Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Many ancient scholars chose to live in seclusion in deep mountains surrounded by bamboo forests, where they drank wine, wrote poems or painted pictures while enjoying the beauty of nature. By leading such a simple life, they wanted to stay away from worldly affairs. Su Dongpo, (苏东坡 ) a famous writer of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), wrote in his poem, 
"I would rather eat no meat than live without bamboo."

Planting Bamboos


by Bai Juyi

Unrewarded, my will to serve the State;

At my closed door autumn grasses grow.
What could I do to ease a rustic heart?
I planted bamboo, more than a hundred shoots.
When I see their beauty, as they grow by the stream-side,
I feel again as though I lived in the hills,
And many a time on public holidays
Round their railing I walk till night comes.
Do not say that their roots are still weak,
Do not say that their shade is still small;
Already I feel that both in garden and house
Day by day a fresher air moves.
But most I love, lying near the window-side,
to hear in their branches the sound of the autumn-wind. 

photos: (c) bruce behnke 2018 


In Buddhist symbolism the lotus is symbolic of purity of the body, speech, and mind as, while rooted in the mud, its flowers blossom on long stalks as if floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. It is also symbolic of detachment as drops of water easily slide off its leaves.

photos: (c) bruce behnke 2018


Guang Yin, the Buddhist goddess of mercy,
 is sometimes depicted with willow branches,
used to scare away demons.

photos: (c) bruce behnke

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Monday, September 3, 2018

my silence is not golden

old Buddhist saying:

do not speak
unless it improves upon silence

Monday, August 20, 2018

End of day in the Pacific

Haleiwa, O'ahu Hawai'i

Saturday, August 11, 2018

King Tide

A King Tide is a non-scientific term people often use to describe exceptionally high tides. Tides are long-period waves that roll around the planet as the ocean is "pulled" back and forth by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun as these bodies interact with the Earth in their monthly and yearly orbits. Higher than normal tides typically occur during a new or full moon and when the Moon is at its perigee, or during specific seasons around the country.

King Tides provide a glimpse into future of what our shorelines may look like on a more regular basis as a result of rising sea levels. We know that global mean sea level is rising at an increasing pace. Pacific Island communities are especially vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise because so many of our homes, businesses, agriculture lands, cultural and historic sites, and important ecosystems are located in low-lying coastal areas. With sea level rise today’s extreme high tide will be tomorrow’s norm and the impact of King Tide events can help us better understand and prepare for sea level rise.

Photographs were taken over the past several days of King Tides along the southern shores of O'ahu, Hawai'i, participating in the University of Hawai’i Sea Grant College program’s Hawai’i and Pacific Islands King Tides Project.

photo:King Tide laps at the Pearl Harbor Bicycle Trail in Aiea, Hawai'i
 bruce behnke 2018
public domain granted for scientific purposes