It Might Be You

It Might Be YouSome people are always ‘up’ for things, they walk around with a smile and a spring in their step, they are Radiators. Other folks always seem to wear a frown, they look as though they are carrying the worries of the world on their shoulders. They never seem to have a good word to say about anything, they are the Drains.

A Radiator is the kind of person who leaves you feeling more energetic and enthused, after you meet or speak to them, than before. They radiate positive energy and are happy to share their life-energies with others. They appear to have a permanent smile on their faces, as though they know something others do not. In fact they do, they know that the secret path to a happy life is to pass on their happiness to others.

Drains are the complete opposite. They have the unfortunate knack of being able to sap energy and enthusiasm from other people, leaving them feeling unhappy or flat. When you meet one, and there are plenty around, the conversation is hard work, they are negative about things when you ask about how they are. In fact, you probably walk away wishing you hadn’t met them in the first place.

Our life-state can dictate whether we are a Radiator or a Drain if we let it, but concentrating on the positive side of life can change all that. When we are in the life state of Heaven we tend to Radiate energy to other people, when we are in Hell we can tend to Drain energy from others.

So think of all the good things in your life, walk around with a smile and a cheerful disposition, be a Radiator and see how people react positively towards you.

We all know a Drain when we meet one, and if you don’t, then it might just be  you.

A Nice Warm Feeling

Heaven And HellA man was offered the chance to visit Heaven and Hell. Upon entering Hell he was greeted by the sight of an infinitely long room filled with tables laden with the finest of foods, meat, fruit, wine and all manner of delicacies. But around the tables sat groups of starving people, crying out in their hunger. He realised that each person was holding a spoon, but the spoons were so long that they were unable to feed themselves.

He then went to Heaven and was surprised to see exactly the same scene. The same room was filled with the same tables, covered with the same food. But this time, around the tables sat groups of well fed, happy people. They too were holding spoons, the same length as those poor souls in Hell. The difference was that these people were feeding each other and so could eat as much as their hearts desired.

Here on Earth, that might just be the difference between our own personal Heaven or Hell. Helping others, in Buddhism, also helps us indirectly, through the accumulation of positive karma. But whether you are Buddhist or not, helping others is the best way to make life better for everyone, one that can give us all a wonderfully warm feeling.

Is It You?

Radiators And DrainsThere are two types of people in this world, and no not those who say ‘There are two types of people’ and those who don’t. The two types are those who are Radiators and those who are Drains.

A Radiator is the kind of person who leaves you feeling more energetic and enthused, after you meet or speak to them, than before. They radiate positive energy and are happy to share their life-energies with others. They appear to have a permanent smile on their faces, as though they know something others do not. In fact they do, they know that the secret path to a happy life is to pass on their happiness to others.

Drains are the complete opposite. They have the unfortunate knack of being able to sap energy and enthusiasm from other people, leaving them feeling unhappy or flat. When you meet one, and there are plenty around, the conversation is hard work, they are negative about things when you ask about how they are. In fact, you probably walk away wishing you hadn’t met them in the first place.

Our life-state can dictate whether we are a Radiator or a Drain if we let it, but concentrating on the positive side of life can change all that. When we are in Heaven we tend to Radiate energy to other people, when we are in Hell we Drain energy from others.

So think of all the good things in your life, walk around with a smile and a cheerful disposition, be a Radiator and see how people react positively towards you.

We all know a Drain when we meet one, and if you don’t, then it’s you.

This Is The Real Hell

UnendingStill sitting, still waiting, still wishing that this awful process would end, yet feeling ashamed for wishing.

This is what real hell is. Being trapped in a helpless situation, wanting to run away from one of life’s certainties, wanting to help, to fix this, but being completely inept in every way.

Chanting for strength, for courage, for wisdom, for compassion for everyone, including myself.

Big Mistake

Lotus_DSHaving felt that we were almost there with the new Fraser’s website last night, I was in for a horrible shock this morning. On the drive up to Newbury, I was blissfully unaware that the live site had been all but destroyed by a re-sync I ran yesterday evening.

During Tuesday afternoon, I had inadvertently uploaded a script that had reset most of the content on the staging server. Of course, nobody was any the wiser because until the sites were synchronised, the live site remained intact. As soon as I ran the sync, all the damage was transferred over to live, and frighteningly there is no concept of an ‘undo’ command.

As soon as I looked in my inbox and saw the mails reporting the state of the site I was plunged into hell-state. Although the software partners are working on a set of backup scripts, I knew they were unfinished and that all the copy, images, menus and navigation was lost.

