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Showing posts from February, 2019

Who Are The People You Meet In Heaven?

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Saturday Stories March 2, 2019
Who Are The People You Meet In Heaven? By Jonathan Aquino
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Every night for the past three months, I would watch an episode of The Flash before my bedtime reading. Flash is so fast that he could travel back in time. One time (pardon the pun), he went back to be with his parents, which created an alternate timeline called Flashpoint. But when he returned, like what happened in the film The Butterfly Effect, everything in his original timeline had changed. The only way to fix things was to return to the past and let events happen again as they had. So he did that, but when he returned to the present, there were new changes. And the effects of Flashpoint created a new group of metahumans that weren't there before.
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I'm especially intrigued by the idea of how something that seems insignificant can have far-reaching effects. So when I read again The Five People You Meet In Heaven by my beloved Mitch Albom, my mind kept going back to when Eddie, our…

Viktor Frankl and Our Search For Meaning

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Saturday Stories February 23, 2019
Viktor Frankl and Our Search For Meaning  By Jonathan Aquino
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Viktor Frankl once said – "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." One of the greatest lessons I've learned is that we can always decide how we react to anything, and nothing can take it away from us. I got this from a man who has suffered the most savage brutality that humans can inflict on their fellowmen. We all know that the Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl had been imprisoned, tortured and driven to slavery during the Holocaust, but we cannot possibly even imagine the magnitude of the kind of suffering. 
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Yet Frankl knew it. He has seen the most evil face of humanity. He felt that absolute worst pain that anyone can ever endure – the cold-blooded murder of his entire family. The Nazis killed his wife, his mother, his father and his brother. For three agonizing years since their capture in 1942, Frankl was sent to fou…

The Way of Peace

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Saturday Stories February 15, 2019

The Way of Peace 
By Jonathan Aquino

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Robert Louis Stevenson once said "Keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspiration with others." Somebody asked me what movie do I want the world to see. I said one of them is "Peaceful Warrior," inspired by the novel "Way of The Peaceful Warrior" by world champion athlete Dan Millman. It is the story of a gymnast who broke his leg – and recovered by healing his spirit.

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Dan was a national champion, the star of the college team, and on the way to the Olympics. Life was good. But he felt a sense of being incomplete, yet not knowing why. One night, as he walked along the campus, he saw a service station where an old man was sitting on a chair just outside. When he came to the door, he saw the impossible – the man was standing on the rooftop.

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That was how the student met his teacher. The man was mysterious, so Dan just called him Socrates, after the Greek philosopher who wa…

Sign of Water

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Sign of Water By Jonathan Aquino
For West Coast Eisteddfod

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An old building, almost empty, second floor. I was alone, standing on the corridor, then a guy approached, some dude wearing a red Che Guevara shirt, baggy jeans, black socks, and no shoes.
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He nodded at me, and I did likewise. “Where’s your ward, man?” I asked. “Last one on the left,” he said. “Hey!” “Hey what?” I asked, startled. He said he saw me the other day downstairs where people get x-rays.
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“Clem,” he said, and, “Thomas,” I said, but we did not shake hands, though he asked  if there are cigarettes I happen to have, and I said, “But we can’t smoke,” and he said, “Rules, rules, rules!”
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Just then, a man went past, ignoring us, heading towards the far pavillion. “My ward," Clem said. He added: “My dad,” and he translated: “Mi padre.” “You freaking hablo EspaƱol?!” I was amazed. “Un poco,” he said. “A little. My dad and I,” he confessed, “don't talk.” And I, of course, didn't ask why. I nodded: i…

A Long Strange Trip

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Saturday Stories February 9, 2019

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The American humorist W.C. Fields once said "Some things are better than sex, and some are worse, but there's nothing exactly like it." Creative Talents Unleashed, an independent publisher in California where I've been a Featured Writer, has just released their latest anthology, Naughty Nuts & Bolts.
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In the book is my narrative poem, "A Long Strange Trip," a coming-of-age story which can also be interpreted as a metaphor for sex. It is originally a part of one of my poetry duets with award-winning international author Elizabeth Castillo whose poem, "Temptation," is also featured.
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My ABABAB rhyme form and 7-5-7-7-7-5 beat is inspired by "Sorrow" by Edna St. Vincent Millay – "Sorrow like a ceaseless rain/ Beats upon my heart./ People twist and scream in pain, —/ Dawn will find them still again;/ This has neither wax nor wane,/ Neither stop nor start..."
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And my title is inspired b…

There Are No Ordinary Moments

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Saturday Stories February 2, 2019

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The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh once said: "Mindfulness helps you go home to the present, and every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes." I first knew him in "The Monks and Me," the memoir of a yoga teacher of her forty-day retreat in a Buddhist temple which I've read three years ago. It inspired me to focus on the present, to be fully aware of my breathing, to be totally absorbed in what I'm doing.
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I always remind myself to practice mindfulness, though I've trained myself to multitask. I made it a point to be intent while I was polishing our kitchen and bathroom tiles last weekend, or while reading Thich Nhat Hanh's "The Miracle of Mindfulness" three weeks ago. "In mindfulness," he writes, "one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake." Meditation is "a serene encounter with reality."
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Mindfulness, this …