Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lee Kuan Yew's "One man's view of the world".

Without a doubt, Lee Kuan Yew is the founding father of modern Singapore. National day was 2 days ago and Mr Lee appeared to be frail, and I was feeling a bit concerned for him. I read Straits Times' article on his new book "One man's view of the world", and I had 3 key takeaways:

1. Discipline

Mr Lee is extremely discipline (a common trait among highly successful people). He exercises daily (jogged 3 times a day and swim daily) to maintain good health, even now at the age of 89 years old. 

2. Practical

He signed the Advanced Medical Directive, which means that he would not be put on life-support equipment if he is very sick beyond any hope of recovery. 

He did not believe in God (at least not in the Abrahamic Faith sense), and cited Darwinism, but he did not totally reject the idea of God or afterlife. 

3. Meeting New People 

He mentioned the importance of meeting people from different backgrounds (diplomats to ordinary people). This keeps his views of the world updated and balanced. 


I wrote these down to remind myself that the importance of instilling self-discipline, being practical and taking the initiative to meet new people. 

Lamrim Meditation Retreat

I went for a short meditation retreat (A Tibetan Buddhism Tradition - Lamrim)
I did not complete the retreat (again!), but I left early with some good lessons & reminders.

Be grateful.

Be grateful to be born as a human being.
It is not easy being born as a human being (both on a spiritual and evolution point of view)

There are many things to be grateful about too.
Practice gratitude.

Seeing the Truth: The Impermanence of Life.

My life is impermanent, I will definitely die.
My health is impermanent, I will fall sick and die. 
My relationship is impermanent, I will say goodbye to my family and friends eventually.
My wealth is impermanent, I will part with it eventually.
My identity is impermanent, I am always changing.
Even my suffering is impermanent too.

One of the sufferings is attachment.
The antidote is letting go (by recognizing the Truth).

I hope when it is time for me to go, 
I would be at peace and be willing to let go.

May you be at peace too.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Visiting Yogam Center in Singapore

I attended an introduction on root pattern analysis at Yogam center in Singapore. I have been to many different religious meetings previously, but I have never been to a religious/spiritual meeting that is centered around a Swami (Indian holy man).

Being naturally inquisitive, I decided to find out more about this Swami, unfortunately, I found scandal of this Swami. Despite of this, I told myself that I should try to keep an open-mind and be respectful.

As I have attended many religious meetings, the techniques applied to convince people are quite similar:
  1. A successful person who was skeptical previously and saw great improvement in life after embracing the teaching. (In this session, the instructor was introducing herself as someone who took care of US$75m Microsoft business in USA.)
  2. Interviews and examples of people whose lives transformed after this adopting this technique/teachings/beliefs.
  3. Introducing fears. If you do not embrace this teaching/technique/beliefs, your life will not improve or even worse, something negative will happen to you.
  4. Selling hopes. Your life will improve tremendously, or life of abundance should be your birthright etc…
I always advocate that everyone should apply critical thinking. Embrace the technique/teaching/belief only because it makes sense to us. And not because someone else who is successful embraces it.

One of the exercises is that you have to think about a negative experience, and ask yourself 3 questions:
How do you feel about yourself? What is your view of the world? How do you cope or react to it?

My answers: I felt incapable and unknowledgeable. My view of the world is it is tough and very competitive. My reaction is acknowledging that I have my limitations, but at the same time, I also have my strengths. As long as I have put in effort, I should not be too upset.

When some participants started to share their experiences, I realized that many people felt that they are not good enough, even professionals like currency trader and lawyer (on the appearance, they looked so confident).

My conclusion is that it is okay to feel that we are not good enough. We are all work in progress. =)

While it has been an interesting experience, I figured that this technique does not suit me. We were supposed to let out this sound (like OM..) and feel the energy in the room. Those folks who were initiated by Guru was overwhelmed by energy and started to jump while seated. The energy that I felt was headache and I can’t wait for them to stop.

There is no absolute right or wrong. It is a matter of suitability.
I am thankful for the experience and look for to other experiences. =)

Below is a youtube of the Swami and his jumping followers: