Posts Tagged ‘Mark Nepo’

Here’s a portion of a recent entry from The Book of Awakening (my daily meditation book of choice) that spoke directly to me.  Although I’m not sure I can fully embrace the author’s message today, I have hopes that I can find my way there eventually:

Be content with what you have, / rejoice in the way things are / When you realize there is nothing lacking, / the whole world belongs to you.      – Lao-Tzu

Beyond what we need to survive, to better ourselves has come to mean having as much as one can store…Such a want to have things comes from a sense of scarcity, an anxiety that something is missing, which owning will somehow soothe.

But to better ourselves inwardly is another matter. The closer to heart we take this, the more we find ourselves trying to inhabit what we have carried since the beginning…a yearning to unlock the mystery of what is already there.

This difference became stark for me while struggling with cancer. For while I prayed for things to be better, my prayers were answered when I awoke one morning content to be who I am, no matter what was happening. Though things were not as I wanted, there was truly nothing lacking, and I vowed, as the nurses started their morning rounds, that I would trade places with no one, spirits with all.      – Mark Nepo

At the moment, I can only aspire to this, as I must admit I pray fervently for things to be better and find it hard to really, truly accept that nothing is lacking (nourishment, strength, and health all come to mind). I believe I am content to be exactly who I am – I’d just like to be vibrantly healthy, too. But I also trust that as I work toward not wanting to “trade places” with anyone, I will find that I am “bettering” myself, both outwardly and inwardly.

Read Full Post »

I turned to the meditation for August 20th in my beloved Book of Awakening and, as often happens, found something in the entry that spoke directly to my current situation.  I smiled with recognition as I read this quote by Swami Sivananda:

The inward battle – against our mind, our wounds, and the residues of the past – is more terrible than outward battle.

Although I’ve tried hard to avoid using the term “battle” in connection with my experience with cancer (choosing instead to use words like “journey” and “adventure” and “dance” as they seem less violent to me), I think this reflection by Swami Sivananda offers me a wise perspective on the what is really at the heart of all I’m dealing with these days.  Yes, my “outward battle” is with a disease that would like nothing more than to take over this shell I call my body, but I recognize also that a very real struggle I face daily is with my inward self – mostly with my mind that wants to take control, does not like the unknown, and works tirelessly to make things fit in it’s fairly narrow box of understanding.

For now, it’s enough just to be reminded of this and to try to be gentle with myself when I find my mind taking off down a road that really isn’t helpful or healthy.  It seems to me that beating myself up and doing “battle” with my inward self is probably equally as detrimental as letting cancer cells run wild in my body.  I believe the chemo and radiation treatment will do it’s job and make my “shell” inhospitable to cancer. All I really have to do is show up for treatment and endure some unpleasant side effects.  The much harder work is continually finding ways to nudge my mind back to a healthier path when what it wants to do is stray off course every few moments.

Read Full Post »