Monthly Archives: May 2007

Truth and creative fun in each moment

Today’s gathering topic is pride. Listening to them talking about pride and being humble, I was reminded many things I had in China. One of the living principles I learned while in China is to live by truth. Looking deeply into the truth is the way I break the artificial concepts. Seeing the truth, if I am really good at something and I say I am not, then it will be a lie. Seeing the truth, if I work hard, of course I am going to be good at something. Seeing the truth, I will of course notice that although I am good at something, other people are also good at something else. I guess that is the source of being humble. Living by the truth, I don’t want to pretend to be someone I am not because I won’t get what I really want by pretending to be someone I am not. Seeing the truth, I can see that sometimes it is a lot of fun to present myself as being proud. Sometimes it is a lot of fun to present to be humble. If it is really fun, it definitely helps other people. The real fun is to cooperate with other people. If I am good at something, I want other people to cheer for me. If other people are good at something, I also want to cheer for them. Working with other people is really fun. In each moment, we need live by the truth, be creative in that moment to look for fun in the truth with other people.

So moment by moment, we seek the truth, live by the truth, create fun with other people. Having fun is helping other people.

When I was in China, I learned this from the girl who told me Life is Colorful. She manifested to me from different angles how to live by the truth and have creative fun at each moment. By being with her, I had the real experience of truth and beauty. I learned to manifest that myself and helped other people in each moment.

It is very important to learn the ability to see the truth as it is. For example, in cs study.  To see the truth as it is requires various kinds of skills and understanding of different fields.

Tonight, by this interaction with other people, I was brought back what I have learned before. So you see, without interaction with other human being, one individual is hardly a human being.

I guess I am almost back to where I was when in China, synthesizing various things on a high level. I still need a lot of work on English to be able to better interact with other people, see the truth in the human world and create fun in each moment.

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What is life

While programming, objects emerge from context and circumstance. It is an abstract on a higher level, encapsulating a few lower level functions and is independent and self-complete. A good model of objects emerged from the context have the potential to be very useful in various situations.

Objects live on various layers of abstraction, interfacing with the human world, the machine world, and etc.

Objects on each level or layer need to be complete by themselves. They need to be meaningful. They need good boundaries. They have to make up a good story on their level or layer. At the same time, their existence is also shaped by objects on adjacent levels or layers.

Writing software is thus actually creating life, just like any other art.

For us human being, what is life? We are self-complete. We take in life and be functional on a higher level. We need to learn details of various arts, which please different parts of our senses. We need to interact with other people, enjoy ourselves and at the same time help other people. We need to connect to something that is bigger than us, to organizations, to a movement, to human beings’ struggle of generations. Thus being alive, for us, means being able to take in various forms of life, let them center around ourselves, fuse them into one whole body, and as a whole body be functional and joining life on a higher level.

So the essence of life is how I can be useful to other people. But it has to start from self, because only a self pursuing his/her own happiness is able to absorb all forms of life around himself/herself. Only a self that is self-complete is able to synthesize those forms of life and apply them freely in creating new lives.

Note: This is kind of random thought now. I need to keep working on it.

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The believes in Buddhism

There are some confusion about belief/faith or religious elements in Buddhism. Not sure how to answer this exactly. If there is any belief/faith in Buddhism, it is a belief in yourself (as having the same equal Buddha nature as any other person) and belief in the present. I don’t know how you can call them believes. If you still have belief how can you be really present and be yourself? So the faith element is only a tool for you to truly experience yourself and the present. The real experience inevitably leads to dissolve of believes. If you have really experienced it, you don’t need the belief anymore. Just like if you have eaten the apple, you don’t need to believe the apple should taste like something anymore.

I said below before. Here just repeat it.

Buddhism is not religion. Buddhism just teaches you about mind and yourself. You need to study Buddhism only because you have illusion and you suffer from that illusion. If you don’t have illusion, you don’t need to study Buddhism.

When Buddha saw people die, he felt there was something fundamentally wrong with his whole system of concepts. Thus he started his very hard practice to resolve that conflict. When he sat under the tree and saw the rising morning star, he waked up to his true self.

Buddha taught many ways of practice for various kinds of people. Some people are more faith/religion based. So some branches of Buddhism are more religion based. Some people are more intellect, so there are more knowledge based branches. They are just different methods employed. If you can just put it down, you don’t need any of them. They are just head added over head.

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Dragon Ball Rap

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQbYvjmfbr4

Funny that people made a rap of Dragon Ball, my most favorite cartoon. Don’t know what they are singing.

I start reading Dragon Ball when I was in junior middle school (about 15 years old). Then finished the whole series in college. Yes, it took the author that many years to finish it. The character Goku and some other characters and stories are based on the Chinese classic novel Monkey King (or translated as Journey to the West), my most favorite Chinese classic novel. The novel is full of imagination. In my view, it is actually a great Buddhism novel. Monkey King is a fighting Buddha.

When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the stories of the Monkey King. When in kindergarten, we had an old teacher who is very good at telling stories. Monkey King stories are our most favorite stories.

Monkey King is Chinese tradition of grassroots and individualism. It represents Chinese quest for freedom and equality. Such tradition is very rare in China. It defies and laughs at all authorities. Monkey King is full of life.

Below is the classic cartoon of Monkey King made in the 60s:

Havoc in Heaven 1

Havoc in Heaven 2

Havoc in Heaven 3

Havoc in Heaven 4

Havoc in Heaven5

Havoc in Heaven 6

This is the TV series in the 90s. It is a quite classic version.

Above videos are all in Chinese. This is the translation of the novel in English. http://www.chine-informations.com/fichiers/jourwest.pdf 

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Are we the same?

Note: this is an answer I posted on a forum. Just repost it here.

If we are not the same, how can I explain this to you and you can understand?

If two things are 99.99999999… the same, only 0.000…1 different, will you say they are the same, or different?

Meditation is to help you realize what is the same. No thinking.

Honestly, there is no much difference between you and, oh, my shoes. 😆 I guess this might get misinterpreted. But according to my calculation, they are 99.86629 the same, 0.13371 different.

Also don’t forget that you have a very large body. This large body is infinite. Like waves in the ocean, big waves or small waves, they are also the ocean. Waves should not say that they are not the ocean. It is a matter of fact that we are also this very large body. You might feel you cannot obtain the large body, it is too difficult or this is not practical to you. If you say so, inevitably you will be suffering because you are denying the fact. The fact will be working on you. This is indeed what you are suffering from day to day. When you die, you cannot escape this any more.  You will be suffering if you don’t know that you have this large body, which is always there and never changes.

So go claim this large body. With this large body, it is all inside. Nothing outside. This is essentially where your happiness relies. Buddhism practice is very simple. Just put it all down. If you can put it down, you will have this large body.

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About Space

When you are in a very noisy place, it is very hard for you to do mental work. While in a quiet place, your mind is not occupied by noises and constant distractions from the thing you are working on. Thus even you are busy, there is still space left so your mind can move around paying attention to other aspects of the thing you are working on or being aware of the position it is within a bigger space. That is the space you leave for creation. Also although you can be very busy, if you focus on what you do, there is always space for you to rest when you are doing the thing you are doing. It is when our minds are attached to something, when we are still worried about something or the noises occupy our mind totally, we then have no space at all for rest. Thus we get exhausted very quickly.

If you are overwhelmed by too many tasks going on in the same period of time, it is always better to do less so you have enough space for each thing you are working on. Of course, if you can handle it, it is better to work on several things around the same period of time, especially when these things are closely related. Since you are mindful of the bigger space that the things are in, it saves you tremendous time if you work on several related things together. More importantly, that is the source of creation, which is to find the common ground in the bigger space and connect different things together.

Normal people’s minds are always attached to things that have passed. Thus their minds are constantly running around. That is how most people exhaust themselves. There is no space for rest. There is also no space for taking new things. Thus they cannot pay attention to what they are doing right now. By doing what you are doing right now, you create space, and make yourself available to other people. It is easier to stay energetic this way.

Playing soccer, especially as a midfielder, is about creating space. Just run backwards one step and turn around, you create space.

Each of us also occupies a space. This space takes things in, and output things. This space interacting with the environment is doing activities, which we can call playing. Such interaction with the environment is exchange of love. Doing these activities silently can make it easier for us to be aware of the activities we are doing.

Object Oriented Programming builds space around an object, making that object capable of doing a variety of things. Although for the current tasks, it is often not efficient to write it that way. But because the creation of space, there is the potential that spaces can cooperate together to do something much more. This essentially is life.

Solitude is to create space around self. So this self is more rich in content, more able to cooperate.

You need to have the space to be aware of the scope and hierarchy of space. Such awareness is the source of creation.

How space can be applied to learning?

You need to focus on what you are interested in. If you are interested in something, it means you are starting to build space around something in your life. You already know something about it. And you need to know more to build around that space. Also your life gives your various opportunities (activities or resources) to work on that space. Compulsory schooling essentially screws up people sense of space and is thus fundamentally wrong.

By deepening the space and being aware of the bigger space, learning becomes much easier, and thinking becomes more focused and straightforward. People need quietness, open space, and beautiful scenery to be better in touch with the bigger space (of course the biggest space is one’s life and the nature. Quietness and beautiful scenery connect one’s life and the nature together).

One other way to be better control of the bigger space and the small spaces within is to build better ground for each space, finish the dirty, detailed ground work. It is also important to simplify the space reducing it to a few simple rules, which is usually based on better understanding of the bigger space.

Layer by layer learning (see my blog Summary of Learning) is the natural way of learning due to the spaces one is developing inside of him/her. Learning by any artificial object such as finishing one book after another is not following the space developing in your mind. You have to feel about the space in hierarchy developing in your mind and learn layer by layer.

By developing spaces inside of you, you create life inside of you. Observe and see how you can make it more life inside of you.

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Natural writing and editing

This is a question raised in a Dharma gathering. I think it is a good topic to comment a little on.

It is asked how to understand the relation between natural/original writing and editing (Not exact words, but roughly so). With original writing, there is a sense of expressing oneself. It is raw and fresh. With editing, it is a respect for the audience. It is considering how the audience will perceive the writing, and modifies the writing so audience can better take it.

I think we can try taking some extreme case. Say, you lock yourself in a room, not interacting with people for years. What can you write? It is probably very difficult for you to write. Or in another case, you have internet in the room, and you do a lot of reading, pursuing your very high level thinking without ever talking to anyone. Then you start writing. Your writing will probably be very hard for other people to understand. I know some people like that. It is all their own construct. They are on a very high level, but cannot communicate with people. My writing when I first came out of my long time of solitude (of my tech learning), can be very hard to understand. (I always try to tell more. Actually I should tell less.) I had the painful experience of writing because of lack of interaction with people here and the language barrier. It took me a lot of time to write a short article.

So when you write something, you create an identity. You call that identity self. So self (as an identity) is generated out of interaction with other people, in response to the outside world. The true self is the self that is able to interact and respond to the outside world. It is the self that is playing.

Then you do some editing, working on the style and details. But the substance is already there. I know some people do revising many times. My most favorite Chinese novelist kept revising his novels for 20 years. But his novel is quite long and complex. So it is worth spending time keeping improving it. He rearranged various sections for many times to find a more beautiful structure (He even wrote software to help him doing that). But the substance is deeply rooted in his life experiences.

Recently I have more enjoyment of writing instead of pain. It comes out more naturally and doesn’t take me much time. It is only because I do more interaction now and I am more in context of the space here. Also after in the world of language for a while, the words and sentences quite often just build themselves. Of course they build themselves through me. 🙂

 

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