Advice in the Middle of the Night
My experience with Swami over the years is perhaps less extensive than many but I believe relevant. As both a nurse and chiropractor I have had the opportunity to attend to him in these capacities.
As a nurse I attended him at the hospital during recuperation from one of his two hip replacement surgeries. This was the first surgery in 1989. I actually did very little, but I felt blessed to be in his presence and to be able to serve him, my mentor and friend, in any way I could. Even while experiencing the pain and discomfort of the surgery, Swami still had time to give everyone his love and supportó including me.
I was with Swami at the hospital very late at night the evening after the surgery. He and I were alone in the room when he started speaking to me. This is what he said.
“If you work with complete faith in what you are doing you will have plenty of energy. Give your (Chiropractic) practice to Divine Mother joyfully. In this way you can serve Her best for your own spiritual growth. I want to see you succeed at this for your own spiritual growth. After all She is in many suffering bodies and in this way you can help Her. Serve joyfully, not in a negative way. The greater the will, the greater the flow of energy. Look on your work as your sadhana. Don’t think of what Divine Mother can do for you but what you can do for Her. Those who work for God alone succeed. We need more examples of this Kent.” He then asked me to come to his bedside and blessed me on the forehead.
Can you imagine anyone giving that much energy to someone in the middle of the night after a total hip replacement? Believe me, as a nurse and chiropractor, I can say that it is rare to see such compassion and self-control.
As long as I have known Swami, which is over 20 years now, he has never told me what to do. The very few times he has given me advice I have cherished it, though I can’t say I have always taken it, or even really heard it! (I have been known to be a little dense at times! ) Yet he has always been considerate and supportive of my spiritual wellbeing. For this I am eternally grateful.
Kent has been a health care professional and chiropractor for many years, and now serves as one of the ministers for Ananda Portland with his wife Marilyn.