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Sitting with Diabetes

February 22, 2011

Gentle readers! I’ll be dropping off the radar for a couple weeks. I’m heading into deep silence at a Vipassana center in California, where I’ll be sitting a ten day silent meditation course. Is it weird to say I’m excited for it? Excited for an experience that is slow, silent, and completely distraction-free? Huh? But I am. I feel ready.

Exactly a year ago today, I set off on my first Vipassana course. To say I was freaked out is an understatement – I spent the night before curled up on my bed completely catatonic with fear. Ten days without anything to distract me from, well, me, had me terrified. But that’s why I felt so strongly that I needed to do it! Who was this me I was afraid of spending so much time with??

Once I was sitting the course, it wasn’t that bad. It was fine, wonderful even. And the benefits were astounding. The weeks following the course brought me some blissfully peaceful moments of mental silence, with moments of deep presence I’d never experienced before. It was strengthening enough that, when I received my diabetes diagnosis some two months later, I accepted the challenge of my illness with grace and respect. I’m really glad I had meditation on my side.

Running with Diabetes will turn into Sitting with Diabetes for the next couple of weeks. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with my blood sugar when I’m just sitting on a cushion all day! It’ll be a challenge no doubt to adjust basal insulin dosages and suss out dietary needs. But diabetes is like a mediation practice anyways. I am so in the habit now of dropping into the reality of my body, at any given moment, and accepting – with humility and humour – what it’s telling me. Every hour of a diabetic’s day can be a meditation. If we are indeed our bodies, I feel pretty connected to who I am.

So maybe that’s got something to do with why I feel so ready for this course. This self I was scared to spend ten days with now is now pretty familiar. Not that diabetes spurred any big spiritual awakening or anything – lord knows I was born a navel gazer – but I do think diabetes has made me more accepting and aware of my body, my health, and the very primal fact of my existence: that  I am a material being that was born, will die, and in between, will have a series of experiences that I can choose how to react to.

Sending love from sunny California, and see you on the other side!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Marcus permalink
    February 22, 2011 9:56 pm


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