Aug 13, 2010

Healing Tears

Legend has it that Buddha described the sound of the universe as soft weeping and music without a melody. I have heard these subtle sounds behind the noisy din of the crowd and the horrific chatter of the mind.

Cancer destroyed my life a few years ago. The wounds are still tender from the brutal treatment. I waited too long for a miracle, until the disease had spread to the lymph glands, so I got to get up-close and personal with the angel of death. That was when I found my place in the choir of weeping.

The few people who were willing to spend time with me in those days were uncomfortable with me crying. But there was no stopping the release of pressure when it needed to move. I learned to excuse myself and move off alone to enjoy the incredible relief that came when I could let the tears flow. Some folks chalked up my weakness as self-pity. There was no way to explain to them the sweetness of surrendering to the force of love that came through each time I let go and let the wave of love wash away the pain and pressure from my body.

Behind our busy lives and our deep longing to hold on to people and events, we are all living with the knowledge that our time here is limited. The Buddhists speak of non-attachment, which sounds sterile and boring to me. Besides, I look terrible in orange. It seems to me that life is a paradox—we have to let go and hold on almost simultaneously.

At age fifty I took up skiing, which required launching out over an icy abyss while maintaining some important elements of control. That kind of play is exhilarating.

Coaching is a far cry from religion, but viewing life as a sport illuminates some simple, self-evident truths. You have a better chance of finding yourself through play than through boring rituals. Team spirit might not be the holy spirit, but there a few joys on this earth as enlivening as letting yourself play all out with people who love the game of life.

These days I am on intimate terms with the silent witness who views my life with supreme serenity. Each encounter with the higher self came about by facing life head-on. The Jesus, Buddha, Spirit or whatever you wish to call your genuine self, seems to come to every person in a unique way. When I see an athlete broken down by effort, or a singer weeping with her limitations, I don’t feel sorry. I know that these are the moments of truth when the players step through into the deeper meaning of their endeavors.

Gently weeping opens the heart to the subtle love of our soul. So don't hold back.