The cure for pain is in the pain.

September 10, 2016

Some weeks ago, I had major surgery. I have been recovering since, and that recovery has included a great deal of physical pain. The surgery itself was a success; after my recovery, I expect to have a knee that is much more functional that the one that was replaced.

Extreme physical pain is a new experience for me. I did not expect it, and was unprepared. Even though I had excellent medical care and a variety of medications, I found it hard to endure the pain of the first ten days and nights.

Like every life challenge, it was an opportunity too. I believe it deepened my compassion as I thought of the millions of people who must endure such pain without the medical and personal support I am privileged to have.

So gratitude has been interwoven with pain and trying to keep my spirits up. Through the years I have spent deeply immersed in Rumi, I have learned more and more to find gratitude embedded in every challenge.

I offer these you these lovely words by Rumi:

Inside, you are sweet beyond telling. There is a sun in everyone.

I become a mirror that cannot close its eyes to your longing,

my eyes wet with yours in the early light,

my mind every moment giving birth,

always conceiving, always in the ninth month….

 

Another aspect of this experience has been the extraordinary kindness that has been shown to me by my partner, family members and some close friends. Even my young physical therapist has shown me such gentleness and kindness.

Dorianne Laux says:

For the Sake of Strangers

No matter what the grief, its weight,
we are obliged to carry it.
We rise and gather momentum, the dull strength
that pushes us through crowds.

And then the young boy gives me directions
so avidly. A woman holds the glass door open,
waits patiently for my empty body to pass through.

All day it continues, each kindness
reaching toward another–a stranger
singing to no one as I pass on the path, trees
offering their blossoms, a retarded child
who lifts his almond eyes and smiles.

Somehow, they always find me, seem even
to be waiting…
.

A cousin I love has these words on her answering machine:

“Make it a good day for someone.” May we all heed and practice this wisdom.


How to find your inner joy

April 22, 2016

Joy Is Your Essence

As translated by Coleman Barks, Rumi says:

In the last hour before morning
lover and beloved awake
and take a drink of water.

She asks, “Do you love me or yourself more?
Really, tell the absolute truth.”

He says, “There’s nothing left of me.
I’m like a ruby held up to the sunrise.
Is it still a stone, or a world made of redness?
It has no resistance to sunlight.”

This is how the ancient Sufi sage Hallaj said
“I am God,” and told the truth.

Therefore be courageous and discipline yourself.
Completely become hearing and ear
and wear the sun ruby as an earring.

Work, keep digging your well.
Don’t think about getting off from work.
Soul water is there somewhere.

Submit to a daily practice. 
Your loyalty to that is like a ring upon the door.
Eventuallyd, the joy inside will open a window
and look out to see who’s there.

So Rumi teaches us that joy is our essence. Once we have learned that profound lesson, we can return to joy again and again.

Please my website at http://www.coupleswisdom.com for tools that can assist in this journey.]

Blessings to all readers!

–Victoria


Let Me Have One More Day

March 12, 2016
Love Poem by Tim Hicks
Let me have just one more day, 
let me have this day and let it not be my last.
Let me have just one more day to feel the sap in the stems, 
to hear the language of birds and the wind,
one more day of light, one more day of turning,
one more day balanced on the precipice, one more day
to bask and revel, one more day of the exquisite pain,
one more day to risk a bit more, just one more day 
to feel the tide’s pull, to be swept and tossed, 
to fear the loss, one more day to empty and be bereft.
Let me have one more day that I might find you and 
find myself in you, to allow the wonder of the dance, 
one more day to reveal and conceal, one more day 
without words to say what I can not tell you, one more day 
to be willing, to allow time’s victory and defeat,
one more day carried on the upwelling, my body 
salt in the tears, some kind of habitation, some kind of crystallization,
some kind of membrane between. 
I don’t mean to be trite but
I love you like water loves gravity, like lungs love oxygen,
like the grasses with the breeze, like the torrents over the rocks.
I’m serious here. My gaze wants to linger longer on you.
I have not had enough of your demands. I have more of laughter to learn….
This poem reminds me to celebrate my great good fortune in having people I love so very dearly in my life. May I cherish each day, knowing that the number of those days is beyond my control. I learned from Rumi to embrace it all, though, and I truly do. Gratitude flows through me from the first playful wags of my dog’s tail as soon as I open my eyes till the last kiss at night. To make this authentic, I must admit that between those two events, I often slip into my ego’s demands and complaints (“I took out the trash last time!”). I try not to linger there though, and usually I don’t.
Please visit my website at www.coupleswisdom.com.
Thanks to Larry Robinson for sending this poem, and blessings to all!

Rumi’s Wedding Day

December 18, 2015

Today is the 740th anniversary of Rumi’s death. He called it his “wedding day with the Beloved.”

