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Roy Bean married 15 year-old Virginia Chavez in San Antonio on 10-28-1866. Their union brought forth four Beanitos: Roy Jr., Sam, Laura and Zulema. They also adopted a son named John. It was Roy’s first and last marriage. They divorced around 1880 and Roy left her in San Antonio while he went South.

In the pre-Langtry days in San Antonio, Roy Bean used to haul and sell milk. In order to increase profits, he added creek water to the milk. When the buyers started noticing minnows in the milk, Roy seemed as surprised as the buyers. “By Gobs,” he said, “I’ll have to stop them cows from drinking out of the creek.”

In 1882 Roy Bean was appointed Justice of the Peace for Precinct 6, (then Pecos – now Val Verde County). Roy Bean may have been a heavy drinker and a shady character, but he came highly recommended by Texas Rangers, who felt he “had what it would take” to bring the law “West of the Pecos.” 

Bean enjoyed his tough reputation and he kept his kindness hidden. Throughout the years, he took some of the fines and much of the collected goods and gave them to the poor and destitute of the area, doing so without it being known. He even took monies collected in the Jersey Lilly, – his own trackside saloon and used them to buy medicine for the sick and poor in and around Langtry.

Explaining why he had helped so many people, Roy Bean explained it this way to his friend: “Well Dodd, I haven’t been any gol-dang angel myself and there might be a lot charged up to me on Judgment Day; and I figure what good I can do-the Lord will give me credit when the time comes.” He was very sincere in this belief and it was the sum and total of any religious statement from Roy Bean.

An owner of a Langtry restaurant owed Bean money and when he didn’t pay, Bean waited until the restaurant was full, then he then took his place by the door and had each customer pay him for their meal. The last few customers paid the interest.

Bean has often been confused with “hanging judge” Parker of Ft. Smith – (perhaps because their slightly unorthodox or creative sentencing). Bean never actually hanged anyone, although he occasionally “staged” hangings to scare criminals. Bean would prepare a script with his “staff” – if they were sober enough – which allowed for the prisoner to escape. Given this “second-chance” – the culprits never appeared before the court again.

Bean never sentenced anyone to the penitentiary. If ANYTHING needing doing in Langtry – the prisoner would do it. If there was nothing to be done, the prisoner could take it easy by simply being staked out in the sun.

Nearly everyone has heard the story of Bean fining a dead man $40 – the exact amount that in the corpse’s pocket. Less known is the fact that the $40 bought a casket, headstone and paid the gravedigger’s labor. He did, however, keep the man’s gun for use as a gavel.

Roy Bean died at 10:03pm March 19, 1903 after a heavy drinking spree in Del Rio. He returned home at 10 a.m. and died that night at 10 p.m. The real reason he died, was he simply lost the will to live. Bean could not adjust to modern times. The thing that sent him on his binge was the start of construction on a power plant on the Pecos River. He used to say that times were changing and he was being left behind.



If you think things are tough now… imagine living back then!

check your milk for minnows before purchasing it!

When I read this story, I fell in love with it. I have posted similar tales but I felt this story worthy of adding to the zendictive collection of zen and enlightenment tales.

Mirth and Motivation


The Wind and the SunAesop’s Fables

The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin.”

So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveler. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair.

Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on. Kindness effects more than severity.



CatForsley somkritya, living4bliss and

warrior poet wisdom

nominated zendictve with the sunshine award

thank you… bows (~_~) humble

This award comes with set of questions which has to be answered before you spread the love and warmth in the blogosphere
Favourite colour– blue
Favourite Animal– tiger
Favourite number– 9
Favourite non-alcoholic drink– rum and coke
Facebook or twitter-neither, I have never (yet) I just now blog…
My passion– family
getting or giving presents-Both
Favourite Pattern– waking, living, sleeping (grin)
favourite day of week– friday (my show comes on…Spartacus)
favourite flower– orchid
now to share this award…( I see where a lot of those I would have chosen have recieved this award so I will try and choose those who have not as of yet, revieved such an honor.
Anne @ annedearle
fergiemoto @ Creativity Aroused
nTexas99 @ invisible shadow
thank you for the honor and nomination, I could make a list a mile long of those who shed sunshine into our lives all you have to do is look around wordpress at those who read, comment and share their lives here.

cowgirliz nominated zendictive for the versitile blogger award

bows (~_~) humble
thank you

I’m supposed to share seven completely random pieces of information about myself.

