Our daughter has been in hospital all this week very sick, with Sepsis (a major infection of the blood) compounded by influenza. The sepsis is responding very well to treatment, but it is serious because of her age and she is still a very sick little girl. She's had a spinal tap and been poked and prodded. However, things are stable, looking up from a couple of days ago, the doctors sound very optimistic now, and she is in very good hands here in the pediatrics ward. Here's GASSHO to all nurses, doctors and health care workers EVERYWHERE!
My wife takes the night shift to stay with her, and I take part of the day. We have little rest this week, we are both worried. Our son Leon is sick at home too. There is nothing about the situation to like, and so much potentially to lose. Our heads sometimes fill with worst case scenarios. (The expense mounts too, as we do not have any insurance yet for our daughter just come to Japan ... one more worry in this modern age). If this is but a dream, it seems like a very bad one. Yet, especially at such times, the Xin Xin Ming counsels this ...
Rest and unrest derive from illusion;
with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.
All dualities come from ignorant inference.
They are like dreams of flowers in the air:
foolish to try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong:
such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.
It sounds like something far removed from reality ... yet it is Reality, as True as True ... and precisely at hard times like this, the power of this Buddhist Way manifests! All is at Rest right in the heart of exhaustion, there is Peace shining through life's sharp pieces. There is nothing possible to lose, never the least separation, not even 'life and death' ... even as hearts are broken and there is so much to lose in this life!
All At Once As One.
I mean the following with all I have. It may sound a little cold and unemotional to some, but in its flesh is the worry and heartache of a father with a sick child, and at its center is the beating Heart of Kannon ...
Life is sometimes sickness and sometimes health. I know that human beings prefer only the healthy days ... but Buddhas have no such preferences.
The Buddha left us this, the Most Powerful Teaching ...
... That there is never any loss possible, no place distant for our loved one to go, something wondrous that transcends sickness and health, birth and death ... no broken pieces ever in need of repair from the start. The dualities arise from ignorance, and all is a dream-flower in the sky. Dropped away, and all is Whole in an Instant.
I know it hard to feel so, especially on the most difficult days ... but it is so.
One can be anxious and worried as a parent can and must be ... and wonderously, simultaneously, not disturbed at all, not fearful in the least. Strange, this Buddhist Wisdom, isn't it?
Today's sitting is silent, no more words need be spoken. Just sitting in the hospital room with our sick child. We sit here too, Zazen is sitting anywhere.
Thank you for all who have sent Metta and good feelings, and done much sitting this week. It is so good to have the company of kind friends at hard times. I am so glad to be part of this Sangha.
Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended