Thursday, December 29, 2005

One thing I'm really thankful for this year

Covenantal friendships.

In cell, we shared about "What is/are the best thing/s that happened to you this year?"

I choked up when some of my members replied sincerely that the best thing that happened to them this year, was joining this cell.

And that statement, for me, is enough to encourage me to continue being a cell leader.

Yes, there are many times when I wanted to give up. When I was sick of all the politics and the co-ordination. When I felt that serving in certain areas had no impact. When you see loved ones wandering away from the faith, and becoming disillusioned. When I felt that I had no support, or that no one really understands what I'm facing.

But knowing that someone out there thinks that the best thing that happened to them this year was joining this cell, I'm really blown away.

Touched by God's hand again, knowing that He has a plan for my ministry even though sometimes things seem futile.

You know, that was the best thing that happened to me this year, too.

I'm pleasantly surprised to find out that covenantal friendships still exist today. It's strange, how Travis and Shiner became close to me. Perhaps, we were looking for someone to share our lives with. Or maybe, God just led us to each other.

Many happy moments were shared with them this year. I will never forget the time when Travis looked out for me (and Kie) and invited us to join his cell for supper everytime. Travis, you don't know how touched I was by this gesture - being alone in a big community is not a nice feeling to have. But, somehow you saw with compassionate eyes, the need. Your genuine gesture of friendship really touched my heart; and because you looked out for me, I started looking out for others, too. The impact of your love on my life will be felt, for a long time.

And Shiner, I'm forgetful I know, but hey, you are so willing to go all out to be there for me, even others around us cannot see what we have, and think sardonically of a covenantal friendship that is so pure, so genuine - you've seen me through failed relationships and down times - I remember the times at the playground at night when you were just there to offer a listening ear. You've seen me at my best and worst, a friendship that blossomed out of convienience as we lived close by - thanks for being there for me.

Knowing these people makes me want to be a better person, a better friend.

I've always dreamed of love, of a better place where pain, and suffering does not exist.

Maybe, I've already found that place - even though pain and suffering exists, and we all all affected by it, the covenantal friendships that arise makes the love seem immeasurable to the pain we all have endured.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

At the Xmas party with my girls

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Sometimes God draws away from us

Sometimes GOD draws away from us so that... ...?

...So that, I realise how strong(or how weak) my faith in Him really is.

...So that, I have a revelation of God's love for me in the times I have taken Him for granted.


I've realised that with Travis' and Shiner's encouragements I can strengthen my resolve. This is a real test for me because I am really affected by it. Because, I really care. And people don't understand or even try to understand. They just anticipate things that are going to happen, and just offer unsinpired words of advice that will, often, fall on deaf ears. Because they don't care.

Do I really trust God?

To provide, for all I've desired.

I thought my answer was yes.

Perhaps it's not God who draws away, it's me.

I want to live my life for once.

This is a REAL test and it hasn't even started yet! I am sad to report that it is another one, to see if I am really ready to settle down. The last test was not good. But I'm preparing myself to be ready, I am. I know what I want - and what I don't want. Wish Life could be simpler. Destest those who spread false allegations, and malicious thoughts. Just shows how shallow their thinking is. They are cursed with a juvenile mentality.

I fear I will not run away from temptation.

Hope I find that my character is not so weak after all.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Punchinello's Christmas

I like you,
I love you,
We all agree...
Without you (Jesus)
There'd be no me.

-'Punchinello and the most marvelous gift', by Max Lucado.

Different things touch different people.

These days, I'm touched by a book cover - or rather, receiving this book has personal emotions for me.

I cried watching a children's story dvd in church.

I cried when Aslan died. (Want to go buy the book tomorrow. Read Narnia - not in entirety it when I was a kid, was wonderfully fascinated by it. Love the witch.) Did anyone notice that the witch was wearing Aslan's mane in the last war scene, to hide the fact that she was 'melting' - as she loses her power, her icicles-crown get shorter and has a less icy look too. Also the last scene where there was this animal with the mustache. Which was drawn on my Edmond by charcoal when he first entered the icy palace. I really like the faun and the centaur, too. A good depiction of the whole book, in general.

Really happy that my members together brought a total of 18 oikos to "The Inn". (Aside, the songs are ringing in mine and my members' head. Too catchy! And perhaps we sat too close to the front, could remember the actions to the dancing as well!) I'm proud of them, knowing that they value evangelism as much as I do. It's simply amazing to see 'happy problems' like, not enough seats, we have to come early so that we can get places, the people want to hang out after service just to have a drink and chat. I really sense that this season is going to be a really good time for us. It touches my heart when my people remember encouraging things that I've shared and said to them, and apply it to their lives, and share them with other people.