  • I am a rare breed… a japanese-redneck
  • I like old trucks (I am currently rebuilding the engine in mine)
  • spinach and I do not get-a-long
  • coffee wakes me up in the morning or I would sleep walk all day
  • I have asked to be placed in the river when I die so that the fish may eat me, which is only fair cause they have fed me for many, many years.
  • I play guitar, (was in four bands and found it was more of a hobby than a profession.)
  • I meditate in the shower (grin)

Now, here are the seven bloggers I have chosen for The Versatile Bloggers Award, in random order:


from artjen1971

I nominated you for several awards! Check out my Leibster Blogger Awards part III page to see it!

I was unable to find these and ran out of time, I am going out the door to go and visit my brother in the hospital. He is still in ICU and they are placing a feeding tube into his tummy. He is still facing obsticles to survive, even after two weeks. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers…

bows (~_~) humble


reblogging … English Village

the ass and his purchaser

A man who wanted to buy an Ass went to market, and, coming across a likely-looking beast, arranged with the owner that he should be allowed to take him home on trial to see what he was like. When he reached home, he put him into his stable along with the other asses. The newcomer took a look round, and immediately went and chose a place next to the laziest and greediest beast in the stable. When the master saw this he put a halter on him at once, and led him off and handed him over to his owner again. The latter was a good deal surprised to seem him back so soon, and said, “Why, do you mean to say you have tested him already?” “I don’t want to put him through any more tests,” replied the other. “I could see what sort of beast he is from the companion he chose for himself.”

“A man is known by the company he keeps.”


(I am surrounded by wonderful people here..!!!)

bows (~_~) humble


have an award winning day


Confucius and his disciples were often persecuted by fearful despots. Having been deported from another state, the band – passing through a remote region – encountered an old woman crying beside a grave. Confucius asked her why she wept. A tiger had killed her husband and his father, she explained, and had recently attacked her only son.

“Why do you live in this savage place?” Confucius asked. “Because there is no oppressive government here,” the woman replied.

“My children,” Confucius said, addressing his disciples, “remember that oppressive government is worse than a tiger.”


While traveling through an arid region with his students one day Confucius, suffering from intense thirst, was offered a bowl full of water collected by a disciple from a rain puddle. He immediately emptied the bowl on the ground. “It would be too much for one, too little for all,” he declared. “Let us continue our journey.”


Once when Confucius and his students were in the State of Chen, they ran out of food and all of the students fell ill. One of the students, Zi-lu, also a famous scholar, complained, “So, it is possible for a righteous person to become destitute!” Confucius replied, “A righteous person can guard his morality and virtue even when he is destitute; whereas a wicked person will resort to all sorts of vices when he is destitute.”

Our moral standard shouldn’t change according the situation we’re in. We are sometimes tested to see whether we can stay unmoved and hold on to our principles in tough situations. Many people will compromise themselves according to the situation, and they gradually and slowly move away from their own principles.


Confucius travelled to many kingdoms to spread his views. One time he left the Kingdom of Wei for the Kingdom of Chen via Kuang City.

The people in Kuang City mistook Confucius as Yang Hu from Lu. Indeed, Confucius looked like Yang Hu. Yang Hu had invaded Kuang City before, and the people in Kuang City resented Yang Hu very much, so they encircled Confucius and his followers. The situation became very tense, and his followers were afraid. Confucius said, “King Wen of Zhou has died and the cultural system of Zhou has fallen upon me. If heaven wants the system to die, it will not allow me to master it. If heaven doesn’t want the system to die, what harm can the people of Kuang City do to me?”

After Confucius and his followers were surrounded for five whole days, they were finally out of danger.

