Tag Archives: trees

Beauty in the photographs details: Hollyhock Chair Boat

There is so much in this photograph that I love.

The place itself I love. It is the Hollyhock Retreat center on Cortes Island in British Columbia, a beautiful, remote, and Magical, Transformative place, especially in the summertime. I first went there in 1978 And attended a 13 week long Resident fellow program with a different workshop each week. I attended a dream workshop where I learned that I was Dan, Dan, The rainbow man, a healer and a teacher. And for the last 45 years, I’ve lived being a Healer and a teacher. I learned about Quan Yen (or Kuan Yin),The bodhisattva of compassion. I learned it from John Blofeld, that Very British China convert, Who wrote so beautifully about Quan Yen (or Kuan Yin), and also  translated the I Ching. John Blofeld so enjoyed his afternoon tea :). I learned about the I Ching, and Tarot cards. And I learned from the wind, the trees, low and high tides, I learned from the lapping of the water, BJ, Whiskey and orange juice, early morning sunshine, the wonderful gardens, and even more wonderful vegetarian meals. I learned by working with Bill Glackman, now a lifetime friend, doing handyman work around the then COld Mountain Institute.

But what do I love about this picture! I love the early morning light, with the side-light and long shadows. I love the empty chair and the empty boat, both waiting for us/me/you.

I can feel myself sitting in that chair, with my eyes closed, warm, with the sunshine on my face and arms in the cool morning, and ever so gently, I feel a slight breeze. With each breath, I breathe in the light, salty smells of the sea. I hear the gentle lapping of water on the beach. I hear the bird calls of morning,  welcoming the new day. That chair is a place to simply be, mindfully and appreciatively.

The empty boat, red and white and waiting, Is not about mindfulness. The empty boat is about adventure awaiting! Come,Let us row away to adventure! Morning is the time for both contemplation and beginning of adventures! I love that in this photograph.

I love the colors, the greens of the grass and the tree. I love the shades of blues in the sea, and in the mountains across the sea.  I love the bands of lighter color blue on the water.

I love how small I am in that early morning light, And how big that quiet sea is,  and how the shrouded mountains are at the top the photograph.

I love the lines of the small waves, lapping towards the shore.

I love the juxtaposition of the living Green tree, the stump, and the wooden chair. Three stages of existence?

I love the variations between the rocky shore, The tidal zone with it’s small rocks and mud , and the two big rocks In the nearby shallow water.

When I look at this picture, I feel gratitude, the hopes of a new morning, The beckoning of mindfulness and adventure, and the sheer beauty of it all: colors, bands of blue and green, and waves, sea, trees, shore, chair, boat, and distant mountains… and ME!

Lago De Claire Promenade Irving Texas July 2015

Every morning for nine days I got up about 4-6 AM  to walk early, watch the sunrise, and avoid 100-106° heat  and humidity that would come later in the day in Irving Texas. But even this early,  the temperature was in the 80s and it was Muggy.  The walk around the artificial lake is 1.3 miles and I would walk it  three times,  often as the stars twinkled out and the sun rose. I loved how the sweet scent of flowers greeting the morning sky. I liked  all the artificial beauty,  the lines, perfectly spaced trees, perfectly spaced light posts  all in a row.  I loved the statue of the dancers,  people walking their dogs, people absorbed in their headphones, the sound of birds.  I loved how good it felt to walk!

Click on any of the photos to see the caption and the slideshow.

Jubilee Trail Photos

I love the 3 mile walk from my home to the beach and back in the very early morning when rabbits and squirrels are on the trail, and people aren’t. The squish squish sounds of my feet on gravel. The clop clop sound of my feet on the paved part of the path. The greens of the forest, the coolness as I enter the woods. The snags, the sounds of birds, the emptying of my mind and the gratitude I feel. I love the Madrona trees with their red peeling bark, the tall evergreens, the snags, the blackberries, even the new development that is being built next to the quiet forest.

This was once a munitions loading dock area in WWII, a time gone now, covered by trees that don’t remember, and birds that sing, and flowers that open their secret  scents in the early morning light.

Click on any photo to see its caption.

Agopal Hotel Songea Tanzania 2015

Susan and I have stayed at the Agopal Hotel in Songea, Tanzania for the last 3 years as I completed my Fulbright Specialist lectures on Positive Psychology and Counseling Psychology to St. Augustines University and the medical school, and while Susan prepared and brought students on service trips to Chipole.

It is a wonderful oasis just outside of Songea built by a former Tanzanian Ambassador with wonderful rooms with hot showers, air conditioning, and beautiful green landscaping. A bit more expensive (and infinitely much better than the rooms in town that cost 20,000 TZS (about $10), the cost here for a wonderful large room with breakfast was 60,000 TZS (or about $30 a night). So peaceful compared to the hectic, loud, red dusty, and motorcycle-clogged and very busy Songea.

The doors are on the house where the widow of the ambassador lives on the grounds of the hotel. Enjoy!

Favorite Photos: Hollyhock B.C. Tree, Empty Chair, Sea, Boat, and Me, and 3 others!

Hollyhock Tree, Empty Chair, Sea, Boat, and Me

Today, February 1, 2015 is my 66th Birthday. I can think of no better favorite photos to celebrate my Birthday than these four from one of my favorite holy spaces/learning centers/ and retreat Centers in the world: Hollyhock Retreat/Learning Center on Cortes Island in British Columbia, Canada.

I first attended when this sacred beautiful place was called Cold Mountain Institute and I spent 13 weeks there are as a “resident Fellow”  in 1978? working on the retreat center and taking weeklong workshops on everything from “Tarot Carots” to “Kuan Yin: Goddess of Compassion” to “Dreams” and the “I Ching.”

My favorite photo for Birthdays and other new beginnings is my “Empty Chair, Sea, Boat, Tree, and Me” photo. The empty chair and empty boat wait for me (or you), in sunshine as tides turn and gentle waves lap gemtly to the shore in early morning sunshine. Beckoned.

Graceful, slow moving, herons in the early morning, with low tide and such blue waters, and forest, and mountains in the distance; these provide peaceful meditative moments that help make this place sacred and healing.

The gorgeous twisting shapes of trees silhouetted against blue incoming seas, and nearby islands, and the wooden deck where I, and many others, have laid nude in the summer sun over these many years. These bring back soft, warm, breeze memories,  and memories of the sounds of water lapping to the shore.

The poppies, one in sunshine one in shade, yings and yangs of colors. Parchment thin colors, beauty. They dazzle me quietly with their sun opened color and brilliance.

Holy Hollyhock, Holy Cold Mountain. Thank you for helping shape me with your nature, and your beauty.


Favorite Photos: Fall 2013 at Bloedel Reserve, WA

Fall 2013 at Bloedel Reserve, WA

Click on any of the thumbnails to see an enlarged version, with description.

These photos were composed on a wonderful Fall late afternoon in the golden light of a beautiful, magical place, Bloedel Reserve in Washington, Near Poulsbo.

Here are the photos full size for your viewing pleasure.