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- Spiritual Healing - Introduction
- What is spiritual healing?
- New Age and The Dawning of a New Era
- Spirituality vs. Religion
- Outside Help: Healing Practitioners, Intercessory Prayers, etc.
- Which problems can Spiritual Healing help?
- What Can You Do To Develop Your Spiritual Life
Spirituality involves the recognition and acceptance of a God beyond our own intelligence and with whom we can have a relationship. This God can provide an experience of inspiration, joy, security, peace of mind, and guidance that goes beyond what is possible in the absence of the conviction that such a power exists.
Spiritual healing is when energy is transmitted to the person who needs it.. The treatment works on the body, mind and spirit, which are seen as one unit that must harmonize for good health. If a separate healer is involved, the healer will place the hand on the person being treated to channel the energy from the Higher Source. The spiritual healing can help mental and emotional problems and physical conditions such as a frozen shoulder..
The channeling of healing energy from its spiritual source to someone who needs it is called spiritual healing. The channel is usually a person, whom we call a healer, and the healing energy is usually transferred to the patient through the healer's hands. The healing does not come from the healer, but through him. On the other hand, you don't need a healer to take advantage of spiritual healing. You can pray. A full treatmnet of prayer and healing is found elsewhere.
The word "spiritual" refers to the divine nature of the energy, which healers agree comes from one external, invisible intelligent source. The healing energy from this source is available to all.
Healers see the body mind and spirit as one interdependent unit and believe all three must work in harmony to maintain positive health. Any problem - be it a broken leg or depression needs the power of healing to restore the balance of the whole person. It is felt that sickness often starts in the mind, or at the deeper level of the spirit, and it is often here that healing begins.
New Age is a loose term that includes everything from self improvement programs to awareness of mind-body connections. The movement is growing by leaps and bounds.
Time magazine reported that in 1996, about 44 million Americans identified with the healing movement. It is estimated that Americans alone spend about $1.5 billion annually on books about spirituality and religion. About 42 percent of Americans have sought out alternative health care. So, there is no doubt that the movement is catching on.
"There is a hunger for being connected with a divine force. The hunger is not just for philosophy, but for experience," says James Redfield, author of 'Celestial Prophecy'.
"The consciousness I am describing – the perception of synchronisticity, mysterious coincidences – represent great opportunities to grow. That process works whether you are a brain surgeon or sacking groceries. Consciousness has the ability to break cycles of poverty."
Spirituality can be seen as being distinct from religion. Different world religions have proposed various doctrines and belief systems about the nature of a God and humanity's relationship with it. Spirituality, on the other hand, refers to the common experience behind these various points of view.. It is an experience involving an awareness of and relationship with something that transcends your personal self as well as the human order of things. This "something" has been given various names ("God" being the most popular in Western Society) and defined in ways that are too numerous to count. We call it simply as the God. You can choose to define what that means for yourself in whatever way feels most appropriate. Your own sense of a God can be as abstract as "cosmic consciousness" or as down-to-earth as the beauty of the ocean or mountains. Even if you regard yourself an agnostic or atheist, you may get a sense of inspiration from taking a walk in the forest or contemplating a beautiful sunset. Or a small child's smile may give you a special sense of joy.
Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard University and author of 'Relaxation Response' conducted scientific experiments to determine efficacy of prayer or mantra. Benson believed that there is no magic to the mantra. He taught people to meditate using the word one or any other phrase they felt comfortable. He studied Christians and Jews who pray regularly. He asked Catholics to use their mantra phrases such as, "Hail Mary, full of grace" or use the Jesus Prayer. Jews used the peace greeting, "Shalom" or "Echad," meaning one. Protestants used the first line of the Lord's Prayer, "Our father, who art in heaven," or "Lord is my shepherd," the opening of the twenty-third psalm. Initially, all these mantras worked equally well in invoking the relaxation response and stimulating the healthful physiological changes in the body as a result of it. But Benson also found that those who used the word one or similar simple phrases that had no particular spiritual meaning did not stick with the program whereas those who used prayers continued because of their belief. It has also been scientifically shown that to be effective, the person using the prayer of mantra has to have an unqualified faith that it will work. This is described by the scientists as intrinsic belief, characterized by profound spiritual commitment, devotion and quest for a truly transformed life. Thus, religious component in the spirituality is certainly very useful, and in fact may be needed, before the full benefits of spiritual healing can be realized.
