Sunday, October 11, 2009

To Love Unceasingly

To love unceasingly is to love unconditionally. It is to accept differences in principles, values and idealogy. It is to remain committed, without exception, in the face of doubt and uncertainty. It is to put others before self.

This is what true love is all about.

Love Grows With Time

Familiarity doesn't always breed contempt. Love begins with a liking and grows with familiarity. It is nutured with patience and thrives with tolerance.

When we choose to commit ourselves to loving others without pre-conditions, we choose to develop relationships that endure the test of time.

When we choose to love others in this way, we choose to improve the quality of our experience of life.

Permit me to explain why this is so.

The Pschology Of Love

When our minds are focussed on loving others unconditionally, we condition ourselves to view others with an open mind.

With this mindset, we can never experience disappointment because we have no expectations of others.

On the other hand, if people do not live up to our expectations of them, we would be disappointed over and over again.

The Consequence Of Loving

When we choose to love others, we shall be loved in returned.

Though the way in which others choose to return love may not be visibly noticeable at first, it should be noted that not all people reciprocate love in the same way.

Good things take time, and love is no exception.

Choose To Love

To choose to go through life with a loving attitude would be to choose to be happy.

This life is a short one. Live it well and choose to love unceasingly.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kim's Famous Hokkien Noodles

Kim's Famous Hokkien Noodles in now located at the junction of Jalan Eunos and Jalan Kechot. If you do not know which "Kim" I'm referring to, then you definitely have never tasted one of the best Hokkien Noodles in Singapore.

Hokkien Noodles That Are Outstanding

This hokkien noodle stall has won accolade after accolade from newspapers and magazines. I first found out about it during the late 1970's when my father used to be a regular customer to this stall. The queue was always long and waiting times ranged from 30 to 45 minutes if you were lucky.

Back in those days, Kim's stall was located near Jalan Masjid on Changi Road.

Best Dressed Hokkien Noodle Seller

Kim was also famous for being the best dressed hokkien me seller in Singapore. He would always wear branded long-sleeved shirts and pants, a solid gold Rolex, a diamond studded Dunhill pen in his shirt pocket, Bally shoes and a Cartier belt when frying his noodles.

His stall was so popular that you would often see him frying his noodles way past midnight, sometimes even up to 3.00 am.

Kim Is Still Around

Quite by chance, I caught of rare glimpse of the grand old man a few weeks ago. Though older and stouter, his features and voice were unmistakable. He happened to be at the stall and even fried a special wok of "extra ingredients" hokkien noodles for a table full of his die-hard customers that have faithfully followed him from Changi Road to his present location.

Though a younger man fries noodles these days, the recipe remains the same. So if you're ever in that area, do yourself a favour and order a plate of Kim's Famous Hokkien Noodles. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Like Rivers Overflowing

Like rivers overflowing are the hearts that beat as one.
The time that's spent together is like dew exposed to sun.
The special tender moments shall live on in eternity.
That true love never ends remains a certainty.

Hearts are meant for loving, like rivers meant to flow.
A love that's pure and giving will always ever grow.
Rivers will meander until they find the sea.
What once was but a trickle now rushes strong and free.

Through countless lives and faceless crowds, the world's a lonely place.
A memory of the one that's loved, the heart does not erase.
When two hearts are reunited, there's a joyfulness in knowing
that hearts filled with love are like rivers overflowing.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meditation Establishes Concentration

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Meditation establishes concentration by clearing the mind of thought debris. Any thought that lingers on is like unwanted debris that requires energy to fuel it. If there is too much debris, a lot of psychic energy is wasted.

This debris I am referring to comes in the form of past regrets, daydreaming and, tackling future scenarios that might never happen. With so much time and psychic energy spent on such mental activities, how much time and energy is left to concentrate on "here and now"?

This waste of energy leads to a state of mental fatigue with symptoms such as forgetfulness, carelessness and depression. If our mental energy is conserved, then we shall have more energy to attend to the "here and now" of living.

Our minds control our bodies but, it is our emotions that dictate the state our minds. Think about it for a while. Doesn't everything seem so much better when we are happy? And why does everything seem so bleak whenever we are angry or irritated?

