Tag Archives: Reflect

Tea Reflections… A Lovely Cup of Tea -Jaime Oliver

18 May

Jaime Oliver is a food alchemist and food revolutionary. I highly respect Jaime for his infinite passion, culinary talents and especially his health advocacy. He taught me how to cook after all. I used his Food Revolution book and YouTube videos as guides. As they say, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I was finally ready to learn.

Although I have just started my culinary journey, Jaime Oliver gave me the supportive push to begin. He is such a passionate and gifted teacher. I love to learn from him. He taught me the excitement of cooking through creative expression. Jaime is like an alchemist experimenting and creating in his kitchen laboratory. I am always thrilled to discover his new creations.

{I hope to include more posts on Jaime Oliver in the future}.

 

Jaime asks, “what is your ‘hot toddy’ and herbal drink of choice?”

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In this short video clip, Jaime teaches about herbal teas, herbs and spices; their medicinal/healing properties; how to experiment with flavours; how to make a lovely cup of herbal tea. He uses the cancer-fighting, antioxidant-rich turmeric which also happens to be high in iron. Jaime tells us that you can absorb more iron when you add citrus fruit {vitamin c}. He notes that spices {e.g. cinnamon and fennel seeds} are packed with micronutrients. Herbs are full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals {e.g. thyme is full of calcium}.

Jaime says that heated fruit extracts beautiful flavours; conversely, chilled tea has a different flavour spectrum. I can attest to that as I love to drink hibiscus tea both heated and chilled {which is technically dried hibiscus flowers. My love of hibiscus is profound. I have made hibiscus popsicles in the past. They are so refreshing in the hot summer days}.

Tea is one of my favourite ways to hydrate {along with chlorophyll water}. I drink tea all day and I can agree that it is a lovely way to start and finish the day. How better to reflect on life than over a cup of tea? Most people invite you to go out for coffee but I prefer tea. What about you?

What soothes the soul better than a cup of tea? I agree with Jaime that tea is comforting and therapeutic. Perhaps tea could end wars, mend broken hearts, awaken creative passions, give birth to enlightening ideas and heal relationships? Well, that might be a little unrealistic. The truth is that tea is my elixir of life.

What about you?

Or are you a coffee connoisseur?

Have you tried to make Jaime Oliver’s herbal teas?

What are your favourite teas?

{I hope to explore the science of tea and its healing properties in future tea reflections…

I will also include my favourite teas}.

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Further Research...

Jaime Oliverhttps://www.jamieoliver.com/

Jaime Oliver’s YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/user/JamieOliver

Food Revolution Book by Jaime Oliverhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8435032-jamie-s-food-revolution

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/jamies-food-revolution-rediscover-how/9781401310479-item.html

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For the Love of Tea…

-V.

The Art of Listening In HBO’s In Treatment…

12 May

Listening is truly a lost art.

In Treatment Dr Paul Weston's Hand Gestures

How often do you encounter people in life that you can tell are obviously not listening? It is the most common experience.

Sadly, it has become rare when someone actually listens to you and values what you have to say. 

In Treatment Talk To Me

In Treatment was a half an hour drama on HBO that starred Gabriel Byrne. The show was about the art of listening, psychotherapy, dysfunctions, neuroses, ethics, fears, self-sabotage, mental illness, relationships, conflict, trauma, pain, suffering, healing, resilience, etc.

Compassion and humanity are at the root of psychotherapy and In Treatment respectively. They speak about the deep need to be listened to without judgment. I have a great respect for psychology. It was one of my areas of study and I have intuitively known it is my vocation since childhood.

In treatment was even studied in universities at the time {I am not sure if it still is}. Counselling psychology students discussed in treatment in classes. Its pedagogical purpose was to teach students how to live their potential as psychologist and to help their clients heal.

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In Treatment is like a prism that reflects the spectrum of humanity.

It can be Shakespearean in its dramatic storylines, intimate revelations and profound intellectual discussions.

{Side note: this is Paul’s wave machine in the introduction}.

It is a cerebral show that dives deep into the Alice in wonderland rabbit hole of the psyche. In treatment relies heavily on the art of acting. Gabriel and the rest of the cast really shine in this thirty-minute drama. The skilled actors play off the script, each other, emotions and body language. They have no special effects to rely on- just their acting skills. {Side note: Gabriel won a golden globe for his performance. Many other actors and the show itself were nominated for numerous awards}.

Gabriel’s character is the compassionate Dr.Paul Weston.

He is the wounded healer, secret keeper, listener, teacher and psychologist.

In Treatment He's Listening

Psychotherapy is based on trust and vulnerability- spiritual and emotional nakedness. There is a strong emotional connection between Paul and all of his patients. First, he has to earn their trust and convince them to trust him and open up.

He must analyze their issues beneath the masks they wear.

He has to discern the truth from lies, distortions and projections.

All of his patients have complex problems and dysfunctional patterns of behaviour.

