I'm joining Service Space because ... life led me here.
A good day to me is when ... my heart is open and at peace.
My hero in life is ...a Chinese peasant who birthed me.
My favorite book is ...Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching) by Lao-tzu at this moment.
One thing I'm grateful for is ... my free time to ponder over life.
Jan 21, 2019, 8 smiles Happened to see the "Five Vows" again that dropped out of my wallet. The "Five Vows" that each participant took at the end of the 10-day intensive workshop led by Joanna Macy, a highly-respected elder who has dedicated her life to environmental and social activism, community building, systems thinking and deep ecology, Buddhist studies and practices, writing, offering Work That Reconnects workshops, translating and sharing the poems by Rainer Maria Rilke (a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist), and beyond. Five Vows: I vow to myself and to each of you: To commit myself daily to the healing of our world and the welfare of all beings. To live on Earth more lightly and less violently in the food, products, and energy I consume. To draw strength and guidance from the living Earth, the ancestors, the future beings, and my [siblings]/brothers and sisters of all species. To support others in their work for the world and to ask for help when I feel the need. To pursue a daily spiritual practice that clarifies my mind, strengthens my heart, and supports me in observing these vows.
Jan 15, 2019, 1 comments, 11 smiles This past Saturday, our previous Awakin Call guest, Fritjof Capra, an Austrian-born American physicist and systems theorist, returned to Banyan Grove, where he spent one heartwarming and inspiring evening with the ServiceSpace community in summer. This time he came with a group of systems thinkers, who are Capra Course alumni, to share and discuss their individual and collective passion in waking the world up from fragmentary worldview to systems view of life. Fritjof spoke in 1984, “For the modern physicist, the material world is no longer a mechanic system made of separate objects, but rather appears as a complex web of relationships….” He has devoted his life to transforming the fragmented scientific worldview and introducing systems thinking to all aspects of life since his first book The Tao of Physics published in 1975. Knowing deeply the significance of taking children out to nature or school gardens, in 1995, Capra co-founded ... Read Full Story
Dec 16, 2018, 11 smiles Karma Kitchen in Ukiah outside CTTB! The students from Developing Virtue Secondary School and volunteers, in collaboration with Taste Buds, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant in Ukiah, started the Karma Kitchen, a ServiceSpace inspired program, in Ukiah in November. The Girls School and the Boys School alternate to take charge on the third Saturday each month. (The Ukiah Daily Journal-Karma Kitchen: Growing in Generosity in Ukiah) Robin, the co-owner of Taste Buds, wore a joyful smile, while busy helping the students serve. She said it was Jin Jr. Shi, the principle of the Girls School, who came to talk to her several times about collaborating on this project. How did Jin Jr. Shi find out about Taste Buds? Robin didn't know. Maybe it's the free community meals that Taste Buds serves on Sundays? Since May this year, Taste Buds has been offering community meals every Sunday (1:30-2:30 pm) to the homeless people, who rarely ... Read Full Story
Nov 22, 2018, 1 comments, 5 smiles [From Klesa to Bodhi. A mid-term paper reflecting on how we may transform afflictions into wisdom through self-cultivation. As wise ones say, "If the mountain were smooth, you couldn't climb it."] Have you ever undergone an excruciatingly painful experience and then a great insight was revealed to you through that pain? When that excruciating pain becomes the center of one’s attention, one’s other mental distractions subside. Thus, one could look deeper into that pain, and an insight might have a chance to surface. As the Sixth Patriarch states in the Platform Sutra, “ordinary people are themselves Buddhas, and affliction itself is bodhi” (27). He assures us that ordinary beings like us all have the potential to awaken to our inherent wisdom that lies in our original Buddha nature, and afflictions are not something to avoid, but nuggets that lead to the untangling of the knots that hinder our practice. Therefore, through ... Read Full Story
Oct 28, 2018, 3 comments, 15 smiles [What a sweet surprise to see Pavi and Viral at DRBU the day before our weeklong Guanyin Retreat! I rarely saw them even when I lived in the Bay. Pavi asked if I had any recent writing, and I mentioned the poem that I wrote on death, which was prompted by a recent death in the extended CTTB community. An accident on Talmage Road (near CTTB) on 14 September 2018, killed Xamuel Lara, a 34-year-old organic farmer, activist, mentor and leader, who was on his way biking to CTTB to visit one classmate in our Classical Chinese class. Sophie knocked on my door one late evening, and shared what she witnessed at the end of the evening ceremony in the Buddha Hall--the wail of our classmate shook her deeply. I woke up early the next morning, thinking about that classmate and how she might be feeling in her deep sorrow, ... Read Full Story
