Tag Archives: energy medicine

INTERVIEW WITH KAREN WILSON

Karen_Final

I recently finished reading a book by healer and spiritual teacher, Karen Wilson. Karen has spent the last decade or so immersed in the study of spirituality, meditation, and alternative health. No stranger to the mystical, she shares her experiences and the techniques you can use to find happiness, inner peace, and contentment in her newly released book titled, 7 Illusions. Karen teaches at workshops and spiritual retreats in Australia and Europe.

7 Illusions asks us to examine who we really are. The seven illusions she explores are categorized as creation, free will, the mind, fear, death, the self, and emotion. Understanding how our perceptions cloud our reality opens our eyes and allows us to see things as they truly are. This is the key understanding that will allow us to live happy, contented lives. Karen writes from experience and is passionate about helping others as we make the spiritual journey. She joins me today to discuss her book and her approach to spirituality.

Welcome to the blog and thanks for taking the time to be with us. I appreciate it!

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What do you think triggered your spiritual journey? What were your own personal challenges at the time?

When I arrived in Australia at 23, I wasn’t at all into anything ‘spiritual’. During my travels I arrived ‘by chance’ in a little town called Byron Bay, the alternative mecca of Australia. There I started hearing about all kinds of New Age beliefs, alternative therapies, talks about yoga-healthy living- meditation, and God. I remember thinking that all these people might be crazy or that there was something they knew that I didn’t. I started asking questions to ‘the universe out there’ as I was being told. I wasn’t expecting any answers back, at all. Yet I got some. Too many to be ignored, I couldn’t keep my head buried in the sand anymore. That was my biggest challenge, to realize that all my old beliefs were not true, that was questioning my very sense of self. I was like an adult back at kindergarten, having to learn everything from the beginning. When I was ready to learn, I started reading all kinds of self-help / New Age books. I started learning energy healing, and I started meditation. All that I didn’t believe in before! I practiced a lot and I also started having many ‘spiritual/mystical’ experiences. My life totally changed in the years following these awakenings. I became happier, more peaceful. I also healed my physical body. I was on medication for hypothyroidism since I was 14, which according to my doctor couldn’t be cured. But the best of all, I found myself and I started living, really living.

Your book identifies 7 illusions. Of these, which is the most difficult to overcome or see through?

I think the identification with the mind is a powerful illusion. Until we experience a state of no mind and realize that we are not that voice in our head, the mind will keep on controlling us. The mind is a great tool, but it is not who we are. Unfortunately we tend to get caught in its incessant chatter without realizing that we have the power to stop it or change ‘what is being said’. If we change ‘what is being said’, then we change the experience we are living. No matter what`s in front of us, the mind will always judge it. Things are either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. The difference between the two comes from the programming of our mind. But seeing things as ‘good’ will create a sense of happiness while ‘bad’ will bring dissatisfaction. That`s the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. When we identify with the mind we are condemned to see life through its filter. But when we understand that we are not that mind and that we have the power to change the filter, then our life changes. We truly have the power to change our mind and our life.

Photo by: Kate Jewell

Photo by: Kate Jewell

I love the phrase from the book about “creating happiness by creating ourselves happy.” How can we go about this?

We can create ourselves happy by changing our negative beliefs and perceptions on life and on ourselves. We will never find happiness on the outside; we will never find happiness in material things. All the happiness in the world is present inside of us. What does it mean to be happy? It is being contented with what is. It is being contented with who we are. If we want to create ourselves happy, we can create the person we will be contented with. The person we dream of becoming. And there is an indefinite number of possibilities of who we can be. For example, are we trying to become rich to feel more empowered and self-confident? Then why not trying to be more confident first, so it doesn’t matter if we get rich or not, we will be happy with ourselves. We can create ourselves as we wish. We can be anyone we want to be. And becoming our dream-self will bring us self-love and contentment which no amount of money in the world can buy.

The book balances the idea of free will and fate. In this way, we’re not omnipotent but we’re not victims either. How do we integrate this into our daily lives?

If we can`t change what is happening right now in our life, we can always change how we are reacting to it. We can always try to fight and resist our life but it will only bring unhappiness and frustration. When we start accepting what is and when we start to live the present moment, then our experience changes. We are not changing the outside circumstances, but we are changing the inside, we are changing ourselves. Instead of focusing all of our thoughts, all of our energy on the past or on the future, we can shift our focus to the now. We can start living and enjoying the now. And in the now we have the power; we have the free will of who we want to be. In the now we can choose to be happy or not, we can choose to be fearful or not, we can choose to be loving or not. In the now we always have the choice to smile…or not.

