Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right.
Warren G. Bennis

I am very lucky to have my boss. He is a rarity from all the jobs I’ve had.

He called me yesterday and told me, because of my weekend ahead and my currenty flu, I have an extra day off.
“I covered it,” he said.

It’s one of many, many examples of caring he’s offered me this past year we’ve worked together and when it comes time for me to leave, I will miss this relationship alot.

I am lucky.

Fumbling Towards Enlightenment

When you are fatigued and unwell is when it is hardest sometimes, to live by your beliefs of peace and mindfulness and compassion.

But I am still learning. I will forever be a beginner in this practice but I am prepared to keep trying.

Enlightenment means different things to different people.

Essentially it’s about these words: compassion, mindfulness, love, living in the moment.

tian tan buddha – hong kong

In Buddhism, we speak of touching Nirvana with our own body, In Christianity, you can also touch the Kingdom of God with your body, right here and now. it is much safer than placing our hope in the future. If we cling to the idea of hope in the future, we might not notice the peace and joy that are available in the present moment. The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment. -Thich Nhat Hanh

My 3 days off will include meditation, fasting and reminding myself of compassion.

gautama-buddha

“May All That Have Life Be Delivered From Suffering.” -Gautama Buddha

we are more than our anger

“In a time of anger or despair, even if we feel
overwhelmed, our love is still there. Our capacity to
communicate, to forgive, to be compassionate is
still there. You have to believe this. We are more
than our anger, we are more than our suffering.
We must recognize that we do have within
us the capacity to love, to understand,
to be compassionate, always.”–Thich Nhat Hanh

misanthrope

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. –Albert Einstein

I think these things about as much as I think of showing compassion for the human race.

Intelligence leaves me, with some kind of woe at least, for the human race.

“I have found little that is good about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. That is something that you cannot say aloud, or perhaps even think.” –Sigmund Freud

Yet at the end of the day people fascinate me as much as they disgust me…so what to do?

What to do indeed.

Balance

“…you have to use your failures as stepping-stones to success. You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair. In the end it’s all a question of balance.”
― Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance

I am wading, shin deep, in a hardening concrete called depression and the past couple of days, it has been dangling me over its gaping maw.

The harder I fight against it, the more momentum I lose and thus, no posts come – just tears.

No one succumbs to losing control of their life in small fragments or suddenly either I suppose.

Secretly chanting mantras in my head is helpful:

I go to the Buddha for refuge

Control is an illusion and clinging to desires is the cause of suffering, says the Buddha, things that give me peace.

If all I have is this moment, if I trust my beliefs that the consistent and dependable entity of life is change, then I chant…

This too shall pass.

It is difficult to wait for money, to wait for x-rays, to wait for help, to mark the days that melt into each other like a Dali painting.

But it is not the most difficult thing.

It isn’t that difficult in the timeline of my life, even in the past month, forget about the last 33 years.

Knowing this, bowing to the small shrine, with incense burning, to my small Buddha on the shelf gives me comfort, like any spiritual ritual.

So knowing that my mind is convincing my heart and my body to let my head be pulled
under the water and into hopelessness,
I will be compassionate to myself
and read the words of a great man:

Most important is knowing how to ride the waves of impermanence, smiling as one who knows he has never been born and will never die. -Thich Nhat Hanh

Compassion and Betrayal

“Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.” – Henry Ward Beecher

I got an email today from someone I once loved dearly, admired and respected and I’m having a hard time.

The ‘once’ is in there because this person whom I shall call DU, hurt someone else I love dearly who will be called LM.

At first, we thought illness and disability was the reason for the implosion of the relationship and since it is between them and there are two sides to every story, I continued to love and support them equally, as best I could. They were both like family to me.

LM had cared for me when I was a child, had loved me and lived with my immediate family for a number of years before meeting DU. When DU was welcomed into the circle of friends and family, we felt a sense of completion, love and delight, it was a perfect match.

Then a shocking revelation emerged, slowly, over time, through other friends and family members.

DU had been committing grievous betrayals that became evident once enough time and distance was placed between them. This news divided dear family and friends who were once people I enjoyed seeing at family gatherings. They became silent strangers over night.

I witnessed the initial betrayal increase exponentially and split apart several families, children and loved ones.

I am still very hurt.

I was one of many people who talked LM through tears, grief and anguish, watched how LM was affected, financially, emotionally, left to an empty house of memories they built together for decades…all gone in a phone call.

It’s been several years since the initial bomb dropped and the fall out is only now contained, barely. LM is still scarred and reeling and will probably never, fully heal.

Now this email, probably written during a chilly and lonely night, arrives in my inbox from DU, after almost a year since we spoke, asking where we stand.

I cannot. My loyalty is to LM and while I still feel compassion for DU, we can no longer be in each other’s lives. It makes me sad but I wasn’t the one who pulled the plug on our family circle.

Sadness is all I feel.