The Awakening of Russell Henderson

Every Sunday, I try to post an excerpt from my novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson. Here’s another. The book is available at

We kissed and stood embracing each other . She broke away, holding both my hands and looking directly at me, “Russell, I want you to know you are the most wonderful man I have ever known.

“I talked to Rinpoche early on. It was so hard. I was so embarrassed. But after I told him everything I told you, I felt like I was going to throw up, but he just looked at me and smiled — smiled the most warm loving smile I had ever seen and said, ‘That must have been an awful experience. What lesson do you think was there for you?’

“Lessons?’ I think I shouted at him, ‘Lessons’?! I was livid angry. Being hurt like I was, shamed, ruined, and he asked about fucking ‘lessons’!

“I was really upset when I left the interview. The next time I was with him, he talked to me about the choices we make and taking responsibility for those choices. Good ones bring us happiness, bad ones, we suffer consequences. Our choices are our responsibility. We need to make our choices mindfully. I knew I had made bad choices and my problems were of my own doing. I had to make amends to those I hurt and move on. I had to forgive myself.”

She moved in and I held her. She was quiet for a long time.

I was thinking of what Rinpoche had said about karma,  Then I drifted to my family. I thought of my own issues, about being always up tight, always thinking of risk assessment anytime I did anything. But isn’t risk assessment another way of being mindful about our choices. Maybe I wasn’t so far off.

I pulled away from her, “I can’t stand it. I’m going crazy. It’s all nuts. Everything is crazy fucking nuts.” I was shouting. I looked and was relieved we were the only ones there. 

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