Thursday, May 17, 2018

Places to Visit in Sri Lanka - Adam's Peak or Sri Pada (Sacred Footprint) - Part 1

Adam's Peak or Sri Pada (Sacred Footprint)

When I said I would travel to Sri Lanka, Adam's Peak was the first place that Sonam mentioned, kind of the 'must visit' place there, especially for those who came for pilgrimage. Not only that, it was the toughest place to go too. It was not only about the distance or height of the place that we had to climb, which took 4-5 hours to reach, but also we had to do it in the middle of the night (when everybody was sleeping comfortably) after such a long train and bus journey, and we had to go back right after that (without a sleepover plus it took another long bus and train journey back home). So, when making our plan, Sonam suggested me to visit that place first while the rest would follow. Therefore, we went there on my third day in Sri Lanka together with many of his juniors.

Train and bus journey to Adam's Peak or Sripada

It was cheap and easy traveling around Sri Lanka using the railway service, only if you were able to stay among the crowd, in a non-AC cabin, for hours (it was kinda slow traveling along the track, with the traffic, many stops, and so on), with many hawkers passing by (plus its smell - food smell, I mean), stand up until you manage to get the seat (that's the thing - you could get the train ticket easily, but not the seat), and sometimes you even had to stand for at least 2-3 hours until the person left the seat, that also if you were lucky.

It was convenient to check the train's schedule, cost, how long it took, etc. online. You just had to go to Google search and type in the railway station you started the journey from and the destination to reach. E.g. Train Ragama Junction to Hatton (the nearest train station from Adam's Peak).

Search train information in Sri Lanka

Click the first one that appeared as per above picture. Then it would show you as per below.

Train information from Ragama to Hatton - Journey to Adam's Peak

As per seen in the above picture, you could find out the distance between two places, the different train with different timing available for the day, the ticket price (based on the class that you preferred and chose), and if you clicked on the green button, you would be directed to the opposite direction's information (Hatton to Ragama). Fyi SGD $1 was equal to LKR115 - the 2nd class ticket would cost SGD $2. And if you would like to find out the detail information on each train, just click on it and the below information would appear.

Detail train information - Sri Lanka

Train's arrival time to Ragama, departure time from the station, arrival's time in Hatton, and other details would be shown. Well, that was for the guidelines when you planned for your travel. Most of the time train would come late (not always though!) The ticket would usually be bought at the station on that day itself. Not all train had the reserved seat cabin (reserved seat meaning that you surely got the seat on the particular train, which was quite rare, and was usually better be purchased days before to avoid the 'sold out' situation).

Sonam and I often bought the 2nd Class ticket but we ended up sitting at the 3rd Class cabin for the whole journey as we found out that people would get down from train faster at the 3rd Class cabin and there was not much different from 2nd Class and 3rd Class cabin anyway plus there was seldom any ticket checking done by the train staff.

Once we bought 3rd Class ticket and boarded to 2nd Class cabin. But it was a 'Reserved 2nd Class', not the usual one. Lol. The staff came and checked our tickets. Luckily there were other local passengers who helped us talking with the staff that we were actually boarded to the wrong cabin and when we tried to get down and change, the door was locked and we could not go out. So the staff gave us lenient and asked us to go down at the next stop, which we did not as we both were sleeping (and no intention to get down because we got the nice seat and enjoyed it comfortably). And too bad that he noticed that we were still sitting there hahaha... He woke me up and warned me to get down at the next stop, quite angrily! Hahahaha..... :P No choice lo, we had to get down and change right after that :'D

So, we got in the train. The train went to Kandy first (3.5 hours journey), stopped for a while, before continuing its journey to Hatton. The 2 juniors who boarded the train earlier managed to get the seat and they gave it to me and Sonam. They had to stand in for some time until they managed getting the seat. Thank you la! Only when it reached Kandy, the rest of juniors came to our cabin and sat together.

Colorful flowers-decorated bus coach from Hatton to Adam's Peak :)

By the time we reached Hatton, the sky had turned dark. We reached at 8.30 pm. After asking the local around, they asked us to get into the bus that heading to Adam's Peak, outside the railway station, right after we reached due to infrequent bus available at night time. We did not expect that the bus would be super crowded!!! People were packed like sardine fish inside the can. Luckily, I got a very special seat - Buddha blessed me :)

At first I got a seat at the very first front row. Then an old lady with a crutch was coming up. I gave up my seat for her and the driver asked me to sit next to him (not really a seat, more like place to put stuffs right beside him - if you took Tata coach bus before, you would know how it was - or just see the below picture).

