Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Neti pots, free will and destiny

My son has been struggling with allergies, and is up very late at night sniffing and sniffing trying to clear his sinuses.  He gets very unhappy and miserable.

So I did some research, and found out that something that can provide a lot of relief is a Neti Pot.   This is a very simple thing, a pot of water with a spout.  You fill it up with distilled water and a saline solution, and then gently pour the water through one nostril and it drains through the other.  All sorts of gunk comes out this way.

I showed him the video, showed him how happy the little girl was who used this.  He said sure and we got the pot.

But when I tried it, it was just too uncomfortable for him to have water going up his nose.  So he won't use it, even though he is so miserable.  I let him make that choice, but I thought it was funny how he couldn't see how much happier he'd feel if he just put up with the discomfort of the Neti pot.

Then today I was thinking about all the things that make me unhappy - old stored up emotions or habits or physical ailments - and I know there are things I can do to make them better - certain changes in habit or lifestyle or diet.  But I get nervous.  Those things aren't always fun; they can even be uncomfortable or difficult.  I know they'll help me feel better.  But for some reason I prefer the pain I know to the pain I don't know.

Luckily, the Universe is patient.  I won't be forced to make those changes.  But I will experience the consequences of my decisions.  To me this is the mystery of free will in God's universe.  Alternatives are offered.  Choices are made.  Very often we hold on and hold on as long as we possibly can.  But the consequences of our choices are experienced.  So there is free will, and there is destiny, the consequences of our actions.  In this way, very naturally, growth occurs, and (inch by inch) we learn how to live harmoniously in this world.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

We'll be Van Couvering alter this month and at the end of July. In the meantime, my 8 year old daughter LOVES the Neti pot. Each person in the family has one. A family that Neties (is that a verb too?) together...

Neti cleanses the soul. I never realized that so much of our soul was just a little ways up our nostrils. The people looking deeply into our eyes were wrong. - Pete S

David Van Couvering said...

Ha! The nostril is the window into the soul... :)

Allen Astin said...

David,
Jala Neti is simple and remarkable…thank you for sharing. I make my solutions as hot as I can stand it and it seems to work quicker.

Also the mystery of “I know there are things I can do to make them better…” but we don’t make these choices, is something that has always baffled me. I know exactly what needs to be done to make my life a paradise, but I make other choices because, as you state, “I prefer the pain I know to the pain I don't know.” However, I can’t help feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for evening being on this journey…regardless of where I am. As a great Indian saint once said, “Why should God give more than this?”

Thank you so much for your post and reminder of Jala Neti, and the beauty of this gift of free will.

Allen