Mind Laundry

Wash-Clothes-without-a-Washing-Machine-Step-8 Wikihow
Photo: Wash Clothes Without a Washing Machine Step 8, from Wikihow

I used to dislike doing laundry

Just had to put what’s ‘dirty’

Into the machine

And like magic

It would become sort of ‘clean’


Yet I felt too lazy

In my energy-saving world

My time was too important

To be spent doing laundry

I had better and bigger things to do

I had to find a way ‘to save the world’

So day-by-day the dirty clothes piled up

Soon it started to stink

And it reached the day

When I had no more clean clothes to wear


What to do?

I sat and reflected

I took a day off

Maybe two

I pushed through

And cleaned this mountain like pile of laundry


It took time

So exhausting yet rewarding

Then I decided to

Stop falling prey

To this consumerist machine

I decided to escape

To a place

Where I can wash my clothes

By hand…

Plus a bucket and a scruber


Now I don’t need a machine

To do my laundry

No pre-set programs

Just hands and a process

Weaving art and creativity

As long as it leaves the clothes clean


Wash, wash, clean

I tell myself

Sometimes I sing

Sometimes I remember

The Buddha’s message

To Suddhipanthaka

‘Sweep Clean’

Alas this disciple found Liberation

With these two ‘simple’ words

‘Sweep Clean’

People used to call him stupid

For he could not remember half a line of a verse

Arhats tried to teach him

But he could not remember

Until he internalized

‘Sweep Clean’


I used to think that

My clothes were clean

Until I discovered

The stench that I carried within

So I wash, wash, clean

I throw my dirty clothes

Into the water bucket

Cycle around and around

Twelve times to the right

Twelve times to the left

And thirty times up and down

Is it clean?

No, not yet

Fill another bucket of water

And throw it back again and cycle


Twelve times to the right

Twelve times to the left

And thirty times up and down

Is it clean?

No, not yet

So I throw it back again and cycle

I am still in the process of washing clean

I don’t know when

But one day these clothes will be cleansed

And its Owner shall exclaim

‘What a clean shirt!’

And He shall wear it!


But up until that day

I shall continue repeating

Wash, wash, clean

Is it clean?

No, not yet?

Then throw it back again into the bucket!




The Horse Owner

Once upon a time there was a horse owner who lost all his horses. Very sad and lonely, he went for a walk into the forest and stumbled upon a strong dark horse lost in it. This horse was stronger and taller than all his previous horses. The horse looked lost and confused in the forest so the horse owner tried to go help it. The horse owner approached the dark horse and tamed it with his kindness. Soon the horse started to follow and work for him. The owner could ride this horse everywhere at very fast speed. This dark horse would work very hard to follow any of the owner’s orders and the owner would praise and reward the horse for its hard work. Time went on, and the owner and the horse developed a relationship. Yet the dark horse had one very bad quality. It was very jealous and always wanted the owner to have full attention on it. Everytime the owner would ride another horse or even be friendly towards another horse, the dark horse would get very jealous and angry. And when the owner would try to ride the dark horse again, this horse would show its anger to the owner—the horse would jump around, go very fast, suddenly stop and make the owner fall and get hurt. The owner—sad, hurt and terrified didn’t know how to deal with the horse… Should I continue riding this horse? Should I run away from this horse? Should I find a new horse? This dark horse was very strong, powerful and scary so the owner didn’t know how to deal with it. Very worried, the owner got very sad and sick. Until one day, the owner realized that although he had lost all his horses, he still had lots of friends and relatives who really loved him and are ready to help him. Then the owner went to seek for help from his close friends and relatives and together they found a solution for ways to deal with the dark horse. You can still be friends with the dark horse but you can’t let it control your life. You can live without a horse but can’t live without your loved friends and relatives.

I dedicate this story to all those who suffer from their personal dark horses. Be strong, don’t be afraid and remember your close friends, teachers and/or relatives are there for you. Take the initiative, talk to them and they will help out. Stay strong and have faith.

