April 2018

Friday, July 15, 2011


My aching body feels better now than it's felt in the four years since neurosurgery. I just don't hurt so much. I attribute this partly to the fact that I'm neither driving nor working right now. I've done yoga every morning for the last fifteen  years. That helps in an ongoing way. Recently, however, I attribute much of my healing to my masseuse, Dawn.

Yesterday after my massage, she took the time to help me understand her work. I asked her what she pays attention to when she’s doing a massage because she is clearly attending to something, but I can't figure out what. Once when she was doing massage, she whispered, "I thought so." She noticed something.
When we talked yesterday, Dawn talked about the spiritual sense of being present, and her words echoed the words of my minister about being present for people who are walking through the valley.
I don’t think you have to go to church to be a healer, but I do think that you need to attend to your spirit so that you can be without ego, entirely present. This is important on the level of life and death important.

I actually think that kind of presence is important in all disciplines: healing, teaching, ministering, directing traffic, and soliciting donations door-to-door.
I hope you'll do whatever you need to do to feel present. If you live in Seattle and you need a massage, I'd recommend Dawn at Lanz Massage on Capitol Hill. If you like to read, I'd recommend Annie Dillard's memoir Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. In one chapter, Dillard writes about the fleeting experience of being fully present. If you learn more through your body, I'd recommend yoga at Yoga Arts Studio on the south end of capitol hill. No matter how you get there, I'd recommend reading poetry, whose essence is presence. Brother Matt and I really like Mary Oliver.
I suppose this is the most preachy I'll ever be. Sorry if it's irritating.
Being is a spiritual practice. Even if you don't have brain tumors, learning about how to be present will change the way you live. Really. I'm not exaggerating.

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