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According to legend, a young man while roaming the desert came across a spring of delicious crystal-clear water. The water was so sweet he filled his leather canteen so he could bring some back to a tribal elder who had been his teacher. After a four-day journey he presented the water to the old man who took a deep drink, smiled warmly and thanked his student lavishly for the sweet water. The young man returned to his village with a happy heart.
Later, the teacher let another student taste the water. He spat it out, saying it was awful. It apparently had become stale because of the old leather container. The student challenged his teacher: “Master, the water was foul. Why did you pretend to like it?”
The teacher replied, “You only tasted the water. I tasted the gift. The water was simply the container for an act of loving-kindness and nothing could be sweeter.”
I think we understand this lesson best when we receive innocent gifts of love from young children. Whether it’s a ceramic tray or a macaroni bracelet, the natural and proper response is appreciation and expressed thankfulness because we love the idea within the gift.
Gratitude doesn’t always come naturally. Unfortunately, most children and many adults value only the thing given rather than the feeling embodied in it. We should remind ourselves and teach our children about the beauty and purity of feelings and expressions of gratitude. After all, gifts from the heart are really gifts of the heart.
have a ‘zen-tastic’ day
The great Taoist master Chuang Tzu once dreamt that he was a butterfly fluttering here and there. In the dream he had no awareness of his individuality as a person. He was only a butterfly.
Suddenly, he awoke and found himself laying there, a person once again. But then he thought to himself, “Was I before a man who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly who dreams about being a man?”
moral; interpretations vary, perspectives are visuals from different stand points, life is truely amazing, to ponder rather reality is a dream or a dream is reality. I find dreams curious, I had one the other night where in a certain spot in this house, when you stood there, it lifted you upward, floating. Now, what gets me about this is the feelings that come along with the dream, you actually feel as though your being elevated, gravity defied. If I am awake, I could not reproduce the physical feeling of being lifted, yes I can imagine floating but without the feeling that dreams seem to recreate, fascinating.
food for thought
Dream interpretations date back to 3000-4000 B.C., where they were documented on clay tablets. For as long as we have been able to talk about our dreams, we have been fascinated with them and have strived to understand them.
In some primal societies, members were unable to distinguish between the dream world and the waking world. Or they could simply choose not to make the distinction. They saw that the dream world was not only an extension of reality, but that it was a more powerful world.
1. One-third of your life is spent sleeping.
2. In an average lifetime, you would have spent a total of about six years of it dreaming. That is more than 2,100 days spent in a different realm!
Everybody dreams. EVERYBODY! Simply because you do not remember your dream does not mean that you do not dream. In fact, you have several dreams during a normal night of sleep.
In reality, we cannot really fly, of course. Thus, such dreams can be representative of things that are beyond your physical limitations. In your mind, you can be anybody and do anything. Another way of interpreting flying dreams is that these dreams symbolize your strong mind and will. You feel undefeatable and that nobody can tell you what you cannot do and accomplish. Such dreams are sure to leave you with a great sense of freedom.
After long moments, the Master finally answers:
“Life is nothing more than just a dream,”
In saying this, The Master expired.
Sometimes your biggest weakness can become your biggest strength. Take, for example, the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.
“Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”
“This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied. Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.
Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match.
Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals. This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. “No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.”
Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.
On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind. “Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”
“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defence for that move is for your opponent to grip your left arm.”
The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.
(moral; sometimes our greatest weakness is our greatest strength. The statement that the meek shall inherit the earth is a good point to this topic, why? Your a vote, the people now have the say as to who will lead them. It is not placed from father to son as a King or dictator-ship. We the people still have the strength from our weakness. Another great point is handicapped, I have met those who are confined to a wheel chair that attend Karate class and let me tell you, the last thing you think is that they are handicapped. It is a hard task but if you meditate on what your weakness might be, you can make it your biggest strength.)
bows (~_~) humble
Long ago in a small, far away village, there was place known as the House of 1000 Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could.
To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the House, he thought to himself, “This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often.”
In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, “That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again.”
(moral; All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?)
food for thought
so, does a dog see itself when looking in a mirror or do they see another dog looking back at them?
When you look in the mirror do you see yourself,
or a reflection of what is your shell?
It is the irony of life that this ‘I’ is so very strong in us and yet we cannot see it without the help of the mirror. In Greek Mythology Narcissus saw his reflection in the water and fell in love with it! It is only through the reflection in the mirror that we can get nearest to the self in us.
