Trong đáy mắt trời xanh là vĩnh viễn…


Trong đáy mắt trời xanh là vĩnh viễn.....

“Trong đáy mắt trời xanh là vĩnh viễn
Tình yêu nào cũng tha thiết như nhau”


“Thời gian thích hợp gặp một người thích hợp là hạnh phúc.
Thời gian thích hợp gặp một người không thích hợp là sai lầm.
Thời gian không thích hợp gặp một người không thích hợp là viển vông.
Thời gian không thích hợp gặp một người thích hợp là nuối tiếc.”



What is True Love? – Thich Nhat Hanh


According to Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, there are four elements of true love.

Maitri (Loving Kindness, 慈)
Maitri is the first element of love, maitri has connection to mitra (mitta, friend, 友), love is friendship, friendship should bring happiness, otherwise what is the use of having friendship. To be a friend that is means to offer happiness, if love doesn’t offer happiness, love make the other person cries all the times, that is not love! That is not maitri! Maitri is translated as loving kindness, loving kindness should be able to offer happiness, so true love must have this element. You don’t just love another person, you have to love yourself, because the ‘self love’ is the foundation of love for another person, if you don’t know how to love yourself or offer yourself happiness how can you be able to love and offer other person happiness? You don’t know anything about happiness, how can you offer happiness? Live in such a way that bring you joy and happiness, then you will be able to offer other person joy and happiness, we learned that happiness is something to do with suffering, if you don’t know suffering you don’t know what is happiness, so understanding suffering is the very foundation of happiness. Good practitioner know how to deal the suffering inside, recognize painful feeling, how to embrace it tenderly, how to transform to bring relief, not to fight them but to accept them, that is love! If you don’t know how to handle a painful emotion, strong feeling in you, how can you help other person to do that?

Karuna (Compassion, 悲)
Second element of love is Karuna, Karuna is compassion, capacity of removing, relieving, transforming suffering. When you love someone, you are motivated to do something to stop suffering. If you don’t know how to handle suffering in you, how you can help the other person to handle their suffering? A good practitioner always learn how to handle the suffering in him or her first. Buddha’s teaching is very clear, whenever there is a strong emotion arising such as anger, fear, despair; you should be able to be there for it, to recognize it as existing, not to fight it, learn how to embrace it, accept, you use mindfulness and insight in order to understand its nature and get a relief, then you will liberated yourself from your pain and sorrow. This is what we had to learn as a practitioner. Buddha doesn’t just said, “You have to love and transform”, he even show the way how to love and the step how to transform ourselves, concrete step of removing suffering. Devote time to deal and transform our strong emotion, if you know how to do that then you will know how to help others, so to love oneself is very crucial as to love other person. Buddha in the Satthipathana Sutta (Sutra on Four Establishment of Mindfulness) teach us how to bring the feeling of joy and happiness to us, using mindfulness and concentration you can always bring the feeling of joy and happiness, no need to use money or go to the shopping center, if you know the art of releasing, the art of mindfulness, concentration, and insight, you can bring joy and happiness anytime. Continue reading

June afternoons

1st picture reminds me of my grandparents’ old house
3rd picture reminds me of my grandmom

Phat Diem Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral is located in Phat Diem town (Kim Son district, Ninh Binh) on an area 117 m wide x 243 m long

Phat Diem Cathedral is located in Phat Diem town (Kim Son district, Ninh Binh province) on an area 117 m wide x 243 m long

Phat Diem Stone Church was designed and constructed in 24 years (1875 - 1899) by father Pedro Tran Luc. Its architecture is a cross of oriental pagodas and Gothic Church

Phat Diem Stone Church was designed and constructed in 24 years (1875 – 1899) by father Pedro Tran Luc. Its architecture is a cross of oriental pagodas and Gothic Church


Front gate

Front gate

Phat Diem cathedral  includes a large church and 5 chapels, one of chapels was built by natural stone.

Phat Diem cathedral includes a large church and 5 chapels, one of chapels was built by natural stone.

