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Strength comes from within you, it's not given to you by someone else...someone else will try to take it away though.

 

My Aunt had posted this on facebook and it really hit home right now, with all that has been going on. It reminded me of the story about the man who watched an ant carry a feather across a driveway. When the ant reached the center where two slabs of concrete meet it had to stop. For the gap between the two slabs was like a canyon to this tiny creature but after several trials and errors, it finally laid the feather down across the gap and walked across on the feather and then once on the other side, it picked the feather up and carried on.

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My wife told ne about a bright green spider that was out by the power pole. So, I went to look at what she called a green with orange spot. When I saw the spider, it was having difficulties with its web. Dangling from a strand and trying to pull it back together. I felt as though I understood this, for sometimes the web we weave in life comes undone and we frantically focus on nothing more than putting it back together the way we want it, rather than except the “what is.”

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acceptance is the key to tranquility

(~_~)

Once upon a time a fox was roaming in a forest in search of food. Unfortunately he was caught up in a trap. He tried his best to get free. Heaving to get out of the trap, he was able to do so but lost his tail in the struggle. The fox felt very small. He knew that every fox would laugh at him. He was so sad that he thought of killing himself. But then he said to himself, “It is cowardice to kill oneself. I should do something else.”

At last the fox planned to persuade all the foxes to part with their tails. It was sure to divert their attention from his tail less appearance. So, the fox called a meeting of the foxes and advised them to do away with their tails. He said, “They are ugly, heavy and tiresome. We must get rid of them.”

But one clever fox said, “Good,sir ! you wouldn’t be so keen to give us that advice, if you were not tail less. Isn’t it ?”

 

Hypocrisy seldom works.

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Honor, is a way of life 

(~_~)

We were driving home the other day when we saw above us, in the distance, a cloud that resembled a hand. With outreaching fingers and even a thumb. This cloud truely looked like an open hand. One of the kids said, “It looks like the hand is going to come down and smash us. It is going to squash us like we are little ants.”

 

I said, “Or it is reaching down to scoop us up and take us into the heavens.” With that came a long list of could be’s. Like the hand was playing basketball with the world. Or, pushing the planet across space.

 

My nephew was complaining about how our little dog was chasing the deer out of the yard. Stating that the dog was being mean, until I explained that the dog was being protective. The dog loves us and was guarding the yard by chasing off any and everything that was not part of the family. He saw the dog differently and gave the dog a big hug for being the protector.

 

We were watching ‘Survivor’ and they were about to cut the head off of a chicken to cook it, and eat it. The kids were all astounded that the people on the show were having a hard time dealing with such a task. “But we buy chickens in the store all the time?”

 

“It is all in how we look at it!”

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have a zen filled day

(~_~)

 

 

 

One of my favorite / used quotes is… “It is what it is.” Expectations lead to disapointments, I have a house full of kids who are always wishing it was a certain way other than what it is. The little story below fits with what would happen if things were the way we wished they were.

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An old poem describes a woman walking through a meadow, meditating on nature. While strolling about, she came upon a field of golden pumpkins. In the corner of the field stood a majestic, huge oak tree. She sat under the oak tree musing on the strange twists in nature which put tiny acorns on huge branches and huge pumpkins on tiny vines. She thought to herself, “God blundered with Creation! He should have put the small acorns on the tiny vines and the large pumpkins on the huge branches.” Nodding off, the woman stretched out under the oak tree for a nap. A few minutes after falling asleep she was awakened by a tiny acorn bouncing off her nose. Chuckling to herself, she rubbed her nose and thought, “Maybe God was right after all!”

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have a zen filled day

(~_~)

 

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

(~_~)

 

There was a young bird flying with a flock around the Great Plains of Kansas. For months he felt that he was different from all of the other birds in his flock. Occasionally he would express his feelings and the mother bird would tell him conform to the rest of the flock. He wanted to adventure off and experience new things. The mother bird told him once again to blend in and be like his brothers and sisters.

One day the flock was flying and the young bird heard gun shots. His brothers and sisters broke formation to escape the bullets. All the other birds veered left, right and down while the young bird went up. He was able to fly higher and faster than he knew was possible. Since he had been conforming to the standards of the flock he didn’t know his capabilities. As the young bird tried to get away he realized he had been shot with a tranquillizer while all the other birds got away.

As the young bird lay on the ground two men approached him but he couldn’t move. He felt in his heart that he knew the two men somehow and they weren’t going to hurt him. One of the men called out and said, “Eric we’ve been looking for you for months. We can’t believe you wasted your free time away from the zoo flying with ducks when you are an eagle.”

story source: the bird

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How we see ourselves… is not how others see us!

When we were at Six Flags, I was sitting at a park bench waiting for the children to finish a ride. There in this little courtyard where I sat, were these birds, a mockingbird, a couple of sparrows and a wren (brown bird the same size as a mockingbird) that were working the picnic tables. Obviously, their life revolves around picking up the crumbs that people leave behind. They were so accustom to people that it was nothing for them to land on the table where I sat, walk around then leave.

