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Yu Dan and The Significance of Mid Autumn Festival

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Restore Balance To The Force

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Singapore Got Talent !

Where is home ?

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

What do I love ?  Movies.  Writing.

Maybe I should have persisted with digital art.  It would allow the marriage of dream and reality.  Alas then, I couldn’t see it.  There were more “pressing” issues, or that which the mind makes it out to be.  Another “what if”.

Now what ?  “Home”ward bound ?  Only, where is home ?

Make A Difference

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

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You can never tell what type of impact you can have on another’s life by your action, or lack of action.   Don’t underestimate the value that you can create and give to the people you come in touch with.   Have a little more faith in your ability and the goodness in you.

http://www.makeadifferencemovie.com/

“On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetric.  She began to teach children.”

“Teddy, you got it all wrong.  You were the one who taught me how to make a difference.  I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.”

Tibet – the adventure which made an impact

Friday, September 7th, 2007

What’s your most memorable experience or achievement ?  

Mine was a trip to Tibet several years back.  I went alone but with a group.  I liked the silence without a companion, which aided my soul-searching.

Two sights made an indelible impression on me – Potala Palace and Yamdrok Lake.

Potala Place and Yamdrok Lake

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Standing at the foot of the Potala Palace and looking up at the majestic architecture, I thought to myself, “Finally, I’m here at the Potala Palace”.  It was a feeling of awe and disbelief that I was actually here at this majestic yet mystic place on the rooftop of the world.  How blessed I was to be able to set my foot on this land and be in the midst of its wonders.

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Yamdrok Lake was over 4,400 metres above sea level.  To get a view of the lake, our jeep made its way up the mountain on a meandering road trail.  This was one of the toughest stretches in the entire journey, and most of us were panting out of breath and inhaling from our portable oxygen supply.  However when we reached the peak and gazed down below at the holy lake, the journey was totally worth it. 

Looking at the clear blue lake, time stood still.  I had never felt so peaceful, calm and serene before.  All desires, worries and anxieties terminated at the edge of the mountain where I stood.  Ripples of the heart’s disturbances disappeared as they dissolved into the deep ocean of calm and eternity.

An old lady’s advice

A 70-year old lady was one of my group-mates on the trip.  I sat next to her on the plane and she told me this, “He who is going up the mountain should not ask the one who is coming down how it’s like”.  If she had listened to those who travelled before her how it’s like and how tough it is, she would probably be too scared and never make the trip.

What good advice !   I remember it till this day.

Here’s another old lady who was 50 years old when she travelled to Tibet alone for 50 days.

Old lady’s journey to Tibet

The transient nature of worldly attachments

My trip to Tibet was in Aug 2001.  When I returned home, I was completely recharged and felt a sense of hope knowing there is such a wonderful place on earth.

Ironically, the 911 incident took place barely 2 weeks after the trip.  I remember my heart plunged when I saw the World Trade Centre collapse on TV.  For about a week, I suffered mild depression and felt somewhat disillusioned.

Looking back, I think it is a way of the universe telling me that all worldly attachments are transient in nature.  Even the heavenly state of mind which I felt in Tibet was transient, and I should not attach to it.

Indeed, looking at how China tries to influence the state of affairs in Tibet and pry it open, who knows how long the sanctity of Tibet can last.  The world is growing in greed and falling short of purelands.  Heaven forbid the erosion of the Tibetan pureland by political and commercial vultures !

I made a wish

Tibet is an enchanting place.  I feel a sense of affinity with the place.  Before I left Tibet, I made a wish that I will return.  I’m going to visit Tibet again someday !

Did Mother Teresa doubt her faith and God ?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

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Letters reveal Mother Teresa’s doubt about her faith and God

By Daniel Trotta, Reuters  |  August 25, 2007

NEW YORK – A book of letters written by Mother Teresa of Calcutta reveals for the first time that she was deeply tormented about her faith and suffered periods of doubt about God.

“Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear,” she wrote the Rev. Michael van der Peet in September 1979.

Due out on September 4, “Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light” is a collection of letters written to colleagues and superiors over 66 years. In the United States it will be published by Doubleday, an imprint of Random House, which is owned by German media group Bertelsmann.

The ethnic Albanian Roman Catholic nun, who dedicated her life to poor, sick and dying in India, died in 1997 aged 87.

Mother Teresa had wanted all her letters destroyed, but the Vatican ordered they be preserved as potential relics of a saint, a spokeswoman for Doubleday said.

Mother Teresa has been beatified but not yet canonized.

Time magazine, which has first serial rights, published excerpts on its Web site.

“I spoke as if my very heart was in love with God — tender, personal love,” she wrote to one adviser. “If you were (there), you would have said, ‘What hypocrisy.'”

The book was compiled and edited by the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, a proponent of her sainthood and senior member of the Missionaries of Charity order that she founded.

The letters likely would do little to affect her cause for sainthood as church history is dotted with saints who have been tormented about their faith.

Saint Thomas the Apostle — the “Doubting Thomas” — doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead until, according to scripture, he touches the wound of a resurrected Jesus. Christ himself wondered “God, why have you forsaken me” while on the cross, the Bible says.

But the Mother Teresa letters nonetheless stand in marked contrast to her public image as a selfless and tireless minister for the poor who was driven by faith.

“I’ve never read a saint’s life where the saint has such an intense spiritual darkness. No one knew she was that tormented,” the Rev. James Martin, an editor at Jesuit magazine America and the author of “My Life with the Saints,” told Time.

THE DARK LETTERS

The writings address numerous topics, but the ones most likely to create a stir are what Doubleday called the “dark letters.”

“Please pray specially for me that I may not spoil His work and that Our Lord may show Himself — for there is such terrible darkness within me, as if everything was dead,” she wrote in 1953. “It has been like this more or less from the time I started ‘the work.'”

Then in 1956: “Such deep longing for God — and … repulsed — empty — no faith — no love — no zeal. (Saving) souls holds no attraction — Heaven means nothing — pray for me please that I keep smiling at Him in spite of everything.”

And then in 1959: “If there be no God — there can be no soul — if there is no Soul then Jesus — You also are not true.”

At times she also found it hard to pray.

“I utter words of community prayers — and try my utmost to get out of every word the sweetness it has to give — but my prayer of union is not there any longer — I no longer pray.”

Struggles of a Pious Leader

After reading the news reports, what do you think ? 

Most of us will never be able to appreciate what Mother Teresa went through during “the work” because we have not been in situations as trying as hers for an extended period of time.  To live amidst deeply suffering people and offer perhaps the only hope in their world, is to live a life of tremendous burden and stress. 

People who do not come close to living in similar conditions will find it hard to empathasize with what Mother Teresa went through.  We think we know through words and print which we hear and read, but unless and until we are in the same shoes, we’ll never truly know.

When you read a book or listen to a news report, do you find yourself thinking then that you know what is written or said ?  Then at some point in the future, when you experience a similar situation, your memory calls forth whatever that you have read or heard, and you realise that only now do you truly understand what it was all about.

I’m an ardent student of personal development and business.  In a strange twist of events, I find myself attracted to the path of entrepreneurship.  I guess it’s a natural progression and choice because I am an adventurous person, and passionate about growing and developing myself spiritually, emotionally, mentally and fully as a human being.  Entrepreneurship is the ultimate challenge.  You are bound to no master but yourself.  Slave to no one but your own demons.   

Some times you think that you know, but do you really know ?   Until I embarked on the journey, I could never come this close to appreciating what it’s like.  The journey is exciting and challenging, yet at the same time it’s lonely, uncertain and grey.  The path ahead is lighted only by the fire in my heart.  The heart and mind wavers between belief and faith in one moment, and self-doubt and anxiety in another.  Sometimes the fire burns bright with passion and strength, other times it dims and weakens and is at the brink of extinguishing.

Does it mean that I need to have absolute faith and no tinge of weakness whatsoever to be worthy of this journey ?  Definitely not.  It’s only human to experience these emotions.  And these emotions are brought out by the experience that I’m going through.  In earlier “secure” times, I had always perceived myself to be strong.  I never knew I can be so weak – till I choose to put myself through the test. 

“I spoke as if my very heart was in love with God — tender, personal love,” she wrote to one adviser. “If you were (there), you would have said, ‘What hypocrisy.'”

Mother Teresa was not a hyprocrite.  She was honest and humble to admit the doubt in her heart. 

Saint Thomas the Apostle — the “Doubting Thomas” — doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead until, according to scripture, he touches the wound of a resurrected Jesus. Christ himself wondered “God, why have you forsaken me” while on the cross, the Bible says.

But the Mother Teresa letters nonetheless stand in marked contrast to her public image as a selfless and tireless minister for the poor who was driven by faith.

Existence of doubt in one who is spiritually advanced and saintly like Mother Teresa can only suggest how tormented she was in what she was doing.   Most people are of spiritual levels very distant from that of Mother Teresa, and so will not be able to appreciate how she saw, felt and thought.   

Without doubt, what is faith worth ? 

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Why you say you tell me you dowan tur kwa…

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

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This is a Mr Brown podcast which  took Singapore by storm last year during the general elections.  This is related to the infamous Gomez “Why you say you tell me you submitted the form when you said you didn’t submit the form ?” incident

Sounds confusing har ?  Well, most Singaporeans were spinned around by the verbal arrows flying in all different directions.  Man, you think that the top scholar-politicians only know how to “study”, but they are damn “good” archers too.

It’s a year ago, but I want to record it here because this is a masterpiece 🙂

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