More than 10 years ago, I attended a fellowship session led by teacher Shi’an. The discussion happened to be based on a chapter in Shantideva’s ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life’. References were also made to Venerable Thubten Chodron’s book ‘Working with Anger’. It was a short session, but packed with practical tips. In 2013, teacher Shi’an expanded the short session into the 4-session Project Patience course which I signed up for. I confess that when I signed up, I was wondering how he could expand the contents into a full course. That was just my ignorance as there was so much to cover that the 4 sessions were constantly fast-paced, and never with a dull moment. He filled the course with examples that one could relate to for application to daily life. It was certainly not mere theory or textbook teaching.
A friend was somewhat surprised to see me at the course, remarking that I don’t seem to have anger issues. Though I probably appear patient to some, personally, I feel that this is a course suitable for all of us, Buddhist or non-Buddhist, good-tempered or ill-tempered. Who doesn’t have this feeling of anger, or its more ‘refined’ version of irritation arising in our hearts, even if it’s for only a thought moment, which often lasts longer? And how often do we feel that our anger is justified? The training of patience is a lifelong project (which usually spans many lives). Until we have perfected our patience, we all need to learn, and of course, practise it. – Joyce
Hi Bro. Shi’an! Yes, I really did benefit much from your lessons! Thank you very much! What you shared was truly wise and I do see myself in some scenarios you mentioned.. Really want to improve my relationships with family and friends. *Guilty of having unnecessary quarrels with family :p* Really grateful to you for sharing and am doing my best to be a good student to practise what you taught. Sincerely hope to be a better person with patience, especially not easily angered. *Heartfelt thanks* Will share and encourage family and friends to attend such beneficial courses too. – Camilly
Dear teacher Shi’an, I find your class very useful and interesting because you use a lot of everyday examples and meaningful quotes in your lessons. I will try to apply what I have learned in your class in my daily life. Thank you very much for conducting this meaningful course. Jia You. With warmest regards, Vicky
How I have benefited… Excellent examples of how we can utilise the teachings in real life, which enables me to connect to my situations… The course was delivered and shared in a light-hearted manner which does not stress me out, and I look forward to every session. – Adeline
Thank you once again for the course. I benefited alot and I will learn to be more patient after attending these lessons. Amituofo, Albert
My patience was put to test soon after I attended lesson 2 of your class. Well, I should be glad that the opportunity came for me to put into practice what I have learnt. Honestly, at that moment, I was unable to dissolve my anger immediately. But I was mindful of it and knew that I had to do something about it. I quickly reminded myself of the techniques you shared with us in class. I was pleasantly surprised at how soon I managed to overcome my negative emotions and realised how foolish it was of me to get angry. Thanks, Bro. Shi’an, for starting this course. I truly benefited from it and am sure it will be of benefit to others too… Thank you for your tireless efforts in propagating the Dhamma. Hope to have the opportunity to attend more of your classes. With metta, Ivy
About The Teacher:
Shen Shi’an 沈时安: An independent Buddhist teacher, author, researcher, translator, editor and poet, he was one of the founding members of the Dharma Propagation Division of Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery (Bright Hill Temple in Singapore) in 1997.
Holding a Masters of Arts degree in Buddhist Studies that covered all major Buddhist traditions, he served as a Dharma Trainer and Project Coordinator in its Community Development & Training Department until 2011, focusing on Buddhist research, writing, teaching and answering of media queries on Buddhism.
He was the founder of the temple’s Youth Mission (now ‘KMSPKS Youth’), a book purchaser for its Awareness Place project, and the Chief Editor of the Web & Library Department, that co-supported Buddhanet.net, a popular Buddhist education website.
He is the founder and editor of TheDailyEnlightenment.com since 1997, one of the world’s largest independent Buddhist inspirational e-newsletters with over 31,000 members, the editor of ‘Be a Lamp Upon Yourself’, ‘The Stonepeace Book (Volume 1-2)’, ‘Awaken: Gateway to Buddhism (CD-ROM)’ and the writer of ‘The Daily Enlightenment: Reflections For Practising Buddhists (Book 1-7)’ and the bestselling graphic novel, ‘The Amazing & Amusing Adventures of Sam & Sara: The Zen of All Kinds of Stuff!’ (He is the author-editor-translator of 13 books.)
He also contributes occasionally to magazines such as ‘Nanyang Buddhist’, ‘Awaken’ (for which he was a Contributing Editor), ‘For You (Information)’ (for which he was invited to be an editorial board member), and ‘Eastern Horizon’. He served with the film selection team of a Buddhist film festival, writes movie reviews for BuddhistChannel.tv, the world’s leading Buddhist news network, and popularised Dharma@Cinema, which is an innovative way of sharing the Dharma through detailed reviews and discussions of both popular and offbeat films.
Using retranslated sūtras and treatise texts, he has taught on the Pure Land teachings at Singapore Buddhist Federation, Kong Meng San, Pu Ji Si Buddhist Research Centre and Poh Ming Tse. He also leads the Pureland Practice Fellowship.
He is also occasionally invited to conduct Dharma discussions for youths of tertiary institutions’ Buddhist societies (NTUBS, NUSBS, SIMBB, NPBS, NYPBS) on various subjects, and to introduce Buddhist life perspectives at Secondary Schools (St. Patrick’s School, Manjusri School), Junior Colleges (Catholic Junior College) and International Schools (UWCSEA, SJII).
He was also invited to share on Buddhism by Dharma Drum Mountain (Singapore), Fo Guang Shan (Singapore), Tai Pei Buddhist Centre, Singapore Buddhist Mission Youth, Singapore Buddhist Youth Mission, Wat Ananda Youth, Buddha of Medicine Welfare Society, The Buddhist Union, Buddhist Fellowship and Kampung Senang. He has also been invited to Indonesia and Malaysia to teach.
He was a committee member of the Inter-Religious Organisation, through which he served in interfaith harmony projects by writing and giving of public talks, having represented Buddhist points of view at national events held by NACLI, NHB, NHG, SAF, SPF, MHA, ACM, SPM, STB, OnePeople.sg, IRCC and MCYS.
He also co-runs Moonpointer.com, which is a community blog that promotes creative sharing of Buddhism via thousands of articles. He can be reached at tde <at> thedailyenlightenment.com for invitations to share the Dharma via articles and talks.
Interview In Buddhist Magazine: http://moonpointer.com/new/2011/07/interview-with-shen-shian