Yin-Yang Balance: Why it’s So Important for Men and Women to Have Platonic Friends of the Opposite Gender

Leave a comment

tao
The feelings of attraction that begin to emerge during our adolescence can be all consuming. I wanted so much to have a love in my life as I grew into adulthood, but I was so painfully shy that I had to force myself to talk to women. My attempts to approach and engage with women were sometimes very awkward. I would often trip over my words or go completely blank. My social anxieties gradually abated as I continued to engage with women. I began to realize after some time that I really enjoyed women and that I felt much more comfortable relating to them.

Men and women have a tendency to exist within their own subcultures. A friend of mine who used to work as a bartender talked about how women came to the bar with their circle of girlfriends. Men usually came to the bars wanting to hook up, but those who tried to approach were often shot down. Most of the guys I know hang out with their guy friends. And women usually spend time with their girlfriends. Men and women complain about not having a love in their lives and that they don’t seem to be meeting anyone, and yet many are not doing anything constructive to change their situation.

I like to meet and spend time with interesting people. I talk with women I encounter along the way whenever the opportunity presents itself. Engaging with women in New York City can be difficult because many regard any man who approaches them in a public setting as a potential predator. There have been so many instances where I’ve met women and I could tell that they really liked me. Some have even spent hours meeting with me over coffee, but the underlying fears and sense of guardedness or the fact that they were too busy precluded the possibility of any kind of meaningful connection. It became quite obvious as I had the opportunity to get to know more women in the city that many have been deeply hurt. The stresses of living in the city make it that much more difficult for them to work through their fears, heal the hurts or tune in to their intuition.

Women that I encounter in other cities across the United States and countries in other parts of the world tend to be more open and engaging. I found women in Japan and China to be incredibly friendly and easy to talk with. Sri Lankan women often make eye contact and smile at me. India tends to be more conservative. A number of the women that I’ve approached while in India were initially standoffish, but would often let their guard down once they realized that I wasn’t a threat.

I’m intrigued by strong, intelligent and creative women. I’ll talk with any woman I encounter if I feel a sense of resonance. Many of the women that I’ve engaged with automatically assumed that I was romantically interested in them. It took a while for some of the women I met in India and Sri Lanka to get used to the fact that I was only interested in platonic friendship. A number of friendships have developed out of these connections.

Other women that I spent time with became very angry when I didn’t reciprocate their romantic interest. In some instances they completely stopped talking to me. Men and women who cut a person of the opposite gender off just because he or she doesn’t reciprocate their feelings are incredibly short sighted. Some of the women who didn’t reciprocate my love interest have turned out to be valuable friends. I have often realized sometime down the road that we were better off as friends anyway. Other relationships that had started out as friendships eventually led to romance. I’m also cognizant of the fact that my platonic girlfriends have friends that they can introduce me to.

South Asian societies have traditionally been very segregated. Men in much of India have very limited interaction with women outside of their own immediate families. The lack of normal healthy male to female interaction contributes to the misogynistic mindset, domestic and sexual violence, perversion and other forms of dysfunction that are so prevalent in present day Indian society. A large percentage of the Indian men that I’ve met have absolutely no sense of how to relate to women. Arranged marriages are still fairly common in this part of the world. Many of the single men and women I’ve gotten to know along the way were still waiting for their parents to select a life partner for them.

All men and women have both masculine and feminine attributes. Men who fail to develop their inner feminine are often lacking in sensitivity and that may prevent them from developing their capacity for compassion, empathy and intuition. Women who are not in touch with their inner masculine are less likely to develop the strength needed to fully assert themselves and stand on their own. Men who fail to develop their inner feminine and women who lack their inner masculine attributes are seriously out of balance. Spending time with friends of the opposite gender helps us to develop a healthy balance of internal masculine and feminine attributes.

Single men and women sometimes fall into a state of desperation in their search for love. Our state of desperation throws us way out of balance and that decreases our chances of finding the love that we truly need and desire.

I went through some very difficult periods of time when I wasn’t connecting with anyone on a romantic level. Having platonic girlfriends to spend time with made such a huge difference. Having these women in my life helped to alleviate the painful feelings of aloneness. The nurturance I received through our friendship helped to balance me energetically and emotionally. Having a grounded presence made it much easier for me to connect when I did meet someone that I truly resonated with.

There’s a huge disconnect between men and women. We’ve learned from a very early age to disconnect from our feelings and physical bodies and that causes us to shut down or disconnect from parts of ourselves. The disconnect between the genders is a reflection of how disconnected we have become from ourselves.

We have all heard the adage that says love is blind. Highly charged feelings and the accompanying projections experienced when we fall in love blind us in such a way that it that prevent us from seeing the object of our desire for who they truly are. Most of us have been hurt or taken advantage of somewhere along the way. We’ve become angry, frustrated, and fearful and feel suspicious of one other. Pain and trauma held within keeps us locked into a holding pattern that causes us to attract similar partners and reenact the same kinds of dramas.

We barely understand ourselves, let alone another human being. Men and women often feel as though they were relating to someone from a different species or another planet all together when they attempt to relate to a person from the opposite gender. Platonic friendships help to bridge the gender gap by creating a more neutral environment that can at times be more conducive for learning to relate to the other half of the human species. Being connected to people of the opposite gender will then begin to feel more like a normal and natural everyday occurrence.

Men often fall into the trap of getting hung up on a woman’s physical appearance and that prevents them from seeing a woman for who she truly is as an individual. Spending time with platonic women friends has helped me to get a better sense of the women I encounter along the way. I have a better sense of when a woman is being genuine. I can tell if she’s caring and compassionate, honest, sincere and if she comes from a place of integrity.

We all need to learn how to be a friend before we can ever become a good companion. My platonic girlfriends often open up to share what’s going on in their lives. I emphasize with their hurts, fears and disappointments. Gaining an understanding of what my friends have gone through in their lives and how they feel helps me avoid some of the pitfalls and mistakes that guys often make that damage relationships. It also helps me to develop the understanding and empathy that enables me to be a more caring and compassionate friend, romantic partner and possibly future husband.

©Copyright 2013 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. To learn more or to schedule a private session call (913) 927-4281

Advertisements

Healing After an Automobile Accident

Leave a comment

ouch
Automobile accidents can cause a wide range of injuries to virtually any part of the body depending on the nature and severity of the impact. Head and brain injuries ranging from a mild concussion to traumatic brain injury (TBI) often occur when the brain is jostled inside the skull as a result of the impact of the crash. Neck injuries such as whiplash, neck strain and more serious injuries such as herniated disc and back injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures, disc injuries resulting from the torque of the driver’s and passenger’s bodies can cause long lasting pain and discomfort. Facial injuries such as scrapes, bruises, lacerations, fractures and jaw and dental injuries are frequently caused by impact with the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, airbags, car seats and shattered glass. Drivers and passengers involved in serious automobile accidents and especially those resulting in severe injuries and even loss of life often experience short and long term emotional-psychological distress and may even suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Aden was seriously injured after being hit broadside while moving through an intersection by a driver who ran a red light. The impact of the collision was so great that it snapped his seat belt. Aden flew up into the air and then landed on the pavement. He remembered floating up out of his body momentarily and seeing people standing around and looking down at him as his body laid there on the pavement.

I first learned of the accident from Aden’s sister and later inquired about him when ran into his mother while shopping at Wild Oats market in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Aden’s hip was broken during the accident and much of the flesh on his right outer thigh was worn away when his body slid on the pavement. His body was hunched over and he was experiencing a great deal of physical pain. I sat Aden down in a chair in the Wild Oats market and went to work. Aden’s response was “Wow …this is the first thing that has helped me. Physical therapy has felt like torture. But I could feel the pain being pulled out of my body as you were working on me.”

Aden had me come over to his home to work with him. The “road rashes” shrunk dramatically in size. And he was able to go back to work at his construction job after the first session.

Injuries to the spinal cord

Duane suffered serious injury to the spinal cord as a result of a head on. Duane didn’t remember much of the accident except for the short time that he regained consciousness as he was being loaded into the ambulance. Duane told me that the headband he was wearing at the time of the accident ended up getting stuck in the broken glass when his head slammed up against the windshield.

