What can I do?
Wanted to share an older post, which has some relevance for this time. As I am, I’m sure many people are wondering, what can I do? it all seems to be going so fast. Can I catch up? So, I thought I’d re-share this little anecdotal and for me very in-formative experience.
By the way, it’s never too late.
Hinduism, like all other religions, grew from a spiritual root (dark, hidden from the eye) and everything we see of it (the visible plant/tree) is merely an allusion, a hint. And one famous saying in hinduism is that it almost matters not how you lived, as saint or sinner, if you have god’s name on your lips at the moment of death, you will go straight to his arms.
Now this should not be understood literally. To me, the allusion is to the fact that it’s never too late to start.
Leading Sugarcoated lives in a Bitter-Sweet World
Having spent a good many years out west (most of it in the US), I was constantly struck by an anomaly that only really made sense to me when I returned to India.
And that anomaly has everything to do with balance, or rather being out of it.
Like most folks, I was a regular at coffee shops in the US and was always frustrated at the lack of anything savoury to eat there. Here in India, tea always goes with something sweet (usually the tea itself) with something savoury. A nice balance.
No big deal, you say? Patience dear reader. It is actually a very big deal.
Another thing I delved in (a bit too much) during my time in the US was alcohol. And I can confidently say it was the same for most people around me, lots of sweet coffee, buns, doughnuts, cream this and sugar, beer, sugary snacks, alcohol, aerated drinks…. sugar piled upon sugar…day in and day out. Everything had sugar.
And on another level, was this political correctness. You could never really speak the truth about anything that really mattered. Most truthy topics were in “politically Charged” territory. Feminism, Masculinity, the running of a company, any giant fraud unfolding around you, parenting, how children were being brought up, what you thought about someone, what someone thoughts about you… you get the idea.
And truth, famously, has always been bitter, right?
And then there was the “How are you doing this morning” from the kid behind the counter, most of them hardly meaning a word of it. Very sweet, sweet, sweet.
And candy, everywhere, candy, candy candy. Halloween supplies lasted the year around.
America, from my eyes, was on a perpetual sugar high. And bitterness was banned. No public consumption of it, no public display of it.
Definitely a sugar-coated existence. No balance at all.
When my alcohol consumption (a tad excessive) left me feeling terrible, I went to a practitioner of Ayurveda in the US. She gave me a bunch of powders, said to take them and I’d be fine.
Went home, woke up the next AM, took a spoonful of one and gagged. It was so bitter. The bitterest thing I’d ever tasted. Plus, remember, I was leading a sugar-coated life too. When you are drowning in a sea of sweetness, even slightly bitter is really bitter.
I went to her that afternoon and complained, bitterly of course, and she smiled and had the said offensively bitter powder put in veg-caps. I went away happy and did the course….. to absolutely no effect. I thought she was just a bad doc and never returned.
The significance of my experience came many years later, my alcohol days far behind me. I realized that it was the BITTERNESS of the powered that was it’s power.
Understanding that the problem was the sweetness in my system, Ayurveda lady prescribed BITTER as an antidote. I needed to taste deeply bitter things to bring my system back in balance.
And in a fractal world, it works the same way with our lives too. Sunk in false-truths, white lies and political correctness, truth, bitter truth, has receded into the background.
All of us sweet people, cannot deal with the tiniest bit of truth, much like my first dose of bitter powder. So we take any truth-speaker and shun them, lest they destroy the glazing on our Dough-nut, do-not (tell me a truth) existence.
Once I realized it, I went about finding a way to reset. I found a neem tree (see here), one of most useful trees, medicinally speaking, known to us. Long history and every part is useful.
And it is bitter. Bitter leaves, bitter bark. Bitter!
And so I started bittering myself, eating a fresh leaf the very next morning. First thing on waking up. Start my day bitterly. Next day, two leaves…. onwards till 14 leaves at a time. ANd then I wound down, 13, 12, 11….28 days, I started my day with a bitter leaf (or three).
Believe it or not, by the 10th day, those bitter neem leaves were tasting sweet. What an amazing feeling.
And my life changed…. because not only did it balance my body, it also balanced my mind.
First off, since bitter was now sweet, most sweet things were too sweet. My sweet-bitter scale had been reset. I was not craving sugar at all.
And boy, could I ever speak the truth. Bitter truth in return was sweet music to my ears.
I’ve done this time and time again and just 15 days or so ago, as I was planning to do another round (I’ve moved since and had no neem tree around), guess what, from nowhere, a sapling peeked out in my garden.
Just like that. Healthy and growing by leaps and bounds every day.
My neem bitter therapy starts tomorrow and I can hardly wait.
What I figured out also is that life deals you it’s bitter moments. To all of us.
If we choose to em-bitter ourselves, nothing life throws at you can sway you. It all seems so sweet.
And that is the balance I’m speaking about in our lives. Too far in one direction only leads to im-balance and dis-ease.
So, go to your local health food store, or Ayurvedic practitioner, or find yourself a neem tree, or bitter gourd juice. And take a big bite, swig dose of bitter. None of it can harm you and your life will become truly sweeter for it.
I can guarantee it.
Go on then, take a bitter pill!
And for those who might be interested in a little bit of my spontaneous style of music, something I recorded on 12th March, called it Fukushima Blues. It’s not really bluesy, like that. At your own risk:
It’s the latest video posted.