Sunday, January 22, 2006

8 precept

What just happened?
Spent half the day on saturday upholding the 8precepts with fellow SriLankans and 2monks(whom they call 'chief high priestess').(52 of us observed the 8 precepts yesterday)I seated myself next to two ladies,one who,very often sleeps during the Dhamma talk(which they refer to as 'sermon')and the lady on my left told me outright that she couldn't hear anything because her left ear and eye are failing.So,they are(mdm on left n right)no different from me because I cannot understand Sinhalese.

The day starts as early as 8am(I left home at 630 to Mr&MrsK's place)in the temple and ends at 5pm.But I left with MrK at 2ish to get some typing done for him till 6.It was a good day of practice&effort.During sermons,although I couldn't understand the chief high priestess,I had 3 Dhamma books(one loaned to me by MrsK)and 2 which I had brought. So,I got my 'sermon' from the book.In between,there were a short/long? meditation session, and heaps of puja after/before sermon.There were 2 sessions of dana whereby those 'not observing' 8precepts would offer food to us-mainly youngsters/parents/children,whereby,they-observe the 5 precept instead.

Had loads of food offered to us.All vegetarian of course.I did not bother to request for a spoon although someone did ask me.The 'layppl'(cewah..)even came with a bowl and jar of water for us to wash our hands before/after eating.I had to practice well for all the effort!Food-heaps of variety.Second session of dana was loadful coz tummy felt so full.But,thought that-it's gonna be my only eating session for the day(6th precept-eat before noon,not at inappropriate time)

My first session,I sat through without a cushion but by noon,I needed one. :) Try to be gungho la!I managed to pick up loads of puja;as I can remember the Pali chant by heart-main ones.But,all of them are experts!They could follow the monks at high speed or low speed,or any text,depending on which the monks starts off with.For the lengthy suttas,most of them I know which stanzas they were chanting-so,I had the understanding,but need to depend on my 2books and kept on flipping through pages because I couldn't remember it in Pali let alone, read it at high/moderate speed.Loads of repeats on the main stanzas-especially salutation to the triple gem-which is good,coz i cld remember them,transference of merits,Mangala Sutta(blessings),Maha Jaya Mangala Gatha(blessing n protection)-i'm typing this by referring to the book again!
Comment: Chanting is not just 'chanting' mindlessly,but it is the teachings which tells us how to be a good person,for me, at least.(just that,it is in Pali,I have the english translations),and sharing the good 'thought' with everyone!This is why it is good effort to think good and greater effort to do good.Think good-changing the thought flow,right thoughts,do good-right actions.(and others-not gonna write down now)

For the offering session,the 'layppl' walks around with vaseful of flowers and we just need to 'touch' the tip of the vase.At home,we hold it up and 'offer' to the Buddha.Different method,same concept.There were 2 sessions-flowers and food.

Comment:Now, the concept of offering is not something hoo-hah,or some old fashioned ritual which is out-of-this-world.I just feel that I ought to explain a little bit about offerings.Offer flower is not that much on 'offering' but a gentle reminder on how short life is.Imagine the concept-we're like the flower.In few days,the flowers will die,which also reminds us that,we will die too.Erm,as for food,I'm not too sure-but I wld take it as food which sustains us throughout the day,shld be respected as well.We cannot live without eating-tat's for sure!(other concept of offering-water,incense,etc etc,not going to write this down)

Wore white.Don't feel out of place now. :) 8precept takers all wore white(Mr&MrsK,too).With white shawl,white towels,white socks.

Fellow practitioners

The lady on my right is v.nice.She talks to me,reads my book and says its sufficient to go through the day,brought me outside to show me the Bodhi tree they planted.According to Mr&MrsK,they like my presence (as much as I like theirs)and hope that I come again. :) Yea,sure! It will be nicer if there is someone by my side to explain the sermon,but I got my 'summaries' from ppl I talk to,so,I have an idea.High Chief priestess mention about the qualities of a 'good' person.Boy,interesting topic-wish I could have understood his point of view.But relied on the book instead.Whichever way-still gets through.

