Category Archives: Spiritual life


House of Virgin Mary

House of Virgin Mary
Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her house exterior.

Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her house exterior.

The House of the Virgin (Meryemana in Turkish), located in a nature park between Ephesus and Seljuk, is believed to be the last residence of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. The peaceful site is sacred to both Catholics  and Muslims, (Muslims also believe in the virgin birth and honor Mary as the mother of the Prophet Jesus and given the emphasis placed on the Virgin Mary in the Qur’an.) and is visited by many tourists and pilgrims.

Catholic tradition associates Mary with Ephesus because at the time of his death, Jesus put Mary in the care of John, who then spent many years spreading Christianity in this region. 

The house was discovered in the 19th century by following the descriptions in the reported visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774–1824), a Roman Catholic nun and visionary, which were published as a book by Clemens Brentano  after her death, Following the book’s publication, ruins of a house were discovered at the present site and declared to be the house where Mary had lived the final years of her life. Known as the Panaya Kapula (‘Doorway to the Virgin’), the site has been a much venerated pilgrimage destination since the late 1880

The shrine itself is not extensively large, but may rather be described as a modest chapel. Upon entrance to the chapel, a pilgrim is met by one single large room where an altar along with a large statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is prominently displayed in the center. The small, T-shaped stone building consists of a bedroom on the right side — traditionally associated with the actual room where the Virgin Mary is believed to have slept, and a kitchen (on the left). The interior is kept simple and austere, fitted only with an altar, images of Mary and candles.

Some visitors choose to kneel in front of the alter instead. The alter has a small statue of Mary surrounded by colourful bouquets of flowers. Photography is not allowed inside the chapel.

Photo © Ephesus Guide.

Photo © Ephesus Guide.

Photo © Ephesus Guide.

Photo © Ephesus Guide.




The spring  is found at the exit of the church , a rather salt water, and can be drunk and is believed to have miraculous powers of healing or fertility, and many miracles have been reported. Inside the house are crutches and canes said to be left behind by those who were healed by the sacred spring.


The most amazing was the  wishing wall which pilgrims have used by tying their personal intension on thousands of scraps of paper or fabric, and photos


A liturgical ceremony is held here each year on August 15, Catholics and Muslims gather at the shrine to commemorate the Assumption of Mary.

 The Roman Catholic Church has never pronounced on the authenticity of the house, for lack of scientifically acceptable evidence. It has, however, from the blessing of the first pilgrimage by Pop Leo XIII in 1896, taken a positive attitude towards the site. Pope Pius XII in 1951, following the definition of the dogma of the Assumption in 1950, elevated the house to the status of a holy place, a privilege later made permanent by Pope John XXIII, and the most recent in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI

Photo © Ephesus Guide.

Photo © Ephesus Guide.


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Wat Rong Khun, วัดร่องขุ่น ~ Thailand

Wat Rong Khun, วัดร่องขุ่น ~ Thailand

is known as White Temple is situated  about thirteen kilometers south of Chiang Rai, very near to Myanmar. Different from other temple. It is covered with combination of whitewash and tiny mirror chips that make it shine.

It  was built by artist, Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat. He  together with more than 60 followers devoted totally their effort and energy to make this structure their life work created this temple with his freedom, not under anybody’s influence or thought processes, so he did not accept donating from any sources including government

The artist used white color to represent Buddha’s purity while the mirrors symbolize Buddha’s dhamma, teaching men to observe their own mind and reflect kindness towards others.


Before entering the temple grounds, morbid and spooky statues and hanging heads welcome the new visitor. Skeletons and Demons warn the visitor about the dangers of Alcohol and Smoking.DSC_6937 DSC_6935


The whole architecture as well as the statues all around have been carefully studied and are imbued with riddles, teachings and Buddhist philosophy.


The Temple is surrounded by a pond with dozens of white and black fish guarded by dragons and fantastic mythological creatures.

surrounded by the pond

surrounded by the pond

Before crossing the bridge of the “Cycle of Rebirth”, we cannot prevent getting the chills gazing upon the hundreds of sculpted hands reaching up from “Hell”, symbolizing the way to happiness through overcoming cravings.




Twisted demon faces observe and mock the visitor as he prepares to purge his soul from cravings.

After crossing the Bridge, the visitor reaches the temple, the Abode of Buddha.


Although still unfinished, the paintings on the walls inside represent a mix of traditional Thai Buddhist art and contemporary scenes like a plane crashing into the twin towers, the war for Oil, many movie/comics characters like Neo, Batman, Doraemon, Kungfu Panda,  Superman and Star Wars droids. All superheroes painted to let people know that there really are no heroes in our world. so many morality declines , the world become ill , people lack moral standard. that is why Ajarn Chalermchai portray evil people as the demon with mouth opened encircled the entrance of the temple. Too bad photography inside the temple was not allowed . so I scan a view photos from guiding book.

