It has been interesting to note that in the last week or two, leading up to the scan results I will receive later today, I have suffered. The key detail of my experience with the diagnosis that seems to be of most value to share and the purpose of the website and much of what I now do is to answer the question ‘ how is it possible to be diagnosed with a brain tumour and experience zero stress or anxiety, rather, total peace and joy?’ My answer to the question is much clearer now I have experienced the dance with suffering of the last couple of weeks.
There are 4 possible outcomes with the scan results which we might list as bigger, same, smaller and gone. Having not undergone any standard treatment, or even if I had, a neurosurgeon will likely not consider the latter two as likely options however my studies and experience show they are. I have experienced physiological and energetic sensations around my brain at pertinent moments in much of the healing work of the last 6 months such that it would not be a surprise if the tumour were not now there. Equally there have been sufficient sensations that one could interpret as evidence new tumours have grown. Prior to the second scan my attention to cranial sensation and a fearful imagination was such that I thought there might be double-figures of tumours up there. I was completely wrong yet still the tendency of mind to attach a story to such sensations persists. Suffice to say I have no idea what the results will be and I am open to all possibilities. I am even open to the more severe form of the first on the list, (‘a lot bigger and showing signs of continuing in this vein’ – nice pun there for those of you familiar with fMRI) which would likely take the decision as to whether to have surgery out of my hands. Plus I might have to cancel my trip to Portugal!! It’s interesting to note that from the perspective of a separate self-sense the worst thing about such news or even thoughts of death itself is that it would interrupt my schedule and destroy all the future imaginings from which identity has been derived and pleasure anticipated.
So why did I suffer in the last few weeks? How is it that I was drawn into thinking there was a ‘problem’, that something could go ‘wrong’? I wanted some of the options on the list not to happen. This is so important to dwell on for a moment. Can we see that all suffering is a result of a desire that something will not happen? Or even, it should not be happening or, and here we have to marvel at the mind’s capacity for sheer stupidity, it should not have happened. In short I took a personal, egoic view rather than an enlightened, larger perspective. In order to do this I had to start believing in myself as separate and real again – and I see how this has happened over the last few weeks; the separate self-sense was listened to, taken seriously and thus its preferences given undue importance. It is this separate self-sense that is surrendered. What results is complete freedom and unbounded joy. And love. Not as in ‘I love’ or ‘I feel great’ – is there any word more misleading than ‘love’? Rather, ideas of me, the thoughts, ideas, memories, images and sensations from which arises ‘I’, drop out of the way, fade into a mere echoing of a once believable psychological construction; the vast, unfathomable nothingness of being is recognised and, into this space, love naturally arises. A total love, without source or endpoint is emitted mindlessly at crowds, circumstances and one’s own empty interior.
Within the movement back to this surrender it has been amusing to observe the childlike bargaining of the separate self-sense. I mentioned this in the blog entry ‘Surrender’ – something like ‘if I surrender maybe then I will get the results I want’. And again I stress much does come when we let go completely of our need for anything other than what is. However we must discard any hope, any expectation of equanimity or joy; it is this very expectation which obstructs our view of the already present equanimity and joy.
So, the other day I wrote of surrender yet, I see now, it was then an idea, a memory of a past experience. And now I am surrendered – ok with, open to, all possibilities including physical pain, failure to heal, death, success in healing, schedule interruption, unfulfilled dreams, perhaps never again seeing friends on the other side of the world. These are all, now, just thoughts, imaginings, and have no power or emotion in themselves. For now I enjoy feeling well and healthy, birdsong, the wind and the trees, an empty stomach and the anticipation of filling it, images of seeing friends soon and the fulfilment of my current schedule. I enjoy being alive in all its radiant mystery. I enjoy that which enjoys. This is all present. How silly to avoid experiencing such delight by giving energy and attention to mind activity that wishes things were other than they are; and yet how much energy and time do we give to such a process?
I invite you to pause a moment before moving onto your next doing and notice what you are aware of, notice awareness itself; breathe and enjoy this being.