How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners
10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation
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How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners
10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation
What is Meditation?
Benefits of Mindfulness: Mindful Living Can Change Your Life
Mindfulness 101: A Beginner's Guide
Get comfortable and ready to be soothed to sleep as Cory reads one of his favorite stories, The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver by Thornton W. Burgess.
Let's settle in for a night of
deep sleep with one of my favorite
stories, The Adventures of
Paddy, the Beaver by Thornton W.
Work, work all the night while
the stars are shining bright.
Work, work all the day.
I have got no time to play.
This little rhyme, Paddy, the beaver
made up as he toiled at building the
dam, which was to make the pond he so
much desired deep in the Green Forest.
Of course it wasn't true, that
about working all night and all day.
Nobody could do that,
you know, and keep it up.
Everybody has to rest and sleep.
Yes, and everybody has to play a
little bit to be at their best.
So it wasn't quite true that Paddy
worked all day after working all night.
But it was true that
Paddy had no time to play.
He had too much to do.
He had had his play time during
the long summer, and now he had to
get ready for the long cold winter.
Now, of all the little workers in the
Green Forest, on the Green Meadows
and in the smiling pool, none can
compare with Paddy the Beaver, not
even his cousin, Jerry Muskrat.
Happy Jack Squirrel and Stripe
Chipmunk store up food for the
long, cold months when rough Brother
Northwind and Jack Frost rule.
And Jerry Muskrat builds a fine house
wherein to keep warm and comfortable.
But all this is as nothing to
the work of Paddy, the Beaver.
As I said before, Paddy had had a
long play time throughout the summer.
He had wandered up and
down the Laughing Brook.
He had followed it way up to
the place where it started.
And all the time he had been studying
and studying to make sure that he
wanted to stay in the Green Forest.
In the first place, he had to
be sure that there was plenty of
the kind of food that he likes.
Then he had to be equally sure
that he could make a pond near
where this particular food grew.
Last of all, he had to satisfy himself
that if he did make a pond and build a
home, he would be reasonably safe in it.
And all these things he
had done in his playtime.
Now he was ready to go to work.
And when Paddy begins work, he
sticks to it until it is finished.
He says that is the only way to succeed.
And, you know, and I
know that he is right.
Now Paddy the Beaver can see at
night just as Ready Fox and Peter
Rabbit and Bobby Raccoon can.
And he likes the night best
because he feels safest then.
But he can see in the daytime too.
And when he feels that he is
perfectly safe and no one is
watching, he works then too.
The first thing to do was to build
a dam across the Laughing Brook,
to make the pond he so much needed.
He chose a low, open place deep in
the Green Forest and the edge of
which grew many young Aspen trees, the
bark of which is his favorite food.
Through the middle of this open
place flowed the Laughing Brook.
At the lower edge was
just the place for a dam.
It would not have to be very long.
And when it was finished and the water
was stopped in the Laughing Brook,
it would just have to flow over the
low, open place and make a pond there.
Paddy's eyes twinkled
when he first saw it.
It was right then that he made up
his mind to stay in the Green Forest.
So now that he was ready to begin his
dam, he went up, the Laughing Brook to
a place where alders and willows grew.
And there he began work.
That work was the cutting of a
great number of trees by means of
his big front teeth, which were
given him for just this purpose.
And as he worked, Paddy was happy.
For one can never be truly
happy who does no work?
Paddy the Beaver was busy, cutting down
trees for the dam he had planned to build.
Up in the woods of the north, from
which he had come to the Green
Forest, he had learned all about
tree cutting and dam building and
canal digging and house-building.
Paddy's father and mother had been
very wise in the beaver world and
Paddy had been quick to learn.
So now he knew just what to do
and the best way of doing it.
You know, a great many people
waste time and labor doing things
the wrong way so that they have
to be done over and over again.
They forget to be sure they are right.
And so they go ahead until they
find they are wrong and all
their work goes for nothing.
But Paddy the Beaver isn't this kind.
Paddy would never have leaped into
the spring with the steep sides without
looking as Grandfather Frog did.
So now he carefully picked
out the trees to cut.
He could not afford to waste time cutting
down a tree that wasn't going to be
just what he wanted when it was down.
When he was sure that the tree was
right, he looked up at the top to
find out whether, when he had cut it,
it would fall clear of other trees.
He had learned to do that when
he was quite young and heedless.
He remembered just how he had felt
when after working hard, oh, so hard to
cut a big tree, he had warned all his
friends to get out of the way so that
they would not be hurt when it fell.
And then it hadn't fallen at all because
the top had caught in another tree.
He was so mortified that he didn't
get over it for a long time.
So now he made sure that a tree was going
to fall clear and just where he wanted it.
And he sat up on his hind legs, and
with this great broad tail for a
brace, began to make the chips fly.
You know, Paddy has the most
wonderful teeth for cutting.
They are long and broad and sharp.
He would begin by making a deep bite.
And then another, just a little way below.
Then he would pry out the
little piece of wood between.
When he had cut very deep on one side
so that the tree would fall that way,
he would work around to the other side.
Just as soon as the tree began to
lean and he was sure that it was
going to fall, he would scamper
away so as to be out of danger.
He loved to see those tall trees lean
forward slowly then faster and faster
till they struck the ground with a crash.
Just as soon as they were down, he
would trim off the branches until
the trees were just long poles.
This was easy work for he could take off
a good size branch with just one bite.
On many, he left their bushy tops.
When he had trimmed them to suit him
and had cut them into the right lengths,
he would tug and pull them down to the
place where he meant to build his dam.
There he placed the poles side by side,
not across the Laughing Brook like a
bridge, but with the big ends pointing
up the Laughing Brook, which was
quite broad, but shallow right there.
To keep them from floating away, he rolled
stones and piled mud on the bushy ends.
Clear across on both sides, he laid those
poles until the water began to rise.
Then he dragged more poles and piled
them on top of these and wedged
short sticks crosswise between them.
And all the time, the Laughing Brook was
having harder and harder work to run.
It's merry laugh grew less merry
and finally almost stopped.
Because as you see, the water
could not get through between all
those poles and sticks fast enough.
It was just about that time that
the little people of the Smiling
Pool decided that it was time to
see just what Paddy was doing.
And they started up the Laughing Brook,
leaving only Grandfather Frog and the
tadpoles in the Smiling Pool, which
for a little while would smile no more.
Paddy the Beaver knew perfectly well
that he would have visitors just as
soon as he began to build his dam.
He expected a lot of them.
You see, he knew that none of them ever
had seen a beaver at work, unless perhaps
it was Prickly Porky the Porcupine
who also had come down from the north.
So as he worked, he kept his ears
open and he smiled to himself as
he heard a little rustle here and
then, and a little rustle there.
He knew just what those
little rustles meant.
Each one meant another visitor.
Each russle meant another visitor
and yet not one had shown himself.
"Seems to me that you are dreadfully
afraid to show yourselves," said he
in a loud voice, just as if he were
talking to nobody in particular.
Everything was still.
There wasn't so much as a
rustle after Paddy spoke.
He chuckled again.
He could just feel ever so
many eyes watching him, though
he didn't see a single pair.
And he knew that the reason his
visitors were hiding so carefully
was because they were afraid of him.
You see, Paddy was much bigger than most
of the little meadow and forest people.
And they didn't know what
kind of temper he might have.
It is always safest to be
very distrustful of strangers.
That is one of the very first
things taught all little
meadow and forest children.
Of course, Paddy knew about this.
He had been brought up that way.
Be sure, and then you'll never be sorry,
had been one of his mother's favorite
sayings and he had always remembered it.
Indeed, it had saved him
a great deal of trouble.
So now he was perfectly willing to go
right on working and let his hidden
visitors watch him until they were
sure that he meant them no harm.
You see, he himself felt quite
sure that none of them was
big enough to do any harm.
Little Joe Otter was the only
one he had any doubts about.
And he felt quite sure that Little
Joe wouldn't try to pick a quarrel.
So he kept right on cutting trees,
trimming off the branches and hauling the
trunks down to the dam he was building.
Some of them he floated
down the Laughing Brook.
This was easier.
Now when the little people of the
Smiling Pool, who were the first to
find out that Paddy the Beaver had
come to the Green Forest, had started
up the Laughing Brook to see what he
was doing, they had told the Merry
Little Breezes where they were going.
The Merry Little Breezes
had been greatly excited.
They couldn't understand how a stranger
could have been living in the Green
Forest without their knowledge.
You see, they quite forget that
they very seldom wandered to the
deepest part of the Green Forest.
Of course, they started at once as fast
as they could go to tell all the other
little people who live on or around the
Green Meadows, all but Old Man Coyote.
For some reason, they thought it
would be best not to tell him.
They were a little doubtful
about Old Man Coyote.