Duane had been going for Chiropractic adjustments two or three times a week to help him manage the pain at the time I began to work with him. He was forced to call out of work on many occasions because the pain was so incapacitating. Duane gradually improved as we continued to work together. The pain and other physical discomforts subsided as his spinal injury healed.

Whiplash

I suffered injuries to my neck and upper back after being broadsided by a driver who ran a red light. I had received numerous deep tissue massages and chiropractic adjustments and yet I still experienced a great deal of discomfort. I was hit a second time from the rear while traveling across country. Fortunately, I was able to spend some time with a Kiowa-Apache medicine bundle being kept by a friend when I stopped off in Oklahoma. I felt as if the room were spinning around me as I placed my hands on the sacred bundle. I could feel the presence residing within the bundle working to heal the injuries in my neck and upper back. My injuries healed completely later on as I went through the vision quest.

American Indians relied upon the forces of nature to effect healing within the body and mind that would not have otherwise been possible. Gifts of healing that were passed down over time were transmitted directly from an older traditional doctor to a younger apprentice. One then had to go alone into the mountains to fast for four days and nights without food and water to earn the right to work with these gifts of healing. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to train with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa tribe.

The subtle bodies which are comprised of the chakras and layers of the aura are not perceived by most people and yet they are an essential part of the infrastructure that facilitates consciousness. The subtle bodies also support the structure and functions of all the body’s organs and systems. The chakras and layers of the aura are often seriously damaged as a result of the impact of an automobile accident. Much of the damage to the subtle bodies does not heal on its own.

The first layer of the aura consists of a fiber like grid or meshwork that mirrors the structure of the physical body. This layer of the aura helps to maintain the structure and functions of the various cells, organs and systems. The grid like structure in the first layer of the aura helps to maintain alignment and facilitate the cohesive interplay between of the skeletal structure, ligaments, tendons and musculature. The first layer of the aura also helps to conduct the subtle life force to all the various cells and organs throughout the body.

The traumatic impact of a collision often tears the first layer of the aura and in some instances rips it away from the physical body. That’s part of the reason why the spine keeps coming out of alignment and people have to keep going back in for adjustments.

The physical and subtle bodies serve as a form of protective boundary that helps to give us some sense of a coherent structure and meaning in our lives. It also helps us to contain the stressful memories and emotions that we have not been willing or able to deal with. All kinds of residual memories and emotions can leak out when our defensive structures break apart as a result of an automobile accident. That can greatly contribute to our sense of vulnerability and overwhelm. The shock resulting from the impact of an automobile crash, damage to the physical and subtle bodies and the resulting physical pain can also cause us to dissociate and feel a sense of disorientation.

The individual healing sessions greatly accelerate the healing process. They also facilitate certain aspects of healing that would not otherwise happen on their own. The presence working through me surgically repairs damage within the physical and subtle bodies. Physical pain and shock resulting from the traumatic impact are neutralized so the experience can be fully processed and the body and mind can heal. The sessions help those injured in automobile accidents to become firmly rooted in their bodies and digest the emotional aspect of the trauma and other subsequent emotions that surface.

Broken bones that are not set right do not heal properly. A broken bone may turn or twist during the healing process or end up being shorter than the other. I encourage people who have been injured in an automobile accident to work with me immediately afterwards when the body-mind is most responsive to healing if at all possible to ensure that damage within the physical and subtle bodies can be repaired. Although many who were suffering from chronic injuries resulting from accidents that had occurred months or years prior have still derived tremendous benefit from the healing sessions. I also recommend that people do as many sessions as they can immediately afterwards to derive greater benefits of the healing.

©Copyright 2013 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. To learn more or to schedule a private session call (913) 927-4281

What Would I Be Doing If I Weren’t Spending So Much Time Online?

Leave a comment

Internet
The economic crisis of 2008 had a devastating impact upon many practitioners of the healing arts. Once thriving practices began to dry up. The economy has been gradually making its way back, but many yoga and martial arts instructors and all kinds of other presenters are telling me that they’re finding it more difficult to get people to show up. A large percentage of those who do come to classes don’t seem to be quite as present. Many only show up a time or two and then disappear. People are also more likely to jump from one thing to another without ever sticking with anything for long enough to derive any real benefit.

People today have greater difficulty sticking with anything because their attention span has shortened. Many have become so desensitized as a result of having disconnected from their feelings and physical bodies. Their lack of groundedness makes them more prone to becoming easily distracted. Their scatteredness prevents them from doing the work that is necessary to facilitate healing.

Maintaining a successful practice was much easier before people began to spend so much time online. I built a practice through occasional radio interviews, workshops and word of mouth referral. I feel like I’m having to work four times harder to get through to people and keep them on track now. I find myself expending a great deal of additional time and energy connecting the dots for people who don’t seem to be capable of doing so on their own.

People often tell me of the powerful healing experiences they have in my classes and individual sessions. But people nowadays are so saturated. What concerns me is that I’m seeing lots of people who are deeply wounded, scattered, lost and confused. Many have serious psychological and physiological health issues that need to be addressed. The disconnect from their feelings and physical bodies leaves them further removed from the underlying source of their issues. They become distracted so easily and that makes it difficult to hold their attention long enough to effect healing.

Our use of the internet is training our brains to process information very quickly but without sustained attention. The problem is that our brains cannot efficiently handle such large volumes of information. Minds that are overloaded become distracted very easily. Our distractedness is making it harder for our brains to consolidate what we’re learning and experiencing so that we can retain pertinent information. Many of us are finding it more difficult to concentrate even when we’re away from our computers and smart phones. Brains that cannot hold onto relevant information or readily access that which has already been stored tend to become very forgetful.

I just assumed that I needed to be going to where people are spending time in order to reach them. I signed up for a number of internet marketing courses. I started creating Facebook pages and developing websites. Spending so much additional time online only scattered my focus. It also took lots of time away from the things I really need to be doing such as working on my writing. I would often stay up till one or two in the morning, but then I would end up feeling exhausted the next day.

I’ve spent years training with a traditional American Indian doctor and Master from China in the Internal Martial Arts. I need to be doing hours of intensive practice on a daily basis in order to continue to develop my body and mind. The time I spent on the internet was taking lots of time away from my practice. And in many instances I wasn’t anywhere near as effective because I was so tired from staying up the night before. After a while I began to realize that spending so much time online just wasn’t working for me.

Features and benefits: What the internet is actually doing for us

Internet has become one of the primary conduits for information flowing through our sensory channels. Before the internet researchers published their findings in journals that were not always easy to obtain. The internet has given us the ability to access to vast amounts of information that would not otherwise be readily available. The internet makes it easy for us to share information with individuals who have similar interests. The down side of all this is that traditional modes of research involve rigorous vetting to other researchers, who evaluate the information. This is called ‘peer review,’ meaning that you can’t just publish any old thing and pass it off as valid research. It’s a system of checks and balances. Nowadays anyone can post anything on the internet and that makes it difficult to determine if the content being offered if it’s accurate or not.

The internet is also making it much easier for us to stay connected with friends, family members and colleagues at a distance. Letters and other forms of communication used to take days, weeks and even months to reach the recipient. We can now send messages back and forth in a matter of seconds.

Broadcast media is largely controlled by various corporate and governmental interests which gives them the unfair advantage of shaping public opinion by determining what information we do and do not receive. The internet has given us access to a much broader range of information pertaining to what’s really happening in our world. It has helped to level the playing field by making it easier for individuals and organizations to efficiently disseminate information to large numbers of people. The internet and social media in particular has been a valuable tool that has helped to bring down despotic regimes and expose and prosecute human rights abuses and war crimes.

The time we’re spending online

Access to the internet wasn’t so readily available when we first started bringing computers into our homes. We used to have to log on from our desktop in order to go online and wait for what seemed like an eternity for web pages to load because the dial up connection was so unbearably slow.

The amount of time we’re spending online has increased considerably as the technology has continued to advance. The majority of people with internet access are spending at least a couple hours a day online. Some of us are spending half of our waking hours staring at the screens of our televisions, computer monitors and smartphones. In many instances we’re doing all of the above simultaneously. But time spent online is time we’re not being fully engaged with our friends and families, other people we encounter along the way and the world around us.

The loss of communal space

I was so excited at the time I moved to New York City thinking that I would be meeting and interacting with people from every country on the planet. I truly longed for some kind of meaningful connection, but often found it very difficult to connect with people. I ended up spending inordinate amounts of time online to compensate for my lack of connectedness.

