Life's Bittersweet Simplicities

Archive for the 'birthdays' Category

The Road to Enlightenment – Oprah Style

Unexpected.

That was my first reaction stepping into Kechara House for the very first time. The centre looked more like a boutique hotel than a Buddhist centre. My initial reaction when Ginny first received the invitation for us to attend HE Tsemtulku Rinpoche’s 46th birthday, the Guru of Kechara House, was a mixture of amusement and uneasiness.

I mean seriously, what’s a twenty-one year old asian girl like her with almost-blonde hair suppose to be doing in a holy person’s birthday? Jump out of a cake and sing La Bamba….in Tibetan?

The feeling of uneasiness soon eased away the moment I stepped inside the lobby of Kechara House right around 7pm on a Monday night. The centre was just outright chic and modern. Nothing like a conventional temple at all. Hey, we might actually enjoy this. 

“ Hi, Welcome to Kechara House” a lady at the concierce beamed with a smile so wide I wished I had brought a present or something instead of a sheepish grin and an empty stomach. After all it’s not everyday one gets to attend a holy monk’s birthday coupled with the hordes of his friendly staff ushering the guests around. A simple card would have left me a little less guilty. 

“Hello, I am a blogger under Nuffnang, and this is my guest” Ginny replied. A couple of page flips later, she discovered she wasn’t in the list.

 “You are an evil demon disguised as a blogger to ruin this holy occasion!!!!”…..screamed the concierge. 

Ok,  I made that up. But that’s how it kind of felt when your names were not on the invitation lists like its suppose to be… impostors.

“Its ok, our list seems to be missing. We’ll place you guys in the media section where the bloggers will be seated”

After climbing a flight of stairs , I was inside a huge hall with a few hundred people already seated and right in the middle of that hall was a humongous statue of a deity. It must have been almost 20 feet tall. I mean, that’s really huge for it to be placed indoors. I later found out that his name was Lama Tsongkapha, a really holy being that existed thousands of years ago in Tibet.

“Here’s your gift pack with some information about Kechara House and His Eminence” the lady handed over. I rummage through the nicely prepared pamphlets and little books about Tsemtulku and discovered that he was going to perform a ceremony to ordain four people as Buddhist pastors at his birthday party.

Somehow, you gotta hand it over to the holier folks. I mean, on my birthday I would be eagerly waiting for presents and trying to get my friends drunk. Here instead, they give you presents and try to give their friends a holier life with a higher status. Perhaps it’s time to re-examine my priorities in life.

After about an hour of gazing around the huge hall and watching some very distinguished Datin-like ladies sauntering around in their beautiful evening gowns, the emcee announced the arrival of the birthday boy followed by the sound of some ominous trumpets blaring across the hall. His Eminence strolled in, wearing traditional monk robes and flashed smiles and greetings to the audience. He is definitely a lot bigger and taller than I had actually expected. I mean, if he ever needed a career change, he could guarantee himself a place in the World Wrestling Federations’s Hall of Fame without breaking a sweat. 

Strangely though, his presence emanated a sense of dignity and calmness that descended upon the room the moment he appeared. Maybe, just maybe this is the powerful aura a higher being possesses that is often explained but seldom witnessed.

As he got unto the ornately decorated chair which is referred to as “the throne”, we all waited eagerly in anticipation. Thus, began one of the most sincere teachings I have heard in a long time, Buddhism or otherwise.

 Tsemtulku started by explaining the reason why he wanted to ordain four of his followers as the first Buddhist pastors in the world and we were all witnesses to the first event of its kind. He said that to expect people wanting to be monks and nuns in today’s world is almost impossible, as lay people like us would find it very difficult to give up the life we have right now. Hence, the Buddhist pastors would serve as a halfway house between a lay person and monkhood. Whoever says that innovation is dead in Buddhism gotta check this out.

Suddenly out of nowhere, Tsemtulku blurted out that he likes Oprah’s style of connecting with her audience and climbed down from his “throne” and started walking closer to us. I liked him better already.

Tsemtulku spoke english with a strong American accent. It was kinda surreal listening and watching it all as this person dressed in tradition Tibetan monk robes dished out a Buddhist talk with a Californian drawl. Kinda like watching an Asian flick translated into English.

His teaching was about “changes” and in a nutshell he says that it is better to change oneself than to expect others to change. This simple but profound insight struck a chord in shallow me that somehow always expected the world to change accordance to my whims. The best part was Tsemtulku spoke to us not like a teacher to a student but as one friend to another with a good dose of American humor thrown in that drew guffaws from all of us and actually drew us closer to him.

 There was a moment of sadness when Tsemtulku told us that he has been diagnosed with an incurable disease and he had no more than a few years left in this world unless a miracle happens and if so, he would be granted another 16 or more years before he leaves. He said that he was not afraid at all because all have been foretold by one of his Gurus. We all felt his courage and the lightness he placed on his own life. I later found out that his failing liver was the cause.  

