Peace and quietness

It is quiet now.

A very sunny day today!

Cracker made some sound now.

I bottled up the dry grapefruit skin soaked in honey. I smelled the fragrant grapefruit in the room and made myself a glass of warm honey tea just made from the finished work.

Sophorae is a general name for blossom honey. In light amber color, it is the most popular export honey from China while the flower’s name is specifically acacia originally from North America. The Chinese sophorae is from the pagoda tree, a national species.

We normally have two kinds of blossom honey on the market; one is from the jujube flower, good for nutritional supplement. Another is this acacia blossom honey which is good for better sleeping and vascular health.

The grapefruit is of a specialty from a place called Yuhuan. It is called Wendan with a different shape to other grapefruits.

Today I also picked up lots of a smaller version of grapefruit.

It dropped freely in the camellia field. The skin of it has a profound fragrance which I use for good smell in fridge. The pulp of it is editable with good sour and sweetness.

The backyard garden has some quietness at this time of the year.

The lawn has a carpet of brown fir leaves. The river bank has brownish reed.

The white camellia are pure beauty.

The plants are grouped together nicely.

A good chair to rest for morning and afternoon.

For old Chinese ritual, today is the second day of Chinese New Year, with a ritual of son-in-law accompanying his wife to her parents place.

It is a day of gift giving and a day for praying to wealth god.

Here it is a funny picture!

Actually the rich story comes from the first day of new year which lots of people caught at earliest to pray in the temple by spending costly on burning the first run of joss sticks. On the fifth of new year days, it is a day for wealth again!

That is not actually part of Buddhism after all. Anyway the temple people gets very rich in China. While lots of Chinese still want to be rich, a good business can only be kept in an honest way. I think that is the best faith we shall encourage in this society.

Intuition is good for sense and to feel; perception could be cultivated by good sensitivity. Trust shall be built between people.

The new year festival’s best thing is to communicate, to serve, to listen to each other…

It is special time for me as well, more quietness and peace!

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One evening of Chinese New Year

it was raining tonight. From a little drizzling to a bit wet, I could smell the osmanthus aroma in the air. Less people walking on the street and the apartment lobby is a bit empty as well.

Just viewed a big show of fireworks, now it is quiet again. I was thinking about the old man who sat at the lobby tonight. An old couple who lived in this apartment may feel lonely in this new year’s festival days.

They are from the northern part of China. Kids work and live in the city. They feel a bit strange to live with son and daughter in law though she is a teacher and had good manners.

So they took a unit and live by themselves. I saw there are two old couples living in this apartment. Another couple is from local anyway. While young girls usually take dogs as pet, the old couple does not.

I saw this old man sitting in the lobby or outside the lobby a few times. He talks and he is a nice person to talk. Well, I can talk with him and understand. Just feel him a bit of loneliness in this new year’s evening.

Take or not take it when you get old, the loneliness of being not loved, missed. I read about a few elder woman as single, they lived together in separate rooms and take care of each other. The example is the Japanese single woman’s case. Some divorced, some not married and they choose to stay together to be not feeling lonesomeness.

I feel alone sometime too. I joked for myself as a lonely planet. I cook and make some dish and enjoy the good feeling of results. I read books and watch animal world. Lonely planet shines in the immersion of thoughtful moments and by nutritional minds.

Sometime we need to conquer our fear of neglected feelings. We can seek the quietness and harmony in our environment, the exquisite life details, esthetic needs to feed our soul.

Countryside visit

With family, we went to the countryside.

Along this river, we walked through the lane of private houses. Ruixiang and Lamei tree in the courtyard look nice!

There are also small farm land. I shall introduce you some of the plants now. While snow pea is popular to eat now, this plant is broad bean.

Those pea sprouts could be eaten when it is still tender.

Xuecai is winter veggie. Locals would marinate it and cook fish, veggie and rice cake with this spicy, tasty pickle.

This is nursery bed of camellia. As a communal land, less effort and more profits are goal.

We first had a photo of all vegetarian meal for a pray to late family members. The green veggie at the bottom end is a wild veggie Ji Cai which was picked up around the hill filed.

This courtyard plant is mint, you know it.

This is the commune village town houses.

This house belongs to the leader of this town.

Local calligraphers and painters presented their works for local villagers. At the bottom there are rice harvest tools to explain a bit of history. This town is called Baifeng, a coastal town opposite the Zhoushan Islands. Lots of fresh wild sea food could be bought here. My elder auntie had a hotel business here in the old days. When the ferry finishes the working hours, truck drivers and travelers have to stop here for a night’s rest before the next day mornings ferry.

