Q: When you talked to me about dying and death, you showed me how to hold it lightly. With having cancer, I can do that except when I don’t – which is often – especially when there’s physical discomfort. Holding what’s there lightly can open me to a lightness of being. Often at night I listen to your audio tape Let Cancer Kiss You. It’s really helpful because you’re saying to be intimate with it and not fight it. Could you talk about the gift of cancer for me, for what I am?
John: Having cancer directly addresses your experience in your body, in your self. It directly addresses your person. Cancer exposes the instability in your seen forms. It exposes the fragility of form and your relationship to your self in form.
The gift of that is that if you are, in the midst of that, anywhere near your heart, with any little bit of equanimity of being, with any little bit of openness, you draw from the deep within. Your usual experience of your body, of your self, doesn’t tell you that you need the deep within. Your usual experience tells you that you need something other than the deep within: that you need to address your likes and your dislikes, that you need to give attention to what is favourable and unfavourable.
Cancer is a dear messenger in that it circumvents your usual processes. It directly addresses your mortality, which the usual of your life doesn’t. It’s an unusual kind of pressure on your self that pushes hard, inviting you to see a little differently, instead of scrambling to protect what’s familiar to you, predictable in you. You open to think and to feel differently. Anywhere where you have been too busy or occupied to know more deeply, cancer invites you to know and to see more deeply. It moves you to draw from within instead of drawing from everything that’s threatened, instead of drawing from anything that offers promise.
Cancer offers you a corner to be pressured into where it’s inviting for you to realize that you are free to open, and this opening is what you are. Cancer helps you to see by putting unusual pressure on the surface. So, seen from within the quietude of your heart, cancer is like a kiss. The lightness of being in having cancer is from within your realization that cancer really has nothing to do with you.
A little bit deeper, and all that cancer really challenges is not your experience. It challenges your beliefs. It makes manifest that the power that you’ve given to your beliefs doesn’t hold true to you. Without your beliefs, you don’t know that there is anything wrong with cancer. Holding cancer in doubt, denial or disdain, if there’s any of that, that’s really just you fighting for your beliefs. Any measure of resistance or a fight just brings your belief structure to the surface, where you are then invited to let it all go. What remains is you, at home: you, all cleaned within, cleaned of anything that you’ve been carrying.
Sweetly agree with your mortality, and your immortality, all uncovered, shines, and you start to see it in everything. You might even take a midnight flight when you’re already starting to disappear into the deep.
Q: (laughing) What do you mean?
John: The midnight flight of …
Q: The other side? You make death or dying sound so attractive, so welcoming, but why does it feel like I’m leaving something behind?
John: You are. Just like getting on a flight. You are leaving something, and you are going somewhere.
Q: It’s just that you don’t know what’s ahead.
John: There are resonances of it. Death is the trippiest time of your life! You don’t want to miss it.
Q: (laughs) Yeah, I love what you say. Everything’s more immediate and you can’t be bothered with what’s superfluous, but as the cancer takes over there seems to be a self body that identification is held in. Is it like that?
John: That’s what’s challenged and being addressed, but what answers that is your inner flow body – your being.
Q: Then, it’s like: What cancer?! It answers that sticky identification and the denseness of seventy-five years of holdings in the body. It can be dissolved, opened to. I feel so lucky to have you holding my hand.
John: Seeing you off on your plane. How beautiful! Oh, there she goes!
Q: Well, I’m not dead yet. I love it when you say that to people.
John: There’s no rush to get there.
Q: Right! No, I’m not in a rush!
John: And for the life of you, you wouldn’t want to miss it. If you see death for what it really is, in greater perspective, from something of the bigger picture, then your death rests in your heart as a warm goldenness throughout all of your life.
Q: That’s so lovely. Thank you, John
John: See you later – for sure here or there.