Fortunately, and to my huge relief, Bully had a data snapshot, albeit from February. That was the starting point for an entire day’s work, trying to cherry pick the latest elements from a whole morass of ancient code. Without the expert help of our partners, and Bully in particular, we, and by that I mean I, would have been in a very real mess. By about 5:00pm we were pretty much back where we should be. Thanks a million Bully.

So the drive from Newbury to Bristol was taken at a very leisurely pace, with a lot of chanting, while I tried to restore my life-state back to one of the higher worlds. It took a while, way past Swindon in fact, but finally my life-energies were on the rise. It’s strange how certain incidents can lower your energy, almost in an instant, but it can take a lot of chanting to get them back up again.

At least with my practice, I have a method to control them. Prior to practicing Nichiren Buddhism, I would have been in hell-state for a long time. By chanting, I raised them quite quickly, and I guess that had a good effect on both Bumble and myself as we sat and discussed the debacle over dinner. I know that I haven’t heard the last of this mistake, but at least I am in a good state to rationalise the incident, document the error and make plans to ensure that it never happens again. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

Retail Hell

Rare as hen's teethI had never understood the phrase ‘retail therapy’. It seems that there are those amongst us who actually enjoy shopping, being immersed in a throng of like-minded people, all hell bent on spending their hard earned wonga on things they don’t really need, all in the pursuit of a short-term dose of euphoria. Not me.

Having subjected ourselves to hours of fruitless searching for various items, including a granary bloomer, we had to accept that we had failed abysmally on virtually all counts. The sad truth was however, that there were some items, curtain rails and lamp shades, amongst others, that were deemed to be necessities.

So it was, that we found ourselves in IKEA at 7:00pm on a Saturday evening, a joyless experience to say the least. Tired, hungry and completely devoid of any enthusiasm for the task in hand, it would have been easy to give up and go home, but still we pressed on.

The IKEA experience is a retail nightmare. One is forced, by store layout, to walk miles and miles, past thousands of items, none of which hold the faintest interest, before you even get a glimpse of the thing you went in there to buy. But suddenly there it was !!!

The perfect stainless steel rail, designed as a high-tech utensil rail, but doubling unwittingly as a utility room curtain pole. The design was perfect, the brackets were reversible, the length of 1200mm ideal, everything just right. So a purchase was agreed and the search for a boxed item began. Nothing. Lots of 800mm rails, lots of other designs, but not one 1200mm boxed item was to be found.

So we approached customer services, to see when the next batch would be delivered. Shock and horror !!! The item has been discontinued. Maybe too many people in the Bristol area had spotted the alternative usefulness of the rail and had caused a glut of bespoke curtain rails in the soft furnishing department. Who knows, but it was typical of our fruitless day.

Then a ray of hope !!! Apparently, and only because it was discontinued rather than simply out-of-stock, it became possible to purchase the very item that was screwed so alluringly to the display. But only if the Kitchen department would sanction such an action. So off to customer services (Kitchen department) we marched, determined to secure the last existing rail this side of the galaxy.

Obviously the guy had no idea of the rarity, and hence huge worth of his prized asset. Not only did he whip out his personal electric screwdriver to remove said item, but he also gave us a chit to take to Bargain Corner so we might acquire it at a discount. What a result !!! We raced down to the Corner of many delights, clutching our chit, fearful that an announcement, reversing the decision, might boom out over the Tannoy at any moment.

No such announcement was issued, so with our discount barcode zip-tied to our wholly unique curtain/utility rail we raced through the self service checkout, into the near empty car park and sped off into the Bristol night air. Success !!! The perfect curtain rail, and at a bargain price too !!! Now I know why they call it retail therapy, the buzz is almost better than sex. Or maybe not, but at least it did illustrate the Ten Worlds and Ichinen Sanzen rather nicely.

Birdsong

BirdsongThe final part of the brilliant dramatization, by the BBC, of Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong was aired tonight. It follows the life of a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford, who having been involved in a passionate love affair in pre First World War France, finds himself fighting in the trenches of the Somme, in exactly the same area in which his affair takes place.

The screenplay is a masterpiece of interpretation of Faulk’s wonderful book, and encapsulates a rollercoaster of emotions, as Wraysford relives his memories whilst trying to stay alive in the hell-state backdrop of the trenches.

I don’t want to spoil the story for those who haven’t read the book or seen the programs, but it really makes you wonder how the young men involved managed to stay sane in the midst of all the horror and death of, what was supposed to be, the war to end all wars. With all the terror and, all too often, the ultimate sacrifice, it is saddening that we completely failed to learn the lessons provided by the conflict.

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