There is much healing and benefit to be obtained by cultivating your spiritual life. A personal spiritual commitment is the most important ingredient. Spiritual awareness and growth can effect a transformation in your whole being. It can help you to develop a basic trust and faith that is unshakable. Scientists call this intrinsic belief.
Many have experienced major turnarounds in their condition as a result of cultivating their spirituality. They feel that developing a relationship with their God provided the moral support, courage, hope, and faith for them to follow through with their personal recovery program. It provided them with a sense that they are not alone in the universe, and that there is a source of guidance and support that is available at times of confusion and discouragement.
Edmund Bourne, author of 'The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook,' has described a number of benefits to spirituality as it applies to healing emotional problems. Dr. Burke has personal experience of his patients benefiting from a deep spirituality. He has listed a number of benefits that are gained through spirituality. These are:
Security and Safety
Through developing a connection with God, you gain security through the conviction that you are not all alone in the universe, even at those times when you feel temporarily separated from other people. You feel increasingly safe as you come to believe that there is a source you can always turn to in times of difficulty. As the twenty third psalm says, "God is my shepherd," he will take care of me and won't let me get into trouble if I trust him. There is much security to be gained through the understanding that there is no problem or difficulty that cannot be resolved through the help of God.
Peace of Mind
Peace of mind is the result of feeling a deep, abiding sense of security and safety. The more reliance and trust you develop in God, the easier it becomes to deal without fear or worry with the inevitable challenges life brings. It is not that you give up your self or your will to such a power; rather you simply learn that you can "let go" and turn to God when you feel stuck with a problem in living and don't know how to proceed. Learning how to let go when solutions to problems aren't immediately apparent can go a long way toward reducing worry and anxiety in your life. Peace of mind is what develops in the absence of such anxiety.
As you develop a relationship with God, you come to realize that he has created you and hence he has found something good in you. You are part of the universe. You're good, lovable, and worthy of respect just by virtue of the fact that you're God's creation. This realization can improve the way you look at yourself and will help you to improve your ego and what you think of yourself. You are still inherently good and worthwhile. Your own judgments of yourself, however negative, do not ultimately count if you are a creation of the universe as much as everything else. As one person put it: "God doesn't make junk."
The Capacity To Give and Receive Unconditional Love
The most fundamental characteristic of God is that it offers you an experience of unconditional love. This is a kind of love which differs from romantic love or even ordinary friendship. It entails an absolute caring for the welfare of another without any preconditions. That is, no matter how another person appears or acts, you have compassion and care for them without judgment. As you develop a deeper connection with God, you come to experience greater degrees of unconditional love in your life. You feel your heart opening more easily to people and their concerns. You feel freer of judgment toward them or of making comparisons among them. Unconditional love shows up both in your increased capacity to give love to others and to experience more of it coming into your life. You begin to experience less fear and more joy in your life and help to inspire others to experience their own capacity for unconditional love. This kind of love also manifests itself through the experience of having everything you need in your life to get on with what you want to do.
Developing a relationship with God will provide you with guidance for making decisions and solving problems. God has a universal wisdom that goes beyond what you can accomplish through your own intellect. In traditional religions this has been referred to as the "divine intelligence." Through connecting with God, you can draw upon this greater wisdom to help you resolve all kinds of difficulties. By learning to ask God for guidance, you'll be surprised to find that every sincere request sooner or later is answered. And the quality of that answer generally exceeds what you could have figured out through your own conscious intellect or will. Here, God is like your co-pilot. God is always available in the instant of need to those who have made a habit of waiting quietly before Him for insight and guidance.
