My name is Sam Oliver. My latest book "The Path into Healing" is now out. It is about how we need to enter into the feminine side of our soul for healing within ourselves and our planet. It is for men and women to read. If you are in an environmental group, you will love this book. It is dedicated to "the healing of the world." You can review this book on www.pathintohealing.com
Hospice patients come to our care after being cut, burned, and poisoned. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment are the normative methods of care for most of the patients who enter a life-threatening disease. Hospital staff members are trained to be aggressive about curative care.
Hospice care is a phase of care whereby aggressive treatment is no longer appropriate. Palliative care becomes the norm. Patients have been probed physically, mentally, and emotionally. In many ways, patients may be reluctant to any type of care beyond the experiences that led to his/her doctor sharing that no more can be done.
The purpose of this article is to claim that much more can be done. Our Doctors and Nurses are trained to help patients receive medication that stabilizes and even diminishes pain and suffering physically. Social Workers are trained to help patients and families deal with emotional, practical, and legal issues surrounding loss and grief. Spiritual Counselors help with the integration of emotional well-being and a sense of faith and hope beyond one's self-awareness.
The Heart of Care
The heart of care centers it's attention on the needs of the patient who is dying. Any attempt to move a patient away from his/her authentic character becomes a war of wills. As we listen and care for a person just as he/she is, we are allowing a person to die the way he/she lived. Our ability to meet a person in unconditional love will draw out the desire to be fully known by the patient. Here, we are given opportunities to meet him/her in grace and mercy.
Patients are not a disease. Patients are awakening into soul. Mary was a strong-willed person who did not want to die. She had a strong personality. She had many roles she carried out in life, and she wanted to hold on to them all. She was a mother, friend, wife, among many other roles.
About two weeks before Mary died, she shared with me that she became aware of two identities: one was her strong personality and the other was a presence of peace she could not explain. The closer Mary came to her dying, the more she could identify with wanting peace over suffering. This identity with her soul became more appealing to her than living in a body that was failing her. She was awakening into her authentic self.
The Heart of Compassion
A dying patient gives up so much in their dying that he/she is tempted to hold on to what is left in their life. Even if holding on means more pain and suffering, some patients do try to do so. As care givers, we need to be sensitive to this aspect of a patient's letting go process. A patient needs support and guidance to simply learn to move from letting go (an act of the will) to letting be (getting into harmony with one's dying). A person offering care will enter into the heart of compassion by giving a patient space to enter into this process of moving from "letting go" to "letting be."
As a person dies, their personality will give way to their soul. In the process, a heart is broken. This desire to escape a painful body and embrace peace (one's authentic-self) is complicated by the desire to remain with those he or she has loved. This built up tension creates a path one has to choose inside them that transcends individual and collective conscious awareness. In essence, this is a matter of survival for the soul. This path moves a person's soul forward.
Funeral services remind us, it is the soul of a person that draw us to face death and not the deceased body. These services serve as a symbol of transition for the loved one who has died and those reflecting on the life of the deceased. A relationship that once was created outside us and in the body of another person no longer applies. Now, relationships with the deceased are internal and completely within us creating an invisible bond forever linking our awareness to a spacial quality within us drawing those left behind deeper into soul.
An Awakened Heart
An awakened heart knows there is more to life than what appears on the surface.
Dying people lead us to this place where eternal relationships are forged into the deepest aspects of our nature. It is our nature to love and feel love. Even grief has the capacity to deepen our sense of sacredness toward those we love.
A year ago, I gave a talk for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in Los Angeles, CA. I was gone about a week. When I returned, my youngest son gave me a big hug. I missed him and he missed me. I could feel him literally fill my heart with love. In a real way, my soul was touched by my son's soul. An awakened heart knows that this is the heart of relationships.
In the landscape of the soul, what matters in life IS NOT matter. When we begin to look through our eyes and not with them, we enter into a view of life from the perspective of soul. Insight, to see from within, enables us to encounter death with hope, with faith, and with love.
As we grow in our capacity to see from within, we enter into the heart of grief. This emergence into the nature of soul will sustain us through death and into life - eternal. May the Creator of us all give us strength for the journey.
Samuel Oliver, author of, "What the Dying Teach Us: Lessons on Living" and "A Fish Named Ed"
It is the nature of soul to grow, to heal, and to love. As we enter into the world, we emerge as a tiny child. We are open. We do not have conditions placed on us by our parents or ourselves. We have not closed ourselves off from any possibility. It is though the world lay at our feet. We are a bundle of unconditioned purity.
As we age, conditions are placed on us to direct us along our paths intended to keep us from harm. Even if we manage to stay out of harms way, we move into a state of stimulus-response reactions toward life. This draws us further and further away from the natural state of pure being we came into the world with as an infant.
How can we return to our natural state of being? How can we call our soul back and gain a sense of spiritual well-being? The following are ways we can return to the wholeness and healing we seek as spiritual beings incarnated into the human race:
1. Do Something Creative.
Creativity engages our heart, our mind, and our imagination. These activities allow us to utilize our whole being. Our attention moves from outer expressions of the world and enters the inner dynamics of living giving rise to our heart and our imagination. When our heart and our imagination are given attention, we enter into the realm of insight. Insight is our ability to see from within just how sacred and magical our lives really are.
In the realm of soul, our humanity becomes sacred. Through creativity we are aware how life flows through us and not from us. The more we identify with these qualities of attention flowing through us, the more we are identifying with qualities residing in us that are whole and healing. It is our natural state.
2. Spend Time With A Child.
Children have a way of drawing our attention away from activities and responsibilities defining us as adults. All a child wants to do in this world is have fun. They seem to never tire of such activities. Children are constantly motivated by play.
As adults, we tend to think of play as wasted time. Adults who lose a sense of play and joy in their lives are in danger of losing self-motivation. The kind of self-motivation I am referring to involves the desire to have fun in life. This can lead to a depressive state lacking creativity, spontaneity, and the heart of a child.
Each of us has the heart of a child within us that never tires. It is the part of us fully participating in and with life. As our imagination and heart begin to guide us over the mind, we are in soul. In soul, our mind is in its proper perspective. This part of us is our inner awareness not bound by the pressures of the world. When we return to soul, the possibility of living whole and healed becomes a reality.
3. Become A Child.
The next time you look into a child's eyes try to feel their heart. Notice the difference and similarities of your heart and their heart. Is there a difference? Is this awareness a long or short distance from where you were as a child?
What happened to that little boy or little girl inside you? Since we cannot retrieve childhood physically, maybe we can from within. Remember your past as a child - the good times and the bad times. As you look at your life through the eyes of a child, recall how active your heart and imagination were. Embrace it. Let this inner vision penetrate your entire awareness. Let go of your adult interpretations of your childhood and view it with innocence and love.
Our true nature is to live in the world without being fully of it. Inside us are endless avenues that can move us toward the experience of joy. When we let go of our tendency to view the world as right or wrong, good or bad, we leave behind dualism and enter into Unity.
This Unity behind all appearances of diversity is a healing state of unconditional love. It is the part of us bringing all life into being, leading us through life, and what will lead us home. It is the force of nature giving us life. It is our soul.
Spirituality is, of
course, different from
religion. This is
in part why we changed
our description to that
of being an
rather than an interfaith
interfaith hints at
religion, meaning we are
a church of all...
Excuses don't really
excuse anyone from
anything other than to
g4t out of learning,
advancing and reaching
goals, as in having an
excuse to miss
class. You miss
it. That's what I'm
talking about.Some people
use excuses for
Ah yes, Thanksgiving,
turkey and stuffing,
mashed potatoes and
gravy, yummy! I know
Jezzie and Bruti will be
at hand and underfoot
during the preparation
and cooking, and of
course the eating, just
waiting for those
inevitable clumsy moments
so they c...