Friday, May 11, 2012

Softening into the Sacred

People are scared of their own experience… its really fascinating how much time is spent not to experience what is truly here, not to feel. And of course we are trained like that in the Western world… “don’t be a cry baby”… But, sooner or later life will really help us to learn to experience.
Marlies Cocheret, My Biggest Love is Silence interview

As I typed out this quote once again I was reminded of the difficulty my dyslexic brain has in distinguishing between “scared” and “sacred.” It always brings me to a complete stop. Which word have I written? So I have to slowly sound them out.

I get scared a lot these days. And too, these days are so filled with the sacred. There is this yin yang dance between the two.

Two weeks ago Eve’s PET scan showed her lymphoma was progressing. She had delayed the 3 month follow up an extra month for several reasons. But, in the end she had to look. And once again, in the midst of all our efforts and confidence in our therapeutic choices, we got thrown back. The hot spots are getting larger around her heart and throat and lungs.

Throughout these past two years we’ve been getting these reports that seem to temporarily knock our knees out from under us. And each time, we’ve stood back up. Having reviewed all the data on all the therapeutic options we’ve picked a good one and have launched upon an new effort. What I am noticing this time is that the good options seemed to have run out. Though I still love and respect the modified Gerson regime! It’s just that is doesn’t seem to be quite enough.

What I have begun to notice in my searching is that external efforts (therapies, be they chemo or nutritional) carry one huge side benefit: you can tell yourself, “I am doing something!”
And when these options run their course, what are we left with then? Man, it stares you in the face and scares you stiff:

There’s nothing I can do.

Well, they say there are no atheists in fox holes. And the time Evie spent in a southern clinic offering alternative therapies introduced her to many Christians placing all their hopes in Jesus. It made her uncomfortable. But, choice of words can do that.

So here’s another way to say it. When external options drop off, we are left only with the internal.
And, when external doing all drops off you have almost by definition transcended and landed in the sacred.
Or, as Marlies Cocheret says:
My essential focus is Stillness; it permeates all my work. That is the only Reality there is. When we deeply know that, there is absolutely nothing we need to control anymore.

I like those words a lot. It locates the sacred within Stillness and complete relinquishing of control- in short, not doing . And yet, it is her work – her doing. Which, to translate back into the more traditional way to put it: God helps those who help themselves.

I looked up the word "surrender" yesterday. There are two flavors to the meaning. It can mean defeat, becoming a prison to oppression. But, it can also mean the giving of oneself to something greater. It is this later possibility that Marlies addresses. When there is no longer a need to control, transcendence can be invited into a new manner of expression.  Marlies and tradition calls this embodiment.

She describes a common experience of spiritual seekers: I found it and then I lost it. Yes, we can connect with Unboundedness. We can get a peek. But then we lose it. In fact, Evie has said that back in January she felt something inside her break and then for awhile everything was fine inside. “And then, I lost it.” I know exactly what she means, because it’s a lesson for me too.
It’s a lesson my entire family is being invited to take up.

And so, this morning I came across this Interview of Marlies. I’ve only had time to listened to the first half hour, but it was just too good to pass-up sharing.

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