Santa’s Chat with Buddha

Stockings at the Krispy Kreme: What should Santa stuff the stockings with this year?

SANTA: Ho, ho, ho! Why, hello Gautama Buddha! What a pleasant surprise! I see you have a stocking here!

BUDDHA: Yes, well… there’s a first time for everything. 🙂 Health is the greatest gift, contentment is the greatest wealth, faithfulness is the best relationship. However… I have a special request this year!

SANTA: Normally you request nothing for the holidays but kindness! You’re a tough cookie for the elves to figure out what to create for you. You’ve been a good man, Gautama! What is your wish?

BUDDHA: As you well know, there have been many forest fires plaguing the world this year.

SANTA: Yes, yes – it’s rather unfortunate. Mother Earth is truly hurting right now.

BUDDHA: Well, I would love to plant extra Bodhi trees this year with the hope that it may provide an enlightening experience for those that are within its presence as it has done for me. Some Bodhi seeds or saplings would be wonderful. My monastic order will be helping me taking care of them. When the trees are ready, we will partner with local businesses and people in the community and start a mission to plant them.

SANTA: What a fantastic wish! Mother Earth will be shedding tears of joy to nourish them once their planted. We’ll see what I can do.

BUDDHA: Thank you kindly, Santa!

SANTA: No problem! Magical seeds are easy peasy and totally within my scope. 😉

Image Credit: Lotus Wei

In response to:

  • The Daily Spur: Wish

Journey of Moxie

“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”

― Blaise Pascal

Traversing in the fading light of the tunnel
Courageous heart leads down an alluring path
Unaware what lies on the other side
Sprawling trees anchored in place
Within its soaring, mighty arches
Gateway initiates life’s new phases
A dance of duality, perspectives a flutter
Flickering shadows accompany glowing sunbeams
Reasons for renewal are but a possibility
Transition however imminent

In response to:

Spreading Peace with the GREAT ACHIEVER “महासिद्धी” BLOGGER AWARD I (GAMBA I)

Kamal’s Blogging Café: To learn more about the award and its rules, here is the link. https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/great-achiever-mahasiddhi-blogger-award-gamba/

Hello everyone!

A few weeks ago, I met a new blogger named Kamal who has introduced a new initiative with her new Great Achiever Blogger Award to spread peace among the blogging community. She is an ambitious visionary, and the award itself has such a beautiful origin story!

It has given me an extreme happiness and immense pleasure that I am here to introduce a ‘GREAT ACHIEVER “महासिद्धी” BLOGGER AWARD‘ to expand peace in our global village- WordPress. This award goes to a real achiever and successor who has been giving their creative feelings and thoughts exquisitely presenting a good perfection of work of art in WordPress Writing.

I am from a birthplace of Gautam Buddha who enlightened many parts of the world in his lifetime by his wisdom and knowledge of equanimity, or peace of mind which is achieved by detaching oneself from the cycle of craving that produces trouble. And, from a lap of Mount Everest, giving an adventurous taste of mountain climbing to the people around the world. The most important thing is purity from the Himalayas, everyone get tastes of pure water flowing from mountain to the hills and then Terai region spreading tranquility in spring.

“महासिद्धी” is a term for someone who embodies and cultivates the “Siddhi of perfection”. A Siddha is an individual who, through the practice of sādhanā, attains the realization of siddhis, psychic and spiritual abilities and powers.

We are a member of a global village “WordPress” to help shape the world peacefully through our continuous effort to dedicate and invest our valuable time for writing giving a perfection, i.e. “महासिद्धी”.

What an introduction! Thank you, Kamal. ❤ I’m truly honored and humbled by such serendipity. Throughout my journey in blogging, earning a badge for reaching particular criteria is a fascinating concept. I apologize for replying sooner as I have many other obligations outside of my blog.

However, spreading peace is a wonderful cause I can easily rally behind during these times. Unlike a peacekeeper, a peacemaker is neither passive nor fearful. Throughout history, society has a myriad of approaches for maintaining peace. The complexities of human nature, being what it is, has demonstrated conflicting ideas of how peace will transpire.

It takes diligence to remain calm within your heart in the midst of chaos. I have known many bloggers who have done this well but are award-free. Thus, I will open this nomination to any of my readers who would like to contemplate and explore these ideas.

Rules & Regulations

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, with a link to their blog.
  2. Make a Post of the Award with a Statement of PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT as above. Tag your post with the #greatachiever.
  3. Mention the rules and regulations.
  4. Ask 7 questions of your choice. One of the questions must include “PEACE” and one for “SAVE Environment”.
  5. Nominate at least 7 fellow bloggers or more to 21 bloggers and notify them.
  6. Follow @kamalsbloggingcafe (https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com) to secure certification as a badge to get a chance of collecting badge of GAMBA WORDPRESS SHINING STAR AWARD for PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT. For more details, visit https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com/award/.

Musings

I like to imagine climbing Mount Everest one day, but I think I’m content watching the incredible views in a documentary while I condition myself. 😉 If you are not familiar with the Terai region, these flatlands stretch along the border between Nepal and India. They can be quite beautiful in the spring time.

Image Credit: Knowledge @ Wharton

With such sweeping, natural beauty, it’s unfortunate to know that the country is struggling with many challenges such as natural disasters, cycles of extreme poverty, and political instability, to name a few.

Image Credit: Sagarmatha Dispatch-Gazette
http://sceenius.com/2015/07/27/flatlands-of-nepal-the-terai/

Some of my readers are aware that I was raised with mixed religious traditions. Sometimes, my hybrid, eclectic upbringing has led to some friendly tension with my “pure” friends, but c’est la vie! (That’s life!) 🙂

Years ago, one of my classmates once called me a “Bodhisattva“. I had no clue what that was, so I looked it up.

A person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so out of compassion in order to save suffering beings.

Oxford Dictionary
Image Credit: Stephen Lucas
Kuan Yin (also known as Avalokitesvara), Bodhisattva of compassion

My father’s brother was a Buddhist monk. When I was a young girl, I attended various beautiful temples with some lovely gardens and fountains. My dad said Buddha’s birthday was near my own which I thought was a fun piece of trivia. There I spent time with and learned from other monks and more devout Buddhists.

Image Credit: Dan Pancamo
This photo contains an example of some of the colorful, architectural elements that I remember most

Kamal’s Questions

  • How can you be a good blogger as a member of WordPress Global Village?

If by “good”, you mean integrity: I pay it forward and recognize other bloggers whenever I can or when time permits. I help others enjoy the blogging process and encourage them to keep growing in their craft if they’re new. If they’re veterans, I participate in their challenges. I enjoy interacting with other bloggers, and I learn new things everyday.

  • Could you please define a word “PEACE” from your point of view?

I’ve experienced many peaceful moments singing with groups of people in harmony. I also enjoy digging my toes in the sand and feel the ocean wash over my feet as I see the sun rise.

Image Credit: Wallpaper Cave

A picture is worth a thousand words.

American adage coined by Henrik Ibsen

For the past few years I’ve been following photography entries for the Global Peace Photo Award inspired by Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Alfred Hermann Fried and Tobias Michael Carel Asser. The photos are quite compelling. Here’s one I absolutely love!

Image Credit: Maria Turchanova, Russia
The World as a Manifestation of Love
  • How can we save a tree?

Sadly, I’m trying to save a weak crepe myrtle tree that has developed some lichens. It’s been fighting to stay alive for a very long time. I need to apply some herbicidal soaps and add more mulch. I feel like I have to accept the inevitability of the cycle of life on this one, but I will keep trying so long that it’s showing signs of life and sprouting new leaves.

  • Do you think human trafficking is still a crosscutting issue? 

Yes, human trafficking is one of the largest crimes in the world and intersects with a variety of studies. “This Power and Control wheel outlines the different types of abuse that can occur in labor and sex trafficking situations.” -Polaris Project

Image Credit: Polaris Project
Domestic Abuse Intervention Project’s Duluth Model

It’s even in my own backyard! A few years ago, the store where I worked at made national headline news. A trucker was smuggling illegal immigrants across the border in a large 18-wheeler truck. One of my coworkers reported suspicious activity in the parking lot and heard yelling inside the truck. The individuals in the truck bed were suffocating in summer weather, had no water, and no restrooms. Some died due to asphyxiation, and many were treated at the hospital.

Infographic Credit: Department of Homeland Security (Blue Campaign)
  • What thing do you sacrifice to make a happy family environment?

One thing we sacrifice is our pride and need to be right. We apologize when situations warrant it.

Pride is the longest distance between two people.

Kushandwizoom
  • Which animal do you like most? Why? 
Image Credit: Pixabay

The panda is one of my favorite animals. The symbolism behind the panda as a spirit animal really resonates with me.

  • What do you think about the journalist or Youtubers? 

Youtubers and journalists have a platform to share news, photographs, and information that they have gathered and researched with the public. They share their opinions, their truths, and sometimes deliver a new angle on an existing topic. Journalists expose themselves to potentially dangerous situations everyday. Youtubers also deal with their particular trolls. I feel that those who move forward in such situations are courageous and resolute.

Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy.

MSNBC
  • Is a movie-star play a vital role to aware most of the people around the world or just they present their performance to earn money?

There is a wide spectrum of the type of movie stars out there. Some movie stars try to raise awareness about many pressing issues. They play a role in the movie to enact change or shift the public’s mindset about a topic. Sometimes, they raise money to donate to a charitable cause. Audrey Hepburn danced in underground concerts to raise money for the Dutch resistance during World War II for instance.

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

There are also movie stars who have done a movie purely for the money. I feel that there is no shame in this sort of honesty as money is a necessity. Acting is a profession, and they don’t call it “show business” for nothing. Do I feel that some are overly paid exorbitant amounts of money? Sometimes, but it’s peanuts in relation to an underground network of elite individuals who the public doesn’t see or know about.

Sometimes, actors would just like the cash and openly admitted it like Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Paul Bettany, Richard Dreyfess, Eddie Murphy, Jackie Chan, Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, Michael Caine, Marlo Brando, Betsy Palmer.

Image Credit: Fanpop
Ben Affleck in the movie, “Paycheck”:

My Questions

  • What does peace mean to you?
  • How do you resolve conflict?
  • What is one thing you do to help the environment?
  • How does security play a role in maintaining peace?
  • What kind of food makes you feel at peace with the world?
  • If you won the Nobel Peace Prize, what would you want the award recognize you for?
  • If you were sign up for the Peace Corps, what kind of work would you consider?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time! 🙂

Featured Nighttime Image by David Mark from Pixabay

#OctPoWriMo13 – Rooted in Love

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

Marcus Garvey
Image Credit: Pixabay

A solitary beauty grows
in lovely fields where the wind blows
Everred tree provides some shade
for the wild children who played

Enveloped by the scarlet rows…

Brown branches sometimes house the crows
Love given during fated throes
from the precious red leaves that swayed

Sacred deep roots…

Donning the color of a rose
Nature’s kind nurse naturally knows
Fostering healing in swift aid
when our weak well being is frayed
and bring us back up from our lows

Sacred deep roots…

Day 13 – Tree – Rondeau

A Sunshine Odyssey

Good evening everyone! There’s a lot for me to celebrate in life today! I just love to do the best I can with what is given to me. It’s a thrilling feeling to partake in such a creative adventure! When I receive a gift of an award, it’s a confirmation of appreciation from the giver. Someone out there has appreciated something I wrote and shared. If I left the world a more inspired, compassionate, and hopeful place, an award to me serves as a catalyst for me to continue reaching for better horizons.

I’ve been nominated at least 15 times this past year for Sunshine, Mystery, Solidarity, Kindness, Liebster blogger awards. I’m grateful for your friendship and support via your comments. It gives me great joy to consistently be recognized for these qualities here on WordPress. Moreover, I’m glad I don’t actually receive any real trophies because I don’t have space for that. 😉

Many thanks and kudos to these hardworking bloggers! Rory @ A Guy Called Bloke, Sadje @ Keep it Alive, Mr. A @ Barbarian in Gentleman’s Clothing, Irene @ My Slice of Mexico, Mel @ Crushed Caramel, Kiwi @ Kiwi Katastrophes, Laura Bailey @ All the Shoes I Wear, Jenna @ The Sunshine Artist, Myexpressionofthoughts @ Beauty lies within yourself

I have taken a different approach with my award nominations today and wrote a story from their questions about myself in third point of view. Pictures are from Pixabay. It will be a blend of fantasy and truth! 🙂

I was inspired by Word of the Day – Odyssey

“HOW DARE YOU DEFY ME?” Ciar, god of darkness, gradually began to suck the remaining light in the galaxy into his mouth which resembled a terrifying black hole.

Sa, space warrior princess from the kingdom of Texas, was temporarily distracted by his impeccable rock hard abdominals, but she was more preoccupied with his black hole. One non-negotiable, unalterable term in this life, is that Sa will survive.

“Sorry? What’s that? I can’t hear you!!!” Sa just used her most commonly spoken phrase against the god of darkness. Will you look at that? 🙂

“Golly, whatever did I do to him?” She unhappily fought against the immense forces that threatened to kill her. What does Sa do to cheer herself up when she is unhappy? She hums a tune of an electrifying song. In this case, the theme song of Ghostbusters galvanized her and became her saving grace.

Ghostbusters 2016 Theme Remastered (Walk the Moon Version)

She pulled a glittering lever, and was not prepared for the recoil. Space X’s Falcon Heavy rocket thrusters propelled her out of Ciar’s influence. Elon Musk gave her a parting gift, his most powerful rocket, and wished her good luck on her odyssey. Commandeering a rocket ship is one talent Sa would love to improve upon! Sa thought back to when she read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy scanning her memory for any clues. “YEE-HAW!” Ciar’s bad breath is the least of her worries.

Ciar’s army has besieged her beloved hometown. Ciar’s rhetoric was powerful, and he has swayed the minds of various citizens to commit heinous acts and convinced them they are doing right by the kingdom by terminating who they felt to be the enemy. Who was the enemy? A neighboring community whose was seeking asylum from the ravages of their own war-stricken home? It’s an event that has changed Sa’s perspective on how we live in society.

In the next twelve months, Sa looked forward to the day when the migrants would be settled into their new homes with the help of RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. One of her friends told her how hard she has been working around the clock to help furnish their new homes. Sa shared a value with her friend: caring for those who have difficulty defending for themselves. If she won a lottery, she would love to get each of the boys she met while visiting her friend a pair of printed Oxford leather shoes and help them feel fabulous.

One great thing about being in outer space is that Sa isn’t like the dwarf, Sneezy. Her seasonal allergies don’t act up! Drenched in sweat, Sa glanced outside the window and marveled at the moonglade against Earth’s ocean surface. “Now this is something to write home about on my blog!” Filled with nostalgia, she missed swimming in the sea with the dolphins and her friend, a marine biologist.

Sharing an oceanography and geology course together, Sa admired her friend’s determination. The marine biologist was studying and documenting how the threat of global warming was affecting the dolphin population. The dolphins were having a difficult time adapting to the changes to their habitat, changes to their migration schedules, and it’s even affected their ability to reproduce.

Sa opened up her laptop and began typing a post so that her family can read her latest adventure! Sa was grateful for her parents for teaching her how to be brave in the midst of adversity. She once studied her family tree in the genealogy department held in the third floor of the public library. Even though her roots were derived from diverse backgrounds in monasticism, education, art, aquaculture, one quality was clear: bravery was the connecting link to Sa’s ancestry line.

One of her fondest memories was with her father when he taught her how to play basketball despite her not being too athletic. He pushed her to the edge of what she may have thought her limitation was, but he showed her that she isn’t as fragile as some people made her feel. He nurtured her bravery every step of the way.

She pondered on what they were doing now. She missed washing dishes side-by-side with them. A single tear floated in zero gravity. It’s the little things that seem to get to her. Before Sa left Earth to fight a galactic battle, she filled out a Texas Tree Survey from the Arbor Day Foundation. She felt so proud of herself for taking the time out to complete this survey. She received a gift for 10 free flowering trees (5 American Redbuds and 5 Dogwoods).

Despite being a space cadet, she remained hopeful for a better future for Earth and all its creatures. She knew that there were other people out there who would be wiling to plant trees, rebuild habitats, and help nurture the planet back to health. Her only regret is she might not see the delicate trees grow into the royal beings that they are. Its blooms are startlingly attractive to her when cloistered together.

Her penpal, Cassandra, would get a kick out of this blog post! Although Cassandra chose the monastic life in the convent as a nun, she loved reading about her childhood friend’s adventures in the world. The last time Sa connected with her was by passing her in while shopping in a mall outlet. It felt so good to see an old friend!

If Sa died in outer space today, she would want the world to know that she loved Earth so much. She is a caring, adventurous gal with a sense of humor who would do anything including fighting the god of darkness to protect her loved ones! ❤ 🙂

CFFC – Shadows

Theme: Shadows

Enjoying a lot of photos I took this past month. Here’s my take on shadows!

It was bizarre for me to find this lovely statue in a parking garage downtown. A blend of antiquity and urban life.
Fascinated by the trees in the Missions
Walking in a field that Knights of Columbus takes care of and all of the sudden I encounter this!
The public library has a cool backdrop of puzzle pieces that change color. I’m enjoying it!
Always enjoyed the lines in this perspective which typically inspire my abstract drawings. 🙂
Visiting St.Mark’s Episcopal Church downtown – Stained glass windows and light and dark contrast fascinates me

#Poetic Short Story- Grand Performance

Dawn,
a single light
in the empty sky,
agreed that it was
Mother Nature’s
cue to flourish.

Her sultry figure illuminated
once Dawn’s sun rays rose above
the curtain of shadows
in the forest that lies beyond
the horizon.

In the spotlight,
Mother Nature bloomed as she gave
the finest performance of her life
charming her lovely floral audience
that is basking in her ravishing presence.

Her singsong voice
echoes throughout the fields
that seem to stretch
for miles and miles.

“When your nights are cold
and filled with misery,
look inside your heart.”

“Realize that I’m here
to give you my sympathy
and my love belongs to you.”

The Rusty Railway

This morning I participated in the Which Way Challenge who now hosted by sonofabeach96. Roads leading into the unknown always fascinated me as an amateur photographer.

This Which Way challenge is all about capturing the roads, walks, trails, rails, steps, signs, etc. we move from one place to another on.  You can walk on them, climb them, drive them, ride on them, as long as the specific way is visible.  Any angle of a bridge is acceptable as are any signs.

There won’t ever a topic to this challenge.  All you need have is the “way” visible and the main focus of your photo.  Here is a list of acceptable “ways”:

  • Roads:  gravel, asphalt, cobbled, dirt, freeway, expressway, highway, bridges
  • Indoor walkways:  hallways, aisles, people movers
  • Outdoor walks:  sidewalks, paths, trails
  • Stairs, elevators, escalators, or steps:  indoors, outdoors
  • Railway tracks, monorails, ski lifts
  • Runways and tarmacs
  • Ferry’s, canals and locks
  • Parking lots, private driveways
  • Tunnels
  • Signs of any kind:  directional, informational, store signs, wind vanes
  • Maps that are posted as signs

Rusty Railway
Taken in the countryside of San Antonio, TX a few months ago

“Palettes of Life”

“The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.” – Michelangelo

P1040935
Taken at White Rock Lake running trails in Dallas, TX 

I wanted to share Utsav Raj’s beautiful post on the “Palettes of Life

“So, what’s your favorite color?”

“You’ll find this weird, but my three favorite colors are sunsets, shells and rainbows.

Sunsets are a mix of hues of flaming oranges, liquid yellows and rusty reds. It’s a canvas painting where the ink hasn’t dried yet. It’s so alive, and real as one color flows deep into the rumbling depth of the others. The darkening clouds remind me of chariots of the moon, that dare to go close to the burning sun just to deliver a message. Sunsets remind me of people and promises for they are both beautiful and finite. Sunsets light up the whole world into shades of fire. The water starts burning, the sand becomes metallic, the buildings turn into dark ashes and people become silhouettes. It’s a wonderful color.

Shells are the treasures of this universe. Every shell is a different slice of the ocean, pulsating with the colors of the cloudy sky, dry skin and cookie browns. Every shell holds within them a message of the sea, a letter of love. Shells are like roadsides, and sand. The colors of the shell call out to me like a letter from home, asking me to return. The white reminds me of every empty notebook I wished I had used, the red reminds me of the blood pumping subtly through my veins, the brown reminds of the promise a friend gave me of baking cookies. The pink reminds me of the cherry blossoms, and the rare black reminds me of dark theaters.

Rainbows are the best. Everyone believes that rainbows only have seven colors, but I think of the rest of the sky as its eighth color. This last color reminds me of things that are everywhere but go unnoticed. Love, answers and a reason to live. The different colors remind of the shades of my own life. The red of her lips, the orange of autumn, the green of grass, the blue of crayons and the other fifty shades. But mostly, my favorite color is that of what you would find in the pot at the end of the rainbow. The gold reminds of hope and belief.”

animal beach coast coastline
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Once a year in the summer time, my family and I like to go to the beach. I like to pick up seashells which some may say is the quintessence of seashore line. My dad used to make some peacock figurines with some of the seashells. Those entertained us quite a bit. We decorated the windows of our sand castles with some of the flat shells. Some of them have this iridescent color when its surface reflects against the sun.

When I was a kid, I used to think they were talismans to protect me from what lurks in the shadows of my bedroom. In my case, it was clowns, and specifically it was the Joker from Batman. (It just had to be clowns.) My dad bought a large conch shell for me so that I can listen to the ocean whenever I wanted. I bought a stunning seashell bracelet last time I visited the beach. In a way, I think they still are my lucky charms.

When I took that photo of the tree as the sun was setting, I realized some shadows are not to be feared. They can reveal another aspect to nature. What if some shadows can be a talisman in itself?