I went out the door to the courtyard to brush the dog then reached for the broom to sweep and couldn't find it. Because David Partovi the landlord had taken my garden tools and bucket before and is currently on scene, I looked toward the construction site at the gate. There was a cheap broom with black bristles in the pile of tools. Its bristles bent and curled, but ours had had black bristles and was similar, so I picked it up and gestured it toward him saying "This is our broom? This is our broom from the corner beside our door?" He said "ok, take it back then."
I did put it back, though it is damaged if it is the same broom. I realized I should have asked if they or he had taken the broom instead of trying to confirm my assumption that he had appropriated our broom. I thought about how I could prove the things stored by our doorway are ours and took pictures, still irritated I took pictures of the leaves and stuff piled up outside the doorway to Julian's room beside our entrance. I am bothered by it but he must not be.
I thought "Why does he think it is ok to use our stuff, and wreck it?" I held my middle finger to calm the anger and repeated compassion mantras. I worked to change my attitude: "We have the nicest neighbors, we have the best landlord." Then was able to admit a broom from the dollar store is not so important. I called Sensei for a brush down. This is a technique using intention and movement that smooths the Qi. It is usually done in person but can be just visualized from a distance.
Now I am writing this for the blog to share something as we often discuss in our sangha meetings. How did I do? I would give it a 'C'. Maybe a C+ because some preparation had impacted the event. I didn't clear the hurdles before running the course but didn't trip over them either. I over reacted but recognized it and calmed quickly. Maybe this sounds more like some one in therapy or anger management than on a spiritual path but our contention is that these are the same, only the intention is different. My intention is to do no harm, to do great good and to make the world a better place.
Moment by moment the challenges arise, there is this and then there are also the hummingbirds who peep at the window when the feeder needs to be refilled and hover by my head when I hang it back up. At this time in this life the extremes are not so extreme. I am glad to appreciate the little things and grateful for relative safety.