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Harvest E-Zine - 2002 January Edition

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  • Chen Hsiongcai
    The Monthly Harvest International Buddhist E-Zine H A R V E S T I N G SPIRITUAL SEEDS OF GROWTH |2002 January Edition| Issue #23 - Black & White |Panna Youth
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2002
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      The Monthly Harvest International Buddhist E-Zine

            H A R V E S T I N G  SPIRITUAL SEEDS OF GROWTH |2002 January Edition| Issue #23 - Black & White |Panna Youth Centre,Singapore | Promoting Buddhism Amongst Youths | Happy New Year 2002 |

       P r a i s e   t h e   L o r d !

      1.0 From the Editor�s Desk
      2.0 Feature: White & Black
      3.0 Inspiration: Love is a wonderful thing
      4.0 Sharing: From a Christian to a Buddhist
      5.0 Sayings of the Buddha
      6.0 Intercession & Prayer Requests  
      7.0 P.Y.C Announcements & Feature News
      8.0 Quotable Quotes
      9.0 About Harvest E-Zine

      -[ F R O M  T H E  E D I T O R ]

      Friends, if your Faith is stronger than the hundredfold in the past one year, then don't stop there  ! I pray that Lord Buddha INCREASE YOU A THOUSAND TIMES and bless you in the coming year 2002 !

      There you are - Lord Buddha offers great increase, according to your own faith level that goes along with your practice. "According to your faith, be it unto you". But are there any conditions? Of course there are.

      We have to have faith - that's obvious. We have to believe totally that we will receive what we ask for, but let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave driven and tossed by the wind�let not that man suppose he will receive anything from the Lord, however Lord Buddha always gave the chance and freewill of enquiry as described in the discourse of the Kalamas and that his His challenge to those who doubts his teachings.

      We also have to cultivate the seed we have sown in faith and put it into practise. Just as the farmer does when he sows his natural seed, we have to tend our newly planted Bodhi seed. We have to nurture it, fertilise it, and water it before it can germinate, grow and return to us a plentiful harvest.

      How do we water a spiritual seed? By prayer - and in particular, I believe, by praying with Faith, Compassion and Aspiration.

      When we pray "rivers of living Dhamma" flow out of us. This, I believe, is the very "living Dhamma" we need for watering the seeds that we have sown.

      Pray as much as you can, and watch it water, nurture, and cultivate that precious seed you have sacrificed so much to plant

      It is my personal belief that The Monthly Harvest operated by our Panna Youth Centre, led and inspired by our own "world-shaking and history-making" leaders, Our dedicated Editors and supporters, is one of the most powerful and effective forces for the growth and spread of the wonderful Buddha-Dhamma online in this technology highway.

      It is my absolute conviction that we are publishing much more than just a electronic magazine!  We are all part of building something that will have wisdom, that will send out a resounding clarion call to the nations and be a crucial part of taking the Teachings of Lord Buddha to all the world as a witness to all the nations thorugh the internet medium.

      Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let you requests be made known to Lord Buddha; and the peace of Lord Buddha, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through the teachings he left for us more than 2500 year ago.

      Wishing all a Happy, Joyous & Blessed New Year in 2002 .....
      May our Harvest accompany you to march into another year with Love & Hope.

      Your Editor,
      Pst. Gerald Chen Hsiongcai

      Feature: -[White & Black]

      Imagine you need $200 to buy a new handphone. It is something that you wanted very much and you have at least 5 good reasons why you need one.

      Then one day you found a wallet in an empty fast food table in Orchard Road. There are $200 in the wallet. Here is the opportunity to get that handphone you wanted so badly. You are very tempted to take it but deep inside, you know you shouldn't. The right thing to do is to give it to the sales people behind the counter so that the owner can have a chance to recover it.
      You figured that you should allow the owner to have the opportunity to have it back because if that person is as poor as you, you are sure the $200 is a big deal to him. But you took a peek inside the wallet and found a gold credit card. You then figured that he is probably a well-to-do person, so $200 is not going to matter much to him. You conclude that it is then OK to take it.

      Is this the right thing to do? Why is it wrong to take the money if the person who lost it is poor but okay if the person is rich? Most people use situational ethics to make a decision of what is right and what is wrong.

      This is, of course, not correct - our law does not discriminate against certain group of people.

      It is very tempting to justify doing something that we know is wrong based on our own sense of justice. Like if someone hurt us, we may want to take it out on his family members to hurt that person. Or we may think it is OK to take home stationery from office because the company is big and rich.
      We may allow ourselves to illegally use softwares at home because the company who owns it is already earning too much money. And maybe it is OK to hurt someone because he has a reputation for being an exploitative person.

      This kind of reasoning and skewed sense of justice will lead to all sorts of trouble and tragedy, the worst in recent time being the tragedy that happened in September 11.

      In this world, we have all kind of war, tragedy, revolution and violence created by human people in the name of all sorts of reasons. We think we are getting more civilised and have learned from the mistakes of our past. But recent times have shown that we are not getting much progress in this aspect. The world may be too big for us to change and the human genome too complex to alter but we can decide not to be the one to start the madness. We can choose to see black as black and white as white - which is something we all have the capability to do. 

      therefore, Lord Buddha help us if we decide to be more human and not behave like wild animals or be creatures without conscience.That is the Buddhist spirit of Love, Peace, Hope, Compassion and Aspiration we should all learn.

      [ Inspirational Story ] - Love is a wonderful thing

      The other day I had a Parent-Teacher Meeting with a mother of one of my students to discuss about her daughter's general progress. As the conversation progressed, she began to reveal how she discovered a change in her daughter. That the child was becoming more verbose, how peer pressure had turned her into� well, a teenager. One filled with teen angst.
      I have seen this happen a thousand times. Parents come up to me to moan about how they "do not understand their kids", how their kids had turned "from bad to worse" etc. If there were any angst, I would say it came from the parents themselves! On this occasion, however, this mother was not feeling angst. Instead, what aroused was love. Immense motherly love that was displayed in a parent who, though bewildered at her daughter's hormonal change, was still filled with immense motherly love for her. As she spoke about her daughter's whims, tears flowed down her cheeks. Lest you think it was pure frustration, you are wrong. Sitting across her, I could feel warmth. This mother was crying tears of joy at her daughter's obstinacy, her eccentricity and temperance! This mother truly loved her child unconditionally.

      This is not some Chicken Soup for Teenager's Soul episode. It is true. The thing is, in our Asian society, it is never easy to display positive emotions. Our forefathers were the pillars of our present success. Their strength lay in their austerity. This was passed on to their descendants and hence, laid the foundation for a typical Asian tradition. My parents were never allowed to be emotional because their parents never told them they loved them; neither did they hug and kiss my mum and dad. Instead, what my parents I must admit that I do possess some restrained emotional behaviour as well. For example, after being pushed away by my mother for holding her hand in public (I was 21 then), I have come to realise that public display of emotions is frowned upon. My parents never kissed me good night; in fact, as much as I can remember, they never kissed me - not even a peck on the cheek. My father did not even carry me when I was a baby.
      Fortunately, I did not turn out to be a screw-up kid, with pent-up feelings of neglect. On the contrary, I was able to see through this 'wall' that my generation of parents created with their children. I recognised love in perhaps, the most restricted form.

      Not that I am happy with it. There are occasions when I wish my parents were more expressive. But society is constantly evolving. I believe that my generation, when we become parents, it will be a whole new world. Because we have learnt it the hard way. Through numerous rebellious experiences, I have come to appreciate what my parents have done. At the same time, I have seen how my parents' way doesn't necessarily work.
      Teenagers and children nowadays complain about how their parents don't understand them. The term "generation gap" is an overexposed lexicon. But this gap is two-way. While you are busy lamenting about your parents, stop and think what you have been doing for them. A workshop I attended some time ago made me realise how arrogant I had been towards my parents. All this while I had been feeling sorry for myself about how they had never loved me. It was self-pity on my part. In so doing, I had failed to realise that I was the product of their love. Without them, what would I be today?
      So, the next time, you grumble about the naggings of your long-winded mother or the obstinacy of your stern father, accept it as their way of showing their love for you. No parent ever truly hated their kids. The words may not come out articulately. But actions do speak louder than words. Love is a wonderful thing - and it shows up in the most irrational form.

      Recognised as love was material - provision and support for the family. Because of this, my mum and dad, having grown up this way, believed that this was the best possible way to bring up their children.

      Buddha Bless all ....

      [ Sharing ]- From a Christian to a Buddhist

      Contributed by: Huang Weiwen (PYC Youth Ministry)

      Born in a family with Christian background, I was a pious Christian by then. I was often found involved in my church's activities and was sent by my parents to a Christian Centre to learn more about Jesus and Christianity. Even though I was enrolled into a Buddhist School later in life, my idea of Buddhism is just like many others: a Chinese Oriental religion filled with idols and supersititions. Chanting and prayers are part and parcel of my school life but I simply do it because I feel that I have to do it since this is a Buddhist School without really seeing the need. It is also through Lord Buddha's blessings that I got my first Buddhist Book from my teacher and I begun to read the book just like any other books and get to know most of the stories.

      My understanding of Lord Buddha is improving each day as I flip through the pages. However, becoming a Buddhist was not on my mind at that time partly because of several warnings given to me for becoming one. Before I came to know about Buddhism, I had a very hot temper and show little interest in my studies. I also don�t find the need to maintain a good relationship with my parents as well as my relatives. Misunderstandings and unhappiness strained our ties and I just cannot be bothered to apologise to them or acknowledging my mistakes.

      After my PSLE, I entered a non-Buddhist school. All the previous Buddhist influences seemed to subside. For the first time, I feel that I am being abandoned. Despite my ample Chirstian knowledge, I just cannot find answers to my questions concerning life and whenever I flip the Bible, but Lord Buddha spoke to me in a very personal way and I can feel His presence encouraging me. I begin to know some Buddhist classmates in my later years in the school and we meet up for some activities. I lied to them that I am a Buddhist because I fear that they might try to persuade me to become a Buddhist but the irony is that I really enjoy reading the Buddhist Teachings and praying together with them. One day, a Buddhist Youth member came to join our group to give us some Dhamma studies and as far as I remember the topic that day was �Put your Faith in the Buddha�. A strong sense of conviction feels my heart and I told myself, �I have found Him.� I recognise that Lord Buddha is no longer a fable character to me but He has become real in my broken life. That evening, I prayed a simple prayer and received Lord Buddha into my life as my Teacher and Saviour. I kept this decision a �Top Secret� because from my experience, to believe in Buddha is to seek trouble as far as my family is concerned. I started as an �underground� Buddhist and have to pray in silence and read the my Buddhist Scriptures using textbooks as camouflage. An incident happened, when my aunt saw a Buddhist bookmark in one of my books and it is how the news that I became a Buddhist spread across my whole family.

      Serious objection begin by throwing away most of my Buddhist books and articles, questioning me of my new faith and also imposed curfew on me for fear that I might join a Buddhist Group.. Going out on weekends were extremely difficult at that time. My family kept on reminding me that I was Baptised by the holy trinity when I was barely an infant and also of the fact that I am the only male child of my parents. The ideas that Buddhists burning papers and participate in idol worship were the two main reasons for their strong opposition. Despite under persecution, I pressed on and asked Lord Buddha to deliver me from this horrible situation and continue to put my faith in Him.

      After I became a Buddhist, my family notices the change in my behaviour and views about life. From one equivalent to delinquent to one who easily loves and forgives. I used to scold vulgarities but now I have the help and strength from Lord Buddha to stop doing so. My studies improved tremendously and I am in favour with all of my teachers due to my exemplary behaviour and academic results. I used to fear death, hell and evil spirits but now all this fears are being removed and I have Lord Buddha's blessings with me and nothing can be aganist me !

      Buddhist life for me is not a bed of roses. From the day I received Lord Buddha up till today, He has in place for me several tests of faith and I confessed that I did not pass most of them mainly due to my pride and unbelief. I seek Lord Buddha in prayer but find myself in doubt and I often ask Lord Buddha to revive me and to take away my doubts. Taking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha to me is one Great leap of faith and I would want to continue my walk with Him in obedience and gratitude as I can recall how He has sought for me.

      Thank You Lord Buddha & all PYC for giving me this chance to share my testimony.

      -[ Sayings of the Buddha ]-

      Hate brings great misfortune,hate churns up and harms the mind;
      this fearful danger deep within most people do not understand. Thus spoilt one cannot know the good,cannot see things as they are.Only blindness and gloom prevail when one is overwhelmed by hate.But he who both day and night takes delight in harmlessness sharing love with all that live,finds enmity with none.When one with a mind of love feels compassion for all the worlds above, below and across,unlimited everywhere.Filled with infinite kindness,complete and well-developed, any limited actions one may have done do not remain lingering in one's mind.

                                                                                                                   - The Buddha

      -[ Intercession ]

      Dear Lord Buddha,

      Thank you for the message which tell us that we need to have faith in you, especially in this coming new year. I take everyday as a new challenge for myself, I take every opportunity to praise your name, to honour you and to be bring Glory to you !

      You are indeed my Lord, my Saviour & my refuge ! I know that my faith is always strong, and I pray that you will help me and bless me to share your word with others, especially those who has never heard of your name.

