Wednesday, March 6, 2013

steam box. not sauna.

a question i frequently get is this, six weeks in india? where do you go? what do you do? sometimes i wink, smile and say, i go to a hospital, drink oil, and sit in a box. it's priceless to take in the reaction on the other person's face.

all kidding aside it never ceases to amaze me the depths and breadths of wisdom and knowledge that can be revealed in meditation. really. the rishis thousands of years ago in profound meditation see all this knowledge regarding health and wellbeing. how detailed do they see? look at this treatment. svedaa. here in vaidyagrama it is done according to ayurveda text. as authentic as it gets. check out my head. it is outside of the steam box. why? because the brain and eyes are the most sensitive organs in the body. one must not subject them to heat. then, the heat. what is the right amount of heat? according to what's prescribed in the ancient text, it should be just enough for me to break a sweat. last year i got stuck in a preconception that it has to be very hot. you know, like sauna, steam room. i kept complaining to the therapist, this is not hot enough. eventually doctorji had to come. he lightly touched my forehead and nose, examined the tiny smear of sweat and says, this is fine. yet in the back of my mind there was a teenie weenie bit of doubt. really, this is hot enough? fortunately it wasn't strong enough to impact my words and action.

anyway here i am doing the second round of sitting in the box. the mind is quiet. the body is relaxed. i have faith in the treatment, therapist and doctor. in this stillness i actually sense there is a loosening up in a deep way happening in the body. as i type this, about a month after completion of a full course of panchakarma i realize a very deeply lodged mental knot is gone. it's that unpredictable lurch of restlessness, sudden grip of impatience, out-of-nowhere roar of get the pic. i clearly sense there is plenty of inner space that i wasn't aware before. they are pulsing sweetness, happiness, contentment, strength and so much more. just the simple sense of spaciousness lifts the spirit that much higher, expands perspective that much wider and bigger.

as the saying goes, proof is in the pudding. so i can testify that something did get pulled out. some garbage.

according to the text this is, briefly, how panchakarma works. toxins, whether from improper metabolism of food or negative thoughts, emotions and words, are stuck in cells and molecules. like stubborn stains in a cup. oil loosen them. oil also render cell walls porous and permeable. loosened toxin can then be drawn into alimentary canal, ready to be eliminated thru one of the five acts of purification. and there you have it. panchakarma. five acts of purification. sitting in the box is not an act of purification. it is part of prepping the body to be ready for the act. as a matter of fact, it takes two weeks to prepare the body, including but not only drinking oil and sitting in the steam box, for one act of purification. worth it? you bet. the even better news is, unless i keep piling on new garbage this is a lasting effect.

what other questions do i get? for example, what else did i do besides drinking oil and sitting in a box? hmmm, o yes, for one, doing puja to meenakshi, the cow. but, that's another post altogether.

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