That was where I sat - the red carpeted area - my special seat :D

There was hand railing surrounding me, which also protected me from the crowd behind. I had fresh mountain air from the entrance door and bus driver's window, I got the closest view of the TV screen above me with music blasted from the loud sound speaker, and the VIP or unblocked view of the road ahead (I could even see the snake crossing the road when the driver was stopping until it passed by - what a loving and passionate driver he was! - or perhaps just avoiding bad luck if he happened crossing it accidentally :P).

I was non-stopped expressing my gratitude and admiring the driver for his way handling the stir skillfully, controlling the bus in the best and fast possible way - like handling an orchestra - to reach our destination, while many of my friends were vomiting, having headache, motion sickness, and left with no fresh air behind - one by one was carrying plastic bag in front of them, or otherwise sticking their heads outside the bus window :D

Finally a group photo - seven of us - at Vijitha Restaurant (Adam's Peak base) - Sri Lanka

We reached the Adam's Peak base (called Nallathanniya) at 10.30 pm. It was drizzling. We went inside a restaurant, took a rest, had our skipped lunch, dinner cum supper altogether in one meal plus tea, and changed our clothes there. While resting, some of us went out buying last minute necessity like pants, socks, disposable raincoat, etc. at many outdoor tent shops nearby (it was opened even at the time like that).

At 12.10 am we started our journey. Luckily the rain had stopped. The path was mostly the well-built staircases made of rough stones illuminated by electric power lines at the side - not so bright but enough to lead our way up. Slowly, we all walked together.

Sama Chatiya or World Peace Pagoda - Our way towards Adam's Peak, Sri Lanka

Forty-five minutes later we stopped at the Sama Chatiya (the World Peace Pagoda) - built by Japanese monk - Ven Nichi Fuji back in 1976. We made three rounds and prayed before continuing our journey.

Shops along the way, place to rest before climbing up again :D - Adam's Peak, Sri Lanka

We climbed the stairs and took rest. Climbed and took rest. Repeat. Hahahahaha... Yes... I think I was the slowest among the rest, perhaps due to the age as I was the oldest in the group, plus I was a city person, not mountain girl. Lol! :'D

There were many shops opened for all the visitors, mostly selling food and drinks. The higher the place, the more expensive the items would cost. They provided many bench for people to rest, even when we did not buy any single thing. Nice eh?

The beautiful shiny bright full moon was there encouraging me to keep walking ahead, as if it told me, "Moon is the limit. Go catch me there!!!" And too bad, it went higher and higher each time I saw it. The stairs had become steeper too towards the peak. We had to walk slower. With every last breath and energy I had, I kept moving on. By 4 am we finally reached the top, and yes, I was the last one to reach :D

Offered butter lamp and at the same time got some warmth from it :) - Adam's Peak, Sri Lanka

We bought flowers and butter lamp and gave it as offering to the sacred Footprint. Buddhist believed that it was Buddha's footprint; Hindu believed that it was Lord Shiva's; while Muslim and Christian believe that it was Adam's. So everyone from any religion could come and pay their respect to the same footprint there.

Taking rest at Adam's Peak :)

The place had already been crowded by the time we reached there. Majority who went there was still local people with many foreigners around. I found it very amazing to see many elderly - even with crutch - were able to climb it slowly and reached to the top. Perhaps they had been going there since a very young age - I saw many children walking up there too, accompanied by their parent/s. I was amazed with their spirit, really!!!

After done with praying, we waited nearby the area where people standing to see the sunrise about an hour's time. By 5.30 am all stood up and looked towards the east, waiting for the sun to come. To be continued...

Friday, April 27, 2018

Day 21 in Sri Lanka – 26 April 2018

A land I'd never imagined visiting before :)

I’d never thought or imagined that I would stay this long – three weeks now - here in Sri Lanka, a country where the majority of its population was Buddhist (70.2%).  It started from months ago when a good friend of mine, Tashi, introducing me her good friend, Sonam, who was studying Medical faculty here at a University in Ragama. She told him that I was a passionate traveler who loved visiting places especially the Buddhist pilgrimage sites, and fortunately, he was willing to receive me at his rented place, and even bring me around places in Sri Lanka.

 First time taking Srilankan Air

I bought the air ticket after he had his schedule confirmation. Earlier, he said he would have holiday on the first two week of April, followed by exam on the third week, then normal class at the last. Sinhalese New Year fell on 14th April and Vesak Day on 29th April. Both days were very important in the country and I thought of experiencing it. That was why I planned of staying here this long (total of 25 days).

