Thursday, May 23, 2013
View from the window
For the past several weeks, in an attempt to recover and find balance from an episode of acute back pain, I've found it next to impossible to write anything other than a short quote or a Haiku here on the blog; not so much because the back has kept me away from the computer--our computer chair feels great on the back--but more so because the view from this small world I inhabit for the moment is diminished, obsessive and actually, not entirely real.
Pain, in all it's forms, will do that to a psyche.
I find myself hyper-attuned to each twinge and twang. Even the space between an inhalation and exhalation can carry the weight of "Oh no what next?" It is truly an odd space to inhabit, and yet I think millions of us do exactly this out of the necessity not only to get through a day with chronic pain, but more importantly, to keep a certain sort panic and anxiety at bay.
When the doctor prescribed a 6-12 month healing regime, I could feel that panic rising like a flag up a flagpole. Doesn't he know I'm a VIP at work and at home, as a wife, mother, friend, priest....? And nothing for which I consider myself responsible can really go smoothly without my input? What am I, if not all these things that need to be buttressed by doing?
Frankly, that ego-list can go on and on.
Each day then, my intention (with varying degrees of success), has been to acknowledge those panic twangs, along with the pain twangs, and to find a wise and compassionate way to simply let this life be what it is now.
And thank you Suzuki Roshi for my new mantra, "Everything changes".
The universe in a nutshell--Everything Changes.
Change: grasped or averted. Pain: fleeting or chronic. Plans: forced or intended.
Perhaps instead of "or", I should say "and", because our living is all things, and creating duality creates suffering, yet my endless delusions will always lead me here.
In reciting the Bodhisattva Vow, I refresh my practice:
Sentient Beings are numberless, I vow to liberate them
Delusions are endless, I vow to end them
The ways of wisdom and compassion are boundless, I vow to embody them
The Way is unattainable, I vow to attain it
Surely, residing in the microscopic view of my personal pain, is the macroscopic pain of all sentient beings.
Can this be the place where two arrows meet, point to point, in mid air, where relative and absolute find resolution as one? Is the Way thus attained?
Namu Amida Butsu!