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In The Trenches

March 12, 2017


There’s no denying it, it’s been a long hard winter. It’s been particularly hard on brick & mortar retail and Karuna is no exception. As Karuna learns how to walk at one and a half years, there are times when I am certain that if I let go of baby Karuna’s hand, it will no doubt falter. Neverthless, Karuna persists.


This week has been particularly dicey with a number of financial obligations on the horizon, including taxes and investing in graffiti removal (I’ll blog on that later). Needless to say, things are very tight.


Whenever I feel like I’m nearing the danger zone, something happens. And it’s usually something significant. Today was no exception. A man came in looking for a complete meditation set up ~ cushions, candles, incense. While trying out cushions (he liked the first one he tried!), he explained that he had raised his daughter as a single father and that, since he was color blind, her teachers would come up to him with concern about her mismatched clothes.


We moved on to books. I asked him if he ran and, since he did I recommended “Running With The Mind of Meditation” by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. He told me that he was a widow and that his wife had recently died. I’m used to this. Karuna provides a space for people to step out of their lives and into a contemplative environment where vulnerability is ok, so rare in our speed driven world.


After he chose his candle (glass candles come in all shapes and sizes) and incense (Sandlewood, Healing blend and Cleansing blend) the man said that suicide is never the answer though it had crossed his mind. He said that without him his daughter would lose her way so he’s decided to stay and weather the storm of emotion and loss. I concurred that that is the only way.


As I finished the transaction, we entered into lighter subjects such as the gentrification of neighborhoods and self employment and I recommended some meditation communities that he might want to check out. Sometimes I really have to be in the trenches with my customers, be present to their journey and the story behind their pursuit of meditation. Sometimes I really have to exert myself to take in the situations of life that brought us together. But I never regret it. What a wonderful opportunity to serve others!

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