Blanche Hartman

‘Life is too short to waste it on judging other people by whatever standards we may have. It’s actually not good to judge yourself in a disparaging way either. Just like loving-kindness begins with yourself, really being conscious of not disparaging begins with yourself. You can hardly be open and friendly and accepting of everybody else if you’re squashing yourself all the time. You can begin by not disparaging right here at home and let it spread out to include everyone.’ (Seeds for a Boundless Life)

I have posted this before, but I don’t think we can hear this too many times. I was looking to see if I had posted a story about her high standards before, and I don’t see it, so here it is: one No Race weekend at Tassajara, in one of the years between 2006 and 2008, I had run up the road and back down again, as was my custom. Having arrived back down at the monastery, feeling very pleased with myself, David Z, who must have been the shika at the time, asked if I would take one of the Suburbans and go to collect people who were walking up the mountain and didn’t want to walk down again, which I did, even though I would rather have gone to soak in the baths. Blanche was one of the first people I picked up. I don’t remember how far up it was, but she would already have been in her seventies, and it was at least a mile, if not more. As I continued up, gathering people for the vehicle, she kept saying, oh, I should get out and walk down, and let these other people have the chance to get a ride down; it took everyone to convince her that she deserved a place in the Suburban at least as much as anyone else.

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