The guru-devotee or master-student relationship is considered to be sacred within many traditional cultures. Gurus and masters serve as mentors to those who follow the ancient spiritual traditions. Students who are truly committed to their process of spiritual growth seek the counsel of their guru or master. They listen to the master’s advice and work consistently with the practices given as homework.

It’s common for people in places like India and China to spend many years training under a guru or master. The student understands that the guru or master has traveled much further along the path as a result of their many years of intensive discipline. The guru is able to help their students navigate the terrain ahead, make sense of the various phenomena they encounter along the way and avoid unforeseen dangers or pitfalls. Having the guidance of someone who has attained mastery can prevent the student from wasting precious time or meandering aimlessly.

It’s very difficult for those of us who have grown up in the west to grasp the guru-devotee or master-student relationship because we do not have a cultural context for it. People within our culture rarely, if ever, attain the levels of spiritual development of a guru or master. Most would not even conceive of the kind of intensive discipline required by many of the ancient spiritual traditions.

The guru or master guides their students through a long and involved developmental process. Working with the practices taught by the master and receiving the transmissions of power enables the student to develop a strong foundation, realize their true potential, fulfill their life’s purpose and become an embodiment of the divine.
Tapping into the ancient lineages

The word guru is a Sanskrit term for a master or teacher. The guru within the Hindu-Vedic tradition is seen as the one who dispels the darkness of ignorance. Diverse spiritual traditions from all parts of the world have their own forms of guru. Esoteric knowledge, practices, gifts of healing and other forms of power have been passed down from master to student through the ancient spiritual lineages. Those who have tapped into a greater consciousness often develop special gifts, powers and capabilities far beyond the range of what most people consider humanly possible. It’s fairly common for these individuals to reach out and offer their assistance to help others move further along their own path of evolution.

I have lived among the Kiowa and Navajo tribes and have spent a great deal of time in China, India and Sri Lanka and have trained extensively in their ancient spiritual traditions. All of these traditions have had a profound influence upon me.

American Indians did not have access to the modern medical interventions we rely upon today. They lived in the wild and were forced to depend on the forces of nature for their survival. Native doctors would go through intensive practices such as the vision quest which involve fasting alone in the mountains without food and water for four days and nights. Many of the native doctors were exceptionally powerful having received special powers or gifts of healing that had been passed down through the generations as well as those acquired during the vision quest. Native doctors allowed other forces or beings to work through them. These beings were able to facilitate healing that would not have otherwise been possible. Some also had the power to bring the rain when needed or change the course of a tornado.

American Indians fascinated me from a very early age and I would sit for hours as a child looking at the old historical photographs taken in the late nineteenth century. I made my way to Oklahoma shortly after finishing my junior year in high school. Shortly thereafter, I began to attend peyote meetings with the native elders and from there I went on to train with Horace Daukei, the last surviving traditional doctor among the Kiowa tribe.

Horace looked like a worn out old Indian man, but I could feel this intense power as I looked into his eyes. He always knew what a person was thinking and could see their past, present and future. Horace would cover his patients with a large black handkerchief and then scan the body to determine the exact cause of an illness. Horace would sometimes pick up and handle the rocks after they had been heated in the fire while treating patients in the sweat lodge. Like many other native doctors before him, he worked with various animal powers. Horace sometimes had a live mole come up out of the ground into his hands in the tipi during the peyote meetings. He would then set the mole on the patient he was working with to facilitate healing.

Horace, like other native doctors before him possessed paranormal abilities. He would sometimes take the end of a feather and seed it with a portion of his power. I would hear a sound similar to that of a gun with a silencer and feel a tremendous force as he projected the feather into my body.

Horace expected me to rely upon my instincts. At one point he gave me thirty dollars and then he dumped me off in the middle of the Hopi Indian Reservation with instructions to hitchhike to Las Vegas, find work and a place to stay. He looked back at me and said “Make it the best you can” and then drove off. Horace showed up at my apartment a few months later and said “Ready to go?” I packed what belongings I had immediately and we were back on the road.

Parts of my apprenticeship were extremely difficult and I didn’t understand what was happening much of the time, but I knew that I needed to stick with the process. I’m very fortunate that I had the opportunity to learn from Horace and the sense to persevere despite the hardship because I would never have received the gifts of healing that I work with had Horace not transmitted portions of his own power to me.

