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Posts classified under: 2009

Dying Naturally-Beginning Of A New Life

2009 Jul-Sep

Chiu-Nan Lai, Ph.D.

Birth and death are the beginning and end of life on earth. On the time scale of our infinite life, it may be only a flash, but nevertheless it is a very precious and rare opportunity for learning and spiritual development. The birth experience shapes our view of life, relationships and health. The death experience influences our life after death and our future life. We do not remember our birth but according to Dr. Rudolf Steiner we will clearly remember our death. From the perspective of life in the spiritual world, death on earth is the beginning a new life. How one is born in the spiritual world has great significance.

Because of this, the ancient civilizations and religions have treated death with great importance and respect. During the dying process and after death, there are special prayers, send-offs, blessings and farewells. How one views death, and how one cares for the dead have profound impacts on the one who is leaving, the living ones left behind, and on the entire society.

I grew up in a “nuclear” family, that is, far away from the older generations of grandparents. As a child I never experienced the death of a family member. The death of my father more than three years ago had a profound impact on me. His communications with us after death opened up a whole new horizon. I have written about these in the Lapis Lazuli Light magazine. I feel that during the last few years I received help from my father, and have discovered many new areas of knowledge. Dr. Steiner emphasized that the invisible spiritual world and our material world are really one world. The two are inseparable. We receive help from those who have passed on, usually through the unconscious. Often various ideas and inspirations to action come from the spiritual world. Communications between the two sides are important. Those who have passed on need our love and spiritual support, while we need their guidance, accumulated experience and wisdom.

At the beginning of this year after suffering from a stroke for eleven days, Mom passed away from this world. All six daughters accompanied her during this dying process. We stayed at her side offering prayers before her death, and cared for her body after her death. Her body was cremated four days later. We came to know about the Crestone End of Life Project, with whose help mom was cremated at an outdoor cremation site surrounded by snow-capped mountains. This experience inspired me to know more about this community group and to write about how families can care for their own dead. Because we maintained contact with mom by having her body at home for the four days before cremation, we received her love and her gifts. Each daughter experienced something unique and special. Later when I researched about American families who cared for their own dead, I came to know that this is a common experience, and one that is very different from the experiences of people who immediately send the body to a funeral home.

Many non-profit groups that help families to care for their own dead have encountered many moving stories in the course of helping the families. Some of these groups are influenced by Dr. Steiner’s work. According to Dr. Steiner, founder of Anthroposophy, it takes three days for the higher bodies (etheric, astral and ego bodies) to completely disengage from the physical body after a person stops breathing. During this period the departing consciousness reviews the life just left behind and says farewell to loved ones. This is a very sacred period where the two worlds can meet. The prayers made by the family members will help the one departing. The “dead” completely sees the inner thoughts and actions of those around. Because the higher bodies have not left, the body will not immediately decompose. Also the facial expressions can still be changed.

An Anthroposophical doctor noticed that often the facial expressions of those who suffered before death due to illness become very peaceful one day after death. I have heard of a case in which case a person died in the hospital, after which the facial expression became very peaceful. However, after the body was taken to the funeral home and embalmed, the expression and color deteriorated. When my uncle’s wife died in Hunan, some suggested cremation right away. My aunt insisted that the body be put in a coffin and taken home to the village. Three days later, when her child rushed home and cried upon opening the coffin, blood came out of the mouth of this aunt who had just died. The tradition in China since ancient times is to mourn the body for three days. The body is kept at home for at least three days before cremation or burial. The Catholics in the old days also observed the three day “wake” or watching over the body and praying for three days. A spiritual teacher in India received complaints from those who were cremated too soon after their death, a course of action that made them uncomfortable.

In modern America, the dead are turned over to funeral homes. Those who die in the hospital are removed immediately and sent to the morgue. They are cremated in the hospital crematorium or sent to the funeral home. Sometimes family members arrive to find only a box of ashes. Funeral homes generally use chemicals to embalm the body. The ones most commonly used are formaldehyde and phenol. The blood vessels are injected with these chemicals. The contents and fluids of the intestines and organs are first punctured and sucked out, then replaced with these chemicals. This only slows down the decomposition so that during the funeral, the body looks as if it is asleep. After burial, the body will decompose. The embalming process injures the workers in the funeral homes, increasing the risk of cancers of the lymph, brain and large intestine. The use of these chemicals also pollutes the water and the environment. The embalmed body cannot be worked on by the higher bodies, resulting in a wax museum appearance.

