The unfolding of the lotus... the opening of heart and soul... come travel with me through multiple worlds of consciousness and shifting frequencies of vibrational awareness.
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Image by Kalalani
In 1970, long before the term "holistic" was commonly used, my gynecologist told me I had an ovarian cyst that would have to be surgically removed. Never having had an operation, I was reluctant to take his advice. I went to the library and came home with an armful of obscure books on herbs, nutrition, Chinese medicine, and ancient Greek and Roman medicine. In 1970 it was literally possible to hold all of the library's alternative healing books in one armful! I devoured them, while asking myself, "Why isn't this information common knowledge?"
Within a few weeks, I created a treatment plan for myself. A month later, I returned to the gynecologist and when he examined me, he was shocked to discover that the cyst was gone! Yet he had no interest in hearing how I had cured myself. He preferred to believe that the cyst ruptured spontaneously. For me it was the beginning of my career. With this victory, I vowed to use my writing skills to help people learn to heal themselves.
I thought of myself as a writer since the third grade, when my teacher took me under her wing and encouraged me to write short stories. Throughout school, my academic achievements were unremarkable, but I did well on term papers. Then I could spend plenty of time researching topics that I felt passionate about. I majored in English at UC Berkeley and elsewhere, but after three years, my creativity, my academic curiosity, and my intuition felt stifled.
I left college, moved to upper Manhattan, found a friend at Columbia University, and borrowed her library card. I practically moved into the stacks. At the end of each of these narrow aisles of floor-to-ceiling books wasa tiny desk with an armchair and its own little reading lamp. There I curled up and succumbed to my utter passion for books, studying the topics I loved for as long as I liked. Then I would wander down to the Music Library where I was delighted to discover individual booths with headphones and a collection of 100 records that made up a complete music history course.
During this time I worked as an office temporary, which gave me just enough money so I could spend most of my time at Columbia, creating my own brilliant courses in literature, writing, and music history. In the mornings, I would meditate and read books on Buddhism and other esoteric spiritual teachings. I had been meditating since the age of 13, when my older brother gave me a copy of D.T. Suzuki's Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.
Herbalism, Acupuncture, Abortions
In 1964, I moved to the Lower East Side of Manhattan and fell in love. When I became pregnant two years later, I wanted to give birth at home, but there were no midwives and there was only one doctor in all of New York City who did home deliveries. Since she was busy with four other births when I went into labor, I eventually had to go to New York Hospital. There I insisted on giving birth naturally even though they tried to persuade me that after 24 hours of labor I should have a caesarean. After laboring for 36 hours, I let them induce contractions and I gave birth vaginally. I insisted on breastfeeding my baby (which simply wasn't done at that time), even though the nurses tried to convince me that the colostrum had no nutritional value.
I wanted to raise my children differently than I had been raised. I read a book about the Hopi Indians, who seemed to live the kind of life that I wanted. They gave birth at home, nursed their babies, held them constantly and did not instill unnecessary fear or guilt in them. So I went to Hopiland in Arizona. I did not learn much about herbs or shamanism from these people. I learned more about humility, community, and family life, while hauling water, washing dishes and tending the corn. Their values and their whole way of life rubbed off on me in subtle doses, which eventually became part of my own life and strongly influenced my teaching style.
Later I lived near Taos, New Mexico, where I met Little Joe, who was the Roadman—the one who leads the meetings—for the Native American Church. He was a small and humble man with tremendous spiritual wisdom. I felt privileged to attend his meetings, where I learned to pray from my heart and witnessed miraculous healings. This would happen when the whole group of about 30 people would bring the power of their intention, powered by their chanting and their prayers, to help individuals in the community. Through these meetings, I found my singing voice, and I reunited with my parents. This story is told in my book, The Healing Voice, which I will speak about later.
My introduction to herbalism came while living in two different country communes, where we experimented with healing ourselves. The first was in 1967 at Cold Mountain Farm in Upstate New York. The second was at Black Bear Ranch in Northern California in 1969, with its 200 acres of land and up to 80 residents—an ideal laboratory for herbal experimentation. I became one of the self-appointed healers for the community (along with Michael Tierra, who later wrote several books on herbalism). There were no herbal schools in the United States at that time, so we learned by trial-and-error, using old herbals like Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss.
I moved to Seattle in 1970 with my son Kalon and my new husband Paul Prensky, so that Paul could attend the University of Washington Nursing School. We visited the Country Doctor Clinic, and when they learned of my experience with herbs and natural healing, they invited me to teach and work there as an Herbalist and Alternative Practitioner. They also trained me as a Women's Paramedic and a Pregnancy Options Counselor. Meanwhile, I became pregnant with my second son.
During this time, I pursued my herbal studies with Norma Myers, an Indian herbalist from Vancouver, BC.; I became a licensed masseuse; and I took one of the first acupuncture courses in the United States with Dr. Liao. I taught a weekly herb class at the Country Doc with Eliza Schmidkunz, and in 1972 we produced a little yellow manual called Healing Yourself. It was originally published by the clinic as an introduction to preventive medicine. We unwittingly produced the first contemporary medicinal herbal in North America. The first 500 copies were gone in a flash. News of the book spread by word-of-mouth. Mothers gave it to their daughters and daughters to their mothers. Copies were carried throughout the world. Letters arrived each day, thanking us for writing the book, ordering more copies and sharing more remedies. I revised and expanded the book seven times, and it eventually sold over 100,000 copies. Many people called it their bible.
