To gain, one must let go – Part 1
Three years ago, the Joyous Insightful Praise Class was launched. The target audience was non-Lamrim students.
As my aunt knew that I love to sing, she used this skilful medium to get me to sign up for the class and return to the somewhat familiar society, which was not my first class here. In 2010, I attended a Lamrim class after a few months, but gave it up due to my busy work schedule amongst other reasons.
We did not have many students in the Joyous Insightful Praise Class. The class enrolment was less than ten. Nonetheless, in the three years of our course, six of us took up Lamrim courses. Over time, some of us even successfully introduced our family members or friends to take Lamrim classes.
This could be attributed to the structure of the Joyous Insightful Praise. During the lessons, not only did we sing melodious Insightful Praises, we learned more about the Dharma weaved within the lyrics. We too learned about the efforts of Master Jih-Chang and Teacher in propagating the Dharma.
Like all classes, we too had two classmates who stopped attending as they had to serve their “National Service” at home to care for grandchildren.
In the three years, our course curriculum evolved. We added time slots for watching short video clips from the Enlightenment Program on the LucidiTV Channel.
These clips included the series from “A Spiritual Dialogue with our Virtuous Practitioner” and “Protect your Life in Just Three Minutes”.
We too enjoyed the weekly treat of yummy guava, shared our little virtuous deeds and takeaways of experiences gathered on our Dharma Seeking trips and spiritual expeditions.
In 2016 and 2017, nearing the Lunar New Year season, we even had two outreach activities to the community by performing action songs: “Thank You for your Compassionate Heart” and “Fill the world with Loving Trees” for the residents at the Man Fut Tong Nursing Home.
This year, knowing that our monitor, Sister Neo Sor Kheng is going to set up an “Auspicious Paradise Studio” booth at the 2017 Auspicious Vesak, I too felt that this was a very good form of entertainment for non-Lamrim students as well as providing studio services to BWM members. This would capture their joyous moments with their family and friends at our Vesak event.
Thus, six weeks before the event, we started to do research and conceptualise the props that we want to create for the photo booth. As our Monitor Sor Kheng has always given her best in caring for our class, the class in return also puts their best foot forward for the plan.
Together, we aspired to make our offering in time and effort to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and benefit all sentient beings. We are not craft experts, but we learnt from the internet. At times when we failed to create crafts as beautiful as those in the demo videos, we improvised.
After hearing news that some committees are keen to use our props after our event, we had an even stronger drive to produce our props. As a class, we learnt a lot. As envisioned by our Master Venerable Jih-Chang, our pathway to enlightenment will not be a lonely one as we have virtuous friends and practitioners to walk with us.
When facing challenges which is expected in the process, I have always tried to keep in mind the sincere motivation of benefiting all sentient beings and seek resolutions. Even in times of tiredness and tight schedule, our class forged ahead courageously. When facing the challenge of props storage after the event, I had agreed to keep the props in my residence till August after the monastery is ready.
However, a bigger challenge awaits. News came that there is no transport for all the props and their fate may be to have them being thrown away. When I heard that these props which the class has painstakingly created over six weeks will be thrown away straight after the event, I was stunned and lost for words.
Immediately, I reached out to a family member who has transport, but he has a work assignment and my Plan A could not work. Thankfully, another cousin gave me a Plan B of calling for a larger capacity taxi via a taxi application. That gave me some consolation.
Thankfully, Buddha gave me an even better Plan C. I was able to locate two BWM members who would like to adopt the photo booth props for their future events and thus would transport them back after the event. I was so thankful that my prayers were heard and answered.
Though the props had finally found their respective homes, I reflected to ask myself: “What is my learning from this incident?”
My answer: ATTACHMENT! I can only gain by letting go.
Why do I say this? Let me continue to share my learning journey in the next release.