Winter Break Family Trip — Ligai Canyon

Winter Break Family Trip — Ligai Canyon

The third stop of our family winter break trip was the Ligai Canyon, and what an incredible experience it turned out to be. We had initially planned to visit Antelope Canyon, but all the tour tickets were sold out. Instead, the agent suggested we visit Ligai Canyon, a similar but lesser-known destination, the ticket is $70 per person, and we were pleasantly surprised by what we found.

Ligai Canyon is located on Navajo private property, and all the tour guides are from the same family. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and friendly, he shared a wealth of information about the Navajo culture and way of life. He told us about the significance of blue as a protective color and showed us his beautiful turquoise bracelet. He also shared details about the four sacred mountains, the use of native herbs for medicine, and the Navajo’s life on their huge ranch, which is 6 miles by 6 miles.

We had very small group, just 6 people, and the tour place was not crowded at all. The tour guide shared that when he was a child, the canyons were his playground, and he and his friends had parties in the upper Antelope Canyon during their high school years. He never imagined that people would pay theme park prices to visit these places that were once their playgrounds.

The Canyon truly captures the beauty and power of nature. It’s awe-inspiring to think about how the canyon was formed over millions of years by the forces of water and wind. The intricate patterns and shapes carved into the stone walls of the canyon are a testament to the sheer force of nature.

As you explore the canyon, you’ll be struck by the diversity of its features. From the heart-shaped carvings on the walls to the narrow pathways and towering cliffs, each aspect of the canyon offers something unique and breathtaking. The dynamic spiral shapes that wind their way up the walls are particularly mesmerizing, and add to the overall sense of movement and energy that permeates the canyon.

Another striking feature of the Ligai Canyon is its reddish hue. This rich, vibrant color is the result of the iron oxide in the rock, and adds an extra layer of beauty to an already stunning landscape. Whether you’re gazing up at the towering cliffs or admiring the intricate patterns on the walls, you’ll be awed by the sheer magnificence of this natural wonder.

At the end of the tour, our guide imparted some wise words to my two sons. He told them to learn from their grandparents and parents, and to hold onto their native language, as there is a wealth of wisdom and knowledge contained within it. My sons were deeply moved by his words, and I could see that they had taken his message to heart.

I hope that they will continue to pass down the Chinese culture to future generations, preserving its rich history and traditions. This was truly the highlight of the tour for me, and I am grateful for the guide’s insights and encouragement. By imparting these valuable lessons to my sons, he has given them a gift that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Winter Break Family Trip — Ligai Canyon


#Travel#AntelopeCanyonValley#Trails#Hiking#LagaiCanyon #Navajo#LigaiCanyon#NativeAmerica

49. The Groom Who Lost His Bride to the Stars [Astrology]

49. The Groom Who Lost His Bride to the Stars [Astrology]

Buddhist Tales for Young and Old, volume 1, Prince Goodspeaker, Stories 1-50

Once upon a time, there was a rich family living in Benares, in northern India. They arranged for their son to marry a good and honest girl from a nearby village. Being very pretty as well, they were sure they could not find a better wife for their son.

The groom’s family decided on a date for the wedding. The bride’s family agreed to meet them in the village on the wedding day.

Meanwhile, the rich family also had their own special astrological priest. When he found out they had picked the wedding day, without paying him to consult the stars, he became angry. He decided to get even with them.

When the wedding day arrived, the astrological priest dressed up in his finest robes, and called the family together. He bowed to them all, and then looked at his star charts very seriously. He told them that this star was too close to the horizon, and that planet was in the middle of an unlucky constellation, and the moon was in a very dangerous phase for having a wedding. He told them that, not seeking his advice, they had picked the worst day of the year for a wedding. This could only lead to a terrible marriage.

The frightened family forgot all about the wonderful qualities of the intended bride, and remained home in Benares.

