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One winter day, a wild ass was wandering aimlessly about. Suddenly he came to the edge of the forest and saw a donkey lying in the warm sun at full length. Quite care-free as the donkey looked, the wild ass envied him a lot.

Going up to the donkey the wild ass said, “How lucky you are indeed ! Your sleek skin shows how well you live. I am not as lucky as you are. OK ; so long.” Even after leaving the place, the wild ass kept thinking about the donkey.

A few days later, the wild ass came again to see the donkey. But this time the donkey had a heavy load on his back. His master was following him with a rod in hand. Off and on he hit the donkey to keep him moving at a steady pace.

“Ah ! what a miserable life you have ! I no longer envy you. I never knew that you have to buy your comfort at this price,” said the wild ass from a distance and went his way.

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Once upon a time two frogs lived in a marsh. They were very happy with their lot there.

But as the high summer approached the marsh began to dry up. And to ! it was all dry in a few days. So, the frogs were compelled to say good-bye to it. Looking for a new shelter for themselves, the frogs reached a deep well. They sat on its edge and looked inside. It had a lot of water in it.

One of the frogs was so overjoyed to see the water that he at once said, “This well looks quite a fit place for us to live. It will be cool and safe inside it. Let’s jump in to settle there.”

But the other frog was far wiser. He replied, ” Not so soon, my friend ! we left the marsh when it had dried up. So, first think how we shall come out of this well if it goes dry.”

The first frog had no words to reply. He had realized the fact that one must think well before taking any step.

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life is what you make it

(~_~)

 

One wintry day a Woodman was tramping home from his work when he saw something black lying on the snow. When he came closer he saw it was a Serpent to all appearance dead. But he took it up and put it in his bosom to warm while he hurried home.

As soon as he got indoors he put the Serpent down on the hearth before the fire. The children watched it and saw it slowly come to life again. Then one of them stooped down to stroke it, but the Serpent raised its head and put out its fangs and was about to sting the child to death. So the Woodman seized his axe, and with one stroke cut the Serpent in two. “Ah,” said he, “No gratitude from the wicked”

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A scholar used to teach his students in a certain city. Once one of his students went to another city where he used very bad words for his teacher. A man who knew the scholar heard him. He happened to visit that city after few weeks. He went to meet that scholar. During the meeting the man mentioned that particular student who had used bad words for the scholar.

The scholar replied, ” My student threw an arrow towards me which didn’t reach me. You picked up that arrow and made sure it is inserted in my heart.”

How many times in our daily life are we responsible for picking up arrows from the ground and inserting it in the person’s heart for whom it was thrown ?

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They say that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water,
it will leap out right away to escape the danger.

But, if you put a frog in a kettle that is filled with water that is cool and pleasant, and then you gradually heat the kettle until it starts boiling,
the frog will not become aware of the threat until it is too late.
The frog’s survival instincts are geared towards detecting sudden changes.

This is a story that is used to illustrate how people might get themselves into terrible trouble.

This parable illustrates how humans have to be careful to watch slowly changing trends in the environment, not just the sudden changes. Its a warning to keep us paying attention not just to obvious threats but to more slowly developing ones.

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You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one!

(~_~)

 

 

 

these stories found here

When the nun Chiyono studied Zen under Bukko of Engaku she was unable to attain the fruits of meditation for a long time.

At last one moonlit night she was carrying water in an old pail bound with bamboo. The bamboo broke and the bottom fell out of the pail, and at that moment Chiyono was set free!

In commemoration, she wrote a poem:

In this way and that I tried to save the old pail
Since the bamboo strip was weakening and about to break
Until at last the bottom fell out.
No more water in the pail!
No more moon in the water!

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When Eshun, the Zen nun, was past sixty and about to leave this world, she asked some monks to pile up wood in the yard.

Seating herself firmly in the center of the funeral pyre, she had it set fire around the edges.

“O nun!” shouted one monk, “is it hot in there?”

“Such a matter would concern only a stupid person like yourself,” answered Eshun. The flames arose, and she passed away.

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Gisho was ordained as a nun when she was ten years old. She received training just as the little boys did. When she reached the age of sixteen she traveled from one Zen master to another, studying with them all.

She remained three years with Unzan, six years with Gukei, but was unable to obtained a clear vision. At last she went to the master Inzan.

