Last December Ishu from German OTI interviewed Veeresha who left her body on 25th January 2011
From Cologne we hear that Veeresha has left her body last Tuesday, 25th January 2011.
When, just a few days before Veeresha left her body, Swami Ishu from the German OTI did an interview with her, she surprised him by saying: „Strange that it is you interviewing me and not the other way round!” For Ishu, before taking sannyas, had himself been a cancer patient; he had even written a book about it: „Das Jahr, in dem ich nur spazieren ging” – The year I just went walking. But as he has been keeping even keel ever since, this came as quite a sobering reminder…
Here are a few snippets from this interview.
Q How did you cope with hearing that you had cancer of the uterus?
A My routine was broken. For 3 months, I had to cancel all obligations to create the time for the chemotherapy. Doctors assured me everything was going to be okay. I believed them, suppressing my doubts. For in theory, I knew that once you have cancer, you’ve got it for good. But I wanted to get on with my life and be fit. And so it was for 2 years.
Q Didn’t your work also fulfill you, giving you the strength to carry out your talents?
A Yes, absolutely. I loved my work.
Q And then early last year, the cancer was back. How did you take it?
A (pause) I was in shock. I just couldn’t take it: How could this happen to ME? Wasn’t my body healthy and resilient? It had even coped with the chemo and all symptoms were gone. So my shock was immense. Now I had to undergo an operation. And afterwards, my whole digestion was so disturbed that I had continual diarrhea. But still, encouraged by the doctors, I kept believing in my recuperation. By December, however, the cancer had spread all over and it dawned on me that death was peeping over my shoulder.
Q Will you have another treatment now?
A No. Let it take its course now. I am now entering the not-knowing. I’m told I may still live between 3 months and 5 years. But who can tell with cancer?
Q How do you experience this not-knowing?
A (pause) I have known states of not-knowing all my life. My whole work as a coach is about mastering the shift from a comfort zone into a space of insecurity. If you haven’t got any strategies for the unknown territory ahead, fears arise. Coping with those tensions and activating my clients’ potential has been a central issue in all my teaching.
Q But can you compare your present situation of going into the unknown with your professional experience?
A No. I am not going into the unknown – I’m going into death. Nobody knows what death will be like, but somehow I have the feeling that I am about to change form. This is completely new to me, but it gives me a lot of strength.
Q Have you no more options left to act?
A It’s got nothing to do with acting, but with letting it happen. And since I have opted for no more therapy, I experience peace. I have promised my body not to torture it anymore, to just let it be. I don’t have to become pretty and attractive anymore. This was like shifting gear into peace.
Q Was your decision a sudden or a premeditated one?
A I first checked all the options with the doctors. Then it was clear to me that I did not want to go on. When I see myself in the mirror I see that my body is now just a shell that keeps certain functions going. But now that it has been unburdened, it need not fight anymore.
Q Were you ever bothered by the question ”Why me?“
A No. I’ve never asked myself that. To me, such a question isn’t helpful. It activates the brain and just weakens you instead of dealing with the situation. I feel that this is my fate which I didn’t choose. I never dreamt I might die at 51 – simply unthinkable! (pause) I have always been aim-oriented and did what I wanted to do. But this is now the reverse: Something happens to me that is not in my hands but which brings me in touch with existence, or the pulse of life. Now I am one of those destined to die, and time takes on an entirely different quality. Before, time was something I could plan – that’s totally different now. In fact for me, time no longer exists.
Q Do you feel sad about that?
A No. I didn’t come into this life in order to have it easy. All along, I’ve been into transformation. And what happens now is the most important time of my life: making ready for death. Without any sadness… although sometimes I do think: ”I haven’t lived long enough because I was always too busy working. Everything I did was full of purpose. That’s why I wouldn’t mind spending a few days in a Paris luxury hotel or sitting on an Italian piazza eating spaghetti – if my body allows it. There hasn’t been much of that in my life. I have known the taste of just being there only from doing a meditation. But right now that’s out of the question.
Q What’s the difference?
A What I experience here is existential and has nothing to do with spirituality. As soon as you call something ’spiritual’, it is tied up with a belief system. And that is exactly what is dropping away from me now.
Q What did you believe in?
A For instance, that I can plan my life. And up to a point I can, even now. I must arrange things, put everything in order so that I can spend my last days in peace. (pause) I also believed I could expand my consciousness through meditation, that you can grow through meditation. In any case, this taught me to watch my mind. (pause) Sometimes friends come for a visit and say: ”You’ve meditated all your life – that must help you now.“ But that is not true. For me, meditation means some discipline, some technique – something you do. It’s a spiritual discipline just as there are sports disciplines. There are all kinds of meditations, but with all of them you influence your mind. So that is something you do, but that’s not what I am doing now. Often I lie awake at night, finding no sleep. So I just lie there and watch TV. Sometimes an inner voice whispers: ”Do you really want to spend your last moments watching TV?“ Well, I couldn’t care less now! This way, I can enjoy just lying there.
Q Don’t you feel like making an effort for reaching a goal anymore?
A All my old persecutors shouting Thou shalt, you must, you shouldn’t are gone. I live in a persecution-free zone!
Q But that’s fantastic!
A Yes, I agree.
Q But isn’t there also a feeling of ”Why haven’t I done this long before?“
A I have experienced this before, too. But everyday life catches up with you and pulls you back into your tiny space. Your daily routine always dwarfs you, reduces you to a cog in the wheel – and you don’t even notice it!
I am in shock. A Beloved Friend many years ago. Memories of lots of laughs, interesting conversations and time spent together in the welding shop at the ranch. Being in Pune recently Veeresha came to my mind many times because that had been our most recent place of connection. We lost contact a few years ago. Love.
Bon Voyage, our sweet friend. We will miss your smile and your lovely giggle.
Prabha and Amano
Fligh High Veeresha!!!!!!!!
Farewell beloved Veeresha !! Always loved your smile and laugh little sister, farewell !!
You helped me to open up, and the open sky is now your home. Thank you, Veeresha.