February Pilgrimage: Konsenji Temple on Day 3

Day three and we visit the Konsenji, or third temple, in the Ohenro 88 temple pilgrimage. According to legend, Kobo Daishi, a Japanese monk and founder of Shingon Buddhism, visited Konsenji and found sacred healing water when his staff struck the ground.

Supposedly, today, there is a well next to the Daishi Hall, and if you see your reflection in the water, you will live until 92 years old. (hmm, do we want to live that long??) But, not seeing your reflection only means, eek!, you will die within the next three years.

It is only a legend. You can breathe easy now. [laughing]

As I walk the pilgrimage path up to the temple entrance, the haiku guide, in a soft voice says:

follow ritual
clean hands and mouth with water
then bow down to pray

haiku, pilgrimage, Carpe Diem haiku kai, healing water, prayer

::: ::: :::

Inspiration:  Carpe Diem #390, Konsenji (Temple 3)

Photo credit: Wikimedia.org

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

It used to be Catholic churches kept the doors unlocked. Anyone wishing to escape their current reality could slip into another space and time simply by retreating into a Catholic church.

Day or night.

Growing up, whenever I escaped into a quiet Catholic church, I would see all kinds of people also coming in for a recharge. For example, I saw older people shuffling in fingering their prayers over rosary beads, young mothers kneeling in prayer at the altar of the Virgin Mother and others, just sitting in peaceful solitude.

While some came in for prayers, others just to rest, some came in to escape uncomfortable weather temperatures outside.

If it was hot outside, being in the cool dim church offered quick relief from the heat. If it was freezing outside, the church gave you warmth both physically and spiritually.

I do not know exactly when most of the Catholic churches in America began to keep their doors locked after normal hours. You would think, however, with all the current problems we face in the world increasing, of all the places, the church doors would be the very place to stay unlocked!  

church escape

“God, Let me in! I need to escape from life...just for a wee moment!

I guess times change and so must people who prefer solving life’s problems from inside a church. “Mass service is over, Lady. Please step outside as the church doors must be locked now, says a church caretaker.

* * *

How do you view an escape into a church, even if for a moment?

Useful or not?

* * *

Thank you, and if you are new to blogging, please visit the Daily Post| Weekly Photo Challenge. I hope you find inspiration to create a post on this week’s theme: Escape.

Hi Mom!

Hi Mom!

I know you do not have an e-mail account nor tote around a cell phone so, instead, let me say thank you in this short note for the example you gave of what a loving, unselfish and generous mother looks like.

Because your faith is strong, I have strength to see through many of life’s big obstacles…
Because you see goodness in everyone, I have your positive outlook in life…
Because you believe in the power of prayer, I know the power of Divine love.

Because you blessed me richly, may you be forever blessed.

Thank you praying the Hail Mary prayer repeatedly while I grew up. Now this beautiful prayer is forever in my memory.

Your loving daughter,

Sunshine

Happy blessed Mother’s Day to all mothers everywhere!

*Ave Maria featuring the beautiful voice of Mirusia Louwerse

* * *

Thank you and inspiration for this post came via a triple package:

Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom! | Jakesprinter’s SUNDAY POST: Mother’s DayIsland Traveler’s Weekly Image of Life: A Mother’s Love.

*Ave Maria in English:

Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed are you among women & blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.

Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now & at the hour of our death, Amen.

My Most Perfect Prayer for April 2013

photo source: Pinterest via http://winning-path.blogspot.com/2012/12/new-year-thoughts.html?m=1

photo source: Pinterest via winning-path.blogspot.com

As promised, I challenged myself to another month-long Grateful 4 daily list. I admit, due to my sheer laziness, I failed to update the list on a couple of days, but my free flow list of gratitude still lives on!

Prolific writer, G. K. Chesterton once wrote:

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

If we constantly live in a state of perpetual thanksgiving, then imagine the enormous wave of happiness flowing abundantly over the world. Thanks to everyday gurus| Kozo for the inspiration to begin daily gratitude expressions.

Let the world become the happy place we wish it to be.

My April’s free flow grateful 4 list: the gift of laughter found in funny movies, all needs provided for, goodness found in people i meet, lounging house cats; Andy Andrews’ book: The Butterfly Effect book| How Your Life Matters; early morning rain ♥ turkey leftovers, banking system...

Divine Love that shines through even during a cold and very rainy gray day  

The Bed of Procrustes by Nassim Nicholas Taleb; gas stations, good health; warm, sunny days to dry up all rain puddles ♥ pizza fully loaded, three bags of groceries, smiles i found on many people’s faces, battery operated weed eaters–so much lighter in weight than gas-powered ones; riding lawn mowers, steaming hot bowl of soup made all day in your crock pot! FRIDAY…stay up late, sleep in Saturday ♥ public libraries, clean & reorganized work desk, plate full of hot grits, eggs and Spam…

Half-Price Books 2013 calendar & how this company commits to give over a MILLION BOOKS each year for worthy causes 

..infinite GOODNESS that flows from the Divine; delightful actors, James Franco & Rachel Weisz in the movie, Oz, the Great & Powerful; lazy Sunday afternoons;

 Sr. Joan Chittister‘s thought: “DOUBT is something to be grateful for…” 

Frontline flea/tick prevention for dogs & cats, dry marker erase boards,days that flow smooth from start to finish,cranberry/pomegranate juice! thunderstorms and rain, galaxies full of bright stars ♥ glass of cold almond/coconut milk…so yummy! 

honest & hard-working auto mechanics that go beyond to help fix your car; April showers ♥ Strawberry Planta strawberry plant that somehow survived from last year’s planting season; yoga pose, Hanumanasana, that really gives a good stretch to hamstrings and groin. ouch!  rain or shine…15-minute mindful meditation.

