Saturday, July 27, 2013

'O' For Ocean



The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. -Jacques Cousteau
Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away. -Sarah Kay

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  Mark Twain. His words are so true.

“Doesn’t it seem to you,” asked Madame Bovary, “that the mind moves more freely in the presence of that boundless expanse, that the sight of it elevates the soul and gives rise to thoughts of the infinite and the ideal?” -Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  Is there anybody who does not love the sea?
 When we are at the beach we have the sun, the sand, the blue sky and the blue ocean , and the  sea breeze: everything is so healing and calming, we feel totally cleansed in our mind, body and  soul.

I simply adore the sea, I love to smell of salty water wafting through the breeze, and the breeze gently messing up my hair, the rhythmic music of the crashing waves: everything kind of brings in a sense of calm and peace within me....

  “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.   Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land,    there is no other life but this.”
~Henry David Thoreau

   “Sit in reverie, and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

   Life is like sea. We are moving without an end. Nothing stays with us. What remain is just the memories of some people who touched as waves~ Unknown.

  I'am all at sea where no one can bother me.
When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing -just standing and looking at the sea ? 

Monday, July 15, 2013

'N' for Nature As Our Teacher


Life is like a river. There is no pre-charted way; there are no maps to be given to you which are to be followed. Just be alive and alert, and then wheresoever life leads you go with full confidence in it. ......Allow it to lead you, don't force it. Surrender to it and allow it to lead you towards the sea. Just be alert, that is all. While life leads you towards the sea just be alert so that you don't miss anything.

If what is true is repressed, it will bubble up from deep effecting everything in it's path. Volcanoes stand as an omen for change being forced if you will not flow, to a difference in perspective or shift in awareness that results when what we live isn't supporting the essence of what is really true.

Nature teaches us in so many ways if only we were more watchful and learn from Nature.
                                           The beautiful snow capped mountains of Sikkim

“There's nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater,you realize that you've been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.”

― Dave Barry
                                                          The pacific
Mountains and Clouds:
The mountain doesn't move, trees do. The sky doesn't move, clouds do. Stability in the midst of all movement.

                                        The views captured during our 17 mile scenic drive in the US

Huge cloud formations change gradually, almost imperceptibly into another formation. This is how gradual the process of human transformation is. The changes are so small that the overall formation looks the same. But gradually the shift will happen, until suddenly, the cloud is entirely different- -- the person is entirely different.

Midnight: is the center. It touches both night and a new day at once. It touches both dark and light. It exists between past and future. The point that transcends time. Neither of the the two opposites, but a center between them: the center beyond duality.
                                         This picture was taken by our daughter in Spain

                                      This picture was taken by our daughter in Portugal
                                            This picture was taken in Conoor 
A gigantic tree doesn't become that by knowing it's a tree while still a seed. It only knows growth.  Constantly changing, while still remaining the same. Not dwelling on  end results, it is content just to grow and not know where it is going.  The seedling, shoot and mature tree aren't the goal, but the process-- the journey.
                              This was taken in Pondicherry before we set out for Chunabar Beach
The future lies before you like a field of fallen snow ; be careful how you tread it for every step will show.
We are so busy with our lives always watching out for what is ahead of us, that we forget to enjoy where we are. Nature seems to tell us ever so gently, to be in the present.
                                                    This was taken in Sikkim.

This the Zero point, where the road ends, as this point is the end of India and beyond is Indo- China border.... it was really awesome
Carrots are safe within, underground, even if its plant above is ripped and torn. At times, what is seen on the surface gives no indication of what is living within.

                                                            Carrots of Kodaikanal

Skin hides the fruit.  For a long time we only know our superficial masks.  Do we have the strength to peel this skin back?  The time is now to know the fruit of ourselves.

Nature beautifully hints to us to take off our masks.

Nature as metaphor: it is always there to make us see  ourselves clearly, nature shows us all, if only we care to observe.

 How has Nature inspired you?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

'M' For: Mesmerizing San Francisco, I do miss you so much....

The mesmerizing views of the Golden Gate Bridge Cable car, and  few other equally interesting places in San Francisco:


One would need a tripod to take good photographs .
Without it,  you end up with pictures like these.

 The beautiful Hotel Argonaut: the Argonaut Hotel is perched on the edge of the Bay at the busy Fisherman's wharf, and brings a bit of luxury to this popular area. The Hotel's architecture features original red brick walls and wooden beams and it was worth capturing it in the camera, while we were there : for it is a hotel only for the rich and famous. 

The deserted view  of the city at night, giving such a eerie feeling of stillness- creepy enough to give you goosebumps.....

The Transamerica Pyramid: Transamerica Pyramid is the most remarkable building in SF's skyline. It is the tallest building in the city measuring 853 ft from the street level. Transamerica Pyramid is the most remarkable building in SF's skyline. 

San Francisco's Chinatown was first established in the mid 19th century, attracting immigrants mostly from China's Guangdong Province. Most of these individuals had jobs with the Central Pacific Railroad. They soon established their own town within the city.
Most of the shops are located around Grant Street, the central axis of Chinatown's tourist area. Here all lampposts are ornamented, very colorful and very Chinese. Tourists  and locals jostle for space on the narrow sidewalks along the many souvenir shops, eateries and herbal shops. 

When you are in San Francisco you can't miss out 
on the Union Square.
Union Square in SF is famous for its many upscale and speciality stores and shops. Many of SF's best hotels and restaurants are also found within a few blocks of Union Square.

Union Square is sometimes attributed only with shopping and crowds, but there is more there than what, most people are lead to think, and of course, for anyone visiting San Francisco, you should not miss it.  I bought quite a few things for a reasonable price. 

This landmark hotel is one of San Francisco's grand dames, operating continuously since 1928 in the heart of Union Square.
However, aside from shopping visitors can walk the streets and enjoy fine art galleries, sit in the plaza and enjoy the sun, go see a show at one of the many theaters or dine at some of the best restaurant in the city.
In this picture, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge, and the beautiful scenery behind me

While waiting for the cable car, you are never bored as street musicians keep entertaining you all the while. The waiting too is just 10 minutes.
San Francisco is an array of hills and valleys, and the cable car will take you up and down like a slow roller coaster ride, which you would really enjoy with views that are stunning and this is something you must never miss if you ever plan a trip to the US of America.
How many times I have seen pictures of people hanging from cable cars like this in Travel channels, well I did too when I was there!!
More on this and other interesting things about San Francisco, I will share in some future blog.

So much to do and so little time to see everything: I can only leave you with some views of San Francisco seen through my eyes.

(Pictures taken by our son)