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Dreamreflectionz by Lee Jorgensen

Passionate about people, travels, wine, critters, nature and all the other magic moments of life!

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Thoughts

Message from the Dalai Lama

This article was published yesterday and really hit the spot.  Whatever your faith or politics, I thought it might give hope to others, too.

‘Prayer Is Not Enough.’ The Dalai Lama on Why We Need to Fight Coronavirus With Compassion

 

Sometimes friends ask me to help with some problem in the world, using some “magical powers.” I always tell them that the Dalai Lama has no magical powers. If I did, I would not feel pain in my legs or a sore throat. We are all the same as human beings, and we experience the same fears, the same hopes, the same uncertainties.
From the Buddhist perspective, every sentient being is acquainted with suffering and the truths of sickness, old age and death. But as human beings, we have the capacity to use our minds to conquer anger and panic and greed. In recent years I have been stressing “emotional disarmament”: to try to see things realistically and clearly, without the confusion of fear or rage. If a problem has a solution, we must work to find it; if it does not, we need not waste time thinking about it.
We Buddhists believe that the entire world is interdependent. That is why I often speak about universal responsibility. The outbreak of this terrible coronavirus has shown that what happens to one person can soon affect every other being. But it also reminds us that a compassionate or constructive act—whether working in hospitals or just observing social distancing—has the potential to help many.
Ever since news emerged about the coronavirus in Wuhan, I have been praying for my brothers and sisters in China and everywhere else. Now we can see that nobody is immune to this virus. We are all worried about loved ones and the future, of both the global economy and our own individual homes. But prayer is not enough.
This crisis shows that we must all take responsibility where we can. We must combine the courage doctors and nurses are showing with empirical science to begin to turn this situation around and protect our future from more such threats.
In this time of great fear, it is important that we think of the long-term challenges—and possibilities—of the entire globe. Photographs of our world from space clearly show that there are no real boundaries on our blue planet. Therefore, all of us must take care of it and work to prevent climate change and other destructive forces. This pandemic serves as a warning that only by coming together with a coordinated, global response will we meet the unprecedented magnitude of the challenges we face.
We must also remember that nobody is free of suffering, and extend our hands to others who lack homes, resources or family to protect them. This crisis shows us that we are not separate from one another—even when we are living apart. Therefore, we all have a responsibility to exercise compassion and help.
As a Buddhist, I believe in the principle of impermanence. Eventually, this virus will pass, as I have seen wars and other terrible threats pass in my lifetime, and we will have the opportunity to rebuild our global community as we have done many times before. I sincerely hope that everyone can stay safe and stay calm. At this time of uncertainty, it is important that we do not lose hope and confidence in the constructive efforts so many are making.
Published by Time Magazine – April 14, 2020

Moral Dilemma!

I have always tried to limit my use of Lightroom/Photoshop to turn my raw files into what I saw with my eyes.  Sure, I will remove distractions and perhaps add a very discreet vignette to keep the eyes within the frame.  But should I worry more about making images pop and create attention?  Everybody else seems to be doing it with pride and is not adding physical polarizers and other filters really the same thing?  Did Ansel Adams not dodge and burn?  I am conflicted, but suspect I will eventually get over it and fall into the action/overlay/filter trap and maybe even love it!

Here are some examples of photos that do not quite reflect reality – what do you think?

I want to call this post “Why the Anger”, but it is not a sufficient expression for the emotions, hurt, despair, need for hope and all the other feelings that are having a very unpleasant “party” in my heart, head and soul right now.

Like everybody else, I hear the names of places that get attacked by hatred; the Twin Towers, Oklahoma City, Norway, Paris, Istanbul, Miami, Baghdad, Brusells, San Bernadino, Kabul, Jerusalem, Dublin, Ankara, Moscow, Thailand, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, China, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, London – places we have never heard of and/or places we love dearly.

And now Nice…. Un quatorze juillet.

This year, I have personally been so emotionally affected by the places that mean something extra special to me, but there are people in places I cannot even place on the map who are crying and feeling hopeless and helpless just like me right now.

The rational me can fully understand anger, jealousy, fear of the unknown, social injustice, desperation, lack of education, lack of communication.  The caveman (and of course I include the cavewoman) has evolved so very little in spite of their gadgets, but I had hoped that history would have taught us that war, brutality and hatred have never solved a conflict or embellished our world.

Neither has passivity.  Not reading the news because it will ruin my day will probably make me feel a bit less pain, and so I have gained 10 minutes of living in a bubble.  My world will still be as ugly as before when I open my eyes again.

I am a Buddhist and I do not say that proudly, as if that would somehow make me a better person.  Nor am I “die-hard-Buddhist” who feels the need to observe rituals that make no sense to me.  If a two-year old were to ask me what it is to be a Buddhist to me, I think my answer would be “I want to create ripples”.  It is the only thing that is in my power and the only thing with which I can affect the world.  My ripples would be love, a smile, a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, absence of violence, an open heart to listen to the person on the other side of the room.  We all have that power regardless of our background or religion.  To choose a positive or a negative ripple to send through the Universe.  Not just on Christmas, Ramadan, Chinese New Year, but every day, every moment.   So when I hear that people say that  there is nothing we can do, forgive me for stating that you are wrong and just start sending out a little baby ripple in your own backyard and see where it takes you.  I guarantee no overnight miracles, but have to believe in positive ripples over retaliation or my life has no purpose.  And as far as I am concerned, we only have this life, this planet and each other, so let’s cherish it all with respect – and together.

There you have it.  No photo to become the next Ansel Adams, no brilliant philosophy.  Just my two cents in an ugly world, but that still makes me hope that Louis Armstrong was right.  Namaste.

 

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