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OUTREACH

A bi-monthly newsletter of the Buddhist Gem Fellowship


November - December 2019
Issue No. 164

GAZING AT THE GIANT RECLINING BUDDHA IN CENTRAL ASIA


P R O F . DAT U K SERI DR . VI C T OR WEE
In August this year, I travelled to Tajikistan consisted of two parts: the temple premises
in Central Asia to view the largest reclining and the monks’ living quarters. The locals
Buddha statue found in Central Asia. The call the mound that covered the abandoned
massive 12.85 metre (42 feet) statue of the monastery “Ajina-Tepe”, which translates as
reclining Buddha was discovered in the early “Devil’s Hill”, possibly because of the murals
1960s at the Ajina-Tepe Buddhist monastery of Dhamma protectors to scare off malevolent
located in Vakhsh Valley in southern Tajikistan. spirits.

The monastery complex existed from the The archaeological excavations, which started
7th to 8th century when Buddhism was in 1961 and finished in 1966, came up with
practised in Central Asia for 1000 years. a large amount of artefacts: sculptures of
Tajikistan was part of the Kushan Empire, Buddha, Bodhisattvas, and devas and wall
which encompassed Bactria, a state found painting fragments. The most impressive part
by the descendants of soldiers left behind of the discovery was a massive clay statue of
by Alexander the Great. The monastery was the reclining Buddha, where only the bottom
destroyed and deserted during the Arab part of the figure, from the waist to the
conquest of this territory during 737-50 CE. soles was intact, while the upper part of the
sculpture was badly damaged and had to be
The Ajina-Tepe monastery was a large restored.
complex measuring 50 by 100 metres and

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The reclining Buddha and artefacts are
relocated and exhibited at the Tajikistan
National Museum of Antiquity at the capital
city of Dushanbe. Some of the artefacts found
their way to the Hermitage Museum in St.
Petersburg, Russia, which has a large wing for
Buddhist art, statues and religious objects.

A N N O UN CEMEN TS

We wish to inform members that with We appeal to members who have yet to pay
effect from 1st January 2020, BGF annual their outstanding renewal membership fee
membership fees will be increased to to please pay before December 2019. To
RM60.00 per year. This is in accordance with check your membership status you may send
the BGF Constitution which was approved a WhatsApp message to: +6018-6635730
and adopted at the AGM in April 2019 and <Membership>: <Your name per IC > <NRIC
officially approved by Registrar of Society No.>
(ROS) in May 2019. However, Life Membership
remains unchanged at RM1,000.00 per one
time payment and administration fee is still at 9 Nov
RM10.00 for new membership. 3 N o v & 26-2
21-2 pm
9am - 5 ing
We would also like to remind members who C o o k ies Mak gkit)
CNY t Kuih Ban
r o o
g Arrow
have not renewed their membership for over 2 und
years, that their membership will automatically (Penan a in t e nance F
M
be terminated. Any new payment after the 2 for BGF w er Grou
nd
F L o
@BG Seng
years will be considered as a new application c t B r o . Chee
Cont a
for membership. 0 5354
010-40

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19-DEC-2019 (Thu)
8pm - 10pm @ BGF KSDAH (Level 2)

Dhamma in Daily Life Challenges


Night Talk @ BGF
No registration required

20-DEC-2019 (Fri)
2pm - 4pm @ BGF KSDAH (Level 2)

Sutta Class : Ratana Sutta


Register ONLINE at:
https://tiny.cc/ABRatana19

20-DEC-2019 (Fri)
8pm - 10pm @ BGF KSDAH (Level 2)

A Session with Youth:


Hard Talk with Ajahn Brahm
Open to all youths between 15 to 35 years old

21-DEC-2019 (Sat)
9am - 5pm @ BGF KSDAH (Level 2)

A Day with Ajahn Brahm:


Transforming from an Ugly
Duckling to a Graceful Swan.
Register ONLINE at:
https://bgf.org.my/registration

BUDDHIST GEM FELLOWSHIP For enquiries kindly contact:


Growing People, Inspiring the Future BGF Admin (+6018-6635730)
w : www.bgf.org.my f : Buddhist Gem Fellowship
Lai Kim Looi (+6012-2102519)
DHAMMA MINDERS 5 - BUILDING & INSPIRING FUTURE
GENERATIONS OF BUDDHISTS!
SI S. QU EK MEI J OON
Congratulations to all graduates of the recently I asked myself: How can I make kids learn
concluded Dhamma Minders (DM) 5 training Buddhism in a fun, interesting and simple
program, which ran from June to October way? There is a saying: When the student is
2019. A total of 23 participants received their ready, the teacher will appear. Here comes the
Certificates of Completion, and another 17 ‘2019 Dhamma Minders 5’ with the aim to get
their Certificates of Attendance. The course new and current Dhamma teachers to learn,
is aimed at enhancing facilitation skills and unlearn and relearn effective approaches to
to allow Dhamma school facilitators to learn, teaching Buddhism to the younger generation.
unlearn and relearn effective approaches to It couldn’t have been more timely, so I signed
teaching Buddhism to Gen-Z students. up immediately.

