Archive for February, 2009

Dr. Robert Becker on Energy Medicine

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

I have been continuing to explore how energies support healing.  Considered a good reference book on energy medicine, Robert Becker’s Cross Currents:  The Perils of Electropollution, the Promise of Electromedicine gives an overview both on how energy can help us heal, but also how it can make us sick.  It is interesting reading.

I wanted to share with you Becker’s understanding of energy medicine which he has divided in to three categories. (p.93).

The first, which he calls “minimal-energy techniques” are those in which “no external energy is administered to the body” (examples are hypnosis and visualization).  In these treatment methods only preexisting energy systems are activated.

The second, called “energy-reinforcement techniques” include those where energy is administered to the body, but in similar amounts as the body itself uses.  He puts the interventions of acupuncture and homeopathy in this category.

“The third category are techniques in which energy is administered to the body in amounts greater than those that occur naturally.”  These “high-energy transfer techniques” include the use of technology which directs energy to the individual.

I’ve come to believe that what we are do for those who we support in healing falls into Becker’s second category.  Although he doesn’t discuss this himself, my feeling is that we are, in reality, augmenting the healing energies of those whom we hold in a healing circle.  By providing the additional healing energy, those who need it can draw form it as they need.

I also believe that we who do this work provide a spiritual level of support.  The prayers and the meditations strengthen the already-existing net of support that those in need can rely on.

So I have come to see that what we do provides support on at least two levels, the spiritual level and the actual physical level of energy.  (This energy is probably even measurable, if we had the right instruments and the desire to do the measurements!!!)

To quote Becker again, who quoted Paracelsus as having said, “The human body is vapour materialized by sunshine mixed with the life of the stars”. (p. 19).

Inspiration from Rumi

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

When individuals talk about their healing process, we can get a little perspective in to the personal perspectives on the amazingly complex, challenging process involved.  Healing plays out on multiple levels, and involves both aspects of the individuals being (inner state) and of their body or physical state.

The literature does indicate that radical healing involves radical processes; chaos, lack of clarity, needing to just “stay with it”, faith seem to be part of those processes.

As a little inspiration here’s a poem by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks.

Rise up nimbly
and go on your strange journey
to the ocean of meanings.

The stream knows it can’t stay on the mountain.
Leave and don’t look away
from the sun as you go,
in whose light
you’re sometimes crescent,
sometimes full.

Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through
the distance.
That’s not for
human beings.
Move within,
but don’t move the way
fear makes you move.

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened.  Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading.  Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Love to and for everyone who visits this site and thanks to all for your healing contributions this, and every day.

Your well-being and health is my well-being and health.

May we all be happy and feel loved.  May we all experience healing on all levels.

John Shelby Spong on Prayer

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

I have been finding it difficult to find the time and space these past few days to meditate.  I am blaming this, inaccurately, but honestly, on external circumstances – the messy and inevitable issues of life.

At first I was really unsettled by this; although I still was able to hold in mind those I care about, I missed the discipline of the practice and felt less able to send healing energy.

But then, after I relaxed about that, I found the conduit of energy to still be as wide open as ever and I recognized that, in fact, I probably never STOP sending energy – it’s just a matter of when I see it happening and tune in to it.

This reminds me of something I read about in an Institute of Noetic Science  (IONS) review (March-June 2000) by a minister called John Shelby Spong about the continuity and meaning of prayer.

In the article titled, “Rethinking the meaning of prayer”, John Shelby Spong, a Christian minister, described what he refers to as his maturing understanding of prayer, “Prayer is the conscious human intention to relate to the depths of life and love and thereby to be an agent of the creation of wholeness in another”.  Spong’s view is that prayer is not an intercessory act asking God to intervene, rather it is a form of communication with the forces of the universe in order to be part of its positive transformation.

Spong says, “So praying and living deeply, richly, and fully have become for me almost indistinguishable.  Perhaps, I conclude, that is what the apostle Paul meant when he said, ‘pray without ceasing’ or ‘constantly’.  We are to live as if everything we say and do is prayer, calling others to life, to love, and to being.”  His view is that by participating in this way, our energies are joined and transformation of each of us individually, and the entire universe, collectively, becomes possible.

So, even as life remains chaotic and difficult, I am finding myself bringing more mindfulness to the dishes, the day-to-day work of taking care of family and other tasks, as Thich Nhat Hanh and other spiritual teachers recommend.  And whenever those whose well-being I am concerned with come to mind, I dedicate whatever activity I’m involved with to their healing and well being.

Dr. Richard Gerber, Paracelsus and Psychic Healing

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

I found myself recently re-reading. Vibrational Medicine, by Dr. Richard Gerber, a book which provides a wonderfully wide-spread discussion of various healing modalities, including many aspects of non-local healing.

In Chapter 8 of the book, titled “The Phenomenon of Psychic Healing: Exploring the Evidence for an Undiscovered Human Potential”, Gerber traces some early roots of non-local healing dynamics and effects.  He quotes from the Ebers Papyrus dated 1552 BC and the Bible as among the earliest written documents with stories of energy being used to heal.  He talks about one of the earliest proponents of a magnetic vital force of nature, the physician Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, also known as Paracelsus.

And from there he builds a history which includes Robert Flood, Franz Anton Mesmer thorough to a whole host of modern researchers including Dr. Bernard Grad at McGill, Dr. Richard Miller in Alanta, Dr. Justa Smith at Rosary Hill College, Dr. William Tiller at Stanford.  There has been – and continues to be – such a lot of rigorous and exciting work being done to understand how these phenomena work.  Proving the existence of non-local healing effects is no longer the goal – they are assumed to be real and true; rather the focus of these researchers is understanding HOW they work.

Meanwhile, projects small and large are under way on all parts of the globe within the realm of healing.  We are part, therefore, of a wonderful array of people who are using our energy for healing; who are trying to see what works best and how we can most effectively use the tools we have to support others in healing.

One theory which I find quite fascinating is that an illness or other weakness in the body is a result of entropy within the organism, also known as increasing disorder.  The life force is seen to have negative entropic characteristics.  This means that the life force – or healing energy from fellow human beings – can help to pull the organism in to greater states of coherence and order.

As Gerber reports (p. 304-305),

“A number of researchers have come to understand this negatively entropic property of healing energy.  Dr. Justa Smith’s research suggested that healers have the ability to selectively affect different enzyme systems in a direction toward greater organization and energy balance.  By speeding up different enzymatic reactions, healers assist the body to heal itself.  (This is also one of the great unrecognized principles of medicine.  Doctors are only successful healers to the degree that they are able to use drugs, surgery, nutrition, and various other means to assist the patients’ innate healing mechanisms to repair their own sick bodies.)  Healers provide a needed energetic boost to push the patient’s total energetic system back into homeostasis.  This healing energetic boost has special negatively-entropic, self-organizational properties that assist the cells in creating order from disorder.”

I find this terribly exciting and supportive to our collective work in support of the healing process.

Both Local and Nonlocal

Monday, February 16th, 2009

I like to think about those of us interested in healing, gathering around a fire or a single flame or even a small stick of incense and bringing our thoughts together.  I can feel the energy that would generate if we were sitting in the same room, sharing the same time and space with our those who have asked for our support towards healing.

Sometimes it takes a bit of faith and imagination to feel the same collection of energy as we gather it from the individual places where each of us are sitting today.

It is perhaps this need to continue to honor the feelings, to recognize them as “real” and not “imagination” that I felt I wanted to mention today.  For myself, I have found it to be important to believe that nonlocal healing is an actual phenomenon, that we are not talking about the placebo effect here, or some other kind of psychological event.  I looked back to Dossey’s book, “Reinventing Medicine”, for a little nonlocal inspiration.  I found the following to be helpful in providing something beyond my own experience as evidence of the “truth” of nonlocality, (p. 32-33),

“the legendary physicist Niels Bohr once said that an ordinary truth is one whose opposite is false; but a GREAT truth is one whose opposite is also true.  Era III (medicine), I submit, is a great truth because it reveals that we BOTH local and nonlocal, BOTH individual and collective. . .

As the modern Buddhist teacher Lama Govinda expressed it, ‘Individuality is no contradiction to universality.  It is an entirely wrong idea either to think of oneself as the whole world, or conversely, that one is nothing – a miserable sinner or a speck of dust’. .

I believe nonlocality is one of the most important discoveries humans have ever made.  This concept distinguishes the science of the twentieth century from all science that came before it. . .

