Saturday, October 31, 2015

Enjoying the present - Good buy or goodbye?

Not talking about bonds or ipo or stocks today. I'm not just an engineer, I'm also a poet and an artist and a philosopher. Let's talk about life.

Everyday, I wake up, have breakfast then go to work. While working, I think of lunch and what to eat. After lunch, I go back to work again. In the meantime, I look forward to the end of the work day, where I go home and have dinner. After that, I watch some youtube videos (nobody watch tv nowadays) and read some books before going to bed. The same thing happens again and again for the next 40 years or so. Then I retire and then I die.

Isn't that depressing? Isn't life meaningless? Much ado about nothing!

Humor me. How about we look at life through rose tinted lens? Let's try:

When I woke up, the sky looks bright and brilliant with just a hint of dark clouds looming on the horizon. The sun light pierces through the cloud, much like Gandalf dispelling the darkness of the sky scene in lords of the ring. What a beautiful juxtaposition! My day looks good ahead already!

This one lah - that LOTR scene where the old man shoots lights to the skies

This is what I mean - Sun light piercing the clouds. Taken from my humble home.

Then I went to work. On the way there, I passed by a coffeshop on the way to the mrt, and I saw two birds chirping noisily over a scrap of food on the grass. Mynahs. Have you ever wondered why pigeons and sparrows don't fight over food scraps? It's always the mynahs and *gasp* the crows that do all the shouting and bullying. Pigeons and sparrow just share.

And the grass are blooming like crazy! Goodness me! The little white parachutes carrying packets of seeds act entirely opposite to our notion of parachutes. They start off from the  earthly stalk of the grass, then when the wind blows, they start flying up to the skies and spread their little packets everywhere. My wife is the one who first introduced me to this wishing plants, as she called it. She will bring a stalk, make me close my eyes and make a wish. Then blow it to send these tiny messengers on parachutes off, where they will send my wishes up to the universe.

Looks something like this

I can go on and on but I think you get my point. There's beauty in everything we do, if only we can afford to stand and stare. Even if the day is a lousy day, I think by focusing on the minute but beautiful details, it'll be better. Delusional? Maybe, but if I keep thinking about all the bad and negative stuff, that's also delusional. And psychotic and sadomasochistic.

I prefer mindfulness. Why are we in such a hurry? Even when we reach our destination that we're so anxious to be in, we're hurrying off to leave again. Life then becomes a series of destination, moving from one place to another place. We can enjoy the here and the now by focusing on the present. The future might be bright and utopia but let's enjoy the pretty and pleasant journey now.


jaded said...

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake

Kevin said...

Do you read stuff by Thich Nhat Hanh? I have a feeling you might enjoy his writings if you haven't done so already. Have an awesome weekend!

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

The grasshopper awakes from his stupor after a night's worth of regaling.

With a half opened eye, he glanced at the butterfly doing his song and dance...

"Bloody le papillon is mind fxxking with the ants in the morning!?" mumbles the grasshopper as he threw his alarm clock at the butterfly.

"People still sleeping lah!" (now that's 话中话!)

la papillion said...

Hi Jaded,

Beautiful, I always love that poem :) I'm actually thinking of that when I wrote this article...your frequency resonates with mine!

la papillion said...

Hi Kevin,

YES! I read this works, and is thoroughly impressed. It's very good, I must say. Thanks for recommending it to me :) I'll return it by asking you to read "The power of positive thinking" by Norman Peale. Great book too (though must warn it is heavily punctuated with christian thoughts - I'm not one though)!

la papillion said...


SMOL hits la papillion, but la papillion is no longer there. He had turned into another alarm clock. Hence SMOL throws his literal alarm clock at a metaphorical one, and both the literal sleepiness and the metaphorical sleepiness dissipates.

The butterfly floats off to another flower in leaps and in bounds :)

Kevin said...

Thanks for recommending Norman Peale - I'll be sure to check it out when free time comes knocking! Thich Nhat Hanh was a calculated guess since you threw me a keyword - mindfulness. I have recently begun to be more interested in the topic myself. No worries, I think mindfulness can exist without religion and I'm not particularly bothered by it =)

la papillion said...


We should exchange book list ;)

Unknown said...

Live in the moment. The secret to happiness and health for both body and mind is not to worry about the future, mourn the past or anticipate trouble, but to live in the present moment earnestly. This is the word of the Buddha.

Sillyinvestor said...

Hi LP,

Indeed, there are days where I hope the weekend comes, and when it did come, feeling that it slipping past me too quickly.

Imbalance ...

But see flowers days and hamster running on wheels days both come and go. We wanted more days to see flowers, want is the problem ...

Got flowers see flowers, got sh* smell shi*

Oops pardon my crudeness

Rolf Suey said...

The power of positive thinking?


la papillion said...

Hi unknown,

Indeed. I realised not only do Buddhism says this, a few other religion do that as well. I believe that's why they said that if you're a good Christian, you're a good Muslim, a good Jew, a good buddhist etc etc

la papillion said...

Hi SI,

I agree with you. Desire is the root cause, and not able to get what we desire creates unhappiness. Alas, we're only humans...hard not to want and desire. Still, we must practice it :)

Not crude lah, I can accept it pretty well haaha

la papillion said...

Hi Rolf,

Finished that book already. Very good, must thank you for your introduction :) Now, I'm doing my part and helping to spread the book to others :)

Sillyinvestor said...


Tell u something OT, talking about desire... I went to a temple today, because my wife wanted to. When I pray, I ask for "正念”,right thoughts?

As I am leaving the temple, I saw free give-away books that had actually the same title! I took one, and it did provide some "answers" and food for thoughts that has been going around my mind.

But the really weird thing is:

I find the temple too commercialized!! Canvassing for donations for "divine blessing" and donations to for "temple building funds"

Maybe ... Reality and wisdom has to find balance too ?

la papillion said...

Hi SI,

Haha, the universe is showing you something eh? ;)

Ah, but I would distinguish between the temple and the heavenly powers that is concentrated there. They are similar, but they don't necessary have the same interest :) Concentrate on the powers and downplay the temple, that's what I would do.