Some are based on the complexities of being in a relationship and sharing a life with someone despite conflicting personalities or desires. With Jake and Amy, Paul is a mediator between them. He uses conflict resolution, helps them clarify their real issues/emotions and helps them decide on their course of action.

Others are more individual problems with roots in childhood.

Regardless of how the trauma manifests itself, what is evident is that Paul is responsible for his patients.

In some cases, he is the only person that his patients have to rely on. 

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In treatment examines many themes. One is the issue of transference.

Transference can happen in the therapeutic process. The psychologist has to maintain their boundaries and respect their professional code of ethics.

How do you treat a patient that thinks they are in love with you?

What if they insist on their declarations of love?

What if they play mind games and employ manipulation?

How do navigate that?

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Intergenerational trauma is another topic that is examined in the show.

Alex is not even aware of the impact of how his father murdered his grandfather traumatized him. He is also not conscious of how his childhood and his father’s toxic masculinity traumatized him.

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How do you deal with the emotional impact of listening to people’s problems all day?

Many psychologists go to their own psychologist for therapy and to consult about their patients. Paul goes to Gina for this purpose. Their relationship is quite strained but he desperately needs that outlet.

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Some quotes from this video stood out to me in particular…

“It is hard to see so many people in pain and not be able to do anything to help them in some way.” -Paul

“Maybe helping is easier than feeling the pain.” -Laura

I can attest to this feeling of helplessness. It is very painful for me to see or know that someone is in pain without being able to do anything to ease their suffering.

Laura’s observation has some merit. Sometimes it is easier to help than feel. Sometimes it just hurts too much.

“We are not Gods, we can’t save anybody.” -Gina

Gina’s statement is true.

We cannot save anybody.

We can only help them to save themselves.

“It is possible to live in a world where people panic, where people let each other down, where they disappoint each other but still help each other out.” -Paul

I think this is the most realistic observation.

It is still possible to help each other despite our flaws and limitations.

Paul asks Alex where he wants his therapy to lead him. He answers painfully, “some place where I feel less shitty about myself.”

There is something in Blair Underwood’s voice when he says “some place where I feel less shitty about myself.” We can all relate to this sentiment.

“I thought that is what we are on the earth for- to help each other- to step up to the plate when somebody needs us.” -Paul

I have to agree with Paul.

I think it is noble to derive your life’s purpose from altruism and compassion.

Finding meaning in helping others is something I can deeply relate to.

“There are other places where you can feel safe and here in this room is one of those places.” -Paul

The therapist’s office is like a sanctuary from the chaos of the world.

Paul really wants to help his patients find their own answers to enlighten themselves, empower themselves and solve their problems.

With Sophie, Paul wanted her to have her own epiphanies.

In this scene, Sophie has empowered herself enough to confront her father on his abandonment and absence as a father.

Paul’s role is not to be the judge but to guide them to reconnect and re-establish their relationship. The journey is painful but worthwhile.

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Paul’s observations/analysis is incisive.

He really gets to the root of his patient’s suffering.

{It reminds me of Robin Williams’ character the psychologist Sean McGuire in Goodwill Hunting}.

His patients always challenge him and often test his boundaries.

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It should be noted that Paul has his own problems to contend with.

I think it is vital to observe that psychologists are human and imperfect. They have to deal with their own life and its challenges while trying to help others heal and figure out their life’s labyrinth.

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Happy birthday to Gabriel Byrne today!!!

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Further Research

Gabriel Byrnehttps://www.byrneholics.com/

Gabriel Byrne’s Internet Movie Database Page

In TreatmentIn Treatment’s Internet Movie Database Page

In Treatment’s HBO Page

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Have you watched In Treatment?

What did you think?

You can watch it on HBO’s website {for a price}.

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Rest in peace to Irrfan Khan who recently died {April 29th, 2020}.

He brilliantly played Sunil in the third season.

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Peace & Compassion,

-V.

Reflection for today…Time To Live…-Jim Morrison

17 Apr

“Time to live, time to lie, time to laugh, and time to die.

Take it easy baby.

Take it as it comes.”

Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison Light

This Jim Morrison reflection embodies the carpe diem/seize the day spirit. He reminds us to be more fluid and take experiences in our lives as they come. He observes that we are living life too fast and we must live at a slower pace.

It reminds me of what is going on with the pandemic. This quarantine has forced us all to reflect, meditate on our lives and slow down. Life has a different taste when we are not rushing all of the time. 

Hopefully, when this is over, you can “specialize in having fun.”

It is time to live…

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Please enjoy Take It As It Comes by The Doors

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I want to include this intriguing performance of the Jim Morrison ballet.

I would have loved to see it.

The Leipzig Ballet performs Jim Morrison, a ballet by Mario Schröder about the life of the poet, singer‐songwriter, and legendary rock star, Jim Morrison, set to the music of the famous rock band “The Doors”, at the Oper Leipzig.”

