Upon Closer Reflection, Comfort in Chaos

Last week, I wrote of finding balance and the ongoing shifting of left and right until balance arrives of its own accord. Osho refers to this as a “graceful” shifting, which for me it has never been.

Rather, it has been a struggle, one worth taking on but very like sitting in a cave of chaos. I have not found grace there—not yet—but I discovered comfort, thanks to reader comments on last week’s post.

Comfort comes from accepting that balance is in constant motion. It is impermanent. When I start to squirm, I know I have shifted too far one way. It is time to let go and begin to swing back.

Balance is not identifying with left or right because in balance, I am both. Standing in the middle of a moment is mindful, and I have all the time I need.

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I experience moments I wish would stay forever. There are others I am convinced will never leave but being alive is being in motion as no moment ever stays. Life touches us—painfully, indescribably, unbelievably–myriad experiences ever in motion.

It’s chaotic. And it seems I have found comfort in that.

The reason everything looks beautiful is
because it is out of balance,
but its background is always in perfect harmony.

This is how everything exists
in the realm of Buddha nature, losing its balance
against a background of perfect balance.

~Shunryu Suzuki~

In looking at past posts, variations of the Suzuki quote appear in one form or another at least annually, sometimes more. Yet, this year is different. Why? I have a physical sense of balance.

Regular readers know I recently explored northern Florida with a dear friend. We covered over 500 miles in four days, which for a person with lupus is too much sustained activity. I am grateful for every moment, and yes, I was exhausted.

I am used to the routine of resting that usually follows such an outing. I  break from life, including blogging and writing. I shift from full days of activity to days of complete inactivity. Always, that has been the way.

Not. This. Time.

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I do not remember consciously thinking of Suzuki’s “perfect balance of existence” but it seems my subconscious decided to trust it. I shifted my resources, not gracefully but gradually, with a certain awareness of the ever-changing balance in each moment.

Oh, there were moments of despair but they were brief, not worthy of support. I could not rouse myself to give in, give up, and wait. There was no life in that.

Rather, I immersed myself in each day, looking to the balance available to me. I communicated with my pain—sensing its signals—without struggling but with shifting.

When I went to my acupuncture appointment, my meridians overflowed with energy. An acupuncture point full of Qi (energy) signals stagnation; the needle is the stimulation to release it.

Point after point, Dr. Gold’s needles provided relief. I did not want that treatment to end–the release was that deep and that immediate. When I arrived, my overall pain level was a solid 8, my knees a 10. The treatment reduced my overall pain to a 3; in some locations, the pain was gone.

Resting came easier as did my sleep. My level of body energy, no longer trapped, shifted to the daily balance available. The body is graceful when allowed to do its work in its own way.

Acupuncture opened me to trusting the chaotic nature of balance. It is not the nature of balance or mine to stagnate. Ours is to be in the constant chaos.

My readers’ comments opened me to just how exceptional that is. Thank you, dear readers.

Every Day 0215

19 thoughts on “Upon Closer Reflection, Comfort in Chaos

  1. Another wonderful post, Karen! I enjoy reading your posts, though I’m often a little late getting there. It is always hard, I think, when a moment of balance arrives and things are ‘as they should be’ – but then the moment is gone again, and we return to the chaos and shifting balances of life. You’re right; balance of life-systems is chaotic – but I suspect this is the nature of it, given that the complexities and factors are so many and inter-twined. Great news that acupuncture is working – and working well. I suspect that the fact that acupuncture treats on a ‘whole system’ basis gives it a great advantage – and sets it apart from Western medicine which inevitably (and wrongly) views each component, factor and sub-system as isolated.


    1. I enjoy our back and forth on our blogs. We’ve been doing it for awhile now. I look forward to your posts and to your comments. Often, I, too, am late in getting to your posts but we always catch up.

      As you and I have discussed, the “whole system” approach of acupuncture is such an advantage. In fact, just recently my acupuncture physician was asked by a traditional medical student for a demonstration–I received a free treatment–and learned more about the overall diagnostic approach. Dr. Gold is generous with her time and her skill. It was obvious the student was impressed with the depth of her knowledge. Thanks so much for all of your support, Matthew.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said. You made me think about all the times I wanted a moment to last forever and fought to keep everything as it was. Excellent point about needing to constantly shift to stay balanced. 🙂


    1. Haven’t we all? Seriously, I found that in experiencing the moment just as it is–immersing myself in it–I was less likely to want it to go on forever. In fact, my next post considers this a bit, indirectly. The other effect is that every moment seems richer for I am not thinking about what was or might be but rather, I am experiencing what is. To me, it’s fascinating. Thanks for stopping by, Kourtney. Glad you enjoyed post.


  3. I am in constant negotiation with now. Lately I’ve been making lists, something I’ve always avoided because they can be so terrifying, but they seem also to be a way to set things down rather than carry them. This morning I calmly thought, well, I have perhaps 20 more good years. Do I like the way I’m spending this stream of nows? The answer didn’t come, but it piqued my interest. As you say, we are, moment by moment, adjusting our response to life as it comes.


  4. Wow, I’m so glad the acupuncture works so well for you. I’ve never had it, but I’ve heard so many good things about it. I’m so sorry you have lupus, but how amazing you continued on after those four days of covering 500 miles! Speaking of balance, I’ve learned how good juggling is for the brain, no matter what age, and good for our bodies, too, so I’m learning the beginning steps of juggling. Pretty challenging at 59, but I’m doing better than my three-year-old grandson and 21-month granddaughter. Yes, I’m going to teach them how to juggle, too! Haha! Wishing you all the best, Karen.


    1. Thanks, Lynn! Not too long ago, I did read an article on juggling and discovered the same as you. Good for you with your juggling. You’ll have to post a video. I am not quite there, yet, but with acupuncture, I just may get there. Acupuncture is helping my neuropathy–we’re stimulating nerves and new growth–I have a lot a sensation return to my legs and to my hands. Yoga also helps with flexibility. Thanks so much, Lynn.


    1. Often, I use the word magic to describe how acupuncture has helped me. Western medicine was not able to help me with the pain or with my walking other than extremely invasive surgery without any guarantee. It is different for everyone. My acupuncture physician tells me I use the “big three”: meditation, acupuncture, and yoga. All three have enlarged my perspective on balance. Thanks, Cynthia!


  5. Your phrase “I communicated with my pain” is so poignant. I’m so glad you can write about it, and I’m so glad the acupuncture delivers some relief.


    1. Writing about pain provides distance from it. Always has. As I have written previously, acupuncture changed my physical relationship with pain. And, acupuncture has enlarged my perspective of balance. Thanks so much, Craig.


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