Tale: The False Prince Has Died

The False Prince has died.

An Everest like mountain he tried to climb

But he fell and died.

Tall and mighty was this mountain of Five Elements.

Difficult was its climb.

Dear reader,

Open your Heart and listen to the story of how the False Prince has died.


Once upon a time,

There was a False Prince

Who decided to climb up a mystical mountain.

A famous mountain this was;

Praised by many but known by few.

Few travelers returned to tell how they climbed it

Or whether they actually climbed it or died along the way.

This mountain was named The Divine Mountain of the Five Elements.


This False Prince was tired of his lifestyle,

Surrounded by luxuries,

He longed for adventure and excitement.

Thus he decided to climb it.

Worried about his fragile body,

His relatives and subjects tried to stop him.

But how stubborn he was!

He wouldn’t listen!

So the False Prince bid farewell to them

And he started his climb up this mystical mountain.

He climbed and climbed,

Slowly he became tired,

Exhausted actually,

As he was about to give up his journey,

A compassionate monk appeared and taught him the Buddha Dharma.

Soon the False Prince started to realize his True Self.

Suddenly, the Mountain of Five Elements erupted like a volcano

Sending hot lava everywhere,

While bursting open an ice cold waterfall,

Throwing all Elements out of balance.


This mighty explosion threw the False Prince off the mountain,

Free falling,

As all the elements disintegrated,

The False Prince’s body also disintegrated.

The False Prince has died.

The False Prince has died.

The False Prince has died.


Dear reader, remember how all things are impermanent in this life.

Like the False Prince,

You will soon die and your body disintegrate.

One hard to swallow reality this is

But sooner or later you will have to accept this.


Remember that compassionate monk in the story?

Yes, his Dharma teachings indeed saved the Prince’s soul.

And placed it in a new body.

This is no longer the body of the False Prince

But the body of the One.

The False Prince has died

Yet his True Self has been freed.







Story: A Bird Sets Flight (Part I)

A bird sets flight

From its warm, cozy family nest.

Its nest has become too small,

To fit its fully grown body.

Now its eyes can look beyond the nest.

Realizing how little it is,

And how vast is the world outside.

The bird’s heart has grown big,

Filled with illusive hopes,

Distorted dreams,

And skewed ideals.

Yet a tiny seed of enlightenment-wish slowly sprouted.

Witnessing much suffering around him,

The bird searched for a way to eternal Bliss.


Hahaha, haha, ha…

Other birds mocked and laughed at its hopes and dreams.

Labeling it as “stupid, naïve and idealistic.”

The more paternalistic bird relatives,

Told him to give up these ideals and simply go help out its bird parents.

Who labor everyday to bring nourishing food for you and your siblings.

How spoiled you are.

You haven’t experienced hardships in life, that’s why you hold these ideals.

Now go and work like all other birds.


Meanwhile the Wind gently caressed its rainbow colored feathers,

Inviting it to freely fly around the world.

Ignoring the other birds’ comments and remaining steadfast on its aspirations,

The bird contemplated:

Where shall I fly?



To the Land of Water

Where the mythical Black Tortoise resides.

With its cold winters,

And life remains dormant like glacial lakes.



To the Land of Fire

Where the legendary Vermilion Bird flies.

With its hot summers,

And life blooms like daisy flowers.



To the land of Wood

Where the mystical Azure Dragon roams.

With its windy spring seasons,

And life sprouts like scented grass covered in dew.



To the land of Metal

Where the fabled White Tiger lurks.

With its dry autumns,

And life withers like fallen leaves.


Or stay in the Center?

In the land of Earth

Where the legendary Yellow Dragon sits.

With its damp late summers,

And life ripens like sweet fruit.


Where to go?


A pure inner voice replied.


It’s all relative.


No external trip is worthwhile without an internal journey.