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How to recognize Libra (from Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs)

This book always puts me in a hot pot of feelings, mostly amused and/or surprised, during my boring period in hospital.

libra_header“Your face is the same as everybody has – the two eyes, so … nose in the middle, mouth under. It’s always the same. Now, if you had the two eyes on the same side of the nose, for instance – or the mouth at the top – that would be some help.”

Librans hate to be rude, yet they’ll straighten the crooked picture on your wall and snap off your blaring TV. Librans love people, but they hate large crowds. Like gentle doves of peace, they go around mediating and patching tip quarrels between others; still they enjoy a good argument themselves. They’re good-natured and pleasant, but they can also be sulky, and they balk at taking orders. Librans are extremely intelligent. At the same time, they’re incredibly naive and gullible. They’ll talk your ear off, yet they’re wonderfully good listeners. Librans are restless people. But they seldom rush or hurry. Are you completely confused? You’re not alone. There’s a frustrating inconsistency to this Sun sign that puzzles the Librans themselves as much as it does others.

Lots of people will tell you that Libra is all love and beauty and sweetness and light. That’s fine, as far as it goes, but it stops a little short of accuracy. It also stops short of Eugene O’Neill. Just because the sign is symbolized by the golden scales of justice, don’t ever think that Librans are always perfectly balanced. It seems to be a logical deduction. After all, the purpose of scales is to balance. However, did you ever watch the balancing process on a pair of old-fashioned pharmaceutical scales? The ultimate goal is to get both sides even, but what happens? First one side is low, then the other. Up and down, and they dip until there’s perfect balance. Just try to watch them in action.

Never again will you have a mental picture of a Libra as a calm, perfectly balanced, sweet, gracious and charming individual You’ll have a mental picture of a person who has that kind of disposition half the time. The other half of the time, Libra can be annoying, quarrelsome, stubborn, restless, depressed and confused. Libra is first up, then down. He swings one way, then another. Suddenly, like the scales – perfect balance! It’s heavenly. But there is always that period of weighing and dipping before the moment of heavenly balance is achieved.

The physical appearance of these people may require almost as much concentration as the personality. There’s no such thing as a typical Libra feature, unless ifs the Venus dimple. Libran features are almost always even and well-balanced. They’re pleasing, but not very noticeable, so it’s easier to start with the dimples. There will usually be a couple in the cheeks or one in the chin. If they’re not in the face, you might check to see if the knees are dimpled. Many Libran knees are. But be careful. Very few girls will believe you when you tell them you were staring at their knees “because I want to see if you were born in October.” Be discreet, but check. With the men, of course, the trousers rule out that clue, unless you’re on the beach or playing tennis. Don’t get discouraged if you find dimples, then discover the person was not born in October. Those fetching dimples have a right to be there, because he or she will have a Libra ascendant, so your guess is still correct.

After you’ve ruled the Venus dimples in or out, notice the entire effect of the face. It will always wear a markedly pleasant expression. Even when the Libran is angry, somehow he or she will manage to look mild, or at the very least, neutral. Venus voices are typically sweet and clear as a bell, and these people seldom raise them to a shrill or bellowing pitch. A Libran is the only person on earth who can say, “I hate you and I’m going to punch you in the nose,” and sound as if he’s reciting Browning’s “How Do I Love Thee?” The mouth is usually bow-shaped, and the lips would have been described in Gibson girl days as “lips like cherry wine.” In fact, the typical Libra face reminds you of nothing so much as a box of bonbons. Or a sugar cookie. Some of them look like human lollipops, or a caramel sundae topped with rich, whipped cream. They like to eat those things, too, and if any Librans are reading this, they’re probably weak with hunger by now.

The women are almost invariably pretty, and the men are usually handsome. Still, not all of the beautiful people in the world are Librans; Venus beauty is in a class by itself, and it’s not always easy to separate it from the good looks of other Sun signs. My own secret way to recognize them is to begin by thinking about the sweet expressions of Dwight Elsenhower and Brigitte Bardot, and then go on from there. The trouble is that sometimes the women will look like Ike and the men like Bardot. You have to make allowances. I’m not implying that the Libra woman is masculine.