Meanwhile the bride’s family had arranged everything for the village wedding ceremony. When the agreed upon hour arrived, they waited and waited for the future husband and his family. Finally they realized they were not coming. So they thought, “Those city people picked the date and time, and now they didn’t show up. This is insulting! Why should we wait any longer? Let our daughter marry an honourable and hard working village man.” So they quickly arranged a new marriage and celebrated the wedding.

The next day, the astrological priest said that, suddenly, the stars and planets and moon were in perfect positions for a wedding! So the Benares family went to the village and asked for the wedding to take place. But the village people said, “You picked the date and time. Then you disgraced us by not showing up!”

The city people replied, “Our family priest told us that yesterday the stars and planets and moon were in terrible positions. It was a very unlucky day for a wedding. But he has assured us that today is a most lucky day. So please send us the bride at once!”

The village family said, “You have no honour. You have made the choice of the day more important than the choice of the bride. It’s too late now! Our daughter has married another.” Then the two families began to quarrel heatedly.

A wise man happened to come along. Seeing the two families quarrelling he tried to settle the dispute.

The city people told him that they had respected the warnings of their astrological priest. It was because of the unlucky positions of the stars and planets and moon, that they had not come to the wedding.

The wise man said, “The good fortune was in the bride, not in the stars. You fools have followed the stars and lost the bride. Without your foolishness, those far off stars can do nothing!”

The moral is: Luck comes from actions, not from stars.

49. The Groom Who Lost His Bride to the Stars [Astrology]



#Buddhisttalesforyoungandold #Buddhiststories #storiesforkids #moralstories #Buddha #Jatakastories #PansiyaPanasJataka

Heart: Lifetime Advice from Kazuo Inamori

Heart: Lifetime Advice from Kazuo Inamori

The book Heart: Lifetime Advice from Kazuo Inamori is a concise guide to practical philosophy that draws from Kazuo Inamori’s extensive experience and wisdom accumulated over 80 years. This timeless work offers insight into the elusive concept of the “heart”. Kazuo Inamori, as an entrepreneur, also shares his unique approach to business management in it. The book also serves as a valuable educational resource for children and families. Its teachings provide a strong foundation for personal and familial growth.

This book, Heart: Lifetime Advice from Kazuo Inamori, is the final literary masterpiece by Mr. Kazuo Inamori. Despite being close to 90 years of age at the time of writing, he still managed to create a valuable piece of work. His journey from being a rural boy to becoming a business icon is truly remarkable. The book provides an insightful perspective on his life and success, which is an inspiration to many. Everyone, regardless of their starting point, can relate to the book and use it as a guide to find their own path in life.

Mr. Kazuo Inamori had a humble background and his early life was marked by numerous setbacks and disappointments. In his book, he recounts his experiences, including failing the elementary school entrance exam twice, a bout of tuberculosis, and being unable to gain admission to college. Despite these obstacles, he went on to have a successful career.

Through reading this book, I came to understand the hierarchical wisdom it contains. The book speaks to readers on different levels and allows us to find our own place within its pages and be moved by the stories and lessons it shares.

Its message is inspiring, encouraging us to reach for the stars, even if we fall short, and reminding us that we can never be covered in mud while reaching for our dreams. This is why I never tire of reading “Heart” and find it so valuable.

One of my favorite experiences mentioned in the book about Mr. Kazuo Inamori is how his personal experiences have contributed to his successes. He has repeatedly used these experiences as inspiration and motivation for his continued success. This recurring theme is frequently mentioned throughout the book.

After graduating from college, when the job market was bleak, Mr. Kazuo Inamori struggled to find employment. Eventually, his teacher introduced him to a company where he could work, but the company was in dire straits, with partners quitting one by one until he was the only one left.

Most people would have been discouraged and defeated in such circumstances, but Mr. Kazuo Inamori made a different choice. He decided to completely change his mentality and work harder than ever. He was determined to give his best effort, no matter how challenging the environment was, and even went as far as to move into the laboratory to be closer to his work.