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Take It As It Comes

The Doors

TAKE IT AS IT COMES LYRICS

[Chorus]
Takes it easy, baby
Take it as it comes
Don’t move too fast
And you want your love to last

Oh, you’ve been moving much too fast

[Verse 2]
Time to walk
Time to run
Time to aim your arrows
At the sun

[Chorus]
Takes it easy, baby
Take it as it comes
Don’t move too fast
And you want your love to last

Oh, you’ve been moving much too fast

[Verse 3]
Go real slow
You like it more and more
Take it as it comes
Specialize in having fun

[Chorus]
Takes it easy, baby
Take it as it comes
Don’t move too fast
And you want your love to last

Oh, you’ve been moving much too fast

[Outro]
Moving much too fast
Moving much too fast.”

Copied and Pasted from: https://genius.com/The-doors-take-it-as-it-comes-lyrics

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Research…

Jim Morrison…http://jimmorrison.com/

The Doors…https://thedoors.com/

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Peace & Carpe Diem…

-V.

Stream of Consciousness Reflections…The Spiritual Lessons of The Pandemic…

16 Apr

Aloha dear friends/readers.

How is life treating you? I pray well.

I started this blog many years ago to reflect on life,  ideas, theories, philosophies, truths, emotions, people, the world, the inner workings of my mind, etc.

Perhaps it was also an attempt to access the locked room in my mind- my subconscious.

I have always lived a life of quiet reflection to connect more deeply with my spirituality and my self. Now I think it is the quintessential time for all of us to reflect on the life we were living and how we are living now. This pandemic and quarantine have taught us all so much. {I am aware that our lessons are tailored to each of us}.

What is still important? What remnants of the past carry over to the present? Are your ethics and priorities the same? Do you have more clarity now? Will the changes in ourselves, in others and our lives be sustainable? We will go back to how we were when this over? Hopefully, we are fluid like the ebbs and flows of the ocean. 

I am reflecting on what I am supposed to learn and the hidden lessons in the chaos.

Compassion is still the highest form of love because it is spiritual love.

Altruism exists– even though the critics/haters disagree. {Unfortunately, selfishness also exists}.

We are all interconnected. We all affect each other and in some cases, we all need each other. {Perhaps now we can see the invisible threads that unite us. The ego always works to disconnect us from each other through the illusion of seperation}. In essence, we are all waves in the same ocean of humanity.

Courage can be born out of necessity.

Health is wealth.

Reflection/inner introspection is a vital and meditative activity for your soul and mind.

Fear can seduce us into paralysis if we let it.

Creative problem-solving is vital in life.

We all need to take care of our mental health {as well as our physical health}- especially now. Depression and anxiety can slowly invite its way into our lives if we are not mindful.

People mean more to us than we realized- especially loved ones or family.

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Please enjoy Ocean by Azam Ali featuring Loga Ramin Torkia

{This song and Azam Ali’s singing gives me such peace}…

So does seeing the beautiful cinematography that showcases the exquisite beauty of Mexico.

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What are your lessons from the pandemic and quarantine?

I would love to hear them.

I hope to share more lessons in the future…

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Further Research…

Azam Alihttps://azamalimusic.com/

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Peace & Compassionate Love,

-V.

 

Reflection for today… Love is a Spiritual Light -Charles Bukowski & Common

13 Mar

“I look at her and Light goes all through me.”

-Charles Bukowski

Erykah Badu & Common Looking At Each Other

Lovers/Best Friends are a Spiritual Reflection of each other…

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Love is an expansion of spirit.

It is a soulful ascension and profound healing.

It is a spiritual light that fuels spiritual growth.

I love how Common expresses his deep love, loyalty and respect for Erykah Badu.

He sees her as his queen, best friend and equal.

Erykah is his “reflection in light.” 

This song is essentially his love letter to her.

“At times when I’m lost I try to find you”…

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The song illustrates not only the romantic side of love but also the realistic side.

Love is full of challenges.

Regardless, if love is present then it can give you the strength to face those challenges together.

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Please enjoy The Light by Common…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjHX7jf-znA

 

Https%3a%2f%2fimages

The Light

Common

THE LIGHT LYRICS

[Produced by J Dilla]

[Intro]
Yeah, doo-doo-doo
Doo-doo-d-doo, diggy-doo, yo

[Hook]
There are times
When you’ll need someone
I will be by your side
There is a light that shines
Special for you and me

[Verse 1]
I never knew a luh, luh-luh, a love like this
Gotta be somethin’ for me to write this
Queen, I ain’t seen you in a minute
Wrote this letter, and finally decide to send it
Signed, sealed, delivered, for us to grow together
Love has no limit, let’s spend it slow forever
I know your heart is weathered by what studs did to you
I ain’t gon’ assault them, ‘cause I probably did it too

Because of you, feelings I handle with care
Some n*ggas recognize the light
But they can’t handle the glare
You know I ain’t the type to walk around with matchin’ shirts
If relationship is effort I will match your work
I want to be the one to make you happiest
And hurt you the most

They say the end is near, it’s important that we close
To the most high
Regardless of what happen, on Him let’s rely

[Hook]
There are times
When you’ll need someone
I will be by your side
There is a light that shines
Special for you and me

