Why this blog?

This blog was created with the goal to share personal life inspirations that have pushed me to seek its outward expression in writing, painting, photography, street dance and other mediums. For many years, I have tried to neglect this inner call to place one’s heart and soul into the Arts such as painting and writing. As a child, I really enjoyed the Arts but as I grew up I thought I had more ‘important’ things to do such as trying to find a career path in order to make a living. I say I have fallen prey to the current capitalist society’s messages to de-value Art and place artists into the category of poverty. It might be true that many artists nowadays find themselves to be materially poor yet not many people know how spiritually enriching Art can be!

Buddhist philosophies have taught me to delve away from the temptations of material wealth, power and fame and aim to fully liberate oneself. Of course, these temptations still linger around and remain around me telling me to pursue them. I am still very embedded in the pleasures of worldly living yet I hope one day I can free myself from it.

Creating this blog is a step in the unknown, I have shifted my life towards the Arts and towards Buddhist goals of liberation. It is a first step so there is much hard work to do and challenges ahead. I ask all the readers to be compassionate on my current limited skills and provide constructive criticism on my works so I can be improving day by day.

Hip Hop Pedagogy

Can the Hip Hop movement play a role in changing the education system?

The Hip Hop is a cultural movement originated in the 1970s in the Bronx. Amidst poverty and violence occurring in the streets, youth applied their creativity to create the five elements of Hip Hop. These elements consist of DJiing, Bboying/Breakdacing, MCiing/Rap, Graffiti and Knowledge. Hip Hop was founded on the values of peace, love, unity and having fun. However in the 1980s, the music industry started to promote ‘gangster rap’ which in essence spread messages contrary to the Hip Hop movement. Whereas ‘Gangster rap’ promoted violence, drugs and prostitution, Hip Hop was founded on the values of peace, unity, love and having fun. However, the audience could not distinguish apart these two movements thus Hip Hop started to become associated to ‘gangster rap’, attaching a negative stigma to it. Over the last years, there has been a resurgence of the original Hip Hop movement. Young people became interested in Hip Hop because it allowed them to learn for their personal identities and express their inner-self through the five elements. The globalized world has seen the spread of Hip Hop through different countries around the world.

Here is one perspective on Hip Hop education:


Feelings of a Deer

Feelings of a Deer

This oil sketch was developed through an exercise with a white deer cardboard statue. I thought that instead painting the statue as it was, I would use colors to give life to this deer head statue. What if this deer had feelings? I remembered the paintings of Franz Marc, German expressionist, who made the famous painting “Fate of the Animals”. Here is a link to that painting. http://www.franzmarc.org/images/paintings/fate-of-the-animals.jpg

Convoluted Path of Gender Roles

Convoluted Path on Gender Inequality

The inspiration for this photo came during a summer English teaching program in Guizhou, China. The moment was seized right before the girl was about to cross this old bamboo bridge. This bridge hit me as a symbol of the challenges lying ahead for this generation specially in terms of shifting gender roles during times of rapid economic change.

Poem Knowledge is Like a Boat


Knowledge is like a boat.



yet useful.


It carries us to places we want to go,

yet it doesn’t tell us how we got there.

And once we reach our destination,

we become content.


We praise ourselves,

our boats,

and our geniuses for building such a tool.

An useful tool but with small cracks.


Luckily this boat still floats.

It floats in calm waters,

wild waters,

blue waters and red waters.

Wherever and whenever our minds decide to drift away.


We drift and wander for days,

for months,

for years.

Still no firm land to step on.


All that is around is water.

Soft, transparent, emotional water.

It dances full of happiness,

with a slight touch of mockery.


Its soft voice gently calls us to dance with them

but we are too scared to do so.

Thus, we attach ourselves to this boat.

This boat we built with our own hands.


This boat has worked for us for so long.

It took us to places we wanted to go.

Why should we abandon it?

Why should we step outside, in the water, and drown?


Oh that tricky water,

that mysterious water,

that dances and mocks me.

I dislike you yet I want to be just like you.


So free,

so happy,

so naïve,

so unpredictable!


One day I will step out,

dance with you,

and be happy like you.

But for now I will stay on my boat and wander because I am afraid of you…


(This poem was written after getting inspired by the book Dao De Jing by Lao Tse and Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. Both of these authors write about the hidden teaching from observing different element from the natural world -like water and rivers. After reading these books, I started to realize how water and rivers have a sacred and spiritual component within. It can teach us many lessons only if we observe and listen carefully. I invite you to read these two books if you want to learn more about the teachings in which this poem is rooted on. Here is a free link for Lao Tse’s book: