By Brian Luke Seaward
About 10 years ago I went downhill skiing at Copper Mountain, about 70 miles west of Denver. I am a fair-weather skier. I prefer blue skies, great vistas, and powdered snow and because I live in Colorado, I can often ski with these conditions. This day was one such day. However, after lunch, as I was starting the first run, I hit an ice patch and went airborne. The first part of my body to land back on earth was the back of my head (boom), followed by my right shoulder and torso (BAM!). After a quick assessment, I realized all body parts were functional so I got up and skied down the mountain. I called it a day and drove home. The next morning, I was sore from my neck to my waist but figured it would resolve itself.
During a visit to the dermatologist the day after the accident, I learned my blood pressure was sky high. In fact, I was a stroke waiting to happen. He suggested I see someone quickly. A visit to my acupuncturist that afternoon revealed a serious block to a major meridian. She also suggested I see a physician, pronto. While considering my choices, a friend called and said she had detected I was under stress. After I explained my situation, she connected me with Mas Sajady, a healer in Minneapolis, a thousand miles away. I called him within the hour.
“Wow, I have never seen this before,” was his first comment. Note: it is not a good thing when an energy healer says that. When I asked what he saw, he explained that in observing my body’s hologram through the non-local mind, he detected a pinched artery in my neck. Then, within seconds, my body relaxed. “Done,” he said. “You are good to go.” He was right. A quick check of my blood pressure minutes later showed it was back to normal. I gave a deep sigh of relief and experienced a profound sense of heartfelt gratitude for the healing.
I have been a student of energy medicine for decades. My first class was under the remarkable tutelage of Bioenergy healer Mietek Wirkus, in 1989. My second exposure was through many workshops with medical intuitive Caroline Myss. Then I was able to meet an entire faculty of experts at the annual conferences of The International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine (ISSSEEM). Energy medicine is wonderfully complex, but here are some highlights I picked up along the way:
* From Mietek Wirkus I learned that energy healers are about 80-85% effective. While their abilities are remarkable, they cannot heal everyone.
* I also learned from Mietek that the bio-energy used in the healing process is not generated by the healer: it is channeled from a higher (divine) source. Healers are tools of this divine energy.
* From Mietek I also learned that sometimes energy healers are told (by their divine sources) not to interfere with the disease or illness process. A person’s disease or illness may be part of their karma or a life lesson. To interfere would be to undermine this aspect of their spiritual journey.
* From renowned energy healer, Olga Worrall, I learned that we are energy densely packed into a physical body, and we are connected to everything else in the cosmos through the subtle yet dynamic field of love.
* From Caroline Myss I learned that there may be what she called “unconscious resistance” in people asking for a healing. Their identity may be so strongly associated with the disease that while consciously they may wish to be healed, unconsciously they may forbid it.
* From Brendan O’Regan, author of the ground-breaking book, SPONTANEOUS REMISSION: An Annotated Bibliography (with Caryle Hirshberg, published in 1993 by the Institute of Noetic Sciences), I learned that healing can go hand in hand with the patient’s ability to forgive themselves and/or others. The word “remission” comes from an old French word for “forgiveness.”
* From Larry Dossey, M.D., Elmer Green, Ph.D., and astronaut Edgar Mitchell I learned that healing can occur over great distances (through the non-local mind) as was the case with me in Boulder and the energy healer in Minneapolis.
* From energy healer Ethel Lombardi I learned that energy medicine occurs in the present moment. There is no past or future with energy – everything is now. I also learned from Ethel (and others) that love is the greatest healing energy. It is the glue that holds the cosmos together.
* From friend, colleague, and mentor, Donna Eden, I learned that each person has the ability to tap into this healing stream of energy. It is not the gift of a chosen few, but the birthright of everyone. When we practice energy healing, we are “remembering” what we already know.
* From colleague Richard Gerber, M.D. (author of VIBRATIONAL MEDICINE) I learned that it is virtually impossible today to design a double-blind, controlled study on energy healing, but in the future science will advance to understanding the nature of consciousness, subtle energies, and energy healing.
* From Bernard Grad I learned that plants and animals respond to healing energies showing that this is not the placebo effect.
As a health psychologist who teaches stress management it is not uncommon for people to ask me why we become sick. Why do we struggle with illness and loss? Why do we have to suffer? Who knows! We may never explain why difficult events befall us. But rather than shake our fists at the sky, it might be best to take a deep breath and count our blessings. Perhaps instead of seeing ourselves as victims we should look upon ourselves as learners and teachers.
Several years ago, I had an enlightening conversation over a pita sandwich on this very topic. Originally from Asia, Ranjan was in the United States for graduate studies. Our common interest in tennis brought us together, but during our lunch we turned to other topics. On this day, after swallowing a bit of his sandwich, Ranjan took a sip of iced tea and said, “Tell me about your saints.”
After mentally switching gears, I looked up with a smile and replied, “If you knew my behavior as a child, you’d realize I am the last person to answer this question.” Not satisfied with my reply, he repeated his question, “Tell me about your saints.”
Trying to sound as intelligent as I could with what I felt was an inadequate background in matters of theology, and keeping my tongue partially in my cheek, I proceeded to explain what I’d been taught about sainthood.
“Well, as I understand it, a saint’s life begins like anyone else’s, really. But after a few years, perhaps a few decades, things go downhill. Usually, they experience some sort of transformational life crisis, but just when all seems lost, there is some divine intervention, an epiphany, and this individual’s life is transformed and they do good deeds for humanity.”
“Oh,” I added, “there is one more thing. They have to perform a few miracles before they die. But it doesn’t end there. To qualify as a real saint, anyone up for nomination has to do a miracle or two after they die as well. The whole process is quite complicated. It’s kind of like getting nominated for an Academy Award, and sometimes just as political,” I said with a faint smile.”
I paused and glanced at my friend to observe his reaction.
He looked attentive and intrigued. “I see,” he said.
After a few more bites of our sandwiches, with an air of curiosity, I started up the conversation again. Naively I asked, “Are there saints in your culture?”
“Yes,” he replied, “but not quite as you have described. Our saints are called bodhisattvas.”
What he said next brought comfort to my mind, and continues to do so each time I reflect on it. His words gave me a way to see further into the mystery of suffering.
“In our culture,” he continued, “we believe each person lives many lives. When one reaches a point when one has balanced all his or her karma, they come to a place we call nirvana, what you might call heaven. Yet there are a few souls who, when given the chance to move to that higher level of consciousness, hesitate. They find that they are not ready for the peace of nirvana and choose to live again in order to be of benefit to others. So, they brave the dense earthly existence once more. In most every case they take on hardship, a disease or some burden or catastrophe, for the sole purpose of providing an opportunity for love to manifest in the hearts of those they touch. Those are the ones we call saints.”
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Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D., is a health psychologist in Boulder, Colorado. He is the author of the best-selling STAND LIKE MOUNTAIN, FLOW LIKE WATER, and the college textbook, MANAGING STRESS (10E).
He can be reached via his website: brianlukeseaward.net