He was so big and strong and
so sly and smart that all his
neighbors were afraid of him.
Perhaps the Merry Little Breezes had this
fact in mind and knew that none would
dare go to call on the stranger if they
knew that Old Man Coyote was going to.
Anyway, they simply pass
the time of day with Old Mr.
Coyote and hurried on
to tell everyone else.
And the very last one
they met was Sammy Jay.
When Sammy Jay reached the place deep in
the Green Forest, where Paddy the Beaver
was so hard at work, he didn't hide
as had the little four-footed people.
You see, of course, he had no reason
to hide because he felt perfectly safe.
Paddy had just cut a big tree and it fell
with a crash as Sammy came hurrying up.
Sammy was so surprised that for a
minute, he couldn't find his tongue.
He had not supposed that anybody but
Farmer Brown or Farmer Brown's boy
could cut down so large a tree as that.
And it quite took his breath away.
But he got it again in a minute.
He was boiling with anger anyway, to think
that he should have been the last to learn
that Paddy had come down from the north
to make his home in the Green Forest.
And here was a chance to speak his mind.
"Thief, thief, thief!"
he screamed in the harshest voice.
Paddy the Beaver looked up
with a twinkle in his eyes.
I see you haven't any better
manners than your cousin who lives
up where I come from," said he.
screams Sammy, hopping up and down.
He was so angry.
"Meaning yourself, I suppose," said
Patty, "I never did see an honest
Jay and I don't suppose I ever will."
"Hahaha," laughed Peter Rabbit who had
quite forgotten that he was hiding.
"Oh, how do you do Mr.
I'm very glad you have called on me this
morning," said Paddy, just as if he hadn't
known all the time just where Peter was.
Jay seems to have gotten out on the
wrong side of the bed this morning."
Peter laughed again.
"He always does," said he, "if
he didn't, he wouldn't be happy.
You wouldn't think it to look at
him, but he is happy right now.
He doesn't know it, but he is.
He always is happy when he can
show what a bad temper he has."
Sammy Jay glared down at Peter.
Then he glared at Paddy.
And all the time he still shrieked,
"Thief," as hard as he ever could.
Paddy kept right on working,
paying no attention to Sammy.
This made Sammy more angry than ever.
He kept coming nearer and nearer
until at last he was in the very tree
that Paddy happened to be cutting.
Paddy's eyes twinkled.
"I'm no thief," he explained suddenly.
"You're stealing our trees."
"They're not your trees," retorted Paddy.
"They belong to the Green Forest and the
Green Forest belongs to all who love it.
And we all have a perfect right
to take what we need from it.
I need these trees and I've just as much
right to take them as you have to take
the fat acorns that drop in the Fall."
"No such thing!"
You know he can't talk without
screaming and the more excited
he gets, the louder he screams.
"No such thing.
Acorns are food.
They are meant to eat.
I have to have them to live, but
you are cutting down whole trees.
You are spoiling the Green Forest.
You don't belong here.
Nobody invited you and nobody wants you.
You're a thief!"
Then up spoke Jerry Muskrat, who you
know is cousin to Paddy the Beaver.
"Don't you mind him," said
he pointing at Sam Jay.
He's the greatest troublemaker in the
Green Forest or on the Green Meadows.
He would steal from his own relatives.
Don't mind what he says, Cousin Paddy."
Now, all this time, Paddy had been
working away just as if no one was around.
Just as Jerry stopped speaking,
Paddy thumped the ground with his
tail, which is his way of warning
people to watch out and suddenly
scurried away as fast as he could run.
Sammy Jay was so surprised that
he couldn't find his tongue for
a minute and he didn't notice
anything peculiar about the tree.
Then suddenly he felt himself falling.
With a frightened scream, he spread
his wings to fly, but branches of
the tree swept him down with them
right into the Laughing Brook.
You see, while Sammy had been speaking
his mind, Paddy the Beaver had cut down
the very tree in which he was sitting.
Sammy wasn't hurt, but he was wet
and muddy and terribly frightened.
The most miserable looking
Jay that ever was seen.
It was too much for all the
little people who were hiding.
They just had to laugh and
they all came out to pay their
respects to Paddy the Beaver.
Paddy the Beaver kept right on working
just as if he hadn't many visitors.
You see, it is a big
undertaking to build a dam.
And when that was done, there was a
house to build and a supply of food
for the winter to cut and store.
Oh, Paddy the Beaver had
no time for idle gossip.
You may be sure.
