March 29, 2017 :: YVONNE BOND
SOME INSIGHTS FROM THIS SESSION:
Understand two sides of fatigue and what to do with them.
When it's challenging to generate Feel Good / metta, it is still possible to receive it.
When it's challenging to have concentration and clarity, it is still possible to fall back on equanimity.
Masters keep returning to and honing the fundamentals.
Yvonne lives in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and works as a transcriptionist. She began meditating because of illness. “I wasn’t interested in meditation at all until I suddenly became ill in February 1987.”
This is despite being a teenager during the Beatnik era, writing poetry and creating art with like-minded people in North Beach, San Francisco. Then she headed to UC Berkeley, where she engaged in the civil rights movement, and then the anti-war movement.
I helped organize some of the really huge demonstrations, marches that went from Berkeley to Oakland. That’s when I really became aware of suffering -- how the soldiers suffered, how the Vietnamese were suffering, and we wanted to do something about it. We dropped everything, careers and school, and did that.
During the hippie time I was aware that people were pursing eastern religions but I thought, ‘well, that’s just a bunch of navel gazing.’ So I put it down…until I got really sick, years later, and a voice came to me.
I was biking on my way to my transcription job and I suddenly felt very ill. I felt like I was going to die. Then for the next six months after that, I was so sick, I could barely move. One day, I was lying there feverish, writhing around in my bed, and a voice came to my head and said ‘you need to learn how to meditate.’ So I looked through my yoga books and tried that, but it didn’t work.
Then I found – guess who -- Shelly Young! She was giving an 8-week meditation class in Sante Fe. I was in so much pain. I would just cry a lot--until stuff was just running down my shirt from my eyes and nose. And Shelly would say: ‘Just pay attention to the body sensations.’ Or: ‘In the body, in the moment.’ Some fairly big things fell away right away, like icebergs calving. I thought, God – I see this! I see that!
Yvonne manages chronic illness and pain to this day, chiefly with mediation and without medication.
FEATURED AS CHAPTER 2 IN “VOICES OF COUNTERCULTURE IN THE SOUTHWEST” BY JACK LOEFFLER AND MEREDITH DAVIDSON (COMING APRIL 2017).
HELPED ORGANIZE AND MANAGE SHINZEN’S RETREATS IN NEW MEXICO IN THE EARLY 90S.
LOVES TO SING.