Horace had me go on the vision quest which involves going out alone into the mountains to fast without food and water for four days and nights to earn the right to work with these powers. It was during the vision quest that I began to heal the traumas of my past and receive additional gifts of healing.

Years later, I began to feel a strong instinctual pull that drew me to Sri Lanka and then on to India where I began to explore the Hindu-Vedic traditions. There have been many highly realized teachers within the Hindu-Vedic tradition who possess extraordinary gifts and powers. Hindu saints such as Shirdi Sai Baba, Sri Raghavendra and Swami Samartha Maharaj were living embodiments of the divine.

Shirdi Sai Baba could see all the details of a person’s life and he knew what they were thinking in the present. He would sometimes take the pain or trauma of an injury or sickness of a devotee into his own body. Baba, as he is commonly referred to by his devotees, would then process the sickness, pain or suffering within his own body in a short time and then return to normal.

Baba often appeared in the dreams of his devotees. He would sometimes appear in physical form to his devotees to assist them in times of need. Couples who were unable to conceive often sought out Baba’s assistance. In many instances, the wife would conceive a child soon thereafter. There are so many amazing personal accounts of Sai Baba of Shirdi. I would encourage those who want to know more to read Shri Sai Satcharitra.

It was around the time that I first traveled to Sri Lanka that I first began to train with Shifu Li Tai Liang in the Internal Martial Arts. I began my training with the intention of learning to defend myself, but I quickly realized that the Internal Martial Arts is a highly complex system through which one can develop their body, mind and soul and align one’s self with the force of creation.

Those who attain mastery in the Chinese Internal Arts are able to utilize their chi force to send an attacker flying across the room. They can also redirect the force used against them to cause injuries within the body of an attacker. There are numerous accounts of highly developed Masters who had the ability to move through walls, fly through the air or appear and disappear.

Practicing the many forms and applications of Xin Yi Quan, Baguazhang, Tai Chi and Chi Gong taught to me by Shifu has played an important role in healing the trauma held within my body. It has also enabled me to develop greater internal power. I would have never discovered the practices that Shifu has been showing me all these years or derived their benefit had I not trained with him.

The loss of our spiritual roots

Those of us who are of western European descent have lost our spiritual roots. We no longer have an intact lineage to draw upon because the spiritual traditions that were indigenous to Europe died out long ago. Most of us are doing the best we can with the tools and resources available to us. Metaphysical or New Age spirituality has been an attempt to rediscover our lost spiritual heritage, but is to a large extent devoid of any real power or substance.
Many of us have accumulated lots of spiritual ideas and we can really talk the talk. But we lack the grounding that one finds among those who are firmly rooted within the ancient spiritual traditions, because we do not have access to the knowledge, practices, spiritual gifts and other transmissions of power that would help us to develop our bodies and mind that have been passed down through the lineages.

Some of these new found spiritual attitudes, beliefs and practices are causing people to become even further disconnected from their emotions and physical bodies. Many are not addressing their emotional wounds or doing any form of practice that would enable them to develop their bodies and minds, but some believe they can just think the right kind of thoughts and visualize what they want assuming that it will resolve all their problems.

Most of our contemporary spiritual teachers have not trained under a master or guru. Spiritual teachers who do not have access to the knowledge, practices or special powers that have been passed down through the lineages often do not know what they’re doing and in many instances they just started making stuff up. What is now referred to as shamanism or Native American spirituality bears little resemblance to the traditional spiritual or healing practices of the American Indians. Present day attempts to emulate the practices of the ancient spiritual traditions often fall into the realm of fantasy and are comparable to children playing doctor or fireman.

Our culture has placed a great deal of emphasis upon developing the intellectual mind. Many of us are operating from the premise that there is an intellectual solution for every problem. We accumulate more and more knowledge by attending classes and workshops, reading more books and listening to recordings in hopes that we will find the solution to all of life’s challenges. Intellectual development is important, but the intellect can only take us so far.

People who have disconnected from their feeling nature and physical bodies often find themselves becoming further and further removed from the underlying source of their issues and the power that would enable them to effect change. Intellect alone cannot heal the deep emotional wounds that people are struggling with. The intellect will not facilitate the development of the special gifts and powers that one develops by working with the various ancient spiritual practices.

