The Death of Suresh.
I believe it was sometime in 2002 when I first met Swami Suresh Doshi out in front of the Good Earth natural food store in Fairfax California. He was with Trinity, who he introduced as his apprentice, but whom I would later come to know to be one of the great loves of his life.
I had just opened a Center of sorts, and he was a healer of sorts, and we began to collaborate. He came to stay with me, and do his work at Circlecenter, and over the next 16 years we became the dearest of friends. True friends, family really.
But not at first. At first, we were acquaintances. Then collaborators. And at times, adversaries. We bumped heads. He was stubborn and I was bossy. He smoked, and played nasty pranks, and I evicted him several times. His strong will and elusive ego were matched only by mine. His healing sessions, which were amazing healing experiences, also involved massive amounts of clove and eucalyptus oils and would stink up the healing room at Circlecenter for literally days, chasing all the other healers away. He didn’t seem to mind. I would find him sitting outside the healing space smoking cigarettes and yell at him “Swami, how many times do I have to tell you no smoking outside the healing temple!”. He would nod his head sincerely and say “yes yes, of course Master, actually this is my last cigarette, Im quitting right now – you don’t have to worry – thank you for waking me up!”. But then the very next day I would find him there again, smoking his cigarettes, taking a break from yet another amazing healing session, some young buddha inside on his healing table, undergoing transformation, taking their power back, processing through catharsis their deepest scars. What could I do? He was a master. He was a rapscallion. He was a master. He was a great gift, to all of us.
He came and went, but always came back, and we became closer. Our spirits were cut from the same cloth and we came to see over the years that we were dedicated to the same secret cause, our eyes saw the same kind of vision, and we became united in spiritual purpose. Vision for the others. Empowerment of the others. Love of the next generation, tending to the seeds of what was truly important in the hearts of the others around us.
We traveled together, to Shasta and Brazil and India. We grew Circlecenter together, he was there from the beginning, we went through the Flood of 2006, the rise and fall of new spaces, the first 15 years of countless amazing people with whom we grew, and both knew, for years.
We became deep friends, the kind of friends who understand the fundamental shining diamond that lives in the heart of the other, the kind understand the true preciousness of the gift the other carries for the world, the kind who each see the fire in the soul of the other, and the internal puzzle that must be solved in this lifetime. The kind of friend who cares and works for the highest benefit of the other, no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the odds, always by your side, no matter what the world may think, always ready to give what they can to the other. The kind of friends that could come and go for days, or years, and never really leave, always come back home, because home is the only place you could come back to, and home is in the hearts of the ones you love. We became the dearest kind of friends, this most unique of people, this world traveler, this Indian, African swami and I, this strangest of characters, 28 years older than I, and from another world. We became the most precious kind of friends.
Suresh was a master of seeing the high truth of another person’s true light. He went by many names. His name in Spirit Language is Oktan Virkin, which means “Vision for another of the truth of their nature”. He intuitively saw through the layers to who a person truly was, and could call it out, encourage it, nourish it with attention, and challenge it to grow.
I learned many things from Suresh, from our conversations, and through our countless magnificent adventures, and he gave me many gifts. But I would not have imagined that I would have learned so much, or be given such a great gift, as what came from his death itself. Walking through his death with him was an enormous gift, for all those of us who were there for that week. He was in a coma for eight days from the Wednesday morning he was found until the Thursday night shortly before midnight when he drew his last breath. At the moment he passed there were 12 dear friends and family members around him, and it was a few minutes before the stroke of midnight that would be Good Friday, March 29 2018. I had left to go and get Kai and I was just arriving back from the bay area, and he passed 15 minutes before we made it up to the room.
During those days where he was alive and in his body, he was not able to move very much at all and not able to speak, but his spirit was present and he had a body and his eyes could make contact. I spent some hours and a large part of several days by his side and looking into his eyes, feeling him and appreciating what he had been in my life. I meditated with him and prayed with him. And what I was saw was truly profound and I wish to share it.
First, I was shown how truly connected to Suresh and I are, outside of time and beyond circumstance. I saw that this life was just one of many things we do together, across time, and my heart was put at peace knowing we are always connected.
Second I saw that what exists beyond time and space is something truly beautiful and truly unlimited. We describe it as going to the light, because that’s how it looks and because there can be no shadow and no darkness in a place where there is no separation.
We do not need to fear of dying. What we do need to fear is not living well, which means: To miss the chance to embody our spirit.
I saw that when a person passes it is like they open the door to the Light, and those who are immediately around them at that moment can get a glimpse, can feel the warmth, can have a sense of that other world. And this is why to spend time with a dying person is such a rich gift.
When a person dies, they do not cease to ‘be’. It is not as if they were there before their last breath, and after the last breath, they are gone from this world. They continue forward in a different form, several forms actually. Of course their spirit, and even their astral and etheric selves, are still present for some time as they transition. But there is another facet to the passing, a beautiful facet. That is: What previously was contained in a person, as a separate person, with the experiences and learnings and frequencies that made up that separate person, that is all released into the collective. They cease to be separate from the collective, they become integrated into the collective, and by this I mean, the species. The knowledge and experience of that lifetime become part of the knowledge and experience of the species, accessible to all members of humanity, whether conscious or unconscious. And it is the DNA, the pattern that is unique to the species, that is the mechanism of accessing the knowledge.
So, it is as if the Life is the writing of the book, and the Death is the publishing of the book.
Life is the painting of the masterpiece, death is when it is finished, and hung in the collective gallery for all to draw from.
That life becomes a stone dropped into the lake of the species, and it sends out ripples that permeate the lake. Those ripples reorganize the entire collective field in a tiny, but significant, way. I wondered why I mysteriously did not feel like I missed Suresh as deeply as I expected after his passing, but I know in my inner knowing that it is because he is integrated with me, he is accessible.
You can imagine how all the lifetimes coming and passing would contribute huge amounts of knowledge to the species over time. This vast library is available to us, when we can hear that which is available in the space between thoughts. This is what the ancients spoke of of being in contact with the Ancestors, just as many of us have felt Suresh with us this past month.
I wanted to speak of this because it is so different than our cultural view of death.
My teacher said that the best way to honor someone you have loved and respected, after they pass, is to take those attributes which you loved in them, and carry them forward in your interactions with others. So I will do that, to honor my great friend. I will take forward the things that he gave me, that he showed me, that have made my life so rich. I will encourage people, cherish people, celebrate them and encourage them to celebrate themselves and their gifts. I will try to listen to people, to hear and witness them, knowing that witnessing another is the seed of healing, and the gift of love.
With Love and Gratitude,