During my pregnancy with my second son, Reuben, I became more knowledgeable about the use of herbs during pregnancy and childbirth. The Country Doctor had several open-minded doctors, including Jim Campbell, who helped me to expand the Pregnancy and Childbirth section of Healing Yourself.
Jim did home deliveries with four midwives in the Seattle area, and he also assisted with abortions and trained women to do Menstrual Extractions—a quick, simple, and inexpensive method for ending unwanted pregnancies (which has since become virtually obsolete, which is inexcusable).
I have been through unwanted pregnancies which ended in abortions, because I believe passionately that every child should have the birthright of unconditional love. I believe that the lack of this kind of parental love is the underlying cause of most of the miseries of society. I know how wonderful and how difficult it is to raise a child, and I believe that parents should feel totally committed and enthusiastic about that task before they take on the sacred role of stewardship to another human soul.
I experienced an abortion while I was living in British Columbia, which required a Hospital Review Board, followed by full hospitalization and anesthesia. It was a dreadful, humiliating, painful and time-consuming ordeal. By contrast, being supported through a Menstrual Extraction at the Country Doc, with minimum time and maximum caring, was a humane, quick and virtually painless experience.
While working as a Pregnancy Options Counselor, I met women who had been rushed through ambivalent abortions. Sadly, their pain and grief lingered for years. I wanted women and couples to have easy access to compassionate counseling and to be well educated about their options. I felt guided to help women and couples make an emotional connection with the spirit of the baby, and was able to take many women through visualizations that often resulted in their deciding to keep their babies. The women who decided to have abortions were able to do so with less trauma, feeling more at peace with a well-considered choice.
A year after Healing Yourself was published, it was reviewed in Mother Earth News and New Age Journal. The reviews were so enthusiastic that an editor at Bantam Books read the book, liked it, and asked to publish it. I signed a contract with Bantam for a series of three books about natural remedies for 1) pregnancy and childbirth, 2) problems of adulthood, and 3) problems of aging. In 1982 the first volume, Healing The Family was published.
Unfortunately, both my editor and I were naive. In the section of the book about preparing for pregnancy, I wrote a few paragraphs in which I dared to suggest that an unwanted pregnancy could be easily terminated through the use of a few specific herbs, which I named. Frantic readers contacted (and probably threatened) the publishers, because the remaining books were pulled from the shelves and destroyed, and my contracts were terminated. I was devastated.
In 1985, I moved to Victoria, B.C., and self-published Abortion‹A Personal Approach which is now out-of-print (though I do have a few copies). I contacted The Crossing Press, a small company that had always liked Healing Yourself, and they enthusiastically agreed to publish my books. I worked with my publisher, Elaine Gill, to make Healing The Family into three separate books. In 1986 they published A Difficult Decision--A Compassionate Book about Abortion, a revision of the first abortion book, without the remedies. I didn't want that information in the wrong hands because we had no way of knowing how the remedies might affect the fetus if the mother chose to have the baby after using them. In 1987 Healing Yourself During Pregnancy came out. In 1989, they published The New Healing Yourself--Natural Remedies for Adults and Children, which was later translated into German and Russian. The New Healing Yourself went out-of-print in the U.S. in 1998, after 26 years of continuous publication. Healing Yourself During Pregnancy went out-of-print in 2000, after 13 years of publication.
A Difficult Decision went out-of-print after just a few years, because sales were so low. The "right to life" people didn't like it because I advocate free choice. Most "pro-choice" people were uncomfortable because I spoke about the spiritual and emotional aspects of abortion. So the book fell into a black hole. Yet that book changed more people's lives, at a very deep level, than anything else I have written. (Excerpts from a recent letter and ordering information can be found at A Difficult Decision. It is still available directly from me.)
In 1970, when Kalon was 4 years old, his father, Allan Hoffman, was killed in an automobile accident in Northern California. Though Allan and I had been separated for two years, we lived in the same commune and Kalon had been very close to him. After Allan's death Kalon developed a stomach pain which rapidly grew into what seemed to be an ulcer. A close friend referred us to a venerable homeopathic doctor in San Francisco.
That kind man spent an hour talking to us, and then he took Kalon into his office and spoke to him for another half hour. Finally he emerged and pulled up his chair close to me. He took my hand in his own and I felt his warmth as he said, "This child is like a finely made watch. His ego was all tied up with his father, and when his father died, the main spring exploded. This remedy will help him to reintegrate. It will pull all the parts back together." He placed a small vial of what looked like tiny sugar pills in my hand. "Have him take three of these under his tongue, three times a day." As I looked into his compassionate eyes, I believed that this wise old man would cure my son.
By the next day, Kalon felt better, and within a few days, he was back to normal. Through this incident, I was introduced to the concept of healing a physical problem with a vibrational remedy. I will not attempt to explain homeopathy, but suffice to say that it works through energetics rather than through substance. Shortly after this incident, I discovered the Bach Flower Remedies, which work on a similar principle. They are intended to treat the emotions, which in turn affect the body. Up until then, even though I had been working with "alternative" herbal medicine, I was still treating symptoms rather than the underlying cause.
