Subject: [CASonline] The Dharma in Lam Rim and Numbers

Dearest Friends @ CAS,
"Welcome back after a fleeting fortnight !!"
We have since included a most lovely interview with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.
What a surprise too to read reports of a representative survey that Buddhism is witnessing a revival in Singapore in spite of apparently overt and aggressive marketing strategies of modern mega churches and Singapore's fat chunks of missionary schools with their daily "chapel sessions" and their chantings of Christ as the stressed-out and confused teenagers' "true and best friend" !! ( What better targetted customers ??!! )
One would find it hard to reconcile such smarmy-antics with Mother Teresa or perhaps even one's cheerful and sincere Christian colleague at work. bb's certainly confused after knowing, loving and having lived with his Christian Australian Friends' noble, warm and sincere hugs and prayers !!   
Then, We have His Holiness's Tibetan-Master-Style acceptance of offerings ( they do so by touching the offered object to the forehead ):
This issue should prove quenching, sweeping and definitely holy .....  "Namo Amituofo !!"
bb  & other friends @ CAS belonging to Guan Shi Yin Pu Sa  
The Dalai Lama Interview
Quote/s from the Buddha's holy scripture
On three occasions when the Buddha requested Kassapa to exhort the monks, he refused to comply..... He had heard that two monks had been boasting of their skill in preaching, saying, "Come, let us see who will preach more profusely, more beautifully, and at greater length!" ....
The Buddha Himself spoke of the reasons for their conduct:
"Formerly, Kassapa, there were elders of the Order who were forest dwellers, living on almsfood, wearing rag robes, using only the set of three robes, having few wants and being contented, living secluded and aloof from society, energetic; and they praised and encouraged such a way of life. When such elders visited a monastery, they were gladly welcomed and honoured as being dedicated to the practice of the Dhamma. Then the younger monks would also strive to emulate them in their way of life, and this would be of great benefit to them for a long time.
But nowadays, Kassapa, those who are honoured when visiting a monastery are not monks of austere and earnest life, but those who are well known and popular and are amply provided with the requisites of a monk. These are welcomed and honoured, and the younger monks try to emulate them, which will bring them harm for a long time. Hence one will be right in saying that such monks are harmed and overpowered by what does harm to a monk's life."
( Samyutta Nikaya: "The Book of the Kindred Sayings" )
[ "Great Disciples of the Buddha" by Nyanaponika Thera and Hellmuth Hecker - Wisdom Publications ]
        "Colours from Holland"
"The Sure-Steps to Enlightenment."
( Meditation on the Lam Rim - rough, authentic notes. )
The Perfect Human Rebirth
[ Note:
In relation to the first Lam Rim Topic which we should have gained some confidence and firmness of experience, it will carry deeper blessings, maturity and impressions to begin each sub-topic: A, B C and so on with "Our perfect Teacher teaches that ....." ] 
"Our perfect Teacher teaches that ....."
We need horrifically precious causes to obtain a human body, especially a human body which has had contact with the Buddha's teachings, senses complete and all. Now that we have obtained it, we should never waste it ( we have afterall sacrificed much in past lives to have obtained it !! ) in pursuit of trivial worldly matters but instead use it only or mainly for practice of Dharma** which leads to liberation for oneself and others.
( While contemplating the above, do 108 times mantra of your Yidam - Chenrezig, Tara, Yamantaka or others. Or you can do the mantras until you feel the topic has firmly been internalised in your mind !! )
"Our perfect Teacher teaches that ....."
There are uncountable number of beings in the hells and other Lower Realms. Human-body-rebirth is like the dust on one's finger tip while beings from all other realms are like dust below one's feet. Since, numerically, our human body is so precious, we 100% MUST use it FULLEST not in pursuit of trivial worldly matters but instead use it only or mainly for practice of Dharma** which leads to liberation for oneself and others.     
( While contemplating the above, do 108 times mantra of your Yidam - Chenrezig, Tara, Yamantaka or others. Or you can do the mantras until you feel the topic has firmly been internalised in your mind !! )
"Our perfect Teacher teaches that ....."
If we use this human body of ours to practise Dharma, inconceivable Buddhahood with its inconceivable qualities will be won. This will be of highest good to oneself and the world. ( Sutra's viewpoint )
This human body is already itself, upon proper understanding and recognition with an authentic Teacher's instructions, the divine Pure Land and Yidam/s - the very actual nature of Buddhahood. We should cherish this human body and stay in this recognition for good of all. ( Tantra's viewpoint )