One of the things I like most about the times I spend abroad is that I encounter so many different kinds of people and experiences. I usually have to go to a cyber café to go online in India and Sri Lanka. I check in once a day on the days I have access to a cyber café to read and respond to email and keep up with what’s happening in the rest of the world. But I find myself spending much less time online because I’m so much more engaged with the people and the world around me.

It wasn’t that long ago when those of us living in the United States were more engaged with the people in our immediate proximity. Cafes and parks were looked upon as communal spaces where people came together and interacted with one another. Nowadays being approached or engaged by someone unfamiliar is perceived by many to be some form of intrusion.

Children used to spend so much of their free time outdoors where they made new friends while riding bikes, climbing trees and playing games such as hide and seek. Kids today are much more inclined to sit at home watching television, playing computer games and surfing the net. Many don’t go out or have as many friends to engage with or opportunities for fun as their parents had when they were young. One cannot help but wonder what will become of these children as they grow into adulthood.

We’re losing our sense of community as we become more interested in what’s happening on the screens of our smartphones and computers than what’s taking place in our immediate proximity. We can go to any café or coffee shop and find that nearly everyone is glued to the screens of their computer and smartphone as they drink their coffee. Rather than connect with one another, we’re spending our time communicating with people at a distance through our mobile devices. Many of us are so preoccupied with our connections to people in our networks that we’ve lost all sense of curiosity and wonderment of the world around us.

We’re becoming more insecure in our relationships and anxious about intimacy and that’s making us less willing to put ourselves out there and take a chance. We feel lonely and experience a painful longing for intimacy and yet we’re using technology to create a buffer between ourselves and others. We hide behind the screens of our computers and smartphones because we fear the risk and disappointment that comes with being vulnerable to one another. We then stay plugged into our network to lessen our painful sense of aloneness.

It used to be fairly common for men and women who were interested in getting to know someone they found themselves attracted to to smile, make eye contact and engage in conversation. We have become so much more fearful and mistrusting of one another, thanks in part to our socially irresponsible media that sensationalizes every act of violence in order to boost its ratings. Fears held within constrict our body and mind in such a way that it prevent us from showing up as fully functional adults. Consequently, we’re less likely to smile, make eye contact and engage with one another.

Many people are feeling terribly lonely and finding it increasingly more difficult to form any kind of meaningful connection. We turn to online matchmaking sites such as mismatch.com in our attempts to find the love and companionship we truly need and desire. One of the sad things about our reliance upon online dating sites it that it’s not encouraging us to develop the intuitive ability that would enable us to get a sense of where people are coming from. It’s also preventing us from developing many of the interpersonal skills that are necessary to develop healthy and loving relationships. Our fears, social inhibitions and reliance upon matchmaking sites are also preventing us from engaging with people in our immediate proximity. They may be stopping us from talking with that one person who could very well be the best match we would ever find in our entire lives.

No longer present to one another

Texting, emailing, instant messaging, tweeting and spending time on Facebook are taking us further away from things that would help us to feel close. We’re spending so much time connecting to people in our networks and yet we’re no longer present to the world around us. We’re constantly glancing down at our cell phones and our conversations are routinely interrupted by incoming calls and text messages. That’s making it difficult for us to know if we’re really holding a person’s attention. These continual interruptions are compromising the quality of intimacy.

Everywhere we turn we see examples of people who are physically close but mentally elsewhere. Busy parents are less involved with their children because they’re so preoccupied by what’s taking place on the screen of their smartphone. Mothers of newborns sometimes admit to keeping up with their friend’s Facebook status updates on their iPhones while nursing. Many parents text and check email while pushing baby strollers or pushing their children on a swing. Parents and children often text during meals. Teens and adults text other people while out on a date. Now we’re even hearing of couples who text and e-mail each other while sitting on the couch or lying in bed.

The illusion of connection

Our world is changing rapidly. We now live in a digital culture of immediacy and constant technological stimulus. Our phones, tablets and laptops have become the medium that enable us to superficially satisfy the primal need in all of us who desire to feel connected to others at all times. But the technologies that were supposed to bring us together are actually putting more distance between us. Our connectivity is disrupting our attachments to the things that have always nourished and sustained us. We may enjoy the continual sense of connection and yet we fail to realize that it’s a big part of the reason that we rarely have time for each other.

