Following a lot of tests and monitoring I found out more yesterday more about the heart condition that I have been suffering from the last few years and realised that it carries a high risk of stroke. This was quite a big thing for me to discover. In my professional life before I ordained as a monk I was a psychologist and physiotherapist specialising most of all in the rehabilitation of stroke patients. Although, as a practitioner of the Dhamma, I was continually reflecting that I could end up in the same situation as my patients, it was not until yesterday that I felt I had crossed the subtle divide between us. I find myself looking back at my patients with renewed compassion and respect for the way they coped with their situation and I feel so very human today.
I had the same feeling twenty years ago after a severe back injury when I realised how much pain my many back patients must have experienced. This time, however, the bond feels deeper still. We are truly brothers and sisters in the face of death.
Deeper still, to so ground the mind in the body is ground too for the process of liberation. The way out is in. To enter the body fully with a heart wrapped in the loving space of the breath and to see its reality is the way to a true and complete freedom from suffering. The stress of the world, or of the sickness, may remain then on the surface but it does not fully penetrate the heart. We remain safe inside.
I offer this for your reflection.