I spent hours in loving, community embrace of a dear friend about to die. A master gardener, I remember him carrying 100-pound rocks like they were popcorn. Cancer has taken his strength but not his spirit. The garden he’s planted at his hospice will feed people long after he’s gone.
Along the way doctors recommended surgery and chemo but he refused any medical intervention.
“If he had done something then he wouldn’t have to die like this,” I heard someone say, frustrated.
One of the rules in this game of existence is: we die. It’s our one undeniable right.
Bob Marley refused treatment for a cancer in his little toe. He thought his religious beliefs would heal him. The cancer spread to his brain. He died.
I know someone who’s treating heart disease by swishing ozonated coconut oil in their mouths twice a day. Her teeth have never been whiter. I hope it also helps her heart.
After the Refugio oil spill, my first thought was: that’s us.
Something buried out of sight bursts open, revealing its toxic contents. When the pipe doesn’t burst it’s easy to think everything’s okay. Is everything okay?
Having the right information is important. If you act on the wrong information it’s a lot like turning the heat on while keeping the windows open. What’s the use of being precise if you don’t know what you’re talking about?
Yet we speak as if we know. We’re trying to get healthy, stay healthy, live longer and sometimes it seems we’re missing the point of living by always optimizing our lives.
As a child, disassociation saved my life. I had to not know things in order to survive. At some point the not knowing no longer served me. In order to keep not knowing walls had to be built outside, scar tissue formed on the inside. That became my experience of life. What once protected me now incarcerated me. Breaking free of that is the healing process.
As an adult, I see the same imbedded disassociation: we’d rather not think of the true cost of looking outside for our happiness.
Three of India’s most venerated teachers: Ramana Maharshi, Nisagadatta Maharaj and Ramakrishna, all died of painful cancers. On their deathbeds, they told their grieving disciples the same thing:
Grieve not for this body you see in front of you. I am not the body.
Desire binds you,
Destroy it, and you are free.
Because you think you are the body,
for a long time you have been bound.
All things arise,
suffer change and pass away.
This is their nature.
When you know this
nothing perturbs you
nothing hurts you.
You become still.
It is easy.
You are Love.
Know who you are.