A Simple Healing
Some Living Well readers would be familiar with the long-time member of The Gawler Cancer Foundation community, Paul Kraus.
Paul attended his first cancer retreat with us 20 years ago, following a diagnosis of mesothelioma (asbestos-induced cancer) in 1997 and a grim prognosis of up to 6 months.
Paul has gone on to be the longest survivor of mesotheliom in the world, and over the past twenty years has done some remarkable cancer advocacy work, including collating some of The Gawler Cancer Foundations long-term survivor stories into a wonderfully inspiring book called “Surviving Cancer”, which was first published in 2008 and is still available for purchase from our resource centre and webstore (www.gawler.org/shop).
In the following poem, Paul shares intimate insights from Dr Ian Gawler’s teachings at the many retreat programs he has attended over the years.
He taught us a way of being, a little-known language, more ancient in the East than in our Western world.
He taught us a way of being,
a little-known language,
more ancient in the East
than in our Western world.
Letting go of ourselves…
Simply being, not doing anything
to take our minds from a healing
state. Muscles relaxing… releasing …
letting go… just simply letting go…
Of anger, resentment, depression and anxiety
From doing to being we moved.
Silent, truly silent, moving slowly
to a wholeness, to a healing state,
eventually surpassing words,
a language of inner freedom
that brought our minds, our bodies
closer to a state of being well.
His words, inflections, serenity,
stillness, silence, washed the blackboard
of the mind, the inner being,
his presence let go all doubt and fear.
Loneliness, redeeming detection,
almost superfluous in a sick
state of being. Repetitious extension
echoes faintly, so quietly in our ears:
Let your eyes close gently…
turn your thoughts inwards…
remember this is a time
of healing… relaxing… releasing…
letting go… just letting go…
of thoughts… of yesterday…
of tomorrow… simply now…
Holy moment… this stillness calls,
in surrender… feeling the ease of it all…
this healing time, right now…
we sit in this cleansing ambience,
washing away fear, doubt, guilt,
finding forgiveness, peace a loving aura,
Leaving all words behind…
silence and a streaming stillness.
Calming peace washed over us.
Mystical sound of birds outside,
the only kind of intonation.
Surrender, acceptance, profound
peace kissed us in a romantic way
as we focused on an image
of wellness, of wholeness,
of a state of being as our spirit
awakes to this language
of mind, spirit, even the soul itself.
Simplicity, sheer simplicity,
yet so healing, so soothing
this silence, peace and stillness.
A stray thought disturbs, distresses
our awareness, distorts our peace:
until hope returns bringing unity
and hope, encouraging loving
awareness. Mindfulness profoundly
grows in its intensity making us
better each day. Endorphins
incrementally infusing, unrelenting
in their work of wellness, wholeness.