Year 2019, Guardian Gratitude Day and more

Firstly, wishing all readers a smooth sailing 2019 ahead!

The little ambitious me was trying to run a few things over the year but the scattered attention plus largely distraction caused many delays. Major changes are happening and though looking forward and focusing on my main goal to be materialized in the coming years, some of these writing (and reading) project will tag along. They are part of me.

Whatever that I had experienced for the past year helped me to realize the meaning of what is being a ‘full timer’. But writing my passions is really not my ‘full time job’. I do not earn from my writings but who knows one day I may?

Yesterday, after years of little hiccups and delays, I finally did a proper (still considered as mini) celebration. I marked the 8th day of the 12th month in our Chinese lunar calendar as our Varadashrine’s Guardian Gratitude Day.

The first post that appeared on this blog was in Dec 2015. However, the starting of Varadashrine was not just a blog thing. It is actually an aspiration that I can share my take on Mahayana and also to be able to provide prayer services if situations call for it. And that meant that my shrine is consecrated and a spiritual petition done proper to express this little aspiration. The dharma friend that conducted the ritual then adviced that I have to commemorate and celebrate the Dharmapala’s “birthday”. Chinese Mahayana has typically thrown in dates for sacred beings in the Mahayana pantheon, if not, tapping on existing ones in Chinese belief.

The Dharmapala that I was drawn close since young age is Acalanatha Vidyaraja and it happens that neither the Chinese Mahayana nor Chinese belief itself had attributed any date to Him. So I picked yesterday’s date for a personal reason and that it is also the commemoration of the Buddha’s Enlightenment in Chinese Mahayana. And since it is not exactly His birthday, I have it as a day to represent the expression of gratitude instead. Which is how Guardian Gratitude Day comes about.

I do not actually accept the generic new age or spiritual stand that “everyone is born with a guardian or two”. I think different belief systems and traditions will have very different say about how one’s guardian come about and likely will not be able to come to an objective conclusion.

What impresses me about Acala among many thing is the trait on Immovable stands out so much that the Japanese martial artists take it as one of their philosophical practices. There can be any understanding in how to interpret “Immovable’ and for now I leave readers to ponder about and how this trait can aid us in our life journey.

Ser Ming

Vesak 2018 Reflection


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Vesak, a day that commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment and Parinibbana of the Historical Buddha, Gautama that had graced this Earth. It is not uncommon to find temples all over the world having activities on this day. Some can be ceremonial and ritualistic; but some are surprising to me.

I have observed for the past many years, there are different empowerment and blessing rituals that direct devotions to other worship icons in Buddhism other than the rightful protagonist for the day.  I will not be surprised if people come to me to ask have I done any 3 steps 1 bow or bathing the baby Buddha ritual; the type of things you do on Vesak usually.


Does doing any of these helps one to reflect and ponder more deeply on the Birth, Enlightenment and the Parinibbana of Sakyamuni Buddha?

I used to set up a little bathing the baby Buddha ritual too but I did reflect on the 15 virtues that one should be minded when performing the ritual.

I was sharing with a kalyanamitra that ceremonies and rituals are meant to allow partakers to take in by emphasizing the meaning and depth of it through solemnizing the proceedings.

I find it more purposeful if we remember that the Buddha had taught because He would have wanted us to improve our lives by living a Dharma-inspired and Dharma-driven life. Sure, some blessings and ceremonies may bring some seemingly miraculous results but nothing is more miraculous than impacting and improving our lives with the Dharma.

I urge and look forward to a more reflective and introspective spiritual living for you and I.

Ser Ming
on a blessed Vesak Day 2018



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舍利弗!云何名諸佛世尊唯以一大事因緣故出現於世?諸佛世尊,欲令眾生開佛知見,使得清淨故,出現於世;欲示眾生佛之知見故,出現於世;欲令眾生悟佛知見故,出現於世;欲令眾生入佛知見道 故,出現於世。-《妙法蓮華經·方便品》


『一切世間天、人及阿修羅,皆謂:『今釋迦牟尼佛, 出釋氏宮,去伽耶城不遠,坐於道場,得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提。』然,善男子!我實成佛已來無量無邊百千萬億那由他劫。-《妙法蓮華經·如來壽量品》








祝 衛賽節過得充實,過得有意義

斯明 節慶隨筆


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The Lotus Sutra – an overview

cover-1This overview is a preamble for my attempt in writing my take and understanding on the Lotus Sutra. It is something that I had wanted to do for years but have not get my hands onto it.

Lotus Sutra is not a scripture of big volume and this had made me very impressive with the various writers and academics who came before me that had researched and wrote scriptures that are much larger in volumes. Continue reading

Who is Sakyamuni Buddha?

chap-16-1Sakyamuni Buddha are both sanskrit terms that refer the person that is known to have founded Buddhism. Sakya is the name of the clan that the Buddha was born into and Muni means sage. So Sakyamuni meants sage of the Sakya clan. Buddha means the awakened one. These are the more respectful terms that people had used to address the Buddha after He had started his teaching mission.

The Buddha’s birth name was Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha means one who has accomplished a goal and Gautama refers to the family name.

There are a few ways that we can look at the Buddha. Continue reading

Contemplating on Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva Enlightenment Commemoration 2016

以種種形.pngAvalokiteśvara Bodhisattva is a very well-known and well-received spiritual figure in the Mahayana belief. This Bodhisattva embodies the qualities of compassion (karuna) that all Buddhas have and it is common for practitioners to seek Him for protection and to answer prayers.

Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva is in Sanskrit and this name has been translated to Guanyin 觀音 (or Guanshiyin 觀世音) Pusa in Chinese, Kannon Bosatsu in Japanese, Chenrezig in Tibetan, just to name a few. Continue reading

Veneration to Skanda Deva

Skanda Deva

Skanda Deva is a celestial being with his image commonly found at the back of almost, if not all, Chinese Mahayana scriptures.

Skanda Deva is one of the eight celestial generals that are under the command of Virūḍhaka, the Guardian of the South, according to Mahayana belief. Skanda Deva was known for his speed and hence taking it that He is fast to heed prayers that seek protection.  Continue reading

Happy Year of the Goat…!!!


Wishing everyone a very Happy, Successful and Abundant Year of the Goat ahead!

It is coming to a full week-3 living in my new place and I was glad to have done my Shrine Settling Consecration done a few days before the CNY, which is today, despite still going through the tidying up phase at this moment.

I like to thank my wife for her support, understanding and the various aid that she had chipped in over the last few weeks. I had performed a set of liturgy this morning mainly to wish for the longstanding of the Dhamma.

I would also like to thank to my family and friends who gave positive feedback with regards to the layout of my home shrine. I do hope that the aesthetic of my home shrine will allow others to appreciate the image of Lord Buddha better and in time to grow interest and probably even take faith in His very wonderful Dhamma.