Large numbers of people throughout Europe, North and South America are being drawn towards the love and compassion of the gurus in recent years. A number of gurus are touring the world and many are following them way people used to follow the Grateful Dead. Many of those who show up for darshan are deeply wounded and some are barely present in their bodies. The transmission of power helps, but it’s not nearly enough to facilitate healing of the deep emotional wounds that many of these individuals are carrying.

Some of these gurus are very loving and compassionate and I would encourage people to go for darshan if the opportunity presents itself. Some also possess a great deal of power and are a good beginning for many people. But gurus who blow through town once a year and have a following of many thousands cannot possibly devote the time and energy or provide the much needed individual attention and instruction to all of their devotees.

Do It Yourself Enlightenment

Those of us who have grown up in the West tend to think of ourselves as being more independent. We do enjoy many freedoms that are not readily available in other parts of the world. However, much of our sense of independence is illusory because we are so heavily influenced by the media, the collective mind of our own society and the attitudes and beliefs of our families and friends and other people around us.

Westerners seem to be far more reluctant to making the commitment to training under a master or guru or to doing the kinds of intensive practices that people in various ancient cultures have been doing for centuries. Every now and then I hear someone say that one’s true teacher resides within and they assume that they don’t need to work with a master, but it’s quite obvious that they are not connected to any source of power. Others are fearful of surrendering to a spiritual teacher such as a guru out of fear that they would be giving their power away.

The guru can easily become an escape for devotees who are attempting to rise above their feelings and worldly concerns. Some have a tendency to disconnect from the vulnerable feeling parts of themselves by attributing everything that happens in life to being the will of God. They don’t have to experience what they’re truly feeling no matter what happens because it’s all God’s will anyway. Parts of the self often fail to grow or mature when people disconnect from their feelings and physical bodies in their attempt to emulate the guru or aspire to higher states of consciousness. The lack of a firmly rooted foundation can leave people more vulnerable to being manipulated.

Some gurus play into the vulnerability of their followers by fostering a kind of unhealthy parent-child dependency. The devotees of these gurus are in many respects like children who never grow up. Some individuals seek out such a guru out of their own unwillingness to take responsibility for their own decisions or to determine the course of their own lives. I have seen numerous instances where the followers of these gurus become ungrounded to such an extent that they have difficulty functioning in the material world.

A true master or guru has no need or desire to control their students or devotees or take their power. The guru or master’s purpose is to help their followers to attain progressively higher levels of self-realization. Those who have attained mastery in the ancient spiritual traditions have done many years of intensive practice to deepen their connection to the divine. Working to facilitate our process of evolution requires a huge sacrifice on the part of the guru or master. They are willing to make this sacrifice because they truly care.

Falling from grace

Highly evolved masters choose to incarnate with the purpose of assisting other individuals in their process of spiritual evolution. In many instances these individuals possess special gifts that remain in a latent stage until they experience some form of awakening. These gifts may be activated with the assistance of a guru who has already realized their own connection to the divine. Those who attain high levels of self-realization are driven by a passionate desire to seek union with the divine and it is common for these individuals to devote themselves to many years of intensive sādhanā or spiritual practice.

There is a tendency among many who follow the Hindu-Vedic tradition to elevate the guru to the status of a god. Satgurus such as Sri Gajanan Maharaj and Ramana Maharshi are living embodiments of the divine and are believed by many to be an incarnation of the Hindu deities. These individuals operate on a totally different plane of existence. They function at a super conscious state beyond the sense of their bodies, the human psyche and worldly concerns that affect most of us. These highly developed gurus have a purity about them. Just being in their presence can have a very powerful transformative effect.

My whole sensory range has opened up as a result of the many years of intensive practice. I’ve developed the capacity to observe what’s taking place within people’s bodies and minds and that enables me to feel where a person is at developmentally. I see the kinds of issues they are dealing with and feel what’s going on with them emotionally. I can also observe their health challenges.

I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work with current and former devotees of many gurus and I can see how they have developed as a result of their spiritual discipline. I have also spent considerable amounts of time around individuals who have attained mastery in other ancient traditions. I recognize the spiritual gifts they possess and I can also see their human vulnerabilities.

