The Power of Principles, Intent and Awareness: a Healing Story

You can sail the ocean blue
You can fly up on the clouds
You can search the world for gold

You can seek a life of fame
You can toil at a job
You can hear a higher call

In our hearts,
In our minds,
In our short and fragile time,
We must all decide just what it means to be alive

You can look into my eyes
You can wish upon a star
You can walk a thousand miles

You can paint a moonless sky
You can scale a rocky wall
You can feed a starving child

In our hearts,
In our minds,
In our short and fragile time,
We must all decide just what it means to be alive

You can drink ’till you’re no more
You can dig an early grave
You can fight a losing war

You can build a better world
You can find someone to love
You can hope there is a cure

Din Fiv – Infinite Paths

Some of the most important qualities we need, to prosper in our lives include: a positive attitude about our selves, and understanding of the underlying principles that govern things and the proper actions to learn and eventually adhere to those principles. Those who do not seek these qualities inevitably end up sabotaging themselves and quite possibly, those around them.

In order to accomplish anything of significance in this world, it takes a great deal of strength, courage and dedication to principle. If we do not gain confidence in our abilities, then we will not be confident in the principles we learn and our adherence to them will be shaky and inconsistent.

I know from my own life experiences, that success or failure at any endeavor comes from a genuine, unapologetic, understanding of the underlying principles which govern whatever aspects of our reality we seek to master. We must tirelessly study and understand these underlying principles, because everything operates on principles; not opinions, authority, emotions or theories.

Furthermore, once we have studied and gained an intellectual understanding of the underlying principles, we must then learn how to put those principles into practice; this is not something that happens overnight per se. If we are impatient and impractical, expecting everything to resolve itself immediately, simply because that is what we desire, we will give up and fall short of our goals.

Emerging From the Brink of Oblivion

In my own life and the life of my family, an opportunity presented itself to learn these lessons, in one of the most difficult ways I know of. We had the misfortune of a birth that did not go very well. This set off a cascade of events which provided us with a new challenge and opportunity; to nurse our child back to health.

At virtually every step along the way, many individuals around us tried to cast blame and shame, saying that if only we’d have done this or that, it would have turned out differently. They tried to find every fault they could in our situation and that of our child.

It is very easy to look back at things and feel like the expert, after-all hindsight is 20/20; but we know for certain that we did things in the best way that we knew how. We are always taking the lessons learned from this experience and applying them to the future.

We feel no shame for the past, because the past is far behind us now and there is no sense in dwelling on the things we can no-longer change. Only the present can be changed and having the power to change the present is all we needed anyways.

Dogen Zen-ji said, “Time goes from present to past.” This is absurd, but in our practice sometimes it is true. Instead of time progressing from past to present, it goes backwards from present to past. Yoshitsune was a famous warrior who lived in midieval Japan. Because of the situation of the country at the time, he was sent to the northern provinces, where he was killed. Before he left he bade farewell to his wife, and soon after she wrote in a poem, “Just as you unreel the thread from a spool, I want the past to become present.” When she said this, actually she made past time present. In her mind the past became alive and was the present. So as Dogen said, “Time goes from present to past.” This is not true in our logical mind, but it is in the actual experience of making past time present. There we have poetry, and there we have human life.

When we experience this kind of truth it means we have found the true meaning of time. Time constantly goes from past to present and from present to future. This is true, but it is also true that time goes from future to present and from present to past. A Zen master once said, “To go Eastward one mile is to go Westward one mile.” This is vital freedom. We should acquire this kind of perfect freedom.

Zen Mind: The Beginner’s Mind: Control

Of course, the easy thing to have done in this situation, would have been to give up, point fingers, feel sorry for our selves, blame others. I’ll admit, there was a fair amount of this going on at first. However, once the reality of the situation settled into our hearts and minds; we knew that there was only one acceptable course of action. We had to gain an understanding of what we needed to do and implement that understanding to the best of our abilities.

We decided to dedicate ourselves to understanding the principles of healing and wellness. This is something you never fully understand; but you can gain a more principled understanding, only if you have the intent to unapologetically strive for it. We sought out and continue to seek out, alternative forms of treatment, diets, therapies, tools and techniques.

We decided not to trust the supposed authority of doctors; but only our own understanding of the principles as we learned them along the way. This has allowed us to comb the available sources of opportunities and find what works best for our unique situation. As time progresses, we continue to refine this understanding and with it our actions.

At this point, I’m happy to say that we have gone from a seemingly hopeless state of affairs, to a much better situation. We are really starting to see both our own potential and that of our child. All of us want badly to see ourselves succeed at what we are doing, we know what to do, or at least how to figure it out with trial and error, we have confidence in what we are doing and we are doing it!

With each passing week we see more life, coordination, awareness and intrigue in our child. As this continues to happen, we continue to build up confidence and understanding; because we are seeing our understanding of healing principles in action.

When a crisis befalls us, it is imperative that we see that crisis as a challenge and an opportunity: to grow, to change, to better understand the principles which govern the world around us. Anything short of this will not work out in the long-run; because if we see our self as defeated, then there is no helping the situation either from outside or from within.

every thought you have creates its own reality…
It’s like every choice or decision you make…
the thing you choose not to do…
fractions off and becomes its own reality…
and just goes on from there forever…

everything is in one big ball of fluctuating matter…
a constant state of change…
the underlying order is chaos…

Din Fiv: Through The Looking Glass (Original Quotes from the Movie Slacker)

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One thought on “The Power of Principles, Intent and Awareness: a Healing Story”

  1. Hi Strange Mind (not so strange actually) – what a wonderful blog you have. I was pleasantly surprised when i found it today.

    I love the way you weave many widely divergent points of view together.

    I especially liked this post and your reference to Beginners Mind and views of time. Buddhism and Zen in particular have much to teach us about isness and sitting with life as it is. It seems to me that you view all life experiences as containing important lessons and that’s something that most people miss. Everything is spiritual manure, even and especially the painful things. I also experienced a great deal of suffering with my son and it has made me (and my wife)who I am today.

    You seem to know that the path you are on is where you should be and that it takes determination, effort and dedication to a greater good. As you know, healing comes as much from an attitude of ‘it can be don’, as from anywhere else. In my own self healing and healing my son, I realized that it was important to abandon hope, for presence and acceptance and that this path gives greater strength and wisdom to the opportunities that present themselves and create less suffering.

    I wish you and your family all the best on your journey together. You are what each other needs on this journey of infinite growth.

    Peace, Bright Garlick.

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