A blog about cancer, spirituality, death, and guitars
DEATH – have no fear
My name is Chaitanya das, my other name is Charles Robinson. Chaitanya das is the name given to me by my spiritual teacher, my dear friend, Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda.
I have been dealing with advanced prostate cancer now for almost 20 years. In my blog I want to talk about how being diagnosed with cancer affected me, and how in the years since, I have come to not only understand but experience who I am through meditation and the philosophy behind it. This has also helped me understand my relationship with others, and also my relationship with the Supreme Soul, who is beside not only me, but all living beings, always.
With a diagnosis of advanced cancer comes fear. The fear of pain and suffering. The fear of death and dying. As well as being worried about dying we also worry, and are fearful, for our loved ones we will leave behind. We are attached to many things in this world and every one of these attachments accentuates our fear of leaving this world. But this fear can be overcome.
So from time-to-time in this blog, I’ll try to unpack as best I can some of the many lessons and insights from the Vedic literatures such as the Bhagavad Gita and the great sages of Vedic history that I have come to appreciate by hearing from my spiritual teacher Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda.
During my life one of my interests has been vintage guitars - guitars that were made pre 1940’s. I have undertaken a great deal of research into different makers of vintage American guitars, particularly H.A. Weymann and Son. This is an interesting label and I’d like to share some little known facts about them as well as some other early vintage ‘parlor’ guitars that have come my way.
Thank you and Namaste
(I welcome and encourage comments and questions on all blogs).
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This is Jane again. We could not believe that by the time notifications went out about the last post we had already exceeded the goal we needed for the surgery so I stopped the fundraiser. We were blown away but did not want to accept more than we needed.
So thanks to all who tried to donate but could not. Charles goes into hospital tomorrow for about 2 weeks and I am much relieved. Hopefully I will have time to keep you updated.
Hi, this is Jane, Charlie’s wife. No doubt if you are a regular subscriber to this website you will have noticed Charlie has been relatively quiet lately with his posts and also at answering emails and comments.
You will know that he has been dealing quite successfully with prostate cancer for the last 22 years but late last year he was also diagnosed with bladder cancer. Since then he has had a round of chemotherapy and some immunotherapy, however this has proved unsuccessful.
Now he has been presented with an option of a cystectomy operation – removal of the bladder (and the cancer) and replacing it with an artificial external one. Charles and the doctors agree this is his best chance to stop the cancer spreading. This is booked in for next week and is a serious operation that takes 6 hours plus. It is tribute to Charles’ 73 year old general health that the surgeon thinks that he is up to the ordeal.
The surgery has hit us like a thunderbolt. After 23 years of keeping ahead of the medical bills, we now are facing these new surgery bills. Even though we have private health insurance our finances have been drained over the years and with this operation we will be out of pocket about Australian $13,850 or US$8,960 Money we do not have.
I have set up a “Go-Fund-Me” page where Charles’ many friends and relatives can contribute to this amount if they want, no matter how small:
Obviously there is no pressure to do this, and I appreciate you taking the time to read my message. Any help you can offer will be so very appreciated, and every dollar will go towards the medical costs . We are hopeful Charles will come through this as he has many times before, and continue on with his family , friends and website!
I’m offering this hi-res download of this rare WEYMANN BANJO Catalogue No. 56, from 1925 when Weymann was in their prime, free to anyone who would like a copy. There are 18 styles of banjos and their variations in 52 pages.
Many of you who have read some of my posts know that I am dealing with advanced prostate cancer. Recently I detected some blood in my urine and went to a urologist who performed a cystoscopy, a procedure where they put a camera up through the urethra to look at the bladder. Well it was bad news!
My grandson – Kishan’s – sense of humor after my cystoscopy procedure. (I do like Tofurky! Also love the detail on the guitars!)
Stories have been used to illustrate important ideas in different cultures for thousands of years, with some of the same stories appearing in more than one culture. This story comes from the Vedic tradition and was told by Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Swami, the guru of the guru of my guru (spiritual teacher).
The Blind Men & the Elephant
A group of blind men heard of a strange animal called an ‘elephant’ from some elderly people. Naturally they had a very strong urge to have first-hand experience of such an animal via the sense of touch. Walking sticks in hand, the blind persons arrived at the elephant stable in the royal palace, and requested the elephant keepers to permit them to touch the elephant’s different limbs.
Formerly owned by Bill Yates, due to his immense generosity, this is now in my possession. Bill did an amazing job in restoring it (the ‘f’ holes themselves were quite damaged, but otherwise it was in pretty good condition for a 100+ year old instrument.
All my 6 children are very artistic, as are their children. I’m a proud grandad and, when one of my grandsons, 14-year-old Kishan — the name is another name for Lord Krishna — approached me and asked if he could do some cartoons for my website I was pleased he wanted to help.
As far as I know he had never done anything like this before, but I had some ideas for cartoons and so did he, so I gave him free reign. This post is a result of his first ones:
This cartoon is a situation that happened. I’d befriended someone who was diagnosed with prostate cancer which was very aggressive and growing quickly. Like many of us now in our 60’s and 70’s, he had a distrust of Western medicine, but because his PSA was rising quickly his doctor managed to convince him to do an initial injection of hormone treatment so that he could consider his options. In the meantime, he read about how some people were getting frozen sea cucumber and eating a little at a time.
The first elephant to arrive in the USA was in 1796, and was exhibited around the country, so it was a question people asked — “Have you seen the elephant?”
In the mid 1800’s it was an idea often expressed in the West of America when someone was dying — “You’ve seen the elephant!”— meaning they’ve seen and experienced everything worthwhile in this world and it was now OK to die. http://www.awb.com/dailydose/?p=1097