Tuesday, March 20, 2007

So What is Energy Healing Good For?

To read our blogs the last couple of days you would think that Paul and I aren't all that enamored with energy healing at all. All we do lately is wonder about why we're doing it and when and if we're not. And coming to the conclusion that -- by itself -- energy healing isn't the most important thing. Reiki, in particular. You put your hands in a particular location, bide your time for five minutes or so until you feel the energy stop flowing, and move to another location. Over and over, for a full hour or more. Sigh. Yawn.

I'd rather you did it yourself. That's why this healer is more interested in combining spiritual healing with spiritual counseling and teaching.

But why has energy healing had a place in our lives at all? What has it shown us as healers? That's what I want to focus on in this blog entry today.

When I look back on my years as a healer I think the biggest impact it has had on my life has been in the area of my own spiritual development. I didn't believe or disbelieve in this stuff way back then. I was agnostic on this issue, you could say. When I met Jeanine Sande, my Reiki teacher (visit her website at http://www.lightenyourway.com/lyw/index.cfm), I was in a "show me" frame of mind. Curious but not overly interested, just wondering about it all. She did a really grounded down-to-earth presentation about Reiki and then went around the room giving everyone who attended a taste of it for 5-15 minutes. People seemed happy. They'd get a sweet relaxed smile on their faces and when Jeanine got to me I expected the same.

But what happened instead blew me away. I didn't just feel happy and relaxed. I had a very palpable sensation of something -- a flow of energy really is the only was to describe it -- flowing down from where her hands were on my shoulders to my hands. And then my hands got hot and felt like they were glowing. "What was that?!" I asked her and she responded that I must have natural healing ability and the Reiki awakened it.

Interesting. Now I was really curious. So I took her class. And in that class I got tangible proof that this energy was actually worth something! It made me feel so blissful and happy and peaceful. Both when I received a treatment from my fellow students and when I was doing the healing. That was worth the price of admission alone. And, frequently, that's all anyone uses Reiki for—to aid in relaxation and letting go in a massage therapy session. But Jeanine made it clear that Reiki could be used to do so much more.

Now this is where Reiki differs from the healings done at those evangelical tent shows. Reiki is a gentle approach. People who receive it don't receive such a jolt of spiritual lightning that they fall writhing to the floor, start speaking in tongues, and leap up shouting "I'm healed!" With Reiki, healing can take multiple weeks with significant changes occurring incrementally every time. Or it can lead to overnight success. I've experienced both and it seems that it only does what a person is ready for and, for where I was at in my development as a healer, that suited me just fine.

And when my client doesn't expect the lightning bolt from the sky approach I still prefer it and feel just fine. I've experienced an overwhelming spiritual opening before -- the kind where everything you used to believe doesn't make sense anymore and you can't tell whether you're losing your mind or finally coming to your senses. It's not fun. It's scary. I don't want to do that to someone else without their permission. It's one of the things that has held me back—the belief that I could do someone harm. But now I know that intention is the key. I intend only the best, I intend that the healing only be beneficial. I was taught that Reiki, at least, is incapable of being anything but beneficial and I think, that if I'm respecting the needs of the client and not over-ruling them by my desire to knock their socks off as a healer, I can't do any harm.

But that's the key. A certain number of people want a healer to knock their socks off or they think it's not real. Other people run away screaming or get on the table and resist with all their might. Neither one of those kinds of people tends see a great deal of effect. They're both resisting real healing in some way because they demand it to be something intense when it shouldn't be or they're afraid it will be intense and they don't want it.

The most receptive clients, it seems to me, are those who don't expect "miracles" but are willing to accept that they might exist. My friend Linda put a comment in Paul's blog (http://paulhood.blogspot.com/) yesterday that the realm of miracle-making isn't in believing or in jumping on some spiritual bandwagon, but rather in letting go of "not believing." It allows for awakening, it allows you to be shown the way. Step by step if need be. Or in a really dramatic way.

But I don't know which way it will go for every client before we get them on the table or into our room. People sometimes want us to tell them what we can do for them in advance. And I would, too, if I were in their shoes. "Is this session going to be worth the price of admission? Will you heal me in the way I define healing today?" I wish I could tell them "Absolutely!" But most of the time people's definition of what healing has to be limits what we can do over time. If they want to stand up at the end of the session and yell "Hallelujah!" at least.

This is the role the energy healing has played in my life:

It woke me up. In nice easy chunks. It helped me experience on a tangible physical level the power of something beyond my belief. As I said, at the beginning I didn't believe or disbelieve but I was willing to see for myself what was so.

And the result of that is that I still don't "believe." I don't have to. I KNOW because I've experienced tangible results first hand over and over. The way scientists come to expect something to be true. By testing it and getting verifiable results. Over time. . . and now and then, literally, overnight. So now I have a new expectation that includes something powerful I didn't know was true before. A knowledge that there is an intelligence beyond my physical self that I am part of or, at least, intimately connected to. Something I could channel but not control. And it works by intending it and then allowing it to happen alone.

It also taught me to be a better counselor and intuitive. In the past I might have mistrusted a random thought that popped into my head. But when I get people on the table and feel the result of what I picked up intuitively through my hands as well, and then my client in their much more relaxed unguarded state verifies it, well, the healing can then just flow. And the insights we gain become part of what we address. The issues being addressed become conscious for the client and, together, through both counseling and healing, we can make progress. Significant successes. Incrementally and, given how it was achieved, miraculously done. Every time.

Every time.

Lessons on the Healer's Path

Odd intense dreams all night. And, by the way, as of this moment my cat Chloe's eyelid cyst is still in transition. . . although I can no longer tell whether it's getting better or getting better, then worse, then better again.

You see, the guides told me to wait a week before seeing results. And boy do I hate to wait. I keep wanting to check out her eye to see if the healing is "working". Which, of course, shows my lack of faith in a process when it takes longer than overnight success. Paul tells me that negates the process. I'm starting not to care any more about the whole experiment.

This leads me to a few other things I wanted to consider. What are we wasting time trying to prove that miraculous healings exist for, anyway? I mean, everybody eventually is going to die. No healer on the planet is able to keep people alive forever.

Paul and I were wondering last night if the true value of an occasional healing in our lives is to remind us of what's possible, to remember we're not alone, that we're part of something much greater.

And if God, this Divine intelligence, this healing power is present in everything, does it really make sense to always try to heal through the most "miraculous" ways possible? Isn't modern medicine miraculous—especially given what we thought was possible in that arena not that long ago? Aren't flower essences and herbal formulas miraculous? The idea that I could take the root of a plant that grows wild in open dry meadows and use it to clear up lung congestion —pleurisy root—is a pretty wonderful thing. Isn't acupuncture and homeopathy and chiropractic and a whole slew of other more physical world oriented therapies just as miraculous as hands-on or distance healing? Why are we denigrating the physical manifestations of God and venerating only the transcendent ones?

When Paul first became able to do healing work spontaneously as a result of a Kundalini type awakening he was told -- or "knew" -- that this wasn't the be all, end all of his work here on this planet. It almost didn't matter. It was a signpost. I read the exact same thing on a Christian website today about spiritual healing. Miraculous healings of a purely spiritual nature are NOT the whole shooting match -- it's a signpost. It's a reminder . . . but it doesn't negate our own responsibility in the matter. It's not an "eraser" as that website put it so bluntly. It just lets us know that healing is possible if we would only let go of the "broken ways" we have adopted in this life that separate us from God, separate us from each other, and separate us from the environments we live in.

It makes me wonder: would an "experienced" healer even care about doing miraculous style healings at all? Or would it just be a small part of what we get to do?

Friday, March 16, 2007

More on Belief and Wanting to Challenge "Hegemonies"

In my blog entitled "When we can heal you and when we won't" I mentioned that many people wanting us to "heal" them actually want to avoid standard medical care and we won't do that. We don't think it's ethical. And we've been guided time and again not to do it. Why? Why not challenge the American medical system and all it stands for? After all, we don't love that ourselves.

The secret lies in the request. Or should I say "The Secret"?!

The people who are asking don't expect to be "healed". They want to make a statement but they're hiding that true request by asking "can you heal me?"

That creates a dilemma. Yeeeaaaahhh. . . . we can theoretically heal anyone with God's assistance if it's in the highest interest for all concerned but they're not asking for that. They want to make a statement and we can't honor THAT request. Because western medicine isn't the problem. How it's expressed frequently can be -- we grant you that. But, in itself, western medicine has been a blessing more than it's been a curse. You'd be surprised at how many people you know would be dead right now without penicillin. I might be one of them. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

So could we have helped the young man upset about the hegemony who called recently asking if we could heal his knee? Maybe. But we were guided to say no, not this way. Not if you want guaranteed results.

And that's the other game people play. They want us to guarantee that we can help them when they won't accept our guidance to see their doctors first. That means they are first and foremost refusing the gift of healing that was offered. They're not really interested in healing above all else. They want it performed with such and such a condition in place. That means they're not saying "YES."

But they want guaranteed results. A set-up we're guided away from.

If you want to test us, test us right. Say "I came here to be healed by any way possible. I will participate fully. I will put my self-conceived conceptions about what real healing has to be in order to be acceptable away. And I will at least accept the possibility that I should do what the guidance suggests I should do. And I'll try it out!"

You will be told to go to doctors, acupuncturists, homeopathists ONLY when it's the best way possible for you to achieve your goals given where you are at in your life today. Tomorrow you could heal your problem another way. But today, if the answer is "see your doctor," do us a favor and don't berate us for not being "true" healers. As far as I'm concerned, no true healer guarantees results in all cases. Sometimes it's not in the highest interest for the healer to be the instrument of the real healing that needs to occur. Your relationship with the medical establishment and what's right and not just wrong about it perhaps. Karma, lessons you have to learn that you wouldn't learn any other way, perhaps a lesson your society needs to accept. (That we can't poison our food, our water, our airspace without effect, for example.) And many other lessons as well.

It would be pretty exciting to heal everyone who walks in the door. But is it right to do that? Even if it means that you'll just go home, resume doing whatever created the condition in the first place, have your symptoms come back and feel distrustful of healers forever more? I don't think so. Maybe we COULD heal, at least temporarily, everyone who comes in . . . but until our guidance says so -- and our hearts agree -- we can't. More on this, I'm sure, will come.

The American Flag Flies in Front of My House

As of 15 minutes ago. And I chose to put it up there with my housemates-- in our version of a hippie commie group house -- and I want it there. And, boy, do I feel uncomfortable.

Let me tell you how it got there.

First, I have to preface these remarks with where I live—Santa Cruz, CA. You need to know the context. I live in the ultra-"progressive" hippie commie freak capital of the universe. There I said it. In the least politically correct way possible, to make a point.

Anywhere else I could fly a flag for ANY reason and not feel concerned. But here I definitely worry about what my neighbors are going to think and not in a good way. And that bothers me. Not because I love flying the flag and what it stands for -- since the Iraqi war I actually feel embarrassed when I see that flag. But because a person ought to be able to stand up for what they believe in, a person ought to be able to express a different point view. Hell, a person ought to be able to love a person of the same gender, practice a different religion from the dominant culture, or be a psychic without being labeled a freak. . . or worse.

My next door neighbors are great people. They're also overt Christians -- which means that at Christmas they put up a creche outdoors with their other holiday decorations. They go to work everyday at two jobs to make ends meet, and they happen to love the American flag. Yesterday my neighbor told me that last Christmas someone stole the baby Jesus from their holiday creche and someone in the neighborhood has stolen his flag three times in the last two weeks. Once, literally minutes after he left for a short while with his car and we went inside. That means someone watches the house because we were there up until the event happened the last time and our neighbor came home soon after.

That makes me mad. I don't like the flag these days. . . but he has a right to fly it. I'm not a Christian (and as a Jew I've been hurt by Christians) but I respect his right to celebrate his religion the way he sees fit. We're flying the flag today to express our solidarity with that point of view.

Knee jerk liberalism is no better than Republicanism. There, I've said it. It's fascism no matter what side you're on.

When we can heal you and when we won't

Today I asked my guides about some questions Paul and I have had lately about doing our practice. We're turning away people to their doctors all the time. And that bothers us both because we do healing work. Why are we being guided to send people elsewhere?

My guides said:

We do not believe it is in anyone's interest for an inexperienced psychic to heal unconditionally.

Inexperienced? We've been practicing Reiki masters for years. Are you saying we're inexperienced?

You have been on some levels and not on others. We'll address that. Keep writing.

What are the conditions?

1) "I don't believe in psychic healing -- prove it to me." Sorry, if that's the underlying motivation you're going to fail.