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

When visitors walked out, they feel they leave the demon behind and going towards the highest level of dhamma, where people will not reborn, to meet the Lord Buddha at the edge of the universe.

DSC_6995crop DSC_6970 DSC_6964crop

Next to the white temple, on the other side of the pond, is also a the “Gharavasa” (the layman quarters) where an Art gallery, a preaching hall and a “golden toilet” are located, I think that is the most beautiful public restroom, and free to enter and admire, many people took photo of themselves in front of this toilet.



DSC_6975 rz 

The temple-like building is supposed to represent the Body (as opposed to the white temple that represents the Mind). Charlemchai built the two bots (white and gold) in hope to teach people to let go and not cling to substance or money, and not to perceive the physical body as an assumed identity.

Ajarn Chalermchai builds this  temple is different from other temples that are golden. He believes that gold is suitable to people who lust for evil deeds. The Lord Buddha represent purity, and he use small mirrors throughout  the building is symbol of wisdom (Dharma) that shines throughout the universe.

“I want to build a heavenly garden (happiness) for humans to stroll in. I want all visitors of whatever religion to have feeling of peace, happiness and at the same time get to understand the meaning of Buddhism that can be seen all over the temple whether it’s in the architectural, the drawings , or the molding works” said Ajarn Chalermchai

Whether or not his message will reach visitors’ soul, Wat Rong Khun is scheduled to be completed by 2070 , remains one of the most unusual and interesting places of worship I have ever visited.

When it is completed, Wat Rong Khun will be a symbol to one man’s dedication to his country, his religion, and his present King, with a deep meaning behind every statue, corner or architectural design representing the wild creativity and vision. one day, it will also became a heritage of the world.

” I discipline the mind to train me toward being a good person with clear thinking, speaking well, and doing good deeds, We are all human, and I want to give goodness to people. If we have love and forgiveness in our hearts, it will come out naturally. You need to practice patience before you can control your own mind.” said Ajarn Chalermchai.




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Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals

Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the world

1. Change

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.

2. Control.

“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”

3. Forgiveness

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
“An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

4. Action.

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”

5. The present moment.

“I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.”

6. Everyone is human.

“I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”
“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

7. Persist.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

8. Goodness.

“I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.”
“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”

9. Truth

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”

10. Development.

“Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.”

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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in lesson from the expert, Spiritual life, wisdom


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I Wish You Enough…

This is really a good story. Read and remember…

Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. The airline had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, “I love you. I wish you  enough.”She in turn said, “Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad.” They kissed and she left.

He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone
knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?” “I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead, and the reality is, the next trip back will be for my funeral,” he said.

“When you were saying good-bye I heard you say, “I wish you enough. May I ask what that means?”

He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down for many generations within my family. My parents used to say it to everyone.”

He paused for a moment, looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more. “When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them,” he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following:

 I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough ‘Hellos’ to get you through the final ‘Good-byes.’

Then he walked away.


~Written by Bob Perks~

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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in lesson from the expert, Spiritual life


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Getting Older, Story about PITA

Menjadi tua adalah hal yang ditakuti oleh banyak orang terutama wanita. Menjadi renta dengan banyak keriput di wajah, tidak cantik lagi, kegemukan, dan menjadi tidak menarik lagi terutama untuk pasangan  adalah hal-hal  yang paling menakutkan, maka cream anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, menjadi sangat laku di pasaran.

Saya memiliki komunitas Arisan yang dibentuk oleh ibu-ibu yang anaknya bersekolah di TK Aloysius Batununggal Bandung, Kami memilih nama PITA (Persatuan Ibu TK Aloysius),dan terbentuk  sejak anak-anak kami duduk di TK Kecil dengan anggota sekitar 25 orang, aktivitas kami selain arisan, juga ada kunjungan sosial, saling mengunjungi jika ada yang sakit atau dalam kesulitan dan tentu saja kuliner. Kami menikmati persahabatan dalam komunitas ini, walaupun dalam perjalanan waktu, ada teman yang pindah ke Bali, ke Jakarta, Ke Surabaya, atau ada yang mengurus cucunya di Singapura, tapi persahabatan tetap terjalin, apalagi dengan kecanggihan teknologi seperti sekarang ini, istilahnya ‘the world is flat” mudah sekali untuk berbagi informasi.

