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Years ago when my daughter was still very young, she persuaded me to get her some goldfish. It took her several weeks to convince me that she would be responsible and take good care of the fishes. She promised that she would feed them, change the water, and clean the bowl. So, we went out one Saturday afternoon to the aquarium and picked out three little goldfishes, a fishbowl, some pebbles and glass marbles, a few water plants, and a small aerator.

We spent the afternoon cleaning the bowl, rinsing the pebbles and marbles, and getting the fishbowl ready. By dinner time, we had three happy little goldfishes swimming in the fishbowl, darting between the water plants as tiny bubbles streamed mysteriously from between the brightly coloured marbles. I even went out and go her a light fixture that would cause the water and bubbles to sparkle. All in all we had a very pretty little fishbowl and three very contented little fishes.

For the next few weeks, my daughter (she refused to let me use her name in this story and threatened bodily harm if I did) delighted in her little aquarium. She would spend hours observing each little goldfish and had given a name to each. She would talk to them, carrying on long, deep, and lively conversations. She had friends over to see her aquarium.

As she had promised, she fed the fishes once a day making sure that their tummy tum-tums were happy. She changed the water and cleaned the fishbowl changing the water and taking meticulous care to arrange the pebbles, marbles, water plants, and aerator hose just right.

Soon, she began to save her weekly allowances to purchase more accessories and decorations for her fishbowl. A little water wheel came first, spinning happily around as the bubbles rose from the bottom. Then a replica of a piece of driftwood with holes through which the goldfish could swim (they never did). A little mermaid’s castle was next followed by prate’s treasure chest. Soon the little fishbowl was getting quite crowded.

One day, several months later, a very sad and tearful little girl greeted me at the door. Her precious little goldfish had all died. Taking me by the hand she led me sadly to her room to show me the terrible thing that had happened. Someone had killed her precious little friends.

In her room we found the scene of the diabolical crime. All three little gold-fishes were floating belly up in the fishbowl. All it took was one look for me to realize what happened. My dear little daughter had filled the bowl with so many things that there was hardly enough water for the fishes to swim in. She had added a whole lot more coloured glass marbles and these together with all her new additions left no more than half a bowl of clear water for the fishes.

I really did not have the heart to tell her that she was the cause of their untimely demise, but I had to because I knew that we would have to get her some new goldfishes and I did not want her to go through another heartbreak. Patiently and gently, I set her on my lap and explained to her that her little friends died because the bowl was too full of stuff and they did not have enough water to swim in.

Sadly she cried, “But daddy the bowl looked so pretty and I thought that it would make my fishies happier.”

We went out that very evening and got her three more goldfish and a larger fishbowl and I am happy to say that these lived to a ripe old age.

read more here…

http://www.christianblog.com/blog/arisensleeper/lessons-from-a-fish-bowl/

(moral: the fish bowl is our lives and if we fill it with too many things then we suffer by not being able to move freely and suffocate our souls.)

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decorate our life and celebrate our living

(~_~)

I was in Tokyo last spring, walking beneath neon signs and cherry blossoms with my dear friend Kirsten. Right about the time the sun was setting, we heard the sound of a jazz band coming from an alley. Turns out it was a group of four very hip Japanese college students playing their hearts out for anyone who would listen.

But not everyone was enjoying the music. In the middle of the second song, an older homeless man broke through the crowd and started yelling at the band. The musicians did their best to ignore him but the apparently intoxicated man would not go away. It seemed he was angry about the loud noise.

There were probably two dozen of us watching this unfold – none of us knowing what we could or should do. I remember feeling very helpless, because first, I don’t speak much Japanese, and second, the homeless man was starting to get more and more violent. At one point, he picked up a stick and started banging on the drum set.

This was more than the young drummer could take and he finally stopped playing, stood up and pushed the old man to the ground.

It was then that a young Japanese man made his way through the crowd very quietly. He knelt down next to the old man, took hold of his hand and asked him if he was alright. I couldn’t understand what was being said, but I’ll never forget the way this young man helped bring the fallen man to his feet. And I’ll never forget the way he carefully placed his arm around the old man’s shoulders and quietly walked him away.

After reading the bellow quote by Rainer Maria Rilke, I can’t help but wonder. Maybe this old man was a prince in disguise. And maybe he was waiting to see someone act, just once, with beauty and courage. ……………(an act of kindness)

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

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story source: Dragons and Princesses

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A Lion once fell in love with a beautiful maiden and proposed marriage to her parents. The old people did not know what to say. They did not like to give their daughter to the Lion, yet they did not wish to enrage the King of Beasts. At last the father said:

“We feel highly honoured by your Majesty’s proposal, but you see our daughter is a tender young thing, and we fear that in the vehemence of your affection you might possibly do her some injury. Might I venture to suggest that your Majesty should have your claws removed, and your teeth extracted, then we would gladly consider your proposal again.” 

The Lion was so much in love that he had his claws trimmed and his big teeth taken out. But when he came again to the parents of the young girl they simply laughed in his face, and bade him do his worst.

Moral of Aesops Fable: Love can tame the wildest

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the end

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have a wonderful day

There once was a small town farmer who was the local preacher since the township could not afford a pastor, he would give the sermons on Sundays. One day the farmer and his wife was called away from the farm to tend to a young woman who was to give birth.

Upon hearing this a thief took advantage of this and creeped into the Farmer’s home and went through the house in search of valuables. The only thing he could find was a pearl necklace that was a family heir-loom given to the farmer who had given it to his loving wife.

Upon leaving the house the thief was confronted by the farmer’s dog who growled, then gave chase. The thief ran but the dog was able to catch the thief and pull him to the ground. The thief kicked and freed himself from the dog’s sharp teeth and escaped into the barn. There he came head to head with the farmer’s goat that felt threatened and head butted the thief several times till the thief crawled from the barn to escape the goat where he was then again met by the dog.

The thief made it to his feet and began to run but then again the dog nipped at the thief’s leg and the thief fell to the ground and dropped the pearl necklace. The pearl necklace came apart and the pearls went flying all over the yard. The thief rose and dove through the fence to get away from the dog.

There in the fence was the farmer’s temper mental bull that quickly charged the thief and knock him down, hard. The thief was barely able to crawl through the fence and was again faced with the farmer’s dog that continued to bite him till the thief finally got away.

The farmer and his wife came home and never knew what had happened. They never thought to look and see that the pearl necklace was still there, they just simply went about their daily lives. 

Many days later, the farmer’s wife went out to the chicken – coop and gathered eggs. When she started cooking breakfast and as she cracked an egg open there inside the shell was a pearl. She opened another and another and each egg had a pearl in it. The farmer and his wife thought this was strange till the local law enforcement came to see the farmer and told him that there was a young man in the hospital and the story unfolded as to where he came by his broken bones, cuts and bruises.

The farmer did not press charges for the chickens had eaten the pearls and eventually most of the pearls were returned and put back into a necklace. The farmer offered the thief a job in exchange for room and board and the next sermon the farmer/ preacher gave; was about ‘Karma’  … “Live well and righteous and the lord will watch over you…. life is what you make it!”

by Art~

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may you generate good karma always

Zendictive’s… 300th post
 
(after 300 stories and poems, I still enjoy doing this as much now as when I started- the up side is I am getting a grip on the gadgets offered and used to blog)
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A hermit was meditating by a river when a young man interrupted him. “Master, I wish to become your disciple,” said the man.
 
“Why?” replied the hermit. The young man thought for a moment.
 
 “Because I want to find God.” The master jumped up, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, dragged him into the river, and plunged his head under water. After holding him there for a minute, with him kicking and struggling to free himself, the master finally pulled him up out of the river. The young man coughed up water and gasped to get his breath.
 
When he eventually quieted down, the master spoke. “Tell me, what did you want most of all when you were under water.”

“Air!” answered the man.

“Very well,” said the master. “Go home and come back to me when you want God as much as you just wanted air.”

 this story found here Spiritual short stories
 
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Once there was a Zen Master in Japan. He cultivated many years in many different temples and had countless disciples.  He was an abbot of a huge temple and many monks quit cultivating due to the unbearable hardships.  However, he had more and more followers because of his reputation. After he had enlightened to the true meaning of life, he left the temple and none of his disciples knew his whereabouts.
 
Three years later, one of his disciples found the Zen Master living with a bunch of beggars under a bridge in Tokyo.  This disciple
immediately asked the Zen Master to teach him how to cultivate.
 
 The Zen Master said that only if the disciple could stay with him for two or three days.   So, this disciple dressed like a beggar and
lived for a day like a beggar. The following day, one of the beggars
died and the Zen Master and the disciple buried the body on the
mountain. 
 
