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[TheDailyEnlightenment] #355 / Thich Nhat Hanh Month @ Awareness Place...

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  • amituofo@mbox4.singnet.com.sg
    Happy Chinese New Year Bumper Edition The(almost)DailyEnlightenment-TDE#355 ~A little Light of the Buddha-dhamma~ (possible only with YOUR contributions)
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 8, 2000
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      Happy Chinese New Year Bumper Edition

      The(almost)DailyEnlightenment-TDE#355
      ~A little Light of the Buddha-dhamma~
      (possible only with YOUR contributions)
      _________________________________________________________

      ~~~TDE Appeals for Original REALISATIONS from YOU~~~
      Make TDE more interesting!
      Contribute today- We can do the editing for you!
      _________________________________________________________
      THICH NHAT HANH MONTH @ Awareness Place

      Awareness Place (#01-21 Bras Basah Complex Branch- walking distance from
      Bugis or City Hall MRT), a new-age Bookshop Project of Phor Kark See,
      presents "Thich Nhat Hanh Month" in February/March, featuring all books
      (with calendars and special cards) written by the Master. Thich Nhat Hanh
      http://house-of-buddha.com/thichnhathanh.html ) is a well-loved teacher of
      Buddhism, specialising in teachings of Mindfulness. He was nominated in 1967
      for the Nobel Peace Prize and has written about 30 books, all of which are
      written in simple yet elegant English, which had sold more than 1 million
      copies worldwide. [ AP is open daily from 11am to 7pm (Tel.337-7582) ]

      *Also specially featured are books on Western Buddhism and books by Buddhist
      teachers influential in the West. These include H.H. The Dalai Lama, Thich
      Nhat Hanh, Sangharakshita and Venerable Shengyen.

      ~Please scroll to end of this TDE for 5 Special TNH Book Reviews~

      1. Going Home: Buddha & Jesus as Brothers
      2. The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings
      3. Old Path White Clouds
      4. Teachings on Love
      5. The Miracle of Mindfulness
      _____________________________________________________________
      FUND RAISING FOR REPRINTS & PUBLICATION OF LAMA ZOPA'S WORKS

      Project Hope~Fund Raising for Reprints & Publication of Lama Zopa's Works

      Dear Friend of the Dharma,

      First all of, please allow us to wish you a happy and prosperous year ahead
      of you. The Publication Subcommittee driven mainly by Dave Teo and Goh Yee
      Chin, our tireless volunteers, have produced such fine works as "Making Your
      Mind an Ocean", "Becoming Your Own Therapist" and many others. We are sure
      that their contributions and efforts have increased greater awareness
      amongst English-speaking Buddhists in Singapore and elsewhere. Due to health
      and other work commitments, Dave and Yee Chin have graciously requested to
      step down from the Publication Subcommittee. We wish to thank both of them
      from the bottom of our hearts and hope that they will continue to serve the
      Dharma soon.

      >From the kind donations of well wishers like yourself, we have to date
      publish more than 100,000 books for free distribution. Our Dharma books are
      being distributed in 24 different outlets in Singapore and up to 200 of them
      are taken up weekly.

      We are currently embarking on a project to raise funds to reprint more of
      these books to meet the demand. We also have plans to publish two new
      profound books by our Spiritual Director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche ( yes that is
      right ! ), entitled "Virtue And Reality" and "Making The Daily Life
      Meaningful". The teachings presented in these books detail methods for
      developing compassion and wisdom in our everyday lives so that every moment
      of our lives will be of maximum benefit to both others and ourselves.

      The bulk of money raised will go to the printing of the books ( reprints and
      new prints). Besides that, a small portion of the funds will be used for
      postage costs, stamps, envelopes etc and about US 2000 per transcript on a
      one time basis will be donated to LYWA ( Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive) as
      editorial fees.

      We hope you would continue to support our quest to spread the Dharma through
      free publications. Attached is a sponsorship form for you to fill in if you
      would like to contribute to this cause. Do give us feedback on how we can
      benefit even more people. I rejoice in the incredible amount of merits you
      are creating. May the Day and Night be auspicious for the Dharma and may you
      always be happy.

      With Metta Always
      Liaw Kok Bee: k_b_liaw@...
      f ABC Publications
      _____________
      PROJECT HOPE: Fund Raising for Reprints & Publication of Lama Zopa's Works

      SPONSORSHIP FORM

      The Gift of Truth Excels All Other Gifts . The Buddha

      AMOUNT SPONSORED
      I wish to donate the following sum towards your Publication Fund
      Amount:
      Bank/ Cheque No.:
      Date:

      Please write your name and "Publication Fund" at the back of your cheque.
      Mail this form together with your cheque made payable to
      Amitabha Buddhist Centre
      494D Geylang Road
      Singapore 389452
      Tel: 7458547
      Fax: 7410438
      email: fpmtsing@...
      web: http://ww.fpmtabc.org.sg

      SPONSOR DETAILS
      Name: Mr./ Mrs./ Ms./ Dr.
      Address:
      Postal Code:
      Home No: Office No.:
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      YOUR FEEDBACK
      Please share with us your thoughts on how we can continue to benefit you and
      others through this fund.

      Many heartfelt Thanks for your kind donations and support
      May All Your Wishes and Prayers Come True
      _________________________________________________________
      TOASTMASTER YOUNG BUDDHIST CHAPTER

      Dear all,

      I am taking the initiative to establish a Buddhist Chapter for ToastMaster
      to nurture and develop public speaking skills among young Buddhists so vital
      for our missionary work. It will be hosted by Shan You Counselling Centre
      with ample classroom facility and easy access via MRT, being 5 minutes walk
      from Kallang MRT.

      I have the devotion of two friends who will are already ToastMaster trained
      to help get the chapter going. I plan to launch this early March and would
      like registration now. I need at least 20 committed individuals to enrol
      before I proceed. Please e-mail me your name, address and occupation before
      the 15t February, 2000.

      Bro.Low Teck Suan
      Executive Director
      Shan You Counselling Centre
      Tel: 741 9293 Fax: 7419352
      _________________________________________________________
      TODAY'S RECOMMENDED WEB

      Prison Dharma Network~
      http://www.prisondharmanetwork.org/
      _________________________________________________________
      QUOTE: Interbeing

      The sun has entered me.
      The sun entered me together with the cloud and the river.
      I myself have entered the river,
      and I have entered the sun
      with the cloud and the river.
      There has not been a moment
      when we do not interpenetrate.

      But before the sun entered me,
      the sun was in me-
      also the cloud and the river,
      I was already in it.
      There has not been a moment
      when we have not inter-been.

      Therefore you know
      that as long as you continue to breathe,
      I continue to be in you.

      -Call Me by My True Names, Thich Nhat Hanh (available@AwarenessPlace)
      _________________________________________________________
      REALISATION: Reflections on Buddhist Vegetarianism

      (This is a revised and expanded edition of what you might had recently
      recieved of the same title.)

      Dear Brothers & Sisters of the Dharma,

      Please take some time to read this article on Vegetarianism. It contains a
      list of personal insights on the topic I'd had over the years. Hope you find
      them beneficial. :-]
      ____________________________________
      IS THE MEAT-BUYER OR SELLER WRONG?

      An interesting incident happened as recorded in "Leng4 Qie2 Jing1" (a
      Mahayana Sutra)- I hope I remember the details correctly... but the idea is
      in the message of the story-

      A disciple of the Buddha asked a man why he kept buying and eating meat. He
      said it's because the meat-seller kept selling meat. When the meat-seller
      was asked why he kept selling meat, he replied it was because the man (and
      others?) kept buying from him. When the Buddha was consulted as to if any of
      the two parties had any misgiving, the Buddha said BOTH were wrong.
      ___________________
      WHAT IS PURE MEAT?