Ketika anak-anak kami duduk di bangku TK, kami berfoto bersama di studio foto Jonas, dengan memakai kostum sumbangan ibu Yati Tumbuan, kami berdandan dan berfoto ria, kami merasa bahagia, dan yakin bahwa kami sudah di foto dalam keadaan cantik.

foto by Jonas photo studio

Kami mengisi pertemuan kami dengan penuh persahabatan, dan kadang-kadang mengundang pembicara untuk menambah wawasan kami, tentang wanita, pendidikan anak, ataupun acara demo masak, kunjungan ke panti jompo, panti asuhan, dan lain-lain.

Panti Jompo Priangan, 2011

Seiring dengan berjalannya waktu dan pasang surut anggota yang hadir, sampai sekarang komunitas PITA tetap eksis, dengan anggota sekitar 25 orang, walaupun tidak semua bisa datang jika ada acara arisan setiap bulannya, karena kesibukan masing-masing,  tetapi kegiatan tetap berlangsung  rutin dalam suasana penuh canda keceriaan.

Aktivitas terakhir adalah, kegiatan Foto dengan tema “Kebaya Session” di Gubug Mang Engking pada bulan April 2011. Kami memakai kebaya dan berfoto ria, kami memakai kebaya dengan jeans, dengan kain, bergaya bak foto model, dan kami amat menikmati kebersamaan kami.

Kemudian foto-foto di upload di jejaring sosial FaceBook, dan banyak tanggapan positif, pujian tentang keceriaan dan kekompakan kami. Pada saat yang sama, saya meng upload foto kami 14 tahun yang lalu. Tujuan nya adalah ingin membandingkan keadaan yang lalu dan yang sekarang, Jelas sekali bahwa keadaan sekarang ibu-ibu lebih dewasa  walau harus diakui lebih gemuk sedikit. Tetapi tetap cantik dan menarik.

april 2011

Saya biasa melihat keadaan di masa lalu untuk lebih mensyukuri keadaan saya sekarang ini dan langkah perjalanan saya menuju kedewasaan. Bagi saya lebih baik membandingkan dengan keadaan masa lalu daripada membandingkan diri saya dengan orang lain.

Saya amat bersyukur dengan keadaan ini, melalui perbandingan dengan masa lalu, saya menyadari bahwa menjadi tua adalah keharusan, menjadi dewasa adalah pilihan, perawatan diri pribadi memang perlu, tetapi pendewasaan secara mental dan emosional lebih penting.Menjadi tua adalah keharusan, tetap cantik, dewasa dan ceria adalah pilihan.

Untuk menjalin persahabatan yang awet dan rukun memerlukan toleransi yang luar biasa, dan saya belajar banyak dari ibu-ibu teman-teman saya dari segala kelebihan mereka, saya amat bersyukur untuk komunitas ibu-ibu PITA ini yang tetap rukun dan ceria walau anak-anak kami sekarang sudah hampir berusia 20 tahun.


Terima kasih teman-temanku untuk semua persahabatan dan pelajaran hidup yang saya dapat. Tuhan memberkati saya dengan banyak sahabat dan banyak pelukan ketika saya sedih, banyak senyuman untuk saya ,dan banyak pujian tulus ketika saya berhasil melakukan sesuatu.

Semoga Tuhan memberkati kita semua dengan kebahagiaan, umur yang cukup, dan hati yang tulus dalam mencintai.

Have a blessed day


Posted by on April 18, 2011 in photography, social activities, Spiritual life



Aksi Pra Paskah Bina Iman Anak HTBSPM Buah Batu Bandung

Berbagi adalah Misi yang diemban gereja sejak dahulu. Kita berbagi dan peduli dan memperhatikan sesama kita yang berkekurangan.

Dengan alasan itulah maka pada masa Pra Paskah tahun 2011 ini, anak-anak Bina Iman diajak  untuk menabung. bukan semata-mata untuk mengumpulkan uang sebanyak mungkin, tetapi menghayati arti berhemat dengan belajar menahan diri untuk menyisihkan sebagian uang yang biasa digunakan untuk jajan, untuk di tabung dan diserahkan sebagi Aksi Puasa Pembangunan Anak-anak BIA HTBSPM Buah Batu Bandung.

Memasuki masa Pra Paskah, anak-anak dibagikan celengan berbentuk strawberry yang telah di cat dan diberi nama.  di beri pesan untuk mengurangi jajan mereka terutama di hari  Rabu dan Jumat sebagai hari wajib untuk berpantang dan puasa

Bagi anak-anak ini mungkin sulit dilakukan dengan uang jajan yang mereka terima dan gunakan sehari-hari, tetapi ini bisa dilakukan dalam pembelajaran mereka. Kadang-kadang kita malas untuk menyisihkan sebagian uang yang kita dapat apalagi untuk diberikan kepada orang lain. Tetapi kakak-kakak pembina menyemangati mereka dengan mengatakan bahwa anak-anak akan bisa melaksanakannya.

