Love Is The Strongest Medicine: Notes from a Cancer Doctor on Connection, Creativity, and Compassion

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I started yoga in 1988.

I took it as my mandatory gym class first semester at Penn State.

My roommate Freddy made fun of me.

"I'd walk in and you'd be doing some weird-ass headstand dude."

Thirty-one years later, he sends me pictures of him in a suspended headstand.

He tells me I was right all along.

Ahead of my time.

But I wasn't.

Yoga began long before my physical education requirement.

It began as an ancient practice.

One that originated in India circa 3000 B.C.

Stone-carved figures of yoga postures and shit.

I fell in love with it after my first class.

Bought books about it.

What was this "yoga means union" stuff all about?

The goal of yoga is union?

With what?




None of the above?

All of the above?

I wasn't studying for a multiple-choice exam.

I was studying higher consciousness.


Without magic mushrooms.

My body was skinny.

My soul was in arrested development.

But my mind, which stood in between my body and soul, was ready.

Primed for some calmness, coolness, and collectedness.

I had anxiety.

It was pervasive.

Created by my mind.

Solved by my mind.

Pursuing mastery over myself.

Over my mind.

Cultivating peace.

Fostering concentration.

Dissolving distraction.

Meditatively minimizing my monkey mind.

So began my yoga journey in State College, Pennsylvania.

I began to feel positivity.

I began to experience joy.

From the inside out.

More creative.

More purpose-driven.

Purposefully creative.


Seeing myself as I really am.

Thought, speech, and action unified.

Focusing my energy on that which brings lasting joy.

Union, baby!