Saturday, January 10, 2009

Doing ... nothing

I've been sidelined by what most people would call a "cold," but is better described by what the TCM people call "heat": heat damaging the Lungs, entering through wind. My TCM caregivers attribute the base cause of my MS to heat in the Lungs (that's capital L, the orbisiconographical Lungs, not the anatomical lungs), so it weighs pretty heavily on me.

And I think I've got what the five-element acupucturists call an "entry/exit" block: essentially, a block in the energetic plumbing that keeps energy from exiting one meridian and entering the next one. Last Wednesday, I got treated for a major blockage along the two central meridians, which requires some particularly nasty points (but which my doctor did quite expertly, so the worst of them was only sort-of bad). And then I felt the block reform in the car on the way home. And there's basically nothing to be done about the block, or really about simply living life, until it's cleared. This particular block, my doctor says, may often be the root cause of what many people call "chronic fatigue syndrome."

And trust me, if you've ever had this block, you don't care where you have to get needled: you ask to get needled there.

But for once, I've responded to one of these Lung Heat attacks by doing... nothing. Usually, I just power on through, and suffer. A lot. Well, I'm still suffering, but not that much, because sometimes doing nothing is the right thing to do and right now, I'm doing ... nothing.

And it's wonderful.

I've spent years powering on through things. When push comes to shove and "you gotta do what you gotta do," I can. That's easy. Doing nothing... and not getting angry at yourself for "not accomplishing what you wanted to/were supposed to," that's hard.

And this is one of the gifts of MS that I'm really struggling with; struggling a lot with. I don't ever really recharge. I'm always "doing" things. "Not doing" things, or doing things simply to recharge... I don't know how to do that. And with the MS, I don't really have the luxury to "not recharge," because if I don't recharge, I can't do anything.

Laziness and inaction aren't "not doing." Just ask the Zen folks. Expect to be hit if you do (that seems to be the end of way too many stories, the roshi hits the supplicant and the student becomes enlightened). I supposed MS has hit me... I'm waiting for the enlightenment. Perhaps if I would "not do" more, it would come faster.

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