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    Dharma Glimpse by Khemashalini 

    I’ve recently returned from a short break away for my birthday where I visited family in Gozo which is a small island next to Malta. My dad lived there for many years until his death nearly 8 years ago so it’s like a second home and I soon settle into life once I land. I haven’t visited since 2019 although have always said I couldn’t live there permanently. The island is very small and I’d probably spend all my time feeding and rescuing their many stray cats. I;m not sure as a Buddhist if there is even a Buddhist community of the island. The main religion is Roman Catholicism with every small village having their own church, 359 churches in total – (313 in Malta and 46 in Gozo) so nearly one for each day of the week.

    I spent 4 nights here this time, and my holiday was sadly soon over. Id managed to catch a cold virus on the flight over so on the day we were travelling home, I didn’t feel that well. We had non priority seats and only travelled with a rucksack which I’d carefully measured and packed to make sure it fitted the airlines measurements. Let’s not rush I said. It doesn’t matter if we are last on the plane as we don’t have any luggage to go in the overhead compartments. I just need to take it slow. Normally there is a pressure to get on the plane and find space in the overhead lockers for luggage.

    So my friend Jo and I sat quietly and watched everyone else queuing, got up when called – there was a relaxed spaciousness that I’d not experienced before. Spaciousness feels like having more space in your mind. The experience of gaining spaciousness is the experience of increasingly feeling that you can choose how to interpret events and choose how to respond to emotional energy, rather than being a slave to habitual patterns.

    We boarded the last bus to the plane and got off when it stopped and walked over to the plane. I must have been a bit distracted with my streaming nose and pounding headache but to my absolute surprise I was the first person to board a very empty plane. So how did that happen? I’d let go of the habitual pattern, the urgency to board which I usually have and just relaxed into the process. No forcing things, no rush, no stress so perhaps I should try this relaxed approach more often. I was definitely being cared for that day. I sat back in my seat and had a very uneventful flight home.

    Namo Amida Bu.

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