I know I’ve said this many times, but I can’t help but mention it again. Within not even one quarter mile of my house I count not just one but two CVS stores. And in each one, zombie figures stand in line to pick up prescriptions. In my mind’s eye I imagine them as either stick-thin with bent backs and sunken chests or as obese, lumbering monstrosities. I know that bi-polar characterization is both exaggerated and unfair. I strive to tone down my judgments. It’s the inner work I must do to not find myself in the grip of the collective pain body.
So, what’s in your bathroom “medicine cabinet”? Here’s mine. Photo taken right now. Messy. No re-arranging — and no prescription meds.
Except for very rare, short-term emergency occasions,
I. SIMPLY. DON’T. DO. PHARMACEUTICALS.
It’s “against my religion.” Instead, I pay attention to what I eat, sleep enough, exercise enough, do yoga, chi kung and tai chi daily, and most crucial: I assiduously cultivate mental and emotional attitudes that reduce or eliminate stress in the physical body.
This is not bragging. This is reality. The reality I have created over many years. I set my priorities decades ago, knowing that in deciding my routine, I must make the body primary. That I must do daily practices to enhance and preserve physical function, for without a body in communion with mind, emotion, spirit — and primed for action, I can not be of service to the world. Furthermore, if I don’t care for my body as my portion of the Earth body, then inevitably, at some point, I will be forced to care. In fact, at that point my focus will be reduced to just this body — this pain, this immobility, this ghastly suffering. And even worse — if there can be worse! — at some point, without an unremitting focus on my body as primary, then ultimately, my very life will become parasitic, utterly dependent on others, rather than enlivened with equal exchange.
As my teacher once said, cryptically, “In a sense, routine creates character.” Now I know what he means.
Which reminds me of a story. I know I’ve told it before, too. But it’s important.
Back at least ten years ago, The Dalai Lama was visiting Bloomington. (This was before he drew stadium-sized crowds). I was in a small audience of maybe 50 people at the local Tibetan Cultural Center (founded by the Dalai Lama’s brother, a professor at IU). The Dalai Lama had just mentioned that he gets on a treadmill every morning. Someone in the audience then asked about “discipline,” saying that he wasn’t disciplined enough to do regular exercise. The Dalai Lama looked at him, and then thundered: “Young man, self-discipline is looking after your own long-term interest.”
The wisdom of this “disciplined” approach to life, of course, gets more and more obvious as we grow older. Those who have not begun to take charge of their bodies in their 50s may find that it’s “too late.” Or that it seems too late. Systems are failing. Chronic disease patterns are setting in.
But in truth, it’s not too late. It’s never too late. However, we must begin. And to begin, we must eliminate pharmaceuticals, except for rare circumstances. They maim and they kill.
This is not news. I am preaching to the choir. However, how many of us actually do manage to live without pharmaceuticals? No matter how enlightened, if we see doctors or counselors on a regular basis, we will be steered in that direction. (The last time I saw an M.D. was when I broke my wrist, maybe four years ago. I did use pain medication — for two days.)
This next piece really blew my socks off. As it should yours. Our bedraggled, tranced-out “American Dream” has morphed into a zombie nightmare. More and more people now suffer from heroin addiction with, guess what? — Big Pharma as both cause (heroin is cheaper than opioid medications once pain prescriptions run out) and beneficiary (Big Pharma has come up with an antidote — VERY EXPENSIVE — to heroin overdose). Thus, big bucks on both ends. Check it out: