From Section I:
Consciousness and Healing
Centering the Consciousness
Before we start Therapeutic Touch, we take a moment to be quiet and to center our thoughts and feelings in the heart. In that moment of silence, we try to dissociate from our own troubles and concerns and to feel at peace with the inner self.
Those who work with people who are ill--particularly in hospitals and other places where several sick persons are being given care--sympathetically try to help them by sending out energy to encompass and embrace the ailing persons with whom they come into contact. The nurse, for instance, may feel sorry for a patient and want to take away his or her pain, sadness, or troubles. This approach very often drains one’s vitality.
When we do an assessment and try to determine what the problem is with a person, we are stretching our subtle energy fields and taking in, or being sensitive to, the other person’s energetics. We are also going outward when we heal, in directing energy to the ill person. Centering is essentially the opposite approach. When we center, we lessen the flow to the outside and go inward. Even without thinking about the inner self specifically, we can feel its characteristic peace and quiet working through us.
If as a TT therapist you are quiet within yourself before touching a patient or getting involved in an emergency situation, then that center of calmness and peace protects you from taking in chaotic energy, even if you pick up the fear, panic, or anxiety of the persons involved. Having centered first, compassion will be directing your energy flows outward and simultaneously helping you to connect with the patient at a deeper level even before you begin. This is not an easy state to maintain, but to the many thousands who practice it, it has become an essential feature of their practice of Therapeutic Touch and of their inner growth.
Centering in the Heart
Focus your attention in the heart and feel very quiet. In that quiet, envision a symbol or sense of your own inner self and dwell in the feeling evoked for a full minute. After a few moments, affirm to yourself: I am that peace. In this meditation you will experience that within yourself there is a center of peace and quiet.
Staying with that feeling of peace, send your energy to someone who might need your help. In other words, project your thoughts to that person. Stay with the sense of peace radiating from within you as you continue your meditation on the stillness you feel in the region of your heart. When you have finished your meditation, take a deep breath and open your eyes.
You may be working with people in a great deal of pain, but you cannot work well with TT if you are only responding to the pain. You can be aware of the pain, and you are doing your level best to alleviate it using Therapeutic Touch. However, it is the centering that is the most important factor to have in place, and you will confirm that for yourself through experience. If you do not learn that, when you come upon someone who is suffering, you automatically take in some of that suffering. If you are centered, you will be aware of the suffering, but energetically you will not take it in while you work to help the healee dissipate it.
When we are centered, we do the healing from a place of profound peace and stillness and with a sense of certainty. If you are calm within, then you can encounter with equanimity another person’s hostility, sadness, or any difficult emotional pattern the patient is facing. It is from this centered state of consciousness, which invites the presence of the inner self, that we can help the patient meet the necessities of his or her karma. At first one may find the act of centering difficult, but with time it becomes an ingrained way of life that can be called upon when needed.
The Patient’s Role in the Healing Process
In the practice of TT there are times--no matter how much you want to help--when the patient’s body will respond very little and not be able to absorb the healing energy flow. The prime factors in the patient that impact the healing flow are: his own destiny; his willingness to engage himself in the healing process, that is, to allow it to happen; and his ability to relax or to permit others to help him relax, so that the healing energies can most easily and smoothly permeate his body.
Very often what blocks the effect of healing energies is that the patient has become completely identified with his disease and it has become an intrinsic part of his consciousness. Many patients who have been ill a very long time have made a picture in their mind of their sickness, and they have begun to think of it as part of themselves. They may want to be healed, but at that mental picture-making level they have a persistent image of themselves as sick. Everybody who has pain or who has been sick for a long time is hooked to a cyclic, repeating pattern of pain. The "hook" itself has something cyclic to it, and it catches the patient unawares. Then he begins to identify with the hook. When you project healing energy, that identification with illness acts as a barrier and prevents healing from happening. It may take more healing force than you had expected to break through that mental picture.