|Tibetan body mandala|
Before I began serious daily practice, I was never in this state, unless it was in yoga class. I had far too much anxiety, anxiety about everything you could name; that's the nature of the stress syndrome in a traumatized child. My father had it from his service in WWII, if not before then, and passed it right down with moment-by-moment criticism and worse personal invasions.
What does meditation have to do with that? For one thing, you are brought face to face with yourself (an odd image). You can't handle anxiety until you listen to yourself, and know when it's there, and begin to see what gooses it up and to work with it.
The other part of feeling good is, for me, being balanced, neither depressed nor manic, fire not too low, not too high....I don't know yet whether long difficult moodswings are the heavy furniture of my mind, nailed to the floor, since I'm not dead yet.
~~~~ next day:
I am enjoying a Deepak Chopra online program, and as I lay relaxing this afternoon, I remembered something I heard him say on the radio a long time ago. It didn't take long to find it in an online ad for his healing retreats:
Consider the example of multiple personality disorder. People suffering from this severe psychiatric illness aren’t affected only at the psychological level. When they shift from one personality to another, dramatic changes can occur in their bodies. For example, one personality might have high blood pressure, while another personality within the same person may not. One personality may have diabetes, while the other personalities test normal for insulin levels.I know blood pressure is very responsive to emotion; it was the insulin claim that struck me then. Now I understand better the intricacies of metabolism, and of energy, and am not so automatically skeptical, so the diabetes claim sounds reasonable. I lay there and thought of myself as a healthy person without UTIs.
Meanwhile, the universe tried to help me today by having the Humana nurse call me just to figure out if there's a way to make me less expensive. I talked with her about the UTIs, and she said, "Drink water." And a little talk about how it keeps the system flushed. I recently upped my water from 3 liters a day to 4, having this in mind, and I was glad to hear it again. I like to work on all possible angles. As they say, Trust in God, but keep your camels tied."