So here I am, in hospital. It is not so different from being in a monastery. There is a routine, even ascetic practices, like regularly having needles stuck in one in a variety of places, plus the odd unexpected extra one to test one's equanimity. For the first few days I was confined to bed with tubes and wires everywhere, but now have a bit more freedom. When one loses something one appreciates it more. One marks little steps, like the day when I was able to wash myself in the morning, then the day I was allowed out of bed as far as the toilet. When you have had to struggle with bed pans, sitting on a toilet seat suddenly appears as a great luxury. Now that I am allowed out of bed, I can go a short distance down the corridor and do walking meditation in a rather deserted area at the far end of this floor.
Elja has been a superb support. Each day she brings me all the messages received from all my friends around the world, a change of books and extra food treats. I am very touched by all the messages. Lying in bed one loses strength, so I feel tired a lot of the time and it is difficult to distinguish what is a symptom of the illness from what is loss from non-use. The doctor here gives me confidence and I now am familiar with several nursing teams who take their turns. I feel a lot of gratitude for the wonders of modern medicine, even for the injections! Having had a bad experience as a child I was left with something of a phobia for the needle, so I have been working on overcoming it here. Faith and practice are a great thing. I see the struggles of other patients.
I can already see that this event is going to force a change in my lifestyle. Travelling is going to be mostly limited to the range of the local supermarket for the foreseeable future, which may mean a year or so, so my past speculations about spending more time at Eleusis and less in airports have come to pass. There is quite a bit we still do not know, like the root cause of the problem. The doc says we might never know, but at least we have the treatment – a positive philosophy. Right now I'm waiting for the results of several tests. If the results are good I should be out of hospital on Friday with a domiciliary treatment plan. If not, then I'll be here a while longer.
Much love to all my friends. Thank you for the thoughts, good wishes and support. Namo Amida Bu.