Almost two years ago after Mom developed a congestive heart problem, we began making mental preparation for her eventual death. The remaining time with her was precious and we helped her to make preparations. Every evening before she fell asleep, the sisters and I would take turns reciting the mantra of Compassion Buddha. Om Mani Padme Hum was the prayer that she wished to have recited at the time of her death. We also reminded her to do her daily prayers and make water bowl offerings. When the weather was warm, the sisters took her to walk around the stupa near here. Weeks before her stroke, she looked particularly at peace. Every evening she would thank us for taking care of her. She also talked about “going home”. After her stroke, we played sacred chants daily for almost 24 hours: Compassion mantra, Vajra Cutter Sutra, Sanghata Sutra, etc. We also recited the Compassion mantra near her. Three days before her passing, I was reciting the Compassion mantra next to her when suddenly she opened her eyes very wide. Her eyes were bright and dark like her younger days, and full of joy. The other sisters all came to her bedside. She looked at each of us for some time. After her stroke she had rarely opened her eyes. That evening she communicated her love and joy to us through her eyes. We were all elated, thinking that she was going to get well. The next day her blood pressure started to drop. When it continued to drop the day after, we made preparations for her passing. We set up an altar next to her bed. We placed a relic of Shakymuni Buddha over her head. We also placed Buddhist texts such as the Graduated Path to Enlightenment at the head of the bed, planting the seed for her eventual mastering of the sacred knowledge. We also put blessed water and a blessed pill in her mouth. At least one sister always stayed with her at night. Whenever mom’s breathing became labored the sister would call the rest of us. We would do some energy work and recite Compassion and Medicine Buddha mantras. When her breathing became easy and calm again we would then go back to sleep. On the day of her passing I sat next to her to do her daily prayers. Before finishing reciting the Sanghata Sutra, I switched to her favorite long mantra of great compassion. Halfway through, her soft breathing stopped. I held back the tears and completed reciting the mantra. The sisters all came around to recite the Compassion and Medicine Buddha mantras. About one hour before, our spiritual teacher had told us that mom would pass away within several hours and do not give her intravenous fluid that day. He also instructed us to recite certain mantras and dedication prayers. Before her consciousness departed, we were to recite the mantra of purification and visualize white light purifying negativities of body, speech and mind. Three hours after she stopped breathing, one sister checked the heart chakra with a pendulum and the pendulum did not spin anymore. Earlier it was still spinning. At the time when she stopped breathing, her mouth was slightly open. I could see her bottom teeth. After three hours of chanting and praying, we heard a noise coming from the lower jaw. When we looked next, she had closed her mouth. Her expression was peaceful with a slight smile. After the stroke her face on the right side had drooped a little. There was no trace of that after her death. At the age of 86, her face had no wrinkles and was radiant. We would offered prayers with her everyday. When one sister would look at Mom’s expression, she would smile because Mom’s personality was fully expressed in her face.

The evening that she stopped breathing, after we were certain that her consciousness had left the body, we cleansed her body and changed her clothes. Before we touched her, we first pulled the hair on her crown just in case her consciousness had not left yet. Taped to her crown were the 10 powerful mantras and a blessing pill. The Crestone End of Life Project reminded us do not leave plastic or metal for the cremation. Clothing should be of natural fiber. I carefully removed the I.V. tube from her wrist. This was the only foreign object in her body after the stroke. In the coldest part of winter, the outside daytime temperature was in the twenties Fahrenheit and zero at night. Opening the window a little turned her bedroom into a refrigerator. In warmer weather, one needs to cool the trunk of the body with ice, so that the body can be kept at home for three to five days. That same afternoon I had already contacted Stephanie, one of the main coordinators for the CEOLP. The volunteers went into action right away preparing for the cremation four days later. The outdoor cremation site was covered with snow and it took six to seven volunteers to clear the site. They put up the fencing; notified the fire station and other offices; and prepared the actual wood pyre. All together about twenty people were involved. They also asked if we needed help with the ceremony and taking care of the body. A carpenter made a Palenque to transport the body. We cut juniper branches to be placed over the body. Julia from the group came the next morning to help me fill out the death certificate. She signed the form on the line for funeral director. The doctor that saw Mom after her stroke also signed the form. Then the form was faxed to the county offices at Del Norte. They faxed back the disposition form required for the day of the cremation.

When not busy with taking care of paper work, I prayed at the bedside of my Mom. One day when I opened the door to her room, I saw my fifth sister sitting there quietly in the rocking chair. She told me that last summer when she came to spend a few weeks with mom, at dusk they would listen to her favorite Buddhist songs. She had just shared that music with Mom before I came in.

Saying farewell at home allows each person to have the time and space to say goodbye and accept the reality of the passing of a dear one. It also allowed neighbors and friends to pay their last respects. A friend from Denver brought many flowers. The night before the cremation each of us offered a rose to Mom, and thanked her for all that she had given us. During this period we clearly felt the presence of Mom’s consciousness outside her body.

The morning before the day of cremation I “heard” Mom saying,” I am leaving; take care of yourself.” On the morning of cremation, I “heard” her say, “Cremation is good, cremation is good.” That day I also knew that I must write about the work of CEOLP for other communities.

