Orchids, Confucius and Darwin


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Orchids’ first association with humanity was said to be made by Confucius, as he said in Confucius’ Family Dialogue:  “The orchids let out their fragrance even if there is no one around to appreciate it. Likewise, men of noble character will not let poverty deter their will guided by high principles and morals.”(In Chinese“芝蘭生於森林, 不為無人而不芳, 君子修道立德, 不為窮困而改節.”)

On several occasions, Confucius expressed his deep love of orchids. He even called these magnificent plants the “King of Fragrance”. He, also along with many Chinese scholars, wrote numerous poems about orchids. The elegant appearance, the fragrance and the character of the orchids attract people to admire them and stand in awe of how they appear in this world.

Every year, at the beginning of March, there is an international orchid show in Santa Barbara. As I was told, it is the biggest one in the state.  I was overwhelmed by the displays when I paid a visit to the orchid show there the first time many years ago. There were thousands of beautiful orchids there for the people to enjoy. I love orchids so much that I try to go every year. On my blog, I have also written a few articles about orchids. Here are the links to  these articles:

Wisdom of Orchids(Part 1)


As you can see, I wrote about the wisdom of orchids. A third of orchids use a deceptive method to become pollinated. They are truly the most fascinating plants in this world. While I was thinking about this, I was reminded of the story about orchids and Charles Darwin.

flowers of the orchid A. sesquipedale

The beautiful flowers of the orchid A. sesquipedale with the long, green nectaries hanging behind them. Photograph: Ardetti et al, 2012

According to Dr. Dave Hone in an article published by the Guardian, around 150 years ago, Charles Darwin was sent a box of orchids with the exceptionally long nectaries and hypothesized that there must be some insect with a very, very, very long tongue that could pollinate it. After all, if such an insect did not exist to pollinate the flower, how could it have survived all these years? However, no such insect was found until 1907, when a subspecies of an African Congo moth was found with an exceptionally long tongue span in Madagascar, where the orchids grew freely. In 1997, it was finally confirmed that the moth pollinated the orchid, as a scientist taped this interaction. Orchids are truly amazing, having coevolved with this moth to survive in our world.

Darwin's moth and its absurdly long proboscis

Darwin’s moth and its absurdly long proboscis. Photograph: Dave Hone

Please enjoy the pictures below of the 71st Santa Barbara International Orchid show!

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Happy New Year-Find Your Adventure

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This is the 127th Rose Parade. I hadn’t been to the parade for a few years, but I was very moved to attend this year. Many people enjoyed the Disneyland float, which was the largest at 150 feet. The first part was based on the animated movie Frozen, the second part was a depiction of Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom Castle, and the third part was a Star Wars float.
Stormtroopers with the Disneyland Resort float during the Rose Parade on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, Calif. on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda/ Pasadena Star-News)

The parade was led by a police squad, flag-bearers, equestrians and a marching band.







There were very colorful parade floats. Out of 44 floats, 24 received awards. They were all very beautiful and they must have spent tons of money on the application, the float designing, and the float materials.


The first float pictured was a very popular one, of course, as it was the Lakers float. The city of Los Angeles decorated their float with a bright sun and bright flowers. Then, all of a sudden, the sky had some words: “Donald Trump is disgusting.”

At the end of the parade, a float showed us the theme of this year’s parade: “Find Your Adventure.”

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” –Oprah Winfrey

Indeed, life is full of adventure. This is the year that I wish all of us will be able to get out of our boxes and explore different adventures. In this year’s Rose Parade, there were various performers on tall stilts waving to the crowd. It seemed like they were showing us that you need to be brave to become high, but you will be able to broaden your perspective. To have that will and determination to work toward your dream is an adventure itself. I hope by the end of this year, before the theme is once again changed, we will fulfill our dreams.

I think that this is a good start for New Years resolutions, and good luck to us all.

Miracles Through Shifting (Dr. Wayne Dyer’s examples)


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After Dr. Wayne Dyer’s passing, a friend or a family member started updating his Facebook page daily with some of his most famous quotes. I then started to visit his page for a daily dose of Dr. Dyer, as many, many did. It seemed we couldn’t get enough of his teachings. He has touched the lives of millions of people and has raised millions of dollars for various schools and public broadcasting networks. I am one of many who can attest to how much impact he made in the lives of others while he was here on earth. Thinking about his life and his wonderful accomplishments, I believe it all started with the shift.

