The Way of Water

The Way of Water

 

01-Niagara Falls

 

Click to see video :   The Way of Water

Highest good is like water.

Because water excels in benefiting the myriad creatures without contending with them and settles where none would like to be, it comes close to the way.

 

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The weak and the supple overcome the hard and the strong.

To yield is to be preserved whole.

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To be bent is to become straight.

To be empty is to be full . . .

To have little is to possess.

The stiff and the hard are companions of death,

The supple and the weak are companions of life.

There is nothing softer and weaker than water,

And yet there is nothing better for attacking hard and strong things.

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The whole world recognizes the beautiful as the beautiful, yet this is only the ugly;

 The whole world recognizes the good as the good, yet this is only the bad.

Thus something and nothing produce each other;

The difficult and the easy complement each other;

The long and the short off-set each other;

The high and the low incline towards each other;

Note and sound harmonize with each other;

Before and after follow each other

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In a home it is the site that matters;

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In quality of mind it is depth that matters;

In an ally it is benevolence that matters;

In speech it is good faith that matters;

In government it is order that matters;

 In affairs it is ability that matters;

 In action it is timeliness that matters.

It is because it does not contend that it is never at fault.

Of old he who was well versed in the way

Was minutely subtle,

Mysteriously comprehending,

And too profound to be known.

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It is because he could not be known

That he can only be given a makeshift description:

Tentative, as if fording a river in winter,

Hesitant, as if in fear of his neighbors;

Formal like a guest;

Falling apart like the thawing ice;

Thick like the uncarved block;

Vacant like a valley;

Murky like muddy water.

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Who can be muddy and yet, settling, slowly become limpid?

Who can be at rest and yet, stirring, slowly come to life?

 He who holds fast to this way desires not to be full.

 It is because he is not full that he can be worn and yet newly made.

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If people do not revere the Law of Nature,

It will inexorably and adversely affect them.

If they accept it with knowledge and reverence,

It will accommodate them with balance and harmony

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Attain complete emptiness,

Maintain steadfast quietude.

All things flourish

But each one returns to its root.

This return to its root means tranquility.

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To hold and fill to overflowing,

Is not as good as it is to stop in time.

Sharpen a sword-edge to its very sharpest,

And the edge will not last long.

Withdraw as soon as your work is done.

Such is Heaven’s Way.

 

 (Lao Tzu)

Fin

With Lips Gone, Teeth are exposed to Cold

With Lips Gone, Teeth are exposed to Cold

(From: Spring and Autumn Annals)

 Re-written by BoSt

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Long ago, Duke Xian of the state of Jin wished to expand his realm and power; the Duke hence, bade Xun Xi to launch an expedition against the powerful State of Guo. The great distance however was of some concern and the campaign’s success depended on traversing the State of Yu. At the time there was a tentative alliance with Yu so Duke Xian asked Xun Xi for his counsel on this matter.

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“In order to secure Duke Yu’s promise to let our army pass …. Hmm…” Xun Xi remained hesitant for a moment, before resuming, “The surest way My Lord, would be to present Duke Yu with our Chuji Jade and good number of Quchan steeds.”

(Note: Xhuji in Xhanxi Province was famous at the time for producing excellent jade stones and Quxhan in Shanxi Province was renowned for its fine breed of horses.)

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“Is there no other way?” The Duke Xian was displeased with the suggestion. “The stone is an inherited treasure and should remain so for the next generations. And the idea of losing my steeds to that loathsome, pompous Lord is quite unacceptable. “Duke Xian grumbled, “Perchance, what if Duke Yu accepted our gift but refused our request, what then?”

Xun Xi braved Lord’s fury with this quick riposte: “Well my Lord, if Lord Yu refuses the fine gifts, we can be certain of his veiled hostility and look elsewhere for the safe passage. If however, his Lordship does accept it, we’d only be allowing his Lordship temporary custody of the treasures. What is there to be worried about?”

Duke Xian nodded with approval and soon after sent Xun Xi to the State of Yu to negotiate the army’s safe passage.  

