El·e·na [el-uh-nuh, uh-ley-nuh; It. e-le-nah] /ˈɛlənə, əˈleɪnə; It. ɛˈlɛnɑ/ –noun a female given name, form of Helen // A proud student of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche // Personal assistant with a BSc (Hons) Psych from Uni of Warwick // These are snapshots of my life, in words and pictures

Fears

July 8, 2011 0

(Taken with Justin’s iPhone)

I write a lot about what I like and don’t like, but I don’t write much about what I fear. I see fear as coming from two fronts, although essentially they all stem from the same thing – an ego and the wrong view that I exist in a permanent, unchanging state which I have to protect.

From a mental / emotional perspective, I fear pain and I fear dying alone. For me, this type of fear is much easier to ignore, avoid or hide from.

From a physical perspective, my fears list is a little longer – I fear earthworms, leeches, snails, slugs (basically anything slimey) and birds…and these fears are not so easy to hide from.

Especially when you HAVE to do something for a higher purpose.

So back to the photo. Twice a week, Ladrang staff train in the aviary, learning how to clean the aviary and handle the birds so that we create the causes for an animal sanctuary.

This duty has probably been my worst nightmare since I was attacked by the sun conures (aka the Aviary Mafia) last year, and had to visit the doctor to get a tetanus shot. Two weeks ago, the fear was reinforced when a cockatiel bit my fingers in four places.

So today when Justin told me that I would be handling Aki, I hoped I would fare a little better. Aki is the beautiful African Grey on my shoulder. He’s 45 years old, super gentle, and very sweet…but the second he got on my shoulder (and pooped on me), all that didn’t really matter anymore because I started laughing hysterically (like I tend to do when I’m scared).

Five seconds of cracking up, and my training’s been extended until I’m used to Aki.

Lately I’ve been saying to Jamie a lot, “If it weren’t for Dharma, I wouldn’t…” and this is definitely one of those situations. If it weren’t for Dharma, I wouldn’t try again with the birds.

I mean, what for?

To be attacked again?

No, because even though I’m scared of birds, I don’t think they deserve to die. Which is why our animal sanctuary is so important, because birds like Aki deserve a second chance at life.

, , , , , , , Reflections and Teachings, Tsem Ladrang

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