By Suma Varughese
The heart controls the brain, and the the brain controls immune system. So if you can learn to love, you can heal
A long time ago I had participated in a workshop called Breakthru conducted by Oneness Univercity. One of the facilitators shared a wonderful story. Apparently, an elderly gentleman shared with Bhagavan, the founder of Oneness, his distress at losing his hearing. “Can you do anything to help me regain it?” he pleaded. “Sure,” Bhagavan answered and told him to buy two ice-cream cones, one for him and one for his young grandson and to duck under a bed together and to eat them every day. The gentleman was stupefied but decided to follow instructions. Soon, the daily practice became a deeply cherished hour for both grandparent and grandchild and after a few months, his hearing improved markedly.
How? Sharing the ice-cream cone with his grandson introduced a note of play and affection into his life. As the facilitator put it, “The heart governs the brain and the brain governs the immune system, so when his heart opened, his brain commanded the immune system to step up.”
Love is the greatest healer, after all. If we can love sufficiently, we will need no other medicine.
I myself had a wonderful experience testifying to this when my mother fell badly ill with cerebral malaria last August. She lay in intensive care for about 16 days and I spent every night by her bedside, taking just a break in the morning to go home and change. Oddly enough, although I was barely clocking more than four hours of sleep a day, I was fresh and alert. My asthma problems melted away and I found myself having fried food and baked stuff after years without incurring colds. Constipation and indigestion which had been my constant companions disappeared and I discovered a hearty appetite. My weight which had skydived, suddenly regained balance. While the rest of the family lost weight with the ordeal, I bloomed!
On the third occasion that we hospitalised her, it was for a massive stroke. The doctors were helpless and finally we brought her home. In time life went back to a routine. I had time to think and worry about my health and lo, I started getting cold after cold, which culminated in wheezing, and breathlessness. My old friend was back.
At that time I had thought that my self-indulgence had brought on the malaise and I was most upset with myself. Now I recognise that the problem was that my mind was no longer on my mother, it was on myself. At the hospital, I remember each time an anxious thought intruded into my mind, I would tell my body, “Body, I can’t worry about you now. You will just have to handle it.” Obviously, the body is equipped to do just that if we stop interfering, and since my heart was focused on my mother I grew well.
Of course, one could ask, how does one learn to love? Not easy as I am discovering. Thoughts of the self interfere, but if we can learn to keep our minds unwaveringly on others, guess what our brain is whispering to our immune system? “Step up”!
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