At eight in the morning Stephanie, Julia and the driver of a small truck came to transport Mom’s body to the cremation site. The other sisters were already there to set up the outdoor altar and CD player for chants. Mom’s daughters and sons-in-law carried the body to the pyre. The pyre was built of two low walls with a metal grate in the middle. Piles of wood were placed below, and drenched with kerosene. Above the body we piled juniper branches and more wood. Then we sprinkled flowers above that. The juniper branches gave off fragrance when burned and also covered the body. Stephanie first offered a prayer, and then the fourth sister lit the fire. We recited the prayers that we had been doing everyday since Mom’s passing: refuge, mantras of Compassion Buddha, Medicine Buddha, “Prayer To Be Born In The Land of Bliss,” and the King of Prayers. Community members who knew Mom and volunteers who were helping out joined family and a few friends from afar for the ceremony. The abbot of the Dragon Zen Mountain Center, who donated the cremation site, was also there. We could feel the warmth and support from everyone. Three hours later at the completion, people actually felt uplifted. One person felt the sky was filled with the Buddha of Compassion during the recitation of the long Compassion Mantra. One friend who had never considered cremation before thought he would want cremation after this experience. Another friend from Denver said this is how she would like to go. She felt the presence of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

The morning after the cremation I met with Wayne to collect Mom’s ashes. As we were collecting the ashes, I started my interview. He has helped in four to five cremations. He joined this group as a volunteer because he knew the person who built this pyre. He is a meditator with no family members living nearby. He felt being part of this group was one of the most helpful spiritual practices that he did. One day when it is his time to die, he knows that this group will take care of his body according to his wishes.

Holding Mom’s ashes, looking out to the snowy peaks at the distance, I know I have begun another phase of my journey. Thank you, mother. May your life and death continue to benefit more lives. Thank you for lifting me up to another level.

REFERENCES:

  1. Steiner, Rudolf, Staying Connected
  2. Harris, Mark, Grave Matters, Scribner, 2007.
  3. www.crossings.net

How A Community Can Care For Its Own Dead

In America, 80% of the people wish to die at home. In actuality, 80% of the people die in the hospital. Their bodies are then turned over to strangers. How the body is treated behind closed doors, is a big secret.  Not until the funeral do families and friends get to have one last look at the dead and then, body is either buried or cremated.

Families don’t know how to care for the dead and even think they have no right to do so. Only the older generations still have memories of caring for their own dead.  When the body is turned over to the funeral home, it is normally embalmed. This practice began during the Civil War. Many young men from the North died on the battlefields in the South. Families did not want their sons buried in “enemy” territory, so they hired third parties to embalm the body and then transported home for burial.  After President Lincoln was assassinated, his body was embalmed then transported back to Springfield, Illinois.  During the two week, 1600 miles journey home, the train stopped at more than a dozen major cities and people paid their respect.  Viewing the embalmed body of Lincoln made embalming acceptable to many more people.  Today, embalming the body has become the norm.  However, even today we can find people who insist on caring for their own dead.

Twelve years ago, Beth Knox’s seven-year-old daughter was accidently killed by the safety air sack at the front seat of the car.  After the doctors pronounced her case hopeless, they planned to move the body to the hospital morgue, then to a funeral home.  Beth insisted on taking her daughter’s body home.  As a mother, she had given her daughter unconditional love from the time of her birth.  Turning her body over to  strangers violated her sense of duty as a mother. As they faced a broken-hearted mother, no one could deny her wish.

The hospital released the body to a funeral home and then the child’s body was caringly transported back home.  The daughter’s body was laid in her bedroom, surrounded by her toys and favorite pictures. During the three days at home, family members, grandparents, schoolmates, teachers, and friends came to say goodbye. People stayed in her room for a few hours or as long as they wished. Because her death was so sudden, people needed time to confront the unchangeable and accept this reality.

During this time of great sorrow and darkness, facing her death brought light to the whole community. It removed the secrecy and fear surrounding death.  The daughter’s death inspired a new mission for the mother.  Beth has since assisted with more than 200 home funerals.  She has taught people to care for their own dead.  Her non-profit group www.crosssings.net has provided many families a ray of light at a time of great sorrow and darkness.

Beth’s experience in facilitating these home funerals showed that when families care for their own dead, the experience is that of warmth, love, light and being  deeply moved.  People often feel the existence of consciousness outside the body.  It is totally different from the process arising from turning the body over to strangers.  Beth believes people need to touch death, because it is a great teacher.

Among the stories of many people that I interviewed in Crestone, the death and cremation of Darlene’s husband David proved to be very touching. About six years ago, David, a talented architect, was near death after three years of  illness. When the doctors indicated that he would die soon, friends from Crestone insisted that he must not die in the hospital.  He was brought back home and died the very same night.  Before he died, friends had chanted prayers with him for several hours.  The very next morning, Darlene was woken with a very loud noise, so loud that she went outside thinking a plane had crashed.  At the same time, a lady driving to her boyfriend’s place saw a ball of blue light. She followed it until it went up a tree.  The boyfriend commented that someone had just died.

David’s body was kept at home for three days, anointed with essential oil, decorated with a mala or necklace of flowers and covered with a shawl used in meditation by Darlene. Darlene experienced light inside and outside her head during these three days. The experience totally transformed her.  The body was kept cool with ice and cremated three days later in front of the house.  At the moment the fire was lit, a friend photographed a ball of light above the funeral pyre. It was before sunrise, so there was no reflected light.  Another professional photographer also captured the ball of light on film.

Stephanie, the key person who started Crestone End of Life Project, feels that the community’s every encounter with death lessens the fear of death. Fear of death often is the hidden fear lurking behind many fears. The forces driving people to hours of overwork, unending cravings, and impulsive behavior are often motivated by fear of death. Many traumas are the result of unresolved issues related to a family member’s death.