Why? . . . I know why. Because there is a clash in underlying belief. The healer is using nothing more than belief-inspired intention to heal. If the client has the opposite belief the contest is really going to be about who has the stronger belief system and consensual reality will tend to win. (At least until the healer gets to a certain level of confidence, I guess. I, personally, hate playing these games.)

2) The client must be prepared to address the underlying condition leading to his/her illness or accident or life situation or the healing won't have any lasting effect.

What about "experienced" psychics? What do they do?

They tell the client: Work with me! You need to 1) get out of your own way and work WITH us or not be here. And 2) you will be taken on a ride of mystical proportions involving looking at products of your psyche you recite by rote, looking at products of conventional wisdom you've learned to accept without question, forced to consider, maybe, that your family or work life isn't acceptable as it is -- or that your negative attitude towards perfectly good situations has to be addressed.

I know. That IS what we try to do.

That's the part you're not so inexperienced at.

But it's frustrating. Most people find it hard to believe that what we're saying is going to do them any good. "What do you mean, I have to give up my desire to "xyz" before the pain I'm having disappears? Can't you just wave your magic wand and do it for me?"

Not without karmic consequences.
This one Paul knows about.

When Paul first started as a healer he had amazing confidence that he could heal anything and he did amazing work. But that backfired again and again. People got scared and shunned him (Paul is as sweet and unscary as it gets.). They reinjured themselves. And on at least one occasion, when Paul pushed the envelope on conventional wisdom just a bit too fast HE wound up injuring himself and experiencing exactly the same pain his client came to him about. And she didn't allow the healing completely anyway—she went to her doctor the very same week and had to take care of the problem through conventional means. Other healers report taking their client's illnesses on in their own bodies.

They don't understand that God heals through their hands. Not the client. And not the healer. You don't DO the healing. You do the channeling.

If they didn't believe otherwise they wouldn't get sick?

They wouldn't try without inner or channeled guidance to go ahead. We always let our channelers KNOW when to say yes to a client and when to hold back. "Yes" is always your inner response when a client calls and asks "Can you heal this for me?" but you sometimes hold back or even reject the request. Why?

Well, this is why I'm struggling a bit lately. Why Paul and I both are. We've been sending away almost as many people as we've been saying "yes" to.


Because does it make sense for a person to go to a spiritual healer for something as straight forward as, say, removing a splinter? Or something a medical doctor could fix relatively quickly in a conventional manner? Most people who don't want to see their doctors are trying to make a point. They'll even say it out loud "I don't want to support the American medical establishment's hegemony!" That's what one of our last callers said.

And, damn it, I totally get why they feel that way! Medical authority has held a monopoly on healing a really long time with all kinds of intended consequences-- driving the price of services up, eliminating low-cost herbal remedies from the market while way more dangerous pharmaceuticals costing hundreds of dollars more are flooding the market. .. . I could say more. But conventional wisdom at this point of time says "this is how you remove a splinter, this is how you do things on a physical level."

My housemate made a joke the other day . . . or maybe it was Paul . . . do you pray to get your dishes washed? Or do you just get it done?

I can remove a headache using energy healing methods but sometimes it's just simpler to take an aspirin. I don't have to confront the inner conflicts that led to my getting a headache in the first place. I can just lie down and take a break. Address it some other time, when I'm fresh and feel up to it.

Meanwhile, I have a conflict while I'm writing this. I don't have to believe in conventional wisdom anymore. Paul and I have done too many healings that defy conventional wisdom to agree to that. ALL energy healing defies conventional wisdom. We're Reiki masters, for God's sake! And I've been experimenting with things that go way beyond typical Reiki training. I've been experimenting with doing healing that doesn't involve hands-on or distance healing "techniques" at all—just using intention. And I've been getting results.

For example, my cat Chloe has had a quite visible cyst on her eyelid for more than a year, maybe as many as three years. Recently, she scratched it and I wished that cyst could just go away. I don't think a vet would recommend excising it because it is in such a delicate area and causes her no pain on a normal day. But it is in her way and I thought I would try a healing experiment on her behalf. My guides suggested visualizing that the interior of the cyst drain, become hollow and not needed anymore. They suggested giving the healing a week. It hasn't been a full week at this point but I'm already seeing change. It's fascinating to watch because I didn't do anything that took any more time and attention than the time it's taking me to write this paragraph.

