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Thursday, April 16, 2009

'I am not a healer'

Our correspondent in Korea, Michael Swerdloff, has checked in again with a new essay he's titled, "I am not a healer."

By Michael Swerdloff

It has been forty minutes in an altered brain rhythm. We have slipped from below ordinary consciousness, below psychic all the way down to spiritual healing. It is a state where words, thoughts and actions are not ruled completely by the ego. The shadow has quieted down enough to allow the True Self to speak and be present. The answers are usually simple, a word, a phrase or maybe even just a syllable. In this case, very simple: “Yes”. This is life as a Reiki Practitioner for me.

I am not a Healer. I am fortunate to get to participate in healing experiences but not the Healer. At times I am passed information intuitively but not a psychic. Have facilitated many spiritual counseling session but am not The Counselor. Teachings have spilled out of mouth initiating growth and development almost on a regular basis, often daily, but I am not The Teacher. There have been more situations than I could possibly count when I “read” someone’s spiritual history at first glance, but am not a telepath. I have no particular skills or talents of a supernatural nature. I am not anyone special, at least not anymore so than the next man or woman. How could I be? Why would the Divine give one child any more gifts than another? Arrogant I am; but not that arrogant, at least not at this moment.

I have been noticing lately how many folks claim to be Healers, Shaman, Teachers and a host of other grand positions. If so, why are they still working with the people they have “healed”? More importantly, why would anyone want to be “healed”? If a Shaman or Healer rids them of their symptoms, how will they know what to do next time they encounter a similar obstacle?

Where did this concept of such demonstrations of Grace begin to be labeled as talents and/or skills? What extreme arrogance I would need to think these are something I am in charge of or belong to me. Like Healing and auto maintenance are both skill sets that can be memorized or categorized similarly. One can learn how a Suzuki Samurai works and have complete mastery over returning it to its homeostasis when trained properly, at least in most cases. But Healing is not that way, or should I say, my experiences have been contrary to that. So what skills or talents do I posses that contribute to me in working with others? I Pray a lot. If I was to grasp on to one skill it would be that I Pray a lot. Not because Prayer is required as a Reiki Practitioner, because it provides strength, courage and willingness to go where I would not otherwise. Clarity, calmness and peace are very supportive of the healing process. Another one that comes to the surface is I am relentless. I push and push and push rarely accepting defeat or limitations. I barrel through without allowing fear to trump the possibility of Healing, mine or someone else’s. I have great Faith in Healing. Although I am not sure Faith is an honest portrayal. I have experienced and witnessed time and time again the Will and Courage rise up from within us for greatness to really call it Faith. Faith implies believe, I do not believe in anything. I wait till I have enough evidence and that is what I exist on- evidence not Faith.

After fifteen years of laying my hands on people, holding their hands while they shared their deepest fears and suffering, witnessing their first Prayer since childhood and seeing that look in their eyes that can only be sparked with the Divine, I would not be honest to say I have Faith. I once had Faith, I once believed in healing and there was a time a when I thought I was “special” or “gifted”. When asked, I will respond to the question, “Are you a Reiki Master?” with hesitation and a flinch. The answer I offer that grates me inside and out is, “I am a Reiki Teaching Master.” Why does this make me cringe? Master implies something I have not acquired yet: mastery. I practice Reiki; I do not feel qualified to claim mastery. This is not much different than a medical doctor who practices medicine. We practice. There are too many variables and unique situations to have mastered all of them. I hope I never reach the point when I think I know all the answers without treating each individual and circumstance as unique and in need of empathy, respect and compassion. We have all seen enough of “the treat like cattle method” employed by many emergency centers.

I used to live with a guy who was divorced and shared custody of his 11-year-old daughter who was a Downs Syndrome kid. She was a bossy kid but loved to sit and watch me Pray and complete Reiki self-treatments when she stayed with us on weekends. She would watch me sometimes for several hours riveted. I remember before meeting Katie, I heard people talking about how being around a “special needs” child teaches us many things. I did not know they were talking about what she taught us about patience and compassion was her patience and compassion, not ours. I learned from her how hard it must be to live in a world where those around you can easily understand each other but have no clue what I am trying to tell them. How much patience it must take to watch us fools try to get her to be something she is not, but still love us. What love and healing her presence brought to others and me. Not because a “special needs” kid could tie her shoe or cut her own noodles. Because she put up with our lack of understanding her world relentlessly and loved us in spite of our ignorance. At times it was unbearable to me the gap between her willingness to love and accept me versus mine to her. Katie was one of the few Healers I have known in my life.

I remember the first “miracle” I experienced with Vibrational energy. It was 1993 and I was a Radio Shack manager. I ran many stores but this one was located in a little mall. They sent me this young woman to help out since I was low on staff. She was attractive, fashionable and friendly but didn’t have a clue what a capacitor or integrated circuit was. Hey, I needed the help. One day I was in my office doing some paperwork and she came in crying uncontrollably. I asked, “Hey what’s going on?'

“I just left the doctors office and they confirmed I have cancer in my liver.”

I was stunned. She may not even have been 21 at this point. I didn’t know what to do but somehow this spilled out of mouth without thinking, “I have just begun receiving training in some kind of Vibrational healing through touch. I have not tried it on anyone yet but I would be willing to try it with you.” Just like that manager became human being.

“Oh my God! I was up all night last night watching TV because I couldn’t sleep. I saw this show about people that do that and was wondering if there was anybody in New Jersey who does it. YES! I would love to try this if you would be willing”.

I put my hands on her shoulders and Prayed for about five minutes or so, maybe longer. I was nervous; it helped. I saw colors and felt warmth. It was eerie, in a good way. I didn’t know how to stop the session, so I just sat back down at my desk. She was crying but with different tears this time. A week later she came back to work, ran in and hugged me. She had just left the doctors office and there were not traces of cancer. Nothing. They ran the tests several times and found nothing. About a year later I received training in Reiki, and have practiced some form of Reiki daily since January 26th, 1995. I have witnessed many miracles. It is humbling every time. It lets me know my place in the grand scheme of things. Not very big for the record.

I am not a Healer. I have no special skills or talents. My name is michael. I like to Pray.

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