Circle of Healing

A circle is a symbol of wholeness. It doesn’t really have a beginning or an end, but is an entity unto itself. I believe that this is one of the primary reasons that groups who come together for healing of any type (physical, emotional, spiritual) are often called “healing circles.” 

Many years ago, I was aching for something but I didn’t know what. I got a nudge to search the phrase, “healing circle.” I had never heard of this before, but that kind of nudge thing often happens to me, and I try to listen when it does. So, I pulled up my Internet search friend, Google, and that was how I got started on the road to learn drumming and shamanic practice.

What is a healing circle?

A healing circle is a group of people who come together regularly for the express intent of healing. It might be to help each other heal, or it might be to send healing thoughts, prayers, or energy to select recipients. It operates off the concept that when we gather together for a single intent, the effect is amplified more than it would be if the same people did the same thing on their own. The intention of linking together causes the multiplier effect.

This is not a religious thing, but many faiths include the concept. The Bible may have a direction of “Where two or more are gathered in My name [….]” (Matthew 18:20), but Native American peoples have gathered for millenia in circles of healing. The concept is not unknown in Muslim and Hindi faiths as well. The circle as healer is one of the archetypes found in Jungian psychology (see his work on Mandelas). 

Is there a circle near me?

Circles of varying types are everywhere. Places of worship often organize prayer circles. If you have many energy workers in your area, you will likely be able to find Reiki circle meetups. Shamanic practitioners often have drum circles. Whatever your modality, the opportunities are probably there, sitting just out of sight. I suggest you do a search on the name of the place you live and the phrase, “healing circle.” You may be surprised by what you see!

If you don’t have anything nearby, or you are not open to physical meetups, don’t forget to check the virtual realm. At the very least, there is the World Peace Meditation series organized by Reiki.org. You don’t even have to tell them you plan on joining in. Just do it!

The circles where I have participated are a little more structured. There is a commitment to attend and participate. This is because we lean on each other, share with each other, hold space for each other. Over time, we become our own tribe family. I love that.

If this interests you, find or make a circle in your area. Let the healing begin!

Namaste!

Advertisements

Leaving the Carrot and the Stick

File:Carrot and stick.svg

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.            ~ Albert Einstein (attrib)

Many years ago, I wrote a short story that could have been based off this quote. Mind you, it wasn’t, because I had never seen it until today, but it could have been. I have long since lost my copy of the story, but I want to share some of what I remember of it with you today.

The plot of my story involved a conversation taking place between a young person and God . God answers questions in a cadence that sounded suspiciously like George Burns (you can set the time frame of when this was written now!), and explains things with a reference to the child’s own life. One of my favorite portions is when they are talking about Heaven and God is explaining that it doesn’t quite work the way people seem to think it should. This is because people are too tied to the idea of rewards as payment. God makes a reference to how the child’s mother asks for her to babysit her baby brother and how she does it because she loves her mother and her brother and wants to help out. Mom is so appreciative, she gives the young girl a gift to thank her. Now, if mom does this every time, then the child will eventually come to expect payment of some type and will no longer be doing the favor for her family solely out of love and compassion, but her desire to help will be colored by the expectation of a reward.

My youthful perception of heaven went along similar lines. I think that people who behave a specific way because they want the reward of heaven or who avoid certain behaviors because they don’t want to go to hell, are all missing the boat. Whatever you think heaven is, or isn’t, I don’t think it is meant to be a currency to bribe people into behaving a certain way. However, I do think that this mindset is reflective of much that goes on in our society, even now. Think about it. This is how we teach our children for the most part. If the heaven and hell bribery pattern seems too grandiose an image, think of it as the carrot and the stick. It is really the same thing. We bribe good behavior with desirable prizes and we discourage bad behavior with some type of punishment.

In our heart of hearts, what we really want to do is to get people to do the right thing because it is the right thing, because they value the rightness of it. We want people to avoid destructive behaviors because they are harmful, not because they are afraid of getting caught. The problem is that we don’t know how to do that. We don’t know how to instill a moral sense outside of reward and punishment. Lacking the knowledge of any other way, we fall back on the reward and punishment system, because it has a demonstrated measure of success in controlling behavior.

This is one of the many reasons that I believe the coming shift is so huge. It is going to give us a new tool in shaping our awareness and perception of this world. That, in turn, is going to change what drives us to do the things we do. As we awaken to our multi-dimensional selves and come to grips with the reality of our being part of the Unity consciousness, we will be connecting and aligning ourselves with a guidance system that operates outside of the reward and punishment paradigm. Our behavior will change in accordance with that alignment and the level of concern we currently exhibit over rewards and punishments will fall away. That will no longer be what drives us. The world is about to become so much bigger!

NB: Image of carrot and stick falls under the Creative Commons license and is the work of Nevit Dilmen, some rights reserved. Use of image does not indicate endorsement of my blog or ideas.

