KOREA, A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY

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KOREA, A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY

More than two thirds of Korea consists of mountains covered with trees of various species. Maples and Ginkgoes are common. In autumn, their leaves turn red and golden yellow, and the mountains look like a gigantic painting by God. Here and there, Buddhist temples stand on the slopes of the mountains.
A few days ago, we visited Palgong Mountain, near the city of Daegu. To reach the peak, we climbed 1365 uneven steps. Up there, the statue of Gatbawi Buddha, supposed to be miraculous, sits on the rock. Many people from all over Korea come and make their wishes to this unique Buddha with a hat on. On the top, the ladscape was very beautiful and panoramic.

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One day, we visited a museum of silkworms. The cocoon’s silk is white or yellowish. Apparently, the Silk Road started from Korea and ended in Rome. In ancient times, 1kilo of silk was equivalent to 1kilo of gold!
Another day, we walked around a tea festival. In Korea, making and serving tea is an art. I was enchanted by the gracefulness of Korean ladies wearing their traditional dress called hanbok. In the yard of a house somebody was making a traditional-style sticky rice cake. They set some steamed sticky rice on a big and thick board, and then beat it with a wooden maul. Finally, they cut the mashed rice into small pieces, put some soy bean powder on the rice cake, and offered it to the visitors. It was delicious!

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The next day I visited a Catholic holy place called Hanti Martyrs’ Shrine.
Korea is the only country in the world where Christianity was not brought by the missionaries. There were no missionaries at the first time. Even though nobody preached Christianity in Korea, it took roots naturally. However, Christians were persecuted and killed in great numbers.
In this holy place were identified the bodies of 37 martyrs. I stood for a few minutes in front of those graves and thought about the absurdity of eliminating ideas by using force. You can kill a material body, not immaterial ideas, opinions and religious feelings. Nowadays, almost a third of the population is Christian. That means that the martyr’s thought is still alive and untouched by their corporeal death.
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

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CESAR BRANA, A CULTURAL CENTER IN ANTIGUA ( GUATEMALA)

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CESAR BRANA, A CULTURAL CENTER IN ANTIGUA (GUATEMALA)

As soon as I arrived in Antigua, I looked for a music school to practice the piano.

It is not easy to find a piano in Antigua. Their traditional instrument is the marimba, played with two small sticks.

Since I am not used to giving up, after many attempts to find a music school, at last I came across the Cultural Center Cesar Bragna.

It is housed inside a building with many rooms and a theater. In each room a particular subject is taught: languages, piano, painting, theater, cooking, violin, marimba, psychology, and so on.

The Center is open to everybody. I enrolled for piano lessons with a teacher who, although young, is very competent on the subject. A natural friendship arose between us.

Looking around the Center, I saw people of all ages and from all walks of life studying marimba, violin, painting, and English.

I wonder why in my hometown there is not a center like this.

My thoughts are with the elderly and those with mental problems. These last are at the mercy of psychiatrists who give them drugs. This way, they reach an equilibrium. But, the medicine can cure just the symptoms of the mental disease, not its cause. Once one stops taking pills, the disorder reappears.

Are psychiatrists able to administer the pill of painting? Of theater? Of friendship? The pill of love?

I don’t think so! It is much easier to give a medicine.

If in my town there were a Center like Cesar Brana, how many old people and social misfits could socialize!

Is art, music, friendship, and love more effective than psychiatric treatment? I think so!

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

LET’S TALK VIBRATIONS

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LET’S TALK VIBRATIONS

“A friend of mine is taking guitar lessons. She was experimenting with her teacher. They set two guitars at a certain distance from each other. Then the teacher played the E string. To my friend’s surprise, the E string on her guitar also vibrated. It vibrated without anybody touching it.”

“Did only the untouched E string vibrate or did the other strings vibrate too?”

“Just the E string.”

“Okay, continue your talking. I am interested in it,” said my uncle.

“Afterwards, we repeated the experiment with the B string, and the same phenomenon occurred; the corresponding B string on the other distant guitar vibrated, even though it was untouched. The inference is that for resonance to be possible two strings must be attuned.”