Connectivity is giving many of us more what we think we want. We may assume that what we want is to always be in touch and to never be alone. Social media enables us to instantly gain the attention of many people, but in the process we’re losing the depth and quality that comes with truly bonding with another individual. We talk about how many friends we have on Facebook and yet many of us have fewer real and lasting friendships than ever before. We’ve become so immersed in our online connections that we have no one in the here and now that we can turn to and confide in.

Attempting to fill the empty void

Many of us are starving for connection with other human beings. The Internet provides us with an endless array of distractions while indulging our cravings for attention and stimulation. We’re being conditioned by all of these little rewards of social and intellectual nourishment provided by Facebook and other social media sites the way the Russian physiologist Pavlov conditioned his dogs to salivate every time he rang a bell. The attention and validation that we receive whenever someone retweets our tweets and likes, shares or comments on our Facebook posts are the little bread crumbs that keep us coming back for more.

Spending so much time online is desensitizing us to the inner void. Our hunger to connect with other human beings compels us to keep checking our email, twitter feeds and Facebook status updates. We text, instant message and go on to Facebook because it helps us to feel less alone. Even when people are not really here with us we still have their pictures. We feel comforted by their texts, emails and responses to our status update because it gives us a false sense of being together. The more we try to feed this emptiness the hungrier we become.

Spending time online may help to alleviate the painful sense of aloneness that many of us experience. The problem with this approach is that spending time behind of the screens of our computers is contributing to our growing sense of isolation by putting more barriers between ourselves and others.

Texting vs. Talking

Talking on a land line without interruption used to be the primary mode of communication when we were not able to speak face to face. The nice thing about talking on the phone or face to face is that it’s easier to have the full attention of the person we’re speaking with. We’re so much busier now and that can make it considerably more difficult to get someone’s attention.

People tend to communicate in ways that fit their comfort level. Many feel that a phone call is asking too much and perceive it as an intrusion. They don’t want make the commitment to being in a conversation because it demands presence and attention they don’t want to give. In essence, what they are saying is “I’m not comfortable being directly engaged. It’s too much for me to be fully present with you.” Our unwillingness to show up fully present is indicative of a serious interpersonal deficit.

It can be very difficult to get people to pick up the phone these days. Many are avoiding face-to-face encounters and phone calls and only “speak” via text or email. People tell me that texting and email gives them a greater sense of control over their time and the nature of their interactions. Scaling down the intensity of human contact helps them to manage their social insecurities.

One of the most frustrating things about e-mails is that they have a tendency to go back and forth without providing clarity or resolution. Misunderstandings are frequent and feelings can easily get hurt. The bigger the misunderstanding a greater the number of e-mails we send in our attempt clarify matters. All this emailing back and forth takes a lot of additional time and energy and creates tremendous amounts of unnecessary stress and complication. It’s so much simpler and easier to talk over the phone. The advantage of communicating by telephone is that all parties are more likely to be present. The message intended to be communicated can be more easily understood. Feelings can be expressed and questions can be answered right then and there. That can save us from a lot of unnecessary headaches and frustrations.

Texting is extremely limited as a means of communication, because it is about as far removed as one can be while communicating with another person. Texting is not at all conducive to giving careful consideration to or gaining a deep understanding of complex issues or involved matters. It doesn’t provide a good medium for conveying the many nuances of a complicated situation.

Texting provides an easy out for people who are not comfortable with their own or other people’s feelings. Texting allows them to maintain a reassuring distance by not allowing anyone to get too close. It also gives them the opportunity to edit their responses. Those who are not comfortable with the spontaneous nature of conversation have more time to think about what they’re saying. They don’t have to worry about saying too much or showing feeling they’re not comfortable with.

We feel less bound to the other person when we text and that makes it easier for us to ignore or blow them off. We’re so far removed from the people we’re communicating with that we don’t feel the pain we’re causing when we hurt someone. That accounts for the fact that many of us have become so incredibly flaky.

