A terrible decade of constant aggravated misfortunes did one day result in a literal breakdown in the midst of my apartment, so I did break my back and a few years later I had a stroke and two cerebral haemorrhages which totally debilitated me up to the point that I could speak only slurred and had to crawl on the floor.
Usually I wouldn’t write such a personal note on this meditation blog, but since Amy just followed me, who runs the blog myCerebellarStrokeRecovery, I would like to share with her and all of you an aspect of sickness, which at these times, when measuring each other on the scale of ones contribution to the national gross-income, is overlooked:
As the word suggests, a dis–ease means an absence of ease which suggests that health is an effortless zone – something we totally forgot when associating work with unpleasant tasks or being bossed around. The still Tai-Qi version, Qi-Gong, for example means “work on (ener)Qi”, so work does not always have to be hard.
We are so tightly screwed into the network of civilisation we can not escape from (because we need the money, our friends expect us to behave one way, our relatives another way, and if we defend our space we would aggravate the zeitgeist-pressure by pushing others into a similar corner we are in). So hardly anyone dares to reclaim ones own personal space radically anymore asCharles Xavier did in the movie “Wanted” :
So we pile sickening issues on top of more sickening issues until they issue sickness,
which is a cry of the soul not to continue on the old path.
Books on this have been written for example by Louise Hay in “you can heal your life”, by Rüdiger Dahlke and others.
So what’s the takeaway when you are disabled up to the point of being unable to work anymore? The first one, which concerns everyone is patience.
Healing takes tremendous time and one may consider their career etc to be over, because it looks like being thrown out of a high-speed train and just able to watch it pass by for months, years and decades.
But there is also a bright side, which is not a consolation, but an actual bliss.
Because everyone’s self-chosen life-lesson is different, I want to share with you my personal one, and yours may be different.
When looking closely, my health problems did not start my change, but did slowly even follow them, meaning, if I would have been a bit more alert, I probably could have prevented some of them – but then again – changes always take a while, so I am not certain whether it would have been to late anyway.
However, my breakdown came after a tremendous family-crisis and my stroke straight after I had enough of my life and did walk the camino de Santiago twice within a year, so both incidents would have called for an instant change, but just like a frog, which is put in cold water and boiled slowly, stays into the water, it was never hot enough yet (as it is for any frog thrown into boiling water).
In other words: I did not have the sense of self needed to distance myself from a “life in the wrong dimension”.
Due to our ethics we feel obliged not to leave friends & family behind which often – along with fears of change, failure and success – make it impossible to get out of our hell. Plus I was in my comfort-zone which only due to the dis-ease was shaken up.
But the question for me was: Where can I go if I did hate the place I do live in with passion and could not relate to the people around me?
Slowly it dawned upon me that if my financial situation does not allow me to move back and forth, neither left or right, then the only direction is up … into the spiritual realm which means: Up to the divine or up into the realm of my higher self.
So my first decision was after my stroke in 2012: If something in my brain died, then I will decide what died and because I was a big moaner beforehand, I chose to let the part of the brain die which is related to victim-consciousness, so whenever some frustration, anger, sadness etc… came up, I did conjure up an image of piling my problems of the compost heap of last year (which was 2011).
This then brought up a total new challenge: If I really was to be free from the suffering-tune, ie. if I was not to tune into suffering anymore, I had to forgive all the people who id hurt me in the past – something no ones ego likes, but I did it for myself, not necessarily for them, and it was good to see that it was a win-win, dissolving many mental knots for all sides.
Then I rebelled against my disease one final time and walked along the Danube (with walking sticks for my back) for 4 months. But since this did not bring any life-changing results I took the time which was given to me (by not having to work) to develop a plan (and I am very aware how blessed I am to live in a rare part of the world where people with health-issues are supported financially by the government).
As you read this, you are sitting in the midst of this plan, because it is this “Sodarshan Chakra Project” I outlined on the right margin of this site.
First I could literally only sit for 10 minutes, because of my back and thought that with that damage my Kundalini would never rise again, but JV, an Indian Pranayama practitioner from Auroville gave me great comfort by telling me that this energy would flow in different paths, so I continued the practice.
My only task from 2014-2017 was to do the tiny morning session and knowing that Sodarshan Chakra Kriya brings up a pile of emotions, I started to allow myself a lot of “me-time” to just hang around and get over the feeling of guilt that I am living at the expense of others – feelings which constantly were aggravated by accusations of nearby people (who usually ask: “how do you do?”, and straightaway “what do you do?”)
But what helped me was to see the bigger picture, which usually happens when you step back from it and are not a mere pixel of the zeitgeist anymore.
I saw how absurd society works, that nearly everything which is accomplished is done at the expense of the environment or third-world-slaves, and how absurd a dogma is, which calls for participation in a game where tens of thousands of never-used cars (which btw, use up as much air in a minute than 20 humans breath in an hour) are overproduced, equally food is destroyed, as much electricity on Bitcoins is wasted, as the Iraq needs in a year, or that 8 billionaires have as much as 4 billion of the poorest humans together.
I then sat down and thought about the purpose in my life and came to following conclusions:
- Since everything in nature cycles (water falls down, streams in a river, condenses and comes back as a raindrop), why now also our soul?
If I choose to look at my life from a point of reincarnation
- there is much less pressure to perform excellent in this life,
- and I also can attribute external and internal problems to my own longterm imbalances.
- Seeing the world as a reflection of my mind, makes it easier to deal with people who can not understand why I am suddenly not performing as well anymore as I did just a while ago. After all I attracted like-minded people back then, so obviously they still are shadows of my past.
- Focussing on meaningfulness in life is by far more important than financial success, so a day in which I did comfort one person is more worth to me than one in which a million plastic penguins are sold to tourists only to be thrown away soon afterwards anyway.
The first years were a constant struggle to satisfy the needs of others,
to perform well in re-remembering the thousand things I had in my household, their names, their relationships,
but slowly I would say that I would not miss that experience of having exchanged my sharpness and youthful attitude and looks for a profoundness which was called for in my age (of half a century) anyway.
Vice versa: Whilst I see many people who are successful in promoting the happiness of their healthy spiritual modern lifestyle, I also see that their attachment to pleasures and vanity is still strong enough from totally dedicating themselves to their own spiritual progress – and I am not feeling better than them – if everything would have gone my way, it is very unlikely I would have walked this path of earnestness.
By sweeping me of my feet, my cerebral haemorrhages taught me non-attachment to the self constructed rails of my egotistical delusions.
Very slowly – after years of being honest with myself and admitting my faults – an inner strength and bliss in the form of dignity seems to dawn upon me in near future and I am grateful for it.
4 Replies to “The chances in dis-abilities”
Thilo, amazing to read and inspiring. I have no doubt SCK aided your recovery, Yoga is powerful once it gets inside your head…
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Such a wonderful read . Inspiring and down to earth . All best for your practice 🙏
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Thank you for writing this.
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Well, thank YOU Amy, because reading about fellow sufferers with similar issues in your blog did give me the strength of having a justification I needed.
A justification against those people, who have not found their sense of self yet
(and therefore define themselves on the amount of their work)
who hold up the standards of having to bite ones teeth in order to contribute as much to the national gross income as they do .
Thích Nhất Hạnh wrote that people should only work for 4 hours daily and spend the rest with themselves (reflecting,contemplating or meditating) – a concept which is totally overlooked in our pragmatic and efficient society.