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All posts for the month Marso, 2012

Feng Shui Gives You An Excuse to Party!

Published Marso 21, 2012 by jptan2012

There are times when even your Feng Shui forecast says that you will be experiencing a spade of good luck, but you just don’t have the energy to go and grab these good luck. If you’ve been reading about my posts, you’d know that there’s a Holy Trinity of Luck, which consists of Heaven, Earth and Mankind luck. Sometimes just one simple mistake can ruin your good Heaven and Earth luck. So you have to be very keen on checking on yourself.

However, as mentioned, there are times that even with good Heaven and Earth luck, you’re just simply not up to grabbing the opportunities set about by the two lucks. You may be feeling down with no apparent reason, or you can be simply be feeling out of touch! When this happens, I suggest you bring about a blast of yang energy into yourself.

How do you do this? You do this by having a party! It need not be a grand party wherein you need to spend ridiculous amount of money, it can be a small party participated by people who truly cares for you. It can be your family, friends, and colleagues. Invite them, preferably to your house, and serve some good food. Try to play some happy music. Make a conscious effort that you don’t talk about problems but rather focus on the good things, you can sing with your friends, or play board games with them. Be merry! A clean happy party is a burst of Yang energy and it will surely uplift you. If done in your home, it will also energize your house with Yang energy brought about by the party!

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A Hermit and A Monk: A Lesson on Reciting Your Mantra

Published Marso 20, 2012 by jptan2012

Since I started writing about Mantras, I’ve received countless emails and sometimes phone calls asking me about the right intonation of a mantra. I know for people who have just been recently introduced to the power of Mantras, it may be a little daunting because some of the Mantras can be mouthful like the Medicine Buddha Mantra – TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA – or the Prajnaparamita Mantra – TADYATHA OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA. The truth there are other mantras, such as the Cundi Avalokitesvara Mantra – NAMO SAKTANAM SAMYAKSAM BUDDHA KOTINAM TADYATHA OM CALE CULE CUNDI SOHA (I’ll write about Cundi Avalokitesvara soon), that are way longer than the mantras that I’ve talked about on this blog.

I realize that this might be causing a little worry to some of you thinking that your wish might not happen because you are not pronouncing it properly. Also, because you might be agonizing too much on the proper pronunciation that you tend to forget to concentrate on the intent why you’re saying the mantra.

‘A Hermit and A Monk’ is a story that was shared by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, one of the most revered monks of high status.

Lama Zopa Rincpoche is considered as the one strongly propagates Buddhism to people who otherwise wouldn’t have heard of Buddhism. His work with Lillian Too also helped bridge the gap between Buddhism and Feng Shui, which was largely considered to be a Taoist practice. He is also task by the Dalai Lama to lead the Maitreya Project. A very ambitious project that hopes to build the largest Maitreya Buddha – the Future Buddha, in the world.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche first shared this story with the members of the ‘Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition’, it was since then shared with other groups like the Amitabha Buddhist Center (a sub-center of FPMT), and he also shared this with Lillian Too.

A HERMIT AND A MONK…

A monk visited a hermit, who lived alone on an island doing retreat. The hermit had given himself three years to complete chanting ten million of the powerful six-syllable mantra of the Compassionate Buddha. The hermit had been told that attaining this level of practice would awaken his yogic powers. The mantra was “OM MANI PADME HUM”.

The monk listened as the hermit did his mantra and, with the best intention in the world, leaned over to him and whispered:

“I think you have got the pronunciation wrong. This mantra should be chanted this way…” and he proceeded to demonstrate. The hermit listened attentively and then watched as the monk walked back to his boat to leave the island.

Ten minutes later when the boat was halfway across the river the monk heard his name being called, and looking around, he spied the hermit and heard him call:

“Listen to this, have I got it right now?” and the hermit proceeded to chant the same mantra but with the monk’s intonation. Astounded, the monk turned around and saw the hermit walking on the water next to his boat. In that instant he realized that the hermit’s faith and sincerity had given his mantra recitation far more power than he had realized.

As you will see, the story state that what counts more is the faith and sincerity in reciting the mantra. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive hard to do our best to recite them properly, but let’s not agonize about it. If you have faith and sincerity then it’s simply impossible for it not to work!

Ji Gong: An Eccentric Buddhist Monk that Became a Taoist Wealth God

Published Marso 19, 2012 by jptan2012

Today, allow me to share with you another powerful, though not very famous, wealth god called Ji Gong or Che Kong (濟公). Also spelled as Ji Kong or Che Gong.

Ji Gong is known as the ‘Legendary Monk with a Magical Fan’. This is because he is usually portrayed as having a fan and sometimes with a bottle of wine.

I entitled this post as – JI GONG: AN ECCENTRIC BUDDHIST MONK THAT BECAME A TAOIST WEALTH GOD – because Ji Gong in reality was a Buddhist monk, was expelled from his monastic life and later on became a Taoist wealth god. The irony here, is that he’s not considered as a Buddha or a Bodhisattva in Buddhism, and it was only after the Taoist has adopted Ji Gong as a deity did the Buddhist started including him in their Koans.

