Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The ultimate in letting go

You know how I said a few weeks ago that I had to let go of the question in order to get the answer? Well, it's happened again. Except this time it was the big question - the one that has been plaguing me for years...

What if I am like this for the rest of my life?  What if I have to live with this pain everyday from here on in? 

It's too much to bear, I know, so I try not to ask. But when the days have been long and they've turned into weeks and months I really do wonder.

Feeling overwhelmed after months of endless struggle, I booked in to see my beautiful healer Kiki for three days of treatments last week. Three days driving to and from Melbourne equals about 12 hours travel time. And on the same old boring highway, by myself, which for me, equals torture!

Thankfully I have good company - by way of audio books and recordings. You didn't think this seeker relied on good old-fashioned books alone did you? One of my all-time faves to listen to is Pema Chodron.

It's not just the teachings that I love hearing - it's her voice and her sense of humour and her earthly ways. And since I knew I was about to spend that much time in solitary confinement I planned ahead and downloaded a new audio of hers - one I knew nothing about - called The Truth of our Existence.

 
All three hours and 59 minutes had me riveted and there is much to share, but the one moment that stirred me the most came from chapter 27.
 
Pema is asked from a chronically-ill audience member, "Do I keep trying different things and hope they're gonna work, or do I just accept it as it is? When do you stop trying?" Sigh. Oh boy. It could've been me in that audience asking those questions.
 
Pema's answer is given in her trademark gentle and kind way. She encourages the young woman to continue exploring both medical treatment and the inner workings of her mind with the intention of expanding and learning from the illness. I feel somewhat relieved to hear this as this is the path I have chosen.
 
She closes her answer with a teaching from Trungpa Rinpoche, a highly revered Buddhist teacher - a teaching that really touched my heart :
 
If it is better for my awakening
and my ability to benefit others to remain sick - let me be sick.
 
If it is better for my awakening
and my ability to benefit others to be well - let me be well.
 
Goose bumps. And wet eyes.
I had to replay it - again and again.
And I got it. My heart finally understood that I had to stop wondering, stop asking, stop seeking and let what will be, be.
 
It is thy will be done.
It is que sera sera.
 
It is my new belief - that if my being sick enables me to awaken and expand and help others, then let me be sick; and if being well enables me to awaken and expand and help others, then let me be well.
 
This is the ultimate in letting go.
This is peace. 
This is freedom.
 
 


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