Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Innsbrook Resort at Aspen Lake


Last week I started a part time job introduced by a friend. So, I met Stevie.
 She invited us to her house over the weekend, a very beautiful big house.


After we all arrived at her house, we drove about 15 mins to Innsbrook Resort at Aspen Lake where she has a plot of land, but she decided not to build a house there yet. However, she has a boat on the lake to go fishing and swimming.


Loading stuff in the boat, and getting ready to have fun.



Stevie briefed those who don't know how to swim.


Her husband, Al was driving the boat. 
They both are very nice and friendly.


These four are a family, their two girls so excited. 


Stevie came to take Kathy, and taught her how to float and swim.


Some of them fished, but Steve caught a hat. 
Someone's hat flew off into the lake.


A big water gun fight and water shooting games.


A big current? Steve, are you in danger?


Eventually everybody needed to go into the water, because that is a toilet.


I pretend I can drive a boat.


The boat was moving to the lake center, everyone in the water must hold tight. 


We passed some people surfing, doing yoga on surf boards & kayaking.



Saturday, July 5, 2014

Independence Day



我們住的區域小村,每年都會在美國國慶日放煙花。
反正在家沒事,我們就走去看。


很多居民已早早坐在草地,他們真的很悠閑,可以閒坐一、两個小時等着看煙花。



為項目升掛的國旗,太陽下山了,必須降下收旗。這常識我現在才知道。


救火車開放給小孩參觀。


有些人先去看音樂歌曲。
我們走近時,Steve說那是在奏着海、陸、空軍及警方等團隊樂,各有曾是服軍警的人一聽就起立以示尊敬。


一位扮相林肯總統宣講。林肯在美國真是萬古流芳。
音樂完。


煙花開始了。



Saturday, June 28, 2014

St Louis Dragon Boat Festival


St Louis has a Dragon Boat Festival every year, but Steve just noticed this event from his colleagues forum this year. 
This morning, we went to see the race and found that Boeing also has a team competing. We might be joining the team if they have one again next year.  It's just for fun, not the serious competition like the Dragon Boat race in Penang, Malaysia. They train very hard if you join a team in Penang.
Here, the festival raises money for charity and is a family fun event.
也許美國注重的是大人小孩一起玩樂,我看到的是很不一樣的龍舟賽。



This group cheers on friends & family as they get ready to race. 


One race is going on in the background, while teams on the beach prepare to launch their boats for the next race.  The first round had 10 races, each with 3 or 4 boats competing, so, with 20 people per boat, there were over 600 people racing!


This team's drummer has a funny Dragon costume. 


Row, row, row! Almost to the finish line.  The race is 400m (about 1/4 mile.)


At the same time, there are some things to see.


Zoo, baby animals.


Kids' playgrounds.


Face painting.


Sand volleyball and live band music.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Enchanting Thailand performances


We went to see a Thai Classical dance and Music performance - 'Enchanting Thailand', organized by the Thailand Embassy/Consul General.
They presented a short video about 'Amazing Thailand' by the Tourism Authority of Thailand before the performances started.
我們去觀賞由泰國領事主辦的泰國人的傳統文化表演。
致詞後,表演節目未開始前,泰國旅遊局先呈献介紹泰國的短影片。

短片播完後。我很困惑了,因為有兩次的伊斯兰教人的景,但就是完全沒有佛教的影像色彩,沒有佛寺,沒有佛像,沒有憎人。。。 我出生成長在馬來西亞,那些泰國特殊的佛教影像那麼深刻在我腦海,我一直以為泰國是佛教國。也許我錯了。
我猜某高層是伊斯兰教徒吧。我真失望,他們沒有表現平等心。
I was confused when the video ended, because twice it had Muslim scenes but no Buddhist related images at all.  No Buddhist temples, no Buddha statues, no monks...  Their outstanding Buddhist images are deep inside my mind as I was born and grew up in Malaysia. I thought Thailand is a Buddhist country, but maybe I am wrong. 
I suspect someone in high authority must be a Muslim. I am disappointed, they didn't show their equivalence.  


大致上,我是很欣賞他們的文化特色的,看表演吧。
多漂亮的泰國女司儀及她的服飾。
Anyway, basically I like their culture. Let's see the performances.
How beautiful this Thai DJ with her costume.


Cymbal Dance


These are scenes from the Thai version of the famous Indian story 'Ramayana'.


Rama and Thotskan in Combat


The Pursuit of Supanna Matcha


'Hanuman' (Monkey) interacts with audience.


Kingkara Bird Dance


The Fan Dance
One of the Southern Region Dances, similar to Malaysia.



Cock Fighting Dance
This one very interesting.