(A Koan, for lack of a better description, is like a form of Sutra. It’s a fundamental part of the history and lore of Zen Buddhism and it consists of stories, dialogues, questions and statements, the meaning of which are said to be understandable through intuition or lateral thinking. )

Ji Gong was born to a famous and rich family during China’s Southern Song Dynasty. His father is a highly respected ‘businessman’ and military advisor. Ji Kong, the only son, and whose real name is Li Xiuyuan (李修元), came late in the family. His parents were actually told by a respected Feng Shui consultant that they don’t have descendant’s luck and that they will never have any children. This cause great sadness to both his parents, and considered this as one of their greatest misfortune. Since they are a religious couple they decided to make sure that they would go on various pilgrimage to different temples to ask for child.

Like most Chinese then and now, they don’t really make any distinction between Buddhism and Taoism and they would visit temples from both religions even if they were really Taoist.

It is said that in one of their pilgrimage to a Buddhist temple, they entered the hall of the 500 Arhats. Whereby the image of one of the Arhat, Mahakasyapa, fell off from the altar. It was taken as a sign that at that moment Mahakasyapa’s energy or spirit left ‘his’ image.

Not long after that, Ji Kong’s mom found out she was pregnant. They remembered the incident in the temple and believed that the baby in her womb was a gift from the Buddhas. They even began to think, that what she was carrying in her womb is the reincarnation of the Arhat Mahakasyapa!

At the age of 18, Li Xiuyuan decided to go to Hangzhou (a province in China), to enter the monastic life at the famous temple called Ling Yin Temple. After several years of studying Buddhism, he was finally ordained as a Buddhist monk and named Dao Ji Chan Shi. He was then normally called Dao Ji, thus this has become another common name of Ji Kong.

His monastic life proved to be short but memorable. Being born from a very rich family, he’s used to eating meat and drinking wine, and he was unable to give this up when he became a monk. Furthermore, he started showing some eccentricity and it is believed that he is slightly mad. However, they all agree that he is kind hearted and generous. Nevertheless, because Zen Buddhists strictly prohibits eating of meat and drinking of wine, they really didn’t have much choice but to expel him from the monastery.

After being expelled from his monastic life, Dao Ji or Ji Kong never really bothered to search for another monastery that can adopt him. He just roam on the streets and is often thought of as beggar monk, because he really didn’t gave up his Buddhist robes either.

His eccentricity continued to manifest on the streets, but so his kindness and compassionate heart. It is said, the even he looks poor he never really begged for money, and it is often a wonder as to where he gets money for food. Some say that it could be part of his inheritance, but if it were from his inheritance, it’s a mystery were he kept his wealth.

However, after a while, Dao Ji or Ji Kong started to manifest another eccentricity. Since he has a compassionate heart, he would often approach beggars on the streets and other poor families. He would listen to them, crack a joke, then murmur a prayer, after which he’ll use his fan to fan them a little. Soon after these incidents the recipient of his kindness and weird ritual will come to a good fortune. He thus earned a reputation for being a Buddhist magician, which, in turn earned him the title Ji Gong Huoto, which means the Living Buddha Ji Gong. Ji is derived from his Buddhist name Dao Ji, Gong, is a respect for a powerful elderly, and Huoto literally means living Buddha.

At his old age, Ji Kong was adopted by another monastery. This is where he passed away on the 14th day of the 5th Lunar month. Right after his death, Taoist immediately adopted him as their deity, and it is said the he continuously manifest his compassionate and magical powers to every one who keeps his image and go to him.

His image is usually pictured as a monk in rugged clothing, holding a bottle of wine and a ‘magical’ fan. He is always shown with a smiling face, because he has a very happy nature. Although, he is usually pictured wearing a hat with the word Fo, which means ‘Buddha’, Buddhist never really considered him as Buddha or a Bodhisattva. However, seeing how much he is revered in Taoism, Buddhist did include him in their Koans, some sub-sects even considers him as an Arhat.

This is a jade Ji Gong pendant. It’s very similar to the one that I have.

Having an image of Ji Kong at home, and wearing his image as a pendant is a sure way to continuously tap into his blessings of wealth.

Keeping An Empty House Alive

Published Marso 18, 2012 by jptan2012

As I mentioned in my previous posts, Feng Shui is about balancing Yin and Yang. However, to put context into that statement, when I say balance, it only means that Yin should not be totally absent, but the balance doesn’t mean it should be equal. Our homes and offices should be more Yang than Yin. Churches, cemeteries are more yin than yang.

What does it mean? It means that our living or workspaces should be infused with more Yang energy. It should connote life. If your house is too Yin, it will attract negative energies.

Oftentimes, if you just moved into a house that has been abandoned for a long time, it’s not surprising for you to feel eerie. You may be feeling the heavy Yin energy and/or you may actually be feeling negative energies such as lost souls or bad spirits who has taken residence in the house because of its accumulated Yin energy.