safety pins, flannel pillowcases, spaghetti dinner, Elephant Journal; my hair stylist, because no matter when I call on a last-minute moment, she manages to squeeze me into her busy schedule;

♥all the blog friends that share their beautiful heart thoughts♥

French toast, lots of butter and warm maple syrup & hot coffee, friends you can text/call and unload your mind with; lazy Saturday mornings just to sit, read & relax… 

finding out your favorite animal feed store has a no sales tax day today, hot and delicious rotisserie chicken & baked potatoes with lots of butter and sour cream

♥ catching myself thinking negative thoughts about a person but quickly change it to well wishes instead

one little girl at Sunday School with the ☼sunniest personalityWeekly Photo Challengesfresh bottled water, early morning appointment at the hair salon, cup of lemon-ginger herbal tea,

the Ligo Haibun team and weekly writers & for the special mention of the post, Poverty Triumphs 

warmer spring weather, daily prayer devotional booklet, not having any major damage during the earthquakes this early morning; baking time:pineapple breakfast muffins…except it needs more sugar but guess that’s what jam is for;

the opportunity to photograph a dress rehearsal for the next community stage play ♥ severe thunderstorms because it reminds me the Divine is really in control, homemade Indian Taco lunch served at church fundraiser;

really sore leg muscles after yoga session…reminds me how exquisite the human body is! 

living with fixed limited budget so as a reminder that everything that flows through my day truly is a gift, fresh bag of navel oranges; gift of vision…to witness Divine glory that surrounds us❤ new buds & leaves coming up, volunteers that generously give their time teaching illiterate adults how to read;

finding blog friends who took some time off but are now back in the mix of things...Sonel’s Corner, for example…

Terrific Chinese food buffet restaurants that make you eat way more than your body can comfortably handle;Unforgettable musical stage performances ♥ Miniature horses, Family time ☺ National Library Week April 14-20, Earth Day pot luck with church family ♥ Dyson vacuüm cleaner,

St. Francis Peace prayer…especially for those at the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy

smooth river rocksjuicy grapefruitanother night of severe thunderstorms to appreciate the calm clear nights, central heat during a strange spring “freeze warning” kind of daycheerful friends, $1 bargains over @ Wal-Mart ♥ pasta dinner;

cattle grazing in pastures, the wild rabbitshelp from Akismet staff; quick help from WordPress Forum/support; chocolate swirl ice creaminspirational yoginis, night at the theatre, dependable Ford Ranger truck;

Poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson wisdom words: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies WITHIN us.” ♥

fresh donuts and hot coffee before church; rooster who crows at odd hours…like 3 am?!? clean clothes, @ symboldandelion weedsdelicious pastrami sub sandwich, tasty buttermilk brownies,

special mention @ Ligo Haibun for Broken♥Hearts post, 

breezy, just right temperature day today, musical concert featuring very talented college students performing in combined choir & orchestra ♥ last day of April; 

A Ben Stein moment:“The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want.”

…phone text capabilitiescrazy friends that make you laugh; assisting a stray calf on the highway who managed to escape from pasture…bad calf; y’all who keep me inspired and challenged…AMEN! 

Thank you for being part of this perfect prayer for April 2013.

* * *

What moment in April found you totally giving thanks and thus increasing world happiness?

* * *

Selma’s Heavenly Delights

Pregnancy

Selma became intensely passionate early in her pregnancy. Her two boys would know and practice peace. Peace training 101 from day one: conception. After all, she fell totally in love with the 60’s hippie movement and often dreamed, if only she could have just one day to experience the flower child within her, life would be complete. Nevertheless, as an expected mother, she pondered Karl Menninger’s words, “What’s done to children, they will do to society.” All she wanted now was for her twin sons to give peace to society as ideally defined in the dictionary as the life, “free from disturbance; tranquil…not involving war or violence.”

Not really knowing where to begin, or even if raising children to know peace was possible, Selma remembered a Josh Billings quotation: “To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.“ Smiling and speaking softly, Selma says, “Therefore, I meditate daily and sing along with Sinead O’connor, especially when I carried my twins in womb.”

With peace forever in her mind, Selma passionately embraces compassion in her diet. Slowly she learns to cook less and instead uses a blender to whip up healthy smoothie drinks and a food dehydrator for quick Kale chip snacks and wholesome raw cracker meals.

The boys turn five tomorrow and Selma continues to think, breathe and live peace. She surrounds herself with kindred peace-loving friends, chooses down-to-earth principles, grounds her sons in the practice of yoga and meditation and constantly prays for peace wisdom from the Divine One.

Tranquil children play
Birth of a new tomorrow
Heavenly delights

♥ ♥ ♥

© 2013 simply charming

If you like this post, why not consider joining the Monthly Peace Challenge with host, Kozo. This month the challenge is to post “anything about the intersection of children and peace.”

Thank you and abundant blessings!

Love: Waiting – Holy Saturday

With the highlights of Good Friday and the light of Easter Sunday, Holy Saturday, or Black Saturday, can sometimes get lost in the Easter season. Holy Saturday signifies the day “Jesus Christ’s body lay in the tomb.” Like this dark time, we may also find our own lives going through periods feeling lost, hopeless and filled with darkness.

In this short but powerful video, Alain Emerson poignantly poses a challenging question about our relationship with God during the midst of pain, abandonment or anguish. He asks, “When was the last time you were truly honest with God?”

Sometimes when we pray about certain situations, it seems to get worse and waiting for answers only finds silence. This makes everything about praying seem hopeless. However, Alain’s honesty with God helped him find victory during a difficult time in his life.

This is a life-changing message I wish to share with you on this Easter season.

God bless you with abundant peace.