The Death Advisor

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The Death Advisor

Let death be your advisor. – Carlos Castenada

"Free thyself from the past, the future, the present…with mind released everywhere, no more shalt thou come to birth and decay." – Dhammapada

I once heard this story about a friend’s sister.

A fortyish woman named Paula lived in Baltimore as a paralegal, busy with relationships, work, friends,  family, typical stuff. She was not the least spiritually inclined.

Then came the shocker. Though she had never had more than a cold, Paula was diagnosed with a rapidly advancing rare form of lymphoma and given three months to live. 

Of course, her world imploded.  Practical by nature, she immediately threw her energy into organizing her affairs, handling her imminent departure like one more of the efficient to-do lists she’d spent her life making. To her amazement, she was not afraid.

Paula paid off her debts, released everything unnecessary and prepared to die. This world became a diaphanous dream.  She ceased having useless conversations.  She stopped a life of people-pleasing.  She started telling everyone the truth. In fact, she stopped doing anything she didn't want to do, following her inner clock completely for the first time since she was a child.  As she realized this world would go on quite well without her, a peaceful detachment embraced her like a warm bath.

Then a new twist.

In the third month, the cancer spontaneously left. To the doctors' befuddlement, all symptoms vanished as fast as they had come. But Paula's calm equanimity remained.

Even more surprising, she had acquired the power to manifest and heal almost anything.   If she thought of a certain amount of money, it arrived without effort. If she imagined an apple, a stranger pulled one from a bag. People will illnesses began to call for help.

This talent came of its own volition because Paula "needed" nothing, having already bid adieu to this world. With no grasping ego,most her thoughts materialized without interference in a flash. Because though she still had ‘preferences’ just like anyone, she really was attached to none of them. The same Divinity she had once dismissed now flowed unimpeded through her Being.

Paula said, "Maybe when you no longer grasp for anything, you can have everything.  And when you stop trying to make things happen, anything can indeed happen. All I know is, the 'me' that used to be is gone. I'm out of the way."


The following excerpt is from Tosha's book Outrageous Openness, which is also available in San Francisco @ Books, Inc (Market Street), Scarlet Sage (Valencia), Sacred Well in Oakland and Lewin's Books in Berkeley. Also, online Find Tosha at and on facebook.

Comments [4]

Grace Moon's picture



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Tosha's picture

well girl

if you ever pull the copy of "OO" back out of your packing boxes that I sent you as a gift (just cuz I luuurve you so damn much)you'll see some really good info on how not to grasp...there are some tricks in a culture that enshrines grasping :)   just sayin...xoxoxoxoxo

Marcie Bianco's picture

i know eeet! well, books will

i know eeet!

well, books will be unpacked friday Smile


Marcie Bianco's picture

I struggle with the idea of

I struggle with the idea of not grasping for things -- I suppose it's because i effect the outcome i desire, which translates into me constantly trying/grasping etc...although i've certainly come to learn how these tactics are counter-productive.