Long time ago mirrors were nothing but sheets of metal that were highly polished. Silver and copper were commonly used. The mirrors that we see today consist of aluminum layer lining the back of piece of glass. This layer is known as Tain.
Dr Bertamini said: “People tend not to understand that the location of the viewer matters in terms of what is visible in a mirror. A good example of this is what we call the Venus Effect, which relates to the many famous paintings of the goddess Venus, looking in a small mirror.
“If you were to look at these paintings, you would assume that Venus is admiring her own face, because you see her face in the mirror. Your viewpoint, however, is rather different from hers; if you can see her in the mirror then she would see you in the mirror.”
Mirrors are very much of part of our beliefs and superstitions interwoven in our legends and literature.
Do not break a mirror. It will be followed up with seven years of bad luck.
Perseus killed Medusa by using a mirrored shield so that he did not have to directly gaze at her fearsome form as he slew her. Had he done so he would have been turned into stone.
Tennyson’s Lady of Shallot frees herself from a curse when a mirror breaks.
The reflection of Count Dracula would never fall on a mirror, because he was a ghost.
The wicked Queen in Snow White used the mirror to tell her the truth about her beauty.
The greatest wonder of all about mirrors is that although the majority of animals do not know its virtues there are some who can recognize their own images. Among them are the elephants, great apes and dolphins.
Last but not least, does a mirror allow one to see the true self? Even with a mirror do you see what others see in you?
have a dog-gone good day
The Liebster Blog Award
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. In this internet world I suppose it begins with a single click. And like any journey, you never know who you will meet along the way or the places the journey will take you. It is not the destination as much as the journey itself.
Me? I started this blog, Zendictive, as a place to store a notebook full of zen stories and poetry that I have collected over the years. I began collecting them when I had the martial arts studio, Inner Spirit Martial Arts, (2000-2003). I would tell a story a day, (they became popular) so I learned quickly that I needed to gather a lot of inspirational (zen-tales) short stories to satisfy these hungry minds. I even began creating my own and on this journey, I have found myself here, blogging.
The people I have met HERE have been tremendously inspirational. I had no idea that people would come and read these stories like they have. And the poetry is getting a better viewing than I could have ever asked for (my passion writes). I simply wanted to place these written gems where they might have a chance to touch another soul as deeply as they have me and I am overwhelmed at the response and humbled.
yesterday, Friday Oct, 7, 2011, I noted a comment on the post,
‘water off a ducks back,’ by Janece, (stating,)
” Left you something on my blog today ”
so, naturally I went to Janece’s blog…
The Oct 7th 2011 post …Folks in the Road, Janece honored five bloggers with the …Liebster Blog Award!
Zendictive was one of the five. ~~ Bows (~_~) humble~~ I am honored~
Thank You Janece.
Robin Hawke; http://robinhawke.wordpress.com/,
I have been handed the opportunity to pass the award to five other bloggers who have less than 200 subscribers. This is harder than pulling teeth from a chicken. So, I lower my head and contemplate the task and have chosen these five who inspire and motivate me. I pass this award to…
Warrior Poet Wisdom, the first person to befriend me on wordpress. I found his blog by searching with my son for some writings that interested both of us. (when I first found wordpress) Miro, has poems Featuring Star Wars pictures and heros which attracted my son. But as I read on and on in his blog I realized how much I was reading myself in so many ways. The ‘way of the peaceful warrior’ having a generous heart (donating his hair for childrens charity) remaining passive till the time comes to have to defend one’s family, friends, country or self. Miro recently published a book of poetry(Warrior Poet Wisdom Vol. I; Peace.
To Miro, I bow ( ~_~) humble.
I go daily with a cup of coffee in hand to see what timcoffeyart Caffeine for the Creative soul! Tim has created each day. His pictorial wisdom inspires so many with his witty art work on his blog…If you have never visited Tim’s blog, do so, you are in for a treat. He mixes drawings with witty words of wisdom that are always inspirational and or adorable.
To Tim, bows (~_~) humble
Old Jules has a blog called; So Far From Heaven… I was attracted to his site by his whimsical country charm and a post on how country folk should raise their fingers at each other. Hilarious and so down to earth. ‘Texas Thumbs and Finger Signs’ is as country as it gets, honest and pure hearted people are the jewels of the world these days.
To Jules,… thumbs up
John Weeren and his blog, About Zen, inspires me daily. John posts everyday and everyday he has a different ZEN sentences, stories and or short poems that enriches the zen practitioner and anyone who wants to be enlightened about living a pure life.
