Old Habits Are Dying

Tuesday 27 May, 2003

Karaj called from London to discuss the plans for today. There will be more visitors: Michelle, Harriet, Dev, Marian and the girls (Simran’s young sons). Shortly afterwards, Calvin phoned, asking whether Karaj had looked at his work memo. He also told me the school has not sent the learning stuff he had thought they were getting. I was annoyed at Calvin’s lack of action and rounded the conversation up. His passivity cannot go on. With his son and his work he needs to do something. (He doesn’t know whether he will be here on Wednesday; he will let me know. Precisely my point.)

When Karaj called again mid-morning, I was not clear with him about the arrangements for the day. I was still annoyed from Calvin’s call and I needed to have addressed that first. Remember the procedure: Clarity, Straightness and Accountability.

Harriet and Dev arrived and I chatted with Dev about the to-do list. The list really is a delight to do for me because so much is happening and I can finally see the wood for the trees. When Marian and the boys arrived, I chatted to them as we walked through the garden – they all loved the garden – a magical place indeed. It was lovely to share the product of our hard work with good people. The boys are so full of life; it is easy to spend time with them.

The elder son was more open than usual when he left. It was almost as if he didn’t want to go. Normally, when he spends time with Simran, he cannot wait to get back to his mother. This tells me two things: 1) We have created something very special here and people will show me what I have to do when they come here. I just need to relax and serve. 2) The difference when Simran is not around – his son does not have to look after him(!)

Karaj arrived early evening and we sat together to work through Dev’s memos and Michelle’s hour-plan for her project. Michelle started crying and walked into the garden. I went to get her and felt the emotional pull to console her. I simply said ‘We’ve all been through it’, and left it at that. I didn’t get sucked in and I recognised the danger – old habits are dying.

Karaj dictated Simran’s letter to India followed by an analysis of what it meant. I got close but didn’t take the next step. When Karaj left us to it, I got the answer through talking. Or rather through listening to Dev and Shona talk. What they were saying made no sense to me but it still allowed me to talk of what Simran’s letter meant for me. This is the key: relate everything to myself. In the letter Simran is drawing a line under his past and getting on with his new life.

Summary: A tough day which went well. All the hard work I have done over the last three years is having an effect on everyone who comes here. They all leave in a better state. And remember, relate everything to myself.


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