Most of them are about as female as the average man can stand (unless there’s an aggressive ascendant). And I certainly do not imply that Libra men are feminine. They’re usually quite virile male animals. But there’s no denying that they have a purity of feature that keeps you from • getting them mixed up with prize fighters or wrestlers. Even the rare Libran who might be called ugly, and it will be most unusual to find one, has such a charming expression you’re persuaded to comment that there’s real beauty of character in his (or her) face. Continue reading

The Libra woman (from Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs)

This book always puts me in a hot pot of feelings, mostly amused and/or surprised, during my boring period in hospital.

14955-libra-the-scalesAnd so she went on taking first one side
and then another and making quite a conversation of it altogether…

She generally gave herself very good advice (though she seldom followed it)…

Once a child asked me a question that wasn’t easy to answer. “Why is it,” he wanted to know, “that ladies wear trousers and men use pretty smelling cologne?” In typical Aries style, I dashed off an impulsive reply. “Well,” I told him quickly, before he could think of any more embarrassing riddles, “that’s because there’s a little bit of woman in every man, and there’s a little bit of man in every woman. Now let’s play checkers.”

Looking back, I’m rather proud of my instant Mars wisdom. That statement is true to some degree of all the Sun signs, and it’s super-true of Libra. You can find a trace of the opposite sex in the most virile, rugged Libran male, and Venus plays the same trick on the female scale balancer.

She may be as dainty as a fluffy, white bunny and she may whisper with gentle persuasion. She can dress in silks and laces, and her hair can smell of fragrant cologne. She might even look like a little doll you could lift with one hand (though a Taurus or Sagittarius ascendant would make her considerably more hefty). But with all her femininity, sweet mannerisms and lovely grace, this girl wears a pair of trousers with surprising ease, and they’ll fit her rather neatly. Her mental processes operate with male logic and they can match yours in any discussion you care to start. They can even top yours on occasion, although the female side of the Libra woman is usually too smart to let you catch on to that until you’re safely past the honeymoon. During the mating season, she’ll be careful not to beat you at chess, but she won’t hide her sharp mind behind those soft dimples forever. Eventually, you’ll be treated to a display of her brain power.

Most Libra women will air their clever wits any time a subject appears with the slightest possibility of debate. It could be anything from why you shouldn’t wear button down collars to what’s keeping you from getting a raise at work. (She’ll feel the latter is partly your fault and partly your boss’s fault. Everything with Libra ends up as six of one and half a dozen of another-just so it all comes out even.) If you refuse to rise to the bait, she’ll argue with herself. A Libra girl can start a donnybrook alone, pursue it alone and finish it alone, in a grand flourish. Your only contribution may be “But why?” or “I don’t think so,” but sometimes that’s all she needs to deliver a brilliant monologue, which may last for an hour or more. Through it all, however, you’ll probably be drowning in her charm. She’ll turn on that unbearably delicious smile every third sentence or so, and you’ll end up changing your mind as effortlessly as she changes her sex by taking over the man’s prerogative, then switching back to a cuddly love bunny. She’ll convince you with pure clear logic. You won’t lose much-except your pride, and you’ll hardly miss that, under the spell of that gentle Libran smile. She’s usually right, because her final decisions are as carefully considered as those of the Supreme Court. Libran females don’t need much encouragement to start a verbal comparison going between any two points of view. A politically active season will give her lots of chances to sharpen her rhetoric and her argumentative talents. She makes a great political worker, once she’s made up her mind which side and which candidate is right.

Aside from the typical Libra penchant for weighing everything twice to make sure she didn’t miss a point, she can be quite a lot of woman for a man who’s interested in romance or companionship or both. Her tendency to argue is really based on a sincere desire to reach an impartial decision. It could be worse. At least she doesn’t make up her own rules as she goes along, or stubbornly resist all reason, like women born under some other Sun signs. Besides, most of her opinions are presented with diplomatic tact, which somewhat softens the blow.