[Verse 2]
It’s important we communicate
And tune the fate of this union to the right pitch
I never call you my bitch or even my boo
There’s so much in a name and so much more in you

Few understand the union of woman and man
And sex and a tingle is where they assume that it land
But that’s fly by night, for you in the sky I write
For in these cold Chi night’s moon, you my light
If Heaven had a height, you would be that tall
Ghetto to coffee shop, through you I see that all
Let’s stick to understandin’ and we won’t fall
For better or worse times, I hope to me you call
So I pray every day more than anything
Friends we’ll stay as we begin to lay
This foundation for a family, love ain’t simple
Why can’t it be anything worth havin’ you work at annually?
Granted we known each other for some time
It don’t take a whole day to recognize sunshine

[Hook]
There are times
When you’ll need someone
I will be by your side
There is a light that shines
Special for you and me

[Verse 3]
It’s kind of fresh you listen to more than hip-hop
And I can catch you in the mix from beauty to thrift shop
Plus you shit pop when it’s time to
Thinkin’ you fresh, suggestin’ beats I should rhyme to
At times when I’m lost I try to find you
You know to give me space when it’s time to
My heart’s dictionary defines you, it’s love and happiness
Truthfully it’s hard tryin’ to practice abstinence
The time we committed love, it was real good
Had to be for me to arrive and it still feel good

I know the sex ain’t gon’ keep you
But as my equal, it’s how I must treat you
As my reflection in light I’ma lead you
And whatever’s right I’ma feed you
Digga-da, digga-da, digga-da, digga-digga-da-da
Yo, I tell you the rest when I see you; peace!

[Hook]
There are times
When you’ll need someone
I will be by your side
There is a light that shines
Special for you and me

[Outro]
I’ll take my chances
Before they pass
Pass me by, oh, darling
You need to look at the other side
You’ll agree

Copied & Pasted from: https://genius.com/Common-the-light-lyrics

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For more information…

Charles Bukowski…https://bukowski.net/

Common…https://www.thinkcommon.com/

https://www.instagram.com/common/?hl=en

Erykah Badu…https://www.instagram.com/erykahbadu/?hl=en

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Happy Birthday to Common {March 13th}!!!

{I have enjoyed his music & Erykah Badu’s music for years}.

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May we all find spiritual light & healing love.

Peace & Expansive Love,

-V.

Reflection for Today…Discarded Lovers Deserve A Second Chance- Mae West

14 Feb

“All discarded lovers should be given a second chance,

but with somebody else.”

-Mae West

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Queen of The South James GueroQueen of The South You're The Judas

In the television series Queen of The South, Teresa’s first love Guero is fighting with James {Teresa’s new potential love}. They are fighting over which man is worthy of Teresa’s love. Both James and Guero desperately want to be by her side.

This reflection warms my heart. I agree that all discarded lovers should be given another chance. The key is that the second chance is with someone else. There is an element of poetic justice in the reflection.

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May we all get a second chance with someone worthy of our love.

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For more information…

Queen of The South on the Internet Movie Database https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1064899/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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Peace & Love,

-V.

Reflection for today…No Truth Can Cure Grief -Haruki Murakami

31 May

“No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one.

No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow.

All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning.” 
Haruki Murakami,   

Norwegian Wood

Crying Angel

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In this short video clip, Eric Clapton discusses Jim Hendrix’s death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j082opb4AZo

http://youtu.be/j082opb4AZo

Eric Clapton about Jimi Hendrix death

It is painfully obvious that Eric is deeply mourning Jimi. Their friendship had a sacred place in his life. It was a friendship based on mutual respect and admiration. It was a friendship of equals.

Jimi Hendrix & Eric Clapton in 1967

Eric is overcome with a tidal wave of melancholy while speaking about Jimi. A sense of anger is also present in his voice. Perhaps it is the sense of hopelessness over what happened. The sad truth is that no matter how much we love someone, we cannot save them from anything- especially from death.

Death tries to steal our greatest loves from us.

Death is the greatest thief.

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Eric speaks about the feelings of abandonment he felt when Jimi died, “a lonely feeling to be left alone.” This comment reminds me of how death affects the loved ones left behind. Somehow they have to be resilient in order to continue on with their lives despite their pain and grief. The hole in one’s heart is left there forever. Time is irrelevant in grief. I really admire people for their strength in being able to live their lives despite their grief, suffering and losses. They truly have my utmost respect.

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Eric’s story about the birthday gift he bought for Jimi was so heartfelt. He bought him a left-handed Fender stratocaster guitar but due to circumstances, he was unable to give it to him that night. Unfortunately, he was never able to give it Jimi because he died. Eric notes, “The next day, wack, he was gone and I was left with that left-handed stratocaster.” When he looks at the interviewer it looks like he is holding back tears. You can see the pain in his eyes- in his soul.

It is so tragic when loved ones are taken from us. I recently lost someone and no matter how many times it has happened, you are never ready for it. You are always left broken, bloody, bruised, raw and spiritually naked. Grieving takes a lot out of you- especially if you are a sensitive soul like myself. This is the reason why I have been away so long from this blog. I needed some time to reflect and grieve on my own. Hopefully I can reflect with you all now. If you are still here, thank you for still being here. Thank you for reading.

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For more information…

Jimi Hendrix…http://www.jimihendrix.com/us/home

Eric Clapton…http://www.ericclapton.com/

Fender Guitars…http://www.fender.com/en-CA/

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Jimi Hendrix & Eric Clapton

In true friendship, we give the best of ourselves to our friend. We give our respect, loyalty and compassion.

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…The Beauty of Living & Dying -Brandon Lee

1 Jan

Hello everyone. I thought I would start this year’s blog posts with a memento mori reflection on death and life. Since it is impossible to divorce death from life, we can use reflective energy to focus on how we want to live.

The beauty that Brandon Lee speaks with is eloquent, timeless and utterly peaceful. I am sure most of you know that Brandon was tragically killed while filming The Crow in 1993. This video clip was shot a little while before he died.

{I hope to do a post on The Crow and possibly Brandon Lee in the future}.

Let’s reflect on life and death with the same peace and gratitude that Brandon exudes.

Brandon Lee Reflective

Brandon Lee…A Beautiful Soul That Lived With Electric Vitality

I thank you so much for reading this humble blog.

I am eternally grateful.

Peace & Compassionate Love…

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRtqMv_dubA

“Because we do not know when we will die,

we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well

and yet everything happens only a certain number of times and a very small number, really.

How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood?

An afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it. Perhaps four, five times more. Perhaps not even that.

How many more times will you watch the full moon rise?

Perhaps twenty and yet it all seems limitless.”

-From the book The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

This quote is on Brandon’s Tombstone.
Brandon is buried next to his father Bruce Lee in the Lake View Cemetary in Seattle, Washington.

Here is a closer look…

Brandon loved this quote so much that he had chosen it for his wedding invitations.

He was to be married to his soul mate Eliza Hutton one week after he finished filming The Crow on April 17th, 1993. Brandon tragically died on March 31st, 1993.

The Crow is dedicated to Brandon and Eliza.

Brandon & Eliza…Soul Mates Never Die…

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Please enjoy Street Spirit by Radiohead…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPX3u0XJzKM

radiohead – street spirit (fade out)

  

Street Spirit (Fade Out)

“Rows of houses all bearing down on me I can feel their blue hands touching me All these things into position All these things we’ll one day swallow whole And fade out again and fade out

This machine will not communicate These thoughts and the strain I am under Be a world child, form a circle Before we all go under And fade out again and fade out again

Cracked eggs, dead birds Scream as they fight for life I can feel death, can see it’s beady eyes All these things into position All these things we’ll one day swallow whole And fade out again and fade out again

Immerse your soul in love Immerse your soul in love.”

SONG INFORMATION

Released: March 1995 Found on: The Bends & Street Spirit single. Acoustic version found on Fake Plastic Trees CD2.

This song was written in 1993, around the same time as “My Iron Lung.” “Creep” is Radiohead’s American hit, this is the British equivalent. Noted by singer-songwriter and guitarist Thom Yorke as “one of [the band’s] saddest songs” and describing it as “the dark tunnel without the light at the end,” “Street Spirit” was released as the band’s ninth single and reached number five on the UK Singles Chart, the highest chart position the band achieved until “Paranoid Android” from OK Computer, which reached number three in 1997.

Yorke has suggested that the song was inspired by the 1991 novel The Famished Road, written by Ben Okri, and that its music was inspired by R.E.M. The track is built around a soft melody in A minor with an arpeggio (broken chord) guitar part.

Thom: “Street Spirit is our purest song, but I didn’t write it. It wrote itself. We were just its messengers; its biological catalysts. Its core is a complete mystery to me, and, you know, I wouldn’t ever try to write something that hopeless. All of our saddest songs have somewhere in them at least a glimmer of resolve. Street Spirit has no resolve. It is the dark tunnel without the light at the end. It represents all tragic emotion that is so hurtful that the sound of that melody is its only definition. We all have a way of dealing with that song. It’s called detachment. Especially me; I detach my emotional radar from that song, or I couldn’t play it. I’d crack. I’d break down on stage. That’s why its lyrics are just a bunch of mini-stories or visual images as opposed to a cohesive explanation of its meaning. I used images set to the music that I thought would convey the emotional entirety of the lyric and music working together. That’s what’s meant by ‘all these things you’ll one day swallow whole’. I meant the emotional entirety, because I didn’t have it in me to articulate the emotion. I’d crack…

Our fans are braver than I to let that song penetrate them, or maybe they don’t realise what they’re listening to. They don’t realise that Street Spirit is about staring the fucking devil right in the eyes, and knowing, no matter what the hell you do, he’ll get the last laugh. And it’s real, and true. The devil really will get the last laugh in all cases without exception, and if I let myself think about that too long, I’d crack.

