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Buddha said: “I consider the positions of kings and rulers as that of dust motes. I observe treasures of gold and gems as so many bricks and pebbles. I look upon the finest silken robes as tattered rags. I see myriad worlds of the universe as small seeds of fruit, and the greatest lake in India as a drop of oil on my foot. I perceive the teachings of the world to be the illusion of magicians. I discern the highest conception of emancipation as a golden brocade in a dream, and view the holy path of the illuminated ones as flowers appearing in one’s eyes. I see meditation as a pillar of a mountain, Nirvana as a nightmare of daytime. I look upon the judgment of right and wrong as the serpentine dance of a dragon, and the rise and fall of beliefs as but traces left by the four seasons.”

A monk set off on a long pilgrimage to find the Buddha. He devoted many years to his search until he finally reached the land where the Buddha was said to live. While crossing the river to this country, the monk looked around as the boatman rowed. He noticed something floating towards them. As it got closer, he realized that it was the corpse of a person. When it drifted so close that he could almost touch it, he suddenly recognized the dead body – it was his own! He lost all control and wailed at the sight of himself, still and lifeless, drifting along the river’s currents. That moment was the beginning of his liberation.

(I thought about this short story and came to my own interpretation… perhaps this monk searched for Buddha and along the way, died. But he never quit searching, even in the after life?)

A nun who was searching for enlightenment made a statue of Buddha and covered it with gold leaf. Wherever she ent she carried this golden Buddha with her.

Years passed and, still carrying her Buddha, the nun came to live in a small temple in a country where there were many Buddhas, each one with its own particular shrine.

The nun wished to burn incense before her golden Buddha. Not liking the idea of the perfume straying to others, she devised a funnel through which the smoke would ascend only to her statue. This blackened the nose of the golden Buddha, making it especially ugly.

My wife has a green jade Buddha that she got from her father, ‘Mr. Ben’ who got it when he was stationed in Korea. It goes well in our bedroom that is decorated in oriental art, from the bedspread to the pictures on the wall and the shelf with oriental nick-nacks. (similar to the picture below, only the belly is bigger)

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have a zen filled day

(~_~)

I was downloading some ‘E’ books onto my new HP touchpad and came across two interesting reads. The first is:

Buddha in blue jeans,” by Tai Sheridan.

Tai Sheridan is a poet, philosopher, author and a priest. The book is short but to the point, the way I like it… one excerpt that really caught my attention is:

“Thought can be a jail.”

The book expresses the key to a better life is finding the time to simply sit quietly, everyday. Finding the time to sit and think of… nothing. I do this on my front porch, watching the river flow by. It is the time when I find myself in the vastness of the universe. It is so easy to get lost in this big ole’ world and sitting and being a part of the world and realizing I am who I am and what will be will be. Acceptance is the key to tranqulity.

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Another book I downloaded is:

Relax, you’re going to die.” by  Tai Sheridan

The title caught my eye of course. The main topic in this book is that all fears and anxieties derive from the fear of dying. Which is true… excerpt:

“Until you relax in the core of yourself it is impossible to make peace with death.”

I thought of the Samurai, who would rather commit, Harikari (suicide) than to be dishonorable, they looked forward to death and embraced it rather than fear it.

Having fun with the touchpad… downloading a library of information and zen… These E-books are free from Amazon.

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you are the center of your universe

(~_~)

A tale is told about the Buddha, Gautama (563-483BC), the Indian prince and spiritual leader whose teachings founded Buddhism. This short story illustrates that every one of us has the choice whether or not to take personal offence from another person’s behaviour.

It is said that on an occasion when the Buddha was teaching a group of people, he found himself on the receiving end of a fierce outburst of abuse from a bystander, who was for some reason very angry.

The Buddha listened patiently while the stranger vented his rage, and then the Buddha said to the group and to the stranger, “If someone gives a gift to another person, who then chooses to decline it, tell me, who would then own the gift? The giver or the person who refuses to accept the gift?”

“The giver,” said the group after a little thought. “Any fool can see that,” added the angry stranger.

“Then it follows, does it not,” said the Buddha, “Whenever a person tries to abuse us, or to unload their anger on us, we can each choose to decline or to accept the abuse; whether to make it ours or not. By our personal response to the abuse from another, we can choose who owns and keeps the bad feelings.”

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a ‘good pebble’

A British family were on holiday in a rented motor-home in the USA. Travelling through California they visited the Magic Mountain amusement park close by Los Angeles. Mid-afternoon, halfway through what was turning out to be a most enjoyable day at the park, Mum, Dad and the three kids came upon a particularly steep plummeting ride. In the queue, the ride attendants strongly warned everyone about the risks of losing hats, spectacles, coins and keys, etc., and these warnings were echoed by large signs around the ride. During the ride, Dad lost the keys.

Due to the fact that the motor-home was a replacement vehicle resulting from a breakdown earlier in the holiday, there were no spare keys. And there were six keys on the lost bunch: ignition, front doors, side door, fuel tank, propane tank, and storage cupboards.

The park attendants drove the family back to the motor-home, suggesting the least damaging ways to break into it.

