Monday, December 29, 2008

Putting Ourselves First: Self-ish or Self-Care?

Listening to Ho'oponopono teleseminars with Mabel Katz and Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, we often hear about the need to "put ourselves first".

What does this really mean?

Cartoonist Mark Parisi (see his "Off the Mark" comic above) shows us one possible interpretation -- and it looks like those stampeding have taken the book title to heart.

We often find humor in exaggerating troublesome concepts. With this, Parisi hits the nail on the head!

People can derive widely different ideas from hearing the same phrase. For some, being told to "put ourselves first" might justify narcissistically exploiting others as if they exist only to satisfy our needs. Or, it could suggest ignoring the legitimate needs of others when they inconvenience us.

I don't know that such interpretations express the true spirit of Ho'oponopono, since we can't hurt others without also hurting ourselves.

In fact, some of Dr. Hew Len's most memorable teleseminar calls have been about acknowledging the needs of even seemingly "inanimate" objects such as houses, chairs, computers, cars, and land. He's discussed how ignoring these causes chaos. Even the rooms in which Ho'oponopono live seminars are held are are viewed as sacred, and attended to lovingly. They are given time to "rest" between class sessions.

On the other hand, ignoring our own needs and sacrificing ourselves to others creates set-ups for resentment. All kinds of tangled relationships can result -- not only in the present, but perhaps future generations as well.

Instead of lopsided arrangements, Ho'oponopono seems to advocate more equal energy exchanges between people. For instance, reasonable fees are charged for training seminars. Also, people are treated as capable of receiving their own Inspirations through the cleaning processes shared; no human guru claims to have the absolute final answer on what is correct. That is left to Divinity.

Managing our own needs while also being responsive to others is a basic and longstanding human struggle.

Some of us may never have learned how to care for ourselves, but Ho'oponopono assists us with this. Through the ministrations of an inner Mother (Uhane), Ho'oponopono models care and concern for our Inner Child (unihipili). Also it describes a caring inner Father (Aumakua) which is always in harmony with a loving and responsive Divinity. Ho'oponopono offers processes and tools to "tune in" and strengthen connections and interchange between these aspects of ourselves.

Learning to care for self has to come before caring appropriately for others. After all, a dry well can nourish no one.

Ho'oponopono also embodies the essence of Love, whose very nature is to give of Itself. Perhaps a natural outgrowth of healthy self-care is the ability to give unselfishly to others, without expecting anything in return. This is very different from masochistic self-sacrifice, and has an entirely different feel. There is freedom in unselfish giving, but self-sacrifice is full of bondage and expectation.

Some will call me childish, but with last week's holiday I can't help but think of Father Christmas' kind of giving. He and his elves have such fun preparing toys for all the world's children -- and it's an outflow of the Love in him. When we share ourselves with others (even other adults!) in this joyous way, this loving spirit is alive in us, too.

Let's hope Santa takes some "personal" days on his calendar to rest, recharge, and care for himself. Even the heart, the busiest muscle in the body, has both systole (contraction) AND diastole (rest).

Maybe Dr. Hew Len and Mabel will tell us more in person, when they share in Marina del Ray
in January. I'm looking forward to it -- they always have surprises in store!

Peace begins with me,

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thinking vs Cleaning: from Darkness into Light

It is Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. From this night forward on our calendar, days lengthen and contain more light.

What a gift, that out of darkness comes light!

And how profoundly Ho'oponopono is changing me. Through learning from Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, Mabel Katz, Kamaile, and others, many of my previously rigid attitudes have started to slip away. From darkness, into light.

I noticed this in the optometrist's office the other day, when I went for my annual eye exam.

The doctor, a solid, no-nonsense woman, went about her business in checking me over. "Oh," she remarked, "I can see there was a time you wore your contacts too long." Blood vessels were growing on my cornea -- a sign of irritation. "Those will never go away," she said. "If they grow across your pupil, you won't be able to see."

"Blood vessels are tricky," she continued. People who smoke, for instance, damage retinal blood vessels the same way others in the body are damaged. They constrict, and the smallest ones die. "If that happens to enough of them, you've got macular degeneration," she said. "Nothing can be done about that."

I was glad I'm not a smoker.

My vision prescription had changed, enough for new pairs of glasses and contacts. "I hope you're not thinking about Lasik [eye surgery to correct vision]," she said. (I wasn't). "It will only correct your far vision, and you won't be able to see up close. Your eyeball is just the shape and length it is. It can't change."

I listened quietly, cleaning with "thank you" and "lightswitch". If my eyeball can't change, I wondered, then why is my vision changing? Could one's total mental, emotional, spiritual, and physiological state possibly affect eyeball shape, length and refraction? I really don't know, but was amazed to find these questions arising within me rather than automatically accepting the statements.

It was a watershed moment for me.

A few years ago I myself was probably also pronouncing medical curses like this. Of course I didn't mean to do that, but I didn't understand what I was doing. I thought I was only informing people of "the facts". Also, I was "smart" and wanted people to experience my competence. (please forgive the accompanying arrogance!)

I originally trained in conventional medicine, where we were supposed to inform people in such a definitive manner. Nothing wrong with that, but what of allowing for something unexpected to happen? If your consciousness can't imagine it, will you miss it when it's in front of you?

Curiosity led me to train also in integrative medicine and classical homeopathy -- fields where there seems more room for possibility.

And even further with Ho'oponopono, it seems that anything at all is possible. After all, we're asking for Divinity's help in releasing problems.

While listening to my optometrist, I recognized with gratitude that my consciousness is more open today than it was a few years ago. I'm moving from thinking alone (relying only on my intellect) to allowing for intuition, heart-sense, and spiritual grace. The optometrist's comments highlighted the contrast between my yesterdays and today.

When consciousness opens, possibility opens too.

In 1999, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len wrote an essay titled "Unfolding" that speaks to this difference. An excerpt reads:

"Handling the situation by thinking causes chaos and confusion . . .
Thinking deals only with effects, what is perceived, not causes as cleaning does. . . .

Thinking is about being right, about taking positions, about making your point.
Cleaning is about bringing peace into a situation, peace beyond all understanding, followed by perfect and right solutions.
Thinking is aggressive, telling the other person what is so.
Cleaning is about love, about allowing love to transmute memories to love.
And it does it lovingly.
Cleaning is about creating a peaceful and wonderful relationship with love and everyone and everything. . . ."

Thank you Dr. Hew Len, for sharing your light in this season of light. I am grateful.

Peace Begins with Me,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Being Clear ~ Being Peace ~ Being Present

Jimmy Piver's new blog, "Here to Be Clear," is a gift to all of us. In it, he shares his life while applying his understanding of Ho'oponopono, Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, and more.

Recently he posted about dealing with his own emotions during his wife's suffering and trip to the Emergency Room. Ho'oponopono holds that whatever we experience on the "outside" is also in us -- a huge difference from our usual perceptions, which say that problems are "out there", not within.

It's very hard to remain present with someone's pain.

Jimmy did help his wife get the medical care she needed. But he also used Ho'oponopono cleaning tools such as mentally saying "I love you", "Peace of I", "Thank you," and "Ice Blue" (said to be especially helpful for painful situations). They were able to return home a few hours later, and his wife was resting well the next morning.

Did Ho'oponopono "do" that, or did the doctors? Perhaps Something in Jimmy's wife clicked in? I have no idea.

I do know from personal experience that detaching from my reactions to others -- simply observing instead of plunging ahead blindly -- makes a huge difference in what happens next.

I can make a mess, or I can stand back a moment and breathe. My usual automatic reactions include wanting to "fix" it for the other person, in order that they not suffer and I can feel like I'm doing a good job. I have been raised from childhood to respond this way, and to feel guilty when I do not. My medical training honed this still further.

Actions or statements fueled by my own personal, messy needs may be very vigorous and dramatic, but will not serve the person I want to "help".

What Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len has said numerous times about helping others is very interesting.

He says that when we humans try to "help" or "do" for others in an unconscious way (ie, without doing our cleaning first), we're interfering with God's process of solving problems. We know nothing about what's going on, yet act like we know more than God. Wouldn't it make more sense to get ourselves out of the way so that God -- who DOES know -- can come through?

This doesn't mean doing nothing, though. In fact this might be the best preparation possible for "doing" anything. As Dr. Hew Len shared on a conference call with Mabel Katz earlier this year:

"I'm not saying it's bad to help people, but . . . we get burned because when you take on a client, you're not just taking on that client, you're taking on the client's entire family, relatives and ancestors back to the beginning of creation. So if you're not looking and letting go and cleaning in yourself, you're going to get burned. You're going to get burned to the max. The way not to get burned is to do your cleaning. To let go, cut your ties so that instead of you giving any help then help will come directly from Inspiration. Our job is to let go and let God. If we don't let go and let God, we're going to get burned. It's just the way it works."

So this becoming "clear" that Jimmy and Dr. Hew Len talk about allows Divinity's inspiration to come through without being impeded by our "stuff" (maybe what Eckhart Tolle calls "ego"). Then what we "do" is more likely to be real service. We need to be at "Zero" first, before this can happen.

It also means that in every moment, our first task is to take care of ourselves through our cleaning. As Mabel Katz says, "If we want to help people . . . the best help, the best gift we can give them is really to clean. To take 100% responsibility and like Ihaleakala said, whatever gets erased from us will have to be erased from them."

I've known surgeons who pray before operating on patients. As a medical student I would be nervous in the OR, worried about making a mistake or getting in the way. (Even then, my wanting to be perfect showed up -- as irrelevant to the situation as it was!)

Just before starting, the surgeon would stop a moment and ask God to guide his hands and vision, inspire his mind, and keep the team working together smoothly. Perhaps this happened because I went to a Baptist medical school (Bowman Gray, part of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem NC) but it always impressed and calmed me. Only much later did I recognize it as an act of self-care as well as supporting the patient.

I'm even more grateful now. There's an old joke that strikes home for me:

What's the difference between a doctor and God?
God doesn't think He's a doctor. :-)

Maybe that one's good for any of us to remember, the next time we feel driven to "help."

Peace Begins with Me,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ho'oponopono: the Original 12-Step Process?

Recent family events have led me to review my 12-Step work in Al-Anon . It's a coming back to center on important principles that have helped me before.

Some of the similarities between this and Ho'oponopono are striking.

For instance, the first 3 "Steps" in Al-Anon say:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -- that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

We make moral inventory of ourselves, taking responsibility for our wrongs; we humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings. Through prayer and meditation we seek to improve our conscious contact with God, praying for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

For some, Step One is extremely hard; so is the thought that any power but us will really be there for us. Learning to trust in something like this (as we understand it) can be a major struggle.

In Ho'oponopono, we also are taking 100% responsibility and asking God to transmute our errors -- making more room for Him in our lives through inspiration. There is also complete acceptance of Divinity's being "in charge", and, having created us, knowing what's right and perfect for us.

Some of us struggle with this too.

A life coach I had at one time was adamant that human intention ruled outcomes. For her the alternative was complete lassitude and giving up. Feeling that this was a very limiting view, I soon stopped working with her. It wasn't that I felt my actions didn't matter, but the sense of a partnership with Divinity resonated deeply within me.

Another similarity between Al-Anon and Ho'oponopono is concentrating on caring for the self -- as opposed to trying to "fix" or control other people or situations.

Many of us in Al-Anon have tried to change the alcoholics in our lives, sacrificing self-care to do it. That's the "unmanageable" part in Step 1. Time and again I'm shown where I'm not taking sufficient care of myself, and whose business I really need to "mind": mine!

Ho'oponopono also suggests we're here to save ourselves rather than anyone else.

In this way it's an antidote to co-dependent behavior where we focus on others to the exclusion of our own needs. Ho'oponopono's attitude could sound completely selfish until you realize that it also recognizes the universe as one. We are all connected whether we like it or not.

This means that what I clean from "me", comes off of you at the same time; also, what you clean from yourself comes off of me. Our only mutual chance at freedom is if we each take care of ourselves -- yet it benefits the entire planet if we do. That's why Mabel Katz and Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len can say, "If you are fine, everyone else will be also."

I don't know if Bill W. (the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous) knew of Ho'oponopono, but the two spiritual processes do seem to harmonize well together. There is even a "12 Step Process" taught at Ho'oponopono Basic seminars. Though these are not the same 12 Steps described in Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups, the names are curiously similar.

Perhaps someone can shed light on this? I am grateful to have both ways of working with myself these days.

Peace Begins with Me,

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cultivating Gratitude, for Those of Us Who Sometimes Forget

There are days when nothing seems to go right -- and when maybe, like the "sat on" bird above, we might question even getting out of bed. Cultivating gratitude during these times can be a real challenge, and yet Ho'oponopono encourages saying "thank you" even in the midst of problems.

Needing some help with exactly this, I was fortunate to come across a wonderful poem written by one of my colleagues, Martina Nicholson MD. It spoke to me so deeply I wanted to share it here. With her permission, here it is:

by Martina Nicholson, MD

"You don't have to like it."

On my knees,
I thank You for the hardest things,
This floor,
This sink full of dirty dishes,
This house of unmade beds.

I am sorry for the grumpy way
I woke up this morning,
Absent praise.

I thank You for the tiniest goodnesses,
The cyclamen on the porch
With flames like Pentecost,
The swirl of dust motes
In the morning light.

I thank You for the sunlight,
And the cold winter air,
And the quiet morning.

I thank you that there are not bombs
Falling here,
There is no rape here,
There is no murder in this house.

That my children are healthy
And have enough to eat.
And can think,
And go to school.
And that they come home again,

How many times I don't like what's in front of me, and mumble under my breath about it. Yet how gently Dr. Nicholsen shows us that even the house full of grumpiness and dirty dishes is still one with safety and a roof overhead.

I don't have to like it, and can still give thanks.

An Obstetrician-gynecologist practicing in Santa Cruz, CA, Dr. Nicholson writes from her heart about topics such as medicine, healing, family, love, awe, and everyday life. Her poems are both soothing and surprising. She discovers meaning and lessons in all kinds of places, such as surgical suites, delivering babies, the wonders of nature, or cleaning house. As I've come to know her, she embodies service itself.

For those interested, she's published 2 poetry books: Walking on Stars and Water (containing the work above), and My Throat is Full of Songbirds. These can be purchased directly from her for $8.00 each (shipping included) or $24.00 for 4 books:
Martina Nicholson MD
PO Box 890
Soquel CA 95073-0890

In the meantime, I'm simply taking lessons in gratitude. After all, "Thank you" is a powerful Ho'oponopono cleaning tool . . . and my inner house could definitely use some help. Thank you, Dr. Nicholson, for your words and your wisdom.

Peace Begins with Me,

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What Manta Rays and Humpback Whales Can Teach Us -- If We Listen

Earlier this year, we heard from Dr. Lucinda Sykes of Meditation for Health about a scuba diver cutting a manta ray loose from fishing lines that had somehow ensnared it.

This amazing story had reminded me of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len's comments about a "Gordian knot" of memories and data that entangles us -- and how Ho'oponopono cleaning can help us free ourselves.

Today another colleague, Dr. Cheryl Feng from the California Center for Homeopathic Education, sent me a similar story -- this one about divers rescuing a humpback whale off the Farrallon Islands (near San Francisco) .

The 45-to 50-foot whale was on her usual migratory route between the Northern California coast and Baja California when she got entangled in some nylon ropes that link crab pots.

A crab fisherman spotted her, and called for help. Soon an entire team of divers from the Marine Mammal Center arrived to survey the situation . . . realizing that their only chance of freeing her was to dive into the water themselves.

Yes, dive into the water with a 50-ton whale -- who could kill a man with one flip of her tail.

But about 20 crab-pot ropes (240 feet long with weights every 60 feet) were wrapped around the creature. Rope circled at least 4 times around her tail, her back, and her left front flipper . . . and there was a line in her mouth.

She couldn't eat, and would almost certainly die without help. So into the water slipped 4 very brave divers, who spent an hour cutting the ropes with a special curved knife. The whale rested passively the entire time.

They noticed she was giving off a strange kind of vibration in the water, that they could feel as they worked. Humpbacks are known for complex vocalizations that sound like singing. Maybe she was offering the divers an "ultrasound" treatment of sorts, or perhaps the whale equivalent of purring? Who knows.

People on whale-watching cruises also know humpback whales for their acrobatic breaching -- playful activity where they lift their bodies out of the water and splash down. Thankfully, she didn't do that while these divers were swimming with her.

"When I was cutting the line going through the mouth, its eye was there winking at me, watching me," described one of the divers. "It was an epic moment of my life."

"It seemed kind of affectionate, like a dog that's happy to see you. I never felt threatened. It was an amazing, unbelieveable experience."

Although no one really knows what was on her mind, this whale was doing little dives and the divers were rubbing shoulders with her. Was she saying thank you somehow?

What must it have felt like to swim away from all those crab pots, free and unfettered? And what made her trust that these people would not hurt her? Although most humpback whales don't like to interact so much with humans, this one allowed them to work with her very closely.

Might Ho'oponopono make such freedom and trust possible for us? Might we humans -- who like to manage problems on our own! -- learn to allow Divinity to untangle our own Gordian knots? Could we learn to trust that It knows what It's doing with us, after all?

The possibility seems more than worth the practice. Many thanks to Dr. Sykes, Dr. Feng, the manta ray, and the humpback whale for reminding me.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

One question people frequently ask at Ho'oponopono live seminars and teleconference calls is whether or not it "works".

By this, they generally mean "If I do this process, will I get what I want?"

Tracey in Canada has even created a blog about this, called "Ho'oponopono Works". There, she shares aspects of her life and Ho'oponopono's effects on herself and her family.

Mabel Katz, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, and Kamaile (who also trained with Morrnah and has been practicing Ho'oponopono for ~38 years) often say that you don't know what you're cleaning when you're doing it. To a scientist then, it's hard to say whether it "works" or not.

In the midst of tragedy, I've received an answer.

For many months, I prepared to give a talk on Homeopathy and Psychiatry at a conference in another city. This required over 100 hours of research, distilling, and organizing so that the audience would receive good information in only 1 hour.

During this entire preparation process, I cleaned. I love you. Thank you. Please forgive me. I am sorry. And many other tools.

The talk was well-received -- and I was also grateful that the conference organizers had offered a large honorarium. With this, I planned further homeopathic training with one of my mentors, Dr. Rajan Sankaran.

I returned home, deposited the check . . . but quickly received notice from my bank that the organization had stopped payment on it.

This was the results of my Ho'oponopono cleaning? I was puzzled, hurt, and angry -- wondering what I was doing "wrong". Mabel, Kamaile, and Dr. Hew Len all advised me to "keep cleaning." arrrrggggggggh.