As he immersed himself in his work, he found that distractions such as the unfavorable social environment, company situation, and negative coworkers, faded away. Good ideas and new ways of thinking came to him naturally. Eventually, he developed a revolutionary new material that was ahead of its time.

The story of Mr. Kazuo Inamori and his company is truly remarkable, and he attributes his success not to improved abilities or favorable conditions, but to a change in his mindset. He realized that everything in life is a reflection of one’s heart, and that by changing his heart, he was able to change his life for the better. Through his experience, I learned that following one’s heart is not enough, but that it is important to continually refine and polish one’s heart, in order to live a happier and more fulfilling life.

Heart: Lifetime Advice from Kazuo Inamori


#Heart #Kazuo Inamori#Entrepreneur #lifetimeAdvice


Celebrating the Chinese New Year in San Francisco’s Chinatown

Celebrating the Chinese New Year in San Francisco’s Chinatown

On Saturday, February 4th, the streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown were filled with the sounds and sights of the Chinese New Year parade. Thousands of people gathered to celebrate and enjoy the festivities.

The entire Chinatown was decorated in traditional Chinese style, adding to the already lively atmosphere. Street markets sold traditional Chinese goods and food, and the sounds of live music filled the air.

The parade, which started at 5 PM, was a highlight of the celebration. Floats, marching bands, and performers made their way through the crowded streets, bringing the excitement and energy to a whole new level. However, rain, showers and winds also joined the parade. That brought little bit uncomfortable to the crowds.

One of the highlights of the parade was the traditional lion and dragon dances, performed by skilled dancers dressed in colorful costumes. These dances are believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year, and the crowds were enthralled by the displays.

In addition to local performers, marching bands from Southern California and Oregon also made the journey to San Francisco to participate in the parade. The diversity of performers added to the already rich cultural atmosphere, and showcased the strong connection between the different Chinese communities across the United States. Despite the rain and showers, the spirit of the event was not dampened, and it was a beautiful tribute to the start of a new year.

As a proud Chinese, I was thrilled to participate in the Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Living in the United States is a privilege, as this great nation has an open heart that accepts and embraces diverse cultures. I hope to see the US play a leading role in promoting peace and harmony globally.

Celebrating the Chinese New Year in San Francisco’s Chinatown


#ChineseNewYear#ChineseCulture#SanFrancisco #ChinaTown#Parade


Wisdom Tea


Faith is an important concept in Vajrayana or Esoteric Buddhism. It is especially important in the beginning, but it is an essential component in all stages of practice. When you begin to practice Buddhism, you may not understand the essence of the Dharma and thus cannot enter into true practice. As a result, you will not be able to experience any beneficial effects from your practice. You may not be able to acquiregood fortuneandwisdomor manifestsupernormal powersimmediately.

At this time, you must be careful not to commit the offense of giving rise to doubt about either your Vajra Master or the Dharma, since this will cause you to incur even more karmic obstacles and thus make it even more difficult to receive any benefits. Patience is very important at this stage in your practice. It is not uncommon for beginners to experiencekarmic retributionon this path as conditions from past activities…

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Supernormal Powers in Buddhism

Wisdom Tea

Supernormal Powers in Buddhism

by the International Buddhism Sangha Association and taken from the book
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III:

Do Buddhists advocate supernatural powers? Actually, this is not a matter of advocating or not advocating. Rather, supernatural powers are that which everyone who is accomplished in the dharma possesses. Such powers are the manifestation of realization achieved through cultivation. They are phenomena that exist in the course of cultivation but are not the goal of cultivation, which is liberation from the cycle of birth and death. They are by-products that arise during one’s practice. These by-products called supernatural phenomena naturally exist in all liberating paths within the Buddha-dharma. Becoming attached to these by-products and regarding them as the goal is heretical supernatural powers. Applying these by-products in a free and unattached way and regarding them as illusory is treating supernatural powers based on the correct Buddha-dharma view.


