Bhaktin Marie: Following a presentation to healthcare professionals in North Florida in February of this year, Dr. D. B. Wolf (Dhira Govinda dasa), founder of Satvatove Institute, was asked to be the keynote speaker at the annual conference of the Florida Nurses Association- South Region. Below are excerpts of his talk, on April 13, 2013, in Davie, Florida, with more than 300 attendees.
Dr. Wolf: āThe title of the presentation is Conscious Communication in Healthcare. When I think of āhealthcareā, the first thing that comes to mind is āWho are we caring for?āā¦ If I say, āI hurt my fingerāā¦Are you caring for my finger, or are you caring for the owner of the finger? āMy finger.ā āMy leg.ā These words indicate that there is the leg, and the owner of the leg. Who are we caring for? Thatās a key question.
āIn Satvatove Institute, - (Some may ask, āWhatās Satvatoveāā¦Satvatove is a word I made up about 12 years ago. Itās composed of two words from ancient languages. āSattvaā, from the ancient Sanskrit, means āgoodnessā, or āenlightenmentā. And ātovā, like āMazel tovā, means something similar in Biblical Hebrew. So, we are endeavoring to bring goodness and enlightenment to the world through the programs of Satvatove Institute.) The programs of Satvatove Institute- Spiritually-based personal and group transformation through empowered communication, courageous introspection and purposeful action- We start with āspiritually-basedā. Thatās like the ā1ā in front of a string of ā0sā. Letās say that we have a string of ā0ās. Twenty 0s. Whatās it worth? Whatās the value? ā0ā. Now, if we put the 1 in front, then the 0s take on value. We can conceive of the 0s as different areas of life- like physical fitness, or economic development; and the ā1ā is the self-realization element. Itās realizing who we are, as the owner of the finger, who we are as the owner of the leg.
āSpiritualā, for some, can have various mystical, or vague connotations. So, to get a solid understanding of what we mean, by āspiritualā, is vital, in healthcare, because if weāre talking about healing, the healing force, the healing power- itās not the finger, itās not the leg, itās not in the parts of matter. Itās in that non-material component.
āIād like you to imagine that youāre looking at a picture of yourself, at a photo of yourself, from when you were five years old. So, when youāre looking at this picture, do you say, āWho is this person? Who is this stranger?ā No. You say āThatās me, when I was 5ā. āThatās David when I was 5. Thatās Brenda, thatās Beverly, Thatās Jim, Thatās Carol. Thatās Robert. Thatās me, when I was 5.ā Now, we know from science, from chemistry, that thereās not one molecule that was there in the body when you were 5, thatās part of your body now. Still, we say āOh, thatās me.ā That indicates that the body is completely changed, the physical has completely changed. And still, thereās some constant identity that I call āmeā, that is completely, intrinsically non-physical. And it is this non-physical self that is the focus, in our Satvatove programs- it is that entity that remains constant through all the physical changes, that remains constant- thatās the essence, thatās the ā1ā in front of the 0s. Whether weāre talking about finances, or healthcare, or career, thatās the ā1ā that gives meaningā¦..
āA few weeks ago I visited the Philadelphia area with my daughter Sita. It was the unveiling of my father. The unveiling is a ceremony at the gravesite, one year after someone passes away. So we went, and visited my sister, and cousins. On the plane ride, my daughter and I, we were speaking. And we were speaking that one year ago, almost to the day, I had received a call, from one of the Hospice nurses, and she said āCome up. Your dadās about to pass away.ā So, we got on a plane. We live in North Florida. Gainesville, Florida, to Philadelphia. And, when we went up this time, we were speaking about that time, a year agoā¦And we got to my fatherās roomā¦.And everyone there, family, medical staff, everyone was saying, āHe was supposed to pass away 12, 15 hours agoā¦but even though he was incapacitated, he was waiting for you (Sita and David).ā āItās phenomenalā, they were saying, āmiraculous..ā So, we came in, and immediately we made a beeline to his bed. There he was, lying on his bed. Incapacitated, apparently. Apparently not conscious. And actually we chanted some ancient mantras, from ancient wisdom traditionsā¦āMantraā means a sound vibration that is meant to deliver the mind and consciousness from material entanglement, and connect us with our process of self-realization, realizing who we are, as the owner of the finger, with ourselves, as the inhabitant of the body.
āSo, these were mantras especially intended for the time when the self passes away from the body. Actually, the place was called the Abramson House, outside of Philadelphia, and, even though the Abramson House is from the Jewish community, many of the medical staff were not from that community, and they went to Sita, my daughter, who is in her early 20s, and they assumed, and asked, whether she was saying some Jewish prayers. She was chanting these mantras from the Vedic tradition. āVedaā means knowledge, relating to universal spiritual principles. We were chanting these mantras intensely for about 45 minutes.
āAnd my father, even though he was incapacitated, he turned to us, he turned to us, consciously and deliberately, and he looked at Sita, and he gave acknowledgement that this is what he was waiting for, and then he turned back, and then, and then, he left his body. And so, my daughter and I we were talking about that time, as we were travelling up to Philadelphia for the unveiling. And so we were saying, āGrandpop was there. Grandpop was there. And then he wasnāt there. He was gone. But he was right there, he was right there. He was still on the bed. He was right there. No, he wasnāt there anymore. The finger was there. The arms and legs were there. But he wasnāt there. Something left.ā
āSo, āhealthcareā. Who are we caring for? Who are we caring for? If weāre not conscious of that, it can be a bunch of 0s, a string of 0s. A similar example we can give- I drove here today, with my assistant Marieā¦I drove here in a Toyota. Letās say, Iām driving in a Toyota, here in Davie, Florida, and Iām thinking āIām Japaneseā, because this body, this vehicle, was made in Japanā¦and letās say that tomorrow, we drive back to Gainesvlle, Florida, and we rent a Volkswagen, and we think āWeāre Germanā. We get to Gainesville and we get into a Ford, and I think āIām Americanā. So, we might think, āThatās kind of ridiculous, Davidā. But Iām asserting that thatās what weāre doing. Thatās what weāre doing. If Iām thinking Iām white, Iām black, Iām woman, Iām man, Iām Jew, Iām an Arab, Iām American, Iām Russian, Iām five foot 10- well, five foot nine to be more honest- so, thatās identifying with the temporary. Itās the same as if Iām identifying that this car is red, and so Iām red. Not that we want to neglect the body. We take care of our car so it can support me in a smooth ride from, south Florida to north Florida, ..and if in taking care of the car and if in using the car to take me to my destination- If in taking care of it and using it, I think that I am the car, or anything connected with it, āIām a 4-door; Iām a 2-doorā. Thatās illusion, and how much happiness is possible, if itās based in illusion? In the Satvatove environment, in all of our programs, whether itās our books, or our keynote presentation, or seminarsā¦we do everything from 45 minute presentations to 11 day intensive self-realization seminars. This is the focus of our endeavors.
āOur stance is that this process to understand who we are; this process of self-realization- This represents the most sublime purpose of human life. An example- letās say that I was to purchase a state of the art computerā¦I spend a lot of money and I get this big desktop computerā¦ You come to my house, and you see that Iām using the computer as a doorstop. So you say, āUh, David, whatās going on there?ā I say, āLook, it works great, because if the door wants to close, it wonāt close, because the computerās there.ā You say, āYeah, well, you can use the computer for that. But you know, you can use this thing for much higher level functions. You can use it to write a book, for desktop publishing, for so many thingsā¦ā
āTeilhard de Chardin said āWeāre not human beings having a spiritual experience; weāre spiritual beings having a human experience.ā As spiritual beings having a human experience, we get to use this form, this human form and intelligence, for the process of self-realization, and if we use it only for stuff that, say, animals and plants can do- different forms of eating, sleeping, defending..maybe an animal defends with its claws, and we defend with a clever rationalization, or a thermonuclear device, qualitatively itās the same activity. So, how effectively, efficiently, are we using this special, human form? To what extent might we be using the computer as a doorstop?
āIn Satvatove, we focus on communication. The book out there is called Relationships That Work: The Power of Conscious Living- How Transformative Communication Can Change Your Life. Transformative Communication, not just a set of communication skills or techniques. Itās a communication-based approach to self-realization, to supporting ourselves, in our internal conversation, and in our relationships, creating an environment, thatās conducive for putting the 1 in front of the 0s, in all areas of our life. It is said, the quality of our communication is the quality of our life. Communication with others, in every area, whether itās where we play, where we pray, where we work, where we serveā¦and communication with ourselvesā¦the spiritual principle is that things go from subtle to gross, from subtle to external. So, if Iām communicating with myself āIām not lovableā, Iāll make that trueā¦things go from subtle to external. āSee, he rejected me. She doesnāt like me.ā
āThe non-material entity, that living force, the owner of the finger- thatās the healing potency. The body is made of dead matter. The healing potency is in the living force. Thatās the healing potency. So, we get to learn to be touchstones for transformation; touchstones for consciousness transformationā¦by learning the art of transformative communication, so that in any interaction, the healing potency of the self comes outā¦and research has shown, that when that healing potency goes from dormant to active, whether itās in regards to cancer, or heart disease, then healing happens, because weāre unleashing the nature of spirit to heal and grow.
āOur opportunity is to not let expertise replace empathyā¦to use each situation to see the opportunity to bring out the actual healing potency, thatās the spiritual potency, that cit potency, the healing potency within each individual.ā
After Dr. Wolfās talk, one hospital administrator approached him and exclaimed, āThat was beyond awesome!!ā