Wawrinka and Mimi

wawrinkaThe player who just won the Australian Men’s Open Tennis Championship was an underdog who beat a star player. His name is Stanislaus Wawrinka and he has the following quote from the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett tattooed on his arm:

Ever tried.
Ever failed.
No matter.
Try again.
Fail again.
Fail Better.

Today in our family meditation class, our wonderful and warm teacher, Mimi, recalled a happy moment from her week: she had run into her very first student, Quentin, and his mom on the street. “I am so happy to see you, Quentin! You were my only student for so long. Every Sunday morning, you and your mom would show up at the Vajradhara Center, for 2 long years you were the only one. But I knew that I would become a better teacher, and that with patience, our class would grow.”

And now Quentin is 13 years old, with long hair and braces, and Mimi’s class is a thriving community of families creating a place to come together and practice mindfulness, kindness, and generosity.

Mimi also shared this useful definition for patience from her teacher, Geshe-la:

Patience is when we accept life whole-heartedly, come what may. This doesn’t happen naturally, it is something that we have to learn to do through practice. We spend considerable time and energy perfecting our soccer skills and Spanish speaking — we will benefit from devoting time and energy to our spiritual practice. As we learn to endure little sufferings, we get stronger. Then we can endure even big sufferings with greater equanimity. And no retaliating. Approach a situation when someone has spoken or acted unkindly to you as an opportunity to practice patience and get stronger.

When we’re happy, we’re like a ray of sunshine.


And thanks to Paul, Esther, and Luke for sharing the story about Wawrinka’s tattoo!

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