The Fight That Will Not Be Won

in #life2 years ago (edited)

Last week a longtime friend and supporter of our dojo, passed away. Grandmother to two of our teen students, she has contributed much to the wide family of people who knew her. I appreciate the time she spent here.

“I know this glass is already broken, so I enjoy it incredibly.” -- Achaan Chah Subato

I first read those words sometime after my Sensei had passed away. It was a passage he’d enjoyed; something which held meaning as he faced an illness from which he might not recover. Something he wanted to be read when he had passed.

I am a fixer, a problem solver - especially where it comes to health and well-being. I never accept that an injury, illness, or bad outcome is just the way of things. I would always strive to improve the situation. As did Sensei. As did Celia.


So how do you approach the fight that will not be won? Each of us is given life, and each of those lives is temporary. To struggle against that fact is futile, just as it is futile for me, at 5’1”, to use muscle to force an Aikido technique from the wrong position on a 6’ man. The more I try to deny what IS, the harder things become.

Neither is it helpful to give up and accept failure as inevitable. There is always a way forward; there is always room for growth.

Relax. Accept the reality of things. Lean in and fully inhabit that reality. Make it ring, like the beautiful glass that is already broken.

I hope your day is beautiful.

This article originally published on my dojo blog,


My condolences for the loss of your long time friend and Dojo supporter @wholeself-in.

I found the meaning in the passage your Sensei shared with you to be profoundly meaningful, and invoked a great deal of deep thinking after reading it. I've decided to make the passage my desktop background until it is ingrained into my long term memory.

Beautiful post with beautiful meaning. I hope things have been going well for you.

Thank you. I also find deep meaning in the passage. There is a longer version that I'm sure you will enjoy:
"One day some people came to the master and asked 'How can you be happy in a world of such impermanence, where you cannot protect your loved ones from harm, illness and death?' The master held up a glass and said 'Someone gave me this glass, and I really like this glass. It holds my water admirably and it glistens in the sunlight. I touch it and it rings! One day the wind may blow it off the shelf, or my elbow may knock it from the table. I know this glass is already broken, so I enjoy it incredibly.'"

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Yes this is great! I copied it down. Thank you :)

Sorry to hear about your friend. That passage is a beautiful sentiment and a reminder that we must learn to accept what we cannot control

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