Wesak 2014 – Our Programmes

Wesak is a very significant and auspicious day for Buddhists. It is to celebrate the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment as well as his passing away.

This year, Sungai Long Buddhist Society will once again celebrate Wesak at our centre on 13 May 2014 with blood donation campaign, dhamma talk and blessings by sangha members. Also dhamma sharing by SDS students through Dhamma Gallery Walk and Games.

Therefore, we joyously invite you and your family to join us at the centre to celebrate Wesak on 13 May 2014. Please do come and join us for these meritorious events. Attached is a copy of the program for that day.

May the blessings of the Triple Gems be upon you.

Note:
Below is a programme outline for our Wesak 2014 celebration in May. Please click on image to get a better view.

2014-Wesak flyer

Here is your invitation to celebrate together with us, in English and Mandarin.

wesak2014

wesak2014_ch

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First Aid course – Get your first lesson notes here

Attached below is the link to the notes for participants of the First Aid course starting this weekend.

Lesson 1

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NEW! Friday Dhamma Discussions

Beginning this April 18, 2014, we will start a weekly Friday night Dhamma Discussion group at Sg. Long Buddhist Society, from 9:00pm to 10:00pm, facilitated by Dr. Ong. We will begin right after the Friday night meditation session.

Those who are interested to learn more about the authentic suttas are welcomed to join.

Below is a write-up on the purpose and goals of the Dhamma Discussion group:

Introduction

Those who are serious in practicing the teachings of the Buddha must remember the advice of all the Buddhas:

Avoid evils
Do good
Purify the mind

It is not enough to fulfill just the first two. In fact, the most important of these three advices is the third one – purify the mind.

We may start our practice gradually, from the ground up so to speak, with the coarsest of tasks, which is to avoid evils, and slowly build upward towards doing good, but we must not stop here or our practice will fall short. In fact, the first two are simply the foundation work for the third advice, that is, the purification of the mind.

Right Understanding (samma ditthi)

To be able to practice well requires not just the doing part (actions) but also the understanding part, thus, the emphasis on the right understanding (right view) of the Buddha’s teachings.

There are many ways to gain right understanding of the Buddha’s teachings. You may:

1. Listen to the dhamma, e.g. dhamma talks, dhamma discussions, formal dhamma classes, dhamma debates, etc.
2. Read the suttas, preferably from the Nikayas.
3. Teach the dhamma

For our purpose in gaining right understanding, we have chosen to conduct regular dhamma discussions on selected suttas at our centre. These dhamma discussions, hopefully, will serve a few purposes:

1. It will encourage participants to read the suttas on their own, thus increasing their interest in the original suttas as well as increases their understanding of the Buddha’s teachings
2. It will serve as a forum to verify understanding and clarify misconceptions or misunderstanding of the Buddha’s teachings
3. It will serve as a way to strengthen faith in the Buddha’s teachings
4. It will serve as a way to strengthen fellowship among participants

Selected Suttas

Generally, the Buddha’s teachings are said to be collected into three baskets called the tipitaka. These are the:

1. sutta collections – teachings of the Buddha
2. vinaya – rules for the sangha
3. abhidhamma – higher truths or knowledge

However, we must note that the abhidhamma did not exist until many years after the parinibbana of the Buddha. That leaves us with the suttas and the vinaya. Since the vinaya is meant mainly for the monks and nuns, as lay people, our focus should therefore be directed towards the study of the suttas.

The suttas are further divided into five main collections, namely:

1. Digha Nikaya (Long Discourses)
2. Majjhima Nikaya (Middle-Length Discourses)
3. Samyutta Nikaya (Topically-Grouped Discourses)
4. Anguttara Nikaya (Numerically-Grouped Discourses)
5. Khuddhaka Nikaya (Miscellaneous, which includes the Dhammapada)

We will focus on mainly the first four and occasionally the Dhammapada.

Since there are a few thousand suttas in the Nikayas, it will be difficult to read and discuss all of them. In the interest of time, we will have to select specific suttas for discussion.

Our goal in conducting these dhamma discussions is to improve the understanding of the Buddha’s teachings so that we can practice better and also see the relevance of our practice in our daily life. In order to fulfill this goal, I have decided to base the selection of the suttas on their values in furthering the understanding and practice of the Buddha’s teachings in our daily life.