Many of us hold unrealistic expectations of perfection of our gurus, masters and other spiritual teachers because we fail to recognize their human limitations, but in doing so we are invariably setting them and ourselves up for a fall. Many gurus and masters do possess extraordinary gifts and capabilities, but having tremendous power doesn’t necessitate that they’re healthy. Every individual and relationship holds some degree of ambiguity. Confusion and ignorance are a normal part of the human condition. Gurus and masters are still human beings and are prone to making mistakes. They all have their biases, prejudices, hang-ups and idiosyncrasies.

The more highly evolved Gurus such as Shirdi Sai Baba and Swami Samartha Maharaj are extremely rare as very few reach these exceptionally high levels of attainment or realization. It is a common practice for Gurus within the Hindu-Vedic tradition to pass the transmission of power of the lineage onto a younger devotee at some point toward the end of their life. Many individuals have developed various siddhis or spiritual gifts and have attained the status of a guru as a result of years of intensive spiritual practice, but they are still hooked into the physical body, the governing principles of the human psyche and the concerns of the material world.

Many people operate with the idealization of what they think a guru should be. They hold the belief that the human passions and desires of the flesh and the shadow aspects of one’s nature are to be controlled or sublimated. Gurus themselves have often fallen into this trap, but in doing so they are trying to be something they’re not.

Gurus and spiritual adepts of other traditions often deny their own basic human needs for physical and emotional intimacy because of cultural expectations that require them to remain celibate. In many instances they also encourage their unmarried followers to maintain celibacy. The Greek philosopher Pythagoras once stated “To deny a truth is to give it strength beyond all endurance.” That accounts for the fact that so many gurus, priests, monks and people of other spiritual traditions who are expected to remain celibate end up acting out sexually.

I have explored so many religious and spiritual traditions over the years. Many of our religions’ reductionistic attempts to interpret and address the conflicts and issues that arise in the course of daily life are grossly insufficient. The emotional realm comprises a whole bandwidth of our consciousness. So much of our dysfunction stems from our inability or unwillingness to face our issues and experience our true feelings. Most are not really teaching us how to work constructively with our feelings. Many religious and spiritual traditions have a tendency to negate the emotions and worldly concerns in their attempt to transcend the Earth plane. In doing so, these traditions are neglecting the human and interpersonal aspects of development.

Gurus and masters who disconnect from their feelings are blinded to the shadow aspects of their own personalities. Those who have made the mistake of assuming that they have evolved beyond the need to address their own feelings and issues sometimes become grandiose and begin to believe that they are infallible. Spiritual power supercharges the guru’s unresolved internal conflicts and often manifests in the form of some huge messy drama involving the guru and his or her followers.

The first thing that comes to many Westerner’s minds when they hear the word Guru is some form of cult figure. The media which thrives on sensationalism understands that people have a perverse fascination with violence, corruption, scandal and other forms of dysfunction. They have a tendency to sensationalize any scandal that surfaces and milk it for all its worth knowing that it will boosts their ratings. In doing so the media has exposed the shadow side of the various spiritual traditions without ever presenting the value or beauty they have to offer.

It is critically important for us to thoroughly examine any guru, master, teacher, group or spiritual movement to the best of our ability. Some gurus and masters and their spiritual movements are very cultish and have a tendency to exercise control over their followers. Gurus and masters have also sexually abused their followers, struggled with substance abuse issues and some have even been implicated in murders.

Recognizing dysfunction within our teachers can be difficult since many of us lack the cultural basis that would enable us to understand what we are dealing with. We also need to heal our own emotional wounds before we can truly comprehend the dysfunction in others.

My mentor Horace had a lot to offer me. He possessed a great deal of knowledge and was connected to intensely powerful forces. It was important for me to listen to Horace at those times when he was tapped into to a greater presence and there were other times I could see his dysfunction taking over. I had to learn to distinguish between the two.

Horace was extremely powerful, and yet he never learned to work constructively with his own emotions and issues. Things became very chaotic when the powerful forces working through Horace began to filter through the parts of him that were holding so many conflicted feelings and issues. He eventually became very destructive and lost most of his power as a result. I felt I had no choice but to sever ties go off on my own. I’m very thankful I had the ability to recognize Horace’s dysfunction and the intuitive sense that compelled me to leave when I did because I could have easily gotten pulled into his downward spiral. I’m also thankful I had the ability to recognize that Horace had something of great value to offer me and that I was there to receive these gifts during the time they were available.

