In Another Person’s Shoes

Another Person's ShoesThere is an old saying, that before you criticise someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you have a pair of their shoes, and you are a mile away 🙂

But seriously, it is easy to see the faults in another when you are only seeing things from your point of view.

There is a wise Buddhist saying that says ‘we hate in others, what we refuse to see in ourselves’. Before you start picking on someone for their faults, make sure that you don’t have he same faults yourself.

Seeing the other persons viewpoint takes wisdom, courage and compassion, particularly in the heat of the moment. But taking a few seconds to allow yourself to become mindful, and then trying to reach a balanced view will do no harm, and may help resolve the issue once and for all.

Buddhahood Enclosed

Buddhahood EnclosedSo often, and I am as guilty as anyone, we want things to happen now.

Our modern frantic way of life, clever marketing and the advertising bombardment we all endure, have left us all lacking a little patience. We are encouraged to spend before we can afford it and to make unrealistic demands on ourselves and others.

So next time you are stuck behind the nervous learner driver at a busy junction, queuing at the check-in desk or tempted to have a go at that overworked shop assistant, just see things from the others viewpoint and stay cool, calm and collected.

Not only will it make your wait much more pleasant, but your calmness will transmit to those around you and help them relax too. They may even surprise you by being grateful or by going the extra mile to help.

Remember, everyone has a little Buddhahood within them, help them to let it shine through.

Keep On Giving

A Giving HeartThe people who are closest to us are the people we can hurt the most. With the best will in the world and with the very best intentions, a wrong word or deed can sometimes cause them a whole world of pain.

Being in the position of being responsible for supporting someone is a full time role, there’s no time off, no period during which one can let things slide. So when a conversation suddenly goes awry because of a thoughtless comment or reaction, the disappointment can be felt by both sides.

The result is like someone who is distracted whilst trying to push a boulder uphill. They have worked tirelessly to get it higher and higher up the hill. But the instant they relax their effort, or take their eye off the ball, the boulder starts back down to the bottom again.

In the same way, the trust and relationship you have worked so hard to nurture can suddenly takes a U turn and you can find yourself back where you were. Not only is that disappointing, but it’s quite possible that the damage caused could change things forever.

So be mindful. If you are putting yourself in a position where your support is important, be aware of the responsibility it entails. Be self-aware, show determination, compassion and resilience and be prepared to keep on giving, no matter what the circumstances.

Have Patience

Have PatienceIt is said that patience is a virtue, and indeed that is a fact.

Having patience with someone, something, or with a situation can make the difference between causing, or solving problems.

When you are just about to run out of patience you should take a deep breath and carry on trying to be understanding.

Sometimes when our patience runs out, it is because we don’t have the full picture. Having a partial understanding of a situation leads us all to try to fill in the missing parts from our imagination. Our fundamental darkness will relish the chance to invent the details for us.

As anyone who has been to the dentist, and I guess that’s pretty much all of us, the waiting room, the fear of what might be in store, is often far worse than the reality when we finally sit in the chair.

So it is with most situations in life. So stop imagining, take that deep breath, and find a little more patience. It will be worth it in the end as we turn yet more poison into medicine

NOW … I Want It Now !!!

CalmnessSo often, and I am as guilty as anyone, we want things to happen now.

Our modern frantic way of life, clever marketing and the bombardment of advertising we all endure, have left us all lacking a little patience. We are encouraged to spend before we can afford it, to want everything yesterday and to make unrealistic demands on ourselves and others.

So next time you are stuck behind the nervous learner driver at a busy junction, queuing at the check-in desk or find yourself tempted to have a go at that overworked shop assistant, just see things from the others viewpoint and stay cool, calm and collected.

Not only will it make your wait much more pleasant, but your calmness will transmit to those around you and help them relax too. They may even surprise you by being grateful or by going the extra mile to help.

Remember, everyone has the world of Buddhahood within them, so as the T shirt might say, stay calm and help them let it shine.

One Step Back

One Step BackSince starting the medication prescribed by my doctor on Monday, my cough seems to have been getting better day by day. But as with many things in life, with a little progress also comes the odd setback, and so it was today.

I was looking forward to the Men’s meeting this morning. The chance to see Ken, Jack, Boots and the others after much too long an absence. But settling down to sleep last night was fraught with problems from the start.

To begin with, the communal light in the stairway of the apartments, that is supposed to turn itself off after five minutes, refused to do so and shone in persistently through the skylights above the front door and my bedroom door.

I made myself respectable, and went up and down the stairs, trying to find a switch that was either jammed, or taped in the on position. It has happened before, but usually only when someone is moving in or out of one of the other apartments. There were no signs, so I went back to bed, tried to shield my eyes and sleep.

It must have worked, because the next thing I remember was waking up with a choking coughing fit. Sitting on the edge of the bed has worked in past, but it took ages for the coughing to subside, heaven knows what the neighbours thought.

Throughout the night I got a succession of interruptions, though nothing as bad as the first, but by morning I was feeling like I hadn’t slept at all. Chanting didn’t help either, each time I tried, another coughing fit ensued, so I ended Gongyo in a silent mental chant.

I know we have to expect setbacks on our journey back to health and fitness, but it is rather disappointing that it happens to have coincided with the weekend, and particularly the meeting. I will chant for more progress and to ensure that I am hail and hearty in good time for the next.

Persistent Little Blighter

Poison Into MedicineDespite having the best antibiotics money can buy, and upping the chanting to levels barely covered by the latest health and safety directives, this flippin’ cough is hanging on in a most tenacious manner.

I think the mere fact we are taking a pill, or drinking some potion, fools our body into feeling better, the placebo effect if you will. But the illusion never lasts and making the causes and seeing the effects  are not necessarily so closely connected. We already know that causes made in past lives are still having effects in this, so I hope the medicine works a bit quicker than that.

But despite the fact that I am still feeling less than tickety-boo, I know that I am making the right causes to see the effect I desire. So now it is a matter of trusting in the doctor, trusting in my practice, and being patient, as opposed to being a patient. Sadly it seems that although the drugs are working on the cough, they are not doing much for my jokes, but you had already worked that bit out for yourselves.

We Never Know

We-Never-KnowSome situations just get stuck, they just refuse to offer a resolution, be that through indecision, lack of control or reluctance to move on.

Having the patience, with a person or situation, to see things through to their conclusion takes Wisdom, Courage and Compassion:

  • The Wisdom to see that the desired path is both achievable and the correct outcome.
  • The Courage to stick to your path, despite setbacks or obstacles.
  • The Compassion to see things from another’s viewpoint, whether it agrees with yours or not.

There’s just one big problem with being patient, and that is that you never know what the outcome will be until it’s happened. Time will tell.

A Blank Canvas

The Chosen PathNever forget that making a decision is the beginning, and not the end of a process. In many ways starting something is the easiest part, seeing things through to their conclusion takes far more effort and patience as well as wisdom, courage and compassion.

Whilst many opportunities need courage to grasp, rarely is it courage that sees them through to the end. Sometimes it means relinquishing control into someone else’s hands which can be quite a frightening prospect.

Having determination, and the patience to allow others to realise that your chosen path is the right way to proceed is never an easy thing to accomplish. But the alternative is to reverse the decision, fail in the quest, and be prepared to stomach the bitter taste of defeat. That path can only lead to more pain and heartache, be resolute and see it through.

The Storm Before The Calm

The Storm Before The CalmWorking from the cottage today was like working in the middle of Paddington station. Everyone having somewhere to be, somebody to see, something to do, and all for the funeral tomorrow. And there I was, sitting in the melee and getting on with my work.

The pandemonium of today is all in a good cause. Getting things done today, getting all those little things that take so long, out of the way, so that tomorrow we can be calm, collected, serene even, as we get ready to say goodbye to Ivor, in this life at least.

But getting things done, getting all the ducks lined up, putting everything in its place is a good way to live generally. When you plan, you become self-aware, then you can put those plans into action, making the causes to help create the effects you wish to see.

So tomorrow is on one level, a very special day, for Ivor’s family and friends, it will be a day never to be forgotten. But on another level, it is the most ordinary day, the most inevitable day, and a day that can teach us why to live our lives to the full.

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