Lazarus lies in his bed, helpless to move. But he sees now that he is not alone. His beloved wife is with him, all of his relatives and closest friends. They mop his brow; they change his clothes and linen. They stroke his limbs and speak soothing words into his ear. For so many years Lazarus had been the master, the authority, the one who made decisions and told others what to do. And now, for the first time, the roles were reversed, and he found his heart filled with such gratitude, even over the simplest things -- the light streaming in from the window, the warmth of the fire in the fireplace. How wonderful it was to be alive.
For Lewis Richmond, overcoming a swift and devastating brain injury -- one that left him unable to sit up or speak -- was only the beginning of a journey to recovery. As the 52-year-old Buddhist teacher soon discovered, regaining his health would be the most difficult thing he could ever imagine. But love, courage, and the Buddhist teachings that sustained him throughout his adult life would help guide him not only back to wellness, but to rebirth and transformation.
Richmond's timely, compassionate memoir can help anyone on the road back to health -- be it from illness, life crisis, or other catastrophe. In sharing this experience, as well as many others, Richmond offers insightful information about the struggles, setbacks, and frustrations of getting well -- and tells of the lessons learned and rewards gained.
Illuminating from the first page to the last, Healing Lazarus is one man's affirmation of life, as well as a steadfast companion for those who may face days that are physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging.
Richmond had it all: loving wife, great address in the San Francisco Bay area and a successful multifaceted career as software designer, Buddhist teacher, musician and author. He'd even beaten cancer once. Then viral encephalitis a rare disease attacked his brain and sent him into a coma for 10 days. While recovering, he experienced an acute neuropsychiatric complication from a therapeutic drug that posed a second life-threatening challenge. This page-turning account of his slow and spotty recovery is a vivid, affecting and painfully honest Buddhist dharma (teaching) story. This overachieving California-style corporate executive and former Buddhist priest whose previous book was Work as a Spiritual Practice: A Practical Buddhist Approach to Inner Growth and Satisfaction on the Job here learns that the central Buddhist teaching of life as suffering and impermanence has literal as well as spiritual meaning. Providing additional depth to his archetypal story of near-death and recovery, the author portrays the deeply rooted fears and anxieties that became his companions on the healing journey. The book may make a more valuable contribution to the literature about brain injury than to the well-stocked shelf of Buddhist titles; little non-technical or narrative writing is available on the medical frontier of brain trauma and the light it sheds on the relationship between body and mind. Richmond made a descent to the inner underworld, and returned a sadder, wiser man. His psychic excavations will enrich all who read this gripping account.