Mar 24, 2007

koo kien keat & tan boon heong and their love for sling bags

Do you realize that our badminton champs Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong like to carry their sling bags where ever they go?

I'm not sure if it's because of their sponsor request or whether it has to do with their sense of fashion? And they especially like the chequered bags. Anyone has any idea what brand is that?

wrestlemania; john cena and carlito's cool intros

Wrestlemania 23 is just 8 days away!

Besides "Battle of the Billionaires" match between Donald Trump and Vince McMahon, I'm looking forward to the "Money In The Bank Ladder Match" and "John Cena vs Shawn Michaels match".

John Cena, the WWE Champion, together with Shawn Micha
els are the World Tag Team Champions. However, I suspect that after Wrestlemania 23, they are going to go their separate ways just like what had happened to Edge and Randy Orton this week.

Hey, actually I'm not going to say much about Wrestlemania in this blog. Instead I wanna put the intro songs for John Cena and Carlito here. I thought John Cena's intro song is cool.

Carlito, the Caribbean superstar, is actually my favourite wrestler. I like his afro a lot! His intro is one of the coolest in WWE too.

Q&A on Buddhism - part 8

Disclaimer: For non-Muslims or Buddhists only unless if you are reading this for knowledge purpose. This is a Q&A session with HH Sakya Trizin.

This is the continuation from part 7.

Q: What is 'Mantrayana', Your Holiness?

A: Mantrayana or Tantra, actually is method. The first intentions, and the final goal, are exactly the same as they are in Mahayana, but since the Mantrayana is direct, more intelligent and has more methods, it reaches the same destination from the same starting place much more quickly: the difference is as between travelling by train and by aeroplane. The Mahayana practices consist mainly of meditation through thinking about things, but in the Mantrayana, our bodies are also extensively used. By knowing and using our bodies, we can reach our destination much more quickly. Now, many things are required for an aeroplane to fly, such as fuel, wind, the design of the machine, and so on, and in the same way, when we try to attain realization in the Mantrayana we practice not only in thought: we visualize different Mandalas, repeat Mantras, and so on, and you can say that if these practices are correctly followed, realization will automatically arise.

Q: Is this the only difference between Mahayana and Mantrayana?

A: The Mahayana is called the "Cause Yana", the Causal Path, and the Mantrayana is called the Result Path. In the Mahayana, you work only to create the right causes by practicing giving, moral conduct and so on. These practices are very valuable and correct, but they are still very different from the immense qualities of the Buddha. But in Mantrayana, you imagine yourself right from the beginning in the form of the result - the Buddha, in one form or another. By this practice, the result - which is the same as the practice - will arise and consequently Mantrayana is called the Result Path. Right from the beginning, you think of yourself as the Buddha with all the qualities, the thirty-two major signs, the eighty minor signs and so on.

Q: Is it wrong to think of ourselves as the Buddha?

A: Indeed not. It is said in Mahayana, too, of course, that the nature of our mind, of our entire organism, is actually Buddha, and always has been. However, we have not realized this and we are wrapped up in an illusion, so consequently we suffer. If the obscuration and defilement were intrinsically part of our mind, purification would not be possible. Coal will not become white, however much we wash it, but since the nature of mind is pure, it can be purified. Since other beings have attained Enlightenment, it is clear that it is possible for us, too, that our minds can also be purified.

Q: The teaching of rebirth is unfamiliar to the West. Can one practice Dharma effectively if one does not accept rebirth?

A: According to our definition of the practice of Dharma, no. We say that, whatever you practice, however high or good it may be, it is not Dharma if it is just intended for this life. Dharma is what you practice for the next life, so the idea of rebirth cannot be separated from the idea of Dharma. The law of Karma is an intrinsic part of Dharma and future rebirth is the result of present causes.

Q: Many people in the West might deny the universality of suffering.

A: Buddhists however say that, whatever you are in Worldly Existence, there is suffering. It is wrong to ignore the continual presence of suffering. One should not hide from suffering: one should know its cause and try to avoid creating the causes of suffering.

In the next part, we will look at what HH Sakya Trizin had to say about the ego-lessness doctrine taught by the Buddha and the mind.

Disclaimer: This interview was taken from the book "Pointing Towards Vajrayana" published by The Singapore Buddha Sasana Society Sakya Tenphel Ling. The Palden Sakya Centres of American Buddhism Sakya Shei Drup Ling actually holds the right of this text.

Mar 23, 2007

blogs are not just for criticizing the government

When I first started blogging, I would sometimes blogged about the government whether in a positive or negative way. I would also read blogs written by the opposition parties not because I'm interest in their propaganda but mainly because I wanted to know what's not debated in the local newspapers and tv news.

At first I enjoyed reading their blogs. However, after some time I told myself not to read anymore because I was getting sicked of their criticisms. When one of the opposition party leader criticized the banners in UM (I'm sure you know what I'm talking about), I was pissed off by their negativity and told myself not to read their blogs again.

Yes, I'm a pro government but I'm also a rational citizen and voter. So when recently the Tourism Ministry labelled women bloggers as liars I condemned his remark too. If you have been reading the papers in these couple of days, you would not appreciate the comments (perhaps I should use the word 'attacks') by the Johor Bahru MP and Hulu Langat MP too.

Instead of making enemy with Malaysian bloggers, I suggest the government to start learning about the blogosphere and find ways to seek opportunity and gain support from bloggers instead. Many of us are more interested in learning how to make money online and discussing about the latest happenings and personal lives rather than criticizing the government. At least I am. And most of the bloggers in my community too.

of prison break, american idol and real world

I've been working on my manuscript these couple of days I don't feel like updating my blog. Too much of writing can be sickening sometimes.

Did you watch Prison Break on Star World (Astro Channel 70) on Tuesday? I watched the first season on 8TV but missed the first two episodes. I'
m so glad that I get to see the first during the repeat on Wednesday. It's definitely one of my favourite tv shows besides Heroes, Grey's Anatomy and Lost (I gradually lost interest in this show because the storyline is getting nowhere). Wentworth Miller is hot but I think Dominic Purcell is even hotter.

What else on tv?

I'm kinda disappointed with the result show on American
Idol. Who would have thought Sanjaya, Haley and Gina not in the bottom three? I thought Chris R. did a good job and he doesn't deserve to be in the bottom two. His rendition of the song, Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying, reminds me of Color Me Badd in their album Time and Chance. And poor Stephanie. She's talented but I guess America doesn't need another Fantasia or Beyonce. And so she was voted out of the show.

Recently, I've been hooked up with the show Real World: Denver on MTV too. Currently, Astro Channel 71 is showing the 1st and 2nd episodes (you can catch up the show on their official website on MTV). I've watched Real World: Key West and Real World: Austin and like them. There's really nothing you can learn from the show actually. It's always about a bunch of self-centred kids who stay together in a big house and all they ever do is partying and having sex. And sometimes they mess with the law and get arrested too. I don't recommend kids under 18 to watch this show because it's a bad influence, really.

Mar 19, 2007

internet phone service from Vonage

Vonage is an internet phone company that provides affordable alternative to the traditional telephone service. Currently they are providing a free one month free service for new sign ups.

What differentiate internet phone from the normal traditional telephone is you'll be able to make local and long distance calls at very low price - up to 50% if you are using Vonage.

Some of the extra features are voicemail, 3-way calling, call waiting, call forwarding, 911 dialing and call transfer. These features are actually available at no extra cost!

By the way, their service is available in US only.

This is a sponsored post.

300 follow up: who is the real King Xerxes?

This is the follow up of my previous post on the movie 300.

In my opinion, the most fascinating character in 300 is not King Leonidas or his Queen but the effeminate Xerxes of Persia. I was asking myself, since when a Persian King was bald, gold and jewel-clad and had his fingernails manicured?

Eventually, the real Xerxes in the picture above wear little jewelery or probably no jewelery at all. He also has a beard and mustache and a head full of hair (even more than Leonidas).

To continue from the ending of the movie, which is based on what I get from wikipedia, after King Leonidas was killed by Xerxes men, he was beheaded by Xerxes' order and his body crucified. Immediately after Xerxes ordered the desecration of Leonidas' body, however, he felt remorse and, forty years later, Leonidas' corpse was returned to the Spartans.

vamos Rafa! Nadal's first title since French Open 2006

Finally, the wait is over. Rafael Nadal has won his first title in 2007 at the Pacific Life Open! I have no doubt that this is the best time for him to win something before his clay court campaign starts in April. It has been a long wait because the last time he won a championship was at the Roland Garros last year.

Nadal came out firing and Novak Djokovic was clearly nervous in his first Masters Series final. The end result was 6-2 7-5.

Nadal, 20, did not drop a set during the tournament and became the first Spaniard since Alex Corretja in 2000 to win the Pacific Life Open.

It was Nadal's seventh Masters crown and his third on hard courts.

Mar 18, 2007

300: I thought I didn't like violent movie

I'm not into violent movies but I've just watched 300. I fell asleep while watching the Lord of the Ring movies but I didn't even blink for a second when watching 300.

300 is not the best movie I ever seen. However, I must say that it is the most visually eye-popping experience I ever had since Jurassic Park.
The bloody battles and beheading scenes were very impressive.

I don't think 300 is historically accurate but who cares when you are watching great acting skills from Gerard Butler as King Leonidas and Lena Heady as the Queen who fights for the freedom of their country.

vamos rafael!

Yes! Rafael Nadal has beaten Andy Roddick to continue his quest for his first title this year. The final result is 6-4 6-3.

Nadal has been very inconsistent after Wimbledon last year. And based on his match with Roddick, he shows that he is a better player. For your information, Nadal is the 2nd best player in the world while Roddick is the 3rd.

I'm going to have a sleep now. I won't be watching the match between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. But I think Djokovic is going to win.

If Nadal continues to play like he played just now, I think he will be unbeatable in the final at the Pacific Life.
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