“Look for the Bare Necessities”

One of the things that modernization and technology have done for us these days is to give us many options in life. For example, when we purchase things, whether it is food, vehicles, computers or cellphones, we are confronted by an expanding array of brands, flavors and options. Take milk, for example. If we only had just plain milk in the past, now we have skimmed milk, calcium-enriched, vitamin-enhanced, high-protein and etc.,

Similarly, we have more options in our choice of careers and lifestyle, and this can make our lives more complicated than before. However, I do not deny that choice can be a good thing. But, sometimes too many options become a source of distraction and frustration, and we lose our priorities and maybe even forget what our original objectives are.

How to combat this malady of modernity? Do not get caught by discounts so that you will not end up with things that you do not need. This resonates well with my preference not to browse and window-shop. Get to the shop, choose from what they have, buy it and go home.

Consider the wise words of Baloo the bear in The Jungle Book, when he taught Mowgli how to survive in the jungle.


Look for the bare necessities,

The simple bare necessities,

Forget about your worries and your strife;

I mean the bare necessities,

That’s why a bear can rest at ease,

With just the bare necessities of life,

Don’t spend your time looking around,

For something you want that can’t be found,

When you find out you can live without it,

And go along not thinking about it,

I’ll tell you something true,

The bare necessities of life will come to you,

They’ll come to you.


In this regard, I am certain that Baloo the Bear would heartily shake paws and hands with the great sage Lao Tzu if he hears him saying this:


Be content with what you have,

Rejoice in the way things are;

When you realize there is nothing lacking,

The whole world belongs to you.

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“Let’s Go Fly a Kite!”



Let’s go fly a kite,

Up to the highest height,

Let’s go fly a kite,

And send it soaring…..

Up to the atmosphere,

Up where the air is clear,

Oh, let’s go…fly a kite!


Do you remember this song from Mary Poppins? We should go “fly a kite” all the time! By this, I mean that we must let go of our anxieties, worries, anger, jealousy, craving and many other defilement that we have, and “soar up to the atmosphere where the air is clear”. The more we are able to let go, the higher we will rise to enlightenment. Granted, sometimes we get hurt and angered, but the faster we let go, the less we will suffer.


We would do well also to remember that we must not cling to even the good feelings and so-called “correct” views. Do not hold on to opinions and concepts, or we get trapped in dualism.


Besides craving for material things, sometimes we also crave to be right. “I am right.You are wrong.” is a form of craving that afflicts many people these days. It does not do us any good to adopt this superiority complex because it would only hinder our own growth and the opportunity to discover and learn new method.


Hence, we should always keep letting go as we learn new things.

Let go of our views,

Let go of our cravings,

Let’s go fly a kite, folks,

And send it soaring………..!

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“Mathematics and the 10 Paramis”



I realize that the skills required in doing mathematics can be transferred to real-life. In mathematics, what is required is essentially to simplify all problems. Similarly, if one can see beyond the numbers and procedures involved, then one sees the intrinsic value of learning mathematics. Through mathematics, we can also impart and teach the kids values in life – as in the 10 Perfections (Paramis). How to do it?

1) Generosity (Dana) – Teach a friend, share what you know.

2) Morality (Sila) – One can never cheat his or her way in mathematics, all working must be shown.

3) Renunciation (Nekkhamma) – Mathematics is all about simplifying problems and expressions.

4) Wisdom (Panna) – One needs to “see things as they really are” before a mathematical problem can be correctly solved.

5) Energy (Viriya) – Mathematics definitely requires mental energy.

6) Patience (Khanti) – Work at it, don’t give up!

7) Truthfulness (Sacca) – Total honesty in doing mathematics.

8) Determination (Adhitthana) – If at first you do not succeed, try and try again.

9) Loving-Kindness (Metta) – Please be kind to your teacher, do your homework.

10) Equanimity (Upekkha) – Sometimes mathematics is easy, sometimes it is difficult. But hey, that’s life, isn’t it?


Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotel chains, attributes his phenomenal success to his mathematics lessons in school:


I am not out to convince anyone that calculus, or even algebra or geometry, are necessities in the hotel business. But I will argue long and loud that they are not useless ornaments pinned onto an average man’s education. For me, at any rate, the ability to formulate quickly, to resolve any problem into its simplest, clearest form has been exceedingly useful. It is true that you don’t use algebra formulae but….I found higher mathematics the best possible exercise for developing the mental muscles necessary to this process……(Conrad Hilton (1957), Be My Guest)

Mathematics is the training ground to cope with life. Remember what Conrad Hilton says……


This is Mathematics – Dhamma. Isn’t this wonderful?

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“WHO Lives Longer?”




Elephants                        – 70 years

Camel                              – 50 years

Horse                              – 50 years

Tyrannosaurus-Rex         – 45 years

Deer                                – 35 years

Lion                                – 35 years

Tiger                               – 25 years

Wolf                                – 16 years

Fox                                 – 14 years


Marine Animals

Whale                            – 116 years

Shark                             –  30 years



Tortoise                       – 152 years

Turtle                           – 123 years

Alligator                       –  63 years

Crocodile                     –  45 years

Cobra                           – 28 years



Swan                           – 102 years

Eagle                           –  55 years

Vulture                        –  39 years


It appears from the list above that vegetarian animals generally have a longer lifespan compared with carnivorous animals of the same size and species. Some of the animals on the list may not be strict vegetarians and are actually omnivores. We humans are also omnivores, but I have a feeling that at the rate the modern-day human devours meat, we may just be eating more meat than the lions and tigers!

Animals eat only when hungry. And when one wonders why obesity, heart diseases, high cholesterol, diabetes and cancer are on the rise! Humans eat for pleasure.

Eat to live, or live to eat?

The choice is ours.

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“16 Things It Took Me Over 50 Years to Learn”

Received via E-mail. “16 Things it took me over 50 years to learn” – By: Dave Barry, Nationally Syndicated Columnist.

Funny enough, but did Dave really write that list floating around the internet?


1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative the same night.

2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings.”

3. There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.”

4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want  you to share yours with them.

5. You should not confuse your career with your life.

6. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. (This one is very important.)

7. Never lick a steak knife.

8. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

9. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

10. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

11. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age 11.

12. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

13. A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)

14. Your friends love you anyway.

15. Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

16. Thought for the day: Men are like fine wine. They start out as grapes; and it’s up to the women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with. Forward to all of your friends.

Apparently, Dave wrote something like it. But it has been changed during its travels around the world in email. “25 Things” and has since been pared down to “16 Things” and some of which were not part of the original, and some of which have been modified. The original list is called “25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years” and can be found in the book Dave Barry Turns 50.

List No.1, No.7, No.15, and No.16 above were not part of the “25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years”. And on list No. 8, Dave described gossip as being the “most powerful” (not the “most destructive”) force in the universe.

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