Replace A Thought Of War By A Thought Of Peace

There is nothing so heartbreaking and terrible as an outburst of human savagery!
I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. Thoughts of war bring destruction to all harmony, well-being, restfulness and content.

Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship, and happiness.

When soldiers of the world draw their swords to kill, soldiers of God clasp each other’s hands! So may all the savagery of man disappear by the Mercy of God, working through the pure in heart and the sincere of soul. Do not think the peace of the world an ideal impossible to attain!
Nothing is impossible to the Divine Benevolence of God.

If you desire with all your heart, friendship with every race on earth, your thought, spiritual and positive, will spread; it will become the desire of others, growing stronger and stronger, until it reaches the minds of all men.

Do not despair! Work steadily. Sincerity and love will conquer hate. How many seemingly impossible events are coming to pass in these days! Set your faces steadily towards the Light of the World.

Show love to all; “Love is the breath of the Holy Spirit in the heart of Man.” Take courage! God never forsakes His children who strive and work and pray! Let your hearts be filled with the strenuous desire that tranquillity and harmony may encircle all this warring world. So will success crown your efforts, and with the universal brotherhood will come the Kingdom of God in peace and goodwill.
~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Source: Paris Talks. © Bahá’í International Community. Photo © GlennFrancoSimmons.com.

Blossoms scattered by wind

Cherry Blossoms
Blossoms are scattered
by the wind and
the wind cares nothing,
but the blossoms
of the heart
no wind can touch.
~ Yoshida Kenko

“Yoshida Kenko (1284 – 1350) was a Japanese author and Buddhist monk,” according to Wikipedia. “His most famous work is Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Idleness) ~ one of the most studied works of medieval Japanese literature. Kenko wrote during the Muromachi and Kamakura periods.”

Photo copyrighted by GlennFrancoSimmons.com.

Cherry Blossoms & Bees At Hakone Estate & Gardens

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When I first started photographing cherry blossoms at Hakone Estate & Gardens a few years back, the number of bees on the blossoms frightened me because I am highly allergic to bee stings (asthma). In the thousands of photos I’ve taken, not one bee has stung me. They have landed on my gear, my hat, and my face, arms and legs. And not one sting. I really love the bees. This photo was softened for effect. It is one of my favorites. If you live in the Bay Area, or even if you don’t and want to support Hakone, buy a membership. They are very modestly priced and it goes to a crown jewel of the San Francisco Bay Area in Silicon Valley’s foothills.