The Fool’s Way

In the tarot, The Fool is about to set off on a journey. Many versions of the card exist, and quite a few of them show a character about to walk off the edge of a cliff. Some people think the Fool doesn’t know any better. In his innocence, he just doesn’t pay attention well enough to his surroundings and he is just one misstep away from looking the fool!

This is one layer of truth, but what if there was more to it? I have been feeling a strong connection to The Fool for a while now, and I wanted to know more. So, I decided to journey to the energy of The Fool and find out what he brings to me right now. A friend gave me a hand made version of the card for a focus, and what I brought back seemed like it was bigger than me and my life right now. The Fool gave me a monologue and I decided to share it with you in the hopes that you might find something to take away as well:

As I approached The Fool, he reached down and pulled up some grass. Holding it up for me to see, he said, “This isn’t real.” I was still trying to decide if that was a foolish or a deep statement when he reached out and pinched me. As I yelped, he noted, “That isn’t real, either.” With one swipe of his hand encompassing the entire scene before us, he added, “None of this is real. Knowing that is important.

“You are afraid of getting hurt, of falling, because you think you have been here before. I tell you that you have never walked this path, so how can you know you will get hurt? Did others tell you that you would get hurt? They’ve never been here either.

“The path I walk you can’t see … and neither can I. It is not out here where we see a cliff.” Tapping his chest, he continued, “It is in here. To walk, you need to know this space and step when She tells you to step and don’t step if She doesn’t tell you. She is the one who sees the path.”

“The path She sees is the real stuff. Out here, none if it is real, so it doesn’t matter if it looks like smooth ground or a cliff. Doesn’t make it any more real.

“You can do this. You just need to SHIFT….”

Truth

There are tons of *Big Questions* out there, but one of the bigger ones is “What is Truth?” A friend and I got into a discussion about this on my Facebook page this week, and I found it really interesting. No one else joined in, of course. People tend to be afraid of discussing Big Questions. As a society, we just aren’t very good at it anymore, if we ever were!

How we approach the idea of Truth (note the capital ‘T’) tells a lot about how we approach life, I think. Is it all about absolutes? Do you think you know what Truth is? Can you recognize it when you see it? I think we would all like to think we do … but we don’t all see it the same way, so what does that mean? What does it mean that we can’t agree on what truth or Truth is? Obviously, this has a huge impact on the world as a whole, since wars are fought over my truth versus your truth every day.

Whether it is with regards to religion, philosophy or politics, my vision of truth is what drives me. I suspect that yours drives you. I think we are afraid to discuss them, because we might have to admit that our truth isn’t the only one out there. I believe this is something we all sense deep inside, else we wouldn’t be so afraid that it might start a fight to share our opinions. If there is a truth we can all agree on, perhaps it is that one!

I remember talking with a friend many years ago and describing Truth / God as a humongous faceted diamond. None of sees exactly the same facets. Each of us finds it beautiful and awe-inspiring, but when we try to describe it, our best efforts don’t match up. It doesn’t matter how hard we try, there will always be differences in our descriptions. None of us is trying to be deceitful about it. We simply have unique perspectives. We each see a different set of facets! If I try to believe and follow your vision of this amazing Truth, I will not be living from my own. This is the essence of the gnostic belief system from the time of Christ. We each have our own inner knowing (gnosis) and, if we are spiritually honest, that is what we have to live from.

Perhaps that explains why it seems that, in general, people associate who they are with their version of the truth. I think I tend to do this too, mind you. When someone questions the validity of my version of the truth, it feels like they are attacking me, personally. It takes conscious effort to remember that these two things are not one and the same. We truly can have different opinions about the nature of reality and manage not to hate or fear each other … if we are willing to let go of ego.

I have heard ego described with the acronym, Edging God Out. I believe that Truth, with that capital ‘T’ is actually just another of the many names of the Divine. So, as soon as I start letting my ego get into the conversation, I have Edged God Out – and I have lost my vision of Truth …. Likely, I don’t have so good a grip on lower-case “t” truth either! This is why I truly do believe that we all let our point of view color our capacity to understand any kind of truth. It is how we are wired! Objectivity is not our strong suit as a species, and to really get a grip on the truth, we would have to have such a wide view of the world, it is beyond our capacity even to contemplate.

Does this mean it is all relative? I don’t think so. If I can’t see the whole truth, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. As a spiritual person, I believe it is my fool’s journey to learn to trust the Divine Truth, not my puny human interpretation of it. To honestly let go of ego and trust Truth even close to 100% of the time takes the faith and the capacity to surrender of a Jesus, a Buddha or a Gandhi. I am not saying it can’t be done. I am saying that I am not there yet. I am working on it. I try to listen within for the still, small voice before I open my mouth, or move my feet, or start typing. It is hard to remember that it doesn’t matter if I am right. I don’t need to be in control to be happy. As a matter of fact, if my ego is in control, the Divine isn’t! So, I try to remember to let go of that pesky ego, and keep focused on what really matters: letting Spirit speak through me without any hindrance from me, letting Spirit use my gifts to be of service to others without my trying to inject what I think is best into the mix.

It is a practice though, and I have a very long way to go.