Dec 10 2011

Conventional and Ultimate Truths

lava~palm trunk

whatever exists is either a conventional truth or an ultimate truth, and since ultimate truth refers just to emptiness, everything except emptiness is a conventional truth.  For example, things such as houses, cars and tables are all conventional truths. Although conventional truths are false objects, nevertheless they actually exist because a mind directly perceiving a conventional truth is a valid mind, a completely reliable mind. Emptiness is not a separate reality existing behind conventional appearances, but is the real nature of those appearances. (even Albert Einstein knew this!)  

http://anitamoorjani.com/  when one has time…it is quite a fascinating video and story!  to achieve death and have your wisdom eye opened to reveal ultimate truth!  i’ll never forget Steve Jobs last words….”oh wow, oh wow…”  or Manjushri whom giggled with delighted surprise…that is my goal…to achieve a joyful death with family present with love in their hearts, peace within their minds and of courseyes, as with all ordinary humans we will be sad and grieve at random and in different ways it is the path of human nature to suffer….until we realize the truth….we’re all interconnected, we’re all impermanent, we all die and nothing exists independently from anything.  

so put your hate, anger and divisive speech aside and put on your thinking caps, open your hearts and minds and shift your views towards a world that is created by nothing but loving kindness…i begin a 4 -5 week retreat in mantra counting (110,000) to be exact.  it is very structured and goes from morning to sundown, a preparation to become truth, recycled back into the earths elements, to let go in retreat with my guru at my heart.  

Hospice comes next week to discuss my options to keep me comfortable. 

i pray for peace of mind and i pray for you….


Dec 4 2011

Tis the season of giving…

hazel and hank on the beach in kona, hawaii…week of thanksgiving.

 

 

 


Nov 11 2011

portlandia!

moving along with life i just returned from a trip to visit my youngest in Portland, Oregon….

mural on a wall on the NE side….

the artists and craftsmen in Portland are amazing….

a plethora of vintage and second hand shops…

senses are hit with the change of season here…

curious find.

pure love…thank you Harrison and Lulu for this special time shared…and thank you to my mate for getting me there and back…may your cold/flu subside without effort.

 


Oct 20 2011

getting on with life!

kuzu is calling me back to get my hands dirty, cut, burned and fit.  my mate and family beckons me to spend more time in closeness and quality.  my spiritual path gently holds me upright and at peace however the urgency to pursue more in my meditation practice is paramount!  time like change is constant. if you would like to hear more from hazel…

the asian welder will post her newest works as they are born here and will hold a showing in march for our 4th anniversary!  

special thanks to the “fan of The Four Noble Truths” whom sends me fresh flowers every other week!!  i love my fresh flowers and i love you whomever you are….hazel.

 


Oct 11 2011

conscientiously

i have made my decision!  i have chosen to STOP treatments in chemo…living dependently upon chemo indefinitely is not a choice for me.  i am not unlike many in this world whom are suffering from the label and all its unknown consequences “Cancer”.  mine has no cure as of yet…all modern medicine can do for me is extend my life (tho they are not gods and have NO idea for how long) thru maintaining the cancer from growing or spreading but at what cost?  

to live dependently upon something or anything is an attachment i have NO attachment to!  i chose to give chemo a go because of my family.  i wanted to try what the “standard of care” in modern medicine could offer me and what i have learned is that like most situations in this life ONE must take responsibility for themselves!  you cannot “spot” treat one area of your body without affecting the whole body.  this is not rocket science…when i think back on my past as a personal trainer in health/fitness i recalled ALL the clients whom came into my studio wanting, pleading and begging to spot reduce my tummy, or the butt, or just help me lose a little under my arm so it doesn’t sag.  i usually giggled when asked for these modern miracles and then went into my rant about how your physical body does not work that way!  when you treat your physical body to something (drugs, food, exercise….) it effects the entire body!  it has been three weeks since my last chemo infusion…my teeth are still numb, the taste buds are pretty much gone, extreme cold/heat affect the extremities, the scalp still itches (tho my hair is growing back) and many other strange side effects….i rejoice for those whom have had great success in treatment and are here today living meaningful lives.  may all sentient beings have the capacity to a happy and long life!

my parents celebrated their 58th anniversary last week….

i love my dad (79) and mom (81)!

i’ve entered a new journey into alternative and or holistic lifestyle changes: raw foods diet (50% of my intake), vitamins/minerals, herbs, reiki, qigong and my Buddha, Dharma and Sangha!  i started exercise with a 3 mile walk once a week, boot camp for women with cancer once a week and will begin yoga in a couple weeks.  swimming will have to wait till next summer!  i’m a pansy when it comes to cold!!  

live conscientiously people…your happiness depends upon it!

