Silence and/or Less – Neuroscience of Peace

Silence Question: What one thought will you focus on this year to bring more peace?

Silence and less are good thoughts.

Think about this.

“How would spirituality help a man of the world like me?” said the businessman.
“It will help you have more,” said the Master.
“How?” “By teaching you to desire less.” — Anthony de Mello, SJ

MORSEL: After the game, the king and pawn go into the same box. –Italian Proverb

January Peace Challenge: Neuroscience of Peace

Question: What good shall I do and did today

Three thing I will change on this schedule:

  1. Wake up at 6 am
  2. Change “shall I do” to “I will do”
  3. Sleep at 11 pm


Find the good on a given situation.  Sounds like Pollyanna?  Not really, it’s easier to become pessimistic than being optimistic.  No should or could or would.  These are pitfalls in everyday life.  Do or do not.  The daily examination, I agree with this wholeheartedly.  It reminds me of the quote “unexamined life is not worth living.”

benfranklindaily

Photo credit by: Nick Bilton

Everything else is secondary.

This showed up in my Facebook with a comment:

“This so true!”

I scanned it, read it, re-read it and read it slowly.  Somehow this quote is not sitting well with me.

So I commented to the sender:

“What else is missing in this article?”

“Nothing!”

“Is everything else is secondary?”

I will leave this question open for you.

 

Mind your Ps and Qs

Naramata Centre is a place to inspire people to make a difference in the world. 
We were the first group that arrived in Naramata and we planned it that way.  Soon after, people will start flowing in for the summer.  Ah, peace and quiet. 
Not quite. 
I heard the call of the wild. It’s very haunting and eerie. 
Peacocks!  There are two of them roaming around the streets of the Centre. 
This is the first time I’ve seen Peacocks on the loose.  They are so tamed that they ignored me. 
Other than Peacocks, there were so many Quails as well.  They have a thing on their head bobbing as they scurry away just like Peacocks.  What a nervous little birds. 
Apparently, the call of the wild is a mating call for Peacocks.  Two male Peacocks, tails all fanned out going around and shouting at the top of their lungs “Aaaaahhh, Aaaaahhh, Aaaaahhh,” 
These calls, after a while became noise to me especially when it woke me up early in the morning.  
Where are the females? 
Well, the seniors in the Centre decided to get rid of the female because they don’t want to see any “rag rats” running wild. 
I think that is so cruel for the male Peacocks. 
The male Quails have their females and little ones.  Peacocks are entitled to the same thing. 
Should the dwellers of Naramata keep this up, I could see a new species of Peacocks. 
A new breed:  Quails running around with long tails
Peacock tailed Quail

Peacock tailed Quail

 or maybe with Peacock’s head with Quails body. 
Quail with Peacock head

Quail with Peacock head

Imagine that! 
To the Naramata residents:  Please mind your Ps and Qs.
 
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Silent Retreat – Mandala

What:           Create a Mandala
Where:         Convent of the Cenacle Sisters
When:           May 27, 1995
Who:             Age 19 and over
Why:             Reflect on your Mandala 
Prerequisites: Silent and prayerful heart 
Provided:
  •        Guided prayer and meditation
  •        Round piece of board
  •        Old magazines
  •        Scissors
  •        Glue
 Procedure:
  •        Start with prayer
  •        Listen with your heart
  •        Use active imagination
  •        Quiet your mind for 10 minutes
  •        Collect magazines
  •        Quietly cut up any pictures from the magazine
  •        Glue the pictures on the round piece of board
  •        Remain quiet when you are finished
  •        End with a prayer
Wheel of Life: Mandala (Man and His Symbols: Carl Jung) 
Wheel of Life

Wheel of Life

“For an idea to take root,
Turn good intention into purposeful action
Only then will the idea grow and take on a life of its own” 

This is in response to Daily Post: Weekly Writing Challenge: Image vs Text

Friday Meditation (38)

The Master held that no words were bad if they were used in an right context. When he was told that one of his disciples was given to swearing, he remarked, “Profanity has been known to offer spiritual relief denied to prayer.” — Anthony de Mello, SJ 
MORSEL:   If you judge people, you have no time to love them.  —  Mother Teresa 
BONUS MORSEL:  Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.     — Frank Outlaw 
Desert Wisdom  Nouwen/Nomura

Desert Wisdom Nouwen/Nomura

One Love, One Heart

On the way home last night, I went to Church for Lenten blessing.  It’s just like Christmas on Ash Wednesday.  It was a crowded service.  I can only assume we came to Church to be redeemed and be forgiven for all the “sins” we have committed in our thoughts, words and deeds. 
I went to be reminded that I am a mere mortal being, impermanent on this Earth and to receive the sign on my forehead.  This sign is given by the Priest.  He dipped his thumb in an ash, made a sign of the cross on my forehead and told me “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  This line is derived from the story of how God made Adam, from a pile of dirt. Then I went home with a dirt mark while people stare at me with puzzled look.  And I just smiled. 
Meditating while walking and what came up to mind is the heart.  Is the heart the most important part of the body?  How come I have only one heart?  I have two hands, feet, eyes, lungs, ears; a pair of lungs, left and right hemisphere of the brain, etc.  It must be valentines, I brush off my thoughts. 
It’s a good thing that they came up with Valentine’s Day to distract people from the history of Valentine.  Personally, it’s my father’s death anniversary.  We will have a Celebration of Life but I won’t be able to make it due to work obligations.  I know, it’s only once a year.  Father will understand.  I do keep him in my prayers. 
My offering to you for Valentines is this heart: 
St. Francis of Assis

St. Francis of Assisi

Peace be with you.  Seeker

Fasting or Feasting (40)

For Catholics, today is Ash Wednesday, first day of Lent.  It is a period of reflection living Lent.  It is a time of prayer.  It’s about dying to our self, all that negative attitude and thoughts. 
In one of my retreats, Lent was defined as:
L – Lets
E – Eliminate
N – Negative
T – Thoughts 
Having said that, I learned to use soft words, less on exclamation point to make a point, bite my tongue.  For those who are familiar with cognitive behaviour, this is what they teaches in the course.  It all makes sense to me. 
This period is not all about me; it’s all about God whoever you conceive him to be, from Abba to Zen.  They said God lives in us.  Can you see the reflection of God in another person?  Or let’s not even mention God.  Can you see the goodness of a person? 
You see, I believe that we are all inherently good. 
Since you told me in my post Tell me and I will tell you mine, I will tell you the title of this list: Fasting and Feasting.  I choose Feasting.  Instead of giving up, I will give in and listen to the prompting of God. 
I will leave you with something to think about, a poem: 
“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. “   Etienne de Grellet  (1773-1855); Quaker missionary
 
 Something to read:
We can make a difference right now
A Genie in a bottle or 12 steps program
Kindness of a stranger
 

Being Born – A Gift

I know I am just passing through in this life, a pilgrim.  This is not my home.  I should have not been born as I mentioned in my post My hero.  
A lot of people had a surreal experience.  It just a matter of being aware or in tuned to what is happening in your body and out of your body. 
To cite an example, when I was just a little girl, I was having an afternoon siesta.  It’s a requirement that children must have a good afternoon rest.  My older siblings will ensure that we take a nap. 
As I lay asleep, I was looking down at my body sleeping like a baby and my other self is up on the ceiling attached by a golden thread.  It was scary for a mere child and I said to myself, bring me back to my body, Now!  Whump!  I’m back, opened my eyes, felt a tremendous headache.  That was my first awareness. 
It happens all the time, I just have to keep myself grounded otherwise, I will be floating in air.  People call me crazy, who cares.  It’s a gift.  It’s nothing new.  Look at all those great people such as Carl Jung, William Blake, Gopi Krishna, Padre Pio, Dag Hammarskjold, etc. who have such gift. 
Let me share with you what Dag wrote titled Markings: 
I don’t know who or what put the question
I don’t know when it was put
I don’t even remember answering
But at that moment
I did answer Yes
To Someone or something
And from that hour
I was certain
That existence is meaningful
And that, therefore my life,
Is self-surrender
Had a goal. 
Think about this. 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Surreal.  Come and join us, you’ll discover who you are.

Nirvana – State of Bliss

Should I have been born as a Buddhist or a Hindu, I will make sure that I reach Nirvana in this life, a state of bliss, therefore, no reincarnation.  Reincarnation is kind of boring in my opinion.  One life is enough. 
And more importantly, I would like other spirits to have a chance to be born and experience life. 
I think Einstein was a cat in his previous life.  And here’s a proof. 
DP Feb 8, 2013 humour_reincarnation
 This is in response to Daily Prompt: Reincarnation.  Come, join us and share your thoughts.

The Evolution of Medicine

In Canada, I pay medical premium for a minimal cost.  The amount of taxes that is taken out of my income is about 30%.  That’s a lot of money considering my income is so little.  I assume the tax is used in part for the medical system. 
Sometime in the 90’s, I was hospitalized for 4 months.  Should I have paid the cost of hospitalization, I would become “mental” thinking how I am going to pay the bill.  I am grateful that it was fully paid by the government. 
My knowledge in medical system is next to nothing; therefore, there is nothing intelligent I can contribute to this post except for insane Medical Humour. 
The Evolution of Medicine 
I have an earache … 
2000 BC – Here, eat this root. 
1000 AD – That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer. 
1850 AD – That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion. 
1940 AD – That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill. 
1985 AD – That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic. 
2000 AD – That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root. 
Suggestion for the Automated Switchboard of a Psychiatric Hospital. 
Thank you for calling.
 If you are obsessive-compulsive, press  ‘1’  repeatedly. 
If you are co-dependent, ask someone else to press  ‘2’. 
If you have multiple personalities, press  ‘3’, ‘4’, ‘5’  and  ‘6’. 
If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want;  just stay on the line and we will trace the call. 
If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a voice will tell you which number to press. 
If you are depressed, it doesn’t matter which number you press, we won’t answer your call anyway. 
If you are a GP, forget about referring a patient because there aren’t any beds.  
 
Source: Humour MedJokes
 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Healthcare.  Come and join us, it will expand your mind.

Tell me and I will tell you mine.

A week from now, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, is the beginning of abstaining from what we like most for 40 days and 40 nights. 
When I ask the kids what they will give up, they normally choose chocolate, candy, pop, television, Facebook (right!), etc. 
On a higher scale, Patricia from Called by Joy provided this list to give us other ideas. 
Give up worry – trust Divine Providence
Give up discouragement – be full of hope
Give up bitterness – turn to forgiveness
Give up complaining – focus on gratitude
Give up pessimism – become an optimist
Give up harsh judgments – think kind thoughts
Give up hatred – return good for evil
Give up negativism – be positive
Give up anger – be more patient
Give up pettiness – become mature
Give up gloom – enjoy the beauty that is all around you
Give up jealousy – pray for trust
Give up gossiping – control your tongue
Give up sin – turn to virtue
Give up giving up – hang in there 
Let’s pretend for the sake of this prompt, more importantly,  for the sake of Daily Peace, what will you give up?  Tell me and I will you mine.
Hang in There

Hang in There

This is in response to Daily Prompt: Open ending.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Genie in a bottle or 12 Steps program

Did you say major changes? Sure, I want to have a baby, let me go window shopping and buy one.  Sure, I will visit the a sperm bank to find good genes.  What a silly decision. 
I made a 360 degree turn yesterday and I am still thinking about the what if situation.  
Yesterday was Sunday and I left the mass early because the priest is boring.  I could have easily changed the situation but I stayed until closer to the end.  I did not wait for his blessings. 
Walking as fast as I could in a cold rainy February zigzagging around people, I made a 360 turn.  What made me do that?  My peripheral vision saw a person sitting on the cement outside the mall.  
Meet April in February 3, 2013.  
I asked are you ok?  Then she started crying.  She’s a new face in the block.  I recognize most of the street people in Metrotown Mall.  April made a wrong decision last night according to her, was accused of lying and hates being called a liar.  She left the facility where she stayed for two months to change her life, slept on the street last night and unfamiliar with the city. She came from the Island, up north of BC.  The time was about 2 pm. 
All of this happened out of a blue, don’t ask me why I paid attention to this stranger.  I don’t like WHY question.  Therefore, I did not ask April the why question. 
Did I make a conscious decision to help her?  Yes or No? No. Did I hesitate?  There was no hesitation in my part, I just acted.  She needs a place to stay for one night; she’s looking for the Aboriginal Lodge. 
I’ve asked April only one thing.  April, I want you to pray to your God to help us find you a place.  She sheepishly said yes with a worried look on her face. 
Skipping all the details, I found her a place to stay by 7:30 pm.  An emergency shelter.  We were wet, shaking like a leaf, tired, cold.  We shared a cigarette before we parted and made sure she was inside this beautiful blue looking mansion in a residential area that I’ve never thought it existed closed by where I live. 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Changes.  Come and join us, it will change your life.

Have You Hug Someone Today?

If you haven’t here’s a hug for ALL {{{WordPress users}}}. 
And for your entertainment for the rest of the day.  I promise I’ll leave you alone for I’m going out to check the garden and play with the hummingbirds.  
Year 2010 in balcony

Year 2010 in balcony

 Until then…. 
 
 
 
 
 

The Power of Love

This morning, I responded to Daily Prompt: Burning down the house.  Should you wish to read my post, it’s titled What Matters Most. 
Since the post is about fire, I would like to share this story that I received via e-mail that has been passed around.  
And the story goes: 
During an early morning response to a house fire in Santa Rose de Temuco, Chile, fire fighters witnessed the unbelievable. A mother dog risked her life to save her puppies from the fire surrounding the burning house, which started because of a car bomb.

The mother dog, Amanda, raced back and forth between the house, putting her 10 day old puppies in the safest place she could find – a fire truck!

She didn’t stop racing back into the fire until all of her puppies were safely away from the fire.  The firemen on scene could not believe their eyes. Most people have never seen a dog this smart or this brave!

 After rescuing all of her pups from the blaze, Amanda sat down next to them, protecting them with her body.  Onlookers called an emergency veterinary service and she and her pups were rushed to the hospital.  Aside from one puppy being treated for serious burns, the entire family are alive and well – thanks to the bravery of Amanda! What a heroic mother!

Isn’t this story amazing – The Power of Love.

What Matters Most

For the sake of this prompt, these five items are all in my purse.  It’s a small card holder that has my identity: Driver’s License, Medical Card, Social Insurance Card and Credit Card.  In addition, I will put on my shoes, an outdoor coat and apartment keys.  These are what matters and all I need. As for the rest, material things can be easily replaced. 
In reality, summer 2005, I was lying flat on my back in the middle of the living room, playing with Maurice, the cat. Lying on my back is all I can do due to a work related accident, I was on health leave. My lower lumbar suffered soft tissue injury from lifting a heavy box.  Tsk-Tsk. 
Clang, clang, clang goes the fire alarm.  Now what?  This is exactly what I need!  Maurice was startled and went into hiding.  Cats are very sensitive creatures, they prefer quietude like me. 
I slowly got out of my back, heard the commotion outside.  I do not have a cage for the cat so I grab my backpack.  Looking for Maurice, I stuffed him in the bag.  Grabbed my bag with my identification cards in it, shoes and apartment keys I slowly left the apartment with Maurice.  
We descended down three flights, not an easy task for my back.  In the meantime, Maurice was screaming his head off in the bag and trying to pacify him that everything will be alright. 
Outside, everybody is gathered and five fire trucks are already in front of the building.  Commotion, chaos and we were looking to check if everybody is out.  Checked, everybody is accounted for. 
The firemen did their thing.  We stood outside in a warm sunny day, chatting, joking, exchanging pleasantries, and catching up with what’s happening with our lives to keep our mind off matters.  
It seemed like forever.  Finally, the firemen proclaimed, ALL SAFE – FALSE ALARM. Hooray, the crowd shouted, we all returned to our apartments and we lived happily ever after to date, especially Maurice, the cat.
What matters most

What matters most

This is in response to Daily Prompt: Burning down the house.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Raise A Reader

The previous Premier of BC started a campaign called “Raise A Reader”.  I once saw him handing out newspapers to public for free to encourage reading.  I politely accepted the newspaper; however, I cannot stand reading the news, all that bad stuff going on local and globally.  I quit reading the newspaper. Subsequently, more newspapers were produced for free.  There’s the 24 hours and Vancouver Metro.  A friend of mine used to work for 24 hours.  I started reading 24 hours because of her.  Then she changed professions, does not want to take pictures and become a paparazzi.  I quit reading, again.

In my travels, I met this nice elderly Filipino lady. One day, on the way to train station, I saw her giving out Vancouver Metro by the train station.  I started reading again because of this Filipino lady.  To help her out distribute the newspapers, I went to the extent of taking five newspapers to further distribute them at work.

I’m beginning to like Vancouver Metro because it has more good news than bad news.  Or maybe, I am just selectively reading the good part.  Besides, it provides easy to follow food recipes and this is the best part.

For Tuesday, January 23, 2013 issue, the headline was “Nothing to Fret My Pet!”  It is actually a love story of a woman and her deer.  To make the short story even shorter: they will live happily ever after when it was decided by law makers not to forcibly separate them.  I love happy endings.

Source:  Vancouver Metro

Source: Vancouver Metro

 To read more about it, here’s the link: Metro News.

 Psalm 42
As the deer longs for running streams… so my soul longs for you, O God.
 

Death, A Trip of a Lifetime

75 years old is my cut-off.  Take it or leave it.  I just don’t want God to forget all about me and let me live till the turn of the next century. 
I have discussed this with my sisters what I want to wear in the casket.  It will be my red dress that Mother made for me when I was in my twenties and still fits me.  The dress has been used by my sisters and nieces, and I keep on telling them to take good care of it because I need it for my burial gown.  
On the checklist is the reading at the mass, what songs to play (happy songs, please), no black dress in the funeral, cremation and of course, the Last Will and Testament. 
There, I am ready, any time, take me home. 
As for the Requiem, vengeance is mine.  I want to surprise them with an envelope to be read in the church should the priest allow it.  And at the end, one slide show, a pre-recorded  of my  last statement and a projection of my beautiful smile. 
The reading would be about Beatitudes, the teaching of Jesus Christ that in my opinion replaces the Ten Commandments of Moses.  
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted
Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God. 
And in my pre-recorded voice: Lunch on me, let’s party and dance. And a smile.  Let’s move to the church hall. 
 
 This is in response to Daily Prompt: Write your own Eulogy.  Come and join us, it’s fun.
 
Read this:
Enjoy every moment you can

Spread the Word

The word is Acceptance. 
It doesn’t take too much to become excited when it comes to children of the world especially the students. 
The evening news the other night caught my attention and I immediately went on Global TV on-line to get the link.  Shared it on my Face Book and the next thing, my friends are commenting and sharing the video.  The video has now gone viral according to the news. 
First thing I did at work was shared this to my peers.  And Diana responded saying that her daughter is somewhere in that news.  Oh gee, Diana, tell me more.  Not much to tell because she did not attend Hockey Night in Canada.
I am very proud of these young generations for having the courage to dance in the largest crowd and wear pink to promote Anti-Bullying. It’s coming up soon next month, February.  I am not so sure of the exact date.
School is not just all about studying, the Board also teaches the kids the basic of life so that they may learn to be compassionate, kind, loving to any a few.  I am hoping these students will create a peaceful generation.Enjoy the video and here’s the Global TV News link should you want to read all about it.
 
 Global TV BC – Vancouver School Kids Stage Anti-Bullying Flash Mob at a Giant’s Game. 

Life of Contradiction

If a picture can paint a thousand words

Then why can’t I paint you.

Picasso drawing by Carl D'Agostino

Picasso drawing by Carl D’Agostino

 Experimentation With Copy Art by Carl D’Agostino

 
Life of Contradiction – A Poem
 
One stormy night
In the middle of the day
Two dead boys
Stood up and fight
Back to back
They faced each other
They drew their swords
And shot each other
 
I don’t know where this poem came from but I memorized it way back when I was in elementary.  I loved it so much that when I start thinking of so many ifs in life, I play this like a broken record.  I guess I have mastered the Life of Contradiction. 
I am happy the way I am, no need to be a master of anything when I can’t even be a master in this School of Life. 
 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Skills.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Life is Grand

Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie Sixteen Candles 86% positive.  When I think of myself as part of the movie, I am Robin, not Molly Ringwald.  Molly is a rotten tomato for her role and Robin’s role is the “crazy” one who had nothing to do with her day so she joined this group at school for a day.
Anyway, Life is Grand.  At sixteen, I was still climbing trees.  I love tree houses and imagined myself living in it with Tarzan.  All I want is a simple house where I can live happily ever after. 
Fast forward, no Tarzan, no treehouse either.  And Life is still grand.  I have shared with you what my place looks like and this is the link:  Clean Slate – Simplicity. 
As for the tree house, it exists up in Whistler Mountain.  To view, click on this link: 
Secret Treehouse.  Tarzan who built the treehouse is way too young.  Should I pursue him, I will be called the Cougar Lady.  
Secret Treehouse at Whistler, BC

Secret Treehouse at Whistler, BC

 Life is Grand. 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen.  Come and join us.  It’s fun! 
 
Related Links:

News Worthy: Something to Chirp About

Move over Princess Kate, there’s more important event happening at Queens Park, New Westminster, BC.  It’s better than a royal event; it’s a rarity, for people who are nature lover. 
It’s a bird, not superman.  It’s a rare red flanked blue tail bird from Siberia that winters in Japan and made an emergency landing in my neighbourhood.  This little thing must have been charged with Eveready Battery: it kept going and going and going.  Or maybe the break wasn’t working.  I just love the beauty of all things small and wonderful.
With my canine nose sensitivity, I managed to track down Mr. Gordon and asked him if I can use his photos and quote him.  He gladly agreed and then I let go of his pants.  Yup, this is another power of canine: teeth biting the hem of his pants.
Thank you Mr. Gordon and these are his pictures.  What a beauty!  For more pictures, click on The Canadian Warbler.blogspot.ca 

 

 

On the other hand, I wonder if the bird misses its flock.  I am feeling lonely for the bird being alone by itself.  I hope it will find its group and be reunited with them.  God speed little birdie.

