(This story is part of an ongoing sharing of my experiences sitting with Asha Greer. For an introduction to Asha, please see the previous post titled�Â� The House that Zen Built.)
The routine the first few months sitting with Asha was that I would call the evening before to make sure it was okay for me to come sit with her the following morning. �Â� During one phone call she hesitated when I asked, started to say something, paused, and then just said, "Yes. Please come. I'll see you then."�Â� I thought it was a little odd, but didn't think too much about it.
The next morning we sat for an hour as usual, and then Asha served tea. Somewhere in our conversation I made the comment that often students turn to me when they are going through spiritual openings or are having intense experiences as someone who can help, and that I usually refer them to the healer with whom I work. I said that I didn't feel like I had a lot to give, especially in the months leading up to my sabbatical. Asha looked at me fiercely, raised her voice, and said, "Yes, you do!" And then she teared up and became silent. I was stunned.
The conversation eventually resumed and took a different direction, but before we left she explained her reaction.�Â� Two days prior she was in the hospital with a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. (That's why she hesitated when I asked to sit with her.) When her family was notified, they passed the news on to other family members. When her 19 year old grandson heard that she was in the hospital, he wept inconsolably for a long, long time. Asha has always been the matriarch of her family and community, the one who people turn to for guidance and counsel, and in all honesty one of the most solid (and empty) people I know. She looked me in the eyes and said, "It's not only your strength that opens people. Your weakness can too."
Go into the experience of
feeling fractured or broken.
Make friends with it.
Like everything, it will pass.
(Art & words by Asha Greer, from her collection of�Â� Meditation Cards.)