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Alive, Moving and Hopeful

I want to express my profound gratitude for this past year’s direction and practice.

Three years ago I was hit with a kind of metaphorical bus. A massive superbug bacterial infection invaded my body, destroyed the bones in my right hip, and very nearly killed me. I was in my 76th year at the time, and the doctors said I would certainly have died if my body had not been so strong. I had been practicing his teachings then for almost 20 years. Over the next two years I underwent 4 surgeries. When we suspended gatherings last year, a pre-existing condition in my lumbar spine had become much worse because of what I had gone through. I was hardly able to stand on my feet for more than 5 minutes. The pain was excruciating and completely debilitating.

Along with the physical pain, I was experiencing what can only be called grief because I wanted so badly for my practice of his teachings to be the way it was before all of this happened to me. I wanted to be able to practice an hour or two without stopping, just like I used to do. And it just was not possible. That grieving was filling my mind and taking me down into a steadily deepening abyss of self-pity and depression. And then I was asked to sit in on the Wednesday meetings with the Directors to help with the administration of our Atlantic Region. I began to really hear and absorb the direction we were being given on the Wednesdays. I heard we could do a little at a time. We were told that over and over again. I heard the reminder to aim for 1% improvement each day - we did not have to reach 100%. That was so important for me, and I started to do that - just a few danyus at a time, but spaced throughout the day, every day. I could manage that.

I heard the invitation to diligence and discipline, consistency and regularity. I also heard and took very much to heart the notion of letting go, and like a fellow participant said this week, it is more than just bending your knees. I had to truly let go of these sorrows and thoughts about what I had lost in my practice, and to just concentrate on the direction being given; to concentrate on feeling and listening to my body and to work on what our leaders have called the foundation in every little bit I could do.

Then last week one of our leaders said something really profound. He said that when we talk to each other it is not English or French that we use, it is our own language, the language of the organization. That struck me like a thunderbolt, because that is exactly what had happened in my mind.

I had replaced all of the dark and negative language that was so destructive with our organization's language, the language which keeps us steady on the path we have chosen, and that is so replete with guidance, peace, stillness and hope.

I may never be the same as I was. But I am alive, I am moving, I am hopeful; I have a purpose for every day that brings me peace and joy. This practice has saved my life twice.

Thank you for this past year, and for the continued guidance through difficult times.

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