The Bach Flower Remedies originated with Dr. Edward Bach,successful homeopath who lived in London in the early 1900's. This good doctor grew discouraged with treating people's symptoms when he observed that people became ill as a response to unresolved emotions. For example, he could cure a man by giving him the proper remedy for ulcers, but the ailment would return whenever the man had a serious argument with his wife. Dr. Bach believed that if he could balance a person's emotions, this would prevent physical ailments from occurring. He was a visionary who believed that flowers held the key to healing the emotions. Following his intuition, he moved to the countryside, where he induced in himself various mental and physical imbalances. Then he would wander the hillsides, looking for the right flowers to balance his energies.
Bach devised a water method for extracting the essence of flowers. He would go out in the morning on a clear, sunny day, using the stems or twigs to pluck the flower blossoms so that his own vibrations would not blend with that of the flowers. Placing the blossoms in a clear glass bowl of pure well water, he would let them sit in the sun for several hours. Then he would pour off the water, and this became the mother tincture. Just a drop of this mother tincture would be added to a 2-ounce bottle of alcohol, and this would be a stock bottle. The remedy given to the patient was even further diluted, so it is obvious that any benefit derived from this remedy came on the vibrational, energetic level rather than through substance.
He collected, named and described (in succinct, poetic paragraphs) 38 remedies that became known as the Bach Flower Remedies. I have had many opportunities to use these remedies, with remarkable results. I was tempted to think that it was "all in the mind" until I treated an infant who was born at home and whose mother suffered severe emotional trauma when the father of the child was incarcerated shorty before the baby was born. This baby boy consistently refused to take his mother's nipple, presumably because he was suffering from severe gas pains. When this behavior went on for two days, his distraught parents were about to take him into the hospital. They consulted with me first, and I suggested trying the Bach Rescue Remedy, which is a combination of five flower remedies that treat the patient for shock, trauma, fear, and the far-away feeling of dissociation that may accompany a trauma. Since the remedy is in alcohol, it can be absorbed through the blood vessels, I applied it to the infant's wrists and he fell asleep minutes later. When he awoke, his mother offered him her breast and he accepted without a fuss.
I believe that this child absorbed his mother's trauma while in the womb. The powerful frequencies of flowers help to balance a person's vibratory field. So this work with the Bach Flower Remedies was the beginning of my fascination with Vibrational Healing and the underlying cause of disease.
Since then, many gifted people have tuned into the flowers in their bioregions and have produced a wide variety of excellent flower remedies.
Death & Emotional Release
My mother had severe emotional swings. Though she was never clinically diagnosed, I believe that she was bipolar (manic depressive). Though I loved her enthusiastic, contagious highs, I learned to protect myself from her depressions and verbal attacks by cutting myself off from my feelings. When I was thirteen, my older brother, Don, committed suicide. My parents went into severe shock, and I focused on trying to comfort them instead of feeling the depth of my own grief.
This pattern of closing down my emotions persisted for many years. Allan and I separated when Kalon was two years old. Then Paul and I got together in 1969 and moved to New Mexico, and a year later, I became pregnant. I carried my daughter for 10 months. We were determined to have her at home, and I disregarded the doctor's advice to induce labor.
Before she met me, my midwife had a premonition that the next baby she delivered would not survive, so she had refused to deliver babies for a whole year. But when she met me,I seemed to be so healthy and so conscious about my pregnancy that she consented.
I imagine that was why she did not listen to the fetal heartbeat while I was in labor. If the baby was dead, she didn't want to know about it, and she didn't want me to know, either. I'm grateful for that. My little girl was born dead, with the cord wrapped seven times around her neck. The mortician said she had been dead for 72 hours. I felt that she made a deliberate choice not to come into the world because Paul and I were quarreling so much. Instead of grieving, I buried my emotions, pretending to be strong. I left Paul and fled from the desert of New Mexico, craving the lush woods of northern California.
Eventually Paul visited me in California, and just before he left, we realized he had hepatitis. By the time I nursed him back to health, we decided to try living together again. We moved to Seattle, and after Reuben was born and Paul graduated from nursing school,we moved to Oregon. There we founded the Siuslaw Rural Health Center, along with a doctor, social worker, dentist and a nurse-midwife. I was the Alternative Practioner, offering herbalism, massage and acupuncture. This was one of the first clinics that offered a birth room where women could have their babies in a homey environment, with their families around them.
After a year at the clinic, Paul and I separated again and I moved to British Columbia, where a friend (who did not know that I had lost my baby) told me that she saw a dark shadow in the aura around my abdominal area. I began to wonder if I had some unfinished business about my baby's death. Then I came across an interview with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the Swiss psychiatrist who brought the conscious acceptance of death to the American public.
Elisabeth said, "When a child dies, I ask the undertaker to allow the parents to prepare the child's body for the coffin. Then I have the parents bathe the child, brush the child's hair, and put on his or her pajamas as if they were putting the child to bed." I thought to myself, if Paul and I had done that, we would have cried and cried. Suddenly I realized that was exactly what we should have done!
The universe works in mysterious ways. Two weeks after I read that article, Kubler-Ross was scheduled to speak in a nearby community. I felt privileged to be in the presence of this small, compassionate and utterly real woman. I enrolled for her five-day workshop, Life, Death and Transition, where I allowed myself to express the anger and pain that had accumulated throughout my lifetime. I raged at my mother for emotionally abusing me, I howled at my brother for deserting me, and I cried long and hard for my precious baby, whose body was whisked away before I ever had a chance to see or hold her.
