Healing Circle

Alter at the Freedmans
Alter at the Freedmans

On January 5, 2014, eight friends, my wife, and daughter gathered around me for a healing circle and Indian curry dinner.

The ceremony was led by two wonderful friends. Ramona is a Kundalini Yoga teacher who I’ve been close friends with since 1988. Clare is a magical lady who has performed many rituals to celebrate life with all kinds of people, including my wife’s 60th birthday.

The healing circle was preceded by the showing of two healing documentaries: Mind Stories Helped Cure Cancer, and 3 Minute Cancer Cure. Everyone was deeply moved by Micah’s story.

These set the stage for a four part ceremony. The first three stages took place with me lying on the floor and everyone else around me.

The first part was a silent channeling of energy. similar to the 3 Minute Cancer Cure. It was extremely moving for me to feel the love and healing pouring in.

The second part was really beautiful as well. Clare offered each participant a candle to light and invited everyone to offer a prayer or loving kindness blessings to me and the gathered friends.

Each candle was special to me. Many made me cry with tears of joy and I could really feel the love. Others, like Ramona, made me laugh out loud. I felt safe and secure, strong and healthy, and accepted and loved. WOW!

The third part was a kirtan (holy chants) led by Ramona. One of them was waheguru. Waheguru is the Gurmantra or primary Mantra. It refers to the Almighty God; the Creator; the Supreme Soul; the Sustainer; etc.

We chanted together, and I was blessed to be in the middle of everyone.

We concluded the ceremony with the dedication of merit standing around the alter in the photo above. We chanted,

May the merit of our practice benefit all beings and bring peace.

Then eight of us sat down to a wonderful dinner.


Voices of Healing

I woke up this morning feeling a lot better than yesterday. I had spent much of the night doing mind stories and metta meditation. The metta meditation is a loving kindness meditation from the Buddhist tradition. I’ve adopted mine from several sources and it goes like this:

First you shower yourself with loving kindness by saying to yourself with feeling:

May I be at peace.
May my heart remain open.
May I know the beauty and the radiance of my own Buddha-nature.
May I be healed.
May I be happy, truly happy!
May I not cause anyone to suffer.

Then you shower the loving kindness blessings on someone you love, substituting “you” for “I” in the above rendition. You then shower loving kindness blessings on someone you are having a problem with and follow with showering loving kindness blessings on the whole world, imagining the earth floating in the vast emptiness of space. I practiced this meditation for several hours and woke up feeling fine! It was really important to shower the loving kindness blessings on myself first, so I could feel good enough about myself to shower the blessings on my spouse and other people I love in my life.

In the afternoon, I went to a meeting of Voices of Healing in Mill Valley. It turned out to be a support group much like the life threatened group at the Center for Attitudinal Healing. I was touched by people’s healing stories.

After the meeting, I received a massage from Pauline from Anna Halprin‘s group, and I’ve added her name to the resources list. Pauline is also living with cancer and continues to study with Gabrielle Roth. She was gentle and prayerful as she gave me an Eselan massage. The massage was excellent, and the mood was enhanced by the Tibetan music in the background.

From there I went to a session with Leslie Davenport. I needed to see her again this week because I felt in crisis with the thought of resuming my life as it was prior to the cancer. I felt and still feel that if I allow those conditions to be re-established, I’d be really susceptible to a recurrence of my disease, and this made me panic. There were other issues that came up, especially how much love if flowing into my life from many sources, but I was in the middle of a severe doubt attack.


A Really Hot Day!

This morning, I slept until 9:00 A. M., which is very unusual for me. I needed the rest and felt all right about canceling my tennis date. Getting up so late almost made me late for Leslie Davenport‘s group. The hot weather kept the group quite small. When I shared about being free of cancer in my bladder, everyone was thrilled and inspired. This gave me the opportunity to express my feelings about integrative medicine, and I am beginning to think that I am preaching to the choir!

Leslie led us in a guided imagery experience that focused on qualities we would like to have in our beings. I focused on self-love, self-acceptance and joy. The experience was tremendously peaceful and I had many moments of joy. When Leslie asked us to focus on our little circle, I was reminded of the metta or loving kindness blessings that I use so often. While the other people drew pictures of their guided imagery experience, I wrote out the metta blessings for each of the cancer patients in the group. This is what I wrote:

May you be at peace!
May your heart remain open!
May you know the beauty and the radiance of your own true nature!
May you be healed!

In the traditional way of practicing metta, as I was taught, one starts with showering loving kindness blessings on oneself, because if your heart isn’t open, it’s awfully difficult to reach another. Next, you proceed to shower the loving kindness blessings on someone you love or someone you are close with. This is to bring them joy and heal their pain. After that, you shower the loving kindness blessings on someone you are having a little difficulty with, in order to learn forgiveness and open your heart to the person who hurt you or with whom you are not communicating very well. Finally, you imagine the earth, floating like a jewel in the vast emptiness of space, with it’s green forests and fertile lands, white mountain tops, blue ocean, and brown deserts. You beam down loving kindness vibrations to all beings, and repeat the loving kindness blessings to all occupants of the earth. You end with, “May All Beings Be Happy!” The last statement has been my traditional screen saver for many years!

My daughter just got elected to the council at school and we are going to celebrate her victory and my recovery tonight at the Buckeye!


Meeting Julie Motz

Julie is a sweet, lovely woman who really cares about people and their healing. I was immediately impressed by her softness and her energy. She seems to operate from a space of loving kindness and compassion.

After brief introductions, we got right down to the business of healing. Her theory is that cancer forms initially in the womb! The weak, unformed, incomplete cells develop there because of a lack of nutrients or in reaction to stress in the mother. The cells remain dormant until a stressful event triggers their erratic growth.

Well, I just wrote a beautiful piece about my experience with Julie Motz and Microsoft Word completely destroyed it after I completed the spell check! So, I’ll do the best that I can to reproduce it.

The purpose of our meeting was to do two visualizations, one of my life from pre-conception to birth, and the other, a preview of the surgery on Friday. To get into the first, she had me breath deeply several times and then had me imagine that I was breathing in through my naval, as this was the first place that I received oxygen in my body. I was then asked to experience what I was like just before conception. In my view, I experienced myself as empty of an individual existence, and therefore I was full of everything else. I was made up partly of my mother and partly of my father. I was also partly made up of their parents, and their parents…

At the moment of conception, I felt that I entered through the egg in my mother and was fertilized by the sperm. The tail of the sperm fell off just like a red leaf falls of a tree in autumn, after it has been nourishing the tree since it first grew in the spring. The tail of the sperm helped propel the sperm into the egg, which now flowed down to find a spot in the uterus. The single cell split into two, and the two into four, and so on. Soon, the cells started differentiating, and I was attached to the womb through the umbilical chord. It was through this chord that I obtain oxygen and nourishment from my mother. I also was bombarded with alcohol from Jewish observances and an occasional cigarette. Eventually, I grew to full term and emitted the hormones that indicated that I was ready to be born. I took my first breath of air and was cut off from my supply of nutrients.

The second imagery experience was shorter than the first. In the surgery preparation room, a nurse lovingly inserted the I. V. and gently rolled me into the operating room. Everyone there did their best to minimize the trauma I was experiencing, and I found myself waking up in the recovery room without much difficulty.


Call from an Old Friend

This morning, I received a call from an old friend, Rabbi Zalman Schachter, who is now on the faculty at the Narpoa Institute. He called me because of an email that he received from Sylvia Boorstein. Zalman was quick to wish me well in my recovery, and his demeanor was full of loving kindness. I really appreciated hearing from him at this time.

Later in the day, I helped my daughter with her school project on “Zen Buddhism – It’s Beliefs and Effect on Society.” I really enjoyed reading the material with her and helping her understand the concepts of Buddhism, in general, and Zen Buddhism in particular. The quote which really got to me this time through was,

“This earth on which we stand, is the promised Lotus land,
And this very body is the body of the Buddha.”

Bhagwan spoke quite often on this subject, and I feel connected to the spirit of the quote.


Copyright © 2004-2018, Jerome Freedman, Ph. D.