“Silence is a source of great strength.” ~Lao Tzu
For over two years I spent one out of every four weeks in silence. At the time I was living at a Zen Monastery and every month we would have a week-long silent retreat.
During this retreat we sat meditation in silence, ate in silence, worked in silence, and only communicated through hand gestures and written notes.
At first living like this was hard, but over time I learned to grow to appreciate silence. By the time I left I learned that silence was my friend and teacher.
What did silence …
Growing up on military bases I learned to make friends quickly. My family moved a half dozen times before I was out of the second grade, so I didn’t have many other options. But while living on base it was easy, because all us military brats were in the same boat.
In third grade my dad retired from the Air Force and we went to live in a small town just south of Nashville, Tennessee. Once we moved everything changed. Instead of living with the sons and daughters of service families, I went to school with the children of the …
“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” ~Pema Chodron
Are you as scared as I am?
I’m not talking horror movie terrified either. This isn’t the kind of scared where you jump, but then realize it’s just your friend who’s surprised you. This isn’t even the kind of scared when you realize you left your iPhone in a public bathroom.
This is the kind of scared where your gut churns and churns. You feel shaky, hungry, and out of sorts. It’s a visceral, palpable fear.
Who’s Afraid Of the Big Bad… ?
You’re probably …
“Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha
Getting sick is rarely, if ever fun for anyone, but we all get sick. You can cheat on your taxes, but you can’t cheat on sickness.
When we get sick, we all have a choice of how to work with illness. We can choose to be miserable or we can choose to learn about ourselves and grow from the experience. Since I have had such a hard time with the latter, I’ve investigated 5 ways to practice with illness.
1. Reflect on the benefit