Thursday, November 3, 2016

Awareness is the foundation of healing - Journaling on "Healing into Life and Death" by Stephen Levine

In the book a story is recalled of the woman who went to the Zen master and asked him if she needed to take on a specific spiritual path to be healed. The Zen master answered “you are the path.”

On p.37 the author talks about the woman who says “as I started to say goodbye to life, I was kind of shocked at how little I had ever lived. . . It was only when I saw how much I had put on hold that I was pulled back into life. . . I was so asleep that I guess it took something big as death to wake me up. But I will never make that mistake again.”

I have been that woman.  I feel like I missed all of my 30s working so hard. I don't really remember much about them: getting married, my father dying, a few long trips my husband and I took everything else is a blur.  I have missed a lot.

p.42 “Much of our life is an afterthought, a dreamy mist which obscures the moment just passed.  So much of our life is a reflection of what has occurred rather than a direct participation in the unfolding 

With the Yoga Therapy training I hope my life will change and become more full.  I won;t have to work 80 or 100 hours a week but could pull back to a reasonable 40 and have some time to be alive.

I have suffered from back pain, shoulder pain, foot pain.  Lots of injuries in my adult life. 

p. 71
“Someone once asked, ‘What is the toll for crossing this bridge?’  The toll for crossing to the other shore of wholeness is the relinquishment of our suffering. This crossing over is what is called healing: it costs each of us identification with ‘my pain’ It may even mean that our lives will never be the same.”

The pain I have experienced has made me sad, given me at times a poor me attitude on life. But on the positive side this pain has kept me in yoga and yoga has one of the most beautiful parts of my life.

p. 104
May find correlation between the pain in the body and the holdings in the mind which block entry into the heart.”

I like the idea of Speaking Gently to the Pain.  I gave me knee pain a name: Sophia Rekneeta. I am tell her sometimes - "it will be ok.  it's fine."

p.104-105“So each morning, at whatever time she awoke, she would whisper into her pain, “Good morning, sweetie, how are you today?” She talked to it with loving kindness, recognizing the necessary balance that did not invite it to stay but no longer pushed it awat. She greeted it as one would a colleague at a breakfast table.”

I have often felt like I have been a terrible wife always working too many hours and then running to yoga or running to this lecture or that. Never giving myself and my husband the time we deserve.  

p.115 “Perhaps a greater tragedy than the loss of a child or the death of a dear friend is how often we feel this communion missing from those with whom we share our life. “

P,174 Introduces the concept of the difference between energy and effort.  I need to move out of effort and into energy,

“When we have tasted the crystalline waters of our true nature, our life becomes effortless. There is no need to push the river. But one of the ironies of healing is that it takes effort to become effortless.”

“Indeed, when we start to see energy in the mind, we begin to see process, watching each state of mind dissolve one into the next: the same energy which propels thought moves the stars across the sky. In focusing on the quality of energy in the mind/body, we enter the realms of creation constantly unfolding.”

“If we always met life as a struggle, thinking ourselves as warriors in a battle instead of pilgrims a path, healing will continue to make life an emergency. But when we soften to healing, when we let the mind/body float in the heart, the potential fro reestablishing balance in the body greatly intensifies.”

I have very much identified with being black and jewish calling myself a product of 3,500 years of oppression. I want to now let that go.  I especially like the concept of a soft belly.

Many paths say “Watch breath, soften belly, open heart.”

I always am intrigued by the Concept of Just this much
“If you can see “just this much” you can see everything .. But if “just this much” is not enough, life will be insufficient and old dreams of death will beckon.”


“To discover the true nature of love and the wholeness; the complete spaciousness, of an unhindered awareness, to receive life directly, as it is, with no filters or unfinished business. Just things as they are, just being itself.”

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