Today we had tunnel and bridges built for another route to the sea, the three mountain town, so less people stayed here. It was less developed. For elderly people it is good to live here with fresh air and less traffic.

I watched as a relative did the Buddhism reading to the late family members and ancestor.

She still lives in this abandoned old house for low living cost. Her husband has pensions and still works as a chiropractor. She nurses a kid as the parent are both teachers and could not take care the kid. So they paid 3800rmb a month to her. Today a baby care giver for new born one to three months old babies could be paid 15000rmb a month normally. Some rich family pays 700rmb a day for the mother and baby care giver.

She is a strong believer of Buddhism. Her mother lives to the age of 98, was also a strong believer who, takes a morning Buddhism ritual for an hour.

They both are vegetarian. She has two fouls for 5 years. Now the chicken would not have eggs. She said she would not eat the hens as the foul dedicated already the life of chicken-eggs to them. She does not eat meat. Even a touch of meat makes her think the meat is stinky.

Her son and family member said she is getting made about Buddhism. She wanted her next life to be good. And there is no next life after all. Our body got burned. She thought her unfortunate life was from her unfaithful doings. So she dropped out all the meat dishes in praying and serving the ancestors. She saved her son from misconducts after she promised to Buddha that she could serve Buddha more by being faithful and being vegetarian.

In another word, maybe she is paranoid, for fear of misfortune. One person maybe said, countryside life may will be your salvation and sanctuary, but it is not for your comfort or avoidance of normal life.

Blessings for New Year

At the square of Buddhist Temple

Blessing lake

A scholar’s courtyard

Before the Chinese lunar new year, the Spring Festival season, there is a calling for blessings.

As our place of Ningbo has the Buddhist religion, we have more than 1000 years old temples. There is one just in Beilun. The heritage place was revived.

The old Ginkgo trees dropped lots of seeds here…

The temple is called Eyuwang, named after a princess of India. It located in an old village where we can find scholar’s museums, camping grounds, vegetarians restaurant. An old tea plantations route is behind this temple under the Taibai Mountain, surrounded by the Beilun Forest Park, Taibai Park, bamboo forest of villages.

I and my friend Meilu had a beautiful day outing for blessings. At front of us it is an eucalyptus tree which in the old days it was used for cloth cabinet as it dispels the bugs.

The village name is Jia Xi. Xi means a creek. There is a creek along the road.

On the left there is peach tree plantations. On the right, one of a scholar’s museum locates. There is also a big eucalyptus tree at the front yard.

A welcoming pine at the entrance. As is the Chinese Garden esthetics, clearly the temple design has a front panel as well, then a great door.

We arrived at the inside bridge of the temple. Not much people around, a temple’s main blessing building is right in the middle. As a custom, we shall visit the blessing house, walk through the library house, then we go to see the heritage relic place. So it is one after one vertically. A pond is at the front of the square. Pink and white plum trees are at the different sides. Restaurants are on the left, guest houses are on the right.

The middle square has more eucalyptus trees with camellia as walking corridor plants.

The temple serves free meals. There are monks sitting in the blessing house for guidance. We shall walk in the right way, watching along the eighteen arhat and the paintings about them.

Four King Kong are at the left and right of the Buddha in another blessing house.

Rulai is the highest holy level. There are three Rulai Buddha images sits horizontally, which he holds represents differences of time beings. A water lily means for the past; alms bowl for the present; the pagoda for the future.

Behind Rulai, it is the Buddha of Peace, Guanshiyin Buddha, saving the sufferings. At one corner, there is a wisdom Buddha Wenshu, blessed for knowledge and good education.

We finished off at the vegetarian restaurant where there is a zen garden and I watched the golden fish in the lake.

Topping off the day, we had a tea party. A beautiful silver clouds gatherings…

Inspire

Discover all your favorite things, your career, friends, love, books, art, movies, music, and then sum up a word from your personal world. Today my word is “inspire”. I want to inspire people, inspire ourselves, and inspire the world. From discovery to compassion, from compassion to embrace; from hug to inspiration. Find the baton in the world, stay away from those negative influences, make yourself an influential person, become the one who becomes every day and not just an entrepreneur; you must not only create the freedom of wealth, but also create the soul Freedom; you not only have to create new opportunities, but also create new possibilities. Life is full of possibilities, and only you understand your mission and your difference and determination! What do you want to do, what do you want to do? Find what you need, not what you want; find what you desire in your heart, not the envy of your eyes. Don’t envy others, be yourself, be the best you can. New Year I want to go to Austria to study tourism entrepreneurship courses; I want to participate in the tourism project competition; I want to encourage more people to discover the journey of life!