The organizers would like to thank the following While going through this 40-hour training
awesome and inspiring trainers: course from June to October, I applied and
Uncle Vijaya, Dr. Tan Ho Soon, Dr. Bugs Tan, tried out what I was learning, for example:
Dr. Khoo Boon Hock, Bro. Ronnie Leong, Sis.
K.C. Chiang, Sis. Woo Sau Mun, Sis. Tay Siok • Setting up classroom rules of the do’s and
Eian, Sis. Thang Mee Yuen, Bro. Daniel Kwok, don’t’s together with the students. Before each
Sis. Michelle Yap and of course, Bro. Tee Chee lesson, the class would read the rules aloud.
Seng (who is also the head of BGF Buddhist • Doing a short meditation prior to lesson (e.g
Education). the growing seeds) to calm down and secure
the concentration of the students.
Here are some testimonials from the • Shifting the teaching methodology to activity-
representatives of the various Dhamma based lesson plans whereby the teacher plays
centres: the role of facilitator, encouraging the students
to give opinions and ask questions instead of
“I am currently a new Dhamma teacher the teacher talking and the students listening.
assisting in a class of seven year-old children. • Designing interesting lesson plans suitable
After a few months of teaching, I feel the need for 7-year-olds featuring art & craft, games,
to learn how to handle the following: drama, etc.
• Classroom management
• Students’ short attention spans After applying what I have learned, I began to
• Hyperactivity behavior see the light at the end of the tunnel when the
• Difficult children students started making progress in learning.
• Set up positive learning environment To me, the DM course is indeed a springboard
• Anger management to effective teaching.

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I wish to highlight two topics from the course mischievous and hyper-active ones.
which I found most impactful:
Each of the facilitators is a reputable
(1) Art and Craft professional in their own right. We have child
I noticed my students are particularly fond psychologists, inventors, doctors, and highly
of lessons with art and craft which seems to respectable Dhamma teachers, amongst
solve problems with difficult and hyperactive others, sharing their skills on how we can bring
children, and those with short attention spans. out the best in each child through the Dhamma
So, there are actually no problematic students, platform. I would strongly recommend DM to
only that the teacher needs to find ways to all Sunday school teachers for their personal
interest them in the subject. benefit as well as for that of their students.”
Sis. Angief Ng,
(2) Anger Management Maha Satipatthana Buddhist Society
Bro. Tee shared the phrases ‘Would you get
angry?’ vs ‘Do you have to get angry?’ Since “Through my participation in DM 5, I have
then, I’ve used ‘Do I have to get angry?’ as my learned and gained useful knowledge in
‘coolant’ to nip my anger in the bud, be it in the becoming a good quality Dhamma teacher.
classroom or anywhere else. Words do have The invited speakers in this course are
the power! definitely well experienced and the sharing
sessions were marvelous.
I am grateful to have attended Dhamma
Minders 5 which has made me a better I salute BGF for the initiative in organizing
Dhamma teacher. A big THANK YOU to all who this course which is already in its 5th run. I
are involved! To the new and old dhamma would like to take this opportunity to thank
teachers, I strongly recommend you to go for course coordinator, Bro. Chee Seng and the
the next Dhamma Minders training!” secretariat for a job well done in handling the
Sis. Chew Seok Chen, course smoothly. My appreciation also goes to
Subang Jaya Buddhist Association all participants from other Dhamma Schools
for their kind co-operation and note sharing
“Just completed the DM course organized by throughout the course. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!”
BGF. Found it to be a great course for all Sunday Bro. Tee Boon Tuan,
School Teachers. It was fun as each facilitator Seck Kia Eenh Dhamma School, Melaka.
walked us through all kinds of situations and
scenarios that teachers frequently face in “This DM 5 was a professional and fruitful
reality. Classes included theoretical as well as program. Everything was taught step and step
practical techniques on handling students - and all of the speakers shared their thoughts
from the quiet and unresponsive ones to the

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and skills. They always answered questions Dhamma students, and creative activities to
with good advice and recommendation. It was add zest to the teaching and learning of the
indeed a useful program for me to enhance not Dhamma. Most of all, we had fun trying out
only my Dhamma knowledge but also essential the skills and techniques that we learned.
classroom management skills.
A big Thank You to Bro. Tee Chee Seng for
As a Dhamma teacher in Chempaka Buddhist making the graduation a memorable one!
Lodge, I have implemented skills and knowledge Appreciate the care, thought, effort and
learnt from this program and the results are humour! Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu.”
amazing. I would highly recommend this Sis. Tang Quai Sim,
program to everyone. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!” Bandar Utama Dhamma School
Bro. Jack Kam,
Chempaka Buddhist Lodge “I would like to thank Dhamma Minders
for bringing so many speakers to teach and
“I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation to guide us. I especially liked the circle time, and
the BGF co-ordinators of DM 5 for the successful mindful class. I still remember the last speaker,
conclusion of the programme. It has been an Bro. Tan, advising us to become great teachers
invaluable experience, thanks to the amiable by living according to the Dhamma and setting
speakers who generously shared their wealth a good example for our students and the
of knowlege, experience and skills, especially community.”
with regards to parenting skills, traits of the Bro. Eddy Gan Khai Liat,
younger generation who will be our potential Bandar Utama Buddhist Society

