Sunday, August 31, 2008

Buddha in the West

I went on a journey to #1 Canal Street a few weeks ago to visit the Mahayana Buddhist Temple. The purpose of my visit was to have some quiet time on my own and de-clutter my mind.

Mayahana Buddhist Temple (right side) on #1 Canal Street, Chinatown, New York City

But what is one to expect of a temple that is located smack in the middle of a busy city like New York? I found my way around the main hall as quietly as I could, making sure that I didn't knock over any statues or pots (I wouldn't be surprised if I did--clumsy old me). I realized later on that my cautiousness was unnecessary because all the people around me were making a lot of noise. Hmmm. By a lot of noise I guess I mean more noise than I thought people should be making inside places of worship?

Shrugging off the possibility of having some quiet time, I felt relieved that I brought along a camera. In the center of the main hall was a 16-foot high golden Buddha with neon blue halos. All around the hall were illustrations of Gautama Buddha's journey towards Enlightenment.

I suppose it's honest to say that I initially felt disappointed since I don't exactly agree with this commercialized/Westernized version of the Buddha or its very AZ (Anti-Zen. It's a word I invented--learn it) location. But later on I realized that it was alright, as I believe that true peace should emanate from within and not be dependent on one's surroundings. Walking around the hall following Gautama Buddha's life rekindled a simple thought inside my head: There is no cause for despair. Everything is good!

Buddha rocks.

“Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.” - Author unknown

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

To Serve

"The serve is one of the more difficult shots for a novice, but once mastered it can be a considerable advantage. Advanced players can hit the serve in many different ways and often use it as an offensive weapon to gain an advantage in the point or to win it outright." - borrowed from Wikipedia

I totally agree.

. . .

I went to Flushing Meadows (USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center) last Sunday to watch the pros practice. It was the day before the US Open, and you could see on their faces the determination and passion they put into each serve and return.

The US Open, by the way, is one of the oldest tennis championships in the world. It is also considered to be the most well-attended sports event in the US. For more facts and figures, check this out.

Elena Dementieva (#5 seed, Russia)

Rafael Nadal (#1 seed, Spain) How could I not upload this? :)

Anna Chakvetadze (#10 seed, Russia)

Andy Murray (#6 seed, UK)

Being there brought back so many memories. Perhaps I should start playing again. It was truly one of my greatest joys, being on the court--the crisp sound of the ball when it hits the racket, the adrenaline rush, the feeling of surprise whenever you serve an ace. Priceless.

“To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind.” -Pearl S. Buck, writer, Nobel and Pulizter Prize winner

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Run for Buns

I found the most amazing thing to eat while watching a movie... Taters 5 flavored (wasabi, white cheddar, nacho cheddar, barbeque, I forgot the other one) popcorn (all in one bag!) Glorious! I'd feel bad when a piece would fall. Believe me, my brain would go "Omygawd, what flavor did i miss?!)

And here's Rico (incognito) eating his Chorizo Burger (Glorious!) from Bun on the Run. You gotta love the "Road Signs"... Clever clever!

P.S Despite the non-stop robot or tech sounds... Watch Wall-E! Robots have hearts too y'a know... remember the Tin Man? I got surprised myself.

Chuck you, Chuck me!

It's called a clog (Collaborative Blog) for a reason. A post on Chucking it clearly showed how your shoes can take you anywhere, or how you can take your shoes anywhere.
Here's for inspiring me to explore and look for the adventures I've been looking for.

Okay, so this is my friend's Chucks... but need more to time to explore with mine...
Is'nt the tie- dye cool? Like Lucid dreaming!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where you been, Chuck?

A tribute to my loyal Chucks, who has stuck with me through the years and in all my journeys halfway across the globe.

Click to view locations.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cork it!

Cork it like it's never been corked before!

Shall we take a closer look?

And Voila! Clever, clever! Clap, Clap, Clap!
Please pass me the wine, I'm gonna make myself a cork board.

Everyday Questions

For some odd reason, this called to me
like a moth to a flame.

Okay, that's a metaphoric exaggeration.
Here's my existential question for the week.

Do I park or do I wait? Or does it mean the same thing?
Intention. It all boils down to intention.

I likey, likey... everything in the world asks you some random question.
Whats your question for the week?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Heart Art

I finally found the time to lose myself in the one thing that I've always loved as a child: art.
I found myself in awe as I walked around Blick, a huge art warehouse downtown on Bond St. Walking home with all my materials in hand, I felt genuinely happy.

I also realized that I'm not such a bad sketcher after all! Imagine that. It's always cool to discover something new about yourself.

Happy times.

Monday, August 18, 2008


"Status Anxiety: A worry, so pernicious as to be capable of ruining extended stretches of our lives, that we are in danger of failing to conform to the ideals of success laid down by our society and that we may as a result be stripped of dignity and respect; a worry that we are currently occupying too modest a rung or are about to fall to a lower one."
What is one to do then, as humans in this meritocratic day and age tend to be greedy and materialistic, no matter how much they try to deny it? Maybe not materialistic all the time, but constantly put under the pressure that they are required to live up to certain expectations.

It pains me a bit that the possibility of freeing yourself from this suffering I have to learn from books. From blogs. How can one establish a solid sense of self-worth that is not dependent on one's environment, if the very core of their values are shaped by people who believe otherwise?

Is status anxiety, then, really inescapable?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hello Long Weekend

It's my 1st day of freedom. I plan to deconstruct and construct my weekend.
Sprinkle it with raw and unfinished ideas...
Finally a fun and random "to-do list".

1. Jog till my lungs can handle it
2. Listen to Rico's new unfinished songs
3. Draw... what I can
4. Hang out in a coffee shop and do Numbers 2 and 3
5. Eat some sausages... uhm, let me rephrase that... eat some german sausages...uhm... juicy german sausages FROM THE DELI... sounds slightly better
6. Read more Alain de Botton
7. Do whatever... cause it's just Saturday! Woohooooo!!!

Hope you have a great weekend...


Lifted this info from wikipedia...

"In the early 1900s, President Manuel L. Quezon dreamt of a city that would become the future capital of the country, replacing Manila."

Hmm, I actually didn't know about this... no wonder all the government offices are sporadically found from one end to the another...

Friday, August 15, 2008