Not be seen again

My foes will become nothing.

My friends will become nothing.

I, too, will become nothing.

Likewise, all will become nothing.

Just like a dream experience,

Whatever things I enjoy

Will become a memory.

Whatever has passed will not be seen again.

Shantideva (ཞི་བ་ལྷ།)

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I went for my serology testing today offered by my workplace for all staff. Just a simple blood test to look for antibodies in your blood. I believe if you have had COVID-19 virus, your body would have developed an antibody to fight off the disease. Many of us probably had the virus and recovered but none the wiser yet. So I wanted to know if I have had it and if I have had it I would have developed an antibody. Also, one of the things I hear the data can be used for is to study how we can combat the disease. I wanted to do my bit to help fight off this dreadful virus.

This is what I read about the tests: An antibody test looks for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections. Antibodies are detected in the blood of people who are tested after infection; they show an immune response to the infection.

Result of my test will be in a week’s time and I would know then if I have had the virus.

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This is an unbelievable scene from the UK’s beaches in the recent days where social distancing is none existence and with this kind of behaviour, we are surely going to have a second wave of COVID-19 attack earlier than expected. When we do it is likely to be worse than before as people become complacent.

Everyone should be really really worried. Totally unacceptable and irresponsible behaviour.

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Story of Uttara and her Devotion

I love this story of Uttara and her devotion to serving Buddha and his disciples. I came across this story on Instagram and credit to whoever shared this there and I am now sharing with you. Hope you are going to be inspired by reading this.

Uttara was the daughter of a farm labourer named Punna and his wife. Punna worked for a rich man named Sumana, in Rajagaha. One day, Punna and his wife offered alms-food to Thera Sariputta soon after his arising from sustained deep mental absorption (nirodha samapatti), and as a result of that good deed they suddenly became very rich. Punna came upon gold in the field he was ploughing, and the king officially declared him a royal banker. On one occasion, the family of Punna offered alms-food to the Buddha and the bhikkhus for seven days. and on the seventh day, after hearing the Buddha’s discourse, all the three members of the family attained Sotapatti Fruition.

Later, Uttara the daughter of Punna married the son of the rich man Sumana. That family being non-Buddhist, Uttara did not feel happy in her husband’s home. So, she told her father, “My father, why have you put me in this cage? Here, I do not see any bhikkhu and I have no chance to offer anything to any bhikkhu.” Her father felt sorry for her and sent her fifteen thousand in cash. With this money, after getting permission from her husband, Uttara engaged a courtesan to look to the needs of her husband. So it was arranged that Sirima, a well-known and very beautiful courtesan, was to take her place as a wife for fifteen days.

During that time, Uttara offered alms-food to the Buddha and the bhikkhus. On the fifteenth day, as she was busy preparing food in the kitchen, her husband saw her from the bedroom window and smiled, and then muttered to himself, “How foolish she is! She does not know how to enjoy herself. She is tiring herself out with this alms-giving ceremony!” Sirima saw him smile, and forgetting that she was only a paid substitute wife felt very jealous of Uttara. Being unable to control herself, Sirima went into the kitchen and got a ladleful of boiling butter with the intention of pouring it over the head of Uttara. Uttara saw her coming, but she bore no ill will towards Sirima.

She reflected that because Sirima had stood in for her, she had been able to listen to the dhamma, make offerings of alms-food for fifteen days, and perform other acts of charity. Thus she was quite thankful to Sirima. Suddenly, she realized that Sirima had come very close to her and was going to pour boiling-hot butter over her; so she made this asseveration: “If I bear any ill will towards Sirima may this boiling-hot butter burn me; if I have no ill will towards her may it not burn me.” As Uttara had no ill will towards Sirima, the boiling butter poured over her head by Sirima was just like cold water. Then Sirima thought the butter must have gone cold; and as she went for another ladleful of boiling butter, the attendants of Uttara fell upon her and beat her hard. Uttara stopped her attendants and instructed them to rub Sirima with medicinal ointment.

