Tuesday, July 30, 2013

sukh. healthy place. happy place.

what is good health? dr ramkumar gets asked this question quite often. while brilliant and knowledgeable  he is also very quick-witted and funny. i would go so far as to say that joking around and laughing with him are medicine to me big time. in fact i have so much fun goofing around him that sometimes i think i forget what a brilliant, brilliant clinician he is, his grasp of scriptures and, above all, that laser focus to bring authentic panchakarma to modern times. where was i? anyway, in this particular satsang when one patient asks this question he throws a glance in my direction and says, with his signature sunny grin, let's start with suk wah's name. you see, "suk" sounds like a sanskrit word "sukh." he goes on to say this. "sukh" means happiness, happiness that is whole and wholesome. To be healthy is to be in a happy place, happy body, happy mind.

what is really great about this place is i don't have to look for it anywhere outside. i am this place. it is who and what i am. i do have to take care of it though. this place of mine is a splendid palace, a spectacular mansion. just like any other dwelling there are any number of things that can clutter up the space, clog the drains, crack the paints and so on and so forth. hwubby and i take good care of our house. as part of maintenance, periodically we have to employ the service of a drain specialist to snake out the bath tub drain. it is very sobering to watch him do his thing. it's dirty and hard work. it never ceases to shock and stun me to see mounds and piles of slime and grime and hair being drawn out of the hidden pipes. not a pretty sight. but when i see the flow down the drain so smooth and the tub wall is not smacked with slime i have no doubt that all that effort is worth it, all that unpleasantness are necessary. temporary too.

this is why panchakarma makes so much sense to me. you see, every bit of improperly digested food, every negative thought and emotion, generate a little "slime and grime and hair" that stick to the walls of body and mental tissue. over time the inner pipes are clogged, energy flow is slowed down. even though i kind of know that i am beautiful and bright i don't always feel it as i want to feel. my strong meditation practice does a lot of "snaking out."  as a matter of fact it is in deep meditative state that i realize i need to do panchakarma. the rishis saw this thousands of years ago in deep meditation. they saw how treatments and herbal medicine, when applied properly, can profoundly purify body. since the state of mind is closely related to that of the body it is natural that i feel remarkable difference in my inner state, like seeing through clean glasses. hwubby says, this panchakarma gives a new baseline to what i think good health should be like.

for years i looked at the saree-clad ladies who wave light in pujas and negative thought came. i don't look good in it. therefore you could imagine how surprised i was when soon after my first round of panchakarma i was invited to a pujari training. two things. first, i noticed i felt excited about it, i wanted to do it. something moved deeply within. i could see, in a subtle yet clear way, this elaborate act is 'spontaneous' in the sense that i feel thankful about what the guru's path has gifted me so i want to express gratitude in a beautiful and intimate way, a way that is both timely and timeless. i perform a ritual in the present according to what's prescribed since ancient time. the gestures and moves are alive, aligned with how i feel about myself, everyone and everything.

i did say two things, didn't i? second thing is, timing. all those treatments to cleanse and purify and rejuvenate help me to see and feel as my own true self. it becomes a joyous desire to invest attention and time to prepare myself. it throws a sacred light on applying cosmetics, draping jewelry, pinning head flower and placing pleats to just so. i am not doing things to make me into something i am not but, on the contrary, reflect my own beauty and luminosity.

it is so thrilling to be the vehicle to channel divine blessings to beautiful newly weds. the goddess that I am is showering loving wellwishes on the god and goddess that they are. the experience is humbling as well. It has taken the knowledge from the rishis, dedication of my vaidyagrama family and my guru's love to get me to this place. sukh. huwbby says, you have to acknowledge your own efforts too. he's right. he's always right, isn't he, the greatest god in my world.

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