GEMKIDS & GEMTEENS


2020 INTAKE

IS NOW OPEN !
~~ Open to 4 - 17 years old ~~

Classes are held on two Sundays a month* from 9:00am - 12:30pm


at BGF Centre, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Scan the QR code —>


or go to https://forms.gle/tdxfrCNCtGKmDziy5
for ONLINE REGISTRATION

*Classes Schedule will be provided by 5 January 2020

For more information, kindly contact :


Sis. Syenie Sis. Mei Joon
Tel: 016-208 6192 OR Tel: 012-351 7615
Email: syenie@gmail.com Email: mei.joon.quek@gmail.com
CLASS OUTING TO ESCAPE ROOM – DID WE ESCAPE?
SI S. L EI A & SI S. SAR A K WOK

On 22nd Sept 2019, Gem Kids from Sila “Space Voyager”.


class and Gem Teens from Suta class went
to the Escape room organised by Teacher “Space Voyager” was the hardest one,
Lynette. Leia and I were really excited, according to the staff. But to our surprise,
underestimating the level of difficulty in the we made it into the third room. We were
Escape room. almost done when time ran out.

We did the ‘Mysterious Room’ first. Since We were terribly dejected. But we still
the difficulty level was only 4/5 stars, we learned to work together as teammates
thought that with a team like ours, we instead of tearing off each others’ socks in
could breeze through. Too bad, we were frustration. It was a cool human bonding
absolutely wrong. experience.

We came out of the “Mysterious Room” I really wish that BGF Gem Kids would
very frustrated. We couldn’t even make it to organise another incredible outing that will
the second room. We replenished ourselves not only give us thrills but also teach us
with snacks and went to our second room valuable lessons.

42ND INCOVAR DHAMMA CAMP - 13 TO 16 SEPTEMBER


“The 42nd Incovar Dhamma Camp was a really to love myself a little more, how to love
eye-opening and humbling experience for me. others without losing myself and how to look
Really learnt a lot as to how to deal with our at negative things in a more positive way. A
emotions and thoughts with Dhamma values very big thank you to Incovar and everyone
and made me think from another perspective who made the camp possible and gave us
in difficult situations. Also had a really fun time an opportunity to learn in a fun and safe
being able to make new friends to bond with environment. I can’t wait for the next camp!”
and make fond memories together in a few - Participant Sis. Elyna Chang
days.” - Participant Sis. Dana Kan
“A camp organized by a group of dedicated
“When I was introduced to Incovar, I was individuals about how to focus on inner core
immediately interested to join as I would like or self-development in a deeper way. It’s not
to learn how to handle stress and my emotions a normal leadership camp. Beneficial talks,
better. During the camp, not only did I make
tons of new good friends, I also learned how OUTREACH 7
supportive community of participants, a bit own understanding of what loving ourselves
of meditation, self-reflection on what we do means, and what happiness is. I would like to
in life, methods to ease inner conflict and be express our gratitude to our spiritual advisor,
happier in life.” - Participants Pun Hong Liang Bhante Kumara, for reviewing our camp
concept and straightening our views on this
“This whole camp truly means so much to simple yet profound theme of self-love.
me. I started off reluctant to join the camp,
but ended up laughing, crying and learning It was a long journey of self-love not only for
with the other INCOVARians. Hats off to the the participants but also for us committee
committee for organising this camp, and members. Despite all the challenges, it was
helping me on this journey of self-love. It’s still truly heartening to see the participants
hard, but I believe that I’ve learnt a bit more on forming meaningful friendships with one
how to love myself through this camp and I’m another as the camp went on. We even
eternally grateful.” - Participant Sis. Melissa heard that the participants formed their own
Whatsapp group and continued to keep in
“I spent a good one year working with the touch in various outings!
committee to make this camp a success.
Planning the programmes with the team was As for being on the committee, I highly
challenging as we needed to come up with a recommend fellow Kalyana Mittas (spiritual
suitable camp concept, formulate objectives, friends) to be involved in this meritorious deed
and make sure the programmes achieve of giving service to efforts towards spreading
specific objectives in a seamless flow centering the Dhamma. With this, I’d like to share a
around the teachings of the Buddha. lesson learnt during the course of planning
this camp – ‘Self-love isn’t really a journey. A
Self-love is a common theme, yet putting self- journey involves heading towards a certain
love into practice, with Right Understanding, goal. Self-love is here and now.’ May you be
takes months of reflection. Even as we well and happy.” - Committee Bro. Lim Sui Lun
planned the activities, we got to deepen our

