An eclectic spiritual & inspirational place to heal, learn, feel & expand. Heart & soul first. Miraculous experiences from India as well as the life & times of a spiritual healer/teacher in the U.S. Miracles, saints, sages, gurus, healing, life & death... and more...!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Oscar the amazing healing cat

Originally uploaded by alxindia

I am SO loving this story and this cat -- I think I sent the links and stories to just about anyone I could think of who's a cat-lover. all the spiritual experiences in the world couldn't, apparently, wash out my eternal and appreciative attachment to felines.

this guy, though, talk about a Shiva character. I'm so interested in his loving capacity to be with dying people and help them cross over as they exit this world. no doubt he is some high soul doing a little time in a cat body, and sharing his service with the lucky souls at a dementia unit in Rhode Island.

what I learned in India is that animals have pure open hearts and thus their third eyes are ALSO open. this explains why my cat seems to be looking up at (esp late at night) presences in the room that I may sense, but she can clearly see them!

*pouting with a little jealousy, here*

anyway, here's the story from the New England Journal of Medicine:

A Day in the Life of Oscar the Cat
David M. Dosa, M.D., M.P.H.

Oscar the Cat awakens from his nap, opening a single eye to survey his kingdom. From atop the desk in the doctor's charting area, the cat peers down the two wings of the nursing home's advanced dementia unit. All quiet on the western and eastern fronts. Slowly, he rises and extravagantly stretches his 2-year-old frame, first backward and then forward. He sits up and considers his next move.

In the distance, a resident approaches. It is Mrs. P., who has been living on the dementia unit's third floor for 3 years now. She has long forgotten her family, even though they visit her almost daily. Moderately disheveled after eating her lunch, half of which she now wears on her shirt, Mrs. P. is taking one of her many aimless strolls to nowhere. She glides toward Oscar, pushing her walker and muttering to herself with complete disregard for her surroundings. Perturbed, Oscar watches her carefully and, as she walks by, lets out a gentle hiss, a rattlesnake-like warning that says “leave me alone.” She passes him without a glance and continues down the hallway. Oscar is relieved. It is not yet Mrs. P.'s time, and he wants nothing to do with her.

Oscar jumps down off the desk, relieved to be once more alone and in control of his domain. He takes a few moments to drink from his water bowl and grab a quick bite. Satisfied, he enjoys another stretch and sets out on his rounds. Oscar decides to head down the west wing first, along the way sidestepping Mr. S., who is slumped over on a couch in the hallway. With lips slightly pursed, he snores peacefully — perhaps blissfully unaware of where he is now living. Oscar continues down the hallway until he reaches its end and Room 310. The door is closed, so Oscar sits and waits. He has important business here.

Twenty-five minutes later, the door finally opens, and out walks a nurse's aide carrying dirty linens. “Hello, Oscar,” she says. “Are you going inside?” Oscar lets her pass, then makes his way into the room, where there are two people. Lying in a corner bed and facing the wall, Mrs. T. is asleep in a fetal position. Her body is thin and wasted from the breast cancer that has been eating away at her organs. She is mildly jaundiced and has not spoken in several days. Sitting next to her is her daughter, who glances up from her novel to warmly greet the visitor. “Hello, Oscar. How are you today?”

Oscar takes no notice of the woman and leaps up onto the bed. He surveys Mrs. T. She is clearly in the terminal phase of illness, and her breathing is labored. Oscar's examination is interrupted by a nurse, who walks in to ask the daughter whether Mrs. T. is uncomfortable and needs more morphine. The daughter shakes her head, and the nurse retreats. Oscar returns to his work. He sniffs the air, gives Mrs. T. one final look, then jumps off the bed and quickly leaves the room. Not today.

Making his way back up the hallway, Oscar arrives at Room 313. The door is open, and he proceeds inside. Mrs. K. is resting peacefully in her bed, her breathing steady but shallow. She is surrounded by photographs of her grandchildren and one from her wedding day. Despite these keepsakes, she is alone. Oscar jumps onto her bed and again sniffs the air. He pauses to consider the situation, and then turns around twice before curling up beside Mrs. K.

One hour passes. Oscar waits. A nurse walks into the room to check on her patient. She pauses to note Oscar's presence. Concerned, she hurriedly leaves the room and returns to her desk. She grabs Mrs. K.'s chart off the medical-records rack and begins to make phone calls.

Within a half hour the family starts to arrive. Chairs are brought into the room, where the relatives begin their vigil. The priest is called to deliver last rites. And still, Oscar has not budged, instead purring and gently nuzzling Mrs. K. A young grandson asks his mother, “What is the cat doing here?” The mother, fighting back tears, tells him, “He is here to help Grandma get to heaven.” Thirty minutes later, Mrs. K. takes her last earthly breath. With this, Oscar sits up, looks around, then departs the room so quietly that the grieving family barely notices.

On his way back to the charting area, Oscar passes a plaque mounted on the wall. On it is engraved a commendation from a local hospice agency: “For his compassionate hospice care, this plaque is awarded to Oscar the Cat.” Oscar takes a quick drink of water and returns to his desk to curl up for a long rest. His day's work is done. There will be no more deaths today, not in Room 310 or in any other room for that matter. After all, no one dies on the third floor unless Oscar pays a visit and stays awhile.