However, in our busy, competitive, and modern lifestyle, a lot of our younger generation has moved into an apartment or a condominium to become more independent. But this also means that you usually leave the house without a single ‘living energy’, thus creating Yin energy.

If you live on your own and spends more time outside your house or if you and your family plans to travel for a long time, you have to ensure that you keep your empty house alive.

If you and your family is going to take a long vacation and nobody is going to be left behind, please ensure that you keep your curtains open to allow sun light in. The sun’s light will ensure that your house will be infused with Yang energy everyday. If you live in a safe place, try to keep a small window open; to make sure that energy inside the house circulates. If possible try to ask somebody to go to your house every 3 days to turn the lights on, and make some nice noise by playing some music.

If you live on your own, also make sure that you leave your curtains open to ensure that the sun’s light comes in and infused your condo unit or apartment with Yang energy. If you’re out of your home longer than you are inside your home, try to leave a battery-operated radio and keep it playing. I’m suggesting a battery operated radio because it’s safer than keeping an electricity running unmanned. You can also buy a battery operated mantra player. It will keep playing a mantra making sure that your unit is not only infused with Yang energy but it also leaves a blessing brought about the mantras.

Myth Buster 8: A Piggy Coin Bank Creates Bad Luck

Published Marso 17, 2012 by jptan2012

There’s a Filipino belief that putting your loose change in a coin bank or a piggy bank or what they call ‘Alkansya’ creates bad luck. This is because, they say, you condition yourself for a time of hardship.

In a Feng Shui perspective, whether a coin bank or a piggy bank creates a bad luck or good luck depends on where you place it.

The most ideal place to put a coin bank is in the west or northwest section of your room or office. This is because the west and northwest section of your room is ruled by the metal element, and ensuring that this element is energized will activate your mentor luck and success luck, respectively. The ideal coin bank is one that is made of metal or ceramic which symbolizes the earth element.

Never put your coin bank in the east and southeast section of your room or office, because the east and southeast is ruled by the wood element, and metal destroys wood. Putting the coin bank here, especially if it accumulates a lot of coins will destroy your wealth luck.

So you see, with the preceding explanation, that Filipino myth that putting your loose change in a coin bank or a piggy bank is not entirely wrong, but neither it is entirely true. The secret is where to place the coin bank.

Myth Buster 7: Potpourri Makes for a Good Offering

Published Marso 16, 2012 by jptan2012

I’ve never really heard of Buddhist offering potpourri to their images, but a number of people has asked whether it’s okay to use a potpourri as an offering because it’s an offering of flowers and scent!

The truth a potpourri is considered as a very inauspicious offering. A potpourri is cut up dried flowers. Meaning its dead flower. Therefore, it’s high in Yin energy and is not suitable as an offering to your Buddhas or Bodhisattvas.

Furthermore, it’s actually not suitable to be placed in a room because it creates Yin energy that may be harmful to us. It might create bad luck for the people who occupy the room, or it might even steal the energy of a good Feng Shui.

I know they may seem nice but it’s best to avoid potpourris!

Feng Shui Tips for a Safe Travel

Published Marso 15, 2012 by jptan2012

In my previous post – SIGNS OF A BAD TRAVEL LUCK, I talked about signs and/or omens of bad travel luck. I will now share with you the things that you can do before your travel to avoid these omens and to ensure a safe travel.

In the old times, a Taoist and Buddhist will never travel without consulting a Feng Shui expert or the Tong Shu, a Chinese Almanac, to check what are the auspicious and inauspicious travel date. However, this practice is slowly fading away, even amongst Feng Shui believers. Nevertheless, I still check on auspicious or neutral travel dates, but I personally avoid inauspicious travel dates.

Other than looking for the auspicious or neutral dates, I also do the following ritual before I travel:

I go to the temple to light some incense for a safe travel. I also pray for my family who is going to be left behind.

On a piece of yellow paper, I put my name and names of my travel companion. Details of my travel like departure date, flight number, destination, address abroad, arrival date. Then I put this under an image of a Buddha or Bodhisattva in our altar at home.I burn the said once I’m back.

I start praying the three full mala of the Kalachakra Mantra –OM AH HUM HO HAM KSHAMALA VARAYA HUM PHAT – three times a day, three days before I travel. I continuously to do so while I’m abroad and until on the day arrive.

Just before the flight, or the cruise, I visualize Sun Wukong at the front of the plane or ship, and is the one in control. To know more about Sun Wukong, please read – GETTING TO KNOW THE ‘GREAT SAGE, EQUAL OF HEAVEN’ MONKEY GOD CALLED SUN WUKONG!

I also always make sure that I have my WEALTH AND MASTER PROTECTION PENDANT with me. If you don’t have this you can also wear any Sun Wukong pendant. A Kuan Kong will also do. Aside from the WEALTH AND MASTER PROTECTION pendant, I also have my Kuan Yin pendant, Kalachakra Pendant, which is one of the symbols found in the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT.

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