Day 31: Transformation

A master in Zen is not simply a teacher. In all the religions there are only teachers. They teach you about subjects which you don’t know, and they ask you to believe because there is no way to bring those experiences into objective reality. Neither has the teacher known them – he has believed them; he transfers his belief to somebody else.  Zen is not a believer’s world. It is not for the faithful ones; it is for those daring souls who can drop all belief, unbelief, doubt, reason, mind, and simply enter into their pure existence without boundaries. But it brings a tremendous transformation.  Hence, let me say that while others are involved in philosophies, Zen is involved in metamorphosis, in a transformation. It is authentic alchemy: it changes you from base metal into gold. But its language has to be understood, not with your reasoning and intellectual mind but with your loving heart. Or even just listening, not bothering whether it is true or not. And a moment comes suddenly that you see it, which has been eluding you your whole life. Suddenly, what Gautam Buddha called “eighty-four thousand doors” open.

Osho Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest Chapter 6

The central figure in this card sits atop the vast flower of the void, and holds the symbols of transformation – the sword that cuts through illusion, the snake that rejuvenates itself by shedding its skin, the broken chain of limitations, and the yin/yang symbol of transcending duality. One of its hands rests on its lap, open and receptive. The other reaches down to touch the mouth of a sleeping face, symbolizing the silence that comes when we are at rest.  This is a time for a deep let-go. Allow any pain, sorrow, or difficulty just to be there, accepting its “facticity.” It is very much like the experience of Gautam Buddha when, after years of seeking, he finally gave up, knowing there was nothing more that he could do. That very night, he became enlightened.  Transformation comes, like death, in its own time. And, like death, it takes you from one dimension into another.

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I have to say, isn’t it slightly funny – not haha funny, but energetically coincidental – that on the last day of this month-long cycle, the card that was picked was “Transformation”? On the immediately calendar-related level, it makes a wonderful bookmark to this month, a beautiful reminder of the point of the practice.  In light of the misadventures of the past few days, it is a fundamental need – to let go and accept the “facticity” of circumstances. I have been struggling through the past few days with a somewhat major family crisis and, despite myself, asking the universe, Why now?!  Why this week?!  When everything we have been working towards for months has been this week, which calls for a final stress-free gliding into homebase, why is everything crumbling around me? “Transformation” is a good reminder to practice the art of stepping back and regaining objectivity.  Nothing is being done to me or my baby.  Life is happening.  Life happens to be crazy.  I can either let it drive me crazy or acknowledge and honor its existence – and let it be.

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I think it’s a gross understatement to say that it’s been a nutty week (no pun intended as will come to light in a moment).  In short, my father has had a psychological meltdown during which he has become convinced that someone is trying to kill him and his entire family, which has led to his undertaking a three-state driving frenzy, a trip to the sheriff’s department in my grandparents’ hometown (10 hours away) to tell him that everyone has been murdered, 2 trips to psych wards, and forcing my uncle and cousins to stand vigil for this imaginary murderer-to-be so thathe can sleep.  Thank goodness he was finally corralled into a hospital last night and will hopefully be put away somewhere for a good long while to sort out whatever is going on.  But the past few days have been incredibly frightening on several levels.

My father is an incredibly talented, creative, and highly intelligent individual.  I think that gift, historically speaking, can many times come with the burden of mental health issues.  Sadly, his are surfacing more and more.  I and BD have had to distance ourselves from him – i.e. cut off contact – because of it.  It has been very difficult to watch this slow descent and I only hope that he comes out on the other side with a little peace.

After you get over the totally bizarre nature of this situation, it sinks in how utterly scared my dad must be.  However false his delusion is in actuality, he truly believes his life and those of his family are at risk and that they/we are being hunted.  I can’t imagine that type of fear.

It has taken a lot of energy to stay on an even keel.  Of all my weeks of preparation and procedures, this is supposed to be the week of no stress as my blobs make a new home in my body.  Overall, I am okay with how I’ve handled this and am now so grateful to have this new word, “facticity,” in my vocabulary.

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Recap of Days 29 and 30: you know what I love about these days?  The absolute lack of symptoms!  Besides an increasingly sore behind from the intramuscular shots, I love that my body is regaining some sense of normalcy.  Granted I am still bloated, but (hopefully) I better just get used to that.  It is such a blessing to be feeling more normal.

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4 thoughts on “Day 31: Transformation

  1. Sending you strength, love and light at such a challenging time. Transformation is seldom easy, but always worth it. Much love to you xx

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