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All posts for the month Hunyo, 2012

I Believe There’s Life After Death

Published Hunyo 7, 2012 by jptan2012

The title of my blog today is written on a personal note because this is a personal story.

But before anything else, I just want to clarify that I don’t want to impose this belief and I’m simply sharing it for sentimental reasons.

I’ve written this blog for quite some time now and I’m not really sure why I haven’t posted this, and why I have decided to post it today, I also don’t know. This post is quite personal, because it is a story about what I went through and about my father. As some of you may have notice, I do avoid being too personal on this blog, especially if I write about Feng Shui or Taoism or Buddhism, but today, I do go deeply personal. As I said, I’ve written this blog for quite some time now, in fact, I wrote this when we celebrated by Father’s death anniversary, which was early April. So it has been about 2 months now. At that time, I decided against posting it because I wanted the story for myself, I felt that it’s something that’s between me and my Dad who has passed away. The truth is it took me several years before I decided to share what happened with my mother, siblings, and my best friend. I really haven’t shared this with anybody outside my family and my best friend, but today I’m sharing it for reasons that I still can’t fathom. I just hope that it reassures some people who might be going through the pain of losing a love one that there is life after death.

As a Taoist – Buddhist, I believe that there is life after death, literally, because of reincarnation. However, is there life between this life and our next life? Again, in Buddhism, it is said that our consciousness never dies and we bring this when we are in between lives. However, the next question is there any proof that there is life in between our lives? You ask me now and my answer would be a definite yes. But there was a time in my life when I wasn’t so sure about it.

Several years’ back, at a time when I still don’t really focus too much on Feng Shui and/or my religious belief. It is something that’s there but not something that I really focus on too much. But life has its own way of teaching us a lesson.

There was one point in my life when I was really down. It seems like I really don’t know what to do, and worst, the company I’m working for at that time was closing down and worst, since I held one of the unit top-level position at that time, I was responsible for some people. These people are not getting paid because the company declared bankruptcy, and given that I was their immediate boss and I was the one who hired them, I took a lot of self inflicted blame as well as blame from my staffs. They were unsure about their future, worst, they were unsure whether they’re going to get paid or not. Of course, I was unsure of my future, and unsure whether I was going to get paid or not. But needless to say, my personal feelings should take a back seat and try to pacify my staff. Furthermore, I just recently approved the purchase of several products that we have to use for our company, again, needless to say, the suppliers are not going to get paid and they were chasing after me. They know that technically speaking I don’t have the responsibility to pay them, but they seem to have taken the belief that if they pressure me I might pay them out of my own pocket, or that I may be able to pressure the company I’m working for to pay them.

It was one of the lowest points of my life, and I really don’t know what to do. I know that personally I can go back to our family business, but the prospect of doing that is simply not very appealing because our family business is something that doesn’t interest me. Furthermore, a lot of my staff is my friends and seeing them worry about their future affects me, because I somehow feel that I was the one who pulled them to work for the said company.

As mentioned, it was one of the lowest points of my life. My future is bleak and I really don’t know what to do next. Every night I will have a hard time going to sleep because of my problems, and I would always seem to sleep light only. All the problems and sleepless night was starting to affect me physically and I started getting sick.

Then one night, I dreamt that my father who passed away 4 years earlier visited me, sat on my bed, embraced me and assured me that everything will be fine. I woke up, but I continue to feel my father’s embrace and can totally feel his presence inside my room. The presence was so real that I didn’t even doubt that that he was there. I also felt a very comforting, calming energy surrounds me, and I knew then that things will be fine.

Slowly, his presence started to ‘leave’, that’s when I notice that I’ve been crying. I’m not sure whether I’ve been crying in my sleep or started to cry when I felt his presence, but my pillow was wet with tears. I also know that it’s my father and not some random spirit because I can totally feel him. Christians would normally say that this kind of phenomenon is works of the devil. I totally disagree with that because I was totally at peace and calm, there was not even an ounce of fear. It simply can’t be a work of the devil.

I think that was the closest I was to my father, and it happened 4 years after his death. My father and I were never really close, and I think in so many ways he’s disappointed me, especially I pursued something that he doesn’t understand. He can’t seem to understand also why I would rather start somewhere else than be in our business. When he was still alive we argue a lot, but that visit made me realize how much he loves me. Ironically, I was closer to him in ‘death’ that when he was alive. But more than anything else, whenever, I’m feeling sad or troubled, all I have to do is recall that evening of his visit and I know that everything will be fine.

I believe there’s life after death. I’m happy and lucky that I do.

