Meditating in New Zealand (Part 3 of 6)
For me to know something for certain, that something must be unchanging. If it moves around, how could I know it? But if it didn't move and was stationary, then it is dead. Knowing the moment, however, is different, because although the moment is fleeting and does move around, my knowing becomes fleeting as well, and as we both move together in time, time disappears, as does the notion of a moment . . . as well as the notion of something moving along with it. Then, there is only steadiness. What could an elementary mind possibly understand about these things enough to discuss? I could only be. Now, answers became too slow for me, already behind the curve of immediacy. Meditation was teaching me about many things, things that, unfortunately, had no relevance within a causal world of existence.
Wisdom is a fiery lake. It was better to swim underwater to keep from being scorched by the incredible insight that was now arriving in bits and pieces, but how could I not resist being caught up in its phenomenal revelations? My determination had to be strong to dismiss everything that was coming up at this point - like compulsions to write a book, start a meditation center, and travel to holier places - all at the same time! Letting go of insight was difficult, really difficult, but it doesn't mean that I lost it evermore. Once aroused, I don't think insight could ever be lost; it would be there when I needed it. In this spiritual life, everything was there always at the precise time that I required it, but never before, and I discovered that I must really need it, yet never count on it. And when it wasn't there, then I learned my greatest lessons of life.
I was still miffed at my father and how treated Janet, so I hadn't contacted him. When I did attempt to reach him, however, the phone was disconnected. He had no friends or relatives to speak of, so I began calling the local hospitals. An hour later, one of the hospitals informed me that he had been admitted to a nursing home due to kidney failure, and was getting dialysis treatments.
I booked a flight to Pittsburgh and bussed up to Johnstown. I talked my way into some public housing where Dad had lived, a room on the seventh floor without air conditioning, but after living in the heat of Thailand, it was fine, and only two miles from Dad's nursing home - an easy walk every day from the job I found at a local grocery store. Janet wanted to return to the States and help out, but I talked her out of it. I preferred that she remain in England and continue her training, being true to my vow to help her find truth in this lifetime. I could handle things in Pennsylvania for now.
I went through a flurry of jobs, and finally saved enough money to buy an old Toyota. The car was a big help, because now I could drive over to see Mom once a week instead of spending an entire day working around bus schedules. My mother was going down hill fast. Before I left for New Zealand, she still recognized people and had a semblance of long-term memory, but now that was all gone. She didn't know me at all when I visited, and just stared ahead into space as if she was in a waking coma. I would talk to her, tell her about dad and the little stories that a son tells his mother, but there were no signs of awareness, only rarely when she would see little people dancing on the ceiling. She could still feed herself when the nurses brought her tray, but stared straight into the wall the entire time.
I would wheel her outside on nice days, but that didn't matter either; the unrelenting unawareness remained. She had gone through the irritated stage a few years prior, but it was not pronounced and thankfully short lived. She always had a kind heart, and during her life exhibited only humility and humbleness, always worrying about everybody but herself. It was difficult to see her like this, but she became one of my greatest teachers, reminding me to reach for truth while my mind was still functioning. When it's gone, the search is over for this lifetime.
The dialysis treatments that were keeping Dad alive took its inevitable toll on his heart and lungs, and one day, his doctor took me aside and said that the treatments were no longer a viable option, meaning that he would die within a week.
My father loved to see me, my visits being all he had to look forward to now. He always wanted to hear any news about Mom. It was difficult to watch him die.