It has been a little while since I’ve posted. I was away for surgery. It was an opportunity to use mindfulness practice. Hospitals, medications, and pain are not places and things that naturally co-exist with peace. Yet, they are full of wealth in terms of learning peace.
According to Eckhart Tolle, sharp and acute pain can be a moment of pure presence. The shrieks I involuntary made as the doctor stabbed the needle into my knee cap without warning proved this to be true. Yet, it is often accompanied by the grinding misery of suffering. Suffering is the story about our pain. Sometimes we want to have our story validated. We want to get a hug, a get well card, or a pill. There is nothing wrong with that. But, there are points when we need to quiet the suffering and find the true nature around us.
What might you replace it with? My most recent experience showed me the power of watching and counting my breath. It is one of the fundamentals of all other forms of meditation. What else worked for me? Metta meditation, which I will write a post about in the future. In brief, Metta is fixing your attention on total strangers and wishing them, “May you be well; May you be happy; May you be filled with loving kindness.” It is powerful in opening your heart and directing your intention. The focus is off the “little me” and on to the rest of the world and our connectedness with it.
As I recover at home it is easy to feel overwhelmed. I am reminding myself to “Do what needs doing, then let go.” There can be a lot of things to juggle in recovery. There are follow-up appointments, calls to receptionists, blood tests, filling prescriptions, a whole lot of social media, my kitchen counters, and so forth.
It is easy to lose mindfulness in facing this laundry list of tasks. My reminder is that it is only necessary to do what is necessary in this present moment (say making one call about an appointment) and afterward I do that, it is graceful to let it go. To return to rest and inner quiet after doing “the thing” is a central part of mindful practice. Recovery asks and how we answer can mean an easier and happier experience!
I hope you are well!