And because of financial constraints, I canceled my trip to Mumbai, India -- where I would have been right now for sure if my intellect had had its way.

With many homeopathic colleagues from all over the world, I would have been at Dr. Sankaran's International Homeopathic Symposium, which ends 11/29/08. It's being held in Mumbai, where terrorist attacks are now flaring at high profile hotels, railway stations, and more.

News reports say the terrorists are focused on westerners, especially Americans and British. So far at least 100 have died, with more injured. Hostages have been taken.

The seminar location is about 15-20 miles north of the main hotels attacked; we pray for the safety of Dr. Sankaran, my colleagues, and everyone in danger now.

I am humbled by how close I came to this myself, saved only by not receiving money owed for work I had done. The results I thought "should" have happened through my Ho'oponopono cleaning would have put me directly in harm's way.

Does Ho'oponopono "work"? I have no controlled double-blind evidence for it, but you can consider this story for yourselves. My heart is grateful at being provided for, even when when my intellect can't fathom it. Most especially, thank you to Dr. Hew Len, Mabel, and Kamaile for encouraging me to "just keep cleaning."

Happy Thanksgiving to all,

Peace Begins with Me

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cleaning, Apologies, and Clarity

Dear Readers,

It seems I wasn't clear in transmitting the purpose(s) of this blog the other day. I have offended at least one person, and I apologize for this.

From Kalea (Sunny) I received this comment that illustrated my unclarity:

"I have an issue with what you've written and would like you to clarify this on your blog so your readers won't be misled!!!

You wrote: This blog focuses on Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono as taught by Morrnah Simeona, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, Mabel Katz, and the Foundation of I. Though it especially reaches out to people in healing professions as they work with patients or clients, its information may interest others too.

Pam, please clarify "what" specifically reaches out to people in healing professions...and may interest "others" too. Are you talking about your blog or ho'oponopono. Because if it's ho'oponopono that you are writing about, you are completely wrong. I am 100 percent Hawaiian and my family has been practicing Ho'oponopono as far back as I can track in our ancestry. How dare you even imply this. This was a practice to "make things right" among families. I can see why someone wrote to you and asked "Who do you think you are". You need to think before you start writing down your opinions, or at least research what you are writing about. I am highly offended that you would even imply such a notion. I will clean on this, trust me."

Thank you, Kalea (Sunny) for writing to me, and offering this opportunity for cleaning and clarification. I am grateful to you, your family, relatives, and ancestors for another chance to make things right.

You're absolutely correct that since ancient times, Ho'oponopono has helped countless families correct errors in thought, word, and deed. Ho'oponopono is a process that applies to us all, no matter what our backgrounds.

Morrnah Simeona "updated" this process that families and other groups have been using for generations, to "Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono" -- the form I've been learning about and working with. I am imperfect with it, of course. Morrnah taught that one could do this process within one's self, appealing to Divinity within rather than requiring all family or group members to be present. I am grateful to Morrnah, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, the Foundation of I, Mabel Katz, and all others who are helping me learn also.

I did not mean to imply that Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono reaches out only to those in healing professions.

But my blog, "Ho'oponopono for the Doctor's Soul," began as a way to chronicle my learning about the nature of healing. Also it may help wake up my colleagues as I'm being awakened.

Both Morrnah and Dr. Hew Len have taught that doctors and therapists who think patients come to them to be "fixed" or "healed", are mistaken. There is nothing wrong, nothing needing to be fixed in these people; it is only shared memories or data (presenting as patients' problems) that needs to be cleaned or "erased" within us. Through these problems that cause them to suffer, patients show us what also needs healing in ourselves. If there were no shared memories, these people would not come to us. When they do, we can choose to either engage with the memories, or "clean" (appeal to Divinity within) as we do our work.

This has been a major revelation to me, requiring me to completely reassess my inner and outer work. It is an evolving process.

"Ho'oponopono for the Doctor's Soul" hopes to illustrate this aspect especially to healthcare providers willing to consider it. My little blog is one small voice, but it is a voice nevertheless.

People in healing professions are burning out in record numbers, and misperceptions about why we're here may be one reason. So this blog reaches out especially to health professionals of all varieties. If we in healing professions begin to understand that we're here to clear our own memories that patients or clients are showing us, we may exercise our choice to clean and be free. Suffering less, we're then better able to better hear others.

Downstream, there are profound benefits of this inner approach to what we deal with every day. Dr. Hew Len has told me often enough, "If you clean your own stuff, everyone else will be fine." His experience with patients at Hawaii State Hospital in the 1980's showed this clearly. The benefits could extend to our planet itself -- I don't know, but am open to possibility.

I think of so many colleagues in pain; those of us who are also patients suffer too. What a breath of fresh air if we could all be free of notions that there is something wrong with us needing to be fixed! I cleaned for months before starting this blog, and finally did as inspired. Both it and I are imperfect, but we offer ourselves anyway.

People of all professions and backgrounds can use the Ho'oponopono process in their lives, so all might be interested in the blog's material. This is what I meant in my last post. I hope they will be; maybe they'll also pass along whatever seems useful to their doctors, therapists, or whoever is assisting them.

Many people acting as caregivers for someone at home can use these principles to sustain themselves too. Dr. Hew Len and Mabel Katz frequently remind us to care for ourselves; only then can we be present for anyone else. Ho'oponopono includes all beings everywhere -- humans, other animals, plants, minerals, and probably substances and beings we've never even heard of.

Thank you again for writing to me, Kalea (Sunny), and showing me that I need to be clear. I do my best to clean, even though I know I don't know what all I'm cleaning in any moment. I will keep at it anyway.

Blessings and gratitude,

Peace Begins with Me

Friday, November 21, 2008

Who do you think you are?

This blog focuses on Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono as taught by Morrnah Simeona, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, Mabel Katz, and the Foundation of I. Though it especially reaches out to people in healing professions as they work with patients or clients, its information may interest others too.

Dr. Hew Len often reminds us that the essence of Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono is knowing who we really are. Without this knowledge, we're sunk.

So it was especially interesting to receive an email from someone asking (among other questions and assertions), "Who are you anyway?"