Meditation Need Not Be Complicated

Meditation doesn't have to be complicated or difficult. As long as you focus your mind on only one thing or object, that is a meditation in itself. Meditation also doesn't have to be of religious nature. It is a mental exercise that clears the mind of conscious and sub-conscious thoughts that clutter our ability to concentrate.Thinking is a process that requires energy.

The more we think, the more energy we use up. And while it is a good thing to think about things, it's a bad thing to keep on thinking about things that bring about negative emotions or worse, things that cannot be resolved. We need our minds to be clear and uncluttered in order to be alert and at peace with ourselves!

Simple Meditative Exercise

To do a simple meditative exercise, all you need to do is find a place where you can feel safe: this should be a room that you can lock yourself in. When no one can enter the room you are in, you can fully relax.

Next, sit at an arms length away from a plain, light colored wall and draw a tiny black dot on the wall. This dot should be as round as possible and slightly above eye level. Sitting posture should be comfortable and well balanced. My favorite position is the "half-lotus" where one leg is crossed over with the backs of my wrists resting on my knees. The back must be straight and not slumped and the whole body must be relaxed. This position allows the body to be well balanced and supported with least amount of physical effort.

When you have done all this, you are ready to begin a very simple meditation. But before we start, let me clarify a few things. At no time during the course of this meditation should your mind go blank. The focal point of this meditation is the tiny black dot you have drawn on the wall. You are also not encouraged to do this meditation between the hours of midnight and 5.00 AM in the morning. And lastly, do not attempt to do this meditation immediately after eating.

A Simple Meditation

The easiest meditation only involves sitting in a comfortable position and looking at a dot on the wall. You need do nothing else. But meditation requires that be are relaxed, comfortable and safe. This is why you must meditate behind locked doors. When you are sure that no one can enter the room that you're in, you can totally relax and concentrate on what you have to.

To begin this meditation, you should sit comfortably on the floor facing the wall with that dot on it. Sit about an arm's length away from the wall and look at the dot. You need do nothing more than this. In total silence, sit and look at that dot. Do not think of it as a "dot" and do not think about anything at all. Just look at that dot.

While this may not seem like a very interesting thing to do, in time and with practice, you shall begin to understand how important and beneficial this meditation is. This meditation prepares the mind to reach a state of awareness that shall greatly improve the quality of your life. No matter how boring this exercise may seem at the beginning, do not give up. Sit for 5 minutes if you like. Sit for longer if you are able to. Follow your own inclinations and abilities, but do not give up.

Taming The Mind

The mind is a powerful thing. In it, many thoughts dwell at the conscious and sub-conscious levels. This meditation seeks to tame it and calm it so that it may function in the way it was intended to function: optimally. Some people have minds cluttered with numerous thoughts all at once while others have less preoccupations. Regardless, every thought needs energy to fuel it. The more thoughts that fill your mind, the more energy they consume. The mind is weak when too many thoughts occupy it.

While sitting and looking at the dot, you will find yourself drifting into a thought. Whatever that thought be, focus on it, address it and resolve it. After you have done this, tell yourself that you shall not think of it again. If the thought cannot be resolved, tell yourself that you shall put this thought aside and shall think about it at a later time. As you go on sitting and looking at that that dot on the wall, you will be surprised to discover how many thoughts pop up in your mind. Don't worry about it. After a few meditation sessions and more practice, there will be less things that pop up in your mind.

Finer Points On Meditation

Practicing meditation should be on a daily basis for the best results. While it may take sometime to reach a state where your mind is free from distracting thoughts, time and regular practice shall allow you to free your mind in a much shorter time. As you continue to practice meditation, you may begin to hear a high pitched ringing in your ear. Some will hear this sound as insects in a forest. This sound is usually heard when the mind is in a meditative state of calm.

Another thing that can be done to accelerate the progress in meditative exercise would be to go on a vegetarian diet. Vegetarianism also enables us to be more calm and less stressed out.

I hope that you have benefitted from reading this article. We need to concentrate on today in order to build a better tomorrow.

Always remember that meditation establishes concentration.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Food Down the Petrol Tank

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As more and more starchy foods are used to manufacture bio-fuels, food supply will decrease and food prices will go up. As there can only so much land available for agriculture, the continual destruction of forests to pave the way for more agricultural resources would contribute to increased global warming that harms our Earth's environment. Hydrogen, solar, and wind-borne energy would thus be better alternative sources of energy.

It's one thing to refine palm oil into bio-diesel, but it's something completely different to use traditional staple food crops to produce such fuel. An enormous amount of food crops and fresh water are required to produce a very small amount of bio-fuel; about 232 kilograms of corn and 13,500 liters of fresh water produces only 50 liters of bio-ethanol. Such incredulous amounts of food and water have resulted in shortages of food which have in turn caused food prices to sky-rocket out of control.

Soaring food prices don't only affect people in poor countries. Many developed countries are seeing a rise in a new class of "working poor individuals" in their communities. Such people used to form the "lower middle class" but can no longer afford to support their families because of exorbitant inflationary rates. For the people in this category, food subsidies do not shelter them from making painful decisions in their everyday lives.

It's one thing to choose to walk to work in order to save money. But choosing to eat less so that one can afford to keep the house warm during the winter should never be an option. Governments across the globe need to understand and address the issues and plight that accost the poor.

Children are always the ones to suffer the most. Too young to fend for themselves, they are usually at the mercy of their surroundings when both their parents are busy eking out a living. The problem of unaffordable food essentials usually results in malnutrition and poor health. Eating less is not a viable long term solution.

The increased demand for any commodity drives up its price. If more companies are going to turn food into fuel, how much food will be left for domestic consumption? And though bio-fuels are undoubtably a cleaner type of fuel, it is not the only type of fuel. The world community has to look into better alternatives to satisfying its energy needs.

Everyday, people die of starvation by the tens of thousands. Poverty that leads to malnutrition and death remains a reality that needs to be addressed and resolved. How can we turn a blind eye to all the suffering and death in this world? How can we estrange ourselves from the atrocities that have resulted from negligence and a lack of planning?

Read more about the the problem of Rising Food Prices and find out why food costs so much today.

Other posts:

About Terence Yap Singapore

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

For Love of Family & Friends

(told by Terence Yap Singapore)

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Love for family and friends is what makes the world go round for me. Yes, money is a necessity that ensures my survival. But above and beyond these necessities, money holds little value to me. Although there may be times when the pressures of communal living might compel me to think that I should keep up with the Joneses, I always come to my senses in the nick of time. I know better now, but there was a time when I didn't.

As a young man, I remember how I had wanted to shower my first love with all the best things I could offer her. I was so in love with her that I wanted to do everything and anything for her. Working as hard as I possibly could, I had planned on buying a house for her and making her the happiest woman on Earth. Although houses are very expensive in Singapore, nothing would be too extravagant or too good for my special woman.

And while my plans were to give my future wife the very best that life had to offer, it meant that I had to spend more time on work and less time with her. So consumed with getting her this house that I continued to focus on work during my private time with her. I began to spend more time on work and less time with the woman whom I loved and adored.

Days turned into weeks and weeks, into months. Her tolerance with my preoccupation began to turn to frustration. I had begun to neglect her and she clearly resented it.

But I was not to be distracted from my new found purpose in life. The more she had tried to pull me away from work, the harder I worked and the less time I spent with her. I rationalized that she didn't realize the importance of my goal. But never mind, in time she would come to see the wisdom in my ways. She would have a dream house and we would live happily ever after.

Sacrifices in the Name of Love

We quarreled frequently as my working hours began to infringe into our weekends. I often turned a deaf ear whenever she insisted on spending more time together. No matter how much pressure she put on me, I refused to budge. Afterall, I was the man in the relationship and I had a duty to ensure that all her needs would be met when we were eventually to be married.
So I pushed myself on, doing all that I could to outshine my colleagues at work and earn the attention of my boss.

But I was not heartless with her. Whenever I could spare the time away from from work, I would bring her out for a nice dinner or a movie. We nearly went for an overseas vacation together, but work commitments ruined our plans at the last moment, and we had to shelve that vacation for another time.

I was building a future for us and I expected her to understand. In my mind, there were no two ways about it; sacrifices had to be made for the good of our future.

