At the entrance to the pub in Dublin where I was celebrating New Year there was this security guy who was holding a huge mala while persistently turning the beads. What a peculiar sight among all the late night drinking mess. He just stood there, hardly moving at all, looking pretty dangerous, calmly scanning his surroundings while turning the beads.
Monday was my first full day back in work after two weeks off. I was stressed out. Extremely. I could hardly maintain a conversation. But suddenly, I thought to myself: this is dukkha, an ordinary pain. There is no reason to try run away from it. It will not kill me. I acknowledged it. I let it be. And I swear – it disappeared. Just like that. I stopped feeling like a victim. I felt like a human being.
A bit of turmoil on the next day. Different reason. Hoping to fall asleep at 2 or 3 AM I tried to recite Nembutsu. But thinking each syllable was like turning an old rusty gear. So hard. For some reason.