The Mockingbird and the two sparrows were fighting over a piece of food under the picnic table. They would each dominate the piece of food long enough to get a few bites then relinquish it to the other. It took me a few minutes to finally realize that what they were fighting over was a chicken strip. (!_!)

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I wrote this long ago and posted it on zendictive… some time back, so I thought of it today and placed it here. reblogged

‘Lone Star’
The lone legged Mocking Bird! 

By Art~

The founder scene
was the drive thru, Dairy Queen
A baby bird hobbled and wobbled
across the hot pavement
out the car door I went!

The Lone Star State
didn’t want their State Bird
they said to say,
“It’s final words.”
For a wing was broke and a leg too,
there was nothing any one could do.
A leg was dangling by a thread of dead skin
the vet said,
“do some snipping.”

Wrapped the wing and made it a home,
open to the whole living room.
We bought crickets from the bait shop
my son caught grasshoppers from around our lot.
I knew where the best fishing worms lived,
to the Mockingbird, supper was fed.

To much surprise, the Mockingbird survived
it found balance with one and a half legs.
It hopped every where till it’s wing healed.
When it flew outside it came back in a “Squeal.”

Now a name we must give!
The State bird of the Lone Star state
our minds state could relate
miracles that surrounded
this mockingbird’s fate,

“Lone Star”
the lone legged mockingbird.

He sang to our lives for quite awhile.
He like to land on our black labs back
or in a soft crash land into a baseball cap.
We finally built a cage the size of a wall
the door was left open unless company called.
For Mockingbirds are fearless and territorial.

A part of the family he became
I still think about him to this day

‘Lone Star’
The Lone Legged Mockingbird

This was a True story…

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may you soar through your day

 (~_~)

One day a tiger was hunting around in a forest. An unlucky fox was met and caught by the tiger. For the fox, the inescapable destination was very clear — death. Despite the danger, the fox thought hard to find a way out.

Promptly, the fox declared to the tiger, “How dare you kill me!”

On hearing the words the tiger was surprised and asked for the reason,” The fox raised his voice a bit higher and declared arrogantly: “To tell you the truth, it’s I who was accredited by God to the forest as the king of all the animals! If you kill me, that will be against the God’s will, you know?”

Seeing that the tiger became suspicions, the fox added: “Let’s have a test. Let’s go through the forest. Follow me and you will see HOW THE ANIMALS ARE FRIGHTENED OF ME.” The tiger agreed.

So the fox walked ahead of the tiger proudly through the forest. As you can imagine, the animals, seeing the tiger behind, were all terribly frightened and ran away. Then the fox said proudly: “There is no doubt that what I said is true, isn’t it?”

The tiger had nothing to say but to acknowledge the result. So the tiger nodded and said:

“You are right. You are the king.”

moral: whip them with your mind. I always tell my students this, being sharp minded is equally as important as being skilled in martial arts. In fact they go hand in hand, confontations are like a game of chess long before they get physical.

source

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the rabbit and the crab

Once there was a rabbit, whom as always knew it was the fastest creature in the forest and always challenged any and all creatures to a race. Generally, no one would take the challenge to race the obviously fast rabbit. But one day a crab decided it would take the rabbits challenge. The rabbit laughed and accepted the challenge.

The two stood next to each other, the crow squacked three times and the race was on. The rabbit blasted off and ran the entire length of the race with-out looking back until it had come up on the finish line.

Just before crossing the finish line it stopped and looked back. Unknowingly to the rabbit, the crab had taken hold of the rabbit’s furry tail with its large pincher and trailed behind the rabbit the entire length of the race. As the rabbit turned to look behind itself, this placed the crab across the finish line first. The crab won the race.

(moral; some use others abilities to prevail.)

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have a peace-filled day

(~_~)

A long time ago there was a young samurai and his fiancé who were deeply in love. One day his fiancé was walking through the forest when she was attacked and seriously mauled by a man-eating tiger! No matter what the young samurai did, nothing could save her… and she died

From the depths of his sorrow he vowed to revenge his beloved, by seeking out the tiger and killing it.

So he took his bow and arrow and sought out into the forest, month after month in search of the man-eating beast. Searching daily in the forest, the samurai finally saw a sleeping tiger in the distance and concluded that this must be the tiger responsible for the death of his lover!

He drew his bow, took careful aim and released the arrow which found its mark and pierced the tiger’s body deeply. Drawing and mounting another arrow he slowly approached the motionless creature to confirm the kill… only to find his arrow stuck deeply into a striped colored stone which happened to resemble that of a sleeping tiger!

After this, everyone in the village began to talk about how strong he was, because he could pierce a stone with his arrow, and people became determined to test him. However, regardless of how many times he attempted to repeat the undertaking his arrows kept bouncing off the rock.