And here is the clip of the news  Global News Video  and  Vancouver Sun. 

Enjoy.

 
 Related Links:
The Canadian Warbler.blogspot.ca
Burnaby Bird Guy.wordpress.com

A Call to Service – On Peace

As part of human process, there are times it’s difficult to have an inward peaceful disposition.  If that is the case, for me, I look up to others and listen to what they are communicating to me. 
I listened to JFK’s famous Inaugural Address.  It was on this day, January 20, 1961.  And I quote “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” courtesy of Britannica.  To hear it, click on JFK delivering his inaugural Address. 
This speech is equally applicable to all nations, not just USA. 
I played this over and over to truly deeply understand based on my upbringing and personal belief.  I zeroed in on words that are meaningful to me: 
  • Prophet summons us
  • Call to Service
  • For all mankind
  • Rejoicing in hope, patience and tribulation
And I translate these to:
           God Calls me to be of Service For All Mankind.
           Rejoicing in hope with patience even in times
           of tribulation.
With this in mind, I part you with a Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi.  He was just a man whom the Prophet Called him to be of Service for All Mankind, always rejoicing the Glory of God. 
Peace Prayer

Peace Prayer

 To listen to the melody play the YouTube.  It was recorded at the birthplace of Francesco in Assisi. Italy. 
 
 
Related Links:
Britannica.com: John F. Kennedy
Biography of Francesco di Bernadone born on 1181 by Wikipedia
Huffington post by: Bansi Kara – A Prayer for Teachers
St. Francis, Friend of Muslim Sultan of Babylon
Notes on Peace by Seeker
Delicate minds about being Peacemakers
World Peace Conference – Culture of Peace by Louise Diamond
We Can Make A Difference-Right Here, Right Now by Kozo
January Post for Peace by Grandmalin
B4Peace – Love thy Neighbor by sarahneeve
Peace be with you today and all days by Tracy
Bloggers4Peace -Everyday Gurus

I’ll Be Watching You

Excuse me Dear DP, I know today is Sunday, church day for me.  Are you a Priest who wants to hear my confession and absolve my sins?  I feel like I am in a confessional box today. 
I Plead the Fifth.
Seriously, we are talking about deadly sins here.  It’s scary enough that we are constantly under surveillance.  Even public washroom have signs “I’ll be watching you”. By the way, this song is a stalker’s song. Gee, even in the washroom, there is no privacy. 
Talking about watching, I’ll use a softer word: notice.  After Sunday mass, I get so hungry after the service.  You know, that lengthy sermon that one makes you hungry.  Sister #4 and I bee line to the nearest restaurant once a month.  I notice restaurants have cameras, too. 
Here’s a restaurant called Char Grilled and they offer the best T-shirts.  The site of  CharGrilled.
 
DP Jan 20, 2013 chargrilled
 
In answer to your post, not biting on this one.  Thank you very much. 
One Minute Meditation:
To a disciple who was forever complaining about others the Master said, “If  it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people.  It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to carpet the whole of the earth.”    Anthony de Mello, 
SJMORSEL:    The paradox of control is simple. The more we try to control life, the less control we have.   –Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Rule Breaking.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Rated “R”

No such thing as my last attempt for I refuse defeat.  Not in my vocabulary.
I love motorbikes and the joy of riding it.  A two-wheeler powered with diesel, way better than an ordinary bicycle.
A friend of mine took me up in the mountain to teach me how to ride a motorbike.  Why the mountain?  For one, it’s quiet and safe.  The ground is mother earth instead of concrete pavement.  Obstructions are trees instead of pedestrians.  Oh, it was so much fun.
However, being small in stature, I can’t reach the ground when I hold up the motorbike in stationery.  Minor problem.  Just let myself fall, bike included on top of me.
I didn’t mind it at the time during my younger days.  Scratch and bruises.  I envisioned myself driving in the fast lane, free as a bird, hair was blown by the wind.  I can feel my adrenaline pumping.
Reality set in, my friend realized it’s not a sport for me.  What?  Please don’t give up on me.  He did.
Relationship included.
Well, I shall return and this time with a vengeance and with full respect.  In due time, I have to treat my body with respect.  A three-wheeler. 

This is in response to Daily Prompt: Apply Yourself.  It’s fun, come and join us.
 
Check this out:
blog.artandstory.com
Which language to learn next by Happy Hermit
My terrible french by Lazy Syndrome
 

A Solution or A Problem

In a crisis, I ask myself, am I a solution or a problem?  If I am a problem, I remove myself.  If I am a solution, I’m in. 
For my sweet niece, Lucy, she has the best answer in her Face Book.  Too smart for a tender age, full of wisdom for a young mind.  I will follow a child.
 
Posted in Lucy's Face Book

Posted in Lucy’s Face Book

 As for my faith, I will always say this prayer:

Lord, grant me
the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change
the courage to change the things that I can
the wisdom to know the difference

And I will be guided by the Holy Spirit.

 

This is in response to Daily Prompt: In Crisis.  Come and join us.
 
 

Share is a verb

I LOVE SHARING and it’s my favourite word.  Share is a verb.  It’s an action word.  This was my opening word in my post Monday’s Peace News Captured on video. 
Sharing is very self-fulfilling.  It brings out the humanity in me especially LOVE.  In my reflection, this love is a gift from my God that is meant to be shared.  
So, here go I… 
After yesterday’s Daily Prompt: Polite Company, I am still deeply moved by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s history, not so much about the controversial topic about religion and politics. 
Out of deep admiration and respect for him, I want to share this song with you:

We Shall Overcome.

And a beautiful story Morning Story: Do Unto Others.

Have a blessed day.

Pax Tecum, (Peace be With You)  _/\_ Seeker

Monday’s Peace News Captured on Video

Share is the word I instill on the children in order for them to become giving or eventually selfless when they grow up.  Share your toys, share your food, share your clothes, and more sharing. 
One thing I have noticed ever since I joined the computer age is the “share” button.  The feeling of “I think it’s not so bad being to be in this age after all.”  I happen to like sharing and giving. 
I re-opened my Facebook account this year because I feel left out.  My family and relatives are now all connected in Face Book.  My intention is to make this site active to share my faith and to keep the faith alive in our family. 
One day my nephew shared a YouTube about “the good in people were captured on video”.  Isn’t that wonderful?  I love good news. 
And now it’s my turn to pass it on to you to spread Peace on Earth.  It will be the best 1:36 minutes of your Monday. 
  
