Tag Archives: wisdom

#48_July 2016 – Play as a Spiritual Practice

Play as a Spiritual Practice

When I first heard in a teaching that play could be incorporated into a spiritual practice, I was not only relieved but really happy that the spiritual practice was not all work. After all, that’s why there is this proverb ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ right?

Summer time seems to be the perfect time to take a break from work – half the year has gone by, there is another half more to go. Some of us could already be feeling disinterested at work or our bodies could be yearning for a sunny vacation – beach, sun, sea or just hanging out with people we want to spend more time with.

When I am on vacation, I try to watch what is it about the vacation that I like? This often gives me a clue to what is missing from my work….. Is it doing the things I don’t feel like I have to do? Is it having time and space to laugh and be silly? Is it the carefreeness feeling of doing the things I like without having to watch the clock? Is it spending time on creative projects, allowing myself to make mistakes along the way?

The older I get, the more I realize the importance of relaxing into the practice – for long-term progress and sustainability of what we do. If we could learn from our vacations and incorporate the elements of play – the innocence, the wonder, humor, light heartedness, openness, playfulness, creativity, not taking ourselves too seriously….. etc., into our daily life, our life could be one big holiday !

The ASC team

Final thoughts

A teacher asked her students to use the word “beans” in a sentence. “My father grows beans,” said one girl. “My mother cooks beans,” said a boy. A third student spoke up, “We are all human beans.”

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#47_May 2016 – Take a Break

Take a Break.

….before you have to. For some reason holding down two jobs, doing charity work helping small businesses, managing a household and planning an international move was not enough of a signal to clear some space for some inner work.
There are times when stretching yourself with multiple challenges leads to great breakthroughs, whether in knowledge, understanding or the sense of wholeness that comes through helping someone else achieve their goals. Other times you may be filling your time, running about being ‘busy busy’ because you are avoiding being with yourself, being quiet; facing the reality of who you really are in that moment.
For me, during those few months when one year ends and another begins – in this case 2016 – I was transitioning from being in one country to moving to another, physically and mentally. I became disconnected and distracted by to-do lists rather than taking time to honour the momentum of this change. In the past, if I didn’t find space for myself, events would force it on me.
This time the first whisper was when I fell down a very long flight of stone steps at the new Art Museum on the Padang. I apologise for scaring everyone in the ticket hall who had to witness my messy tumble. Other than severe bruises and a chipped elbow, I was fine.
Did I listen? The louder klaxon came early in January when I turned my ankle and broke it. So now, no choice; I had to take a break. Literally. I recognised the situation that had been created by my actions immediately whilst waiting for the x-ray, and laughed. Don’t wait for the whisper, take that break.

Susan

Final Thoughts

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not, remember that what you now have was once amongst the things you only hoped for.”
~ Epicurus

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#46_April 2016 – Unplug.

Unplug.

Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Many of us live like this our whole lives and we often end up feeling tired, bored, restless, frustrated, hopeless or helpless. If this sounds familiar to you, it might be a good time to unplug and go on retreat.

Spiritual retreats allow us to take time for ourselves; rest the body, work the kinks out of our system through yoga, sit in meditation to settle the mind and reflect clearly, and finally reload with good dose of spiritual teachings. This is just what we do at our retreat with Lama Marut and Cindy Lee every year. This year’s teachings aim to awaken us to our Buddha nature by learning how to work with anger, pride, jealousy, desire and ignorance – five common hindrances that prevent us from being our true self and living the life we want to lead.

There will be daily kirtan and a drawing workshop to let our creative juices flow and transformation take place. We also get 4 hours of free time each day to relax by the beach, soak in the sun and sea. With accommodation and all food taken care of, there is really nothing to stop us from discovering what’s really important to us and reflecting on what’s really going on in our life. For more details and itinerary, click here.

Hope to see you there!