Rumi is one of the great souls, the wise ones who teach us that there is nothing to fear in death. As one who has visited the other side and found unfathomable beauty there, I honor Rumi for his profound teaching. Through years of immersing myself in his ecstatic poetry (as translated by  Coleman Barks), my life was forever transformed. His wisdom permeated my selfishness, my fear and my attachment to my ego’s relentless demands.

Here is Rumi’s concise teaching about the profound journey of death. I was privileged to hold my mother’s hand when she breathed her last. I dedicate this poem to her and invite you to think of someone dear to you as  you read it and hopefully take in its wisdom:

On the day I die, don’t say she’s gone/he’s gone.

On the day I die, don’t say she’s gone/he’s gone.

Death has nothing to do with going away.

The sun sets, and the moon sets, but they are not gone.

Death is a coming together.

The human seed goes down into the ground like a bucket,

and comes up with some unimagined beauty.

Your mouth closes here

and immediately opens

with a shout of joy

there.

Blessings to all–

Victoria

=================

Please visit my website to see if there’s something there that can add beauty to your life: it’s www.coupleswisdom.com


Hear Dr. Victoria Lee tonight at 8 PM PST.

November 16, 2015

NEWS FLASH: RADIO SHOW TONIGHT WITH DR. VICTORIA
To hear Dr. Victoria discuss sacred sexuality on Porch Talk, follow the link below at 8:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, on Monday November 16
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mandmporchtalk/2015/11/17/sex-relationships-sex-therapy


The Joy of Waking Up

November 6, 2015

Dear Visitor,

Reviewing the statistics for this blog, I’ve found that more than 94,000 have visited since I began it. You–visitors from many states and countries–are my community, my fellow travelers on this journey of developing our spiritual lives as deeply as we can, and of trying to make a difference on this planet through our compassion and commitment to service.

On this early November night, I want to share some of the grace that has been showered on me along with a major health challenge. This confrontation with my mortality woke me up. I began to see–really see–the beauty all around me. So much beauty in the human faces in my life–such kindness, compassion, humor, sweetness. That human beauty is everywhere, not just in the faces of those I dearly love, but in the eyes of the grocery store clerk, the bank teller, the neighbor across the street.

Since I became a vegetarian, I find such enchantment in animals. My little dog makes me smile first thing every morning. Waiting patiently for me to open my eyes, his tail starts to wag as soon as my eyes meet his. “Wake up and live! he says, “and let’s play now!”

And then there are the children in my life–the grown ones and the little ones and the medium size ones. I adore them all. Not least or last, my true love smiles at me across the table while we feast on a meal centered on organic vegetables. My past loves linger always in my heart as well, not with longing, but with appreciation.

Outside my door, red and yellow roses bloom still, competing with the deep magenta of the bougainvillea. Rumi says there’s beauty in every rock and flower, and so it is.

I start and end my day with music–songwriting, singing, playing guitar. I am blessed–overwhelmed with grace.

I do not take this grace lightly. The suffering of Syrians and others in war zones, of the often innocent young men sent to fight in these wars, refugees with no homes, prisoners of war, and of conscience, the bereaved and the lonely and the depressed–none of this escapes me. Some form of this suffering comes to all. If you are reading these words by accident right now, please take heart. There are those who care and will help. Call Suicide Prevention, call a rabbi, priest, minister or therapist. Call a friend who cares. “Ask and you shall receive,” say the holy words. But you must ask!

Rumi says:

Lo, I am with you always.

You promised that, and when I realized it was true,

my soul flared up. Remember, and be back with the Friend.

Blessings to you dear visitor!

–Dr. Victoria Lee


“Let the beauty we love, be what we do.”

April 3, 2015

Dear Visitor,

Reviewing the statistics for this blog, I’ve found that more than 83,000 have visited since I began it. You–visitors from many states and countries–are my community, my fellow travelers on this journey of developing our spiritual lives as deeply as we can, and of trying to make a difference on this planet through our compassion and commitment to service.

I write this on Good Friday and the first day of Passover. Ramadan is six weeks away. So many worshipers, singing different verses of the same song. And of the many who do not identify with any organized religion, most are seekers too. As Rumi said, “I see the same altar in temple, mosque and cathedral.”

Here are some of Rumi’s lessons for us all:

• We are here on earth for the purpose of soul-growth.

• We are capable of profound joy and compassion in virtually every circumstance.

• Pain and loss can be the gateway to our greatest joy.

The last point touches me in a new way as I–like many of you–face a serious health challenge.

Rumi also says:

Lo, I am with you always.

You promised that, and when I realized it was true,

My soul flared up.

Remember and be back with the Friend.

===============

Please visit me at my website: http://www.coupleswisdom.com

Blessings to all!