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Lions Roar : November 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2011 87 www.PemaChodronFoundation.org Visit our website to: • Access Pema's teachings and schedule • Buy Pema's books and CDs Free shipping in the USA A portion of proceeds goes to donating Pema's books to underserved women and the organizations that help them. Support the work of Pema Chödrön Encyclopedia of Reincarnation and Karma N. C. McClelland, McFarland Publications, 2010 Call 800-253-2187 or order on-line at Amazon FREE BOOKS! www.LamaYeshe.com Buddha Nature Fine Art - Paintings - Prints douglasosmith.com Douglas Oliver Smith this sense failure doesn’t exist.” An unreflective mind can be depressed by something that does not exist, and that’s why failure is a worthwhile topic. Just think about the value of jolting set- backs that can make you feel you are junk, or make you want to empty your pockets by having too many parties. Consider the value of limitations that have the power to rein you in and bring you home from a cold meat aisle in the grocery store where you floundered. All the poems, songs, imaginings, and rational arguments in the world still might not convince the logical person who is feeling pain that failure does not exist. I work as a mental health case manger. People whose limitations keep them from doing most of what they once dreamed of doing have taught me a lot. One man I know, Arthur, had a lifelong St. Francis obsession of his own. He wanted to paint St. Francis but was sure he would mess up. First of all, he could only paint straight lines, never curved ones. It was just not in his nature. But one day he asked me to take him to buy paints—he was ready to have a try. After looking at displays of paint tubes for an hour or more, he came to the conclusion that the perfect color, if it even existed, was not in a tube. “Jeez,” he said, “just my luck.” On the way home in late afternoon we came down the steep hill into our weary river city and tiny window squares began to light up while far above clouds spread soft skeins of gray and rose. Arthur pointed, “Look! That’s it, that’s the color! Oh boy, oh my goodness gracious, we have a lot to be thankful for, us human beings!” As I rolled up in front of the apart- ment complex, Arthur looked happy. He asked if we could look at paint again, that maybe there was a chance he could find some substitute for the right color gray since the perfect color had not been bottled, couldn’t be bottled. I said I would call him. Halfway to the front steps he turned. “Yeah right,” he said, “I probably won’t hear the phone. With my luck, I’ll Failure continued from page 39