Friday, April 24, 2009

On Healing: Part 1

Stone as egg
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao
What you think shouldn’t have happened should have happened.
It should have happened because it did, and no thinking in the world can change it.
For me, reality is God.

Everything happens for me, not to me.

Byron Katie

A couple weeks ago found me in bed, flattened by what the doctor called, “classic vertiginous migraine.”
After more than 16 days of vertigo and confusion, I was finally drugged and fairly content to just float there in a daze.
For company, I turned on a randomly selected CD from the Adyashanti retreat I attended in 2007.

There, in the luck of the draw, was a student asking about chronic illness.
The discussion that followed spoke to so many points I needed to hear.
I’d like to share some of this - fresh appreciation of old points.
The easiest way to do that is to post my transcriptions here.
So, here’s a dialog about illness, acceptance, and grace.

Student: For a lot of years I have been sick a lot… When I can accept it, it is almost fine…

Adya: As long as you prefer not being sick to being sick, it’s not so problematic… Given a choice, I’ll take the energy! …the problem becomes if we have a judgment that one is essentially more right or more valuable than the other.
Sickness has just as much right to exist as health does.
And if you DON’T think sickness has as much right to exist, then you tend to be sick all the time…

Student: I do have a resistance to being sick. It’s getting old…

Adya: What is it trying to show you? What IS it showing you? What is the positive thing that happens through being sick?

Student: …it really helps me feel, sometimes, more of what I actually am. Cause I can rest in that. I go to that. (and now she is beginning to cry – and so was I. For I know exactly what she means.)

Adya: Ah, Wow! Boy, I’d be thankful for it…
It does push you there because up to this point – maybe the next minute it won’t need to – up to this point you’ve needed to be pushed there.
Cause if you weren’t pushed there, you wouldn’t put attention there with any consistency. When you recover and feel good, the mind gets on with its own agenda. And then the sickness kind of brings it to its knees a little bit… This is a gift, right?

It’s hard, fierce grace.
There’s nice grace and there’s fierce grace – sickness taken to your knees until you see something essential - that’s fierce. We always value easy grace as being better than harsh, fierce grace… When you see what fierce grace is trying to show you, then fierce grace doesn’t need to be so fierce.

I had the same thing by the way. I had a series of illnesses, a couple of which put me more or less in bed for six months at a time – until I could see what they were doing. They were destroying persona.
I told you earlier that I had been a very high level competitive athlete.
That’s a nice persona to have – very empowering persona – but it’s a persona.
I was not ready to let it go. I knew I needed to. I felt it coming.
But, I just couldn’t do it.

So, grace put me in bed, flat on my back until I was so weak…
How can you be a strong athlete when you’re crawling to the bathroom on your hands and knees every morning?
And then it demolished it.
And then it was grace – Ah, that’s not what I am! What a relief! ...

And then health came back.
Hey! I can be athlete man.
So, I had to get sick again and have it demolished.
Wouldn’t it be nice if I’d been smart enough the first time?
…[but] it had to be squeezed out of my system.
God’s not always nice, fortunately.

Acceptance - If I’m good at it will life hurt less?
Yes. … so let me do acceptance…
Will that work?
Probably not, since that’s totally ego driven.

It’s like asking, “If I’m enlightened will life hurt less?”
Yes… so now, I’ll be enlightened.
That just doesn’t work.

And while meditation can be sold as a means to lower blood pressure,
meditation is actually about finding God.
Spirituality isn’t about finding relief. It’s about discovering the Truth.
(my version of a Adya quote)

God isn’t always nice, fortunately.
Sometimes we get sick.
Sometimes Life really hurts.
And the love in this Reality breaks my heart wide open.

Gratitude is what we are without a story.
Byron Katie

1 comment:

Ruth said...

As one who has learned thru hardships, many including chronic illness, this post blesses me. There truly is grace in times of illness. We cannot "do" acceptance. That is simply another form of resistance, holding out for the "reward." Nothing like getting knocked down so hard you can do nothing BUT accept. This is gold...looking forward to part 2!