We all know that Paramhansa Yogananda stated that the goal of yoga is to learn to “stand unshaken amidst the crash of breaking worlds.” I recently received a letter from a long time kriya yogi, let’s call him “Jeff”, which demonstrates this state of consciousness.
Jeff had been diagnosed with throat cancer, and a few months ago completed the chemotherapy sessions. Recently they found new lumps in his lungs and performed a biopsy. In the letter below, Jeff shares his response to the results of the biopsy.
I found the letter utterly delightful. What is astounding is how many disciples of this path have faced cancer, or other extremely difficult situations, with exactly this same consciousness. This consciousness comes naturally as we discover we are more than the body; and that discovery comes naturally through a lifetime of sincere practice of these teachings.
As Jeff concludes his letter:
“It’s more like a dance with some interesting steps to learn from a mysterious friend. But when I lose time or step, I can tell that She knows.
Just when I’m about to fall, She catches me. Again and again She is there. This much I know: I am never alone.”
How similar in spirit these lines are to Divine Mother’s reply to Paramhansa Yogananda himself:
“I am your stocks and bonds. What more dost thou need than that thou hast Me? Dance of death and dance of life — know that these come from Me. My child, rejoice!”
May we all aspire toward this state, easily within our grasp through our sincerity and perseverance and God and Guru’s grace.
The letter follows below.
Last message that I sent to a group was about a biopsy I was to have and I was waiting for results. The result was positive for cancer. I like to wait until I have a clear mind about these things before I send out a message to more than a couple of people.
Of course I had hoped the biopsy would be clean. But now that I know what it is I have made some choices about how I view all of this. I’ve had to accept that this is a life thing now. Not a sprint, or a minor speed bump, but a long distance situation.
As hard as that was to accept, it’s turned out to be a huge blessing still. It’s taken time, but I feel I’ve rounded another corner with all of this health stuff. What I’ve come to is pretty simple. All I can do is live every day the best I can. I can truly say that before this, I have never been strong enough to do what I know I wanted to do and should be doing all this time. I did try, but still. I always knew I was keeping at least one foot firmly planted in my comfort zone at all times. This is why I’m so thankful for my situation. It is not bad. It is propelling me forward toward my goal.
I find I’m making choices differently now. I’m actually calmer and happier. I’m less worried about anything and more interested in beauty, kindness, and love. I just feel blessed.
And all this is because I’ve been forced to face my own mortality earlier than I expected. It’s like God said, “it’s time for Jeff to start having more fun”. And that’s exactly what I’m doing.
There is no indication that I’m going anywhere any time soon. You’re all stuck with me for many years as far as I can tell. If this is not the case, I’m ok with that too. I’m ready for something new when it comes.
Whenever a person has told me that their Dr. told them they have only a certain amount of time to live, I have laughed. (how arrogant can any Dr. be?) This time it happened to me, and I laughed again. It did hurt and shock me inside, and it took time to digest and to bounce back. But I never forgot that I’m more than a blood test or a scan and I know my Guru is watching over every aspect of my life and I know this is God’s world and my particular incarnation as Jeff is no more and no less important than any other physical being that lives and dies in a moment, or in a hundred years.
I feel very blessed to have so many caring, fine and true friends.
I’m very happy I can see this and I can feel in my heart how much God loves me through you, the sky, and through all the beautiful experiences I have every day. I can’t tell you how much I love my life as it is, as it was, and as it will be. No matter where and when it takes me, I know I’m loved and protected in Him.
For now, I plan to live a long time right here! My wife and I are working on that the best we can and so far everything looks great and that’s all we want you to think about or see in your mind. We’re not overcome by this, we’re actually finding new insight and freedom (sometimes it takes a while but it’s coming quicker every time) within all of it. Most of all I think we’re growing in ways we could not if things were different.
We are moving toward the Light.
One last thing: I’m not fighting cancer and I’m not fighting for my life. I’m not fighting anything! I’m seeking a harmonious flow with all of it. I don’t think the cancer is bad for me. So far it’s helped me more than almost anything I can think of. What I learned from riding waves in the ocean is what I’m feeling right now. It’s unpredictable, it’s exciting, and it’s fun and it takes every ounce of concentration, learned skill, my ability to listen and feel, and it reminds me that I am both within, a part of, and experiencing something more beautiful than can be described in words. But it is made of Love. And it is intimate, caring, and it’s mine.
Please don’t think of me being engaged in some kind of desperate battle. It’s more like a dance with some interesting steps to learn from a mysterious friend. But when I lose time or step, I can tell that She knows.
Just when I’m about to fall, She catches me. Again and again She is there. This much I know.
I am never alone.