Renewal Is Possible


Good health can be achieved with simple techniques, says AMIT VAIDYA, who overcame cancer with a simple, daily routine


life is riddled with so many complications, it seems, whether it is in the area of work, family, finance or health — and so something is always getting out of balance. But the biggest mistake we make while trying to resolve the matter is when we add more complications. So it’s no surprise that with any serious disease, the challenges we face are great. As a long-term cancer patient, who managed to return from the brink of a terminal metastatic prognosis to remission, I’ve spent many years in complications. I let other people’s voices, feelings and support determine my health choices.

While I was always an avid health researcher, not willing to compromise on just saying ‘yes’ to a doctor — whether with regard to allopathy, ayurveda or any other system of medicine — I never managed to practise what I was preaching to other patients around me who asked me for guidance.

Simple is the cure. What exactly does that mean? While there are one hundred things I did to get better, at the core of it all what cured me was the realisation that simplicity will give me permanence — not of added years but contentment and a perpetual state of happiness. Finally, living this way gave me the time I didn’t think I was going to have.

What exactly did I do to attain a simple kind of life? For me, it came through meditation. There comes a point when we need to stop asking questions and just be. I realised that I was so worried about getting answers to questions that I had no need to know the answers to and they were ruining the beauty of the moments that I still had. I had learnt several techniques and had dozens of offers for why one was better than the next. Rather than comparatively shop for entering a peaceful zone, I found the bits and pieces that worked for me from varied methodologies.

From chanting Aum to reciting the Jain Navkar mantra to various yogic breathing exercises, I developed a routine of having the ability to tune out and be one with myself.

I start every day just like this now — no matter where I go. The ability to find our own personal space despite the noise around is a gift we cannot take for granted. I’m not a big proponent of spa breaks and retreats mainly because they are meant to serve as isolated vacations from the rest of our lives. A vacation, like complications, is temporary. The rest of our lives matter.

I had the luxury and benefit or perhaps I had no other choice when I resided in a remote village in southern India for over a year. It was a choice I took because I knew my healing and recovery was only possible in a serene and silent environment. Living in a farm, with limited electricity, limited people, several sacred animals and just acre after acre of agricultural land — I had no choice but to be comfortable in my solitude and find my happiness there.

It wasn’t something I forced on myself but rather something that happened naturally. Perhaps it was the beauty of the area or the spirit of its inhabitants but the healing that I received came not just from the land, the animals or its air — it came also from inside of me. And for the first time, I could hear myself clearly — and I was content.

It is an experience I look back at and know that it saved me. But I also knew I couldn’t live there forever. As I returned to urban life to give it a try —I realised something had changed. Because the village life was my real life and I treated it that way — everything that I had become accustomed to was now part of my routine — it was something no location was going to stop me from practising. Over the next several months, the discipline I had to maintain this routine of simplicity despite the chaos that tried to infiltrate its way back into me, proved successful. Several months later, I finally got word of my cancer officially entering full remission.

Simplicity works because there is order. When there is order, we have discipline. When we have discipline, it becomes a routine. And the best routines will always lead to good health. Simple is the cure…let’s stop complicating it.

Renewal Is Possible1

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