Trump, Zen, and flan; Part 2

I had the chance to see Iris again today. She came to a weekly lunch we have where mental health clients and social workers get together to cook and share a meal. I sat down next to her and we chatted for a big. At one point her eyes brightened and she asked, “Did you see the news today? There were demonstrations against President Trump in Los Angeles and Chicago. They can’t change anything but…”

I could tell that what lay behind that “but…” was the understanding that she was not alone, that not all Americans wanted to see her leave. And I saw as I never had before the power of that sort of witnessing and declaration of support.

On the other hand..a while later I had to drop off a prescription at the drugstore, and an older fellow sidled up next to me at the counter. He looked me up and down a few times, then said to me, “Trump all the way,” as though we were co-conspirators.

Taken aback, I just said, “Well it was sure a surprise.”

“Yeah, but a good surprise.”

Mustering all the open-mindedness I could, all I could say was, “That will remain to be seen.”

Last Call: A Buddhist monk confronts Japan’s suicidal culture

Every time I’ve had occasion to give a talk, or a workshop, or a reading, at least one person comes up to share with me they’ve lost a loved one to suicide. It’s a constant reminder of the prevalence of depression, and the fact that it is all too often a fatal illness.

I found this article about a Japanese monk dealing with suicide and depression very moving.

Click to access MacFarquhar%206-24.pdf