Peaceful Tourist Presents: May All Beings Have Happiness: Hsi Lai Temple

First Posted on 10/15/2018

“May all beings have happiness…”, is part of a traditional Buddhist prayer.  I’m not a Buddhist but I assume this prayer is a way for devotees to send positive energy out into the universe.  This act is so important for spiritual health, to wish well for our fellow beings in a sincere and selfless manner.  Giving selflessly benefits all.

The largest Buddhist temple in the United States is right here in the Southern California city of Hacinda Heights.  Hsi Lai Temple is a massive complex filled with treasure upon treasure, golden art and architecture converging.  But much more, this is a quiet place for sacred and personal reflection.  I felt uplifted from the start.

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Peaceful Tourist Presents: Ascending to Oblivion: Seven Hours in a Float Tank

First Posted on 9/25/2018

I began floating in sensory deprivation tanks about a year and a half ago.  While first lured by tales of psychedelic insight I stuck around for the profound physical and mental relaxation.  The float tank environment is a combination of conditions humans do not normally encounter – absolute darkness, silence, weightlessness and solitude.  Ideally, sensory input does not exist inside the float chamber. The user is left free from distraction and alone with their thoughts, perhaps for the first time since they left their mother’s womb.

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Peaceful Tourist Presents: Peace ‘N The Hood: The LA Hood Life Tour

First Posted on 8/29/2018

The Hollywood tour with an edge.  You can forget about seeing Betty White’s house along the way.  I was driven into some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Los Angeles on a hip-hop based tour brimming with cultural and historic landmarks.  From the childhood homes of legendary gangsta rappers to the flashpoint of the LA Riots, from the beautiful houses in affluent Baldwin Hills to the projects in Watts, the LA Hood Life Tour is electric from start to finish.  This tour provided a unique opportunity to see things and go places I’d not dare on my own.  It also puts a human face on the hood.   I wasn’t watching a movie or show or music video.  I saw real people out there, flesh and blood – we live, we die, we love, we hate, we’re all the same.

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The Peaceful Tourist Experiment

I thought it would be fun to post the trips I originally posted for my second, very short-lived blog “Peaceful Tourist”.  When I was doing real hiking and taking photos for Silent Hiker, I always liked to stop at fun curiosities while on the road.  So why not make a whole day of it?  After a few trips I decided it wasn’t right for me – too expensive and not enough physical activity or solitude.  Still, I look back and these were fun days where I got to get a little more creative in my planning than usual.  I will leave the original writings for the first four entries intact.  The write-up for the fifth trip was never completed, so that will be new.  Hope someone out there enjoys these.

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