Travel: Magnificent Ryoan-ji temple and gardens, Kyoto

Ryōan-ji (meaning the Temple of the Dragon at Peace) is a Zen temple located in Kyoto, Japan. The Ryōan-ji garden is considered one of the finest surviving examples of Japanese Zen temple garden design generally featuring distinctive larger rock formations arranged amidst a sweep of smooth pebbles arranged in immaculate linear patterns, designed to facilitateContinue reading “Travel: Magnificent Ryoan-ji temple and gardens, Kyoto”

Arriving at your own door by Derek Walcott

The time will comewhen, with elationyou will greet yourself arrivingat your own door, in your own mirrorand each will smile at the other’s welcome, and say, sit here. Eat.You will love again the stranger who was your self.Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heartto itself, to the stranger who has loved you all yourContinue reading “Arriving at your own door by Derek Walcott”

Emotional First Aid Kit #1

Sometimes the world just wants to break you with all of its chaos. Right now my family is in the eye of the storm, with one of our own absolutely determined to destroy himself with alcohol. Nobody knows what to do and so we are just paddling water at the moment, trying to stay afloat.Continue reading “Emotional First Aid Kit #1”

Book Review: Standing At the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet by Joan Halifax @jhalifax

Genre: Non-fiction, spirituality, Zen buddhism, psychology, philosophy. Publisher: Flatiron Books Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 Standing At the Edge is a once in a lifetime kind of book. I don’t say that lightly either. It’s a life-changing and life-affirming book that combines philosophy, Zen Buddhism, psychology, and much more and manages to be bothContinue reading “Book Review: Standing At the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet by Joan Halifax @jhalifax”

Comforting thought: A 10th century Japanese poem about courage

Although the wind Blows terribly here the moonlight also leaks between the roof planks of this ruined house ~ Izumi Shikibu, 10th Century Japanese poet More inspiration Remember that if you wall up your house too well you will stay dry, but you will stay moonless. We should strive to let the world into ourContinue reading “Comforting thought: A 10th century Japanese poem about courage”

Seven Unique and Moving Fictional Books Set in Japan

Japan is a country close to my heart and since I first went there a few years ago, I have become a big fan of Japanese fiction and Asian fiction translated to English. Japanese fiction tends to emphasise the liminal and fantasy aspects hidden at the edges of everyday reality and also exploring the innerContinue reading “Seven Unique and Moving Fictional Books Set in Japan”

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

The cultural phenomenon of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne (1926) crosses generations and time. Winnie the Pooh still speaks to me as an adult within the adult world. It speaks to the child within and her curiosity and wonder at life. The characters are each archetypes of human desires and fears. Pooh: a certifiedContinue reading “Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)”

Seeing

We do a lot of looking; we look through lenses, telescopes and TVs. Our looking is perfected every day – but we see less and less. Never has it been more urgent to speak of seeing…we are onlookers, spectators. ‘Subjects’ we are, that look at ‘objects’. Quickly, we stick labels on all that is, labelsContinue reading “Seeing”