For those of us who believe deeply in science, there are two ways of resolving questions about the nonlocal nature of our mind – to go unflinchingly through the evidence and not around it, and to permit ourselves to experience nonlocal happenings personally.  This dual strategy involves the risk of transformation, which is why entering Era III and nonlocal mind is like handling intellectual and spiritual dynamite.”

Dear readers, thank you for being willing to hold and use this dynamite together as we search to understand the healing process.

Thich Nhat Hanh – Non Duality

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

I find myself in a somewhat word-less place this morning and so read some of the poetry written by Thich Nhat Hanh.

I share this poem with you:

Non-Duality

The bell tolls at four in the morning
I stand by the window,
barefoot on the cool floor.
The garden is still dark.
I wait for the mountains and rivers to reclaim their shapes.
There is no light in the deepest hours of the night.
Yes, I know you are there
in the depth of the night,
the immeasurable world of the mind.
You, the known, have been there
ever since the knower has been.

The dawn will come soon,
and you will see
that you and the rosy horizon
are within my two eyes.
It is for me that the horizon is rosy
and the sky blue.
Looking at your image in the clear stream
you answer the question by your very existence.
Life is humming the song of the non-dual marvel.
I suddenly find myself smiling
in the presence of this immaculate night.
I know because I am here that you are there,
and your being has returned to show itself
in the wonder of tonight’s smile.
In the quiet stream,
I swim gently.
The murmur of the water lulls my soul.
A wave serves as a pillow.
I look up and see
a white cloud against the blue sky,
the sound of Autumn leaves,
the fragrance of hay –
each one a sign of eternity.
A bright star helps me find my way back to myself.

I know because you are there I am here.
The stretching arm of cognition
in a lightening flash,
joining together a million eons of distance,
joining together birth and death,
joining together the known and the knower.

In the depth of the night,
as in the immeasurable world of consciousness,
the garden of life and I
remain each other’s objects.
The flower of being is singing the song of emptiness.
The night is immaculate,
but sounds and images from you
have returned and fill the pure night.
I feel their presence.
By the window, with my bare feet on the cool floor,
I know I am here
for you to be.

This circle of healing is one place where I can sometimes experience the essence of this poem; feeling myself to be part every other person on earth now, in the past and in to the endless future.

Some, Macy, Community and Transformation

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

I’ve been thinking about Malidoma Some’s writings about the healing power of community.  In his book, The Healing Wisdom of Africa, he writes,

“Every Westerner who visits my village leaves with one thing, and that is the experience of the intensity of human connection and attention.  It is not the magic, the ritual or ceremonies that are done, but an awareness of the intensity of human connection that they take away.  This is what makes them long to return again, because that is what they don’t get here (in the West).

What would it be like if that intensity of human connection could be found here, (in the West), in addition to all of the material wealth that is available?  If the human wealth could match the material wealth, what would happen?  Heaven could be created, right here”. (p. 293).

I believe that we are collectively creating a form of this intensity.  It is a wondrous thing.

At the same time, as we think about healing, the levels of healing and the journey of healing, we cannot ignore the role of despair and fear within the journey.  It is easy, in these times in which we live, to find ourselves fearful and lacking in hope.

This reminds me of the work and writing of Joanna Macy, someone who has said with a strong, clear voice that we must not shy away from the realities we face; that the roots of transformation and healing are found in facing and taking deeply inside ourselves the full and awful possibilities that confront us.  She describes how despair and fully taking in what is possible, while also holding a sense of hope, potential and faith, is the first step in being able to deal effectively with the possibilities.

She says (in Coming Back to Life, p. 28), “For people of religious faith, the prospect of losing hope is particularly challenging. . .Every major religion calls us to open to the suffering we see around us (and to that which we experience ourselves).  The prophets of Judaism, Jesus Christ, the Buddhist bodhisattva, and the brotherhood at the heart of Islam, as well as countless other sacred teachings, command such compassion.  Yet we tend to forget those summons to take within ourselves the travail of others.  Assuming, perhaps, that our God is too fragile or too limited to encompass that pain, unsure whether God will meet us in the midst of such darkness, we hesitate to let ourselves experience it, lest our faith be shattered or revealed as inadequate.”

Macy describes so eloquently the practice of looking clearly and taking in as one which frees us from illusion and puts us in touch with a deep potential for healing, restoration and transformation. It is a process we are all familiar with on various levels of our life; the process is not easy, but is worthwhile.

In this quantum world in which we live, potential and possibility – not certainty – govern the day.  And so we have to, somehow, find our way through with faith and hope while also not being blind to aspects of the healing process which are difficult or frightening.

I believe that part of what healing groups offer each other and those to whom we direct our energy is our contribution towards the potential; that our energies and prayers make what is possible to shine brightly and to be visible to those who need healing.

Energy Healing

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Greetings to you all as move on through the great neverending shift – from darkness toward light, in the case of you in the Northern Hemisphere – and from the lightness towards the dark for those in the Southern Hemisphere.

I always find this shifting to be profoundly moving – each day adding or subtracting another couple of minutes of light.  I feel the incredible “rightness” of this process and am awed by the wonder and mystery of this earth, of the universe as a whole, and of each of us as human beings within these wondrous systems.

I’ve been perusing a book which I am recommending to people interested in energy healing and “alternative” (although most are, in fact, ancient traditions being re-discovered) ways of healing.  This book by Donna Eden, called “Energy Medicine”, offers some very helpful movements and self-massages proven to aid health and healing.  Early in the book (p. 20) Eden quotes a subtle energy researcher, William Collinge,

“Einstein showed through physics what the sages have taught for thousands of years:  everything in our material world – animate and inanimate – is made of energy and everything radiates energy. . . He concluded that the continuous unfolding and dynamic nature of the universe could only be understood as the work of a higher guiding intelligence of another dimension.”

Whatever you or I choose to call that “guiding intelligence”, we know that our thoughts, prayers and intentions are powerful tools to support and help one another to heal.  Remaining constant in our intentions and sending prayers and energy to others daily are good practices to follow!!

Consciousness and Healing

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

In thinking about all of you involved in healing processes, I am focusing on how we are united by our efforts and energy in support of healing.  There is something quite profound and lovely about that – that it matters not at all where each of us is – what matters is that our thoughts, prayers and energies are regularly sent in support of healing, be it one specific person, many people, or even large social situations.

One way of thinking about what unites us is that our consciousnesses are coming together for a common cause.  Thus, even though we are always connected in real and complex ways, the connection is solidified because of common goals.

In Larry Dossey’s book, “Reinventing Medicine”, he reports on work of other researchers, Dean Radin, Janin Rebman and Maikwe Cross.  Theirs is a thoughtful discussion on what consciousness is and how it works.  They say, (in Dossey) that,

“*Consciousness is nonlocal.  It extends beyond the individual.  It cannot be confined to specific places or even specific times. . .

*Consciousness is an ordering principle” (By this they mean that when the energy of consciousness is coherent, it can create greater coherence around it.)

“*Consciousness among individuals is important in the ordering power of consciousness (allowing the power of consciousness to express itself.)  Coherence may be expressed as love, empathy, caring, unity, oneness, and connectedness.”  (p. 83).

I have discussed coherence before, and I have also shared my feelings that we can move in to greater levels of coherence and, therefore, effectiveness as people supporting healing.

As a conscious human being (or one who is aspiring to be), I am grateful for the chance to be part of this endeavor and to experience this sense of nonlocality, this power of thought and intention, with all of you in support of healing.

Coherence

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

This morning – and in recent months – I’ve been thinking a great deal about the word/concept “coherence”.  I find it a terribly attractive word, with the message of things coming in to alignment and communicating with one another.  It carries the message of understanding and comprehension.  But also I sense in that word a reduction of static and interference.

As we support the healing of others with our prayers and energies, I find I am feeling a sense of increased coherence within.  There is a subtle ebb and flow of energy and love that I feel, sometimes it is palpable. The image I hold is all humankind holding each other gently as we move through our healing processes.

I have loved reading stories about research with pendulum clocks.  A group of clocks are put in the same room, with their pendulum’s started swinging at different rhythms and in slightly different time.  Within just a few hours, time and time again, the pendulums will come in to alignment, resonance, attunement with each other and they will all be swinging at the same rhythm and in the same time.  If clocks – mechanical objects – can do this, it is no wonder that when we humans direct our energies in conscious ways, we would feel the same sense of attunement and of coming together.