Thursday, June 14, 2012

I have heard this story before but was reminded of it by a friend:


The story is told of the man whose son complained about the terrible circumstances he was facing. The boy said he didn't know how to cope with the adversity of his life.

The father took his son into the kitchen and had him put water in three pots. He had the boy put a carrot in one, an egg in another, and coffee beans in the thrid. Then they put the pots on the stove, turned on the heat until the water boiled for several minutes in each pot. They then turned off the burners and, using a pair of kitchen tongs, removed the carrot and the egg from their pots, and poured the contents of the third through a strainer into a cup. The dad asked the boy what happened to each. In the first pot, the carrot had become soft; in the second, the egg had become hard, and in the third, the water had changed to coffee.

"The lesson," said the father, "is this: adversity can make you soft by weakening your resolve and sapping your strength; or adversity can make you hard, by making you bitter or mean; or you can change the water of adversity into the coffee of opportunity."

I've been trying to make coffee the last 6-8 weeks. In fact, a lot of coffee! We have had continual, repeated, aggravating, pain-in-the-kazoo, frustrating problems with our internet and email server. The technicians have been out, multiple times, and each left with assurances
that 'you won't have any more problems." And within 24 hours, we would have to call back.

I've lost emails that I thought had reached people, and not received emails folks thought I had gotten (and wondered why I had not responded). We can't maintain our website efficiently. And I finally gave up on trying to do Occasional Sightings. Indeed, my 'strength' (at least cyber-wise) has been sapped, and I border on bitterness towards the service provider, when not wanting to throw the whole system out the window!

But now, I've decided to make coffee. I am trying to do so while using a breath prayer in such moments. I use the word 'frustration' in mine right now, but you can put your own emotion in:

Breathing in, I know frustration is in me.
Breathing out, I know the feeling is unpleasant.
(after a while), Breathing in, I feel calm.
Breathing out, I can let go of the frustration.
(after a while longer) Breathing in, I am at peace.
Breathing out, I offer peace to others.

Can I pour you a cup of coffee?

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

Letting go

There is a story told of two monks in Japan, "travelling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection. 'Come on, girl,' said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud. Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. 'We monks don't go near females,' he told Tanzan, 'especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?' 'I left the girl there,' said Tanzan. 'Are you still carrying her?'"

From: Prayer by Simon Tugwell

You are known

You are known. I know you.
I created you. I am still creating you.
And I have loved you from your mother’s womb.
You have fled - as you now know - from my love;
but I love you nevertheless and not-the-less,
and however far you flee, it is I who sustain your very power of fleeing;
and I will never finally let you go.
I accept you as you are. You are beloved, and you are forgiven.
I know all your personal sufferings. I have always known them.
For beyond your understanding, when you suffer, I suffer as well.
I also know all the little tricks by which you try to hide - from yourself and others - the ugliness you have made of your life.
But know that, from my view, you are beautiful, more deeply within than you can see.
You are beautiful because you yourself, in the unique person that only you are,
reflect already something of the beauty of my holiness in a way which shall never end.
And I, perhaps I alone, truly see the beauty that you shall become.
Through the transforming power of my love, which is made perfect in humility and weakness,
you shall become perfectly beautiful - in a unique and irreplaceable way,
which neither you nor I will work out alone, for we shall work it out together.
--Charles Robinson,