By the grace of this merit that I have acquired,May I never follow the foolish;but only the wise until I attain the final goal-Nibbana. :)

1)I take the precept to abstain from killing
2)I take the precept to abstain from stealing
3)I take the precept to abstain from sexual indulgence
4)I take the precept to abstain from lying
5)I take the precept to abstain from anything that causes intoxication and heedlessness
6)I take the precept to abstain from taking food at inappropriate times
7)I take the precept to abstain from dancing,singing,music and unseemly shows;from the use of garlands,perfumes and unguents;from things that tend to beautify and adorn(the person)
8)I take the precept to abstain from (using)high and luxurious seats



Posted on the bulletin board at workplace

Go Placidly
Amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.As far as possible be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons...than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of times. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is. Many persons strive for high ideals and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatique and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God. Whatever you conceive Him to be and whatever your labours and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham and drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be careful. Strive to be happy.

What an excellent note to be placed on the noiceboard for all to reflect!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Listening to-igemz;gift by kcba gang.
I didn't know that so many ppl contributed in buying me this CD.*hugz2all*Actually,I heard the clips from the website and didn't really like what i heard-but now,listening from the CD;sounds allright and some are really nice.I guess I expected so much more from quality voice n sound production n mix from this CD and group.
Agh-listening to the lyrics and gift from KCBA gang and listening from a group whom I am familiar with their voice----too much!! just too much!! I don't know how to describe what I'm feeling right now..I'm going to revamp the song and play it on the piano.Solo piano accompaniment will sound nice.Agh,just passing thoughts.So engaged in the CD now.
I MISS U ALL KCBA GANG!!! Trc,Wli,WK,YS,CY,WFrd,KL,SS,WP,HY,JL,YW,WH,GW,FC,ML(in the list)*sob*sob*sob* (so coincidence-the song playing now is 'beautiful friend').

I want to be a sound engineer!!!! Or some sort.Or music critic.haha!Today is so-MUSIC.Just came back from teaching,and always,after teaching,I feel singing singing lighthearted,energized.Like some kind of jamming session-sharing jamming session.

THIS SEMESTER!!CHOIR!!WEST AFRICAN DRUM!!IMPROVISATION!!I need to buy a 2nd hand guitar and work through my guitar playing again la. MUSIC!!Dance!!Saxaphone!!Keyboard!!I'm discovering new things everyday.Band!!I'm gonna get my student to find me a good saxaphone..IT'S ABOUT TIME I BUY ONE!been dreaming of it since i was 17!! :( :( :( alto sax? tenor?soprano?? selmer?yamaha? semi pro? clarinet??? i cannot decide! i'll probably ask her to teach me!!! agh!!lakjflkjfasf!

song-hern - determination in music. :) tat's my name.
music to inspire-let me always sing music which inspires-compose-write-speak-think and live a beautiful SONG.this life of mine is a song-Song.The words I write are the lyrics.The story I tell is my life.Geez..this CD is making me mad! Imagine if I listen to classical -craziness.
On a separate note-

Alx and RmhHope sent me short message all compiled for me.HUGZZ TO ALL KIDS IN RMH HOPE.I miss u all too.:) Be good.I'll always be there for u;email me and I'll respond.Raja and all the kids,Shamala,Michael,Krishnan,Jerry???-be good.U're all strong,independent kids.Am proud of you,every single one. :) *HUGZ* (geez,I shld put this para in the email.)

Dnl's 'Ever Shifting Universe' composition is excellent.SaDHU!SADHU!! EXCELLENT!!The mix and arrangement is so suitable, plus the voice.Love the drum/rhythm and short guitar strums!!!!PLUS PLUS POINT!Plus the lyrics.....

it's so late now, but i'm so....alive.I need to wind down n get some rest...must plug this song off from me...and rest. :)
Thank you for such a wonderful day.Tomorrow casual day!! yay!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


hehehehahah!Played badminton today.YayyYAYAY!!But I was really bad.Everyone looks and plays like a pro.I need to play some more.Meeting ppl-yay yay!Thx W!

gibberish-confused-type-justtype-journal-lovejournal-work-life-robotic-life-character change-maturity
That is my split second thoughtflow.

