Vivi’s Healing Diary/India: Part 1.

Karnataka—Feb 19, 2016

Healing Diary, Part 1.

Notes from Vivi’s journey to an Ayurvedic Therapy Clinic in India.
Namaskar dear friends!
In case you are wondering about my whereabouts, allow me to share my Indian news from Hariharapura in Karnataka, and Dr. Ashwin’s Ayurvedic Ashram and Clinic with you.

The reason of my trip is that in the last couple of years I have been feeling a lasting wave of low energy. A deep exhaustion came over me just as I turned 50 and as menopause started, which was getting more and more severe with time. Thus I decided to follow the advice of my very good friend and expert Ayurvedic practitioner, Arun Deva, to come to India, to the only expert that he himself would recommend that he has in the past entrusted his health with. 

Arriving in India on Sunday February 14, I was even more exhausted than before. My body hurt for two days; I could not move nor could I sleep well, could not even think a straight line of thought. All I have been experiencing has been a deep yearning for healing, but a different kind of healing. I did not just wish for mere good health and energy.  What I truly wished for, more and more lately, has been a deeper kind of connection with Divinity to be reestablished in my life.  I know that somehow, in the busy activity of daily life, I have undernourished myself; I have deprived myself from the full flow of the secret, sacred fountain of life and divinity. So here I am wanting to reconnect and to reestablish the light of consciousness inside.  Being in the good hands of Dr. Ashwin gives me hope.  He is a young but brilliant doctor, and what’ s more, a very deep, wise, and spiritual person. I guess his success is founded on a very profound sense of wisdom that seems to be innate in him. 

His father, we call him Papaji, is also a doctor, western, homeopathic and ayurvedic, as well.  Papaji says that they knew from an early age, the inclination of his first son.  The Jyotish astrologer had read it in the boy’s chart, even though they kept it a secret from him.  Out of his own innate drive and personal inclination, young Ashwin grew up to earn scholarships in medicine and Ayurveda, and went to study with a wise old doctor in Kerala, who has recently passed away at the age of 99. This is just a summary of Dr. Ashwin’s credentials.  To me he appears ever sweet, patient, personal and yet composed, humble, always reassuring.  Arun just arrived yesterday with his own family from the US via Delhi.  Even though Arun is a great Ayurvedic therapist himself, he asserts that in his entire life, he has never met a more adept Ayurveda doctor than Dr. Ashwin.  Arun trusts Dr. Ashwin’s knowledge, wisdom, and discrimination fully. The ability Dr. Ashwin has in diagnosing an ailment, and in being right on the mark about charting the right healing path for each particular person is unique. 

The same high opinion is shared by all the people who are here.  We are about 12 patients in this small Ayurvedic Ashram/Clinic, which is essentially Dr. Ashwin’s home.  Most of these western patients have been coming here year and after year to either get radical treatment for some serious health problem, or to just get rebalanced and revitalized in this nurturing healing environment.  They have deep respect and total trust in Dr. Ashwin who has been successful in treating even the gravest of diseases with great success. We have to understand that disease is not just a physical ailment.  It is a deeper spiritual condition; one could ascertain that in most cases it is a deep karmic situation.  I feel that in my own case, since there is nothing truly wrong with my health by the standards of Western medicine, and all the exams always come out clean, I view my condition as a karmic call for change. My life has come to almost a full stop lately anyhow.

For the last couple of years my energy has been dragging and waning.  Some days I seem to be doing okay. I muster enough energy to get going with my life and work, but soon I feel depleted again. There are days I can hardly move, where my whole body feels weak and achy.  And there are days when I feel that I am simply dying, that I can hardly get out bed, and that I may not ever be able to live a normal life again.  I know it is the karma of this hard working life of mine, the intensity of my blessed but very full workload for decades now, and maybe even the karma of my family, or past lives that has brought me to this point.  No matter what and how, I knew before leaving that only a drastic change would help me to feel better.  My life has started with a spiritual yearning, but I have not always heeded the voice of spirit.  As I turned fifty, the longing for deeper meaning and connection started expanding in direct relationship to my exhaustion level. The more I feel tired and sore, the more I know that there is no other way, but to look deeply and retrace the steps that will bring harmony to my life and health again. I also feel that Greece’s severe and enduring crisis is finally having an effect on all of us, even on the most upbeat and optimistic people of our alternative, spiritual community.  I have come to believe that, if we want to be of benefit to our country and other people we need to be strong, steady, and healthy.

