Nicolae Tanase: Dr. Weiss, what is the meaning of life?
Steven Weiss: Hmmm… the meaning of life?
As my thoughts unwind along the Path that these words take me… I must ask myself first, “what do I mean by Meaning?” I am stuck here.
As one who strives to move toward the non-duality of things, is there not meaning in all things? meaning behind all things?
Is there anything which does not have meaning? I hear the words of a woman Apache elder teacher (Shanadii Crosby in New Mexico) who would frequently remind us that “nothing has meaning except for the meaning we give it!” quickly followed by, “and since all things were Breathed by Creator, how could they not all have meaning… and be perfect just the way they are?”
So a mind seeks meaning… and in doing so creates judgment… and a duality-driven series of barriers or boxes… “this has meaning on this side… this does not on the other… this is sacred… and of course this is profane.”
When I seek meaning… and attach meaning… and create meaning… do I not risk missing the fundamental essence of a thing (“the Tao which can be named is not the Tao”). I miss the possibility of sitting and Being with the thing in and of itself… rather than engaging my mind to analyze it. It feels impossible to be open and Present to a thing… while at the same time analyzing it and deconstructing it for its meaning.
(“So the pilgrim said, ‘I wish to know the meaning of life, father.’ And the Dalai Lama smiled and said, ‘Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn’t it?’”…)
Sorry… and then… for comic relief… my mind keeps remembering the scene in “Conan the Barbarian” in which, when asked by a Mongol General, “What is best in life?” Conan replies, “To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.”
And then the word “Life” itself? what do I mean by Life? Is life a light, like the sun, that crosses the otherwise black sky of death (non-life)? Or, as Huang Po, the 6th Patriarch of Chinese Buddhism (9th century) (also striving to achieve the non-duality behind all phenomena, teachings, and practices) emphasizes… “the sky is the same sky whether the sun is traveling across it… or whether it is in total darkness… that the light and dark are merely varying expressions of the same Thing (which does not change depending upon whether it is expressed as light or darkness!)”
So back to an old teaching about how life and death are both expressions of the same thing… that the greater part of us is non-physical and eternal… whether manifesting in a body or not.
So… when I say Life… am I referring to the eternal cycle of life and death (where we never die and all is life)… or just that part of the life/death dance in which we inhabit a physical body? And where… and how… do I find meaning in that?
I just read an article about the recent discovery of an observable strong flash of fluorescent light emitted the instant that a sperm fertilizes an egg (apparently caused by surges of calcium and zinc)… perhaps evidence of what mystical traditions have long described as the Spark of Life, though, traditionally, other teachings talk about the Spark of Life as the moment when Creator Breathes a soul… which will then incarnate as a physical being….
However… all things are Breathed by Creator…
And as we are all Breathed we are all filled with Light in one instant… only later to Breathe out and diminish in Light in the next… in a tidal waveform of a rising and receding tide… where that “intertidal zone” of this tide is where Life is expressed.
I like that by now in this exploration (regardless of any meaning that i have derived from it) I am sitting… just sitting with Creator’s Breath… and Creation… and have defied the drive of my finite little brain (in search of Meaning) to turn over all the stones around me on the beach where I find myself sitting… while the tide and waves continue to rise and fall around and within me. In this state of Breath… and Tide… I feel the Spirit of the natural world being Breathed… the Breath that flows though exquisite music… the first Breath of a newborn baby… the touch of the Beloved’s skin… the Stillness behind and beyond all things.
I am not sure I can speak much about the meaning of life… however, in this moment… in this state… I can say that here… in this “place”… Life has meaning for me.
~Dr. Steven Weiss is a licensed osteopathic physician, board certified in the specialty practice of “Neuro-musculoskeletal Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.” He consults in the fields of chronic pain, sports and performing arts medicine, and the treatment of prenatal and pediatric problems. As stated above, for nearly 30 years he has devoted his career to pursuing and applying those clinical/healing approaches that invoke and support the power of the human body to heal and regulate itself! He is internationally recognized for his clinical success — an uncanny ability to help people suffering from complex and seemingly unsolvable clinical problems.
Dr. Weiss approaches patient care probably more like an engineer, a systems analyst, or a healer, more than like a conventionally trained doctor. (Which is not to say that he does not rely upon all medical science and technology resources when appropriate.) He has devoted his professional career to pursuing those (sometimes unique and unconventional) clinical approaches that could best support his patients’ healing. As a result, he has developed a unique and dramatically effective integrated system of diagnosis and treatment; a different way of looking at and working with his patients’ bodies, and has begun to train others in this new standard healthcare ~under the name “The Altar of Creation”. His goal is to change the way that healthcare is practiced — to support the evolution and integration of a new standard of care that reflects how the human body works and what it requires to heal and be healthy…on both the physical/tissue as well as on the energetic/spiritual levels.
Dr. Weiss has accumulated over 2000 postdoctoral hours of study and apprenticeships, in advanced osteopathic training most notably with Dr. Anne Wales, legendary osteopathic physician, Dr. James Jealous (founder of the Biodynamics field in osteopathy) and with Rev. Rosalyn Bruyere, the founder of the Healing Light Center Church in California and one of the most studied and celebrated healers of our time.
Dr. Weiss is the Medical Director of the Medicine Lodge Clinic, and the founder and educational director of The Altar of Creation Curriculum professional training program for health care practitioners.
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