An audio recording – “How to maintain happiness in a developed society”

The MV Dhamma Fellowship under its Buddhism in Daily Life programme organises a series of Dhamma Talk by prominent guest speakers to deliver talks on a variety of topics on Buddhism that impact the well-being and wellness of the devotees and lay followers.

This talk “How to maintain happiness in a developed society” By Bhante Dr Seeha is the fifth Dhamma Talk for the year.

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The speaker, Dr Seeha elucidates a moot point.

It attracted a reasonable attendance.

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A section of attentive and pensive audience.

An audio recording is uploaded for all to share and especially for those who could not attend and missed the opportunity for whatever reason.

It is indeed a noble deed to spread the Dhamma and hope this recording will benefit those with little dust on their eyes as well as to the others. “I allow you, monks, to wander abroad for the good of the many, for the welfare and happiness of devas and humans. Do not go two together, monks, but teach the Dhamma that is lovely in its beginning, lovely in its middle, and lively in is ending, both in the letter and in the spirit, and display the holy life fully complete and perfect.  There are beings with little dust on their eyes who perishing through not hearing Dhamma: they will become knowers of the Dhamma.” (M.II, 48)

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“Teach the Dhamma that is lovely in its beginning, lovely in its middle, and lively in is ending, both in the letter and in the spirit, and display the holy life fully complete and perfect.” (M.II, 48).

The gift of the Dhamma excels all other gifts. (Dh. 354).

You wish to may visit The Photo Gallery to view more photos

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

Contributor: Chin Kee Thou

Date: August 29th 2017

You are cordially invited to attend coming Dhamma Talks schedule on September 11th 2017 and September 18th 2017. Do mark your calendar and keep the dates to listen to the Dhammas.

(Contents, photos and audio clip by contributor who takes responsibility for any inadvertence factual or otherwise).

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Posted in Buddhism in Daily Life, Dhamma in Daily Life, Dhamma Talk, Meditation in Daily Life, Sutta in Daily Life, Sutta Study Class | Leave a comment

Dhamma Talk – “Two aspects of morality”

What comes to the mind? Moral or immoral; Virtue or vice; Love or lust?

Is it confusing?  Let us make a date and hear from Bhante Cakkappala on September 18th 2017.

 Two aspects of morality 170918

All are welcome.

Submitted by: Chin Kee Thou

Date: August 24th 2017

Posted in Abhidhamma in Daily Life, Buddhism in Daily Life, Dhamma in Daily Life, Dhamma Talk, Meditation in Daily Life, Sutta in Daily Life, Sutta Study Class | 1 Comment

A personal-tagged-along visit to the Khin Gyi Pyaw (Innwa) Monastic Education School

Following the last trip to the Khin Gyi Pyaw Monastic Educational School in December 2016 this tagged-along visit from August 15th to 19th with Brother Yeap Cheow Soon, incidentally he is the brainchild spearheaded the project, to review the progress of the various projects undertaken with efforts and funds from supporters and donors from Singapore.

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Brother Yeap Cheow Soon, brainchild of the project, with a samanera.

Completed projects

The list of completed projects since the last visit includes a new large and well-ventilated dining hall that can accommodate up to two hundred diners under a bright and cheerful ambience.

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Breakfast at the old dining hall … …

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… … followed by the next meal, lunch at the new dining hall as a first-time-offering to commemorate the usage of it.

A new water well was dug completed with an electrical pump system and a water purification filter system was installed for drinkable water to quench the thirst. They are not only beneficial to the monastic school but also to the villagers as well, as a community service to them who can now draw better quality water from the stand pipes installed outside the perimeter wall of the school.

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Water purification filter system installed for drinkable water to quench the thirst.

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As a community service to the villagers standpipes installed outside the perimeter wall provide fresh water to them.

Current project

The construction of an additional block of classrooms in progress with the main structure completed with naked brick walls while we watched the installation of metal beam structure for the roof.  The block of classrooms is expected to be fully functional by the end of the year that would ease the dire shortage of suitable classroom facility.

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Construction of a new block of classrooms in progress adjacent to an existing block.

Old n existing classrooms jep

New classrooms

Future project – dormitories

Currently, the several dilapidated wooden dormitories, with a single stairway hampers fire evacuation, coupled with poor ventilation are in dire of improvement. Many of them are also over-crowded and congested to put up with all the residents and pose a health dilemma. Overcrowding and congestion are perennial issues that warrant preferential consideration.

Single stairway wooden structure jep

Dilapidated wooden dormitiries with single stairway hampers fire evacuation.

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Overcrowding poses a health hazard and … …

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… … congestion are perennial issues that warrant preferential consideration for new dormitories.

The need to provide decent accommodation is a paramount concern and was given top priority. It is envisaged to build two blocks of two-storey concrete dormitory that can accommodate about 100 or more residents. Contractors for the various aspects of the project were called upon and provided quotations for evaluation with Brother Yeap Cheow Soon in attendance.

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: Discussion with contractors for the dormitory project.

Happy and carefree childhood days

 The day kick starts at 4:30 am with the samaneras getting ready to go alms round or pindapata. A truck would fetch them to Innwa town for the alms round in two trips. Younger samaneras do not go on alms round but stay back to perform chores like area cleaning – sweeping the floor, clearing litters, racking fallen leaves and branches and disposal of garbage among others.

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Area cleaning – sweeping the compound, raking fallen leaves … …

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… … and disposal of garbage.

The first trip would return at 7:00 am would await for alms gatherers from the second trip at 7:30 am before they proceeded together to the food point and emptied their food from the alms bowls.  All the samaneras would then queue up to collect their breakfast.

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Younger samaneras waiting for breakfast.

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Emptying alms bowl at the food point.

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Queuing for breakfast.

Before attending classes at 9:30 am and the afternoon session at 2:00pm all the samaneras would continue with their designated chores. Classes would end at 11:00 am follow by lunch at 11:30 am. After lunch and before the commencement of the afternoon lessons at 2:00 pm they are free to indulge in their own activities like taking a bathe and washing of robes; and for others it is play time.

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: Bathing and washing of robes for some … …

Play time jep

… … and for others it is play time.

The samaneras’ age ranges from five years old to teenagers. They enjoy a daily care free stay without any concern or anxiety living in the present moment.  They indulged themselves in whatever recreational activities that they could fancy like kicking a football, playing hop scotch – a child’s game in which a player tosses an object (as a stone) consecutively into areas of a figure outlined on the ground and hops through the figure and back to regain the object. Other activities included playing catching, kicking a rattan ball (sepak takraw) and running around the compound.  Their free roaming spirit and innocence reflected on their calm and serene faces, a reminiscence of my own childhood days living kampong, in the late 50’s and early 60’s without electricty and water supply.  Water from the well for bathing and washing and fresh water fetched from the standpipe for cooking. Oil lamps were used for lighting during the night and an early bed time.

Meal offering by Ryan Song Ruijun

Bhante Cakkapala who travelled with us went to his home town to attend to family matters rejoined us on August 19th and presided over meal offering by Ryan Song Ruijun. “In giving food, one gives five things. What five? One gives life, beauty, happiness, strength and intelligence. And in giving these things, one partakes in the qualities of life, beauty, happiness, strength and intelligence, both here and hereafter.” (A.III,42). “When they give out of faith with a heart of confidence, food accrues to (the giver) himself both in this world and the next.” (SN 1:43).

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“both devas and human beings always take delight in food. So what sort of spirit could it be that does not take delight in food?” (SN 1:43)

Homeward bound

After a sumptuous meal we were mindful to consume food neither for amusement nor for intoxication nor for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the support and maintenance of the body, for avoiding harm, and for assisting the spiritual life.” (AN 4:159). We departed at 12 noon for the airport and boarded a flight home and landed safely in Singapore at 8:10 pm.

 Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

 

You may wish to view more photos from The Gallery .

Contributor:  Chin Kee Thou

Date: August 23rd 2017

Contents, photos and video clips by contributor who takes responsibility for any inadvertence factual or otherwise.

Posted in Abhidhamma in Daily Life, Buddhism in Daily Life, Dhamma in Daily Life, Events, Humanitarian Trip, Meditation in Daily Life, Sutta in Daily Life, Sutta Study Class | Leave a comment

MV Dhamma Fellowship celebrates 5th Pindapata Day

Introduction

What a joyful day for the MV Dhamma Fellowship when it organised the 5th Pindapata Day on August 9th 2017 that coincided with the 52nd Singapore National Day celebration. There were five monks participated in the alms-round comprised of three host monks, namely Bhante U Cittara, Bhante Cakkapala and Bhante Seelananda and the two guest monks were Venerable Dr Shi Zhen Jue from Hui Yin Lodge and Bhante Gnanarathana from Kong Meng San Temple, currently residing at Sri Lankaramaya Buddhist temple during the semester holiday.

What is pindapata?

Alms-food is elucidated as “any sort of food or nutriment is called “alms food” or pindapata – literally means “lump dropping,” because of its having been dropped (patitatta) into a bhikkhu’s bowl during his alms round (pindloya). Or alms food (pindapata) is the dropping (pata) of the lumps (pinda); it is the concurrence (sannipata), the collection, of alms (bhikkha) obtained here and there, is what is meant.” (Vism. II, 89).

It is further elaborated as “The dropping (pata) of the lumps (pinda) of material substance (amisa) called alms (bhikkha) is “alms-food” (pindapata); the falling (nipatana) into the bowl of lumps (pinda) given by others, is what it is meant. He gleans that alms food (that of lumps he seeks it by approaching such and such a family, thus he is called an “alms-food [eat]er”  (pindapata). Or his vow is to gather (patitum) the lump (pinda), thus he a “lump- gather” (pindapatin). To “gather” is to wander for.  A “lump-gather” (pindapatin) is the same as an “alms-food-eater” (pindapatika). Thus the practice of the alms-food-eater is the ”alms-food-eater’s practice.”  (Vism. II, 5 iii).

“What are the benefits of a monk’s observance of his regular alms-round?  One thinks of benefitting all beings equally and destroys the faults of enjoyment.  One is not pleased when invited, is not pleased with many words, and does not call on householders. One does not walk hurriedly. Rare as the moon at full, one appears and is appreciated and honoured.  One gets a following of good men.  This observance is doubt-free.” (Vimuttimagga).

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L to R: Bhante U Cittara, Bhante Cakkapala, Bhante Gnanarathan & Venerable Dr Shi Zhen Jue.

The event

At 8:30 am the day kick started with devotees, participants and well-wishers brought “cooked food and fruits with seeds removed” (D.I, 6) to the kitchen. It has been a tradition for monks to consume one meal day before midday and no food at night so as to give them more time to practise. Buddhist monks are “not allowed to store up food and drinks” (D.I,5) and “refrained from causing injury to seeds or plants and eat one meal a day, not eating at night, refraining from food after hours (after midday)” (D.I,6; M.I,180).

For safety of the monks Lord Buddha forbade the consumption of food and monks going for alms ground outside the proper time: “It has happened that bhikkhus wandering for alms in the thickness of darkness of the night have walked into a cesspool, fallen into a sewer, walked into thorn bush, and walked into sleeping cow; they met hoodlums who had already committed a crime and those planning one, and they have been sexually enticed by women. Once, venerable sir, I went wandering for alms in thick darkness of the night.  A woman washing a pot saw me by the flash of lightning and screamed out in terror: ‘Mercy me, a devil has come for me!’ I told her: ‘Sister, I am no devil, I am a bhikkhu waiting for alms.’ – ‘Then it’s a bhikkhu whose ma’s died and whose pa’s died!’ ‘Better, bhikkhu that you get your belly cut open with a sharp butcher’s knife than this prowling for alms for your belly’s sake in the thick darkness of the night.” (M.I, 448-449).

The Vimuttimagga further elaborates: “What are the benefits of the observance of ‘no food after time’? One abandons greed, and experience the joy of self-restraint.  One protects the body, and avoids taking food in advance, does not hanker, does not ask others for things, does not follow his inclination. This is an observance of good men.  The observance is doubt-free.”

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Vegetarian food and fruits with seeds removed brought to the kitchen.

Although Lord Buddha did not forbid the preference of eating meat (M.I, 369) but to uphold the temple’s rule prescribed by the late Venerable M.M. Mahaweera Maha Nayaka Thera, only vegetarian food and fruits are allowed.

Give or donate according to your means

In almsgiving it is the thought that matters and according to one’s ability and the suitability of the gifts to the receivers not the quantity.

“Does almsgiving become especially productive of great fruit only when it is liberality of such magnificent sort as this, or is it rather when it is a liberality in accordance with one’s means?”

The Blessed One said, “Not merely by efficiency of the gift does giving become especially productive of great fruit, but rather through efficiency of the thought and efficiency of the field of those to whom the alms are given. Therefore even so little as a handful of rice-bean or a piece of rag or a spread of grass or leaves or a gall-nuts in decomposing (cattle-)urine bestowed with devout  heart upon a person who is worthy of receiving a gift of devotion will be the great fruit, of great splendour and of great pervasiveness.” (Vv. I,1).

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“… even so little as a handful of rice-bean … … bestowed with devour heart upon a person who is worthy of receiving a gift of devotion will be the great fruit, of great splendour.” (Vv.I,1)

The benefits of alms-giving

General Siha asked the Lord:  ”Is it possible to see the results of generosity?”  And the Lord said: “Yes it is possible to see the result of generosity.  The giver, the generous one, is liked and dear to many. … Good and wise people follow the generous person. … The generous person earns a good reputation. … This is the result of generosity. Once again, in whatever company he enters, be it nobles, brahims, householders or monks, the generous enters with confidence and without trouble.  And finally, the giver, the generous person, is reborn in heaven after death.  This a result of generosity that can be seen hereafter.” (A.III,39).    

“In giving food, one gives five things.  What five?  One gives life, beauty, happiness, strength and intelligence.  And in giving these things, one partakes in the qualities of life, beauty, happiness, strength and intelligence, both here and thereafter.” (A.III,42).

“When they give out of faith with a heart of confidence, food accrues to (the giver) himself both in this world and the next.” (SN 1:43).

Pot luck menu

It was a pot luck menu with volunteers from the kitchen laid out the food for the Sangha’s table and the congregation’s tables with a potpourri of delicacies like pastries, salads, deserts, assorted fruits, tit-bites, beverages and the sumptuous Burmese and Chinese cuisines.

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Devotees’ tables.

 

Alms-round

The alms-round started at 10:15 am with about 200 participants lined up in rows facing each other and when the monks walked through gently dropped a lump of rice into each alms bowl and requisites to the accompanying kappiyas.

Once the alms-givers had made their offer were requested to assemble at the main shrine hall for the morning puja. The whole process was completed within half an hour.

Thus with pindapata, the Buddhist monks and the laypeople have mutual benefits; the monks rely on the laypeople for food and in return they teach the true Dhamma to the laypeople. “From householders the homeless receive these basic necessities of life, robes to wear and a place to dwell dispelling the hardships of the seasons. Householders and homeless alike, each support for the other, both accomplish the true Dhamma – the unsurpassed security from bondage.(It 8-13).

Puja session

The puja was a full-house session with the four monks presided by Venerable U Cittara conducted the sermon.

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A full house session.

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Puja lead by Bhante U Cittara . .

Offerings of candles, joss-sticks, flowers and a platter consisted of cut fruits, water, food and betel leaves and nut to the Buddha, were carried by volunteers proceeded to the line of devotees each one touched the items as a token of offering as they passed by.

The puja ended with blessing by the symbolic sprinkled of holy water on the head of the devotees.

Sanghika dana

Immediately after the puja session the monks proceeded to the Mangla Hall for sanghika lunch. Devotees crowded round the table and touch it with the rest behind tapped on the shoulders of each other while the monks offered blessings followed by transferred of merits to the departed ones to rejoice with them.

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Blessing during sanghika dana followed by … …

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… … transference of merits.

Bon appetite

Thereafter the monks consumed the food before midday and the devotees feasted on the food laid on the other tables as “both devas and human beings always take delight in food. So what sort of spirit could it be that does not take delight in food?” (SN 1:43), we were mindful toconsume food neither for amusement nor for intoxication nor for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the support and maintenance of the body, for avoiding harm, and for assisting the spiritual life.” (AN 4:159).

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“Both devas and human beings always take delight in food. So what sort of spirit could it be that does not take delight in food?” (SN 1:43) …

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… but to “consume food neither for amusement nor for intoxication nor for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the support and maintenance of the body, for avoiding harm, and for assisting the spiritual life.” (AN 4:159).

Happy ending but the need to know

The occasion ended well with all the food consumed and the place tidied up and everyone left with a joyous heart looking forward to the next pindapata day, however bearing in mind annica, the true nature of impermanence when “whatever exists here on earth and in space, comprised by form, included in the world – everything impermanent decays.  The saga fare having pierced the truth.” (AN.1, 712), we will take it in good strife as we move along while looking forward to the next pindapata gathering.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

Contributor: Chin Kee Thou

Date: August 12th 2017

N.B.  All citations from Buddhist texts are available from MV Library , MV eLibrary Books,

MV Library Resourceful Websites.

You may visit the photo gallery to view more photos.

Contents, photos and video clips by contributor who takes responsibility for an inadvertence factual or otherwise. 

 

Posted in Abhidhamma in Daily Life, Buddhism in Daily Life, Dhamma in Daily Life, Events, Meditation in Daily Life, Sutta in Daily Life | Leave a comment

Dhamma Talk – “Criteria of a Buddhist”

Many of us call ourselves Buddhists. Are we a Buddhist in name only?
Do come and find out are you really a Buddhist on September 11th 2017.
It is a free invitation and do make a date to know more.

Criteria of a Buddhist

All are welcome

Submitted by: Chin Kee Thou
Date: August 8th 2017

Posted in Abhidhamma in Daily Life, Buddhism in Daily Life, Dhamma in Daily Life, Dhamma Talk, Events, Meditation in Daily Life, Sutta in Daily Life | 1 Comment

Pindapata Day (alms giving) on August 9th 2017

What are the benefits of giving?

“In giving food, one gives five things. What five? One gives life, beauty, happiness, strength and intelligence. And in giving these things, one partakes in the quality of life, beauty, happiness, strength and intelligence, both here and hereafter.” (AN.III,42).

Do I get immediate result?

Siha asked the Lord: “Is it possible, Lord, to see the result of generosity?”  And the Lord said: “Yes, it is possible to see the result of generosity.  The giver, the generous one, is liked and dear to many. This is a result of generosity that is observable. Good and wise people follow the generous person. This is a result of generosity that is observable. The generous person earns a good reputation.  This is also a result of generosity that is observable. Once again, in whatever company he enters, be it noble brahims, householders or monks, the generous person enters with confidence and without trouble. This is the result of giving that is observable.  And finally, the giver, the generous person, is reborn in heaven after death.  This is a result of generosity that can only be seen hereafter.” (AN.III,39).

Pindapata poster 2017

So do come and partake in the joy of giving and reap the fruits on August 9th 2017.

Submitted by: Chin Kee Thou

Date: July 21st 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Buddhism in Daily Life, Dhamma in Daily Life, Events, Meditation in Daily Life, Sutta in Daily Life | Leave a comment

How to maintain happiness in the developed society?

Do you wish to know the answer?

Just look at the poster below.

How to maintain happiness

All are welcome!

Submitted by: Chin Kee Thou

Date: July 7th 2017

Posted in Abhidhamma in Daily Life, Buddhism in Daily Life, Dhamma in Daily Life, Dhamma Talk, Events, Meditation in Daily Life, Sutta in Daily Life, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment