I spent two hours in a dentist’s chair today. Painful? No. Terrifying? Yes. But after a point, it became one of curious interest in the dentist’s absorption in his work.
An unassuming man, he is as much a student as an established doctor and I was reminded of Guruji. A young man, he had numerous accolades to his credit and also teaches and speaks at many events. Unlike many others in his profession, his renovated clinic is modest and his clients mostly come to him via word-of-mouth reference.
At varying stages in the procedure, he took pictures and I pictured him stacking them up to teach a point or two. Another thing that struck me was his fearlessness. Not an arrogant bravado but the ability to persist and not fear the patient’s fear. It was an interesting yoga lesson for me at a few levels.
The overwhelming sense of asmita which is responsible for raga and dvesha colours all thoughts and actions. The order of the kleshas are progressive beginning with avidya and their subtlest manifestation is abhinivesha. The life instinct. The sutras are like a surgeon’s knife, they cut clean to the chase. Economic, efficient and stand the test of time.
The whole prospect of treatment was frightening and I could cope with humour. It was interesting to see how laughter and joking worked as a means of practising ‘pratipaksha bhavanam‘. Quite by accident, I must add. It took the bite out of the fear of pain and allowed me to witness art and science in another person.
There was a fleeting thought that I should probably ask someone to go with me and then I questioned the purpose. End of the day, no one can share pain, physical or otherwise. No one can experience your light no matter how much you want them to be bathed in it. And then I ask, why did consciousness break into so many billion souls?
I have no answers but an image comes to mind from my running days. An early morning when I was the run and saw myself as a atomic piece of the universe in all its multitude. And all is as it is meant to be.
I’ll leave with a silly bit of fun before I finish.
Me: Dang, The tooth fairy isn’t going to visit me. Ask me why?
Because the dentist kept the tooth.