From the top of Adam's Peak or Sripada in Srilanka

Until today, we have visited almost all the places that I had wanted to visit, starting from the famous Sri Pada (sacred footprint) or also known as Adam’s Peak – thousands steps of stairs climbing experience in the middle of the night for 3-4 hours and waited there until the sun rose; the ancient city of Anuradhapura – to visit many pilgrimage sites including dagobas, temples, stupa, Bodhi tree that sapling was brought over from Bodhgaya after Buddha reached enlightenment; the ancient cave in Dambulla; the Sigiriya rock fortress; the Temple of the Tooth (Buddha’s tooth relic) in Kandy; the Peradeniya Botanical Garden; the cool mountains with lots of tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya and Ella; the nostalgic Old Town in Galle filled with buildings built during Portugal, Dutch, and England’s time; the beautiful Unawatuna beach; and many other places in Colombo city. We have wrapped almost all by now and only left with very few places plus the Vesak celebration by end of this month.

 Celebrating Sinhalese New Year 

On the Sinhalese New Year, Sonam had last minute requested his ex-tenant to let me and juniors experiencing their culture at their home (what they usually did on New Year), plus we were invited for dinner the day after that. There, I experienced on how they usually received guest, what types of food and drink they served, the ambience, and so on.

Srilankan New Year's dinner party at aunty and uncle house 

 From this trip, I had never thought too that at this age, I had the opportunity to experience the real life of Bhutanese students who had to study for a long period of time (at least five years for Medical faculty), so far away from home, and felt their struggle in adapting their new life (with the weather that similar with Singapore – only hot and rain, the language that they had to learn from zero – Sinhalese and Tamil, the air pollution – many were missing the fresh Bhutan air, the water quality, the public transport facilities, the taste and cleanliness of the local food – many were prefer cooking Bhutanese food each and every day, plus the infamous and uncertain ‘strike’ that delayed their course of study).

My 'nest' during my stay in Sri Lanka. Thank you Sonam!!! :)

As temporary visitor, I too had my time adapting to the new environment here in Sri Lanka. On my first night, I had a difficult time to sleep as the mosquito loved sucking my sweet blood. Luckily the next day Sonam and Sangay managed getting the mosquito net for me and they immediately installed it. I had good sleep each and every night now. While taking a bath, sometimes I had to dance to avoid the passing by cockroaches, lizards, and sometimes the skinny worms. Lol.

Momo making in Sri Lanka - 13th April 2018

For food wise, I was lucky that Sonam and his friends were such good cooks!!! They had prepared and cooked many different types of Bhutanese dishes, and every time they cooked different ones. I must have tasted most Bhutanese dishes ever available over here including the experience of making the veg Momo (Bhutanese dumpling) from the scratch!!! We had it on the Sinhalese New Year’s Eve. Usually I only saw it from photos or heard the story from others. So I was very grateful that I could be part of it in real life.

Alfresco dining at Somnath and Oli's place :)

Not forgetting the alfresco dining prepared by Oli and Somnath at their humble place :) Thank you guys!!!

Sonam cut Jigme's hair

I too experienced watching Sonam cutting Jigme’s hair with only using comb and scissor, plus mirror. I heard a lot about Bhutanese students cutting each other’s hair to save cost and to have the hair style they desired, but my first time watching it with my own eyes.

Watching them playing football at basketball court :D

Yesterday I too had my first time watching them playing football at the basketball court. Football had been the most favorite sport by many, especially Bhutanese boys. They could spare their time everyday just to play it or go all the way to other city to catch the football match. I had never been fans of it but yes, I heard about it a lot, and grateful for the opportunity to watch them playing.

During my stay it was not all going smoothly though. One night I felt the sole of my feet itchy. I thought I was bitten by mosquitoes. After that, the palms of my hand turned itchy. Hmm… I thought, what a coincidence to have the itch at those funny places. So I slept. The next morning, the itch got worst. I could not sleep because of that. This time, it attacked both feet and both hands. It must be something wrong, I thought. True enough. Soon, the red patched appeared on my legs, but it was not itchy though. Still, it required some attention.

Skin allergy attack!!! :(

Sonam brought me to clinic, but it was closed (still New Year’s holiday). We went to hospital ward to see doctor and got prescription. The next day the condition got worst. The patches got more and spread to hips now. We visited skin specialist at the hospital this time and the doctor was very good. He knew my condition well and opened the right prescription. The cream was special mixed ingredients and able to counter the allergic fast. The medicine that I took was helping me too. Woah, lucky I was able to recover fast!!! Thank you!!!