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Free Career
Assessment
This workshop:
* Helps students identify their interests and enable them to explore viable education
and career options.
* Equips parents with suggestions on how they can guide their children and
positively engage with them.
Trainers’ Profile
Conducted by registered counsellors who are experienced in
helping students explore their education and career pathways.
Date : 30th November 2019 (Saturday)
Time : 9am to 12:30pm
Venue : Buddhist Gem Fellowship, Ara Damansara, PJ
Target : Parents and Teenagers (15 – 17 years old)

Registration fee:
RM20 per pax - includes 1 tea break Register online :
(at least 1 parent per family must participate} https://tinyurl.com/bgfcucareer
Direct Transfer to: Buddhist Gem Fellowship
2019
Public Bank Berhad (PBB)
Closing date: 25th Nov 2019
Account No.: 310 967 0729
*Limited to 30 pax
For enquiries or send bank in slip:
*Open to Non-Muslims only
Email: bearguinchs9298@gmail.com
Whatsapp: Hui Sian (017-291 0199)

BGF Counseling Unit


f : BGF.Counseling.Unit
e : bgf.counselingunit@gmail.com
HIGHLIGHTS OF BGF COUNSELING UNIT (BGFCU)
B R O. L I M C HEN Y AM
1. 27th BGF Counseling Course Level 1 start- 3. Outreach Visit to Pelita Counseling Centre
ed on 29 September 2019 on 21 September 2019

The 27th Counseling Course Level 1 started BGFCU had a successful learning visit to the
with a bang with Bro Keek Seng Bee’s pre- Pelita Counseling Centre at the YBAM. A full-
sentation entitled ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’. er account by Bro. Moi Pak Kheong is on page
There were 41 registrants in total with 39 of 12 of this issue.
them turning up for the first lesson.
4. Advanced Counseling Skills Workshop on
2. ‘Suicide: What We All Need To Know’ talk 12 October 2019
at Sam Poh Tong on 25 August 2019
As part of our ongoing training to upgrade
For the first time, BGFCU organized a talk in the skills of our Para-Counselors (PCs), this
Mandarin on this all-important topic at Sam workshop was conducted by Sis Siew Yin
Poh Tong temple. Here’s the report from Heng, BGFCU’s registered counselor and at-
speaker Bro Quek Ser Pin from Xiao En Coun- tended by 20 PCs. As reported by Sis Phaik
seling: Sim:

Thanks for the invitation to what was the first Building on the fundamental skills of the PCs,
Mandarin public talk by the BGFCU. Couldn’t the workshop taught additional techniques
agree more with this initiative to enter and to strengthen rapport with PINs or Persons-
benefit the community. On a rainy Sunday in-need. The PIN needs to feel “heard and
morning, I did wonder how many people understood” in order to have a deeper con-
would leave their warm beds and attend a versation voluntarily. PCs can help PINs to fo-
two-hour talk. However, the attendance ac- cus on the most pressing issues, self-examine
tually exceeded expectations. In addition to and view their issues from a new perspec-
those who registered in advance, there were tive. Calms down over-anxious PINs by help-
many walk-in registrations. Seeing the par- ing them realize they’re not abnormal. At
ticipants paying close attention and asking the same time, the PCs also learn to protect
questions really touched me and made me themselves and maintain a professional rela-
realize that more and more people are will- tionship at all times.
ing to learn about the issues and do their part
in suicide prevention. 5. World Mental Health Day Fun Run on 12
October 2019 at Ecohill, Semenyih

BGFCU was invited to participate in the Men-


tal Health Awareness booth at this event.
A fuller report by Sis Wong Chung Heong is
elsewhere in this issue.

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6. Mindful Parenting Workshop on 19 Octo- 8. The 2019 Para-Counselors Training (PCT)
ber 2019 for the telephone helplines

As reported by Sis. Mun Teng: The 2019 PCT which started on 9 March 2019
ended on 14 September 2019. The 8 volun-
The Mindful Parenting Workshop was held teers who completed the program were giv-
on 19 October 2019 (Saturday). Sis. May Liu, en certificates at the graduation ceremony
a clinical psychologist and certified mindful followed by dinner to celebrate the occasion.
parenting trainer, conducted the workshop. A big thank you to our departing Sis. Siew Yin
There were a total of 17 participants. The Heng, the training coordinator who started
main focus of the event was to strengthen the program. Thanks are also due to the fa-
the family structure through mindfulness cilitators, Sis. Wong Chung Heong, Sis. Iris
practice. The speaker talked about automatic Goh, Sis. Ke Xian and Sis. Wan Yue, as well
parenting, mindful parenting and mindful as our external trainers, Sis. Sook Ping, Bro.
communication with participants. Interactive Chee Wei and Sis. Ellie. Five of the graduates
activities were also carried out to enhance have been selected to be Para-Counselors
the understanding of participants. The work- and will serve the counseling helplines for a
shop received positive feedback and provid- minimum of 2 years.
ed parents/future parents with good insights
into their parenting journey. 9. Changes to BGFCU Exco

Sis. Yeoh Phaik Sim has been appointed the


new Deputy Main Coordinator to help Sis.
Wong Chung Heong to run and manage the
unit.

