Offering The Heart Is Risky



HelloKitty-pinkpokemon-logo-verticalAt the time of this blogging Charlotte Lee has a collection of 5,631 different rubber ducks, Jeff Lebo owns a collection of 82,000 different beer cans and Asako Kanda’s world’s largest Hello Kitty collection has amassed an incredible 4,519 items!  Lisa Cortney’s Pokemon collection is now up to 14,000 items and climbing!  Aside from whether or not this is normal the more essential question is: “Should we define ourselves by what we own?”

The human heart is made for relationship with others.  From the moment of our birth without the care of others we would not even survive!  This imprints on our mind and heart that which essentially sustains us!  A Hadith Qudsi (sayings of Muhammad) hadith qudsi 558-260-264quote says “If you walk toward Him, He comes to you running.”  It means that we are not only made for relationship with the Divine but also that the Divine is an active…

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Our Bernard


CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGEDuring our October 2010 trip we toured Doris Duke’s estate on the other side of Diamond Head which she called Shangri-La.  It is a fantastic place filled with beauty!  It has the feeling of being a coherent whole which comes from Doris’ intent to have it be a reflection of her love for all things Moorish.  But I came away from that visit wondering about the woman who had created the place.  From everything that I have read it seems that she was profoundly unhappy despite her massive wealth!  She went through several marriages to men who married not herself but her money.  Everyone it seems wanted something from her.  She must have wondered at times without the money if Doris Duke really had any worth!

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGEIn what do we find our worth?  In relationships?  In drugs?  In sports?  In hobbies?  Too often we look outside ourselves for…

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Your Inner Life



CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGEOn one of our drives to the Byodo-In Temple, a non-denominational Buddhist temple made without any nails, we pass through the Valley of the Temples with a number of cemeteries of various ethnic persuasions.  On the hillside there are also a few mausoleums, one of which had a long and high series of steps leading up to the entrance.  The last time there I stood at the bottom of the steps looking up at the mausoleum wondering “What must it be like to be locked in?”  Almost immediately that thought triggered other thoughts about our inner life.  Like setting out for Miami and then somehow winding up in Chicago there might be parts of our inner life which confuse us!  We might feel bewildered as if we’re hostage by what we don’t understand about ourselves, about our past and about some of the choices that we have made…

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What Matters



alzheimers1I have a friend whose habit of photographing everything with his cellphone drives me crazy!  At a restaurant he will photograph the dishes of food that he orders when they arrive on the table.  Even if superficially introduced to someone he will photograph them.  Flowers, trash baskets, the contents of the garbage can… all of it is fair game for photographing!  After dressing each day he stands before his full-length mirror and takes a photo of what he is wearing.  Recently I could find neither rhyme nor reason for his strange obsession until one day I put politeness aside and said, “What’s up with all the photos?”  He replied, “Alzheimer’s runs in my family and I am terrified that once it sets in I won’t remember my life!  I photograph it all in order to have something to look at later in the hope that it might…

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The game-show contestant has to choose one box out of four. Only one of the boxes contains money, the others nothing. Becoming increasingly agitated and distraught she finally cries out, “How do I know?!” and runs off the stage and out of the studio, leaving the unsolved mystery behind.

Westerners do not do well with mystery, often feeling that it is something to be conquered or solved. When we come to realize that we can do neither, when we experience that mystery exists on its own terms, many opt for the game-show contestant’s solution of cut-and-run. This is as true of the mystery at the heart of relationships as it is of game-shows.

In the beginning of a relationship it’s all glitter and fireworks and there is nothing objectionable about the other, this person who we often refer to as “our other self”. But the day eventually comes…

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The Generosity of Happiness



On my first trip to Hawaii in 2004 was two weeks long which enabled us to be there for the fourth of July.  Dan had told us about the fabulous fireworks show that would occur on the Fourth, so toward the evening we headed for Magic Island where many gathered for the viewing.  When we got there I was astonished to see what looked like a tent city!  Large families were clustered under tents, each clan forming a small colony of ʻohana.  Many had one large tent where the relaxing, cooking and eating occurred as well as one or two small enclosed tents for sleeping.  Keiki were shrieking and darting around like small frantic and happy little birds!  Kupuna, Aunties and Uncles were telling them to slow down, to come and eat, to lay down and take a nap.  In short, regular everyday Hawaiian life seemed to…

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What We Desire Takes Us Somewhere



CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGEI believe that creativity is a manifestation of the mind’s fertility and the ability to see what can be!  Creativity is not limited to paintings, sculpture, basket-weaving, pot-throwing and print-making.  It is basically a flexibility of the mind and a desire to see what’s next.  While flipping through television channels the other day I heard a character in a sitcom say to a woman, “I thought that he was supposed to be gay?!  Let me tell you, he was looking at you the way a fat man looks at fried food!”  What this remark brought to my mind was the reality that what we desire takes us somewhere, takes us in a certain direction.

For several years now my desire for Hawaii has been taking me toward Big Island on the Kona side close to the St.Juvenaly Mission. Recently I had the new idea of possibly retiring on…

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