I remember him sharing his life story during a workshop I attended last June. The first story that he mentioned was how he made the tough decision to turn down a tenure-track position at St. John’s University. His original intention was to accept the offer, but as he was on his way to meet with the Dean of the school, some force lured him into pulling over to the side of the street to reconsider. When he met with the Dean later that day, he delivered the news that he would not be accepting the position and that he was instead going to part ways with the University to pursue his writing career.

Those familiar with the world of academia know that tenured positions are the dream. When I heard his story I instantly knew that this shift must have come from somewhere divine for him to have given up on the promises that come with tenure: Respect, privilege and of course, food on the table to feed his children. Such a shift required him to face uncertainty rather than certainty – which is perhaps the scariest feeling we encounter in this life. Forty years later, I’m sure he was glad he found the courage within to shift his life. His readers and students could never thank him enough for his decision. While his family and friends may have considered his decision crazy and unbelievable at the time, I’m sure they, too, are thankful he made the shift.

In this same workshop I attended with Dr. Wayne Dyer, he also told us about his book Erroneous Zones. It is about how, one day, he went to visit his father’s grave to curse him and blame him for a difficult past. He was led to return to the grave a second time, only this time, his anger was replaced by love. He let love flow through him, providing him with not only the strength to forgive his father, but to love him as well. Because of this shift from hatred to forgiveness to love, his life changed for the better. With the healing that took place through this shift, he was able to move on and finish his book in two weeks. I believe it was by allowing himself to forgive and feel love that he was able to connect with the divine and subsequently find inspiration to finish his book. This book has been translated into 47 languages, selling more than 80 million copies around the world.

Miracles happen all the time, and they do happen through shifting. Whenever we are faced with a decision we are unsure of, the best bet would be to follow our heart and our soul (and sometimes even our body, too) because they connect us with the divine. We may not always know what’s best for us, but divinity does – all we have to do is learn to trust and His miracles are ours for the taking. As we can learn from Dr. Wayne Dyer and the legacy he has left behind, sometimes having the courage to shift can not only changes our lives, but the lives of millions of others as well.

Miracles through Serving


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“I am realistic – I expect miracles.”
― Wayne W. Dyer

Whether or not we are aware of their presence, miracles are at work in our lives all the time. More often than not, miracles are born from a good deed that we’ve contributed to the world – either consciously or subconsciously. I call these “miracles through serving,” and I’m going to allow Dr. Wayne Dyer’s experiences illustrate these special miracles for you.

The late and sorely missed Dr. Wayne Dyer, who passed away on August 30, 2015, was my mentor of miracles. He opened my eyes to the wonderful workings of miracles through his literature, through his teachings and through the way he lived his life. I learned first-hand of how miracles impacted Dr. Dyer’s life during a writer’s workshop he lead that I attended last June.

Dr. Dyer and his wife were visiting the very castle in San Damiano, Italy where Saint Francis of Assisi first set up a home for Saint Clare of Assisi, the first female in the Franciscan order (1194-1253). During Dr. Dyer’s visit, there was a 22-year-old boy who, as Dr. Dyer put it; his body (and not he) had muscular dystrophy. As they climbed the staircase to see where Saint Clare had died so many years ago, the boy realized he could not go further because the staircase had started to narrow. At the same time, he could not go back down either because of the dense crowd of people behind him. Dr. Dyer immediately offered to carry him on his back, despite having serious ligament and cartilage damage in his knees. The pair was able to make it up a few steps until Dyer’s knees started to give out. But then, as he put it, “I had a vision of Saint Francis and suddenly my knees went from crumbling to becoming straight and erect and strong.” He ran up the stairs with the boy on his back the remainder of the way there.

When they reached the top, everyone was amazed at what had just happened. Dr. Dyer walked out to the balcony and prayed, thanking Saint Francis for his “miraculous healing.” After that, Dr. Dyer said that the damage in his knees had healed and he no longer needed the surgery he was anticipating to need on them. In his words, it was evident that “the divinely inspired energy of Saint Francis is still at work today.”

