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Letter From India
(excerpt from the book Cancer Recovery: A Daily Program to Heal Cancer Naturally)
by Raven Jones, AP
Editor's Note from Julie Cerrato: It is my distinct honor to share with you the inspiring and heartfelt reflection of one man's journey through his battle with cancer. A brilliant author and dear friend, Raven Jones has created a link between health and spirituality through Ayurveda. His cancer survival story is both thought provoking and intellectually stimulating as it is filled with emotional honesty. As both an Ayurvedic Practitioner and cancer patient, Raven gives a unique perspective in this excerpt of his book of how Ayurveda can open your mind, body and spirit as it heals your heart. Thank you Raven for this literary masterpiece. We look forward to reading more of it!
A Comment on Karma
My first treatment is at 7am and consists of a flowing massage by two young, dark skinned men dressed in light brown jacket and trousers. They have that thick, jetblack, close cropped hair and ubiquitous mustache of many Kerala men from this southern part of India.
My two therapists spread a glutinous, white, rice paste cooked in herbs to supply nourishment and strength to my body so that at the end of an hour I look something like a human, iced cake. For my second treatment of the day I lie on the hewn mahogany table while herbal infused buttermilk is poured over my forehead from a swinging copper bowl. This is at 4pm in the afternoon, so there is a lot of time to rest and reflect during the pleasant humid heat during the middle of the day.
This is my fifth trip to India for Ayurveda Pancha Karma, and I have been thinking lately about how I got here and the journey with cancer, both my own, and those that I work with as an Ayurvedic Practitioner. This ongoing ‘dance with the crab’ and the beginning of that journey seven years ago, has changed my life in such profound ways. I am thinking now of all the people that enter our lives and all the seemingly chance events that befall us, both good and bad, that end up having so much to teach us. How the great tragedies and disasters of the world are also large scale lessons for humanity, even though these have to be repeated many times over throughout the ages. If looked at in this way we might discover that whatever happens to us is usually for the best. So it was revealing to me that on a visit to a local bookstore in search of some rare spiritual books, the following story from an ancient Indian text came to my attention.
‘Whatever God Does Is For the Best’
Taking a walk in the cool breeze before the heat of the day, I marveled again at the thousands of local people in the market place, buying, selling, bartering and talking animatedly.
I reflect on my health and how working to regain it has changed my own life in unexpected ways. How each of us creates our own reality by our thoughts and actions in every moment. How apparent tragedies, loss of a loved one, health problems or accidents in our personal lives or on the larger scale of the world’s stage, are unfolding perfectly in the play of life and death. How we often see that events often benefit the greater whole, even though this is not always obvious at the time, and how sometimes, accepting this, we can relieve some of the pain in our lives.
This is not to say we shouldn’t have sympathy for those involved in grieving their losses. And of course we cannot condone heinous crimes or racial genocide, or make light of the suffering of people in many parts of the under developed world, but maybe view all of it in the light of a previous lifetimes indiscretions being reversed, the karmic balance being redressed. If you hurt a soul in one lifetime, they may hurt you in the next. What goes around comes around, so to speak.
This is the Law of Karma (cause and effect). The events of one’s life are the result of past, present and future conceived actions, some good and some maybe not so good, but they all interweave seamlessly in the universal web of life. Why do we get sick? Why do people die unexpectedly? Why does adversity befall us? On the other hand why does good fortune enter our lives or chance meetings lead to love? I believe that Karma is not meant to punish us, but to teach us. If we accept conscious responsibility for all our actions (and reactions) being humane, then it’s possible their effects will be more beneficial to us and humanity as a whole. What I’m saying here is that maybe, in the big picture, it’s easier to understand that whatever God does, really is for the best.
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About the Author
Raven Jones is a Certified Ayurveda Practitioner from the Mt. Madonna College of Ayurveda in Watsonville, California. He is a Massage Therapist, Cancer Researcher and Educator, teaching Seminars and Recovery Groups for cancer patients, their advocates, caregivers and Natural Health Practitioners.
Using INTEGRATIVE AYURVEDA [TM] to determine customized diet and lifestyle programs, Raven uses complimentary, natural holistic western medicine and his experience as a cancer survivor to guide, educate and counsel people with cancer and other degenerative diseases on their journey to back to wellness.
He is currently VP of H.A.V.E.N. the non-profit educational arm of the dhyana Center for Health Sciences in Sebastopol, California where he is the Director of the New Cancer Recovery Program. He is the author of the book “The New Cancer Recovery Program – Healing Cancer With Integrative Ayurveda and Natural Medicine” telling the story of his own recovery from cancer, the remedies he discovered and the way for others to recover from cancer on their journey to wellness.