Friday, January 02, 2009

On Ushering the New Year

I'm not really a man of religion. As you who have read my religious post before would have known, I filled in buddhism in the forms under "religion", but I never really got to know Buddha. I go to temple, I light up the josstick, and I pray, wishing for stuff that I wish would come true. Health. Luck. Passing my exam. Everyone's happy. And that's about it.

But I want to learn more about Buddhism. I have tried to attend a Dharma class. I went to a meditation class in a Dharma centre. I even gotten myself the compassionate mantra disc. Though it was quite a disaster that I never really go and find out more about how to chant the holy words.

There. That was the religious me. Not even close to being a Buddhist at all. How sinful of me to still call myself a Buddhist right?

So while I was actually planning about the countdown party, and who should be going together with me to the Curve on the eve of the new year, there were some issues happening in the family. Issues that, well, got everyone else in the family disheartened and disappointed. I for one, am open about religion. As long as you don't become overly obsessed and talk to me with verses from the bible in every single sentence, then I'm fine. But not the old folks.

And that was how we were ended in this event in the indoor stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Dhamma concert!

Not. It was actually...


So yeah, that was how we ushered the new year. The talk started at 8p.m., and lasted till 11p.m.. Don't ask me really, I barely even understand Mandarin, and now you're asking me to listen to one who lived in Taiwan and speaks the language daily. So I was actually struggling to stay awake when the talk got a serious and too deep for my understanding. All the teachings about Buddhism being open-minded and that we should know how to let go of things and everything... It's like, ''come-on! That again?!"

I for one, need you to guide me. You cannot just tell me to let go of things and achieve nirvana in whatsoever way if you don't tell me what to do. I need instructions! I need a manual book. What to let go, how to let go, and how to overcome the 'withdrawal' syndromme!

So if you tell me to run to the finishing line without telling me what I will be facing on the route, or how I should run, or what time I should be running, how fast I could run, and all those tiny details you expect me to know already, then I won't be able to run. And even if I run, I will end up turning back halfway, with this really unsatisfied feelings and will then on, be detered from running again.

So yeah, I solemnly admit that I dozed off a few times throughout the talk. I'm not quite sure if I snored, but none of them siblings brought it up, so I presumed I was pretty quiet.

Rest assured, I only managed to understand some of the analogies the ven. used. About one where we're not actually free in anyways: the sky's the roof of the coffin, the ground's the bottom of the coffin, so no matter where we run, we're still inside the coffin. About how to accept things no matter how bad it was: Two ladies were diagnosed with breast cancer, and both of them removed their breasts, one suffered from anxiety problem that her husband will leave her and ended commiting suicide, while the other take it just as it is, and lived a happy life.

The highlight in the whole event, I thought was the singing of the theme song for the event. Some local artistes, lady and a guy. And I think the song is really nice too. (Which explains why I have the CD of the soundtrack for the event).

And there was also harmonica performance. Some 'sifu' introduced his team, whose achievements include winning in some international competitions whatsoever. I thought it'll only be appreciated by someone who knows music, instrumentally... Because to me, it's just one of the songs, and it didn't help with the speaker blasted to a level where the volume could easily be misinterprated as noise.

That aside, there was this prayer led by the Tibetan monks. Chantings and chantings. They're claimed to be the first Buddhism organization in Malaysia or something.

And finally, when Ven. Hui Lu returned from his 3 hours talk, the ceremony of lighting up the holy light began. But instead of the typical lily shapped candle like what we have in temples, the light that were sold that night was actually some electronic plate.

Buddha statue was optional. But what use of the plate if there's nothing on it right? Sis bought one, to be brought back to our old home during the chinese new year. The LED changes. From blue to orange to red. I still think blue's the nicest.

When the lighting was over, it was merely 11.30p.m.. And the deejays were like, wishing everyone a happy new year already!

So yeah, that was what happened in ushering the new year. As much as I am this guy who has a lot of plans on weekends or holidays in my colleagues' perception, I got pretty fed up when they looked at me grinning and asking where was I for the countdown.

And I said "I was at a Dhamma talk in Bukit Jalil."

And they'd go, "Oh..." with this sympathy tone. What the?! I didn't go countdown, what's such a big deal anyways?

Not that I'm complaining. I just felt... A bit disheartened with all the issues happening at the moment. That aside, I'm hoping for a good turn in 2009.


7 Jujus:

Bengbeng said...

i am a lifetime member of the sibu buddhist society. but after some time i strayed bcoz I am a banana. here it is all in chinese whih i dont read so i cant recite the chants

they have pinyin but i am not good at it

ning said...

I wish I were there! I wish my countdown for new year will be like that too...

KhaO-LAr-sEXy-PRESS said...

Do not be afraid of not understanding. Just be afraid that you will not practice what you know.

[SK] said...

that was quite a special new year eve.. and i think the LED buddha is cool, should bring luck..

Sam said...

Then everyone gets up and starts singing to Buddha's Delight. :P

Medie007 said...

bengbeng, you're a banana mei? didn't know you're one. ;)

ning, didn't know u'd want that, or else you could come together.

koala, so philosophical... :P

Medie007 said...

SK, it's special alright. and yeah, hopefully the Buddha statue bring all of us lucks. :P

Sam.... how.... shameful! :P