Happy Fathers Day

Father’s Day

This Sunday is honoured as the Father’s day in the United Kingdom and some other parts of the world to thank our fathers in a similar way to our mother’s day. I think it is a great idea to have such a special day set aside in a year as both parents should be honoured equally although personally I would always favour mother’s day as the hardship and pain mothers go through is beyond any of our imagination.

Father’s day is not hugely significant for me but I know for some it would be as important as the mother’s day if not more as their attachment to their dad might be greater than to their mum. If you love your dad and appreciate him then don’t forget to send your love and say thank you for all the hardship they have gone through in guiding you and making you who you are today. To show our gratitude to our parents, we don’t have to wait for the specially allocated day as we should be showing that in every opportune moment.

This day for me has always been the day of reconciliation and forgiveness with my own dad and promising to myself that it is about time to look ahead and to move on. And move on sure I have and as years have gone by I have learnt to appreciate that forgiveness is a great healer no matter how hard it may be to come to term with.

So with this in mind and as the reconciliation with my dad renewed once more, I whisper to him “happy father’s day”…

May I also wish all the dads happy Father’s Day and May you have a long lasting and happy relationship with your children.

Tashi Delek!

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Buddhism is not just for Buddhist

Buddhism is not just for Buddhist followers. Everyone can learn and apply the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha to our daily lives. The four noble truths and the eightfold paths are the core foundation of its teachings.

I love this quote from the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso  where he says “Do not try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are.” This is so appropriately said by one of the most influential leaders of our generation. 

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The Most Unusual Pub in Devon

The Highwayman Inn in Sourton

Can you guess the unusual feature of this house? This house is believed to date back to around 11th – 12th century and was built as an inn on the edge of Dartmoor National Park and not very far from Lydford Gorge and Okehampton Castle in England, United Kingdom. It is allegedly believed to be haunted and you can book to eat and stay there. When we visited the place it was eerily quiet and the pub was shut, unfortunately.

There was a message board near the church gate of St Thomas Becket which is on the opposite of this inn where one particular piece of information was interesting to read. It was here in Sourton on the 25th April 1643 that the battle of Sourton Down the first English civil war was fought between the Roundheads (Parliamentarians) and the Cavaliers (Royalists). This was a disaster for the Cavaliers who by dawn had fled in disarray to Bridestowe in Devon which is not very far from Sourton, leaving behind many weapons, stores and horses. What happened next following this civil war and several others changed the course of the history of how the country was governed and what we see today.

The Highwayman Inn

This is the most unusual pub in England. You can visit the inn and try their meals or if you dare, even stay there for the night. Woo-woo, be warned it’s said that the place is haunted.

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Saga Dawa 16th May to 16th June

Saga Dawa Month 16th May to 16th June

This whole month is dedicated to our most precious teacher Shakyamuni Buddha as it is believed on the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar month is when he was born, attained enlightenment (nirvana), and finally into Parinirvana (death). Buddhist people generally give up eating meat during the month of Saga Dawa and if they can’t give up they are encouraged at least not to hurt or kill any animal.

It is one of the most sacred months of the year in Buddhist calendar. Any good deeds you perform during this sacred month, its benefit will be multiplied by several times.

The Most Important Days during the month of Saga Dawa are as detailed below:

  • Birth of the Buddha on May 21st
  • Buddha’s Enlightenment and Parinirvana on May 29th

Happy Saga Dawa to you all and Tashi Delek.

Om Mani Padme Hum!

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Daily Dharma from Tricycle

Here is the compilation of daily dharma quotes I received via email from the Tricycle. I love reading them and thought you might too. If you would like you can also subscribe to receive your own daily dharma quotes too. 

Open to Your Feelings
When we open to our feelings as they arise, we create the causes and conditions of mental and physical health.

—Josh Korda, “Flowing Feelings

True Peace
Suffering comes to an end only when a person is so in touch with life that he or she is completely at peace, regardless of physical or emotional circumstances.

—Ken McLeod, “Bodhicitta Explained

Connecting to the Body
In body awareness meditation, we open to a reunion of body and mind by exploring the sensations of our thoughts and feelings.

—Ruth King, “Soothing the Hot Coals of Rage

Buddhahood Is Within You
Some people think that one can become a buddha through meditation. This is wrong. The potential for Buddhahood is within your own nature.

—Master Sheng-Yen, “Being Natural

Embrace Uncertainty
We have a choice. We can spend our whole life suffering because we can’t relax with how things really are, or we can relax and embrace the open-endedness of the human situation, which is fresh, unfixated, unbiased.

—Pema Chödrön, “The Fundamental Ambiguity of Being Human

The Power of Simplicity
 principle of renunciation is not to encourage a state of lack, but to establish as complete a state of simplicity as possible. In that simplicity you can more clearly see those patterns of wanting, not wanting, fearing, hoping, as they take shape.

—Interview with Venerable Ajaan Amaro by Mary Talbot, “Just Another Thing in the Forest

The Path of Understanding
Bodhicitta is the path of understanding who you are in thefathomless nature of infinite contingency, and then developingthe skills to navigate this reality—your life—in a way that is awakening for both yourself and for others.

—Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, “Nurturing the Intelligent Heart

Focus on Giving, Not Getting
On the spiritual path, there’s nothing to get, and everything to get rid of. Obviously, the first thing to let go of is trying to “get” love, and instead to give it. That’s the secret of thespiritual path. One has to give oneself wholeheartedly.

—Ayya Khema, “What Love Is

Agree to Disagree
It is inevitable that there will be a wide range of beliefs, opinions, practices, and behaviors in this large and diverse world. It is not inevitable that people must hate one another on account of this.

—Andrew Olendzki, “Advice for Conflict

Spring Cleaning for Your Mind
If I view [everyday chores] as tasks to rush through on the way to something more important, they become a crushing waste of time. But from the perspective of Buddhist teachings, each of these activities is a golden moment, an opportunity for full awakening.

—Anne Cushman, “Clearing Clutter

Experience Emotions with Equanimity
We can be angry, jealous, or scared without having to act on those emotions or let them take over our lives. We can experience joy or love without becoming attached to the object that we think is the cause of our joy.

—Tsoknyi Rinpoche, “Allow for Space

Unlikely Teachers
Both our pain and our suffering are truly our path, our teacher. While this understanding doesn’t necessarily entail liking our pain or our suffering, it does liberate us from regarding them as enemies we have to conquer.

—Ezra Bayda, “When It Happens to Us

No Matter What Happens
It doesn’t matter what is happening. What matters is how we are relating to our experience.

—Tara Brach, “Making Room for Desire

The Self Will Surprise You
 realization of no self is not at all nihilistic. It simply means that the self is something different from what we habitually assume it to be.

—Guo Jun, “The Calligrapher’s Apprentice

The Joy of Giving
At its most basic level, dana [generosity] in the Buddhist tradition means giving freely without expecting anything in return.

—Gil Fronsdal, “The Joy of Giving

How to Speak with Care
When we speak with greater skill, our true self—our compassionate, loving self—emerges with gentle ease. So before you speak, stop, breathe, and consider if what you are about to say will improve upon the silence.

—Allan Lokos, “Skillful Speech

How to Truly Relax
When we understand that nothing exists independently, everything that does arise seems more dreamlike and less threatening. This brings a deep sense of relaxation, and we feel less need to control our mind and circumstances.

—Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, “The Theater of Reflection

We Are Temporary Too
Know that your precious, infinitely beloved, and irreplaceable self will dissolve like a sand castle, grain by grain—and what a relief it is to know. You exist in a great space of knowing, filled with the shared ephemerality of all things.

—Sallie Tisdale, “Self-Care for Future Corpses

Dismantling Delusion
To experience the everyday sublime one needs to dismantle piece by piece the perceptual conditioning that insists on seeing oneself and the world as essentially comfortable, permanent, solid, and mine.

—Stephen Batchelor, “The Everyday Sublime

How to Cultivate Equanimity
If a mind state or emotion or mood becomes strong—feelings such as sadness or happiness or anger or desire, restlessness or excitement, interest or rapture, joy or calm—make the mental note of that mind state, feeling it and observing how that too is part of the passing show. It arises, it is there for some time, it passes away.

—Joseph Goldstein, “Breathing

You Are Already Complete
Why is it that we yearn to be more or other than we are? It so rarely occurs to us that what we are looking for maybe—indeed, always is—already within us, simply undiscovered.

—Toinette Lippe, “Between Eternities


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Chance Encounter with a Long Lost Friends

Chance Encounter with a Long Lost Friends

It has been over twenty years since I last lost contact with one of my good friends and his wife. We were friends from school days, teacher training days and then placement finally to the same Dzongkhag (District) in Bhutan. He and his wife looked after us when passing by their place which I had to make frequently for official business. Until today, I had no idea where and how they were and out of nowhere, all thanks to one clever girl who happened to be their daughter we have been reunited online. She saw my details via my nephew who happened to be her friend. She remembered her dad talking about me and my wife and that I had left Bhutan for the UK. What are the chances of that happening – not much. A chance encounter once in a blue moon!

We managed to get in touch shortly after via facebook messenger and then on WeChat which all Bhutanese are so glued to. The good and the evil of social media cannot be underestimated. If you can harness the best of these online platforms you can take advantage of what it can do for you. Conversely, if you misuse it or have little understanding of what devastating chaos it can potentially create to hurt us.

So much has happened in both of our lives and so much to catch up. Both our children have grown up since we last met. We chatted for a while and agreed that we should keep in touch.

Thank you to both my nephew and his clever daughter. I didn’t wish to name them here as I am not sure they will approve.

Nameysamey Kadrinchey!

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Glorious Wisdom’s Excellent Qualities – The Praise to Mañjuśrī

Glorious Wisdom’s Excellent Qualities – The Praise to Mañjuśrī

Every school going children in Bhutan will know this prayer to praise the Lord Manjushri who is the embodiment of all the Buddha’ wisdom. We use to pray every morning in the school assembly before the start of school.

The picture below is the painting of Manjushri who is often depicted with his right hand holding a double-edged flaming sword and his left hand holding a lotus flower on which rests the Prajnaparamita the Great Wisdom Sutra. The Sutra on the lotus flower symbolizes wisdom as pure as lotus. The sword represents the sharpness of wisdom that to cut through illusion. 

Homage to the Lord Mañjughoṣa!

Your wisdom is brilliant and pure like the sun, free from the clouds of the two obscurations.

You perceive the whole of reality, exactly as it is, and so hold the book of Transcendental Wisdom at your heart.

You look upon all beings imprisoned within saṃsāra, enshrouded by the thick darkness of ignorance and tormented by suffering,

With the love of a mother for her only child. Your enlightened speech, endowed with sixty melodious tones,

Like the thundering roar of a dragon awakens us from the sleep of destructive emotions and frees us from the chains of karma.

Dispelling the darkness of ignorance, you wield the sword of wisdom to cut through all our suffering.

Pure from the very beginning, you have reached the end of the ten bhūmis and perfected all enlightened qualities. Foremost of the Buddha’s heirs,

Your body is adorned with the hundred and twelve marks of enlightenment. To Mañjughoṣa, the ‘Gentle-voiced’, I prostrate, and pray: dispel the darkness from my mind!

Arapacanadhi – Heart Mantra of Manjushri

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