Oct 20, 2018, 2 comments, 13 smiles It's been two months since I came to study at Dharma Realm Buddhist University. Every day, I feel grateful, knowing that many things that happen here will take a long time to really sink in within me. Though I'm not ready to share my experience here in more details, I'd like to share some writing exercises that I did for a class. :) These writing exercises consist of my incomplete thoughts, but the prompts may inspire you to write your own reflections. :) Prompt 1: What “authorities and tools” do you rely on and use to decide whether something is true or false, to be accepted or rejected, to be believed or doubted? How do I know if the source, from which I receive information, is “legitimate” or not? Habitually, I tended to accept things that made sense to me with the knowledge that I’d gained through my formal education. But this ... Read Full Story
Jun 15, 2018, 1 comments, 6 smiles My most recent trip to China this year has forever transformed my relationship with China, where I was born and raised, and had lived until my mid-twenties. In the past, visiting China often brought up my old shame of being a peasant's daughter, and aversion of the contemporary empty consumerism. During this trip, I met so many inspiring souls and was in constant awe of the vibrant life force that had led them to living their lives with such audacity and creativity. My old self-image and my view on China were renewed, again and again, in their refreshing presence. During one long phone call with brother Zilong while sitting on a swing chair in a courtyard in an ancient town in southern China, I couldn’t contain my overflowing joy and said “I wish I could just move back to China and live here now!” Though now I know that I’m ... Read Full Story
May 14, 2018, 2 comments, 3 smiles If we do everything with a noble intention, then everything we do is noble. Ask yourself three questions: Where are you? Where is really your home? What are you doing here? ----- Mu Deng Recently, we visited Crestone, a “spiritual vortex” in Colorado, with a group of Chan practitioners from China. How incredible it was to be exposed to such concentrated wisdom in a small mountain town with a population of less than 150! Being immersed in the true harmony among different world religions, spiritual practices, and conscious organizations was truly a treasurable rare experience! How profound it was to receive Chinese Chan teaching while absorbing teachings from all the wisdom traditions that we encountered! May such a vibrant and open-hearted spiritual community continue to evolve to its full potential for generations to come. The Crestone Prophecy Crestone is situated in the northern part of the San Luis Valley, a sacred land of natural ... Read Full Story
Apr 26, 2018, 2 comments, 10 smiles A few months back, I met Grace at an Awakin Circle at Banyan Grove, and was deeply charmed and moved by her wisdom, compassion, humility, and -- well -- grace. :) When I learned that a film had been made about her journey, I knew it'd be a gift to screen it in the community. Little did I know that Bradley had a similar thought after meeting Grace a year or two back! And many others shared the same idea! With many invisible hands helping behind the scene, the first film screening at Banyan Grove flowed organically on April 15, as bunch of us gathered in the new zendo on a sunny rainy day in West Marin. After the screening of States of Grace, the audience interacted enthusiastically during the Q&A session with Grace and the filmmaker, Mark! As the event invite read: The film captures the profound transformation of Dr. Grace ... Read Full Story
Apr 25, 2018, 1 comments, 11 smiles What a sweet and joyful way to start off my second week at Banyan Grove! I got on a road trip with Fab, Audrey, and Chris, to go with Nimo to The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB). For some reason, I thought it was the first time that I met Nimo in person; in fact, it was the third time. But it felt like the first time as I was able to see more deeply, the playfulness and thoughtfulness, the liveliness and stillness, dancing freely in him. Before we hit the road, Ari and Birju, who came by Banyan Grove for a meeting, saw us off. Driving through “the most beautiful place in the world,” as Fab would put it, from West Marin to Petaluma, we were in constant awe of such lush natural beauty. Whichever direction we looked, it was a potential postcard shot. Look! There came Fab’s favorite ... Read Full Story