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Posts Tagged ‘healing’

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Over the years I’ve kept this blog, I’ve had a hard time staying consistently present. Unsurprisingly, this is because I feel the pressure to consistently share things that are meaningful. Even if it’s just a short thought or poem, I’ve felt that I need to ensure I’m sharing something of myself to add to another’s day.

Today, I can’t think of a darn thing.

I’m processing the cold germs that have been keeping my son coughing and achey today. The long day of trying to rest together has left me feeling more worn down than recuperated. I want so much for us both to feel completely better tomorrow, so we can enjoy the day. I want to feel PRESENT.

After a pause to sigh, I’m realizing that desire alone is a signal that I’m fighting being sick… again. I think I’ll take my own advice and surrender to the process, so the healing may flow freely without me getting in my own way. Rather than keep trying to hang onto that tiger’s tail, it’s time for me to just let it all go, and rest.

May this serve as Solidarity with you as allow some things to flow more freely for your life, as well.

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One way I learned to create a happier life was to try to find more reasons to smile, and create more reasons to laugh. Even when I was feeling pretty low, the mere act of smiling and laughing helped me train myself to feel better as a default feeling.

Now, when I see people, I try to remember to smile at them, even if I’m deep in my own thoughts. When things get tough and stressful, I try to think of something to bring up that will help people laugh and ease the tension in an appropriate way. Sometimes it’s just the smiling and tone of voice that helps move the mood upward.

I’ve had a long day trying to beat a flu or something, and tomorrow is going to be a day with more than the usual amount of pressure and stress. I’m going to go find something funny to watch before resting, to remind myself to continually find the laughter.

Tomorrow, I’m going to keep on the lookout for reasons to smile. May you find many reasons also!

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I couldn’t quite figure out why I was so groggy yesterday, and had a hard time focusing.

As with many questions in life, though, the answer came to me at 3am … this time, in the form of an awful stomach-ache.  I’d been coming down with something.

I wasn’t happy to realize I was sick, as of course I had plans on what to accomplish today. But I quickly remembered that sort of resistance wasn’t helping me get well. So I turned my focus on taking care of myself, and I’m getting ready to rest once more.

When mortals are alive, they worry about death.
When they’re full, they worry about hunger.
Theirs is the Great Uncertainty.

But sages don’t consider the past.
And they don’t worry about the future.
Nor do they cling to the present.
And from moment to moment they follow the Way.

– Bodhidharma

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It seems I’ve fractured my little toe. I banged it against a table a week and a half ago, and it’s still just a little bit swollen and gets tender when poked a particular way (not on purpose). So I’ve been staying off it, keeping it steady, and letting it heal.

As I was assessing its progress today, I realized I was imagining a fracture in my toe, and hoping it heals away soon. It then struck me that wasn’t the best way to visualize things. Rather, it would be more helpful to visualize a healthy, strong little set of bones functioning perfectly as a tiny part of a vibrantly balanced and harmonious whole.

Shifting my focus to the health and balance I would like to enjoy helped me feel a little bit closer to that state. I remembered to relax my shoulders, breathe a little deeper, and calm the electric storm of my mind. I then heard my mind tell me, “Healing isn’t the absence of disease, it’s the presence of health.”

I’m now taking a moment to feel that presence of vibrancy and life. Breathing it in, I feel more present, myself.

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I’m sitting here processing the news that a loved one has lost a loved one whom I didn’t know well, but treasure for his place in my loved one’s life. I’m too far away to be able to offer my direct support, so I’m putting extra focus in my heart to give the indirect support I can.

It’s putting my mind on how we each process sorrow. I’m turning to my own spiritual gumbo of “Christian Zen Taoist” and so on and so forth… and realizing how tough it can be sometimes to communicate exactly how I experience the world and the people who share it with me, particularly in times like this.

I know I’ve written before that when I consider the Buddhist ideal of “non-attachment”, I view it similar to how Alan Watts spoke of “not getting hung up about things”. It’s not that we don’t develop deep and meaningful connections; rather, we practice holding in our hearts and minds the interconnectedness of all things when those individual connections are severed.