During the times Confucius travelled to various kingdoms, he had come across similar situations many times. Confucius once came across somebody who wanted to harm him. Confucius said, “Heaven bestowed upon me such virtue. What can he do to me?”

this story found here… stories from ancient china

Confucius was China’s most famous Philosopher. He lived in Ancient China during the Zhou Dynasty.

Confucius was a government official, and during his lifetime (he lived from 551 to 479 B.C. ) he saw growing disorder and chaos in the system.

Perhaps due to the turmoil and injustices he saw, he set himself to develop a new moral code based on respect, honesty, education, kindness and strong family bonds.

His teachings later became the basis for religious and moral life throughout China.


 “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right”  

“Let the prince be a prince, the minister a minister, the father a father, and the son a son”

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do”

“Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it”

“What a superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others”

read more here… a china family adventure


may you day be filled with enlightenment


(They did the surgery on Alan’s hip and arm yesterday but soon after he developed 103 fever? He is still under by sedation. a ying yang… good and bad news!!)

Han-san relates the following story [note: In Japanese, “bobo” is apparently a word for intercourse, and of course “roshi” means master]:

Bobo-roshi is a Zen master, but different. If you like I’ll tell you what I know, but I don’t know if it’s all true; I only know about him by hearsay and I have only met him once. He seems to be an ordinary man but he laughs a lot and he has a very deep voice and he dresses strangely. He never wears the Zen robes but usually dresses in a simple kimono, like artists do, and sometimes he wears western clothes, jeans and a jersey, like you do.

They say he has spent years in a Zen monastery, in the southern part of Kyoto. It’s a severe monastery, the rules are applied very strictly, more strictly than here. For instance, I believe they get up at 2 a.m. every day. He is supposed to have been a very diligent monk, rather overdoing things even, making extra rules for himself and all that. But he didn’t understand his koan and the master was hard on him; whenever he wanted to say something the master would pick up his bell and ring him out of the room. He was treated that way for years on end.

He was doing extra meditation, sleeping in the lotus position, trying everything he could think of, but the koan remained as mysterious as ever. I don’t know how long this situation lasted, six years, ten years maybe, but then he had enough. I don’t think he even said goodbye, he just left, in ordinary clothes, with a little money he had saved, or which had been sent to him from home.

Now you must realize that he had been a monk a long time and didn’t know anything about civilian life. He had never climbed the wall at night [i.e. sneaked out of the monastery as many did for less, umm, spiritual pursuits]. He was a real monk, sober, quiet, always in command of himself. And there he was, in a sunny street, in a busy city, thousands of people all about, all doing something, all going somewhere. He wandered about the city and found himself in the willow quarter, perhaps within an hour of leaving the monastery gate.

In the willow quarter there are always women standing in their doors, or pretending to be busy in their gardens. One of the women called him, but he was so innocent that he didn’t know what she wanted. He went to her and asked politely what he could do for her. She took him by the hand and led him into her little house. They say she was beautiful; who knows? Some of these women aren’t beautiful at all but they are attractive in a way, or they wouldn’t have any earnings.

She helped him undress – he must have understood then what was going on. She must have asked him for money and he must have given it to her. Then she took him to her bath, that’s the custom here. Your shoulders are massaged and you are dried with a clean towel and they talk to you. Slowly you become very excited and when she feels you are ready she takes you to the bedroom. He must have been very excited after so many years of abstaining.

At the moment he went into her he solved his koan. He had an enormous satori, one of those rare satoris which are described in our books, not a little understanding which can be deepened later but the lot at once, an explosion which tears you to pieces and you think the world has come to an end, that you can fill the emptiness of the universe in every possible sphere. When he left the woman he was a master.




