Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 01/06/2015

An Eruption

(Redacted due to spelling errors: auto-correct is killing me)

Today seemed liked any other. I woke up. Did some work. Meditated for twenty minutes. Recited the Eight Verses. Got the kids ready to go and left the house.

Then, after having dropped off my son, it happened. My daughter and I were crossing the street as the snow blew about us in little vortices and eddies and, even though we had the light, a driver decided that he absolutely had to take the turn even if it meant that he came dangerously close to hitting myself and my four year old.

Call it biology, instinct or pure kammic conditioning but when I perceive a threat to my kids I lose my composure completely. Lucky I have been practicing restraint of speech for long enough that I didn’t curse but I did end up screaming at the guy rhetorically demanding to know “What are you thinking?” with enough hatred in my heart that I can still feel it now. Afterwards, as my daughter asked me if I knew the person, since such outbursts are so thankfully rare and in NYC you don’t generally talk to anyone you don’t know, I was blown away by the intensity of the ill-will.

Thinking about it later I marveled at the disconnect between my aims and my behavior. And, to be frank, I could have avoided the entire situation by simply allowing him to pass despite the fact that “I had the right of way.” Sadly I feel like I almost wanted the conflict and to get indignant. May I do better next time and may I be ever mindful of my behavior and mind states so that I can prevent such states from arising in the future.


  1. Being able to maintain your composure in the face of such carelessness would be a feat of superhuman awareness, in my opinion. Having your child come close to severe injury or death plunges us to a deep spot beneath the conscious mind and causes the protective instinct to spring up, like the mother lioness who growls at anyone who gets to close to her young. I applaud you for having the awareness required to entertain the possibility that you might have reacted differently and can try to work towards that for the next time; however I would like to invite you here to be gentle with yourself, considering that it was a pretty terrifying event that happened. It’s not like he was a pedestrian that bumped into your daughter as he hurried by and then you started screaming at him. He was in a car that could’ve easily taken you both out forever if he had come any closer. Sending big waves of gratitude and relief that you and your precious one are still alive!

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.