I did another experiment recently as well. I removed a skin tag by intention alone. I visualized the tiny blood vessels in the area clamping themselves off, cutting off the circulation to the area. If this had been done the normal way -- by tying a suture or sterilized piece of string around the area -- the skin tag would dry up and fall off. That's what I assumed would happen in this case and that is exactly what has happened. It took about 3 days. Using intention and visualization alone!

I know this can be done. Paul knows this can be done. So why are we "inexperienced"?

Because you're still worried about what conventional society has to say.

Conventional society says "What??!! You guys must be crazy, charlatans or in cahoots with the devil!"

That's why we say you're somewhat "inexperienced." You're still afraid to come out of the closet. You're still holding back. You're still afraid to be seen and speak and share your beliefs with others and bring them along.

How can we heal that?

You write, you speak with each other, you heal your fear of being visible together by sharing how you feel and coming out together in the simplest easiest, most accessible forms. You add to your experience in THIS regard and we won't call you "inexperienced" anymore.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

More on TV Violence

I received this quote by Ursala Le Guin in my email today. I'm an artist who refuses to paint pain large. I know there are many who use art to make a statement. In film, especially, there is a need to bring certain horrors of the world to light and to make an impact that is more powerful than perhaps any other medium. But I'm against graphic violence simply for shock value and long for visions of beauty and love and delight to counteract the darkness. What we are FOR is as important as what we're against, what we want to create, to celebrate, feel happy about. The act of making art is a joy and a pleasure for me. To do anything else with art than to focus on what I love would be counterproductive for me. A Libran path, I guess. What else would I be?

"The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and
sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only
pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a
refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If
you can't lick 'em, join 'em. If it hurts, repeat it.

"But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to
lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold, we can no longer
describe a happy man, nor make any celebration of joy."

-Ursula Le Guin, "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas," *The Wind's
Twelve Quarters*

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Wish for a Moratorium on TV Violence

Back in the oh-so-naive 70's I wrote a term paper in college called "The Effect of Television Violence on Children." The findings were remarkable, chilling and irrefutable. Children who were exposed to more violence on TV were 1) less likely to react as profoundly to violence when they saw it again and 2) were FAR more likely to act out violent acts on the playground with other children. I remember writing to network executives at the time, receiving no response to speak of, and being told by well-meaning people to blow it off– violent TV got higher ratings, no use fighting it, "if you don't like what's on TV read a book", etc., etc.

Today the world we're living is SO much more violent than when I was a kid, network TV today is almost wall-to-wall crime shows, and the graphicness of the violence shown has reached horror show proportions—buckets of blood, dismemberments, intense and lingering close-ups of things I don't want to see. I have flashbacks to horror scenes I saw on TV weeks later sometimes. Scenes that cause post-traumatic stress disorder to the average person when it happens in real life, things real firemen and policemen wish they had never seen, things normal people require counseling for, are what we're shown for "entertainment" hour after hour, night after night.

Why?! Why are we doing this to ourselves?! And why are those of us who are becoming so aware of the power of our thoughts (you know, the Power of Attraction, "Secret"-lovers) are so willing to be silent about the influence of what we're allowing corporate executives to put into our society's collective heads? I don't care that I can shut the TV off. I care that my neighbors down the street with the big vicious dogs and their stash of guns under their beds are not. I care that kids have been seeing such violent images for so many years that movies that made me scream as a child strike them as boring. I worry about what it means that TV executives think they need to up the violence ante each season in order to keep the public's interest in their programming.

It's like drug addiction. Oops, this dosage doesn't supply the agreed-upon high, better use some more. We all KNOW this doesn't bode well. But nobody says anything. Nobody does anything. "Just turn the TV off."

That's my answer part of the time. Tonight, for instance, I'm writing in this online diary and will probably hit send and broadcast my thoughts who knows where. I've been known to write books, do artwork, play musical instruments and do all kinds of things. But later this week I'm probably going to want to watch a little TV. And there it's going to be again. Such and such a crime show with the cute repartee between the actors that just amuses me and draws me in. Sometimes I really like to put my feet up and enjoy an evening at home with my boyfriend, housemate and cats watching TV together. I just wish there wasn't such a high price to pay.