Wednesday, July 29, 2009

So, a few small things are happening on the health front. I have been diagnosed with a PFO, which is a small hole in the septum separating a couple of the heart chambers. No big deal, except that it allows unfiltered blood to shunt back before it is cleaned by the lungs. It is a beautiful system, the body and it is a shame that we become aware of the luminosity of it all only when things go amiss. Anyway, this whole shunting business leads to an increase in the risk of strokes. So, I have become a patient this summer. I think this whole situation is the universe/God/Buddha giving me a real look at where I am on the Zen Wagon:

Universe: You feeling pretty good about yourself, spiritually? Let's see, meditation, found a spiritual home with a Buddhist minister, couple of retreats... Not bad, not bad. How about your compassion for others? Oh, you're a social worker? That must feel like you are contributing something. How about recycling, how is that going?

Me: Listen, I'm in pretty good spiritual shape but I am pissed off at being a patient, thrust into the medical world...I'm not sick. I take care of other people...I listen to other people talk about hurting. This isn't the best fit for me. I tried to leave the emergency room at 4:00am but they wouldn't call me a cab, no doctor has a sense of humor worth half a damn, and the johnnies, well, they make you look sick.

Universe: Hmmm, so you are at peace when things are going well but are struggling against the reality of being human?

Me: No offense, but being at peace isn't going to get this done. I think it is full warrior time.

Universe: Who is the warrior charging up against?

Me: Again, no offense, but if I were in the mood for Zen koans, I would plunge back into "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". The warrior has to go up against the system...the insurance company, the bureaucracy, the doctor who is more interested in his upcoming vacation than meeting with the patient.

Universe: How is the meditation going?

Me: I haven't meditated since this started. This takes a lot of time, it is like a part-time job, sitting on a cushion and emptying my mind of all this, it doesn't make sense, it is all there waiting for me, anyway.

Universe (with great compassion): You have fallen off the Zen Wagon.

Me: (with sadness) It didn't take much.

Universe: It doesn't take much to climb back on.

So, back to my cushion. As always, the warrier is going up against herself and my opponent has been known to fight dirty. She is from Texas:)

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