Seeds of Enlightenment

April 7, 1997 – Seeds of Enlightenment

This morning, I managed to get in about forty-five minutes of tennis! It was difficult to manage my energy, but I’m feeling stronger every day.

By the time I went to Anna Halprin’s class, however, my gut was churning and my energy was quite low. Fortunately, we spent a lot of time during check-in because there were several new people there, including J. B., the mother of my daughter’s best friend.

The movement segment began with sitting in or chairs and doing deep breathing exercises. I gradually picked up to where we were supporting our faces with our hands and keeping our hands in touch with our bodies. At a certain point, I felt the desire to do a modified form Zen prostrations as an expression of gratitude. I continued moving about on the floor for quite a while, returning to the prostrated position quite frequently. Then the movement picked up all over the room and my energy began to accelerate. Mostly, I was dancing alone, but there were quite wonderful encounters with other dancers, and soon, most of the group was dancing together. I spontaneously moved into the third stage of the “chaotic meditation” that I learned at the Ashram from Rajneesh. This is the stage where “With raised arms, jump up and down shouting the mantra HOO!…HOO!…HOO! as deeply as possible, coming from the bottom of your belly.” Most of the people joined my in this movement, and I was filled with images of the Ashram and Bhagwan.

After the movement segment settled down with a group circle, we did our drawings. I wanted to draw a group of people dancing together at the Ashram in Poona, but I knew that I lacked the artistic talents to make it happen, so I just started drawing orange faces, which transformed into six vibrant flowers with roots in the earth and healthy leaves on the stalks – all reminding me of “healthy cells growing all by themselves.” On top of each flower, I wrote the name of one of my major teachers along my path.

The first flower was dedicated to Father Eli, from whom I learned the trance work that forms the foundation for guided imagery well enough to teach it to over two hundred people since 1973. He told me that he had taught both Jose Silva of Silva Mind Control, which I had learned in 1971, and L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, which I studied between 1968 and 1971.

The second flower was dedicated to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, also known as Osho. I spent the summer of 1975 in Poona and was given the name, Swami Deva Ninad. I have collected more then four hundred tapes and twenty-five books of his lectures.

The third and fourth flowers were dedicated to the Buddha and Thich Nhat Hanh, respectively. Since 1985, I have been devoted to Buddhism in general and Zen and Vipassana meditation in particular. I love the way Thay has interpreted the sutra on Mindfulness of Breathing. My own meditation is totally inspired by him.

The fifth flower was dedicated to Gabrielle Roth, a former student of Anna Halprin, and an internationally known shaman. I studied with her in 1975 – 1976, as we shared a common interest in Bhagwan and the enneagram. I was scheduled to assist her at a workshop at Eselan in June of 1996, but on that very day, my son went into the hospital for his Wilm’s tumor surgery. What a shock it was for me to have to change my plans and spend the time in the hospital instead. Gabrielle harnessed the energy of her workshop at Eselan and all of her remaining workshops that year to perform healing circles for my son. I have been devoted to her since then and have felt a great sense of gratitude.

The last flower, I dedicated to myself, as I am now my own guru. I am learning a lot every day from my illness and my efforts to keep my mind focused on healing. Naturally, I look to the other teachers for inspiration, but most things are coming from deep inside myself.

As a result of the drawing, my meditation has changed slightly, once again. It now goes, “Breathing in I heal, breathing out I’m free,” or simply, “healthy… free.”


More Moving Towards Health

February 17, 1997 – More Moving Towards Health

This morning, I had a Feldenkrais lesson with Gail Teehan, a friend of my through D. B. It was preliminary lesson breathing and was followed by a short Functional Integration session. Both of these experiences were comforting and relaxing.

After taking R. to her friend’s house, I decided to try playing tennis and managed to play two sets without too much strain. It was wonderful to be out on the court again. One hardly realizes the value of activities one loves until it becomes inaccessible!

That night, I returned to Anna Halprin’s group at Marin General Hospital. It was another healing experience. The theme of the evening was water, and I immediately got an image of a waterfall I had seen in a photograph or movie. The water was flowing over the edge of a cliff in such a way that there was a substantial overhang, and one could walk through the waterfall and be protected from the water underneath the overhang. I drew a picture of this scene and wrote the following:

Here we have stupid Ninad –
He thinks that because he is empty of self that he is also empty of suffering and that suffering is empty of self!
Wait until next week!!
He’d rather be surfing (the web) rather than suffering.
He should learn to step on the rocks, stupid!

A little explanation is called for here. In the drawing; (which I shall try to scan someday), there is a picture of three stones that one would step on to walk into the waterfall. While I was drawing the rocks, I was reminded of the joke about Jesus, Buddha and Moses. They were walking across the Jordan River one day and Moses kept sinking deeper and deeper into the water, but Buddha and Jesus had no problem staying on the surface. When Jesus saw Moses sinking, he yelled back to him, “Step on the rocks, stupid!” The reference to my personal life was simple: I should “step on the rocks” of those who have gone before me with the treatment of bladder cancer. However, this is not my nature. I want to know what’s happening and have some control of my life.

The name, Ninad, was given to me by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in 1975 – before he was famous. He explained to me that “Ninad” means the sound of the waterfall!

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