Tag Archives: Service

Charity Day: ASC Chops Vegetables at Willing Hearts on 5 March

Charity Day

Following on from the success of last year’s Charity Day, where we helped pack and distribute food at the Children’s Wishing Well, this year we are organizing another group charity event. 

Join us as we help chop vegetables at Willing Hearts. We chose to volunteer at Willing Hearts as they are a secular, non-denominational charity. Their mission is to provide daily meals and other support services to the underprivileged, the needy, and other marginalized members in Singapore.

For more information about Willing Hearts, check out their website: www.willinghearts.org.sg

Saturday, 5 March 2016, 8am to 12pm
11 Jalan Ubi Blk 6, #01-51
Kembangan – Chai Chee Community Hub S(409074)

Please register by filling in the form below. For enquiries, email info@asc-sg.org.


#16 Sep 2013 – A Trip to Dharamsala

A Trip to Dharamsala

Synchronicity

I just got back from my first teaching with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala and I think it is the most significant awakening I have experienced in my life.

Having lived all my life in Singapore, I have no concept of refugees.  There are Tibetans, born in Dharamsala India, who have never been to their motherland. Not because they do not want to, but because they can’t.  They hold a refugee passport (what is that?!) that only allows them to travel within India and to a few other countries that are pro-Tibet.

The Tibetans try their best to make a living, raise kids and at the same time preserve the diminishing Tibetan culture by selling Tibetan handmade products and His Holiness’ memorabilia. It’s a hard life and I felt their pain intensely but at the same time felt helpless.

Fortunately, there are many supporters of Tibet in Singapore. There is the Tibetan Buddhist Center which was the main organizer of this trip to Dharamsala, the famous Amitaba Buddhist Center (a.k.a ABC) and the inspirational Tara, who has devoted many years of her life to helping Tibet and many others.  All of this came about because someone felt strongly about it and did something.

That is why, single pointed concentration is so important. It is the practice that makes all great things possible.  Co-incidentally (or was it?), the Dalai Lama’s teaching was on Chapter 7 of ‘A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ – Meditation.  And it comes as no surprise to me that we are two weeks away from our first Shamatha (single pointed concentration) retreat with Douglas Veenhof !   I feel like I just hit the jackpot.

With love always,

Angie.
(and the ACI Singapore team)

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A Final Thought

 

“When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.”
Bhagavad Gita
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#12 Jul 2013 – Who is Serving Whom?

P1240945_6487 - CopyWho is Serving Whom?

Finding your teacher

The most common question that I was asked at the last few talks given by Lama Marut was “How do I go about finding a teacher?” No surprise considering that the major focus of our recent series of talks was a commentary on selections from De Lam, “The Path to Bliss” by His Holiness the First Pachen Lama, Lobsang Chukyi Gyeltsen (1570-1662), translated by Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally.  This is one of several of the holiest of Buddhist treatises collectively known as the Lam Rim (“Stages on the Path”) teachings and the first step on this path is on “How to take a Teacher.”

Now that I’ve dispensed with the necessary formalities on this immense body of work, I will proceed by giving you what, at first glance, might seem like a completely illogical answer to the question of  “How do I go about finding a teacher?”

The answer is:  It’s by serving those who serve a teacher. 

I know…I know you all wanted me to tell you to go to Lama-R-Us.com and order up a perfect teacher who will tell you how to be awakened in twelve easy lessons all for just $19.95.  Well it doesn’t work that way kids, as that’s just another form of “grasping” or “desire” for the ‘in thing’ of having a guru.

“Did you see Chuck?  He seems so happy”…oh I heard he has a teacher…really? I’ve got to get one of those Lama dudes quick (can also be a dudette!)  So cool, all my problems will be solved”.

So, here is how it actually works or at least how it was for me.  Three years ago, or so, I stumbled into my first spiritual talk – it was Lama Marut.  Like most, this introductory two hour rap didn’t convince me that I was suffering, so I went to his retreat a few months later to see what it was all about.  Wow – serious spiritual rookie mistake –  straight into the deep end of the pool with the “Diamond Cutter Sutra”.  Anyway, my wife and I,  (Angie), were so moved by our first retreat with Lama Marut that we approached the organisers, ACI  to see if they needed volunteers.  Well, one thing led to another, and within six months we were running the next retreat.  We have now been lucky enough to have worked with the whole ACI team on a couple of retreats and numerous talks, so we now get to see Lama Marut three times a year instead of just once.   Angie and I are just a couple of luck saps that blindly ‘let it go around’ first, but when it came around we hit the jackpot…the best teacher any student could ever hope for.

In loving gratitude and loyal service to our teacher and teachers.

Chuck.
(and the ACI Singapore team)

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A Final Thought

“In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn.”

Phil Collins (Musician, actor)

 

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