Sharon’s story offers an example. Her father died when she was eight years old. She was neither allowed to see the body and nor to participate in any ceremony to say goodbye. For many years she felt she was living in a dream-like world, not understanding and accepting the reality of her father’s death.

Matthew’s story is another example. He is a talented and dedicated member of the community. He was very supportive of the Crestone End of Life Project from the very beginning, and often could be found speaking out at community meetings and writing to officials during the two-year period that CEOLP was being formed.  Now he feels a calling to help Paul tend to the fire.  His own experience of loss of family members to death left a deep impact on his life. His older brother died when he was seven years old. His father simply told him  that his brother went to heaven.  That explanation did not comfort Matthew. Based on what he’d learned from the nuns at school, his brother wouldn’t be going to heaven.

Then Matthew’s mother took her own life when he was fourteen. This time, he responded to the loss with denial and rebellion.  He thought, “With my Mom gone and my father a broken man, no one can stop me now.”  It took ten years of life experience and many more years of therapy to realize fully the impact of the loss of his mother on his life.  Losing his mother was his greatest hidden fear.
The death of Matthew’s grandmother at the age of 96 brought a different kind of experience. He spent time with her, reminiscing about the past together before she died. Two months later he had a spiritual awakening that completely changed his life. He left his high-paying job and after three years of exploration, he came to Crestone.

Carolyn, before joining Caring for the Body team,  had had an earlier experience of helping a friend who was washing the body of her aunt who’d died unexpectedly. She has since observed that when family members are involved in the process of caring for the body, healing starts. This friend’s mother initially did not want to participate in the washing but stayed in the room to watch. She was still in shock from the sudden death of her sister. When the two were anointing the body, the mother pointed out that they had missed the area behind the neck.  She then came over and took care of it. At that moment of participation, she accepted the reality of death and began the healing process.

Anna and Julie are also members of the Caring for the Body team. Anna intuitively knew she was to be involved as soon as she heard the formation of the group. Julie has a background as a nurse in mental health. She had been involved with training medical personnel in spiritual care. She started her career as a nurse’s aid. In those days, as soon as a patient died, they were told to remove the body even if family members were around, not allowing the family time with the body.  It didn’t feel right then, but she had to carry out the orders. After many years of learning and meditating, Julie now believes the best way to support a dying person is to be there with love and without judgment. The flow of love at that moment is very beautiful. If the family members support the dying person with love, the feeling is very harmonious.  If conflicts remain unresolved, then the feeling surrounding the death process could be marked by confusion.

A dying person normally will refuse water and food. This actually will make the death process easier. Intravenous feeding will not prolong life for one who is dying, but may make the death process more uncomfortable.

About ten years ago, before CEOLP existed, a Crestone Buddhist was cremated in her back yard. A few years later when another resident, Laverne, died, she also wished to be cremated. It was spontaneously decided to cremate her in Crestone using the pyre from the previous cremation. Laverne had made many friends with people from all spiritual traditions.  At the funeral they all came to pray for her, becoming acquainted with cremation.

Now, CEOLP serves people from all spiritual backgrounds. Barbara, Laverne’s daughter-in-law, and Stephanie are the main coordinators for CEOLP, which provides support for informed end-of–life choices and throughout the whole process of death, from caring for the body, funeral service, to cremation or green burial. So far those seeking help have requested only cremation. It also offers information about end-of-life choices for other communities to develop their own end-of life organizations.

Paul, who is in charge of the fire, plays an important role in the group. He introduced the cremation technology to Crestone. About twenty years ago he was involved with the cremation of a Buddhist on the east side of the mountain range and since then, he has helped in more than ten cremations. In the early days he used concrete blocks to make a temporary pyre.

Paul is involved with the group is out of reasons of humanity and honesty. He observed the nature of fire is that of release. Family members and friends who participated in the cremation ceremony seemed to move through the grieving process faster. If people consciously released unfinished business and all negative emotions into the fire, it worked even better.

In the many cremations that Paul has participated in, he noticed a pattern. When the body is first brought to the site, there is a heightening of tension in the group. This is the moment of facing the reality of death; this is the dead person. Then the body is placed on the pyre and after juniper branches and more wood are piled on the top, the fire is lit.  This is the second phase. The roaring fire burns the body. There is no turning back, the body is returned to the elements. About two hours after the fire has been burning, the atmosphere starts to be more relaxed. People start to move closer to the fire and maybe soft conversations begin.  Sometimes music is offered at this time.  In the last hour, the atmosphere can even become celebratory, marking the completion  of one’s life journey.

Sometimes, families may still be grieving, but the healing process has begun in the midst of the grieving.  A few weeks or a month later, family members would come to the meeting and appear radiant, thanking members of the CEOLP.  On the other hand, those who did not face the death process directly often grieve a long time.

In the process of interviewing these volunteers, I am moved by their love and warmth and feel a great sense of gratitude for their commitment. I hope by sharing their stories it would inspire other communities to organize similar kind of support for those who are dying. According to Dr. Rudolf Steiner, death is birth into the spiritual world. It is a sacred moment and should be approached with great respect and wisdom.

