Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas and a Mindful New Year

Here's wishing my extensive readership joys for the season and thereafter. I shall be back (applaud now) in the New Year with more thoughts on : mindfulness, (hooray!) meditation, (hooray!!) dealing with our awareness of mortality (bravo!) funereal matters (encore!) and anything else that comes to mind - other than the goddam GFC, Eurozone bollocks etc - "the music goes round and round, and comes out here - what, here? no, here - yes here..." special Christmas prize if you can remember where that came from.

Your Christmas pic this year, BTW, was in fact taken two years ago, because this year it's mild and soggy and looks like being so for The Day. Don't know if our bovine friend would rather it was soggy or foot-freezing cold.

Whatever the weather, have a Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Meditation in the Face of Death

Not for the first time, I urge you to visit the Impacted Nurse, Ian Miller. In a large Australian hospital emergency department, he is on the front line of life and death, and it has yielded him some invaluable insights. He recently blogged this passage, and I thank him for it.


Lee Lipsenthal, MD, wrote this not long before he died:

I am powerless in my dying, aware that those whom I love are hurt by the news. I have also spent the last few weeks in pain from my cancer’s spread, sitting up and meditating to distance myself from the mental agitation of suffering. On most nights this works well, as I remind myself that, though I am in pain, this will pass or I will pass, but it will not be forever.

A sense of peace prevails. I am still alive.

It may seem peculiar that I am calm while others in my life are suffering. I can assure you their suffering makes me sad; I wish this weren’t happening. Yet after almost 30 years of meditating, I have learned to embrace optimism, gratitude and the knowledge that I am not in control over my life or death. Instead of being mad at the hand of fate, I am focused on what is going on — mentally, physically, and emotionally — with myself and those that I love. In spiritual language, I am awake.

I have no bucket list of things to do. I have been living my bucket list for some time now, and when I was first diagnosed, it came to me that the real list in my life was not the places I wanted to see, but the list of friends in my life with whom I want to spend my time.

:: Lee Lipsenthal MD- Huffington Post interview ::

Dr Lipsenthal leaves us with a gift of great value, and it ripples out to us, who never knew him.

There's a video clip on Ian's web page, but I've not copied it here - why not go and have a look, and acquaint yourself with the Impacted Nurse himself.