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A Reunion Dinner with a secret to hide. Click here.

Have you taken all the modern comforts for granted? Behind every modern device there is the technology and with them comes the management and risks. Interested to find out what goes on below the hood? Click here.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Movie Nite - Tuesdays with Morrie

Mitch (Azaria) is a successful sportswriter who suddenly learns that one of his old professors, Morrie (Lemmon) is ill. Mitch visits Morrie and the two form an emotional bond, allowing Mitch to see what is really important in life. A touching story produced by Oprah Winfrey and based on the national bestseller by Mitch Albom.
Date: 11th July 2007, 7pm
Place: The Hair Affair
1 Coleman St. #B1-10
The Adelphi Shopping Centre
(Opposite: Funan IT Mall)
Tel: 63365525
Fee: FREE! But bring some drinks and cakes if you are kind :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bucky Group 3 - What is Success?

The following are emails between my friend Joo Hock and myself, about 'success'.

Joo Hock

I have read about Warren Buffet's lifestyle before, but thanks for reminding me that most of us have been conditioned about what "success" is. Subconsciously, I am going through this de-programming. It's work-in-progress.

Guru Paranjothi Subramaniam, from the Self Awareness Centre defines it as:
"Success is a moment-by-moment realisation of worthwhile chosen goals so as to have continued happiness."

Also, can I include this email in my blog?


-------Original Message-------

Joo Hock
Date: 6/25/2007 8:59:23 AM
Subject: Fwd: Warren Buffet

Dear Fellow Fullerenes,

This was sent to me from my customer and friend, Dale. Movie star Richard Gere looks like him. Heh Heh.........He has company is called "Brainhook". Creative and fun guy.

Felt this might be quite interesting for you to know......

Warren Buffet is considered one of the world's most "successful" guys, if we equate money with success. (which truly it is NOT.) Yet, we've been conditioned to think so.

Anyway, it feels like Warren Buffet is living really a simple life, just like you and I.

Which mean you are already successful.

However, there's lot's of programming out there in the media, which make you feel that you are not successful and happy until you have this and that, and that.....and that.

I shared about this in my blog......

Anyway read on.........about Warren Buffet...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dale Yost
Date: Jun 25, 2007 2:19 AM
Subject: Warren Buffet
To: Choo Siang Lee

There was a one-hour interview on CNBC with Warren Buffet— the world's second-richest man— who has donated $31 billion to charity. Here are some very interesting aspects of his life:

  1. He bought his first share of stock at age 11 and he now regrets that he started too late!
  2. He bought a small farm at age 14 with savings from delivering newspapers.
  3. He still lives in the same small 3-bedroom house in mid-town Omaha, Nebraska that he bought after he got married 50 years ago. He says that he has everything he needs in that house. His house does not have a wall or a fence.
  4. He drives his own car everywhere and does not have a driver or security people around him.
  5. He never travels by private jet, although he owns the world's largest private jet company.
  6. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 63 companies.
    He writes only one letter each year to the CEOs of these companies, giving them goals for the year. He never holds meetings or calls them on a regular basis.
    He has given his CEOs only two rules. Rule number 1: Do not lose any of your shareholder's money. Rule number 2: Do not forget rule number 1.
  7. He does not socialize with the high society crowd. His pastime after he gets home is to make himself some popcorn and watch television.
  8. Bill Gates, the world's richest man, met him for the first time only 5 years ago. Gates did not think he had anything in common with Warren Buffet, so he had scheduled his meeting for only a half hour. But when Gates met him, the meeting lasted for ten hours and Bill Gates became a devotee of Warren Buffet.
  9. Warren Buffet does not carry a cell phone nor does he have a computer on his desk.

His advice to young people: "Stay away from credit cards and invest in yourself…and remember:

  • Money doesn't create man but it is man who created money.
  • Live your life as simple as you are.
  • Don't do what others say, just listen to them— but then do what you feel is right.
  • Don't go for brand names; just wear the things in which you feel comfortable.
  • Don't waste your money on unnecessary things; just spend on those who are really in need.
  • After all, it's your life— why give chances to others to rule our lives?"