( While contemplating the above, do 108 times mantra of your Yidam - Chenrezig, Tara, Yamantaka or others. Or you can do the mantras until you feel the topic has firmly been internalised in your mind !! )
[ Here ends the main points dealing with the Second Topic of the Lam Rim teachings. Firmly do it till it becomes your mind. ] 
**Practice of Dharma includes implementing the Noble Eightfold Path, one of which being "Right Occupation", so our daily work ( absent of killing and the like ) is also a practice of the Dharma. The Buddha too mentioned that diligent, honest exerting of effort in one's daily "bread and butter" work is a "True Blessing" !! ( See "Mangala Sutta" !! )
 Lam Rim Clarification
Hi W,
This particular verse below from Lam Rim Topic One - "Sub-Topic C" sent via CASonline two weeks' back is primarily referenced in the context of the Varjayana.
If we rely on the Teacher, every possible good will come: worldly protection, aims and sublime spiritual fruits all ripen !!
If we do not rely on the Teacher, we will be lost and sufferings will come !!
The verses' mentioning of the Guru as being the source of all happiness and while not relying on the Guru as being the source of all sufferings is mainly, figuratively expressing the contexts, conditonal upon the Guru being authentic and the instructions being in-line with the Buddha's teachings.  
Thank you for clarifying and this allows for clarifications being offered to all our friends too ....!!
"Amituofo !!"
We attached below, a short extract from His Holiness the Dalaiu Lama's advice on looking for and relying on the Spiritual Friend:
    Often in countries that are not traditionally Buddhist, such as in the West, students do not have great access to many spiritual teachers. The Buddhist masters who visit may come only once a year, at the most. Thus it is difficult to find a sufficient variety of gurus to investigate in order to select a proper one, and there are insufficient opportunities to examine the qualifications of any of them. But this does not mean that before you have found a teacher who can serve as your guru, or even as your root guru, you cannot begin Dharma practice and at least engage in some of the forward-leading preliminaries.
    First of all, you can certainly receive teachings from the various spiritual instructors who visit your countries, and do so in the manner of simply attending a lecture. As for engaging in meditational practices, even without a root guru you can proceed, on the basis of receiving instructions in a lecture or reading a book, to practice, for example, the placement of the four types of close mindfulness - on the bodily sensations, the feelings of a level of happiness or unhappiness, the mind and all phenomena. You can also begin, without a root guru to practice the meditational methods for developing a dedicated heart of bodhicitta and a correct understanding of the nature of reality, or voidness, on the basis of reading such texts as Shantideva's Engaging in Bodhisattva's Deeds. Of course, however, before engaging in any meditational practice, you must first ponder and think over carefully what you have heard or read so that you understand it correctly.
- The Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of MAHAMUDRA
H.H. Dalai Lama
Alexander Berzin
"Support Dharma Propagation Fund ( DPF ) - Product Highlight".
From The Tibetan Medical College:
Tibetan Herbal Tea - Elixir of Rejuvenation ( "Gaay-Pa-Sowae-Chulen" )
Cause of Aging:
The primary cause of aging process is the transformation of the primordial elements and the secondary cause is the passing of the years, physical exhaustion, and mental stress also contributes. With the deterioration in the comso-physical elements, which creates transformation within the body and this led to the consequences such as bent of body, appearance of wrinkles, loss and change of hair and beard color to white, loss of sensitivity of sensory organs like eyes, rough skin, weakened of body energies, etc, are collective symptoms of aging.
In order to pacify these problems, this rejuvenation tea (Elixir of Rejuvenation - Gaay-Pa-Sowae-Chulen) have shown an undeniable effect, especially on retaining our youthful appearance and prolongs life span. It's uses are to prolong life span, retain youthful appearance and lustre, increases vigor, triggers the sensitivity of sensory organs like eyes, improve memory and intelligence power. It is especially effective for Aphrodisiac.
We could try to post them to you ( will include postage costs to reimburse Dharma Propagation Fund - DPF ) or you could come down to Camden Education Center to collect.
Do confirm first so we can transfer them from Ganden Trisur's place in Singapore to the education centre before you come.
We only have about 15  each to go.
Suggested offering:
( Friends @ CASonline - S$14/- excluding postage ) 
( Not a Friend @ CASonline - S$18/- excluding postage )
All contributions will go into CAS's life-saving DPF !!
FOR Friends of CAS
( May the Dharma flourish far and wide, bringing peace and liberation to all mother beings wherever they are !! )
MANI Retreat at Suntec City, Singapore - a legacy of the Most Venerable Drubwang Konchog Norbu Rinpoche.
Contact 6400 2072 /
( 1 )
Dear Friends,

