this past week i found myself exploring the kinesthetic sensations of a toxic oil/heat rash. Quite an adventure and an education! Having ignored any signs that there might be poison oak vines in the field i was helping to clear, the arrogance of my denial was overcome by the fire-plants inflammatory touch. As it dawned on me, over the next few days, and I realized what had scraped and seeped and licked and inflicted its way into my dermis, i began to explore a world of raw sensation we don't usually get initiated into (fortunately!) The intensity of burning; the ferocity of an irresistable urge to scratch and claw and rub and soothe; the virulently firing nerves on and just below the usual protective surface of skin; the experimentation with a variety of remedies, homeopathic, allopathic, drying, cooling, moisturizing,... all of this provided a fantastically unusual experience with going thru something i wouldn't have chosen but received anyway!
what does poison oak teach? Some say: boundaries. to respect the gates of the forest. to be awake and look, to pay attention to our movements in the field. to recognize the shadow of nature as well as its beauty and light.
a friend of mine, Ronda Mikolaitis, died this past year. She was an ardent nature lover, leading wilderness hikes for years before, ironically, she contracted lymes disease from the very goddess she loved! Nature is Kali, bestower and destroyer. Transformer. Not just benevolent. Earthquakes and tornadoes and fires and tsunamis and ... poison oak. admire and respect. beauty and power. arrogance does not do. we will get humbled before what is much greater than us.
some patches of skin now feel lizard like. i allow myself the pleasure of hot showers, of cool baths with oatmeal, the anti-itch creams and gels have offered some relief, the heavy hitting cortisone and steroidal creams have subdued the hyper-activated immune system reactivity, aloe juice cools, ice cools, the pleasure/pain sensations of scratching have been, at moments, blissful and ecstatic! I'd say this has been a remarkable ride, making the most of the immense discomfort that has arisen this past week. I have hung out and expanded/deepened with some friends, seen #30 clients and 3 movies, played bughouse chess, hosted rhythm matrix at tranquility salon and, this morning Equinox, sat with Adyashanti and a non-duality sangha at satsang,... and now write this. I feel totally blessed, moving through and beyond the nasty curse of the plant into relief.
the I Ching reading I found myself called to is #30 FIRE. sun and moon cling to the sky; plants cling to the earth. Clinging to what is right with double illumination (fire above, fire below) develops the world. as the 3rd yang reads, in the fire of the setting sun, either you drum on a jug and sing, or you sigh the lament of the elderly, which is unfortunate. image: how long can the fire of the setting sun last? needless to say, this P.O. process has been illuminating! and fortunately, intensity subsides and resolves into regenerative healing. so I feel graced.
Adya spoke this morning of embracing all, resisting nothing. I smiled during his entire talk. what is difficult wants to be accepted by us. to resist reality is futile; reality always wins! this week i have been granted the kind of experience that fulfills this principle. accepting what is, including the discomfort, calms the inflammatory/ reactive tendencies in our system.
How can you relate to this? what have you been resisting that needs to be met? are you ready to let go of your lament? I am.