-- Buckyfully yours


Check out the latest topics on Bucky on my blog at

New thoughts shared at least once a week

Past posts: Bucky Group, Bucky Group 2

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Kids Play 5 - Clever Boy

There was a tree rotting in its core and might fall and crash onto the neighbour's house. The insurance does not cover third party damage due to falling trees. Cutting down the tree is expensive as it has to be cut slowly part by part, instead of doing it in one fell. Vic seeing that his mum is concerned with the costs, said, "Mum, just report that the tree has fallen after an unusually heavy storm, the insurance will cover that."
Surprised at what the 11 year old had said, mum went to check the insurance papers and true enough, compensation will be meted out if damage is caused by heavy storms. "How did this little boy know so much?" mum wondered, delighted at his quick mind.
Much as mum knew that Vic meant well, she went over to him and said, "Vic, you are right about the insurance, but that's not the point. If the tree falls on the house, the little kids there will not have a house. So it is not just about the money, much as I would like to save this money."
Vic listened intently, reflected deeply for a while, then nodded in agreement.
Whilst many mums aspire their kids to be smart, it is also important to teach them about love. In this cut and thrust market economy amid the intricate webs of commerce and contracts, the clever mind usually wins against many odds. Many times, this mean disadvantaging the weak and slow. Teaching kids to love their neighbours as they love themselves at an early age is therefore crucial.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Arabian Nights 2 - Silence

I am back in The Kingdom. It is so quiet here. No bars (not that I drink), no nightclubs, no theatres, no cinemas,... etc. Nightlife barely exists here.
Curiously, this is the time when I finish the books I have always wanted to read, and spend lots of time in meditation, yoga and quiet contemplation. :) Sometimes, we wish somebody would switch the noise out in our lives back home!! :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Reflections - by Ajahn Chah

Got this booklet "Reflections" by Ajahn Chah, from a free book stand at Fu Lu Shou. Very inspiring. It is so simple and yet so profound. One paragraph that moved me most is:

"At first you hurry to go forward, hurry to come back, and hurry to stop. You continue to practise like this until you reach the point where it seems that going forward is not it, coming back is not it, and stopping is not it either! It's finished. Right there you will find that there is really nothing at all."

Also, there is something about celebrating Christmas. What? In a Buddhist book???
Yes, it is.
"It was Christmas and the foreign monks had decided to celebrate it... Why, they asked are Buddhist celebrating Christmas? ... As far as I understand, Christianity teaches people to do good and avoid evil, just as Buddhism does, so what is the problem?... However, if people are upset,... then let's called it Christ-Buddhamas. Anything that inspires us to see what is true and do what is good is proper practice. You may call it any name you like."

Towards the end of the book, Ajahn Chah extends his invitation:

"All that I have said up to now has merely been words. When people come to see me, I have to say something. But it is best not to speak about these matters too much. Better to begin practice without delay. I am like a good friend inviting you to go somewhere. Do not hesitate, just get going. You won't regret."

This simple booklet contains 182 paragraphs. It will be good to have a Bucky Group style discussion over its content. Anyone interested? Perhaps we can meet at East Coast Park on Saturday mornings for a jog, discussion, then breakfast.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Selling Fear Part 3 - Death

