Sunday, March 30, 2008

Iao Valley

After months and months of “yeah, I’ll get around to it,” I finally got around to exploring the Legendary Iao Valley. From California redwoods to Australian rainforests, I’ve already seen more than my share of truly impressive greenery around the world. However, when you take into consideration the level of climate diversity found on an island as small as Maui, there really is something extra to be said for any natural place that is so breath-taking, and no matter where you are in the world, there is also something special about lush tropical greenery that simply steals the imagination like nothing else.

Gateway to the outside world.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

安息吧 師傅

Recently, someone I was once very close to passed away. To me, this person was as a teacher, a father-figure, and a kindred warrior who ceaselessly fought battles of the heart when not fighting those of the flesh. Now he has passed from this life, and many people doubtlessly feel compelled to say goodbye. As I sit here from afar, pondering my own silent maelstrom of emotions, I find that I cannot say goodbye. We say goodbye to the deceased to acknowledge that they are no longer here. We acknowledge that they are gone. However, I cannot say goodbye, because I believe that on the most powerful levels, there is no here, there is no gone, there is only ever-changing existence and how we choose to comprehend it from the confines of our own timid and linear transience. When Siddhārtha Gautama, also known as the Supreme Buddha, was on his deathbed, among other final teachings, he stated the following to his disciples:

“I have just woken up from this dream that you call life. This lifetime of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightening across the sky, rushing by like a torrent down a steep mountain, but I am now awake.”

Sixteen centuries after the Buddha said the statement above, in a similar mindset, the poet-philosopher known as Rumi wrote the following,

“Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there exists a field. I will meet you there.”

The fight is now over, Master.
Please rest peacefully until we see you again.

March 15, 1939 - March 7, 2008