I am much closer to being healthy than I was a couple of days ago. Naturally, as soon as I felt better, I wanted some nice, heavy Indian food (which is challenging to digest even when I'm firing on all cylinders). And tonight I wanted chocolate. But I also know if I can delay such things for a little while, I'll be glad I did. So I had a pear instead, which was equally satisfying, in a different way.
(This is likely the sort of decision process that has me continuing to lose weight.)
I had a really interesting experience today...I went to my doctor in Berkeley (traditional Indian medicine), who's also a spiritual teacher. Because he'll be in Thailand for much of the coming two years, building up a sort of retreat and teaching center, he's handing over the clinic work to a couple of his students. I don't really know the two guys who will be taking over, but afterward, while I was waiting around for a massage therapist to get out of the room with the herbs so someone could mix up my medicine, one of the guys came over and started chatting. It turns out we get along well, and it dawned on me that he's about my age, he just got back from 6 months in India, and he's not anyone's guru or anything, he's just this nice guy. I had all these ideas about what he might be like, and they were swept away in that wonderful act of, I think, making friends.
Something that I realized on the drive back from the desert in December, which I came around to again yesterday morning on the way to work, is that my life has no meaning or purpose. It doesn't need one: I am full and complete as I always have been (even though I never realized it), and the course of my life simply expresses that. I have nowhere I need to go, and no one I need to be and nothing I need to do. So I am amused (and validated, honestly) this evening to read the words of the late Maurine Stuart, a teacher I just learned about:
One of the hardest things to give up is our little security kit, our collection of reasons for our lives. We must have reasons, we think, or our lives won't be secure. We use all kinds of devices, all kinds of reasons: being a mother, a caretaker, a preservationist, a cat lover, a doctor, a lawyer, a merchant, a chief, whatever. But we don't need to have reasons. What is the reason for that rabbit out there on the lawn? Or for the flowers blooming, or the trees? When the survival kit has been forgotten, when "me" has been forgotten, then we can really join in the dance. Then we are really effective as mothers, caretakers, preservationists, whatever, because our action comes from a different place.It is quite a thing to spend your life thinking that some things about you--mood swings and obsessive thinking, in my case--were an essential part of who you are, and then to discover...they're simply not.
What else don't I need?