I noticed several moments recently in which my body felt like an older classic. Then there’s other moments when it just feels older. Well, those are the silly mental formations associated with the physical feelings, anyway. Funny how mind can feel young, emotions at ease and fresh, while body feels, well, classic. I’m grateful it has stayed pretty healthy overall throughout the years, enjoyed many strenuous and relaxed outings, traveled to many interesting and beautiful places around the world, and more than once escaped almost certain injury by pure luck, or divine grace. But I’m aware that body, just like perceptions, thoughts, feelings and consciousness, is continually flowing along like a river of change. With impermanence seeds before flowers, flowers become mulch, then mulch becomes…
Walking on a treadmill today while getting a cardiac stress test, several thoughts flashed across my inner monitor. Breathing in, grateful to be keeping up with the treadmill as it sped up every few minutes, and to have access to care, able to get this test when so many people have no health care. Breathing out, accepting the aches and pains of time and wear that have brought me to this exam room. Watching the EKG and echo machines show heart waves and images was a little entertaining, reassuring that they looked normal, but also a bit unreal. My life energy presented as waves and images. Also glad the test was not ended early because of danger signs. Interesting to consider that if problems exist there are options to fix hearts, valves, vessels and parts. Take out the old one, put in a new one. They come in so many sizes and colors. And many drugs and others medical marvels to keep functioning almost indefinitely; for a hefty fee. In this moment I’m grateful to the original equipment. Thank you my dear heart, beating tirelessly, filled with love and compassion. Happy that it still gets around town without meds, just like many other older classics met in town.
Happy in the moment to be alive in this form. Realizing that this life will pass quickly enough, reflecting on a chant I use while sitting, and have benefited from many times on retreat. A guided meditation that brings things into perspective; The Five Remembrances, from Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Plum Village Chanting Book. It’s useful to recite the first one, invite a bell, then sit for five or more minutes before reciting the second, and so on.
I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill-health. There is no way to escape ill-health.
I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.
All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.