The Cracks In Our Perfection Are For The Light To Get In
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in”
Leonard Cohen, Anthem
Last night, I went to the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, as per usual, for Monday night meditation.
My neighbor Steve Hart is a Zen monk. We have the greatest discussions on the way there, after meditation and on the way back. The whole experience really feeds my soul.
Also, as per usual, I brought my knitting. I was working away on a large fringed shawl of light green ribbon yarn.
It may seem to others that when I am knitting and listening that I am not really listening, but trust me, I am really listening.
Steve was talking about Zen, and then all of a sudden, he said just one line. It was so brilliant I wished I had a note pad with me. I asked him about it on the way back home.
“You said that when there is a crack in something, that’s how the light gets in,” I said to Steve.
“That’s from Leonard Cohen,” he told me.
It turns out the singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen is also a serious Zen practitioner.
I looked it up and found the lyrics to the song Anthem.
It is hard for me to make mistakes. I try really hard to be good at what I do, to help people, to make a difference in the world.
But on the other hand, when I don’t know something, historically, that is what has spurred me on to learn more.
I remember having ladies in my office who sat there crying. They would write out for me what they ate every day and how much they exercised. They did not understand why they could not lose weight.
As a result of listening to them, I learned all about metabolism. I spent thousands of dollars traveling to California and becoming certified as a practitioner with Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, M.D., an endocrinologist, hormone and metabolic expert.
I remember once working with a client so sensitive to vibration that his back would hurt if there was an earthquake in South America.
I am not making this up.
Weird, yes. True that.
So I ended up studying sound healing. I got books from England, videos from America, tuning forks. I taught myself.
I have had so many clients with foot problems that I taught myself reflexology.
I traveled to Oregon to study about herbs. I heard about the herbs from healer friends in New York state. Even though the company that makes those herbs was not well-known, when I tested the herbs on various clients, they tested better than any other herbs I have ever seen.
During my radio show, the whole affair was so stressful that I learned how to make jewelry. I had to write a 10–page script every week, rain or shine, vacation or no vacation. Even during my studies at an Ivy League college, Brown University, I had never worked so hard in my entire life.
“It’s either beading or drinking,” I joked.
Now my radio show has been over for years, but I still make all kinds of jewelry.
And because I love to work with color and fine materials, I have branched out into knitting.
I got numerous emails this week from a client who wanted to make sure we were going to get it all in when she comes for her session today.
“Trust the process,” I wrote her back.
When I started doing healing work, I realized that I would make lots of little mistakes. I would forget a step, but my clients would still get better. It was never my intention to make a mistake, it was only always my intention for them to get better. And then they did.
Sometimes life almost breaks you. If you stop whining long enough, you can look through the crack to find the light.