Bird’s Eye View

From a bird’s eye view, the practice of the dhamma can be seen as a gradual path from:

1. Faith (saddha) in the Buddha’s teachings
2. The practice of generosity (dana)
3. The practice of virtues (sila), both verbal and bodily
4. The practice of bhavana (mental cultivation), leading to
5. The attainment of Knowledge and Vision or Wisdom (panna)

This path, when practiced properly, brings about benefits not only for the individual but also for the family and community. This in turn benefits the country and the whole world. Thus, we begin with ourselves.

Faith in the Buddha’s teachings is the seed that leads to the practice and cultivation of the dhamma. Faith must therefore be carefully nurtured and strengthened by studying and understanding the dhamma as well as by associating with spiritual friends (kalyana mitta).

Dana is regarded as the foundation where all other sila and bhavana are built on. Thus, it is extremely important for us to truly understand the importance of dana in this role. The practice of dana gradually forms and solidifies a mindset or attitude that is conducive for the practice and progression of both sila and bhavana.

We will therefore begin our discussion from saddha and dana, and move on from there.

Schedule

Our dhamma discussion on selected suttas will be held every Friday, beginning from 18 April 2014, from 9:00 pm to 10:00pm, after the earlier Friday meditation session, unless otherwise specified.

The sutta selected for discussion will be sent out to all participants one week in advance to enable them to read up ahead of the discussion. Therefore, those who are interested in participating in these dhamma discussions, please register yourself with our mailing list. This will allow us to email you the selected suttas as well as to inform you of any changes to the programme.

First Dhamma Discussion

Below are the details for the first dhamma discussion:

Date: 18 April 2014
Time: 9:00pm – 10:00pm
Venue: Sg. Long Buddhist Society
Sutta: Saddha Sutta (AN 5.38)

All are welcomed.

Next sutta >> Siha Sutta (To General Siha) on Generosity (AN 5.34)

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Notice of SLBS AGM 2014

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of Sungai Long Buddhist Society will be held at 7-2, Jalan SL 1/3, Bandar Sungai Long, 43000 Kajang, Selangor on Sunday March 23, 2014 at 4pm for the following purposes:

1. To approve the minutes of the previous AGM held on March 24, 2013

2. To receive the Annual Report, Treasurer’s Report and the accounts of the Society for the year ended December 31, 2013

3. To elect new committee

4. To appoint auditors for the society

5. To transact any other matters

Dated March 3, 2014

By Order of the Committee

(Please click on link below for the 2013 Annual Reports, Treasurer’s Report and accounts of Society)

Notice of SLBS AGM 2014 and Annual Report

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Invitation to Chinese New Year luncheon

Dear Parents and Members,

Sungai Long Buddhist Society cordially invites all members and parents of Sunday
Dhamma School to celebrate Chinese New Year and get together.

The details as follows:

Date : 9th February 2014, Sunday
Time : 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Venue : Sg Long Buddhist Society

The society will cater lunch and some crafts are provided to keep children entertained.

May the blessings of the Triple Gems be upon you.

With metta,

Mr. Yong Choon Huat
President

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SDS Children’s Artwork

Presenting our Sunday Dhamma School children’s art group work from the various age groups:

Metta (7 to 9 years old)

metta

 

Karuna (10 to 12 years old)

karuna

 

Mudita (13 to 15 years old)

mudita

 

Upekkha (16 and above)

upekkha

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How to be Mindful

You may have heard that you should be mindful all the time, whether you are at home or in the office, or on the bus or in your car or in somebody else’s car, etc. You may interpret this advice to mean that you should keep your mind focused all the time on your breath. While driving, if you simply keep your mind on the breath you probably will get into some problems, such as losing your attention to your driving or forgetting your driving and you may have an accidents.

Sometimes you may think “to be mindful all the time” means to pay attention only to what ever you are doing at that particular time. This, of course, is what any person who is serious enough in his/her work normally does. An artist, painter, writer, singer, composer, thinking, speaker, shooter, cook, etc. must pay attention to whatever they do at any time they are engaged in their work.