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SCORE is a statutory board with Ministry of Home Affairs that enhances the employability of offenders and prepare them for the eventual reintegration back to the workforce with work programmes.

I would like to kindly seek your assistance to forward the Promotional Email to your colleagues and friends.

( 2 )
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SINGAPORE CORPORATION OF REHABILITATIVE ENTERPRISES (SCORE), 407 UPPER CHANGI ROAD NORTH, 20km (PRISON HQ COMPLEX), SINGAPORE 507658, WEBSITE: WARNING: Privileged/Confidential information may be contained in this message.  If you are not the intended addressee, you must not copy, distribute or take any action in reliance thereon.  Communication of any information in this email to any unauthorised person is an offence under the Official Secrets Act (Cap 213).  Please notify the sender immediately if you receive this in error

Hi BB and friends of CASoTAC,
I am a local graduate student in psychology, and a student of Dharma (albeit a terrible one) who subscribes to CASoTAC news and events.
I am currently conducting research for the completion of my Post-Graduate Diploma in Psychology, titled "Happiness and its Qualities", to gain a better understanding of the general psychological health of young adults in Singapore and the mental traits/ qualities that are related or contribute to overall psychological well-being. The factors explored are related to lifestyle and beliefs and the subjects required are Singaporeans aged above 18. In light of the variables I'm exploring, I would require spiritual/ ethnic diversity, and hopefully, a substantial participation from 'right belief' Buddhists. And CASoTAC I believe has a great network of such candidates from various traditions.
The survey is conducted online and should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
While simple demographic questions on the individual will be asked, no identifying information such as name, address or specific occupation will be required. The minimal demographic information requested is to ensure that the participants are within the demographic group which is the focus of the research analyses. Confidentiality is assured.
Participants can leave me their email after the survey if they're keen to know what the outcome is when I finish in December. In view of what I'm exploring, I would also love to share these findings for the CASoTAC's readers as well.
Hope to have your assistance in this frail attempt to support Dharma through the avenue of science.
Thank you.
Tey Beng Huan
The Update/s
Buddhism By Numbers
What the Pew Forum report reveals about the face of American Buddhism
- and how the results can help sanghas change and grow.
By Hoko Jan Karnegis
Tricycle Magazine
Fall 2008, Vol. 18, No. 1
WHEN YOU think of the words "American Buddhist," what do you see?
Someone white, middle-aged, no kids? An adult convert from
Protestantism? Someone with a graduate degree, living in the western
United States?
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life's "2008 U.S. Religious
Landscape Survey," released in late February, may provide some new
clues about what American Buddhists are like. The Pew Forum conducted
more than 35,000 telephone surveys with adult respondents, 0.7% of
whom identified themselves as Buddhist.
A caveat: While the resulting figures are interesting and may be
useful in evaluating American sangha development, care must be taken
in relying heavily on them. The margin for error is +6.5%, and only
411 respondents identify themselves as Buddhist. Also, Hawaii, home
to a significant number of Buddhists, was not included in the survey.
Nonetheless, larger trends and themes emerge and help to point out
where further study is needed.
MORE than half (53%) of Buddhist respondents are white; another third
(32%) are Asian or Asian-American. Nearly three-quarters of Buddhist
respondents (74%) were born in the U.S. In addition, gender was
equally represented: 53% of Buddhist respondents are male and 47% female.
Buddhists are among the most highly educated respondents, with nearly
three-quarters (74%) having attended college. More than a quarter
(26%) have graduate degrees, compared with 10% of the American
population as a whole.
When it comes to income levels, Buddhist respondents cluster at both
ends of the spectrum. A quarter make less than $30,000 a year, but
almost as many (22%) earn more than $100,000 annually. More than half
(56%) make more than $50,000 a year.
A plurality of Buddhist respondents (40%) are between 30 and 49 years
of age, with another 30% being between 50 and 64. Less than a quarter
(23%) are between 18 and 29 years old.
