Chapter 4 Studies In Woo-Woo
During the next two years, I investigated all I could find about this strange new world I’d entered. I listened quietly and paid attention to what the people in the new-age bookstores were getting into, and what some of the people at Unity were talking about, and I continued to explore the internet to find what I could find.
I started visiting A Course In Miracles study group that met weekly not too far from home. When I was first introduced to the book A Course In Miracles my first thought was, “Damn, that’s a lot of words.” I was very reluctant to buy a copy, so I’d borrow one, or just sit and listen as others read a passage aloud and then discussed it as a group. Eventually, I purchased a copy so I could study it on my own at my own pace. Something about it spoke to me some of the time anyway. Sometimes I’d lose track of what the book was saying and I’d have to contemplate and mull things over to clear up my confusion.
I said earlier that I was cautious about being indoctrinated into a new belief system. I was more interested in stripping away unnecessary beliefs that no longer served me. As it turns out beliefs are often transparent, affecting us and our view of the world without our being conscious of them. I felt for sure that the way towards living from or within non-duality was to off-load the loads of rubbish ideas I’d been stuffed with for most of my life. A big, fat blue book titled A Course In Miracles looked to me like a potential quagmire. However, after listening to the group read and then discuss bits of it, I had a distinct impression that it was more about rooting out buried convictions and discarding them, clearing out the attics of our minds, and making room for… for what? I thought for sure it was eventually going to lower the boom and dump another set of beliefs to stuff our minds with, but I found the material made room in my mind for clear space. I wasn’t inclined to memorize the material. There was too damn much of it for that. It’s a self-study course that can undo knots in our thinking process. I sat in with different study groups and to be honest, some were awful. But others were much more enjoyable, but at the end of the day it is a self-study course and I found time alone with it was more rewarding than in study groups.
About the same time I picked up A Course In Miracles I briefly studied EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique which is a variation of what is called thought field therapy which works with our thoughts and beliefs and their effect on our energetic and physical makeup. EFT is effective and dead easy to learn and was being practiced by thousands, if not tens of thousands of people around the world. New variants of EFT were popping up regularly and their originators were making the rounds, giving workshops on their tweaked version of thought field therapy. I saw these variations as a testament to the basic principles they were all based on.
Eventually, I took the Silva Method course which included a little training in distant healing, but for whatever reason, I didn’t get a lot out of that course. I’d found other things that worked better for me.
I studied Theta Healing, Matrix Energetics, Applied Kinesiology, Holographic Re-patterning, Hoʻoponopono, Biofeedback, The Reconnection, Dowsing, and some other materials that I’d found online. I don’t remember the names of all of them. Some were better than others, but most, if not all of them produced slight, or spotty results. I looked into weird machines that were purported to be effective at healing but I wasn’t drawn to them at all. I’d read testimonials from people who had benefitted by using the machines, but again the results were spotty at best.
Most techniques tend to produce small shifts in conditions that can be very subjective. Being subjective doesn’t make them any less valuable, and sometimes the shifts can be significant, but it requires a lot of persistence to make much progress. It can feel like moving a mountain with a spoon. But, when the right tool was used at the right time, a severe condition might improve suddenly, or miraculously. It didn’t always make sense.
Another thing I noticed is some practitioners of various methods adopt a set of teachings and they don't want to mess with the formula. It works and that’s good enough for them. Some tend to get dogmatic, often overbearing about it all. Others have no problem changing things up. I think there’s a place for both of these personality types in the world. One provides stability and the other flexibility.
It reminds me of how musical styles evolve. A change here, a change there, experimentation and rejection and breakthroughs. And like with music, it usually takes a younger generation to bring about change and the older generation tends to stick with what the familiar.
Someone at the Unity church mentioned a man named Raymon Grace who worked with pendulums, and it was said he had helped someone regenerate a finger or thumb that got cut off in an accident. I looked him up on the internet and found he’d be giving a course not so far away, so I decided to attend and find out more.
At some point in his past, Raymon Grace had been involved with Jose Silva the founder of The Silva Method, and his work with alpha states, and it was evident he had delved into other teachings as well. Where most people dabbling in metaphysics were more miss than hits, when it came to practical results, Raymon had some astonishing hits. He seemed to bend reality to his will at times. He spoke of clearing wells that had dangerous levels of arsenic in them using his techniques, and of lowering crime rates in certain areas, and others had witnessed these ‘unbelievable’ events. There was much more to it all, and I would return to a second workshop of his where I participated in removing a lump the size of an egg yolk from a woman’s breast without touching her. Other things happened in his workshops that were difficult to believe. Some things happened a hundred miles away from one of the workshops I attended that were a result of his actions during those workshops. Getting personal training from Raymon Grace was an eye-opener for me, and action at a distance became a thing for me to explore further.
Another source of information on healing that I found to be invaluable in my studies was a pdf of a book called Pranic Healing by Choa Kok Sui, a man of Chinese descent who was born and raised in the Philippines. The book was no longer in print, but someone had scanned it and put it on the internet where it could be found and downloaded. I couldn’t tell you how I found it, other than to say I must have been guided to it, and it to me. Nevertheless, it took a while for me to come to trust Choa Kok Sui but over time I kept finding explanations in his book that no other material I’d found had addressed. For example; I could not see chakras and would not take anyone’s word about their existence, or what color they were supposed to be, where they are located, etc. However, as I explored this invisible energy I began sensing bulges of energy that corresponded to where the chakras or energy centers were said to be located.
A critical point turned up for me in my exploration of chakras that increased my trust in Pranic Healing. Most books on the matter discuss seven chakras, but the location of the third chakra was not corresponding with what I was finding. More discrepancies would show up like finding what felt like energy centers in odd places, and I started asking reiki masters and others, where exactly the third chakra was located. Some said the navel; some said the solar plexus, some said midway between those two locations. However, I was finding one chakra at the navel and another one at the solar plexus. It took a while before I came to trust what I was finding for myself over what people were telling me. When I found the Pranic Healing book discussed both a navel chakra and a solar plexus chakra my trust in Choa Kok Sui was deepened. Keep in mind I did not read this material before finding these chakras for myself, so I hadn’t been conditioned to look for and find them where I did.
At that early stage of my learning, I was focusing on the teachings of Robert Bruce and working with my own energy field, locating and clearing blockages and ramping up my energy but I’d often refer to the Pranic Healing book for answers that I couldn’t find elsewhere.
Among other things, Robert Bruce teaches how to clear blockages and get stagnant energy moving which is more about working on yourself than working on others. I had to work hard at this at first, but I wasn’t going to take any of it on faith or gloss over anything. I had to experience these woo-woo things for myself. It took an inordinate amount of focus for me to get results, but the subtle sensations of energy moving in my body grew stronger, and over time, as I increased my attention span, the feelings got stronger and stronger, and eventually, it became effortless to do. I’d say the energy pathways in my body got cleaned up and the energy could move more fluidly through them. In time I could create balls of energy, chi balls, and move them through my arms, legs, and torso with ease.
I realize this must sound pretty wild, but I believe most anyone could do this if they put forth the effort. In reality, I expect most people give up much too soon.
One way to think about the energy changing from stagnant to moving fluidly is to consider something that has a thick consistency until you stir it up and it becomes thinner. A tub of sour cream does this. The consistency of peanut butter gets thinner as you work it, spreading it on bread or crackers. Working subtle energy can cause stagnant energy to flow more smoothly throughout the body.
Sometimes I found it helpful to lie quietly on a bed without distractions and focus on moving the energy through my body. I often fell asleep at night doing this. At some point in my efforts, I noticed that once I got a ball of energy moving, I could let it go on automatic and it would keep going. I could create a big ball of rather light energy, and have it moving through my body, out the top of my head, then have it return through my head, down my body, and out my feet, then change directions and repeat. Once I got that going, it could go on its own, and sometimes the ball of energy would get stronger, denser, and more energetic. This was a fantastic revelation to me.
One time I got this ball of energy going and fell asleep. I don’t know how long I’d been asleep, but I woke up with my bed practically moving back and forth from the energy passing through my body. I was startled, but it stopped as soon as I intended it to stop. I went back to sleep and didn’t overthink about it, but I did expect to pay closer attention to how these things can go on automatic like that.
I also learned how to create a chi ball in the space between my hands, then to move my hands farther apart a foot or more, and toss the chi ball from hand to hand. The writings of Robert Bruce were my primary teacher for this.
In one of the exercises, the chi ball would pass through my hands, and move just a little way beyond the back of the hand before it would slow to a stop, then go back through my hand and over to the other hand where it would do the same thing. Passing through the hand and then slow and stop and return. It was a funny feeling, and I came to enjoy playing with these things. But I had no one to talk to about them. I was itching to find others to practice, experiment, and share notes with.
One evening I was at a meeting with a dozen or so others studying A Course In Miracles and after the meeting some of us were standing around socializing and the hot topic of the time was Quantum-Touch and healing energy in general. I was standing to the left of a woman, and I asked her if she’d be okay if I tried to pass energy through her body. She said yes, so I turned to face her left side, put my left hand about six inches in front of her torso and my right hand about six inches behind her back. I started to casually toss a tennis ball-sized chi ball through her body, and she raised her eyebrows immediately. I was surprised by how energetic the chi ball was and how easy it was to do this. This was the first time I’d ever attempted to create a chi ball in the presence of another person, much less pass it through their body! I stood there and felt the chi ball get stronger, more energetic, and I suddenly lost confidence in what I was doing, or that I was in control of it. I said I didn’t think I should let this continue. She agreed, and I took my hands away, which stopped it. The people nearby seemed to sense something had happened and looked over at us, but we didn’t know what to say, and we were beginning to leave, so I wasn’t able to even attempt to explain the exercises I’d been doing or to make much of an apology to the woman.