After the burial, the Zen Master came back and slept
soundly until the next morning, but the disciple could not sleep. 
At daybreak, the Zen Master said that they did not have to beg for food that day because the dead beggar had left some food.  The disciple looked at the food, but could not eat even one bite. The Zen Master said, “I already knew that you could not let go of life and
death.  You cannot cultivate with me.” The disciple was speechless
and ashamed.  The Zen Master said, “You can go now. And don’t
bother me again.”
 
The disciple left with sadness. People who understand the essence of life and the everlasting truth have no fear and will not be saddened by any separation and death of loved ones.  In the carefree spiritual realm, they can laugh about life and death and then transcend life and death. To take life and death lightly is the important first step.
 
Letting go of life and death enables us to reach the higher spiritual realm. Only when we truly see through the essence of life and death, can we face life and death optimistically and follow its natural course with no fear. In that way, we will have an enjoyable and carefree life.
 
this story found here … Pure Insight
 
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have a zendictive day
 
 
A Samurai who was known for his nobility and honesty, went to visit a Zen monk to ask advice. However, the moment he entered the temple where the master was praying, he felt inferior and concluded that, in spite of having fought for justice and peace all his life, he hadn�t even come near the state of grace achieved by the man before him.

“Why do I feel so inferior?” he asked, as soon as the monk finished his prayers. “I have faced death many times, have defended those who are weak, I know I have nothing to be ashamed of. Nevertheless, upon seeing you meditating, I felt that my life had absolutely no importance whatsoever.”

“Wait. Once I have attended to all those who come to see me today, I shall answer you.”

The samurai spent the whole day sitting in the temple gardens, watching the people go in and out in search of advice. He saw how the monk received them all with the same patience and the same illuminated smile on his face. But his enthusiasm soon began to wane, since he had been born to act, and not to wait.

At nightfall, when everyone had gone, he demanded: “Now can you teach me?”

The master invited him in and lead him to his room. The full moon shone in the sky, and the atmosphere was one of profound tranquility.

“Do you see the moon, how beautiful it is? It will cross the entire firmament, and tomorrow the sun will shine once again. But sunlight is much brighter, and can show the details of the landscape around us: trees, mountains, clouds. I have contemplated the two for years, and have never heard the moon say: why do I not shine like the sun? Is it because I am inferior?”

“Of course not – answered the samurai. – The moon and the sun are different things, each has its own beauty. You cannot compare the two.”

“So you know the answer. We are two different people, each fighting in his own way for that which he believes, and making it possible to make the world a better place; the rest are mere appearances.”

 
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The pen is mightier than the sword!
 
 
 
 
Have a zendictive day

I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Christmas. So, what did you get for Christmas? Hugs from loved ones! I recieved… a box, a rake, 3 rocks and sand. In the right perspective, it is a ……… A Zen Garden

Now we can get ready for 2012. I am projecting 2012 will be the year of  enlightenment. The Chinese have 2012…as,

 the year of the Dragon.

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Now for today’s little story… Shine!

A small candle was being carried by a man who was climbing  stairs. Along their way up to the top, the candle asked the man, “Where are we going?”

“We’re going to the top and give signals to big ships on the ocean,” the man answered.

“What? How could it be possible for me with my small light to give signals to those big ships? They will never be able to see my light”, replied the candle weakly.

“All you have to do is keep burning and leave the rest to me”, said the man.

When they arrived at the top of the lighthouse where there was a big lamp with a loop behind it. The man lit the lamp with the small candle and instantly, the place shone so brightly that the ships on the ocean could see its light.

Moral: All you have to do is shine. Sometimes our little bit of brightness is all that is needed to spark a light bright enough to help others. Remember that it only takes one candle to light a cathedral full of candles. Perhaps you are the spark that ignites a light that guides a life to safe shores. It only takes a flicker to bring on enlightenment. Our enlightenment may not seem bright to ourselves, but to others it may guide them from their darkness, so shine on.

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Candle Lighter Award

I was nominated for …

Candle Lighter Award

from autumnsunshine and gabrielleangel

thank you and bows (~_~) humble

 

Shine!

 

I like this little song, It reminds me of my brother, Alan,  because when he is around children he teaches them to sing this song by singing it over and over.

shine on!

This is the story of how the fir tree became the Christmas tree.

At the time when the Christ Child was born, all the people, the animals, and the trees, and plants were very happy. The Child was born to bring peace and happiness to the whole world. People came daily to see the little One, and they always brought gifts with them.

