PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

My Guru

Guru: Guru is a Sanskrit term that connotes someone who is a "teacher, guide or master" of certain knowledge. In pan-Indian traditions, guru is someone more than a teacher, traditionally a reverential figure to the student, with the guru serving as a "counselor, who helps mold values, shares experiential knowledge as much as literal knowledge, an exemplar in life, an inspirational source and who helps in the spiritual evolution of a student."

I call Corinne "My Guru" and she always demurs, but I insist. She has done so much for me, through her yoga and Yoga Nidra classes, in helping me find peace during a time that was and is chaotic, stressful, emotional, frightening, frustrating, and I could go on. I am referring  to Gregory and my journey with Dementia/ Alzheimer's followed by his death, two months ago on October 4th.

Over the years, I studied world religions, searched deeply into my own Judaism, thought about Christianity, read the philosophies of great men, yet never found a path to finding peace, a way to get away from my problems, a way to cope with my sorrow and lonliness. Meditation and Corinne's classes helped me find that peace within myself and furthering my studies of Buddhism seemed to be the platform that enabled me to find that path.

Meditation and Yoga Nidra and Corinne have also helped me understand, deal with, and welcome in Gregory's death and my grieving. The current class I am taking from Corinne is called: "Yoga of Loss and Grieving."

If you have read my posts about session two and four, you will be familiar with one's "Inner Resource." Click here to read session 2's post. Click here to read session 4's post. (Both open in a new window.)

Based on my post about session 4, this is the e-mail I received from Corinne. You will see why I call her my Guru! Find out more about Corinne on her website. (Opens in a new window.)

Hi Michael – 

Thank you for sending along this post. I read it last night, and woke up thinking about it this morning. 

One thought I have is perhaps to develop an additional way to connect with Inner Resource - remembering that any visualization we use is to connect with the felt-sense of our own wholeness. Our true nature has never been harmed, has never suffered, has never caused suffering, is not lacking and has always been complete. This feeling is often described as peaceful, calm, safe, secure, strong, grounded, etc. Everyone has different language to describe this feeling.  Any imagery we use is not the feeling, rather a vehicle or pathway to experiencing it. The feeling is what we are connecting with, using this very human way to do it (our imagination).

My thought is that it could be helpful to have another way to connect with your Inner Resource that is more neutral/less charged.  Then you can reconnect with your True Nature/Inner Light in a way that is more direct, rather than through Gregory.  You can have more than one way of connecting with your Inner Resource, and you could decide which to use at different times. 

This may take some exploration, which I'd be happy to do with you. Therapy would also be a wonderful place to explore this. I'd also be happy to talk with your therapist at any time, I'm doing this more and more. Whatever is helpful for you in this mysterious, unfolding journey.

xo Corinne

This is my reply to Corinne:

Hi. Thanks so much for your thoughtful e-mail. I think you are correct in your observations and as I was reading the e-mail, I instantly re-discovered another path to an Inner Resource. Many, many years ago when I was helping my fifth grade students through “Guided Visualizations,” I created for myself a personal waterfall oasis. It is a calm, peaceful place located in a lush, green rain forest. I would at times stand under the tepid water the of falls to wash away problems, fears, illness, etc. I think I will be able to use that as a way of “unloading” my current Inner Resource. Depending on what I am seeking, I can choose which one to go to in time of need. Thanks again my Guru!


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