Monthly Archives: July 2011

Zentraveler hangs out at Clarke Quay, Singapore.

Clarke Quay

If you like good scenery, a smorgasbord of fine restaurants, strolling along the river and people watching… then a trip to Clarke Quay is a must while in Singapore. You can take the underground subway MRT system and arrive just before sunset to watch a kaleidoscope of activity. One of the first stops is to locate the ice cream vendor near the walking bridge where you can choose a variety of homemade ice creams. The vendor uses a sharp knife and slices off a hunk of your favorite variety wedged into a waffle sandwich. Bright greens, pinks,and yellows stand out. I tried the peppermint chocolate which was very tasty and had to return and try the French vanilla.

Ice Cream Vendor

You can sit down along the riverbank and watch the local tug boats cruise up and down the river silhouetted over the neon lights of Clarke Quay against the skyline of the city. And if you have the shopping bug you can shop inside the Central Mall which has food courts, and all of the latest trendy clothes and signature brands.

Scenic River Cruise

Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay in Singapore, located within the Singapore River Planning Area. The quay is situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River and Boat Quay.
After dining at one of the trendy restaurants you can elect to ride the G-Max reverse swing bungee that catapults you high above the trees and gives you a bird’s eye view of the city.

Swing Bungee

So there you have it… while in Singapore why not spend quality time visiting Clarke Quay and enjoy the scene. They have restaurants like the Cannery and Hooters and often times have special events in the nightclub district among the converted warehouses. There are also moored Chinese junks (tongkangs) that have been refurbished into floating pubs and restaurants. The Cannery is one of the anchor tenants of Clarke Quay and with over 5 different concepts in one block, you have many excellent dinning choices.

Gourmet Restaurants

A few selected photo images taken at Clarke Quay:

Brightly Colored Buildings

Trendy Restaurant Scene

Riverside Restaurant

QUOTE:“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

Enjoying Clarke Quay

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: The Tokyo Zoo, located in Japan, closes down for two months every year to give the animals a little break from the people.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Save Money and help the environment by making your own cleaning supplies. You can make very effective, non-toxic cleaning products whenever you need them. All you need are a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap. Making your own cleaning products saves money, time, and packaging-not to mention your indoor air quality.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Keep on traveling… you may eventually get there.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, travel, Uncategorized

Zentraveler on Why do we Suffer?

Natural Waterfall Meditation

Why do we suffer?
This was the subject of the Buddha’s first lesson after his enlightenment. The Buddha said we suffer by wanting things we don’t have and having things we don’t want, by being aware from loved ones and near people we don’t like. He described many other sufferings in such a way that it was clear we could never make a world where all these conditions were just the way we like. It was also clear that money could not solve very many of these problems. So what causes all these problems? DESIRE! Not the desire to own things or sexual desire. These are the most commonly used meanings of the word because they are so obvious. The desire the Buddha spoke of includes those desires, but much more. It includes desire to see ourselves as separate from others, desire to see things in a way that makes us morally good, even desire to treasure and recite the texts and rituals of Buddhism!

What is the Buddhist path out of desire?
To eliminate the suffering-causing desire you need to start living right. Specifically you need the right understanding, right thought, right words, right action, right occupation, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration (meditation).

Compassion and wisdom are the centre of this. Compassionate behaviour creates situations that allow you to develop your wisdom. Wise beings are always compassionate, since compassion is the most logical response to the world once you see it clearly. Since compassion and wisdom support one another, it should be easy, right? The difficulty is getting started. We have good intentions, but we need vows to give those good intentions strength. Even a small vow is a start. For now though, if you want to follow the path, the most basic five are:

Not to harm or kill sentient beings
Not to steal (defined as taking something that is not given to you)
No sexual misconduct
Not to lie or engage in malicious talk
No drugs or alcohol

Some Zen newbies turn these vows into laws and debate them like a lawyer, but that’s not the point. If you want to know if it’s wrong, ask yourself honestly, what was your true motivation and do you feel guilty about it.

Meditation in essential too. As part of your meditation practice learn to observe your thoughts and if disturbing thoughts keep coming simply say: change pegs and soon it will lose its power and be diffused.

Present in every moment of consciousness are feelings of pleasantness, unpleasantness or neutrality. It is this quality of feeling that has conditioned our minds to cling or condemn. Thus one grasps at pleasant objects and feelings and condemns and has aversion for unpleasant things. It is between the two links of feelings and craving where one may interject and break the chain of dependent origination and so bring suffering and unhappiness in your life to an end.

So there you have it if you want to end suffering… simply learn to observe instead of reaction to every desire that your mind conjures up. Nayanaponik Thera commented that by learning to observe… attachment to likes and dislikes will be reduced and thereby an inner space will be provided for the growth of the finer emotions and virtues: for loving-kindness and compassion, for contentment, patience and forbearance.” Such finer emotions and virtues surely represent a fine base from which skillful intent and actions in the world can occur. It is the gradual replacement of unskillful intentions and acts with skillful ones in Buddhism that puts an end to the generation of negative karma and suffering.

QUOTE:“Enjoying the joys of others and suffering with them – these are the best guides for man.”
—Albert Einstein

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:”Life is suffering.” Buddha

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: The energy it takes to suffer!

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:End suffering by living right and learning to observe!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, Practical Zen, Uncategorized

Zentraveler relaxes with a cup of Chamomile Herb Tea!

With all of the media buzz along with 24 hour news blasts, television, cell phones, emails, internet, action movies, Facebook, and hype… if we are not careful, we fall into the same trap and load up on caffeine high coffees and colas… only to crash a few hours later.

