time and perfection

Oh, dear, I got out of the blogging saddle for a little while, and now I think I've forgotten how!

Hmm. So. Well, the past couple of weeks have been plushly full. On Friday I had the privilege and deep pleasure of filling in with what thoughts I was able to gather together, for my friend Bill who was teaching Advanced Naturopathic Therapeutics to the senior naturopathic medical students before he passed away. The students are so generous and receptive, and were willing to thoughtfully and heartfully engage with all of the ideas I scattered before them. I am very appreciative of their powerful collective presence and imagination.

One of the things I spoke with them about was our relationship with time, as human beings and particularly as clinicians (if you visit this link, scroll down to #4, Dr. Bob May's comments). One of the aspects that characterizes holistic care is the amount of time we dedicate to cultivating relationships, to listening and perceiving and exploring.

Bill taught us an expanded understanding of time and perfection and our place in the scheme. He wrote in his chapter on The Healing Power of Nature, for the forthcoming Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine textbook,
…the possibility for higher wellness predates the effort or even the awareness, but exists as an attractive force because the healing power of nature has more wisdom than the sentient present tense of the person.

“In this sense, we are attracted to a higher level of wellness by the future.
” Bill Mitchell, the Vis Medicatrix Naturae, pg. 8.
Another view on time that I've been carrying close in the past couple of weeks comes from No End, No Beginning: The Intimate Heart of Zen, by Jakusho Kwong Roshi:
"...the first teacher you will meet at a Zen center is the schedule. No matter what you may want to do or not do, the schedule provides a kind of natural pressure that pushes you past your hindrances, past your ideas of yourself and your fears or inhibitions...All of this pressure begins to accumulate like frost gathering on snow; it functions like the pressure that transforms coal into diamond."
Being so busy lately has me feeling very acutely the edges of my schedule; Kwong Roshi's view gives me a new appreciation for those edges. Regarding it as my teacher I am even starting to show up on time (most of the time!)