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A Canary's Eye View — Challenges
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The Spiritual Work of Illness

Most of my witnessing of my spiritual life is on SkyDancer, my Website for feminist Buddhsim. But learning to heal means integrating one's life, and spiritual practice becomes more and more inseparable from the work we do to be healthy.

  • Nonattachment - I don't want to get identified with what I'm talking about here, to get attached to being a canary, to think of that as who I am.

  • Prayer - There is no question that prayer works. I mentioned that in the SkyDancer page on trust in SkyDancer, my site for feminist Buddhism. For more, look at these sites:
  • Priorities
    • Illness creates stronger focus in our lives. As my activities have become more limited, my interest has narrowed. I don't try to keep up with the "news," for example. I quit going to church because no one there was dealing with the spiritual issues in my life.
    • My condition is not well understood, and there is no prognosis. I don't have any idea whether the pain and disability will get worse, or if so, how much how soon, or even if it will become life-threatening. The only way I have found to deal with this uncertainty is to live a life that looks my mortality in the face every minute.

  • Pain - Chemical Sensitivity means I can't take any kind of medicine, even over-the counter ones. Handling pain means other kinds of strategies. Some of the most important are psychological or spiritual ones; there's a simple list here, and more details on Practicing with Pain on SkyDancer.

© copyright Catherine Holmes Clark, 2000, 2001; last updated 23 November 2001