Essays from The Education of a Bengali Gentleman –
Cocked, Locked and Ready to Rock
Two things happened today that prompted me to select such a title for an essay. A weekend drive to Ganges, Michigan to attend a Vedanta Retreat aggravated my chronic age related arthritis in my left sacroiliac joint and rendered me nearly immobile. Every time I change my posture or position, my hip feels like it is going to snap in two. It feels like a shotgun is cocked, locked and ready to fire. As a young boy I watched a lot of pistol slinging cowboys, get off their horses and walk with bowed legs to a duel where they deftly pulled out their pistols and somebody died at the first crack. What if my hip cracks! I want to rock with laughter at the funny thought but its strikingly close to what my discomfort resembles. Something else makes me want to laugh harder but I can’t afford to do that. The doctor whose help I sought to make sure my hip was not going to snap, compared my walking to pregnant ladies who as they get heavier bow at the knees and hang their bottoms down. The doctor imitated the walk for comic relief to my suffering and I wanted to burst out laughing at being called pregnant. But, as I said I couldn’t do that and risk my hip snapping in two. It’s really very difficult when you must suppress a hearty laugh that’s about to rock your whole body with some good old humor.
Well, there is one advantage to increasing my exercise routines for increasing the strength of my core muscles to compensate for the arthritis pain riddled and stiffened sacroiliac joint. Several of the exercises require me to lie on my back and breathe deeply in and out as I work through routines designed to build my core. I practice Mindful Breathing religiously for twenty minutes every day. Now I can do more deep breathing as I workout to relieve my pain. Mindful Breathing relieves my cocked, locked and ready to rock feelings. So from the daily twenty minutes of practice I am upto thirty minutes twice a day. That means I have also prayed for upto an hour for peace, joy and happiness for all mankind, especially those in hardship and distress. That is such a comfort that I don’t feel uptight about my stiff back. Really, for upto an hour I can sympathize in spirit with all those who suffer in the world and wish for their well being. There is an old Sanskrit prayer that epitomizes the caring and bonding with all women and men. It should be understood and recited by everyone. Here is the prayer in Sanskrit, “Lokah Samasta Sukhenu Bhabantu”. Sounds like bullets from a sharp shooter. In English it is, “I pray for the wellbeing, peace and joy of all women and men, especially the distressed. I pray that my own thoughts, words and action work for that universal wellbeing.” Words as always are mightier than the sword, or in this case a machine gun.