My mother is not well. She is afraid and worried about her health. Her head is dizzy everyday and she is tired. This has gone on for four years. We have brought her to many doctors, both Western and Eastern, but there has been little or no improvements.
A few days ago, I brought her to a masseuse. This masseuse is the grand daughter of a royal physician to the Chinese Royal family, and she has inherited the secrets of healing by massage and herbal cure from her grandmother.
As we were sitting in the waiting room, my mother was complaining about the Buddhist chants that was played in the background music. She said that disturbs her a lot. I am surprised as many people would find the chanting pleasurable. Besides, my mother is a Taoist/Buddhist.
While waiting there, I started reading a Buddhist book on the shelves - "Making Life Meaningful", by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. I finished a few chapters in that space of time and was fully absorbed by his advice that if we fill our hearts with compassion, we will insulate ourselves from all sufferings. To live a life for others in everything we do. If we do so, then all our miseries will vanish. Just like shadows would vanish when shone upon by light. It is as simple as that. That realisation itself is enough to fill me up with energy and purpose.
Thinking about it, my late father was like that. He lived a simple life, sleeping early and waking up early before sunrise for his morning walks. He didn't need any luxury, taking a bus downtown once a month for his hair-cut and then ordering groceries from his ex-business partner's son. I remember he was still joking with me on the Sunday before his passing away. Then on Wednesday, he went for his haircut, caught a cold and lost his apetite. The next day, he didn't wake up. He was 89 and was healthy till the last minute of his life.
Meanwhile, back in the waiting room, the masseuse was ready to attend to my mum. To my surprise, my mother asked me to stay in the waiting room to wait for her rather than to go across the road for my coffee. Somehow, my mother was afraid to be left alone with the masseuse. She was never like that. An irony, as she is a competent and strong woman who have brought eight of us up single-handedly, most of us to university education and responsible adults. What happened?
I can only guess it is "FEAR". Fear of dying. Many of her friends from her village in China are already gone! She is fearing of her own death! And hence the discomfort with the Buddhist chants as they probably reminded her of funeral rites.
Most Chinese people are so fearful, they would not discuss about death openly, let alone about the subject and their mother.
But what is there to fear about?
Sister Teresa Hsu who is 109 years old said last year, "If you worry about dying, you will die. If you don't worry about dying, you still die. So why worry?"
(Sister Hsu is a wise grand dame in Singapore who does lots of charity work to old folks many years younger than she is.)
Soon, an hour lapsed and my mother's massage is done. She felt better. She openly expressed it to be so. Normally, she is so negative about everything. Let's hope her condition will progress. She will be going there again next week.
A few days later, at the coffee shop session after the Theosophical Society meeting, my friend Irene said that 'Death' is a misnomer, as we cannot die, but merely transit from one form to another. Her own mother had a 'near death experience' and came back to report that it was wonderful. Without the burden of her physical body, she felt very light and could sounds with high clarity and everything appeared in vibrant colours. After that experience, her mother was never afraid of death!

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I was asked to collect a watch for my sister. She sent it for repair at Vivocity in Singapore.
"How much was it? $30? $50?" I asked
"No, $70", she replied.
"Wah! Quite a lot just for a change of the belt", I thought.
At Vivo, the lady at the shop told me that she was trying to contact my sister by phone, but in vain. (We realised later that she got the number wrong!) Then she told me that they didn't repair the watch, but replaced one for her - brand new!
"How much would that cost?" I quipped, apprehensive that it will now really cost a bomb!
"It's free!" she replied.
Well that is certainly a pleasant surprise! This is really a rare occurence these days.
God is very kind to my sister, as a property agent, she has been getting many referrals from happy customers. Once, she was given an extra $5,000 from the customer for her good work.
Good things do happen to people who are helpful and giving. My sister is one who always help friends and run errands for others without expectations of return. It is said in spiritual scriptures that what we give without expectations of return, we get it back manifold.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus emphasizes lending without concern for a return - or even repayment:
If ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest, for he is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil. (
Luke 6:35)

The Quran says:
The usury that is practiced to increase some people's wealth, does not gain anything at God. But if people give to charity, seeking God's pleasure, these are the ones who receive their reward many fold. (Ar-Rum 30:39)
This is so true! It is one thing reading it from a holy book and another witnessing the results first hand, especially of someone from my own family.
Past Post: Usury

Friday, June 08, 2007

Spiritual Quotient - the Missing Link in Business and Enterprise

The following is based on notes I scribbled during the talk on Spiritual Quotient (SQ) by the Brahman Kumaris sisters on the 7th June 2007 at Le Meridien, Singapore.
Om Shanti.
'Spiritual Quotient' is an aspect of self which knows how to live the life of meaning and purpose.
We are all born with Intelligence Quotient (IQ) which helps us with logical thinking, to develop our career and absorb scientific knowledge. We also have Emotional Quotient (EQ) which makes us aware of our feelings and the feelings of others. EQ enable us to know whether a person is fearful, worrisome, angry, happy, elated...etc.
We develop this further and we discover SQ, to really feel what we are truly happy with.
We are human beings, but more so, we are spiritual beings. To develop a sweet nature, we need spirituality - the universal love and brotherhood. It is only through natural love for others that relationships can improve.
SQ helps us to follow our conscience and use our time and energy in a worthwhile manner, in a society where there is greed.
We all like to experience love, peace and happiness, but many of us experience only temporary happiness and not permanent happiness.
We experience temporary happiness because our foundations for happiness are temporary - based on physical facilities and 'perishables'. Therefore results are temporary. Perishable attributes cannot give permanent happinesss. To get permanent happiness, we need to know what is eternal and who is the real self in this perishable body.
Do you know there is imperishable energy inside your body?
If you do, then you should express yourself as the imperishable energy or soul. We can check our daily conversations to see how much of it is connected with the perishable body.
If our mind is eternal, then we shouldn't feel tension in our lives. With SQ, we would be aware of our creator. We feel tense because we have forgotten that we are the children of God.
In business, we need two important actions, that is, to discern and to judge. SQ will come in useful. To enhance our SQ, we need clear concentration of intellect, and thus be connected to God.
Why can't we concentrate?
You will understand if you use your divine intellect. If we are fully connected to God, then negavity cannot come inside us.
Tension only arises because of our wrong identification with the body. If you have tension, then I invite you to pay attention to God. Concentrate your thoughts on God and your tension will disappear. Much as to remove darkness from this room, you cannot take darkness out. But when you bring in the light, the darkness will automatically disappear.
I am sure many of you are good business people. But your business is only good for this birth. Start doing business with God. When you do business with God, you give Him all the rubbish, and you get back Love, Peace and Happiness, that will last eternally.
For this, you need to connect with God. You have to concentrate, and the concentration is meditation.
Past post: Karma

Selling Fear - Part 2

Last Friday, I received a letter from the dreaded Tax man. I got slapped with a $5,000 penalty for late submission of the returns. After ringing them up, they advised me to see them in their office. Through the weekend, I was not very happy to say the least.
So on the Monday, I went to the tax office. After waiting for about half an hour, I got to meet the tax officer. At his desk, it says, all interviews last a maximum of 20 minutes. (Gulp!)
As I sat down by his desk, he greeted me with a smile, went through my letter and said, "...all should be ok." Then we spent the other 19 minutes talking about my environmental technology business - how I got to start a company like this, being an information security specialist - and the countries I have lived in...etc. Mostly small talk! He even asked for the URL of Vacuum State Travel!!
I left his office happy. Happy that the penalty is waived.
I shouldn't have let my fears get larger than life over the weekend! *sigh*
Past post: Selling Fear

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Course in Miracles

We will be having another series of lectures for "A Course in Miracles" facilitated by Dr Aaron Lim from Malacca.
There will be 6 sessions, one session (Sat and Sun) every two months, spaced over one year.
Date: 18 and 19 August 2007
Time: 10.30am to 5.30pm
Place: Arches restaurant, at Sentosa
(Imbiah lookout area at the Imbiah Express train, accessible via Vivocity.)
Admission charges to Sentosa is $2 per person, with $1 for the train, total $3 per entry. For drive-ins, car entry is $2 per car.).

Fee: S$100 (2days) (incl. lunch and two tea breaks.)
Text book required : A Course In Miracle.
To order book: Contact Zizheng 98780380
Price of text book : S$75 (last day of order will be on 1st july 2007)
The book is also available in major bookstores.

All financial surpluses from the seminar go to the orphanages that Dr Aaron Lim supports.

A Course in Miracles was first published in 1975, the year Dr. Schucman assigned copyright of the Course to the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP). In 1996 FIP assigned the copyright and trademark to the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM). There are currently over one and a half million copies of the Course in circulation worldwide.
Translations in Africaans, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovene, Spanish, and Swedish are also available, with many other translations now in progress..
What exactly, then, is A Course in Miracles?
The summary introduction, which appears in its Text, is quite succinct and brief. It reads:"This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time.
The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite..
This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
"Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God."

105 Universal Laws Review

Going through all the laws and the past notes, I realised that there are many laws that are very close or similar to one another. Many are complementary. For instance:
  1. There is the Law of Attraction but also the Law of Repulsion. Those that are not attracted to me are repelled from me.
  2. There is the Law of Sound and also the Law of Vibration. In order to have sound, there must be vibration.
  3. There is the Law of Rebirth, and also the Law of Cycles, the Law of Cyclic Return, the Law of Disintegration (so that recycling can happen), the Law of Rhythm (so that all can happen in tandem), the Law of Periodicity (rhythmic periodicity) and the Law of Sacrifice (somethings must 'die' before something else begins).

What more, all these laws must apply at the same time and without exceptions!
Something for me to ponder for the coming months! (may be years!)

Read also The Secret Behind the Secret.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Mailing List

Dear Vacuum State Tourists
Thank you for your continued support and visits to Vacuum State. We now have visitors from many different countries across the globe, even some non-English speaking ones.
To keep you informed of blog updates, I have created a mailing list. To join the mailing list, just enter your name and email address. A monthly newsletter containing a summary of the posts and our monthly activities like movie nites will be sent to you.
Thanks again!