      In this new year, I pray for all my relatives, my friends, all those whom I have came across and those whom I do not know come to thine Glory. Lord, grant these people your Blessings, your guidance, Love them as much as you have loved me. You are worthy of my praise and refuge, you are strongly anchored deep within my heart ! Yes, nothing can shake me, not even the mountains and the rivers ...

      I pray for harvesting of your word to the nations, may your teachings pervade and flourish across the word surpassing all nations, races, cultural difference that everyone may come before you !

      Lord Buddha, I pray that I will be dilligent in practising your teachings, to be pro-active in sharing your teachings with others, I wish you a Happy New Year even though you have reached the state of unsurpassed that no amount of years nor time can condition you. I pray for the welfare and happiness of all sentient beings, all living creature and everyone in the past, present and future. May my friends and enemies come before you and gain enlightenment as you had.

      In your Mighty name, I pray. Sadhu !

      Prayer Requests -    You can count on Me!

      • Panna Youth Centre's wishes all subscribers of Harvest E-Zine a Happy New Year 2002
      • Panna Youth Centre & it's management committee dedicates a goodwill prayer to our Youth Ministry Assistant Leader - Bro Kelvin Tan Song Hee for the passing away of his beloved grandmother, pray for Confidence, Healing and Reconcillation.
      • Winston Wang dedicates a prayer for his brother under treatment, pray for healing.
      • Kenneth Yong Wing Kay prays for his wife who is pregnant, pray for blessings to both mother,son and blessed birth.
      • Juay Kwang, Lo Ngai Ping, Peter Quek and Emily Chew dedicates a prayer for Revival in spreading the teachings of Lord Buddha amongst Youths, pray for blessings.
      • Tan Hau Ting of Malaysia prays to excels in his studies and walk firmly on the Buddhist Path in year 2002.
      • PYC Youth Ministry members -Edwin Teo, Mervin Lau, Richard Seah, Doric Ang, Tan Kok Chye & David Wibobo dedicates a prayer of gratitude to Lord Buddha and all PYC members for the Love, care and concern for the past one year.
      • Chew Hong Beng dedicates a new year prayer for all
      • Raymond Bryan dedicates a prayer for strength and revival to spread and harvest the Buddha's teachings in year 2002.

      -[ PYC Annoucenments ]

      • PYC�s Adult Ministry will hold fellowship sessions every Friday to discuss and share the Dhamma, if you are interested to join in, please call Sis Simin @ 96424123 or e-mail to pyc@...   for registration/enquiries.
      • PYC�s Youth Ministry will hold Dhamma sharing sessions, Q & A sessions in coordination with our Band Ministry, if you are interested/enquiries, please contact Bro Zhihua at 97333406 or Bro Zhixian at 90058252 or e-mail to mengtat@...  / trygettngme@...   We welcome you to be our member !
      • Visit The Dhamma Times Daily Newsletter to look at latest Buddhist News all around the world @ http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/DhammaTimes  - Another Dhamma Project by PYC's  Cyber Ministry. 
      • Are you in need of help? Do you need someone to comfort you and pray for you? "The Monthly Harvest" has a column for special prayer requests for our members, absolutely free! If you need us pray for you and your family, relatives or friends, just let us know by sending an email to pyc@... We will be glad to offer you our help and assistance in your times of need, let us pray together.
      • Recommended links : http://www.code4.org.sg  & http://www.prajna.cjb.net  
      • Panna Youth Centre being a non-profit Buddhist Youth organisation greatly depends on the support of many, if you would like to make a pledge or donation to us, please kindly email to hsiongcai@... for more information.
      • For Singporean Subscribers, to recieve a weekly SMS Buddhist Quote on your handphone, please email to pyc@...  your number.

      Feature News from PYC



      [  Q U O T A B L E    Q U O T E S  ]

      A Leader is one who knows the way; goes the way and shows the way.

                                                                         - John Maxwell



      -[ A B O U T  H A R V E S T   E - Z I N E ]-

      "The Monthly Harvest" is a free international Buddhist-inspired E-Zine service hosted by Singapore�s Panna Youth Centre. Our subscribers receive an email with our articles, intercession; Dhamma quotes from the scripture, inspirational stories and PYC latest activities.

        To subscribe, simply send an email to:

      prajna-subscribe@yahoogroups.com You are also welcomed to view our Archives at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/prajna/messages 

      Please forward your "Harvest" to your friends and relatives and let the Grace of Lord Buddha touch their lives today!
      Copyrights @ 2001 Panna Youth Centre, Singapore. 
      Jurong Point Post Office PO Box 15 (S) 916401

      " See the Truth & you will see Me"


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