Then, Sirima remembered her true position and she regretted that she had done wrong to Uttara and asked Uttara to forgive her. To her Uttara replied, “I have my father; I shall ask him whether I should accept your apology.” Sirima then said that she would readily go and apologize to the rich man, the father of Uttara. Uttara then explained to Sirima, “Sirima,. when I said ‘My father’, I did not mean my real father, who had brought me into this round of rebirths. I was referring to my father, the Buddha, who had helped me break the chain of rebirths, who had taught me the Dhamma, the Noble Truths.” Sirima then expressed her wish to see the Buddha. So it was arranged that Sirima should offer alms-food to the Buddha and the bhikkhus on the following day at the house of Uttara.

After the meal, the Buddha was told everything that had happened between Sirima and Uttara. Sirima then owned up that she had done wrong to Uttara and entreated the Buddha that she should be forgiven, for otherwise Uttara would not forgive her. The Buddha then asked Uttara how she felt in her mind when Sirima poured boiling butter on her head, and Uttara answered, “Venerable Sir, because I owed so much to Sirima I had resolved not to lose my temper, not to bear any ill will towards her. I sent forth my love towards her”. The Buddha then said, “Well done, well done, Uttara! By not bearing any ill will you have been able to conquer one who has done you wrong through hate. By not abusing, you should conquer one who abuses you; by being generous you should conquer one who is stingy; by speaking the truth you should conquer one who tells lies.” Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 223: Conquer the angry one by not getting angry (i.e., by loving-kindness); conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.

At the end of the discourse Sirima and five hundred ladies attained Sotapatti Fruition. Since then Sirima started giving alms to Bhikkus daily till her untimely demise.

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The Heart Jewel of the Fortunate

‘How do we become accustomed to remaining in the nature of the Mind? When thoughts arise, let them arise. There is no need to regard thoughts as enemies. When thoughts arise, relax in their arising. If thoughts do not arise, do not create them by nervously speculating as to when they will arise. Simply rest in their absence. If concretely clearly defined thoughts suddenly appear during meditation, it is easy to distinguish them – but when inconsequential subtle movements occur, it is not easy to recognise these movements immediately. They are ‘ög-gyu’i namtog (’og gyu’i rNam rTog), the undercurrent of ideational wandering – the thief of meditation. It is thus important to remain present. If one is constantly present in meditation and post-meditation – then whether eating, sleeping, walking, or sitting, that is it – that is the natural state.’

The Heart Jewel of the Fortunate – Personal Advice on Dzogchen

by Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche Jig’drèl Yeshé Dorje

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My brother wrote this beautiful article which is full of profound meaning in how one should live skillfully.


If you don’t trust someone
And you say often’ I don’t trust,’
The venom of distrust is in you,
While those you distrust are free from it;

If you hate someone
And say often ‘I hate him.’
The scar of hatred is in you,
While those you hate are free from it.

If you blame someone for everything
And say often ‘you are wrong.’
The blindness of blame is in you,
While those you blame are free from it.

If you love someone for any reason
And love even when they distrust you,
The gift of love abounds in your being
And everything about you becomes beautiful.

If you are kind to someone
And be kind when hatred hurls at you,
The gift of kindness abounds in your being,
And everything about you becomes goodness.

If you understand someone
And remain calm when blames comes,
The gift of understanding abound in your being,
And everything about you is patience and calmness.

What virtues you see in others
Those you think is good or bad
Are virtues you also harbour
In the sea of your quiescent being.

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Social Distancing Covidiots!

I left for work later than usual today and I could not believe when I saw the blatant disregard for social distancing guidelines as they were travelling to work so close to each other. I expected them to follow the guidelines set by the government but NO they were so close to each other. I said to myself what a covidiot lot!

When I arrived at work, I couldn’t believe what I saw in the park as it was completely filled with less than two meters gap. I looked everywhere to find a space where I could maintain the required distance from these covidiots lot. I thought it was meant to be a meeting of one on one and not gathered all together or have I misunderstood what was announced. Perhaps, I have, as I am after all just a car.

