Nicholas Benedict did have an exceptional gift for knowing things (more exceptional, in fact, than most adults would have thought possible), and yet not even he could know that this next chapter was to be the most unusual-and most important-of his entire childhood. Indeed, the strange days that lay ahead would change him forever, though for now they had less substance than the mist through which he ran.
Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.