April 8, 1997 – Two-Pointedness!

Today I went in for a check-up with Dr. Gullion, and saw Dr. Bobbie Head instead. My blood counts were good and there is no need to worry about infection. I asked about a more complete exam, but I was told that this was only to check the blood counts.

I had a second massage at the Cancer Institute with Anne Pera. This time she did a “Metamorphosis” on my feet, hands, skull and back. She has such a light healing touch that I can recommend her highly. She’s really present when she works on you and you can feel the healing energy in her hands.

My session with Leslie Davenport turned out to be quite magnificent! I spent about one half hour simply describing the state of my healing. I told her about the work with Anna Halprin, the Feldenkrais work, my contact with R. M. in New Zealand, and my “seeds of enlightenment,” which seemed to thrill her quite a bit. I talked about That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist, and some feelings about my family of origin and childhood experiences. I expressed how I felt rejected as a child by my family, school mates, the kids at Hebrew school and Sunday school, and by God. I explored these feelings without regret, but with a sense of longing. These feelings were overwhelmed by my new sense of love for myself and the work I am doing to heal.

In the guided imagery portion, Leslie began with these inspiring words:

“As we begin, just notice where you are as we start… where your attention seems to be clustered… And to engage with the knowledge that you have the freedom and the power to focus your awareness… And feel how each breath, each moment has never been lived before, has never been breathed before… acknowledging the newness… the presence of each part of the breath… each moment of the breath… And to begin to also sense that balance between your focusing of attention and the receptivity… the active, the receptive, of any guidance that may come through at any point… And staying a little longer with the breath and feel how the in breath carries strength into your body, clarity into you mind, stability into your emotions… connectedness to that deep sense of yourself… And how the out breath by its very nature has that cleansing, clearing, letting go qualities… And allowing yourself to begin to tune into your body with the fresh eyes and the fresh sensing that arise out of this moment… And to go ahead and allow your focus to go right into the place in your body most in need of healing… And just to allow images to form which may be familiar or new…”

I tuned into my bladder and had the same images as when I felt “healthy cells growing all by themselves.” Then I noticed a white spot in the area where the tumor was and decided to focus all of my attention on that area. My attention became so one-pointed that I began to feel waves of bliss which I again used to support the growth of healthy cells. When I expressed how I was doing, Leslie said, “Well, it’s actually two-pointed because I’m putting mine there too!”


Following the “Yellow Stream!”

April 4, 1997 – Following the “Yellow Stream!”

Last night was quite difficult for me. I felt really exhausted and didn’t like what was going on in my body. I prepared a modest meal and got in bed to read more of That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist. I enjoy it thoroughly, but the chapter on the holocaust moved me to tears and longing. I felt rejected by god and Jews as a child, but something is still trying to make itself felt in the way of devotional practice. I can’t wait until my conversation with Sylvia Boorstein on April 15! One other thing about the book: If you take a combination of traits from my siblings, including myself, you get something that resembles the life of Sylvia and her family. David is orthodox and lives in St. Louis and is a grandpa. Joe is orthodox and lives in Israel with his family. Brenda is a drama therapist, and Manny is the owner of Art and Science of Computer Imaging – a very creative outlook!

My wife went with me to Leslie Davenport’s cancer group. Many of the people in attendance were also at Cancerport the day before. During the meditation, I was filled with images of Hebrew school and the Miriam Hebrew Academy, which I hated so much. But I did remember and continue to reflect on one moment one fine day in April or May of 1946 or 1947 when I was filled with and experience of awe and wonder that has been with me all my life. I believe that this might have been my first transcendental experience, in which I became fully aware of the sun, the sky, the back yard of the academy, all of the other boys and girls playing their little games, the grass, and the brick garage with its attached brick ash pit. This moment was special for me, and I knew then that I was different from all the other boys and girls. I had no friends and played alone. At that point in my life I didn’t know rejection, but I did feel left out. I used to sit in class and day dream about this and that, but never a clear image. I drew a picture of the garage and the ash pit and a boy playing ball.

In the afternoon, I went to a Feldenkrais session with Alan Sheets. Alan and I had worked together on an article which appeared in Enneagram Monthly on The Enneagram of the Body, which is Alan’s method of teaching the enneagram. We had a really nice connection while we were working on the article and he express his gratitude for how much he appreciated my work.

Before the session, Alan asked me what I wanted to work on. I explained to him the importance of reality anchoring in the body, especially when you are ill, and that this is what I wanted to continue to work on. I told him about the weakness of my knees, lower back, and shoulders, and that this is what I wanted him to work on. For this session, Alan chose to work on my knees and lower back. I could feel the subtle movements as he proceeded to heal my body. The session was magnificent, but I really felt exhausted afterwards. One of the nicest moments came near the end when I could feel the energy flow from the bottoms of my feet where Alan was working all the way up to my skull. I believe that this has the wonderful effect of aiding lymphatic return and circulation.

Reality anchoring in the body is one of the foundations of the Abhidhamma, or Buddhist psychology. The principle is that out of all of our experience, what goes on in our bodies is of prime importance and it is what we share in common. It is based on the idea that we share reality from this common ground of being. We don’t easily share thoughts, feeling, or emotions, but we all know what it is like to overeat, cut our fingers, burn our hands, or have a good night’s sleep. Reality anchoring in the body provides us with a reality check on our condition. When we have a strong sense of reality anchoring in the body, we can proceed to manage our health care in a realistic way, without denial or fear.


That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being A Faithful Jew and a Passionate
That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist:
On Being A Faithful Jew and a Passionate

The Last Day of Treatment

Today’s treatment was the most difficult for me of all. I was tired from the very beginning and thank God I had good tapes to listen to drown out the ambient noise in the room. A. M. and R. M. came to visit me at the oncology center, and they brought cheerfulness and smart conversation with them.

I came home and went right to sleep (after checking email)! I used Leslie Davenport’s tape and it worked quite well. T. R. is picking me up in a few minutes for the last of the radiation treatments.

I started reading That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist last night and fired off an email to her. I’m looking forward to what she has to say, and I’d even like to have a session with her.

I also fired off an email message to the Zero Balancing page, and it was forwarded to Fritz Smith. I already heard from Fritz and he had a lot of nice things to say!

So now that I’ve done all of this writing, I’m feeling a little better. Each time I get low on energy, I have to resort to “breathing in I’m healing myself, breathing out I’m clear of cancer,” or, more shortly, in the spirit of Thich Nhat Hanh, “healing… clear… healing… clear… ”

>>> Next…

That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist

More Chemotherapy, More Radiation

March 25, 1997 – More Chemotherapy, More Radiation

The second round of chemotherapy and radiation therapy began today. Aside from being a little late, it went quite smoothly. I especially enjoyed the visits of K. S. and Leslie Davenport. I spoke to Leslie about working with her doing guided imagery through the Humanities Program and Marin General Hospital. She suggested that I offer my services over the web. Watch for a new topic on services!

D. B. took me to my second radiotherapy of the day. We had a nice conversation about our common interests and she bought me a book by Sylvia Boorstein, That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist. I’m looking forward to reading it! As you probably know by now, I am a living example of a Jubu – a Jewish born Buddhist.

>>> Next…

That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist