These three books and mentors helped me make sense of my life. I have ‘wholeheartedly rested’ (rested with no sensory stimulus) for hours every day for 33 years since age 10 due to severe Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. In 2019, I discovered neuroscientist Richie Davidson’s work with the Dalai Lama at the Mind and Life Institute – and that I’m pretty much an Olympic Meditator! ‘My Year of Living Mindfully’ by Shannon Harvey, ‘Altered Traits’ (audiobook) / ‘The Science of Meditation’ (hardcover) by Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson, and ‘Altruism’ by Mattieu Ricard on Audible and borrowed from the home library service at Brisbane City Council Libraries changed the focus of my life from pain and overwhelming empathy, to meditation, and life-giving compassion. Thank you for saving my life! (The Dalai Lama is pictured here with another mentor, my friend Bunu, Bishop Pradeep Kumar Samantaroy who is the leader of the Diocese of Amritsar in northern India which includes the province of Dharamsala where the Dalai Lama and his people live in exile).
I can always meditate, no matter how ill I become. Even when I am too sick to sing or play piano, I can always slow… down… the… voice… in… my… head… with a chant and bliss out on a melody. Meditation makes me happy no matter how badly I am suffering. I have created my own styles of meditation and I’m excited to have found a passion I can dedicate my life to that is fun and enlightening, not physically and emotionally draining. I may lose so many abilities that used to define my sense of self, but I will never lose my ability to meditate and escape to a world where I am safe and at peace. I can always rely on my inner spirit to comfort me, it’s the only thing I will never lose and this means everything! No matter how much excruciating pain I have to live with, with meditation I can go to a realm where I am blissfully happy and I transcend the suffering. It brings me joy to share that with the world. We all have light within.