My husband Eraj and I are very committed to Greece.  Arriving in Athens from California more than 12 years ago, and starting NYSY Yoga-Pilates Studios and then later in Avocado Vegetarian Café, we have been providing more than a couple of successful, health based businesses and a good place to work for a few dozen people in Greece.  We were diligent about  creating the conditions for sustainable life, setting the example for other people in Greece to follow their dreams, to start businesses with wholesome goals, and work/live in harmony and with respect for others.   We have seen our goals succeed and tasted the sweet fruition of our dreams; we have build great working teams, attracting people who are real luminous personalities, and know how to work with each other with respect and cooperation, and have nourished our clients, be it yoga/pilates students, or vegetarian food lovers with great integrity and esteem.  There was a price to pay, and we both got tired, gray, and at times quite stressed.  Which brings us to date with all of Greece steeped in this enduring crisis.  

I do believe that our struggle as a nation is deep down at heart a spiritual struggle.  We will need to delve in ourselves and find our power, self-confidence, and compassion in order to come out of this planetary mess as worthy and happy human beings. 
That was the message of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th century to his own people too.  He wanted Indians to see that their poor fate and inequitable struggle with the British Empire  was due to the loss of their Spiritual roots and national identity. And that is how he came to urge people to:  “Awake, Arise, and Stop not untill the goal is reached.”

What is our goal today? To realign with the true force of power, the Divine Power that moves and enlivens our world, the same power that exists deeply inside each one of us. We spend our lives ignoring our most vital connection to this power, and this is why we live unhappily, become unhappy patients in hospitals and doctors offices, and die unhappy deaths.  I am talking for most of the people I know today, but not all.  There are bright exceptions, and I want to be one of them. I want everyone I know to live a happier and more mindful life, to die as a content and peaceful human being, and this is why I am here.  And because I would like all of my friends to nurture this hope for their lives, I would like to share some of the details of my journey with you. 

Thus I go back to my ayurvedic healing process:  My first day here at the clinic all I felt was sheer exhaustion. The second day, Monday, started really nicely with a warm oil massage from Dr Ashwin and a treatment administered by his father and an assistant where they poured really wonderful hot oil in my joints and muscles for about 20 minutes.  It felt as if my joints and bones had been cold and dry for ages, and that they were finally getting the warmth, nourishment, and lubrication they had so badly needed with a sense of relief and gratitude. The rest of Monday was spent in bed, feeling an even deeper sense of exhaustion.  At night I could not sleep at all.  On Tuesday the doctor was considering if he was going to give me the more intense pancha karma treatment, where they give you cleansing and detoxifying plant medicines diluted in warm ghee for a few days, followed by a few days of steam detox. The consideration FOR the treatment was that my body deeply needed it. Taking my pulse, the doctor ascertained that I had deep blockages on several tissue levels.  The consideration AGAINST it was that he could not know if we would have enough days for the complete treatment.  One cannot know in advance how long the body will take to completely detoxify. Then you need some days to build the body back up with the right nourishment, and I was scheduled to depart within two weeks, not really enough time for the whole process.  I advocated FOR the full treatment. The doctor said he would think on it and tell me his decision at night.  After dinner, he told me we were going for it, and I was somehow really happy to hear it, even though I am not really sure what I was up for. 

This morning, Wednesday, I started with a profound meditation followed by the medicine infused ghee, and regular sips of hot water.  When you get hungry the doctor said, tell us to prepare hot water for you to take a hot (sacred) shower and porridge. So I took my nice cleansing shower and had a simple hot rice with cinnamon.  I am feeling less tired and much  happier today.  This morning I took a short walk up the end of our street and visited a small Shiva temple. A nice young monk was reciting Sutras and kindly accepted to be photographed.
On my way to the temple, I was greeted by many school children, some shy and some bolder asking my name and “where from.”  I have to definitely learn how to say Greece in Kannada, the language of the state of Karnataka. Some cute cows let me pet them. I befriended a little black one who after being padded on her back a few times, would not leave my side. Poor little thing. I remember reading the book “Holy Cow” which explains the ironic fate of these poor animals: even though they are considered sacred, nobody really feeds them or cares for them, at least in Delhi.  These ones here seemed to be fairing better, but I saw them eating from garbage bins and the book chronicles that their stomachs get destroyed by the plastic bags they end up chewing.  Keeping company to several friendly cows today, I couldn’ t stop wondering: do people who eat cows ever stop to caress one?  They do make sweet friends, these cute animals!   
Wow, this started as a brief email and ended up being a short of a chronicle.  Right this moment I am feeling ever grateful to my husband, and our NYSY-Avocado family, and my sweet mama for supporting my decision to come all the way to India for healing and treatment.
I promise to continue giving you all updates, that is, if you really care to read them. Please let me know.
I love you all dearly and forever. 
May you enjoy your work when at work, your fun time when you play, and some really good rest when you are home.

Love, peace, rest and healing,