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A Visit to Hong Kong’s Wong Tai Sin Temple

Published Hunyo 6, 2012 by jptan2012

A visit to Hong Kong is never complete without a visit to Wong Tai Sin Temple. Wong Tai Sin Temple, which is also called, as the Sik Sik Wong Tai Sin Temple is perhaps the most famous temple in Hong Kong. It is located in the Kowloon side of Hong Kong.

Wong Tai Sin Main Temple. Note that devotees light and pray outside of the temple. This is to protect the temple from being destroyed.

People go to Wong Tai Sin Temple to pray everything and anything under the sun, and the temple can get a little crowded especially on Sundays. Whenever I’m in HK I always make sure that I visit Wong Tai Sin Temple and pray for different things. Most of the things that I prayed for get answered.

Wong Tai Sin Temple is really more than just a temple; it’s a compound composing of different shrines and/or temples. There are also various walls with arts that have religious significance.

Wong Tai Sin is a popular Chinese Taoist deity who was born as Wong Cho Ping.

Image of Wong Tai Sin. Notice that he has a resemblance with one of the Eight Immortal – Lu Dong Bin.

Wong Tai Sin directly translates as the ‘Great Immortal Wong’, and he is known for his healing abilities, thus he is largely considered as a god of healing, although, in truth, people go there to pray for anything and everything that bothers them.

Not much is known about Wong Tai Sin’s mortal being Wong Cho Ping. However, it is said that he was born poor and started working as a shepherd at a young age of eight years old. According to the few books that survived that talks about Wong Tai Sin, Wong Tai Sin became an immortal at about the age of 55, this was after he met an immortal 40 years earlier who supposedly saw the purity of Wong Tai Sin’s heart and decided to give him the secret to being an immortal. He supposedly attained his immortality at the Red Pine Mountain. Before he became an immortal it is said that he is able to transform stones into sheep. However, it is not clear why would there be a need for him to transform stones into sheeps.

Wong Tai Sin temple is a shrine, which happens to be a major tourist spot, in HK that is dedicated to Wong Tai Sin. It was said that Wong Tai Sin himself chose the place of the shrine by revealing it to an enlightened Taoist priest. Before the shrine or temple was built in its current location, it used to be in a house near the current shrine. In the older shrine, it is said, is where Wong Tai Sin created a lot of his miracles and gained a big following and popularity.

The main temple or shrine, which is also the biggest in the whole compound, is dedicated to Wong Tai Sin.

Wong Tai Sin Main Temple, which is the shrine for Wong Tai Sin or Wong Cho Ping. The devotees light their incense outside the temple. They usually put some tent when it rains. Picture lifted from google images.

However, the government has decided to keep it off limits because believers would always want to touch the image of Wong Tai Sin, thus damaging some parts of the image and of the interior of the temple.

Beside the main temple is the Three-Saint Hall that houses the image of Kuan Yin, Kuan Kong, and Lu Dong Bin. However, like the main hall, this is also off limits from the devotees. There is also a Nine-Dragon Wall, which is copied from the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Outside the Main Temple

There’s a pair of Piyao at the entrance of the temple. Hong Kong Chinese and Mainland Chinese rubs their hand against the Piyao of the temple. Depending on what part of the Piyao it may give you protection, wealth, and/or good health. Rubbing the dragon as shown in the picture will give your protection and good luck.

The other side of the entrance where the other Piyao is located. People are also rubbing this Piyao.

One of the first thing that will greet you upon entering the main entrance, just before you go up to the main shrine, is the image of Yue Lau or The Old Man in the Moon who is a Taoist God that helps singletons look for their partner in life.

Seen from the outside of Three-Saint Hall is the image of Kuan YIn, on her right is Kuan Kong and to her left is Lu Dong Bin. I’m unable to get a better picture because the hall is also off limits to devotees. If you notice, although the image is simply called Kuan Yin, it really is a manifestation of the Thousand-Hand Kuan Yin.

Wong Tai Sin’s Nine-Dragon Wall. This particular picture was lifted from google images.

All throughout the temple compound, you’ll see different images or statues of Taoist gods.

Just before you enter the temple, there are a lot of stalls that sells Feng Shui and Taoist amulets. You can get different Wong Tai Sin amulets just before you enter the temple. Just make sure you haggle the price. When I first ask as to how much is the Wong Tai Sin Amulet, the seller said it’s HK$20.00. Told him I’m not willing to spend more than HK5.00 for each of the amulet. I was told that they don’t have anything below HK$10.00. I then insisted that my budget is only HK$5.00. I was then told to leave and not waste their time. I then started to leave, after which the seller ran after me and said just because I’m a foreigner he’ll give it to me for HK$5.00.