Not only human beings do this. You may have noticed cats paying total attention to their prey in order to catch them without disturbing their prey by making any mistakes. Tigers, lions and crocodiles pay total attention to what they are going to catch. You may have noticed cranes standing on one single spot for a long time to catch a fish. Sheep dogs pay total attention to the movements of sheep so they can run very quickly to direct the herd in the right direction. Unfortunately neither cat, crane, nor sheep dog can remove their greed, lust etc., or cultivate an iota of insight by merely paying total attention to their objects.

Paying attention to whatever you are doing at any time is NOT going to eliminate your greed, hatred, and ignorance. This, in fact, is exactly what you do in tranquillity meditation or concentration meditation. By paying attention to one thing at a time you cannot get rid of your psychic irritation. You may focus your mind on one single object for fifty years and still your psychic irritation will remain unchanged in your mind. One person may observe all the moral rules. Another may learn all the texts by heart. Someone else may gain concentration. Another may spend his/her entire life in solitude. All of them might think that they can experience supreme liberation from all psychic irritation, which no ordinary person can attain. But none of them can have that experience without destroying all the psychic irritation. Therefore in addition to all they practice they also must remove all their psychic impurities in order to experience the bliss of emancipation from all kinds of pain.

What is missing in focusing total attention to one single object all the time is wisdom. Your total attention should be coupled with wise attention (yoniso manasikara). What is wise attention? It is attention accompanied by the three wholesome roots. What are the wholesome roots? They are generosity, loving-kindness and wisdom. This means that when you pay attention to something always attempt to pay attention without greed, hatred or delusion, but with the thought of generosity, loving-kindness and wisdom. These three are called wholesome roots; greed, hatred and delusion are called unwholesome roots. Don’t let your mind be affected by unwholesome roots when you pay attention to something. Let the thought of generosity, loving-kindness and wisdom dominate your mind while paying attention to anything.

When you pay attention to pots and pans as you wash, you may not need any loving-kindness, generosity or wisdom towards them. You are cultivating mindfulness not for pots and pans, but for living beings. You should pay attention to any thought regarding yourself, or any other living beings. Have mindful reflection while wearing your clothes, eating your food, drinking your water, talking to someone, listening to sound, seeing an object, and walking or driving.

When you pay total attention with wise consideration or mindful reflection, your greed, hatred and delusion fade away, because in your wise attention generosity, loving-kindness and wisdom are active. Your thoughts of generosity, loving-kindness and wisdom have the power of minimizing your greed, hatred and delusion while you are engaged in any activity. While paying attention to something, without wise consideration or wise attention, you may inadvertently develop greed, hatred and confusion. You may see an object, for instance. That object may happen to be attractive, beautiful or pleasing to your eyes or it may be unattractive. At that time if you do not have wise attention, you may then end up cultivating greed or resentment for the object or you may get utterly confused ideas about the object. Or you may think that the object is permanent instead of realizing that it is impermanent, satisfactory instead of unsatisfactory, or having a self instead of being selfless.

You may then ask how your generous thoughts can get rid of your greedy thoughts, because the greedy thoughts want to cling to the object, or grasp it. When you perceive the object with greed, your mind will cling to it and not open to any thought of letting go of greed. You may not want to take your eyes away from the object. In fact, at that time your mind temporarily becomes blind to any thought of generosity. Even if you wish to let go of the attachment to it you may do so with great reluctance. You may feel that you are generous. But your generosity is only to fulfill your greedy purpose, like gaining something in return, or gaining recognition or becoming famous by being generous. Greed has very strong super glue in it. At the very first contact with the desirable object the mind sticks fast to it. Letting go of that object is as painful as cutting off of a limb or some flesh of your body, and you cannot let go of that object from your mind.

This is where you really need your wise attention. This is where you must learn to see impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and selflessness in the object you are watching. Your wise consideration indicates that neither the object you perceive nor your feeling or sensation regarding the object remains the same even for two consecutive moments. You will not have the same sensation later on. You change, the object you perceive changes. With wise attention you will see that everything is impermanent. This knowledge of impermanence allows you to let go of your resentment. When you see with wisdom that everything that is unsatisfactory is impermanent, then you see the connection between unsatisfactoriness and greed. As you are attached to an impermanent object you will be disappointed with the change of the object that you are so attached to. When you have wise consideration you see that which is impermanent and unsatisfactory is without self.