Thank you Sonam!!! ^^

And another incident happened on my way back from Galle to Colombo. Three toes skin were torn off while riding the train. I had to endure for a duration of 3 hours until reaching home. After taking bath, Sonam had voluntarily cleaned the wound up, applied the Betadine, and wrapped each toes with bandage and gauze to make sure it was cleaned and dried. I was very grateful that he was around and always there when I needed it the most. Most importantly, he knew what to do. He was calm and always ensured me that I would be fine in no time. Hahaha… I was very grateful to stay with doctor-to-be this time round!!!

Relaxing day at home - eat and watch movie ^^

Coincidentally he and his friends started schooling this week. As they did not have time to go out, I too had a good resting and recuperating time at home. I slept, ate, did laundry, cooked sometimes, watched movies from Sangay’s laptop, and decided to write this post. This trip was really memorable one, the one I would never forget in my life.

One of the feelings I got here :(

There were lots of mix emotions that I got here in Sri Lanka. From the country, the people, their living conditions, their terrains, their environment, places, and so on. I have learned many things in life as well. Thank you SB for making this journey smooth and well so far. May I reach home safe and sound very soon. Thank you once again for everyone, especially Sonam, who has treated me very well throughout my stay here in Sri Lanka. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!!

Monday, April 02, 2018

Happiness is in a journey

How time flies! Three months had passed since the beginning of the year 2018 and I had visited few places and spent valuable time with dear friends and my loved ones. Spring had started in the four-season countries, while in Singapore, it had been raining at any time of the day for the past one week.

Perfect time for reading and sipping tea with biscuits :)

It was rather a perfect time to read a book, to sip a cup of hot tea or coffee accompanied with delicious biscuits, and to snuggle under my Doraemon blanket. However, the rain had deterred me from catching my favorite physical activities, such as: morning walk and cycling. Since I had difficult time to wake up early in the morning lately, I could only go for cycling in evening time, and only when the weather permitted, just like yesterday.

After ensuring the sky was bright enough and no rain, I took the bicycle out from home. Glasses were worn to protect my eyes from the wind, sand, and dust. Hair was clipped and tied to a pony tail. Waist pouch was clipped to secure my mobile phone. A string bag was packed behind my back filled with water bottle and a small wallet made of clothes. Both ears were plugged and English songs were played continuously on my ears. Geared well, I started cycling once I reached the lift downstairs - to my usual destination.

My reflections from the mirror :D

The sky was half bright and half cloudy, the color was just like the inverted kueh talam ubi. Therefore, no expectation to see the sunset. The air was very cooling though, very pleasant. It was good that not many people took the same route as mine. Usually it was very crowded during weekend, but I saw many had preferred sitting down, picnic-ing, and chit chatting with their friends and/ or families along the seaside while catching fish.

Many thoughts were played on my head when cycling. Like just now, I was thinking how people chose to spend their evening on weekend and how I spent mine. It was completely two different things. They had accompany, sat down, and relaxed while I would rather cycling, moving my both legs ups and downs, filling my lungs with fresh cooling air, and sweating my body up - alone.

Cycling made me feeling free like a bird (Instagram: Rimareyka.writes)

Cycling had never failed in giving me a sense of freedom - especially when cycling alone. I could cycle as fast as I wanted, sing loudly the song that I played on my phone, shout out loud at the descended road, express my hearts out, smile and laugh while recollecting beautiful memories from the past and feeling grateful for all things happened in my life, collect inspiration to be written into my blog, and I could even cry when remembering the sad and awful incidents in my life. People might think that I was crazy doing all that at one journey, ha-ha... But with my speed, people would hardly notice it though! ;)

The sky was getting very dark at the road ahead but it did not deter me from cycling. It even started drizzling but I kept going. I refused to take the U-turn or to avoid the storm. It was just like the life that I went through. Despite knowing clearly that the road ahead might not be smooth, full of obstacles and challenges, I would not go back to the past or give up on moving on. Because by facing the difficulties ahead - the life challenges - only then I had the opportunity to get and learn something new, and even - God knew it well - find my happiness ahead. Just like people said, rainbow came only after the rain.

Let it rain, baby! You are not alone (Instagram: Rimareyka.writes)

True enough, after some time, it was raining. Slowly, it got heavier and I had no choice but to stop when the splatter got fuller and painful. I saw a shelter and decided to stay under it for a while. Soon after, many cyclists took the same shelter standing up together. Despite feeling shattered with wet and coldness under the heavy rain, I was feeling good. Good because I was not alone. Good because it only showed that many were facing the same challenges in their life journey and together we could wait until the storm had over, or braced ourselves to get wetter and sick if we chose to keep going. Nevertheless, we were sure not alone.