I feel that I have lost my sense of humour.Last Sun,was in the train when seated next to me were 2 guys and in front of me,a mother and her daughter.Now,my face has turned cold,zombified and serious.(maybe just that day)The little girl is just remarkable.She could engage with all three of us,one after another,she hunt us down.I was the last(seated furthest from her and opposite her mom)-but after few stops down the journey,I started giggling and laughing and smiling.All three of us,from straight face strangers,became laughing humans.She wittily asks us,'where is my nose?and points to her head'is it here?oh yes..oh no..look here,see this..etc etc etc...and on and on and on'.This little girl makes sure she looks at each of us and demands respond.In my heart, I thank her for making my journey that day feel so good-after a long day.

I used to be that little girl. :) :)
Thanks,girl, for letting me know that it's always good to make someone smile again!And to make me smile and laugh!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Finger Itching

Reflective mood today.Very good for the mind and,as for hands and legs,clean the kitchen,wash my clothes,prepare food for dinner(although it is only 1pm!).I know I want to write something-but not sure what.

How much can one eat??I'm getting fatter by the day.Been feeding myself too much and less moving.I like to eat.Wait-my eyes like to eat!Experimenting with different types of food to the stomach and preparing my lunchbox every evening to bring to AE the next day encourages planning and creativity!Eating healthy.I am giving myself a treat tonight;bought salmon fish last week;whohh...expensive dinner!yummy....(tat is,if i don't screw up when cooking....agh!)

Then,after preparing food,comes the thought:
When do I ever get tired of eating?!Well,of course,I'm not tired of eating-I'm tired,can't I just not eat?haha!Of course,on a deeper level,eating is a plague.Given the food,I'm allright.If food is not available-hunger is unbearable.Poverty is unbearable.Misallocation of resources is a crime!

My first 'real' music teaching;just a couple of students(4).Finally!My biggest challenge is a Grade6 theory student.She is NOT a grade 6 student,in fact,she is a music student;majoring in saxaphone in the Victorian College of Arts (a prestigious music/art college).Sweat blood.I'm not sure whether I am ready or not,but,I HAVE to get ready-for this is a chance for me to upgrade myself to teaching higher grade 6-8 or else I will NEVER move on.In the music school-one of the quotes written deeply inspires,but I did not write it down.The only thing I remember is something like:
'I learn most-10%from seeing,20%from hearing...etc etc, and the last one-90%from teaching.'This weekend is studying weekend.Get my theory right,get my economics right.

Music Teacher
It's very hard for a music teacher to sustain herself/himself in terms of solely teaching.Unless the teacher is attached to a school(even that!).The poor teacher is at the mercy of his/her students,as they come and go,more often than not,overlooking the fact that this is a profession,and not charity in imparting knowledge.Sometimes,I don't blame irresponsible teachers,for it is not easy to encourage students when, at the same time,there isn't much motivation for the teacher to go that extra mile(esp for lazy students or couldn't-care-less students).V.few grateful students.

As for my first teaching lesson last thursday,I was totally lost in my world with the student.(As commented by one of the parent!).Although it is not a surprising note,because I can go on teaching for 8hrs straight on with interchanging student every 30-45mins.(alas,not enough students for me to be able to do that here!)So,3 hrs is easy peasy.But,it was really satisfying. ^-^ Sad to say,if this is my fulltime profession-the payment/remuneration is highly risky(v.low&volatile,tat is) and can never work.not yet,though. ;)

Aspiration to be music teacher??In due time-in due time. :) (for now,it's work through my graded 1-8 and all other music avenues I can get my hands,eyes and ears on!!)Ah!Finish blog!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Random Thoughts


I can either sit here and see it pass me by or I can make myself useful.