      An intepretation of the moral of the above story-

      It is equally wrong to be on the demand or supply side of meat, which is an
      indirect result of killing of sentient beings, which breaks the 1st precept.
      Many Buddhists believe that it the meat that we buy from the market or
      supermarket, or from a food stall/ restaurant does not go against the 3
      rules of what constitute "Pure Meat." But this is subject to some argument.
      These 3 rules (of "San1 Jing4 Rou4"), which when followed, allows a Buddhist
      to eat the meat are when-

      1. The meat is not a result of an animal being
      SEEN/ ORDERED to be killed for oneself.
      2. The meat is not a result of an animal being
      SUSPECTED to be killed for oneself.
      3. The meat is not a result of an animal being
      HEARD to be killed for oneself.

      (Some reference on the 3 types of PURE meat, it is clearly stated in "S.
      Amagandha Sutta": "Jivaka, I have declared that one should not make use of
      meat if it has been seen, heard or suspected to have killed on purpose for a
      monk. I allow the monks to consume meat that is quite pure in three
      respects: if it is not seen, heard or suspected to have been killed on
      purpose for a monk."
      __________________________
      IS WHAT WE EAT PURE MEAT?

      Let's look at the rules above objectively in relation to our everyday life-

      1. Buying meat from the market or a foodstall is a direct contribution to
      the demand for slaughtered meat. Is this not a form of indirect "ORDERING"
      of animals to be killed? Does indirect ordering render us free of blame? (By
      the way, ordering "live" seafood at a restaurant IS directly breaking of
      this rule- this is universally agreed by all Buddhists.)

      2. Does a meat-eater not in the least SUSPECT the meat to be killed for
      oneself as a result of one's personal increasing of the demand for meat?

      3. Does intentionally not investigating, not actively going to HEAR the
      cries of the chicken (the chicken MUST have cried) at the slaughterhouse
      render the chicken eater blameless?
      _________________________
      SO IS IT OKAY TO EAT MEAT?

      If I'm not wrong, I don't think the Buddha ever said that it was OKAY to buy
      meat from the market or from foodstalls. I think there is something very
      subtle yet in a way very obvious here- the Buddha did NOT command the Sangha
      or His lay followers to be vegetarians. Yet obviously, His teachings were a
      message of UNIVERSAL COMPASSION, such that He definitely does not think it
      is a good idea to be directly or indirectly involved in the harming, much
      less, killing, of any sentient life.

      Why is this so? Why did He not openly make His stand, and instead left the
      final decision, which had led to much debate throughout Buddhist history, up
      to us? Is it because He KNEW different Buddhists would measure right or
      wrong of diet using different yardsticks (even if He gave the same 3 rules
      above) and that it WAS in a sense okay? Well.... we might ask- how can this
      ever be okay- since the life of so many sentient lives are at stake? My
      personal answer- Many people will be detered by the actual hard logical
      "dharma-cally correctness" of being vege to be Buddhists... so the Buddha
      left the issue kind of open-ended. He must have known, in His omniscience
      that all practitioners of the Dharma WILL eventually relinquish meat-eating
      at a certain advanced stage of practice- it comes naturally- it's all part
      of the advancement in the Bodhisattva path. An example- the Buddha as a
      Bodhisattva would rather cut his own flesh to feed an eagle than let it eat
      a smaller bird. All advanced practising Bodhisattvas are thus necessarily
      vegetarians because they would not be able to bear the thought of another
      sentient being dying, directly or indirectly, out of unneccessity, just to
      fill the stomach of another sentient being. While it may not be emphasized
      in the Theravada Suttas, the Buddha unequivocally condemned meat eating in
      the Mahayana Sutras.

      Supply and Demand is an obvious vicious cycle. The whole universe of meat
      eating and animal slaughtering is an inticate web of interdependence, cause
      and effect. We all play a part in the circle of life, the cycle of birth and
      death of all beings that is Samsara.
      _____________________________
      WHAT IS REAL PURE MEAT THEN?