Almost three-quarters (73%) of Buddhist respondents converted to the
practice; only 27% were raised Buddhist. Nearly a third of Buddhist
respondents (32%) are former Protestants; another 22% are former
Catholics, and 6% belong to other faiths, including Judaism.
Under half (45%) of Buddhist respondents are married; another third
(31%) have never married, and 12% are divorced. Of married Buddhist
respondents, more than half (55%) have non-Buddhist spouses.
Most of these spouses (27%) are unaffiliated with any religion; 15%
are Protestant. In the U.S. Population overall, 37% are married to a
spouse with a different religious affiliation.
The vast majority (70%) of Buddhist respondents do not have children
at home. Comparatively, the figure is 61% for Catholics, 66% for
Protestants, and 72% for Jews. Of children raised Buddhist, half do
not continue to practice when they reach adulthood, 28% percent stop
practicing any religion, and 22% change to another faith. Buddhists
and Jehovah's Witnesses are the two religious groups showing the
lowest retention rate.
The largest group of Buddhist respondents (45%) live in the West;
almost a quarter (23%) live in the South. California and New Mexico
are the states claiming the largest number of respondents.
MORE than a quarter of Pew respondents (28%) report that they have
left the religion in which they were raised. While every religious
group is experiencing turnover, some are growing by gaining adherents
faster than they are losing them.
The group of respondents who are unaffiliated with any particular
religion (16.1%) is the fastest-growing segment, despite having one
of the lowest retention rates of any group.
Looking at gender figures, 20% of men report no religious
affiliation, compared with 13% of women.
The unaffiliated are relatively young: 31% percent are under age 30,
and 71% are younger than 50. A quarter of young adults ages 18 to 29
say they are unaffiliated.
Christians make up the largest segment of the U.S. Population
(78.4%), with Protestants making up slightly more than half (51.3%)
and Catholics nearly another quarter (23.9%).
The findings raise some useful questions for the continuing
development of the American Buddhist sangha. For instance,
constructing and conducting a Buddhist practice together as a family
appears not to be a central concern for the majority of respondents.
Most married Buddhist respondents have nonpracticing spouses and are
not raising children, and most Buddhist children have given up the
practice by the time they grow up. In addition, the 18-to-29 age
group is one of the smallest among Buddhist respondents, second only
to the 65+ group (7%). What does the low number of young
practitioners mean for the future of American Buddhism? Clearly the
largest influx of new practitioners is coming from adults who
convert. Adult religious education will likely continue to be a focus
of American sanghas, given that most new practitioners have grown up
in another tradition (or no tradition) and there is little underlying
cultural understanding of Buddhism. What do new practitioners bring
with them from their previous traditions, and what do they need to
know in order to effectively begin and maintain their Buddhist practice?
With nearly three-quarters of Buddhist respondents having some
college education, and more than a quarter with graduate degrees, it
would seem that colleges and surrounding areas present fertile ground
for the spread of the dharma. Are there also opportunities for
sanghas to reach out to potential practitioners whose educational
path does not include college? How might this be done? And what about
non-white, non-Asian practitioners? Only 6% of Buddhist respondents
were Latino, 4% black, and 5% mixed race or other. According to U.S.
Census figures, 15% of the U.S. Population identifies as Latino,
while 13% identify as black. Perhaps there are opportunities for
growing sanghas to reach out to and provide meaningful practice
experience for underrepresented groups in their areas.
Finally, the widely divergent income levels of Buddhist respondents
are worth considering in planning for sangha development. The need to
gather financial support is a source of discomfort in some sanghas,
raising questions about clinging, greed, and acceptance. These are
certainly issues that need examination within the context of Buddhist
teaching. However, a perceived sense of lack may not actually reflect
the sangha's circumstances. Granted that income levels will vary by
geography, if 39% of American Buddhists are earning more than $75,000
annually and more than a fifth (22%) earn more than $100,000, there
are likely some very meaningful giving opportunities available that
would benefit both the donor and the sangha. How can sanghas create a
