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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
Karen is a yogini, writer, student, teacher and meditator. She founded Garden Street School of Yoga in 2000. Karen lives with her husband Chris. They have two amazing sons, Eli and Leo (both of them young men).

Jun 26, 2008

FIRE!- In Defense of Illness

Fever has been scouring through my household. It started with Leo (16). He was at a basketball camp at the time. Numerous times each day the players had to yell “The mind is my BOSS! The body is my SLAVE! Leo HATED! that. Coincident with his experience there, he got sick with a fever. Next Eli (18) came down with a fever coincident with going through a very hard break-up with his girlfriend. Then I came down with a fever, coincident with my own hard letting go of Eli and of my beloved tight-knit and cozy little family nest, which has opened to the world - one of the birds (Eli) has flown. And finally Chris – big process going on there too – but I’ll be a good spouse and let Chris tell his own stories!
So I canceled all my classes on Tuesday and stayed in bed for about 36 hours. I am keenly aware of the predominate perspective that illness is always a problem - something amiss in the nutrition or lifestyle or genetics. But I don't hold that perspective. I say, "It Depends." Because of my roots in Chinese medicine and in Tantric philosophy, and because of my personal experience, I just don't agree that illness is always a problem to be avoided. Sometimes illness is the best and fasted way to restore balance. I appreciate fevers in a weird sort of way. Fevers make me stop and shut up. And once I’ve done that, the fever itself acts like tapas (a fire of discipline & transformation) moving through me. I am not prone to fevers so its interesting (to me) that this is the second bout of a high fever I’ve been through this year. And really, in a way its the third. The first was at the 10 day meditation retreat last August, during which I experienced almost uninterrupted HEAT moving through me. (No this wasn't a 10 day episode of hormonal imbalance). What the three episodes of heat have in common is that with all of them I felt the heat was a form of intelligence which effected a surrender. And I emerged each time with increased clarity, a renewed focus and direction, as if that which had been a distraction had burned off. I'd gotten back "on track". The opposite of “on track” is distraction. So next I want to write about “distraction” but it would be better for everybody if I keep this short and save that thought for next entry!

1 comment:

  1. Karen this so touched explanation for that except that I felt moved. I appreciate the concept of what heat can offer us on the physical emotional and spiritual plains....transformational as in chemistry and alchemy. I am always illumined by your viewpoint and the offerings of your heart that influence them.