Learn Ba Zi in Singapore!

Learn Ba Zi in Singapore!
7-8-9 Aug 2014, Suntec City Guild House

Singapore - Tiong Bahru conservation area

As with most Chinese settlements around the world, Singapore island once had many Chinese cemeteries on its many hills. Today it is hard to see the topography of the land, and many Singaporeans believe that Singapore is like a piece of flat land. Most cannot see beyond the excellent flat road system in Singapore. More than 95% of the Chinese cemeteries have all been removed to make way for housing and development. 

Tiong Bahru was actually one of these Chinese cemeteries in the early part of the 20th century Singapore. Bahru is a Malay word meaning "new". Tiong is I believe a Hokkien word, the second word of the 2 words 坟场 meaning cemetery. It was shortened to just one Hokkien word and one Malay word, together to mean "new cemetery". 

Many of the roads here are named after the Chinese pioneers, of the 1800s and 1900s. 

In the 1960's, many 4-5 storeys public flats were built by the government housing board in Tiong Bahru estate. Even these were eventually marked for demolition in the 1990's, but in the early 2000's, 20 of the buildings were gazetted for urban conservation. Today, we see a gentrification of this estate as hip cafes, restaurants, book shops, and boutiques open in this area.

There was a lot of talk about buying a public flat there in the late 1990's, as actors and celebrities liked the bohemian/nostalgic feel of the place. One of the drawbacks that many nay-sayers mentioned was that the 99 year old lease hold apartments only had 60-70 years lease left. Even though they were priced around the $300000 - $500000 price level, many hesitated about buying a place there. Today, they are priced at over a million Singapore dollars, limited years lease left on the 99 year lease or not!

I tend to admire and give respect to those who dared to take the risks, despite what everyone else was saying and just do it. And they reap the rewards now of taking the leap to live in an aging estate in "old" apartments with massive property capital appreciation. 

I met two of ex-classmates from university there for a walk in this charming old estate in Singapore, one of the ladies was visiting Singapore from Los Angeles, USA where she is living now. It was an interesting day and I took lots of photographs. Many of these photos had been posted on my Instagram account, as photography is a passion of mine. 

I spotted a shop or two that had slanted doors - one was probably Feng Shui and the other, probably not! Just a design element. 

A day in the life of a modern Feng Shui consultant, boat cruise around South of Singapore

A British expat neighbour of mine, lovely guy, decided to celebrate his birthday with a chartered boat cruise around the Southern coast of Singapore. It was a hot and sunny day and here are the photos of the day. 

It was in May this year. Took some good photos on the iPhone 5 and the Lumix LX3. 

 And back to home. 

Pure Feng Shui Blog is back

Sorry I took a lot of time off to write course material, and some database programming to get my signature course Pure Ba Zi ready to launch in 2014.

As you can see from the missing pictures in all the postings below, Blogger.com is not too happy with me turning my blog site to private for too long!

It will take a while for blogger.com to reinstate some of the photos of my previous postings, and for me to go through the hundreds of entries over the past few years to edit them if I cannot restore the photos!

Great to see you and cheers!

Words of Wisdom - The Cycle of Life

Taken from http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/bs-s03a.htm

The Story of Kisa Gautami

Kisa Gautami was a young woman from a wealthy family who was happily married to an important merchant. When her only son was one-year-old, he fell ill and died suddenly. Kisa Gautami was struck with grief, she could not bare the death of her only child. Weeping and groaning, she took her dead baby in her arms and went from house to house begging all the people in the town for news of a way to bring her son back to life.

Of course, nobody could help her but Kisa Gautami would not give up. Finally she came across a Buddhist who advised her to go and see the Buddha himself.

When she carried the dead child to the Buddha and told Him her sad story, He listened with patience and compassion, and then said to her, "Kisa Gautami, there is only one way to solve your problem. Go and find me four or five mustard seeds from any family in which there has never been a death."

Kisa Gautami was filled with hope, and set off straight away to find such a household. But very soon she discovered that every family she visited had experienced the death of one person or another. 

At last, she understood what the Buddha had wanted her to find out for herself — that suffering is a part of life, and death comes to us all. Once Kisa Guatami accepted the fact that death is inevitable, she could stop her grieving. 

She took the child's body away and later returned to the Buddha to become one of His followers.


Birth, Aging, Sickness, Death. 


The Impermanence of Life

Happy Yuan Xiao Jie! (15th day of Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations)

It is the 15th and the final day of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, Year of Jia Wu, 2014.

Traditionally, it is also a Lantern Festival, so here is another photo shot by me and edited into a greeting: 


It had been a very exciting Chinese Lunar New Year for me this year, to be featured on two regional Asian cable and satellite channels; BBC World News and CNBC Asia. Many and big thanks to them! 

Master Chua wishes all a great and fulfilling year ahead, year of Jia Wu 2014!

