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The topic this time is healing prayer and how we use our words. First, a recommend. See the movie "Secretariat." It is incredible, the kind of movie all of us want more of (without the excesses of 3-D).
Harvard's Herb Benson and Dean Radin at the Institute of Noetic Sciences conducted a study on healing that had surprising results. In this double-blind experiment, healees reported slightly negative effects from healers who prayed/healed from a distance. Before you jump up and down and scream this can't possibly be true. . . there's more.
They found that the healer gained, but not necessarily the healee - unless - that individual was involved. Quote Andrew Newberg, M.D.: "... the person who is being healed needs to be ACTIVELY engaged in the process, not just a passive participant. Neurological changes take place the moment we see another person's face, so we suggest that we do our prayers and healing at a CLOSENESS, not a distance. We need to hear the loving tone in the healer's voice, see the empathic kindness in his or her face, and feel the relaxation in the healer's body movements." As Harvard's Ted Kaptchuk discovered: "We need more RITUAL during healing to enhance the benefits because one's 'own will, imagination, and belief can modulate the course of illness.'"
Their conclusion? If you meditate WITH the person who is suffering, you'll increase the healing effect.
To me, what these scientists discovered makes perfect sense. Their results underscored what we all strive to do..... to make our healing prayers personal. To do this ask the person's permission in advance, then do all you can to either pray with them or at a time previously agreed upon where they, in consciousness, can participate at the same time as you. Linkup with groups who serve as healing helpers. Being part of their service increases the overall effect. If you are the one administering healing prayer, FEEL God's Healing Energy uplifting, healing, aiding in accord with Divine Order and whatever is best for that individual and his or her Highest Good, and the Highest Good of all concerned.
Really feel this. Know this. Fully and completely. None of us are actually the healer. It is God/Allah/Deity who heals. We facilitate, we focus, we affirm, but the power of our prayers and the results of our prayers are in accord with The Source of Being. To establish needed closeness while in prayer, move into your breath, fully go there. Your breath is God's Breath. Your soul is God's Spirit moving in and through you and everyone else. We are all one with The One. You can't get any closer than that. If you keep spiritual ritual sacred and conducted in a sacred manner, Grace will always lead the way for blessings to flow. In the NAME OF THE ONE there is no distance.
SCIENCE OF MIND MAGAZINE -
I originally came across the experiment just discussed in "Science of Mind Magazine," September issue, page 30. It's the column in the monthly magazine on "Science and Spirituality." (Should you be interested in obtaining a copy or subscribing, contact: Science of Mind, P. O. Box 18087, Anaheim, CA 92817-8087; 1-800-247-6463; www.scienceofmind.com.)
Yes, I am a subscriber to this Magazine and have been ever since I died.
Don't be put off by the title "Science of Mind." This magazine is one of the most dynamic publications about spirituality and the power of prayer published anywhere. The title comes from the textbook, "Science of Mind," written by Ernest Holmes in the 1930s. He was one of the New Thought teachers (like Mary Baker Eddy, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore) who emerged from the original Transcendentalist "Breakout" in the Northeastern states in the late 1800's (Emerson and Thoreau were part of this movement). These pioneers discovered the unity principle as regards to healing - that we are all one within a Greater One, that each person can have a personal experience of this transcendence and can grow in the power and strength of being one with The One, and that once we learn how to affirm and speak this truth we can facilitate the healing of ourselves and others. The results of these "New Thought" pioneers were spectacular. More importantly, how they each taught hundreds and thousands of others to do the same thing was even more spectacular.
On a personal note, there was a small Church of Religious Science (that's what Science of Mind churches were once called) in Boise, Idaho. I joined up after I died, and took their initial class called "Science of Mind - I." I was very familiar with the many facets of prayer before I took that class. I had been a Sunday School teacher when younger, and trained in the prayer practices of all the major religious groups. Several "awakenings" followed which swept me along new pathways in the visionary grandeur of the 1960s and the practice of meditation. Nothing though in my life compares to dying three times in three months in 1977 and the aftermath that followed. Once you have been in the Presence of God, as I am convinced I was during my third episode, traditional pathways, even far-out ones, pale by comparison.