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I consider my personal suffering a blessing because, from it, I learned the Tathagata Buddha Dharma

I consider my personal suffering a blessing because, from it, I learned the Tathagata Buddha Dharma

My life journey has been accompanied by a multitude of disasters and suffering. Even though I protested and complained, I could never find the answer to why I had to endure so much. At the same time, I felt lost and was at a loss as to what my life path should be.

Perhaps, because I had suffered so much, the compassionate Buddhas and Bodhisattvas provided an opportunity for me to finally listen to the dharma discourse “Do you Truly Believe in Cause and Effect,” expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III.  From the unfathomable expanse of the universe to a minor thought rising from our consciousness, the law of cause and effect never errs. It became clear to me; all my trials and tribulations, from birth, were of my own doing since time immemorial.

I was born in a rural village to parents who did not receive much education. I was the second child and, because I was short, was nicknamed “the little one.”

One day, at the age of one, my parents had to work in the mountains, so they left me alone in the house. When I woke up, I climbed onto a table and knocked over a lantern, which fell onto my bed. The bed immediately caught fire as the whole house quickly filled with dense smoke. Our neighbor saved me from the fire just in the nick of time.

Photo by Pixabay on

When I was three years old, I fell from the 3rd floor and struck my forehead on a rock just missing my eye.  There was no surgeon to sew up my injury. Consequently, a deep scar would forever remain on my forehead. Later, for unknown reasons, I dislocated my shoulder and fractured a bone. At the time, the neighbors speculated that I would not remain in this world much longer. Not only were boys heavily favored over girls, but I was born in the year of the tiger. My family thought I would bring bad luck upon them. If not for my mother’s love and insistence, my grandfather would have given me away. 

Later on, due to economic hardship, my parents travelled extensively to make a living for the family. I remained behind, in the care of relatives and neighbors, alternating from home to home.

I started to look after myself when I was only eight years old.  I raised rabbits, a hen, and a pig. Finally, my grandfather took me in when I entered the third grade of grammar school. As young as I was at that time, I often wondered what was the purpose of living? Was there any purpose to life? To me, life felt like nothing more than chewing on bitter grass and swallowing acrid and nauseating liquid. I thought about gulping down pesticides to end my life, thinking there would be no more suffering after death.

Perhaps the benevolent Buddhas and Bodhisattvas instilled a reason for me not to take my own life – I would break my mother’s heart. I could not bear the thought of my mother suffering so much for my actions…

So I did not take my own life, but misery seemed to enjoy my company. How could my misfortunes not be attributed to retribution for past transgressions? My suffering had nothing to do with unfairness or fate, but as the direct result of my past actions motivated by greed, hatred, and ignorance. The laws of cause and effect require there be no diminishment to retribution.

Through respectfully listening to dharma discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III , I finally realized that suffering was not imposed upon me by accident, but the unavoidable retribution of my past transgressions. The only way to steer clear of suffering and disaster is to undertake all righteous actions, regardless how minor, and avoid wrongdoing, no matter how minuscule. From the bottom of my heart, I repented all of my past wrongdoings and began facing every misfortune without fear.  Life is but a dream; good fortune and suffering are equal in many ways, but for me, suffering carries even greater significance. It’s imperative to face the consequences of one’s own actions. Now, I am able to face them from a very different mindset. Suffering was the genesis that led me to understand why I need to learn Buddhism. From the teachings of the Buddhas, we discover the purpose and true meaning of life. To eliminate greed, hatred, ignorance, pleasure-seeking, happiness, anger, sadness, and joy; to let go of our egos; to guide and encourage more people to do all that is good and avoid committing wrongdoings. We shall follow the great teachings of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III to transcend from this mundane and afflicted world to reach true liberation and enlightenment!