During the writers’ workshop in June, Dr. Dyer also talked about how he received a very important publishing deal. After the wife of a literary agent had noticed him, he was invited to a meeting with the head of a big publishing company to discuss a potential publishing contract. When he met with the man the very next day, Dr. Dyer noticed that he looked rather sad. Being a therapist, Dr. Dyer asked him why he looked so down. Initially he resisted, wanting to focus instead on the contract, but Dr. Dyer insisted that he talk about his problems. In time, he revealed his wife told him she wanted a divorce and was seeing someone else. At the end of the day, Dr. Dyer had spent their entire meeting counseling the head of publishing instead of talking about his contract. The day after, he received a phone call from his literary agent, saying that the publisher wanted Dr. Dyer on board no matter what he wrote.

In Dr. Wayne Dyer’s case, he put other people’s needs ahead of his own. He had such a loving heart that allowed him to help serve others. For example, he helped he carried the weight of the boy with muscular dystrophy on his back, despite his own knee problems, so the boy would not suffer. When he saw the publishing executive in distress and in need of help, he sacrificed his own opportunity for success by offering his professional psychological support.

Following his death, his publisher reduced the audiobooks of Dr. Dyer’s work to 80% off of the retail price. They also contacted Amazon, Apple and Nook asking them to reduce the price of his eBooks to $1.99. Through this, they were able to help others have an opportunity to be exposed to his work and honor his legacy. By making his messages available to everyone, his publisher helped Dr. Dyer’s literature reach the New York Time’s Bestseller list. Even after he has departed, miracles are still working through Dr. Dyer and all that he has left behind for the world.

The air that we breathe on a momentary basis is filled with miraculous possibility. When we do good for others, we in turn, may see tiny miracles awakening in our own lives. Some call this karma, others call this destiny or fate: I see this as receiving miracles through serving.

The Voice-1: I Am in Your Heart


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As I first sat down to write this article, I had a Korean drama playing in the background on TV. I tend to do this often – have a show playing quietly while I go about my daily business. But this time was different: All of sudden I heard a song playing that was so captivating it lured me away from my writing. The sounds soothed my soul so profoundly, it was as if a spell had been cast upon me as I drifted off into a different state of mind. When I finally snapped out of my trance-like state, I realized that what I had experienced was almost identical to what happened when I first heard “The Voice.”

 When the song was done playing during the intensely dramatic scene of “You Are All Surrounded,” I quickly looked it up on the internet to find the title, artist and lyrics. I soon discovered that the song was called, “I’ll be on your side,” by Coffee Boy.

 I listened to the song again, only this time I followed along while reading the English subtitles online. Soon I found myself gasping for air as tears streamed down my face. I had a tremendous connection with this song. It sounded so familiar, as if the song had been written especially for me. The lyrics are as follows:

 (Please click above to listen to this song.)

I’ll be on your side by coffee boy  Credit: SBSNOW-English

(Female voice)
Who will comfort my heart?
Who will know my heart?
It seems like everyone is laughing at me
There’s no one to lean on.

I said I’m fine
I thought I had gotten used to it
As this despair returns to me,
I fall again and am left alone

(Male voice)
I’ll be on your side
I’ll say it will be alright
That everything will be okay, that you will shine
That you’re precious to me

On days when everything seems like it’s over, remember my voice
It will be alright, and everything will be okay
You’re the most precious person to me

(Female voice)
I said I’m fine
I thought I had gotten used to it
As this despair returns to me,
I fall again and am left alone

(Male voice)
I’ll be on your side
I’ll say it will be all right
That everything will be okay, that you will shine
That you’re precious to me

On days when everything seems like it’s over, remember my voice
It will be alright; everything will be okay
You’re the most precious person to me

I’ll be on your side
I’ll say it will be all right
That everything will be okay, that you will shine
That you’re precious to me

On days when everything seems like it’s over, remember my voice
It will be alright, everything will be okay
You’re the most precious person to me

I’ll be on your side.

“On days when everything seems like it’s over, remember my voice…remember my voice…remember my voice.” And just like that, I remembered. My mind took me back to an extraordinary occurrence that took place in my life many years ago. It was from an unforgettable instance that forever changed the course of my life. It was the first conversation I ever had with “The Voice.”

Yes. I remember the first time The Voice introduced itself to me – How could I ever forget? Returning to my connection to the song, many times I have fallen down and been left feeling completely alone in life. The despair would always return to me until the day The Voice came to my rescue, reassuring me that everything would be okay. The Voice let me know that I was precious and that He would always be on my side.

After the passing of my beloved husband, I left the field of science and went into the insurance industry. I thought it would be a change for the better, but right from the get-go this new career did not seem to fit me. I decided to take a break for a year in order to give myself some time to figure out what I should do next with my life. So, in the summer of 1999, I traveled to Houston for a week. I figured a change in my surroundings would help quiet my mind and provide me with some much-needed direction. When I returned home, my neighbors delivered the horrible news to me that they had lost their daughter in a car accident. I was so taken by the news that I could do nothing but cry with them.

That night at about half past two, I suddenly woke up. I sensed I was not alone in my bedroom, yet I wasn’t scared. Instead, this otherly presence felt very peaceful. For some reason, and without hesitation, I immediately picked up my pen and journal and began writing all that was transpiring.
“Who are you? Are you the Lord?” I heard myself asking.

“Yes,” He answered. And this was the beginning of my very first conversation with The Voice. I had heard The Voice before, but never had the awareness nor courage to try to engage in conversation before. Our discussion did not unfold in the traditional vocal and auditory sense, but almost telepathically. I did not literally hear a voice with my ears, but with my head and my heart. I did not respond with my voice, but with my head and my heart.

Where are you,” I asked. It was dark in the room, and I could not see anything, so I asked again.

“In your heart,” The Voice responded.

“Where,” I asked again, a bit confused by the previous answer.

“In your heart.”

“In my heart,” I tried to confirm his answer.

“Whenever you seek me, I am always here.”

What came next surprised even me: “Why did you take my husband?” I asked.

Shocked by my question, I realized I had not let go of my deceased husband, even after all these years.

“You would not understand now, but I will replace him with myself.”

He was right. I didn’t understand. The conversation went on like this for a while until I abruptly asked: “Why did you take my husband away from me?”
“As I said, you will not understand, but my love is boundless. “

“His love is boundless. He is in my heart. He will take my husband’s place. I am not alone. He is with me.” It seemed angels were singing these verses repeatedly in my ear. What an assurance! I was not sure I had gotten everything He said that night. But one thing was sure – that His love filled me. Feeling relaxed and peaceful, I slowly closed my eyes and fell back to sleep like a baby.

There was something in The Voice that provided me with the most reassuring feeling and knowing that He is not just by my side, but in my heart as well. Wherever I am, He is always with me.

This was the first time I heard The Voice. It happened more than ten years ago we’ve shared many incredible conversations since then. I know people wonder whether or not this is all in my head – but I know, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the answers and guidance He has provided me with over the years are far more profound than anything my mind could have conjured up on its own.

This voiceless, imageless, and formless surpasses the world of the voice, the image and form. Our eyes will not be able to see, nor can our ears be able to hear, because it goes beyond the physical presence. It seemed to be nonexistent and yet it is there. We can only use our hearts to listen to it and use our hearts to see the invisible.

It reminds me the fourteen chapter of Tao Te Ching (by Lao Tzu)
It says:
Look, it cannot be seen – it is beyond form.
Listen, it cannot be heard – it is beyond sound.
Grasp, it cannot be held – it is intangible.
These three are indefinable;
Therefore they are joined in one.

From above it is not bright;
From below it is not dark:
An unbroken thread beyond description.
It returns to nothingness.
The form of the formless,
The image of the imageless,
It is called indefinable and beyond imagination.

Stand before it and there is no beginning.
Follow it and there is no end.
Stay with the ancient Tao,
Move with present.

Yes, this Voice is indefinable. Stand before it and there is no beginning. Follow it and there is no end. It is invisible, untouchable and more importantly immeasurable. Indeed, the immeasurable power comes with it. It brings out the love, wisdom, and miracles, and has encouraged me to walk a new path in life.

Listen with your heart, and you too, may learn to hear The Voice.


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