A place to hide

Many of us long for intimacy and yet we feel anxious about allowing other people to get too close because it brings up all kinds of feelings and issues we haven’t wanted to deal with. Emailing, instant messaging and texting makes it easy for those of us who are not willing to show up fully present to hide from the feelings of others and our own emotions.

We’re paying a high price for cutting off from our feelings, avoiding relevant issues and failing to show up fully present. The many things we’re doing to avoid or disconnect are taking us that much further away from the things that would help us to feel close. Our lack of direct engagement is preventing us from learning to manage and express our feelings. It’s also preventing us from developing many of the basic interpersonal skills needed to successfully relate to other human beings.

We’re cheating ourselves of the opportunity to see, feel and hear the many signals that we have relied upon for centuries to understand one another. We’re missing out on eye contact, facial expression and body language. We cannot hear the tone of a person’s voice or pick up on the subtle nuances of feeling that would give us a clear sense of what the other person is trying to say. That’s making it so much more difficult for us to understand the true meaning of the message being communicated. We often cannot tell if the person we’re trying to communicate with is joking or serious. We’re also losing the sense of spontaneity that comes with the unplanned interaction that takes place as we engage in conversation.

Too busy for our own good

We’re working more hours than ever before. We turn to technology to help us manage the demands of our present day lives, but the same technology that we have come to depend upon is consuming huge amounts of our time and energy. Many of us no longer have time for relationships and so we rely on technology to help us stay connected to people in our network.

The technologies that were devised to help us become more efficient are also speeding up the pace of our lives. We’re spending more time and doing more things online as the technology continues to advance. The increasing demands created by our new technologies are contributing to our growing sense of overwhelm. We try to do things online because we’re so busy, but then we end up spending a lot more time with our technology and less time with each other.

We have fewer opportunities to engage with people face to face and that’s causing us to feel more insecure, isolated and lonely. We try to compensate by attempting to form and maintain attachments to other people through our digital portals. But that’s leaving us further and further removed from the experience of direct engagement with one another.

Rewiring our mental circuitry

Our use of the internet is changing our intellectual habits. It is literally rewiring our mental circuitry by encouraging hurried and distracted thinking and superficial learning. Skimming of content has become the predominant mode of gathering information. The average internet user spends about twenty to thirty-five seconds looking at a web page before moving on to the next.

Many have argued that the combination of text, sounds, images and video create a sensory rich environment provided by the internet enhances the learning experience. But the constant distractions are taking up so much of the bandwidth of our working memory. The resulting division of our attention impairs our capacity to learn. Constant distractions make it more difficult for us to comprehend complex issues, draw inferences, establish relationships between concepts or make use of prior knowledge.

Many of us have stopped reading books. And we no longer have the patience for in depth essays. Writers, online magazines and other forms of net publications are changing their format to accommodate our shortened attention span. Long thought provoking pieces have been replaced by brief summaries or snippets of information. Our inability to focus on a given subject for any significant period of time is limiting our capacity to give careful consideration to matters.

Neural Plasticity

Whatever we learn or experience over the course of our lives has the capacity to modify our brain. Neural plasticity refers to the brain’s ability to reprogram itself and adapt to new circumstance, environments and ways of doing things. Old neural connections break down and atrophy when we fail to engage them. Our brains develop newer and stronger circuits with physical and mental practice. The mental workout that takes place as we continue to learn and accumulate knowledge facilitates greater levels of intellectual development.

Continuing use of the internet is modifying the structure and function of our brains. The neural circuits devoted to scanning and multitasking are becoming stronger while those associated with critical analysis, concentration, reflective thought and intuition are weakening. That’s diminishing our capacity for critical thinking, imagination, creativity and reflection.

The many streams of jumbled information flowing through our sensory channels in the form of text, images, audio and video coming from different sources of media are exceeding the limits our brain’s processing capacity. Our brains are forced to devote more and more attention to distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant information. Our ability to learn suffers because the resources required to filter out all of the extraneous noise is leaving us with less of the attention or cognitive resources needed to develop an in depth understanding of a subject or concept. And that’s interfering with our mind’s capacity to process and store relevant information.

