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Gratitude for life and an insight into Cancer.

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Gratitude for life and an insight into Cancer.

Jullay and Greetings of the season!

Some of us have kick started the new year with a healthy resolve and positive outlook. My intention for writing this blog is to convey several hidden observations and personal understanding of
dis-eases. Notice how I write Disease , English language is two dimensional and simplistic , several words we use can be comprehended in dual ways. An individual is diagnosed with a disease when his/her body is not in rhythm or witnesses a rapid growth or reduction of cells.

February 4th is World Cancer day!! According to World Health Organisation , In the world we live in 17 people die of cancer every minute. Phew!! Every day this year , I am reminded of the encounters I have had with cancer patients , families of those affected and of those we , at Guna have tried to support. I would like to share a few of those with you.

My early encounters goes back to my time spent with a beautiful Indian homemaker who devoted three years of her life taking care of her husband who was suffering from Cancer. This gentleman had suffered from lung Cancer and claimed to have been magically cured by Chemotherapy by one of the most expensive hospitals in New Delhi , only to be diagnosed with liver cancer five years later and this time his cancer was detected very late almost at the last stage. It was a very sad situation for his family of a devoted homemaker , loving mother , three young children comprising of, two daughters who loved him dearly and his son who looked upto him as his hero. This is a middle class Indian family , low on finances as savings were running out , the patient had his 50th birthday coming in two weeks and he didn’t know if he would get to celebrate his 50th birthday with this children. None of us could do anything , it was too late. His daughter drove me to their house and said just meet him once. Before meeting him , I spent some time with the family and tried to calm them down by saying “worrying will only make the situation worse and he is aware you all are very tense , he is your father and his biggest wish is for you to feel secure.” I gathered some energy with dhyan mudra and entered his room , where he was facing the door , he was very frail with a drip , several injections etc on his body.

He greeted me politely and before I could introduce myself he started criticising organic food , alternative therapy , holistic living and praising his doctor who magically cured his lung cancer with chemotherapy following which he was allowed to eat anything he wants. He very proudly said he loved his coca cola , white bread , maggi and the doctor allowed him to eat them. I was surprised but kept listening patiently as I could sense he just wanted someone to listen to him without any interruptions or interventions.

He went on about how he has some money saved for his daughters’ wedding , was worried if his wife and mother would fight once he is gone , son’s future etc. He said he knows what will happen and that it would happen soon but I want to celebrate my 50th bday , he said. I decided to speak after 30 minutes of listening , starting out by thanking him for having me over , congratulating him on his beautiful , loving family , for continuing his work after being diagnosed with cancer once and with a lot of conviction instilled the faith in him that he will celebrate his 50th birthday. I could witness he was sitting upright now and with a lot of courage , I said please ask your doctor if your condition allows you to have tulsi infused water and to read the following book ; Modern Buddhist Healing: A Spiritual Strategy for Transforming Pain Disease and Death by Charles Atkins. He and his doctor agreed to both and I wished him a Happy birthday in advance with a heartfelt namashkar.

The family celebrated his birthday but a month later he left for heavenly abode , I visited the cremation ground to see his son shiver and we then drove to his house. His house now had this light , like an illuminating aura. I witnessed other members remembering his name fondly and his wife held my hand to say none of his doctor’s came to the cremation grounds or our home , it’s been almost 24 hours. Thank you for being with us through the toughest time.

It was this experience that made me look for solutions and causes of this disease. Some of you know , I spend a lot of time in Ladakh working on eco model village , gaining understanding of Buddhism , Tibetan sound healing and just learning to be more humane. From the eco village , I gathered the wisdom of Apricot kernel that are rich in B17 and fight cancer.Many experts claim and research cites , Cancer is nothing but an absence of B17 in the body. For almost two years, I was solely marketing the Apricot kernel rich in B17 from Ladakh and other Apricot related products. I have interacted with several people from the American subcontinent who regularly visit Ladakh for trekking , Buddhism or Volunteering.

Upon interacting with many of them , I understood that most Americans don’t like bitter apricot kernels and USFDA have even banned vitamin B17 as a drug. My guess is Cancer is very profitable to hospitals and the modern medical industry. Along with Apricot kernels there are many super foods grown on our fertile Indian soil that are cancer fighting such as raw turmeric , black turmeric , black rice etc. However , most modern doctors refuse to inculcate dietary modifications or lifestyle changes to their patients or even in awareness camps.

This awareness takes me back to the time, when my friend who recently lost her father to cancer , invited me to give a talk in New Delhi’s much talked about , majorly funded by International donors’ foundation that supports cancer patients. I walked into this charity with a positive mindset and some expectations as I had heard about them from facebook feeds of friends in organics. What I witnessed was , unorganised shoes and support workers / volunteers walking in and out of the room where cancer patients were seated with their shoes on (quarantine bye bye) , one volunteer even being very loud (cancer patients can be sensitive to noise , harsh lights, dust etc) , borderline disrespectful to the patients by mimicking their rural accent and interrupting my talk. It was time for lunch and again to my surprise, I saw chapatis laden with ghee , kheer (rice dish with white sugar and milk) being served to cancer patients. I entered the kitchen to see packets of biscuits , other processed items as donation food for the patients. I was really appalled and told them milk is very harmful for them at this stage, so is white sugar , processed wheat etc. This volunteer said “ Bete , they (pointing towards the patients) are from the street.” Their lack of compassion and false positivity made me sick in the stomach , I felt disgusted and left the charity.

The book I mentioned earlier is about buddhist healing. I have had the good fortune of being around HH Dalai Lama and spent my mornings in Tibetan sound healing , meditation in shanti stupa and with monks of Thiksey monastery. All encounters with monks , meditation sittings and sound healing have been and are free of cost for everyone in Ladakh !! Most monks have never used laptops or earphones. In cities of India and abroad , I find new age spiritual , yoga retreats that are not only through the roof in terms of cost packages but a lot of them instill half or wrong knowledge that are mostly new age consumerist in nature. A tibetan monk once told me a real teacher is not one who will tell you what you want to hear but will always preach the truth and the actual need. I witness the opposite with new age buddhist teachers who claim to spread spiritual healing by saying oh no restrictions here and charge tons of money for their sessions or shops , they mostly service the rich in the society and their presence is felt in posh neighbourhoods , foreign nationals with hefty salaries. My suggestion is to avoid false positivity , develop a discerning eye and look through such initiatives as actions speak louder than words , it is easy to label ourselves something but are we really acting upon it. In organics sector as well I find flag bearers claiming to be swadeshi harping on eating desi food , adopting desi dogs etc ..but are they really being that way in action , in totality ? Vegans emphasising on cruelty free food in India .. oh dear lord , I have come across some really mean and condescending vegans who may get the food right but not their attitude or intention.

The point I am trying to make is that it is becoming increasingly stressful and expensive to find the cure , support to the rapidly growing diseases of body , mind and spirit . Alternative and preventive health techniques should and can be adopted early in today’s day and age by all. We often forget that prevention is better than cure. Being mindful about supporting our local farmers , insisting on clean chemical , preservative free food on our plates , adopting daily dhyan (meditation) or mantra uchcharan (chanting) , eating a vegan or restricted vegetarian diet and practising gratitude can really strengthen our immune system.

A farmer once told me “Madam mitti mein jeher dalna matlab rago mein jeher dalna.” i.e adding chemicals , poison (pesticides , insecticides) in the soil means injecting our bodies with poison. We forget we are soil , our bodies are made with five elements of nature , paanch tattvas i.e. bhūmi (earth), ap or jala (water), tejas or agni (fire), marut, vayu or pavan (air or wind) and vyom or shunya (space or zero) or akash (aether or void). Excessive use of chemicals to grow our food has been scientifically proven to have links with diseases and cancer.

Living in harmony with nature is the first step towards healing. Our relationship with our self is the most beautiful one and it is extremely important to be true to ourselves for instance , I feel strongly about the swadeshi jaivik movement (organic movement in India respecting her ancient traditions and natural farming) , constantly nurturing this awareness and actively working towards this cause makes me content. Rhythm , synergy and symphony with oneself and the environment , along with encouraging others to do the same is a good way to lead a holistic and dis-ease free life.

Thank you for reading and being a part of my journey.

Love and Light,

Neha