Please forgive me for not posting very much. My shoulder surgery left me with another permanent disability to deal with besides my very rare form of quadriplegia (Brown – Sequard Syndrome), an amputated right leg just below the knee, severe intractable pain at and radiating from the C-2 to C-7 area of my neck, and much more from my trauma over 35 years ago. These have been and still are the greatest tools imaginable for gaining Wisdom. Every Moment and every Breath are Blessings that give me another Opportunity to Excel in the form of another Challenge to Overcome – a Lesson. I have been a Warrior for a long time now and found my Bliss within around my 17th year of Tai Chi. It radiates from my lower Dan Tien, fills my Being with Joyful Energy, and is a welcome Presence that is always with me. In these last few years, I have been getting happier and more content with my simple but beautiful life living on a few acres in the Texas Hill Country. Laughter comes effortlessly, especially when I trip, fall, make mistakes, and even when I “see” how ridiculously difficult my life has been and is to this day. When I fell and really tore my right rotator cuff to shreds, the 3 1/2 hour surgery to completely remove it, remove 1/3rd of my long bicep tendon, grind the massive bone spurs And the lip on the shoulder bone completely off, left me with my right arm in a sling, my left hand pretty useless, missing my right leg and having to manipulate my prosthesis on and off, not knowing where my left leg was half of the time because of my spinal cord injury, and in so much pain that temporary insanity set in. Now that is funny! It became so hilarious when I would come out of a temporary coma from lack of sleep to find myself in excruciating pain and could not get to the edge of the bed to sit up in the only position where I could get a little relief. After falling back onto the bed following the third attempt, I just started laughing hysterically. This laughter got me through the first 3 weeks until the pain settled down to only a “12” on a scale of 10. Whew! What a big Lesson that was! Wisdom was flowing out my ears and then the Blessings showered upon me and have not stopped to this day. However, Life, the Real School, never stops teaching.
We all have our share of family problems and dealing with these situations can be difficult and painful. One caught me completely by surprise last month and knocked me off Center and ran over me. You never expect to hear that a close friend, much less a family member, has committed suicide but that is exactly what happened to me. My Brother apparently faced a challenge too great and took his own life. I have grieved a lot in private and probably will for a long time. My short term memory has been affected some but this is supposed to be fairly common in these situations. My Joyful life is interrupted with periods of great sadness whenever I think of him. Seeing his picture fills me with painful sadness and visions of how I imagine it happening. So many questions and no answers. I may never know what got him to this point of deadly desperation either. No closure makes this Lesson much harder but this Warrior is picking himself up, dusting off, and heading full-steam back into battle with a Roar of Laughter and a Fierce Calmness. Death is my Ally! This situation is extremely tough and I will gain great Wisdom from dealing with it properly but it is barely negligible compared to the Challenges I have faced, Overcome, and continue to face every moment. My life has been filled with death, carnage, and human suffering. Such is Life! I need look no further than my own life experience – And my own Death. I died twice from lack of blood as the top-notch surgical team worked furiously to pump back into me the ten units left in the gutter while the last three in my body were quickly exiting out my smashed calf and broken femur sticking out of my thigh. However, it was not my Destiny to die that time for My Path had just begun. These two Destined visits with the Ineffable Bliss and Sublime Beauty of our Source allowed me to Know who I Am, what I Am, and where I Am returning when it Is that time. They also allow me to Know that my Brother is finally at Peace for once in his life and resting deservingly until the next School Bell rings for him Again.
And the Circle of Life and Death and Life and……continues!
“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
~ Joshua J. Marine
“Your thoughts make your life. Things that happen, both the good and the bad, are just part of life.
The important thing is how you deal with those things when they happen. What is your attitude towards them?
Peace lies within your mind and that is the key to living a life of tranquility. Control your thoughts and you control your happiness.”
~ Bohdi Sanders
One of six verses composed in An’yoin Temple in Fukakusa, 1230 A.D.:
by Eihei Dogen
Drifting pitifully in the whirlwind of birth and death,
As if wandering in a dream,
In the midst of illusion I awaken to the true path;
There is one more matter I must not neglect,
But I need not bother now,
As I listen to the sound of the evening rain
Falling on the roof of my temple retreat
In the deep grass of Fukakusa.