 


Sep 28 2011

A thousand kisses deep…

a song title by Leonard Cohen…since i spend more time these days laying low i have a renewed passion for music and have created new playlists…slowly this body moves, the mind(s) are dancing to their own beat, uncontrolled visions appear before me…like yesterday morning a dead bat (native symbol for death/rebirth) lay at my back door like an offering…a sculpture we’ve had for years fell down and the clay woman was broken off at the waist…the book i was reading before i was diagnosed “Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully” (which i could not put down it was so good!)…i asked the Buddha’s a week before my diagnosis for a really good teaching on renunciation, man oh man i wish i could take that one back!!   today i pulled the animal totem of……the bat, now that is no coincidence!!

today is a day of major decisions and yet not really a choice in my mind.  the oncologist met with me to discuss the outcome of my newest latest and greatest scan…..bada bing bada boom….the cancer is stable he says happily!!  stable…i think to myself not happily…stable equates to NO progress in my mind. the fact that the cancer has not regressed or progressed in growth is not what i call a success…tho my oncologist would disagree.  his measure of success with a patient of his; “she has the most severe cancer and is still alive three years later”…how long has she been off chemo my mate asks….never, replies the doctor! to make a long story short if i want to live longer i must live dependent upon chemo….indefinitely and this will NOT cure me, eventually the cells would become resistant and so it goes…on…and on..!  see what i mean by NOT a choice…it’s not a choice about extending time it’s a choice about living a meaningful life with the time we have.

did you know that each chemo treatment runs approx. 20,000$ without insurance!  i am grateful to be among the insured, it’s the one responsible thing i have always done because i was/am a mom. i never wanted my children to be without health care nor did i want them to suffer…of ALL the attachments in/of this world my heart concern is about my own mother in this life.  when her father died she got to spend many years one on one with her mom, when we bought my parents house it was with the condition that they live their remaining days in the guest house, so naturally my thoughts went towards my memories of her and her mother thinking i would be able to have this “quality” time with her after dad passed away.  well, dad is still fighting to live suffering with diabetes and other ailments but his will is strong!  i guess i’ll just have to whisk my mom away for day outings and be grateful for whatever moments we can share. 

 

 The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to beat.
You win a while, and then it’s done 
Your little winning streak.
And summoned now to deal
With your invincible defeat,
You live your life as if it’s real,
A thousand kisses deep.

Leonard Cohen

http://www.last.fm/music/Leonard+Cohen/_/A+Thousand+Kisses+Deep

cool runnings everyone

“peace be your journey”     


Sep 13 2011

attachments…who cares!

back porch w/lance

went pro active in shaving the head!  truthfully i could not take the itching of the scalp and my head would heat up like a fire ball!  chemo has some definite strange affects!!

positive note:

never felt more alive!

more present in the moment(s)

acceptance/peaceful mind with relation to this journey

my compassion continues to grow…

 

 


Aug 26 2011

Chemo Land

the lights are bright overhead in the oncology clinic. there must be 20+ stations for patients, with only a few extra small sitting chairs for visitors or partners…which i found rather inconsiderate, however what do i know.  my post today is about our 5 sense awarenesses /or our sense powers and how unique it is to each individual.  we all have different capacities just as in our mental capacities to understand or cognize.

i felt rather naive embarking on this journey into modern medicine/science even with consulting with my docs and family and friends whom have been thru it…there is nothing that correlates to real experience. we can share stories but ultimately my awareness’s and truths in my mind may and most likely will be different than what you experience and so will your perspective and story to tell.

like i said i am just beginning this path and for some reason i thought the clinic aspect would be piped in with waterfalls, ocean waves, birds happily chirping…NOT. the view would be dimly lit for meditating or reading nooks….NOT.  the taste in my mouth at first entry is medicinal, they flush my port with a blood thinner and then anti nausea medication, after that my mouth tends to dry out.

one of the drugs has a definate side effect to temperatures…thus the AC running felt like siberia!  hanks sits with me at my side in one of the few visitor chairs and is always at the ready!  like yesterday before getting my portable pump device removed  i realized the bowels were going to bust (again) so i headed with bag in tow to the bathroom to find it locked!!! my stomach at that moment flipped and decided to exit the other way, praticing “mindfulness” choosing a direction with less people to witness this so as not to make all 20 of us barfing i found a waste basket, signaled to hank my demise and he was there with a cold washcloth before the second dry heave!! 

teehee…hank was determined to get my chuckle on! this is a deceptive image(would’ve liked to have been crying), granted temporary happiness is always nice but this round made the warrior feel the battle!  

Chemo Regimen

Folfox + Avastin
Day 1 4-5 hours IV infusion
Days 2 & 3 pump (48 hrs)
Every 2 weeks for 12 treatments (6 months)
Reassess @ 3 months

Drugs:
Oxaliplatin
Leucovorin
Fluorouracil
Avastin

thanks kassie for your tip on the fluids…saved my arse…!  and thanks to mersadies for “my fighting mantras”!

one perk:  mosquitos must have a unique sense of smell?  they swirl around me and land but never have they bit me while on chemo!!

update: heading back to the oncology clinic…better be safe rather than sorry for the weekend approaches…getting another bag of fluids and anti-diarrheal meds IV!!  little difficult to be hydrating if ya know what i mean, especially with a much shortened large intestine and half a rectum, sorry for the visual guys but eh, it’s samsara!