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Xun Xi was quick to gain admittance to the Yu court.  He presented a splendid figure in his fineries holding the large precious stone before him.  Many courtiers gasped witnessing the magnificent steeds that were corralled into the courtyard, dazzling everyone. 

Duke Yu greedy for the fine gifts, was about to make the emissary of Jin Xun Xi a rash promise when one of his loyal subjects, Gong Ziyi, came forward to protest: “My Lord, I beg a private council with you, if you please.”

“What, now?” Duke Yu was annoyed.

“How preposterous an intrusion! Has propriety and good sense left Gong Ziyi” Many courtiers grumbled under their breath.

Nevertheless Guo Ziyi was a well respected, loyal minister and Lord Yu was bit intrigued. He signalled Guo to advance and gave him permission to speak his mind.

Guo Ziyi was most direct. “There shall be no promise of any kind, your Grace.” His strong, resounding voice simply ripped through the stone cold silence that had enveloped the court.

“What Yu is to Guo is like gums to the cheeks. Gums are closely related to cheeks and cheeks to gums; which is exactly the present situation of Yu in relation to Guo. As the old ancestral saying goes, ‘If the lips are gone, the teeth will be exposed to cold.’  The fact that Guo is able to exist depends on Yu while Yu’s ability to survive hinges on Guo.  This inter-dependency will be jeopardized, if we make way for Jin army, allowing Guo to perish.  Their demise will transpire in the morning to be followed by Yu in the evening.”

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Guo again spoke in good strong voice: “Why should we ever let Jin pass?  Why seek a small gain, only to harm vital interests?”

Duke Yu, however refused to listen to reason and, blinded by greed, in the end still gave the Jin army convenient access to Guo.

Thus Xun Xi attacked Guo and conquered it, and on the way back attacked Yu and conquered it too.

Xun Xi then triumphantly returned to Jin. The jade and the horses were once again restored to Duke Xian who, greatly pleased, said in good humor: “The jade remains the same, but he horses have got some more teeth!”

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Fin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mudras-Yoga Hand Exercises

Mudras-Yoga Hand Exercises

A Mudrā is a spiritual gesture and an energetic seal of authenticity employed in the iconography and spiritual practice of Buddhism or Hinduism.  The meaning of Mudra in Sanskrit is a “seal”, “mark”, or “gesture”.

 

The Dhyana Mudra (also known as meditation Mudra)

This Mudra is used in representations of the Śākyamuni Buddha and Amitābha Buddha.

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This encompasses the gesture of meditation, of the concentration of the Good Law and the saṅgha.  Here the two hands are placed on the lap, right hand on left with fingers fully stretched (four fingers resting on each other and the thumbs facing upwards towards one another diagonally), palms facing upwards; in this manner, the hands and fingers form the shape of a triangle, which is symbolic of the spiritual fire or the Triratna (the three jewels).

 

Mudras’role in the practice of Yoga

 

Some Mudras involve the entire body; however, most are performed with the hands and fingers.  The positions of hands have always had a very essential role in the practice of yoga. This is also the reason why they are also called “Mudra- the architect of joy.”

In yoga, Mudras are used in conjunction with pranayama (yogic breathing exercises). It’s generally practiced while in seated position in Padmasana, Sukhasana or Vajrasana pose. This is to stimulate different parts of the body that is involved with breathing and to affect the flow of prana in the body.

 

 

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(Stretch Your Ring Finger with Your Thumb and Maintain For a Few Seconds)

 

There are e large numbers of nerve endings that are at everyone’s fingers and fingertips. When they’re pressed in a specific way and activated, they help connect to channels and allow the free flow of energy circulating the body.

 

Here are some exercises to follow:

Gyan Mudra for Healing ( Mudra of Knowledge)

 

 

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Sit in a lotus posture and keep your hands on knee. This means the hands are placed palms-up on the thighs or knees while sitting in vajrasana.  Then touch thumb tip and the forefinger on each of the hands forming a zero. The remaining three fingers are left free and extended.

This Mudrā activates the diaphragm, making for deep “stomach-breathing” as the diaphragm pushes out the internal organs when it descends towards the pelvis on inhalation.