Many of us have been asked similar questions, perhaps by parents or others disturbed by our behavior. The tone suggests we are impertinent and uppity somehow. This "Who do you think you are?" [to be doing/thinking/saying whatever we're doing, thinking or saying] is meant to shame or silence us.

Such questions also present wonderful opportunities to remember who we really are: spiritual beings created in the exact likeness of God. But as Dr. Hew Len relates, we are also often "spiritual beings talking [and thinking and doing!] trash."

According to Ho'oponopono, we are -- all of us! -- perfect in spirit; nothing lacking, nothing that needs to be "fixed". We also come in with memories, data, or "garbage" covering Divinity's light in us. Our life's work is to let this garbage go; as we do, we again experience the peaceful "zero" state in which we were created.

Being our Selves first -- getting back to "zero" -- is extremely important. Only then do we experience the presence of God. As Dr. Hew Len says in the book Zero Limits (pg 51):

"You cannot be denied anything that is perfect, whole, complete, and right for you when you are your Self first. Being your Self first you automatically experience perfection in the way of Divine Thoughts, Words, Deeds, and Actions. Allowing your toxic thoughts to be first, you automatically experience imperfection in the way of disease, confusion, resentment, depression, judgement, and poverty."

So being asked "Who are you anyway?" opened a door for me. It allowed me to remember the prayer I read every morning on waking, and at the start of each day in the office. Part of the Ho'oponopono manual distributed by the Foundation of I, it's also available on internet, and is read at the beginning of all Mabel Katz's teleconference calls:

I am the I

"I" come forth from the void into light,

"I" am the breath that nurtures life,

"I" am that emptiness, that hollowness beyond all consciousness,

The "I", the Id, the All.

"I" draw my bow of rainbows across the waters,

The continuum of minds with matters

"I" am the incoming and outgoing of breath,

The invisible, untouchable breeze,

The undefinable atom of creation.

"I" am the "I".

For me, this says it all -- and yet, it does not encompass all we are. By their very nature, words can only describe concepts in a limited fashion. They are not the thing itself. It's a good start, though . . . . and I am grateful that Morrnah, through her meditations, was able to write it.

May we all become ever more facile at remembering our Self-Identity, Who We Really Are.

Peace Begins with Me,

Monday, November 17, 2008

From "Smoke Gets in your Eyes" to "You are My Sunshine"

I've just returned from a remarkable weekend in Woodland Hills, CA: attending one of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len's ho'oponopono seminars as a "review" student. Though the photo above is NOT Dr. Hew Len, it does depict the joyful (and somewhat impish) spirit he shows.

Why would I attend a review session? Certain information remains the same, but each group and weekend experience is different. I always find new or deeper insights in what's shared. Even more importantly, I commit to the cleaning process itself -- again and again and again. It's a constant re-tuning for use in every moment.

All seemed normal enough this weekend, until I awoke early Saturday morning in my hotel room to the smell of . . . wood smoke! No such smell was present when I went to bed. Where could this be coming from?

I looked out the window: no flames or barbecue going on. I felt the door: no heat. All seemed eerily silent; no fire alarms were going off. And unlike earlier in the evening, even people in the neighboring rooms were quiet. The TV in my room wasn't working (alarming in that context!) so I called the front desk. People there assured me all was well in the neighborhood.

It turns out that several fires were raging in both Orange County and the Sylmar area -- fanned by record Santa Ana (aka "devil") winds gusting to 70 mph. People were losing their homes as burning embers hop-scotched across canyons and neighborhoods. Like the rest of Los Angeles, Woodland Hills received smoke, smell, and ash. Several freeways going through Orange County were closed, but our immediate area was safe.

Dr. Hew Len and others arrived on time as planned, and offered these events as yet another opportunity to take 100% responsibility. "When one of us is stuck, we're all stuck," said Dr. Hew Len. "Nobody can be at Zero [as Divinity originally created us] if you are not at Zero. The way to be at Zero is non-stop cleaning. It's not about the fire -- it's about memories replaying in us. The only purpose for coming into life is to get un-stuck, to let go of memories replaying."

Whatever "problem" we experience in the present is like a cloud -- or even like smoke -- obscuring something always present: the light of Divinity in us. Through repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation, ho'oponopono removes the smoke so the light comes through clearly again. Dr. Hew Len showed this over and over again.

Further, he insists that even when we choose to do the ho'oponopono process, we never know exactly "what" we're cleaning. Divinity knows, but our conscious minds are clueless. We're constantly making choices to hang onto the problem, or let go. Humans telling Divinity what to attend to seems pretty silly -- yet how often do we do exactly this with our "goals" and "intention" lists?

"When you're at Zero" [through moment-to-moment cleaning] that's where Inspiration is," he said. "You want the perfect relationship, money in the bank, or your perfect career? It's at Zero and nowhere else."

He offered ways to care for our inner child [our "unihipili"] so that it feels safe and loved. "If you train it well, it will do the cleaning for you," said Dr. Hew Len. "Your relationship with your inner child is the most important relationship you have."

How do "regular" people -- not just Dr. Hew Len -- use ho'oponopono? Do they notice effects in their lives?

A psychologist shared about her work with ho'oponopono in patient care. As people talk about their difficulties during their sessions, she inwardly says, "I love you" to whatever arises. Somehow people come to their own healing much more smoothly; also, anything she says while doing this process is more likely to be from Inspiration than from her own conflicts (or "memories"). Work seems easier, and people get well sooner. And though she didn't "intend" a busier practice when she initially started ho'oponopono 3 years ago, things have evolved this way.

Hers wasn't the only story. Another woman spoke about her husband's construction business growing from $50,000 a year to $6,000,000 per year -- as she did her "cleaning" even in a so-called "down" market.

Had I not been there, I would have missed meeting these people who use ho'oponopono in their everyday lives.

Also, I would have missed another wonderful treat not experienced in my previous seminars: Dr. Hew Len playing his ukulele and singing, "You are My Sunshine". Despite the economy, the war in Iraq, the nation's fears, and the LA fires, we all sang along with him. It was one way of caring for the inner child in each of us.

Ho'oponopono cleaning doesn't have to be somber, as Dr. Hew Len illustrated. Just like a ukulele is tuned before being played, we can tune ourselves through ho'oponopono before our daily activities. The metaphor rings true.

