Sweet Surrender: The Accidental Buddhist
Forgive me if themes sometimes seem redundant. Repetition is often necessary until an “aha” occurs. So here I go again, and again, and again. Rinse, lather, repeat. In preparing for this week, I was working on two distinct topics, relationships and uncertainty, simultaneously. Then I happened upon a book by Pema Chodron: “108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion.” So I chose to go with the “uncertainty” theme and began reading the book as I continued writing. I noted how my own healing process reflected so much of her spiritual guidance. Hence, the conclusion that I must have been an “accidental Buddhist.”
I have mentioned in an earlier post that as I began working on healing from Parkinson’s with qigong, I learned of only one person who had partial success, a woman in China mentioned in Luke Chan’s “101 Miracles of Natural Healing.” Because my goal was complete recovery, I was not at all attached to the few details of her story available. I didn’t try to compare or mirror her results.
I treated Parkinson’s as a visiting professor, and was open to whatever the lesson. I surrendered to the uncertainty of outcome. In so doing I probably spared myself much negativity and frustration. I would try qigong; there was nothing to lose. Then gains began to appear, and I had no idea if they were permanent or not. Still don’t!
It’s been over three years since I’ve had any meds, and I was declared symptom-free two years ago, and completely dismissed from neurology last month. Although I sense that my healing from this condition is permanent, there are no promises. The only thing I am guaranteed is uncertainty. I’ll take it, thank you. It means I’m alive and presented with infinite possibility. It means I get to continue my relationship with uncertainty. The challenge is to do this and yet remain relaxed and positive, truly the way of the peaceful warrior. It is big work, and the battle being waged is called “not being at war with the self.” Staying peaceful is the answer.
How to do this? For me, it means working with energy, beloved chi, several hours each day, and remaining aware of it throughout the day. There’s a temptation, once one begins to feel a little energy and a little relief, to ease up on the discipline. That’s fine if you’re willing to realize that that may be as far as the healing goes. There are, of course, as stated ad nauseum, no guarantees in any case.
How many times have you heard a story about someone seeking romance who finally gave up, and Voila! A soulmate appeared? Or how about the numerous stories of infertile couples who finally adopted or employed in-vitro fertilization, only to have child #1 closely followed by a “surprise” baby? As they relaxed and let go of outcome, wonderful manifestations appeared. Again, no guarantee. It doesn’t happen every time.
The irony is that, like it or not, we are faced with uncertainty every moment of every day. However, it can be as joyful as it is frustrating. And here’s the ultimate irony: When you’re at war with yourself and surrender- you’re victorious. Maybe even in a big way. It’s a win/win situation. Haola!
SEPTEMBER: Link and password for this week’s “Sunday Connections”, hosted by me at 2 pm Pacific, as follows:
I look forward to hearing from you. Bring questions, comments and a penchant for lively discussion.
OCTOBER: On the 13th I’ll be doing a presentation at Kaiser, Martinez, for a Post-Polio Support Group.
Contact me for details if interested.
OCTOBER: On the 24th and 25th I will be visiting the Healing Intensive Retreat at The Chi Center in Petaluma. I’m looking forward to meeting so many new friends from afar in person, as well as re-uniting with many chi chums. Also, I am grateful to have the opportunity to practice in the beautiful chi field there.
FEBRUARY:I am also looking forward to seeing you at The Parkinson’s Recovery Summit in Santa Fe this February. For more info go to: http://www.summit.parkinsonsrecovery.com. The Cincinnati Summit had its own powerful chi field and was truly an uplifting experience. The impressive line-up of presenters and magical environment in Santa Fe promises more of the same.
DAYLONG WORKSHOPS AVAILABLE: Several weeks ago I was approached by several people from the Bay Area, one who had attended my workshop in Cincinnati. They asked if I would do a session with them as they initiated their qigong practice. We had a lovely day and they were on their way to a promising start. I am happy to assist others in launching or refreshing their practice in this way. Contact me if interested.