Photo by: Deror Avi

Photo by: Deror Avi

Why do you think so many people struggle with meditation?

I think it is because we don`t learn early enough how to meditate. We are taught early how to use our body: how to walk, talk, write, use a fork, etc. Imagine if we were to start learning all that in our twenties, thirties or later, imagine the struggle then! It`s also like training a dog, it`s much easier to train a puppy than a grown up dog with its old habits and way of being. It`s the same with our mind and meditation. It does not mean that it`s too hard or impossible, just that it may take more time and effort to tame ‘the beast’. Many will give up after a few days or weeks, thinking that it doesn’t work or do anything. It’s like going to the gym after years of not exercising and looking at our abs after a week and giving up because we don’t have a six-pack yet! I remember the first time I meditated, I only lasted five minutes! My mind was so busy and ‘unchained’ that I kept on forgetting I was meditating! Yet I’m so glad I persisted, as not only it became easier and easier, but it totally changed my life. I think meditation can be a struggle at the beginning but it is definitely worth the effort.

Why is it good to be “out of your mind?

Because when we are “out of our mind” we are present, we are here. We can be physically present somewhere, yet in our mind we are somewhere else. We can be in a beautiful place in nature yet we can’t really SEE it, because we are thinking about something else. To really SEE something we need to be completely present with it. When we look at a tree for example, and start defining it: ‘it`s a nice tree’,’ it’s an oak’, ‘it’s quite tall’, we are still in our mind. We are LOOKING at the tree but we don’t really SEE it. Instead of watching the tree we are listening to the voice in our head which is telling us about the tree. Soon that voice is going to compare that tree to another, make judgments, reminds ourselves of other trees we have seen in our past, then other people, then we are going to think about what we are going to have for dinner. We are still in front of the tree, but we are long gone. If we are ‘out of our mind’ then we just look at the tree, that is all. There is nothing standing between the tree and us, no words, no thoughts. We are really seeing what is. The tree just is, and we just are, that is all.

Thanks for being here and sharing!

For more about Karen Wilson or her book, 7 Illusions, please explore these sites.

Website: www.karenwilson.co

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/omniahealing

Blog: http://karenwilson33.wordpress.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Illusions-Discover-who-really-are-ebook/dp/B00JZHU3TM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407958582&sr=8-1&keywords=7+Illusions+by+Karen+Wilson

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Buddhism, Energy medicine, healing, Spiritual/Mysticism

HER STROKE OF INSIGHT

Thirty seven year old neuroanatomist, Jill Bolte Taylor, rose on the morning of Dec. 10, 1996 to start her morning routine getting ready for work. It turned out to be anything but routine.

 A blood vessel exploded in her left hemisphere leaving her unable to walk, talk, read, or write.

To understand what she experienced, it’s important to recognize how the two parts of the brain work. The right hemisphere thinks in pictures and connects us all as “energy beings” as Jill describes it. The right brain is all about being in the moment and sees us as perfect and whole. The left hemisphere thinks linearly, connecting us to past and future. It thinks and plans using language. It is the left hemisphere that creates the experience of the self as separate from everything else.

JB Taylor

Jill woke that morning with an intense pain behind her left eye. Not realizing anything was truly wrong, she attempted to get on with her day and proceeded to her cardio-glider to get her exercise done. On the machine, she noticed that her hands looked like strange claws. Then she had the experience of witnessing her body as if it were a separate entity. Her head pain intensified so she got off the machine. It was then that everything seemed to slow down. Gone were her quick and fluid body movements. The rigid boundaries of her body evaporated as she propped herself against a bathroom wall. She watched as the molecules and atoms of her body merged with those of the wall. Next she lost her left brain chatter as her mind was silenced.

In the quiet, Jill was drawn into an expansive field of oneness. This was a peaceful, delightful place until the left brain returned telling her she had a problem and needed help. She would alternate between these two realities: one she called La-La Land which was a beautiful state of pure consciousness and connectedness and the other that called her back into the world with ever-increasing urgency. When her right arm became paralyzed, Jill realized she was having a stroke. She knew she needed help and attempted to call work. But by this time, she had lost the ability to recognize words and numbers and it took 45 minutes to finally make this all important call.

