Sunday, October 26, 2014

This weeks blog continues on the theme of balancing the polarities of the Tree of Health to find wellness, healing and curing

Without the Balance implicit in the various polarities of a Tree of Health, our resolution or Will can lead us astray. Will has to be realistic and tailored to the task at hand. This is where the knowledge of the medical profession can be critical. 
For Action to be most effective, active Choice and participation (no Denial) of the patient are required. True or right Action requires that the patient has a say in the decision. A passive patient who allows the health team to make all the decisions regardless of how negatively he or she feels about the consequences, is a disabled patient where the power of Will is at least partly deactivated and Balance is disturbed. On the other hand there are passive patients who have made a Choice to have complete Hope and Faith in the medical team and allow them to do whatever is deemed fit. This can be part of the Surrender approach and in this way Intention and correct Action occur automatically if the competence of the medical effort matches the confidence granted it. 
Belief and Hope rather than Hopelessness, Surrender and Trust rather than Resignation, Love and Courage rather than Fear (that includes guilt,) Truth rather than Denial, Knowledge and Receptivity rather than Ignorance, Choice rather than Lack of Choice, Action rather than Inaction – and Congruence with Self rather than wanting to please. All of these together with Will and Balance are a powerful combination and when strengthened by Grace that comes from Faith can be a formidable remedy for healing or cure. It behooves all healers to be sure this prescription is taken in generous amounts.
A Tree of Health is another model that helps us juggle and prevail over the opposites. Thoughts lead to words and words can indeed “call” positive or negative events into existence. Once we put our thoughts into words, we have begun the process of calling or emanation. 
It is difficult to curb negative thoughts unless we refine our minds with some sort of meditative practice but we should at least stop short of expressing thoughts into words. 
We strengthen or weaken our equanimity depending on how we describe, depict, emphasize, accentuate, highlight, articulate, elaborate, regard, detail and even joke about our inner being and health. When we complain, bewail, moan, grumble, protest, remonstrate, itemize and verbalize negatively, we may do ourselves harm. Since everything began with the Word we have to be careful with thoughts that lead to pessimistic speech. We can guard our reflections by paying attention to how we contemplate, mirror, picture, muse, survey, observe, regard, brood, weigh, consider, speculate, ponder and plan. We should strengthen and facilitate the positive conversation that aligns us with health and beware of delving into negative dialogue that aggravates the illness. Whenever we make an affirmation it should always be affirmative and positive and not negative. An affirmation like, “may I never get sick again” should be rephrased by, “may I always be well.” Negative affirmations have no power. Emanation cannot begin with a negative. If we stay centered, the greatest possibility for wholeness and health may manifest. A Tree of Health helps us remember the essential factors that influence the Inner Healer and reinforces the concept of polarity balance that is the key to all healing. 

"We see things as we are not as they are." The Talmud

Sunday, October 19, 2014

This weeks blog is on Words as instruments of Power
and finding balance in the central column of the Tree of Health (i.e. finding the middle way)

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” Mahatma Gandhi

There has been an overemphasis on the words of Hope, Faith, Trust, Belief, Surrender, Love, etc in this blog. Words help strike at the core of disease. If we look at Genesis we see that God “called” or “named” the entire universe into being. We must not underestimate the power of the spoken word since it was God’s word that called matter into existence.  
The word manifests as the deed,
The deed develops into habit and habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its ways with care and let it spring from love born out of concern for all beings.  Buddha
Will is magnified and expanded by the power of Imagination of the outcome which must become a sustained practice. The practice of imagination has been sorely neglected. God, The Field, The Force, Spirit ... responds to 
(to detail as in precisely imagining how you would want the healing outcome to look which involves Free Will) 
(i.e. sustaining it, repeating it - a single attempt will be ineffective.)

In Kabbalah there are in fact four separate but interconnected Trees of Life representing the four distinct phases of creation.  The first is Emanation or Calling or Naming. The second is the Tree of Creation. The third is Formation and the fourth Tree is Making or Actualization. In fact anything that becomes manifest, wellness included, also goes through these distinct four phases. If we look at the example of building a house we can easily recognize the four phases.
First is the intention, the will or intention to Call it into being . Then we Create the blueprint or plan with the help of an architect. The Formation process follows when the building contractor assembles the team who order the materials etc. Ultimately the final product is Made and we have the house.
         We should recognize the four potential phases in the creation of health as well and for the sake of helping our Inner Healer should give each stage its due attention. Since our Inner Healer is fashioned in the image of God, it knows the alchemy required to create health out of disease.
We can Call will or intend wellness into being and then Create a plan to be well. This is followed by Formation of the details required and finally we take action, Making or doing what is appropriate for the challenge at hand. Action is phase four which is the making of health and this involves choice.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

This week's blog is on the power of Will, Intention and Imagination

"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." Einstein
Will, Intention, Yearning are central to the balancing of the Tree of Life or Health and are maintained by a regular enjoyable spiritual practice.
Choice,  Will and Free Will are interdependent.
The Life Force is key to this balance and is magnified by our spiritual practice. These factors help us find the middle way between the expansive forces on the right side and the contractive forces of restraint on the left side of the Tree. 
“The fundamental notion of equilibrating the opposites is omnipresent in all beliefs. This universal truth is crucial to our understanding of how we keep well and how we heal.”  David Cumes.
The Choice and Free Will of a patient to have the healer she wants is crucial for the vitality of the doctor-patient relationship and the placebo response which is love based. Free will is not only the cosmic law but is also the essential for our democratic system. Patient Choice may be limited not only by the inequities of our medical system and our finances but also by dynamics at home and at work. A mother may sacrifice her own health choices on behalf of her family and instead of focusing on her illness become a martyr on behalf of her children. Also a toxic work place will make balance and choice difficult. When it comes to life and death, old habits and conditioning need to be laid aside. Thomas Edison’s quote applies to health as well as to life in general.
“There ain’t no rules around here. We’re trying to accomplish something.”   
Choice not only allows for more congruence with Self but it also expands the options for healing or curing or both.
On the Left side of the Tree we have Understanding - verbal or visual thought (or Einstein's Positive Knowledge.) This is more closely linked to what Kabbalah calls Narrow Mind. On the right is Wisdom which is undifferentiated, non verbal thought (or Einstein's gift of Fantasy) - more connected to Spacious Mind. 
It is Wisdom that nurtures Imagination that arises from Will,  Intention and Yearning 

The Subconscious is the conductor of our human programming orchestra and not the Conscious mind. If the Subconscious is imprinted with positive or negative thoughts these will ultimately determine how we manifest our destinies - skillfully, or not. If the Subconscious is overwhelmed by negative processing arising from Monkey Mind or Narrow Mind (residing in the more primitive, survival areas of the brain) our powers of actualizing the positive things we really yearn for will be limited. On the other hand if the subconscious is influenced by Big or Spacious Mind (in the Frontal lobes of the brain,) the outcomes of our imaginings will be more positive.
It is also important to know that The Great Spirit, the ancestors, our spirit guides, the Field respond to the amount of passion and courage associated with our Will and Intention.
"The Universe will reward you for taking risks on its behalf." Shakti Gawain
Next week we will focus on the power of the spoken word.

Monday, October 6, 2014

This weeks blog discusses the debilitating effects of Guilt and Shame

 “Shame (guilt) is seen in Dagara culture as a collapsing emotional force that paralyzes the self and therefore like grief should only be experienced in a sacred ceremonial context. …Shame compresses the psyche dangerously, one experiences crippling rejection and ostracism as one’s self-esteem is almost exterminated… this is comparable to death.” Malidoma Patrice Some

 Shame has been shown to increase pro inflammatory factors such as the white blood cells and C Reactive Protein. This is associated with an increase in atheroschlerosis (hardening of the arteries,) certain auto-immune disease and even some cancers. A close cousin, Guilt, also arises from Fear and dread. A feeling of worthlessness that the patient does not deserve to be well can arise from Guilt; sexual, religious and other. Guilt may also be aggravated by a "New Age" misconception that not only has the patient caused the illness by their life style but has the ability to correct it as well. When a cure does not occur this may lead to more Guilt. Guilt debilitates the Inner Healer
No one really understands why some people get all while others do not. As the bumper sticker proclaims; "shit happens!"
"Anyone who isn't confused here really doesn't understand what is going on."
Folks who smoke, drink, do no exercise and have poor diets live into old age while others who do the opposite get sick or even drop dead while working out.

The Kahuna curse was used in bygone days to punish a guilty party. If someone had committed a murder, all that was necessary was for the Kahunas to place a curse on that person and the combination of Guilt as well as the curse was as sure as any death sentence.

This concept is similar to the notion of an ordeal poison used in South Africa before the missionaries arrived to punish guilty persons. The person incriminated was told to drink the poison knowing that they would vomit it all back if innocent but would absorb it and die if guilty. Supposedly the Guilt plus the Fear of being guilty was such that all the intestinal defense mechanisms were neutralized and the vile tasting poison traveled on down the gut without being expelled. The sangoma or shaman would no doubt have divined already and found that person to be guilty before imposing this formidable lie detector test.
As mentioned before in prior blogs; shame, guilt, self-condemnation or self-recrimation have no place in the healing equation and are also a huge impediment on the path the Self realization. We all need to lay down this burden and stop carrying it around like an albatross. Forgiveness begins with ourselves which makes it easier to extend to others. Forgiveness is healthful and often more important for the one doing the forgiving than for the one receiving it. Forgiveness is best given before someone passes onto the other side - the business of forgiveness should never be left unfinished!
The day of Atonement in Judaism is about Teshuva which is to return with forgiveness to our Higher Selves.
The steps to this involve: Admit to and “feel” regret about the wrongfulness to the offended one and if necessary publicly (especially in the case of slander,) without any self-justification. Restore what has been lost and determine never to repeat it.
     …What you give to if not received also is not lost. Both not getting back what you have given, and not having what you have given being received. Neither is a waste or a loss.” J. O’Donahue