After just one five-day workshop, I became a new person. Instead of running away from my emotions, I learned to express them. I came home and my children liked me better. They said I used to act like I was sitting on a volcano, ready to explode. I became more understanding, less volatile. Ordinarily my son, Kalon, lived with me, and Reuben lived with Paul, and then we switched during summers and holidays. That year Kalon turned 13, and he wanted more male presence in his life, so both boys chose to live with Paul for the school year. At first I felt reluctant to let them go, but then I realized it would give me the freedom to study with Elisabeth.
I moved to Escondido for six months, to take more workshops at her Center, and to learn how to work with dying and grieving people. While I was at Shanti Nilaya, I became friendly with Tom, a musician in his late thirties who was dying of cancer. We had a lot in common, and I always enjoyed our visits, but when I left I would feel utterly exhausted.
Elisabeth stressed that working with people who were grieving or dying would be draining unless "we finished our own unfinished business." I asked Elisabeth how to deal with this exhaustion, and she handed me a rubber hose (the instrument for expressing anger that we used in her workshops). "Go ahead," she gestured, indicating that I could pound on the mattress. I picked up the 18-inch length or 3/4-inch red heater hose, and I pounded. As I hit the mat, I got in touch with my anger against God, for taking my brother and Kalon's father, both of whom died when they were Tom's age. "How can you take the young men?" I raged. (I knew it was irrational to blame God for my brother's suicide—but that was irrelevant. Emotions do not have to be rational.)
I could see that Tom was triggering my unfinished business with both of these deaths. I felt guilty about being angry at God, but Elisabeth said, "That's okay —God can take it!" So I hit the mat with all my might and I yelled and screamed until all of the charge was gone. Then I got up and I felt much better. After my next visit to Tom, I felt just fine. I went back to British Columbia, where I worked as a volunteer at the hospice of the Royal Victoria Hospital. Later I helped start the Nelson and District Hospice in the Interior of British "Columbia, where I trained hospice volunteers and produced a video for the Nelson Home Support Workers on Home Care of the Dying. I began to teach a two-day workshop on Death and Loss, which later became Grief and Loss, and which is now the Emotional Release segment of the Vibrational Healing Program.
I had the opportunity to study with Bethal Phaigh, author of Gestalt and the Wisdom of the Kahunas (Kahunas are Hawaiian shamans.) Bethal had been a student of Fritz Perls, the father of Gestalt Therapy, and she also became a Reiki Master, initiated by Takata, the woman who brought Reiki to North America from Japan. Reiki is a method of healing through laying-on-of-hands, or the transference of bioelectrical energy from one body to another. Through Bethal, I learned many Gestalt techniques, and I was brought into the Reiki lineage, receiving first and second degree initiations.
After receiving my second degree Reiki, I channeled (see below) a book called The Book of Guidance, which brought knowledge of the spirit world (including information about color) into direct and practical application with the earth plane.
I had been introduced to the world of spirituality by my mother. She loved to organize fund-raising events where she would pose as a gypsy palm reader. After doing this on several occasions, she flatly refused to read any more palms. Years later, she told me that she had seen far more than she wanted to see; she did not want to know when her friends would become ill or die. She did not feel that she had the wisdom to handle the information that was being channeled through her. Instead, she prayed for 'the gift' to be taken away—and it was. Except for rare instances, like the time when she woke from a dream in which her brother had died; later that morning, my aunt called with the bad news.
As my emotional body cleared out and my higher chakras were opened, I began to 'hear messages' in my meditations. This was long before 'channeling' became popular, and I felt awkward and embarrassed about this experience. In those days, only Saints or crazy people 'heard voices,' and I didn't care to be either one of those. Then I read about Findhorn, the community in England where many of the members received 'Guidance.' I was delighted to hear that other people—especially other wome—were having a similar experience. Then I learned to pay close attention to the messages of my meditations. One day I 'heard' that I would soon be doing Spiritual Healing. I was excited and annoyed. "Why have I spent so much time learning about herbs and acupuncture if I'm not going to need any of that?" I whined to my inner guide.
"You will treat each person according to what they are ready to receive," I was told.
Spiritual Journeys, Underlying Cause,
My ovarian cyst still bothered me occasionally. My doctor told me that cysts often come back, even after surgery. I knew how to shrink the cyst with fasting, coffee enemas, goldenseal douches and vervain and dong quai tea, but it was annoying to have to deal with this problem again. I was suffering from a minor flare-up when I visited Helena Ram, a British Spiritualist, who taught me a technique that enabled me to travel inside my body, using Cellular Consciousness to discover the underlying cause of the ovarian cyst and other ailments.
After taking me through a series of relaxing exercises, Helena had me imagine myself becoming very small and entering my body through my vagina. I was amazed that I was able to visualize my vaginal walls in detail. (I later found with my clients that almost everyone is capable of doing this kind of visualization.) Helena guided me to my cyst saying, "I want you to merge with the cyst. Become one with the flesh and blood and nerves of this part of your body. Then give it a voice. If it could talk, what would it say?"
