“Such eyes of compassion, stillness, even love…”
The first week I met my new student, a four year old with leukemia. He’d just had a week of intensive treatment. He had lost his hair, and his large brown eyes seemed to be looking at me through a curtain of pain.
The next week he was much more perky, and we were playing with some musical instruments on the carpet, and he stopped.
What a look! Such eyes of compassion, stillness, even love. I felt myself seen, and by such a young one!
I wondered at it.
It was like meeting the eyes of Christ,
who was looking through him at me.
Maybe the look arose from the depths of suffering that he already, in his short life, knew.
Only once before, have I seen such a look.
In a picture of Charles de Foucault, a Frenchman who chose to live a simple life of prayer and contemplation close to the Tuareg, a nomadic people of North Africa. His face glowed out of the picture – no judgement there at all, just loving kindness for all that one is.
And the little boy had something akin to that look.
It melted and astonished me.
Helen Raphael Sands
Helen writes: I live in Devon, near Totnes.
I teach one to one, and love writing, making things, painting, imagining, and celebrating.
I love being by any water course, and the sea.
The great thing about the little boy I talk about in the story I sent, is that he is just a normal little boy, not a saint.
He covets his toys, and knows how to make his brother cry, just like any child.
But there was that amazing moment!
Kindly contributed to Zen Moments by the author.
The Healing Labyrinth: Finding Your Path to Inner Peace
By Helen Raphael Sands
“Walking around the circuits of a labyrinth is an intriguing new method of meditation, claimed by many to have both spiritual and physical healing attributes. Here is a remarkable self-development book that offers instruction and inspiration on labyrinth walking. The author begins by describing her personal journey of labyrinth exploration. She goes on to note the recent rapid growth of interest in labyrinths, with major sites located in 38 states, from California to New Jersey, as well as in many other places around the world. In this beautifully illustrated volume, she describes the method of laying a labyrinth on the earth or on a floor, then tells how it needs to be brought alive through group participation in rhythms of music and dance.
She explains the labyrinth’s underlying theory–
The Threshold–or entrance to the labyrinth, where the details of everyday life are shed and the mind becomes receptive
Journeying in–finding how the mind focuses as the body moves toward the labyrinth’s center
The Resting Place–arriving at the labyrinth’s center, then pausing to await inspiration
Journeying Out–discovering a rebirth and preparing to re-enter the outside world with a new sense of purpose.
The author provides step-by-step instructions for making a labyrinth, tracing out designs and scaling them up to full size. Full-color illustrations throughout.”
By Eleanor Coerr
A children’s book “…based on the true story of a young Japanese girl who contracts leukemia as a result of the atom bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, the story follows Sadako as a healthy schoolgirl winning relay races, through her diagnosis with the atom bomb sickness, to her long stay in the hospital. It is in the hospital that she first begins making origami cranes to pass the time. Her ultimate goal is to make 1000, but she dies with only 644 completed. Sadako’s classmates finish making the remaining cranes, and all 1000 are buried with her.” Paula L. Setser, Deep Springs Elementary School, Lexington, KY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.Review
“An extraordinary book, one no reader will fail to find compelling and unforgettable.” (Book list, starred review)