More good news:  God loves you.
On this day, 1783 Peace of Paris was ratified.
In closing:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. ~   John 14:27
In response to Daily Prompt: Ripped from the Headline:  click here for details
 
Related Articles / Links
Delicate minds about being Peacemakers
We Can Make A Difference-Right Here, Right Now by Kozo
January Post for Peace by Grandmalin
B4Peace – Love thy Neighbor by sarahneeve
Peace be with you today and all days by Tracy
Bloggers4Peace -Everyday Gurus
World Peace Conference – Culture of Peace by Louise Diamond

DP: Clean Slate – Simplicity

“Daily Post: Clean Slate – Explore the room you’re in as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Pretend you know nothing. What do you see? Who is the person who lives there?” 
The place is the tiniest room in a three storey older tenement.  It’s a bachelor suite measuring around 500 square feet or less, big enough for a simple life.
Room 306 is the back part of the third floor of Royal Manor.  She just loves that name and she started feeling regal already.  Seeing the bright living room with balcony, plenty of natural light is very conducive to a healthy living for the new tenant requires natural light in order to survive the long winter ahead.
A balcony, she feels so blessedly rich.  She can picture what plants to grow, eventually.  No animals allowed is the agreement she signed for.  That is just fine by her since she doesn’t want any responsibilities.  All she wants is to take care of herself and live a life of solitude.
The tenant is a minimalist.  All she brought with her is an old bed and three dressers for her clothes.  She loves dressing up.  No sofa, no chairs, no table for she threw in the towel.  A clean slate, a new beginning.
Ah, she can now breathe.  No more stuff that suffocates her life.
Over the years, the room is gradually filling up and it has maintained its simplicity in life.  A sofa, plants, folding dinning table, a cat.  Plenty of light and life. She now loves living the life what God has intended for her. 
Living room

Living room

Take Two – All Things Bright and Beautiful

“DP Prompt: Take Two – Run outside. Take a picture of the first thing you see. Run inside. Take a picture of the second thing you see. Write about the connection between these two random objects, people, or scenes.”

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

Poem by: Cecil Frances Alexander

 Related Articles:
All Things Bright and Beautiful Poem post by cristines
Hummingbird blogspot by mara gamiel
As a matter of cat by Ella on WordPress
 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination – “EYE” Dream

Illumination is more than an ordinary light to me.  To be illuminated is has to touch the very core of my soul.

This picture was taken in one of the Churches in Rome.  It reminded me of my dream. Should you be interested in knowing the dream, click on Eye Dreamed post.

 
The EYE of GOD

The EYE of GOD

This Is Your Life – eBooks

“If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.” 
Just don’t feel writing what book that would be, today.  I can only imagine the book will be a Trilogy like Lord of the Rings.  That’s how sometimes I picture myself in book form.  There will be no ending. Fourth booking coming soon. Furthermore, it will be an eBook form. 
Instead let me share this beautiful video which I would prefer to call “Where on Earth is Matt?” instead of “Where the Hell is Matt?”  I find it uplifting. 
Hoping you will enjoy it as much as I did.  Have a good day, everyone. 
In keeping with his doctrine that nothing be taken too seriously, not even his own teachings, the Master loved to tell this story on himself:
“My very first disciple was so weak that the exercises killed him.
My second disciple drove himself crazy from his earnest practice of the  exercises I gave him.
My third disciple dulled his intellect through too much contemplation.
But the fourth managed to keep his sanity.” 
“Why was that?” someone would invariably ask. 
“Possibly because he was the only one who refused to do the exercises.” 
The Master’s words would be drowned in howls of laughter.
Anthony de Mello, SJ
MORSEL:    The teacher is like the candle which lights others in consuming itself. ~  Giovanni Ruffini (1807-1881)

What your fortune cookie tells you

“Daily Prompt: 32 Flavors.  Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely?”  I choose something else entirely. 
The cheapest way for my family to dine out is to go to a Chinese restaurant, New Lakeview Seafood Restaurant. The restaurant manager knows us and it’s the only restaurant, I think, that is crazy enough to accept a boisterous huge family. My family is loud and that’s why I live alone, away from the maddening crowd. Can’t really stay away from them far too long because sometimes I need to hear real voices; otherwise, I hear voices in my head. We try to meet at least once a month for a group birthday celebration; one big party for all celebrants of the month.  
After chow time, my nephew made a suggestion when it’s time to crack open our fortune cookies.
Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie

 “When you read your fortune cookie, make sure you add at the end of the sentence ‘in bed’  nephew said in his soft-spoken English accent. 
 “Are you talking dirty again?” the adults turned their head to nephew and exclaimed this in unison.
 “No, you guys are the one who is thinking dirty. I just want to have fun. Just play along with me. OK?” nephew retorted.
 “Sure, sure.” adults agreed.
 Just imagine all the ruckus of laughter as this is being spoken loudly.  So here are samples of the fortune in the cookies
 Sister #6: A thing of beauty shall bring you great joy … in bed (she’s happily married)
 Sister #5: You will soon be blessed with unexpected good luck … in bed (she dedicated herself in RCIA – Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults)
 Sister #4: You will be the centre of a special group’s attention … in bed (she’s one of the celebrants)
 Sister #2: Your genuine talent will find its way to success … in bed (she gave up her sewing business as a dressmaker in order to propagate the Devotion to Infant Jesus of Prague)
 Me:  Desires that are not extravagant will be granted … in bed.  OMG.  I was the laughing-stock (no comment)
 It was so much fun. Thanks to my Rocking Nephew, there is a whole meaning on fortune cookies.  Huffington Post begs to differ and wrote an article about how ridiculous the messages are.  Click on this fortune cookie to read.
 Of course, we say grace before meals even though we are in a public restaurant. The family that prays together stays together.
Prayer before meal:
We come to join in the banquet of love,
Let it open our hearts and break down the fears
That keeps us from loving each other.
            sung by Dominican Nuns at mealtime
 MORSEL: If you judge people, you have no time to love them. — Mother Teresa

Last Words

Last Word

Last Word

 
With all my love and prayers.  God Bless You All.
 
Daily Prompt: Last Words
November 21, 2012
You have the chance to write one last post on your blog before you stop blogging forever. Write it.
Just Catching Up.  😀
 
 PS:  I will be in hiatus starting January 1, 2013.

DP: Teacher’s Pet – Don’t Call Me Stupid

My name is “Pet”, short for Perpetua.  And this is a story when I was in Elementary School studying at Ramon Magsaysay Cubao High School (RCMHS), a public school system. 
This must have happened when I was in sixth grade.  I was a very tiny person with BOOMING voice, similar to Owen Meany in the book written by John Irving “A Prayer for Owen Meany”.  Being small, I was always placed and seated at the front row.  But in this class, I was seated somewhere in the middle row.  I think the class was History and Geography. 
Teacher’s Pet?  I wasn’t called “Pet” by a teacher.  I was called “STUPID”.  I can’t remember what the question was raised by the Teacher nor can I remember what I said.  All I remember was I was called “STUPID”. 
I stood up and on the top of my voice I exclaimed  “DON’T YOU EVER CALL ME STUPID!”  Oh no, this is a No-no.  As a student, no one ever answers back to a Teacher; as a child, my role is to listen and obey. 
You could hear a pin drop in the classroom.  I wasn’t sent to the Principal’s office.  No response from the teacher nor there was a feedback from my scared classmates.  No note to take home for my Mother.  Class carried on. 
Report card: FAILED on History and Geography.  I love history and I know my Geography.  I can tell all the names of 50 states of United States and its capital.  I know Philippines has 7,001 islands on low tide; on high tide, one island is submerged, only 7,000 islands.  It’s a cinch to memorize when my brain cells are intact, at that time. 
Did I care if I failed?  Nah, who cares?  Nobody calls me stupid. 
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”
“The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.”
“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”― Albert Einstein
 
Related Articles:
HuffingtonPost: After A Teacher Calls Your Child Stupid: by Karin Kasdin
Don’t Call Me Stupid: Ross Mountney’s Notebook – WordPress
Don’t Call Me Stupid: by Kara Tointon – BBC UK
My Teacher, Who Pets some and Tries All: by All Those Small Things WordPress
Teachers Pet, Teacher who had a real impact on your life: by myvividvisions WordPress

DP: Helpless – Lost Generation

 “Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?”
It’s now day three that I am under the weather.
I am so sick and tired of being sick with coughing, sneezing and dull achy feeling.  Living alone does not help.  I feel so alone in this world.  I want my mommy.
The weather is uncooperative.  It has been raining for a week now, cold miserable winter day.  I am so bored all cooped up at home.  It’s so depressing looking at the weather.  I want the Sun.
Be patient.  This too shall pass.  It’s hard to be patient being sick with colds.  I know I’m not the only one suffering with this blooming cold.  I caught this from commuting, from work, from who knows.  No point of blaming.  I just have to have a lot of patience.  Where can I buy patience?
What am I going to do about?  I will cook more chicken noodle soup, cuddle up with my cats and a dose of hope from the Lost Generation.
 