SUGGESTIONS FOR CARING FOR THE BODY

After the person has stopped breathing, it is best to wait until the consciousness has left the body before there is any touching of the body. Normally this can take up to eight hours. Experienced meditators can stay in meditation for days after.  Certain signs will appear to show that their meditation has concluded. After the consciousness completely leaves the body, a drop of blood will come out of the nose or liquid come out of the lower opening of the body.  The body will also start to develop an odor. If can’t wait for signs that the meditation has naturally ended, one can stop the meditation by lighting  incense.

First, after consciousness has left the body, touch the crown to insure that consciousness exits through the crown, in case it has not left yet. In the winter, one can open the window to cool the room.  In the summer, close the window and turn on the air conditioner,  Use ice or dry ice to keep the trunk of the body cool.  Use thick gloves or towels to handle dry ice to prevent burn. Place the dry ice in a pillow case to place on the body.  For each pound of body weight, use 10 to 15 pounds of dry ice. Check every 12 hours to see if the ice needs replacing.  If using ice cubes, put the ice in plastic bags which seal tightly.

Clean the body and change its clothes only after one is certain the consciousness has left the body.  If the person died of infectious disease, wear gloves. Cover the bed with plastic sheeting and use water or fragrant herbal tea to bathe the body. Dress the lower body with diaper or water-proof pants to avoid the leakage of body fluids. For cremation remove all metal and plastic, in particular pace-makers; otherwise they can explode in the fire.

From the traditions of ancient India and the Middle East, one can also anoint the body with essential oils for preservation and calming the mind.  Essential oils of sandalwood, frankincense, and myrrh are commonly used, diluted about 15  drops to a small bottle of olive oil.  The oil can be used to anoint the chakras.

Choose clothing of natural fabrics, avoid man-made materials. If there is difficulty in dressing, cut the back of the shirt or dress and dress from the front. If the eyes are open, gently close them and put two small sandbags over the eyelids. If the mouth is still open, place a rolled up towel under the chin; it will stay closed in time.

Usually the consciousness of the departed one is still nearby. Sometimes the person may not even realize he/she is dead. They are very aware of what is going on and the thoughts of those around. Thoughts of families and friends with can affect the departing one. It is best to remove all medical equipments from the room and set up an altar reflecting the spiritual practices of the departed. One can also play uplifting chants and music.

Allow the body to stay at home for three days so the higher, non-form bodies can completely disengage from the physical body and return to the greater cosmos. This period provides an opportunity to communicate with the departing one. Families and friends can convey their love, respect and good wishes.  Extreme grief and attachment can interfere with the onward journey of the departing one.  Dr. Rudolf Steiner reminded people to send love and warmth with them.  If we wish that they stay with us, and not leave us, that will hold them back.

According to Buddhist tradition, within 49 days of the death, prayers and good deeds done in the name of the deceased person will help them in their future lives.

Recommended readings:
1.     Staying Connected, Rudolf Steiner
2.     Grave Matters, Mark Harris, Scribner, 2007
3.     www.Crossings.net

Releasing, Creating, and Welcoming the New Earth

The Mayan Indian culture in Central America came to an abrupt end in the 13th century. What they left behind were some ancient ruins such as astronomical observatories, pyramids,  sacrificial altars, drawings, scripts, and mysteries. They left behind a calendar that ended in 2012. Some people have interpreted this to mean that the world will end in 2012, while others believed that the new world begins thereafter. This mystery will be solved in a few years.

The Hopi Indians in North America also have a prophecy for 2012: Many cyclical phenomena will end in 2012, and this is preceded by signs, many of which have occured—the appearance of the Blue Star; increase in disasters of water, wind and fire as well as earthquakes that will destroy many man-made buildings; this is followed by a year of darkness.  During this time of darkness, one can only continually pray, and send out blessings and love.

In the 20th century, Dr. Steiner also had prophecies for this era. He said that that 21st century will see the demise of the western materialistic culture.

Our earth cannot sustain our present conditions forever. The growth of the human population far exceeded what the earth can support, and this has led to destruction of nature. Many species have become extinct, and nature’s response is earthquakes, fire, floods, and storms. This has led to significant losses in human lives, wealth, and loved ones, resulting in immense pain and suffering. How do we go through this change, adapt and evolve with Mother Earth?

Rowena Kryder, now in her seventies, is an extraordinary innovator, artist, architect, and nature observer. She has published over ten books about her insights and observations. She emphasizes that 2012 is not the end, but is an occasion when the earth enters into a new phase of higher dimensions and frequencies.   She has deep insights into the process by which the old earth transitions to the new earth. She has studied extensively of world religions, cultures and sciences, and also has many years of meditation experience. In her meditation she entered other dimensions of time and space.  She experienced sound, color and geometric diagrams as manifestations of different energies in nature, and there the common language that transcends culture.

Many people cannot live in silence, and as a result, make their lives very busy. Actually, the world experienced in silence is very rich and full,  allowing us to investigate the secrets of the universe and to receive creative ideas and inspiration. The ordinary consciousness can only experience three-dimensional time and space. During meditation, she experienced time and space that transcend the ordinary three-dimensions. She feels that if scientists can meditate, they would have greater insights into nature. Einstein’s intuitions came from meditation.