I got several Wong Tai Sin Amulet. Please note that there are different kinds of Wong Tai Sin amulet, some are for wealth, health, safety, etc. The one in the picture is wealth enhancement amulet. The pouch has an image of Wong Tai Sin and you’ll put the ‘sutra’ or prayer book inside, with the lucky coin, and crystal chips. Once inside let it pass the incense smoke three times. If you’re left handed do it clockwise, if right handed do it counter clockwise.

The Feng Shui of Sleep

Published Hunyo 5, 2012 by jptan2012

I know that some people may think that this is a little extreme, but the truth is there is such a thing as Feng Shui of sleep. When we sleep that’s when we rejuvenate, that’s when our body gathers more energy. Also, sleep is maybe one of the longest, if not the longest time of day when we face a single direction, and as discussed in my previous posts, depending on your Kua Number, different directions may create either good or bad luck for you.

When we sleep, where our head is ‘pointed’ is actually the direction we are activating, thus it is important that we make sure that our head is directed towards one of our lucky directions. You can find out more about it by reading my posts – WHAT IS FENG SHUI KUA NUMBER AND HOW TO CALCULATE IT; FOUR DIFFERENT TYPES OF LUCK BASE ON YOUR KUA NUMBER; FOUR DIFFERENT TYPES OF BAD LUCK BASE ON YOUR KUA NUMBER.

Also in Feng Shui, between 11pm and 1am, which is the hour of the rat, the first animal zodiac, is the time when our body rejuvenates better. So it is best that we go to sleep before 11pm. More than that, the morning chi, especially between 5am to 9am is considered, as the ‘freshest’ chi. It’s important that we absorb the chi of these hours so that we ‘energize’ our own chi.

Maybe that is why it is not surprising that most successful people are early riser.

Family Portraint as a Feng Shui Cure

Published Hunyo 4, 2012 by jptan2012

I received an email from a Filipina (a Filipino woman) who is about to leave for Dubai to work there. Seeing that a lot of Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) family who don’t survive the loneliness brought about by the physical distance, she is worried about her family. She explained that she loves her family and wants to stay here for them, however, she knows that given that she and her husband are both unemployed here they have to go abroad to look for work.

Using the portrait of the Obama family so that I don’t get sued for copyright or privacy issues. It’s important that parents should be always in front.

They agreed that one of them will stay here for their 4 kids, they both would have wanted that she be the one to stay, but given that they are not sure who will be lucky enough to get a job they both applied for work abroad and decided to have fate take its course. She was the one who ‘got lucky’ and got the job. So fate decided that her husband is the one who will stay here.

She emailed to ask for a Feng Shui cure to ensure that her family survives the physical separation. I told her that it’s quite simple. She can use their family portrait. I suggested some basic Feng Shui cure or protection, however, one of the most basic cure for this kind of situation and/or for families who are experiencing some kind of disagreement is to hang a large (as big as possible) family portrait in your living room. You should make sure that it’s big enough that that’s it’s a bit overwhelming. Make sure it’s a happy picture and that the parents should be in front and the children at the back. This is a very effective and relatively inexpensive cure.

What We Have to Learn About Feng Shui in Disneyland

Published Hunyo 3, 2012 by jptan2012

Disneyland is considered by many people as the happiest place on earth, while this is debatable, no one can deny that Disneyland’s success can be attributed, not so much with good physical Feng Shui, but by it’s ultimate positive chi of happiness.

My family and me recently went on a vacation in Hong Kong, needless to say, for the sake of the kids who are traveling with us we went to Disneyland. I won’t be able to post my family’s pictures here because they value their privacy, but out pictures shows that the adults enjoyed Disneyland as much as the kids did.

Somebody once told me that Disneyland Hong Kong did consult a Feng Shui expert, and judging from its entrance, I think it really has good Feng Shui. However, even if they didn’t consult a Feng Shui expert, the amount of positive energy created by all the happy images of Mickey Mouse and the Disney gang, and the amount of positive energy created by the people who go there is more than enough to counter bad Feng Shui.

What I’m trying to say is while good physical Feng Shui is important, inner Feng Shui, which is all about being happy and positive is much more powerful.

Allow me to share some pictures that we took in HK Disneyland. Just by looking at these pictures, it’s enough to create some positive chi.

The water fountain at the entrance of HK Disneyland signifies money coming in. It’s a nice idea that they put Mickey Mouse on top of the water fountain, because it signifies that the management is in control on how the money comes in and how they are spent.

The iconic Disneyland Castle also suggest power but at the same time it connotes warmth, which makes people want to visit Disneyland.

Inside the ‘It’s A Small World’ Castle. The atmosphere here is really of a friendly, peaceful one.