So he kept right on building his dam.
It didn't look much like a dam at first.
And some of Paddy's visitors turned
up their noses when they first saw it.
They had heard stories of what a
wonderful dam builder Paddy was.
And they had expected to see something
like the smooth, grass-covered bank with
which Farmer Brown kept the big river
from running back on his low lands.
Instead, all they saw was a great
pile of poles and sticks, which
looked like anything but a dam.
exclaimed Billy Mink, "I guess we
needn't worry about the Laughing
Brook and the Smiling Pool.
If that is the best Paddy can do,
why the water of the Laughing Brook
will work through that in no time.
Of course Paddy heard him,
but he had said nothing.
Just kept right on working.
"Just look at the way he has laid
those sticks," continued Billy Mink.
"Seems as if anyone would know enough
to lay them across the Laughing
Brook instead of just the other way.
I could build a better dam than that."
Paddy said nothing.
He just kept right on working.
"Yes, sir," Billy boasted.
"I could build a better dam than that.
Why that pile of sticks
will never stop the water."
"Something the matter with
your eyesight, Billy Mink?"
inquired Jerry Muskrat.
"Of course not!"
retorted Billy indignantly.
"Oh, nothing much.
Only you don't seem to notice that
already the Laughing Brook is over
its banks above Paddy's dam," replied,
Jerry, who had been studying the
dam with a great deal of interest.
Billy looked a wee bit foolish, for
sure enough there was a little pool just
above the dam and it was growing bigger.
Sammy was terribly put out to think
that anything should be going on
that he didn't know about first.
You know he is very fond of prying into
the affairs of other people and he loves
dearly to boast said there is nothing
going on in the Green Forest or on the
Green Meadows that he doesn't know about.
So now his pride was hurt and he was
in a terrible rage as he started after
the Merry Little Breezes for the place
deep in the Green Forest, where they
said Paddy the Beaver was at work.
He didn't believe a word of it,
but he would see for himself.
Patty's still kept at
work, saying nothing.
And the mud and grass he dug up, he
stuffed in between the ends of the sticks
and patted them down with his hands.
He did this all along the front
of the dam and on top of it too,
wherever he thought it was needed.
Of course, this made it harder
for the water to work through.
And the little pond above
the dam began to grow faster.
It wasn't a great while before
it was nearly to the top of the
dam, which at first was very low.
Then Paddy brought more sticks.
This was easier now because he could
float them down from where he was cutting.
He would put them in place on top
of the dam and hurry for more.
Wherever it was needed,
he would put in mud.
He even rolled a few stones
in to help hold the mass.
So the dam grew and grew, and
so did the pond above the dam.
Of course it took a good many days to
build so big a dam and a lot of hard work.
Every morning, the little people
of the Green Forest and the
Green Meadow would visit it.
And every morning they would find that it
had grown a great deal in the night, for
that is when Paddy likes best to work.
By this time, the Laughing
Brook had stopped laughing.
And down in the Smiling Pool,
there was hardly enough water for
the minnows to feel safe a minute.
Billy Mink had stopped
making fun of the dam.
And all the little people who
live in the Laughing Brook and
Smiling Pool were terribly worried.
To be sure, Paddy had warned them
of what he was going to do and had
promised that as soon as his pond
was big enough, the water would
once more run in the Laughing Brook.
They tried to believe him, but they
couldn't help having just a wee bit of
fear that he might not be wholly honest.
You see, they didn't know
him for he was a stranger.
Jerry Muskrat was the only one
who seemed absolutely sure that
everything would be all right.
Perhaps that was because Paddy
is his cousin and Jerry couldn't
help feeling proud of such a big
cousin and one who was so smart.
So day by day, the dam grew and pond grew.
And one morning, Grandfather Frog, down in
what had once been the Smiling Pool, heard
a sound that made his heart jump for joy.
It was a murmur that kept growing and
growing until at last it was the merry
laugh of the Laughing Brook, and he knew
that Patty had kept his word and water
would once more fill the Smiling Pool.
Now it happened that the very day before
Paddy the Beaver decided that his pond
was big enough and so allowed the water
to run in the Laughing Brook once more,
Farmer Brown's boy took it into his
head to go fishing in the Smiling Pool.
Just as usual, he went whistling
down across the Green Meadows.
Somehow when he goes fishing,
he always feels like whistling.
Grandfather Frog heard him coming down
and dived into the little bit of water
remaining in the Smiling Pool and
stirred up the mud at the bottom so that
Farmer Brown's boy shouldn't see him.
