In a passage from Suzuki’s Not Always So, he states, “So whatever you do, just do it, without expecting anyone’s help. Don’t spoil your effort by seeking for shelter. Protect yourself and grow upright to the sky; that is all. That’s all, but it is a little bit unusual, isn’t it? Maybe we are crazy. Some people may think that we are crazy, and we may think they are crazy. It’s okay. We will find out pretty soon who is crazy.” This sounds like some attitudes regarding recovery from Parkinson’s without medications…are we crazy or are we taking responsibility and getting back control of our lives?
Are we crazy? Have we lost our minds thinking we can recover from Parkinson’s Disease? Dan Millman answers these questions quite well in the Peaceful Warrior: “Sometimes you have to lose your mind before you come to your senses.”
I think Suzuki and Millman are heading to the same place: Although we constantly are being told to “think outside the box,” as soon as we “think outside the Parkinson’s-conventional-Western-Medicine-approach box,” people tell us we are crazy and have lost our minds. I say, “Good, because now we can take responsibility and come to our senses!”
In the Suzuki passage, he spends time explaining to his students that he can provide them with the tools for sitting zazen, such as correct posture, correct mudra (special way of holding your hands), how to relax their minds, and how to breathe. However, he cannot sit zazen for them and he cannot guess how well they will do until they actually give it a try. So he tells them, “Whatever you do, just do it, without expecting anyone’s help.” After they give it a try and confer with him, he gives them pointers on how to improve. However, he constantly reminds them that although he has provided them with the tools and he provides continual guidance, each person has the responsibility to do the activity.
This is the approach I have taken with the Recipe for Recovery. I have provided all of the tools to do the Recipe. For those involved in Parkinson’s Coaching, I provide continual feedback and modifications to individualize the Recipe to meet with any special needs that may exist. However, the bottom line is this: each person has the responsibility to do the Recipe…nobody can do it for you.
To use Suzuki’s words, “That’s all, but it is a little bit unusual, isn’t it? Maybe we are crazy. Some people may think that we are crazy, and we may think they are crazy. It’s okay. We will find out pretty soon who is crazy.”
If knowing I can recover from Parkinson’s makes me crazy, then count me in.
If knowing I can recover from Parkinson’s without medications makes me crazy, then count me in.
If doing Qigong exercises to heal my organs and cleanse my body makes me crazy, then count me in.
If changing my diet to heal and strengthen my body makes me crazy, then count me in.
If praying and meditating and reciting affirmations to calm my mind and spirit makes me crazy, then count me in.
If being crazy actually means coming to my senses and taking responsibility for recovering from Parkinson’s, then count me in.
That’s how I see it. How about you?
All my best,
Sitting here with a great big grin on my face – oh, yeah, count me in the crazies!
I’m in Howard.