Marcus Lim - better known to me as Chung Ching - was my cousin. He was the same age as my youngest brother Steen, being only a day apart in their birthdays. Yesterday, on the birthday of my Guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, Chung Ching passed away in a tragic scuba diving accident.
I must say I didn't know Chung Ching very well. The age difference meant that he was closer to my younger brothers. My earliest memory of him was as a young chubby boy who always studied hard. I remember my mother telling me that Chung Ching never had to be told to study - he'd always get his homework done on his own. When he got older, I knew he always studied hard and played hard - and I really respected and admired him for that.
He schooled at Winchester, one of the top schools in UK, and graduated in Medicine at Downing, Cambridge University. While at Cambridge, he represented the University for tennis and polo. I recall he even played at junior Wimbledon at some stage. Not satisfied with being a doctor, he also took an MBA at the London Business School. It seemed like he always excelled at whatever he chose to do.
When he was not performing cataract and refractive surgery, Chung Ching enjoyed taking stunning photographs on land and underwater. His photography has been exhibited in local and international exhibitions and appeared in books and magazines. An image of a sealion won him an award in the European Nature Photographer of the Year Competition in 2008. You can see some of his photography (also here on smugmug) online. He recently donated some of his beautiful photographs to If Not Now, When?, a book of inspirational quotes by H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, published by Kechara Media & Publications in September 2009.
He leaves his widow, Christy, his young son Jaden and a baby boy, Tristan, who is about to be born at any time. He also leaves his mother, brother and sister and so many friends who perhaps only had the opportunity to see facets of him and not the whole amazing picture of the man that he was.
In his next life, Chung Ching had jokingly said that he would like to be a professional nature photographer! Chung Ching, I don't know where your next life will lead you, but I pray that you will have a good and swift human rebirth. From your generous support of the Dharma, you have created the causes for such a high incarnate Lama as H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche to make prayers for you.
RIP Chung Ching. You will be sadly missed by many and remembered always for the star that you are.
"Every culture attaches great importance to their cultural holidays. I myself don’t attach any importance to holidays & birthdays per se. I find that it is all timings created and reinforced by ordinary people that ultimately has no tangibility.
But it is different for other people where they have a projected firm view that these days are very important so we go along with them to send them a message of love... thus special holidays can be a time to express love, appreciation, care & thanks.
Giving during these holidays is to help us break self absorption and miserliness. It gives us a chance to express how we feel with toward these people with tangibility."
This was Rinpoche's sharing today - it reminds me of how my own perceptions of special days would create my own suffering. My ex-husband never cared for so-called special days, like Valentines' days, birthdays etc, seeing them all as commercial. I remember being utterly distraught when he forgot our first year's wedding anniversary, and I had been planning for weeks on gifts and what to do for him... surreptitiously of course.
I was only 22 then, having gotten married at 21, and deeply 'romantic' - i say romantic in inverted commas because i think i had a pretty skewed view of romance. i.e it was pretty much hallmark romance i hankered after. I desperately wanted the fairytale and in that obsession, overlooked the kindness and care he had for me.
My obsession led me to wander from the safe comfort of my marriage - to seek for elusive 'romance' elsewhere.. I've literally 'been to Paradise, but I've never been to me'.
I then fell in love once with someone who quoted Shakespeare and e.e. cummings, who claimed to have a first edition of Peter Pan for my son. Who could sing like a lark. Who turned out not to have been entirely truthful with me. So much for romance.
Thank Buddha that I have found Dharma now... and to realise that i can never achieve the illusion my mind has been conjuring up for me since I can remember.
But there's still a gap between what the mind knows and the heart wants, and sometimes, just sometimes, when i hear a love ballad, on the radio, in a mall, and my heart aches and yearns.
So i take out my huge big ego hammer out and whack it over the head til there's no feelings left. That usually works.
This evening was the first time we used the new Shartse's Jewel at Setrap Puja. It was rather lovely to use the new prayer book, and put our lovely new Setrap tsa tsas (produced by Kechara Discovery!) on the Setrap altar to be blessed by the puja. I always enjoy Setrap Puja, and today would have been especially meaningful with the inaugural use of the revised Shartse's Jewel, however, today's puja was meaningful in a different way.
My friend Beng Siang had visited KMP earlier today to get a couple of Setrap box sets and Peace books when she told me about her father who was ill with cancer, with around two months more to live. He was existing on a permanent drip of morphine now to take away the pain. I was glad to be able to dedicate the evening's Setrap puja to her father, Mr. Teh Ching Hua... may his suffering become less and his negativities all be purified for a good rebirth.
While doing any of the healing arts such as massage, therapy, medicine, etc, it would MORE EFFECTIVE if we did any practices to any of the Buddhas of Healing. Eg Loma Gyonma, White Tara, Long Life Tsongkapa, Medicine Buddha, Hayagriva, Black Manjushri,Amitayus, Namgyalma.
It depends which one we have affinity with.
If we do these practices before healing others, then our healing energies would be multiplied GREATLY. The great doctors in Tibet would always do one of these practices first thing in morning, with the altruistic concern of the patients in mind and then proceed with their healing.
The results are different for both patients and healer. So any of these practices are highly recommended for generous people in the healing line of work. If we can be more effective as a healer, THEN WHY NOT.
These practices tap into our own healing powers and magnifies them. How much they magnify depends on your practice and altruistic motivation. Even if your motivation is not that perfect, it will still have effect. Someone with an umbrella can still benefit from sunlight as the sun shines on all without bias. So of course without the umbrella, there would be the full benefit of the sun.
Similar to that example, even without perfect motivation, these healing practices would be very effective. Any of these practices can bless the oils we use for massage, creams, ointments, medications. Doing these practices would empower the medicine tremendously. With these practices, we can even bless the room in which the healing will take place. It's good for you to actually do the practice.
Why? If I eat, u won't get full.
So all healer friends, look into these practices as they can be beneficial to the environment, medicine, patients & yourself. - HE Tsem Tulku Rinpoche