Helping Nonprofit Leaders Transform Conflict

Leadership Coach and Mediator

You sit on your cushion at your Sangha. It is time for tea. The two cushions on your left and right are empty. As is customary when tea is served and your neighbor is off to the bathroom, you take two cups: one for yourself and one for your neighbor to your left. The person sitting right of the empty cushion to your right does the same. She doesn’t. Frustration is rising.

So now you have two cups for three persons. Trying to practice generosity, you offer your cup to your right neighbor. Ostensibly you pick up your water bottle to join the tea drinking ceremony. You hope everyone sees your sacrificing generosity. No one does. More angry thoughts pop up.

Someone gets up to get herself a cup of tea. She wasn’t served either. Angry thoughts start to race. ‘Which idiot is not even able to serve everyone tea!’

Someone gets up to bring tea to the Buddha. Full blown angry storm. ‘My gosh, how can they let a newcomer serve tea and not instruct him clearly?’

Oh, my goodness! Here you are at Sangha, a sacred place of mindfulness and compassion, and all you do is judge, evaluate, condemn. What’s wrong with you! Thank God no one can see all these angry thoughts.

Image courtesy to

Image courtesy to

Then you remember Marshall Rosenberg’s invitation to ‘enjoy the jackal show’. Instead of judging your judgments, trying to get rid of them, you imagine them as little puppy jackal puppets, just doing their jackal thing.

A burden falls of your shoulders. Your shame dissipates and you start to relax. You see all these little jackal puppets jump up on stage, each with their specific line. They are actually disciplined enough to follow theater conventions and speak only one at a time. And they are quite cute, with their fluffy ears, doing their utmost best to deliver their lines as lively as possible. You are watching them with a certain interest and curiosity, and you’re noticing the detachment between these thoughts and you. You are not your thoughts, you’re just having them. Just thinking. Nothing more, nothing less. You start enjoying your water. You are right here, right now. Just drinking water, and enjoying the jackal show.


You want help to enjoy your jackal show? Contact me 512-589-0482 to schedule a complimentary, discovery session to see if and how I can help.

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