Buddhism And Heart Surgery

Posted: April 3, 2013 in Buddhism
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

From Trauma To Enlightenment.

It’s been 30 days since a part of my heart was replaced with a mechanism made of carbon fibre. As I sit here typing this, I can hear it click with each beat of my heart. Kids can hear it across the room and ask, “What is that sound?” Adults hearing isn’t that finely tuned as life has dulled our senses.

The clicking is a constant reminder of an event 30 days ago.

For the surgeon it was just another day at the office. He has done over 4000 of these operations. But when you are on the receiving end, it is traumatic to say the least.
To begin with, my sternum was cut from top to bottom and pulled open for 4 hours. All this so the surgeon could get his hands in.
After the repairs are done, they wire your sternum back again and stitch you up.
I explain this as a precursor to my real point. I’ve never been happier.
The peace of mind is not because of the extension to my lifespan I’ve been given.
It’s the perspective I’ve been given.
So yes, your difficulties transport you to the next level in life. They are an elevator to the next floor that has a better view.
And the view is pretty good from where I sit now.

It’s obvious that trauma causes enlightenment. But is enlightenment possible without the trauma?
Surely from where I sit, I should be able to direct other people towards enlightenment so that they avoid the trauma.
Not possible.
So those of us who have experienced the trauma, sit here and wait for others to join us. To join the brotherhood. To shake their hand and express our happiness at their arrival. We quietly look on as others bounce from one diversion to another. Chasing the very thing that prevents the happiness that they so passionately and urgently seek.
It’s only when the person exhausts all the energy through chasing these opportunities that they finally sit down and see the comfort that was at their feet anyway. Like the student of Zen who is confounded by an unanswerable question. His mind pushes him so far around the bend, that he meets himself on the way back.
The Zen master watches patiently, occasionally hitting the student with a stick to jolt him out of his present way of thinking. The timing of the hit with the stick is critical.

There is a little known Zen story of a master and a student walking in the dark. The master hands the student a candle so he can make his way home. As the student accepts the candle, the master blows it out.
In that moment, the student achieves enlightenment.
He is still in the dark but achieves acceptance of the situation.

Life is good.
06 3 days later

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