I'm joining Service Space because ... noble friends :)
A good day to me is when ... I have taken a small step on the path.
My hero in life is ...any pilgrim.
My favorite book is ...Dao De Jing.
One thing I'm grateful for is ... this human life!
Apr 11, 2018, 1 comments, 13 smiles The pilgrimage around the world has led me to many sacred places. A few of them hold a special place in my heart. Those are the communities that I wish to return to again and again, knowing that I will be welcomed home even if I don't know anyone there. Sathira Dhammasathan is one of them. Sathira Dhammasathan (SDS) is much more than a thriving nunnery in the middle of Bangkok. It is an urban oasis, a Dhamma park, a second home for all, located "in seven acres of trees, with lotus ponds, winding paths and meditative nooks. It is a tiny drop of water, radiating peace and serenity amidst the oceanic mega-city of Bangkok." This personalized card was waiting on my bed before I arrived :) A Dhamma Oasis SDS is an active nunnery that also holds jazz concerts under a Bodhi Tree to raise fund for a holistic care hospital. It is ... Read Full Story
Apr 02, 2018, 7 comments, 19 smiles If you think you are enlightened, go spend a week with your family. - Ram Dass Affliction is Bodhi (wisdom). - Zen saying It has been seven weeks since I've returned "home" to China, after two years on the global pilgrimage, and ten years of living abroad. "Being home" is to share the same space with my parents every day, as we drove through China. "Being home" is to live for a month with my maternal grandparents during the Chinese New Year, caring for them as they are advanced in age. "Being home" is to see our hometown in Inner Mongolia, a place I've only occasionally visited since leaving before the age of two. "Being home" is to get to know China again, a familiar and foreign place, full of possibilities and paradoxes. "Being home" is to continue the heart connections with my global family, and to deepen in daily cultivation. Before two American monks embarked ... Read Full Story
Mar 25, 2018, 8 comments, 21 smiles Yesterday, my parents and I had the blessing to visit Rev. Heng Sure and the team from Dharma Realm Buddhist Association, in the ancient city of culture and abundance, Hangzhou. Dear friend and ServiceSpace summer intern Sophie told me about Rev. Heng Sure's visit to China a few weeks back. When I shared the news with my parents, they both feel moved to visit the beloved teacher, yet couldn't pinpoint any concrete motives :) They are just happy to have the opportunity to be in the presence of the noble sangha and community, pay our gratitude and respect, and be of service if any opportunity arises. With that intention, we drove for 4 hours to Hangzhou, and got to spend a precious 6 hours with the wonderful community. It was a day when the Dharma came alive, the community came together, and life came full circle. Untiring Mind Rev. Heng Sure and team were ... Read Full Story
Mar 08, 2018, 9 smiles (Continued from earlier post.) ----- Day 19: See Value Everywhere 一切是考验， 看尔怎么办？ 觌面若不识， 须再从头炼！ Everything is a test to see what you will do. If you don’t recognize what’s before you, you’ll have to start anew. -- Master Hua I used to think that "reality" is objective, material, and impersonal. But during the pilgrimage, I am slowly opening up to the view that "reality" is a big parable, a manifestation. It is a teaching tool and a testing ground. To put it another way, it is not really important whether or not something is "real"; the key is what we are learnings from it. The focus shifts from outer observation to inner response. With such an orientation, a sick dog on the street is not an eye sore; it is an invitation to practice compassion and metta. The visa bureaucracies are not a nightmare to endure, but an opportunity to cultivate patience and skillfulness. A delicious meal at the home ... Read Full Story
Feb 16, 2018, 8 comments, 24 smiles Past the point of no return No backward glances The games we've played till now are at an end Past all thought of if or when No use resisting Abandon thought and let the dream descend -- Phantom of the Opera Another volunteer at Gandhi 3.0 said it well: "I come this year to volunteer, hoping to repay in a small way the life-changing gift I have received at last year's retreat. But I am leaving with even greater debt of gratitude." Volunteering at this year's Gandhi 3.0 retreat has definitely been a life-changing gift which I could never repay. But before I could think of how to pay forward the blessings, I was blown away by another gift. Before I could even thank the volunteer team for allowing me to join the caravan at the last minute, they had the "insanity" of thanking me. When they handed me the exquisite, hand-made booklet of "21-Day Pilgrim's Challenge", I couldn't ... Read Full Story
Feb 04, 2018, 25 comments, 37 smiles “The men who discovered for us the Law of Love were greater scientists than any of our modern scientists. Only our explorations have not gone far enough, and so it is not possible for everyone to see all its workings. Such, at any rate, is the hallucination, if it is one, under which I am labouring. The more I work at this Law, the more I feel the delight in life, the delight in the scheme of this universe. It gives me a peace and meaning of the mysteries of Nature that I have no power to describe.” -- Gandhi In the heart of Gandhi’s homeland, there is a modern-day experiment of the timeless Law of Love. They call it Gandhi 3.0, where "Gandhi" stands for the age-old principle of leading with inner transformation, and "3.0" represents the many-to-many networks that are popularized by Internet. In January 2018, around the 100th anniversary ... Read Full Story
Jan 27, 2018, 10 comments, 32 smiles Right in the Gandhian heartland, there is a modern-day experiment of the timeless Law of Love. They call it Gandhi 3.0, where "Gandhi" stands for the age-old principle of leading with inner transformation, and "3.0" represents the many-to-many networks that are popularized by the modern-day Internet. In January 2018, around the 100th anniversary of the Gandhi Ashram, the experiment culminated in a global retreat, the third of its kind since 2014. "It is difficult, very difficult to find words to express all that we've lived in Ahmedabad," wrote Vasco from Portugal, who authored the first book in Portuguese on mindfulness. "When people ask me how it was, I just stay silent, let my eyes and smile shine, bless them in my heart and give them a big hug. :) All words seem to dilute the sacredness of the experience… Feel touched at a deeper part of my being... Although in the last ... Read Full Story
Dec 26, 2017, 2 comments, 12 smiles “The food tastes like Love!” “Best meal I’ve ever had!” “The volunteer team was in FLOW!” These are some of the common sentiments after an epic Karma Kitchen experiment in Auroville. Within 2 hours on a sunny Sunday, the team welcomed over 120 guests to co-create the magic of deliciousness and generosity. (Smiling volunteers at the end of a 9-hour day!) Karma Kitchen, a gift-economy restaurant, was the grand finale of a 3-day festival of love and kinship in Auroville hosted by ServiceSpace. A brochure on each flower-adorned table introduced the context for Karma Kitchen: Sharing food is a basic and universal human tendency. Feeding others and sitting down to a communal meal is a cross-cultural ritual that nourishes the spirit of giving. Karma Kitchen is one modern experiment to revive the ancient chain reaction of generosity in the context of a pay-it-forward restaurant. Entirely run by volunteers, our meals are cooked and served with love, ... Read Full Story
Oct 02, 2017, 3 comments, 18 smiles Thanks to the hospitality of dear friends, I am now writing from a balcony on the Asian side of Istanbul, looking across the Bosphorus Strait toward Europe. It's so close that one could swim over. Some say, "East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet". Here, the twins are not only meeting, but have also been learning to live together for centuries, through low and high, in grief and praise. It is quite a fitting and striking setting to reflect upon the past three months of journeying through continental Europe. Between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox, the pilgrimage has led me across Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. I spent about 3 to 4 weeks in each of these countries, knocking on strangers' doors, listening to their life stories, trying to wash their dishes, picking up the languages and cultures, cycling on well-paved roads, avoiding the grasshoppers ... Read Full Story
Aug 12, 2017, 9 comments, 14 smiles There have been people who have asked us: “Who are you to change the monastic codes made by the Buddha?” Our answer is always: “We are the children of the Buddha. We are his continuation, and we are practicing to carry out his wishes." […] For Buddhism to remain a living tradition, the teaching and practice should remain relevant. […] We are certain that the Buddha counts on the insight, intelligence, and courage of his descendants to continue making the path of liberation accessible and open to our current generation. Therefore, revising the teaching and the practice is truly necessary. -- "Freedom Wherever We Go: A Buddhist Monastic Code for the Twenty-first Century", by Thich Nhat Hanh I never expected that I would feel so disoriented and uncomfortable in a Buddhist monastery -- much more so than during a previous week in Taize, a Christian monastic community. After all, I have spent ... Read Full Story