      If the above ideas are agreeable, then it would seem that theoretically, no
      "Pure Meat" exists in the modern world, as all available meat seem to break
      the 3 rules. This is not true as many forms of meat that consumed still
      follow the rules. Here are some examples-

      1. Meat that is misordered (meat recieved instead of non-meat, which was
      ordered).
      (Not eating this meat would be a waste of it- it means the animal
      slaughtered died for nothing, as it was rejected as food.)
      2. Leftover or discarded meat from meat-eaters. (But we have to be mindful
      we do not keep eating leftover meat out of greed.)
      3. Meat from animals that have died for about 16 hours (so as to ensure the
      consciousness has left the body) by accident.
      4. Meat from alms rounds.
      _____________________________________
      THE BUDDHA AS A VEGETARIAN AT HEART

      It might be interesting to note that the only reason why the Buddha was not
      a full vegetarian was because He nobly but humbly begged for alms randomly
      from households. Beggars can't be choosers, so goes the saying. But us,
      being given the opportunity to choose what we eat- should we not choose
      wisely? It is also stated in the Mahayana Sutras, that the meat that the
      Buddha consumed in His entire life were manifestations of His psychic
      powers. That is to say, not only does the meat in theory ALREADY exist as
      "Pure Meat" (as begged alms follow the 3 rules), the Buddha, out of great
      Compassion, even ensured absolutely NO animal was ever killed for Him
      indirectly. In other words, the Buddha WAS a FULL vegetarian at heart!

      It is worth mentioning at this point that after historical research by
      Buddhist scholars, it is concluded that the Buddha did NOT die from eating
      meat ("poisoned or putrid pork"), as so oftenly mistaken. His last meal
      consisted of "sukara-maddava"- which is correctly translated to be 1) a
      pig's soft food, i.e., food eaten by pigs, 2) "pig's delight," i.e., a
      favourite food of pigs, 3) "pig-pounded," i.e., food trampled by pigs. It
      was actually a kind of mushroom called truffles.
      __________________________________
      WHAT IF VEGE FOOD IS HARD TO FIND?

      Another reason why the Buddha never made any "commandments" (another word
      for "hard and fast rules") is because He anticipated the countless different
      lifestyle situations and karmic conditions of myriad sentient beings. It
      would be downright ridiculous, for example, to ask the Tibetans to stick to
      a strict vege diet when Tibet can hardly grow vege. It might be interesting
      to note that the spiritual head of Tibet, H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama, IS a
      semi-vegetarian because he has jaundice and as advised medically, should eat
      some meat on alternate days. H.H. however, openly declared that given the
      choice (eg. being outside of vege-limited Tibet), the monks that follow him
      should try their best to stick to a vege diet.

      So... what happens if you can't find vege food near your workplace, study
      place or living quarters...? Does this mean you have no choice but to eat
      meat? Think again carefully... the path of Compassion is NOT easy to tread.
      It involves MANY sacrifices that are totally WILLINGLY undertaken. Being
      vege might mean going the extra mile to get vege food- for the sake of
      sentient beings. Think yet again carefully- why are you putting off
      vegetarianism when it so obviously have all the plus points, in terms of
      health, protecting the environment, fighting worldside starvation... is it
      because of plain GREED for the taste of meat? If you want to be SURE you are
      not vegetarian not because of greed, the best solution is to BE vegetarian
      and prove it to yourself. This is not my challenge for you; this is your
      personal spiritual challenge. We have to be totally honest with ourselves-
      our decision to be vege or not affects hundreds, if not thousands of
      sentient life.
      ____________________________________________________________
      HOW CAN WE TRULY SAVE WHEN WE INDIRECTLY KILL ALL THE TIME?

      If you wish to "du4" (save/ help) sentient beings, probably the first thing
      you can do is to avoid eating them- it is a direct contradiction of wanting
      to help as many beings as you can- while you eat them! Being vege is nothing
      great; it is NOT doing good- it is merely passively not harming sentient
      beings. Actively saving sentient beings is the real good. How can you truly
      actively save sentient beings when you actively eat them all the time?