(I couldn’t begin to relay the emotional roller coaster of visiting my brother yesterday. I couldn’t begin to relay the list of problems he is having. I went by where they kept his car and got his stuff, the car looked like a crushed coke can. I was able to get all his stuff. When I got to the hospital, he was opening his eyes for moments and then going out again. When he saw me, he tried to sit up. He kept trying to talk but with tubes in his mouth, I couldn’t understand him. But he kept trying till finally I made out what he was trying to say….”Water!” I had him chuckle a couple times, calling him the million dollar man (they have him strung up with weights, wires and tubes.) But they’ll do surgery today, he is doing good enough to finally fix his hip and right arm. I told him… “Us Campbells can take an ass kicking,” he shook his head …’yes’… all in all I think he is pulling through, they worry now about phneumonia and fever. but all in all he is getting better.)

have a lovely day

A long time ago, there lived a very, very wise King. He was so wise he knew the ways of most everything. He knew of animals, birds, fish, and trees. And he taught people from all over the world about these.

Now one breezy day, a tiny bee lost her way, and flew right into the King’s beautiful palace. The little bee begged the King, “Please, let me live, and I will serve you some other day.”

The King was amused to think a tiny bee could one day serve such a mighty king. He released the bee and said, “Go, be on your way, for I need nothing more from you today.”
Many days later, the people of the kingdom filled the palace yard. A queen was coming to visit from a a far away land. She heard many people claim this king was very wise. She had to know for sure that they were not all just lies. Finally, she arrived and came up to the King’s lofty throne. She offered her friendship and wonderful gifts, but finally the queen made her real purpose known.

“I hear you are wise,” she said. “You are wiser than the rest. Would you be willing to put your wisdom to a test?”

The King agreed, and she did her best, with riddles, tricks, and difficult tests. In fact, she became quite a bothersome pest.

One day she gave the King a large gemstone, and through the very middle was a tiny twisty hole. “See if you can put a thread through this gem,” she challenged the King with a devious grin. But the King asked a silkworm to climb through the hole, which is not a big problem for a tiny silkworm, you know. And as it did, a thin thread of silk followed the silkworm all the way through.

Another time, the queen tested his skills by filling a room with fifty boys and fifty girls. They were all dressed alike so the King could not tell, if one was a boy or another a girl. “See if you can pick out the boys from the girls. Then I will know you are the wisest in the world.”

But the King knew exactly how he could tell. He had his servants bring bowls of water for each child. Then he told the children not to make this a race, but he would like all of them to wash off their face. The boys splashed and splashed at the very word go, but the girls daintily dipped their fingers into the bowl. By this the King could very easily tell, who was a boy and who was a girl.

Now the queen was quite angered at the King’s show of wisdom, and all the more determined to find a way to trick him. “We must have a test,” she challenged her advisors, “To prove this king’s a fool, not to prove he is wiser!”

So they came up with a plan that would surely not fail. It indeed was a test to make the others look pale. They ordered the queen’s craftsmen to make ninety-nine flowers, fake through and through, but looking so real. When finished, even the queen could not tell they were fake. She was sure the King would make the very same mistake. And then from the King’s garden, she took just one real flower, and cleverly hid it among all the others.

“Tomorrow will be a wonderful day,” the queen said, “because we will make the wise King look foolish instead. Yes, during the party that is held in his honor, we will test the King then, to find his ‘real’ flower.”

The next day, the people gathered from over the land to attend the party and worship their king. Then right after the meal the queen stood and spoke. She grabbed the attention of all of the good folk.

“Listen everyone, I have something to say. Just one more test to give the King today. My craftsmen created many beautiful flowers. They all look so real to test the king’s powers. Ninety-nine are fake, but one is real somewhere. Can the King find that one, if only he dare?”

The King, not wanting to be fooled by this queen, accepted the challenge she handed to him. He sniffed at the flowers, but they all smelled so sweet, and all of the flowers were as soft as could be. The flowers were all so beautiful to see, now which one could the real flower be? The King hesitated, and the people did wonder, “Could our king not be so wise and so great? Surely he could tell a real flower from fake.”

The King became a bit perplexed and did not know what to do next. Suddenly, he heard a faint buzzing sound, something was there buzzing around. It was the tiny little bee he saved many days before. “I am here at your service, here I am sir. I am here to repay the kindness you gave, on that one breezy day.”

The tiny bee quickly flew over the flowers and in no time at all found the one searching for, the one with the honey, so sweet and so pure. The King stooped down and plucked the flower. “Here is the one, no need to look further.” He handed it to the queen to see. And the craftsmen confirmed, it was the real one indeed. Finally, the queen had to give in and admitted this king was truly the wisest there ever had been.

And yes he truly was, for this was King Solomon, the son of David. When Solomon prayed for wisdom instead of riches, God said, “I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.” (1 Kings 3:12 -13)



You are where you are today, because you have chosen to be there!


have a quality day


Geronimo ~ by Chris Cade

It is said that all beings are interconnected, and that we only need to tune into the silence within ourselves to truly understand this. Not all of us believe this, however, and Geronimo was one of those people.

In his youth he had been a troublemaker as the result of being controlled by his parents and teachers, and he felt generally misunderstood. Perhaps this was because his rather large ego sent mixed messages into the world through a combination of hurting some while helping others.

For example, Geronimo took particular enjoyment in frying ants on the sidewalk with a magnifying glass, perhaps because as a child he had recurring dreams about them overtaking him while he slept. He dreamt of them biting him thousands of times while he slept, and he could remember so vividly when he awoke within his dreams the feeling of wanting to die. His dreams felt real, so real that he wasn’t ever quite sure that they were dreams until he awoke from them. The worst dreams were when he awoke, yet found himself to still be asleep having that nightmare.

Still, that didn’t change the fact that killing ants in his waking life felt justified. It was an eye for an eye, and from his perspective nobody was going blind. They were just stupid ants with no soul, no essense, no reason to be. To Geronimo, ants were a nuisance creature that should have never existed in the first place.

This destructive, abusive behavior was in stark contrast to his attitude towards people. He loved people, especially helping them succeed beyond their wildest dreams. A particular passion of his was to help groups of people that were being unjustly baised against in society, and he felt it was his duty to help right those wrongs. His ego led him to believe that he was these peoples’ savior, and that without his leadership and support they might never see justification. He never saw the irony…

Over time, Geronimo was successful in helping some of those wronged groups find their rights. So much so that he became a threat to the government in this third world country, and he was eventually framed for a murder he didn’t commit. Found guilty by an innocent jury that knew nothing of the corruption and deceit presented to them, Geronimo was sentenced to life in prison. Even worse, the first ten years of his sentence were to be served in solitary confinement.

Solitary confinement is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s a blessing to not have to deal with the ins and outs of the prison social structure. He didn’t have to worry about other inmates trying to take advantage of his newness, and he didn’t have to be concerned about whether or not the guards would beat him as was often the case. However, in exchange for the physical protections he had to give up some things people might consider far more precious.

His space was much smaller than what other inmates had, he had no bed, and there was only a small hole in the ground that served as a toilet. He slept on stone every night, but that wasn’t the worst part. In solitary confinement, there is no light. None. For ten years Geronimo spent his time in pitch black, and even worse, his food and water was sparse. Sometimes he wouldn’t be brought food for days, and his body had become weak, weary, and emaciated.

It was during this time in solitary confinement when Geronimo experienced the most excrutiating torment of his entire life. One night, while sleeping, he was overrun with ants exactly like his recurring dreams from years prior. The ants bit him fiercely, leaving welts all over his body, and when he awoke to them crawling all over he jumped up and started killing them.

Geronimo stomped and stomped. He flung them off of him, and he jumped up and down. He continued this until he felt no more ants on him and the room fell silent again. “Stupid insects,” he thought again to himself. “They know nothing.” And with that, he went back to sleep.

The next day, Geronimo was in for a big surprise. From a small opening in the darkness emerged a meal. An entire piece of stale bread, and a half cup of water. It was more than he had eaten in the last four days, so he was grateful. He lifted the bread to his mouth, took a bite, then set it down to enjoy a sip of water. When he went for his second bite, something incomprehensible had happened.

The bread was gone.

It had vanished into the mouths of the ants which were, yet again, also biting Geronimo unmercilessly. It was almost as though they knew he was the one who killed their ancestors from decades before and they were back for revenge. Night after night, the ants came back and the cycle repeated. Geronimo would stomp and jump, flick and fling, until all the ants left him alone. This continued for weeks, and Geronimo was genuinely concerned he might die from adverse reactions to all the bites.

Eventually, Geronimo gave up. He realized he couldn’t win this battle and accepted his fate. After eight years in solitary confinement, he was ready to die. When the ants came, Geronimo no longer had the will to fight them. He allowed their bites and stings to continue without resistance, and he counted the days until his death.

If the ants didn’t kill him the starvation would. He hadn’t eaten in over a week now, and he could feel the life slowly and progressively leaving his body. After a few more days, something miraculous happened — the ants no longer came to bite him. It was as if they had made their point, as though they had understood that there was no purpose to their own resistance of Geronimo, and thus there was peace in the cell for the first time in months. The ants knew that an eye for an eye makes the world blind, and they sensed that Geronimo finally understood this as well.

Now going on almost two weeks without food, Geronimo was coming to his last breaths. He wouldn’t have made it this long were it not for the water that was brought to him every other day. It was almost as though the guards wanted him to die of starvation. Maybe they did. Or maybe they just didn’t care. Either way, Geronimo was getting the short end of the stick. Then something miracoulous happened.

A little crumb of bread showed up in Geronimo’s hand. At first he didn’t understand it, but as hungry and mentally incapacitated as he was, he also didn’t question it. Gratitude filled his entire being, as he enjoyed the greatest crumb of bread he had ever known. A moment later, another crumb appeared in his hand. Again, he ate it graciously despite his confusion.

It wasn’t until he stopped trying to figure out what was happening that he came to understand. In his silence he felt something unusual… it was a massage from thousands of little feet on his hands. In this silence, in the peace when his mind no longer thought, he came to realize that the ants were bringing him food!

For the next two years that Geronimo remained in solitary confinement, the ants continued to bring him food. He regained his health, perhaps moreso than any other inmate in the prison, and more importantly, he gained a newfound gratitude for life in all its subtleties. Geronimo also gained thousands of new friends with whom the only common language was stillness.

After being released from solitary confinement, Geronimo spent the next twenty years in prison. It was different out there, with other people having opinions and thoughts… egos as they were called. Geronimo was different. His ego had dissipated as he came to realize that ants, the beings he once despised and killed, were in his opinion the greatest intelligence, the greatest teachers, and now, his greatest friends. So much so that no matter which cell he was moved to, the ants always managed to find him and bring him more food at night when nobody else could see.

It is said that all beings are interconnected, and that we only need to tune into the silence within ourselves to truly understand this. Not all of us believe this, but like Geronimo, eventually we all will.


have a zendictive day


I am almost certain that this is not a statue of Jabba The Hut, though the resemblance is uncanny. I am almost certain that it is a statue of Daruma, the Japanese name given to the Bodhidharma, known as the founder of Zen.

Bodhidharma is believed to have been an Indian monk who took new Buddhist teaching to China where it became known as Ch’an. When Japan appropriated Ch’an they called it Zen.


Daruma dolls are found all over Japan. They have no arms or legs as the Bodhidarma spent so many years in ascetic meditation that his limbs dropped off through lack of use.

Daruma dolls are usually sold without eyes. They are used to help achieve your goals. After purchasing one a single eye is painted in as you set your self a goal. When you achieve your goal you paint in the second eye.

this story and other interesting information on Japan

More glimpses of unfamiliar Japan



Here is a poem I wrote about turtles that I should have pasted with yesterdays post but here is the link…

Turtle Time

may all your wishes come true

Sesshu Toyo and the rat
The artist and Zen monk who is known by the name of Sesshu is one of the greatest Japanese artists of all time. Born in Akahama (now part of Soja, Okayama Pref.) in 1420. The son of a samurai family, at the age of 10 he was packed off to the nearby Zen temple of Hofuku-Ji to train as a monk, and it was from this time that a famous story about him is set.
Apparently he was not a good novice, preferring to spend his time drawing rather than chanting the sutras, and one day as punishment for his misbehavior he was tied to one of the pillars in the temple hall. Later when a monk (or abbot) came to check on him he was startled by what appeared to be a rat on the floor in front of the bound Sesshu.
On closer examination it turned out that the rat was a very life-like drawing done by Sesshu using his toe to draw in the dust of the floor with his tears.

