by Michael Ketterhagen
Gurur Brahma …
Guruhu sakshat param Brahma
Tasmai shri gurave namaha
The Teacher is Consciousness (Brahman/Creator).
The Supreme Brahman is truly the teacher.
To that most profound guru/teacher, adoration.)
--Part of Yoga’s Traditional morning prayers
As part of my morning spiritual practices, I draw an “angel card” from a bronze bowl located near my rocking chair. Every morning, after a brief pause and stilling of my exterior activities, I pull out a card with one or more words on it.
This ritual practice gives me some idea about what might happen for me that day. Each word, whether it was as simple as “Joy” or as complex as “Synthesis,” was, as I believed somewhat superstitiously at times, what I needed to learn or be aware of or be supported by during the coming day or hours. I rationalized that it was my unconscious mind preparing me for what was to come. I believed that it was the Divine Mother’s message for me that day.
I felt a bit foolish sometimes and told no one about my practice until the day that I was sent home from the Froedert Lutheran Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Milwaukee. I was scheduled very early in the morning to begin the harvesting of my stem cells, so they could be frozen and then returned to my body after my treatment for the Multiple Myeloma (a blood cancer). Those harvested cells would be the new seeds of healthy blood that I would grow in my “sanitized” blood stream, allowing my body to return to health.
Well, that morning I was in a rush and didn’t pull my angel card until I was back in my room at Kathy’s House, a hospital guest house on the Froedert property. You see, the doctor were not able to find enough stem cells in my peripheral blood stream and we were told to return to Kathy’s House. When I picked the card, it read “Flexibility.” I knew that my practice was not superstitious anymore, but was Consciousness’ (Brahman’s, the Divine Mother’s, Christ’s) way of helping me cope with the disappointing change in my doctor’s and my own plan for my cancer treatment.
That afternoon the doctor prescribed a double dose of one of the drugs so my bone marrow would produce the needed quantity of stem cells for harvesting. That night was intense as I felt my body/my bones work hard to produce the stem cells and to release them into my blood stream. The hope was that the next day would be more fruitful in the attempt to harvest enough stem cells.
The next morning before Mary and I went back for some harvesting, I picked my angel card again. This time I thoroughly mixed up the 52 little cards and with eyes closed picked the card which read “Flexibility.” I knew then that something similar to yesterday’s stem cell harvesting attempt might occur again. I also optimistically thought that maybe the results will be totally different by harvesting an enormous quantity of cells. Like every yogi, I was prepared to be flexible; not only in body but also in mind, for what was to come.
Sure enough, my body again didn’t produce enough stem cells and we were told to go back to Fond du Lac. This would allow my body an opportunity to rest and recuperate from the former cancer drugs. It would permit me to clear the unwanted chemicals from my body.
I no longer feel superstitious about picking my morning angel card. Now, I am aware that Consciousness/Divine Mother/Christ finds many ways to teach us and prepare us for whatever we need to know for our learning and spiritual development.
Consciousness is always teaching me! I thank the profound teaching of Consciousness!