Assess, propose, Implement…my mantra for the next journey
It comes as no surprise that there would be an outcome from the trial I’ve been following for the past 2 years – good or bad there was going to be a termination at some stage.
I had been rather hoping that it would be the promised “new” medication that supposedly promises less pain and more mobility.
Alas that is not to be (not yet anyhow)
The outcome following several retests and retests is that my system (kidneys/liver function) is simply not recovering from the combination of medications – not life threatening but sufficient for the trial owners to concede that I am not a good subject.
This was concluded last week following the close down interviews and tests (repeat) for the trial process.
Having finished all of these it came to the discussion – What now ?
I thought I was somewhat prepared but when a professor – head of the institute says “so what do YOU want to do ?” it is a little disheartening.
The first question (at least for me) is always define the options…following my mantra that no doubt many of you have heard ad nauseum…Assess, Propose….Implement.
This time it was no discussion, more of a listening as all the usual comments, “You need to understand”, “we don’t know”, “stay positive”… yes I’ve heard them all before were put on the table.
My own fault I guess but a few weeks ago I had “tested the waters” so to say by challenging the protocol of taking medicines vs an alternative medicine free approach.
Again, not surprising this came back to me as a proposal- “stop all medication” (The wait and see scenario).
There was no second option as the alternatives carry high risk (liver/kidney damage !!!) and other options are not yet available to the NL public.
So, the Propose part is done- It means stopping ALL medication.
That was quick and easy, next step is just the Implement ! (Just ….)
In classic Buddhism (which I try to incorporate into my own life philosophy as frequently as possible ) following the last of the four noble truths is the Path to Freedom which follows ‘the eight fold path” !!
The Four Noble Truths are essential Buddhist beliefs that Buddha taught when he Turned the Wheel of Dharma. In order to understand Buddhism beliefs and practices, one must learn and then apply these Four Nobles and Eight Fold Path:
- The First Noble Truth is: Suffering Exists. In Sanskrit the word is Duhkha, pronounced “doo kah.” This is not a pessimistic view but actually it is very realistic. (Check )
- The Second Noble Truth is The Cause of Suffering, which is our ignorance (not knowing the true nature of our mind), and attachment or desire (Trishna.) (Check)
- The Third Noble Truth is The End or Cessation of Suffering. This is what is termed Nirvana, which is liberation or an end to misery. Buddha taught that we don’t have to suffer in our lives. ( Curious …I’m listening)
- The Fourth Noble Truth is The Path to Freedom, or liberation (marga). This is taught as The Eight Fold Path which is the prescription, so to speak, for enlightenment. It is “The Way” to live without suffering. (More curious !!)
The Eight Fold Path has basic beliefs of Buddhism as follows:
- Right View
- Right Thought
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Concentration
I think for me this philosophy is more pertinent than ever before. In a way it could be summarized as Attitude is everything !
It would be more comforting to have a map of the way forward but unfortunately this is also not going to happen – rather I believe if you have the correct “Implementation” this serves far better as a compass.
This brings me to a rather fortuitous Seth anecdote which has arrived just this morning as I was putting thought to paper (so to say),
Wouldn’t it be great if we always had a map? A set of step-by-step instructions on how to get from here to there, wherever we were and wherever wanted to go…
Steve Pressfield relates this magical story:
A Ghurka rifleman escaped from a Japanese prison in south Burma and walked six hundred miles alone through the jungles to freedom. The journey took him five months, but he never asked the way and he never lost the way. For one thing he could not speak Burmese and for another he regarded all Burmese as traitors. He used a map and when he reached India he showed it to the Intelligence officers, who wanted to know all about his odyssey. Marked in pencil were all the turns he had taken, all the roads and trail forks he has passed, all the rivers he had crossed. It had served him well, that map. The Intelligence officers did not find it so useful. It was a street map of London!!!!!!.
I love this story.
Happy endings come from an understanding of the compass, not the presence of a useful map.
If you’ve got the wrong map, the right compass will get you home if you know how to use it.
Where are you headed?
Have a blessed Easter Sunday, (spare a thought for the tragedy unfolding in Sri Lanka, really terrible to hear)