they are illusory. You will live in a dream, thinking that it is reality. . . .”
~ Ch’an Master Sheng-yen, Complete Enlightenment ~
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