C'sa's cuz(Mich)..stayed over last weekend.Darling gal.U can see lady of a quarter century old and one who is just 18. :) Oh I have aged(or,matured)... :)

Cooked curry chicken last sunday for Mich & neighbour couple.

Look!!! SILAI!!!(AUntie....MAKCIK)

Makcik again..

Yes..i'm fatter already..... and This is my room.....

Friday, January 06, 2006

First Week 2006

Dearest Journal,

Eversince I came back from work,I have been staringblankly,watchingtvblankly,eating or just doing absolutely nothing but mind is pretty disturbed.Unsettled,I shld say.Bad day?Not really,in fact,it has been a GREAT day.So great,I don't know how to describe.

Then,think I should sleep,or settle myself with some puja,but...realize,if I blog,it will be one thing I want to do.There's just so many things going through my mind,observations and growing up.And,I know if I pour it in blog,I'll feel better,but,the fact that it's gonna get dissected to the general public-my friends.

So,hell,good or bad,if u're reading,read with no judgement. :) It's my personal experience and important day for me.And I want to remember this day,reflect as I type,and record my observation.

My supplychain manager is excellent.She is Scottish by birth,but migrated 20yrs back.My manager's manager is ..erm..Aus?After a week of work,today-Friday,they organized a lunch gettogether at a pub at the end of the street.All good.Partly,I know it's for me,and the 2 uni engineers recruit for this period.And,I know,my position as an analyst has raised a couple of eyebrows.Kick ass!

How do I want to express myself?
Manager and I get along v.v.well this week.I cannot describe.I can tell her if I understood or not,and she will tell me her great plans(of WORK) and all of her past experiences with no restriction.She is so very experienced and I love the way she handles things.Her understanding/sensitivity towards handling me,I'm esp.grateful.And,I think I delivered what she wanted to see this week and I'm trying my best to understand as quickly as possible,without her having to waste her time.Today,she paid special attention to me,and explained full length,and I could ask any questions.

Manager's manager(SeniorMnger) tries to talk to me as well.Lunch at pub today?He bought the 3 of us lunch!yippEE!And,after these few days of observation(I think),he came to me and says that he might pull me out to help him in some KPI(Key and,of course, with the approval of my direct manager.WWAAOOAOAOAOOA!!(sCreamInG intErNalLY)

Drinks-hahah!I was dumbfounded when SeniorMnger asks me what I wld like to order.I don't know ANY alcoholic drinks(nor bothered to know!)...and I remember Mlene,talking bout,I ordered Bacardi(he added 'bacardiCOKE??OOooO..OKAY..'everyone mostly had beer..did'nt know it's lower alcoholic content!!now i know.)After 2-3sips,that's it,I wasn't taking anymore..coz my legs were feeling funny.As we walked back to Co,senior managr tells manager to watch over my numbers after manager jokingly says,'I hope I don't have to end up analyzing my analyst!'!

Why am I staring blankly then?
I think coz I'm overwhelmed with the effort of acceptance and myself trying my best to blend in,at the same time,retain some of my main culture/character.There are just some things I want to keep right now,and,I have come to a point that,I will not negotiate my values at the expense of acceptance and,so far,balancing it-actually is working out fine and the whole team is trying to compromise.

Second thing,perhaps,the idea of having valuable,even laughable,down-to-earth conversation with uppermgmt confidently and comfortably bizarres me where,in my past exp,uppermgmt seems like the 'untouchable' or the 'annoying'/'intimidating'.The suppressive and the I-know-more-than-u-BOO situations!lol!

Third thing,the pleasantly surprising confidence change in me...because of the right,encouraging environment that I am working in.That I know exactly what I'm talking about,articulating it,and if I dont' know,try to figure it out loud.Mnger says 'look,there are NO wrong questions,just wrong answers.'And,encourages questions.Cool,from an audit point of view!!lol!! hahaha!!Sometimes,the things she tells me just blew my head off-only for now,I hope. And,I must say,sometimes, my questions to her just blew HER head off..HAHAH!!

IT Consultant
I am seated in the IT Mger's room(he is on hol till mid jan).Yesterday,in came an IT consultant seated in front of me in the officeroom that we share.He is pleasant after we've exchanged a bit of 'background overview' of one another.Then,zoom off to conversation of his time in AndersonConsulting,into,comp systems,his fiancee,his Thailand trip...latest news on IT and $$,his software company,even his!He just goes on and on and on.....but I learn a lot from him too and the fact that he is there as a consultant on client's place,I could relate to him with auditing.

All these in a week is just too big of a pie to swallow.And I've got a hectic week next week as well...(and anticipated little rest during the weekend....)
But certainly a week to remember.Draining,but I needed it-to grow&learn.

May my rest of the weeks be fruitful and that by the end of the period,regardless of whether I secure a fulltime job or not,may this journey be a smooth one,a memorable one.Gnite Songie-and dream about logistics and inventory, production line,capacity..and all those terminology.....WWAAAOO... ^-^ KAMBATEEH!

(Mettasong-ImeeOoi sounds so soothing at such a time...)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First blog 2006

Welcome new year!I embrace the year with wide-open-arms!!Cmere!!hugz!!

Aftter 3 months of jobhunt,I have landed onto a wonderful job.Today is my first day as a supply chain analyst in a pretty large manufacturing company.How good is that for an ego boost??? Certainly not complaining!
I will be here for only 2 months..pray I get full time position after that,but even if I don't,this is one job where I will definitely be able to put into my resume and have another great referee!!It is tedious, to work a few months,then break,then find another one again.It's certainly not my planning!I don't intend to job hop but the nature of the job available to me is shaped in such a way....may everything work out fine.

Karma with Christianity

Within this 2 weeks,from the week before Christmas until now,one thing lead to another to another to another.I won't want to talk about acupuncturist experience but more on Christianity.I thank the GREAT power,to arrange in such a way that I meet SF&K again.Before meeting them,allowed me to meet fellow Msian' family whom I was 'adopted'as goddaughter to my supervisor,then,introduced to her family.From there,her brother cordially invited me to church-where I met SF&K.Amazing. Wait,the story didn't end there.Just yesterday,my student and her mom *&family* gave me the most precious gift any Christian wld agree-A BIBLE.Deeply touched by the gesture,as her mom described in her own words 'we would like to share with you our family's most prized posession-the Bible'And now,I have my very own!!With leather cover and their home made bookmark!!Speechless&touched 2 the very core.............

Now,one thing I wld also like to emphasize-I don't believe in conversion.I am just opening my heart to something beautiful and rare.It's under the same generic term-philosophies of life/history/religion.Something I have genuine deep interest in;but wld not like to attach myself to any kind of label.If I can get hold of the AlQuran and am able to read Jawi,why not??Lini and Fadz taught me a lot on the fundamentals....(and Srmh too)

Even the Buddha says in his diamond sutra-

In a place where there is something that can be distinguished by signs,in that place there is deception. If you can see the signless nature of signs,then you can see the Tathagata.
If u are caught up in the idea of a dharma,u r also caught up in the ideas of a self, a person, a living being, and a lifespan.If u r caught up in the idea that there is no dharma, u are still caught up in the ideas of a self,a person, a living being, and a life span. That is why we should not get caught up in dharmas or in the idea that dharmas do not exist.This is the hidden meaning when the Tathagata says 'Bhiksus,u shld know that all the teachings I give to you are a raft'.All teachings must be abandoned,not to mention non-teachings.

In my own interpretation-All help in application to dealing with LIFE(and death) and that shld be the main purpose.Whatever u call it;Hinduism,Islam,Buddhism,Christianity,Judaism,etc doesn't really matter.

Now I have a BIBLE-can't wait to see what Jesus has to say,and his followers as well....agh!So so..touched!!