It shows that sometimes all we need is a little faith. Add hope. And love, just right for this season.

Friday, December 23, 2005



Sudden remembrances of nice things in the past done for me - or perhaps I have memory lapses, or meeting too many people nowadays suddeny trigger off my memories of other people. People remind me of people and how much I miss them. I think Grass reminds me of a boy I once loved very much, that is why, I care so much for him too. I tend to forget why I care for people, or what they have done for me, even forgetting about their existence altogther until meeting them by chance again.

Or meeting other people who remind me of them, then I get emotionally attached to these people because they are so much like the other people.

I think I get emotionally attached to other people easily. (Then again I also get emotionally detached easily.) Even meeting new people, some of them would just linger in my mind and I'd wonder about them, their thought processes, do they really mean what they say, and what does the look in their eyes mean...? How do they perceive me as, and why do I care about that? What sort of people do they like, and why? It's quite fun really... a new friend I met(Weeky) who had that look in his eyes, a wistful look that I could identify with, emailed me today. Unexpected, and a really sweet gesture coming from him! Well it could be a purely commercial communication, but I think we'd hit it off as friends - people who are attracted to each other, but only in the platonic sense.

Hope to see Weeky again, and share more, when he comes down to our island soon.

Been wondering about what attracts other people to some people and not to the rest - the everlasting debate about whether opposites attract and so on... I have some theories about this...which I actually believe in aye...Firstly, we will always know when we are attractive to the people who find us attractive. I think it's the body language and something that we emit, that actually communicates it to that effect. That is why we are so comfortable with our friends, we know they love us...And usually, the people we find attractive would also find us attractive. Explains how come I have so many handsome guy friends, hahaha...

For the non-platonic type of attraction, I think I'm still quite clueless about this, haha. I cannot tell, and I'm often wrong. My radar is totally not working. My sensings are totally off... But lately I think that I should be more aware though. I shall be more sensitive. But not over sensitive. I mean, people are attracted to you(or not), so what? It doesn't really matter. Of what good can it bring? Sometimes I think, it brings more troubles.

I get traumatised people just pass remarks that, "Oh, I thought Mr X was your prospective boyfriend" - or worse, think that I'm already married to Kie - gosh, I'm so traumatised by that! Told Kie to keep a distance from me lest I get left on the shelf. But talking to people recently I learn that many of them thought I had something going on with one of my handsome close friends or the other. Perhaps I have not been very forthcoming in sharing about my dalliances and romances.

I do wonder though that whether some people's behaviour towards me are just because they are like that, or because they are attracted to me. Guys, its obvious. It's the eye contact - how you are looking at the person - or how you glance at the person briefly then look away guiltily... or you look at the person searchingly...or pretend not to look. Me, I've observed many a guy/gal looking at my friends in this way. So, I always know who finds the people I'm close with attractive, even though they might never admit to it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Random conversations shows how people really are like


Been having many conversations with many different people from all walks of life - some are really simple, some have already attained success...some just really special people.

And this season, instead of being the one that is - the life of the conversation, I think I prefer quietly observing now, different people and the way they react to different people, the way they talk corresponding with their actions. Learnt a lot this way...It's actually hard to analyse objectively without being judgemental - yet the more I observe, the more I see people's needs, how they really are like and how I'd like to help them.

It's the same everywhere, you know - just that perhaps the needs are just different. Whether talking about people they like, their career, or just waxing random philosophical thoughts.

And sometimes I don't want to talk because all these things don't matter to me... these are so inconsequential, meaningless, futile. It leads nowhere, thinking about these are pointless, isn't it... What is the point of talking about people you like but never really telling them?

I think conversations between christians should always be about God. Always. Perhaps it's with a form of spiritual pride when I say this, but seeing the way my cell members have conversations, I'm really proud of them! I hope that I can always find a community of believers where I can share deeply with. Few understand. Those that do, I keep close to my heart.

God has been ministering to me so much through songs, through the things I've been doing. It's amazing how I can listen to a song I've listened to a hundred times before, and just cry inside. I know this storm will only strengthen my resolve in Him, I know that I'm going to be the best cell leader I ever can be, this time round. And also really work hard in my job and see godly results. So that I'd have enough money to go on more humanitarian trips.

