My most treasured and noble Sangha…i’ve just returned from several days of caring for and guiding my mOM (80 years old) through a long series of intense medical tests and procedures. More easily explained in Eastern and Body/Mind terms (that’s another Teaching down the line), the best Western label for my mOM’s condition is, acute iron-deficient anemia caused by an unknown 3 centimeter ‘mass’ in her colonic system. Today, she met with the surgeon who will attempt to ‘cut it out,’ according to their wordage, sometime after the first of the year.

i’ve been a Christian and Buddhist meditator for 35 years, and a yogic practitioner and teacher for nearly as long*. As i write these words to you, perhaps the most oft-quoted Yogi Jesus saying rings clearest, “The Lord works in mysterious Ways.” Thanks in instrumental part, i TAF, to our collective Prayers, the Divine sent an archangel manifested as my mOM’s surgeon. My mOM is right now abiding in a Clear, Peaceful state of mind. She has deep faith that this surgeon – a diminutive female of confident strength and revered among her medical peers – is going to ‘fix’ her up.

And you know what?  My mOM’s Faith might be just enough.  How did Yogi Jesus put it before He healed anyone who came to Him?  “Do you believe?”  Right now, my mOM believes in this surgeon, who, of course, i just see as another gloriously masked emanation of Christ’s Light.

It’s a funny thing when a lifelong Practitioner such as myself is called into his or her biological family during a medical ‘crisis.’ The Practitioner cannot simply barge into a non-Practitioner’s suffering and attempt to lay a bunch of positive spins and (w)holistic healings onto the suffering Loved One and the family and expect everything to be hunky dory.

It really was not until these past few days spent with my ailing mOM (and resultantly, my dad) in the grande pueblo of Albuquerque that i Realized just how incredibly effective, in the most exquisite of ways Wholistic Fitness™ is when it comes to serving the seriously ill. Though ilg is not even in the 6-more lifetime ballpark of a Mother Teresa, i did discover that each of the basic tenets and principles and practices that i’ve taught you (and myself) through WF actually deepens personal practice immeasurably during times of high-intensity suffering within biologic family**.

Warriorship is about being brave enough (read; fearless) to be gut honest with ourselves every step of the Way. When our own mOM is encountering a possible Bardo Entry, it’s a pretty interesting Mirror in which to watch our mind, our ego, and our emotional waves. The egoic default system in place seems unflappably fastened to our Being; “Oh, poor me…having to clean up this diarrhea again when i could be out riding my bike or skiing or doing asana…” How many seconds, minutes, hours, days, lifetimes does it take before our Higher Self rises above the ego and emotions to herald, “This IS your yoga! This IS your Practice…so PRACTICE!”

The role of Love while caring for biologic family when they are ill is a stalwart compatriot for the yogi. The Buddha taught 11 beneficial training effects from the Practice of Loving (and trust me, Loving IS a Practice!):

1. Thou shall sleep easily

2. Thou shall wake easily

3. Thou shall have pleasant dreams

4. Humans shall love thee

5. Celestial and Animal Beings shall love thee

6. Those in the Celestial Realm shall protect thee

7. External dangers and temptations shall not harm thee

8. Thy face shall beam radiance

9. Thy mind shall be serene

10. Thou shall die unconfused

11. Thou shall be reborn in happy Realms

Yeah, i know. Go(o)d stuff, isn’t it? Go ahead. i in-courage you: read the list again. Pretty sound stuff for being Taught a few eons ago, eh?


Now, let’s switch over to Yogi Jesus, just as clever and high a spiritual cat as Shakyamuni put it in His more trademark, hippie, bumper-sticker type of dialogue, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Phew. Big. All things considered. Hear me? Feel me? Did i love my mOM enough to go through what Yogi Jesus did? And have my own daughter and my Beloved Ananda and you watch me go through the lashings and a blood-bath of a crucification on behalf of my mOM? Yogi Jesus would…and did! Not for His mOM, He finished that curriculum for me! For You! Phew…They shouldn’t call those benches in Christ-loving churches ‘pews’…they should call them ‘Phews’! Listen to it again: “Love one another as I have loved you…”… i got a Halo over here…uh…any of YOU willing to wear it?!? Cuz feeble ilg sure ain’t! ilg is not THAT brave of a Warrior Yogi! Nordic races, quadrathlons, gnarly outdoor sports? Sure thing; Sign me up. That type of pain is purifying…yet, has it Served me well enough to be as Brave as Yogi Jesus?   Or…how well has my tonnage of sweat prepared me to be as Brave as Buddha, “I vow to sit here in Full Lotus until Enlightenment,” point blank; and then DO IT!?!?

Maybe you – like me – are not as Brave or Fearless as Yogis J and B.

Yet, we can and we ARE still trying however. You would not be reading this, if you weren’t trying to Rise Above your negative tendencies and lazy patterns.

These past few days partaking of my mOM’s (and Dad’s) suffering has really driven hOMe to me the base point of why i created the Mindfulness Techniques and Personal Growth Teachings of WF in the first place; the need for Love and Compassion and Kindness towards ourselves and all other Beings.

Just as living through sweat the various physical training disciplines of WF, so too engaging the Lifestyle Principles and techniques of WF help immeasurably to transform our fault-finding mind into a more loving, spacious, and accepting mind. With minds of love, we stand a FAR better chance at navigating the inevitable ups and downs of the Outer World to mine the most precious and rarest of all “or(e)”; Serene Equanimity regardless of intensity and unfamiliarity.

Thank you for your Prayers, Understanding, and Light during these past several days…and a special thanks to my rarest and most brave of all WF Students; my Online Students who truly are more like Benefactors to the Mission of WF than ‘students’ of mine…without your support, this rare, lofty Temple so cloud-hidden high above the rest, would not have survived three years…let alone 35! Thank you, all of you.

May this Teaching serve your Highest Sweat and Self,

your feeble ilg

* when asked to define the difference, i re-mind student to realize the Word Choice: de-fine. Whenever we desire to define something or someone, we are really doing injustice to Naked Awareness since the word ‘define’ literally means, “to make less fine.” Why would we want to do that? if pressed, i answer the question thusly, “Pray to Buddha during consciously still periods. Pray to Yogi Jesus during consciously uncomfortable periods.” Buddha was the epitome of serene contemplation. Yogi J? Hey, well, you’ve seen the film; The Passion Of Jesus” right…Mel nailed it right; what that MahaYogi stepped up to – consciously…on behalf the Sangha? Are you kidding me? Praying to Yogi Jesus while seated comfortably in a perfumed pew does not make spiritual sense. You gotta really ramp up your Vibrational Intensity if you want Yogi Jesus to answer your Prayers and to me, the most effective way to do that is to get out there in a training discipline be it strength, cardio or yoga and suffer consciously so you can pray more honestly. Take the mind and its ego games out of the equation; Sacred Sweat. Wholy Sweat.
This is why Yogi Jesus is the MahaYogi for the Western Awakened Ones; we like to be active. So, let’s be Divinely Active!
** i use the term Biologic Family so that i am not conditioning you – or myself – into thinking that our biologic family is necessarily related to our spiritual family.

5 Responses to “Awakening At Fear; when a yogi’s mOM is face to face with Shiva’s Ultimate Dance”

  1. Ken Doyle says:

    Dear Steve, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. i just lost my father and all these years on the WF Fitness path helped us deal with his passing. Best of luck to your MOM. Love, Kendo

  2. Kevin Burnett says:

    Head bowed, back straight, breath deep.

  3. coach says:

    Precious Tribal Brothers,
    ilg thanks thee both from the bottom of my constantly re-opening, and re-opening again and again heart! oh the Suffering! let’s keep crankin’ toward Enlightenment with the vow of not going anywhere else but Here Now until All Beings Everywhere are freed from suffering, illness, and old age! Warriors up!

  4. Michael French says:

    You got a hug waiting for you from me. I feel you. it is great to read your perspective and thought process and incredible of you to share some deep and sacred feelings. The bond of a son to his mOM is powerful and that makes these issues very challenging.

  5. Leslie Hutchinson says:

    Dear EC,
    Blessings to you and your family. A humble bow from LH as she remembers the many times that you walked with and beside me when the “great matter of life and death” met me at the door. Today, I walk beside you and offer my hand and my heart . LH and KK

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