No reason to say “Thank You”

My previous article was released on May 16. This is the longest gap that I had in writing these articles.

This summer has been a challenging one for me. My mother had her cancer return and the therapy that was meant to help her, made her condition much worse. At that point I received a call from my siblings in Israel, telling me that mom is in the hospital and that her health was going downhill fast. I flew to Israel, thinking I may be attending her funeral. Instead, her condition started improving. After six weeks of being with her in Israel, seeing her getting constantly better, I came back to NY.

Two weeks later I get another call; mom had a stroke and she’s in a coma. The doctor’s told us that she has mere hours left to live. I got on the next flight to Israel two weeks after coming back. This time I was completely prepared to be attending my mom’s funeral. When I arrived, two days later, I was told that she was still alive. The “mere hours” that she was “given” to live, have become days, the days became a week, and after three weeks she began to gradually open her eyes. After a few more days she started whispering a word, and then two words. Then she started asking to be fed. I stayed in Israel five weeks for the second round and on the day that I came back, mom has been moved from a regular hospital to a geriatric hospital.

In essence, I spent the past three months in Israel. Overnight, my life has changed. Before I went to Israel, there wasn’t really a “roadmap” on how to live and what to do next, but apparently there was the illusion of such a “roadmap”. Upon my arrival in Israel, however, even the illusion of such a “roadmap” was gone. Although I was born in Israel and lived there until I was thirty, I didn’t feel as though I was coming back home. To me, New York felt more like home than Israel ever did. I felt as if I am on a self imposed exile from home, in a hostile place. A place where the “me” always come before “you”. Where people who are standing in line behind me, walk in front of me and run as fast as they can forward, to bypass me and get ahead of me. Where drivers change lanes, ignoring everyone – not a honk, not a look. Hostility was the prevalent energy. Life as a war. War against everyone, war over everything. This is what insanity looks like, and I was there, not because I wanted to be in Israel, but because I wanted to support my mother, father and brothers. Unbeknownst to me, I have arrived at school, and became a student.

The ground which I believed I was standing on, was suddenly not there. Not that it ever was. But believing that there’s a ground underneath ones own feet, is a much easier idea to handle, than the (thought, or belief, or yet another misperception) that one is floating in a void with nothing to hold on to.

Very quickly I realized that my past knowledge and experience was utterly meaningless. Even my most basic tool – tuning in to silence – was not available to me. The inner noise was deafening, with meaning that I was unable to decipher. There was an emotional roller coaster without an end in sight. There was pain, fear, struggle, anger and all those things that I have managed to become free of for such a long time.

Counterintuitively, in the midst of all of this and for a reason that is still beyond me – I said: “Thank You”.

I don’t know why I said it. I didn’t have the slightest feeling of gratitude when I did, and there was no logical thought process leading to a conclusion that saying “Thank You” was the right thing to do. Non of that whatsoever.

But when I said “Thank you”, everything stopped. Everything became silent. I became silence itself. In the moments that followed I was zooming out from the picture that I had of reality. This zooming out revealed to me that what I was experiencing as reality, actually had a much larger context. It wasn’t “all that there is at this moment”.
This new and larger picture was not a clear one. I was unable to tell what this newly appearing context actually was. All that I was able to tell, was that I was misunderstanding everything. This was the doing of silence at that moment, as it has been at different times in the past. The feeling of tremendous relief that followed this experience, in indescribable.

After this experience, I continued to say “Thank You” when toxic thoughts and emotions where present. At those later times, the thought of saying “Thank You” was already a conscious one, one based on previous experience. But even then, there was no feeling of gratitude behind the words. And yet, saying “Thank You” in the midst of turmoil, was repeatedly making the illusion – which I have been believing to be reality – fade away. And once the illusion disappeared, all that was left was silence. A blessed, welcoming silence. Silence that felt like home. A home beyond geography.

I am now back in NY, but only in part. Not because my physical body is not in NY, but because what I call “me” today, is different than what stood behind this word only three months ago. The school that I have attended taught me some lessons. But the lessons that I may presently be aware of, are just a small fraction. The full scope of the lessons learned, will gradually become apparent in the months and years to come.

Oded Ben-Ami

Oded Ben-Ami is a mystic, Chi-Gong teacher, mentor, writer, and musician. He dedicates his time to the exploration of the non-physical realm, its effect on our physical world and the means by which it can be affected by the mind

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Oded, My friend!!
    How i miss hearing your talents on the keyboards at Scotia methodist…
    I sincerely hope and pray that your Mother is well and is recovering Nicely.
    You are so lucky to have her at your age, I miss mine terribly.
    I will be Starting Piano lessons soon with the Lady that plays in my Church, im now going to Carman methodist, on carman Road, in Schenectady.
    Im buying an electric piano from the music store in Scotia, its a yamaha…cant wait to get started…
    I enjoyed your writing this time, as i did your last, i still have that article,,,well written, very articulate, and professional…Im no longer working for the school district of Niskayuna as a bus driver, im undertaking a new position with CDTA this coming monday, i have to start a retirement fund, and i couldnt do that with the district…
    I miss you my friend…Positive thoughts,and Prayers for your Mother… i hope youll keep me informed…Be well and Shalom, Oded….Chas

  2. Hi Oded, welcome back..

    We love our parents but we do not like them, I notice that from your writing. We have their genes yet we disliked their way of life
    Your mother felt your presents, thanks to you she got better.

    In my family they are all DRS, engineers due to my mother’s influence that passed on to the third generation., She was a DR in Israel yet,.
    I too love my place in USA as oppose to Israel.

    your next e-mail should be about the power of love..



    What are you still holding
    What value, what worth
    That keeps you from embracing
    Our new planet earth

    The fear that consumes us
    Is melting away
    Standing on the threshold
    To a new loving day

    But your closet still holds
    Your dusty old thoughts
    Your angers, your judgments
    The fears you have brought

    But blessed is your closet
    For you know where they are
    These thoughts bound together
    In who you think you are

    You’ve never been your fears
    They’re just easy to wear
    You put them on, they matched
    With everyone one else out there

    Let go of your old thoughts
    Just a trunk of old rags
    Valueless and dirty
    In torn shopping bags

    Kick them to the curb
    Make room for loves blessings
    They’ve never been real
    Just awakenings lessons

    We were never meant to suffer
    To compete or to fight
    We took a misstep
    We’ve finished our dark night

    You’re more vast than you’ve imagined
    More beautiful than you believe
    In this space you’ve created
    A new universe you will weave´╗┐

    Stay high and fly my brother

  4. Oded,

    I must admit that I wondered what happened to you since I had not seen many more of your writings. I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I hope that she is doing well now and it is good that she has family near her. Take care and we will be thinking about you and your family during this health challenged time.


  5. Hi Oded,
    Every night when I get into bed I say, “thank You, father. Goodnight.

    A river reaches places which its source never knows.

  6. Hi Oded,
    Thank you for sharing your story. Sounds like your last few weeks have been filled with complications
    And rather stressful times. You were involved in a “Crisis” and responded to it in an effort to be there for your mother and family in Israel ! You were there when they needed you and wanted to be there in the event you might not have the opportunity to see your mother again. Although a situation might work out differently than expected it may have made you stronger in the long run. I’m sure you have already said your goodbyes and now must also be responsible for your family in New York and be here for them. Hopefully you are at peace and I send many blessings your way! You were missed by all.

    Peace & Light,


  7. Beautifully written, Oded. Quite a journey you have been on and will be on.
    Thank you for sending this to me.


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