I'm so glad I made the trip -- and may Los Angeles and her people recover soon from those fires too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ho'oponopono and Alcoholism: Peace in Every Moment

Families can be challenging and loving all at the same time. We may practice ho'oponopono for many months or years with no seeming "results". Perplexing behavior patterns may appear as enduring as granite.

And then change can blow through in an instant.

For example, my family has dealt with alcoholism for many years -- just not openly or effectively. Long-suppressed forces erupted on Election Day, leading to hospitalization for one family member and hopefully recovery for all. It started with someone driving erratically, scaring people enough to call police . . . leading to eventual commitment for evaluation and treatment.

It was as if something in this person demanded to be heard, manifesting enough craziness for people to finally "do something". Alcoholism often induces learned helplessness in family members; it had in mine until we were up against a wall.

The scenario was wrenching, and yet I am grateful. I had nearly lost hope. We are working through the aftermath, and planning for the future.

In Ho'oponopono, we also learn that patients often show doctors what needs healing or "cleaning" in themselves. They come to our offices in distress, also giving us another chance to make things right. So I marveled yesterday as a patient shared about a mother who, after countless years of alcoholism and self-absorption, recently got into recovery on her own. She's attending AA, making amends -- all at exactly the right time. Not only was I glad for her and the hope this gave my patient; I was also grateful for the hope it gave me.

I'm attending to my patient's needs, and also saying "thank you" for mine. We're cleaning generations of family pain in every moment.

Peace Begins with Me,

Monday, October 27, 2008

Something from Nothing: Preposterous, Placebo, or Possibility?

For the last several days I've been in Vancouver, BC learning from Jan Scholten MD, a homeopathic physician from Utrecht, in the Netherlands. Over 100 other homeopaths from all over Canada and the USA gathered to hear about his current work with mineral and plant remedies. He's especially interested these days in people who have autoimmune diseases.

Dr. Scholten has given a great deal to the world, including now working with HIV patients in Africa. He and his colleagues with the AIDS Remedy Fund piloted a study in Kenya with patients using a homeopathic remedy called "Iquilai," said to restore balance of mineral nutrients needed for effective immune function.

AIDS is a disease that many consider hopeless, especially in Africa. Perhaps it doesn't have to be . . . and as Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len might say, we don't really know what is going on anyway.

Prominent symptoms AIDS patients experience include opportunistic respiratory infections, loss of appetite, weakness, diarrhea, depression, and emaciation. Antiretroviral treatments can help some of this, but are extremely expensive and not easy to come by in Africa. Plus, side effects limit patients' desire to take them.

Homeopathic remedies are much less expensive than pharmaceuticals, and come without side effects.

In the Iquilai Pilot Study, 228 HIV+ patients in various stages of illness were offered treatment with the homeopathic remedy Iquilai. The group included 78% patients with advanced AIDS (with CD4 counts less than 200 in the 59% of the group tested for this.)

About half the patients were already receiving antiretroviral (single drug) treatment, but not if their CD4 counts were more than 200. Many individuals had stopped the antiretrovirals because of side effects.

Despite so many of them having advanced AIDS, more than 90% of the patients had a positive response to the remedy, documented through improved Karnofsky Scores (a measure of functional impairment in daily life). Three granules of Iquilai were given for 5 days in a row; within one month most of the patients went from inability to work and take care of themselves to being able to perform normal duties.

Within the first week after dosing, opportunistic infections clearly went down; 100% of patients also noted improved appetite, often within 1 week. Diarrhea, weakness, difficulty breathing, and fever remitted also. There were no side effects, and CD4 counts nearly doubled over several months.

You may think this is nothing . . . but it is a particularly surprising kind of "nothing".

Homeopathic remedies (like Iquilai) are diluted and vigorously shaken past the point of any molecules of original substance remaining in them. In other words, they are "nothing" in the sense that they are dynamic only. They contain information about the original substance from which they're made, but usually no actual molecules of the substance itself. Many scientists label this "preposterous". How can medicines considered to be "nothing" affect living beings?

In this particular study (and many others too) "nothing" was actually "something" -- and produced measurable results.

Additionally, there were no interactions with antiretroviral drugs in the patients receiving those. To boot, the Iquilai patients NOT on antiretrovirals got as much improvement as those who were on them. So as much as you might want to, you couldn't attribute the positive results to antivirals alone.

Some might claim "placebo", but these patients have maintained their improvements for 9 months so far. As this was only a pilot, Dr. Scholten is gathering resources for a double blind study to test things further.

My guess is he will find more results from his "nothing" that are "something." This universe and its mysteries continue to humble me. The void within me, smiles.

Peace Begins with Me,

Friday, October 17, 2008

"Only God works, and I do my cleaning": Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len

The movie The Secret (2006) popularized the Law of Attraction. According to it, our thoughts create our reality by magnetizing events and circumstances that correspond to their "vibration". Some say that through using this Law, we can manifest our dreams at will.

"The Secret explains with simplicity the law that is governing all lives, and offers the knowledge of how to create -- intentionally and effortlessly -- a joyful life. This is the secret to everything -- the secret to unlimited happiness, love, health and prosperity."

Millions of people including Oprah Winfrey have embraced this movie's teachings; new "Law of Attraction" books, coaches, and training programs seem to appear every day. These programs teach people to formulate and affirm intentions for what they want in their lives.

Some have found, however, that this Law may not always "work" as consciously planned -- especially if unconscious "counter-intentions" are also present. In fact, if books such as The User Illusion by Tor Norretranders are correct, unconscious processes outnumber our conscious affirmations. Teachers like Paul Bauer and Joe Vitale offer programs to "clear" such counter-intentions so that manifestation may continue as desired.

Interesting questions arise about all this, though. Can human intention encompass all that Divinity might want to offer? Could our intentions even be limiting in some way?

Ho'oponopono's answer is that this limitation can indeed happen, and might even explain why, as Mabel Katz says, "The Secret doesn't always work." If billions of complicated memories are circulating within us, surely some of these can cloud our experience. In addition, regular connection with Divinity may be the easiest way to stay clear.

For Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, Divinity is the only thing that really "works". Perhaps this might be something The Secret didn't describe. "Only God works. I do my cleaning to be one with God . . . and God will give me what I need," says Dr. Hew Len.

Those interested in hearing directly from Dr. Hew Len and Mabel Katz might appreciate a short, entertaining video. See what Dr. Hew Len says gets in our way, and enjoy Mabel's Spanish translations too!

