Many years ago my sister recommended that I see her friend who was a spiritual healer that could help me guide my life in a better direction and address some issues I had been facing. My sister was very spiritual and knew many hippie types that specialized in yoga and spiritual cleansing. Since it wouldn't have cost me anything, I abided.
I met my sister's friend in a fourth floor apartment in the East Village right on second avenue and eighth street. She looked like your stereotypical hippie: She was a white woman with long dreadlocks, and had all sorts of beads and accessories you'd think a shaman should wear. She also had a very intense stare and demeanor as if she was permanently in touch with her inner chi.
We practiced a meditation ritual that I found rather difficult to concentrate on. Meditation has always been difficult to me. I've never been able to tame my mind in the way it's needed for a successful experience. I think it's because I think too much. I remember being in the middle of the "trance" and opening my eyes and seeing her so into it, that I felt jealous I couldn't quite get there with her.
Later she gave me a massage that was supposed to unlock my inner spirit that involved cracking my back by her stepping on me and putting downward pressure on my spine. That might have been as close as I got to inner peace.
Finally we talked about what was bothering me and she wrote down on a piece of paper some thoughts or suggestions should I consider going forward with my life in order to help me. I recently found this paper folded in a book (Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great of all places) after several years. It said:
How does attachment to people, places & things prevent you from growing? How do they contribute to fear, insecurity, & self doubt? Is this the truth of who you really are? How are you potentially being held back by fearing to take risks? What does taking risks mean to you? Why is this crucial to your growth - for now & later?
What is your daily routine for developing your practices & new direction for a healthy/empowered lifestyle? Is there anything holding you back from this?
It finished with some recommendations to keep a day to day regiment to guide me towards a better path.
1. Meditation: BOS, practice 10 min. twice daily, am & pm & all throughout the day
Observe, witness, as it is, w/o judging, labeling, assessing
Surrender, letting go, pure acceptance of what is
2. Colon cleanse: Live Live, 63 E. 10th St. between 1st & A
3. Diet: Try 2 weeks of no meat, dairy,
sugar, caffeine, sugar. 80% living/raw foods, 20% coocked
4. Drink 1 1/2 liters lemon water daily
5. Take yoga classes, ashtanga, kundalini
I remember trying to go on a raw food diet afterwards and dropping a lot of weight as a result, and since I was really skinny at the time, I just couldn't keep it going. Although I have to be honest that I have not been able to adjust my life to this daily regiment, I have definitely cut down on the amount of processed foods and garbage that I used to eat when I was younger. I only drink organic almond milk or protein juice, and I eat a lot of fruits. I of course have my occasional junk food binges but I keep them under wraps because I'm a lot more conscious now of how negative they are health-wise.
While I haven't been able to fully accept life as it is, I do feel that some things should be left alone and not constantly dwelled upon. The mind should be occasionally unplugged. In the years since this experience, I've no doubt struggled to be a better person and to treat my body better. Even though there is no "soul" to be cleansed, we do have our inner being, our bodies and our minds, and they do fall prey to contamination.