I remember a movie Catherine acted as a reporter and she found out a lion man. I visited a school for deaf-mute and I became friends of young students there. I came to Christian church and played ping-pa with nuns and the father and watched how the “bread of Christ” was baked. I went to church and took photos for preachers who wear white clothes.

I did one day’s study in a Buddhism temple and be with the monks and ate together.

I understand the connections of compassion, companionship. Be yourself there and embrace this beautiful world.

My grandpa’s father is a word man, a leader and had an influence as a patriarch. My grandfather is a hardworking, dedicated and diligent man. Grandma’s father was a business man. Grandma was an entrepreneur. My father, uncle, auntie are business people. My eldest auntie is a school master who holds too much into being successful. The kids from my grandparent all love music and did all the best in schools. Who am I? I was the proud grandkid by my grandma. I was fostered by grandparents. I was the bamboo shoots outside the wrapping.

A windy day with black clouds…soaring heart does not end.

The healing power of nature

As I said before, my back yard garden has two small lakes. The Feng Shui ideas of two lucky round balls, reflecting blocks and golden color building, a river connecting to the mountain, then another river in horizontal crossing over the land of our back side, then the two lakes mean something…

The pattern of the lakes create a balance to river’s turn about.

There are two vertical rivers and one horizontal one here. On the left, it is the mountain called Jiufeng Mountain; on the bottom right it is the ocean.

Here it is a Five-needles pine tree which can tolerate harsh wind and dryness. In this parking lot, wind blows between the space of buildings. Also there is wind break cypress and fir trees at the back yard garden which I could show you later on.

So when I choose where to live, I chose the river and garden and I observe the best Fengshui. So everyday, no mater cloudy and sunny, I can watch the sky, river and people.

And I want to feel alike a soaring bird in the sky to breakthrough the wind and rain. I watch the sunset, moon and stars. Surround my living place with river gives me a feeling of liveness as a fish in the river.

I listen to Omar Akram’s music “surrender”Free as a Birdat night.

I think we shall not hold angers, resentment in our heart, hold only compassion, appreciation for relationship and nature. Actually we took a lot from Mother Nature and the aesthetics, mathematics and logic are in the nature. The beauty of nature comes as a salvation and real security. The sound of nature soothes our heart, awaking our minds and clearing the toxin in the brain. By pushing away the passiveness of our fragile spirit and vulnerable soul, we learn to fly above…

Land story

It is my grandpa’s land, which has the tall building now in this photo.

The river here was the water way for my grandpa to row a cement boat. The river was our swimming pool in childhood. Now on the bank there is an Olympic swimming pool and a hotel named after China’s female Volleyball Team.

Along the walking way, I smell the osmanthus flowers.

Along the river bank, I find this tall cypress which grows alike a circled up dragon at the late stage.

This very much old dandelion reminds me the old days when Chinese like to dig up them as wild food.

This calligraphy shows my village name which is in the center of our town; in the middle of all commercial world now.

My town Beilun is well known for plant nursery. On the street I find the camellia and rhododendron.

Now I am almost back home.

I sit in a coffee shop and enjoy the blue berry cake. Approaching new year, local Chinese are busy with preparing little new year dinner which means some of people are dealing with live chicken now. Everyone is busy with meals and invite family members.

At this time of year, we talked about the people in our memories. I listened and I had tears for those family story and people who I even never met before.

Life is wonderful and we memorize all the good and bad things… I feel sad and I feel compassions. There are bitterness in family things and also those poor years. Today we have abundance of food and life.

Those old days, my grandpa was nicknamed Cat as he can catch lots of fish by nets. A few days after I was born, we have electric lights in the village. The old day’s marriage was dealt with dowry. Having a bicycle is a luxury.

Younger auntie, me and sister and brother also helped with rice harvesting with Grandpa. Grandpa and uncle pushed a cart to sugarcane to market to sell. Grandpa bought my uncle a noodle for 5rmb but grandpa did not spend for himself.

Only at special days, we can have pork meat. It is a society story. You are not allowed to have your own pig and you must all work in the field collectively. My grandfather was a leader in production and he has to collect some left over rice droppings to feed the family, even for that he must hide in his little pocket. He is a very small man but he is a hard worker and very smart. He hates lazy and stupid persons. He saved a man from the river by roping himself to get deep down to get the drown person. He was really strong willed. He carried on all the family works.

The land was his artworks. He grew everything, watermelon, veggie, rice. Everything look very tidy and was best taken cared of. He was just doing great. In my memory, I tasted the best corn grown by my grandpa and I did a few rope making and celery wrapping days.

Now all village people has shares in the property as our village has billions of money, all invested into hospitals and hotels and shops.