Mabel Katz and Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, on Ho'oponopono:

For me, it's reassuring to learn a way to stay connected to Divinity within -- even when my more limited human consciousness tries to assert control. Continuously cleaning (saying "I love you", for instance, or drinking blue solar water, etc) allows manifestation of what Dr. Hew Len calls "what's right and perfect for us."

Tuned into and inspired by Divinity, we can act definitively. In fact we must! Our cleaning clears the way for these activities to come from Divine Inspiration rather than collective memory stuff. I'm not perfect at it, but am enjoying the journey.

Peace Begins with Me,

Saturday, October 11, 2008

An unusual cause (and cure) for physician burnout

As a psychiatrist, I've worked in many general hospitals and inpatient psychiatric units -- including specialized ones for forensically mentally ill people.

Patients arrive on such units in all kinds of distress: severe depression, psychosis, suicide attempts, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and sometimes criminal offenses. Many also have additional problems like diabetes, hypertension, delirium, or intractible medication side effects.

Bureaucracy and paperwork can be monstrous in themselves, even before you reach the patients. Physician, therapist, and nursing staff burnout thrive in such environments.

So I've been in awe of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len's experiences working at Hawaii State Hospital in the 1980's. Detailed accounts of these are in the book Zero Limits, which he and Dr. Joe Vitale co-authored. But the nutshell version is that while he was there -- doing only his Ho'oponopono cleaning, no conventional therapy -- all but 2 patients on a dangerous, high management forensic unit got well enough for discharge. No longer needed, the unit was closed, and the 2 onging patients transferred elsewhere.

How could this happen?

"When I showed up," offered Dr. Hew Len on a recorded conference call, "there were seclusion rooms all filled. Within a year or two, nobody was in the seclusion. And there wasn’t any goal to not have anybody there. It’s just that one takes the responsibility, and as you take responsibility you shift, and perceive the world differently. You see the world differently and you’re back to peace. The idea is to get back to zero, and zero is where Divinity resides."

Nobody questioned why Dr. Hew Len wasn't seeing patients for therapy. In fact many times I've heard him say that his most important activity was doing his cleaning before, during, and after trips to the hospital. He would read the charts, cleaning on his reactions to whatever he read. Murder? Rape? Any other kind of mayhem? Knowing we're all connected, he took 100% responsibility for this being in him. He petitioned Divinity to erase the data in him that presented as these patients' problems.

It sounds inconceivable. And yet, there are witnesses that it worked. Dr. Hew Len was there for several months before anyone asked what he was "doing", and why the ward was so much quieter when he was around. When he answered, some wanted to learn Ho'oponopono too.

Progressively, the violent, medicated, and shackled patients stopped fighting amongst themselves and attacking staff. Medication needs went down. Patients got interested in their own welfare, and started planning for work after discharge. Staff turnover decreased; the ward became an enjoyable place to work.

According to Dr. Hew Len, the key was realizing what any "problem" truly is: an old recycled memory replaying INSIDE, not outside us. It can be "erased" by our taking 100% responsibility for it, and saying "I love you"; this begins the process of repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation that is Ho'oponopono.

"The way you handle any problem is to:
#1 realize that the problem is in you, and
#2, to realize that the problem is simply a memory replaying.

It’s what the Buddah calls suffering, or what Jesus calls sin. You have in you the enormous ability . . . to erase suffering. And when you erase it in you, it erases everywhere. To me that’s the beauty, and the gift of Ho’oponopono. You take responsibility for whatever is going on in you, you let that go, it’s like letting the world go, letting the suffering go. It gets lifted from everybody."

Doctors, nurses, and therapists burn out, he says, when we don't realize this. When we see patients, we're taking on all the memories in their families, relatives, and ancestors too. Unless we clean in some way, we're headed for trouble -- and fighting the wrong "enemy". We're thrashing against problems through medications, commitment papers, restraints, and other methods, when the real problem is these memories in us that need to be released or "cleaned".

It blows the mind. I clean MY stuff, and YOU feel better? No Lexapro or Zyprexa required for either of us? hmmm . . . .

One caller shared a story that I'll remember always. She described a "nervous breakdown" and being hospitalized twice at Tripler Army Hospital in 2003. While there, she heard about Dr. Hew Len's work but didn't listen much to it.

She moved to Boston and was hospitalized again with severe depression. No medication seemed to work, and she was ready for "shock" therapy. But then she moved to San Diego in early 2008 . . . where she learned about Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono. She started cleaning.

Here my ears perked up further: her psychiatrist wanted to increase her medicines, which she called "high-powered addictive" ones. Despite her doctor's advice, this woman tapered them -- with no difficulty. And along with her Ho'oponopono practice, her depression faded away. No more medications needed.

How is this possible? I don't know, but I'm fascinated and very glad for her. She inspires me to learn as much as I can, and continue cleaning in my own life. This "zero", peaceful state is what we already are -- if we simply let go of the clouds that cover it. If we're patients, we may benefit, and insurance companies will rejoice. :-)

I also think my colleagues and I have much more to learn from Dr. Hew Len about burnout . . . and how we can avoid it. Care to join me for the November class in Woodland Hills CA? I'm looking forward to another in-person experience of my own then. Maybe see you there!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Would you abandon a child?

This morning the Arizona Republic captured a disturbing story about a 14-year-old Iowa girl abandoned in a Nebraska hospital.

It's a mirror of many others, including a father who recently surrendered 9 of his 10 children (ages 1 to 17) at Creighton University Hospital. His wife had died, and he could no longer cope with the burden of raising them. The oldest child was not abandoned.

Officials have attributed such events to the misuse of "Safe Haven" laws, intended to prevent infanticide and babies being left to die in trash dumpsters or elsewhere. All 50 states but District of Columbia have adopted these laws, which can unfortunately have unintended consequences in these hard economic times.

In the Creighton University Hospital case, other family members were upset about not being asked for help before surrendering the children. For whatever reason, the father felt he had nowhere else to turn but the hospital.

I can imagine what the teens and children might feel as their parents walk out the door. Fear, grief, anger, shame, guilt, and more are probably in the parents too. It's also easy to judge the "abandoners", especially when we're ignoring something in ourselves.

