The Broken Glass

Struggling to enjoy my time with my buddy Java, who has just been diagnosed with Lymphoma. He’s lived to a ripe old age in any case, but I’m still distressed to see him suffer and to contemplate his eventual departure.

For many months, I’ve been trying to enjoy my time with him as much as I can, but now the pressure to do so seems quite large.

I turn to Zen for help:

“You see this goblet?” asks Achaan Chaa, the Thai meditation master. “For me this glass is already broken. I enjoy it; I drink out of it. It holds my water admirably, sometimes even reflecting the sun in beautiful patterns. If I should tap it, it has a lovely ring to it. But when I put this glass on the shelf and the wind knocks it over or my elbow brushes it off the table and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ When I understand that the glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious.”

– Mark Epstein, “Thoughts Without a Thinker”