A Journey to the land of Buddha

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Early morning I was at the Lufthansa counter at the airport waiting for the group passengers to arrive, I had been appointed as a tour conductor for a group of travel agents to the land of Buddha… Astonishing and intriguing India! this is where I met my wife to be.

Our first stop on our way to the land of the Taj Mahal, was Frankfurt, a stopover of one night, we stayed in a mall and cozy hotel between the airport and the city.

Next morning we were bound to Incredible India, a 9-hour flight with a superb service, even though we were not in first or business class, the service onboard was great.

We landed at the international airport in New Delhi, after clearing customs we were to get the greatest impact we could ever get visiting a large and overpopulated city.

Delhi, the capital of India has a strong historical background. It was ruled by some of the most powerful emperors in Indian history.

“Once there was nothing here.
Now look how minarets camouflage the sunset.
Do you hear the call to prayer?
It leaves me unwinding scrolls of legend
till I reach the first brick they brought here.
How the prayers rose, brick by brick?”
–Agha Shahid Ali

Delhi has been a witness to the political turmoil for over five centuries. It was ruled by the Mughals in succession to Khiljis and Tughlaqs. After independence in 1947, New Delhi was officially declared as the Capital of India.

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Zen teacher Dogen and the Soto approach to Zen

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About Dogen Zenji

(Taken from Prof. Masunaga book ‘Soto Approach to Zen’, the chapter: ‘The place of Dogen’, pages 203-214)

The place of Dogen
It was Dogen (1200-1253) who first brought Soto Zen to Japan. Keizan (1268-1325) made possible the popularization of Soto Zen, thereby laying the foundation for the large religious organization, which it is today. Dogen, born in a noble family, quickly learned the meaning of the Buddhist word “mujo” (impermanence). While still young, he lost both his parents. He decided then to become a Buddhist priest and search for truth. He went first to Mt. Hiei, the headquarters of the sect.

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The Way Of Dharma

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Dharma is a key concept with multiple meanings in the Indian religions Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.

Buddhism is a nontheistic religion or philosophy that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha.

Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana. Theravada has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Mahayana is found throughout East Asia.

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On my Way to The Lion City

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The Lion City

After an awesome experience in Japan, where I experienced my first encounter with a Zen Temple, Now I was bound to Singapore, The Lion City!

One of the most popular stories in Singapore is the tale of how it earned the nickname of The Lion City.

The Lion City

The Lion City

In 1299, there was a Prince named Sang Nila Utama. He was the emperor of the Srivijayan Empire, which included Malaysia, Singapore, and Sumatra.

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My First Zen Temple in Japan

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Learning about Zen has been the greatest thing that has happened to my in my life, I was so identified with the teaching, the whole concept, I do recognize that at the beginning there were many thins I didn’t really understand and not having a Zen center and teacher on hand, only my readings and all my enthusiasm to learn to practice, was not easy but I managed to continue my practice, unfortunately, in those times there was no Internet which mad it harder, as now with the web there are many online programs to help you learn Zen.

I was assigned a group of travel agents to the far east and we were going to visit Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. In Japan, we would stay in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto and naturally, we would go to the Great Buddha of Kamakura, an impressive bronze statue, and a beautiful park, among many other places.

It was the first morning I woke up in Tokyo, in Japan! Can you imagine? Naturally I sat down to meditate for a short period of time, here I was, me meditating in the far east, that was so awesome!

Ohara VillageWhen we were in Kyoto, I ask the guide if it was possible to include a visit to a Zen Temple or Zen Monastery, so he arranged for us, a one-day visit to Ohara, it is located in northern Kyoto City, and is also known as “Ohara Village”. Millions of people visit Nanzen-Ji and Jakko-in Temples in the Ohara area annually. It was such a wonderful experience for me and the group liked it also very much.

We said “Farewell” to Japan and then we were on our way to Singapore and HongKong, don’t miss my next post!

Discovering Zen

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Back in the times, I was in Ensenada in Baja, I would go often to San Diego and visit the library, I started to read on Vedanta and Eknath Easwaran and I became fascinated with the concept o Karma & Mantra. I started to repeat a Mantra, I really didn’t have one, so I made one up. Later I remembered I had gone some years before to a 2-day intensive meditation session at Swami Muktananda’s center in Mexico and I remembered the Mantra I was given then.

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What will be, will be, so they say!

On one of my posts, I published an article about what writers struggle with, and it is so true, we start with the enthusiasm of the world, then, usually in the middle, we feel our writing stinks and then we leave it for later or we just dump it somewhere.

Lately, I feel my writing is more fluid and the ideas come right at the moment I need them, maybe it is so much I’ve been reading, as a writer has to be, first of all, a good dedicated reader, and also, practice daily writing; write, write, write… The best advice an aspiring writer can ever get is:

“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens”. – Ray Bradbury

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James Scott Bell Author & Bestseller

I enjoy very much reading James Scott Bell’s books and watching his videos that I’m publishing this article of New Release Today, and I invite all my readers that are looking for a source to learn & write better to look him up at Amazon.

James Scott Bell is the award-winning author of several novels of suspense and historical intrigue. His fiction has been compared by Booklist and the Los Angeles Times to Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, two of his favorite authors.
A former trial lawyer, Jim has also been the fiction columnist for Writers Digest Magazine and adjunct professor of writing at Pepperdine University. His book on writing, Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure is one of the most popular writing books available today. Jim grew up in Los Angeles. “It’s my home,” he says. The sunset over the ocean, silhouette of palm trees against burnt orange sky, the mountains, the Hollywood Bowl on a warm summer evening. I guess I’m one of the few people who lives here who admits liking it.”

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Remembering Europe

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It was a Boeing 707 of KLM, the Royal Dutch Airline, a great and beautiful aircraft, I really miss those times when the jet-age was beginning.  I was going for an airline tickets & tariffs course in Schipol, Amsterdam,  I was sure it was going to be a great experience. The hotel was awesome, with a 1650 façade and modern interior with an exquisite danish style in the interiors. In Holland; Amsterdam, Delft, Den Hage and Rotterdam were the cities I visited on a one day Grand Holland Tour, I was amazed that a whole country could be visited in one day, they have so many beautiful cities, towns, and places, others I didn’t have the chance to visit. like Keukenhof where they grow thousands of Tulips.

I was so lucky as to haven been invited to fly First Class in Air France to Paris and visit the french riviera, Nice & Cannes to  a worldwide presentation, we spent 5 days there, we took a day off to go to Montecarlo in Monaco, we visit the famous casino and the breathtaking Oceanographic Museum. I was chosen to drive a rented car, we returned via the famous “Le Grand Corniche”, what a great experience I’ll never forget it.

oceanographic-museum

The Oceanographic Museum in Montecarlo

72% of Writers Struggle With THIS!

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In a survey we recently conducted, seventy-two percent of people said they were focusing on or struggling to do one thing: finish their book.

In a recent survey we conducted, 72% of people said they were focusing on or struggling to finish writing a book.

The fact that so many said they struggle knowing how to finish writing a book did not surprise me.

Nearly every day, I hear from writers who want to finish their book but don’t know how. They tell me they have great ideas, have already finished a few chapters, but they just can’t summon the motivation to complete what they started.

Read On: TheWritePractice