Chamomile tea has been consumed for hundreds of years. It is made by infusing German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), a member of the sunflower family, in hot water. Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is also beneficial, but most research has been done on German chamomile and it is the most commonly used in teas.

Chamomile tea’s most well-known benefit is as a sleep aid. It is known for its relaxing and soothing properties and is often taken before bed to promote restful sleep.

Peter Rabbit’s mother was right to give him chamomile after he ate too much in Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden. Chamomile is helpful for a variety of stomach problems. It soothes stomach aches, eases the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, promotes elimination, and assists in overall digestion. It is often found in teas for digestion in combination with peppermint.

It is also helpful when you have a cold, sore throat, or the flu.

Bigelows individual packed advertising says: “As soothing as a field of daisies.” Cozy Chamomile Herb Tea is a wonderful way to unwind and relax any time of day. Chamomile Herb Tea is pure chamomile for quiet moments. Just what the doctor ordered… some brain freeze to be in the now.

It’s all natural, Caffeine FREE, Gluten Free, and has O calories. Total fat O, sodium O,potassium 1%, total carbohydrate O, protein O. On the caffeine meter coffee has 100-120 mg, black tea 30-60 mg,green tea 25-50 mg, decaf tea 1-8 mg, Chamomile herb tea 0 mg.

This tea makes an excellent iced tea or hot tea and can be embellished with pure honey. The next time you are entertaining guests make a pitcher of Chamomile Herb Iced Tea with lemon slices and watch the reaction from your guests. So there you have it… if you would like to unwind from daily stresses… why not take the time and pour yourself a cup of Chamomile Herb Tea!

Disclaimer: This website is simply the writers views and is not an attempt to practice medicine or provide specific medical or health advice and should not be used to make a diagnosis or to replace or overrule a qualified health care provider’s judgment. None of the statements on Zentraveler are to be understood as a recommendation on how to treat any disease or health related condition. If you require medical or other assistance Zentraveler strongly encourages users to consult with a qualified health care professional.

QUOTE:The first cup of tea moistens my lips and throat. The second cup breaks my loneliness. The third cup searches my barren entrail but to find therein some thousand volumes of odd ideographs. The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration – all the wrongs of life pass out through my pores. At the fifth cup I am purified. The sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals. The seventh cup – ah, but I could take no more! I only feel the breath of the cool wind that raises in my sleeves. Where is Elysium? Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither. ~Lu Tung, “Tea-Drinking”

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:One of the facts about tea is that it is the world’s second favorite drink, after water. Other facts about tea include that it comes from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant and it is a low-cost drink. You can brew more than 200 cups of tea from one pound of loose tea leaves.

The English word ‘tea’ and its many cousins (e.g. tay, thé, tey) trace their roots back to the name for tea in the Chinese Amoy dialect, te (pronounced tay). On the other hand, cha, chai, char and other related names used today are the children of cha, the Mandarin Chinese word for tea.

Varieties of Tea
There are four main types of tea, white, green, black and oolong. There are many different varieties within each category, giving over 3,000 different teas from around the world.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Tea Leaves! You can write your own horoscope.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:Drink Chamomile Herb Tea to relax and aid with sleep.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, health, Uncategorized

Zentraveler visits Hort Park in Singapore!

Hort Park Greenhouse

When in Singapore simply google parks and you have many choices which could keep you busy for weeks visiting all of the wonderful parks in Singapore. We choose to go to Hort Park since it looked interesting was FREE and you could spend the entire day there taking in the different sites.
Entrance Hort Park
The 23 hectare HortPark has been developed by National Parks Board with a cost of $13.1 million as a gardening lifestyle hub. It is the first parks and gardens in South East Asia that put together gardening-related recreational, educational, research and retail activities under one roof.

The Park has 20 theme gardens with prototype glasshouses, creative play grounds, garden features, lifestyle corner, and the HortMart, as well as miles of nature paths with expertly landscaped plants and trees of all varieties. It is a treat for the senses to see this wonderful park in the midst of a developing Asian city. It shows what a city can do with its donors and corporate sponsors to add green-space for the enjoyment of everyone.

Water Park

As a model eco park you can leisurely visit the many gardens and explore the plants and grounds as you make your way around this expansive work or art. The park has many types of flowers, colorful trees – a butterfly garden…with wonderful bouquets of wild flowers and sculptures around every bend.

Outdoor Room

So there you have it! If you enjoy the out-of-doors with your own art gallery… why not visit Hort Park while in Singapore. The park is wheel chair friendly and is a great adventure for the entire family…from the youngest children to the elderly. You can walk leisurely, have a picnic lunch, play, and learn something about gardens and gardening. A perfect example of eco-culture imbedded amidst an urban city.

Garden Boutique

QUOTE:In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful. ~Abram L. Urban

Tropical Flowers

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Herbs have been around for a long time, as far back as the ancient Chinese and Egyptians. There are references in the Bible and medieval documents that show herbs were used by most households. Growing herbs is something that is very beneficial to gardeners for several different purposes. They really are versatile, being used in tea, in medicine, in potpourri and in the management of garden pests.

You can specialize your herb garden to focus on any of these uses or grow a variety to broaden it’s appeal. It is also possible to grow them with other species of plants, indoors or outdoors. A small plot of four feet by six feet is a large enough area to support a small family. Although a popular use for herbs are for cooking known as culinary herbs, they are also grown for their aromatic leaves and some for the beauty of their flowers. They can be used fresh or dried.


ZENTRAVELER SAYS:Create green areas by planting your weight in tree seedlings every year and getting involved with plants and trees. Use your back and or your wallet… get busy grasshopper!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, travel, Uncategorized