As the rooster year is ending and the cheery dog awaits, I believe it is a good time to do some planning and “BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND!”

As a teacher, I get my students to set goals at the beginning of each module. Logic being, if they dont know where they’re heading, they’ll forever be roaming aimlessly and not progress.

In my Dharma class, we also learnt how important it is to prepare for the end… or shall we say the beginning?

As cited in the 《Treasury of Knowledge Auto-commentary》: As to the actions that give rise to cyclic existence, there are those that are weighty, those that are near, those to which you are habituated, and those you did earliest.

Among these, the former will ripen first.

【◎ 于相续中,现有众多善不善业成熟理者,谓诸重业即先成熟。轻重若等,于临终时何者现前,彼即先熟。若此亦等,则何增上多串习者,若此复等,则先所作,彼即先熟。如《俱舍释》所引颂云:“诸业于生死,随重近串习,随先作其中,即前前成熟。”】

In short to remember the principles for KARMA in chinese is:

I will try to make it simpler for you…

To go to the next destination for A BETTER LIFE OR BETTER FUTURE,

We need a GPS.
In it, we may see the following:
1. the most important or high weightage 重
2. then recent destination history, 近
3. followed by frequent destinations and then

4. FIRST IN FIRST OUT, 先 like the Cars’ COE expiry.

Among these, the former will happen first. So that’s GPS-Karma.

At this point, I’ll share about the journey of my grandma. She lived a full life till 83.
Came from china… Survived World War 2
A caring and resilient woman but she did have one regret…not successfully bearing a male offspring. She had four daughters, including my mother.

Based on how karma takes effect in point 3 on frequency, having this deep rooted regret may haunt her as it was constantly in her mind stream…

QUESTION for you:
Do you have heavy thoughts or emotions in your mindstream that you cannot let go of?

Be cautious… these will surface at the end of your journey and affect your next.

But for grandma, “her stroke” saved her…

why you may ask…
This illness caused her to be paralysed on one side… how then, did it save her?

Well, she saw that in her toughest time of sickness, her daughters and family were there for her. We were not the best care givers. But she saw our GENUINE LOVE.

This realisation melted her decades of regret. She finally was at peace.

On 6th Dec 2004, Grandma told my fifth aunt that Amitabha Buddha was there to receive her.
In Cantonese, Grandma said:
好靓啊! 哇!满地黄金, 红宝石,黄宝石。阿镁,你有没有看到?阿弥陀佛他来接我了!

My aunt could not see this beautiful sight of precious gems and ground made from shiny gold! Grandma wanted to be alone and focus on meeting Amitabha!

They then both agreed that those present will chant with her. Grandma chanted Amitabha’s name till her last breath.

Only later did we realise that what Grandma described was the Western Pure Land as mentioned in the Amitabha Sutra.



Buddha begins “Amitabha Sutra” by proclaiming the existence of Amitabha. Then, the sutra describes about the elegance of the Western Pure Land, such as trees and ponds made of jewels, buildings made of precious stones, wondrous lotuses emitting colored lights, … the earth covered with tawny gold…

So we believe in our hearts that Grandma has arrived at an excellent destination and AMITABHA BUDDHA WAS HER GPS!

So in the new year, may you begin with the end in mind, BE FREE! – let go of any baggage in your heart and allow Buddha to be your GPS!


Thankful for the opportunity.

Penned by Irene Lee



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