Note: Since he was adopted by staff members as a kitten, Oscar the Cat has had an uncanny ability to predict when residents are about to die. Thus far, he has presided over the deaths of more than 25 residents on the third floor of Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island. His mere presence at the bedside is viewed by physicians and nursing home staff as an almost absolute indicator of impending death, allowing staff members to adequately notify families. Oscar has also provided companionship to those who would otherwise have died alone. For his work, he is highly regarded by the physicians and staff at Steere House and by the families of the residents whom he serves.

Source Information

Dr. Dosa is a geriatrician at Rhode Island Hospital and an assistant professor of medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University — both in Providence.

here's the link to the original story:

& here's the next one, about Buckwheat the Cat, in Seattle, who has similar abilities!

something tells me this could be a beautiful wake-up call for the medical/scientific communities that there is WAYYY more than meets the eye in this creation.

and that maybe, just maybe, there really is a soul and animals have less trouble perceiving it (and other subtle energies) than human beings do.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

enlightenment now!

Sari Palace Shiva
Originally uploaded by alxindia

the following is from an exchange with someone, online, about the enlightened masters having already shared with humanity so many inside truths about who we are, really, and how this whole illusion layer started, and how we can really get back to the Reality that underlies this temporary world.

Alx: "many enlightened masters have indeed shared how we got into this situation."

Alx's friend online: "Not well enough!
Liberation should be easy.
There should be more liberated people.
How far away is reality? How long should it take to get there?
Reality should only be one step away."

"Reality should only be one step away,"
wrote my friend online.

& my response is:

according to whom?

I'm a little flip here, but I'm also serious.

just because I think I'm a fine person and merit a total understanding of the underlying reality, mechanisms, origins of this creation, say, by tomorrow -- *grinning* -- doesn't necessarily mean my premises are accurate. I'm saying, just because *I* think I deserve it (and I'm sure that I do, and that we all do, that's not even a question in my mind) doesn't necessarily mean that I'm ready or equipped to handle it, exactly, right this minute.

and therein the rub, as a great master once said.

it comes step by step, systematically, in stages.

like the very beautiful, sincere man who stood in front of Baba Muktananda in the early '70s and asked, heartfully, if Muktananda would please enlighten him on the spot.

Muktananda (a super-top great siddha), looked at the guy rather penetratingly for a moment, and then said, apologetically, "look, it's not that I wouldn't do it -- I'd be happy to enlighten you right now. but you couldn't take it, you would explode."

it's like running WAY too much voltage through a 40-watt light bulb. the structure of the bulb can't handle too much power. it will just pop as its circuits fry.

the good news is that time passes, the consciousness does expand and speed up its purification and clarity in this world, and the stage is set for massive liberation of many many many many souls on this planet.

we're actually exquisitely lucky to be alive right now, as chaotic and painful as the surface world is. it means at the same time, the divine is even more accessible than at other, more peaceful times in this planet's evolution.

what I learned, though, through direct experience in many years of study in India, is that liberation, or enlightenment, doesn't come overnight, or serendipitously, or for just wishing it would be spontaneous and easy.

we have WAY too much, individually and collectively, in the way -- I'd call it karmas, other traditions call it other stuff but however we call the inner obstacles to our liberation, they exist and need to be purified out.

once a soul gets purified, it can hold greater and greater understanding and energy about who it really is, where it really came from, and how to operate from that origin point rather than this relative, temporary, changing world of illusion.

but that's a process. and it means we also have to do our hard work to engage in the process.

and yes, the enlightened masters have really done their maximum best to explain this to humanity, and liberate many souls.

but the explanations are like trying to explain calculus to a five-year-old -- not for our lack of CAPACITY to understand, mind you, but we're five-year-olds in the sense of being a little ignorant in the ways of higher mathematics and maybe need to master some basics like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and algebra, before heading into the calculus waters.

learning anything, including soul mechanisms, means we have to go step by step, systematically, in order to really learn and retain what we've learned.

do you see what I mean?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I graduated!

I graduated!
Originally uploaded by alxindia

well, oh my god.

this is some kinda landmark in my spiritual life.

although it really doesn't seem POSSIBLE, it happened in July '07 -- an official graduate of Sri Kaleshwar's Soul University program....

Jonathan and I were on the "come and go" students track -- full access to all the teachings and transcripts of the Soul University even though we weren't in residence at the ashram in Penukonda for the totality of the program, but were teaching full-time in America and Singapore.

what is beautiful -- really beautiful -- is that we got to watch a number of our American students who have really worked their asses off during this last year in Penukonda graduate.

they really ground unbelievably difficult knowledge, digested unfathomable spiritual energy, and emerged as powerful, open-hearted divine characters -- and this was incredible to observe.

