I call to the wisdom dakini and ask for her blessing. May there be auspicious benefit in right timing, right pacing.
Today is one week since I injured my back. This has become a big part of my experience of doing this vigil; this injury has greatly impacted my physical activity. It has slowed me down, because there has been so much tending necessary to facilitate healing. The pain from the injury, and on top of the original injury, falling on the street the next day, all of this pain has brought me more into my body, which is also helpful for the deep work of this vigil.
I would like to revisit the theme I first brought forward last Friday, about accessing support. Last Friday I went to see my chiropractor to get help for the original back injury. Dr. Anne, my chiropractor, helped a lot, giving me advice for applying heat and ice, frequently moving my back, and she suggested I purchase an inexpensive back belt.
This back belt has made a huge difference, and I want to write about this. First there was the support of Dr. Anne, my chiropractor. Then there was the support of this back belt. First of all, it feels good to have it on. But more importantly, since it protects me from further injury, it helps me feel safe. My back muscles have been able to relax because they don’t need to be in defensive/protective mode against further injury. And since my muscles have been able to relax, my back has been able to heal very quickly.
I believe there is a lesson here and that emotional healing can happen in a similar way. If someone is trying to heal after a significant trauma, and they are on their own, they may be deeply distressed, feel very defended, and the healing could take a very, very long time. In contrast, if someone has a grounded, safe, compassionate and wise person who they can connect with for their healing journey, then the safety of that connection can be protective, like the back belt experience I described earlier. In the safety of that connection, a person can relax and experience warmth, and the tender work of healing from emotional trauma is far more possible.
So I am in favour of our seeking out strong, wise people – people with a strong back bone – people who we can viscerally *feel* their integrity and compassion. I think relationships like that can make a huge difference for our healing trajectory, enabling a shorter, kinder and less painful recovery. And actually, I don’t even like using the word, “recovery,” because after a relational trauma we will not go back to the way that we were before the trauma. Really, I see it more as an opportunity to grow through the healing process – to become a wiser and kinder person. That has been my experience over all these years.
So these are the fruits of my 18th day of this vigil. I am praying for the strength to make it to day 21. This has surely been an immersive and exhausting experience. At the same time, I feel closer to Padmasmbhava and to the wisdom dakini, and for that I am grateful. I sincerely hope that my werma practice will bring some small benefit to the Shambhala community. May the werma rain their blessings upon this community and inspire a movement towards the light, to honestly find a good way forward in which the teachings and the community may flourish.
This vigil experience has been very much like my early Buddhist Project Sunshine experience – feeling like I’m putting a whole lot of energy into something, and it seeming to be going into a dark void out there. Yesterday Tenzin’s short message in the comment section below was a welcome touch of human contact, as I continue my steps of this vigil. Thank you, Tenzin.
Sending my love out to all of you this evening.
This vigil is for quelling suffering and invoking authentic healing for the hearts of those impacted by: (1) the Shambhala community tragedy, (2) the situation between Iran and the US, and (3) the bush fires in Australia.
Everyone is welcome to join. If you do werma practice, great! If you don’t, feel free to do any form of meditation or prayer. I welcome you joining me in this 21-day vigil!