Beautiful night view after the rain - Punggol Sunrise Bridge

In a while, rain stopped. One by one, people left the shelter, and so did I. To my surprise, in just less than 100 meters away from where I stood before, the ground was dry and showed no sign of rain. I felt that the incident was clearly a sign for me to learn from the nature and life itself. I continued cycling, going another one big round while collecting a source of inspiration - a sign for me to update this barren blog - to share with others what I went through and learned that evening, which were: not to take the bad things too hard and good things for granted. To brave yourself and keep walking forward. No one said it was easy, but it would be worth it.

I kept cycling and suddenly my favorite song below was tuned on my playlist:



"Underneath the Sky" 
by Cameron Ernst

Like a low sitting fog at the break of day
Let it fade, let it fade
Like a hold of a frost on a window pane
Let it all melt away
I see it now so clearly where I couldn't see before
Finally now it was worth the wait

I hear my heartbeat
Feel my wings take flight
Everything is golden underneath this sky
Underneath this sky (2x)

I can jump, I can soar, and I'm not afraid
Let the wind hit my face
I can take on the clouds, they're no longer gray
Take 'em on any day

I see it now so clearly where I couldn't see before
Finally now it was worth the wait

I hear my heartbeat
Feel my wings take flight
Everything is golden underneath this sky
Underneath this sky (4x)

Look beyond at the horizon
And remember the day
This was the day yeah
Keep your eyes there
There's nothing like it
I was born to be brave
Forever brave

I hear my heartbeat
Feel my wings take flight
Everything is golden underneath this sky
I hear my heartbeat
Feel my wings take flight
Everything is golden underneath this sky
Underneath this sky (4x)

Beautiful full moon on 15th Feb lunar calendar - 31st March 2018

"Wooohoooooo......." I shouted again on the descended road. Thank SB for everything!!! You never failed in supporting and encouraging me facing the challenges in life. You even pampered me with the beautiful moon that I found before exiting the park. Thank you, thank you, and thank you for everything!!! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Embracing Each Moment by Anam Thubten

This book was suitable to be said as "A Guide to the Awakened Life." I picked this book up at the library last weekend. In between novels that I borrowed and read, I had to slot some Buddhism and inspirational books to remind myself about the reality of life. As we know, many novels were fictions. It often brought me to the imaginary world out there. But it was truly necessary for me to read the Dhamma, the inspirations, which could awake me and remind me our true purpose in this very life.

Embracing Each Moment by Anam Thubten

The awakened life is the essence and aim of the Buddhist teachings, according to Anam Thubten, and this book is a guide to cultivating the awakened mind and heart that allows this wonderful kind of life to happen. He illuminates the path to awakened living in a way that's concise and completely accessible to anyone of any background - reflective of the diverse backgrounds of the students who attend his popular talks on which the book is based. 

"We all want to be happy," says Anam Thubten. 

"This seems to be our strongest impulse. Primarily our happiness comes from our state of mind, though we can't deny the fact that outside circumstances play a big role. When we learn to embrace each moment of our lives, we're empowered to let go of our emotional patterns and false beliefs about ourselves, and we discover the compassion that's been there all along."

(Source: Embracing Each Moment's prologue)

The introduction of the Embracing Each Moment's author - Anam Thubten

The book content 133 pages divided into 15 chapters. Started from the introduction, what the Buddhism is all about, all the way to Buddha of Love (or Buddha Maitreya - the future Buddha), love and heart matters, true nature, mind, spiritual awakening, and so on. It was written in simple language, very easy to read and understand. It was practical too. It guided us to look within us, to find our true nature, the Buddha within.

Love image (Pic source: Google.com)

Buddhist teachings are all about becoming aware of your own limits and learning how to love." - Anam Thubten.

"True happiness comes from loving, melting, and being free from the grip of fear." - Anam Thubten.

"We lived a life in a beautiful bubble that is going to burst at any given moment. Things that we felt as a source of comfort and glory was actually just a beautiful bubble, even our existence. It was truly beautiful, but at the same time, very fragile and impermanent." - Anam Thubten.

"Love is this authentic feeling that transcends judgement, hatred, and envy. It embraces one person or a group of people in our hearts with trust and kindness. This unconditional acceptance and affinity is what love is." - Anam Thubten.

"Sometimes love is misunderstood. When we think we love somebody, sometimes it turns out not to be pure love. It often can be mixed or poisoned with our own selfish motives and projections. This kind of poisonous love is often found in human relationships." - Anam Thubten

"Love heals everything. Love will awaken you. It heals your wounded heart and will awaken your deluded consciousness. Love of humanity is, in the end, the only true love - the highest love you can find, love that will free you and heal you.. Once you love humanity, you can love everything. It is the most powerful love, but it is the most difficult love to actualize" - Anam Thubten.

