Liminal Mind

Pia has been a part of Earth Odyssey since the beginning. She has a Master’s degree in Culture and Spirituality from Holy Names University, Oakland, Calif., and is a recent graduate of the two-year Anamcara apprenticeship program through the Sacred art of Living Center in Bend, Ore. She is a freelance photographer, artist and writer based in Payson, Ariz. She can be reached through her photography and design business, Animist Arts, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , website www.animistarts.com and through Earth Odyssey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Monday, 01 February 2010 00:00    E-mail
Healing presence with an open heart

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An essential aspect of complementary healing is respect for and recognition of the client from a holistic (spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual) perspective. Western allopathic medicine offers invaluable benefit and support in many instances, yet tends to focus on the physical plane and may be practiced in a materialistic rather than interrelating manner.

We have all sought healing from practitioners only to find them working on several patients at the same time, flitting from room to room rotating their attention to maximize the efficiency of their office.  Most of us will find this less than effective for us, as the practitioner is literally not present to us in a meaningful way.

Living creatures are complex beings comprised of several layers of energetic consciousness. Imbalance, or dis-ease, is now understood to originate in the subtle realms, in addition to being caused by physical trauma. Even in the treatment of physical trauma, setting a broken bone for example, it is essential that mindful healing attention be given to the individual from an energetic, spiritual and emotional perspective.

Delores Krieger, Ph.D., R.N., a founder, with Dora Kunz, of Therapeutic Touch, (http://www.therapeutictouch.org) teaches the value of compassion in awakening insight, and activating an energetic exchange between healer and client. She speaks of compassion as “an evolutionary state beyond mere survival, one that brings the healer and healee into a felt relationship during the healing process” and facilitates the exchange of information and presence necessary for true healing.

This form of healing is transpersonal, and addresses the rebalancing of the client’s subtle energy field, chakras, the relationship between them and their physical manifestations. Compassionate, focused attention allows for communication between souls, and facilitates recognition, understanding and transformation.

If we accept that healing energies flow through the healer from a universal source, rather than originate within the healer, it is important for us to tune our intuitive, conductive abilities.

In order for us to be effective healers, we need to grow into a place of conscious self-awareness, and develop a practice of contemplative centering. It is important that our understanding and insight are not compromised by our own personal issues and the chatter of an undisciplined mind.

Daily meditation practice encourages conscious presence on a transpersonal level, while diminishing focus on superficial distractions. Meditation strengthens the flow and balance of consciousness within and around the whole person. It offers a place of stillness from which to recognize the language of our soul in harmony with creation.

Our everyday culture, with its multitasking, interruptions and rapid thoughtcycling tends to foster a sense of living in our heads, and we develop a “disembodied” consciousness, i.e., we live in a world of free-floating thought chatter and are not truly “present” to ourselves, much less someone else.

If we wish to be a healing presence for another, the practice of “mettā,” or loving kindness meditation (http://dharma.ncf.ca/introduction/instructions/metta.html) strengthens our ability to be in loving, compassionate relationship with all beings, recognizing and honoring sacred presence in all life. We learn to recognize the essential nature of another in preference to idiosyncratic differences.

The term Mettā comes from theTheravāda school of Buddhism. Its object is to develop love (without attachment) toward all beings. Every breath we take, the water we drink, food we consume, place we live (in the broadest context to the specific medication we are prescribed or shoes we wear) relies upon the contribution of another person, species, material or energetic reality. In order for a relationship to be healthy, it must be reciprocal.

Once reacquainted with the depths and presence in our own heart-soul center, we are equipped to live from a place of truth and reciprocity, moving through the world in a healthy, healing way, without being caught up in the dualistic divisiveness of an unconscious culture focused on material gain. Attempting to be a healer before developing deeper levels of conscious awareness oneself at best reduces the effectiveness of the healing, and at worst, can cause actual harm through failing to understand the nature of healing needed.

Anyone who lives with animals will recognize their sensitivity to our moods and the condition of our energy. It is the same with humans. We are affected by far more than the words we speak to one another. Subtle cues in energy, body language, the focus and quality of attention are interpreted and acknowledged, whether consciously or unconsciously.

This is why it is important to slow down, relinquish our attachment to multi-tasking (which is now considered disadvantageous to health and productivity) and relearn how to be present to one another and our work with our whole being. It is interesting how challenging this can be in the beginning, conditioned as we are for partial awareness.

Daily practice of Mettā restores our internal balance and, by extension, our relationships with others. When we engage with another who comes to us for healing, we are able to see the whole person, and celebrate the intricacies and nuances of what it is to be human.