Month: May 2016

Rocky Cola Cafe in Whittier

When you’re experiencing everything that good ol’ Uptown Whittier has to offer, from its vintage shops, to its record stores, to its colorful clientele, it’s easy to work up an appetite. And what better place to fill it at than a good ol’ fashioned 50’s diner? The food is mostly standard fare– nothing to write home about, nothing particularly impressive. Maybe this means my palette is not the most discerning or maybe it just means that I like to have fun! Each table has a little jukebox that you put money into, select a song, and wait for it to come on the restaurant’s main sound system. Rocky Cola tends to attract a rockabilly crowd, many folks with tattoos, punk kids hanging out in the neighborhood, as well as families. It’s sort of great equalizer. I love Rocky Cola, even if it’s not the best food in the world. As long as there’s fun stuff to do in Uptown Whittier, I couldn’t imagine eating anywhere else while I’m there! This isn’t a place that you would …

Spiritual Journal: On Why I Am A Buddhist

I am glad I am able to create another whole spread on my spiritual journal. There is not much art on this whole spread except for a few cut and paste pictures from the same magazine, I added a long text on “Why I am a Buddhist” and I loved how this turned out. It has a kinda unplanned feel, a raw and minimal look. And here’s my favorite part: I think the role of art is especially important in Buddhism, because natural religious frameworks art is a gateway on communication to a divine realm, but in Buddhism, the artistic experience is “naturalized” like everything else. Art is a meditation that brings one in contact with the formless non-discursive mind. So, it is not a mere communication with transcendent reality, it is a transcendent reality.

Part 2: Past Art Journal Pages

As promised, here is the second part to my latest post on my art journal pages. I was consciously creating myself into being… I do not focus too much on how perfect I can make my pages. A simple reminder… The day I made this page, I was so shaken with some terrible news. It was literally fitting to put on the “be still” text. I expressed the feeling of being betrayed by a family; I couldn’t seem to forget what she has done to me and the chaos it’s caused to my immediate family, so I decided to write it all down here, found myself embarrassed when I opened the page the next day but didn’t think my feelings should be discounted. Instead of tearing the page apart (which I actually can’t ‘coz the other side has been art-ed already), I covered the words with gesso, and let it dry. I then drew two outlined faces. I aptly named the page “Duplicity.” The next day, I found myself thinking about my cousin again who …

Part 1: Past Art Journal Pages

I am at this moment looking back at the pages on one of my art journals that I did a few years ago and as I do that now, I realize how my art has in some way evolved from someone who was trying to copy my mentor’s art to someone who just did it for myself and for who I really am. If you’ve ever done an art journal, you probably know how hard it is to start each time. Every first page of each journal can be intimidating, but like always, with some inspiration from within, I came to create this first page on my Traveler’s Notebook (passport size) and made it a reference point on my future pages when I felt like I was out of ideas. “Who am I?” is a question I always ask when I do my meditation. Really, who am I? There are many avenues to approach this question. Am I my name, my body, my mind, and my spirit? But at the end of each session, I …

Doing it Alone: A Meditative Process

From cutting each stamp from the envelope, to soaking them, to pressing each one and categorizing, I find it a peaceful activity most especially when I do this early in the morning with a cup of coffee within reach. It’s like a meditation to me. Why do I collect stamps in particular? It all started when I began my postcard collection journey. So, I thought that why not start a stamp collection as well. They go well together anyway. And it makes me reminisce to girl scouting days when I really have to do this to gain another badge on my sash. (*smirks). It is also the most popular hobby in the world. Stamps represent historical events, people and places. And it’s like visiting exotic places from your own living room or study or anywhere else in the comforts of your home. What are the benefits? To me, it is a great way to make friends all over the world and share ideas and get involved in community events. I can also do it alone and spend …

Spirit Walk: A Meditation in Action

The simple act of walking has many rewards. It’s a great low-impact, cardio workout, an environmentally conscious mode of transportation, and walking is a wonderful moving meditation. I am able to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature and feel the sun, wind, or mist, all while being intensely aware of my body. Yet, walking meditation to me is more than just taking a leisurely stroll through the park. The result is a deep awareness of the body that carries through to a heightened awareness of my daily life. I live within a mile to a local park, bakery, restaurants, goodies store and many more: close enough that my feet are my transportation. My travel time would be greatly reduced if I rode my bike or a car instead of walking, and several times I have been asked why I do not do that. My reply has always been that I enjoy walking. My morning walks give me a chance to clear my head. I could worry about many things – family, people I’m mad …

Traveler’s Notebook Page Entries for April

I have used my Midori Traveler’s Notebook for years now but I haven’t blogged thoroughly about it and why I love the system so much. For those new to this journal/planner system, this used to be called Midori TN and just recently they are solely called Travelers Company. It is a quality leather planner that has that awesome vintage look. There are two sizes, the regular (220mm x 110mm) and the passport size (165mm x 120mm) and can be filled with inserts that you can interchange as the weeks/months or years pass by. When I first bought this, there was one drawback, you can only use the inserts that was made by this company which is in Japan but since this system has become popular among the journal/planner community, many other companies started to make great versions of the inserts and the leather covers as well which make for a wider options and choice. Of course, there will be slight differences on the leather and paper quality. I have so far acquired three leather covers, …