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Sunday Jun 05, 2011

Your Teacher

Making the Cut

By midday in Santa Fe, things as nuisances, and some more serious, had already invaded my time and energy.

My haircut was long overdue. My cutter told me she’d be with other clients for at least an hour. I’d come back.

As I now had some time, I thought I’d try Java Joe’s, which was in the huge shopping center. Could they make a cappuccino the way I like it? The steamed milk must settle so it is creamy, not full of foam-like bubbles. This simple instruction eludes many a barista.

As I was entering the cafe, two men were leaving. One man turned to the other: “I can’t believe it—it’s been one thing after another. These problems are getting me down.”

There it was again. Another reminder to see beyond my own limited drama, to perceive events through awareness, not fearful ego.

Recall my object lesson: instead of being disappointed, say that’s revealing and lift yourself beyond the fray. When the problem seems overwhelming, remember that the problem is the teacher. The lesson is there; it is up to you to grasp it, as it is in the Zen tradition of learning.

With these perceptions you will triumph with gratitude, leaving any notion of victimhood in the dreary dust.

Java Joe’s passed the steamed milk test.