Follow these guidelines for an effective relationship with God:
- Be quiet, patient, and open before God
- Be confident that he will communicate his wishes and help you execute them.
- Do not tempt God or make terms with Him. Gandhi said, "Not until we have reduced ourselves to nothingness, can we conquer the evil in us. God demands nothing less than complete self-surrender as the price for the only real freedom that is worth having. And when a man thus loses himself, he immediately finds himself in the service of all that lives. It becomes his delight and his recreation."
- Be willing to accept what God provides. He knows best. "Thy will, not mine, be done." Have full trust in the wisdom of God.
- Ask for God's help. Do not instruct him on what to do.
- Let God speak to you through his Word. Read spiritual and religious books such as the Bible and learn about the rules of victorious living.
These are some of the characteristics that define a close relationship with God. All of them can significantly contribute to your personal healing process. The extent and sincerity of your commitment will determine the degree of personal healing you experience.
Healers believe that everyone has a healing mechanism that flows as an energy force around the body, mind and spirit to keep them in perfect order. Unfortunately, stress, an inadequate diet, a negative attitude and other adverse factors can block our healing mechanism so that it cannot function correctly and we get ill. Spiritual healing provides the energy needed to crank our own healing mechanism back into action. When a healer lays his hand on you, he acts as a conductor or channel for the healing energy which he believes has the "intelligence" to go where it is needed.
Healers say that all of us have the power to heal, if we choose to develop it. However, some do seem to have a healing gift.
Healing does not always work at a physical level; the illness may remain but the ability to cope with it improves. Sometimes it does not work at all. This may be because the sick person "blocks" the healing forces - some people subconsciously prefer to be ill. It may also be because we "need" to remain ill.
Healing is not just about living well, but also dying well. People healed when they are dying may die more peacefully.
Typically, to begin the treatment the healer will attune with the healing energy. Then he may scan your body, with his hands hovering just above you. This scanning is to take a reading of your body's energy levels and to locate areas of low or blocked energy where healing is needed. How long the healer spends on each area is determined by your body's needs. Generally, the session lasts about an hour. All healers work in this way, but some employ additional healing tools such as visualization, past lives therapy, aura healing or they may concentrate on using the "chakras" the seven main energy centers of the body.
During the treatment you may feel heat coming from the healer's hands, although some people feel a draught, a tingling sensation, pins and needles, or a feeling of fight-headedness. Afterwards, most people say they feel relaxed and peaceful, although you might feel thirsty or sleepy. Leave a few days or a week between sessions to give the healing time to work.
Many Christians ask saints and others to intercede on their behalf. People pray for others. Your chance of healing can be improved substantially if you can get others to pray for you. The scientific evidence for the efficacy of such prayers is described elsewhere..
Spiritual healing can help with any problem, mental, physical or emotional. Healers are especially effective for musculo-skeletal problems. such as frozen shoulders, stiff necks and bad knees.
You can deepen your commitment to spirituality through any of the following means:
- Regular participation in church or your preferred spiritually based organization.
- Regular reading of inspirational literature of your preference. It's good to do this at least once per day, either upon awakening, during your lunch break, or before retiring.
- Regular practice of meditation.
- Regular practice of prayer or spiritual affirmations.
- Get help from others (Healing practitioners, intercessory prayer, etc.)
- Join a prayer group or get involved in a 12-step program that is relevant to your needs. (The 12-step programs offer many people a well-conceived and effective approach for healing addictions. Although they began with Alcoholics Anonymous 50 years ago, they now include a wide range of programs such as Emotions Anonymous, Co-Dependents Anonymous, and so on. Consult your local chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism for a list of 12-step groups in your area.)
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Peter S. Lopez aka: Peta