The response was immediate. "Ow!" it said.
Helena asked the cyst, "Who put you here?"
The cyst did not hesitate: "Joy's mother."
Helena asked, "Why did she put you here?"
I saw myself as an exuberant, flirtatious three-year-old. I could feel that my mother was frightened and perhaps threatened by my "sexual" energy. She sent me an unspoken message: "Stuff it!" I could see myself — so impressionable, so eager to please — pulling that rejected energy into my little body and "stuffing it" up there in my ovaries.
Helena asked, "Do you want to keep it there?"
"No!" I responded vehemently.
"Then take it out," she said firmly. I could see myself pulling a rag rope out of my ovaries, pulling yards and yards of it until I finally removed the whole thing. "Put it into your burlap bag," Helena instructed. Later she had me "zap" the bag with violet light, which caused it to disintegrate into free atoms.
From then on, I had no more problems with the cyst. Perhaps even more important, I felt freed up in my sexuality. During subsequent Journeys, Helena guided me as I explored past lives, visited Buddha's garden, and met my Spirit Guides. I became intrigued by the idea of illness as a gift that can lead the way to discovering some vital truth about one's emotional or spiritual nature. I developed a passion for helping people explore the underlying cause of their illness, to find the pearl within the oyster.
I was delighted that I finally found my true work‹far more exciting than herbs or acupuncture or even Reiki. I prayed to be able to help people in this way, and with minimal training, I began to walk people through similar Spiritual Journeys, to discover the underlying cause of their ailments. Later, I studied Cellular Consciousness with Dr. Graham Farrant. These are some of the tools that I teach in my workshop on The Underlying Cause of Disease, in the Vibrational Healing Program.
As I began to use these methods with my clients, I became convinced that all ailments—even so-called accidents—have an underlying emotional and/or spiritual cause. Sometimes this can be found by taking a person back into their childhood. Or the cause can be traced to an incident of grief or loss where the natural grieving process was suppressed. Other times—especially when the ailment began at birth or during childhood—the root cause can often be found in past lives.
During my Spiritual Journeys with Helena Ram, I caught a glimpse of a past life, but I dismissed it as the meanderings of an overactive imagination (not normally one of my attributes). A few years later, in 1977, Coral Cottage offered me a past life regression, as a trade for one of my Bach Flower readings. Coral was married to a successful architect, and she felt like she had her feet on the ground. I felt safe with her. Attempting to be open-minded, I agreed to give it a try. I felt open to the possibility of past lives, but I did feel distinctly skeptical about the whole notion.
Coral led me through a series of relaxation and visualization exercises. I was amazed to find myself in Sicily during the mid 1800's where I experienced a series of events that seemed to explain some complex interrelationships in my then-current lifetime. The events felt so realistic that I wept as I witnessed them, fully grasping the karmic implications of some of the thoughtless choices I saw myself making. Yet the events I witnessed — the police who behaved like thugs, the British troops marching through the city streets in their gray wool uniforms, and the miserable jail cell where I died in childbirth — did not make any sense to me. (History had been one of my worst subjects.) So even as I reported these events aloud, I kept muttering, "I'm making this all up, and doing a bad job of it!"
When the regression was over, I went directly to the main library and pulled down books about Italy, even finding a book about European military uniforms in the 1800's. Determined to prove to my gullible self that this was all stuff and nonsense, I searched for clues about this period of time. To my shock and fascination, I learned that this was when Napoleon was pursuing his policy of divide and conquer, and Italy was broken into warring city-states. The British sent in troops of volunteers. There was such chaos that gangsters were the only people who were organized enough to keep any semblance of order, so the police were gangsters, and the jails were hell-holes.
I gasped when I read this, but I was still willing to write it off to coincidence until I picked up the book on military uniforms. Finding myself caught between hoping for validation and fearing it, I thumbed through the British uniforms of the 1800's, dazzled by a brilliant array of colored uniforms influenced by the East which changed every few years. Feeling almost smug about putting an end to this foolishness, I came toward the end of the book, convinced that I was not going to find those gray uniforms. Then I came to the page for the British volunteers and there they were! The exact same gray wool uniforms with Mandarin collars! It was mind-boggling to receive such indisputable validation. My inner skeptic was put to rest. Within a short time I began guiding people through past life regressions. This story is told in my self-published booklet, Body-Mind Journeys. Past Life Regressions are taught during the Vibrational Healing Program.
Spirit Guides & Chakras
During and after my work with Helena Ram, I met several Spirit Guides, including the British Dr. Laing, who, despite my skepticism, healed my back and then began to visit me on a regular basis and to give me lectures about color and the chakras. Once again, this was at a time when there was virtually no information in the US about either subject. I thought I was going off the deep end until I found two books from England about 'colour healing,' which gave remarkably similar information to the Guidance that I received through Dr. Laing. But Laing's insights went a step beyond these books, including information about specific personality types related to each chakra--which I later wrote about in Pocket Guide to Chakras.
Color & Crystals
Based on instructions received in a dream, I built myself a light box, with a flood lamp inside and a place to insert plates of colored glass, which I obtained from a stained glass shop. I experimented with the colored light, and with drinking color-charged water (directions for charging colored water can be obtained from my book, Color and Crystals). I found that these modalities were effective in healing various ailments. Through Dr. Laing's guidance and my own research and experimentation, I began to teach workshops on Color, Herbs and Chakras.
Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to healing with crystals. As I experimented with suggestions given in Lenora Huett's The Spiritual Value of Gemstones and Katrina Raphael's Crystal Enlightenment, I found that I had a natural aptitude for this work. When I learned that rose quartz is reputed to hold the energy of unconditional love, I wondered if this stone might be helpful for a Death and Loss client whose boyfriend’s body was never found after a rafting accident. Though she was gradually moving toward acceptance, she was still unable to cry.
I had her lie down on her back and I put the pink crystal on her chest. I didn't tell her about its reputed qualities. Yet within a minute, she broke out sobbing. I was astonished. Then I met an opera singer who offered to show me a crystal balancing and toning technique that she learned in New York. She brought her long thin clear quartz crystal to each of my chakras as I lay on the table. "I am feeling the spin of energy at each center," she explained, as she made incredible sounds to express the energy she felt at each chakra. "You are unusually well balanced," she remarked. When she came to my third eye it felt like it was being drilled open. "You have done this work in past lives," she said, "so you will find yourself doing it, and it will come naturally to you."
Soon the crystals were 'speaking' to me. Dr. Laing gave me further instructions on how to use the clear quartz crystals, and Pink Tara (see below) instructed me on the heart chakra stones. It didn't take long to make a major investment in stones. Sure enough, within six months I was using a long thin crystal to feel the spin of energy at the chakras, and I was laying stones on my clients to balance the energies. In the beginning, I regarded them as "my little helpers." As I grew to appreciate the depth of their wisdom, their willingness to work with humans, and their ability to bring balance and nurturing to our body/mind/emotions/spirit, it began to seem more as if I was their little helper.
I was astonished by how powerful the stones were. I was doing the same counseling, emotional release and past life work, but everything was going from 2-20 times faster. As my knowledge of the gemstones increased, I correlated that information with the chakras and colors.
As the notes for my Crystal and Chakra workshop expanded, I found that I was writing my fifth book, Color and Crystals -- A Journey Through the Chakras. Originally published by Crossing in 1988, it went through 8 printings, sold over 60,000 copies and was translated into Chinese in 1998. It is currently out-of-print, but used copies can be ordered through Amazon.
Meanwhile Crossing Press (who published my other books) brought out a new journal notebook, Our Earth Journey, which is a journal notebook that contains quotes from various writings. This book is now out-of-print.
In 1987, I moved to Santa Cruz. My mother was going through a phase of feeling very positive about our relationship, and she moved to Santa Cruz to be near me. My Dad had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and we found a good home for him. Within a few months, she moved into one of her depressions, blaming me for everything that had gone wrong in her life. As I sat in meditation, feeling deeply confused about this painful relationship, I felt inundated by swirls of pink energy. Then I felt an incredibly compassionate, reassuring female presence who introduced herself as Pink Tara.
Thereafter, Tara visited me every morning for several months. Her gentle council enabled me to salvage the difficult relationship with my mother. Pink Tara has appeared numerous times since, both in response to my personal needs and to the calls of my clients. Later I learned that the Goddess Tara had been worshipped in India and Tibet since the seventh century AD. The Buddhists consider her the female form of Avalokita, the Compassionate One. Some people consider her a sister energy to Kuan Yin (from China) or Mother Mary. The Tibetan Buddhists speak of the 21 aspects of Tara, which are related to different colors, and symbolize the various aspects of the feminine. Pink is not one of the 21 traditional colors.
Historians have been unable to explain when and where this female form of Avalokita emerged. Male historians seem reluctant to admit that this Goddess appeared among women and peasants long before scholars and royalty took notice of her. Many stories are told of Tara when she was the daughter of the Emperor, before she became a Goddess. She was well loved yet deeply misunderstood by her father. Consequently, her heart goes out particularly to those who have familial difficulties.
Tara is well known for being accessible to anyone who calls to her out of great need. Unlike those elite deities who require complex and demanding rituals before they deign to make themselves known, shrines to Tara and Kuan Yin are found all over the Tibetan and Chinese countryside, where any peasant can walk in and make a humble offering. The proliferation of these shrines bears witness to how many people have been blessed by visions of the Goddess and by the granting of their prayers.
Just as Tara herself has no clear historical origin, Pink Tara has emerged quietly, through myself and several other people. Pink Tara is the embodiment of the pink heart ray. She is the goddess of gentle strength. She tells me that she could not come through until the women's movement opened the door for her. Pink Tara is a kind but incisive, honest counselor for those who seek guidance about personal relationships and matters of the heart. Many of my clients and students have met her through me, and then they have been able to invoke her presence in their own meditations. She comes to some in a visual form, to others in spoken form, and to others as a profound sense of well-being. One of my students painted this image of Pink Tara.
I have transcribed many of Pink Tara's readings, and 25 of them can be found in a self-published booklet, Pink Tara--Teachings of the Heart from a Goddess of Gentle Strength. I also offer Pink Tara readings in person and by phone (808 345-5838).
If you'd like to see me talking about Pink Tara and bringing her through, go to YouTube: Revelations Pink Tara. Then fast forward for about 12 minutes to where I come in.
