When I checked my phone this morning, the very first thing I saw was an sms from a good friend telling me to turn on the TV and watch the news. His text message says Paris is under attack!
When I turned on the TV alternating between BBC, CNN and AL JAZEERA, I saw what most people would have known by now, that there was several attacks made in Paris and that there’s an hostage crisis in Bataclan Concert Hall (they sometimes call it Bataclan Theatre).
I shall not go into details about it simply because as of now most of the reports are still hazy and I will leave that to the professionals to do the reporting.
But what I would like to talk about is that I read in the news that #PrayForParis trended on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It is really heartening to see people form all over the world expressing their solidarity to this attack, an attack that President Barack Obama who has extended his sympathy and support not only to President Hollande but to the rest of French people, says is not just an attack against France but also an attack against humanity.
However, I do hope that most people would have really prayed for Paris and not just put it on the social networking sites for it to trend. Our prayers no matter how simple would make a difference. But let us not just simply pray for the people who died or who were hurt, let us also pray for people who lost their families, children who upon waking up on Saturday would have found out that their parent/s have died in the attack or parents who lost a child or people who lost a sibling, a friend. Let us also pray for those who were involve in the rescue operations, for those who are involve in the investigation, but more importantly also those who terrorists who killed all those people. They need as much if not more prayers.
For Buddhists you can chant the following:
Medicine Buddha Mantra – TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE (BHEKANDZYE) RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA
Mantra of the Compassionate Bodhisattva Kuan Yin – OM MANI PADME HUM
Mantra of Amitabha Buddha – OM AMI DEWA HRIH
Mantra of Kstigarbha Bodhisattva – OM AH KSITIGARBHA THALENG HUM
Chant as many as you can.
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The title needs no more explanation because ‘Friday the 13th’ says it all, both in Westerners or Easterners knows about the belief the Friday the 13th is such a bad day.
But is there truth to it?
Base on Buddhist, Taoist, and Feng Shui perspective there is no truth to the belief that Friday the 13th is a bad day. But why is it so many people believe that when the 13th day of the Western calendar falls on a Friday it creates a bad luck? Well, there are actually two explanations to it; one was discussed by Dan Brown in his book ‘The Da Vinci Code’. Let’s discuss that first.
The Knights Templar used to be a very powerful secret order. At that time King Philip IV of France feared their power and decided to order some key personnel of the Knights Templar and the slaughtering of the rest of its members. Base on Dan Brown’s book it is said that it was Pope Clement V who instigated this, but a number of historians believes that it was King Philip IV who made the order and that Pope Clement V initially vehemently protested the king’s decision. The slaughtering of the Knights Templar happened on October 13, 1307 and it was on a Friday.
Another story has something to do with the belief about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is said Jesus’ sacrificed happened between Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday, and that there were 13 people on the Last Supper.
Please note that the belief in ‘Friday the 13th’ started on the 20th century. And it is said that charlatans to make themselves popular used these.
So don’t worry, it is quite safe to go out on a Friday the 13th!
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Whenever I go on a trip, I always make sure to visit a holy or sacred place. In China, I always try to visit a famous temple or a sacred site like Mt. Putuo. In Bangkok, I visit the famous Four – Faced Buddha. In France, I try to visit Lourdes.
An image of the largest Kuan Yin in the world which is found in the holy mountain in China - Mt. Putuo.
It doesn’t matter whether the holy or sacred place is a Buddhist site or a Muslim site or a Catholic place. As long as it’s considered holy or sacred I try to visit it and take with me a slice of good chi from the holy site.
I do this by getting a small amount of earth from the site, or in the case of Lourdes I buy some ‘holy water’, or I get some burnt incense ash from their incense burner. I then bring them home and put them on my altar or in the garden.
The natural things found in these places imbibes the positive chi of the holy or sacred place and bringing them to your house will ‘bless’ your place with their chi.
However, you should make sure you mentally ask permission first before you get anything from these places. It is also advisable that you do a thank you offering for the ‘blessing’ that you’re taking home.
There are different ways of doing an offering. You can either offer some flowers, incense, or donate some money.