Monday, June 1, 2009

The Spirit of Molokai Meets Modern-day Healers

I've just returned from the beautiful island of Molokai and a workshop called "The Healer Within."

There, Dr. Lee Lipsenthal and Nita Gage MA of Finding Balance in a Medical Life offered a small group of physicians, other health practitioners, and their significant others ways to confront and release painful memories, practice forgiveness, and become more resilient and loving people.

Ho'oponopono by any other name would surely be as sweet.

The locale was no accident. One of the least developed Hawaiian islands, Molokai is also known as a historical training ground for many kahunas (specialists in Hawaiian healing and other wisdom). The place felt suffused with mana: spiritual energy and power.

Dr. Lipsenthal and Ms. Gage combined activities for both "logical" or left-brained, and more "intuitive" or right-brained, mind states. Can you imagine mixing powerpoint slides showing meditation's effects on the heart , for instance, with holotropic breathwork and shamanic journeying? The combination underscored the wholeness in us all . . . no drugs needed, either.

Professionals steeped in science often have difficulty allowing themselves to experience more noetic ways of learning and knowing. The intellectual mind may need reasons to believe something is possible, before delving into shadowy areas that numbers cannot contain or describe.

Yet the mind also operates in images and kinesthetic sensations that can be unconsciously triggered, and which drive us far more powerfully than our conscious observations. Past events can blur into the present, with little or no differentiation.

When safely experienced, acknowledged, and discerned, these connections can lead to learning and growth. Unless "here and now" is differentiated from "there and then", we leap into assumptions, projection onto others, and repetition compulsion. In short, we experience the suffering of everyday life -- lost in a soup of past-present-future confusion.

Through our very nature, healthcare practitioners attract suffering. Frequently, we are born into our roles by families in need of healing, and we continue these roles in our professional lives. All the more reason to learn to deal with our own pain, and to invite greater awareness than our meager consciousness can deliver.

Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono is a way to take responsibility for our suffering, and to invite Divinity within to release and transmute this. Most likely we will not know the extent of memories that are expressing at any given time, but Divinity does. Through my work with Lee, Nita, and the rest of my compadres, I feel a curious mixture of strength and flexibility, as well as willingness to simply "be". My moment-to-moment Ho'oponopono practice feels more fluid too.

As Morrnah Simeona, the kahuna lapa'au who updated Ho'oponopono for modern times, once said:

"We can appeal to Divinity who knows our personal blueprint, for healing of all thoughts and memories that are holding us back at this time. It is a matter of going beyond traditional means of accessing knowledge about ourselves."

"We are the sum total of our experiences, which is to say that we are burdened by our pasts. When we experience stress or fear in our lives, if we would look carefully, we would find that the cause is actually a memory. It is the emotions which are tied to these memories which affect us now. The subconscious associates an action or person in the present with something that happened in the past. When this occurs, emotions are activated and stress is produced."

"The main purpose of this [Ho'oponopono] process is to discover the Divinity within oneself. The Ho'oponopono is a profound gift which allows one to develop a working relationship with the Divinity within and learn to ask that in each moment, our errors in thought, word, deed or action be cleansed. The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past."

Morrnah felt it was especially important for those in the healing professions to work with themselves in this way:

"It is important to clear Karmic patterns with your clients before you start working with them, so that you don't activate old stuff between you. Perhaps you shouldn't be working with that person at all. Only the Divinity knows. If you work with a person and it isn't your business, you can take on the person's entire problem and everything associated with it. This can cause burnout. The Ho'oponopono gives the tools to prevent that from happening."

Thanks to the spirit of Molokai, Morrnah, the Hui Ho'olana, Lee Lipsenthal, Nita Gage, and the rest of my colleagues, I feel much more clear and resilient than before I left. Step by step and person by person, maybe we can allow Divinity to clear the pain within and around us. And then, Divinity's inspiration can more consistently come through. It's worth it to me to keep practicing -- what about you?

Peace begins with me,
Pam

1 comment:

GregTamblyn said...

Great post, Pam, as usual. Sounds like a fascinating retreat. And you got to be on Molokai! Always wanted to go there.

Just wondering if you visited or in any way interacted with the leper colony?

Hugs, Greg Tamblyn