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.
“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.
I found this prayer, originally in Chinese, at a time of great stress, and it gave me hope and comfort in that time, so I have decided to translate the prayer for my readers.
Prayer of awakening our strength
God and I are one
I am not only mere flesh; inside me is the presence of love.
I am a spiritual being; a manifestation of the perfection of love, beauty, and kindness.
My true self has infinite love, light, and wisdom.
Because of love, my heart is completely free; I can totally live a life of love and connotation.
I come to this world not to suffer, but to learn love, to give love, to convey love; to awaken the love of hearts of people, and also to enjoy the fullness of life and beauty.
I am a capable person, I am a rich being, and perfection is my other name!
I am not alone, I have never been alone; because God and I are a whole. All things and I are one.
Though I appear as flesh, I am a spiritual being; the perfect presence of the sacred and the entire satisfaction.
I appreciate my divinity, and I respect the deity of others as well.
How I respect God, likewise I respect others.
My every breath is the breath of God, I always remember I am loved, I always remember to have a connection with Him. I always call on God.
He created all that we need, and He and I are one. He and I are inseparable!
I thank all the things in my life; I thank God. He is with me all the time. I appreciate the wisdom of the universe. It connects with me every moment.
Ceaselessly I look to the goodness and come back to my nature. I continually return to the being of joy and perfection.
May I not see other people’s fault, only to see the goodness in them. May I not see the darkness of the people, only to see their inner light.
The image is from www.campus.rieti.it
The stream of boundless joy has flowed into me and filled me.
Infinite wisdom has also gushed into me and inspired me;
Unlimited prosperity has run into me and guided me.
Unconditional love shines brightly in my heart.
Immeasurable wisdom brings the light into me.
Eternal life appears inside of me like an endless stream;
A steady flow of the fountain of life emerges with furious energy.
Now, my heart is ready, and I am completely open for what is to come.
Last week, I wrote about everyone having their own time and their own pace, and that everyone is at the right place at the right time. Since then, I found articles on the Internet about the movie “Central Station,” and the story of how the director found the film’s lead actor.
The film centers on Rio de Janeiro’s Central Station, where director Walter Salles was approached by a nine-year-old shoe shiner named Vinicius de Oliveira, three weeks before filming began. But Salles was wearing white tennis shoes, which couldn’t be shined, and the boy asked him for money for food after being turned away, as he hadn’t eaten for the entire day. He also promised him that he would pay him back after a week. Salles gave him money and didn’t think much of it, knowing he likely wouldn’t be paid back, until he returned to Central Station to begin filming a month later, and the same boy waved him down and ran after him, to give him back the money he had borrowed three weeks earlier.
Salles saw something in the boy and told him that he had a gift for him at the studio. Rather than come alone, Vinicius brought all of the shoe shiners from the station with him to accept it so that he could share Salles’ gift with them. The director’s gift, however, was the lead role in his movie. Even if some of the other boys might have been better actors, he gave the role to the boy who had earnestly borrowed money from him, and who had brought his friends to share in the gift that he was to receive, because he could see the kindness and innocence in him that fit the character he was to play.
“Central Station” went on to receive international acclaim and win a Golden Globe for best foreign language film in 1999. A then twelve-year-old Vinicius went on stage with Salles and his co-star, Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro, to accept the award at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. For a boy who was working by the age of nine, who had never seen a movie before suddenly getting the chance to be the lead actor in one, it was the opportunity of a lifetime.
Vinicius was in the right place at the right time. He also tried to give his opportunity away to the other shoe shiners as well, but because he was kind and sincere, this opportunity didn’t miss him. You are also in the right place at the right time, but don’t let selfishness cloud your opportunities.
Watching this inspiring video, I am reminded of Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 in the Bible
There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven:
Indeed, there is a right time zone for everything we do. What a comfort to get this message to our heart. We will never be late nor early. This video helps to put my mind at peace. I hope the same will go for my readers.