32. Time to Be Like Buddha


Blog 32: Dec. 1997-April 1998—Days turn into weeks, and weeks into months, as I live in a house in Berkeley, California with five other people that seem, for the most part, discontent. Although I long to leave, and even seek out other options, my body won’t cooperate with any kind of movement. The message for me is to “be like Buddha,” so I sit and be with where I am no matter how painful.

I reflect on who I have been in my journal. I write, “I used to feel that I didn’t feel. I used to think that I couldn’t love. I would try so hard to feel love, but I couldn’t. It hurt so much. It hurt me so much to think I could not feel. I did not understand all the tears late at night, all the anguish in trying to tune into my heart.”

Now that I am injured, I feel pain (how can I not?), I feel love, and I realize that it never was true that I couldn’t feel. The truth was that I didn’t honor how I felt. I didn’t know how to listen to my heart, how to trust myself, because I was so busy being strong, proving myself, and on some level, leaving my body, not wanting to be here because it was too painful.

I continue to write in my journal, “This pain, this heat moving through my bd3f697970790656d76d951b75a139723ody takes my soul away. My soul is trying to come back, but for some reason it is scared. My soul is scared to be with me. When I wake up the next morning, I can feel how little power I have in my body. It’s as if my breathing is outside of me. And I sense that my soul has been trying to leave my body since birth. It has little interest in being on this earth, yet another part of me that knows I am meant to be here, and is bringing me back, back, to this place of Buddha that needs to feel the pain, that understands better than this.


Check out my novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, at Child of Duende website

9 thoughts on “32. Time to Be Like Buddha

  1. Thank you Michelle for this message today. I turned 60 on the Summer Soltice… I do not hide who I am anymore. I’m glad to be alive and really the only pain I experience is what I bring upon myself. I feel that my soul is growing. I used to think that our soul learns and grows through painful experiences. Now I know the truth… That our soul grows through joyful experiences and my life is so powerful that I can choose those experiences.

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    • Happy birthday, again, Linda. I hope it was a sweet celebration of all the beauty you have lived and have yet to live. I love how you have embraced the joy that is here with you and all of us. And yes, I agree that our souls does grow through joyful experiences. We learn that life is a gift.


  2. I cannot say that I have ever felt my soul leave my body, even partially. I can say that I have felt my being expand beyond my body, during deep meditative practice. And in that place, there is neither pain nor joy — simply a feeling of being a part of all, and all things being a part of me. Stillness. Interconnectedness. Oneness.

    The curious thing for me about pain and joy is that they both make us feel so very deeply. They both break us open and make us experience our deeper selves. And in that they are of equal meaning. What I have so very slowly learned over the years is that joy, just like pain, isn’t something to be desired. It is simply a way of being. It can be far too easy to forget this in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. And so it must be practiced, every day.

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    • It’s a curious statement I make when I write about the soul leaving the body. It is a sensation and awareness, but it may be that something else is happening. It is another way of describing “checking out” but from an energetic, soul place. As for joy and pain, they definitely both make us feel deeply, and do remind us, in the most basic way, that we are alive. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Funny, I can recall a few times there. I’ve had the experience in working shamanically, and with other shamans, of being reminded to come back in my body (that I tend to do that). It doesn’t mean I fully leave (or I wouldn’t be here), or at least I come back, but it’s a kind of floating without true presence from within the body. I feel many of us do this without even knowing it’s happening. When you describe getting bigger within your body and expanding without, that to me is a deeper embodiment. But, thanks for your share. It’s all interesting how we look at things and yet may do the same.

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  4. The furthest I have gone is when in the intense pain, I get an equally intense desire to “complete the pain” by increasing it to the highest intensity possible and often imagine that setting myself on fire would do the trick. Of course that is immediately followed by chickening out, and finding it impractical to actually do.


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