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ZENtertainment - by Lisa Vankula Donovan

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The anger-eating demon

October 10th 2010 04:30
Once there lived a demon who had a peculiar diet: he fed on the anger of others. And as his feeding ground was the human world, there was no lack of food for him. He found it quite easy to provoke a family quarrel, or national and racial hatred. Even to stir up a war was not very difficult for him. And whenever he succeeded in causing a war, he could properly gorge himself without much further effort; because once a war starts, hate multiplies by its own momentum and affects even normally friendly people. So the demon's food supply became so rich that he sometimes had to restrain himself from over-eating, being content with nibbling just a small piece of resentment found close-by.


But as it often happens with successful people, he became rather overbearing and one day when feeling bored he thought: "Shouldn't I try it with the gods?" On reflection he chose the Heaven of the Thirty-three Deities, ruled by Sakka, Lord of Gods. He knew that only a few of these gods had entirely eliminated the fetters of ill-will and aversion, though they were far above petty and selfish quarrels. So by magic power he transferred himself to that heavenly realm and was lucky enough to come at a time when Sakka the Divine King was absent. There was none in the large audience hall and without much ado the demon seated himself on Sakka's empty throne, waiting quietly for things to happen, which he hoped would bring him a good feed. Soon some of the gods came to the hall and first they could hardly believe their own divine eyes when they saw that ugly demon sitting on the throne, squat and grinning. Having recovered from their shock, they started to shout and lament: "Oh you ugly demon, how can you dare to sit on the throne of our Lord? What utter cheekiness! What a crime! you should be thrown headlong into the hell and straight into a boiling cauldron! You should be quartered alive! Begone! Begone!"


But while the gods were growing more and more angry, the demon was quite pleased because from moment to moment he grew in size, in strength and in power. The anger he absorbed into his system started to ooze from his body as a smoky red-glowing mist. This evil aura kept the gods at a distance and their radiance was dimmed.

Suddenly a bright glow appeared at the other end of the hall and it grew into a dazzling light from which Sakka emerged, the King of Gods. He who had firmly entered the undeflectible Stream that leads Nibbana-wards, was unshaken by what he saw. The smoke-screen created by the gods' anger parted when he slowly and politely approached the usurper of his throne. "Welcome, friend! Please remain seated. I can take another chair. May I offer you the drink of hospitality? Our Amrita is not bad this year. Or do you prefer a stronger brew, the vedic Soma?"

While Sakka spoke these friendly words, the demon rapidly shrank to a diminutive size and finally disappeared, trailing behind a whiff of malodorous smoke which likewise soon dissolved.

Once there lived a demon who had a peculiar diet: he fed on the anger of others. And as his feeding ground was the human world, there was no lack of food for him. He found it quite easy to provoke a family quarrel, or national and racial hatred. Even to stir up a war was not very difficult for him. And whenever he succeeded in causing a war, he could properly gorge himself without much further effort; because once a war starts, hate multiplies by its own momentum and affects even normally friendly people. So the demon's food supply became so rich that he sometimes had to restrain himself from over-eating, being content with nibbling just a small piece of resentment found close-by.

But as it often happens with successful people, he became rather overbearing and one day when feeling bored he thought: "Shouldn't I try it with the gods?" On reflection he chose the Heaven of the Thirty-three Deities, ruled by Sakka, Lord of Gods. He knew that only a few of these gods had entirely eliminated the fetters of ill-will and aversion, though they were far above petty and selfish quarrels. So by magic power he transferred himself to that heavenly realm and was lucky enough to come at a time when Sakka the Divine King was absent. There was none in the large audience hall and without much ado the demon seated himself on Sakka's empty throne, waiting quietly for things to happen, which he hoped would bring him a good feed. Soon some of the gods came to the hall and first they could hardly believe their own divine eyes when they saw that ugly demon sitting on the throne, squat and grinning. Having recovered from their shock, they started to shout and lament: "Oh you ugly demon, how can you dare to sit on the throne of our Lord? What utter cheekiness! What a crime! you should be thrown headlong into the hell and straight into a boiling cauldron! You should be quartered alive! Begone! Begone!"

But while the gods were growing more and more angry, the demon was quite pleased because from moment to moment he grew in size, in strength and in power. The anger he absorbed into his system started to ooze from his body as a smoky red-glowing mist. This evil aura kept the gods at a distance and their radiance was dimmed.

Suddenly a bright glow appeared at the other end of the hall and it grew into a dazzling light from which Sakka emerged, the King of Gods. He who had firmly entered the undeflectible Stream that leads Nibbana-wards, was unshaken by what he saw. The smoke-screen created by the gods' anger parted when he slowly and politely approached the usurper of his throne. "Welcome, friend! Please remain seated. I can take another chair. May I offer you the drink of hospitality? Our Amrita is not bad this year. Or do you prefer a stronger brew, the vedic Soma?"