Sunday, January 6, 2013 , Epiphany Day

Happy Three Kings.    It’s the last day of Christmas based on my tradition.  I have mentioned this on my post Gimme – Traditionally Speaking .  If you want to read more about the history see Britannica – Epiphany.
Last night I reminded niece Lucy to bring out her shoes for the Three Kings since she forgot last year and missed out on the treats.  She was thankful for the reminder.
For myself, I hanged these shoes on my door.  On my side of the building, my neighbours are mostly Christians.  I don’t know if they practice, though.  However, they understand what those shoes mean to me.
Shoes for Three Kings

Shoes for Three Kings

 Needless to say, I received some treats from the Three Kings and then some.  Next celebration is Easter Sunday.  Mark your calendar that will April 7, 2013.

In my faith, today is also called Epiphany.  The meaning from Webster Dictionary is:
: an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being
: an intuitive grasp of reality through as an event usually simple and striking
: an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure
: a revealing scene or moment
: a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something 

Have you ever had an Epiphany?  I think I did.  And let me tell you this story that happened in 2011 Pilgrimage to Holy Land, Egypt and Jordan. 

Pandemonium!  Everybody was excited to go home after 21 days of being on the road as a Pilgrim.  People are coming in and out of their hotel rooms.  Checking each other’s luggage.  Sharing stories, pictures and laughter.  What did you buy to bring home?  What’s your favourite place? What, what, what?  Too many questions and I am starting to become tone-deaf.  I need some solitude.

I would like to stay longer and soak up the three world’s religion: Islāmic, Judaism and Christianity.  I want to be with the Muslims, Jews and Christians: and have an Interfaith Dialogue.  But good things must come to an end.

Last night at Jordan side:  I retreated to the balcony to find some peace and quiet, drinking tea and having a smoke.  The balcony is facing a beautiful garden and overlooking the Dead Sea.  I could see Israel from the balcony.  On a clear day, I could literally see the walls of the old Jerusalem.  On the right, I can imagine the location of Bethlehem, Nazareth and other geographical areas of where ancient time began based on the First and Old Testament.  This will be my last trip.  I have now covered the places of the Testaments.  The Bible will become truly alive in my mind and heart.  The readings during the mass will be more meaningful for my mind can conjure the places where I have visited.  Gratitude, I am filled with gratitude to my God for making it possible for me to experience the trip of a lifetime.

It’s dark.  Only a silhouette of the mountain is visible.  The lights were flickering across the waters.  Inside the hotel room, commotion ruled.

I settled in the dark, trying to calm myself down.  It’s good to be here, Lord.  I started speaking in my mind.  Careful that nobody will hear me for they already think I’m batty.  Don’t care.  Then, whispering softly, I raised my right arm, started waving goodbye to Israel.

Goodbye, Jerusalem
            Goodbye, Bethlehem
                        Goodbye, Nazareth

Oh, what is that?  A star?  A bright shining star that appeared so close and yet so far.  Hmm, is it a plane?  No, it’s not moving.  Ok then, as I made this schizophrenic dialogue within myself.  One asks; the other personality answers.  Oh, let me see.  That’s Jerusalem, that’s, Nazareth; that’s Bethlehem.  Aha!  This must be the STAR that the Magi saw.  Imagine that and it’s not even Christmas yet.

Last Night at Jordan - Nov 2011

Last Night at Jordan – Nov 2011

 Excitement came rushing out of my body.  I must take a picture.  Made a quick dash inside the room, grabbed my camera and Neli, another pilgrim, to show her what I see.  This rushing must have only taken 15 to 25 seconds.  When I got out, the STAR is gone.  Oh, no.  It’s gone.  I was so disappointed and sad that I have no picture to show off about my last night.  Checked the horizon if there’s anything floating in the sky that is as big as the STAR.  No, it’s pitched dark.  Neli gave me “the look”, walked out of the room.  Later I followed for it’s time to check out.
At Frankfurt airport, I pulled Father Priest on the side and told him about my experience.  He simply said in his infinite wisdom, the STAR is meant only for my eyes to see.  No camera can ever capture it.  I was so moved by his explanation and tears of joy came out.
Picture, yes, I have a picture of the STAR; in the eyes of my heart.  I praise you, O Lord, for your works are wonderful.  Blessed be God forever.

Daily Prompt: Quote Me – Does Evil Exist?

 
“Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?”

When it comes to what I believe, I bear in mind that the word God might be different to other belief system.  If you are reading this, the word God should be replaced by whatever higher power or inspiration you believe in.

Here is a man who questioned everything.  And he answers it, too.

The question is “Does Evil Exist?”

His answer:
“Evil does not exist or at least it does not exist unto itself.”
“Evil is simply the absence of God.”

Thought provoking.  This poster hangs on the west wall of my sanctuary.  I stare at it every day.

I want to know God's thoughts ... the rest are details.

I want to know God’s thoughts … the rest are details.

I think I shall never see…

When I look outside my balcony towards north, facing the horizon, I could see Grouse Mountain of North Vancouver. When it’s covered with snow on a beautiful sunny winter day like today, it’s spectacular.  I feel like making a trip and climb the Grouse grind.  Not. 
I cannot due to just being plain lazy.  Then I look down below.  Sigh.  My beautiful tree is no longer there.  I gave that tree a hug all the time.  I love watching the squirrels going round and round the branches.  The racoon checking out the tree at night for food.   My winged friends make it their home to nest. 
When it starts to flower and seeds, so much pollen floating in the air.  Much too much pinecones and don’t mind if I have to rake them out.  The beetles in summer months come out at night.  Lucy and Maurice the cats exercised their hunting skills. 
One year, Father Winter came with a vengeance, covered the tree with snowy splendor.  And then… sad, the branches cannot carry the load of white powdery stuff.  Needless to say, I bid goodbye to the tree and all I have left is this memory. 

This is my Quest…

A writing challenge: New Year’s Resolution not a dream, not impossible… 
Many times I resolved to make a resolution, a total failure.  Therefore, I resolve to fail less… three is doable.  It will be more of a goal, and not a resolution.  I make my goals fun and enjoyable, not a chore.    
  • Every year, I make sure that I do one thing that I haven’t done in my life.  For example, last year, I learnt how to bake cookies and cakes.  I was well liked by those cookie monster and cake fiends.  A very expensive way to learn.  Done.  Next?  Next is learning how to bake a traditional ham or turkey that my family always make.  The guinea pigs are my next door neighbour who made me mushroom soup for Christmas.  And I did, ham first.  We had it for New Year’s Day.  Now my neighbour wants it to be a tradition.  Are you kidding me?  The turkey has to wait.  The guinea pigs will be my nieces.  I promised them to have a YaYa cousinhood at my place.  They were pinning since they have not set their foot in my sanctuary.  They saw the pictures in the Facebook and how they love to check it out.  Yah, right.  It will be a dry get together, I said.  They agreed.
  • Gardening.  What new plant would I want to try this year starting from seeds?  This would take time visiting Garden Centres, reading Garden Magazines and visiting Community Gardens.  I enjoy gardening and it’s so much fun.
  •  Walking.  This is a must since I am planning to join Walkers’ World this year to Santiago de Compostela.  It’s vital that I am able to walk at least 10k a day.  That is equal to walking around Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC.  Not a big deal, since I do walking meditation and I have now a camera to take pictures along the way. Can’t wait.