When the old earth enters into the new era, four aspects will be transformed: the spiritual world, the human world, the world of nature, and the cultural world. Everything has to go back to its source. This source is the origin of all creations, and is none other than great love and great joy. Different cultures and religions use different words to express this: God, Creator, the Way (Dao), Emptiness, etc. The difficulties, pain and conflicts in the old earth arise because people do not connect with this source but pursue its offshoots. Happiness and joy come from this source, and not from external attributes such as wealth, status and close relationships. During this time when the old and new meet, people are forced to release that which belong to the old earth, and thereby encounter many losses. In experiencing losses, trust and love are needed—trust that this is the process of transformation, the darkness before dawn—in order to connect to the source. What is worn out and unnecessary in life need to be released: restrictive thinking,  negative emotional reactions, non-meaningful work, unsafe living places, companionships where the karmic conditions have ended, and especially negative emotions such as sorrow, anger, and fear. Emotions cannot be suppressed, and can be released only by facing and experiencing them. Methods of release that have been introduced before include tapping, rotating one’s eyes, visualizing blue light, etc.

Rowena recommends that taming one’s emotion states is akin to training a puppy or kitten, and requires patience. Only by releasing fear and worry can one connect to the source, be inspired, and renew one’s energy. Taking a stroll in nature and then meditating is a way to release worry and anxiety, and connect to the source.

Rowena’s insight is that with release one then can receive new inspirations. After that, one needs to think about or formulate actions in order to manifest the new creation.

To act upon one’s newly-obtained inspirations requires courage. Many people fear failure and mockery by others, and take a step backwards. In order for the earth to be transformed, everyone must act on their inspirations. If a person does not honestly express his inspiration, it is as if he has not truly lived—it is like living as a walking corpse and his life force will diminish.

When we fall ill and experience pain and suffering, we need to quiet down and ask: what are the old aspects that need to be released? What are the inspirations or dreams that we have not had the courage to actualize? Connecting to the source enables us to connect to energy, vitality, and joy.

Welcoming the new earth requires our participation. Remember to connect with the source, and remember that we have no limits. Let our hearts be filled with light, peace, warmth, love, optimism, trust, and joy. In this way, inspiration will naturally come. Let our heart rest in silence. Begin with small releases, small actions. Step by step, bit by bit, we will arrive in the new earth.

 

Translated by Singapore Lapis Lazuli Light.
Article originally published in Chinese in Lapis Lazuli Light magazine (Nov 2008 issue); available at http://www.lapislazuli.org/TradCh/magazine/200811/200811.html

New Generation of Children’s Health Care

A friend of mine who lives in a big city recently observed that her friends’ children are suffering from skin allergies, red rashes, and problems of the respiratory tract. I had a chance to ask Dr. Philip Incao about it, who is a pediatrician.  He thinks that children of the current generation are facing a major health crisis, the main causes are overuse of antibiotics and excessive vaccinations.

Dr. Incao is often invited to the Waldorf Schools to speak with parents and teachers about children’s health.  The following are the main points highlighted in his speech to them:

How to treat illnesses related to inflammation?

The best doctors are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet  and Dr. Merryman.

Inflammation is the most common ailment in childhood. ‘Infection’ is not an appropriate description as it assumes that pathogenic bacteria are the source of the illness. This is a misunderstanding. We are constantly in contact with germs. Our bodies also contain bacteria, yet we are sick only occasionally. Why do we fall sick only at certain occasions?

From birth till death, our bodies are growing and changing constantly. Health is the balance between mind and body. Childhood is body’s fastest period of growth, where the body goes through many major changes. Old cells die and become waste. The immune system breakdowns the old cells, then fever and inflammation digests them. Germs are not the cause of illnesses; they are merely dependant on the nourishment of the waste products of the old cells.

Doctor Diet

When the body is purging toxins, it is best not to have to digest too much food. Avoid food with high protein when one is down with acute illnesses. The patient can take vegetable soup, herbal teas, vegetable and fruit juices. Beverages should be taken at or above room temperature. Fruits, cooked vegetables and grains can be taken.

Doctor Quiet

During illnesses, children require a quiet, harmonious and peaceful environment. It is best that parents comfort and support the child calmly. When a child is sick, it is often the best opportunity for strengthening parent-child bonding and communication.

Doctor Merryman

Fever should not be viewed as an unhealthy and dangerous bodily reaction. It is a message from the body. It is the body’s reaction in its process of purging toxins and foreign substances. Studies in recent years showed that anti-fever medications repress the immune system and increases toxins in the body. They are actually harmful to the body as they may protract or even complicate the illness.

Many parents have great fear about fever. Towards such great unknown force, it is natural to be fearful. However, inflammation and fever are healing energies. Do not regard flu or fever as disturbances, and feel frustrated, worried or anxious. We can consider them as the function of a deeper wisdom. A positive attitude can help in quicker recovery.

Dr. Incao has a young patient of 5 years old. At the most critical moment of his illness, he told his mother, “Don’t worry, mama, I am just growing.” All the growth in nature requires the initial earth loosening, then fertilization. This is likened to the fever and inflammation of a child.