10. Additional Operating Times for Tele-


phone Counseling Service

With the addition of 5 PCs, the Telephone


Counseling Service (Tel: 03-78599610 and
03-78599682) will have additional operating
times from November 2019 onwards:
7. Education and Career Guidance Work- Monday - Friday 7.30pm to 9.30pm
shop on 30 November 2019 Wednesday - Friday 2.00pm to 4.00pm
The target participants for this workshop are BGFCU is taking steps to offer a limited
teenagers 15 to 17 years to be accompanied helpline services in Mandarin in addition to
by at least one of their parents. Further de- English. Sis Wong Chung Heong and Sis Koo
tails are in the poster somewhere in this is- Yoon Kin have started the process by under-
sue. going a counseling course in Mandarin con-
ducted by PELITA of YBAM.

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VISIT TO PELITA COUNSELING CENTRE ON 21 SEPTEMBER 2019
BRO. MOI PAK K HEONG

On 21 September 2019, a group of us from participant has to play the role of a counselor
the BGF Counselling Unit made a study visit 6 times within the group, and has to call other
to the PELITA Psychological Guidance Unit counseling centres role-playing as a person-
set up by the Young Buddhist Association of in-need. Additional training is also given to
Malaysia (YBAM) with local Buddhism as its handle email services.
foundation.
Helpers are also required to clock a specified
Sister Ellie, the head of PELITA, who invited us minimum number of hours of calls in live
to the sharing session, started by explaining situations. Only calls with a minimum duration
that PELITA has chosen to use the term of 20 minutes are taken into account.
“psychological guidance unit” instead of
“counseling unit” because of the concern Firstly, the trainee helpers have to fulfill a
that usage of the term “counseling” may minimum of 30 hours of listening-in to calls
contravene the rules and regulations enforced as a junior, observing how the seniors answer
by Lembaga Kaunselor Malaysia. calls and learning effective practical ways
to handle various types of callers. Then the
PELITA’s “psychological guidance” is delivered trainee helpers progress to where they are
over the phone, via email and face-to-face required to clock a minimum of 50 hours of
sessions using mainly Mandarin as the answering calls under supervision.
working language. A total of 18 helpers man
the phone helplines. Some of them (including After that, the trainee helpers can move on to
2 registered counselors) are also authorized becoming full-fledged helpers answering calls
to do face-to-face sessions. Persons asking independently. They must clock a minimum
for help through email are attended to by of 100 hours and “homework” before
2 helpers with a response time of not more progressing to become junior supervisors. As
than 7 days. junior supervisors, they must clock a minimum
of another 100 hours and “homework” to
PELITA’s helpers are required to undergo 3 become supervisors.
levels of training. Level 1 is spread out over 4
full days with an emphasis on self-discovery. Sister Ellie shared some statistics on calls
Level 2 takes 6 days and is divided into Part received by PELITA. The helpline was started
A which involves basic counseling skills and on 7 June 2007. In that calendar year, PELITA
Part B which involves a 2-day-1-night retreat received 36 calls. The calls received increased
to impart basic knowledge of Buddhism. over the years to 247 in 2017. In 2018,
Participants have to pay a fee for both levels. they received 205 calls. On average, PELITA
receives slightly more than 1 call per day up
Level 3 is delivered over 8 days and covers to a maximum of 5. PELITA’s helplines have
counseling theories and role plays. Each a capacity to take a maximum of 6 to 7 calls
per shift. The calls are from all over Malaysia.
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The service receives much support from the Each helper sits in a dedicated small room
parent body, YBAM which is itself a national with soundproofing. The PBX ACR call-
organization with branches all over the recording system can record 3 incoming calls
country. at any one time and allows a supervisor to
To encourage repeat calls and create rapport listen in to the conversations via headsets
between callers and helpers, helpers are outside the rooms by selecting any active
scheduled to be on duty every week at the line. Supervisors do not interrupt the
same day and time. Six helpers man the sessions handled by the helpers. The
helplines every day. A debriefing on each recordings are used to impart learning to
case is done immediately at the end of each helpers and also to replay to callers at their
duty shift. Unsurprisingly, the majority of request. The recordings are deleted from
calls involve repeat callers with psychological the system after 7 years.
issues. However, PELITA rarely receives
complicated cases that require referral to To maintain confidentiality, all call records or
more competent bodies. notes recorded during the phone sessions
are not allowed to be taken out from PELITA.
PELITA shared with us the facilities employed They are discarded accordingly when no
to deliver the phone helpline services longer required. Each helper has a personal
including the rooms used by the helpers. They file to keep track of their case notes.
use one phone number with 3 hunting lines
connected via a PBX system similar to those The study visit ended with an appreciation of
currently used by Life Line and Than Hsiang. gratitude to PELITA. PELITA responded with
The system cost RM5,000 and comes with a a declaration that it is open to collaboration
perpetual license of 20 seats. with BGFCU to leverage on each other’s
language skills and strengths.

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WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY FUN RUN ON 12 OCTOBER 2019 AT
ECOHILL, SEMENYIH
SI S. WONG C HU NG HEONG
The Malaysian Medics International (MMI) Besides the fun run and awareness booths,
was established in 2013 to connect, educate the event also included health talks and
and cultivate medical awareness among recreational activities for children. YB Hannah
Malaysian medical students worldwide. Yeoh, the Deputy Minister of Women, Family
On 12 October 2019, MMI in collaboration and Community Development was the Guest
with Hospital Kajang’s Psychiatric & Mental of Honor who conducted the official opening.
Health Department organized a Fun Run in
conjunction with World Mental Health Day. Our booth was able to generate considerable
interest among participants and visitors
BGFCU was invited to participate in their with regard to our BGFCU helplines. They
Mental Health Awareness event through Sis have also kindly offered to help disseminate
Hui Sian, a BGFCU Exco member who is also information about our services to their
a Registered Counselor. This year, the World friends.
Health Organisation
(WHO) has themed
the World Mental
Health Day to focus
on suicide prevention,
#reachoutbreakstigma
to help those in need
and to spread mental
health awareness.

TRIP TO LUANG PRABANG, LAOS FROM 27 TO 30 SEPTEMBER


SI S. L AU L ENG HEOH

The 4 day-3 night trip to Luang Prabang proved monks to come along and collect rice and
to be a worthwhile, enjoyable and relaxing trip, food from the laymen. Joy arose in many
thanks to the beauty of its natural setting and of us when we received blessings from the
majestic temples. A UNESCO World Heritage monks after the offering.
city, Luang Prabang is situated on the Mekong
River and both traditional Laos and European We took a morning walk through town to the
influences can be seen in its architecture. open air market. It was a beautiful sight –
French Colonial style houses lining the streets
We had the opportunity to participate in alms along with thriving open air markets, and
offering at 6 am, joining the locals in lines by people walking around serenely looking out
the roadside waiting for group after group of to the waters of the Mekong River.

14 OUTREACH
We enjoyed the city tours to Wat Mai, We enjoyed the Lao local food. Best of all, we
the National museum (formerly the Royal enjoyed bargain-hunting and buying things at
Palace), and Wat Xieng Thedong, one of the the night market (which starts daily at 5pm
most charming temples in Laos. and ends at about 9.30pm).

We visited the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall, Finally, despite Luang Prabang’s serene
Bear Sanctuary Centre. We climbed up to vibes, it’s worth noting that Laos is the “most
the top of Phousi Mount for an enjoyable bombed country” in the world, and the
exploration of the sacred gilded stupa as effects of the war bombing can still be felt
well as to see the beautiful view of the city, to this day. The Luang Prabang Unexploded
the Mekong River and to watch the beautiful Ordinance (UXO) museum is a grisly reminder
sunset. of the country’s war-torn past. We visited the
museum and it was a shock to me that the
We managed to visit some of the beautiful people of Laos are still living in fear of the
temples, including some which are UNESCO effects of unexploded bombs.
sites. We had the honour to offer lunch dana
at Na Luang Temple. In conclusion, although it is a short trip, it
is an eyeopener for me to learn all about a
We enjoyed a cruise upstream on the traditional Buddhist country with its war-torn
Mekong River to see the beautiful view of past. This has not only been a relaxing and
the tranquil countryside. There was also an enjoyable trip, it has been an educational one
interesting visit to the mysterious Pak Ou for me as well.
Caves with thousands of gold lacquered
Buddha Statues of various shapes and sizes.

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Essence of Buddha Abhidhamma
The Teacher

Dr. Mehm Tin Mon is a Professor at the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University, Yangon.
He has been teaching Buddha Abhidhamma, Buddhist meditation and giving public lectures on Buddhism
for many years. He was awarded the distinguished religious title of ‘Mahasaddhamma Jotikadaja’ in 2003
by the Myanmar government for his outstanding contribution to the propagation of Buddhism in
Myanmar and abroad. He is also the past President of the International Pa Auk Forest Sasana Centres.

Course Outline

This course will be discussing the Abhidhamma teachings of


KL venue 2nd – 11th Dec. the Buddha, one of the three baskets in the Buddha Tipitaka of
Theravada Buddhism. Topics include:

1. Introduction – two Kinds of Realities and Truth


Buddhist Gem Fellowship (BGF) 2. Consciousness (Citta)
3. Mental factors (Cetasikas)
Block D-G-2, Block D 4. Cognitive Series (Vithi)
5. Planes of Existence (Vithimut)
Jalan PJU 1A/3K, 5. Materiality (Rupa)
6. Ultimate Realities (Samuccaya)
Taipan 1, Ara Damansara, 7. Causes or Conditions (Paccaya)
8. Meditation Subjects (Kammathana)
47500 Petaling Jaya.
* Course topics subject to change

6 - 7pm: Light dinner


7 - 10pm: Lecture

Register online at
http://bit.ly/2LCHjAo
or scan here

BMSM-Pa Auk Dhammavijaya Meditation Centre (DMC)


