The Path To Bodhichitta

You start where you are, the practice will meet you there.

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Lesson In R&R

Having worked through the weekend, I was ordered to take a two-day break this week.

“If you feel guilty staying home, then read a work-related book. But I don’t want to see you in the office,” my boss said firmly.

So I took her prescription, cleared my desk on Wednesday and prepared to begin a lovely four-day weekend. (I've always promised family and friends that if I'm ever elected Prime Minister, the first change I'll enforce is a four-day working week.) Despite my best intentions to arise at a shockingly late hour, my peepers popped open at the first hint of sunrise. I took a brief moment to celebrate the luxury of sleeping in and promptly returned to dreamland. When my body was finally ready to ressurect from beneath the sheets, the sun was streaming into the room. It was a glorious day outside. And it was only 9am.

Refreshed and recharged, I figured I may as well do a little work. I trotted to the kitchen and reached out to pull open the refrigerator door. That's when I saw it. The baby blue rectangle piece of paper I had stuck on the door with an Animal Planet magnet. It was a nugget I had clipped from an O magazine. Something I thought I would need someday. That day had come. The baby blue paper read:

'He who cannot rest, cannot work. He who cannot let go, cannot hold on.'

The words were born from the mind of a Harry Emerson Fosdick. I have no idea who he is but he saved my weekend.

Why did I feel the need to work when I deserved this long weekend, I asked myself. Why not just enjoy it? How hard could that be?

Ten minutes later, I was carrying a plate of scrambled eggs on toast and a cup coffee back to the bedroom. I spent the rest of the morning there reading Joan Didion's The Year Of Magical Thinking. The afternoon, I spent on my yoga mat and the night was awarded to Blood Diamond. (A must-watch movie with a conscience)

It's the second day of my four-day weekend and I am so glad I listened to Mr. Fosdick. It has been a long time since I did what I wanted to do without worrying about what I should be doing. I forgot how alive it made me feel. And I'm already looking forward to Monday.


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