The purpose is to realize Being.


You little bird, like the pure hearted Tang pilgrim who journeyed West to fetch the Buddhist scriptures,

Will travel to where your Heart takes you.

Your path will not be easy.

You will face many hardships.

You will meet faithful travel companions who shall accompany you throughout your journey.

You will meet the fiery minded Monkey king,

The bodily attached Pig,

The emotional Friar Sand,

And the thinking Horse.


You will encounter and face demons,

Of all forms and shapes,

Snakes ,







All disguised and ready to trick the unmindful traveler.


When you are in distress,

Pray for help.

I, the compassionate Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara

Shall appear and with a gentle touch of the holy willow branch,

All negativity shall disappear;

Relieving all suffering,

Only leaving a trail of teachings on emptiness.


Get your swords of wisdom sharp!

Hold the prajna-paramita within your heart!

Morality clear!

Study the Scriptures and Sacred Texts!

Get ready for the journey!


Flap your wings o little bird!

And may you find the answers you seek and share them with all beings!


Guided by this pure voice,

The bird bid farewell to beloved family and friends.

It embarked in its prescribed journey.

Setting out into the cold, chaotic world.


The bird flapped its wings and its body took flight.

A body well fed and protected from physical suffering.

As it gained momentum,

The little bird was soon engulfed by the vast morning indigo sky.

The sun rose in the horizon,

The whole world seemed to be dancing in joy and excitement,

As bird’s life story slowly unfolded as if waking up from a dream.


This is the story of the bird that began its journey towards the other shore.


(To Be Continued…) Stay updated for the next blog entry. A heartfelt thank you for reading this. Hope you enjoyed it.

Short Story – Foolish Dreams

As I was writing this story, I was listening to this inspiring mantra. If you enjoy spiritual songs, I recommend that you check this song out as you read this short story. Enjoy!

“Stop dreaming, you’re just fooling yourself” – says a boy’s father. This kid, he keeps dreaming so high, I’m worried that the world will bring him down and disappoint him. I need to wake him up to the real world so he doesn’t suffer as much as I did.

Outside, the rain stops. Confused and sad, the boy goes for a little walk. He has big dreams. He dreams of a world in which animals, all types of it, insects, pigs, chicken, all live in harmony with humans. For him, humans need to stop factory farming animals and devouring them. He hopes for a world with no wars, no poverty and no pollution.

Walking along the road, he wonders. Am I dreaming too much? If everybody starts to believe in a better world, the world would soon become a better place. I don’t know. Maybe my father is right. The world cannot be changed. It is too hard for a kid like me to try to change the world.

On the semi-wet road, the boy sees little moving black dots on the pavement. He looks closer and realizes that these black dots are actually flying ants lying on their backs. Their wings are stuck on the wet pavement and they frenetically kick their tiny legs in an attempt to flip themselves around. And for the ants that are not stuck, as they try to flip their wings and fly away, they become stuck to the wet pavement just like the other ants.

This view of life astonishes and saddens the boy. Compassionately and without thinking, he puts his finger out so the insects can climb to it and fly away. Some insects climb right up and fly away. Some ants climb into his hand and stay there, not wanting to leave. And some ants are already dead when the little boy tries to help them. The boy spends a long time doing this over and over again without getting tired.

While the boy works hard, the sun starts to shine and teaches the boy that eventually the sun would dry up the pavement and free these ants. All this suffering is impermanent as the infinite love from the sun will eventually set these ants free. He thought, my job is to speed up this process of love from the sun.

As he is about to liberate the last flying ant, his father appears from the back and uses his hand to help out this ant. The boy looks up in surprise and sees his father in tears. The father tells the boy, “I’m sorry for all the tough words I said to you before. Never stop dreaming. I am the only fool here because I have given up on my dreams. As you liberated these flying ants, you also liberated me. From now on, I will always be there for you and I will help you accomplish whatever dreams you have. I love you son.”