Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Good Morning Neighbor

At 7am, this morning while I was transporting our garbage cans in front of our house. Emily walked out the front door for her usual morning walk. She said, "Hi. Good morning, Neighbor. I felt that you were just like our neighbors who were transporting garbage cans. How are you?"

At that moment, I realized that I was not "her man who may have forgotten to perform some of his duties", nor "her man who she usually focuses on to make sure that he is alright." I was just a neighbor.

There was absolutely no expectation what so ever. I could be a bird or just a dog. I congratulated her at that moment, because she was in that moment, which is completely disconnected from the previous moment. There was absolutely no preconceived notion whatsoever.

To me, Emily is my companion, my daughter, my mother, sometime my grandma, and often just another Chan practicing partner. She can be any of that at any moment, or some of that at some moment, or none of that at all. As long as she is what she is at that moment.

Every day is a new day and every person is a new person. Isn't that wonderful?

Treasure our moment. It is the most precious of our lives. No moment needs to be a continuation of our last moment.

Apples And Oranges

Chan Practice Does Not Mean To Live With Limited Means.

Often, we met people who told us, that I will commit to Chan practice after I retire. Somehow to these people, being a Buddhist seems to mean trading in a luxurious life style for spirituality. Somehow to them, sacrifices need to be made in order to be a Chan practitioner. This is just not true. Practicing Buddhism actually develops a clearer mindset noticing wider choices in life. More options and a calmer mind set enables better decision making.

Geshe Michael Roach grew a business from fifty thousand to 100 million. Li-Bai Chen grew a business from one million to 100 million. Both are devoted Buddhists and manage their businesses based on Buddhist principles.

A simpler example will be, while one wanted apple and focus on apple only and nothing else, a Buddhist will also see the availability of oranges and strawberries and their values.

Though as we continues to practice, we eventually will be content of having nothing in particular. But in due course, we are almost certain that we will make better choices and live a happier life.

After all, Donald Trump may also agree, that the best bargaining position is not wanting anything. This principle is applicable to both business and relationship.

So why wait. Live a better life. Be a Chan practitioner now.