Friday, 28 November 2008


A moment to practice equanimity: having started on a remodel job at our little Laguna Beach cottage some five months ago, we had been hoping to finally get finished by Thanksgiving Day. It seemed entirely possible. After many of the usual delays—and our share of unusual ones, our punch list was getting shorter. Our contractor, who has been through a period of personal tragedy unconnected with our job, seemed determined to see things through.

Then, the day before Thanksgiving, our architect comes knocking at our front door and asks about the “disaster” in the basement, where we have been enlarging a tiny garage to include some useful storage space. He makes a habit of checking up on his job sites after the first rains. The previous night, it rained. Sheets of the stuff. In normal circumstances, here in rain-starved Southern California, we are overjoyed on those rare occasions when it arrives. Last night… not so much. The painter, we knew, would not show up so soon after the rain; and the contractor might be loath to work in this circumstance. But when the architect added that there was a flood of water in the basement, our hearts sank.

We have been used to a small amount of water seeping down from the back yard, through the garage, and out onto the street. But this, we soon discovered, was different. This covered the entire new concrete floor, inches deep in places. This was a real flood.

Okay, I tell myself. Beware attachment to outcomes. Beware the sudden flush of disappointed anger. It’s an opportunity, I tell myself, to practice equanimity. What else have you been practicing for, these past ten years and more, with your daily sits? And yet… and yet… I watch the anguish rise, I watch the anger and the disappointment. So hard, to practice what I… I was about to say, what I preach. But no: to practice what I practice. Breathe…

1 comment:

  1. yes, this is lifestyle meditation..

    Well done, Peter!