I can’t believe we have fans that can deal emotionally with that song. That’s why I’m convinced that they don’t know what it’s about. It’s why we play it towards the end of our sets. It drains me, and it shakes me, and hurts like hell every time I play it, looking out at thousands of people cheering and smiling, oblivious to the tragedy of its meaning, like when you’re going to have your dog put down and it’s wagging its tail on the way there. That’s what they all look like, and it breaks my heart. I wish that song hadn’t picked us as its catalysts, and so I don’t claim it. It asks too much. I didn’t write that song.”

-Copied & Pasted from http://www.greenplastic.com/radiohead-lyrics/the-bends/street-spirit-fade-out/

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For more information…

Brandon Lee…http://www.brandonleemovement.com/

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000488/

The Sheltering Sky book by Paul Bowles…

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/243598.The_Sheltering_Sky 

The Crow Film…http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109506/?ref_=nv_sr_1 

The Crow Graphic Novel…http://thecrowcomics.wordpress.com/

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/97486.The_Crow

James O’Barr {The Crow Creator}…http://jamesobarr.typepad.com/ 

Radiohead…http://www.radiohead.com/

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What do you think about Brandon’s favourite quote?

What are your reflections?

I would love to read them.

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Brandon Wishes You An Open Mind & An Open Heart…

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection is Fuel for The Creative Process -Gotye

20 Apr

“These songs come out of so many random and contradictory thoughts bouncing around my head- like sound waves between sheets of glass and when I’m lucky they also allow me to reflect on the world around me.”

-Gotye

Gotye – Making Making Mirrors – a short documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZXLyeatI0s

Gotye – The Making of Eyes Wide Open – documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_iuE_L2wys

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These short documentaries give a glimpse into Gotye‘s creative process.

I am fascinated by the creative process and creativity overall.

{I hope to explore it more in future posts}.

Reflection is Fuel for the Creative Process…

Gotye’s creative genius shines through.

I love how Gotye uses older and sometimes forgotten/obscure music and recycles it.

{I also love how he used his dad’s art for his album cover}.

Wally de Backer/Gotye reflects on life as a part of his creative process

He is an alchemist {and his studio is his alchemical laboratory}.

Awaken Your Creative Potential…

I love how dedicated Gotye is to his art.

He is so infinitely talented.

Wally de Backer/Gotye is an example of someone who develops his creative potential.

{We all have creative potential and Buddha nature but we don’t all choose to awaken it}.

The most beautiful thing is the happiness and beauty he must feel while creating such beauty.

I have always felt that musicians and artists have the potential to contribute to the healing of the world.

{This is why I have a music therapy category.

It is because music and art have therapeutic powers}.

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For more information on Gotye,

please visit his official website..

http://www.gotye.com/

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What are your reflections on Gotye’s short documentaries?

What are your reflections on creativity and the creative process?

I would love to read them…

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How can you develop your creative potential?

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Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Strength in Solitude -Paulo Coelho

29 Jan

On solitude

by Paulo Coelho

Capture 

“For those who are not frightened by the solitude that reveals all mysteries, everything will have a different taste.

In solitude, they will discover the love that might otherwise arrive unnoticed. In solitude, they will understand and respect the love that left them.

In solitude, they will be able to decide whether it is worth asking that lost love to come back or if they should simply let it go and set off along a new path.

In solitude, they will learn that saying ‘No’ does not always show a lack of generosity and that saying ‘Yes’ is not always a virtue.

And those who are alone at this moment, need never be frightened by the words of the devil: ‘You’re wasting your time.’ Or by the chief demon’s even more potent words: ‘No one cares about you.’

The Divine Energy is listening to us when we speak to other people, but also when we are still and silent and able to accept solitude as a blessing.

And in that moment, Its light illumines everything around us and helps us to see that we are necessary, and that our presence on Earth makes a huge difference to Its work.”

taken from MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

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For more infinite wisdom, please visit Paulo Coelho’s blog: http://paulocoelhoblog.com/

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In solitude we can look within and acquire infinite wisdom.

In solitude we can listen to our intuition.

In solitude we can be truly honest with ourselves.

In solitude we can reconnect with ourselves and our spirituality- our center/core.

In solitude we can reflect, grow and heal.

In solitude we can discover who we are.

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Please enjoy Hope Leaves by Opeth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KjOhoH0dY4

Opeth Hope Leaves Lyrics
Songwriters: Mikael Lars Akerfeldt
 
“In the corner beside my window there hangs a lonely photograph
There is no reason I’d never notice a memory that could hold me back
There is a wound that’s always bleeding
There is a road I’m always walking
And I know you’ll never return to this place
Gone through days without talking

There is a comfort in silence
So used to losing all ambition
Struggling to maintain what’s left
Once undone, there is only smoke burning in my eyes to blind
To cover up what really happened
Force the darkness unto me.”
Hope Leaves lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
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For more information on Opeth, please visit their official website: http://www.opeth.com/home/
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Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…The Three Methods of Learning Wisdom -Confucius

5 Oct

“By three methods we may learn wisdom:

First, by reflection, which is noblest; 

Second, by imitation, which is easiest; 

and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

Confucius

“In Japan, Conan, a male chihuahua, has been imitating Buddhist priest Joei Yoshikuni in the prayer stance.”
Photo Courtesty of: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2008/03/31/all-dogs-go-to-heaven/

“Derivation of Wisdom,” by Connie Tettenborn
A mix of poetry and calculus.
{Photo Courtesy of: Scientific American}

Japan’s Suicide Forest Teaches About Compassion & The Human Need For Real Connection…

18 Sep

Suicide is a very uncomfortable and necessary subject to discuss.

I recently came across a YouTube video that left such an impact on me that I was not able to write a blog post until now {approx. 18 days}.

The vice documentary left such a deep impression on me that I had to reflect for a while before I could decide what to write.

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Japan’s Aokigahara (青木ヶ原) forest also known as the Sea of Trees (樹海 Jukai) or the Suicide forest is a place where many people go to contemplate suicide.

Sadly, many actually commit suicide.

I feel so much compassion for people who are considering suicide as a way to end their pain.

I strongly believe that people do not actually want to die but to end their pain and they do not see another way to achieve this.

Below is an actual suicide note found in the forest.

I find it heart breaking.

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Many moons ago, I had a friend that was considering suicide.

I pray that he finds the strength to fight against his darkness.

I am still haunted by the fact that he felt this depressed but I could not do anything to heal his pain.

I know that only he can heal his pain.

I did my best to be a loving friend but I know that we cannot truly save anyone.

We can only save ourselves. 

In fact, we always had a friendly argument about saving and being saved.

It revolved around the graphic novel and film Sin City.

Here is the trailer in case you are interested

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKFLrTYKIXk

Please click this link for more information on the movie: Sin City.

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Marv was so madly in love with Goldie and he loved her so much that he wanted to go to hell to save her.

My friend fiercely defended his thesis of loving someone so deeply that you go to hell to save them.

Art Made By Nat Wellington at http://boodoyouthinkyouare.blogspot.ca/

Conversely, I went for a different thesis. I said that you can love someone so much that you get out of hell because of your love for them and possibly their love for you. Your love for them is so powerful and/or their love for you is so strong that you pull yourself up with your own strength and get out of hell- your personal hell or the other kind. In essence, you save yourself instead of saving someone else.

No one was right or wrong. It was fun to discuss but I stand by my point of view even though I recognize his had merit. It all depends on how you look at things. It was a healthy discussion nonetheless.

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Can we actually save someone?

Dita Von Teese & Marilyn Manson in Vogue Magazine

Dita Von Teese & Marilyn Manson in Vogue Magazine Photo By Steven Klein

 Azusa Hayano makes me question my beliefs that we cannot save anyone but ourselves.

I do believe we can help someone to save themselves and this is what I think he does so brilliantly and compassionately.

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We meet an extraordinary soul, Azusa Hayano, in this vice documentary.

He is a geologist that does the most important job of suicide patrol in the forest. {I discovered from another video that the police also seem to do suicide patrol}.

Azusa also studies how people co-exist with nature because he says it is part of environmental research.

He still does not know why people kill themselves in such a beautiful forest (18:53) although he does explain that it may be because of a popular book written in the past.

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Azusa patrols the forest looking for people who are contemplating suicide in hopes of convincing them otherwise.

He even finds a man in a yellow tent that appears to have been contemplating suicide. According to the VICE website comments found at http://www.vice.com/vice-news/aokigahara-suicide-forest-v3, the man in the yellow tent had been camping in the forest for one month. He had to be taken out in an ambulance.

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The police even put up signs to try to stop people from committing suicide. They also provide the number for suicide hotlines.

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I found it fascinating that many people leave a trail of tape to find their way back in case they change their mind. This is hopeful because people who are undecided can finally decide to leave the forest.

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With his gentle and compassionate manner, one can see how Azusa could convince someone who is struggling to live.

I was struck by how much this man cares.

He really cares and that is so rare these days.

In a forest where traditional compasses do not work, Azusa uses his compassion and wisdom as his guides.

He also looks for people who have committed suicide.

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Azusa reminds me of the value of a life and how much difference one life can make in the world.

If we could find our purpose and live our potential, then we could make our contribution- our gift to the world.

We need more people like Azusa in this world.

We need more people who really care and have compassion for those who are suffering. I don’t know if he technically “saves” anyone but he does help people to save themselves and this is priceless.

Azusa is actually living the Buddha’s teachings- especially that of compassion.

I am also reminded by how the absence of one life can be a tear in the fabric of existence and humanity. I think about how that person had so much more life to live, love and wisdom to give and receive, experiences to be had and potential to be lived.

I think of the apocalyptic loss for their loved ones.

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Azusa states in the documentary that the internet and technology may be the reason why there is such a disconnection between oneself and others. It is as if a schism is caused between our waking lives and our onscreen lives. Our lack of face-to-face communication has a price. Disconnection, depression, further loneliness and numbness may develop. Azusa discusses the human need for connection in real life- not through the filter of a computer screen.

“Face-to-face communication used to be vital, but now we can live our lives being online all day. However, the truth of the matter is that we still need to see each other’s faces, read their expressions, hear their voices, so we can fully understand their emotions to coexist.”
 -Azusa Hayano

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The essence of what Azusa teaches and lives is filled with compassion and wisdom.

This documentary also reminds me of the urgent need to discuss mental health issues.

I am and continue to be a mental health advocate.

I deeply believe in the strength and resilience of the human spirit.

We can transcend our suffering and transform it into something beautiful and meaningful.

The phoenix always rises from the ashes… 

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To those of you suffering and feeling depressed…I offer you my compassion.

This post is for you.

Please speak to someone who cares- even if they are a stranger.

You will never know what a difference it could make in your life. They might have some life changing wisdom to give you or messages from the universe.

*Please reach out to someone.

I pray that the Buddha’s teachings, wisdom and compassion can alleviate your suffering. 

Conversely, you never know how you can help someone who is suffering and in need.

You never know what impact you can have on someone’s life- even a stranger.

We are all interconnected.

By helping others we are actually helping ourselves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuUhBuSgmik

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Here is the documentary friends.

Please be warned of the graphic subject matter of this video and of some sad and possibly disturbing video footage…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FDSdg09df8 

Here is part of the transcript:

Aokigahara: Suicide Forest

I’ve been living here for more than 30 years. My job is mainly environmental protection, I study volcanic eruptions and the plantation at the foot of Mt. Fuji. 

In the year 864, Mt. Fuji erupted, and the forest that grew over the dried lava was named “Jukai” or “Sea of Trees”. Aokigahara is the actual name of the place, but people started calling it “Jukai”, because the forest as seen from halfway up of Mt. Fuji, is green all year round, and it looks like the ocean. 

We’re entering the forest now. There’s a car that’s been abandoned for a few months, let’s take a look. I’m assuming the owner of the car went in from here and never came out. I guess they went into the forest with troubled thoughts. 

In the old days in Japan, suicide was mainly known as the samarai’s act, as in “Seppuku” (harakari). In other cases poor families would abandon their elders in the mountains. That’s how it was back then, they weren’t killing themselves cause they couldn’t adapt to society. That didn’t happen like it does now, it’s a modern phenomenon.

This is a sign to stop suicidal people.

“Your life is a precious gift from your parents,
Please think about your parents, siblings, and children.
Don’t keep it to yourself. Talk about your troubles.”

Then it says to contact the Suicide Prevention Association. 

Locals don’t commt suicide here. As children they’re told not to come near here, that it’s a scary forest. This path is open for the public, but you can’t follow the trail beyond this point. It says not to enter because you can easily get lost. In the Jukai, I think I’ve found more than… 100 suicide corpses in the last 20 years or so. 

I found something strange, I’ll show you. People who are indecisive about dying, wrap this tape on trees along their way, so they can find their way out. There’s something that looks like a tent. I’m going to see if anyone’s inside, please wait here.” -Azusa Hayano, geologist

The forest is a popular place for suicides, reportedly the world’s second most popular suicide location after San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. This popularity is often attributed to the 1960 novel Nami no To  by Seicho Matsumoto, which ends with two lovers committing suicide in the forest. However, the history of suicide in Aokigahara dates from before the novel’s publication, and the place has long been associated with death: ubasute was allegedly practiced there into the 19th century, and the forest is reputedly haunted by the ghosts of those left to die…”

Copied and pasted from: http://ponury.tumblr.com/post/15293840018/aokigahara-suicide-forest-ive-been-living-here

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Here is a short video about the Aokigahara forest and the plague of suicide in Japan (2:34). There is thought to be one suicide every fifteen minutes in Japan.

An expert postulates that societal pressures and culture is to blame for the high suicide rate in Japan (1:55). He notes that even from a young age weakness is not allowed to be displayed.

“Whether it is within the family, at work or in society, it is very hard to show weakness. From a very young age, from primary school on, dynamic and happy kids are held up as examples to follow. If you don’t live up to that, other people treat you harshly and that’s is why people don’t ask for help.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq1-0FvME8U&feature=player_embedded

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This video offers a different perspective of the Aokiagahara forest (4:57).

It attempts to answer the question of why people come to die there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD2cJlx-caQ&feature=player_embedded#!

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It is intriguing to note that Dante wrote about a suicide forest.

His writing was also translated into art.

Dante Alighieri’s Inferno from the Original by Dante Alighieri and Illustrated with the Designs of Gustave Doré (New York: Cassell Publishing Company, 1890).

Dante Alighieri’s Inferno from the Original by Dante Alighieri and Illustrated with the Designs of Gustave Doré (New York: Cassell Publishing Company, 1890).

Dali’s depiction of the ‘Wood of Suicides’ from ‘Inferno’ 13
©2006 Salvador Dalí, Gala–Salvador Dali Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

I would love to hear your thoughts about this post.

Peace & Namaste…