Slow breathing in a 5-2-4-2 mentally counted rhythm (counting to 5 during the exhalation, to 2 while holding the breath, and to 4 on the inhalation) causes prana flow in the pelvis and in the leg.

The other benefits of doing this are:  

-It helps us relax,

-treats depression

-Improves concentration,

-treats insomnia

 

You may also try this “Basic Mudra: Chinmaya Mudrā” 

Here, the thumb and forefinger are the same; however, the rest of the fingers are folded into a fist. The non-folded part of the forefinger and the middle finger should still be touching. Likewise, the hands are placed palms-up on the thighs while sitting in Vajrasana.

This mudra supposedly activates the ribs, making them expand sideways on inhalation. Slow breathing in a 5-2-4-2 counted rhythm (counting to 5 during the exhalation, to 2 while holding the breath, and to 4 on the inhalation) causes prana flow in the torso and in the throat.

 

Vaya Mudra ( Mudra of Air)

 

 

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Fold your index finger towards palm and press with the base of thumb. Extend the rest fingers.

The benefits of doing this are: 

– eliminates excessive gas;

 – relives the problems associated with the air element such as: flatulence, constipation, arthritis etc.

 

Prithvi Mudra for Healing ( Mudra od Earth)

 

 

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Touch the tip of your ring finger with tip of thumb and then pressing the both finger with each other. Extend the other fingers.

The Benefits of doing this are:

 – balance the element Earth in your body;

-It improves blood circulation;

It improves digestion

 

 Agni Mudra (Mudra of Fire)

 

 

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Close the ring finger towards palm and press second phalanx with thumb base and rest of the fingers keep extend.

The benefits of doing this are:

– It improves the metabolism

 -reduces cholesterol;

– reduces fat;

 

Jal Mudra (Varuna Mudra/Mudra of Water)

 

 

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Touch the little finger tip of thumb and don’t press the fingers and then keep the rest of the fingers straight like shown above picture)

The benefits of doing this are:

-improves circulation;

-reduce body aches;

-reduce dryness of mouth

You may also try   Adi Mudra. Here, the thumb is folded into the palm, touching the base of the small finger. The rest of the fingers are folded over the thumb, to create a fist. The hands are placed palms down on the thighs while sitting in Vajrasana.

This mudra activates the pectoral muscles, making the chest expand forward on inhalation. Slow breathing in a 5-2-4-2 counted rhythm (counting to 5 during the exhalation, to 2 while holding the breath, and to 4 on the inhalation) makes prana flow in the throat and in the head.

 

Shunya Mudra (Mudra of Emptiness)

 

 

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Firs phalanx of your middle finger should be pressed with thumb base.

The benefits of doing this are:

-reduce vertigo;

 -helps with ear, nose and tongue problem

 

Prana Healing (Mudra Mud rod Life)

 

 

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Bend your little finger and ring finger then touch these two finger tips to tip of thumb.

The benefits of doing this are:

 -Energize your body;

– boosts your immune system;

– cure eye problems

 

I wish you all good health and happiness.

 

Mother’s Love

Mother’s Love

This year in Canada this celebrated event honors all   Mothers on Apr 14, 2017. Rightly so, after all, we all have mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds and love are all universal.

 In North America, the celebration of Mother’s Day began in the early 20th century.   A sort of latecomer, it is not related to the various celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have transpired throughout the world spanning the time of thousands of years. Some of these were:   the Roman Festival of Hilaria, Greek cult to Cybele, or the Christian Mothering Sunday Celebration (originally it had commemorated the Mother Church).   Nevertheless Mother’s Day shares the intent of these older traditions.

Click here to see Video  “Mother’s Love” :  https://youtu.be/usMRVaZhz7Y

Art throughout history has always celebrated mothers and motherhood as well.

 

Happy Mother’s Day.

Cherry Blossoms 2017 at High Park

Cherry Blossoms 2017 at High Park 

Please enjoy the video: Cherry Blossoms 2017 at High Park

 

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Cherry Blossoms pictures from Apr 27, 2017 at High Park Toronto:

 

Cherry Blossom pictures from Apr 29, 2017 At High Park :

Fin

 

Happy Easter 2017

Happy Easter 2017

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THE RABBIT CHASE

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Here’s a Lovely Easter Rabbit story

(Title: Raggedy Andy Stories

Author: Johnny Gruelle

Illustrator: Johnny Gruelle

Release Date: December 22, 2005 [EBook #17371]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1)

“Well, what shall we play tonight?” asked Henny, the Dutch doll, when the house was quiet and the dolls all knew that no one else was awake.

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Raggedy Andy was just about to suggest a good game, when Fido, who sometimes slept in a basket in the nursery, growled.

All the dollies looked in his direction.

Fido was standing up with his ears sticking as straight in the air as loppy silken puppy dog ears can stick up.

“He must have been dreaming!” said Raggedy Andy.

“No, I wasn’t dreaming!” Fido answered. “I heard something go, ‘Scratch! Scratch!’ as plain as I hear you!”

“Where did the sound come from, Fido?” Raggedy Andy asked when he saw that Fido really was wide awake.

“From outside somewhere!” Fido answered. “And if I could get out without disturbing all the folks, I’d run out and see what it might be! Perhaps I had better bark!”

“Please do not bark!” Raggedy Andy cried as he put his rag arm around Fido’s nose. “You will awaken everybody in the house. We can open a door or a window for you and let you out, if you must go!”

“I wish you would. Listen! There it is again: ‘Scratch! Scratch!’ What can it be?”

“You may soon see!” said Raggedy Andy. “We’ll let you out, but please don’t sit at the door and bark and bark to get back in again, as you usually do, for we are going to play a good game and we may not hear you!”

“You can sleep out in the shed after you have found out what it is,” said Raggedy Andy.

As soon as the dolls opened the door for Fido, he went running across the lawn, barking in a loud shrill voice. He ran down behind the shed and through the garden, and then back towards the house again.

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Raggedy Andy and Uncle Clem stood looking out of the door, the rest of the dolls peeping over their shoulders, so when something came jumping through the door, it hit Uncle Clem and Raggedy Andy and sent them flying against the other dolls behind them.

All the dolls went down in a wiggling heap on the floor.

It was surprising that the noise and confusion did not waken Daddy and the rest of the folks, for just as the dolls were untangling themselves from each other and getting upon their feet, Fido came jumping through the door and sent the dolls tumbling again.

Fido quit barking when he came through the door.

“Which way did he go?” he asked, when he could get his breath.

“What was it?” Raggedy Andy asked in return.

“It was a rabbit!” Fido cried. “He ran right in here, for I could smell his tracks!”

“We could feel him!” Raggedy Andy laughed.

“I could not tell you which way he went!” Uncle Clem said, “Except I feel sure he came through the door and into the house!”

None of the dolls knew into which room the rabbit had run.

Finally, after much sniffing, Fido traced the rabbit to the nursery, where, when the dolls followed, they saw the rabbit crouching behind the rocking horse.

Fido whined and cried because he could not get to the rabbit and bite him.

“You should be ashamed of yourself, Fido!” cried Raggedy Ann. “Just see how the poor bunny is trembling!”

“He should not come scratching around our house if he doesn’t care to be chased!” said Fido.

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“Why don’t you stay out in the woods and fields where you really belong?” Raggedy Andy asked the rabbit.

“I came to leave some Easter eggs!” the bunny answered in a queer little quivery voice.

“An Easter bunny!” all the dolls cried, jumping about and clapping their hands. “An Easter bunny!”

“Well!” was all Fido could say, as he sat down and began wagging his tail.

“You may come out from behind the rocking horse now, Easter bunny!” said Raggedy Andy. “Fido will not hurt you, now that he knows, will you, Fido?”

“Indeed I won’t!” Fido replied. “I’m sorry that I chased you! And I remember now, I had to jump over a basket out by the shed! Was that yours?”

“Yes, it was full of Easter eggs and colored grasses for the little girl who lives here!” the bunny said.

When the Easter bunny found out that Fido and the dolls were his friends, he came out from behind the rocking horse and hopped across the floor to the door.

“I must go see if any of the eggs are broken, for if they are, I will have to run home and color some more! I was just about to make a nice nest and put the eggs in it when Fido came bouncing out at me!”

And with a squeaky little laugh the Easter bunny, followed by Fido and all the dolls, hopped across the lawn towards the shed. There they found the basket. Four of the lovely colored Easter eggs were broken.

“I will run home and color four more. It will only take a few minutes, so when I return and scratch again to make a nest, please do not bark at me!” said the Easter bunny.

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“I won’t! I promise!” Fido laughed.

“May we go with you and watch you color the Easter eggs?” Raggedy Andy begged.

“Indeed you may!” the Easter bunny answered. “Can you run fast?”

Then down through the garden and out through a crack in the fence the Easter bunny hopped, with a long string of dolls trailing behind.

When they came to the Easter bunny’s home, they found Mama Easter bunny and a lot of little teeny weeny bunnies who would someday grow up to be big Easter bunnies like their Mama and Daddy bunny.

The Easter bunny told them of his adventure with Fido, and all joined in his laughter when they found it had turned out well at the end.

The Easter bunny put four eggs on to boil and while these were boiling he mixed up a lot of pretty colors.

When the eggs were boiled, he dipped the four eggs into the pretty colored dye and then painted lovely flowers on them.

When the Easter bunny had finished painting the eggs he put them in his basket and, with all the dolls running along beside him, they returned to the house.

“Why not make the nest right in the nursery?” Raggedy Andy asked.

“That would be just the thing! Then the little girl would wonder and wonder how I could ever get into the nursery without awakening the rest of the folks, for she will never suspect that you dolls and Fido let me in!”

So with Raggedy Andy leading the way, they ran up to the nursery and there, ‘way back in a corner, they watched the Easter bunny make a lovely nest and put the Easter eggs in it.

And in the morning when Marcella came in to see the dolls you can imagine her surprise when she found the pretty gift of the Easter bunny.

“How in the world did the bunny get inside the house and into this room without awakening Fido?” she laughed.

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And Fido, pretending to be asleep, slowly opened one eye and winked over the edge of his basket at Raggedy Andy.

And Raggedy Andy smiled back at Fido, but never said a word.

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Happy Easter Everyone

A Tulip’s Tale

A Tulip’s Tale

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The word tulip was first mentioned in Western Europe, in the context of “Turkish Letters” of a diplomat Ogier Ghiselin de Busbercq in about 1554.  This was the time of Ottomans wore typical Turkish tülbend (“muslin” or “gauze”). The correlation between turban and the Tulip flower came about because the tulip in full bloom resembled a turban.  The name Tulip is derived from tulipa or tulipant, tulipe by French and tulīpa in modern Latin.  

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Did you know that the Tulip can be given as the 11th wedding anniversary flower?  It is said that the tulip’s velvety black center represents a lover’s heart, darkened by the heat of passion.  

Tulips as you well know come in various colors and each carry an important meaning:

Yellow tulips once were associated with jealousy and hopeless love. Lately however, yellow tulips have gained a sunnier disposition; it now represents hope and cheerful thoughts. You may give a yellow tulip bouquet to a good friend as a caring get-well gift. Yellow is also the color of friendship, which makes it great for a just-because floral gift.

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White conveys forgiveness. White tulips are the flowers to pick for an apology bouquet. You may also include with it some chocolates as a worthwhile gesture to elicit a favorable response.

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Multi-hued tulips, being the most versatile, can express varied messages to that special someone.  For instance, striped tulips may symbolize a lover’s beautiful eyes, as do tulips with blotched, multicolored petals.

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Purple represents loyalty. If you want to let her know that she is your queen, choose an arrangement of purple tulips. Purple can also be used to express admiration for a loved one’s accomplishments.

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Pink flowers express happiness and confidence. This makes them a very good choice when congratulating a friend on a new job or promotion. The flower meaning of pink tulips is the awakening of love. Pink tulips remind me of the lovely little girl in one of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales: Thumbelina.

