I came back from my retreat at Amida Mandala in Malvern, knowing that I would have to face my problems at work which are a mirror and continuation of problems I have faced since age five (and probably had karmic forbears as well). I am writing hymns which reflect this but I try to use the Nembutsu to turn the feelings around and come up with new responses, rather than old, counterproductive ones. Here's a hymn:

Say No

I have been here before.                                                                          

She used her magic on me.                                                                    

I was her talisman,                                                                                  

To terrify others into obedience.                                                            

Magic is devious manipulation,                                                              

In another word, bullying.

I know,                                                                                                      

That because I didn't stand up to her bullying,                                      

She activated the bully-within,                                                                

Which ever since has given me no peace.

Now I find myself there again,                                                                  

And know that this time I must stand up to her,                                    

Or she will make the bully within me                                                      

Strike me as it has never struck before,                                                  

But I cannot wash the mud                                                                      

From a thousand, terrified eyes-                                                            

I couldn't do it, aged five,                                                                        

And I still can't do it now,                                                                        

In a country of endemic bullying-

So, I know, I must stand up,                                                                    

Say no,                                                                                                    

And go,                                                                                                    

And entrust myself to Limitless Compassion-                                          

Namo Amida Bu.

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Comment by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on April 23, 2016 at 21:09

Absolutely! And being ill has at least given me the opportunity to spend lots of time with my Dad, and this is a good way of doing this for both of us.

Comment by David Brazier on April 21, 2016 at 18:13

Andrew, I would think that the first of these is probably the most important at this time, don't you think?

Comment by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on April 21, 2016 at 17:36

Hopefully now I can concentrate on mourning my Mum, who died very recently, mourning the things I enjoyed about work and will miss, working on my OCD which was triggered by a traumatic experience, aged 5, recouping from recent illness and investigating possible additional vocational training to give me new ideas and help me change direction more easily.

Comment by David Brazier on April 20, 2016 at 19:49

Well done. What now?

Comment by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on April 20, 2016 at 18:41

Thank you for your poem. It's just right. I have just sent in my letter of resignation to work as I think it's time for me to move on. You're right, the people bullying me over many years did not realise, they are just insecure and habitually jump onto methods which seem to work for them. Now I've put my resignation in the post it feels like a big relief. In another of my recent hymns I wrote that I would like good things and help for the person who has been bulling me but it's hard to do when you feel so angry! I managed transfers off merit for a while!

Comment by David Brazier on April 20, 2016 at 16:03

Thanks for sharing, Ralph. Nice to have your contributions.

Comment by David Brazier on April 20, 2016 at 16:02

Looking for the bully // I found him hiding in the closet // Cowering and mumbling // I could not make out the words // I became very still and listened with all my might // At last i made it out // "Don't say 'No' to me again," it was pleading // I stopped in my tracks // I suppose it has as much right as any other, i thought // "What do you need?" I asked, a little unsure of myself // "I am so ashamed of myself," it was muttering // "Is that why you hurt others?" I asked // "Do I?" it asked "I never thought about it. // I was too busy defending myself."


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