All of us have a responsibility to experience our true feelings and face our issues to the best of our ability. Learning to digest our emotions and work through issues as they arise provides us with an opportunity to evolve on a personal level. The process of growth that takes place as we digest our emotions and resolve our personal issues helps us to develop the strong and healthy foundation we need in order to handle greater spiritual power.

Returning to the source

Horace’s downfall was a very important lesson in humility for me. It taught me that any of us, no matter how big or powerful we become, can get into serious trouble if we are not paying attention and dealing with our issues as they arise.

There was no one for me to turn to among the Kiowa after Horace fell from grace because he was the last surviving doctor among his own tribe who possessed the powerful healing gifts that had been passed down through the generations. I felt lost for quite some time afterwards.

American Indian doctors were some of the most powerful healers on the planet. I remembered the many stories I had heard over the years about the native doctors who went to fast alone in the mountains. They developed greater power and received additional gifts of healing as they continued to go through the vision quest and participate in other intensive ceremonial healing practices. I realized the best thing I could do was to follow in the footsteps of the old native doctors.

Traditional doctors were known throughout the tribes for their areas of specialization. People would often travel for great distances to seek their assistance. I naturally assumed that more people would be drawn to me as I continued to receive additional gifts of healing and develop greater power. But I learned very quickly that people within our mainstream culture are not familiar with these kinds of powers and do not respond like the native people.

Obstacles to healing and personal development

Most people have not learned to work constructively with their feelings. Emotions and other stresses that are not “digested” accumulate within the body. This accumulated residue impairs the function of the body’s organs and systems. It also causes the physical and subtle bodies which consist of the chakras and layers of the aura to break down. This is one of the primary reasons so many people’s bodies get into such horrible shape as the years go by. The process of degeneration that takes place within the body and mind further impairs people’s ability to digest their emotions and resolve issues. It also narrows people’s range of perception and understanding.

The shutting down that occurs within the body-mind when people suppress or disconnect their true feelings stunts their personal growth and development. It may cause people to lose touch with their soul and the authentic core self that resides deep within. People who have become so divorced from their internal state of being are in many respects lost.

I see the damage in the physical and subtle bodies of the people who show up in my classes or come for healing sessions. I feel the underlying emotional wounds and see how they impair people’s ability to function and enjoy their lives. It may sound harsh or even offensive to some, but I often feel like I’m dealing with children who are either developmentally impaired or were parented so poorly that they do not possess the basic resources that would enable them to learn or heal. Many need to be taken by the hand and guided until they develop the basic resources needed to become functional and self-sufficient.

I have apprenticed from a traditional native doctor and have gone through many years of intensive training. My desire is to be of assistance and I am fully committed to doing everything I can to facilitate healing within in the bodies and minds of everyone I work with. The guru-devotee, master-student or doctor-patient relationship found in ancient traditional cultures creates a context in which one can heal, grow and develop spiritually. Without having the benefit of this context to work from I often feel as if my hands are tied.

Jocelyn called me to schedule an appointment after attending one of my workshops. She had been suffering from a painfully debilitating depression for many years and that was making it very difficult for her to function. Jocelyn had never addressed a number of the major issues affecting her life or dealt with the feelings pertaining to these matters. Her abdomen was completely backed up with many years of old congealed emotional residue and physical toxin, but I could feel the dense mass beginning to dissolve during the healing session.

I’ve worked with many people who have suffered from depression. The process can be challenging at times, but those who follow through usually respond very well. I explained to Jocelyn how the presence working through me was beginning to help her to digest the backlog of emotional residue that had accumulated within her body and repair the damage within her physical and subtle bodies. I told her that digesting the emotional backlog, sorting through the issues and building a strong foundation would enable her to gain a clear sense of her purpose in life and help her to develop the resources needed to fulfill her true potential.

I then told Jocelyn that we needed to schedule a follow up session. Jocelyn responded by saying, “I thought healing was a one shot deal. Let me think about doing another session and then I’ll get back to you.”

I called Jocelyn to follow up after the session. She never returned my call.

