Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vote for a Good Cause : Nalanda Free School Project

Dear friends,

Nalanda is a Buddhist Society in Sri Kembangan, Selangor (Malaysia) and one of their projects is the "Free School Project", which offers free academic tuition classes (in subjects such as English, Science and Mathematics) to needy Malaysian children, e.g. those who are from low-income or single-parent families. 

There is now an opportunity to raise additional funding and sponsorship for this project - please see e-mail below, and there's also a really good video (~2 mins) on, which I highly recommend to watch, and be inspired.

It will only take 5 minutes to register and vote, but it will be for a really good cause :) 

Appreciate your time and if possible, please vote!

PY, a friend on the Dhamma path

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to inform that our meditation teacher Visu Teoh will resume his weekly meditation class at our Inward Path premises at 

14 Phuah Hin Leong Road 
from the Thursday of Dec 15
starting at 7:30pm

We hope to see you and continue with our practice of sitting an hour and discussing the Dhamma for another hour — considering how we may live beautiful and meaningful lives while aspiring for our final goal of Nibbana, the Cessation of all Strife and Dukkha.

If you have any friends or family members who would like to learn meditation or come along please do bring them. Visu will be happy to instruct beginners.

If you are coming we will appreciate if you can let us know so we can have an idea of how many people to expect. You can phone, sms or email me, Sunanda Lim Hock Eng,
mobile phone: 012-430 2893

Visu will be guiding us in both Vipassana (Insight) and Metta (Lovingkindness) Meditation. He will also be teaching the Meditations on Compassion, Appreciative Joy, Equanimity, and Death. 

Visu has been practising and teaching meditation for some 28 years, 17 of which as a monk. He returned recently with his wife Barbara from their five months teaching tour in Europe. Attached are pix of some of the retreats he led in Germany, Ireland, Holland and Czech Republic. 

Visu leading retreat in Rotterdam, Holland

Retreat in Czech Republic

Retreat in Ireland

Retreat in Groningen, Holland

Visu and Barbara in Germany

We hope to see you every Thursday evening from Dec 15 and look forward to spending a meaningful and beneficial time meditating together and discussing the Dhamma. Please note that Visu will be with us only until June when he and Barbara will leave again for Europe. The classes will be on-going till end of May. There may also be a few Thursdays when Visu will be away and the class will be informed accordingly.

May all beings be happy. 
May the Dhamma last long for 
the welfare and happiness 
of all beings. 

Yours in the Dhamma,
With Metta,
Sunanda Lim
Inward Path Publisher

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sala Appeal

Growing nuns in Australia. Allowing the heartwood (Dhammasara) to grow taller and spread wider!

Dhammasara Buddhist Nun's Monastery provides a unique and rare opportunity for women in the Buddhist Theravada tradition to train, ordain and practice in a secluded forest setting ……… to live the simple life of a samana (renuncient)…… to walk the path laid by the Buddha………

Currently we have eight kutis (individual meditation huts) and a small cottage for communal activities. With the growing demand of women seeking the monastic path, we are planning to expand the facilities at Dhammasara allowing more women to join our community and take up the monastic path.

For more information, please visit the following website

Thursday, November 24, 2011


BBC Documentary:  
Jesus was a Buddhist Monk

This BBC 4 documentary examines the question "Did Jesus Die?". It looks at a bunch of ideas around this question until minute 25, where this examination of ideas takes a very logical and grounded turn with surprising conclusions that demonstrate...

The three wise men were Buddhist monks who found Jesus and came back for him around puberty. After being trained in a Buddhist Monastery he spread the Buddhist philosophy, survived the crucifixion, and escaped to Kashmir, Afghanistan where he died an old man at the age of 80.

National Geographic:
Secret Lives of Jesus


Jesus Lived in India

"It is simply of vital importance to find again the path to the sources, to theeternal and central truths of Christ's message, which has been shaken almost beyond recognition by the profane ambitions of more or less secular institutions arrogating to themselves a religious authority. This is an attempt to open a way to a new future, firmly founded in the true spiritual and religious sources of the past." ~ Holger Kersten


Thus begins Holger Kersten's book "Jesus Lived in India". This German book is a thorough, methodical and authoritative examination of the evidence of Christ's life beyond the Middle East before the Crucifixion and in India and elsewhere after it.
This article is a summary of Kersten's exhaustive research into Christ's travels after the Crucifixion, his arrival in India with the Mother Mary and finally his death and entombment in Kashmir. Kersten notes the many parallels of Christ's teachings with other religious and cultural traditions and suggests that at least some of these figures may have been one and the same personality. It is not possible, Kersten asserts, to disprove that Christ went to India. The current information documenting Christ's life is restricted to the gospels and the work of Church theologians. One can hardly trust these sources to be objective considering their obvious interest in maintaining the authority of their Church and its grip on the masses.

The Russian scholar, Nicolai Notovich, was the first to suggest that Christ may have gone to India. In 1887, Notovich, a Russian scholar and Orientalist, arrived in Kashmir during one of several journeys to the Orient. At the Zoji-la pass Notovich was a guest in a Buddhist monastery, where a monk told him of the bhodisattva saint called "Issa". Notovich was stunned by the remarkable parallels of Issa's teachings and martyrdom with that of Christ's life, teachings and crucifixion.

For about sixteen years, Christ travelled through Turkey, Persia, Western Europe and possibly England. He finally arrived with Mary to a place near Kashmir, where she died. After many years in Kashmir, teaching to an appreciative population, who venerated him as a great prophet, reformer and saint, he died and was buried in a tomb in Kashmir itself.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Buddha - A Documentary About Buddhism

This documentary is made by filmmaker David Grubin and narrated by Richard Gere. It tells the story of the Buddha's life, a journey especially relevant to our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. It features the work of some of the world's greatest artists and sculptors, who across two millennia, have depicted the Buddha's life in art rich in beauty and complexity. Hear insights into the ancient narrative by contemporary Buddhists, including Pulitzer Prize winning poet W.S. Merwin and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Donating Old Clothing & Stationary to Indigenous People

Friday, November 11, 2011



It is like us wanting to drive somewhere; 
we first need to know how to drive. 
We need not actually need to know about the car’s
mechanism and how it runs. 
In the same way if we want to end suffering
we must first know at least how to 
walk the path as taught by the Buddha.

Problems in life start with birth. Otherwise, if we hadnt been born, would we be subject to aging, sickness and death? Instead of seeing lifes unsatisfactoriness, many of us see its problems as something good: even desirable. 

Ignorance is the problem that is the starting point of the problem of existence itself. For those of us who realise problems arising as problems, some are deluded enough to search for external solutions — by praying, propitiating gods and deities, or consulting astrologers. That is why right understanding is crucial as a start; otherwise, we would not be able to proceed further in uncovering what the Buddha taught.

The author Ashin Dr. Nandamālābhivaṁsa will show us in this booklet how to overcome life’s problems through the cultivation of right vision and learning the Dhamma. 

This transcription is from one of his many Dhamma lectures at the Centre for Buddhist Studies, and the Sitagu International Buddhist Academy in Sagaing between 2004 and 2005.

SAYADAW DR NANDAMALABHIVAMSA, born in Myanmar (Burma) in 1940, was educated in Mandalay and with 16 years of age he already passed Dhammacariya (Dhamma teacher) and then most difficult Bhivamsa-examination. He also studied in Sri Lanka at the Kelaniya University in Colombo (M.A.) and got his Ph.D. in India. Because of his excellent knowledge of the Buddhist scriptures and his his teaching experience he was rewarded many high distinctions and titles.

In Myanmar together with his elder brother he is leading the traditional, well-reputed study-monastery “Mahasubhodayon” in Sagaing Hills. He is rector of the “International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University
in Yangon and of “Sitagu International Buddhist Academy” in Sagaing. In Myanmar and aboard, since some years in Europe too, he is giving courses mainly on Abhidhamma for Western Vipassana-teachers, -students and meditators.

