ZEN master Wu Kwan’s book 'Open Mouth Already a Mistake' is a favourite of mine to read and is a true classic along with Suzuki Roshi's 'Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind'. 

The other night I was asked about step ten in the twelve steps, which says: "When you are wrong, promptly admit it." 

I was wrong in last week's review of the one-woman play 'Becoming Marvellous'. I was informed by the playwright that the play was only partly autobiographical and not biographical as I interpreted it. I stand corrected and thank Cathy Carson for bringing that to my attention. 

This made me wonder about interpretation and misinterpretation and how the doors of our perception can be at times skewed, as in tilted, veered, slanted, regarding what we hear and see. That is why I have to be careful and thoughtful in what I say and do and therefore welcome folk like Cathy bringing this to my attention. 

Life is one long learning experience and for me that’s why I need a programme for living. We need a guide to navigate our way through life a day at a time. And if we get it wrong, apologise, as Wu Kwang says, and start again.

This where I find the key to acceptance through forgiveness. I was told by a great mentor when it comes to forgiveness, remember to put yourself on top of the list. Sometimes we are the last to forgive and sometimes maybe not at all. 

I personally was a great defender of huffing and puffing before I got the courage to forgive or ask for forgiveness. It sounds easy and it is easy once you put forgiveness into practice, incorporate into a daily practice. I promise you if we all adopted this as a practice our world would be a better place.

Remember it starts with us. Thich Nhat Hahn (aka Thay), the wonderful Vietnamese Zen teacher, describes peace as every step that we take. His guidance tells us to be mindful of speech, thought and action because everybody suffers. 

Turn on the radio, television, internet and we see and bear witness to the suffering. One thing I learned from Thay when I was attending one of his retreats is that peace starts with ourselves and that we have to keep it simple.

Simple steps like how can we be kind to our nearest and dearest, through speech, thought and action? A kind word, be thoughtful, carry out an act of kindness. Wash the dishes, Hoover the floor – something simple which shows our appreciation. Lent is the perfect time of year to start practising. In the words of the legendary John Lennon’s masterpiece, Imagine:

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world.

You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one,

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will live as one.