Lot 850, Jalan Besar, Kg. Sg Buah Luar, 43800 Dengkil, Selangor.
Fb: dhammavijaya.dengkil | Email: dhammavijaya.dengkil@gmail.com | Mobile: +6013-2886706

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CALLING A SPADE A SPADE, IN SPADES
SI S. C AT HERI NE SI OW

Spoiler alert: Still on cloud nine and not quite Cloak-and-dagger: This was my most
back down to earth, I may sound like blowing unforgettable and fun part of the course i.e.
my own trumpet when I say that I made the use of exhibits. For that class, it was mandatory
wisest decision ever in my rudderless retiree to bring at least one exhibit and give a
life when I joined the 33rd Effective Speaking persuasive speech which would hypnotise
Course 2019 on August 3. Superlatives the audience to our call for action (grin: vote
and cliches abound in this summary of my for us). We came armed to the teeth with our
two-month cathartic saga with 24 other cute little hand-made drawings and photos,
adventurous participants, age ranging from 20 etc. Then the guest speaker was sprung
to 83 — whereby my last-ditch effort speech on us: a pale-looking past participant who
unexpectedly snagged the first runner-up came with a humongous sword akin (growl:
trophy at the nail-biting grand finale on pun intended) to the Justice Bao era. I don’t
September 28. To top it all, as gorgeous think many of us remembered his speech
fondant icing on the cake, I was shock-notice-ly but we sure surrendered when this one-man
appointed class representative and delivered army lunged out his battle cry and drew out
the graduation speech on behalf of my course the sword. After this “zing!” experience, we
mates. Now, I am going to have my cake and learnt to supersize our exhibits and joust
eat it, and in the process, spill a good share of with one another with our sleight-of-hand
beans and crumpets for all and sundry. phalanx of ingenious “weapons” to win over
the “unknown factor”, whoever or whatever
Sneak peek: Whatever the goals of my fellow it might be.
participants or the hidden agenda of the
organisers and mentors were, mine was single- Cliff-hanger: Ultimately, whoever and
mindedly, and pathetically, to win. When I whatever might the true winner be? Can you
found out on Day One that the judges would guess? If not,
be the final day unknown audience with the why not join
power to vote, my innards shrivelled up. Gone the next ESC
were my safe and familiar public speaking to find out?
ground rules with the expert panel of judges
learned in diction and imperial British English.
My sense of purpose whimpered as reality
bit and I had to bite the bullet and face the
double-pronged menace of “Amazing Race”
and “Fear Factor”.

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BGF MID AUTUMN FESTIVAL & MALAYSIA DAY 2019
SI S. QU EK MEI J OON
The BGF Mid Autumn Festival & Malaysia posing on stage. When igemz came on stage
Day celebration was successfully held on 8th first with their acoustic version of Negaraku,
September 2019 with 130 members/friends the feeling was calm, patriotic and blissful as
of BGF, and fourteen elderly guests from the everyone rose to sing together to the slow
Siri Jayanti Metta Care Centre. Everyone from rhythm. Seeing igemz performing Malaysian
1 to 90 years old was ready for a moonlit folk songs was fun and the crowd cheered
night of good food and lots of a fun! and sang along.

At the lower ground floor, nyonya chef Lucy Before the night was over, we had a surprise
Chew and family who came all the way Malaysian guest artist who performed 2
from Melaka, demonstrated how to cook Chinese songs and a patriotic song. Lastly
Apam Bakwa which was so authentic and Bro. Tee Chee Seng announced the winner
yummy! The potluck buffet spread looked of the Treasure Hunt. It was a day filled with
like a sumptuous Malaysian food fiesta joy and wonderful memories. On behalf of
with members bringing nasi lemak, satay, BGF, the organizers would like to thank each
assorted nyonya kueh and curry puffs. If and everyone who came and supported the
only the space had been big enough for event, directly or indirectly.
everybody to sit down and have their meal
altogether!

On the ground floor, the children had the


opportunity to learn how to make balloon
sculptures, and play traditional games
such as congkak. Came twilight, families
with little children lit up their lanterns and
paraded around the block, holding brightly
lit lanterns and some wearing their fancy
dress costumes.

The night program featured a Fancy Dress


Contest with 20 contestants, all smiles and

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NEW L I FE M E M B ERS N EW OR D INAR Y MEMB ER S
1. Sis. Siew Yin Heng 1. Sis. Yeo Yip Jui
2. Sis. Ng Yin Chin 2. Bro. Ng Kien Seong
3. Sis. Pan Jue Hoong
4. Sis. Chong Thiam Kua, Cindy
5. Bro. Ang Toon Aun
6. Sis. Chew Pooi Wan

R E G ULA R & WEEKLY A C TIV ITIES

The BGF Telephone Counseling Service now operates on Mondays to Fridays from
7.30pm - 9.30pm and Wednesday to Friday from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. It is manned by
volunteers who are trained para-counselors from the BGF Counseling Unit and have been
in service since 1992. Please share this service with your family and friends who may
need a listening ear as they face life’s problems and challenges. Please call 603-7859-9682
or 603-7859-9610.

Metta Meditation : Wednesdays : 8:30pm - 10:30pm


Guided by Prof. Datuk Seri Dr. Victor Wee, this meditation on metta (loving kindness) to all
sentient beings is excellent for mental cultivation and stress relief. Suitable for beginners
as well as experienced meditators. Please be punctual in order not to disturb the sitting.
For details, please contact Sis. Elaine Low at 013-352 7662.

Qi Gong Class : Thursdays : 8:30pm - 10:30pm


You’ll be guided personally, stage by stage. Any queries, kindly contact Bro. Chan Yin
Hoong at 03-5519 2455 Ext. 211 or 012 – 328 6256.

Origin Point Therapy (OPT) : Saturdays : 10.00am - 12.00pm


Free Origin Point Therapy is available on Saturday 10am to 12pm. Please
wear soft cotton t-shirt and soft track bottom. Kindly bring along a bath and a
hand towel for hygiene purpose. Contact Bro. Lai Kim Looi 012-2102519, Sis.
Lee Wun Yin 019-2181259 or Bro. Steven Tan 012-2898133.

Patchwork Handicraft Class: Sundays : 2.00pm - 4.00pm


Guided by Sis. Jae Tan, learn to sew patchwork such as blankets, bags, quilts and even
dresses for kids. Starter pack will be provided at a fee. Contact Sis. Dolly Teoh 019-356
8879.

Article / Feedback for Outreach : If you have attended any talks or events
organised by BGF and would like to share your experience, please write
to us. Email to the editor at info@bgf.org.my. Articles will be edited for
brevity and subjected to space availability. We welcome feedback or
suggestions for constant improvement.

Articles edited by Sis. Kit Lum. Layout by Sis. Quek Mei Joon.
Published by Buddhist Gem Fellowship, D-G-2, Block D, Jalan PJU 1A/3K,
Taipan 1, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Contact: BGF Office 03-7734 7960 | BGF Administrator 018-663 5730
Website: www.bgf.org.my
O U T R E A C H 19
A C T IVIT IES A T A G LANCE
2 November 2019, Saturday 1 December 2019, Sunday

d ec emb er
n ovemb er

8.30am - 1.00pm 2.30pm - 5.30pm


Maha Sanghika Dana & Requisites 27th Counseling Course Level 1
Offering
8 December 2019, Sunday
3 November 2019, Sunday 2.30pm - 5.30pm
9.00am - 12.30pm 27th Counseling Course Level 1
Gem Kids & Gem Teens Last Class
2.30pm - 5.30pm 2 - 11 December 2019
27th Counseling Course Level 1 6.00pm - 10.00pm
Dr. Mehm Tin Mon Lecture Series - Essense of
7 November 2019, Thursday Buddha Abhidhamma @BGF Centre
8.00pm - 10.00pm
Evening Talk by Bhante Kovida 19 December 2019, Thursday
“Understanding the Nature of Fear and 8.00pm - 10.00pm
Insecurity” Talk by Ajahm Brahm “Dhamma in Daily Life
Challenges”
16 November 2019, Saturday
1.30pm - 5.30pm 20 December 2019, Friday
Lecture by Sis. Caroline Lee on 2.00pm - 4.00pm
“Paṭiccasamuppāda” & “Paṭṭhana” Sutta Class with Ajahn Brahm “Ratana Sutta”
8.00pm - 10.00pm
17 November 2019, Sunday “Hard Talk with Ajahn Brahm”
9.00am - 11.30am A Session with Youth
Sunday@BGF with Ven. Dr. Karma Tashi
Choedron “Journeying into Our True 21 December 2019, Saturday
Nature of Mind ” 9.00am - 5.00pm
9.00am - 12.00pm A Day with Ajahn Brahm “Transforming from
Gem Kids & Gem Teens Year End an Ugly Duckling to a Graceful Swan”
Graduation Concert
(light refreshment will be served) 28 December 2019, Saturday
1.30pm - 5.30pm 1.00pm - 1.00pm (BGF slot)
Lecture by Sis. Caroline Lee on 24-Hour Metta Chanting@ Samadhi Vihara
“Paṭiccasamuppāda” & “Paṭṭhana” Contact Bro. Chee Seng 010-400 5354
2.30pm - 5.30pm
27th Counseling Course Level 1 31 December 2019, Tuesday
8.30pm - 12.00am
21-23 & 26-29 November Aspiration Night | New Year Eve 2020 @BGF
9.00am - 5.00pm (Puja, Meditation, Aspiration, Sing-a-long,
CNY Cookies Making @BGF LG Children activities, Refreshment, New Year Eve
Celebration)
30 November 2019, Saturday
9.00am - 12.30pm
Education and Career Guidance Workshop
Teens
30 November - 2 December 2019, Gem Kids & Gem year
Saturday - Monday @Broga Bliss Classes for the ce on
m en
Bridging Minds, Joining Hearts 2020 will com y!
A Transformative Parent-Teen Camp 12 Januar

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