The other day I received a newsletter in my e-mail. I receive a number of these, mostly having to do with our friends around the world. Often times I will simply scan them to notice any developments and move on. This newsletter in particular was from a group that does grassroots community development through developing the individuals within the community in South Asia. Auroville Village Action is a group that was founded by a friend of mine, Bhavana Dee many years ago.
In the sidebar of the newsletter, I noticed a brief mention. My dear friend had passed away on May 11, 2011. (For simple reasons, I was glad to find on the calendar that my daughter had stayed home from school that day.)
I’m not writing this to say a lot, only that I love my friend, always have and always will. Also, that I want to repost here the blog I found from her expressing herself in the last period of her life where she was writing publicly. There are words of her spiritual insights, commentary on cancer and the nature of this treatment and possible cures, but most of all–the words are simply those of a beautiful soul reflecting on the beauty that it is, and more precisely, the love that it is to be alive together.
Thank you for all your beauty and your love, Bhavana.
MONDAY, MAY 9, 2011
Note to my friends
5 May 2011
GOODBYE, BHAVANA, Part 1, The Physical Story
In January i was experiencing enough discomfort in my neck to go to an ENT specialist who sent me for tests which showed evidence of thyroid cancer, either medullary or anaplastic. Following up at the Cancer Research Centre at nearby JIPMER (a government post-graduate teaching hospital, second best in India), i was admitted for an operation to remove the medullary tumour on Feb 7th, and that operation was successful, although it showed much more aggressive growth and adhesion than expected and the post-op biopsy showed anaplastic cancer, an extremely fast growing and deadly cancer, and i am now experiencing large tumour growth in my neck. I discovered through a great book, Outsmart Your Cancer, an alternative treatment in late April (much too late really), and it is a race between the cancer and the remedy. The cancer threatens to cut off breathing, eating and swallowing faster than the remedy can kill off cancer cells. So here i sit short of breath, barely able to swallow, extremely weak and low energy… It’s extremely fast, a week ago i was climbing the stairs (albeit slowly) to an airy room for evenings – today i need help to bet to the bathroom.
GOODBYE. BHAVANA AND HELLO AGAIN, Part 2, The Inner Story
But most interesting for me has been the inner journey which this diagnosis triggered. My first reaction was actually, “O good, i will get to prepare for my death and depart consciously.” I think the main factor in this rather positive reaction was that 17 years ago i nearly died of cerebral malaria – coming out of a two week coma, i had a very strong sense that death is really not anything to be afraid of (it’s much harder on the people all around than on the dying/dead person). I wondered how deep that fearlessness was, but i have found that it is sustaining at an even keel during all this period. Also, i am 67 and have had a very full life – so i’m not facing a lot of regrets or unfinished dreams. And i must admit that the 9 months last year i spent with my 92 year old mother in a nursing home in Florida made me open to a relatively early departure before sight, hearing, mobility, etc. breakdown. But i am not inviting death, i was always fully happy to continue on living, and with wonderful support from my community here, entered the course of further tests to ascertain the diagnosis and take the appropriate treatment. I was operated on by one of the best surgeons in India, and a wonderful person also.
Meanwhile, i also began to work on the body of work which has been growing up over the last decades which approaches cancer as a turning point in one’s life (specially that of Dr. Carl Simonton and Dr. David Servan Schreiber, video , and video), and encourages one to look at the stresses which have led up to the onset (the key causative factor they’ve found is not the stress itself but a feeling of helplessness around it and i had two where they only solution was “give it to Mother”, but although the mind accepted, the vital found them intolerable), the secondary benefits of falling sick (primarily that all my friends come and tell me how much they love and will miss me, showering me with genuine care and evoking responsive feelings in me, and also being freed from the daily grind of routine busy-ness), and for the “message” of the disease (in my case, precisely that i was neglecting my inner work and that i should give it priority). This seems just like integral yoga to me, and more and more i found that the cancer seemed like a blessing, acting as Death-as -Guru overcoming my resistances to spiritual progress and goading me into intensified practice.