A Prayer of New Beginnings by St. Mary

God of new beginnings, we are walking into mystery.
We face the future, not knowing what the days and months will bring us
or how we will respond.
Be love in us as we journey.
May we welcome all who come our way.

 
 

Daily Prompt: Use It or Lose It – Going, going, gone

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure the post includes this sentence: “I thought we’d never come back from that one.” 
I know what you are thinking.  Every end of the year, you are thinking of New Year’s resolution.
  • Resolutions vs. My take on this
  • Loss weight – I can’t, this is me.
  • Eat healthy – go vegan? No way
  • Quit drinking – I’ll go thirsty
  • Exercise – is lifting a finger to type Daily Prompt counts?
  • No clutter – okay, just one corner, the bedroom
  • Join the gym – this I quit.  Spent too much monthly fee for naught
  • No more war – I’m moving to Switzerland
  • Turn a new leaf – time to rake the autumn leaves
  • No this, no that – tit for tat
  • Do’s and don’ts –  do or do not according to Yoda
  • Talk less – who can out talk to you?
  • Listen more –  I’m plug-in to my iPhone
  • Go back to church – this I love doing
  • Meditate more – much oblige
  • Less is more – no money to spend
  • Save more – no money to save
Blah, blah, blah – I’ll leave this for my family who can’t stop talking about “those were the days” 
Every year, I thought we’d never come back from that one.  I don’t, but I get sucked into it.  All those broken promises and I hear “I forgot” is the excuse.  Excuses, Excuses, Excuses.  I tell to myself, sorry?  What happened to those resolutions?   No more excuses, add that to the list.  Yikes.  How can one get away with this? 
This I will come back every day.  Just for Today:  It’s an article written by Dear Abby that I pasted on my wall.

“Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is.”
“Just for today, I will face reality.”
“Just for today, I will change those things I can change.”
“Just for today, I will accept things I cannot change.” 

It’s actually a Prayer of Serenity which I mumble to myself every day.
“Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.  Amen.” 
 HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL
 

Daily Prompt: Un/Faithful – The Wind

Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t. 

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Who Has Seen the Wind?
          By Christina Rossetti 1830–1894

 
Have you seen the Wind? 
Felt It?
            Taste it?
                        Heard It?
                                    Smelt it? 
  
Do you believed in the Wind?  This is what faith means to me.  I believe, I hope.  Faith is a grace, a blessing. 
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God”   A quote from St. Paul to the Ephesians chapter 2 verse 8.

DP: That Stings! – Flight of a Bumble Bee

Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you?

When was the last time I borrowed a book from the library?  It was such a long time ago.  There is a period in my life that I devour all the books at the library and suddenly BOOM, I stop reading. 

Bite me, I dare you.  Vampire books are enjoyable to read because they bite.  What stings them is that they still have their humanity, the love to be amongst the living.  Ah, love, it makes my heart grow fonder.  It’s lovely to feel the love of the Vampires.  I feel so much love.  Just wait a minute, that doesn’t sting.

There are a couple of books beside me that I pick up to read between TV commercials.  I tell you, I can read a chapter by the time the ads are over, too many commercials on TV.  “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum and “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out” by Richard P. Feynman.  These books are filled with humor and they both sting, a little.

The book that I keep on coming back that I never seem to finish reading is titled “Awareness … the perils and … opportunities for reality” written by Anthony de Mello.  This is not an easy read or a romantic novel.  This book cuts through the core, and I bleed just by reading it.

When I picked up the book, it opened on this chapter, and I quote in part:
At a loss for Words:  “God does not die on the day we cease to believe in a personal deity.  But we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the ready radiance of wonder renewed daily, the source of which is beyond all reason. We don’t have to quarrel about a word, because “God” is only a word, a concept.  One never quarrels about reality; we only quarrel about opinions, about concepts, about judgments.”

 And this is the part the stings, hurts and takes a lot of reflection.
“Drop your concepts, drop your opinions, drop your prejudices drop your judgments; and you will see that.” 
 I fight and struggle with this regularly as I write my post and read others. 

DP: Just a Dream – “Eye” dreamed.

You’re having a nightmare, and have to choose between three doors. Pick one, and tell us what you find on the other side.

Dreams, I like dreaming even if it turns into a nightmare.  Nightmares are just dreams, nothing to be scared about.  It’s scarier when I am wide awake having to deal with everyday living.  Pick a door?  When I pick a particular entry that opens to the unknown and enter it, what’s behind one door is connected to the other gate.  It does not really matter which door I choose.  This is what I call a dream within a dream.  I can quickly go back to a dream and continue dreaming.

There is a particular dream that is etched in the most recesses of my mind, body, and soul.  The time was the early year of 1998.  I was temporarily living in the basement of my friend, Jan, as I was on my way to be of service to ABC (AIDS Baby Centre) in Chiangrai, Thailand.  That basement was hellish, but I told Jan, I will turn hell into heaven.  And I did.  Jan just loves how I transformed her basement into heaven.

About the dream, skipping the details, this is the ending:  I opened my eyes, and I saw a single EYE surrounded by luminous light.  The Eye was staring at me.  I don’t know how long I started back.  And suddenly, fear kicked in, and I said: “Lord, I am not ready for this.”  Then I closed my eyes and went to deep dreamless slumber.  I woke up and missed out the better part of the morning, it was almost noon.

Ever since I become fixated with eyes.  I look at everyone’s eyes to see if I could capture that eye in someone else.  I am longing to go back to that “Eye” dream. I am now ready to look straight to that “Eye.”  As a result, my nightly prayer before I lay down to sleep, my last words are:  “Lord, come and visit me in my dreams.” 

DP: Forever Young – I happen to enjoy aging.

If there were a real Fountain of Youth, would you drink the water? 
IF, the BIG IF, let’s play along with this idea, shall we?  
Researching the history behind the Fountain of Youth at Wikipedia , this water has a restorative power; it will restore me back to my youth days. 
Do I want to go back to my youthful days and have to go through the growing pains again? I definitely will forgo drinking the water.  Why?  I happen to enjoy aging.  It is fascinating how the skin losses its elasticity, hair color turns into an arctic white, being long in a tooth or losing a tooth or more.  Elders have so much experience in life, for they have gone through it and lived to tell tales. Listening to their stories is so enthralling. So, again, the answer is a resounding NO. 
Looking back at my youthful year of 16, I was sweet and never been kissed. Being youthful also means my mind will never mature, none the wiser, no wisdom at all.  Being young, there can be a negative connotation behind it, because I was up to no good. I must say I was still climbing trees at that age.  I remember my Mother sent someone to get me down the tree because I had suitors waiting at home. Yuk, men, I’d rather climb trees.  I reluctantly went home to face those Peter Pans. 
I’d rather grow old, have a youthful mind and remember.  It’s better to have a good memory and remember those days I thought would never end. (click to play the song). 
Faith is better than drinking the fountain of youth. And in my faith, I’d rather drink the Water of Life. 
One Minute Meditation:
“How shall I attain Eternal Life?”
 “Eternal Life is now.  Come into the present.”
 “But I am in the present now, am I not?”
 “No.”
 “Why not?”
 “Because you haven’t dropped your past.”
 “Why should I drop my past?  Not all of it is bad.”
 “The past is to be dropped not because it is bad but because it is dead.” | Anthony de Mello, SJ
 
MORSEL:   Every man is his own ancestor, and every man is his own heir. He devises his own future, and he inherits his own past. – Frederick Henry Hedge (1805-1890)

DP: Plead the Fifth – WHY? The answer is blowing in the wind.

