More wisdom from the layman Mr. Nam, and insights from Thai monastics about the roots of practice
The All Joy, No Luck Club
The beauty of simple faith, as told by a gentleman called Mr. Nam
Don’t Pass the Ball
Balancing different needs with moving forward in life decisively
Talking to Strangers Who Start Fires
What do the burning woodlands of California tell us about insight?
Not long after the death of my grandfather (爷爷/爺爺), my family resumed its familiar tradition. When both my grandparents were alive, my parents, my sister and me would be regularly treated to dinner at their home, where we’d enjoy the familial and communal experience of eating together and watching television. The stark difference now was […]
I’ll never forget the smile of my grandmother (po po/婆婆). Her soft, inviting grin greeted me every time I visited her with my parents and sister. Po Po always seemed excited to see us, but she expressed her excitement with a modesty that few people could perceive or appreciate outside of the family. Her excitement […]
The Parable of the Vessel
In his memoir, Vessel (Pínáng / 筏喩), Cai Chongda (蔡崇達) describes the tough-love advice given to him by his great-grandmother (太姥爷 / 太婆): “Your body’s a vessel. If you wait on it to do something, there’s no hope for you. If you put your body to work, you can start to live.” Those words made […]
Mafan. 麻烦 or 麻煩 in Simplified and Traditional Chinese, respectively. Meaning: trouble; troublesome; a bother, a thorn in one’s side. Mafanwas one of the first Chinese words I learned as a child. My grandmother (maa maa / 嫲嫲 / nai nai / 奶奶) would utter the word several times throughout the day when I stayed […]
Developing a Sense of Similarity
Several years ago, when I was eating lunch alone in the dining area of a university food court, a smiling student recruiter from a major international religious organization asked whether he could speak with me for a moment. I obliged, and he sat down in the chair directly across from me at my table. After […]
When is Generosity Not Genuine?
When I grew up, I’d occasionally stay up late watching TV. About 10 minutes into a show, the screen with cut away to the first ad. I remember the images used in commercials produced by NGOs that were meant to solicit donations, which appealed to the sensibilities of audiences in the developed world. The typical […]