Seeing the different Disney characters is enough to lift one’s spirits. It’s just a surge of subtle positive chi. Both kids and adults seeing the different Disney characters.

Mickey Mouse

Minnie Mouse with Pluto

 

 

Goofy

Winnie the Pooh

Is this Snow White or Cinderella?

Stitch

Buzz Lightyear of Toy Story

Woody

Jessie

And of course the fireworks at the end of the days is simply amazing. Pictures are unable to capture the beauty of the sound/music that goes with the fireworks. But Disneyland made sure that even though evening is largely a Yin energy they still end with a Yang energy activity.

Be Receptive to Celestial Messages: Omens of Bad Luck

Published Hunyo 2, 2012 by jptan2012

Yesterday, I talked about the different celestial messages that indicate good luck. Now if the universe gives us messages to inform us of possible good luck, they also sent messages to us to indicate possible bad luck that may come our way. Some of the most common bad luck omens are the following…

A light that flickers ‘on and off’ is usually a sign that something bad may happen. We often see these in films but unlike most things portrayed in the film, there’s a lot of truth here. In the olden times these usually happens with candles and/or lamps and may still happen in your altar lights, but any other ordinary household lights that flickers is also an indication of a bad luck.

A dish breaks while you’re using it is also a great indication of a bad omen.

While on the road and thinking of a project and you encounter a roadblock, this usually means that there’s going to be a problem or a delay. I personally experienced this omen. One time I was trying to collect from a client who usually pays on time. I was in the car when I called up the person-in-charge and while talking to her I encountered a roadblock, I knew then that there’s going to be a problem in the payment. True enough because of a new policy of their office, there’s going to be a delay in the payment, and it took another two months before they were able to pay me. The road block may come as a real physical road block or you may be browsing a magazine/newspaper or surfing the net while thinking or discussing the matter with somebody and you encounter a picture of a road block. That would be an omen already.

A bursting pipe usually indicates bad luck for the whole family.

Coming across a fallen tree that blocks your way is an indication of a bad luck also. A fallen tree blocked a friend who was on his way to a meeting, which is held at the construction site of his housing project. He was with his mom at that time, which he was dropping off at the grocery. His mom told him to just cancel the meeting because the fallen tree gave her an uneasy feeling, however, he said he’s not superstitious and needs to proceed to the meeting. When he got to the meeting, he had an accident and was bedridden for about a month. Not all bad lucks are as obvious as this; sometimes it can happen in other ways, like losing a contract or a project, or losing some money.

I wrote before that encountering a funeral is actually not a sign of bad luck, however, if you happen to see an accident that involves a dying or a dead person it usually means something bad is also about to come your way.

Also, yesterday I wrote about coming across a person who carries religious items usually indicates good luck. But if the said person were carrying a cross then that would mean that you would soon have to carry a burden.

Lastly, and not to put a stigma on disabled person, but on your way to a big meeting or a project and you encounter a severely disabled person who is not on a wheelchair would usually mean that the project is going to be problematic.

These are just some of the possible omens, you might encounter some other omens or celestial message, and we do encounter them everyday, you just need to be more conscious about the fact that everyday the universe tries to communicate with us.

An ‘Exotic’ Pizza in Laoag

Published Hunyo 1, 2012 by jptan2012

Whenever I travel, aside from visiting Sacred and Mystical places, I also make sure that I try out the local dishes of the place that I’m visiting.

In one of my visits in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, I tried a different kind of pizza at Saramsam. I know pizza is not considered as an exotic food; however, this pizza is different because it’s made of Ilocos Longganisa or Ilocos’ local sausage and the other pizza is called Pinakbet Pizza, which is made of local Ilocos vegetables.

Pinakbet is a mixed vegetable dish cooked in fish sauce. The vegetables are usually sitaw (string beans), ampalaya (bitter melon or bitter gourd), okra, and talong (eggplant).

The Ilocos Longganisa Pizza is surprisingly good. It’s actually quite simple, they used Filipino style tomato as a base sauce and they simply put the Ilocos Longganisa on top of it with some cheese, it’s just as simple as that, and the taste is surprisingly good.

Ilocos Longganisa Pizza

However, the Pinakbet Pizza, which was hyped a few years back, is a great disappointment. I thought it is really made of vegetables cooked Pinakbet style and place on top of a pizza dough, however, the Pinakbet pizza is simply a pizza dough with Filipino style tomato sauce and cheese then they simply place the vegetables on top of the pizza dough and tomato sauce. It taste bad and a great disappointment, other than the vegetables, there is simply no touch of Pinakbet.

Pinakbet Pizza

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