Perhaps the best way to get you to appreciate your Libra woman is to give you a quick rundown on what you would face with other Sun signs in a simple situation. Let’s say you’re discussing the subject of calling cards. Should people use them today, is it old-fashioned, and what should they look like? Take a fast flight around the zodiac. Pretend you’re the only man in a room with twelve women. (That should be a pleasant supposition.) The discussion would run something like this:

Aries: Don’t need them. I use the telephone. Taurus: It’s rare that I go calling. People visit me. Gemini: Calling cards! Who has time for calling cards?

Leo: Well, if they were really wild, and impressive looking-

Virgo: I’ll have to check Emily Post and see exactly what she says.

Sagittarius: My gawd! You mean people still take time for that junk?

Scorpio: If they’re not home, they miss me. Ifs their loss, not mine.

Aquarius: I wonder if it’s raining outside? I thought I heard thunder.

Cancer: Cards are so impersonal. I’d rather write a note.

Pisces: I always sense when people aren’t there, and I only I call on them when I get a subliminal message they want to see me.

Capricorn: The custom is perfectly proper. But there’s no I point in discussing the design. If it’s not engraved, it’s not a calling card.

Libra: Well, it all depends. If you want to do the correct thing, you should have them. It’s a charming gesture. On the other hand, using them might seem pretentious today, and the modern woman is too busy to bother with them. Of course, you have to consider the reason behind the custom. Then again, there are people who can’t afford calling cards. If if’s a strain on the budget, they aren’t really necessary. Looking at the other side of it, however, I can’t help feeling the beauty and grace of yesterday is missing in today’s frantic pace, so it might be money well spent. I suppose they should be engraved. Yet, it’s true that something different would reflect the individual personality. A creative person could design his own. But such individual cards might be misunderstood by very social people, you know? I mean, the Rockefellers would think it was gauche. On reflection, who calls on the Rockefellers? Your own friends would love your being original, but plain engraving is probably more acceptable. At least I think it should be. But still – well…

Now she’s run out of pros and cons, and she frowns slightly, under the strain of sorting out her own arguments and trying to dredge up an actual, firm decision from the lot.

artistic-libraYou can see the Libran female is nothing if not fair, and committed to balanced judgment all around. You may get a little bored with her digressions on mundane subjects such as calling cards, but you’ll sincerely appreciate her efforts at fairness, and her ability to judge correctly by weighing all sides, when it comes to something that really matters. Other women might toss off opinions that reflect their own individual natures, and seldom care much about what you think, or about a fair answer. To a Libra woman, there’s no such thing as what she thinks is right. Your opinion deserves as much respect as hers and Plato’s, until the decision is made, based on the flaws in her arguments, yours and all the philosophers. Continue reading

Wooden Bridges with Clay Tile Roof in Vietnam

These unique bridges in Hue, Hoi An, Nam Dinh … still retain theirs architectural beauty after few hundred years.


Chua Cau (Japanese Covered Bridge) is considered a symbol of Hoi An ancient town, and appears on the banknote 20,000 VND. The bridge was first constructed here in the 1590s by Japanese traders in Vietnam. This nearly-18m bridge connects two major streets of Hoi An’s Old Quarter, looking over the small stream to peaceful Thu Bon River.


The entrances to the bridge are guarded by weathered statues: a pair of monkeys on one side, a pair of dogs on the other. A temple built into the bridge’s northern side, for “Bac De Tran Vu” – a God of Flood


Binh Vong village (Van Binh commune, Thuong Tin district, Ha Noi) has a 5-span clay tile roof bridge on village's pond.

Binh Vong village (Van Binh commune, Thuong Tin district, Ha Noi) has a clay tile roof bridge on village’s pond.

Wooden sitting platform base for pedestrians is flanked on the bridge.

Wooden sitting platform base for pedestrians is flanked on the bridge.

Chua Luong bridge in Hai Anh (Hai Hau, Nam Dinh province) was built in the 16th century.

Chua Luong bridge in Hai Anh (Hai Hau, Nam Dinh province) was built in the 16th century.

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