I signed up for the class after attending several Sunday services. This was no ordinary church. What they taught was very similar to what I had learned while on the Other Side of death.
My struggle at the time was to find a way to use what I had learned in dying. It wasn't enough that I had witnessed what I believe was The Center of Creation. How could I apply that revelation in my life? How could I change in ways that would correspond to what I now knew to be true? It was not enough to move from religion to spirituality. If my life could not reflect the difference, if my mind could not translate vision into words and deeds, who was I kidding and of what value was my time within The Source of Being?
I was able to arrange a payment schedule I could afford to cover the cost. Classes were once a week for several months. SOM-I centered around what Holmes called "scientific prayer" or Spiritual Mind Treatment. This turned out to be a five-step method/technique of affirmative prayer. Not just "positive prayer," the five steps to a Spiritual Mind Treatment and how that's taught constitute a course in how to think and how to verbalize. Their main theme: "To change your life, change your thinking." Taking this class wound up being one of the wisest things I ever did. (Apparently you can also take this very same class over the Internet, via the Science of Mind website.)
The five steps basically stack up like this:
This may sound super simple, but believe me, it isn't. I say that because what sounds like "same-old" actually involves deeply felt beliefs and habits from a lifetime of mouthing words that seldom mean what you think they do. I encourage anyone to take this class and experience for yourself how word meanings and what you feel deep inside yourself can be worlds apart. When you pray, the key is to center whatever you do in Divine Order, not my will but Thy Will. You visualize the truth of existence as the Oneness God is, the one power, the one presence, the one mind, the one strength. You identify with that power for in truth you and God are one. You are in God, with God, from God, as God now and forever more. And, in your oneness with The One, you express whatever need or desire exists at that moment, affirming and knowing that healing occurs, that what is true and just and perfect within Divine Order comes to pass according to the Highest Good of All Concerned. You know this. You know your words carry power, the power of the Source of Being, The One God. You express thanks, knowing that it is God who is in charge, for what is truly needed, what is truly wanted or desired, is accomplished according to that Higher Mind. You release your prayer. Surrender completely to that Power greater than you. Amen. Amen.
No, I am not some kind of prayer teacher. I'm simply sharing some ideas, some feelings, that fit in accord with this five-step healing prayer. The key is to convince yourself that the truth of your prayer is so, that healing has already occurred even as you speak, already done in the Mind of God. God knows only perfection, the truth behind and through all that is. Most of us equate what we see around us as reality. Not so. Just ask any near-death experiencer or someone who has had an impactful transformation of consciousness. There really are deeper, more expansive levels to what seems to be true. Learning how to think and how to speak this truth is not only important, it is life-changing!
Still, I struggled in class. I couldn't quite "catch on." My attempts to write a spiritual mind treatment seemed bogus, superficial, hollow. We'd write our prayers, turn them in to the ministers when done, and when we'd return the following week, we'd get them back. I'd find comments smeared across each of my pages saying how I could do this better or different or, how I had missed the main message.
My turning point came when I decided to pray for a pair of shoes. They had to be sturdy oxfords, attractive, and cost only $15 because that's all the money I had for such a luxury. This kind of prayer is not meant to "get things." Still, at this point in my class, I needed a demonstration, proof, solid proof, that this method of prayer worked in the practical everyday world. Soon after establishing my prayer as true and real, I had to run an errand for my boss which necessitated that I walk through downtown Boise. My route took me right past the most expensive shoe store in town, a place I had never visited. Just as I was about to pass the store, I felt two hands grab me by the shoulders, turn me to face the door, and push me inside. I looked around but no one was there. Well, someone WAS there, because the hands that grabbed me were very strong. Maybe a disincarnate? Maybe an angel? To this day I do not know "who" did it. As I turned to hurry out, a shoe display caught my eye. The shoes atop the display were exactly what I was looking for. I reached for a pair and tried them on. Perfect fit. I put them back, sighing to myself about what surely must be a large price tag, and headed for the door. "They're on sale today," a man shouted. "Fifteen dollars." I turned in disbelief. Fifteen dollars? That couldn't be true. This place was out of my price range. Fifteen dollars? I hurriedly paid the man and asked that they be put in a plain paper bag.
I took that bag to our next class and placed it in the middle of the table. When my turn came, I read my prayer, then opened up that bag. There were my shoes, exactly as prayed for. I received a round of applause. That prayer changed me, not because I got something from it, but because of the way I could move through the words of my prayer into a feeling mode that empowered me to see and feel and taste and smell and touch and know that truth really is true. God really is One, and God and I really are in Oneness together as we have always been, and that whatever seems less than or harmful or scary or wrong or of concern or in need of correction and healing, whatever appeared real could be turned around or altered by recognizing the presence of what really existed. I thought at that time that I could not afford a new pair of shoes, much less an attractive pair. Thanksgiving for me came when I surrendered what I thought and opened up my life for what could exist and obviously did exist at the next highest level of thinking and feeling. Those shoes were my demonstration, my proof, that to change my life I needed first to change the way I thought, spoke, and felt. I needed to "let go" and grow.
Ernest Holmes put into perspective why we often miss the guidance we most need:
"Since the whole secret of divine guidance lies in the ability to accept it, today I affirm that I do accept it. I do believe that the Spirit goes before and prepares the way. I do know that every thought and act is governed and guided by a superior Intelligence. There is something in me that knows what to do. It not only knows what to do, It impels me to act upon what It Knows. This very acceptance flows forth into action through me. Always, there is an inner, quiet, persistent confidence, a non- resistant but complete acceptance, an inward flowing with the stream of Life, knowing that It carries me safely and surely to my destination, and to the accomplishment of every good purpose. This is divine guidance, and I surrender to it."
Today I am a Prayer Chaplain, someone who helps others let go of whatever limits them, while they dare to open to the truth undergirding their life and the possibilities that await them. You can learn to do this yourself, and I urge you to do so, irrespective of whatever prayer method or technique you use. Maybe it will take a pair of shoes for you to "catch on," as it did me, or, maybe, just maybe, the "winds of change" will be enough to help you surrender to greater truths and better ways to think and feel and speak.
A QUICK NOTE
The First Annual Afterlife Awareness Conference..... will be held April 29-May 1, 2011, in Phoenix, Arizona. Put on by Terri Daniel, author of "Dialogs with the Divine," a large roster of speakers and activities will be featured - including me with the debut of my newest book, "Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of The Story."
To register now or obtain more information, contact email@example.com or access their website at www.afterlifeawareness.com. Who knows, maybe we can all find out "whose" hands pushed me into that shoe store, at this conference. What fun! PMH
DJamil Graham, the daughter of Juliet Nightingale, has now reactivated her mother's website and radio show, and created a new blog called "Alchemy of Light." Part of my original study on the near-death phenomenon, Juliet Nightingale impressed us all with her intuitive and artistic abilities, and with her dedication to working with fellow experiencers and those dealing with grief issues. Juliet's limited eyesight did not limit her willingness to tackle controversial subjects. Because of this, her website, "Toward The Light," fairly sizzled with that which is thought-provoking. Juliet left us February 28, 2009. Thanks to DJamil, not only is Juliet back, but an even broader vision of her work is now afoot. "Toward The Light" remains true to what Juliet considered her spiritual calling in life. "Alchemy of Light" is pure DJamil, whose vigorous curiosity and daring challenges everyone. Her new radio shows are well worth a listen. Contact the following -
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