Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day Two of 100 days with "If Not Now, When?" Peace Edition by H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

Day Two of Week One: Monday, 22nd March 2010

No. Of Prostrations: 21 ( Check and Done! )

Daily Sadhanas: Check and Done! To be honest, I was never a big fan of prayers and rituals. I used to shun pujas like a cat would shun 'bath-time'! But ever since I started doing them regularly last year, it has been very relaxing, almost therapeutic. Now, I actually look forward to sitting infront of my altar and having a personal dailogue with the Buddhas. And I end it with contemplation or meditation.

Physical Exercise: 55 minutes ( Unbelievable that I even lasted that long! I remember once when I decided to join my sisters to work out at the Gym with their personal instructor. We were just sliding into 5 minutes of the warm-up and I was already hyperventilating. It was just the warm-up!!! So, I am very glad that this time around, I did not pass out. Check and pulse still throbbing! I have survived! Yay! )

Daily Reflection from “IF NOT NOW, WHEN?” - Ok, once again, I close my eyes and turn to a page at random. And today, it is Page 075.

Quote from Page 075 for Day Two:

“When corrected, watch that your mind does not automatically cover the fault. Examine the fault deeply instead. Cultivate great appreciation that someone pointed out the fault at all. The pain you feel when someone brings your faults out in the open is small compared to the suffering you cause others with your faults.

When we say ‘I AM SORRY’ from the heart, it is not necessarily about whether we are wrong. By habituation, we might have done something to make someone unhappy. If we say sorry, it is because we are sorry that someone is unhappy.”

My personal thoughts and feelings:

OK, I have to admit that whenever I am corrected, my mind does an auto-pilot and go into a "self-cherishing mode" of "I am not wrong, you are just not right." Almost immediately after that, it would automatically go into an "attack mode". It'll persuade me pounce and assert my 'right-ness' by speaking louder and louder. Before I know it, I am actually shouting in anger and shaking my fists at everyone in sight. And after all is said and done, I would convince myself that I was the poor little victim. Yes, and then I'd take my overtly twisted mind set and myself on a long self-piteous trip.

Why do I do that time and time again?

Why am I so petrified of listening to the truth and find out that my views are wrong? What is so unbearable about being corrected, why do I flinch and crinch at the mere mention of it?

The "Self-Cherishing Mind" weaves such an insidious web. It seems that so much work is done just to hide the pain, not knowing that the pain only exists because we do not want to face the truth in the first place. If I only had the courage to face the truth each and every time, then there would be relatively very little pain to bear. In any  case, just like everything else, the pain would come to pass. Nothing lasts. What's most important is the lesson learnt.

It took me a long time before I realised that when I try to justify and cover up the fault, I am actually denying myself the opportunity to learn and improve. At the same time, I would be continuining my assaults on others and prolonging their suffering because of my own selfish desire to appear right and correct. In some cases, it could be worse, "innocent bystanders" could have gotten hurt in the process because of our anger or our inability to "own up".

If we truly care for anyone, or even for our own self development and growth as an individual, we would not allow ourselves to be the cause or reason of someone else's suffering. We certainly would not wish to continue in that behaviour and speech pattern. Because nothing good would come from it.

I am really grateful to be reminded of this teaching/lesson.

I have to continue working at this until it becomes my natural reflect - effortless.

So, have courage to face the truth, accept correction and criticism with grace, and apologise with sincerity and don't repeat the faults/mistakes anymore. Learn and remember the lessons well, Shirley.


  1. I love the way you write Shirley. I can't wait to read more.
    I hope that you don't mind that I am reading some of this.
    Your thoughts are very helpful to me.

  2. Its always a pleasure reading your posts. Now it gets even better with the pictures.


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