Hari ini, anak-anak diminta untuk mengumpulkan celengan tersebut, memang tidak semua anak membawa, mungkin hanya sekitar 50 persen, tetapi kami yakin  anak-anak  melaksanakan dengan sepenuh hati.

Seluruh pembina, terutama saya, sebagai koordinator BIA  merasa bangga dengan anak-anak BIA ini, di usia mereka yang masih muda, mereka dengan rela menyerahkan tabungan mereka untuk orang-orang yang tidak mereka kenal yang nasibnya kurang beruntung di banding mereka.

Kadang-kadang saya sebagai orang dewasa malas sekali untuk menabung apalagi untuk diberikan kepada orang lain yang tidak kita kenal. akan lebih mudah bila kita memberikan secara langsung dari apa yang kita miliki, tetapi hari ini, saya belajar kerelaan dari anak-anak BIA. Rela dan mau berkorban untuk orang lain.

Tuhan telah mengajar saya melalui anak-anak yang murni hatinya, , untuk lebih peduli, untuk lebih mau berbagi dan terutama, untuk  lebih mencintai Tuhan dan sesama.

Have a blessed day ….



Jalan Salib Bina Iman Anak HTBSPM 2011

Dasar Pemikiran:

Bagi setiap orang Katolik, jalan Salib merupakan salah satu devosi yang amat membantu lebih mengenal dan mengasihi Yesus yang mengorbankan segala sesuatu demi keselamatan umat manusia. 

Dengan alasan ini maka Gereja Katolik memiliki gambar atau lukisan yang mengisahkan beberapa perhentian dalam sengsara dan kematian Yesus.  Dalam jalan salib ini dikenang bahwa  sebelum disalibkan, Yesus dipaksa memanggul salib sambil melewati beberapa jalan Yerusalem. Peristiwa itu dinamakan Via Dolorosa, yang artinya Jalan Salib atau Jalan Duka.



Dalam perjalanan menuju Golgota itu Yesus diikuti oleh ibuNya, beberapa wanita saleh serta murid yang dikasihiNya.  Menurut legenda, tidak terlalu lama sesudah penyaliban Yesus, para pengikutNya mulai mengikuti jejak-jejak Yesus sampai ke Golgota. Nama Via Dolorosa menjadi populer sejak abad XVI. Jumlah stasinya, yaitu 14, ditetapkan oleh Ordo Fransiskan pada abad XIX.






Dengan dasar pemikiran di atas maka setiap masa Pra Paskah maka selalu diadakan Jalan salib untuk anak-anak BIA, hal ini dimaksudkan agar sejak dini anak-anak diperkenalkan pada tradisi umat Katolik yang kaya, dan anak sejak dini belajar berdevosi.

Untuk tahun ini, Jalan Salib anak diadakan di aula gereja pada tanggal 3 April 2011 yang lalu dan diikuti dengan tertib dan khidmat oleh anak-anak BIA, suatu hal yang luar biasa karena di usia dini, mereka tahan untuk mengikuti ajakan Kakak kakak Pembina dan para Frater untuk berdiri, berlutut, mendengarkan kisah sengsara, dan berdoa. Tanpa keluhan atau tangisan.dari sejak awal hingga perhentian terakhir.

Tujuan dari ibadat jalan salib ini menurut buku ibadat jalan salib dari Biro APP keuskupan Bandung adalah untuk :

  • Menyadari bahwa dosa dan kesalahan kita semakin menambah penderitaan Yesus Kristus
  • Menyadari kasih Allah yang sangat besar bagi kita
  • Kita diajak untuk menciptakan komunitas yang membahagiakan.

Diantara mereka ada yang mengatakan bahwa mereka sering diajak orang tuanya melakukan jalan salib, ada juga yang mengatakan bahwa ini adalah pertama kali mereka melakukannya, dengan mengikuti jalan salib di Bina Iman Anak bersama anak-anak yang usianya sebaya, tentu saja permenungannya akan lebih mengena sesuai dengan usia mereka.

Semoga ini menjadi awal yang baik dalam pembinaan Iman Anak sehingga tertabur benih-benih pengertian dan penyadaran akan kasih Allah yang sangat besar untuk kita.

Flora Rikin—Koordinator BIA,  ditulis sebagai artikel Berbuah, Warta Bulanan Umat HTBSPM, buah Batu Bandung April 2011.


Posted by on April 14, 2011 in slide show foto, Spiritual life


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