02 September 2011


All the time

The sun never says to the earth,

"You owe Me."


What happens

With a love like that,

It lights the

Whole Sky.

~Hafiz of Shiraz

Lisa sent me this poem. She wanted to introduce me to Sufi poetry, something that I know nothing about. I could wax eloquent (or not) about it for a few paragraphs today, but instead I will just put it up and let it filter through what I am writing.

Jan had a video posted on his facebook page. It was of Mingyur Rinpoche explaining meditation. He suggested that we give our “crazy monkey minds” the part-time job of observing breaths during meditation. Just part-time because full-time, it would take over like a slave driver. And I had to smile. When I make my lists of things to do with my days or how long to exercise or describe a new perfect diet, my crazy monkey mind is really in control. My ego is shouting. Very bossy and a complete slave driver. The lists and ideas are the opposite of being gentle with myself. And I usually fail. How can I not? I have the feeling, and I have no idea of knowing whether this can be true, that this gentle, fierce man who is Mingyur Rinpoche would take a different route to scheduling his days. I don’t know what it is at present, but I intend to find out.

Mingyur Rinpoche’s demeanor is so attractive to me. He is gentle and fierce; passionate and calm. He seems to speak from somewhere deep inside of himself. I wonder if I can cultivate such a demeanor. Quiet, sure wisdom. Again, I have no idea of how but it is so attractive to me.

Yesterday, I spoke on a panel at the LEND orientation for this years students. It was the usual list of questions about the core values of the LEND program and how it relates to my family. I wrote out some notes to keep my comments in check. I wanted to say some specific things and did not want to go too far off topic. I can, in those situations, just wax less than eloquent like some kind of freight train bound for parts unknown. Sometimes when i finish my comments, the most logical question would be, “what was the question?” and “Did I get anywhere near the answer?”

It was good to make note beforehand. I stayed closer to topic. Of course, I didn’t want to read what I wrote, so my train still ran a bit off track. And I did have too much material for the short amount of time I had to answer any questions. Still, all that was fine. But I found that I had great emotion talking. I could have burst into tears during almost every question. I did not expect that in the least.

For example, the last question was to give advice to the new trainees, and I had three pieces: You may be present at the worst day of a family’s life. A family may know in their guts that something is wrong with their beloved child, but you are the one making that feeling concrete with a diagnosis. It may be a day when dreams die, but it is the day the work begins.

You can never give a family too much information, although they may be completely overwhelmed and not remember a word that you said past the words of diagnosis.

Be available later.

Well, I was more than close to tears when I said the words “worst day of a family’s life.” I didn’t choke up but was pretty close. Is this a tenderness that I’ve never held before? Is this what speaking from the heart means? I have fallen into a mindset, or a heart-set, different from where I have been. It is strange and lovely to move around this space.

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