Friday, October 10, 2008

Beneath the chaos, the beauty

I went to see my financial advisor again today. You know, John from the Shambhala Buddhist Centre.

We had a couple of things to talk about as a result of our last meeting, and I guess he had hoped that the stock market would have settled down by now so he could say something useful about that.

Not so. Or rather, it hadn't settled down but he did have something useful to say.

The first thing John did was show me the ikebana arrangement he had on display in the reception area.

John does ikebana as a kind of meditation exercise.

I don't know how much you know about ikebana, but I have had it explained to me in this way. Every floral arrangement follows certain rules, and is made up of three major elements: something representing heaven, something representing the earth, and something representing us, humankind.

John said this display was not one of his better ones, but he had it here because he wanted his clients to get something from it. What he wanted to convey was: beneath the chaos, the beauty. The financial world may be in turmoil, but still there is beauty in life and we should never lose sight of that.

So, in spite of lots of bad news we had a few laughs and once again a most interesting conversation.

Our meeting was in the Board Room on the 16th floor, with a view of downtown Vancouver.

Mostly the roofs of other office buildings, and a peekaboo view of the harbour.

Afterward I went for a bit of a walk around Canada Place, a building that juts out into the harbour and offers great views of the city, Stanley Park, the North Shore and of course the harbour. The roof of the building is made up of huge canvas sails.

Then I took the skytrain back to New Westminster.

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