Warmest wishes,
The ASC Team

Final Thoughts

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
~ Oscar Wilde

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#37_July 2015 – Wisdom 0.15

calm-ocean

Wisdom 0.15

Nearly two weeks ago, I attended the Wisdom Asia 2.0 conference here in Singapore, organised by the effervescent Tan Chade Meng, who is Google’s Jollygoodfellow (it’s his real job title). He believes that through teaching mindfulness, businesses can become more ethical, more compassionate and wiser. And he enticed a lot of the big names of mindfulness such as Jack Kornfield and Dan Siegel to share their vision and ideas here. Over and over again at the conference, we heard that all the beautiful ideas they presented will just remain words unless people try them out, practice them and experience a difference in their lives. And of course, we all nodded sagely and with conviction.Cut to last night, when I had a splitting  headache and had already taken quite a bit of pain medication. I was fully caught up in the ‘poor me-ness’ of the situation and sulking about how I was going to put up with my throbbing head until I remembered that I actually had other tools at my disposal – mindfulness! Oh yes, that thing I spent 3 days hearing about. Rather reluctantly, I tried a practice where instead of focusing on the pain, with gentle curiosity, you search the rest of your body for places where there isn’t pain and take time to explore what they feel like. My left thigh felt ok, so I decided to focus on that for a while, until low and behold, I woke up two hours later with my headache gone! So perhaps in my case, this is more like wisdom 0.15 rather than 2.0 but I can say with conviction that even reluctant mindfulness is better than none at all! May all be happy, healthy and wise!

Jaki

 

A Final Thought

Seeing reality for what it is, is what we call discernment.  The work of discernment is very hard.

~ Lewis B. Smedes

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Understanding Yourself with the Wisdom of the Five Buddha Families

ratnasambhava-akshobhya-vairochana-amitabha-amoghasiddhi-5-dhyani-buddhas
The Five Dhyani or Wisdom Buddhas represent five aspects of an fully realised mind. Each Buddha embodies a different kind of wisdom and this wisdom can be used to help us work on a particular habitual pattern such as anger, jealousy, pride, ignorance or grasping.
In this talk, we will get to know the five Dhyani Buddhas, find out which of their energies are stronger in us and which ones we need to develop. We will also start thinking about how we can start nurturing and balancing the five types of wisdom in our lives.
This talk is will be given by Jaki Fisher, and is based on a seminar given by Fleet Maull of the Shambala tradition, as well as on Roshi Bernie Glassman’s book, Instructions to the Cook.
About Jaki Fisher
Jaki Fisher has been studying Tibetan Buddhism for several years. She has taught several ACI courses in Singapore and continues to lead meditation sessions for ASC. She is also a wonderful Tibetan Heart Yoga teacher and an accomplished dancer, teaching dance as a form of spiritual practice.
Date:  Monday, 20 April 2015
Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm (including question time)
Venue: 51B Temple ST
Cost: by donation
To register, please email jen_ril@hotmail.com

#31 January 2015 – New Year New Offerings

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New Year New Offerings

My spiritual study for 2015 kicked off with a perfect start on Monday night with Charu Ramesh’s introductory class to the Yoga Sutras. The class was relaxed yet illuminating at the same time.  I gave my mind and body a long break over the holidays, so it was like a drink of spring water for my dehydrated mind, as she skilfully explained a deeply profound text in layman’s words. The simple essence of the text is that suffering is caused by turbulence in the mind and the practice of Yoga is all about how to stop this churning of the mind.  What are the causes of this churning? What are the obstacles we will face in the practice? These questions were all explained in the class.  If you missed it, there are three more classes over the next three Monday evenings which includes a review of the previous class.

This year the ASC team have planned many more new courses and events for you.  Coming up soon is a Fire Purification ceremony, Thangka drawing and painting, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction talk and book club. We have planned something for everyone this year – so stay tuned and hope to see you at one of them soon.

Here’s to a fun and awakening 2015!

Angie

 


 A Final Thought

“And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person.
One moment at a time.”

~ Libba Bray

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REGISTRATION CLOSING SOON! for April 9 to 13: Borobudur Retreat on Chapters 8-10 of Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life

REGISTRATIONS FOR RETREAT CLOSING 4TH MARCH!

Book now @ info@asc-sg.org

Watch Lama Marut invite you personally to the retreat in the video below:

 

About the retreat:Boro-Flyer-email

Lama Marut will lead this retreat on Chapters 8 to 10 of Master Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. This retreat will be the third and last in the series of retreats held since 2013 on this wonderful text. The final chapters of the text focus on the Perfections of Meditative Concentration and Wisdom.