Aug 7 2011

Pure Land

Maitreya

 

in my last post i said “i’m ready to get my head into the game now!”  what i came away with from this 15 day experience has nothing to do with my head…but with my heart.  their are many levels of “minds” and the one i needed to connect with was my very subtle mind residing within my heart.  as we ALL know, academia, intellectual knowledge is wasted without application, and to go a step further in faith one must “feel” it, experience this within the heart.  without a heartfelt experience it does not benefit anyone except our minds of self-cherishing or as commonly known the ego!  in one of the first teachings the question was asked “do you want to be a theoretical Buddhist or a practical Buddhist?”  i had to challenge myself many times and ask sincerely within was i practicing with wisdom or was the awakening enough to go on? the intellectual (gross)mind is very strong for me i have always had great difficulty in just accepting love freely without my judging others reasons or my upbringing views i held onto about expressions of love.  i let go my attachments to my old views over the days there and allowed others even strangers show their love without my gross mind getting in the way.  how joyous, how liberating and vulnerable the feelings were and still are.  i feel as though i grew exponentially with compassion for others due to their kindness!

it sounds so easy what i speak about however it is your intellect, your gross mind interpreting or imputing your perception of what you read above/here.  the very subtle mind of compassion is not easy, simple yes in theory, however in true practice of application one has to let go of our ignorance we so dearly hold onto within and that is innate…at least for me!  

there were many insights or awakenings to my Buddha nature within, profound teachings, not just from my spiritual guides but from the people present.  AND i did not lose one pound even with the daily 2hr walks i took!  the lake district outside of the town of Ulverston was home base…a glorious cool 70′s with mist and rain off and on…the sun shone bright most days like blessings.

lake district, england…fog lifting or my interpretation of the fog of ignorance lifting from my wisdom eye

 Sangha mates from Tucson

Manjushri temple, approx. 2600 people in attendance from around the world

the many flowers on the property

 lastly…upon return to home i found a package from my relatives in japan. they made me a Senba-Zuru :  Senbazuru is a Japanese word meaning “1000 Cranes.” It is well-known for the legend which states that whoever folds 1000 origami cranes will be granted a wish.

i bow to all my kind mothers in this life whom have shown me great compassion, patience, love, kindness and riches beyond the material worlds….tomorrow i begin another new adventure, from the non-deceptive nature of Dharma into the deceptive nature of science.  my heart has changed thus so has my mind surrounding this process of chemo, i am more than ready…

 

Thank you dear kind Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

 

 

 


Jul 20 2011

ALL systems GO!

 

having gained 6 lbs back now, my suitcase is packed half with foods of high protein and caloric intake!  a Buddhist retreat provides three wonderful vegetarian meals however my metabolism cannot exist long or keep my weight on without cheating!  i leave tomorrow morning for England at 4amish…i cannot believe it is already 7 weeks since my diagnosis and 6 weeks since major surgery!?  i feel great, my strength has improved immensely and i am so ready to get my head into the game now!  

i thank you ALL for providing me with such love, strength, courage, kind words, gifts, food…. Pei Ling, Tracy, Tamra, Gen Lingpur, Laurel, Mariko, Wes, Kimie, Walter, Pamela, Diane, Diana, George,Leah, Mike, Kathy, Mick, Walter, Brad, Lita, Mauri, Shannon, Cyd, Lisa, Kimi, Jeff, Mark, Adele, Cynthia, Marty, Gamo, Mersadies, Andrea, MaryClare, Gabriela, Dave, Land, Erica, Willie, Cheryl, Cindy, Tara, JoJo, Kit, Nancy, Carol, Debbie, Erin, Bill, Klaus, Sabina, Sarah, Chuck, Diana, Betsy, Ann, Christine, David, Debby, Gil, Joy, Frank, Terry, Liz, Tom, Katt, Don, Bob, Marlin, Jacquie, Chris, Amy, Diane, Michelle, Bodhipaksa, Cameron, Connie, Deb, Barbara, Kassie, Sean, Shanti, Stella, Kristina, Jen, Steve, Harrison, Roger, Phil…….random order due to memory and i know i have forgotten many others…i will not be back here for a few weeks.  i arrive back in tucson on saturday, August 6th, that monday i will undergo a “PETscan” and the next day i start my chemo, i’m told it’s  one treatment at the oncology clinic and then self administering through a pump over 48 hours, to be continued every two weeks over six months.

live happy and conscientiously!

love,

hazel