He is the founder and leader of Dhammvijjalaya, Centre for Buddhist Studies (CBS) in Sagaing, which is connected to Mahasubhodayon Monastery and serves foreigners for further studies and practice.

The Sayadaw
s teaching method is very individual, lively, practical and practicable with many examples and references from daily life, from the Suttas, Abhidhamma books and commentaries. Sayadaw is teaching in English and with a lot of humour and Metta.

Self-study is necessary within all his Abhidhamma courses, to become familiar with the structure and logic of Abhidhamma and the most important Pali-terms. Formal meditation-periods are included too.

This Gift of Dhamma is sponsored 
in Loving Memory of
Yeap Hong Pin (28th May 2010)
Lee Beng Seng (29th July 2010)


See Lay Choo & Family, Yeap Soo Lian, 
Yeap Saw Luan, Yeoh Bee Hoon, Yeoh Bee Bee, 
Yeoh Bee Lee, Yeoh Bee Tuan,Yeoh Bee Suan.

Satipatthana Meditation Centre (Singapore), 
Ms Chui Chui (Medan, Indonesia),
Lim Beng Soon (IMO Lim Hock Teng, 

Lim Swee Hun and Ooi Cheng Eam),
Dr Ooi Chee Lean and Family (IMO Ooi Beng Ngoh), 

IMO Tan A Han (Medan, Indonesia),
Denny Jiun and Family, Peggy (Melbourne, Australia), 
Swee Imn and Family, Swee Seng

Get FREE Copy Here:

For Penangites, kindly collect your free copy at our centre:

Please give us a call (012-4302893) before coming. 
Thank You

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

YOUR MIND: USE IT OR LOSE IT (Preventing Dementia)

by Piya Tan

According to early Buddhism, the mind is the most important faculty we have. In fact, it is the most precious thing we have: it is the vehicle to awakening and true liberation. Buddhism has a lot to teach about the mind: Buddhism IS about our mind.

Experts say that if we really want to ward off dementia, we need to start taking care of our brain in your 30s and 40s, or even earlier. More than that, the Buddha teaches us that we need to take care of our mind. This is something no scientific machine can yet measure very accurately, if ever. (How do we really measure love or happiness?)

Various mental health experts have suggested some useful advice in living a full useful and happy life. Here are some tips in the light of Buddh­ist teachings on mental health, teaching us how to burn our candles right to the last drip of wax.

