“Suffering is a meditation bell, not an enemy” appeared in a recent update on Jeff Foster’s Facebook page. The context of the quote is that in suffering, we identify ourselves as a single thing, image, or sensation, thereby confining ourselves to that single identity. It is only when we remember that we are “no-thing” do we discover our true nature, “which is everything” (Foster).
Suffering grabs our attention as a signal that our “okayness” is about to change. It is the ringing of the bell of uncertainty. We can resist and suffer or we can accept and “allow” as Anita Moorjani calls it.
Allowing or accepting is not passive in any regard but rather, an open-arms welcome to the uncertainty inherent in each of our lives. In allowing, we transcend duality, forgoing the labels that make us this or that. Allowing is discovering our true nature, and it is a lifelong trip.
“To access the state of allowing, the only thing I had to do was be myself. I realize that all those years, all I ever had to do was be myself, without judgment or feeling that I was flawed. At the same time, I understood that at the core, our essence is made of pure love” (Anita Moorjani).
Moorjani’s book, Dying to be Me, is a fresh approach to accepting ourselves as we are. It is also an accounting of her recovery from physical illness that includes a near death experience, which is not the focus of the book, at least not for me.
Quite specifically, she writes that her story is just that–her story—of recovery from cancer that led her inward to her true nature, which is entirely unique to her. Likewise, what her story may or may not mean to any of us is just as unique.
“I don’t advocate that if we ‘believe’ a certain way, it will eliminate disease or create an ideal life…. Having awareness, on the other hand, just means realizing what exists and what’s possible—without judgment. Awareness doesn’t need defending” (Moorjani).
Moorjani does refer to a kind of “clarity” that she had as she lay dying. In a coma, she considers where she was as a state and not a place. There are no conversations with God or with any other being just awareness:
“…I instinctively understood that I was dying because of all my fears. I wasn’t expressing my true self because my worries were preventing me from doing so.
“I understood that the cancer wasn’t a punishment or anything like that. It was just my own energy, manifesting as cancer because my fears weren’t allowing me to express myself as the magnificent force I was meant to be” (Moorjani).
Moorjani’s book focuses on present moment awareness of the self– the exploration of one’s true nature— and within that journey the necessity of loving ourselves unconditionally in this realm that is here and now. Repeatedly, she indicates her healing was not positive thinking or mind over matter but consciousness, which she calls “magnificence…a state of being…the part of me that’s eternal, infinite, and encompasses the Whole.”
Moorjani is well-versed in all of the Eastern traditions as well as Christianity. She is not a physician or a scientist but a woman who nearly died of cancer seven years ago and is completely recovered.
In previous posts, I have mentioned Deepak Chopra’s Quantum Healing and Perfect Health regarding the role of consciousness in one’s health, specifically the “intelligence” inherent in the physical body. I have read other medical and scientific works as well. In the 21st century, there is a growing body of work in neuroscience—and to some extent, physics–that is exploring the role consciousness may or may not play in our health. I find it fascinating, all of it.
To me, it is increasingly evident that our level of health is inextricably tied to our true nature. Our physical and emotional health reveals our level of awareness of our true nature, in essence whether we resist or accept our lives. Who knows? Attaining our optimal health may begin with our response to the meditation bell of suffering.
In the coming months, I plan to explore optimal health and consciousness. As always, I appreciate your thoughtful comments and that you take time to read my blog. Thank you, dear reader.
Time for a break; regular posts will resume in May.