Can I live everyday soaked in His Presence, please ...and not face up to the realities of life?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

At Alley bar

You raised me up, so I can stand on mountains.
You raised me up, to walk on the stormy seas.

You raised me up, to more than I can be.

I want to go back to Aceh again. Talking about it with so many people just makes me miss the place so so much. Knowing thousands of people still in homeless shelters and tentages, makes all the Christmas commercialism seem so insipid to me.

I will go to Indon again soon. And Vanuatu. Next year. I will make plans to build another house.

I'm upset.

He antagonizes me, so much... yet I smile at the kindness of his words remembered, the sincere concern he has for me. Why am I affected by the way he thinks, the things he says? Do I let it affect me because I care not only for his soul but for his entire well-being, more than I would care to admit? Because he first cared for me... and I am just doing it as a reciprocative action, or just because we are two lonely people in Singapore who found someone who really wants to spend quantity time with them? Yet knowing that this would not last, I cling on to the little time we have together?

I'm going crazy. I know I can never be really happy with him, yet I keep thinking about him. He just pops up in my mind...Even in Aceh. When I thought I've left him far, far away. Which makes me even more guarded, moody and antagonistic while I'm with him. So many things between us left unsaid and no one really wanting to know, wanting to say anything because nothing really matters, not to the people around, not to us, because we are beyond what is real, only the feelings felt within. I will never admit to what goes on in my mind, because I don't want it to become a reality, to become another mistake, another thing done that brings me momentary happiness and incredible pain.This time, there's too much at stake. Peoples' lives. Yet I want to live for myself, for the moment, just for a time I long for something that will make me very happy deep inside my heart.

I'm upsetting myself. My thoughts upset me, probably because I cannot reconcile them to my heart. Or what I say doesn't really matter because I don't think that way and it's terribly obvious. No one really knows anyone really well. But everyone wants someone to really know them, or at least, try their best to understand without being judgemental. Met a new friend today, recognized the look in his eyes as one which I used to have, too. Encouraged him with sincere words which I honestly felt. Love is a very powerful feeling. Strengthened just by the thought of a person, even though miles separate. Had a table-discussion on love today. Somehow, I knew what he was going to say. I shouldn't care, but I did. I told our party of five that what everyone needs is someone who loves them for who they are, and who brings out the best in them. That's enough. They agreed, with the nodding of heads and an understanding look in their eyes. Even if the person doesn't suit your criteria that you paste on your wall, so what? You're so blessed because you've found someone that loves you.

And that's enough for me.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Gifts of love

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore and...

Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please don't break it
Love was made for me and you

-Love, Nat King Cole

Ever wondered where did the tradition of 'kissing under the mistletoe' orginate from? Or why are Christmas trees a must-have in any home to bring out the spirit of the season? Or, which country has the most holidays??? ...Well, for "A Sunnydale Christmas", I will try to find out and hopefully as we celebrate Christmas, we will know the answers to these trivia, and most importantly of all, the reason for the season.

Going to give really meaningful gifts these year. Not store-bought, these are created by me, useful for all-year-round... I hope that it is as meaningful for the receivers as it is for the giver. Knowing that they will appreciate these gifts, that it will be a source of inspiration and hope for them through their journey in life means so much to me.

It's been a tradition to write cards every year. More than just a message, I really pen down heartfelt words - of what we have experienced through the year, things that I've always wanted to say, but never really had the opportunity to.

It's the season of giving. Giving of gifts to those we treasure, giving of hearts to those we love, giving our lives to the One in whose Name we trust, the one who is called "Immanuel".

God will be with us in this season.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The house we built!

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
Self automated cement mixer

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
Ship on house, an unusual sight

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
Almost surreal backdrop

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A tragic sense of life

"Yea, I really believe that we have to step out of our comfort zone of modern life - along with all it's exigencies and vicissitudes - to be able to grasp a little better what life is all about.
I say grasp a little better cos, really, we'll never really comprehend it.

But stuff like my mission trip to camerons definitely helped give me a larger sense of purpose, rather than just the i, me, myself attitude that i'm engulfed in everyday. Quoting a preacher i once heard, we all need - to some extent - "a tragic sense of life," lest we lack emotional depth. "

-wise words emailed to me from Chester, when I shared to him about the Aceh trip.

It's my turn to be sick, gastroenritis caught from some contaminated water I drank out of Shiner's bottle when we landed at Changi. How silly, but I was ignorant of the fact that it was water-borne.

Vomited some green bitter fluid from my ... gall... this morning. Yuk yuk yuk. Now I know why they say as bitter as gall. Really tastes bad, I cannot believe this thing is expiating from my mouth...

Bouts of feeling really okay(Okay enough to go to East day camp for half a day yesterday) and then lapsing into sheer tiredness because of losing fluids... I can safely say that this is the second time in the year I've been really sick...And I'm going to be really thin. Thin, dark(from the Indon sun) and muscular(from the sand shovelling) haha! Havinh some slight apprehensions about eating anything 'rich' although the florentine chocs in the fridge looks tempting. I can only digest the wonderful 7-eleven's mashed potato and some porridge soup. Plus been ingesting a lot of apple juice, the only thing palatable to me.

The sky makes me feel small.

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005

Trip to Banda Aceh - Reflection 02

Reflections about Love, Life and Death.

Simple Love.

Just really overjoyed to be going to Banda Aceh on this trip (It's the last, until further notice) - I never really thought about how much my life was going to be impacted by it.

Well, many eventful things on the way made me realise several things about myself.

That I care a lot for the people I care a lot for. (Well, that I care, more than I realise or want to know that I do...)

That I don't really know what to do in times of emergency except to pass on information and try to remain calm.

That when I'm really traumatised I just need to hold on to someone and not talk to anyone.

When faced with the grim realities of death, I shudder to accept it calmly. Even the thought of it - affecting the ones around me, I fail to comprehend the reality of the emotional turmoil that would just churn up. For a moment; just a moment when I thought that Travis - was dead - he looked like dead... and I just choked up, unable to move, unable to think, wanted to stay there until he revives...But I had to catch my flight. I guess seeing your deceased loved one for the last time, brings a sense of closure in a way, your mind just needs to reassure yourself that the person is gone, forever... (Travis is fine now although I've not seen him yet, hope to soon!) I can imagine why the tsunami victims that are alive can still bear to search through the dead bodies, staring at the empty, ravaged faces, one by one. For one last time, to see their loved one. Perhaps death has never hit so close to home - I am bouyed by a sort of hopeful bubble that death will not easily hit close to home. Perhaps that is why people who have had faced death early in life are better conditioned to take such trauma. Even through my darkest and bitterest moments, I never thought of death as a way to end it all. Perhaps in my utopia, death does not need to exist. But having seen Mr BestFriend's gf's suicide and being in Aceh, with the devastation all around, I think I've seen a bit more of the world.


In Aceh (and as well as in many other villages in the world I presume), one just needs to be of age, have a need, want to start a family, find a wife, bear children... and the cycle goes on. I don't understand how it can be so simple for these people... Then again, shouldn't it be the case? I believe that after the tsunami, those whose spouses are dead, are encouraged to find another woman, to look after their children, to find a helpmate. Simple love has its simple pleasures. I don't think I can understand that, ever. To love me, a man must know my soul.

As usual, the girls were having girl-talk in the girls' room at night, and as usual, some well-meaning souls will try to advise me on what they think I'm oblivious to...That I should consider so and so... or so and so is better, looks compatible for me. Me, usually want to avoid this topic because maybe it's not something that I and unduly concerned about(not yet, at least.) I actually said that they are all my good friends and I was not on this trip to find a soul-mate, nor would I even envision myself to be making out passionately (seriously!) with any of my good friends, so, forget it. Besides, I'm still young and... blah blah, yea, I know, all the usual excuses which the well-meaning and wise ladies would probably refute with chidings and encouragements - Still young?: you must start to find now, wait until our age, very difficult to find one that's still single and available. Good friends?:it always starts from being good friends what, look at so-and-so, etc etc...Not your type?:Opposites attract, the differences are good...

My last last excuse would be that I like younger guys, then... I think that they have nothing to say? Well, I sincerely do appreciate their thoughtfulness although I do feel a bit bugged that some of my movements are being watched with gentle encouragement.

I even told them to create opportunities for someone else, instead of me.

However, I was interested to know their views on love, and a life partner, as I do respect them, and their ideals matter to me. It varied a lot - one had many expectations, typical Singaporean ones, not unrealistic, quite commonplace actually. The other, more simplistic ones. Just a man that loves children, no bad habits, and is a christian. Some of us could not believe that she had no other hidden criterias, but perhaps, her love is a simple one, too.