Ho'oponopono (which means "to correct errors") posits our having a "subconscious" inner child part, the Unihipili. Housed here are all our emotions, instincts, and body functions, as well as memories that have collected for eons. Imagine how ponderous all this can become, layer upon layer, tangled with so many others' memories too. Ho'oponopono offers a means of unraveling this.

In both live and tele-seminars, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len often relates that most of us have abandoned our inner child countless times. We do this not realizing that far from being a burden, it contains the energy of manifestation for the rest of our being. Our inner child has been neglected, abused, and unloved for generations. Perhaps in our busy adult lives, we don't even acknowledge its presence. From all of this, it suffers.

Not surprisingly, this neglect has consequences. We may live our lives severed from from our deepest strengths. Our inner child contains not only our pain, but also potential solutions; it has a direct connection with the spiritual part of us, the Aumakua. And this is always in perfect balance and synchrony with Divinity.

Who among us wouldn't want to be in synch with Divinity?

Dr. Hew Len has shared his morning routine of sitting on the floor talking with his inner child about how things are going, and what's coming up later in the day. He educates it about the "cleaning" tools he uses to dissipate age-old repetitive data showing up as current problems. As he does this, he believes his child learns to clean on his own.

"I talk to my child, and tell it 'I love you," he says. The key is in letting it fall in love with you; in love, it will work with you rather than cause more chaos. "When I sometimes have a back ache," says Dr. Hew Len, "I say to my inner child, 'We're experiencing this back pain now. Can we please let go?" It's all a part of his daily Ho'oponopono practice.

Though Ho'oponopono is much older, there's a whole genre of psychotherapy aimed at "inner child work". It's highly applicable for anyone experiencing trauma, abuse or neglect in one's life. Many therapists attend to these aspects in what they're already doing.

Through a warm, connected relationship and dialogue with one's inner child, the inner child may also help us avoid problems -- if we listen! In an interview with Cat Saunders , Dr. Hew Len tells a story:

"The Unihipili can be really fun. One day I was coming down the highway in Hawaii. When I started to head toward the usual off-ramp, I heard my Unihipili say in a singing voice, "I wouldn't go down there if I were you." I thought, "But I always go there." Then when we got closer, about fifty yards away, I heard, "Hello! I wouldn't go down there if I were you!" Second chance. "But we always go down there!"

Now I'm talking out loud and people in cars around me are looking at me like I'm crazy. About 25 yards away, I hear a loud, "I wouldn't go down there if I were you!" I went down there, and I sat for two and a half hours. There was a huge accident. Couldn't move back, couldn't move forward. Finally, I heard my Unihipili say, "Told you!" Then it wouldn't talk to me for weeks! I mean, why talk to me if I wasn't going to listen?"

After many years of neglect, some people experience difficulty connecting with their inner child. Patience and loving attitudes are needed, as a good-enough parent might hold. If we haven't had healthy previous examples for this, we may benefit from additional training, therapy, or coaching. Hence "inner child work", or learning Ho'oponopono can help.

Interested in further information about caring for -- rather than abandoning -- your own inner child? The downloadable recording of a 7/15/08 tele-seminar with Dr. Hew Len and Mabel Katz tells more. You're welcome to click here to purchase it.

Peace begins with me,

Friday, October 3, 2008

Peace Begins with Me

Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len reminded me recently that his teacher Morrnah Simeona, the kahuna who updated the ancient Hawaiian problem-solving practice of ho'oponopono, kept a sign upon her desk.

"Peace Begins with Me," it said.

People came to Morrnah from all over for various kinds of healing, especially spiritual; she was also expert in massage.

She was apparently very relaxed about all this, and was even known to fall asleep during training seminars. She went about her business, practicing the inner peace conveyed by her desk sign. She also got results.

This kind of calmness sometimes eludes me. People come to doctors hoping for some kind of relief. So I get anxious when they're suffering; I feel both their pain and and the need to relieve it.

Morrnah probably cared a great deal for others, or she wouldn't have made herself available to them. But she also taught that getting too wound up in others' pain makes one useless as a healer.

In my own case, the danger can be that I measure myself by the amount of relief patients seem to get through my efforts. Then the session becomes more about me than them -- leading to sure failure on my part to comprehend their suffering in the first place. This is not my intention.

I was sharing this dilemma with Bill Mann LAc, one of my homeopathic teachers in San Diego. Classical homeopathy is a 200-year-old system of medicine that stimulates patients' own healing capacities from within, using medicines that are specifically tailored for their suffering.

It can be challenging to find a remedy that catalyzes someone's healing process. A person could need any of 3000-4000 or so proven remedies, or possibly one that hasn't been prepared yet. Finding this requires absolute care and attentiveness in listening to the other.

With Bill, I was bemoaning my limitations in the face of people's problems. Years of medical training inculcate shame and guilt in most physicians when we don't deliver cures. I was definitely feeling it.

With his usual candor and wisdom Bill replied:

"Get yourself out of the picture for one. One's healing (your patient) is not about you. You have tools and use them---the rest is just a way to harm yourself (that self talk)--it is also a waste of energy. It can also be an opportunity to see what is in your own way.

One's healing is one's own healing. Never forget this---you in yourself can offer little---even when you think you are offering your kindness or sympathy, it does little to ameliorate what sits before you most often. (nothing wrong with being kind or caring).

Apply your science the best you can. You can do it extremely well---I have no doubt.

Relax, and let the other see for themselves who they are and what is not them. This can be done--by being very quiet. Let them see for themselves. Only one can heal the self, the one within."

This is as much true for my patients as it is for myself. Done well, classical homeopathy allows one's truth to emerge; the self becomes stronger and more resilient on all levels. Maintaining the quiet needed with others can be very difficult for me, since I so want to be useful. I realized that my very need to be useful prevents my being so.

It's all a part of my ongoing studies with California Center for Homeopathic Education. Dealing with one's own self can be much trickier than learning the remedies and methods of homeopathy.

Another of my homeopathic teachers, Dr. Rajan Sankaran, echoes this need for quiet and allowing the patient to come forward. In the beginning of his book, Sensation Refined (2007), he quotes Sheng-yen in how one should listen:

"Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, and the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you."

The process of healing is relentless, if we simply allow it. I can't help but wonder if Morrnah wouldn't have liked Bill and Rajan a lot. She might like them so much and feel so very peaceful, she'd fall asleep at their seminars. :-)

Peace Begins with me,