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Ayurveda in Jive

(from manuscripts found shoved behind a cabinet in an old blues bar in Harlem)

This piece was done in the tradition of 'jive' as inspired by that great rapper - Lord Buckley.

"I'm a professor of Hipology, Sir. I have been translating the work of

Poe, Shakespeare, Lincoln . . . Abraham Lincoln,
I just translated the Gettysburg address recently. Shakespeare is very interesting and very hip.
It has a renewal power to it, a tremendous sense of renewal. Henry Miller calls (jive) an International language
because it takes the old masters and brings them up to the very instant of today
and over the fence of now ". .

– Lord Buckley






I'se talking in jive so dis' can come alive
Truth gotta look good, otherwise why bother
Truth gots to be able to move, to dance
An I do not mean no jacked up, stiff hipped, flat footed, suit wearin, republican votin, lip bitin, white man boogie

I do not mean no pranksta gangsta, baggy pant struttin', gold chain hangin', sunglass wearin', de ville drivin', gun totin',  rhyme singin', bitch smackin', move bustin', black man neither


I aint lyin', I specifyin'
I'se testifyin' for the Main Man the
Orginal Gangsta
De OG was gangsta's
cuz dey was up against some real shit . . .
Old age, disease, death and the loss of everything whatsoever and altogether.
An dey knew dat dey was not gonna' get to any ultimate issues unless they handled the little ones

and jus' in case you wonderin', health is a little one

So let me try to put it on down


Now Dis here a riff on Ayurveda, the ancient medical system of India,
the Mother of all medical systems layin' at the root of Chinese Medicine wid' its five elements,

Persian medicine, Greek medicine even Hippocrates wid de humors an all.

It was Ayurveda dat first layed out de' five element theory. It was Ayurveda dat' nailed the law of karma to the elements and put forth the principles of how dey all interact.

It boasted how opposites decrease each other and how similars increase each other
It put it all in the soup of consideration and in terms of health and disease an allowed all sorts of motha's an chillin's to enter into and understand what be goin' on and how it all be comin' down.


You see, Dis here a system dat's old, tight and right.
So old dat 'western medicine is just a very small, an' a very recent alternative

and for the most part

wen' it comes to mos everyday diseases it’s a bad one at dat'


Yeah, wit Ayurveda, I'm talking old, old enuff for de Buddha to be practicing it an all,

old enuff for the King of his day, Le Roi Bimbasara to give the Buddha what he, de king dat is,

held in highest regard, an let me tell ya,

dat he did not go and lay down any jewels, lands, gold, silks or fine cars and chariots or other such stuff

at the Buddhas feet


Naw, uh, uh, he gifted de Buddha with his own private physician-– 

Jivaka, who was the greatest Ayurvedic doctor of his day
which occasioned so many people to join the Buddhist community lookin' for de free health care and all,

dat' de Buddha made it a law dat' no sick cat or kitty could come up into the sangha for the free medical care straight up,
Goin' on still to dis day


Now why dat' you may ask?
Well you know de Buddha be takin-talking some other kind of cure, liberation an all and dat' medical fiddling round an' gettin' better health an all, even tho' good, was distractin' people from de' main rap he putting down.
Shit, he know his time is tight and he only got so much livin' days to get his realization out an' de' philosophy therof into the world fore he dead an' other people start interpretin' his teachin'.
An' wreckin' it all to shit


You see de Point Im makin' is dat what Jivaka did worked and it worked damn good.

der weren’t no side effect problems comin down the road, wasn’t any drug overdoses,

bad mistakes, death by doctor,

whoops, we oughtn't have done dat and all . . .
This shit just worked

It was right, from the start

an' it showed the harmony and principles,

de food and actions of how to create health.

Dey say dat' Jivaka even treated the Buddha for some skin problem of too much heat in his system.
Gave him some green herbs, changed his diet round and such, more bitter greens an' all

Damn if Buddha didn’t use some of the principles of Ayurveda in his teachin' an' all,

bout's de law of karma an' such


But, I’m jus' droppin' names, certifyin' some street creds

so that my testifyin' goes down easier.

In other words, I digress


So, let me take a step back an get another run at all dis.

See der' so many ways to go,

it's like bein' on an ocean - a man could go off sailin' in any direction.
But, der' is a star dat' I be guidin' by,

an' jus' so you know an' can relax and enjoy the cruise

an' by an' by hap's I’ll point it out . . . 


I'se wants to talks to ya' bout's Ayurveda, de' science of life, de' most ancient health system.
Cognized, realized and testified to over 5000 years ago in India by some Original Gangsters

called de' Rishis or seers.