At the hospital, Jill struggled with the pain and sensory overload of being in the body. Those experiences were relieved at times by journeys into nirvana (her word); that profound place of peace, freedom, and expansiveness. On a deeper level she comes to understand that everyone can experience this nirvana state.

     “That they could purposely choose to step to the right of their left hemisphere and find this peace.”

This is her stroke of insight, the gift she brought back into the world, the source that would motivate her  year long recovery.

We have the choice to move between the hemispheres moment by moment. We choose, we create. Jill believes (and I agree) the more time we spend in the right hemisphere, the more peace we will find as individuals and the more peace we will bring back into the world.

Jill Bolte Taylor has written a wonderful book. It will especially appeal to the scientifically minded, but it will attract just as many mystics. The other true gift of her experience has to do with understanding what it’s like to have a stroke. If the medical community and family members had this level of understanding, it would revolutionize the care we give stroke victims. I would especially recommend her book to anyone who is caring for someone who has had a stroke. To learn from the inside out what it’s like can only make us more compassionate and more understanding.

WATCH DR. TAYLOR AT TED:

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Filed under Book Review, Energy medicine, Spiritual/Mysticism

Which Element Are You?

five elements

Charles Moss, MD explores the wisdom of ancient Taoist medicine and its application in the Power of the Five Elements. Dr. Moss has been involved with integrative medicine combining the best of western and eastern medicine since 1978. He opened one of the first integrative clinics and has been on the forefront of bringing acupuncture and the Five Element system to the US.

By completing a survey in his book you can identify which element (wood, earth, fire, water, metal) in the system best explains your reaction to stress. Once you’ve identified your element, the good doctor explores how to make the most of your natural strengths while combating your weaknesses. You may be able to skim through one of the early chapters to identify your primary element but even with careful reading, I thought I was metal only to find through the questionnaire that I was primarily wood followed by metal. Interestingly, my husband turned out to be metal and then wood. In this system, every one of us is a unique combination of all the elements. There is no good or bad element.

Each of us experiences stress in our lives and the five elements reveal our typical response to those. Here are the stress responses for each of the elements. You may resonate with one or two of them.

WOOD- anger, frustration

EARTH- search for sympathy, attention, understanding

FIRE- loss of joy, emotionally flat

WATER- paralyzing fear, fatigue, immobility

METAL- depression, isolation, rigid morality

Acupuncture Points- by Permacharts Inc.

Acupuncture Points- by Permacharts Inc.

 

The Taoist system in place in China in 200 BCE, emphasized physical health and spiritual well-being. The Nei Jing, the textbook of the first holistic health care system, described a method on adapting to stressors through knowing how. The greatest insight into a long and healthy life came from self-knowledge, a positive attitude, and spiritual practice. These are the same realizations western medicine is beginning to embrace. This book provides the necessary insights to learning the knowing how of good health through the Five Element system. Some of what is suggested will already be familiar if you have some experience in mind- body science. I am most excited to learn and incorporate the acupuncture points that Dr. Moss suggests for regaining adaptation for each of the elements. Having some experience with EFT (tapping acupuncture points) I know first-hand the power and therapeutic value of acupuncture and I’m eager to incorporate these. I hope you will explore the Five Element system to learn more about yourself and how to take care of the precious vessel that is your body.

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Filed under Energy medicine, Spiritual/Mysticism

Free Online Conference, STARTS MONDAY, You Must Register First

QUANTUM HEALING, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND SOUL EVENT

I’ll be hanging out at this conference and so can you! I’ve heard some of these speakers before and they are worth the time investment. If you’re unavailable for the live event, they offer a replay you can watch anytime. Pick and choose what interests you most. Register today by providing an email address and get set to learn something new for 2013!

http://www.quantumhealingandsoul.com/

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Filed under alchemy, Energy medicine, Event, Spiritual/Mysticism, Uncategorized

A NOD TO NEWTON, A HUG FOR EINSTEIN, AND THE NEW PARADIGM

We’ll never totally get over Newton. His system explains lots about daily life. But we will need to move forward and embrace new ideas and try new things that challenge our worldview. It is said that when a person has direct experience of reality (a metaphysical experience) things become blurry. Literally blurry. Welcome to that new reality.

The understanding of a solid, material existence is constantly being called into question by quantum physics. Quantum physics isn’t new and we only choose to believe that the question is still there. It’s not. We live in an energy filled world. Things aren’t solid, they just look that way. The universe isn’t empty, it’s filled with energy.