Vipassana meditation


我有三位朋友去了多次的内觀靜修。這次似乎是時機成熟,她們告訴我,我即刻也跟着她們報名。
我是很被動的,感謝她們邀我一起去。如果不是朋友的推動,我很多事都不積極行動。
I have three friends who have attended Vipassana meditation retreats several times. This time was just the right timing, I signed up too when they told me. 
I am passive and grateful my friends invited me.  If not, I don't have motivation to do things mostly.

這組織有很多中心在全界。新學員都須先去十天的禁語靜修。
我們去的中心Illinois,駕車約五小時。
Their organisation is dhamma.org, and they have many centers all over the world. If you are a new student, you need to attend the 10 days silent retreat first.
We went to the center in Illinois, about a 5 hours drive from St. Louis. 


這中心有個人的房間住宿,两房共用廁所沖涼房。
This center has dormitories where you have your own sleeping room, and two rooms share a bathroom.

20年前,我學的靜坐是數息(及隨息),有練習,但不知道為什麽就是覺得沒進步。
在這靜修,前四天學觀息(不鼓勵數息)。第五至十天,學觀全身感受的方法。最後一天,靜坐結前做五分鐘的慈悲觀。
在家可以練習,靜坐一小時,先觀息讓心止,再觀全身感受,及慈悲觀。
I learned a meditation technique which is counting and observe breath 20 years ago, and have been practicing it, but I didn't feel improvement, and I don't know why. 
In this retreat, the first 4 days we learned Anapana (no counting, but just observe a small area of breathing point.) Days 5-10, we learned the methods to observe the sensations of body, and about five minutes of compassion meditation at the end.    
We can practice at home, one hour sitting meditation to settle and focus our mind by Anapana, then move to observe the sensations of body by Vipassana and compassion.


我發現這凳子很適合。放上坐墊,脚彎九十度,這坐姿才能維持多天的靜修。
I found this stool is good for sitting meditation retreat.  With a cushion on it, the legs are bent at 90 degrees, which is good for sitting for long periods.

靜修回來,原想保持清淨,連寫都不想,但一上網與人互動,心又打回原形。
哎呀!塵埃啊!你不沾人,人自沾。
我又來了!
I thought to retain the clearness after getting back from the retreat. Even not writing for this, but once I went to internet and interacted with people, my mind went back again.
Ah, I am coming again!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Body's nature


One day, we went out to yoga and we saw a squirrel laying on our driveway. We could tell, he/she was dead. I sent a thought, may he/she would go to a good new life.
那天,我們出去上yoga課,看到一隻松鼠躺在我們家車道上,很明顯牠是死了。我願牠來生往生善道。

我們回來時,牠還是在哪。Steve 有些不悦,因為須處理這死去的松鼠裝進垃圾袋,三天後垃圾車才來,天氣熱,一定將會發臭得很。他很不願即刻行動去做。
He/She was still there when we got back home. Steve was a bit frustrated about putting the dead squirrel in a trash bag, because the trash pick up was 3 days later, it was hot out, and would start to smell very bad by then. He hesitated to do it immediately.

We went into the house and had our light dinner. Later, Steve looked at the driveway through the window, and the dead squirrel was gone. We felt a little 'surprised' - someone must have gotten it?
We guessed it might be a hawk.
我們進屋吃簡便的晚餐。過後,Steve 向窗外看,車道上沒見那死去的松鼠了。我們覺得有些‘意外’ ~會是誰?
我們猜可能是老鷹。

最終,不管是老鷹或蟲,都會有某生物吃掉死屍。人的屍體也不例外。這很殘酷嗎?
不,這是實象。
At the end, something, either a hawk or the worms will get the body when it is dead. Human bodies too. Is it cruel?
No, it is the truth.

Have you decided how you want your body to contribute and what kind of funeral you prefer?
Let your closest family know while you still can.
你希望死后捐献及用何葬禮的決定嗎?
你還能做決定時那就讓你最親近的人知道吧。



Thursday, May 22, 2014

US - Grand Teton



We drove to the south entrance of Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park ($25 per car) when it opened May 9. 
It was snowing, and the snow drift was so high.


We passed over the Continental Divide 3 times.


Jackson Lake Dam


Jenny Lake covered by ice


Teton Glacier 


We tried hiking the Taggart Lake trail, but a moose blocked our path.  The ranger said they can be very aggressive & we should keep our distance from it.  Signs also warned to hike in groups of 3 or more because of bears in the area.


Chapel of the Transfiguration




Menors Ferry


We didn't see any beavers around, but the 'lodge' on the river is their house.
  

Beavers built this dam to make a small lake for their lodge, which is in the background on the left.


Mule deer


we drove on a side road along Gros Ventre river, the view there is beautiful.


Black-billed Magpie


Anterton Creek at Gros Ventre Road
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