Wednesday, 10 November 2010

New look, new beginning!

If you have noticed, I've changed the template and layout of this blog. The inspiration came about at the spur of the moment, just wanted a fresh new look. Was sick of the previous black and white header, not very auspicious looking. I did not know that Blogger has advanced so much in its template availability and the ability and flexibility to customise everything very fast. The previous template was from a third party website and I was not able to customise the columns at all.

This time I chose a template with 2 side columns, neater and more balanced looking. Hahah! Now I can accommodate more banners and adverts. Perhaps the most tedious was in designing the header picture. I am not a designer, and I don't even know how to use Photoshop. I just cut and paste and did some minor changes. As with previous header pictures, I used primarily trees and fauna. Remember this earlier header, my tree of hearts?

Why use a tree? Because based on birthdate analysis, Wood is my most lucky element. Also tree signifies life and growth. Well, I wish Life of Lopsided 8 blog will continue to grow. That's why I usually use the concept of trees, leaves and flowers. This time, I went for a predominantly green/grey/white theme. I still prefer a neat clean outlook with a white background.

I went through a few versions of changing and fine-tuning before I finalised the above header, with consistent font too. I also subtlely included my unofficial slogan "Live Laugh Love Life" as well as the website address. And just tonight I suddenly decided to include precious mantras into this blog design. The most common and universal would be Om mani padme hum. This is the mantra in Tibetan in the form of a lotus flower. Om mani padme hum is the heart mantra of Guan Yin, Avalokiteshvara whom I feel the closest affinity with. The mantra embodies perfect compassion and is the core of the 84,000 teachings of the Buddha.

Then I also added Green Tara's mantra. Mother Tara is a swift liberator who clears our obstacles in the fastest manner. I embedded both mantras into the floral design, I hope they do not look too out of place with the design.  In fact, I think the mantras blended quite well with the floral design. And to finish off the final touch, at the center, I added a small red lotus flower growing from beneath Tara's mantra. 

As the story goes, in Buddhism, Tara was born from the tears of Guan Yin - Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. It is believed that he wept as he looked upon the world filled of suffering sentient beings, and he wept so much until his tears had formed a lake in which a lotus sprung up and bloomed. As soon as when the lotus opened, Tara was revealed. Hence, I feel it is so symbolic and appropriate that the Tara mantra is sprouted from the lotus flower, which in turn was sprung beneath from Guan Yin's mantra, Avalokiteshvara as the originator. And with the LOL8 namesake in the center, it looks like it is being blessed by both Guan Yin and Green Tara. Isn't it blissfully wonderful and auspicious looking now? :D

I do not know if this will be the final look. As all things go, nothing is permanent. As with learning about life, it is on-going, work in progress. We just have to embrace the  experiences we encounter along the way. I think this is the first time I feel the blog header is uniquely me.  Do give me feedback about this design, and also feel free to suggest what you would like me to write about or focus on any particular topics. Next month, on Christmas Day, it will be the 6th year of this blog. 

Thank you to you my readers for staying with me these past 6 years. May LOL8 blog continue to grow, and especially be a bridge and a source in providing information on the Dharma for fellow and new Buddhists and benefiting everyone who knows, hears, reads and talks about LOL8.  May LOL8 receive the immense blessings from The Three Jewels, especially from Avalokiteshvara and Tara.  May I continue to find the inspiration to write, to maintain this blog, as I share my personal experiences, my joys and my thoughts with you.

Yes, this is a new beginning for me. I will it to be so.


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