Monday, November 30, 2009

RESTING My Attention, Not PAYING Attention

I know many of you are eagerly awaiting my next entry, but I do this as a creative labor of love, and I can’t push myself anymore. I desperately need more rest. I have six partially written entries and they will be coming in the next few days. Stay tuned. . .

But first, the news:
My second biopsy, done last Wednesday was more than a piece of cake, but less than a whole cake. Steve was with me while they did it, and the surgeon did a great job. I was sore for a few days, but I am healing well. The results are pending and are primarily of an “academic” nature for the mainstream oncologists to determine the most precise approach to treatment (hormone receptors, tumor markers, etc.) There won’t be any interesting news to report on the results of the pathology report for you all. All this information goes to Stanford, where I have my big consult on Wednesday morning.

I spent the past 2 ½ days in a meditation retreat in Marin, with my old Woodstock friends Jeff Roth and Joanna Katz. They co-led it with their teachers Sylvia Boorstein and Norman Fischer. I experienced a profound synthesis of my Buddhist and Jewish “parts,” which have always felt awkward together and longed to feel integrated into one whole big picture. I also had some of the deepest rest I’ve had in weeks. I love their way of suggesting we REST our attention in our breath, rather than “pay” attention, or work in any way at anything. If you are interested in knowing more, here is a link to their website:

My friend and fellow Continuum teacher, Beth, sent out a flyer announcing her series of monthly Continuum classes that will begin in January at the Subud Center. For those of you looking for a local class, check it out at:
She included this poem by Rilke in her flyer. I think you’ll know why when you read it.

"Poem For The Season"

Quiet friend, who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell, As you ring

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you
Say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.