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Buffalo Creek on Christmas Day

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Yesterday and the day prior I drove a car (yup, it’s true…Buffalo Car Share). Two of my sisters live about 25 miles from me and this is the best way to get to them on a cold Christmas day. Anyhow, I used the opportunity to snap a few photos along the way. All of the photos are of Buffalo Creek. The two immediately below were taken from the bridge pictured above which crosses the creek on Blossom Road in Elma. When I was a kid (teenager) friends and I would swim in this creek in the summertime and have wild parties there at night (the stories I could tell). And the bottom two photos were taken on the bank of the creek at Charles Burchfield Park in West Seneca.

Urban Simplicity

Christmas…

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I’ve posted this Christmas prayer/mediation by Paramahansa Yogananda for the past few Christmases. I find it so beautiful that I thought I would post it again. But the difficult part, the nearly impossible part (at least for me), is living up to it…but it’s good, I think, to have something to aspire to. Merry Christmas. Peace. 
 
A Christmas Vow

I will prepare for the coming of the Omnipresent baby Christ by cleaning the cradle of my consciousness, now rusty with selfishness, indifference, and sense attachments; and by polishing it with deep, daily, divine meditation, introspection and discrimination. I will re model the cradle with the dazzling soul qualities of brotherly love, humbleness, faith, desire for God-realization, will power, self-control, renunciation, and unselfishness, that I may fittingly celebrate the birth of the Divine Child.”
–Paramahansa Yogananda

Urban Simplicity.

Things That can be Carried on a Bike (#548 & #549)

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#548…Crates and boxes of food on their way to a food pantry.

#549…A Christmas Tree.

Urban Simplicity.

Four Trees; One Photo

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I came upon this while riding my bike the other night. It was frigid cold out; my fingers ached, but I thought this was beautiful. So a took a photo and thought I’d share. Click it for a slightly larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

Advent…

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Urban Simplicity.

Merry Christmas!

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Photo Credit: Filipe Dana

I came across these two photos yesterday and they inspired me to post them for Christmas. The above photo is of the Christ Statue, in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in front of a full moon. And the below image is of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama praying in front of an image of Jesus the Christ (this I find particularly moving).
Whether or not today was the actual birthday of Yeshua ben Yosef (Jesus’ original birth-name: Jesus, son of Joseph), this is the day it is celebrated. Today, of course, is a day of refection and personal re-birth for Christians around the globe. But I have to admit that with recent events as I look inward I am having difficulty finding peace. But still I try, and still I hope. I’ve posted the below prayer for the past four Christmases, but I find it inspiring enough to re-post it again. Personally I know that I can use to re-read and reflect upon it. It is a Christmas vow written by Paramahansa Yoganada and it can be found in his tiny book, Metaphysical Meditations. Merry Christmas, brothers and sisters, wherever you may find yourself at this time. Peace.

A Christmas Vow

I will prepare for the coming of the Omnipresent baby Christ by cleaning the cradle of my consciousness, now rusty with selfishness, indifference, and sense attachments; and by polishing it with deep, daily, divine meditation, introspection and discrimination. I will re model the cradle with the dazzling soul qualities of brotherly love, humbleness, faith, desire for God-realization, will power, self-control, renunciation, and unselfishness, that I may fittingly celebrate the birth of the Divine Child.”
–Paramahansa Yogananda

Photo found here.

For Christmas Eve…

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O Tannenbaum (a view from my handlebars)

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I saw these while riding on Delaware Avenue this evening, on a stretch that was once–about 100 years ago– called Millionaire’s Row  (now, the once stately mansions are all businesses). And it’s interesting in that while I don’t ride a bike on the sidewalk very often (pavements, to my EU friends) I do on this stretch…there is virtually no shoulder to the road and cars are flying by way passed the speed limit. Anyhow, as I was riding by–and cars zipped passed me–these trees looked beautiful to me on this crisp and windless evening. So I stopped and snapped a few photos…and here are a couple of them.


Urban Simplicity

Five Quotes from Jesus of Nazareth

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This is another in the Five Quotes series on this blog, but I first have two preface the quotes with a couple comments. Firstly, I just wanted to say that I found the above photo at St. Francis Place. I chose the photo because I do believe that Jesus meditated (there are plenty of resources for this but the post at St. Francis Place is a  good one). I also believe that Jesus studied in India with the spiritual masters of his time; many refer to this as the Lost Years, or more specifically, the years which the Bible is silent on the life of Jesus. It is also likely that December 25 is not the actual birth date of Jesus, but as Christians this is the day we celebrate it. At any rate, whether you are a Christian or not, you have to admit that if more of us (myself included) followed the teachings of Jesus–lived them–the world would likely be a better place. Anyhow, these–in no particular order–are just a few of His words that inspire me.

Merry Christmas!

Love your neighbor as yourself.
Mark 12:31 

 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:7

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 
Matthew 6:25

The Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, but men do not see it.
The Gospel of Thomas 113

 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
 Mathew 5:9

To read more in the Five Quotes series, click here.

Urban Simplicity.

Merry Christmas!

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I know it’s a day early, and that not everyone in the world celebrates Christmas, but I thought I’d send out well wishes to all my fellow bloggers, bikers, cooks, and other misfit souls on this material plane in which we currently find ourselves. Merry Christmas and with hopes for a healthy and prosperous New Year

Merry Christmas, Milad Majid, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Fröhliche Weihnachten, Kala Christouyenna, Mo’adim Lesimkha, Buone Feste Natalizie, Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
(translation source; my apologies for not including all.)

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#381)

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Eight cardboard boxes (I feel like I should have done a Twelve Things That Can be Carried on a Bike Before Christmas series…maybe next year).

Urban Simplicity.

Advent

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As many of you know, today begins the Christian season of Advent. I do not talk openly very often on this blog about my faith (for many reasons), but here is a synopsis. While I was baptized and raised as a Christian, and consider myself a Christian to this day, I also have deep respect for all religions and believe that they are all true. Thus said, I do not believe that Jesus is the only way, I believe that Christianity is a way…a way for personal transformation from within. And this brings me to my next thought, and that is that I treat pretty much the entire Bible as metaphor. That being said, I look at this Holy Season of Advent not as a time of waiting for the literal return of Christ…but a time for renewal; a transformation of myself, a time for introspection, a time of re-birthing the Christ within me, you, and everyone. And this is a time I think I need each year…a time to remember to look inward so in turn I can go outward. The below prayer was written by Paramahansa Yogananda, in his little book called Metaphysical Meditations; I posted this before but find it so beautiful I thought I’d share it again. Peace be to you, my friends; I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

A Christmas Vow

I will prepare for the coming of the Omnipresent baby Christ by cleaning the cradle of my consciousness, now rusty with selfishness, indifference, and sense attachments; and by polishing it with deep, daily, divine meditation, introspection and discrimination. I will re model the cradle with the dazzling soul qualities of brotherly love, humbleness, faith, desire for God-realization, will power, self-control, renunciation, and unselfishness, that I may fittingly celebrate the birth of the Divine Child.”
–Paramahansa Yogananda

Advent

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As many of you know, today begins the Christian season of Advent. I do not talk openly very often on this blog about my faith (for many reasons), but here is a synopsis. While I was baptized and raised as a Christian, and consider myself a Christian to this day, I also have deep respect for all religions and believe that they are all true. Thus said, I do not believe that Jesus is the only way, I believe that Christianity is a way…a way for personal transformation from within. And this brings me to my next thought, and that is that I treat pretty much the entire Bible as metaphor. That being said, I look at this Holy Season of Advent not as a time of waiting for the literal return of Christ…but a time for renewal; a transformation of myself, a time for introspection, a time of re-birthing the Christ within me, you, and everyone. And this is a time I think I need each year…a time to remember to look inward so in turn I can go outward. The below prayer was written by Paramahansa Yogananda, in his little book called Metaphysical Meditations; I posted this before but find it so beautiful I thought I’d share it again. Peace be to you, my friends; I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

A Christmas Vow

I will prepare for the coming of the Omnipresent baby Christ by cleaning the cradle of my consciousness, now rusty with selfishness, indifference, and sense attachments; and by polishing it with deep, daily, divine meditation, introspection and discrimination. I will re model the cradle with the dazzling soul qualities of brotherly love, humbleness, faith, desire for God-realization, will power, self-control, renunciation, and unselfishness, that I may fittingly celebrate the birth of the Divine Child.”
–Paramahansa Yogananda

It’s That Time of Year…

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It’s that time of year again…when the stores and media bombards us with adverts attempting to convince us that we have to buy stuff we don’t really need. Whatever your beliefs (or non-beliefs, for that matter), let’s usher in the holiday season (not the “shopping season) and celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice (or even Festivus, if that’s your thing) for what they were originally intended…family, friends, food, and looking inward. Happy Holidays!

It’s That Time of Year…

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It’s that time of year again…when the stores and media bombards us with adverts attempting to convince us that we have to buy stuff we don’t really need. Whatever your beliefs (or non-beliefs, for that matter), let’s usher in the holiday season (not the “shopping season) and celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice (or even Festivus, if that’s your thing) for what they were originally intended…family, friends, food, and looking inward. Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas!

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To all my fellow bloggers, readers, riders, cooks, and other misfits out there in the blogosphere, I wish you a very Merry Christmas…and health, happiness and enlightenment. 

>Merry Christmas!

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>

 
To all my fellow bloggers, readers, riders, cooks, and other misfits out there in the blogosphere, I wish you a very Merry Christmas…and health, happiness and enlightenment. 

A Christmas Vow by Sri Yogananda

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 Image found here.

I will prepare for the coming of the Omnipresent baby Christ by cleaning the cradle of my consciousness, now rusty with selfishness, indifference, and sense attachments; and by polishing it with deep, daily, divine meditation, introspection, and discrimination. I will remodel the cradle with the dazzling soul-qualities of brotherly love, humbleness, faith, desire for God-realization, will power, self-control, renunciation, and unselfishness, that I may fittingly celebrate the birth of the Divine Child.”
Paramahansa Yogananda

I find the above passage both moving and beautiful…quite an aspiration for an average bloke like me. I first came across it about five years ago when I picked up the little book, Metaphysical Meditations. If we all thought about Christmas like this the world may be a different place.

 To learn more about Paramahansa Yogananda, click here.

Merry Christmas!

>A Christmas Vow by Sri Yogananda

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>

 Image found here.

I will prepare for the coming of the Omnipresent baby Christ by cleaning the cradle of my consciousness, now rusty with selfishness, indifference, and sense attachments; and by polishing it with deep, daily, divine meditation, introspection, and discrimination. I will remodel the cradle with the dazzling soul-qualities of brotherly love, humbleness, faith, desire for God-realization, will power, self-control, renunciation, and unselfishness, that I may fittingly celebrate the birth of the Divine Child.”
Paramahansa Yogananda

I find the above passage both moving and beautiful…quite an aspiration for an average bloke like me. I first came across it about five years ago when I picked up the little book, Metaphysical Meditations. If we all thought about Christmas like this the world may be a different place.

 To learn more about Paramahansa Yogananda, click here.

Merry Christmas!

The Digital Story of the Nativity

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This is very clever. It’s worth the 3 minutes of your time to watch. 

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