"True monk is not someone with a shaved head who goes around begging for food, but someone who has conquered his own doubt, his resistance to love. Because love is very scary, very frightening to the ego. This fear keeps us from letting go of all our defenses. It keeps us from jumping into that both scary and liberating world of all-embracing love. But if you have a moment, listen to your deepest wisdom. It will tell you that when you open your heart, you are going to be free and happy forever. This love will heal everything. Eventually you will be able to love everything. You will be able to love this entire existence, with its beauty as well as its messiness." - Anam Thubten.

Poor innocent love (IG: Rimareyka.writes)

In this book he reminded us the preciousness of human life, encouraged us to contemplate within our inner self, to meditate what if today was your last day to live, and so on. I loved the part where he wrote about forgiveness.

"There is no divine or eternal reward if you forgive, yet it can be the most liberating experience you can ever witness. Forgiveness comes from understanding the human condition and understanding where each of us is coming from. Understanding those who have caused harm to us. Understanding their karma, their background, their suffering, their delusions and realizing that there is no evil in anybody. There is no evil in human beings. Ultimately, nobody hurts anyone else intentionally, even though we may sometimes feel that we have been hurt intentionally.  Everyone is harming each other with complete unawareness. So we are ruled by our own delusions, our own neuroses. Sometimes all we need is this understanding. When we have this understanding, there is no human being in this world we cannot forgive." - Anam Thubthen

"There is no Tantric master bestowing the empowerment (forgiving yourself) on you. You give this empowerment to yourself. When you totally forgive yourself, you know how to accept yourself. Then you will love yourself madly. You'll give this empowerment to yourself. Then you will be enthroning yourself as Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of infinite love. You'll be enthroning yourself as Tara, the embodiment of boundless complassion." - Anam Thubten

Words by Anam Thubten

He also wrote about the preciousness of human's life.

"Human life is not only precious, it is also extremely transient. We are not immortal. We can die at any given moment. We are obsessed with many unimportant things. We pay attention to all these things that we don't have any meaning. When we realize how fleeting and impermanent our own existence is, we wake up and feel an urgency to do something meaningful with our human lives." - Anam Thubten

"Perhaps the goal of this human life is to realize nirvana, but perhaps nirvana is not what some people think it is. Nirvana does not have to be some kind of permanent, static, or eternal state of freedom or enlightenment. Instead, it can be alive and vibrant, something that can be actualized here and now. When we feel this nirvana, we feel only pure love and pure compassion. Love and compassion for ourselves and for all humanity, as well as love for animals and nature." - Anam Thubten

"According to the Lojong teachings, we don't have to run away from them. It says that we can welcome all the circumstances of life, even the unfavourable ones, and use them as a spiritual path, a path to nirvana, a path to the great awakening. By following that path, we can learn how to surrender, how to forgive, how to become courageous, and how to find happiness - not from outside, but from inside." - Anam Thubten


"If you are courageous, then somehow all of life is dharma; all of life is a spiritual teaching. You can almost say that everybody is your spiritual teacher, your guru. And we have no control over life's circumstances. From the moment we are born, we have no control over our own existence. The future is completely unknown. And the profound understanding of uncertainty becomes vivid in our consciousness when we have tragedy or a crisis in our lives, when we feel we are pushed to the edge of the unknown. Once we can surrender and love this great unknown, there is only freedom; there is only joy. Then we can let go of these long-held chains binding us inside: the chain of hope and the chain of fear. Then we can be the happiest people who ever lived on the planet. Therefore, the secret of everything we are looking for - nirvana, enlightenment, the great awakening, or whatever we call it - is surrender." - Anam Thubten

"Unconditional happiness comes from this secret: surrender. Surrender is the act of loving and embracing the great unknown. Unconditional happiness comes from not running away from anything. It comes from taking even the most unfavorable circumstances as a path, a spiritual path, a truthful teaching. Surrender uses such circumstances as a way to turn our attention inward, as a way to see our limitations, our neuroses, laziness, cowardice, fear, insecurity, pride, and attachment. From that understanding, we grow and develop love, compassion, and courage. Life is unfolding continuously, whether we like it or not. The more we try to control it, the more we suffer. If we truly surrender our fears and hopes and jump into the unknown of everyday life, we'll lose nothing except suffering. We'll gain freedom without looking for it." - Anam Thubten


"Learn to be compassionate and content. Learn to dance in your heart while in your mind you are losing everything. Learn not to become angry, bitter, or pessimistic. The truth is that we are going to lose everything in the end. It is just a matter of time. when death arises, then we have to lose everything. We cannot take even one object with us. We have to leave everything behind - this beautiful world, our loved ones, our friends, our fortune, our glory, and our physical body. The important message is telling us that the purpose of this existence is to walk the spiritual path, the path to nirvana, the path to the great awakening. This message is also telling us, 'Don't seek nirvana in the future, but find nirvana here, here in the nowness.' It is the state you find yourself in after complete surrender." - Anam Thubten

Anam Thubten Rinpoche wishes for all sentient beings (Pic source: Google.com)

There were more to read in this book. The above was only some excerpt from what he wrote. Let you find out the rest.

"Bodhicitta is the most beautiful state of mind we can experience. Some translate it as the 'enlightened mind,' and others as 'awakened heart.' Mahayana Buddhism says that bodhicitta is this amazing mind that you can have before you become a Buddha, before you become fully enlightened. It teaches that you can develop bodhicitta, no matter who you are, even when you are lost in a delusion, in a totally painful state of mind. This is now a time to surrender - surrender to everything and let go of all your hopes, fears, attachment, hatred, obsessions, greed -  and let our heart dance." - Anam Thubten

And yes, after reading it, hope it gives you some motivation to practice it (including myself :D). This would be one of the wonderful guide to embrace each moment of our lives and reach the bodhicitta :)

May the above bless you!!! (IG: rimareyka.writes)

Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhitatta
May all sentient beings be happy and healthy, free from suffering, life full of peace and joy.
Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

Monday, February 26, 2018

New year wishes for you :)

Wish everyone a wonderful 'Dog' year ahead!!!

Hi hi, it's been a while since my last post. First of all, let me wish everyone a very Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Losar Tashi Delek to those who celebrate!!!

Happy Losar Tashi Delek la!!! :)

Wish everyone be blessed with good health, lots of love, luck, wealth, joy, and happiness in your life especially this 'Dog' year.

Those who are studying, may you can study well, pass your exam successfully with flying colours and continue pursuing your next level according to your wishes and dreams!!!

Those who are working, may you have happy environment not only happy and satisfied with your work, but also with boss and colleagues. May you get whatever things you think you deserve to get.

Those mama who stay at home being home maker or housewife, may your hard works paid off with the love given by your spouse and children. To see them eating well, properly clothed, healthily growing up, life full of laughter would be the best contentment you get.

Those who are unemployed and currently looking for a job, may you find it soon, hopefully, according to what you want.

Fall in love with yourself :)

Those who is single, may your wishes come true. If you're looking for a wonderful partner, may you're blessed with one. If you prefer stay single and lead a life full of freedom, may you stay that way happily.

Those who are in a relationship, may your relationship remains happy and loving. If you think of going into a further step like getting married, may you both be blessed with good fate and karma so that it can go on smoothly. But if you both are not ready for marriage and prefer to enjoy this state of relationship, go ahead and enjoy while you can. No matter what it is, stay faithful and loyal to each other.

Those who are already married, wish you are happy with your married life. No one is born perfect, including ourselves. So give and take, complete what lacks in other with your capabilities and make it workable. Shower it with lots of love each and everyday. In times of giving up, remind yourself why you both were together at the very first place, think again if it's fixable and worth keeping.

We complete each other perfectly :)

We all know life is full of challenges. No one passes through life without fights, challenges, hard work. We've all gone through it. As long as we are not giving up, we all can go through all the obstacles and challenges that we have in our lives. It's how our mind take it.

Take good care of your health! Watch what you eat. Do exercise regularly. Exercise not only body but also our mind. Practise mediation as much as you can (a good reminder for myself :P). Balance your activities well.

You must have read or listened to the above advices a thousand times but it isn't harm to read and listen to it another time. Sometimes we need the reminder to keep ourselves alive.

Let's make a wish!!!

Live well
Love much
Laugh often
Meditate regularly
Pray everyday
May all your wishes and dreams come true and have a wonderful year ahead!!! :)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Live today as if you will die tomorrow

Live as if you will die tomorrow quote (Pic source: Google.com)

While we were discussing our trivial matters,
someone else was fighting for their life.
While people busied satisfying their ego,
someone else breathed for their last time.

Life is such a delicate thing.
It's separated by thin wall,
segregating life and death.
Fragile, really fragile.

When we're gone,
what you think was important, won't matter anymore.
Money, success, health, fame, loved ones.

And while we're still alive,
live a life that matters.

Do what you love, love what you do.
Help others who are in need.
Live every moment to your fullest.
If you can't help, at least don't hurt them.

At the end,
what we left behind is just memory,
moments that you have created all through your life,
with people that you have met all along,
for different reasons.