You see dese dudes had vision

an I ain meanin' no view of the mountain or de ocean or dat' 20/20 kinda' of stuff.
No, I'm talking vision like revelation and Truth an' laws of life.
I'm talking dat' dey saw strong, full and deep into something

so that it just plain gave itself up and showed itself to em

so that when they put dat' sumpin' down,
they put it down right an' it stayed there, the first time an' every time

and it still down stayin' there, workin' then, workin' now
and I'll bet you anything you want dat' shit gonna work in de long years of history and future

an' dey never changed a single thing,
nope, nary a thing.


It's just like any real law of life, dey' ain't comin' out wit' some new version of gravity every year.
Got it right de first time if dey' saw it right

an dat's why de called dem nigga's gangsta's.
Dey' was layin' it down for real, ain't puttin' out no excuses.
Life backed it up an' dat' makes it real an' de' generations can testify to it

Now, you might ask, yeah you might go ahead and ask,

How could dis be?
I know's where you comin' from an all.

Shit, you comin' from what we be livin' in, an' with, since we was little kids.
We got a whole way of lookin' at the world.
A way dat' screwed up and prejudiced and full of so many errors but it's ours,
jus' like Easter is ours and its got its rules, jus' like Easter got rules,
an' people jus do it, jus' out huntin' easter eggs and have no damn idea of why,

Jus' like they have no damn idea of why dey' gets a Christmas tree.

Dey's stories, dey lost, dey' gone.
People jus' keep livin' em.


Well, jus' like we have Easter, we have our western system of medicine

and we treatin' disease by supressin' symptoms.
Shit, it's like tryin' to hold a beach ball underwater,

you know its gonna come up somewhere else eventually.
Like cutting off a limb on a tree as if de' disease is on de' limb only.
Dat shit is in de root and you got to be goin' to the root, das right, de root, the radical,
you know radical means root.


So I'se know where you comin' from
from our western medical system ain't worked all dat' good for a whole lot of things
an' if you don’t believe me you ain't reading the papers real good

An when I say dat' ayurveda jus' works flat out and gots principles an explanations to back it up

it just seems amazing or bullshit or I be smoking sumpin' an all,
so this all goes to say dat' I knows where you comin' from.


But I say dat our western medicine system was laid out on foundation and grounds so screwed an' crooked
dat you could never build anyting dat would hold up over time
or if any medium to big size storm come rushin' in all over dat mess de whole ting up for good,
Katrina like, it be 'down on de bayou' all over again.


Oh I know it sposed to be based on observation and wonder drugs and vaccinations

and heart and kidney transplants,
run over by a train, shot by a bullet, fell out of a building,

an de doctor don fixed em all up an' 'glory hallejuah'

an' how we can wipe out malaria an' all.
An' some of dat shit is true, sho nuff.

But for the vast majority of diseases, for the biggest heap of shit and sufferin' dat people be painin' from,
for de headaches and asthma an' arthritis an' colds an' flu an' heartburn an' herpes and IBS

it's jus' a plain bunch of BS.

You see,
it's wrong to be supressin' symptoms instead of changin' de actions dat' produced em in the foist place
Sur' nuff ain't copasetic wid de law of karma.
You gots where you gots for good reasons
and if you want's to get's somewhere else you better start actin' different

But western medicine almost never saw a symptom dat some pharmaceutical company

cudn't produce a drug for or some operation cud'n remove
like a woman's breast, you know, complications be damned


But how about changin' your actions?
If people gettin' cancer from smokin' it seems de foist ting is to stop smokin'
not develop better techniques for early detection of lung cancer and lung transplants an
better health insurance to pay for it all

it just plain dead out wrong-headed, upside down and dangerous.

Jus' remember dat wit' all de observation in de world dat' de western science say dey done did,
dat der be at least a few ways of interpretin' it all, an jus' cuz you seen sumpin'

don’t mean you know what you seen

It don mean you know wha's happenin'.


You see der' a whole lot more ways of bein' wrong dan' der' is of bein' right

Shit, every day if you read the papers they sayin'

sum drug or treatment ain't workin' de way dat' its sposed to be workin,'
in fact sumpin' dats sposed to help you real nice an all,

now gonna screw you all up and sideways an already don' did it
till you wished you was dead and dey can arrange dat' for you as well.


Now, let me get into it some more.
How can an ancient system like Ayurveda be so straight up and down-home, huh?
Well, I'se tells you- dat shit based on the law of karma.

