Bill Donoghue spoke to the group about his experiences as a foot soldier during the Vietnam war. Bill has devoted himself to service ever since, first serving for 30 years as a minister, and now as a reintegration specialist for veterans at There And Back …Again in Charlestown, MA and in his hometown in New Hampshire. One of the three founders, There And Back ..Again specializes with providing veterans with stress reduction through yoga, and other therapies that emphasize the mind/body connection.
He spoke to them about things he’d witnessed in Vietnam, events that still resonate deeply with him. His two hour talk included a discussion, and each photojournalist had their stories to tell, their common experience shared.
Meditative insight comes from a variety of sources. Oftentimes, the deepest are not from philosophy books, or from yoga tomes. Rather, from people who have undertaken some incredible risk, have endured a human struggle, and have had the opportunity to emerge, and later reflect. He shared some excerpts from the book Tuning The Rig. I’ve shortened it considerably. However, Bill has provided the page numbers.
Tuning the Rig, A Journey to the Arctic, by Harvey Oxenhorn
p.177 “It is arrogance to expect that our life always be music. It is false pride to demand to know the score. Harmony, like a following breeze at sea, is the exception. In a world where most things wind up broken or lost, our lot is to tack and tune.”
“Call it body language if you will. Not the body saying, “This is me,” but the body in conversation with the forces that pass through it- gravity, the energy of waves. As that dialogue continues, ceaselessly, the illusion of stability (as something we are granted) gives way to the reality of balance (a process we achieve).”
This voyage, nearly over, has opened my eyes to many new things: science, sailing, history, the different cultures we have seen. I have found myself touched by each and, most of all, perhaps, by an attitude toward work, toward living, that is grounded centrally and simply in necessity.
……that is where the ropes come in. Could it be that my whole approach , this quest for “unity,” is an illusion, not to be projected on oneself, or others, or the world? In a healthy ecosystem, for example, stability increases with diversity of species. The sweetness of an old guitar lies in its overtones. And a rope’s strength under stress is born of many strands.