Enter a new paradigm for seeing yourself. Quite simply you are an energy being. Here’s one example. Your electromagnetic heart field extends 8 to 12 feet around you. When you walk into a room this field interacts with others. If you sat across from me, our hearts would act on each other. Scientific equipment could “find” your rhythm in my EEG recording and vice versa.

As we start to understand ourselves as energy beings a whole new way of thinking opens to us. We are energy and so is everything else around us. We interact with everything in our environment (and how big that is, is only constrained by how you define it), all the time energetically. These ideas have ushered in a whole new set of treatments and modalities of healing. To access these new methods, we must push forward fighting established ways just like Columbus pushed forward to pursue the idea of a new world. I’m working with two of these new systems currently.

The first is called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Developed by Gary Craig in the 1990s, it is based on the discovery that tapping on traditional meridian points defined in acupuncture systems brings relief from pain, disease, and emotional issues. The other system called The Emotion Code brings relief with the use of magnets run along meridian paths. Both modalities rely on the idea that negative emotion disrupts the body’s energy system and is a major contributor to pain and disease. EFT is widely regarded as helpful in many kinds of cases. Recently there’s been a lot of successful work done with EFT with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Both systems are easily accessible through books and online training. There are also practitioners throughout the country who are trained to give these treatments.

On a personal level, I have had some success with EFT in aborting low intensity migraines. It’s sort of similar to my ability able to use bio-feedback to raise finger temperature to abort a migraine early in my cycle. The real test for the system will come as I see if EFT can help me avoid aphasia after an emotional trauma. I’m just starting with The Emotion Code but it is far more complex that EFT. If you’d like to learn more about either system, resources are found below.

The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy- Cyndi Dale

The EFT Manual- Gary Craig

www.garythink.com (FREE tutorials on how to do basic EFT)

The Emotion Code- Dr. Bradley Nelson

 

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Energy medicine

ENERGY MEDICINE: The Reiki Experiments

Over the last few decades we’ve seen the rise of alternative medicine. As we become frustrated with allopathic choices, more and more of us are looking for another way. And some of those ways are going to challenge us. I take supplements, do biofeedback for migraine, meditation for stress, and see an integrative physician. And recently I had a Reiki session.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Reiki, it is a form of energy medicine grounded in a spiritual practice in which universal energy (ki) is transferred through the palms to promote balance and healing. The original system was developed by Mikao Usui in 1922 and has been adapted over the years by subsequent teachers.

The scientific effectiveness of Reiki has yet to be established as most of the limited studies have been either flawed or inconclusive. I did find a fascinating study of Reiki healers and their ability to influence the growth of E. coli bacteria however. University of Arizona researcher Gary Schwartz (PhD) and Beverly Rubik, a biophysicist, conducted this study at a NIH funded center. The work is detailed in The Energy Healing Experiments.

 

Fourteen Reiki healers would each come in on three separate days and work with a set of E. coli filled test tubes. After completing a standardized form which asked about their well-being, the healer performed a Reiki treatment on a box of test tubes. In another part of the laboratory, a control group of test tubes was placed without the knowledge of the healers. These tubes received no treatment. There were 42 boxes of Reiki treated test tubes and 42 boxes of untreated test tubes.

All of the test tubes were heated to slow the growth of the bacteria to 50 percent of the normal growth rate. If a Reiki practitioner was successful, one would expect more surviving cells in the test tubes which received Reiki than those tubes which had not received the treatment.

So what happened? Shockingly, Schwartz and Rubik found that the untreated Reiki control samples fared better than about half the samples given the healing. How was that possible? After several days of head shaking, Schwartz wondered about the emotional state of the healer. Could that have been a player?

Luckily the researchers had gathered that data and were able to take another look. In cases where the Reiki healer reported feeling physically and emotionally healthy, there was a positive correlation between giving a healing and cell growth. However, when the practitioner reported being stressed or unwell, those samples tended to be negatively impacted.

Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done in this area. But the point really is to know that Reiki (and other methods like it, including Quantum Touch) is on the horizon and offers the possibility of healing. It wasn’t that long ago that most Americans regarded chiropractors as dubious and now they’re mainstream health care providers. Some of these new energy modalities are likely to do the same.

Further reading:

The Energy Healing Experiments- Gary E. Schwartz, PhD

Soul Medicine- Norman Shealy, MD and Dawson Church

Energy Medicine: Balancing Your Body’s Energies- Donna Eden

The Magick of Reiki-Christopher Penczak

 

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Filed under Books, Energy medicine, Spiritual/Mysticism