Then you might think “Ah! Since this object is going to change, I must be quick and smart to take the advantage of this object right now and enjoy myself as quickly as possible before it disappears. Tomorrow it won’t be there”. Here you must remember haste makes waste. If you make a hasty decision and do something foolish, you will regret it later on. Sometimes you are attracted to a person, for instance, and grab hold of him/her without giving much consideration to him/her, and later on you will find many faults in that person. In any such hasty decision there is no mindfulness. You cannot beat the change nor can you stop it by making any foolish attempt.

When your mindfulness is well developed, then even in haste you make a right decision. The only thing that makes sense in rushing to beat impermanence is to step back and check your own mind and see whether or not you make the decision with wise consideration. When you are mindful you will know how to take the advantage of the current moment so that you will not regret it later on. Any mindful decision you make will make you happy and peaceful and never make you regret it later on.

Always remember that mindfulness is the state of mind full of generosity (dana), loving-kindness (metta), and wisdom (panna) together with compassion (karuna), appreciative joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekka). Any time you pay attention to anything you must ask whether your mind is full of these factors. If not you are not mindful.

When you have generosity in the mind you will let go of any attractive sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thought without any hesitation. You should certainly recognize them to be attractive in the conventional sense. Know that it is because of their attractiveness that people become attached to them and get involved in them. The deeper they get involved in them the deeper is their suffering. When you have loving-kindness in your mind you will not try to reject any sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thought if they happen to be unattractive. Mindfully perceive them with the thought of impermanence. When any sight, sound, smell, taste, touch or thought appears to be identical with self, look at it as an unreal concept inculcated in your mind by conditioning through generations of wrong notions and look at it with wisdom.

Mindfulness is not carefulness. It is not smartness. Anybody can be careful and smart. A man walking on a wire three hundred feet above ground is careful. Remember those gymnasts performing all kinds of balancing feats. Numerous daredevils who climb very steep mountains, across rocks, slippery places, rivers, and so on are very careful. Many thieves are very smart and outwit the police. Many drug dealers, bank robbers, criminals are very smart. None of them can be considered to be mindful.

Mindfulness is that state of mind which reflects upon itself not to get caught in greed, hatred and ignorance, which cause suffering to yourself, to others or to both.

When we ask people not to cultivate resentment some people ask us how can you live without resentment? This is the miracle of mindfulness. When you practice mindfulness you can learn to do most difficult things easily. Not becoming resentful, lustful, or confused is very difficult. Through constant training in mindfulness you learn to live without resentment, lust or confusion. Moreover to be mindful is more difficult than to be unmindful, and you learn to do that more difficult one more easily than the easier one. For this reason the Buddha said:

“For the good to do what is good is easy
For the bad to do what is bad is easy
For the bad to do what is good is difficult
For the noble to do what is bad is difficult.” (Ud. 84)

and:

“Which is most difficult at the beginning becomes easy through constant practice” (Ud 61).

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

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All Night Metta Chanting for Peace, Harmony & Stability‏

We are pleased to inform that Aloka Foundation and Buddhist Missionary
Society Malaysia (BMSM) is organising 24hr Metta Chanting for world peace,
harmony &  stability.

This meaningful event will commence at  9.00am  on  28 December 2013 with
the official opening by Ven Mahinda.  The 24-hr non-stop chanting will
commence with the first hour chanting by members of the Maha Sangha.
Participating Buddhist organizations and groups of devotees will take turns
to chant the Karaniya Metta Sutta continuously for one hour session until
10 am on  29 December 2013.

A special Illuminating the World with Metta ceremony at 8 pm on 28 December
2013 in which Ven Mahinda will lead devotees in Metta Meditation followed by
Lights Offering, symbolically illuminating the world with metta.