 The whole talk lasted a good two hours but it was one of the shortest two hours of my life. I wanted more. Even my empty stomach was no longer hungry. He was seriously that good.

 His 46th birthday party ended up with four of his followers ordained in a somber ceremony of hair cutting and mantra chanting. The generous Tsemtulku presented some of the guests with Buddha statues and his coffee table biography “The Promise”. Yes, we were one of the few fortunate people who got a copy of the book. Beautifully written and visually exciting.

 I left at about 11 pm that night from Kechara House with a feeling best described as strangely happy and light-hearted. Those few hours virtually changed my whole perspective about Buddhism. The whole experience including the beautiful and modern centre, the smiling and friendly people and the super charismatic Tsemtulku kinda made religion fun again for me. 

The wise once said that if we are really lucky, we will get to meet people and visit places during our short journey in life that will change us for the better. I honestly think that this chance encounter with His Eminence and Kechara House is one of those rare moments.

 Happy Belated Birthday Mr. Tsemtulku and thanks for everything.

 – Arthur

(Ps. the Queen claims shes going to do another post regarding this so wait up for that next week as well)

posted by BabyGin in asian,birthdays,events,good deeds,nuffnang,wordy and have Comments (8)

Old 17th Bday CicakMen

An old video taken on my 17th birthday in the female toilet of i think equitorial hotel? er.. dunno.whats that hotel thats now millenium?

have been having a bad weekend so far and someone sent me an old video which somehow linked to this and it made me genuinely smile today so figured i’d share it =)

posted by BabyGin in birthdays,events,home videos,random,videos and have No Comments

Melaka Dream

IMG_1110

There’s an unrealistic beauty in this one picture, a reminder of how only few hours after coming back home i woke up and felt as if everything had only been a dream. For hours thereafter, i drifted about in confusion; unsure of whether the trip really had existed or had it been conjured up entirely in my dreams from that deep nap i had slid into.

A quick look into my camera confirmed it.

I had been happy. I should be happy so why wasn’t i?

I had stood on that very road the very same day i was staring at him in disbelief, questioning the whole pseudo mix of reality and time.

DSC_0644

Alleyways and walkways in a special group of people i loved dearly. Every frame, every image taking me back into time much further that it’s suppose to go.

Why did the terms yesterday and this morning seem like months ago instead of what it should really imply? Had my 21st birthday trip really happen just a day ago? How did so many things unfold itself in this very short time spam and become this disaster area that i am now sitting alone, unmoving in my bed again.

DSC_0660

Stop messing with me.

Stop playing around with my head like those light rays that came through the window panes while i lay next to you and your sleepy face while my closest friends remained fast asleep in the bed next to me and that little room further down the corridor.

Yesterday morning i was in love, loved and unbelievably happy lying in a tiny sofa bed that i thought wasn’t really tiny.

This morning i was somewhere else. Unloved and almost seemingly hated as words and expressions came in a flurry against my barely conscious mind.

Now at this moment, i sit alone blinking back tears in this room that has watched me grow throughout my later years annoyed at the questions of your whereabouts and why you weren’t joining us for my so called family belated 21st birthday dinner.

DSC_0690

I see tunnels reappear.

Crossroads and decisions, i know i inevitably have to make.

I walk behind you like i always do.

A trait unrecognizable by anyone who knows me as a truth. My dominance and my confidence pulled acres closer to the ground by choice to be with someone as hard as you.

Everyone sees it. Everyone that is but you.

IMG_1307

On friday these rocks played their roles as chairs against the calm malaccan straits.

Today they appear to me like the jagged edges of a torn and broken heart slashed to pieces by the things you’ve said and done just moments before this.

Those liquid pools of tears as dense and sticky as the air that blew across our faces while we sat staring at quite literally nothing. Well, all of us did except you who held on to your precious toy no matter where we went or what we did.

DSC_0745

I know what i said.

I know what my 10 days meant.

I made a wish.

I dont know if this occurrence was it’s way of fulfilling it but this picture was how i had envisioned it to continue its path.

Does that mean my wish would be something entirely new?

DSC_0761

Like the short lived joy of cheap popsicles sticks gone so quickly after only a few hungry licks.

Happiness turns to emptiness in only a matter of minutes.

Uncontrolled emotions and an unforgettable past proving it’s a winner in the matters of a previous love trumping that of a more current presence.

DSC_0780

In a blur, there is no reassurance of a simple joy.

Bubbles blown and popped seemed so distant now i can barely even remember. All that i see is a 5 year old you running through the streets with little transparent balls of soap appearing through my magic purple wand.

Such precious gifts prove only forgettable compared to one moment of anger, resentment and pain. Negativity overpowers positivity. 2 days of smiles become non existent after only 5 minutes of frustrations. An inability to filter, organise or have a rationale in its proper sequence. There is only darkness truly left.

IMG_1415

I am me.

I am only me.

Never her, never what your mind seems to see.

And i almost want to tear that necklace away. That necklace that looks almost like your complete ownership over something that you dont even want or even wish to see.

posted by BabyGin in asian,birthdays,confessions,cravings,emo,events,Malaysia,musings,personal,pics,sad,travel,upset,wordy and have Comments (2)

11 May 09 @ Gathering + Joeys Bday, TGIF Fridays

fwah. this is like a pretty picture heavy post leh. think i havent spammed this many pics in a while now @_@. but then again. not that many also la. just more than what ive recently been posting hoohohoh. anyway it was suppose to be some random class gathering of my form and it was weird because i was the only representative from my class. lol. im not even sure if they told the others and it happened to fall on miss Joey Hui’s birthday. our i dont remember what year miss malaysia tourism. lol. soooooooooo u know la. in fridays ma. got birthday ma. la la la. for free cake! *thick face*

IMG_5212chuubbbyyy face and great lengths of regrowth that got on a lot of peoples nerve. and my ribbon hair band which i can no longer find in the abyss that is my room T_T oh that cwlor behind.

IMG_5213underexposed gives me pouty lips. *o*

IMG_5214over expose gives me thin lips with flawless skin! and u can also see how brown my eyes really are and how bad my regrowths are. wtf

IMG_5230fried mozarella again .__. why i always post pics of these also i dunno

IMG_5236this must be fish because i dont eat meat. lol

IMG_5239and this must be someones very hard and dry looking chicken. HMMM

IMG_5262there is a significance to this pic but im not sure what it is.

IMG_5279happy ppl!! see rachel damn gembira max!

IMG_5283jeng jeng jeng.. here comes the mud pie!

IMG_5288birthday girl

IMG_5291making her wish

IMG_5293and finally blowing out her candle.

IMG_5294dont ask me what is she doing but she really is posing like that and its not candid .__.

IMG_5295rachel. natalie. joey.

IMG_5299suit won. jessica. birthday girl. rachel.

IMG_5308oh. samccx was present too!

IMG_5312I SWEAR SHE WAS POSING.

IMG_5321gave my cam to the staff of TGIF and i dont know whyyyy the heck he stood so far away @_@ but these were all the ppl present. I THINK.

IMG_5322the girls who got invaded by the boys.

IMG_5323who pretended to be. i dont know what also. wtf

4645_81930256073_738306073_1837830_1940521_nblacks

4645_81930261073_738306073_1837831_6053677_nwtf. cwlor pengacau.

IMG_5330i like yellow.

IMG_5333there is something abt this pic that i find amusing yet i cant really seem to pinpoint what it is. oh wells.

IMG_5337pan cute.

IMG_5340in attempts to look shorter and to further pan cute. wtf

IMG_5345SEE NATALIE CHAI U DAMN SPOILER PICS WAN LOR! ISH

IMG_5346the blow up doll *ahem ahem* that looks like betty boop *ahem ahem*

IMG_5350eh no purpose pic but i like shiny floors. hahahha. wtf phail

IMG_5366emo kid.

IMG_5369all so busy. wah why aarons shirt so fluroscent wan!!

IMG_5371and the couple that have been together like FOREVER. huhuhuh

posted by BabyGin in birthdays,camwhore,events,food,pics and have No Comments

1st May 09 @ Ians 21st Birthday

IMG_4714okay so this is a totally unrelated picture. BUT LOOK this picture makes this corner of my room look nice clean and pretty. wtf

IMG_4723eh not nice meh the flare against the dark blur sky!! nice okay. i think thats the moon. I THINK.

IMG_4731we said SAM MAKE A FACE. and this was it “=_=

IMG_4733wtf was i trying to express im not entirely sure.

IMG_4736nat managed to enlarge her nose *o* doesnt it look swollen? hur hur hur

IMG_4738shell shocked.

IMG_4739hhaha guess what game we were playing =D

IMG_4743the birthday bow lighting his own candles. LOL. sadness

IMG_4746make a wish

IMG_4749them boys

IMG_4752because i like posted retarded pictures of my exes

IMG_4754the girls

IMG_4756the heng daiz + one.? errr..

IMG_4758family.

IMG_4757hello bruce lee. please come back soon. k thx bye

IMG_4760emo boy and his beloved lok lok truck *o*

IMG_4762haha random shit

IMG_4764somebody’s “ahem” idea of a birthday cake. “ahem” i wonder who “ahem”

IMG_4766cwlor.

IMG_4768just because we look retarded for some reason

posted by BabyGin in birthdays,camwhore,events,pics and have Comments (2)