I felt like a proud mama, or aunt, or something, watching my 'kids' graduate at the master's hand.

and yes, we ALL got a handshake! (and a LOT of shakti transferred with that handshake -- gives new meaning to the 'shake' part of the word. I was literally shaking for about an hour after this grip.)

so, yikes, I'm an official graduate & my head is still spinning.

got the signed paper to prove it and everything!

the best part, of course, is that his signature and 'diploma' is written on my soul.

the document itself -- superfluous.

now if I could only read that fine print, etched on my soul!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

suffering, service, g-o-d...

I want to tell a little bit of my own story vis-a-vis suffering, and spirituality, and service to others, how the one seems naturally to lead to the other, and the other....

as a young person, I grew up in what I laughingly refer to, these days, as the House Of Death (though it wasn't all that funny at the time it was all happening).

both of my parents were quite ill from the time I was really small, and my mother died of leukemia when I was 9 years old. my father had already suffered a heart attack by then, and was working on a couple more, when he remarried a lady who made sure to make my already bruised life a kind of living hell until I left home at 15. I was utterly incapable of staying in a house where someone was trying, if not to kill me (which was partly the case), at the very least to mangle my heart and destroy my spirit.

for many many years, I puzzled and chewed over how tormented my early life was – alternating between depression, rage, confusion, sadness, self-hatred, the gamut of negative emotions surrounding all of the trauma and turbulence I'd been subjected to. I couldn't figure it out, how I'd been so unlucky as to have two parents in frail health, to have survived my mother's death only to be nearly chewed up and spit out by a truly hateful, toxic stepmother.

cruelty on that scale didn't figure into my world view, as a small child and an adolescent, so it was all as baffling as it was degrading, abusing, torturing.

talk about heartbroken! to borrow a phrase from a character in The West Wing, I was "in nine kinds of pain and didn't even know it."

it wasn't until I was well into my 20s that I could even begin to unwind some of the awful twisted knots that passed for my heart, and began to develop some kind of spiritual awareness.

during the early, fledgling days of my first overtly spiritual process, I began to realize, with some kind of dim clarity but a real inner surety, that everything I'd lived through in my youth was necessary, from one angle, to bring me to the kind of clarity, compassion, humility, strength, and insights into the human heart and the nature of suffering that were definitely in the forefront of my personality.

it was a real turning point, to understand that:

1) whatever suffering I'd gone through was not at all random or even, from a karmic perspective, “unfair”, but rather a kind of honing of my being and a profound teaching to my soul

and 2) I hadn't suffered in vain – because I knew what it was like to confront life and death and loss and abuse and a kind of shattering of any illusion of security in this world, I was strangely equipped to be of help to others in a similar position.

as I grew older and more accustomed to the uncomfortableness of 'spiritual' life (in my 20s and into my 30s, I wouldn't even use the word 'god', ever, in conversation or even to myself – I was so angry with the divine for the crappy hand it had dealt me!), I began to recognize that the people in my first spiritual community all had this same attribute in common – they had all been, in one way or another, where I had been and not only had they lived to tell about it, and to lead happy lives, but they were constantly volunteering to help other people, new to recovery and spirituality and so on, out of the same kinds of pits they themselves had once inhabited.

it dawned on me, somewhere along the way, that the spiritual path of self-healing depends on being of service to others.

it's when we're most helpful to others, and most concerned with the well-being of other people, that we completely forget about our own hurts and traumas, depressions and egoisms.

I saw it demonstrated for years, all around me, and towards me, before I even had words to articulate this kind of nobility of spirit, the serviceful way of being in the world that moved my heart (and me to tears) many times in my early, awkward days of spiritual flailing. people who had themselves suffered unspeakable horrors were so incredibly kind to me, a frightened, depressed, timid, awkward young woman! it never ceased to amaze me how generous they were – especially when I heard some of their stories and the traumas they had suffered in earlier times.

I'm really grateful for having been exposed to the divine working through people who have suffered hugely in their lives. it really taught me a lot about the power of service, and surrender, and a kind of humility in the face of incredible suffering – that suffering is also part of the nature of this planet and, as such, part of god's nature as well – and only made me stronger in my conviction to pursue spirituality through my life.

I didn't want to 'get enlightened' or have supernatural experiences, or whatever – I wanted to be able to help other people the way that so many people, ahead of me on a spiritual path, had given me hope, support, inspiration, and unconditional love no matter what I did or said, or didn't do, or didn't say.

since spirituality took me a little deeper into life than the surface layers, and I've had the good fortune to witness supernatural miracles and be exposed to different powerful spiritual experiences, my commitment to being of service to others has only grown.

these days it may take many more forms than I would have imagined, from being a conduit for miraculous healing energy for others, or sharing some divine knowledge that's of real help to another person, or feeding the homeless people on the streets of my home town, or taking care of whoever's in front of me in need…. but the underlying principle is the same.

I think spirituality is a gradual process of awareness needs, kind of like the Hierarchy of Need – first you want it for yourself, to heal yourself or answer some deep inner gnawing questions. then you want to help other people. then you really want to understand the deeper truth of what's happening in this world (and at the unseen levels). once you have that understanding, life HAS to become service - there just is no other way, at the ultimate stages, like with Jesus, or the Buddha.