Fortunately a window had been left slightly open, enabling the middle son to be put in and to open the doors from the inside.

Inside the motor-home Mum and Dad discussed what to do. They were stranded.

Middle son (all of six years old) said he’d got a key – said he’d found it – but no-one was listening properly. “Perhaps it will fit, I’ll get it.” (The optimism of young children of course knows no bounds.)

Not thinking for one second that little lad’s key would fit, Dad tried it. Incredibly the key fitted the ignition – and the driver’s door. Middle son is a hero. It seems he’d found the key in a cupboard when packing his clothes soon after the motor-homes were swapped after the first vehicle broke down.

The next day back at the camp site, Dad called a local locksmith to see what could be done.

“I might be able to make new keys from the locks, if you bring the vehicle to me,” said the locksmith, so the family drove to the locksmith, whose business was in a small shopping centre in the California countryside.

The locksmith looked at the motor-home, and said he’d try. “If you come back in an hour I’ll know better what I can do for you.”

The family went to the nearby shops and a coffee bar to pass the time. Dad returned to the locksmith to see how things were going. The locksmith says he thought he could make new keys for all the locks, but it would be a long job.

In fact the job took the locksmith most of the day. The family hung around the locksmiths, visited the shops again, and generally made a day of being at the little shopping centre. While working on the locks and the keys, the locksmith talked with the family about England, about America, about the rides at Las Vegas, about motor-homes, about business, about locks, about families and kids, about lots of things.

Late on in the afternoon the locksmith said that he’d nearly done – “But you have time to go get something to eat if you want. When you come back I’ll be done.” So the family went to a burger bar for something to eat.

An hour later the family returned to the locksmith’s shop. It was 4pm and they’d been at the shopping centre since 10.00 in the morning.

When Dad entered the locksmith’s shop the locksmith was smiling. He put two new gleaming bunches of keys on the counter. “Here you go – a new set of keys for all the locks, and a spare set too,” said the locksmith, “And I tell you what I’m going to do…”

Dad offered his credit card, gratefully.

“You know, I’ve had such a great time with you guys today,” says the locksmith, “You can have these for free.”

This is a true story. It happened over ten years ago. I still tell people about it now, like I’m telling you. The company is Newhall Valencia Lock & Key, in the El Centro Shopping Center, Canyon Country, California. This little company gave me and my family an experience that transcended customer service, and I was delighted when I found their business card in my kitchen drawer the other day, because it prompted me to share this story and to properly express my thanks.

Just a final note – I’m not suggesting that great customer service is about giving your products and services away. Obviously that’s not a particularly sustainable business model. What I’m saying though, is that there are times when you’ll see opportunity to do something really special for a customer, or for another human being, and when you do it, the ripples of your ‘good pebble’ can stretch around the world, and last for years and years. So, within the boundaries of what’s possible and viable for you, drop in a good pebble whenever you can and make some ripples of your own.

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I use to have a habit of picking up pretty pebbles. I would polish it by rubbing it with my thumb, calling it my worry stone. Then when I came across another that was riddled with worry I’d give them the pebble.

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may you give a ‘good pebble’ today, the ripple of goodness will spread.

(~_~)

 

Bees seem to have something like human minds, exactly the same kind of stupidity. The doors may be open, but if a bee is inside the room, caught inside the room… and she may have come from the open door but she will try to get out from the closed window. Not only bees but other birds also behave in the same way. Any bird can enter in your room; the doors are open, he has come from the door, but he cannot go back from the same door.

He starts trying to get through the wall, through the ceiling… and the more he tries, the more desperate he becomes, because there is no way to get through the ceiling or through the wall or through the closed window. And in that desperation, frustration he becomes more and more blind, afraid, scared. He loses all intelligence. And the same is the case with human beings.

One day Buddha came into his assembly of the monks. It must have been just a morning like this. His sannyasins were sitting and waiting for him. They were puzzled because this was for the first time that Buddha had come with something in his hand – a handkerchief. They all looked at the handkerchief What was the matter? There must be something special in it. And Buddha sat on the platform and rather than starting speaking to the assembly he looked at the handkerchief, started tying a few knots in it, five knots in all.

The whole assembly watched – what is going on? And then he asked the assembly, ”Can anybody tell me: is this handkerchief the same as it was before the knots were tied?”

Sariputta said, ”This is a tricky question. In a way the handkerchief is the same because nothing has changed, in a way it is not the same because these five knots have appeared which were not there before. But as far as the inner nature of the handkerchief is concerned – its nature is concerned – it is the same; but as far as its form is concerned it is no more the same. The form has changed: the substance is the same.”

Buddha said, ”Right. Now I want to open these knots.” And he started stretching both ends of the handkerchief farther away from each other. He asked Sariputta. ”What do you think? By stretching farther will I be able to open the knots?”

He said, ”You will be making knots even more difficult to open because they will become smaller, more tighter. ’

Buddha said, ”Right. Then I want to ask the last question: what should I do so that I can open the knots, the tied knots? How I can untie them again?”

Sariputta said, ”Bhagwan, I would like first to come close and see how in the first place the knots have been tied. Unless I know how they have been tied it is difficult for me to suggest any solution.”