“Do you think there might be music that stimulates negativity?

“I can tell you that I once knew a lawyer from Palermo who dedicated most of his life to studying the world of the occult. He asserted that youngsters’ deaths, mostly due to car accidents after they spent the night in a disco, were caused by the kind of music they were listening to. In fact according to him, those rhythmic sounds triggered negative vibrations in the dancers’ bodies and souls. As such they provoked accidents. They were full of negativity they had absorbed all night, through the vibrations of bad music.”…

Excerpt from The Vibrations of Words by ETTORE GRILLO

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

http://www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

 

WHAT IS A GOLEM?

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WHAT IS A GOLEM?

Erez took a book from the table and showed me two

pages.

“‘You can see that there are two pages of explanation for

four single words. Hebrew is not like Italian, where one word

has one meaning. In our language, one word has many

meanings.

Once in the city of Prague,’ continued Erez’s friend,

there was a rabbi who laid some soil shaped as a man on a

table, and then he created a man without soul, made only by

flesh. He created that soulless man just to protect the Jewish

community of Prague.’

“‘This kind of creature is called a golem. By word you can

create a golem, and by word you can deactivate it. You cannot

imagine how powerful the word is,’ said Erez turning to me.

The Rabbi of Prague created the Golem through Hebraic

words, and afterwards, upon the request of the Emperor as the

Golem had become too violent, he deactivated it using different

Hebraic words.’

“‘Word creates life, events, and actions…

Excerpt from The Vibrations of Words by ETTORE GRILLO

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

THE UGLY DUCKLING

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THE UGLY DUCKLING

The story, written by Hans Christian Andersen, is about an ugly duckling that looked different from the chicks of the same brood. He was dark and ugly. The other ducklings didn’t want to play with him. He remained isolated in the corner of the pond, until one day he decided to run away in search of a place where he would be accepted.

Wandering here and there, he joined first a family of geese and then a farmhouse. Both the geese and the farmers considered him ugly and useless.

The ugly duckling spent the winter alone and hungry. With the arrival of spring he landed up in a pond where very beautiful birds were swimming.

He didn’t dare to approach them. It was unthinkable that a so ugly duckling, as he was, would have been accepted by those graceful birds! He kept standing on the edge of the pond until one of those birds glided towards him.

How beautiful you are!” I have never seen such white feathers!” said the swan.

The ugly duckling bent his head incredulous and saw his image reflected on the water. He was a swan as well! His feathers had become white!

A similar allegory can be found in Jalaluddin Rumi’s Mathnawi. Rumi tells his hearers that they are “ducks, being brought up by hens”. They have to realize that their destiny is to swim, not to be chickens.

Both Rumi’s and Andersen’s stories are allegories of life. There is a natural evolutionist process in all living beings. It varies from individual to individual, depending on the happenings of life.

Character and personality may change, like the feathers of the swan. The essence, the innermost being is always the same.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

THE FOG IN ARAMBOL

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THE FOG IN ARAMBOL

At dawn, I went to the beach for my usual jogging. It was a foggy day, and the sun seemed to be unwilling to rise.

As I jogged on the beach, I felt like running amid the clouds. It was as if maya (illusion) mixed reality with dream.

Then, I recalled an experience that happened to the Chinese master, Chuang-tzu.

Last night,” he said, “I dreamed to be a butterfly. Now, I don’t know if I am a man who dreamed to be a butterfly or a butterfly that dreams to be a man.”

I sympathize with him. We cannot be sure if we are living a real life or we are dreaming.

Anyway, how about following the way our heart directs us? It cannot lead us astray.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

A HINDU FESTIVAL

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A HINDU FESTIVAL

Walking on the beach in the evening, I saw a small temple that had a festival atmosphere.

Around the temple there were vendors of flowers, bananas, sweets, and toys. There was also music and drum rolls.

Made curious, I walked to the small temple. There was a statue of a god inside.

What is the name of this god?” I asked an old man who looked like a local.

His name is Someshwar.” He answered.

What does Someshwar mean?”

It means ‘protector of the borders.’ All fishermen, whatever religion they have, worship him, because they go far away in the ocean. They believe that Someshwar protects them from the perils of the sea.”

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Behind the temple there is a tree. I saw somebody put offerings on it. Is it a sacred tree?” I asked.

Not sacred.”

So, why people put garlands of flowers, coconuts, and bananas on its trunk and light candles in front of it?”

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Nobody can see the real God. Anything can become God. If somebody worships a tree and puts offerings on it, other people will follow him and the tree will become holy. All religions are made by followers.” The old man said.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

THE FROG IN THE WELL

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THE FROG IN THE WELL

Once upon a time, a family of frogs lived in a well. Every day they were waked by the sun. The well got light for a short time and then turned dark again. Down there the sun appeared and disappeared soon.

A young frog wanted to know from where the sun came and where it went to.

To solve the mystery, he needed to get out of the well. What to do! The well was narrow and deep. His hind legs were too weak to jump over it. It seemed impossible for him to see daylight. But the young frog was steadfast and optimistic.

Every day he trained for the high jump.

Some day, I will be able to make a very high jump which will take me out of this goddam well.” He said to himself.

By practicing day by day, finally he was able to take a great jump and get out of the well.

Now I will follow the sun to see from where it comes and where it goes to.”

He kept jumping to follow the sun, until at last he returned to the same place where he had started his traveling.

Meanwhile, his families had succeeded in coming out of the well and now they were sitting silently keeping their eyes closed near the well.

He got near his brother and whispered in his ear, “What are you doing here motionless and with closed eyes?”

We are meditating. We are watching inside ourselves. Where have you been?”

I have traveled all over the world to see from where the sun comes and where it goes to.”

Did you discover anything?”

No, I didn’t. I don’t know anything about the sun.”

I know everything about it.”

How is it possible?”

I watch my breathing, then inside myself. Gradually I come to know who I am. You can do the same. Just watch yourself and you’ll find the sun inside you.”

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

MANDALA

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MANDALA

A mandala is a ritual drawing or painting usually round-shaped. It symbolizes the universe.

In some parts of India, every day housewives draw a colorful mandala in front of their house. To make it they use chalk powder which they drop from their hand very skillfully. Over the day the drawing of mandala fades away because people step on it.

Walking on the beach of Goa, I could find somebody who draws a mandala on the seashore. The work will not last long. Soon the tide will erase it.

While looking at a mandala on the sand, I recalled what once happened in an ancient Zen Monastery. A master gave his disciple the task of heaping dry leaves under the blowing wind. There was a deep meaning in that seemingly absurd task?

A mandala drawn with chalk powder or a mandala on the sand has the same meaning of heaping dry leaves under the wind? I think they symbolize our life. Every day we strive to heap dry leaves that the wind will blow away sooner or later. Every day we draw our mandala which will disappear tomorrow like that on the sand.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

8 MARCH 2028

8 MARCH 2028

When I was an eleven-year-old student, our teacher made us write an essay with this title to stimulate our imagination: “8 March 2028 – describe yourself and the world around you on that date.”

In my essay I made a lot of predictions about my future life, but as far as I can remember, none of them turned out to be real.

I didn’t predict that I would become an author and a traveler.

We can program our life, but very often it goes its way regardless of our plans. Casual happenings drag us here and there beyond our control.

Now I am at Arambol Beach in Goa (India) for my winter holidays.

How did I spend the last day of the year? At dawn I went jogging on the beach, saluted the rising sun, and helped some fishermen that asked me to give them a hand to beach their heavy boat.

At night, I walked along the seaside where thousands of people were waiting for the stroke of midnight.

On the first day of the new year, I went to the beach at daybreak again. There were a few cleaners that were collecting the garbage littered by those who had celebrated Happy New Year all night.

I jogged and then saluted the rising sun as usual. It was the same sun as yesterday. Seeing me, the fishermen waved their hands from a distance. Nothing had changed! We humans divide time into days, months and years, and make wishes whenever a new year comes, but in nature there is only an uninterrupted flow of happenings without beginning or end.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo