21 July 2013

good kid, bad kid

true confession:

when i was in 9th grade, circa 1984-85,  i found a can of mace in the crawl space beneath my house. i had a concept of what mace was for but i did not really understand. i was 14 at the time. i took the can to school and sprayed it into my desk where i was sitting.

not smart, grant, but i was a teenager.

of course the whiff of aerosol mace came into my face i started coughing. i excused myself to the restroom. when i came back the ENTIRE class was coughing. NO one knew save for the boy sitting next to me. he complained to the principal. next thing i know the vice principal wanted to search my locker.

she said to me, "gina, now, i am surprised. you are such a good kid". moral of the story, "good kids" make silly mistakes. a teenagers brain, no matter how big their body may look or how long they have been in puberty they are still just a kid. and though they should be held responsible for their actions, the repercussions to their actions should be dealt with wisely and in light of their age what is appropriate for their age, a teenager is a child not an adult. psychology affirms that a person's brain does not fully mature until they are at least 24-25 years old.

and what makes one child good another child bad?? in my view there is no such thing as a good child or a bad child. a good teenager or a bad teenager is simply one that has been afforded concern, love and compassion from a good stable adult to guide them.

i made a silly and immature choice to bring the can of mace to school. i honestly did not really understand why my actions, before i did it, was wrong.  of course afterwards i learned that mace is not something to play around with.

i wonder if i had been a 14 year old in today's world and having brought mace to school and sprayed it in my desk....would i have been expelled or suspended from school?



(c) Tamu Ngina, All Rights Reserved.

19 July 2013

Thousand year old toilets

Not much is going on with me. My eldest son as has been away at University for exactly one month and I have survived his absence. We speak often and he is doing very well.

Summer has been very hot these past few weeks. I have a working AC that I only bring out unless desperately need it and it is close to 90 degrees in my home. So I am very thankful for the AC and not complaining.

Currently I am facility a class for Bright Dawn Center of Oneness Buddhism lay minister course. The class is Mahayana Buddhism. The first class went very well. Second time around and I am picking up more now than when I went through the course myself.

We are in week five of the Compassion Course that I am participating in and is being taught by Thom Bond of www.CompassionCourse.net .

And on a very personal tip I am currently reading, or shall I say re-reading, DHARMA DRUM: the life and heart of chan practice by Chan Master Sheng Yen.

Chan is the Chinese and original way to say Zen.

Here is a quote from page 199.

"Ignorance and obscurity have accumulated in us, turning our minds into thousand year old toilets. The greed, hatred and ignorance in them are foul. Beginning to cultivate is like opening this toilet and exposing it to the sun and wind. At the start, it is foul, but eventually the smell will naturally disperse. Do not wish for the toilet to be clean at the very beginning."  Chan Master Sheng Yen
Do not wish for the toilet to be clean at the very beginning. This really strikes me.

When we start off on our spiritual path or even when we make a new direction and grow deeper we sometimes my feel a little distressed that we are not where we wish, think or feel that we should be. We look at those around us, those that we may feel are farther along on the path and we may desire to be like them. Seemingly perfect on the outside. Or other's may project their own expectations on to you. But Master Yen tells us not to expect to be perfect and spotless at the start.

For now I am really absorbing this statement, this subtle yet profound request.

What does it really mean for me and my walk?

(c) Tamu Ngina, All Rights Reserved.