Stephen Jenkinson: On Discomfort

“Years ago I worked in the death trade. I was administratively in charge of all I surveyed, and for a handful of minutes I was referred to as ‘an opinion leader’ in certain parts of the medical mainstream. The clinicians I supervised were I think by turns stimulated and dismayed by the kinds of measures I was advocating. One of them took to ‘teaching’ to outside groups what I was teaching them in supervision. That seemed to me a kind of rushed rate of learning translation. So I asked her to tell me what she was teaching in these outside sessions. “Oh”, she said, “It all comes down to getting comfortable with your discomfort.”

No it doesn’t. Comfort is nothing to be proud of, nothing to brag about. It’s a secret numbing, there to help you overcome the overt numbing. Same numbing, soon enough. Getting comfortable with discomfort is a shell game, a pyramid scheme.”

Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There By Tracy Cochran

Reading Tracy Cochran is always so subtle and powerful for me.

Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There

“If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence, we could rise up rooted, like trees, wrote the poet Rilke. Faced by images of terrible armies conjured by the devil Mara, the Buddha reached down and touched the earth, rooting himself in the knowing that most children have: we belong to life. We are more alike than different.

J.K . Rowling famously said that imagination “is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”