13th Day of the Chinese Lunar New Year of Jia Wu, 2014

Taken from www.china.com.cn


中国网-资讯中心 china.com.cn/info  时间: 2014-01-23  责任编辑: 史文芳



(translation summary) The 13th day of the Chinese Lunar New Year 15 days of celebration is also known as "birthday of the lanterns". According to folk practices, this is the day when a lantern is lit under the stove (as in the old style wood fire stove). This is in preparation for the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, the last day of the celebrations. Many households would have prepared or made their own lanterns for the 15th day's Lantern Festival. This is traced back historically to Southern Song dynasty (circa 1234 ad). 

During the Southern Song era, lanterns are hung starting from the 13th day of the Lunar New Year and are taken down on the 18th. The sequence is as follows:

13 and 14th - the Chinese gods and deities to view the lanterns
15th and 16th - for people
17th and 18th - for the spirits. 

As I mentioned before in the earlier postings, Singapore don't follow this ancient custom, and our own lantern festival started before Chinese New Year and ended on the 8th day. We do however celebrate the 15th day of the Chinese Lunar New Year as the grand finishing to the 15 days of festivities. 

9th Day of Chinese Lunar New Year - Jade Emperor's Birthday, by Pure Feng Shui

At midnight tonight of the 8th day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which is the eve of the Heavenly Jade Emperor's birthday celebration; Chinese people of Hokkien dialect will be celebrating and having their version of "thanksgiving"!

The birthday of the Heavenly Jade Emperor is on the 9th day of Chinese Lunar New Year. There are many versions behind the story of this celebration. All the versions have a similarity in that hostile forces in ancient China were fighting their way down to the province of Fu Jian (Hokkien), with massive war destruction. The Hokkien people took refuge in sugarcane fields to hide from enemy forces until the 8th day of Chinese Lunar New Year. When they emerged from the hiding in the sugar cane fields, the enemies had left. As it turns out, the 9th day was the birthday of the Heavenly Jade Emperor, and hence this celebration of thanksgiving came about for the Chinese people of Hokkien descent. 

This is celebrated by Hokkien dialect people in Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. 

Taken from taoistsecret.com:

The Jade Emperor is the supreme ruler of Heavens, the hades and the protector of mankind according to Chinese folklore religion and the highest ranking deity of the Taoist pantheon.

From the ninth century onwards, he was the patron deity of the Chinese imperial family. The Jade Emperor presides over Heaven and Earth just as the earthly emperors once ruled over China.

Based on one account the Jade Emperor was originally the crown prince of the kingdom of Majestic Heavenly Lights and Ornaments. At birth he emitted a bright light that filled the entire kingdom. When he was young, he was benevolent, intelligent and wise. He devoted his entire childhood to helping the needy (the poor and suffering, the deserted and single, the hungry and disabled). Furthermore, he showed respect and benevolence to both men and creatures. After his father died, he ascended the throne. He made sure that everyone in his kingdom found peace and contentment, after that he told his ministers that he wished to cultivate Dao in a mountain cave and cultivate. After 1,750 trials, each trial lasting for 120,976 years, he attained Immortality. After another a hundred million years of cultivation, he finally became the Jade Emperor.

The Jade Emperor is usually depicted seated on a throne in imperial robes, his flat-topped crown embedded with strings of pearls that dangle from the front. He holds a short, flat tablet in clasped in both hands before his chest.

He looks very majestic with his flowing beard.

His birthday is celebrated on the ninth day of the Lunar New Year commonly known as “Tian Gong Dan” (天 公 誕 Festival of the Heavenly God). It is an important festival to the Taoists and Chinese community. Taoist temples throughout the world held gathering and prayers together to worship him. To beseech him to grant peace, prosperity, protection from calamities for the entire year, favorable weather conditions, and abundant harvest.

Most people are not aware that the Jade Emperor is the protector of the Buddha dharma in Buddhism. He’s called Lord Sakra or Indra or in the Shurangama Mantra (楞 嚴 咒) his name is recited as “Namo Yin Two La Ye” (南 無 因 陀 羅 耶).

I took the following photos on a low-resolution web cam in 2002, in the early days when the internet was slowly becoming popular and digital photography was still at the introductory stages. My mother and late father observed such Chinese cultural and social norms, and so the night of the 8th day of the Chinese Lunar New Year was always a busy night. In 2002, most of my other siblings have grown up with their own families and were not interested in such festivities. I showed up at my parents's home that night as I remembered my childhood days celebrating this special thanksgiving day. It was a special night that night. 

Alas this year, my mother said she was on her own ever since my late father's passing 2 years ago and she will not be doing this prayer tonight. Instead, my two sisters are bringing her to a Taoist temple tomorrow for the Heavenly Jade Emperor prayers. 

In the days of social media networking, I got connected with cousins from mother's side, and here are 2 photos of the family preparations by one of the cousins for the same celebration tonight. He's a good guy! 

At the historic Thian Hock Keng temple at Telok Ayer Street in Chinatown area:

S$10 ready prepared package of prayer items offered by the temple that includes incence sticks, paper offerings and food items. 

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