The second night I stayed out, chatting with Shiner. Wanted so much to really chat with him the way we could, on the phone, before everything fell apart... And also, to stop the girl-talk(I'm not really a girl-talk kinda person I guess!) I missed the happy times, something that I cannot get back now. Perhaps having this expectation makes the whole atmosphere tense and strained. I've changed a lot in the past months, and so as he. We did disagree, I was frustrated, to say the least. Both hearing but not really listening, both wanting input but not willing to change their minds. I respect his worldview too, but it's just something that I cannot be a part of. I will never be content with a HDB flat, with simple home-cooked meals, soup with dinnertime meals (no doubt, it's delicious) with infrequent travels and... a typical life.

Too free spirited perhaps, not many share my view. But you make your life to what you want it to be. And I can accept that you want a simple life, a simple love. Just that, it's not my cup of tea and I find it hard to change that. Different expectations from different worldviews. Can't we be friends without any expectations of the other to change? Which is better? Who knows? Who will be happier, the one who stays or the one who wants to fly?

I don't really know.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Trip to Banda Aceh - Reflection 01

Father, You are King over the flood.

A personal reflection of the trip to Banda Aceh with Habitat for Humanity, 04-10 December 2005.

This trip is a really meaningful one for me, because it took so much (effort and prayers) to get there. Eventful from the start, the poignant memories etch deeply on my soul. Felt a myriad of emotions, ranging from desperation to jubilation. The sky seems so huge and me, so small when I look up and see emptiness of the lands, stretching far beyond the horizon.

The tsunami (We were at Tibang Village) destructed all, even trees, save for a few lone coconut trees and remnants of foundations left standing. Small crabs made their dwelling amongst the sands we used for shovelling and creating the base of what was to be a house. Nearby us, ducks swam happily, kampung chickens chased each other, the ocassional sounds of goats bleating and gunshots from the military schools nearby were commonplace in the villages. Only the piles of debris left, even one year later - too much to clear, just left alongside the roads and the destruction of houses. We walked on paths that were made of broken bricks and cement, probably from houses that were destroyed. All around lay fragments of what used to be homes - columns, bricks, bars, even toilet facilities that seemed to be peeking out from a garden overrun with flowers; only later we realised that there used to be a house there.

The villagers seemed to accept their 'fate', their lives with relative ease; but the psychological effects still run deep for the people who not only have lost homes, but livelihoods and families. Our guide, Aan(Volunteer Manager for Habitat), told us that Habitat's mission is not only to rebuild homes but to give a sense of hope for the people. For some, looking forward to a home is all they have left for. Some try to numb the pain with marijuana or other drugs, even though the strict syriah laws prohibit intoxication of any sort.

Some village children came to our resting tent to play with us during the breaks. Our hearts welled up with sympathy when we gently asked the village children what happened last year when the tsunami struck. One was missing a mother, others lost parents and siblings. But being young and probably not fully understanding the meaning of death, they just answered guilelessly without any sorrow, while we choked and tried not to appear too emotional. These children who survived were bundled up into a truck and carried further away, uphill.

We saw a small ship, carried by the raging waters inland and 'landed' on top of a bungalow house. I wondered what happened to the owners, perhaps, they were gone, too. This house became a sightseeing opportunity with many people, tourists, taking photos in front of it. Photos cannot do it justice because you just have to go there and see it for yourself, a ship on top of a house, in the middle of a village inland, many km away from the shore. Another ship which 'landed' inland became a generator building - too huge to remove, it will become a permanent landscape for these simple people whose lives will never be the same again.

Someone scribbled a message on the walls of the house with the small ship, stating "Tsunami ada mesed dari Tuhan" - They believe that this is the wrath of God.

For what and for whom, perhaps no one can explain.
First day - overcast skies

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
At Medan airport enroute to Banda Aceh

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
High morale! First day group shot

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
Saying hello to a goat

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
Spot the ducks in the background!

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
With the volunteer managers, Agus and Aan.

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
Some of us with the kids

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
Children from the village - Elyas, Nurul, Una and a boy.

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
Habitat, near the warung kopi shop

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
Nearly completed house

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
At the worksite, shovelling sand

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
Together with Danamon Team

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
Children from Village, lining up

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
Road view of houses, Tibang Village

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005
Ship on top of house - Last day sightseeing

Aceh Trip. 04-10 Dec 2005

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Realise how many people are really concerned about me and my trip! (Countdown: 4 more hours before leaving for airport) And hey hey, I'm just so touched, Narnar gave me a little gift, P gave me a hug, K said he would miss me, J wanted to fetch me to the airport, G & C prayed for me on-the-spot, countless others' well-wishes just touched me so so much. Never realised I'm so loved, haha!

