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Surgery and Recovery: Health Update #2

It seems a little unseemly to bring attention to one’s health as a meditation teacher. But since various commitments and expectations could not recently be fulfilled as in the past, and all sorts of misunderstandings can (and will) emerge, perhaps I could take this opportunity once to give some clarity about some recent developments, and then refer folks back to this page in the future when things cannot be carried out as I would have otherwise wished.

Some months ago, following an unexpectedly slow recovery from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in my left knee, it was discovered that there was a large growth happening inside the muscle tissue of my left calf. The growth of this large tumor has been putting pressure on the nerve center around the general region of the knee, and therefore this is the reason why sitting meditation had become ever more painful during retreats over the last year or two. The pain was not only affecting the knee itself, but it also had begun radiating down the length of the lower left leg. Walking was even becoming somewhat difficult over ever-shorter distances.

The tumor was determined to be benign, and was excised last Thursday, February 29, right after we finished the 90-day Winter Kyol Che retreat at Zen Center Regensburg. I could barely struggle through the intensive seven-day closing retreat which capped this year’s annual retreat season.

The surgery was a routine procedure, but not with out its risks: Because the tumor was located in an area of the leg dense with nerve networks, the doctors geared some possibility of paralysis happening either in my lower leg or foot or toes. Due to the great professional care of doctors and nurses at Regensburg’s Baumherzige Bruder Hospital, the growth was removed during an hour-long cutting. There is no paralysis whatsoever, and the wound is healing nicely. I am very, very lucky.

During the whole time of this health challenge, I was supported by our incredible Zen Center Regensburg Family: Silke (Boep Hwa), Dr. Katharina Kleinschmidt (Chon Su An), Yonym (Do Tzong), Lukas (Jeong Gong), Max (Shim Gum), Nico (Ah Gong), and all of the Patreon supporters whose monthly financial assistance has enabled me to get access to medicine and treatments which are NOT covered by my poverty-level medical insurance policy.

Pre-op prep.
Sunim’s Return (2): Hyon Gak Sunim #현각스님 Returns to Temple from the Hospital #zen #love #gratitude

[ The remainder of this post, including other juicy details and behind-the-scenes images of our supporting Team of Dharma-nurses and doctors, can be found on my Patreon page. Thank you very much for your love and support there — it truly helps me to carry out this Dharma work without fear of lack or want. ]


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