Toning -- Sound Healing
While I did not believe that I had a gift for singing or toning, Pink Tara had no hesitation about using my voice to create remarkable sounds that I would have thought myself incapable of making. Eventually I became daring and started toning on my own. Gradually I began to tone for my clients when I felt blockages at the chakras. The effect was often dramatic. People would describe instant catharsis, feeling years of accumulated pain or resentment fall away in moments. Or they might enter into a trance, hearing the music of the spheres or witnessing past lives or reliving childhood traumas. I would give thanks for these healings. I learned long ago to step aside, not to become ego-involved in whether my clients were healed or not. I am grateful that Tara and Dr. Laing and the mineral kingdom have chosen to work through me. It is an incredible honor.
As I overcame my shyness, I produced a cassette tape, The Healing Voice—Toning the Chakras. Side One gives instructions for color breathing and specific tones for each chakra. On Side Two, I tone with Richard Karst in the natural echo chamber of a cave in Santa Cruz, California, sounding the tones for each chakra. The tape combines my higher female voice with Richard's lower male voice, so that people in either range may join in. In 2008 I produced a CD version of this tape, which is now available through the Store.
My publishers at Crossing Press urged me to write a book to accompany the tape. In the beginning, I could not imagine how one could write a book about toning. It was something you do, not something to write about! But as I performed and researched sound healing, I began to feel that sound was the basis for everything. "In the beginning was the Word." I discovered that every culture except our own used sound for spiritual and healing purposes. I cited many examples of this in my book, along with a broad selection of toning exercises, chants and songs. My sixth book, The Healing Voice —Traditional and Contemporary Toning, Chanting and Singing— came out in 1993 and it took on a life of its own, branching out far beyond the parameters of the chakra tape. In 1998 it was chosen by the Book of the Month Club. This book is now out-of-print, but used copies may be obtained from Amazon.com and elsewhere. It's also available as an eBook through my Store. Excerpts from this book can also be found in my more current and comprehensive book, Vibrational Healing Through the Chakras, which is also available through my Store and on Amazon.
Core Belief Work
As quantum physics and metaphysics began to move closer together, I felt a desire to learn more about science. I had always been intimidated by science. In fact, I had such a mental block that when I held a book about science in my hands, I would start to feel dizzy! I was teaching in Calgary, Alberta when a friend offered to do a Core Belief session for me. I had been thinking about how I might overcome this mental block, and I thought this might be the answer. My friend took me through a lengthy process in which I examined my core beliefs and spoke to "The Part" of myself which believed that I was incapable of understanding science. I discovered that this belief came from my mother, who had a brilliant mind, but after she left Poland when she was 17, she never finished high school. She enjoyed the company of highly erudite people, yet she had no understanding of science, so she would feel embarrassed at her ignorance when scientific topics came up in conversation. Since she and I were so tuned in to each other, I took on the same core belief—that I should stay away from science lest I embarrass myself in public.
Once I realized where this limitation came from, I was able to separate my own beliefs from those I had taken on from her. It turned out that The Part thought that I was still 13 years old, and it was rather shocked to find that I was a full-grown woman, no longer in need of the protection that it was trying to give me. Indeed, The Part was afraid of becoming obsolete. My friend coached me to reassure The Part that I did need it because it was loyal, and it would certainly help me in some other endeavor that The Part and my conscious mind could agree upon. With my friend's help, my Part got in touch with the desire to help me to become more open-minded and more in touch with my natural academic curiosity. Since then, I've dived enthusiastically into Michael Talbot's The Holographic Universe and other popular books on quantum physics.
After that experience, I developed my own method for guiding people through the Core Belief process. I remember one man in his forties, who had been smoking marijuana since age 12. He did not enjoy it, nor did he smoke socially, and he wanted very much to quit. But he had a habit of smoking on his way to work, and again on his way home. I did one Core Belief session for him, and he got in touch with the reason for his addiction. When he was 12, his father told him, "You're a lazy, no-good jerk and you're never gonna amount to nothin'!"
This man was the manager of a large, successful business. He used marijuana to boost his confidence and block out his father's negative programming. With the Core Belief Work, he was able to reprogram his Part. I called him two weeks after the session and he said teasingly, "What did you do to me? Are you some kinda Witch Doctor? It's not like I don't think about smokin' anymore. I jus' don' want to!"
Core Belief is part of the Vibrational Healing Program.
The Evil Eye and Releasing Earth-Bound Spirits
My clients often tell me about experiences they've had and then they'll say, "I've never told that to anyone before." Like the time Sam (not his real name) and his wife invited me to their house for dinner. After our meal he glanced sideways at his wife and then said, "I've never told this story to anyone before, not even my wife! It's about my father. He didn't even know that he was ill until an old Gypsy woman told my mother to bring him in to see her. The Gypsy told my mother to keep an egg next to my father all day long and then bring the egg, along with one of his handkerchiefs. They went to see her that evening, and she cracked the egg into a cup and covered it with the handkerchief. Then she took the handerchief off and gazed into the cup as she said to my father, 'You are a very sick man. Some woman put the Evil Eye on you when you were young. You went to bale hay for a wealthy farmer and this farmer's daughter, she wanted you to marry her. But you were already engaged to this woman who is with you now. So you told her, 'No,' and she was so jealous that she hexed you. She intended that you would die young. And it is true. You will die within the year.'