Thumbelina is a story about a girl who is born from a tulip flower. One day this thumb-sized girl is kidnapped and was carried far, far away. When the destination was finally reached she was then forced to marry a toad.  While in the Toad’s abode however, she comes upon a wounded swallow and with tender loving care, saves him. The ever so grateful swallow, fully recovered, rescues her from her harsh circumstances in return. He then takes her to the Kingdom of Flowers and there she falls in love with and marries the handsome prince of the kingdom. She lives happily ever after.

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And finally, Red means perfect love and as well, evokes passion and romance. Did you know that in Persia, people give red tulips when they propose? Red tulips have the meaning of eternal love; therefore it’s an ideal choice for expressing deep affections to that someone special.

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Here’s a Turkish legend that may have contributed to this belief. As the tragic story goes, once a handsome prince named Farhad fell madly in love with a beautiful a maiden named Shirin. Capricious fate however saw to it that Shrin met her untimely demise during the digging of a new replacement well for her village.  When Prince Farhad learned of this he was so overcome with grief that he rode his horse over the edge of a cliff. It’s said that a scarlet tulip sprang up from each droplet of his blood, giving the red tulip the meaning “perfect love.”

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 Then there is this legend that is told in the Netherlands.

Three knights are enamored by a beautiful girl. Each in turn proposes and presents her with a gift. One gives her a crown which indicates fame. The second one presents her with a mighty sword indicative of power. The third gives her gold which is indicative of property.

The beautiful girl remains in a quandary.  As she cannot choose one over the other, she seeks the Queen of Flower’s help. She pleads with Her Majesty to change her into a flower, and being granted this request, the lovely girl is transformed into a Tulip. Here, as one can see, the crown is the flower, the sword is the leaf, and the gold is the eventual transformation to a bulb.

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One of the Greek myths is about tulips:

Once, there was a pretty girl named Tulip. One day, the god of autumn while he is about, spotted this enchanting beauty and fell deeply in love. His infatuation grew with each encounter even though she blatantly resisted his declaration of love.

When yet again chancing on her while she was picking flowers he accosted her. She in desperation ran off and sought help from the God of Virginity. Kneeling before Artemis, she pleaded with the Goddess to rescue her from the pesky lover, which the Goddess did … by changing her into a tulip.  

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Last but not least, here’s a lovely English Folk Tale:

The Tulip Fairies

Once upon a time there was an old woman who lived by herself in a little house. She grew a bed of beautiful multi-colored tulips in her garden, which she would cut and bring into the house, to cheer herself up.

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One night she was woken up by the sounds of sweet singing and of babies laughing. She looked out of the window and the sounds seemed to be coming from the tulip bed, but she couldn’t see anything.   The next morning she walked among her flowers, but there were no signs of anyone having been there the night before.

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On the following night she was woken up again by sweet singing and the sound of babies laughing. She rose and stole softly through her garden. The moon was shining brightly on the tulip bed, and the flowers were swaying to and fro. The old woman looked closely and she saw, standing by each tulip, a little fairy mother who was crooning and rocking the flower like a cradle, while in each tulip cup lay a little baby fairy laughing and playing.

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The old woman was a kind-hearted soul, and so she stole quietly back to her house, and from that time on she never picked another tulip, nor did she allow her neighbors to touch them.

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The tulips grew brighter in color and larger in size day by day, and they gave off a delicious perfume, like that of roses. They began to bloom all the year round too. And every night the little fairy mothers caressed their babies and rocked them to sleep in the flower cups.

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Eventually, the day came, as it must, when the good old woman died, and the tulip bed was torn up by people who did not know any better, they didn’t know about the fairies, they didn’t know about the babies, and instead of tulips they planted parsley, but the parsley withered, and died, and so did all the other plants in the garden, and from that time on nothing would grow there.

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But the good old woman’s grave grew beautiful, for the fairies sang above it, and kept it green – while on the grave and all around it there sprang up tulips, daffodils, and violets, and all the other lovely flowers of spring.

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The End.