      We have to remember that there are many other ways we harm or kill sentient
      life in our everyday life. We should try to cut down on these by say, using
      non-animal tested toiletries and make-up (eg. from "The Body Shop") ,
      ozone-friendly sprays, less non biodegradable packaging...
      ____________________________________
      THE BUDDHA LEFT IT TO YOU TO CHOOSE

      Remember- Buddhism IS a free religion- we choose our options- but there ARE
      always wiser ones. To be directly, or indirectly, or not at all connected by
      cause and effect to the life and death of sentient beings in terms of our
      meals- you choose.
      _________________________
      HOW I BECAME VEGETARIAN

      I have been vegetarian for about 7 years. I served National Service as a
      IPPT Silver, PES A Naval Gunner & Seaman for 2 &1/2 years without reporting
      sick once, pulling 17 chin-ups (the second best in my BMT platoon)- in a bid
      to prove the health superiority of being vege in terms of both strength and
      stamina. I still seldom get sick these days- having never taken a single MC
      since I started work 3 years ago. I awakened to the importance of
      Vegetarianism after I did research and gave a Dharma Discussion in SP
      Buddhist Society on the many ills of meat-eating, including the following-

      1. Personal Well-being (Health)- No disease can come from a balanced
      vegetarian diet. Medical proof states that all kinds of diseases can spring
      from meat-eating while having a vege diet can not only prevent, but help
      cure many diseases. Our body constitution is also not designed for meat
      digestion. For example, our teeth and intestine structure is virtually
      identical to herbivorous animals.

      2. Well-being of Animals- Animals live imprisoned and tortured lives before
      the final horror of being slaughtered.

      3. Well-being of the Environment- Animal-rearing depletes much resources of
      energy, land, crops and water.

      4. Well-being of Fellow Humans- More than one-third of cropland is used for
      cultivating crops as food for animals to be slaughtered as meat. No human
      starvation would happen if animal rearing for the rich meat-consumers was
      lessened and the crops used to feed 3rd world fellow humans instead.

      5. Reduction of Conflict & Wars among Sentient Beings- Mahayana Buddhists
      believe that wars, racial riots... are a collective-karmic result of the
      return of mass-hatred when group-slaughtered animals (who die in great fear
      and hatred) are reborn as humans.

      Please visit http://www.macalester.edu/~kwiik/Veggie/vegihome.htm for more
      information on vegetarianism. An excellent work on the investigarion of
      Buddhist perspectives on vegetarianism is the book, "To Cherish All Life: A
      Buddhist Case for Becoming Vegetarian" by Roshi Philip Kapleau, the author
      of the classic "The Three Pillars of Zen." (See
      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/094030600X/o/qid=950068729/sr=8-2/102
      -5078067-4208068 )
      ___________________________
      Thank you for reading this message.
      I sincerely hope you can forward this to your fellow Buddhist friends,
      so as to further the encouragement of Vegetarianism among Buddhists.

      May All Beings Be Free From Harm & Danger.
      May All Beings Be Well & Happy.

      Amituofo
      Zeph & shian

      -Z&Frens: amituofo@...
      (From "Zeph's Journal : Some Buddhist Adventures")
      _______________________________________________________
      EXCERPT : Smile like a Buddha:)

      As you make the effort to let go of your worries and anxieties, please
      smile. It may be just the beginning of a smile, but keep it there on your
      lips. It is very much like the Buddha's half-smile. As you learn to walk as
      the Buddha walked, you can smile as he smiled. Why wait until you are
      completely transformed, completely awakened? You can start being a part-time
      Buddha right now!

      The half-smile is the fruit of your awareness that you are here, alive,
      walking. At the same time, it nurtures more peace and joy within you.
      Smiling as you practice walking meditaion will keep your steps calm and
      peaceful, and give you a deep sense of ease. A smile refreshes your whole
      being and strengthens your practice. Don't be afraid to smile:)

      -The Long Road Turns to Joy, A Guide to Walking Meditation:
      Thich Nhat Hanh (available@AwarenessPlace)
      __________________________________________
      BOOK REVIEWS IN CONJUNCTION WITH
      THICH NHAT HANH MONTH @ AwarenessPlace

      1. GOING HOME: BUDDHA & JESUS AS BROTHERS

      >From the author of the best-selling Living Buddha, Living Christ comes a
      journey into healing one of the greatest wounds of our time: alienation from
      our own spiritual traditions.

      Living Buddha, Living Christ opened the door to a dialogue between
      Christianity and Buddhism. Going Home takes us on a journey into the
      practice of revitalized Christianity. In Living Buddha, Living Christ,
      Buddha and Jesus say "hello" to each other. In Going Home, they sit down
      together and have a lengthy conversation. They ask each other for advice.
      They talk about how they can be united. They talk about each others'
      prayers, rituals, and forms of practice.
      _______________________________________
      2. THE HEART OF THE BUDDHA'S TEACHINGS

      Thich Nhat Hanh Brings his gifts of clarity and poetry to an explication of
      the basic teachings of Buddhism - the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold
      Path. These teachings are the time-tested means to transform our suffering
      into mindfulness and joy. Original and very accessible, The Heart of the
      Buddha's teaching is a profound introduction to the practice and insights of
      Buddhism. For longtime practitioners or those newly interested in the way of
      understanding and love, as presented by one of today's most beloved
      teachers.
      _________________________
      3. OLD PATH WHITE CLOUDS

      Drawn directly from Pali, Sanskrit, and Chinese sources, the life story of
      the Buddha is retold by Thich Nhat Hanh in a style that captures the clarity
      and serenity of the Buddha's life. This is a gift book, a reference book,
      and an excellent read, destined to become a classic of religious literature.

      This is a truly wondrous book- a biography, a compilation of the Buddha's
      teachings, a social study of ancient India, a work of comparative religion,
      an epic tale, and a children's story all in one. Masterfully written, to
      read it is to be absorbed into the equanimity of mindfulness. The very
      rhythm of the words conveys the impression of peace, while telling a
      powerful story.
      ____________________
      4. TEACHINGS ON LOVE

      We all yearn to experience a love that is more joyful and profound.
      Teachings on Love provides a time tested path we can follow to nurture this
      love in ourselves and for others. Thich Nhat Hanh draws from many sources to
      present the Buddha's teachings on love in ways resonant for contemporary
      readers. He elaborates on the Four Immeasurable Minds - love, compassion,
      joy, and equanimity- as concrete expressions of our deepest love for
      ourselves, others, and all beings.

      Weaving together traditional anecdotes, personal experiences, and a deep
      understanding of the Buddha's way of mindful living, Thich Nhat Hanh offers
      step by step practices that foster growth of understanding and intimacy in
      any relationship, even those that have done us harm.
      _____________________________
      5. THE MIRACLE OF MINDFULNESS

      The Miracle of Mindfulness is universally recognized as one of the classic
      introductory manuals on meditation, concentration, and relaxation. It is at
      once practical and inspirational. Originally written as a long letter to a
      friend, The Miracle of Mindfulness retains an intimate, personal tone. It is
      one of the best available introductions to the wisdom and beauty of
      meditation practice.
      _______________________________________________________
      THE AWARENESS PLACE (Buddhist Book / Gift / CD Shop Chain)

      Visit us
      @ #01-21 Bras Basah Complex Tel.3377582 (Near City Hall/ Bugis MRT)
      @ #02-21 International Plaza Tel.2246417 (By Tanjong Pagar MRT)
      @ #04-15 Causeway Point Shopping Centre Tel.8941456 (By Woodlands MRT)
      _______________________________________________________
      CLICK HERE DAILY TO SAVE THE WORLD FOR FREE
      (Have you bookmarked these pages? Any other recommendations?)

      http://www.clickforacause.com
      http://www.relievehunger.com
      http://www.EndCancerNow.com
      http://www.saverainforest.net
      http://www.thehungersite.com
      http://www.causeanaffect.org
      _______________________________________________________
      About TheDailyEnlightenment

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      Awareness Place (Buddhist Book / Gift / CD Shop Chain)
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      Fax. (65) 553-1961
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