I’ve been gifted with being a catalyst for energy healing since I was a child. My mother said I had healing hands and like many Jewish mothers she wanted me to be a doctor. However at the time I thought that if I were to be a doctor, I’d want to be a psychiatrist, which would take at least 10 years of university study and that didn’t excite me so I compromised and planned to study pharmacy instead. This later turned into chemical engineering, which as I have written elsewhere in this blog was not something that was meant to be. Instead I went on a long journey quest through creative activities like acting, photography, theatre, film, writing and spirituality. Finally I ended up a teacher and that as I realised recently is a healing profession
This realisation came as I completed my first formal energy healing qualification with a Certificate IV in Kinesiology. Not long came my second qualification as a certificate Reconnective Healing Practitioner. As well I’ve completed Touch for Health 1, 2, 3 & 4. A couple of years ago I also completed a Reiki course Queensland, as well as doing several massage courses over the years. These courses have given me the confidence to practice my energy healing and the Universe provided me a space to practice my energy healing in my newly renovated home in Bondi.
My informal healing journey however began many years ago now when I was working at the Sydney Opera House when I met a fellow who was in the Opera Company who did Mahikari, a form of energetic healing from Japan that involved giving light. Some years later I began to study yoga and meditation, which seemed to have deepened my healing capacity. I really became aware of that when I taught my mother to meditate as she was getting older and becoming more fragile. Then I gave her light when she was seriously ill with a liver inflammation that the doctors could not heal. She would say how my sessions with her relieved the pain and discomfort of the inflammation. However as it turned out, she actually had cancer in the liver, and it was a secondary cancer that came from her stomach and was spreading around her body. Still it felt good to have been able to help her deal with the pain more effectively through meditation and Mahikari.
The next stage of my healing journey came after the workshops I did with Joanna Macy on Despair and Empowerment in the Nuclear Age. These workshops involved a kind of self-healing and group healing from the despair that came with the fear of nuclear war. The major symptom of this condition was psychic numbing, a condition that was named by a psychiatrist, L. J. Lifton of Harvard Medical School. He had been researching the effects of the fear of Nuclear War. In Joanna’s workshops she talked about nuclear holocaust and when I heard those words I was reminded of the Holocaust which devasted so many Jewish families in Europe, including my own. Apparently psychic numbing is related to post-traumatic stress disorder as it has similar symptoms. ‘So how do we heal from that?’ became one of my big questions.
Many years later I co-led a workshop around that question with a bunch of Jews on cultural identity and anti-Semitism. We used a sequence out of the film The Pawnbroker with Rod Steiger playing a Holocaust survivor who became a pawnbroker in New York after the war. Through processes like meditation, sharing feelings and deep listening and discussion about culture and racism and the history of Judaism, people expressed a sense of healing from the workshop.
I’ve also done a number of Re-evaluation Co-counselling (RC) courses and spent some years doing regular sessions with people. Many of the techniques I learnt there I incorporate into the workshops I facilitate and so I found it very useful, and also I often do one to one sessions in an informal way with friends, however my partner Karen was deeply relieved when I stopped being involved in RC as she said I was very difficult to be around when I was intensely involved with RC. I suspect that reason for that is that my psychological material was so heavy in those days as a child of Holocaust survivors, that the RC process was not powerful enough to deal with it and I was left half processed after some of my sessions. I needed professional help by a highly competent psychotherapist. I eventually found a few who did help greatly.
I actually got involved with RC through the Joanna Macy work. As well I met a woman in that work who taught me intuitive massage. So that was another healing modality that extended the energy healing I’d learnt from my friend in the Opera Company, the Mahikari. It was after this time that I was invited to teach a meditation class at Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick. It was part of a healthy lifestyle programme called the HARVEY programme and I found in this I incorporated energy healing techniques as well as sound healing and healing movement. It was mainly for people like community nurses and people in remission from cancer or members of the public who wanted a gentle non-religious introduction to meditation. I enjoyed teaching this class for a number of years and got great feedback from participants who kept coming back and bringing friends and partners with them.
Gradually my own energetic healing techniques emerged as a mixture of all that I had learned and new creative and intuitive ways to adapt them to particular situations and particular clients. On the one hand, I’ll often tell clients that I don’t really know what I’m doing, because healing is really a mystery that’s beyond human minds and hands. And yet I act as a channel or a catalyst for peoples own self-healing. On the other hand, the fact that I’ve been practicing yoga, meditation, visualisation, Chi Gung that I now call Chai Gung, and other related practices from the Dances of Universal Peace, or Sufi Healing or the Kabbalah or Shamanic practices using nature – all this seems to have deepened my effectiveness as a healer.
So in my one to one sessions I can start with a reconnective healing realign the person to their centre and the use counselling and hands on techniques like Reiki or Intuitive Massage to work on a particular part of the body. This could lead to some stress release using kinesiology techniques or work on the chakras or the lataif or the sephirot, being three energy maps, form yoga, Sufi and Kabbalah that I’ve been studying over the years. What is also interesting is that often my healing will use the Wiri movement that comes from the Maori tradition in Aotearoa/ New Zealand. This is said to represent energy in nature. The funny thing is that I intuitively began to use the movement long before I was involved in the Maori culture or practices.
Finally, I see the Dances of Universal Peace as a healing practice as much as my teaching social ecology is. The work of bell hooks in engaged pedagogy, which draws on the Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and the Brazilian revolutionary educator Paolo Freire, has been a great model for me in this regard.
bell hooks’ first major book on education, Teaching to Transgress, was published in 1994. It is a collection of essays exploring her ideas. She writes in a very personal style, often anecdotal giving examples from her own experiences. This is quite deliberate as she intended the book to be read by a diverse audience covering anyone interested in the practice of education. She argued for a progressive, holistic education – engaged pedagogy:
To educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn. That learning process comes easiest to those of us who teach who also believe that there is an aspect of our vocation that is sacred; who believe that our work is not merely to share information but to share in the intellectual and spiritual growth of our students. To teach in a manner that respects and cares for the souls of our students is essential if we are to provide the necessary conditions where learning can most deeply and intimately be
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEn1KuE5De0 accessed 15/7/14
 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059575/ Directed by Sydney Lumet a film that deeply affected me.
 http://www.sukyomahikari.org.au accessed 15/7/14
 http://infed.org/mobi/bell-hooks-on-education/ accessed 15/7/14