Inzan showed her no distinction at all on account of her sex. He scolded her like a thunderstorm. He cuffed her to awaken her inner nature.

Gisho remained with Inzan thirteen years, and then she found that which she was seeking!

In her honor, Inzan wrote a poem:

This nun studied thirteen years under my guidance.
In the evening she considered the deepest koans,
In the morning she was wrapped in other koans.
The Chinese nun Tetsuma surpassed all before her,
And since Mujaku none has been so genuine as this Gisho!
Yet there are many more gates for her to pass through.
She should receive still more blows from my iron fist.

After Gisho was enlightened she went to the province of Banshu, started her own Zen temple, and taught two hundred other nuns until she passed away one year in the month of August.

http://spiritualinquiry.com/zen-stories/

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have a zen-sational day

(~_~)

A boy ‘n a girl were playing together. The boy had a collection of marbles. The girl had some sweets with her.

The boy told the girl that he will give her all his marbles in exchange for her sweets. The girl agreed. Read the rest of this entry »

They presented a chest Xray to a cardiologist, so he saw only the heart…
Then they presented it to a pulmonary physician and he saw only the lungs…
They presented it also to an orthopedist so he saw only the bones… and so on…
but no one saw it as whole unique image…
Isn’t that what we do always?…
Each one see his site of interest…
So, for one time… see the whole image…

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Two men were traveling together, when a Bear suddenly met them on their path. One of them climbed up quickly into a tree and concealed himself in the branches. The other, seeing that he must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the Bear came up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held his breath, and feigned the appearance of death as much as he could. The Bear soon left him, for it is said he will not touch a dead body. When he was quite gone, the other Traveler descended from the tree, and jocularly inquired of his friend what it was the Bear had whispered in his ear. “He gave me this advice,” his companion replied. “Never travel with a friend who deserts you at the approach of danger.”

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There was a man saying always: everything is good… whatever is the situation or the event… everything is good…
He was a friend of the king… and he filled his life with these words…
One day, and while they were hunting, an accident happened, and the king lost one of his fingers…
Our man said: oh king! That’s a good thing…
The king gets angry, and he put him without discussion in jail…
Many years later, the king was in a trip, and he gets lost in the forest… on the way back, he was lost… and the cannibals kidnapped him…
They took him to their village… they put him near the fire and started dancing…
Suddenly, and while desiring to eat his body, one cannibal approached to him… to find what?! He is not a complete man… he is without finger… and they don’t eat incomplete bodies… he asked his friends to stop dancing… he is not complete… release the prisoner…
While going back to his thrown… crying all the way… he remembered his friend… he put him in prison, while he was right…
He goes back to him while saying: forgive me my dear friend; I jailed you all these years for nothing… you were right…
The man asked his king: what happens?
The king told him the story…
The man smiled while saying: that’s good you jailed me all these years…
The king gets angry again: what was the good in jailing you… tell me…
The man said: If I was not in prison, then I must be with you that time… and I’m a complete body…

these stories found here

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we are born, wet, naked and hungry, from there things get worse

so, remember, acceptance is the key to tranquility

(~_~)

 
Fran the Frog was the best chef in the whole swamp, and all the toads and frogs of the region enjoyed coming to her very select restaurant. Her ‘Flies in spicy bug sauce’ and her ‘Caramelised dragon flies wings with honey of bee’ were the kind of delicacies that every self-respecting frog should try; and that made Fran feel truly proud.

One day, Toby came to her restaurant, ready for a nosh. Toby was a great big toad, and certainly wasn’t the brightest. When Fran’s fine creations were brought before him he complained, saying that that wasn’t food, and that what he really wanted was a botfly burger. Fran came out of the kitchen to see what the problem was, and Toby told her that these dishes weren’t good enough for – and certainly wouldn’t fill – a Smooth Newt. This made Fran so offended, and furious, that she went to the kitchen, came back with a frying pan, and whacked Toby squarely on the forehead.

A slight scuffle ensued.

Even though Fran realised she should have controlled her temper, and she kept asking Toby to forgive her, the toad was so angry that he said he could only forgive her if she handed him the frying pan so he could hit her back.
Everyone tried to calm Toby down, knowing full well that, given his strength, he could easily crack little Fran’s head open with that frying pan.

Toby would not accept an apology, and Fran felt awful for having bashed him, so she tried everything. She gave him a special cream for bruises, she poured him an exquisite puddlewater liqueur. Even better than that, she cooked him a… beautiful botfly burger!

But Toby the Toad still insisted he would not be satisfied until he got to return the blow he had received. It had reached the stage where he was almost getting out of control.

Then a very old toad entered the restaurant, shuffling along with the help of two crutches.

– Wait Toby, – said the old toad -you can give her a whack after I’ve broken your leg. Remember that you are the reason why I have to walk with these crutches.

Toby didn’t know what to say.

He recognised the old toad. It was Reddit, his old teacher. When Toby was small, Reddit had saved him from a bunch of young hooligans. In the process, Reddit had lost a leg. Toby remembered that it had all happened because he had been highly disobedient, but he had never given a thought to Reddit until now…

Toby now realised he was being very unfair to Fran. Everyone, including himself, made mistakes sometimes. And if we are to return blow for blow, wound for wound, all we are doing is prolonging the damage. So, even though his head still hurt and he thought Fran had made quite a remarkable mistake with that frying pan, seeing her feeling so sorry, and doing everything she could to put things right, Toby decided to forgive her.

Apology accepted, they spent the rest of the evening laughing at what had happened, and enjoying wonderful botfly burgers. And everyone heartily agreed that that was a rather better idea than getting into problems with pans.

story source: a frog and a frying pan

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If every one lived by the rule an eye for an eye, the whole world would be blind.

when your cup over flows with cuteness… smile!

(~_~)

One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look safe; he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was those chills which only fear can put in you. He said, “I’m here to help you, ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.”

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.
As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.
He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, “And think of me.”
He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: “You don’t owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I’m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.”
Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard….
She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, “Everything’s going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.”

this story found here!

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Karma

  • Though they didn’t use the term “karma,” ancient Greek’s certainly believed that the actions of a person would be revisited upon that person, whether good or bad. That is, if a person mistreated somebody, he or she would be mistreated at some point in their lives. Similarly, if a person was kind or helpful to somebody, he or she would be the beneficiary of some future kindness or help.

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How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours
 
(~_~)

A man was on the side of the road with a large birdcage. A boy noticed that the cage was full of birds of many kinds.

“Where did you get those birds?” he asked.

“Oh, all over the place,” the man replied. “I lure them with crumbs, pretend I’m their friend then when they are close, I net them and shove them into my cage.”

“And what are you going to do with them now?”

The man grinned, “I’m going to prod them with sticks, and get them really and so they fight and kill each other. Those that survive, I will kill. None will escape.” The boy looked steadily at the man. What made him do such things? He looked into the cruel hard eyes. Then he looked at the birds, defenseless, without hope.

“Can I buy those birds?” the boy asked. The man hid a smile, aware that he could be on to a good thing if he played his cards right.

“Well,” he said hesitantly, “The cage is pretty expensive, and I spent a lot of time collecting these birds, I’ll tell you what I’ll do, I’ll let you have the lot, birds, cage and all for ten pounds and that jacket you’re wearing.” The boy paused, ten pounds was all he had, and the jacket was new and very special, in fact it was his prized possession.

Slowly, he took out the ten pounds and handed it over, then even more slowly he took off his jacket, gave it one last look then handed that over too.

And then (well, you’ve guessed it) he opened the door and let the birds go free.

MORAL OF THE STORY IS . . .

Evil, was on the side of life’s road with a very large cage. The man coming towards him noticed it was crammed full of people of every kind, young, old, from every race and nation.

“Where did you get all those people?” the man asked. “Oh, from all over the world,” Evil replied. “I lure them with drink, drugs, lust, lies, anger, hate, love of money and all manner of things. I pretend I’m their friend, out to give them a good time, then when I’ve hooked them, into the cage they go.”

this story found here!

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There is an old story about a fellow who lived alone and went to a pet store to buy a parrot. He thought the bird might fill some of his lonely hours. The very next day, however, he came back to complain, “That bird doesn’t talk.”

The store owner asked if he had a mirror in its cage, and the man said he didn’t. “Oh, parrots love mirrors,” he explained. “When he sees his reflection in the mirror, he’ll just start talking away.” So he sold him a birdcage mirror.

The bird owner was back the next day to gripe that his parrot still hadn’t said a word. “That’s very peculiar,” allowed the pet expert. “How about a swing? Birds really love these little swings, and a happy parrot is a talkative parrot.” So the man bought a swing, took it home, and installed it in the cage.

But he was back the next day with the same story. “Does he have a ladder to climb?” the salesman asked. “That just has to be the problem. Once he has a ladder, he’ll probably talk your ear off!” So the fellow bought a ladder.

The man was back at the pet store when it opened the next day. From the look on his face, the owner knew something was wrong. “Didn’t your parrot like the ladder?” he asked. His repeat customer looked up and said, “The parrot died.”

“I’m so sorry,” the stunned businessman said. “Did he ever say anything?”

“Well, yes. He finally talked just before he died. In a weak little voice, he asked me, ‘Don’t they sell any bird seed at that pet store?'”

Some of us have mistakenly thought that happiness consists of lining our cages with toys, gadgets, and other stuff. Excessive consumption has become the hallmark of American life. “Whoever has the most toys wins” seems to be the likely candidate to be the bumper sticker for an entire culture. But is it so?

There is a spiritual hunger in the human heart that can’t be satisfied by seeing one’s own image reflected back in vanity mirrors, playing with our grown-up toys, or climbing the corporate ladder. Our hearts need real nourishment.

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I know why the caged bird sings…

(~_~)

 

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A Thousand Words

Last night, the wife, my little 9 year old daughter and I watched the movie, “A Thousand Words.” I was taken by the movie’s ‘zen’ appeal and of course ‘Eddie Murphy’s’ comic charm. Even my lil girl laughed and loved the movie that was charming and filled with a wonderful message of, “the power of words.”

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After stretching the truth on a deal with a spiritual guru, literary agent Jack McCall finds a Bodhi tree on his property. Its appearance holds a valuable lesson on the consequences of every word we speak.

Eddie Murphy is Jack McCall, a fast-talking literary agent, who can close any deal, any time, any way. He has set his sights on New Age guru Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis) for his own selfish purposes.

But Dr. Sinja is on to him, and Jack’s life comes unglued after a magical Bodhi tree mysteriously appears in his backyard. With every word Jack speaks, a leaf falls from the tree and he realizes that when the last leaf falls, both he and the tree are toast. Words have never failed Jack McCall, but now he’s got to stop talking … or he’s a goner.

A Thousand Words

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Words are a powerful tool, but not just the words but the passion and emotions that we use with them matter as much as what we say. As in the story with Buddha and the lake, where a married couple scream at each other because their hearts have become distant, even though they stand next to each other. When their love was new and fresh, their hearts were so close that they did not need words, the heart knew what the other was feeling.

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I see this movie in so many others, you can’t take a hammer and pound zen into them. No matter how many stories, parables or quotes you throw at them, they just don’t get it. Like watching a dog chase it’s own tail, never going anywhere spiritually in life, just existing. In this movie, Eddie Murphy has to go through a harsh trial to understand, passion, a better way of living and of course the power of words. Needless to say, I recommend to all, watch this movie.

 words are tied to emotions like a tree’s root reaching into the earth.

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choose your words wisely

(~_~)

A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan.  It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people.  Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were blaring, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening.

Suddenly, the Native American said, “I hear a cricket.”

His friend said, “What?  You must be crazy.  You couldn’t possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!”

“No, I’m sure of it,” the Native American said, “I heard a cricket.”

  “That’s crazy,” said the friend.

The Native American listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing.  He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and  sure enough, he located a small cricket.  His friend was utterly amazed.

“That’s incredible,” said his friend “You must have superhuman ears!”

“No,” said the Native American.  “My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you’re listening for.”

“But that can’t be!” said the friend.  “I could never hear a cricket in this noise.”

“Yes, it is, it depends on what is really important to you.  Here, let me show you.”

  He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk.  And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and look to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.

“See what I mean?” asked the Native American.  “It all depends on what’s important to you.”

this story found here

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It’s a cold day in December in New York City. A little boy about ten years old was standing before a shoe store on Broadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, “My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?” “I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,” was the boy’s reply.

The lady took him by the hand and went into the store, and asked the clerk to get a half dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with a towel. By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she then purchased a pair of shoes for him, and tying up the remaining pairs of socks, gave them to him. She patted him on the head, and said, “No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?”

As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand and looking into her face with tears in his eyes, he answered the question with these words: “Are you God’s wife?”

–Author Unknown

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have an incredible day

(~_~)

Art~

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