The ancient traditions have provided very detailed roadmaps for healing and spiritual development. Those who have attained mastery have always operated from a position of authority within their own cultures. Native people knew to listen to their traditional doctors and follow through with their instructions. Both doctor and patient approached healing with a very strong sense of commitment. Those who listen and follow through heal and evolve spiritually.

I’ve had tremendous success working with a wide range of conditions. Many emotional and health related issues heal when people listen to instruction, do the practices and follow through with the healing sessions. People like Jocelyn reach out to me all the time seeking healing. Most have spent the majority of their lives avoiding issues and disconnecting from their feelings and physical bodies. They wouldn’t be in the shape they’re in if they really knew what they were doing or possessed the resources needed to effect healing within their own bodies and minds. But they often come in with all kinds of unrealistic expectations assuming that I’m going to magically remove all their suffering.

Many people become very resistant to the healing process once their true feelings and issues make their way to the surface. This resistance is compounded by the fact that many have become so disconnected from their own body-mind and its innate healing power. Those who fail to listen and follow through interrupt their opportunity to heal. It saddens me because I’m willing to do everything I can to facilitate healing for those who are committed to doing whatever it takes to heal and get to a better place in their lives. But I watch as many continue to suffer needlessly. In many instances they fall further down into the hole they’re digging for themselves.

People who have spent the majority of their lives disconnecting from their feelings and physical bodies have a very limited comprehension of their own bodies and minds and its innate healing process. Unpleasant or painful memories and emotions will emerge at times and the body may go through some form of healing crisis as a result of the individual sessions. They may assume that something is wrong as the body goes through its cleansing process, but these toxins need to work their way out of the system or they will continue to do further damage. I encourage the people I work with to pick up the phone and call me to let me know what’s happening so I can help them to understand how to work constructively with the healing process taking place within their bodies and minds.

Shutting down emotionally can cause people to become so desensitized and disconnected that it prevents them from recognizing the extent of the damage within their own bodies and minds. Many of those who have shut down their feelings senses have little, if any, sense of what they are missing or understanding of their own need for healing.
The loss of one’s natural intuitive senses that takes place when people shut down emotionally can make it very difficult for them to grasp or understand the healing process taking place. I often end up spending a great deal of additional time talking to people’s intellectual minds to convince them of their need for healing. Having to work so hard to get through to people consumes huge amounts of time and energy, but many are not going to put the pieces together unless I spend the extra time connecting the dots for them. Sometimes the disconnection is so great that it doesn’t matter what I say or do …they just don’t get it.

The importance of maintaining a daily practice

The demands and stresses of our daily lives can be overwhelming for our bodies and minds. These stresses are compounded by our media addiction, which consumes huge amounts of our time and energy and that is making it far more difficult for us to devote our time and attention to spiritual practice. The continual sensory bombardment is causing us to become more and more desensitized. Our minds have to work so much harder to process all the garbage we are ingesting on a daily basis and that greatly impairs our ability to digest our feelings, resolve our issues, maintain focus and address the matters that truly need to be dealt with. Unprocessed emotions and other stresses that accumulate within our bodies shut down parts of our body-mind consciousness and that greatly impedes our developmental process.

I teach people to become more fully present by having them breath into any feelings or sensations that emerge in the midst of whatever they are doing throughout the course of their day. These practices help to awaken the innate healing intelligence that resides within the body and mind. It also help people to digest the day to day stresses before they can have a negative impact upon the body.

Thirty minutes to an hour of practice a day is ideal for most, but I recommend that people do at least fifteen to twenty minutes of practice if that’s all the time they have. Learning to digest our emotions makes it easier for us to work through issues and handle the challenges we encounter along the way. It also facilitates new cycles of growth which make it possible for us to develop the resources and capabilities that will enable us to become more effective in all areas of our lives.

How do all the pieces fit together?

Training in the Internal Martial Arts has helped me to see that every system has its own inherent strengths and weaknesses. Highly developed masters often train in a number of systems for this reason. The ancient spiritual traditions also have their own inherent strengths and weaknesses.

My mentor Horace’s fall from grace motivated me to explore many different kinds of practices and spiritual traditions. I could see that all of the ancient spiritual traditions had a great deal to offer. I also became acutely aware of their limitations. I was greatly inspired by the way the adepts from the various ancient spiritual traditions embody the force of creation. Their lives are an example of what’s humanly possible when we begin to realize our true potential.

The Hindu-Vedic traditions tap into what it commonly referred to as higher levels of consciousness. Some of the Gurus and Hindu priests access a presence or form of power that facilitates healing and spiritual evolution and yet many not rooted in their feelings and physical bodies. This is clearly evidenced by the fact that many of the priests and gurus’ bodies are in such horrible shape.

A significant percentage of the Western devotees that I’ve encountered have gone through a great deal of trauma. A number of these individuals have lived in the ashrams, done yogic practices and trained directly under a guru for years and yet many of them continued to suffer from the intrusive symptoms and other health related issues resulting from past trauma.

The Chinese Internal Martial Arts tends to be a much more grounded discipline in the way it can enable us to develop our body, mind and spirit. Learning the various forms and their fighting applications provides one with an opportunity to develop the body-mind intelligence to such an amazingly high level. The same force utilized to destroy an attacker can also be used to facilitate healing, develop the body and mind and evolve spiritually.

Traditional American Indian practices are without a doubt the most grounding as the native people rely upon the forces of nature to facilitate healing and spiritual development. The forces or beings that one accesses while participating in the vision quest, sun dance and other intensive ceremonial healing practices and that the native doctors allow to work through them are the most effective for healing the painful emotions associated with anxiety, depression and traumatic experiences.

I have gained a tremendous amount from the various spiritual traditions that I have been training in. And yet parts of me were still very shut down because I still held so much of the emotion pertaining to past traumas and other stresses in my body. Fortunately, I had an instinctive sense that led me to develop a whole series of practices that awaken the innate healing intelligence residing within my own body and mind. Breathing into the feelings and sensations that I experience within my body has enabled me to “digest” the difficult emotions and bring the issues affecting me to resolution. This practice facilitates a process that enables me to grow as an individual and to develop the strong foundation needed to handle greater spiritual power.

Eyes to see and ears to hear

Our world is in a state of crisis. We are polluting the Earth and depleting its natural resources. Our whole financial system, which is driven by unmitigated greed, was nearly brought to the verge of collapse. What’s happening in our world at this time is a reflection of the collective mind or consciousness of our society. Many are suffering, and yet the vast majority of people do not recognize or make use of the opportunities that would enable them to heal or transform their lives. Most people do not even realize that these possibilities exist.

The blind and deaf can never really know what they’re missing unless something truly profound takes place to help facilitate their transformation. There are rare exceptions where someone receives some kind of special gift or power and experiences a profound awakening. We’re more likely to experience an awakening when we have the opportunity to work with someone who has attained mastery in the ancient traditions who can transmit some form of special power and teach us specific practices that will facilitate transformation within our bodies and minds.

I’ve heard gurus, masters and adepts of other traditions say “We cannot completely heal or evolve spiritually without the assistance of someone who has attained mastery.” Each of the diverse spiritual traditions has their own unique ways of helping us to heal and realize our true potential and deepen our connection to the higher power. It’s important for us to explore the various ancient spiritual traditions to determine which ones we resonate most with and make use of the resources that are available that will enable us to heal, develop our bodies and minds and grow as individuals.

Powerful generative forces initiate cycles of development that begin at the time of conception and continue on into early adulthood. Our parents provide a supportive structure and guide us through the early stages of our lives by helping us to develop many of the basic skills and resources we need in order to function in the world.
A guru or master picks up where our parents left off by guiding us through the more advanced stages of our development. A powerful guru is like a light that illuminates the darkness. The guru taps into the higher planes of existence and his or her presence helps us to restore our connection with the divine. The transmission of power received from the guru helps to dissolve the veil of ignorance and confusion and to lighten the heavy karmic burdens that have kept us bound.

Gurus and masters of the various spiritual traditions are able to disseminate a portion of their power to us. They may also teach specific mantras, breath and other forms of esoteric practices according to our individual needs. Those of us who receive the transmissions of power and do the practices given by the guru or master are able to evolve and transform our lives in ways that we would not be able to do on our own. With the assistance of the master we deepen our connection to the higher power, develop greater internal power and realize our true potential as human beings.

