Buddha Happy

This was a great big Buddha by the cashier in the vegetarian restaurant. 

He is, so to say, “fat and happy” (come on you can’t miss that belly)!

I think that’s the message the eatery is trying to get across. 

The only problem is that fat does not make happy; it just makes you want to lose weight. 

Then again, no really hungry person was ever that happy either. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Mastering Cheerfulness

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Mastering Cheerfulness.” 

During Covid-19, it is easy to get down about all the people getting sick (many dying) and for the rest of us the intense feelings of isolation. However, during this time (and particularly this week of Thanksgiving), I am learning the importance of staying positive and appreciating all G-d’s blessings that we do have. More broadly, I am coming to understand that inside a person, G-d exists amidst love, kindness and cheerfulness: these are elements that nourish the flame of our soul and wherein G-d happily coexists with us. It makes a lot of sense that when we are angry, jealous, or sad, the holy Shechinah (presence of G-d) cannot fully reside inside us. Because G-d Himself is gracious, kind, and loving and created us from this, so His spirit within us (our soul) flourishes amidst these feelings, but diminishes within us like a flame without oxygen when we distance ourselves emotionally and spiritually.

Just like one candlelight extinguishes the darkness around it, so also the light that we nurture within ourselves can extinguish the darkness that we occasionally feel inside.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Modeh Ani – Thank you G-d

Beautiful song after the prayer, Modeh Ani that Jews say every morning immediately when we wake up. 

I give thanks to You, living and eternal King for you have restored my soul within me with mercy; Your faithfulness is great.

Thank you G-d for everything you do for us.

Your mercy endures forever!

As Sholom Aleichem say: we should not know the taste of hunger.  😉

(Credit Video: Omer Adam עומר אדם)

Beautiful Japanese Pagoda

Japanese pagoda signifying the elements of earth, air/sky, fire and water.

Beautiful integration of stone into natural surroundings. 

Centered, self-reflection, mindfulness, enlightenment, peace. 

You can see this at Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden in Delray Beach, Florida. 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)