Nearer and nearer drew the whistle.
Suddenly it stopped right short off.
Farmer Brown's boy had come inside
of the Smiling Pool or rather it was
what used to be the Smiling Pool.
Now there wasn't any Smiling Pool,
for the very little pool left was too
small and sickly looking to smile.
There were great banks of mud
out of which grew the bulrushes.
The lily pads were forlornly stretched out
toward the tiny pool of water remaining.
Where the banks were steep and high,
the holes that Jerry Muskrat and Billy
Mink knew so well, were plain to see.
Over at one side, stood Jerry
Muskrat's house, wholly out of water.
Somehow it seemed to Farmer Brown's
boy that he must be dreaming.
He never, never had seen
anything like this before.
Not even in the very driest weather
at the hottest part of the summer.
He looked this way and looked that way.
The Green Meadows look just as usual.
The Green Forest look just as usual.
The Laughing Brook - ha!
What was the matter
with the Laughing Brook?
He couldn't hear it.
And that, you know, was very unusual.
He dropped his rod and ran
over to the Laughing Brook.
There wasn't any brook.
There wasn't any brook, just pools
of water with the tiniest of streams
trickling between big stones over
which he had always seen the water
running in the prettiest of little
white falls were bare and dry.
In the little pools, frightened
minnows were darting about.
Farmer Brown's boys scratched
his head in a puzzled way.
"I don't understand it," said he.
"I don't understand it at all.
Something must've gone wrong
with the springs that supply the
water for the Laughing Brook.
They must have failed.
That is what must have happened,
but I never heard of such
a thing happening before.
And I really don't see
how it could happen."
He stared up in the Green Forest just as
if he thought he could see those Springs.
Of course, he didn't think
anything of the kind.
He was just turning it
all over in his mind.
"I know what I'll do.
I'll go up to those springs this
afternoon and find out what the
trouble is," he said out loud.
"They are way over, almost on the
other side of the Green Forest and
the easiest way to get there will be
to start from home and cut across the
old pasture, up to the edge of the
mountain, behind the Green Forest.
If I try to follow up the Laughing
Brook now, it will take too long
because it winds and twists so.
Besides it's too hard work."
With that Farmer Brown's boy
went back and picked up his rod.
Then he started for home
across the Green Meadows.
And for once he wasn't whistling.
You see, he was too busy thinking.
In fact, he was so busy thinking
that he didn't see Jimmy Skunk
until he almost stepped on him.
And then he gave a frightened jump
and ran, for without a gun he was
just as much afraid of Jimmy as Jimmy
was of him when he did have a gun.
Jimmy just grinned and
went on about his business.
It always tickles Jimmy to see
people run away from him, especially
people so much bigger than himself.
They look so silly.
"I should think that they would
have learned by this time that if
they don't bother me, I won't bother
them," he muttered as he rolled over
a stone to look for fat beatles.
"Somehow folks never
seem to understand me."
Across the old pasture, to the foot
of the mountain, back of the Green
Forest tramped Farmer Brown's boy.
Ahead of him trotted Browser the Hound.
Sniffing and snuffing for the
tracks of Reddy or Granny Fox.
Of course, he didn't find them for
Reddy and Granny hadn't been up
in the pasture for a long time.
But he did find Old Jed Thumper,
big, gray Rabbit, who had made things
so uncomfortable for Peter Rabbit
once upon a time and gave Old Jed,
such a fright that he didn't look
where he was going and almost ran
head first into Farmer Brown's boy.
"Hi there, you old cottontail,"
yelled Farmer Brown's boy.
And this frightened off Jed still more so
that he actually ran right past his own
castle of bullbriars without seeing it.
Farmer Brown's boy kept on his way,
laughing at the fright of Old Jed Thumper.
Presently, he reached the springs from
which came the water that made the
very beginning of the Laughing Brook.
He expected to find them dry, for
way down on the Green Meadows, the
Smiling Pool was nearly dry and
the Laughing Brook was nearly dry.
And he had supposed that, of
course, the reason was at the
springs where the Laughing Brooks
started were no longer bubbling.
But they were!
The clear, cold water came bubbling up
out of the ground just as it always had.
And ran off, down into the Green Forest in
a little stream that would grow and grow
as it ran and became the Laughing Brook.
Farmer brown's boy took off his ragged
old straw hat and scowled down at
the bubbling water just as if it had
no business to be bubbling there.
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