Its quiet here tonight and I am now in Mourning. I did a few powerful things today. I rang the Road Traffic Association and found that the Kombi was already transferred to the Girls. I got my electricity payments in order and I had the sense to ring LH in Yamba regarding Centrelink. She handled it all smoothly for me and in minutes. Address changed. Super declared. I think taxes are next and the girls have the papers so I shall just call ATO and ask advice.
Bodhi Hanna Kistner (86): “Only After Sixty My True Life Began”At 60, Bodhi Hanna Kistner moved from Germany to India. Then she started practicing Kyudo, Japanese zen archery. At 70, she became a Kyudo teacher. Now she’s 86 and gives lessons in India, California and Hawaii.— You are 86 now and at 60 you started studying such a tough and physically demanding sport as Kyudo which you’ve been practicing for 25 years now. How did this even happen?— When I moved to India at 60, I was actually planning to practice gardening. But I accidentally met a Kyudo master, visited his class and developed a passion for it. To tell the truth, I was a terrible student. For a long time I did terrible. Even when I followed my teacher to Japan he was very displeased with me. Eventually, he even kicked me out of his class. He said I was hopeless. But I was so attracted to archery because it was not just a sport, but a way of life. Unlike the usual kind of archery, in Kyudo we aim not just to hit the target. A bow is only a tool that allows us to open up, physically and mentally. To make a shot, you have to straighten your back and slow down. If you master this art, which is extremely difficult, you can hit the target even with your eyes closed. It happens by itself. This skill of opening up to the world that I have mastered along with archery is most precious to me. That’s why I continued to practice despite anything. And when I was 70, I started to teach, because with age came an urge to share my knowledge.— What helps you to enjoy your life after fifty?— I think it’s the skill of living in the present that I have mastered in the last 25 years. It is the key to enjoying your life in full. Enjoying life doesn’t mean being unreasonably excited all the time. On the contrary, as I became older I realized that the first step towards finding the joy of life was to accept reality openly and sincerely, accept everything as it is. Reality is not perfect. But it is important to face the truth. This attitude works wonders. By the way, speaking about joys, after sixty I fell in love with dancing.
NOT ME. FROM THE USA. I am one month short of being 29 years Clean.
Twenty-eight years ago the worst thing about me was that I couldn’t stop using drugs—and stay stopped. My DOC was cocaine, but I was a garbage head; I would partake in whatever was going around, especially if it was free. As a reasonably attractive, thirty-something woman whose motto was I work hard so I deserve to party hardy, drugs were easy to come by. And alcohol, being legal, was the socially acceptable, standby attitude adjuster.I had known for many years that I was addicted to drugs, but I wasn’t ready to do anything about it until my family was forced apart, police and social services were meddling in my affairs, and I was worried about losing my two children. At first, even this was insufficient to cause a change in my behavior. However, within a short time I found myself alone, locked in my master bathroom, free-basing, and not enjoying it at all. In fact, all I could do was cry! This was the beginning of the end for me.My previous attempts at staying clean, usually prompted by severe sickness or humiliation of some sort, always ended with me convincing myself that because I stopped for a period of time and because I had a good job, a nice home and car, I was now in control. Or I’d get drunk, think about using, and go get high. Even though I wasn’t ready to admit I was an alcoholic, I had the desire to stop drinking in order to stay away from my DOC. This was good news when I walked into my first AA meeting; it meant I belonged even though I was uncertain if I was an alcoholic.
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My Recovery Network has recently dealt with the death of a dear friend. He graduated from the program the only way one can, by passing on into the next stage of existence clean and sober.The unfortunate truth of a life of sobriety is that you will hear of, know and love many people, friends and loved ones who pass away. More than those who are not in the program. This is just the nature of this disease. Some will die from natural causes, some will die from other diseases like cancer, but many of them will lose the battle to Drugs and Alcohol.The fortunate part about Recovery and working a good program is that we develop a huge network of close, real friends that we can lean on. We can help each other through the grief. In active addiction it would have been an excuse to drink and use more. In Recovery it is a teachable moment that shows us in times of trial and heart ache we need to use the tools we have been taught. We must work our program. We must do these things so that we may be of help to other suffering addicts and alcoholics.The hardest part for me when faced with death is the finality of the fact that I know I will never see or talk to that person again. I know they are in a better place. I have personal grief, but more importantly I grieve for the families.
I have been looking at old graphics lately and many showed relatively peaceful, beautiful death. I were thinking of the misrepresentation and then I realised that many would be accurate images and that the ugliness today often resulted from a) the sterility and formality and overcrowded environment of ICU b) the ludicrous and ugly procedures that extend the hours of ” life”. Lynne.
When I worked briefly as a Buddhist chaplain in a Medical ICU I was shocked by the suffering I watched every day as families anguished over what to do next. There are no words to adequately describe an ICU death. It is most often preceded by medical interventions that are barbaric – machines, wires, drugs, and pumps sustain a body until bereft family members can find a way to stop the aggressive medical treatment and let nature take its course, often feeling like they are committing a crime rather than releasing someone from prison. The ICU is no place for siblings or children to have conversations about what a parent or loved one would have wanted at this point. It’s like trying to teach a drowning man to swim. The die is cast.What if families talked about end of life care over dinner? What if priests and rabbis and pastors fostered values-based “upstream” conversations not just about how we want to live but how we want to die, knowing they are intimately connected? What if it was not taboo to talk about the kind of treatment you want – or don’t want – before you die? How can we help families, neighbors, faith communities and clinicians to stop being fearful, maybe stop wasting time watching television or shopping and turn attention to the most important event that we will all inevitably face?