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75th VE Day

VE Day today in the UK 🇬🇧 celebrating 75th anniversary. Victory in Europe Day – commonly known as VE Day – and on that day in 1945, Britain and its allies formally accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender.

Here is the lyrics “We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn” which is so poignant now to listen whilst also rejoicing, as it incapsulate the atmosphere of what it must have been like in war times.

For me this lyrics also resonate with the current situation with our own challenges with global pandemic we are facing.

We’ll Meet Again

We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away

So will you please say hello
To the folks that I know
Tell them I won’t be long
They’ll be happy to know
That as you saw me go
I was singing this song

We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day

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The Real Reason to Celebrate the Teachers Day in Bhutan

Tashi Delek to all the teacher on the day of Teachers Day in Bhutan

As teachers day are celebrated around the world on different dates according to their importance and significance in the history of the country. Likewise, Bhutan has opted for May the 2nd to be marked as the teachers day in the country. This was the day in 1951 when the third king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, was born. He was the driving force behind the modern education system in Bhutan and appropriately credited for its success and also he is known fondly by all Bhutanese as the father of modern Bhutan. He is the reason first and foremost to celebrate and dedicate this special day, as well as appreciating and displaying our gratitude to all our teachers past and present.

The third king was in many ways a visionary king and you could say the seed of democracy was already planted by him during his reign and knew that the future survival of Bhutan may depend in allowing its people to govern themselves. That wish was fulfilled by his son the fourth king of Bhutan Jigme Singye Wangchuck despite the reluctance and uproar from the public to change. Bhutan became democratic, constitutional monarchy in 2008 with a population less than a million. The fourth king like his father saw the vision of modern Bhutan to be better served by a younger and youthful monarch and handed the golden throne selflessly to his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who is the current head of state in Bhutan. He is fondly referred to as the peoples’ king by the people of Bhutan. All our kings have been visionary and striving to do the best for our nation since the first monarch was enthroned in 1907.

The modern western education system was introduced to provide learning centres to study science, mathematics, modern farming techniques etc. whilst also preserving and promoting the monastic schools along with its culture and tradition. This was a calculated move which really accelerated the literacy and numeracy growth in Bhutan and today almost all of our youths are educated. His vision was to preserve the unique tradition and culture of Bhutan for the outside world to admire, by propagating through schools whilst also modernizing the education system.

He was a farsighted leader beyond his time to understand the future security of Bhutan. He secured Bhutan’s membership with the United Nations by becoming its 125th member in 1971. Furthermore, he made sure Bhutan’s relationship with its neighbouring countries were diversified. Today Bhutan enjoys these friendships with countries around the world and particularly with SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) nations.

Our unconditional gratitude to His late Majesty the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and in celebrating this great leader’s achievements, we also pay our utmost respect to all the teachers of Bhutan past and present. Happy Teachers Day!

Tashi Delek!
Tenzin Wangdi

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I hope you and your loved ones are staying well through these challenging times. I should know as I live and work in the UK and that is also in health service no less. It has been relentless in the last few weeks as we have seen the death toll in their hundreds every day and we are being told the peak is near. How bad is it going to get before the worst is over and that is the question on everyone’s mind? Fear is palpable and yet we see people put on brave faces and go to work to save lives day in day out. Staying home is not a choice for everyone. Fortunately, my role is to support clinical and none clinical staff which somewhat shields me from the risks my clinical colleagues are facing daily. We do what we can to support them to care for our sick and vulnerable patients.

In the spirit of supporting this global pandemic, I have been permitted to share these resources provided by Health Education England (HEE) in the UK. They have generously made the Coronavirus programme available to international users for free via our partner organisation, eIntegrity. I am a member of staff in the National Health Service (NHS) and collaborate with the colleagues in HEE to provide training and support to our healthcare staff. 

These eLearning contents are particularly for the health and care workforce in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic but can be useful for everyone. Follow the link to access the COVID-19 programme.

Stay safe, stay well and stay home to save lives. 

Coronavirus e-learning course – eIntegrity | Award-winning online healthcare courses

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