Sunday, 11 October 2015:
By the time I awoke at 1:37 a.m. (I drank a LOT of fluids yesterday), my more obvious symptoms were gone. I decided more ginger tea was in order, and so crept out to the kitchen to attempt making another pot, without wakening Sue. Do you know how loud the fibers of fresh ginger root sound when they’re being sliced in the deep of the night—even with a very sharp knife?
The ginger mission was a success. I drank some of the tea, had another round of my herbal smorgasbord, and gratefully fell back into sleep until about 6:30.
As expected since yesterday evening, I would not be imbibing in Steinar’s clinic today either. Symptoms were vastly improved, and I was mending quickly, but a little emotional honesty can easily tell us when we’re sick, and when we’re on top of our game, regardless of outer symptoms.
Not only was the writing on my inner wall perfectly clear, but a chill wind was kicking up to the degree that I chose not to go out and open the gate for Sue as she left. It is now howling at noon, and Sue verifies through email that conditions are the same at Windsong. Everyone’s in the indoor arena at this point.
But indications suggest I’m out of the woods, if I stay the course. Last night my lung pulse had sunk into the deep level. It belongs at the surface, and I’m happy to report that it now resides there once again!
So, what is this advice that I routinely give clients in regard to Wind Invasions?
- First, always, we must have an accurate diagnosis. Without one, we’re no better off than conventional medicine, slinging useless and damaging drugs or folk medicine guesses at the situation. Oriental medicine offers precise and effective treatment for a clear and correct diagnosis. No nebulous terms, like ‘a cold’ or ‘the flu’. No tired, illusory ‘silver bullets’ from Big Pharma’s toxic closet.
- Second, it’s imperative to have the appropriate choice of formulas on hand at the first hint of an invasion. If we do, we can knock the Invasion out before it even gets a toehold. Wait any longer and this window of opportunity slips by, and the task becomes more formidable. Have on hand the formulas for the most likely patterns, know how to spot the patterns toward which you’re prone, be aware, take the correct formula immediately.
- Behave appropriately—you’re sick! Don’t go to work, don’t go to class, nor go running to ‘sweat it out’—what a joke. Don’t act as if nothing’s happening. Sleep is absolutely the most powerful action we can take in this situation. Sleep is not respected in this culture as the potent weapon it is in preserving—or regaining—health. If health is generally good, often sleep alone will provide our bodies all it needs to repel the Invasion. Continuing to go out into the world in such a condition is not only disrespectful of one’s own health, it’s highly antisocial behavior.
- Continue to make wise choices, and continue taking the appropriate formula/s for twenty-four hours after symptoms have vanished.
As you can see, I violated quite a few of these imperatives. Diagnosis was no problem. I knew it was Wind Cold from the very beginning, but we’ve got to do something about it. I got by with doing nothing for quite awhile, but principles are principles. They don’t change at our whim or will. Karma is karma, and it’s no less egregious when we don’t know any better. There will be a cost.
Mind’s excitement over the current trend of life’s experience was undoubtedly influential in how this particular experience unfolded. Excitement can be a dangerous thing. Unbridled enthusiasm for the heights of stimulation keep us locked in the extremes of the dual world. Calm, cool, collected, centered, and stable on a high platform is where the juice is. May sound boring, but, no. Oriental medicine even teaches this. Over-excitement can be very damaging, especially to the heart. Worse, it’s absolute anathema to experiencing the planes beyond duality.
I remember the story of a legendary sea kayaker on the Oregon coast who loved to paddle out into the most ferocious storms. Beyond this particular section of coastline lies a veritable mountain on the ocean floor, which produces gigantic waves measured in acres, not feet. He would whoop and holler into face of the wind and rain like a mad man. Absolutely couldn’t get enough of it. Shortly after I read about him, his death was in the news. Heart attack. He literally blew his heart apart with his own out of control ‘enthusiasm’.
Each of the Yin organs has an associated emotion or proclivity which is its nemesis. When a Chinese teacher tells American students the heart is damaged by joy, the students are puzzled and wonder how something like joy could be damaging. Overjoy would be a better translation. And this is what is meant.
Mind does this. And it does it a lot in our culture. We are stimulation junkies. We tend to take great pride in such an identity, but it’s not healthy. And it’s certainly not where the Divine resides. But I think that’s part of my story in recent months.
Balance. Balance is the heartbeat of Oriental medicine. It’s central to much higher truths, as well.
If you have waded your way this far into my experience, you’re probably coming to correctly grasp that treating the common Wind Invasion is one of the most complex tasks the doctor of Oriental medicine faces. They can change very quickly. And when they change, treatment must change. It can go back and forth, progress, regress, change directions, requiring keen observation and response. Awareness and continual evaluation are required. Who has a doctor/client relationship that supports this level of care? In truth, only the dedicated doctor—oneself—with a well stocked pharmacy at home can really pull this off at the personal level, alone. So, what’s the answer? What are we to do?
Follow the four guidelines above. They’re the best guidance available for averting a Wind Invasion at its onset. If we miss that opportunity, the horse is out of the barn.
Speaking of the barn, I haven’t mentioned the graced icing on my wild ride through this experience. After Steinar’s clinic was announced many weeks ago, it was disclosed that he would be offering private lessons on Thursday, the day before the clinic began. I immediately reserved one. Just this past week it was disclosed that not all the slots were taken. I’m a little slow, but it eventually dawned on me that I could take two lessons! And I did. Greedy? Absolutely! But only in the pursuit of the Divine is greed without cost. The major motivation of learning to ride in the first place is exploring the spiritual metaphor of horsemanship. Saints throughout history have used this image to depict soul’s need to master the task of simultaneously riding two horses—one foot on the back of a horse in the lower worlds, and the other on one in the heights of pure, undivided consciousness. A truly formidable feat for any sincere aspirant.
My experience with Palina continues to verify the accuracy of the metaphor, and it’s a challenging undertaking, one we could never truly accomplish on our own. We come to discover it’s a graced attainment.
As it turned out, I rode my first lesson with Steinar, and as events unfolded, only one other rider was scheduled before our second session. Talk about compressing time and space!
Steinar and I spoke and heard the same language. Everything he spoke to me through my headset rang true. He perceived right away where I was and what I needed, and we set about meaningful improvement from that point, no punches pulled. It was the most fun I’ve had on a horse. We worked hard, and every instruction he gave me worked like magic. Vast worlds of understanding opened up before me. Levels of control and interaction with this horse expanded faster than… well, time and space were indeed compressed.
In the short time Palina and I had together between lessons, it became clear that this highly reluctant and contrary horse had enjoyed herself as much as I had. As I took off her tack, I swear I could hear her communicating, “Y’know, Larry, I really kinda enjoyed that. In fact, I’d kinda like to go back and do some more.” And before we knew it, we were back in the arena, working at an entirely new level beyond the first lesson. Sublime.
So, in truth, I didn’t miss much at all. In fact, I had my own, much needed two day seminar at home, in addition to a compressed, personal riding clinic in a few short hours. It’s all for us. The only thing I missed was seeing Sue reach her own new levels—which I can tell she did.
I’d love to have seen it!
Going outside late this afternoon for a few more pints of chicken broth from the freezer in the garage, I was smitten with the temperate breeze which felt quite amiable—no longer threatening, but downright refreshing! Soothing fall colors bathed my grateful senses. I’m on the mend. Through the gift of this contemplation, I’ve been able to pick the bones of this experience pretty clean of its nourishing lessons. It’s being a rich, rich time, full of bliss and the tantalizing hint of what’s to come in following moments.
Thanks for imbibing with me. It’s my hope that you, my friend, have picked up some valuable tidbits that somehow help in negotiating your own amazing and perfect journey.
May the Blessings Be!
Most Recent Contemplation: Izanami Redux
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