And Grasshopper called me like 6 times today (my fault, I keep missing calls)... I think he's worried... well I'd be back soon if that's any consolation. I'm really glad to be going on this trip.

Words cannot express!
Poster for Grass' biz.

Friday, December 02, 2005



Spent some time with Grasshopper again yesterday. Hung at Orchard and later at City Hall. Told Shiner that I realise why I'm deeply touched that someone just wants to spend time with me. It's a choice, right, whether or not you want to spend time with this person or not. And we both made this choice to spend time with each other. So this thought is just quite touching. Quantity Time.

He bought a book for me - The Tibetan book of living and dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. Really thick. I shall read it when I go to Aceh and perhaps become an expert. =) Talking about Buddhism stuffs really makes me reminisce about the time in college, studying Design Theory electives - Remember the course that was about Buddhism architecture - the stupas, the mandalas, the sentient, the transient... Actually it's all quite interesting just that the lecturer who happens to be a friend of mine, cannot explain it really well. Like everything is shrouded in some sort of mystery and only the truly enlightened can begin to understand all of the forms and ... structures. Grass let me listen to this recording of this Indian guru expounding on the way of the Bodhisattva. The story goes like this(summarized):

About Shantideva. "During his childhood he had great respect to his parents, and his friends had great respect for him due to his extraordinary behavior. His father(King) died in order to show that sentient beings are subject to impermanence, and after this Shantideva developed more realizations into impermanence and death. When his father died, the subjects asked Shantideva to take his father's position. He could not refuse this, so he accepted to take the position of king. The night before the ceremony he had a dream about the throne he was going to sit on. Manjusri showed up in his dream and said: "You are going to sit on my throne. You are my student. How could student and disciple sit on the same throne?"

As he rose up from this dream, he realized he would be more beneficial to other people if he became a monk than a king. The same night he left for Nalanda monastery.

Students at Nalanda who didn't like Shantideva wanted to have him expelled from the monastery. They stated that the place is full of scholars, and said Shantideva is no scholar, he just knows about eating, sleeping and going to the bathroom.

So they asked Shantideva to give a teaching, and if he didn't do this, he would have to leave the monastery. They asked Shantideva to give a teaching. Shantideva didn't accept the first time, only the second time when asking did he accept their request. They planned to insult him in a big group of students. They built a very high throne(no staircase), assuming Shantideva would not know how to get up on the throne. They also assembled a big group of monks. When Shantideva came to the throne, he touched the throne, and the big throne shrank down so Shantideva could get up on it.

So this immediately gave a strange feeling to the group -- how could this happen? Then Shantideva sat on the throne and asked the group what kind of teaching he should give, something that has been taught before, or something that has never been taught before? The monks requested him to teach something that has never taught before. So this is why Shantideva taught Bodhisattva's Way of Life.Shantideva gave this teaching, and when his teaching came to the ninth chapter (the Wisdom chapter), there's a phrase in this chapter, "…whatever is existent and nonexistent..." At this point he rose to the sky, and from the sky he gave the tenth chapter.

He was invisible for the people, but they could hear his teachings.
The monks and the people who liked Shantideva felt very sad as Shantideva was now gone, and those who were against him felt very impressed and very sorry about what they'd done. "

I thought this story quite... interesting.

And into the wee hours of yesterday, lounging in X hotel, listening to 3 man band renditions of "Put your head on my shoulder" and "Love me(Colin Raye)" we were just dialoging, me sharing about my thoughts, my ministry, things that mean a lot to me. I asked him again, what do you really care about? I believe knowing what you really care about is important, for me I'm trying to find out too!

He said I wouldn't understand. I said, "Perhaps. But I'd try my best." Sometimes when you open your soul and mind, you start to open your heart too. He said, he cares about enlightenment. Such a beautiful word. And there's when I start to listen, to the story, to his heart.

In interpersonal communication, it is always good to keep an open mind.

There is a purpose for everything. An incident that caused me much sorrow more than a year ago, preps me up for this encounter now. And should I be on guard? Well, definitely. But if not for the previous incident, I might not know what I'm getting myself into this time round.