A couple of weeks later I saw the woman again, and she said she had energy shooting out her left foot all night and that I should never do that to anyone ever again. She was okay, but I got the message that I needed to find out more about what had happened. Later that evening I went home and opened the Pranic healing book on my computer and was drawn, or guided directly to a paragraph that talked about the spleen chakra.
The spleen chakra is located on the left side of the abdomen, right where I had been passing a chi ball through this woman. The book said this is an extremely sensitive chakra and you should not put energy into it unless you had advanced training and even then you would need to use very gentle energy. What I had done was exactly what I should not have done. However, it was an invaluable learning experience, and it further increased my trust in the teachings of Choa Kok Sui’s Pranic Healing methods. It also began to dawn on me that since I had developed the ability to move a lot of energy I had a greater responsibility to learn how to use it than someone who did not have much energy about their healing work. Fortunately, I didn’t get into any more trouble along those lines, but without proper guidance, I easily could have. Angels or other unseen helpers must have been working on my behalf.
In the beginning stages, the focus of some teachings is to learn to build up and channel and focus energy. When there’s a lot of energy it’s easier to feel it, so you don’t have to go on faith that it’s there. You can feel the aura, the chakras, congestions and depletions of energy, and so on. Large amounts of energy can be impressive, but it can also be hazardous. Very ill people, older people, and infants can’t easily absorb or use much energy at once, and it can be detrimental to over-energize them with too much energy. It’s like an energy overdose, and as I said earlier, there are delicate areas on the body that should not be given too much energy at once. As the years went by I found it less and less important to have a lot of energy about healing. It can be a distraction. Not only that, but I have often found that at times, very little energy can produce more profound results than a lot of energy. It’s not so much about the healer supplying energy, but about the person being open to receiving subtle energy through the healer.
The saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” comes to mind. It doesn’t help to pump water at the horse or give it more pressure. Providing a safe space with water for the horse to drink when it’s ready is all that’s needed. This goes for learning the teachings about healing with subtle energy as much as it goes for applying the teachings.
I often find it easier and faster to learn from books than from classes or workshops, but both had their place. Robert Bruce was in Australia, and I didn’t even know if the author of the Pranic Healing book was still alive when I began studying his book. When I had discussions with others about healing work they’d either talk about Quantum-Touch or Reiki, but no one was talking about the phenomena I was finding. When I’d make mention of these things, people around me didn’t seem to understand or to show much interest. Most folks were running with the crowd, following the latest trend, which at the time was either Reiki or Quantum-Touch or EFT.
Nevertheless, I kept up my explorations, searching the internet, looking for answers, and tried to formulate useful questions. Most importantly I looked for results. I was willing to put in some time to give teachings a chance, but I wouldn’t devote myself to something that I wasn’t able to be effective with. I wasn’t looking for a guru. If anything I was determined not to become a devoted follower of a guru. I wanted to keep my studies on a purely scientific basis. One that did not require any particular teacher per se, but proved workable regardless of who had written down the teachings, or discoveries. Ultimately the Universe would be my teacher.
I’d regularly open some qigong book or see a video and find exercises that I understood would help energy flow smoother. I stumbled through some of them and didn’t get very far with others, and some flowed effortlessly. It was curious to me how the various qigong teachers didn’t agree with one another on much of what they taught. There were similarities in a few of the exercises, but for the most part, they were very different from one another. This is like the differences in various forms or styles of yoga. Eventually, you find and do the exercises that resonate with you for as long as they do, and you’re fortunate if you find some that suit you for life.
It would take time for me to realize it takes a good deal of practice to cultivate the benefits of meditation, qigong, and other disciplines to a deep level. Practicing for a few months is not enough. Nevertheless, at that time I felt it was important that I keep at it, one way or another, to keep practicing even if the results were not immediately obvious. A bit like learning a musical instrument I suppose. It takes some measure of faith to continue to put forth the effort in hopes it will yield fruit one day.
Within six months or so I had a lot of energy flowing through me almost 24/7. At first, it was like turning on a faucet and the energy simply flowed unabated. And then it grew stronger and stronger and soon felt like flood gates had opened. At some point, I recalled Sting, the famous musician saying he started doing yoga to help manage the energy that was flowing through him when he was at the peak of his career. I had the impression it was the same energy I was experiencing. At times it was challenging to be in a dense field of this energy and function in my daily life, and when I found out there was a yoga class at the Unity church, I tried a few classes, but the instructor suggested I try qigong instead. I didn’t know it was even available in our area and was excited and ready to start right away.