"My father was only 42 at the time," Sam continued. "Next time he went in for a check-up, the doctor told him he had a serious heart condition. He died within the year." Sam looked into my eyes, as if to ask if he was crazy to believe such a story. I reassured him that I had heard such stories all my life, and I believed him.
In fact, I ran across such stories in several places. The Hopi Indians spoke of it, and the Mexican curanderas. Shortly after this talk with Sam, an African-American woman (we'll call her Bessie) came to see me so I could help her son who had been in a motorcycle accident in Georgia. She told me there had been numerous auto accidents and one fatal illness among her herself and her three children, and the same was true with her sister and her sister's children. I took a deep breath (not knowing how she might react) and asked if there was any possibility that someone might have put a curse on her family. Bessie looked me square in the eyes and nodded thoughtfully. She explained that she was from New Orleans, where voodoo was common, so this was not a new idea for her.
Grannie and her sister were both high yellow. Their skin was so beautiful, they could pass for white. Now there was only one black man in the community who was of that stature, so they both wanted him real bad. I don't know quite what happened. Maybe Grannie used her wiles on that man in some way that made her sister real mad. All I know is when Grannie married that man, her sister was mean and spiteful, and she was a powerful woman. She opened up her mouth and said, "May all your children and your children's children be cursed!"
The Bible is full of such stories—they're a part of our culture. Yet it was shocking to think that one human being would want to do that much damage to another — especially to their own family! It was frightening. But my job was not to make judgments. My job was to stay open-minded to Bessie's reality. Apparently there had been a curse, and I just had to follow my inner Guidance to release and dissolve that curse. I did as I felt guided to do, using powerful releasing sounds and protective crystals and burning sage. When I was done, Bessie felt better. She called a month later and said her son was out of the hospital and doing real well. Since then, several years have passed without mishap in her family.
On another occasion, a client (I'll call her Linda) complained of feeling a hostile presence in her home, particularly in the living room and kitchen. Linda was planning to move, because she felt so uncomfortable, but she wondered if I might be of help. Though I had never experienced a 'ghost', I felt open to the possibility. I was told by American Indian friends that spirits usually came after sundown. Linda concurred that these disturbing encounters did happen after sundown. I prepared to go to her home in the evening, I surrounded myself with protective white light and called in all my Guides. Sure enough, when I walked into her house I did feel a hostile presence in the living room. I went into the bedroom and didn't feel anything unusual. I asked Linda to leave me alone in the house for an hour.
When she left, I lit three white candles and put them in front of me for protection. I found that I was able to communicate with this presence through a kind of telepathy. Eventually it opened up, and I received various pictures which led me to understand that this was the spirit of an elderly woman who had lived in this location for many years. She and her husband had built the house together, and she had birthed and raised their children there. Eventually her husband died, and she never recovered from his death. The home was her main connection with him, and she resented having to share it with another woman*, especially her kitchen and living room.
In my mind's eye, I spoke to this woman about the Light. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross told us so many stories about near-death experiences and about the tunnel and the Light that it felt very real to me. "I can feel how unhappy you are," I told her. "I know that you've seen the Light. Your husband is waiting for you in the Light. When you go into the Light, you will have a young body again. You and your husband will be healthy and whole again." Then I opened the window and asked her to leave the house, to go toward the Light and find happiness with her husband. I could feel the heaviness lifting from the room, and I knew that she had gone. It was a good, uplifting feeling. Then I opened all the doors and windows and lit a bundle of sage and wafted it in every corner of every room, as I had learned from the Pueblo Indians, purifying the air and inviting in only positive energies.
When Linda returned, she could feel the change. She was no longer bothered by ghosts, and she remained in the same house. I have since 'cleared' many homes. Children are often sensitive to these energies, and I encourage adults to pay attention when children speak about ghosts that they perceive, particularly if the children seem to be genuinely concerned.
Possession of a person is similar to possession of a house. It's just a matter of locating the spirit and doing a form of Death and Loss Counseling for him or her. It is not helpful to be afraid since most of these spirits are just lost souls who need a little Tender Loving Care so they can overcome their fear about going into the Light. I tell several of these stories in my booklet, Body/Mind Journeys.
By 1988, I was well known as a Crystal Healer, but the great fad of crystals dropped away, and I was in a quandary about what direction to take. I went into retreat and fasted for several days, praying for Guidance about what to do with all my diverse healing abilities which seemed to go in far too many directions. After three days, I received my answer. I would call my work Vibrational Healing, which would be an umbrella term for all these seemingly diverse modalities. Each form of healing shares the essence of vibration: sounds and color are specific vibratory frequencies; crystals, flower remedies and aromatic oils all have a high vibratory frequency.
I thought I coined the term, Vibrational Healing, until the next day, when I went to the bookstore and found the newly released Vibrational Medicine by Richard Gerber, MD. I was amazed to find that Dr. Gerber used the term to describe exactly the kind of work I was doing. This synchronicity felt like a strong confirmation of my Guidance.
In 1988 I founded the Vibrational Healing Certification Program, in which I teach all of the above modalities, including The Healing Voice, Emotional Release, Crystals and Aromatherapy--Balancing The Chakras, Underlying Cause, Core Belief, Past Life Regressions, Intuition, Meditation and Releasing Earth-Bound Spirits, and Vibrational Alignment.