To John …I bow
N. Williams, Shining City On The Hill, Nathan has a page on his blog for; 25 Ways to Become a Better Writer. Lord knows I make mistakes, alot, and need all the help I can get. But, Nathan is a political critic, poet, accomplished author and versatile writer that is inspired by life. shares his talent with class. His intellect shines in his posts and his passion for the Arts is inspirational and enlightening.
To Nathan…bows (~_~) humble
There are so many here that support me, read my posts and inspire me in so many ways. In short this award is for them all. Now, for the five listed above.
As always, there’s a few “rules” that go along with this..if you can get to it. They are:
- Thank the blogger that gave you the award AND create a link back to their blog.
- Leave a comment on the blogs you have chosen.
- Post the award on your own blog.
Thanks again Janece, for this opportunity and HONOR. I pass this award to these five with humble intentions.
This is awesome, I take this as an early birthday present
since my birthday is Tomorrow, Sunday,
Any day above ground is a good one.
Once upon a time, there lived a family of foxes that lived in the woods. As the sun set one day, the father fox readied to go to work. (Foxes are mostly nocturnal) Kissing his wife and kids ‘good bye’ he set out to fetch the families ‘bread and butter,’ (a figure of speech) and off to work he goes.
Not far from his home, down the big thicket highway (a trail in the woods) the fox run into a traffic jam. A large group of porcupines were moving slowly down the trail. The fox tried to make his way around this congested trail but he kept bumping into the porcupines and every time this happened he would get a porcupine’s quill stuck into him. Finally, the fox had enough and decided to find a short cut and he got off the main highway.
The fox was making good time, running through the back road brush when he ran smack-dab into Mrs. Skunk who sprayed him with a mountain load of verbal bashings, “Watch where your going, are you stupid or something. You could have hurt me and that mister that would be a major mistake.” Mrs. Skunk stated.
“Yes, ma’am, I apologize,” the fox bowed out gracefully and left smelling like a perfume factory, only not so sweet. The fox came upon the farmers field and the fox began to run across the field when he realized the cows had just went by this way and he was constantly stepping in cow patties. So the fox decided to go along the edge of the field to avoid the cow patties only now he was stepping through patches of sticker-burs.
The fox finally reached the farm and did the best he could to reach the hen house un-noticed, smelling like cow patties, skunk and pelted with porcupine quills and sticker-burs. The chickens clucked loudly and began running around like crazy. The fox ran into the chicken coop and chased the hens around until he heard the slamming of the door and the farmer injecting a shell into his shotgun. “BOOM!” The farmer let off a round which was enough to tell the fox that the work bell had rang and it was time to go home.
The fox made his way back to his home where his wife and kids anxiously awaited their fathers return. The father fox walked up and immediately the family knew they weren’t having chicken for dinner. The father fox could see the disappointment in their faces and he felt even worse. Mother fox however made it clear she had plenty in the cupboard to make a meal and sent the father fox to the creek where he could bathe and wash away his day. Not wanting to rub up against his wife and children and have a porcupine quill stick them or a sticker bur rub off or even the smell linger around them the fox went directly to the creek.
Pulling sticker burs from his fur as well as porcupine quills. Lathering up to rid the smell of cow patties and skunk from his coat. Shaking feathers from his head and lips the father fox sank into the creek and soaked up the refreshing spring water.
Feeling a tad-bit better after his bath, the father fox joined his family at the dinner table and they laughed the rest of their day away until they all fell asleep, happily.
(Moral: no matter what we encounter during the day we should do the best we can to not bring our bad day home with us)
Three minutes of zen
Baths/showers are a great way to ‘wash away the day.’ I call mine, THREE MINUTES OF ZEN. I use this time to meditate. A time set aside in my fast paced life to meditate on my mental well being,
the first minute
I close my eyes in the shower and allow the day to play through my mind one last time. Highlighting the most memorable moments. (the first minute or so)
the second minute
Then I try and clear my mind of all thoughts, except feeling the water pelt my skin in the shower, here and now (the drop-lets dripping from my body carry away the bad and new drops splash me with goodness, refreshing h2o) this is the second minute or so.
the third minute
I plan my future, how I will be mentally, at peace with ‘what is.’ (reflecting on the saying, accepting the things I can not change and changing the things that I can) What is the most important task that I need to tackle to make mine and my families life better. I re-energize my zen and sometimes even create an idea for a zen story or poem to learn from my experiences of the latter part of my day to make my future better. Creating a way to learn from my past. (and yes, most of the time it is longer than three minutes but I call it, three minutes of zen)
have a zen filled day