I consider my personal suffering a blessing because, from it, I learned the Tathagata Buddha Dharma


#DorjeChangBuddhaIII # HHDorjeChangBuddhaIII  #Cultivation #Buddhism#Buddhist # Causality


Ode to The Plum Blossom

Ode to The Plum Blossom

Recently, I stumbled upon breathtaking plum blossoms while taking a walk. These delicate flowers evoked feelings of warmth and joy, reminding me of the arrival of spring. In Chinese culture, plum blossoms, beyond just being a physical flower, have become a symbol of perseverance and resilience in the face of harsh winter conditions. This significance was achieved through the extensive descriptions, sublimations, and chanting by literati and scholars over the ages. In ancient China, plum blossoms were considered a lucky symbol and were welcomed as a sign of the arrival of spring during the New Year.

When I was a child, my father taught me to recite the poem “Ode to the Plum Blossom” by Zedong Mao, reminding me to be fearless and strong like the plum blossom that blooms amidst harsh winter conditions. I really like the poem, and can still remember it.

Ode to the Plum Blossom

—to the tune of Bu Suan Zi

By Zedong Mao, December 1961

Wind and rain escorted Spring’s departure, 

Flying snow welcomes Spring’s return. 

On the ice-clad rock rising high and sheer 

A flower blooms sweet and fair. 

Sweet and fair, she craves not Spring for herself alone, 

To be the harbinger of Spring she is content. 

When the mountain flowers are in full bloom 

She will smile mingling in their midst.

But after many years of struggles, I realized that bravery and strength aren’t always enough, especially in managing relationships and family. As a wife and mother, I learned the importance of being magnanimous, compassionate, forbearing, and not rigid. I have since embraced the peaceful and compassionate philosophy of Buddhism.

H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, the contemporary Buddha, wrote a poem “Plum Fragrance in the Holy Land.” He broke from traditional poetry styles, instead opting for surreal techniques to directly convey spiritual essence.

To the Tune of “Jiang Jun Song”

Plum Fragrance in the Holy Realm

Reveal her icy bearing and proud bones,

See how plum blossom commands the scene,

The crowd of beauties suddenly lacks color,

Seductive peach has lost its looks.

A few casual strokes,

So many eons of wind and dust.

The smoke and fire of the human world all disappears,

Leaving only a pure fragrance from the paper,

It wafts over me, awakening my mind.

The smile of the enchanted dream still remains,

Buddha Vajradhara has come

Three times to this world.

To this Buddha Land of merciful compassion

That great one has brought purity,

Feelings of the brush,

Traces of the brush,

One smile in the wind and dust,

Now the wind and dust,

So many eons of wind and dust.

The Buddha also created an ink painting to accompany the poem. The poem delves deeper into the artist’s thoughts, while the painting provides a visual representation.

The plum blossoms depicted in the paintings symbolize the artist’s state of mind, embodying inner beauty refined from impurities. The brushwork, casually applied, was accomplished with an unfettered hand and detached mind, free of the slightest artificiality. It is a seemingly ever-changing work. Its charm, tone, transitions, and depictions represent the highest level of Eastern ink-and-wash paintings. A transparent layer of lighter ink on top of darker ink is clearly visible, imbuing the painting with a pure and fragrant air and providing the viewer with a feeling of comfort and ease.

The plum blossoms created by these skilled pens are eternal. While natural blooms may come and go, Buddha’s compassion remains steadfast.

Ode to The Plum Blossom


#DorjeChangBuddhaIII #HHDorjeChangBuddhaIII#DorjeChangBuddha#IAMA#InternationalArtMuseumofAmerica#ChinesePaintings#PlumBlossom#Paintings#


Winter Break Family Trip — Zion National Park

Winter Break Family Trip — Zion National Park

Our second stop on the road trip was Zion National Park. Zion National Park is a stunning natural wonder with over 200 sq. miles of diverse landscapes, towering cliffs, and diverse flora and fauna. It attracts more visitors than Yosemite National Park last year. Zion offers a unique blend of adventure, beauty, and inspiration.