Here it is, straight up and on the floor, flat out laid out and all strung out for ya'

You see, it all comes down to how the world works

an how to work with it in such a way dat it works for you and other beings to be happy.
It's called de 'support of nature'

Lemme lay it out for you cats and kitties in the realm of health and all that.


You see, Accordin' to de Veda, evry' ting,' every damn thing ain't nothing

but the law of karma workin' itself out, heah.
Now, wat's dat mean?
Well Brother Jesus and de Essenes put it out as an agrarian, farming type metaphor, you know - 

‘As you sow so shall you reap’

Now dis here is one bad ass original, an I do mean original, gangster of a law.
In fact, my brother from another Mother, de Mahatma, de Gandhi man, said straight out

dat God made de law of karma an' den' retired,
dat niggah jus gave it up after dat, didn' need to do anything else

dat' bein de law dat' be it all operatin' an such.
I mean what else could he do? You know dat niggah gonna take it easy


Now, you might ask, how dat law operate, how does it function so to speak, indeed you might ask dat.
It’s a Good question.
Well let me imagine dat out for ya'.

Let me start with some principles, some rules and such.

Now, I'se gonna start by specifyi'n on the number one rule here,
after all, dat's de' best way to begin on dese tings and any other thousand mile trips a man be takin all

be startin' wid de first step
so let me clarify an specify a little before I drop it on you all weighted like,
cuz dis' shit is heavy


Now just step back, give me some room, an let me take a run at dis.'
I always felt that a good session of lovemaking didn’t jus plunge right in an get it over with, naw,
sort of went in sideways, bluffin' and probin,' tastin' and smellin,' pullin' back and goin' forward,

foreplayin' an all.
Well, Ise bouts to do dat here. . .
So set back and let me go into it all slow and what seems round about.
But I assure you its gonaa' get hot and heavy down the road.


You see, with life in general, an' our mind in particular,

der be content an' der be function, content an function.
Now, you might well ask, wat de hell does dat mean an what's it have to do with all of dis?
Yeah, you might ask dat. I ain't defined it yet
OK ! chill wit' me and let me try to break it down for ya.'


You see, If we take our mind, all our past, all our good experiences,

all our bad experiences and all our so, so experiences,
if you take all dat all together an' mix em up in a soup,
dat soup be what I'se be callin' content,
das' wat makes up de soup of our life and our mind.


Now personally, I suppose dat dis here content and experiences go back a long way
before and prior to dis' recent show we call our present life
but you can take dat or leave it, don’t matter none, one way or tother here.
De point I makin' is dat it be de content as opposed to function.
Now, wassup wid dis ting called function?
Yeah, you might ask dat too.


Now we already done said dat content is what your mind is full of, naw naw don’t go dere, I aint,
Im' implien like the stuff in the soup.
But dat' aint de function of mind, like I jus' said, is jus' de content.

De function of mind is attention itself.
Now, let me repeat dat-

de function of mind is attention itself.
Dat's how de mind functions wen' it does work.
It gives attention to sumpin'

It need have nothing to do wit our content.
It's free of content jus like a man can be in prison an' be happy for a while
or be in a relationship wit' someone an' be thinkin' bout someone else
or bein' a soldier in a war and be tryin' to help people.

Jus cuz you doin' one thing or your life is full of a certain content

don’t mean dat you cain't give your attention to sumpin' else.


I remember I was livin' in India one day an I remember havin' the very worst pain I ever had
when I was havin' a kidney stone a workin,' tearin' an scratchin' its way out.
I mean dat' pain felt like someone had stabbed me with a knife and was twistin' it.
Had me hallucinatin' and I even passed out plum from it.
But before I passed out, I remember on the way to the doctor,
I saw the strangest man I had ever seen on the road,

he was a beggar with so many things wrong with him dat I could not figure him out
and for just a few seconds I forgot all about my own pain

because my attention had passed onto somethin' or onto someone else.
Now dat's de' power of attention, de power of de function of the mind

which has nothing to do with its content.


You see, we free in our attention.
In fact, dat is de only place where we is free.
In the realm of content it's difficult -

changing up, down, sideways, seasons, time, people, good, bad, beautiful and ugly.
But, in the midst of it all, we can give our attention to whatever we want to.
Dat's where we's free


You see dis' first rule dat' I is approachin' all slow and foreplayin' wid has to do with the function of mind,
has to do wid attention and now, here it is, you ready for dis?

Whatever we give our attention to we become,
whatever we give our attention to gets stronger in our lives,
this is rule numero uno and it is the ground and basis on which everything else stands.
In the midst of the worst pain in my life,
I was distracted by the vision of a far-out twisted up,

goofy smiling, bright eyed, raggedy ass beggar man

singin and dancing on the edge of a high curb on a busy, noisy Indian street.


Now just a passing moment of attention may not be enough to lay out for ya' a whole lifetime of results,
it ain't gonna happen overnight from just a moment and all,

but it damn straight will happen by means of attention and what you give it to,
what you make your life about, what star you be sightin' on


You see
Attention shows itself in the mind, with the mouth, the environment, with your music, relationships, car, house,
and wat dey all serve in your life, what they mean to you.


OK! I said it, now, what's that got to do with health?

Well, If you sick, you been swimmin' in somethin'

If you well, you gots to be swimmin in somethin' else

Shit don’t exist without causes

That something you been swimmin' in
is the fruit of past causes.

an' dat sumpin' else you may want to be swimmin' in
dat's de fruit of present causes


You cannot get rid of sickness without creating health.
You cannot just suppress a symptom and call that health

less you want's to go all Republican on me,
but let's not go there right now-
See, I jus' threw it in to lighten' things up a bit so we could come right back to dis . . .

For the most part, not totally, mind you, but for the most part,

western medicine is not only dumb, but in a lot of ways, it's straight out dangerous.
Even the American Medical Association de' AMA
says that treatment by a doctor is the third leading cause of DEATH in America today.
Yeah dat's right. You heard dat one correct. Third leadin' cause of death!
Shit, I can't believe dis is true myself.

Dis stuff is more diseased dan Michael Moore ever dreamed about.

Who knows how many it ain't killin' but jus ruinin' der lives real good an all.

Now, if you get hit by bullet, fall out of car, get run over by a truck
or ran down your body so damn far with years of bad eatin', drinkin' and abusin'
that you need a new heart or kidney or you would not live even for another day
or you fell into a river and drowned yourself to death

then western medicine can be real good for you,
real good, and its got my sincere respect in all of dat, straight up.


But when it comes to degenerative disease,
the disease that most people are sufferin' from,

the headaches, arthritis, colitis, allergies, kidney diseases, heartburn, herpes, gingivitis,
shit, I could go on and on, its worse than dumb, it's dangerous,

sort of like George Bush.
Why do I say dat?
Cuz it thinks its don' the right an only thing der' is to do when it's so dumb cant see de' forest for de trees,
cuz its got cause and effect so turned around dat its gonna destroy the world to save it,
but real nice like an all
you know Christian stuff


Now don’t go getting all conspiracistic on me that western medicine and doctors are part of some vast evil empire who wen' over to the dark side
an' talk like dere usin some voice synthesizer an all.
I'm jus sayin' dey ain't got de proper take on life and dey don’t wanna hear nothing bout' it.

Western medicine is oriented to takin' away the symptoms of disease.
It ain't got no good definition of health all worked out

cept' for dat seemingly simple in your face: 'no symptoms of disease.'

The main way dat our western medical system does dis' is by suppressin' the symptoms,
just like Tums takes away heartburn or aspirin takes away a headache

or a heart transplant takes away your heart.

If suppressin' symptoms worked, I’d be all in favor of it.
But, suppressin' symptoms like I'se already done layed out

is like tryin' to hold a big beachball underwater at the pool
hard to do, difficult , ultimately a failure - dat sucka' gonna pop up again-–

it’s the nature of it
it won't give up

Same thing with symptoms of disease,
you’ve got to remove the cause and you gots to do that by doin something else,

by doin something different than what you been doin'
and that brings us all the way back to good ol' #1 numero uno
that whatever we give our attention to we become
and the secret of how to change anything whatsoever is to do something else
not to do anything about the problem or even if you do something there,
put your focus on doing something else,
like if you had an operation for cancer, OK alright, so be it, there's good reason enough there,
but for health, it ain't sufficient, youse gots to do something else.
You gots to live healthy, eat healthy, go to sleep healthy, work healthy, breathe healthy, live healthy,
am I makin' my point here?

Somethin', somethin', somethin' cause that cancer and somethin' else is gonna cause health.
I'm sick of hearin' all this damn crazy talk bout what to do bout' my health problem.
Nothin', dammit.
Nothin' at all bout the problem- you gots to do sumpin' else.

An' there's a lot more. . . .
One of the beauties of life is that by going to the root of something living, you influence the whole organism.
Just like if you had a tree with millions of leaves and leaves an' it starts to show some sort of disease, you don’t treat the damn leaves, you treat the root,
if you treat the damn root den' all the leaves, all of em will take care of themselves.

Ayurveda in Jive - Peter Malakoff
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