What question do you hate to be asked? Why? 
Really?  What kind of question is that? Plead the Fifth?  Plead what? Plead the Fifth Amendment?  Is that what you mean? 
Plead the Fifth Amendment?  No way, I refuse to answer for this might incriminate me.  In Canada, we call it Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Self-Incrimination.  This is my answer. 
“Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.”  And then I swore on the Bible.  This was my experience as part of a Jury for 10 days.  A priest once told me when he is called on to swear on the Bible he refuses because he has already taken the Oath when he decided to serve God and mankind.  Of course, I forgot about this when I was asked.  I placed my hand on the Bible, and I said:“I swear.” 
It was quite an experience and an honour to serve Canada being selected as a Jury.  It made me think that the future of this man lies on my hand should I decided against the other jurors.  I was Number 8.  Mind you, we were given a manual on pointers on how to become a jury and how to make a decision based on just law.  No bias, no discrimination.  The jurors came from all walks of life.  One juror, in my opinion, was very fashionable.  She made sure that she is well dressed for the public and for the Judge.  This is not a criticism.  It’s important that we are dressed properly.  But once we deliberate behind closed doors, we have to divest ourselves.  Not our clothing, but our just minds.  We have to have an open mind without the probability of a doubt. 
We did reach a verdict.  NOT GUILTY.  Whew.  I was glad we came to a conclusion.  What was the case, you asked?  Joe vs. the People.  Joe was accused of killing his brother.  Just like in the Bible, Cane killed Abel.  But Cane was guilty; Joe was not. 
Back to swearing on the Bible to tell the whole truth; when I was a child, my Mother always reminded me to tell the truth.  That is so plain and simple.  Should you ask me WHY, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind.  (click to play the song) 
Tell the truth, try, you might like it. 
One Minute Meditation:
“Why is everyone here so happy except me?” “Because they have learned to see goodness and beauty everywhere,” said the Master. “Why don’t I see goodness and beauty everywhere?” “Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside.” || Anthony de Mello, SJ
 

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: DELICATE – WHAT’S IN YOUR MIND?

“Delicate could be the tracings of frost on a window, a child’s tiny fingers and toes, the intricate pattern of a tree’s canopy, or something yet-to-be-discovered. So much of this challenge depends on your interpretation of “delicate,” and we look forward to seeing the range of images you capture.” 
In my humble opinion, everything is delicate.  
Life itself is delicate, and we have to treasure it.  The whole world is tilting in a fine balance, and we have to respect it.  Our minds, our precious minds, nurture it; for without this, the whole world will not survive.  How do I start with that?  Of course, it starts with me. 
I came across these pictures at the school board where I work.  I took pictures of them and filed them away for future use. Today is the ripe time to share with you what Delicate means to me.  They are priceless.

With the recent event yesterday at Newton, Connecticut; I dedicate this Delicate post for them. 
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the naked eye.”   The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery 
Teach Your Children Well.  (play this song)

DP: TIME CAPSULE – SURPISE ME.

The year is drawing to a close. What would you put in a 2012 time capsule?

Aaah…. Panic, aaah!  Not enough time; that’s only 21 days from now.  I need more time and notice.  Can we change that to the year 2013, please, Mr. Michelle, please?  OK, fine.

Let me see what I can gather in my treasure chest and a gold mine of ideas.  Think, thank, thonk.  Thonk, it is.

What I can see in my kitchen is a clear plastic bottle of pop, that’s good enough for a time capsule.  In the pantry are dry goods; too big for the pop bottle.  How about catching a genie and imprison it in the bottle.  Be serious, now, thonk!  Oh, a bag. What’s in this bag?  Checking, more bags within the bags, checking the bags within the bags, more bags.  Gosh, I am such a pack rat.  But look what’s in the bags; small plastic bags of seeds.  YES, seeds.  They will fit in the capsule.  Oh, this is so exciting.

Opsey, no name on the seeds.  Well, that would be part of the fun.

These seeds came from my garden, collected them from the community gardens, from friends and families, from travels while on the pilgrim.  They are seeds of flowers, vegetables, and trees.  They are small things that will fit in the bottle, and I will leave instructions on what to do with them by following just six simple steps.

  1. Earth (garden soil in a pot or any vacant land will do)
  2. Bury the seeds on the earth (not all at once, space them out)
  3. Water (don’t drown the seeds)
  4. Lots of light and warm temperature
  5. Nurture it with love and patience
  6. Relax and wait for the seeds to sprout.

The time capsule will be sealed with a kiss, a prayer and a hope that it will be found by someone who will plant the seeds and eventually create a garden, just like mine.  A garden that will attract little creatures like hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies.  A garden where one can only be, to pray, be thankful and be grateful to Our God, whomever you may conceive Him to be.

Holy Garden

Holy Garden

Once this is done, I will go the beach of English Bay, throw the time capsule in the waters, watch the waves carry the capsules into open waters and whisper Bon Voyage.

One Minute Meditation

The disciple asked for a word of wisdom.
Said the Master, “Go sit within your cell and your cell will teach you wisdom.”
“But I have no cell.  I am no monk.”
“Of course you have a cell.  Look within.” – Anthony de Mello, SJ

MORSEL:    Seek refuge in the attitude of detachment, and you will amass the
wealth of spiritual awareness. Those who are motivated only by the desire for
the fruits of action are miserable, for they are always anxious about
the results of what they do.    –Bhagavad Gita 2:49-50

DP: Childhood Revisited – Total Recall of the day’s gone by – not goodbye.

What is your earliest memory? Describe it in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you.  

Total Recall of the day’s gone by – not goodbye.

There’s a song in my head: “Those were the days my friend, we thought we’ve never end, we’d sing and dance forever and day.”  Plenty of playing, praising and singing. Growing up in a family of 13, I am number 10, it takes its toll.  I have nine siblings to be obeyed and be respected because they are older than me; three younger brothers to play with and dominate them.  My turn, hah!  Aside from uncles, aunties, and cousins, we are a multitude of the stars.  As God said, “Go and build me a nation,” we did.  Actually, that’s just the way life was in the Philippines.  The more the merrier and plenty of love to give, receive and share.  Not like that “Godfather” movie, you’ll end up with a horse on your bed. Yikes.

The word to describe today’s post is hypermnesia \hye-perm-NEE-zhee-uh\

Noun: abnormally vivid or complete memory or recall of the past by according to http://www.merriam-webster.com/

I know it’s better to remember good times, good times but this one particular memory brought awareness in my little brain.  My sisters love to make collages, and they post them on the wall just above the bed we all share. This is one of the pictures.

Feed the Children, please

Feed the Children, please

This image thought me so much, and I did not learn this from kindergarten school.  From this collage, I learned to love and compassion as I grow up instilling in my heart and soul that we all have to help the children for we were children once before.

The greatest teacher for me, in my background, is Jesus Christ.  Let the little children come to me.  Pax Tecum,  Seeker.