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12/02/2019

A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with Alison Murdoch Tibetan Buddhist, writer, & editor.

A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with Alison Murdoch Tibetan Buddhist, writer, & editor.

During the recent snowy weather, there was an uplifting story about how over a hundred stranded motorists were offered overnight shelter at the remote Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor. The Jamaica Inn is an old smuggler’s haunt that achieved fame in the 1930s when the author Daphne du Maurier came across it in the fog and wrote a novel of the same name, later to become a film by Alfred Hitchcock. In this latest chapter in its history, the Inn once again broke all the rules and kept its crowded bar open into the small hours. “It was actually a lovely atmosphere…a lot of people made friends, probably for life,” commented one of the staff.

My guess is that despite freezing weather, a shortage of beds and the lack of a toothbrush, some of the Jamaica Inn’s unexpected guests had an excellent evening. It’s rarely our external circumstances that matter the most, but our state of mind. This is why my Tibetan Buddhist teachers put great stress on a practice called thought transformation, which encourages us to seek the silver lining in every problem we encounter. The premise is that if we can stay reasonably happy and content, whatever the situation, then we’re much more likely to find a positive way forward. Whereas when we let things get us down, we can easily fall into a spiral of anxiety, self-centredness and despair. And there’s always some kind of silver lining – even if it’s just the knowledge that without the person who annoys us, we can never learn patience.

Thought transformation keeps the mind in good shape and gives confidence that we don’t have to be at the mercy of external circumstances, whether extreme weather or something more lasting and serious. Let’s pray we can all find a way to turn our problems, big and small, into a means of moving forward in our lives.

2 minutes

Last on

Tue 12 Feb 2019 05:43

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