  1. Eat as you need. If we really feel our body, it will tell us what kinds of food is good for us. The Buddha’s early saints ate frugally, stopping to eat just before they felt full. To prevent taking more food, they would drink some water. In other words, eat to live. Those who live to eat, generally do not live long or healthy lives.
  2.  Being vegetarian is great if we are up to it. Experts tell us that the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables clear up some of the damages caused by free radicals, one of the leading killers of brain cells. The point is eat more vegetables and fruits than we do meat as far as we can. Diet alone does not make us a good or happy person.
  3. Commensal eating, to the early Buddhists, is a happy and social event. This is still a common event in Buddhist communities. Try eating at least one meal a day with family and friends. This helps us slow down our eating, and to socialize. Even if we must eat alone, the rule is to really enjoy our meal. Savour the taste and feel of every mouth­ful. That’s mindful eating.
  4. Join a club or organization that need volunteers. Buddhist centres often need volunteers from doing something as simple as wiping the Buddha image or ushering people during weekly puja to helping in running their activities. Start volunteering right now, and we will have friends and feel needed even after we retire.
  5. Enjoy the great outdoors, especially spacious gardens, the sea-side and hills. When we find such a spot that we like, just sit for a while in complete silence, observing and absorb­ing the spaciousness and beauty all around. Close our eyes, imagine what we have seen. Repeat this until we can visualize that spaciousness. This is a medita­tion known as the perception of space.
  6. Enjoy bright spacious nature, especially during the morning hours. You might like to try watching the sun rising, and the horizon brightening up, or simply watch the spacious brightness all round. Observe the brightness, then close our eyes and visualize it. Repeat this until we can visualize the light in our mind’s eye. This is a meditation known as the perception of light.
  7. Walk. The Buddha walked all his life and lived to a ripe 80 years. The early saints too were regular walkers, walking for thousands of kilometres every year all over the Gangetic plain of northern central India, teaching and meeting people, or simply meditating in beautiful nature. Daily walking helps reduce the risk of dementia by making the heart pump blood to the brain. None of the saints ever had dementia.
  8. Travel.  When we travel, we work our brains to navigate new and com­plex environment.  Experienced taxi drivers have been found to have larger brains because they have to store much information about locations and how to get there. The ancient wandering forest monks had no maps, and had to memorize their routes. They were regularly wandering, but never lost.
  9. Read and write daily or whenever you can. Reading stimulates many different brain areas that process and store information. Likewise, creative writing, even writing letters, stimulates many areas of the brain as well. What we read and write, too, should be wholesome and have a positive outlook of life.
  10. Use both hands. Using both hands works both sides of our brain. Knitting, for example, demands the dexterity of both hands. So do some computer games, but such games should not be violent or unwholesome. Practise writing with our other hand for a few minutes daily or whenever you like. This will exercise the other side of our brain and fire up those neurons before they die out like unwatered plants.
  11. Have a hobby or a few. Bird-watching, for example, gives us a gentle exercise in nature, while getting to know it better. Hobbies liven up the mind because we are trying something new and complex. The Buddha was born under a tree, awakened as Buddha under another, taught under many different trees, and passed away under two of them. He was truly a man of nature.
  12. Listen to classical music. Good music seems to work on both sides of the brain, linking the two. Listen with both body and mind. Sit comfortably and feel the flow of the music. Learning to play a musical instrument is even better. This might be harder as we age, but still it helps to develop a dormant part of our brain. Music also helps us in the perception of impermanence.
  13. Play board games. Chess, Scrabble, Cluedo and such games not only live up your brain, but also helps us socialize.  Even playing solo games, such as soli­taire or online computer brain games can be helpful, although the social aspect is missing.
  14. Learn a new language. Whether it's a foreign language or sign language, we are working our brain back and forth between one language and another. One of the easiest languages to learn (other than English) is Pali, the scriptural language of early Buddhism. It has a fixed vocabulary and a simple grammar. It is also a more direct way of learning some of the earliest Buddhist teachings.
  15. Take lifelong classes. Learning apparently helps us live longer because it causes physical and chemical changes in our brain. After all, the true purpose of life is to learn and grow. The body ages, but the mind goes on, life after life, and needs to keep on learning until it is really free.
  16. Silent prayer. Daily prayer with positive words and wishes empowers us. The best prayer is that of lovingkindness, which begins with wishing ourselves well and happy, and then extending this to others, until we boundlessly include everyone, even animals,  without any exception. When our joy becomes truly unconditional, or peaceful enough, we simply and silently enjoy the moment.
  17. Meditate.  More people, whether religious or not, are discovering the benefits and joy of meditation. Not just any meditation, but especially the Buddha’s early mindful­ness methods. Meditation not only helps us deal with stress, but also opens our minds up to greater focus and creativity­and a long healthy, useful and peace­ful life, heading for awakening.  The Buddha declares that those who do breath medita­tion regularly will have a calm and clear mind right to the end. (Maha Rahulovada Sutta, M 62 / SD 3.11)
  18. Get enough rest. Rest firstly means taking time away from what we do for money or for others. We need to regularly spend some quiet time just being our wholesome selves. Secondly, our body needs rest from its daily toil. If we respect our body, we will know when it needs a break. Our body will tell us how much uninter­rupt­ed sleep we need.
May our minds become clearer even as our bodies age.

© 2011 Piya Tan