There were three trees standing near the crypt which saw the people, and they wished that they, too, might give presents to the Christ Child.

The Palm said: “I will choose my most beautiful leaf, and place it as a fan over the Child.”

“And I,” said the Olive, “will sprinkle sweet-smelling oil upon His head.”

“What can I give to the Child?” asked the Fir, who stood near.

“You!” cried the others. “You have nothing to offer Him. Your needles would prick Him, and your tears are sticky.”

So the poor little Fir tree was very unhappy, and it said: “Yes, you are right. I have nothing to offer the Christ Child.”

Now, quite near the trees stood the Christmas Angel, who had heard all that the trees had said. The Angel felt sorry for the Fir tree who was so lowly and without envy of the other trees. So, when it was dark, and the stars came out, he begged a few of the little stars to come down and rest upon the branches of the Fir tree. They did as the Christmas Angel asked, and the Fir tree shone suddenly with a beautiful light.

And, at that very moment, the Christ Child opened His eyes for He had been asleep and as the lovely light fell upon Him, He smiled.

Every year people keep the dear Christmas Child’s birthday by giving gifts to each other, and every year, in remembrance of His first birthday, the Christmas Angel places in every house a fir tree, also. Covered with starry candles it shines for the children as the stars shone for the Christ Child. The Fir tree was rewarded for its meekness, for to no other tree is it given to shine upon so many happy faces.

– By Aunt Hede, in “Kindergarten Magazine”

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and happy holidays

 

The secret of happiness

A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for 40 days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.

Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention.

The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours.

“Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something”, said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. “As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill”.

The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.

“Well”, asked the wise man, “Did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”

The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.

“Then go back and observe the marvels of my world”, said the wise man. “You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house”.

Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.

“But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?” asked the wise man. Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone.

“Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you”, said the wisest of wise men. “The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon”.

Author: Paul Coelho in “The Alchemist”

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moral; (My interpretation;)You can not go through life and enjoy the marvels around you if your attention is on your inner strife, that which takes your focus away from the beauty around you. If your concerns, burdens and sorrow have your fullest attention then you have’nt the focus you need to see that which could make you smile  🙂

food for thought

confucious say; man with shit on nose, everything will seem shitty to him.

“If a plant cannot live according to its own nature, it dies; and so a man.”

Author: Henry David Thoreau

“Happiness comes from the dissolution of the mind, not from external objects. Through meditation we can achieve everything including bliss, health, strength, intelligence and vitality. But it should be practiced properly in solitude and with care.”

Author: Amma

“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

Author: Albert Einstein

Happiness is a journey, not a destination

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I start my four day work week today

so I’ll catch up with ya’ll in a couple days

be good, be kind but most of all… be happy

the symbol for double happiness

 

 

 

The Chilling Birth of an Emperor

Eight below and a blizzard blows
over the arctic ice and snow
a cracked egg between two legs
rests on a penguin’s toes.

When a little beak takes a peek
at the white world outside its shell
continually trying to shed its confines
a baby bird bursts, into a frozen hell.

All the clouds gathered and witness this sight
born is a bird that will never take flight.

The father with love picks it up from above
tucks it into a bed of feathered fur
enchantingly genuine, a baby penguin
the chilling birth of an Emperor.

 

Art~

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(In the harshest corners of the world, wonderous and miraculous things happen)

have a day filled with loving warmth

 

I remember running, leaping, flying,
falling and rolling  
when I was young
and did not know, gravity existed

Yesterday, I awoke
raised my head ‘up’ from the pillow
and it seemed heavier
It could be knowledge I have gained,

weighing heavy on my mind

Then it hit me;
I just had a birthday,
a gravitational upgrade

Instead of asking how old one is
we could simply ask
how many gravity upgrades have you had

Add an ounce of gravitational pressure
every year, it is so clear, why so few
make it to be one-hundred

It really seems to reason
why older folk are so bent over
that is a lot of gravitational pressure
to endure while walking

I suppose the main reason we do not
use this type of measurement for age
it just doesn’t sound right,
“Happy Gravitational upgrade day”

 

by Art~

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I have heard it said that when you reach fifty, your over the hill. So, I presume this means that today, I am directly on top of the mountain. At the summit, the peak, and it is all down hill from here! (yeah, right!)

October 9th, 2011

 

have an excellent day!

Art~

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zendictive

Art~

Emma (Sunshine),

wedding day

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