We will be at the ancient Buddhist pilgrimage site of Borobudur, Indonesia, as we dive deep into the concluding chapters of the text. The temple of Borobudur, dating from the 9th Century, consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statuesBorobudur is built as a single large stupa and, when viewed from above, takes the form of a giant tantric Buddhist mandala. It is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, as well as one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world. (-Wikipedia)

Save the dates and come along for a chance to experience 5 days of mind and heart-opening teachings, as well as daily yoga and meditation classes in this beautiful and sacred place.

 

Practical Information

Dates: Thursday 9th April to Monday 13th April, 2015 (Teachings commence on 9th April evening and end on 12th April evening, we leave very early on 13th April). Every day we will have time for yoga, meditation and personal reflection, and tours of the temple.

Cost: Twin share SGD$1,040/Single occupancy SGD$1,250  

Cost includes air ticket from Singapore to Yogyakarta, 4 nights accommodation, breakfast/lunch/dinner/coffee, tea and teaching materials. Cost does NOT include visa cost, personal expenses and laundry and airport tax.
We have made a group booking for this flight by AIR ASIA:
QZ 659 Thu 9th Apr  SIN-JOG 11:15-12:25
QZ 658  Mon 13 Apr JOG-SIN 07:25-10:45

Hotel: Princess Mahohara Resort (the only hotel next to Borobudur temple)

Spaces can  be secured with a non-refundable deposit of SGD$300, or full payment. With limited space available in Princess Manohara Resort it is advisable to make your booking soon.

For more information and registration, please email: info@asc-sg.org

#28 October 2014 -Yoga and Me

trikonasana

Yoga and Me

One year ago, I decided to take a break from yoga. I didn’t love the practice any more despite developing a solid practice over many years. Of course I knew that yoga was good for me but my relationship with yoga had become one of ‘must’.  I needed to practice; I had to practice.

When I stopped teaching, I didn’t feel compelled to practice. I stopped attending workshops, and didn’t feel the pressure to keep it up. I rested as much as I needed and did only what I felt like. Some days, I felt resistance. Some days, I didn’t want to stop. But rather than telling myself ‘I must’, I asked myself whether I was truly tired or if I was making excuses. Am I as tired as I thought? Can I not do just one asana? Slowly, by challenging my underlying motivations I built up my practice again.

Working from the frame of mind of ‘must’ there was no room for query and for compassion. In letting go of ‘must’, there was room to gauge my feelings and energy levels. And that brought a more mindful and kinder relationship between my practice and myself.

Do I love the practice now? I am enjoying it and committed to it.

Poh Yen


A Final Thought

“If there ever comes a time that you forget where you came from, you’ve gone too far.”
― Comic Strip Mama

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31 Oct to 2 Nov 2014 – Mindful Relationships

LM&CL2014_cropLama Marut and Cindy Lee will be giving a three-part series of talks about how to have Mindful Relationships.     We’re all always and already in relationship with others – with people at work, our friends, partners, and family members.  In this three-part workshop, we’ll explore how to apply spiritual principles to these relationships so as to maximize the rewarding aspects and minimize the difficulties.  We’ll begin by investigating the preconditions for entering into a new relationship, move on to how to maintain and improve relationships we are already in, and conclude by discussing how to successfully “break up” and transition a relationship from one type to another.

 

31st Oct 2014 | Friday, 7.30-9.00pm – Part 1

1st Nov 2014 | Saturday, 7.30-9.00pm – Part 2

2nd Nov 2014 | Sunday, 7.30-9.00pm – Part 3

Venue:
Cocoon Studio
 315 Outram Road
#02-07 Tan Boon Liat Building
Singapore 169074

Please register here.

1 Nov to 4 Nov 2014 – Why Things Don’t Happen the Way You Think They Do

Lama Marut is in Singapore and will be teaching, “Why Things Don’t Happen the Way You Think They Do:  Nagarjuna on the Emptiness of Karma and Causation.”(taken from Nargajuna’s “Root Verses on the Middle Way”.)

1st Nov 2014 | Saturday, 2.00-4.00pm – Part 1

2nd Nov 2014 | Sunday, 2.00-4.00pm – Part 2

3rd Nov 2014 | Monday, 7.30-9.00pm – Part 3

4th Nov 2014 | Tuesday, 7.30-9.00pm – Part 4

Venue: Oasis Holistic
 Blk 10, Selegie House,
 Selegie Road
 Singapore 180010

Please register here.