We are pleased to inform that Sg Long Buddhist Society is joining in the
relay chanting and the time slots given and venue is as follows:-

Venue :  Samadhi Vihara
1B, Jalan Serai Wangi U12/8
Seksyen U12
Kawasan Perindustrian Bukit Raja
Shah Alam
Selangor
Date :    28 December 2013 (Sat)
Time  :  2.00pm to 3.00pm

We urge all to join in this meaningful event.  For those who are interested,
kindly contact Brother Yong 0173700222 or Brother Sumedha at 019-3226978

With Lots of Metta

SLBS Committee

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One Day Meditation Retreat with Bhante Wajirabuddhi‏

Bhante Wajirabuddhi, Chief Monk of Georgia Buddhist Vihara, USA will be in Malaysia for his Dhammaduta Tour by the kind invitation of Ven B Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thera from 19 Nov to 23 Dec 2013.

We are pleased and honoured to have Bhante to conduct one day meditation retreat at our centre and the details are as follows:

Date : 7 December 2013 (Saturday)

Time:  9.00am to 5.00pm

Target Group : Adult and Youth

For registration, please contact Bro Sumedha (019-3226978) or Bro. Yong (017-3700222).

Below please find Bhante profile

bhante

Bhante Wajirabuddhi was born in Sri Lanka in the Matara District. He was ordained as a novice monk in 1980 at the Dharmaduthashrama Vidyala, Colombo 09, under the guidance of late Venerable Dr. P. Pangnananda Nayaka Maha Thera, Venerable Wehelle Sri Attadassi Dhammapala Nayaka Maha Thera, & the late Venerable M. Sumangala Maha Thera the Principal of Dharmadutashrama Vidyala Colombo.

His higher ordination took place at Malwathu Maha Vihara, Kandy, Sri Lanka in 1987. He completed his monastic education at Dharmaduthashrama College, and did his higher education at,Bhikkhu University Anuradhapura, and obtained “Thripitakavedi” degree. He stayed in Thailand nearly 10 months, at Wat Srakete.

Then, in 1994, he came to United States of America, and stayed with the Cambodian community in Los Angeles. Ven. Cong Sophan Rakkitha Dhammo was the head of Wat Khemer Jothi Nano Chun Nath, under whose guidance he learned Cambodian culture and language.

In 1999 Ven. P. Wajirabuddhi moved to Atlanta, Georgia and in June 2000 established the Georgia Buddhist Vihara. He has completed Vippassana and Jana Bhavana retreat under Dr. Henepola Gunarathana Maha Thera at Bhavana Society, West Virginia USA. He received his English Diploma from Interactive college of Technology 5303 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 30341. He conducts monthly meditation Silence retreat and weekly Vippassana teaching. He visits colleges for giving introduction to Buddhism.

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Dhamma Talk by Bhante Sanghasena

We are pleased to inform that Bhante Sanghasena of MMC Ladakh will give a dhamma talk at Sg Long Buddhist Society. Details is as follows:-

Date:  31 Oct 2013 ( Thurday )

Time:  8.30pm to 10.00pm

Topic:  “Compassion in Action” The talk on compassion which is best served in action and not words. He will talk about his charity projects in Ladakh Himalaya and rest of India.

Biography of Bhante Sanghasena Mahathera

sanghasenaVenerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena was born in the remote Himalayan region of Ladakh – an ancient state located in the far north west of India, high on the Tibetan plateau. He was brought up within a deeply religious family, amongst people who followed the ancient Buddhist traditions and believed in peacefulness, humility and innocence as the natural way of life. At the age of seventeen he joined the Indian Army, where he developed a strong sense of personal discipline and responsibility.

1977 was a particularly significant year in his life, for this is when he felt the inner spiritual call and decided to leave the army. He left the mountains of Ladakh far behind him and became a committed disciple of the renowned Buddhist scholar and celebrated monk, Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita Mahathera, the abbot of the Mahabodhi Society Vihara, Bangalore, South India.

In 1986 Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena founded the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC) in Ladakh. For the past 25 years Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena has tirelessly and selflessly worked to provide high quality education and safe shelter for underprivileged children, first-class healthcare for the sick and needy, empowerment and literacy programmes for women and other socially disadvantaged groups, a caring home for the aged and destitute, and many other humanitarian services.  The site for much of Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena’s humanitarian and spiritual service work has been the 200 acres of moon-like desert that now form the impressive backdrop to the main Mahabodhi Devachan campus in Choglamsar, Ladakh.

Bhante Sanghasena’s programme in this trip:

131018_MIMC_talkschedule_vA1.0

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