While Sakka spoke these friendly words, the demon rapidly shrank to a diminutive size and finally disappeared, trailing behind a whiff of malodorous smoke which likewise soon dissolved.


Lesson:Nothing dissolves anger like love. Evil cannot reside long, where there is good.
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Save water or the fish gets it!

October 4th 2010 11:43
Every once in a while, I find something that really grabs my attention. This invention did just that. It's a sink designed to help you conserve water. The trick is, there is a fishbowl, with a fish in it and as you run the tap (which is not actually "tapped in" to the fishbowl water) it lowers the level of the water in the fishtank. So you see, the more water you use, the more water the poor little fishy has. But, as soon as you turn off the tap, the fish's water returns to normal.

It's a nice trick and I'm sure would make most people use less in an attempt to not make the fish suffer but I'm pretty sure there are a few (okay, maybe more than a few) people out there who would be just a bit too curious to see the water run completely out of little Nemo's fishbowl.

It's a great invention for people with a conscience or a love of animals but I'm afraid for anyone else it would be a sad science experiement.

You can find more information HERE about the Poor Little Fishbowl Sink.
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While walking through a store the other day, I glanced up at a shelf and saw these beautiful goblets with ornate silver trimmings. Upon further inspection, I noticed that they were cups you would purchase for people at their various milestone birthdays. As I read the cups from left to right they had “18”, “21”, “30”, “40” and finally “50”.

As I strained to see from the distance (I started wearing glasses in the fourth grade, if you must know, it’s not because of my age.) I saw one more cup sitting at the end of the line but it didn’t have a number on it. So, unable to allay my curiosity at this point, I walked up to see what it said.

In big white letters set against the black cup it said: “Over the hill”.

What? You mean I only have two more goblets to go before I’m considered “over the hill”?And I happen to know a lot of eighty-year-olds that would love to be fifty, thank you very much, so isn’t over the hill a bit of an overstatement? Why is it that we celebrate the first half of our lives at nearly every decade but then after fifty, well, you’re on your own?

And who is this omniscient goblet god that decided that anything after the age of fifty is just not goblet- worthy?

I mean sure, if you’re talking about life back in the 1930’s when life expectancy was around sixty, then okay, fifty might be considered your golden years.

But today with the life expectancy somewhere around eighty-three for women in Australia – I gained three years just moving here from America – I’m not even half-way through!

It’s a bit crazy when you think about it We regularly celebrate kids turning sixteen. We’re like, “Hey, welcome to the snotty teenager, I hate my parents, can I please, please wreck your car stage.” And then comes eighteen. The “I’m old enough to legally drink but have absolutely no idea what my limit is yet” age.

But on no, gain six plus decades of wisdom, learn to stop and smell the flowers and hopefully be a productive member of society and all you get are some black balloons and a walking cane with a rubber horn on it.

I’m starting a goblet business.

image credit: <a Really Long Link border=0 Really Long Link alt="Food Clipart Images"></a>
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FREE BEER!

August 10th 2010 12:42
Just kidding, there's no free beer. There is, however, a really kick ass video I made using my photographs of Australia set to, you guessed it, Men at Work's "Down Under". So crank it up baby!

Sorry for the delay in posts...life has taken me by the ass and thrown me in the deep end. But I have swam, swum, swimmed...whatever...I've made it to the shallow end and I am now standing, um, okay, this bad analagy is really not working


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There's never a dull moment being a mother. I think if there were it would just make me worry anyway.

Right now our household is in the throes of potty training, picky eater conquering and oral hygiene learning


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Here's a little addition to the previous post on my decision to delete my Facebook account. Which apparently is a big pile dog doo. I made this huge decision to hit the "deactivate" button and after three or four "are you sure" screens, I hit it. And do you know what it said then?

"If you ever want to get your account back, just log in as normal with your same e-mail and password


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Australian Bush Poem

July 19th 2010 02:19

So since my husband and I have moved to Australia, we have spent more than half the time here living in the bush. The beauty of the landscape and wildlife is remarkable and awe-inspiring.

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I'm going to do something different today...I'm going to be serious. I know, my husband says it's not possible but I'll give it a try.

I am writing this because once again my decision to F-Off Facebook has been strengthened. I just read a story, that you can find here about a Facebook page established to bid adieu and pay respect to Raoul Moat, the man who led British police on possibly their biggest manhunt in history, before cowardly killing himself


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Writer Burton Rascoe once said, “What no [spouse] of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out of the window.” This is also true when walking down the street, driving a car, and grocery shopping.

This leads me to the inspiration for this week’s column


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Recently I've been getting some grief from my fellow Yanks about being too Aussie. Look, I love this country almost as much as my own, but I've still got my American pride deeply intact, I can assure you.

So feeling a bit like the “(wo)man in the middle”, I’ve come up with few tips for my Yankee and Aussie friends when meeting one another for the first time


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