Buddha said, ”Right, Sariputta. You are blessed, because that is the most fundamental question to ask. If you are in a certain fix, the first thing is how you got into it rather than trying to get out of it. Without asking the most fundamental and the primary question, you will make things worse.”

And that’s what people are doing. They ask, ”How we can get out of our sexuality, greed, anger, attachment, jealousy, possessiveness, this and that?” without asking, ”How in the first place we get into them?”

this story found here!

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Give me some wisdom

As an Officer for the State (Correctional Officer/ Prison Guard) I am in the pits with some of the worlds most ruthless humans/inmates. I have found that some want to just do their time and get out while others have a burning desire to cause havac, spread their unhappiness.

The Mission statement for the Texas Prison Guard has in it’s length,… “To promote positive change in offender behavior.” I believe in this. I tell some of these zen stories to offenders in hopes to better their outlook on life. Like the religious services, when I get stuck having to watch them and they simply just hang out in the church, or the recreation yard or the chow hall.

The other day one walked up and said, “Mr. C, give me some wisdom.”

I told him, “Be like grass, you can step on it, smash it, cut it or even burn it and it always comes back greener and stronger.”

“A bad attitude is like a flat tire, your not going very far until you change it.”

The way out of a hole is through self motivation.”

Then I come home and sit in front of the computer and ask the monitor, “give me some wisdom.”  So, where did I get my wisdom? … (grinin’) …”Google!”

I watched a butterfly today, dancing to a song on the radio, or so it seemed.

(~_~)

 

They say that one day man wanted to know the Truth and asked it to God.  God wrote it on a great stone disk and saw that it was too big for man to understand it.  But, answering his request, threw the disk to Earth which broke in many pieces.
 
Each one that picked up a piece founded a religion, or a Church, or a philosophy, etc. For which every one of them has a part of the Truth, that will be in the hands of humanity the moment all be united.  All united one day!
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The clay statue of Buddha reached almost three meters in height.  During generations it had been considered sacred by the inhabitants of the place.  One day, due to the growth of the city, they decided to translate it to a more appropriate site.  This delicate task was assigned to a recognized monk, who, after planning carefully, started his mission.  His luck was so bad that, when moving the statue, this one slipped and fell, cracking in various parts.
 
Regretful, the monk and his team decided to spend the night meditating over the alternatives.  They were long, dark and rainy hours.  The monk, instead of despairing, focused in finding a way out.  Suddenly, when observing the cracked sculpture, he realized that the light of his candle reflected through the cracks of the statue.  He thought that they were drops of rain.  He drew near the crack and observed that behind the clay there was something, but he was not sure what.
 
He consulted his colleagues and decided to take a risk that looked like a madness:  He asked for a hammer and started to break the clay, discovering that below it was hidden the Buddha of solid gold of almost three meters of height.  During centuries this beautiful treasure had been covered by ordinary clay.  Historians found proofs that demonstrated that, a one time, the town was going to be attacked by bandits.  The residents, to protect their treasure, covered it with clay to make it look common and ordinary.  The town was attacked and sacked, but the Buddha was ignored by the bandits.  Afterwards, the survivors thought that was better to continue hiding it behind the clay.  Over time, people started to think that the Golden Buddha was a legend or an invention of the old ones.
 
Until, finally, all forgot the true treasure because they thought that something so beautiful could not be true.
 
 
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perhaps, Steven Hawking’s is a perfect example of a clay Buddha
 
 
food for thought~ 
 thoughts from Art… chew on this…
 
Do we (some) hide our true treasures we possess inside, just like the clay Buddha. I understand the broken heart and how one will shelter it, to keep from being hurt again. We create a rough exterior in order keep from being hurt, a self defense shield, all to protect the jewel inside ourselves. Much like the villagers covering the gold Buddha in order to protect it, but rather than take the clay away and allow it to shine, it was kept covered with drab clay.
 
I was watching, Steven Hawking’s Grand Design last night. (If your into reality (or what is reality)) I recommend the 1 hour show on Discovery. (I’m a discovery watcher…. Basically, reality is what you or I make it. For true reality is nothing like our own reality. There are multiple realities, ….. each of us live in the center of our own universe, and each live according to what we have been taught and subjected to.
 
Truth is, we are made up of millions/billions of cells that make our physical self and even our mental structure. The process allows us to think, feel and generate emotions that make up our whole. Each of us are uniquely different, yet the same basic structure. A living, breathing, body and soul that lives but like a spark of life in the true reality. An amber from the flame in the whole design of things.
 
Yesterday I stated that we are like fleas on a dog, that is; the planet is the dog, but in the true design of the universe we are like small atoms compared to the reality of the universe. A very small part of the whole and yet each of us feel our problems and our lives are larger than life itself. We are like the hermit crab (a mind inside a shell; our bodies) and we carry our life’s burdens with us. While the waves crash along the shore line and the sun beats down long after we are gone, leaving a shell behind. Be like the cloud that floats through life and sees all the worlds wonders then slowly dissipates and leaves.
 
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may your day be filled with smiles
(~_~)

Art~

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Art~

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