As time went on, I was promoted and paid a higher salary. At long last, I was getting closer to my goal. I felt that things were really looking up for me because her nagging had stopped and she became less demanding of my time. She stopped kicking up a fuss whenever I called to cancel a dinner or a weekend outing. Yes, everything seemed to be going my way.

A Dream Come True

With my new promotion and more money to put in the bank, the dream house I had worked and planned so hard for was finally within my grasp. On the rare occassions that I allowed myself to daydream while caught in a traffic jam, I could see the details of that dream house I would soon share with the woman I was to marry.

All the long hours and 7-day weeks were finally paying dividends. In no time at all, I would have enough savings to pay for the downpayment on a big, beautiful house. It was at this time that I decided to ask for her hand in marriage.

The Promise

I brought her to our favorite restaurant and ordered her favorite dishes. Many arrangements had been made for this night. From the reservations for the best table in the house, a large bouquet of her favourite white roses and a band of violinists, everything was perfectly planned.

So when the meal was over, I gave a pre-arranged signal for the roses and violinists to be brought forward. I felt a knot in my throat as I got down on bended knee and proposed marriage to her with one hand on hers and the other hand holding on to a special little jewelry box.

She looked into my eyes, the way that she had not looked at me in a very long time, and tears began to roll down her cheeks. I leaned forward to embrace her and whispered in her ear, "I promised you a dream house for us to be happy in when we are married. I have kept my promise to you, my love". She suddenly pushed me away and stared at the floor to her side. Her silent tears became sobs as her hand tried to hide her rueful expression. I tried to reach out and comfort her, but she kept pushing me away and sobbed even louder. All I could do was kneel there and wait for her to calm down.

The Moment of Truth

After what must have been an hour, she stopped sobbing and composed herself. Then suddenly, she said,"If I had wanted a dream house, I would have looked for a wealthy man. If I had wanted to be neglected, I would have looked for a successful businessman. If I had wanted to be alone, I would have never fallen in love with you."

"Have you forgotten what you had first promised me when we fell in love?", she asked softly. I could only keep quiet as I clearly did not remember what that promise was.

I got up to my seat and rested my forehead in my palm as she continued, "You promised that you would always love me and never forsake me or abandon me. But yet you ignored my need for your company and abandoned me at the times when I needed you most." I raised my head to respond to her, but words escaped me as I began to remember the promise she was talking about.

We sat there in silence as the waiters started to clear the tablecloths off the vacant tables that surrounded us. I realized that I had wronged her and my only defence was to ask her why she had never told me this before. To this she replied, "I had told you so many times in the past but you never listened to me. You had not only shut your ears to me, you also shut your heart. We cancelled so many nights and weekends together and I was left to fend for myself. And now when you finally feel that you are ready to be in a relationship again, I have the good fortune of having a dinner with you." My heart sank as the reality of her words sank in.

As the waiters approached to inform us that it was closing time, she got up abruptly and walked towards the door. I hurriedly paid the bill and rushed out the door after her. I managed to catch up with her at the taxi stand where she said, "It's over. There is nothing left between you and I." I tried to hug her and she pushed me away with all her strength. "I'm with someone else now", she declared, "who loves me enough to know that I treasure love above money and possessions."

I stood there, stunned and incredulously, still managed to ask her, "When did this happen?" as I struggled to regain my composure. "I worked myself to the bone so that I could give you the best things in life!", I retorted bitterly. "How could you just call it off without sparing a thought for me?" It began to rain and we both stood there and glared at each other.

Sometimes Love Just Isn't Enough

I fought back the tears as my mind raced to find the right words to say to her. But however hard I tried, I knew that I could not refute the truth: it was over; it had been over long before this night. And this would be our last night together. Drenched to the skin in the pouring rain, I gazed at her lovely face for one last time.

She got into the taxi and didn't look back as it drove away. I stood there and watched the taxi as it disappeared into the distance. And to this very day, I have neither seen nor heard from her.


"...for what is money worth when it cannot be taken with us when we complete this journey, and then embark on the next?"

[ This is a true account from a man that I used to know, who lost the woman he loved ]