Let your kindness and compassionate heart be the imprint of your existence in people's heart.
Yes, time will let all that disappear, because nothing is last. 
Nothing is permanent. 
Everything will return to be empty.
But one day after you're gone, at least you can still create a simple upward curve into someone's lips upon their remembrance of you. 
Isn't it beautiful?

Quotes (Pic source: Google.com)

P.S. As I travel a lot in my life (especially when I fly alone and for a longer period of time), I always have the uneasy feeling before flying. Will I survive this flight? Will I be return back home safely and in one piece? Will I be healthy all throughout the journey? And so on. There are so much uncertainty lying around in my head. It needs a lot of courage and bravery to face this uncertainty alone, over and over again. And it takes courage to come out from the comfortable shell, to face the vast outer world with its people who live differently and have different culture. There is a need to adapt for the constant change and environment.

"If this will be the last day that I live, what will you and I think?" - I always ask people and myself this question as I can not hide my curiosity. Are you happy enough to be with me? Why you love me? And I will say sorry for every mistakes that I've made in my life (so that I won't die in regret) and thank everyone for taking part in my life's journey (with all happy and sad memories). Not forgetting to tell them how much I love them and how grateful I am for their existence in this present life.

We all know that it is not easy to meet up and have fate in the present life. There are so many billions people across the world (this world only), not yet counting those who live in other Universe. Therefore, it requires a great karmic relation from the past lives in order for us to meet up again in this present life. So while it happens, I'll do my best to treasure them, whether they have mutual feelings or not. But so far, thank Buddha, many have expressed the same gratitude as I have.

These could be my last cooking for my loved ones. We'll never know!

So, let me end my writings here. And as close message, live today as if you will die tomorrow. Be grateful for everything that happen to you always! :)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Letter of Gratitude

"If only we are willing to try" - Rimareyka.writes 

Everything happened for a reason. You heard what I wished and everything came at the perfect place and time. Although it's something I'd never done before, although the place was so far away, it didn't stop me from trying. You gave me accompany to start and end it together.

There, I learned many lesson from the wise and someone who had a compassionate heart. Everyday I listened to her story, be the listener, of her sometimes repeating story. But it taught me many things. About life especially. About hardship, kinship, honesty, high-spirit or determination in overcoming life's challenges, trust, honesty, love, faith, gratitude, and so on.


"No one says it is easy, but it is worth it" - Rimareyka.writes

There, I saw how miracles working to someone who put a faith in you, never gave up in praying and left everything into your hand. In times of need, someone appeared on her door and offered help; goods available upon needed; and I could see how people were coming back to her store again and again.

It might not only because of things that she was selling, but I could see how she treated them well over almost three decades of building trust, give only good materials so that it was worth the price they paid, and love-hate relationship with them. She knew the names of most her customers cum friends, because every time she met someone new, she always asked for their names and she'd remember it for a long time.

"Nothing is permanent. Treat people well" - Rimareyka.writes

In these short 3 weeks, I could feel how kind and compassionate she was as a human being. She was there before, tough times, that's why she could understand their plight, and able to offer help without thinking any second. I saw her handed few ten dollar notes to her old friend, who came from faraway just to buy her products, in raining day, with pulling cart, and asked that lady to reach home by taxi instead of bus. She thanked my friend's hubby in person for letting my friend spending her time working at her shop. Wasn't it amazing?? Her power of gratitude amazed me!

She respected everyone she met and knew. But, never offend her once as she would remember it all her life!!!

Doing my favorite things :)

With this opportunity, I could spend my time productively, do my favorite things (such as reading books, thinking and writing poems/ quotes, listening to Buddhist chants during traveling from and to work by MRT plus bus), distract me from unnecessary thought, and with the earning, I could purchase things that I need and use it for many other purposes.

With dear colleagues :)

Today was my last working day. Although this might be the end, we shall meet again next time when fate allows us to. Or to join the force again next upcoming Chinese New Year.

Before leaving she thanked me for my help for the past three weeks and gave me many things (such as: handmade kueh lapis or thousand layer cake, home baked pineapple tarts, pandan plants) plus a red packet filled with bonus money as good luck for the upcoming Dog year. I thanked her back - not with goodies (as she has plenty of it in store) - but with my prayer, gratitude, and heartfelt wishes so that she and her families would be blessed all the time with good health, wealth, luck, love, joy, happiness, dreams come true, plus this letter of gratitude on this blog post.

 With the strong, compassionate and wonderful lady - Tante Lina :)

Thank you SB for everything that happened to me. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. It's been a wonderful start and I feel very grateful for it. Hope things go equally well for the rest of the year and may all sentient beings be happy and healthy, free from suffering, life full of peace and joy. And may God and Buddha bless Tante Lina and her families always! :)
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