This was because he now realized that his target is only a stone. In the past his resolve had been so profound that he was actually able to physically pierce a stone with his arrow. However, now under different circumstances, he was unable to repeat the same feat.

_____

Moral of the story?

“A strong will can even pierce stone”. In other words, resolve can serve as a powerful vehicle for achieving seemingly impossibe things.

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This story reminded me of the mothers day post, if you missed the read,,, click here…

Tiger’s son

~another great tiger legend tale~

May you achieve seemingly impossibe goals today

(~_~)

Zen master Miko sat on the beach, absorbed in nature’s beauty and existence. Watching the waves splash upon the shore when a beach ball come sailing over head and as it approached the Master, Miko simply raised his arms, opened his hands and caught the ball. He marveled at it a moment as a student run up to him, to retrieve the ball.

“Good catch Master,” the student said.

“It is easy to grasp something if one is ready to accept it.” Replied the Master. “Place your hands behind your back.” The Master asked of the student. As the student placed his arms behind him the master then tossed the ball toward the student’s chest, it hit the student in the chest and fell to the ground.

“That is hardly fair, I was not prepared to catch the ball.” The student stated.

“Exactly,” the Master said. “Now, get the ball, toss it in the air a few times.” The student did so. The ball flew up in the air and landed in the students hands repeatedly. “If the ball is zen, you may not have zen in hand all the time, but you are ready to receive it every time it comes to you, understand?”

“Yes master!” The student answered.

“It is the same with all things, such as life, religion, love, politics, beliefs and zen.” The master stated, then asked, “What do you think a person with no arms can do to grasp zen or get a hold on life?”

The student thought long and hard but could not reply with an answer. “Simply exist in the present, absorbed in the arms of life, perhaps even become… a ball of zen.”

 

by Art~

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Majestic Mountain  .. by Art~

 

Majestic Mountain before me

old as time itself

white on top; like an old wise man

reaching upward

as if God himself reached from the sky

pinched the earth

and pulled it towards the heavens.

 

embraced by angels with wings out wide

white clouds, slowly floating by

at your feet I sit, looking up to you

majestic mountain, sitting so patiently

like a zen master in meditation

for eternity

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“Life is the only thing worth living”

have a zen filled day

 

(I have always used the term, “Busy as a Beaver in a flood.” Lately, I have been pretty busy. Spring is here, the grass is growing faster than I can give it a ‘hair cut’… putting in a garden/flowers, and spending time with family and fishing with friends, not to mention work. When I read this story, I could truely relate. I hope you get from it what I did.)

The Beaver And His Goals

It started last fall when we had a beaver move in the small stream beside our house. He immediately began taking down small trees, and within a couple of weeks our small stream turned into a small pond. Everyday he added more to his damn and to his house. We’re sure you’ve all heard the saying, “busy as a beaver”, well now we appreciate this saying as we saw the work that this beaver did over a very short period of time.

With the stream now damned and his house built, we thought that would be the last of the beaver’s busy activity as winter set in. But, to our amazement, he started chewing on a very large maple tree. And, we mean large. The tree is over 60 feet tall and is approximately five feet in diameter at the base. We were amazed at the challenge this beaver was attempting. Over the winter, he would come out and chew a bit more. He had setbacks as we faced major winter storms and freezing weather. We thought that he will never chew through this tree. But sure enough, when the weather allowed, he kept coming back and would chew a bit more.

With spring finally arriving, we went down to see the beaver’s progress and sure enough the tree is going to come down soon!! Our beaver has now almost completely chewed around and through the entire tree.

The beaver’s original goal was survival – to build a home for the winter. Working every day with that particular focus in mind, he achieved that goal. But the large maple tree he started chewing on last fall was a future goal – he wanted the large tree for the spring, to provide new food and branches to continue damning in anticipation of the spring thaw. And, even with the setbacks he faced over the winter, he never gave up.

Our point in sharing our beaver experience with you is to remind you that sometimes we have a goal to just survive, but we also need to set goals for tomorrow. And sometimes, just surviving seems to occupy all of our time – working everyday, looking after our family, going to school, and so forth. But, if you do just a little bit when times allows, and keep focused on your future goal, you will achieve it.

It is also vitally important that when faced with setbacks in achieving a goal, you need to stay focused and not let the setbacks discourage you.

We know what it means to face setbacks along the way because we were once just like the beaver. We worked it seemed just for our survival, but we also had a future goal and we constantly kept moving forward to achieve that goal. Sometimes, though, weeks would pass before we could work on our goal again, and many times we had to deal with some sort of setback. While at times we felt we would never reach our goal, we never gave up and we never lost our focus. But, over more than 5 years, we did achieve our goal.

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Art is in the eye of the beholder

busier than a beaver with no teeth…

may your day bring you one step closer to your goals!

Art~

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Art~

Emma (Sunshine),

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