Extracted from Lapis Lazuli Light Magazine Feb 2008 Issue
Translated by Lapis Lazuli Light Singapore

Walking Out of Fear and Embracing Health

A lady who had terminal pancreatic cancer consulted health specialist, Dr. Stephan Anthony (chiropractor), whose treatment method involves finding the source of an illness. Through his experience treating patients over the years, he has identified fear and stress as the common sources of illnesses. Fear causes acidity in the body, an environment that illnesses such as cancer thrive in. Removing this fear as well as the subconscious beliefs to develop fear is the first step to recovery. He used a muscle testing method to assess whether her subconscious is in agreement with the statements “I love myself” and “I want to live” (refer to the book “Energy Medicine” on the muscle testing method). People with serious illnesses generally are subconsciously denying these two statements. As expected, when this lady uttered these two statements, her muscles became weak, which indicated that her subconscious did not agree. Dr. Anthony led this lady to enter into a condition where her left and right brain are in balance. While crisscrossing both her left/right ankles and hands, she softly said “I love myself”. After her body accepted this new thought, the thought “I will live” was inputted into her subconscious. During the session, other negative emotions such as guilt and regret surfaced. The whole process lasted two hours. A few months later, this lady called to say that her doctor could not find any more traces of cancer in her body.

Dr. Anthony uses the analogy of a hard drive to refer to the subconscious mind. Before the age of five, the conscious mind does not  filter one’s life experiences. Whatever he sees, hears or experiences all go straight to the subconscious. For example, our parents’ views of life and of us will form part of our own views of life and of us. These limiting views and emotions such as fear, anxiety, and worry become the driving forces behind our life experiences.

Muscle testing techniques can be used to assess the beliefs contained in the subconscious mind. During testing, keep the eyes looking down. We can test some of our attitude towards life and other views. When our subconscious agrees, our muscles become stronger; when it disagrees, our muscles become weaker. Other than the two statements tested above, others include: (1) the universe has a system, (2) the universe is chaotic, (3) my needs are fulfilled, and (4) life offers me happiness and abundance.

The following example shows how negative emotions can cause negative reactions from the body. About thirty years ago (1980), a psychiatrist, Dr. Roger Callahan, counseled a patient who had water phobia. This lady experienced headaches, nightmares at night, and a poor digestive system. She had sought medical help for many years, and this psychiatrist had counseled her for over 1.5 years without any signs of improvement. At that time, Dr. Callahan was learning the Chinese meridian system. On that day, this patient had some digestive problems. In a moment of inspiration, he used his fingers to tap below her eyes (which contained an acupuncture point on her stomach meridian). To his surprise, her fear towards water immediately disappeared, and so did her headache. She immediately ran to the side of a nearby swimming pool to wash her face, and did not experience any more nightmares. Dr. Callagan used this method of tapping on acupuncture points to cure many other patients of their illnesses. This simple method has been used by many other psychiatrists with very good results. Seventeen years ago, Gary Craig, an engineer who graduated from Stanford University, learnt this method and then simplified it to one that anyone can use. He feels that one can tap on major acupuncture points for a minute each, without identifying the specific acupuncture points where the emotional energies resided. This was how the Emotional Free Technique (EFT for short) was born.

Craig’s explanation is that negative emotions arise because of blockages in the meridians. If these energy blockages are not cleared, the emotional issues will continue to surface. Tapping on acupuncture points is a simple way to clear these blockages. As an example, last year, a singer was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She spent five days to tap on her acupuncture points to eliminate the chaos, confusion and conflicts that she had experienced in life. When her surgeon operated on her five days later, he could not find any trace of cancer. This singer had invited her friends to be witnesses, and assist her in getting rid of her blockages.

Craig used EFT to counsel many patients whose bodies and minds had been greatly wounded. These patients included war veterans from the Vietnam and Iraq wars. These veterans were physically and mentally wounded during the wars, and images of the war kept surfacing in their dreams. Fear, shock, anger, guilt, and self-reproach filled their entire consciousness, and prevented them from leading normal lives. EFT was able to remove many of these symptoms within minutes. After a few sessions, they were able to lead normal lives. Their transformation is nothing short of a miracle. Many car accident victims also experienced aftereffects, but were able to recover after using EFT. There was a lady who needed to use crutches to walk and had chronic headaches. She survived a road accident many years ago. Her family members were in the car during the accident, but her injuries were most severe. To heal her headache, he asked her to tap the outside edges of her hand (or press the two sore points located on the upper left and right of her chest). As she had tapped on these points, she said: “Although I have a headache, I completely accept myself”. After that, she repeated “I have a headache” and tapped on the major acupuncture points on her face around her eyebrows, corner of her eyes, between her nose and lips (renzhong acupuncture point), lower jaw, and areas below her armpits that she can reach. After a few rounds, her headache became less severe. Then, she changed her verse to: “Although I am still having a little headache, I completely accept myself”. After a few minutes, her headache disappeared. She then turned to healing her inability to balance herself in walking. She said: “Although I cannot balance myself when I walk, I forgive myself”. Craig may have guessed that she was blaming herself for the accident because she was driving the car at the time of the accident. After a few rounds of tapping on the acupuncture points, she no longer needed crutches to walk. Upon a further few rounds, she was able to stand up on one foot. She found it hard to believe the speed of her own recovery.

In his new book, The EFT Manual, Craig emphasized that the method works best when there is a specific goal in mind. Those who fear heights can perform the tapping while recalling standing on high altitude. Those who want to clear the blockages from being beaten, scolded or harmed have to think about the actual scenes when these incidents occurred, and clear the blockages one by one. Although we may not remember some of the incidents, the associated blockages can be released during the clearing session.

Based on Craig’s experience, 70% of people only need to tap on the acupuncture points mentioned earlier to clear their blockages. However, the remaining 30% need to tap on additional point called the Gamut point, located on the back of each hand, half an inch behind the midpoint between the knuckles at the base where the fourth finger and little finger meet toward the wrist. As they tap on the Gamut point continuously, they have to perform the following nine actions:

  1. close their eyes
  2. open their eyes
  3. eyes turn toward the right corner of the eyes
  4. eyes turn toward the left corner of the eyes
  5. eyes turn clockwise
  6. eyes turn anti-clockwise
  7. hum two seconds of a song such as “Happy Birthday”
  8. count 1 to 5
  9. hum two seconds of a song again

Here are some verses for your reference when going through the treatment: “Although I am afraid of snakes, I completely accept myself”, and “I deeply love and accept myself, even though … ”. Other than the methods introduced by the book, you can also consider using other wholesome thoughts. You can chant a mantra, visualize light, or invoke some thoughts that bring you comfort such as “Please bless me, Avalokiteshvara”. All incidents that lower our energy levels can be subjected to the tapping treatment. Similarly, when one is feeling emotional, the treatment can be used immediately to prevent the accumulation of the emotions within the meridians.

Many events that we no longer think about can interfere with our energies. These include: moving, changing schools, war, giving birth, quarrels, falling out of love, getting lost, accidents, and being ostracized. The EFT method can also be used to remove body ailments such as blocked nose, gastric pains, headaches, fatigue, allergies, as well addictions to liquor, cigarettes, and food. It is also possible to do the tapping on behalf of others. Imagine yourself as someone else and then tap the acupuncture points. There was a case of a lady who was woken up by her husband’s snoring. She tapped on her acupuncture points on his behalf, and in a short while, her husband’s snoring stopped.

Falling sick is an opportunity for healing and awakening ourselves. It can eliminate the emotions and experiences that limit us. The way we view ourselves and life may be inherited from the way our parents look at us—is it with respect? acceptance? welcome? without worry? or is it anxiety? rejection? control?

The negative can be changed to become positive. When the left and right brains are in balance, input new ideal scenes into our consciousness. Our parents are looking at us with welcome, respect, acceptance, and without worry. Only when this message is completely accepted is the transmission considered complete. Sometimes, difficulties may be encountered when inputting the new message. One lady said that she had trouble visualizing being loved by her mother because she had never received love from her mother.

I suggest that it is possible that her mother may not have received love when she was young, so one way is to visualize herself as her grandmother who is giving love to her mothers. This may be an easier way to change this negative attitude towards one’s mother, and to input the feeling of being loved. Another lady said that both her parents had been adopted, and did not know who her paternal and maternal grandparents were. I suggested that she use the power of her mind to bring the energies of the three generations together. A few days later, on the day that the June workshop ended, she emotionally told me that she had succeeded in doing this. She could feel the energies of her paternal and maternal grandparents connect with those of her parents.

Another student asked me why her ailments tended to be on the right side. In general, the right side is associated with one’s father, and the left side associated with one’s mother. Hence, I enquired about her father’s condition, and she replied that her father was generally in good health and died in his nineties. I then asked her about her relationship with her father. She said that it wasn’t good—her parents had an unhappy marriage, and through the influence of her mother, she could not relate well to her father even though he loved her very much. It was only after his death that she felt regret. I told her that even though her father was no longer in this world, she could still send her love and blessings to him as one’s consciousness does not die.

One of the teachers at the Crestone workshop was Harold McCoy, who learnt about the power of the mind through dowsing. He later investigated about the nature of the mind and its utilization. He once used the dowsing method to find a stolen harp, even though he was in Arkansas and the harp was in California. He also used the dowsing g method to locate a little girl lost in the forest. He can cause a tumor to quickly disappear, help a brain-dead young man come to life, and even enabled a cat to grow new teeth.

In his distance healing, he first cleanses the mind of its negative energies left by negative emotions. He does this by visualizing a tube filled with white liquid light, allowing unconditional love from the universe to cleanse the mind of fear, anger, sorrow, etc.

This November, he will conduct a course in Asia on how to develop one’s ability to heal oneself, other people, and the earth.  During class everyday, we performed distance healing on the earth, cleansing her and helping her to recuperate. We will send love from the universe in the form of light to earth, and the colours include white, green, blue, golden, and the seven rainbow colours. We made arrangement everyday at Taiwan time 7 a.m. and California time 3 p.m. (solar time) to spend five minutes blessing and healing the earth. We welcome everyone to join us in sending our blessings to every life form on earth.

Extracted from Lapis Lazuli Light Magazine Nov 2008 Issue
Translated by Lapis Lazuli Light Singapore