Good bye 2015, Hello 2016

Image source: http://newyeargreetings2016.comHello my loyal readers,

Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my articles during this year. Unlike last year, this year was a very tough one. It was mainly about making the right choices and taking the right decisions. I can summarize this year as a year of reflection and hard work.

On a global scale, this year was filled with lots of tragedy. Many people were predicting that the third World War would start.

These are the worthwhile things I experienced and achieved for this year: Continue reading

Metta Prayer and other quotes of wisdom – In the memory of Mr. S.N. Goenka

I learned about Mr. S. N. Goenka when I wanted to learn the Vipassana Meditation technique. His teaching method and the meditation technique was the best I learned in my life.

About S. N. Goenka

Some background about Mr. S. N. Goenka, from the Dhamma website:

s.n goenkaAlthough Indian by descent, Mr. Goenka was born and raised in Myanmar (Burma). While living there, he had the good fortune to come into contact with Sayagyi U Ba Khin and to learn the technique of Vipassana from him. After receiving training from his teacher for 14 years, Mr. Goenka settled in India and began teaching Vipassana in 1969. In a country still sharply divided by differences of caste and religion, the courses offered by Mr. Goenka soon attracted thousands of people from every part of society. In addition, many people from countries around the world came to join courses in Vipassana meditation.

Over a period of almost 45 years, Mr. Goenka and the teachers appointed by him taught hundreds of thousands of people in courses in India and other countries, East and West. Today, meditation centers established under his guidance are operating in Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa and Australasia.

The technique taught by S.N. Goenka goes back two and a half millennia to the Buddha. The Buddha never taught a sectarian religion; he taught Dhamma – the way to liberation – which is universal. In the same tradition, Mr. Goenka’s approach is totally non-sectarian. For this reason, his teaching has had a profound appeal to people of all backgrounds, of every religion and no religion, and from every part of the world.

Mr Goenka, died on 29 September 2013 (aged 89) in Mumbai, India. Continue reading

Video: Tummy Tuck Surgery

Out of curiosity, I wanted to learn about plastic surgery and I ran into this video.
I am appalled at how the doctor takes her belly skin apart, removes some fat, tighten the muscles and then stiches everything back together!
Very intrusive surgery! I can only imagine how much trauma the body takes during/after this surgery.

The following video is very graphic, so if you cannot handle seeing blood then click here for something more fun. Continue reading

This too shall pass

This is a nice story about the impermanent nature of things in life. I first heard it during my first Vipassana Meditation retreat.

Here’s is the story by Nikhil Gangoli as found on the 1stholistic website:

oldman-with-ringA rich old man died leaving two sons. They decided to separate dividing all the properties between themselves – fifty fifty. After all the matters related to property were settled the two brothers came across a small packet carefully hidden by the father. The packet contained two rings – one was an expensive diamond ring and the other was an ordinary silver ring costing only a few rupees.

Seeing the diamond ring the elder brother developed greed and desired the ring for himself. He explained to the younger brother – This packet is obviously a family heirloom and not part of the joint family property. Our father evidently desired the diamond ring to be passed on from generation to generation and stay within the family. Being the elder brother I will take the diamond ring. You had better take the silver one.

The younger brother smiled and agreed.

The younger brother was curious as to why the father had preserved the silver ring, which had very little value. He took out the ring and examined it. One the ring was written the words – “This too will pass”. The younger brother said – “Oh this was the motto of my father – This too will pass. He replaced the ring on his finger.

Time passed. Both brothers went through the ups and downs of life. The elder brother used to get highly delighted when spring came and he was prosperous. He lost his balance and developed greed and attachment. When the good phase went away and winter approached he became highly anxious. He needed to medication and sleeping pills to be able to sleep. When that did not help he completely lost his balance. He needed visits to the psychiatrist and electric shock treatments. This was the brother with the diamond ring.

The younger brother when spring came, enjoyed it but remembered his father’s motto – This too will change. He did not get attached to his circumstances but enjoyed them while they lasted. When spring passed he said to himself – It was inevitably going to pass and now it has done so. So what? Similarly when winter approached and circumstances became bad he did not become agitated but remembered – This too will pass. Thus he was able to preserve his sense of balance through all the ups and downs of life and lived his life happily.

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Adults: No Christmas gifts for you

xmas-giftTonight is Christmas Eve and everyone is asking me if I finished my Christmas shopping and whether I bought gifts and what not.

I did buy a couple of gifts for kids (through a giving program) and I also donated some of my time to charity during this time of the year to help prepare breakfast for the homeless. So I gladly done my share of giving.

However, this is the first year where I do not buy any gifts for adults: my siblings, relatives and friends. When I tell this to others they feel shocked, as if I committed a grave sin!

So let me explain my philosophy, and I repeat it is pertains to adults and not kids. Kids do not have their own money and any toy or gift will bring joy to their hearts. Continue reading

No Avocado for you! Come back one year!

no avocado for you

I was in Vancouver, BC during a short weekend visit to discover and explore the city. The sun usually sets around 4:30PM this time of year.

I arrived Saturday and I checked in into my hotel room at 4PM, grabbed my umbrella and started walking around.

I wanted to walk in downtown and see much of the streets, the people and various attractions.

I tell you, the city looked vibrant and full of young people. There were lots of Asians as well. For a second I forgot I was in Canada (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

So, basically for me, the biggest “attraction” or the highlight of my exploration on Saturday night was the sheer amount of homeless people asking for money and lying on the streets.

Continue reading

Video interview with Michelle Vulama – Artist and Rock Painter

The other, when I was visiting Vancouver BC, I met Michelle Vulama inside the Granville Island Public Market.

She’s a talented rock artist! She picks up rocks and starts painting on them.

From her work, I can see she has good imagination and lots of creativity.

What follows is an impromptu interview that she gracefully allowed me to conduct with her:

Here are some of her work displayed inside the market:

Finally, I would like to conclude by saying that Michelle accepts work commissioned by clients. That is, if you have an idea or a special rock you want to have a painting on it (say your dog painted on it or loved one), then do not hesitate to ask her to do that job for you.
Personally, if I had a moon rock, I would ask her to paint on it…Or otherwise, have her paint on an earth rock and let astronomers leave it on the moon! 🙂

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