It can be a pretty painful practice while we recover from a severed connection, though.

In a well-lived life, there will be people, places and things we will love. We will treasure when they are near, and miss them when they are gone. We will feel bright joy and tranquil comfort, and if we practice we can even feel those warmths deeply while we are within them. We can also feel hot anger and cold sorrow, and it’s important to practice feeling those consciously as well. We need to not fear painful emotions, nor get caught up in the idea of them. We need to develop the strength and courage to walk through the fire and ice of our own soul, without imagining that they are anything greater than any other step on our journey to becoming skillful, powerful human hearts.

Tougher, yes. But not greater.

I think that’s part of the practice, too. Letting it be tough. Letting it feel senseless. Letting the emotions wash right over us and even carry us away for a little while, if that’s the path we’re on. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Take care things don’t get too carried away, sure, but there is nothing to fear in letting ourselves feel anger, or sorrow, or fear. We have these emotions because we’re trying to tell ourselves something, or work through something. So by sitting with ourselves and letting these lessons flow through us, we can get where we’re headed and set the baggage aside once we’ve gotten all we need out of it.

I think I’ve talked myself out on this for the moment, so I’ll just share a bit from Alan Watts’ words from his Lecture on Zen:

Jon-Jo said ‘the perfect man employs his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing, it refuses nothing. It receives but does not keep.’ And another poem says of wild geese flying over a lake, ‘The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection, and the water has no mind to retain their image.’ In other words this is to be–to put it very strictly into our modern idiom–this is to live without hang-ups, the word ‘hang- up’ being an almost exact translation of the Japanese _bono_ and the Sanskrit _klesa_, ordinarily translated ‘worldly attachment,’ though that sounds a little bit–you know what I mean–it sounds pious, and in Zen, things that sound pious are said to stink of Zen, but to have no hang-ups, that is to say, to be able to drift like a cloud and flow like water, seeing that all life is a magnificent illusion, a plane of energy, and that there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Fundamentally. You will be afraid on the surface. You will be afraid of putting your hand in the fire. You will be afraid of getting sick, etc. But you will not be afraid of fear. Fear will pass over your mind like a black cloud will be reflected in the mirror. But of course, the mirror isn’t quite the right illustration; space would be better. Like a black cloud flows through space without leaving any track. Like the stars don’t leave trails behind them.

– Alan Watts, in “Lecture on Zen”

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I’ve had so many thoughts throughout the day that I wanted to remember to post… and now not a one of them will come to me.  Instead, I’ll share what happened to me just a couple of hours ago.

Last night, I got to enjoy a bit of massage that touched on knots and pressure points I’d never encountered before. It helped release that tension, but also left my muscles a bit unsteady (in part because I didn’t think to do an epsom salt soak afterward). So I was pretty careful today, doing my usual stretching routine very carefully, skipping anything extra, and not taking the stairs.

Then, while chasing and being chased by our new puppy, I partially wrenched a leg and an ankle. Then, my back started to tense up as I tried to compensate, and now I’m going to go take that soak. Nothing’s really damaged, but everything is sore.

This just sort of feels like a metaphor to me. When we work through things and find ourselves “clearing out” and “letting go”, we should be gentle with ourselves, even in our play. It can surprise us how we can suddenly find something twisted up in a way we hadn’t expected, because we hadn’t been in that exact condition before.

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If you’re fighting a cold, I recommend a few little tips to keep it from getting into your lungs and making things worse:

  • Figure out if nasal irrigation is something that you’d do, at least for emergencies like keeping a cold from taking up residence.
  • Try sleeping on your side, tilting your head so drainage is less likely to go down your throat.
  • Take deep, cleansing breaths to fill up to the top of your lungs, then force the air out.  Be prepared for shallow to deep coughs, and ride them out, helping force the gunk up out of your lungs.

These have been helping me keep my cold from getting as terrible as it would be if I let it. May you make it through this cold/season as well as can be!

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