Friday, January 25, 2013

Back in Brasil-Belo Horizonte

 Back in Brasil-View from Ouro Preto

Hi Friends,
After spending two nights in airports, I arrived in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brasil.
Because of Impermanence, my flight from Tallahassee to Maimi was cancelled and I missed my connection from Miami to Rio De Janeiro. I had to stay overnight in Miami airport and get the next morning flight. That made me miss the connection from Rio to Belo Horizonte so I had to spend another sleepless night in the Galeão airport in Rio De Janeiro. The travails of flying.
Belo Horizonte is in the state of Minas Gerais and located about 500 kilometers from Rio De Janeiro. I was  hosted by Luciana and Helio, members of the same Amigos De Dhamma Buddhist group that had hosted my five visits in Belo H. over the past 15 years.
I had two days of R&R from the long journey and then gave two public talks in two different Yoga centers and then we had a weekend retreat held in a Catholic Nuns Monastery attended by twenty-seven persons.

Public talk at a Yoga center

The translator into Portuguese

Weekend retreat at Asilo São Luiz-40 kms from Belo Horizonte

Tying on the 'blessing string' at the end of the retreat

15 year old boy was youngest participant

After the retreat Luciana, Elio, and their son, Miguel took me for a two day visit to Lavras Novas and Ouro Preto. These towns are situated in the high mountainous country more 90 kms from Belo Horizonte.
At Lavras Novas we stayed in the country house of Ludmila, a member of the Buddhist group. The next morning we took a few hours walk to an area with a stream and natural  pools and waterfalls.
In the afternoon we visited Ouro Preta, which means, Black Gold. It refers to the abundance of Gold that was and still is mined in the area. Ouro Preta was the first capital of Minas Gerais back in the 18th century before the capital was moved to Belo Horizonte. The meaning of Minas |Gerais is, General Mines. The state has many mines for various gems, minerals and ioron ore. When you fly over the state you can see many gaping holes of bare earth gouged out of the lush green hills.

Approaching Lavras Novas high in the mountains

Entrance sign with unique cow 

Twin houses of Ludmila and her twin sister Isabela

Meditation before sunset

Area where we walked the next morning

Entrance to the trail

Looking back up to the houses

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The end---of the walk

Views from Ouro Preta

Pico do Itacolomi-Iconic landmark above Ouro Preto

A few of the thirteen old churches in and around Ouro Preto

Nossa Senhora do Pilar-Our Lady of the Pillar Church
we took a guided tour of this church in the middle of the town

Igreja de São Francisco

Museum in the main square

Before leaving Belo Horizonte Fátima and her husband, Walfredo, took me to visit Inhotim.  This is a large park area with beautiful gardens and many modern art pavillions and open air displays. It is located about 90 kilometers outside of Belo Horizonte in the city of Brumadinho.

The suffering of life

The beauty of life--Orchids

We are but travellers through the journey of life

Resting in equanimity-- between pleasure and pain

Modern art pavillion

Headless sculptures

Fátima and Walfredo enjoy the tranquil setting

So do the swans

The End--next stop Rio De Janeiro

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Photos from a retreat in San Jose

Dear Dhamma friends,
After a two months stay in Southern California visiting with my 94 year old mother and various teaching engagements, I am now in Brasil. (check the Travel/Teaching page for more details)

Here is a link to photos taken at the weekend retreat held in the Vietnamese Temple in San Jose:

Here is a link to a you tube video of a talk I gave during a meditation workshop held at the University of the West in Rosemeade, California:

Once I get some photos etc. of my activities in Brasil I will post them.

Meanwhile,     May you all be Well, Peaceful, Mindful and Wise