One of the hikes we did was the Angel’s Landing trail, a 5-mile round trip that is considered to be very challenging. The trail is steep and zigzags up the mountain, and a permit is required to complete the entire hike.

Despite the difficulty, my older son and husband were determined to reach the summit. They persevered and eventually made it to the top, where they were rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. In winter time the mountain top gets really icey, micro spikes are highly recommended.

I was unable to finish the Angel’s Landing trail, due to the challenging winding path resembling Lombard Street. I had to stop just before the permit-required section, feeling exhausted. Nevertheless, I still appreciated the views from my stopping point. Although I didn’t reach the summit, the overall experience was still memorable.

It’s worth noting that the Angel’s Landing trail can be dangerous, and since 2004, 17 people have died while attempting it. It’s important to be prepared and take all necessary precautions when tackling this challenging hike.

Riverside Trails

We explored other trails at the following day, like the Riverside Trail, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Despite heavy rain and feeling cold and wet, we were unable to fully enjoy the hike. However, we look forward to returning to the majestic and awe-inspiring Zion National Park in better weather. Overall, Zion National Park was an amazing experience and it is a must-see destination for anyone who loves nature and outdoor activities.

Winter Break Family Trip — Zion National Park


#Travel#ZionNationalPark #Trails#Hiking#Angeleslanding

The Hanging Temple in China

By Charlie fong – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The Hanging Temple in China

China have about a dozen of hanging temples. They are truly relics in Chinese architecture history. The most famous hanging Temple, is Hengshan Hanging Temple, Hanging Monastery or Xuankong Temple, is a unique and ancient structure located in Hunyuan County, Datong City, Shanxi Province, China. This temple is built into a cliff that stands 75 meters or 246 feet above the ground, near Mount Heng. The closest city, Datong, is located 64 kilometers or 40 miles to the northwest.

The Hanging Temple is one of the main tourist attractions and historical sites in the Datong area, along with the Yungang Grottoes. It is considered unique because it is the only existing temple that combines three Chinese traditional philosophies or religions: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. The structure is held in place with oak crossbeams that are fitted into holes chiseled into the cliffs, and the main supportive structure is hidden inside the bedrock.

The temple was built more than 1,500 years ago by a monk named Liaoran in 491 AD. Over the years, many repairs and extensions have been made to the temple, leading to its present-day scale. The temple comprises of 40 halls and pavilions that are all built on cliffs that are over 30 meters or 98 feet from the ground. The distance from north to south is longer than from east to west, and it becomes higher and higher as one moves from the south gate to the north along the mountain.

The temple’s layout includes the Qielan Hall (Hall of Sangharama), Sanguan Hall (Hall of Three Officials), Chunyang Hall, Hall of Sakyamuni, Hall of Three Religions, and Guanyin Hall. The Hall of Three Religions mainly enshrines Buddhist deities, as well as both Taoism and Confucianism. The statues of Sakyamuni (middle), Lao-Tze (left) and Confucius (right) are enshrined in the hall, reflecting the prevailing idea of “Three Teaching Harmonious as One” in the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368–1911).

By Zhangzhugang – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Hanging Temple is a unique and ancient structure that combines three Chinese traditional philosophies or religions, and is one of the main tourist attractions and historical sites in the Datong area. Its location on a sheer precipice and its history make it a must-see destination for anyone visiting China.

You can visit the Hanging Temple all year around, but considering the Datong weather, normally from April to October is the best period. Datong has a temperate continental climate with distinct seasons, low rainfall, a short summer, and a long freezing winter (November–March).

There are big temperature differences between morning and night, day to day, and mountain and valley, so please bring a warm jacket with you even if you travel in the summer time.

In order to protect the temple, the number of visitors is limited to 80 in the temple at a time. Therefore, it is recommended to visit the Hanging Temple early in the morning to avoid long waits especially in the high travel seasons (summer and holidays).

The Hanging Temple in China


#HangingTemple#Buddhism#Datongcity#TravelChina # Architecture #ChineseCulture#Travel #Temple