Little things build up. Zen Meditate.

Little things can interrupt our quest for bliss, for contentment. Even if we had the patience and compassion of Mother Theresa, things can still get on our nerves, sometimes.

“Would you mind helping me with this?”

“Sure,” I reply.

“Would you mind helping me with this?”

“Sure,” I reply.

“Would you mind helping me with this?”

“Ok,” I reply.

“Would you mind helping me with this?”

I don’t reply. But I help.

“Would you mind helping me with this?”

“F*ck off already. Can’t you f*cking do things yourself?”

Little things build up. Meditate.


  1. Zen Meditation – The Seat of Enlightenment
  2. Beginning Zen Meditation

I picked Zen as I found it to be one of the least dogmatic Buddhist styles. Some of the happiest days of my life were spent praticing it.

Happy Birthday, Dad

The day started great. It was today that we were going to celebrate papa’s birthday. Papa is getting old — coming towards 55; the last time I remembered asking his age, he was coming to 48. Time flies.

I sometimes wonder how long he should be with us — my family. I have been through 20-odd years without any major life-and-death events, save the passing of my paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother.

Even then, their passing away had not been so tragic. In my grandpa’s case, I had seen little of him in his last few years, and his death had made little impact on me. All I remember of his death was the hospital bed, a biscuit tin, and the warning that smoking kills.

I was closer to my grandma; unlike my grandpa, she was in my consciousness most days; physically at first, then mentally and spiritually — due to her worsening health, her last couple of years were spent in a nursing home. I guess the fact that she wasn’t at home those couple of years had lessened the impact of her death somewhat, though her death was by no means trivial.

I remember praying every night for my grandma to die — I hated the fact that she was in a nursing home and hoped her pain would end as quickly as possible, through death if need be. Then I would push that thought out of my head, tell God to forget that last thought, and prayed that my grandma would get well and live long instead.

I wished she was at home and well. But I also hated the fact that I could not stand her when she was at home — her nagging and senility had often gotten on my nerves. I remember often avoiding her, and hated myself for it. I grieved.

Despite my strongest protests, my mom and pop will someday go the way of my grandparents. All I can hope for is that that day will be in the distant future…

…And as we keep clocking up birthdays, eventually our last will come.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Another Day in the Office

As he poked me in my back for the seventh time, albeit playfully, I looked behind and glared. My lack of a smile shocked him, and it made him uneasy. He felt it was just a joke, a way of calling my attention; a way of publicly showing that we were good friends.

But my mind was elsewhere. Work duties were getting to me, making me edgy. I needed to escape to someplace else, anywhere but the here and now; I managed this through some trivial reveries, but his constant poking kept bring me back into the present. Whoever thought of the saying of being fully alive in the moment must have been on Prozac when he thought it up.

Another friend of mine, sitting beside me, oblivious to all that had just gone on, jabbed me on my arm, and smiled; he too wanted to have fun with me. A millionth of a second before snapping back at him with a curse King Tut would have been proud of, I took a deep breath and looked away.

Some days solitude just doesn’t seem to be so bad a thing.

An Ole Boxfile


I came across an old box file today; in it, there were newspaper cuttings, some old magazines, photocopied examination result slips and a very unassuming stack of dirty lined paper, on which were various writings.

The lined paper caught my interest. I had forgotten of its existence, and even looking through the writings brought back very little to me. I could scarcely remember the circumstances in which I had written that which I had written.

The first page were a few quotations. These forgotten gems include the following:

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” — Carl Jung

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” — Socrates

“Nothing so completely baffles one who is full of tricks and duplicity himself, than straightforward and simple integrity in another.” — Charles Caleb Colton

The following pages were clearly some sort of exercise in self-improvement, done quite a bit ago; people whom I had listed as “friends” are now quite forgotten, or, in one case, mutually declared strangers.

But then I came across this sentence that made my heart suddenly beat faster in excitement. That sentence had to do with what “” meant to me, what my role in it was.

Under the heading “”, the two roles I had written down were:

  1. Writer
  2. Designer

Just reading the words “writer” and “designer” made me all excited. In a sense, it struck the core of me. That is who I am! It hasn’t changed, even after these few years where everything else has.

Haha… Another Prodigy

The world’s divided into two camps. One camp sees the world as “ability” — the skill at which someone can do something. The other camp sees the world as “potential” — the skill at which someone can do something at a future date, variable according to which the “potential” is honed or practiced.

I belong to the latter, perhaps due to the fact that ever since young, I’ve always been a constant “has got potential to do better” student.

When I see the media touting the skills of yet another young prodigy, my first thought is always, “if he is that good at such a young age, imagine what he will become when he grows up!”

Then I stop myself.

How often does a child prodigy actually grow up to be a full-fledged master in his area of expertise? Not that often. Child prodigies are not guaranteed to be successes in life, and non-prodigal children are also not guaranteed to be failures. Which gives the rest of us “potential to do better” people some hope.

Some Resources on Child Prodigies