“Imitation is the surest form of flattery and failure. I am not interested with your talk about my ideas. I am more interested in your applying them to your life. If you do not, then you are essentially not in accord with your own mind.”
Miyamoto Musashi translated by Stephen F. Kaufman

The Martial Artist’s Book of Five Rings

Power of Story: Knee, Knowledge, Faith


Over the years I have come to believe that illness moves through my body. It may initially manifest in in place with primary symptoms and then it travels inside my body (with symptoms changing and manifesting in different places) until it leaves (often through my digestive system). I don’t visit doctors and don’t use western medications. I do, when I can, support my body through nutrition and natural products (teas, salves, etc.).

A couple of weeks ago I started feeling relief from my month of allergy (slight symptoms are still with me but reducing every day). The “travels” began when my throat and to of my mouth started feeling agitated, eating and swallowing was uncomfortable. There was a day or two of slight, barely noticeable improvement, but then the next day it was suddenly all better.

That same day something happened to my left knee. It started hurting a lot. I could move around however any movement in my knee caused immediate, sharp breath-taking pains. As long as it was still, in many positions, it was fine, but moving it, even the slightest bit, was extremely painful.

Side note: I lay down to explore the knee with some movement. When lying on my back, folding the knee and bringing it in over my chest was an impossible task. However, lying on my side, I could repeat that movement, with care, with almost no pain.

I managed to get myself through the day and bring myself to rest in the evening. It had gotten worst. When I sat down on the couch I wasn’t sure I would be able to get up again (I could, but had to avoid moving my knee doing it).

Then came night. I was still carrying a certain restlessness from many sleep deprived or disrupted nights due to the allergy. Now I had to be careful not to move … any unconscious movement resultd in immediate pain. I had many waking hours that night. During those hours my mind had to plenty of opportunity to kick in and I witnessed a fascinating dance between two stories that I apparently carry with me.

One story is the western / medical / anatomical / biological view. My Yoga training had given me enough knowledge to appreciate what an elaborate and subtle joint the knee is and what the pains I was experiencing could indicate. My speculative conclusions were frightening. I don’t trust doctors and medicine. I have no medical insurance and it would take a lot of suffering to expose myself to them especially here in Romania. I was scared.

Another story if a spiritual outlook that my body and consciousness are constantly striving towards health and wellness. I have faith in that. Faith is something else that I got from my Yoga training and practice. This story came to the surface as if to meet the first story that was scaring me.

These two stories danced inside me all night. I was fascinated by their power regardless of what was actually happening inside me and manifesting through my knee. The western story was inducing fear, worry and tension. The spiritual story as inducing faith, trust and relaxation … and I went back and forth between them all night.

I also realized that my life settings are more supportive and bringing out the spiritual story. Because I don’t have (easy) access to doctors and medical care I can’t intervene and act … the default doing is therefor caring, giving attention and waiting (instead of running to the doctor, diagnosing and intervening).

I may never know what happened to my knee. I do know that these two stories are inside me and can effect me greatly.

The next day was another day of knee pain. The following day the pains disappeared as suddenly as they came. A softer version of the pain appeared a few days ago and there is still an echo of it in my knee.

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