An Impromptu on One of the Buddhas Five Rememberances

My kidney stone seeking surgen went in through my out door yesterday, but was unable to get the scope all the way into the target zone, and so I am left with a stent in place for a week that will open things up and give him a clean shot at these mini asteroids.

In the meantime it seems that I'm fine, but I'm not going to be good for much more than lying around stinging and aching. At least for awhile...

And for the record the outpatient folks at St. Lukes Hospital were just great, and I loved having family all around before and after. Rev. Do-on is doing an amazing job taking care of me AND Isabella today as they both make their way to Cleveland for what I think is the final infusion for the next 6 months.

And Do-on has a strained ankle in the mix!  No fair...

 Each sunday we recite the 5 remembrances, one of which is:

 "I am of the nature to have ill health, there is no way to avoid having ill health."

This can seem abit pessimistic, or obvious, or many other things to visitors I'm sure, but for me it is an innoculation against unnecessary brusing of myself and others caused by unhelpful twists and turns in reaction to reality.

 The pain in the side is at this point unavoidable, but mentally twisting myself in knots on account of it is not.  We experience ill health, it happens - to ALL of us.

Another thing that this rememberance affords is a corrective to the 'blame the victim' response.

 In the wake of diffculty, helpfull advise is always helpful and generally welcome, and thats not the same thing as the egos subtle inclination to wrap up the difficult aspects of reality in a pretty bow with the tag on it saying something to the effect of 'this illness is their fault, nothing like this can happen to me because I know better."

As best I can tell, illness comes from genetics, lifestyle, and chance, in a more or less equal mix.

So, of course its wise to educate ourselves as best we can, and take whatever steps make the most sense to us with our health. And if we've learned a helpful thing it can be life improving to pass it that knowledge along to be sure.

But, all the right foods, mind body process and hospital procedures going won't bend reality to our will. Not really.

The cosmos is filled with beginnings, maturings, wanings and endings. The trees, my farmhouse, the cloud beaming in the middle of the perfectly blue sky out the window right now. Even planets and stars, and galaxies and the unvierse itself as far as we can tell (I love all we are discovering about the past of Mars, don't you?).

So perhaps at odds with our first glance take with the line "I am of the nature to have ill health, there is no way to avoid having ill health" this rememberance of the Buddha is not at all encouraging us to just give up.

It is not the cop out of "we are all gonna get sick so who cares."

Instead I find in this rememberance an invitation to intimacey.

Intimacey with life, with reality.

My life and reality.

Your life and reality.

The life and reality of the cosmos itself actually.

And within this intimacy - with all of its light and dark - there is the possibility of true freedom, and true joy, and the possibility of living ones life in a way that is of some use in the world that we live in everyday. Including that sudden diagnosis and its most unwelcome consequences.

So lets deeply listen to and really play our lives as they really are.

Play our illnesses and our deaths, as well as our triumphs and victories, light and dark, great and small, as well as that life of no life, the illness of no illness and death of no death.

Let us lean into them and feel whats there, and not be afriad.

But if we are afraid thats ok too...

And with that, I can no longer put off the call to make yet another dreaded trip to the potty - this stings! Ouch!


  1. I have been strolling around this site and this entry made me smile. Not at your pain, I have experienced kidney stones, and they are nothing to smile about, but at the thoughts on the subject and the date. Sept 4th is my birthday so it's appropriate that this is the first post I read rather than skimmed. I have had my share of illnesses in the last three years, plus maybe a couple of extra shares just for the heck of it. Before I got cancer I always wondered if my personal philosophy and belief (or lack of) would hold up in the face of actual trouble. The phrase there are no atheists in fox holes use to go through my mind. I was quite pleased to find that I thought exactly the same way on the other side of it, remission, as I did during the whole process. I found it incredibly comforting to truly believe that things just happen. Not because I did something to deserve it, or didn't do the right things to keep it from happening, things just happen. I try to live every moment of my life, good or bad and never wish away the experiences.
    I attended your workshop? class? last weekend with my sister and my husband. Very enjoyable. We're leaving for a few weeks but I'm sure you'll see at least my husband and I later in the Spring.
    I hope your health is good and those pesky stones stay away!



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