43 year old Italian artist, Stefano Furlani, creates amazing characters and scenes with stones carefully selected for their color, shape, and size, found by him and his son on the beaches of the Italian town of Fano. It all started with an amusing game of finding stones with unusual shapes and geometries, but then they began to start putting them together, assembling more and more detailed and elaborate compositions. But their pieces built during the day were destroyed by the evening. So Stefano got the idea to paste them on a wooden base to cherish their little artworks for life. The designs range from animals, to famous music and movie stars, and to underwater scenes.
Furlani’s work has been acclaimed in Italy, written about in London, and a new show will be appearing in Germany this fall. His efforts began as a way to entertain his young son Davide on the beach in their town. Now he takes his skills to school in Italy where he helps young disabled children create their own work of sea–stone art. In July, he will be coming to Massachusetts For his first exhibition in the U.S. How I wish I could go to see his marvelous stone arts. The following are some of his creations.
My friend emailed me this article, and it is such a beautiful place that I couldn’t help but post it here to share with you. I did take a trip to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, and a few other places in China, but this place from the pictures looks so serene. I hope I can make a trip to visit this beautiful place soon.
Hubei, China is such a beautiful place, and even though it is not often mentioned by people,
but it has a reputation. There is an area often called “Little Tibet in Hubei,” “Shangri-La in Hubei,” or “Legend of the Secret.”
CNN regards it as “China’s most beautiful wonderland!” China’s National Geographic calls it “the most beautiful place in China!”
Yes, it is the city of Enshi!
When you go there, you will find it is not of this world, like a paradise or a wonderland.
Spring flowers bloom like a piece of brocade,
Summer feels more like a “natural air-conditioned room” – it is a veritable “cool city!”
In the autumn, fir and maple trees weave a beautiful picture from heaven.
Winters are snow-capped, like that of Northern scenery, when the area seems to become a “Chinese version of the Alps!”
Numerous sceneries are hidden here.
The beauty will take your breath away!
The magnificent scenery of Enshi Canyon, about 108 km long! It is as marvelous as the Grand Canyon in the USA.
Enshi Grand Canyon also contains a variety of land-forms: cliffs, peaks, caves, natural bridges, rivers, shafts, peak clusters, hanging valleys…
It is amazing to see both cliffs and peaks here. Walking on the 300-meter-high cliff promenade, I think I would be trembling.
One Incense Pillar is a thin pillar standing between the cliffs and peaks of the 108-kilometer-long Enshi Canyon. This incense stick-shaped peak is 150 meters tall, but only four meters wide, which makes it incredible that it stands at all, let alone that it’s survived several major earthquakes.
Qing River in Enshi.
Tenglong Cave is believed to be the longest single cave system in the world. The cave entrance is 74 m (243 ft) and 64 m (210 ft) wide, leading to 59.8 km (37.2 mi) of passageways. An underground network of streams runs for 16.8 km (10.4 mi) whilst the cave is the source of the Qingjiang River.
“The prayer beads are gone, but the Buddha is still with us!”
There was a temple known for possessing a string of beads that had been worn by Buddha, and only the old abbot and seven disciples knew where they had enshrined the beads.
The seven disciples were very savvy, and the old abbot felt that he could have entrusted any of them to brighten Dharma.
Unexpectedly, the beads suddenly disappeared.
The old abbot asked seven disciples: “As long as the beads are put back in its place, I will not pursue the matter, and neither will the Buddha.”
The disciples shook their heads, and no one admitted to anything!
Seven days passed, and still nobody knew the whereabouts of the rosary.
The old abbot said, “He who took it and admits will have the rosary.”
But seven days passed, and still no one admitted.
The old abbot was disappointed and demanded: “You will all go down to the Mountain tomorrow. He who took the beads can stay if he wants to.”
The next day, six of the disciples packed their things and said goodbye. Only one stayed behind.
The abbot asked him: “Where is the rosary?”
The disciple said, “I did not take it.”
“Why did you stay behind to be called a thief, if you did not take it?”
The disciple said: “We have been suspicious of each other. Someone needs to bear the responsibility so that the rest of us will get relief. Besides, the rosary is gone, but the Buddha is still with us.”
The old abbot smiled and took the rosary from within his robes and put it on the disciple.
This story gives me a lot of enlightenment.
Not all things need to be made clear.
Some things are more important than the ability to speak clearly: the ability to bear and act; the resolve to do so; to reverse; to change; to think of themselves, but also others; to take care of the overall situation, this is the law.
This is not only a realm; it is great wisdom.
Although I cannot change my life, I can change my outlook on life;
Although I cannot change my environment, I can change my state of mind;
Although I can not adjust my environment to adapt to my own life, I can adjust my attitude to adapt to the environment.
People who are content see the bitterness of the poor.
People who are not content see the happiness of the rich.
Those that we give to can bring happiness in return!
The fastest footsteps:
Do not cross boundaries, but are insistent.
The slowest pace:
Is not truly slow, but wandering.
The best way:
Is not a broad road, but requires patience.
The greatest happiness:
Is not to receive, but to show appreciation.
The best fortune:
Is not money, but to be satisfied.
The most freedom:
Is not to own, but to let go.
Mother Teresa said:
We often cannot do great things, but we can do small things with great love.
The original text of this article was in Chinese, and the author is unknown.
During an enemy attack, a soldier found a cave to take cover in. The enemy was trying to chase him so he went into the cave, praying that they wouldn’t see him there. All of a sudden, he felt a spider bite him. He was about to kill the spider, but he felt merciful and let the spider go. The spider climbed over to the opening of the cave and started to spin the web over the entrance. The enemy came up to the cave and saw that the web was untouched, so they figured nobody was in the cave. Thus, the soldier’s life was saved.
Enlightenment: Sometimes, when we help others we end up helping ourselves as well.
A father lost his pocket watch and searched everywhere for it. But, try as he might, he couldn’t find it after many hours. After he had left the room, his son came in and found it right away. His father asked, “How did you discover it?” He replied, “I just sat there quietly until I could hear the tick-tock, tick-tock of the clock.”
Enlightenment: Sometimes, if we are too busy and anxious trying to find something we want, we fail. But if we quiet down, we not only get what we want, but we also hear our inner voice.
There was a traveler who stopped by a temple and saw a monk. He asked him, “Before you became an enlightened monk, what do you do?” The monk replied, “I chop wood, carry water, and cook.” The traveler said, “What about after you became a monk? What do you do now?” The monk said, “I chop wood, carry water, and cook.” The traveler asked, “So there is no difference?” The old monk said, “Before becoming a monk, when I chop wood, I would worry about carrying water. When I carried the water, I would worry about cooking. When I was cooking, I would worry about chopping wood. But after becoming a monk, when I chop the wood, I just chop the wood. When I carry the water, I just carry the water. When I cook, I just cook.”
Enlightenment: We must live in the present; the “Dao” is very simple. We just need to use our common sense to understand it.
If you hold a 25-pound child, you won’t feel tired because you love him. But if 25 pounds of stone has replaced this child, I’m sure you will tire much more quickly.
Enlightenment: If a person doesn’t like what they are doing, no matter how talented or smart they are, they cannot fully develop their potential. But if they like what they do, then you will be surprised to see how much their ability has increased. A lot of times, if we don’t achieve something, it is not because we are not capable. It may not be in our favor or our interest.
During the Second World War, a Jewish family was being prosecuted. The family’s two sons went out to seek help. The older son looked for someone who helped him before while, the younger one went to look for someone he had helped before. In the end, the older son was rescued, but the younger son was betrayed.
Enlightenment: Whoever loves you will continue to help you willingly. But whomever you love will not necessary always do the same.
A robin was flying to the east when he met a dove. They rested on a tree, and the dove asked the robin where he was going. He replied, “I don’t want to leave. But the residents of this neighborhood said that my song is ugly.” The dove said, “Don’t try so hard. If you can never change your voice, wherever you go, you will not be welcome .”
The image is from American Robin, Identification
Enlightenment: We cannot change our environment, only ourselves.
A donkey fell into a dry well. People tried to save him, but it was impossible, so they decided to bury the donkey there. At first, the donkey cried sadly when he felt the soil on his back, after a while; he fell silent. Then the donkey started to shake off the dirt when it hit his back and stomped it under his foot. Gradually, the soil under his feet made him move higher and higher. With the increased height, he was able to jump out of the well, to everyone’s surprise.
Enlightenment: When life throws challenges at us, we have a choice. We can cry, complain, and idle. Or we can take action by shaking off the dirt that is thrown on us and move upward.