Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cell Group Meeting - finally

We finally had our cell group meeting with the Buddha last night. I planned to pick Jan up from Bangsar LRT at 6.30pm - eerily reminiscent of the pick up a few days ago - it felt a bit like groundhog day! JJ was also a bit worried that she may not show. Not out of anything else but circumstance. But fortunately, this time she was there! We then picked Susan up from KMP for dinner at Pizza Uno at Centrepoint, and were joined by Jamie and her friend from London, Sarah. In the end, Meng Kiat and Shirley also joined us for dinner. I can't remember how it came about but I reminisced about a weekend Shirley took me to Langkawi. That was such a fabulous trip... *sigh*

Anyway, while we ate and chatted, we kept a tight watch on the clock as we definitely did NOT want to be late this time.

Our cell group, Ekazati, had to join forces with the Shakyamuni group because there wasn't enough time to schedule more meetings. Jan and Shirley were off on Wednesday for Melbourne and Singapore respectively, and book club was on Friday.

Rinpoche talked about the Buddhist Arts and Culture festival and our presence there, and of course our own Tara and Dzambala! He also talked about the urgency of Dharma work, and how futile the pursuit of what we in Samsara deem important - like money, prestige and enjoyment.

He also said that we shouldn't use our children to justify not doing Dharma work - instead, if we really did care about our children, we SHOULD do more Dharma work. And that how interested our children are in Dharma is how much we ourselves are interested in Dharma because we are being the role models for them.

Susan asked whether sex and monogamy is overrated. My favourite question. Rinpoche answered that it was actually more a social and cultural thing. Monogamy was necessary because of social order. This comes from people's wrong view that they owned their partner. If their partner has sex with another, they feel their ego is challenged and become jealous and then they may become angry and even violent to the point of killing. Because of this, religion adopted the law of monogamy/anti-adultery to keep peace.

So sex is all about ego. People who are promiscuous are usually those with low self esteem. They need to feel desired. So it is less about the physical act than the need to be wanted. Additionally, he said that sex is the same as other attachments, such as gluttony. If we enjoy food very much and spend time thinking about what we're going to eat and rejoicing in eating, it's also negative because it has no basis and is impermanent. Likewise with sex.

I so agree with these points!! I was dozing off a little but completely woke up when this question was raised. Rinpoche also said that the questions reflect the attachments of the person who asks them - uh oh. But it's no secret - I have always thought that monogamy was overrated. Why are people so obsessed with it - relationships are torn because of it, when it can be just an activity like having a good meal.

One may go out and spend exhorbitant amounts on fine dining but then one eats at home more often than one goes out. Yes, yes I am attached to so many frivolous pleasures.

Anyway, the cell group meeting was suppsed to end at 10.30 because there was another group after us. I had planned to meet I-Jin again before she left for Singapore the next day but Rinpoche decided to invite the next group to join us.. so there were 3 cell groups in the audience room. I thought I'd just send I-Jin an sms to say I didn't think I was going to make it.

I was right.

The meeting finally ended around 2am and that's considered early!

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