His artistic talent being recognized he was encouraged to follow his heart and so became the great artist he is known for today.

There is another version of the story that says that the rat drawing was so life-like it actually became real and chewed through the ropes binding Sesshu and freed him. (this sounds like a story exaggeration that was added to the story as the years went on)
this story and more found here…

More glimpses of unfamiliar Japan

Sesshu Toyo is a prime example of how others may try and tie you to their way of thinking and bind you to reform and yet with perseverance it is possible to show others that the fault lies with not accepting one for the way they are. His story, a zen monk back in 1420 and yet we as a society have learned so little from such an inspirational artist.

Rituals and a cat

a zendictive story (related topic)
may your day be filled with such perseverance

Who is this fat guy? A Buddhist Monk that travels around with a cloth bag over his shoulder and gives out candy to children. Is it Santa Claus? In Japan he is known as Hotei.

He is an enlightened person that has gained a large belly, like the fat-bellied buddhas you may have seen in Chinese restaurants. 

Hotei (this is the Japanese form of the name) has been one of the favorite figures of East Asian popular religion for almost 1000 years; he is known everywhere and to everyone.  Entering Chinese Buddhist temples today,

Hotei’s biographies report that he lived in the first half of the tenth century.  He had no home; he lived as a wandering monk.  Most sources describe him with a round head and an obese, uncovered belly.  The name “Hotei” literally means “hemp-bag”, but was also slang for a glutton. 

Some sources state that he carried a hemp bag over his shoulder.  When he received food by begging, he would immediately taste it and put the leftovers in the bag.  The bag also apparently contained various rubbish, bricks and stones.  Crowds of children would often crowd around him, drawn especially by curiosity about his bag.  Sometimes he would spread out the miscellaneous contents of the bag on the ground, pick up one object at a time, saying “Look here, look here.  What is this?  What is this?”

A particularly famous story about him:  He met a stranger on the road who asked him, “Why did Bodhidharma come from the West?”  (Since Bodhidharma came to bring the Zen lineage from India to China, the question is code for; “What is zen,” or “What is truth.”

Hotei said nothing; he put down his bag and crossed his arms.  The stranger said, “Is there nothing else to it?”   At that Hotei picked up his bag and walked off.  (See if you can understand this presentation.  Clue:  Think wisdom and compassion; think letting go/taking on the burden.)

Hotei may be a composite figure, based not so much on one historical person as much as a type of person, an eccentric or “mad monk,”  who wandered without practicing any obvious discipline or meditation. 

The function of Hotei in East Asain popular religion can be compared in several ways to the function of Santa Claus in American Christianity.  Both figures mediate (create a living connection) between popular values in the society on the one hand and ideals of the greater tradition elite on the other. 

 Santa Claus arrives, like Jesus, on Christmas day; like God, he knows who has been naughty and nice, so you better watch out for Goodness sake.  He embodies a spirit of selfless giving, or charity to all, the core spirit of Christian values. his robust appearance and loud and contagious laughter are trademark for a jolly spirit with Santa Claus as well as Hotei. 

Likewise, Hotei has obvious connections to Zen.  His habit of pointing out objects and asking what they are is a Zen technique; his robes are Buddhist; and there are specific Zen stories about him, he enters the marketplace with helping hands, mixing with fishmongers and barmaids and dirty street kidsTo the Chinese, his fat belly clearly suggests material abundance and prosperity, while his laughing smile is much more inviting than the stern rebukes of a Zen master. 

Santa Claus and Hotei:  They both carry big bags over their shoulder, and in both cases children are eager and curious about the contents of the bag. So I derive that Santa Claus was/is a zen master. Perhaps he drifted to the north pole with elves, grew a beard in order to deal with the cold and set up shop. Over the years he has acquired reindeer and a broader audience and instead of giving out candy, he now gives out toys. Hey, it could be!

have a happy and jolly holiday

 Merry Christmas

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”


and happy holidays



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Emma (Sunshine),

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