The Work Is Preventive Medicine
Last Week I Attended a Funeral
The funeral of my dear friend, teacher, and ayurvedic doctor, Vaidya Ram Kant Mishra. I miss him and love him, but I do not feel grief.
Losing a friend cannot be compared to losing a parent, or spouse, or child. It took me a couple of months to work through the grief when my mom died. But there’s another reason why I did not feel sadness when faced with this great loss.
The reason is that I have been doing The Work for a long time. And it is becoming instinctual not to go down that road of creating pain for myself.
The Work shows me again and again how much it hurts when I want things to be different than they are. Noticing this again and again through my work, I am not so tempted to dive into pain. I am more and more aware that it is a choice.
Pain Looks Like This
He shouldn’t have died.
He died too soon.
I need him to be my doctor.
I didn’t learn everything from him.
I want to spend time with him again.
I never formally questioned these thoughts, but I didn’t need to. By doing The Work over the years, my mind has come to recognize that these kind of thoughts bring me pain every time. They remind me of so many other thoughts like them that I have questioned. And so my mind is not interested in holding onto them.
This Is What I Mean by The Work Being Preventive Medicine
Every time I do The Work I see more clearly that I always have options. I see that, no matter how bad anything is, I am the only one who can make me suffer. This is not a general theory. This is a practical experience that I get when dealing with the particulars of any situation that I bring to The Work.
The more work I do, the more clearly I see it. And it’s cumulative.
This cumulative experience is what held me when my friend and teacher died. And that’s why I didn’t go into grief. I simply saw other options besides pain.
Even Guilt Couldn’t Make me Suffer
Because I’ve worked those guilt thoughts before as well. Thoughts like, “If I don’t hurt, it means I don’t love him.” And I know it’s not true. I can feel the love in my heart. I can feel the love from him, same as always. I feel as connected to him now without a body, as I did when he had a body.
There is just no reason to close my heart.
What is left inside of me is an openness. And that openness is what I brought to the funeral. A heart full of gratitude, and a clear mind that I have everything I need. Then I could say goodbye with love. And I could share my love with everyone else who was there.
And of Course There Are No Absolutes
I have no grief, is that true?
On coming back home I got a cold and spent the last two days sleeping on the sofa. Who knows, maybe that was grief coming out. We all grieve in different ways. If so, I look forward to working through any grief that shows up.
And So I Pass It On
I share with you the legacy of an amazing healer. If you haven’t already, I invite you to subscribe to the newsletter that Vaidya Mishra’s team still sends out at chandika.com. They have so much knowledge about heath there. I call this knowledge of ayurveda, “turnarounds for the body”—yet another way to create balance of body and mind. I hope you enjoy learning from Vaidya Mishra as much I do.
Have a great week,
“I have a friend who, after doing inquiry sincerely for a number of years, came to understand that the world is a reflection of mind. She was married to a man who was the love of her life, and one day, while they were sitting on their couch, he had a heart attack and died in her arms. After the first shock and the tears, she began looking for grief, and there was none. For weeks she kept looking for grief, because her friends told her that grief was a necessary part of the healing process. And all she felt was a completeness: that there was nothing of him that she’d had while he was physically with her that she didn’t have now.” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change the World
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