All posts tagged: Life

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sending all of you a big hug and much love today. May we all remember today to love ourselves, that we are enough, and today to gift ourselves and others a smile, some kindness, compassion, forgiveness…. and some sweetness of the chocolate variety or emotional variety… or even the pleasure of solitude and silence. May we give ourselves a little extra of whatever it is that we need. Namaste. 🙏🏻

Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden

Attention all gardeners, plant, and flora lovers… this is a wonderful and photogenic place to while away an afternoon. We  arrived late in the afternoon, 2 hours before closing and spent the hours here walking and photographing the lovely flowers and landscapes. This is a huge, beautiful, tranquil park and botanical garden – an absolute must-visit place for all ages, to enjoy its enormous acreage of woods, flower/fruit/herb gardens, waterfalls, ponds, lawns, tropical “forest”…. not to mention the many peacocks running around everywhere. The Baldwin guest mansion with its citrus and rose gardens is the highlight of these impressive acres of natural beauty. So many gardens to see at your leisure. I highly recommend a visit to the Arboretum and Botanic Garden. I’ve lived in the Los Angeles area for forever, but it took me this long to realize what a lovely respite from all-things-Los Angeles this peaceful place is. Do visit the Arboretum… you will want to return for every season under the sun. And more. A gorgeous and cheaper alternative to the Huntington Gardens. …

Zen Self-Help Tips from Zen Miracles

I always find Zen books refreshing to read. They speak simply with as little words possible, yet conveying the truths to the reader clearly. Zen Miracles is one such book. Even if I didn’t learn anything new about Zen, it is a welcomed encouragement to the practice. Zen teachings after all are learned not from a teacher, but from oneself. I recommend this book for its simple exercises in Zen living. I find them highly amusing, mostly because they always target my laziness right on the spot. At the end of the book, some guidelines were given as companions to living. I’m going to repeat them here, mostly to show you that this is a kind of self-help Zen book. Do not lean on others. Do not lean on anything. Keep your back straight at all times. Your spine connects heaven and earth. Honor it. Loneliness is an unwillingness to communicate freely with all of creation. Remedy this. Do not puff yourself up and put others down. We are all treading on the same earth. …

The Observer: Practicing Detachment

Much of humanity is primarily motivated by anger and fear — anger over a job that people don’t like and the people in the workplace or it could be that someone is angry with someone else because of unmet expectations. In a situation like this, it is always worthwhile to check, is it really because of the thoughts, words, and actions of others in the past, or is it because of our own thoughts, words, and actions in the moment? When I find myself in situations like these where my blood is boiling or my stomach is churning, I try to get into the habit of stepping outside myself and becoming the observer. This practice is easier to do in the heat of the moment if you’ve practiced it before the battle gets started. Detaching releases the tension, diffuses the negative energy, and helps us to see the insignificance of events in the whole scheme of things. It also gives us a chance to see what lessons we might need to learn. By responding harshly or selfishly, …

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 …