Don Miguel Ruiz, A Remarkable Man
To summarize a two hour lecture on Life, Death, Matter, and Energy is not easy. So I won’t. What I will share are highlights and insights I learned from listening to don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, speak in Austin, TX this past weekend.
In the traditional storyteller fashion, this man: teacher, author, and apparent to anyone experiencing his presence, a very gentle spirit, wove a beautiful story. A story of his Truths. So soft spoken, at times he was barely audible, silence permeating the backdrop of his words. There was respect in the room that could be felt. And a twinkle in his eye that could be seen.
In “Don Miguel Ruiz, From Surgeon to Shaman,” I shared a brief recap of the past ten years of Ruiz’s life. Massive heart attack, followed by nine weeks in a coma, and the wait/pain he endured leading up to his heart transplant. What Ruiz shared Saturday night were the details that filled the spaces between.
As he shared the particulars of regaining his memory, what took place while he was in the coma, etc., he spoke a lot about Life and Death. Death mostly, really.
[Oh, how I wish I could provide the essence and beauty of his words on Death. For those of you who have fear around dying, or fear for those close to you dying, I believe his words would have brought you much comfort.]
After waking from his coma and being told to change his life radically — stay home, watch TV, and read books, he later said to his family:
“I will not stay at home and wait for death to find me at home. I will go and look for death doing what I love to do.”
Death is something I believe I’m more comfortable with than most; I wouldn’t be able to do the Hospice work that I do otherwise. Perhaps ‘comfortable’ isn’t the right word, maybe it’s more like I have an understanding about Death that allows me to view it more as a friend than an enemy. After breast cancer and a double mastectomy, pain however, has not been my friend. And because of this, I appreciated hearing about his physical pain in a way that I was able to apply to myself.
Don Miguel Ruiz, On Pain
“The physical pain made me slow, but it didn’t stop me from doing what I want to do.”
Don Miguel Ruiz is a master of the simple statement. The simple statement that speaks Truth. And now I adopt this as my Truth, because it’s exactly the same for me. So many people ask me how I’m feeling, to which I respond that I’m doing great. Which is true. However, I’m in constant pain, albeit dull pain, it’s always there. So I don’t mention it. Why would I? Hearing Ruiz speak that one sentence, I knowingly and immediately exhaled with this realization: Yes, my physical pain makes me slow, but it doesn’t stop me from doing what I want to do. With those words and the stillness it evoked within me, a shift occurred. I went from tolerating the pain to breathing in to the pain in such a way that it was no longer my enemy.
Thank you for the gift, don Miguel Ruiz. I shall cherish it today, tomorrow, and for all the days I am present enough to remember this Truth.