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Monday, April 12, 2010

Bucky Group - Meditation

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It's good to join the Group again at MacRitchie on a Sunday morning, after a long while. It was a very humid morning and I was drenched running the 4km stretch of boardwalk by the reservoir.
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After that, we continued on passages on Bucky's "Utopia or Oblivion" book. Chao Loy was surprised that the Group had only covered one page after the last time he was there, which was one month ago. We all laughed and joked that Chao Loy should come more often to speed us up. We are slow alright, but better so to go the casual approach to understand Bucky's philosophy without too much of a rush.
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This week, we read about how the Soviet Union jump started their industries by buying the latest factory equipment from the United States in the 1930s and so did China subsequently after 1949. Both countries improved the quality of life for their people rapidly as a result.
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I think that if it had been for the inept political system and resulting upheavals, just left to the advent of technology alone, the quality life would have improved by leaps and bounds. Politicians and greed puts us back. So though technology enables us to make things cheaper and better rapidly. the cost of living has consistently gone up and the quality of life stagnated or gone down for the masses. Bucky had mentioned is passing to send all the politicians on a spaceship to the sun and we would all be better off. On the other hand, take away technology and there will be widespread starvation very quickly.
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In China today, it has come a stage where producers of consumer electronics have to introduce new improved versions of their products every six months to beat the copycat pirates. To do that, the producers have to keep one version released to the market and two newer versions in the pocket, ready to be released anytime the pirates catches up with them.
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At Breakfast in Brinjai:
Chao Loy shared with us about a talk by the chief of Tzu Chi Charity Foundation Singapore, a successful entrepreneur who decided to stop his business and donate all his money and focus all his time to the Charity. In his talk, he said that these days, people are spending more and more time and resources on their body and forgets about nourishing their minds.
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I told Chao Loy that though nourishing the mind is important, it has to be balanced with a healthy body, as I have experienced. I have been doing regular meditation and even some yoga stretches, but at one stage was still not coping up very well with stress. So I decided to have an overhaul of my lifestyle. This is my self-imposed regime now I:
  • Cycle to the beach, do qigong exercises and meditation
  • Return home for breakast
  • Hit the gym for one hour
  • Have raw and steam veg for lunch
  • Rest for 1 hour after lunch
  • Have a short meditation
  • Skip dinner
  • Have some light yoga asanas
  • Sleep before midnight.
I feel brand new now. So, meditation (taking care of one's mind) alone is not enough. We need aerobic exercises, diet and rest.
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Chao Loy then shared with us an interesting story between a little boy and his grandmother who is a devoted Buddhist who chants incessantly.
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As the grandmother was chanting, the little boy came and interrupted her and asked to be able to buy ice cream. The grandmother told her to hold on, as she is busy chanting, in which the boy said:
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"The ice cream man is here, if you wait he'll be gone. Buddha on the other hand, can wait, and you can chant later."
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Defeated, the grandmother stopped and bought the boy the ice-cream, then continued chanting.
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The boy came again and then called, "Grandma".
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The grandma heard him but ignored him as she focused on her chanting.
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"Grandma", the boy continued.
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The grandma again ignored him.
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The boy then repeated, "Grandma..."
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This time the grandma shouted at the boy, "Stop interrupting me, can't you see I am busy chanting???!!"
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The boy was saddened, but replied gently, "Grandma, you called out Buddha's name for so many times and he was never angry with you, I just called out your name three times, and you got angry with me."

2 comments:

Lily said...

Like what I read. Hope to join the group on the last weekend of April.

jupilier said...

Thank you for reading Vacuum State. I look forward to meeting you at the Bucky Group session.