The most important of these practices has been listening to Shraddhavan’s reading of Savitri on CD. I find her reading so evocative and smooth, not only do i listen during the day but i sometimes play it all night long, dosing off and then waking to listen. Savitri is mantric, we know, and when listened to has deep effect. One night i experienced Mother coming in – She took my hands and whirled me around , letting me go flying. I swooped and dived and moved around in the air, so happy to be free of the heaviness of ordinary body consciousness. I thought to myself, this is an astral/vital experience not a spiritual one – but that’s okay since i can tell the difference. It was such fun, and i was so grateful i just lay my head on Her thigh, grasped Her hands and cried. Another night, i awoke at exactly midnight and Shraddhavan had just begun the Book of Fate – i was immediately completely alert and listened rapt for 4-5 hours through the Dialogue with Death. During the listening my mind was working at least two tracks, one was understanding what Sri Aurobindo was saying in a deeper way than i had ever understood before, and another was seeing how all the stresses i was feeling in my personal life and in relation to the worsening economic, ecological and political crises on the planet, as well as all my existential and metaphysical doubts about mind and meaning , were being addressed by Sri Aurobindo so precisely. My consciousness seemed to be rising up above this level of conflict, confusion and contradiction to where i could see with bright certainty that every single factor – the conflicts, the reactions to conflicts, the reactions to reactions, everything i could perceive or imagine, was actually moving and changing in perfect order, part of a larger flux of harmony. And then my previous experience with Mother kicked in as i realised that “flying”, that is being able to swoop down and up on different levels of consciousness, would enable me to easily and lightly keep adjusting and maintaining my state of mind above the conflictual levels without denying them – and that developing that capacity to be aware of my consciousness and adjust could be a priority practice.
At this point my attitude toward cancer treatment took a step forward. Before i had been anticipating a conscious departure, now i began to think about getting yogically skilled enough to make a conscious transition to the next life. I found an interesting thing, that i was much more motivated to “pray” (something i’ve wished to be able to do, but always found difficult) for this transition to move on to a next life so that i could continue to serve conscious evolution on the planet, than to pray for myself living longer or dying well. It came so naturally, so strongly. A little later my mind was straying into thoughts of what sort of parents i should be born to, parents who would recognise the special qualities of their little girl and do everything to encourage and develop those psychic qualities in her, and it suddenly occurred to me i didn’t have to change bodies to do that. I could start taking care of that “little girl” (my psychic being, my soul) right now, from this minute.
But quite typically this rush of peak experiences has been followed by the inevitable troughs where the same obscurities, lassitude and incapacities are the order of the day. As the cancer progresses it makes me very weak, energy-less – and that has proved a good direction to follow: spend much of the day in deep relaxation, “just being”. A lot of purification goes on, as well as aspiring for the consciousness i long to be in, and leaving the results to the Divine. And so it is with me right now, endlessly rocking in the cradle between breaking through into a new body or a new life in this one.
GOOD BYE BHAVANA, Part 3, A Note to my Friends
With all this time “just being” so many of my friends come to mind, and i feel the special quality of love which friendship bestows. I reminds me of a dream i had about a week ago – that i was with a friend who somehow had me lying in a lotus radiating love – it was blissful, i felt really good. But then some pain arose in that lotus-reclining body – but still the love was radiating. I began to see that radiating love was normal for a being, whether we are blissful or painful or so caught up in our little lives that we don’ t even notice. We all just radiate love and that’s how the world holds together. There’s nothing special about it, requiring lotuses and bugles. But if we happen to become aware of it, then it seems special. So friendship is something which gives us a possibility of noticing the radiating of love. Friendship comes by grace, there’s just a rapport and chance to notice the love! And each connection so very unique! How amazing is Infinity. So thanks to all of my friends for this privilege of sharing love and appreciation of Infinity! And please forgive me if i can’t answer to anything you write, because it is already quite a painful accomplishment for me to write this good bye epistle. I love you.
HELLO AGAIN, Part 4
If i recover i will write about the medicine and also about the whole horrid story of how low cost natural non toxic (but non patentable) cancer remedies are suppressed by the “cancer industry”. Meanwhile, if you or a dear one are diagnosed with cancer, you might want to read right away, Outsmart Your Cancer, which very clearly describes 21 alternative cancer remedies which have been curing people for up to 60 years, explaining the way they work, their history, giving testimonials, and directions how to obtain them, and explaining “why, if they work so well, we have never heard of them” (suppression).
POSTED BY BHAVANA AT 1:01 AM
Bhavana passed peacefully at 3:10 am Wednesday morning Auroville time.