healthy climate of giving that encourages those with the financial
means to help support practice? On a related note, if the quarter of
Buddhist respondents making less than $30,000 a year are suffering
because of their income level, can sanghas offer help through
workstudy programs, discounted program fees, or other initiatives?
Are there other basic needs with which the practice community can help?
More recently, the Pew Forum released the second half of the survey,
which explores the social and political views of respondents along
with the specifics of their religious beliefs and practices. Perhaps
unsurprisingly, Buddhists were the most liberal of any religious
affiliation surveyed. 50% of Buddhists identified as liberal, while
just 12% identified as conservative, leaving 32% as moderates.
Nationwide, 20% of respondents are liberal, 37% are conservative, and
36% are moderate. Buddhists were also more likely than any other
single faith to be accepting of homosexuality:82% of respondents
stated that they believed that homosexuality should be accepted by
society, as compared to 50% of respondents nationally. 81% of
Buddhists surveyed said that abortion should be legal in all or most
cases, as opposed to a national average of 51%. Collectively, these
results suggest that many Buddhists lean leftward on today's most
debated social issues - finding themselves at odds with about half of
the country.
However, many Buddhists do share the greater number of American's
belief in God or a universal spirit: 39% stated that they were
certain of a higher power, while 28% ranked themselves as fairly
certain. Nationwide, those numbers are 71% and 17%, respectively. 19%
of Buddhists said that they did not believe in God, while only 5% of
nationwide respondents said the same. What does all of this tell us
about how Buddhism in America may evolve down the road? While it's
inadvisable to generalize, it's safe bet that it will be driving a Prius.
The complete Pew Forum report is available for free online at
Hoko Jan Karnegis was ordained as a novice by Shohaku Okumura in
2005. In 2007 she completed a Master of Liberal Studies degree at the
University of Minnesota with a thesis on sangha organization and leadership.
The Dalai Lama at the second largest congregation of Muslims
Ajmer -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited the revered Ajmer Sharif
shrine in Rajasthan Wednesday morning to offer prayers on the
occasion of "Urs", the 796th death anniversary of Sufi saint, Khwaja
Moin-ud-Din Chishti.
The Tibetan Spiritual leader offered prayers at the Dargah Sharif
during his two days visit to Rajasthan.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama said promotion of harmony for lasting
world peace has been his life-long commitment.
"All major religions of the world present the same potential to
promote wholeheartedness or compassion. Through that way, genuine and
lasting world peace can exist. You know for that reason, harmony
among different traditions is very essential. This is my life-long
commitment," said His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Thousands of devotees congregate at the Ajmer Sharif shrine every
year to offer prayers on the occasion of Urs, which began on 5 July this year.
The shrine is a symbol of religious convergence as people of all
religions throng here in large numbers with the belief that all their
wishes would be fulfilled once they offer prayers at the shrine.
An estimated one million devotees from India and abroad visit the
saint's shrine during the six-day long Urs. The shrine also brings
devotees from neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The annual gathering is considered to be second largest congregation
of Muslims at one place after Mecca.
FROM Friends of CAS


Dear kunga nyima, tashi delek, u welcome, may buddha bless all the beings

Khenpo Choying Dorje
Dzongsar Institute ( India )

Dear dharma friends, 

This is a comprehensive yet potted summary of prayer wheels and their origin. I was joyfully surprised to discover that the prayer wheel lineage was brought by Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava to Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa and Milarepa! Small wonder that our great Drikung Gurus like Drubwang Rinpoche and Garchen Rinpoche are always spinning the wheel and exhorting us all to do so. Aside from this inspiring information, this article also contains helpful advice on what to look out for when you get prayer wheels. 

May all Buddhas, bodhisattvas and sentient beings always keep the inner and outer wheels spinning for the benefit for all!

Yours in the Mani,





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