I’ll go for darshan and spend time with the swamis and gurus whenever the opportunity presents itself. I get an extra boost that helps to move me further along and I feel a greater sense of lightness, freedom and expansiveness afterwards. I go to the temples and take part in the pujas whenever I can. I also work with specific mantras. The various mantras and stotras were either received or composed by the ancient rishis who understood the power of Sanskrit words and their ability to call form into manifestation. I cannot say that I fully understand what’s happening, but I can feel a gradual process of transformation taking place within me as I continue to work with these practices.

Shifu Li Tai Liang has been teaching me Xin Yi Quan, Baguazhang and Tai Chi forms, their fighting applications and the practices to build internal power for quite some time now. Learning the highly complex forms is helping me to develop my body and mind. I feel a much greater sense of rootedness and stability. I find myself developing an ever stronger foundation that is more in alignment with the force of creation.

There were many exceptionally powerful doctors among the American Indian tribes in times past. Most of the native healing practices along with the gifts and powers that have been passed down through the centuries have been lost. Very few here in North America possess these gifts of healing in this present day. I’m very fortunate that Horace passed portions of his own healing power on to me and that I’ve had the opportunity to receive additional gifts of healing during the many vision quests. I have also been able to feel other forces or beings working with me throughout the vision quests to diffuse painful emotions and dismantle the past traumas that were so deeply ingrained within. Going through this process has enabled me to develop a much stronger foundation.

People who are not able to study or train under those who have attained mastery within the ancient spiritual traditions do not have access to the transmissions of power passed down through the ancient lineages. Nor do they have the opportunity to learn or do the practices that would provide them with a valuable set of tools that would enable them to develop their bodies and minds. Most do not know how to work constructively with their feelings. They have never gone through the vision quest or other ceremonial practices and do not have the opportunity to work with any of the traditional native doctors. This accounts for the fact that many people’s bodies and minds become so stagnant and break down at an accelerated pace as the years go by.

People start out fresh and vital in their younger years, but the stresses of daily life gradually take their toll. The life force often becomes incredibly stagnant. In many instances, the true essence of an individual gets buried under so many layers of hurt, anger, frustration, disappointment and other accumulated stresses. The subtle bodies consisting of the chakras and the layers of the aura begin to break down or degenerate over time. Many people’s subtle bodies never fully mature which is reflective of the fact that they have never developed the resources needed to navigate life as fully functional human beings.

Native doctors among the various American Indian tribes allowed other forces or beings to work through them to facilitate healing that would not otherwise be possible. The same kind of presence works through me during the individual healing sessions to cleanse the body of toxicity. This presence facilitates a regenerative process within the body and mind. The internal organs become more vital and function better. Digestive, respiratory and neurological disorders, head trauma and other serious physical injuries and a wide range of other health related issues normally respond very well to this form of healing.

The presence working through me also helps people to “digest” the many layers of old stagnant emotional residue and other stresses held within the body. Conflicted issues that have been the source of pain and suffering are brought to resolution. People often stop smoking, drinking and using other substances. Many have told me they no longer require the medications they depended upon for various health concerns or to alleviate the painful feelings associated with anxiety and depression. Many are able to let go of abusive partners and dysfunctional relationships and attract healthier companions.

People who have the opportunity to work with me individually become more present and engaging and experience greater lucidity as their intellectual, emotional and sensory capacity expands. The clarity that comes as a result gives them a greater sense of their life’s purpose. Many go back to school, start new careers or experience a renewed sense of purpose that carries them forward in their work and personal life. New resources and capabilities emerge as the parts of the self that had shut down or failed to mature go through a process of evolution. Artists, writers, musicians as well as people working in various professional capacities often tell me how the healing process taking place has enabled them to refine their work in a way that enables them to take it to a whole new level.

I’ve heard Native American doctors and Chinese Masters talk about how people become disconnected from their souls. They say that we do not come into this life or inhabit our bodies with all of our selves. In many instances we become very disconnected from the authentic core residing deep within and the eternal self that lives through all time and creation. This split increases as the stresses of daily life cause people to shut down or contract. Those of us who are able to work with the gurus, masters and native doctors are given an opportunity to reconnect with these parts of ourselves. The combination of disciplined practice and assistance from the various forces working through these individuals facilitates an awakening. The authentic core self begins to emerge and more of our soul is drawn into the body. Only then will we begin to discover our true selves and realize our full potential.

©Copyright 2012 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

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