A Christmas Gift

I was given a wonderful gift over this Christmas holiday, a gift I have not received for many years. I was given the gift of visible, functional recovery. My right wrist flexor has improved from a level 2 strength, to level 3. In other words, I was not able to flex my right hand upwards against gravity, and now I can. This is the first visible improvement in muscle movement I have seen in more than six years. I’m not saying I have not seen improvement in all that time, there has been much improvement over these years, but it has been a long time since I have seen a without a doubt improvement in the neural connection of my nervous system.

This was not simply improvement in strength. I am absolutely certain that this movement would not be possible without new neural connections being formed, which signifies that my nervous system is indeed healing. I of course have known this all along, but it’s nice to actually be able to see it with my own two eyes. I believe that this recent improvement is just one small step in what will soon be a miraculous and magnificent recovery from paralysis.

Since my last blog entry I have been receiving many powerful healings from Francis. Healings that left me feeling invigorated and confident in my path of healing. Healings that consistently convinced me that it’s just a matter of time, just a matter of time before I jump out of my chair and then drop down to my knees in gratitude and thanks for the grace which has been showered upon me.

Francis went on a well-deserved two week Christmas vacation, but before he did so, he blasted me with one more powerful dose of healing. A tidal wave of love showered over me as I soaked it in, letting it permeate my mind, body and spirit. A couple days later I fell ill, but did not complain. Instead, I lifted my hands towards the heavens and shouted, “Bring it on! I’m ready!” I suppose I should be careful in what I wish for, or maybe not. That night, painful electrical shocks shot down my right arm. This has happened in the past, but it has been several months since I’ve experienced this. When it does occur, sleep is nearly impossible, and so I stayed awake, chanting the gayatri mantra, embracing the pain, embracing the necessary path for my recovery to occur. Joining in with the pain I visualized the healing light, traveling with the pain, traveling to the tips of my nerve endings. Maybe it was the next day, or the day after that, when I awoke and discovered my newfound movement. Such a small thing it is, to be able to flex my hand upwards, but yet it felt so wonderful, so grand to see improvement in that manner.

Over the next several days I continued to feel sick as congestion hit me with full force, a plethora of icky and sticky substances pouring out of my nose. Once more I said, “Bring it on!” I never quite know what is occurring during these periods of sickness, but I know it is much more than anything that the naked eye or supposed logic will tell you. Most people would just tell me that I’ve caught a cold, and should take some Tylenol. But I know better. I know when the healing energy is working on me, not only healing my body but elevating my spirit, cleansing my being and preparing me for another level of evolution.

I experience interesting dichotomies in my thought processes during these times as an array of emotions come to the surface. Among them anger and frustration, shame and lust. Lust can be an especially difficult emotion to understand. It feels like such a natural part of my being, to crave the opposite sex in an animal like manner. Yet it also makes no logical sense.  If a man looks upon a woman from a purely objective standpoint, there is nothing particularly special about their form, yet it has the potential to arouse a powerful instinctual desire out of thin air.  So if these emotions and feelings happen so instinctually, with seemingly little effort or control, then why does it also feel so wrong, as if I am straying from God’s truth, or the path of divine love? Is it possible that it is simply religious institutions that have impressed these judgments upon me?

I become further confused when I turn to the series of books called “Awaken Children!” It consists of a catalog of experiences, where one of Ammachi’s swamis, transcribes the actions of Amma, along with the conversations she has with her devotees and bramacharis. I am still only on the first book, where most of her conversations are with the bramacharis, who just so happen to have taken a lifelong vow of celibacy. It seems if anybody is on the fast track to spiritual evolution, it would be these folks, so why is it not appropriate for them to be lustful, but it’s okay for all of us in the world? Perhaps it is okay for them to be lustful, just not okay for them to act upon it. After all, it’s possible that what I perceive as an instinctual emotion, is really just a thought, a thought that is free to come and go with the wind, which in turn frees us from attachment, frees us from suffering.

But whether they are thoughts, or instinctual biological desires, I think it is necessary for us to maintain a harmonious balance within ourselves, and maintain proper discrimination when it comes to the observation of our thoughts and actions, knowing full well when we are straying from the peaceful presence of our inner being. Sexual desire is indeed natural, but at the same time, as we climb the spiritual ladder of evolution, we must be careful not to let one aspect of ourselves overwhelm and cast a shadow over all else. When it comes to the bramacharis, just because they are on one such spiritual path, does not mean it is the best spiritual path for all of us. Each path is unique, each perfectly ordained for what we as individual spirits need to experience for our own evolution.

I feel very blessed to be on the path that I am on.  I have faced tremendous difficulties over the past 9 1/2 years, but the internal growth which it has awarded me is becoming more and more evident as time passes.  I am sure as I continue on this path of healing and growth, emotions such as lust will continue to arise.  We are very complex beings, but beneath that complexity rests a peaceful presence, and I must maintain my connection with this presence, the place that allows me to exist in calm serenity and observation as the chaos of the human condition swirls around me.  I will falter I am sure, but even my perceived weakness may simply be part of the growth, part of the path I am destined to travel.  Whatever the case, I will continue to strive to trust in the process, and know that I am, and will always be, surrounded by the love of God.

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4 Responses to A Christmas Gift

  1. Shivani Rao says:

    I am so glad you are writing again. This has indeed been a very powerful experience. you are not alone in your path for recovery.

  2. Gabriela says:

    Such a wonderful piece. I love what you’ve written about desire, and how you explore its place in our lives. You are right that the bramacharis have different lives. In fact, they have given up their lives (they perform funeral rites for themselves when taking formal vows of sannyasa). But as “householders” I feel like desire has a place for us. I like how you examine that place, and use discrimination to try to achieve detachment from it.

  3. Lisa says:

    Congrats on the improvements and the path. As always, you write beutifully about your experience!

  4. Praveen Madhavaiya says:

    Congratulations! Thank You, Francis! Thank You, Amma.
    Most of all, Colin – Thank You to your Mother and Father, for the unflinching loyalty and devotion, they have for you!
    Looking forward to greater physical recovery from you.

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