Working memory

The working memory is the aspect of our conscious mind that is comprised of those things that we are conscious of at any given moment. One of the primary functions of our working memory is to gather information. The contents of our long-term memory reside outside of our conscious awareness. Our subconscious serves as a personal storehouse of knowledge and provides a filing system for the information acquired through the working memory so that it can be retrieved when needed. The brain helps us to remember by transferring information stored in our long term memory back into working memory.

The brain can only accommodate a limited amount of information at any given time. Going beyond this capacity overwhelms the brain and that impairs its ability to transfer information from our working memory into our long term memory. Many of us are being inundated with far more information than our brains can possible handle and that’s placing a tremendous strain upon our working memory.

Brains that are overwhelmed have greater difficulty making useful connections with the information already stored in the long term memory. The jumble of information flooding our senses diverts resources from our higher reasoning facilities. That impedes the consolidation of useful information needed to facilitate the development of useful schemas which are the working models that enable us to make sense of the world around us by helping us to understand how things work.

Competing for our attention

There are so many things competing for our attention whenever we go online. Oversized headlines and graphic images are designed to jump out at us, grab our attention and pull us in. Pop-up ads intrude upon our screens. Our computers and smartphones notify us of every new text, email, blog post, news or stock update, weather alert and friend who comes online with all kinds of audio and visual cues. The constant shifting of attention can be very mentally taxing because our brains have to keep reorienting themselves.

Office workers often stop what they’re doing to read and respond to incoming e-mail messages. Time spent reading and responding to email accounts for a huge loss of productivity. Many students’ academic performance began to suffer when colleges and universities began to allow students to type their lecture notes after laptop computers became readily available because they were spending so much of their class time shopping, downloading music, texting, checking email, watching videos or keeping up with their friend’s status updates on Facebook. The average American teen is sending and receiving thousands of text messages a month. And many are leaving their cell phones and computers on next to their beds as they sleep and are woken up at all hours of the night by incoming messages.

The many things that distract us whenever we go online often take us away from the information we were initially seeking. We end up losing inordinate amounts of time watching viral videos and reading up on the details of the latest wars, crimes committed, natural disasters, political infighting, celebrity gossip and our friend’s status updates. We’re so mentally fatigued by the clutter flooding our sensory channels. And in many instances we’re also physically exhausted because of the extra time we spend staying up when our bodies are in need of rest. Consequently we have less available resources to attend to those issues that seriously need to be addressed.

Constant interruptions weaken our concentration while leaving us feeling more tense and anxious. The short-circuiting of our conscious and subconscious thought processes impedes our ability to think deeply and creatively. These disruptions interfere with the subconscious mind’s ability to synthesize information and then to bring it into our conscious awareness when needed. That’s making it all the more difficult for us to comprehend and retain information, to get a clear sense of the issues at hand, to formulate goals and to maintain the degree of focused attention needed to address relevant issues.

We need to be able to focus our attention in order to retain information. Strong mental concentration combined with repetition helps us to form meaningful associations. The single-minded concentration experienced while reading a book, listening attentively to a lecture or practicing a discipline such as yoga or the martial arts facilitates a steady flow of information into the subconscious mind from our working memory. Having a singular focus facilitates the process of comprehension and makes it easier for us to retain more of what we’re learning. Our subconscious can then incorporate new information in such a way that it augments existing models.

The loss of solitude

The net is always with us now that we’re able to take our laptops and smartphones wherever we go. Our computers, smartphones and tablets have become our doorway to the universe. There are always more articles to read, friends to talk to and status updates to catch up on.

That doesn’t leave us much time to be alone with ourselves. Finding time for our selves would mean actually turning off our phones and computers. The prospect of unplugging has become ever more challenging as we depend upon our computers and smartphones to help us navigate the social and psychological terrain.

Many of us are now so dependent upon our devices to help us manage that we feel a sense of disorientation when we leave our screens. We’ve become inseparable from our smartphones feeling as though something were terribly wrong when we’re not in touch. We’re only going to become more heavily reliant upon technology, new media and social networks as our technology continues to advance. And that means we’ll be expecting more from our technology and less from each other.

We’re losing our sense of inner calm along with our ability to live fully in the moment. Many of us can no longer handle stillness. We feel compelled to fill our every waking moment with some form of distraction. We preoccupy ourselves by monitoring a never ending stream real time updates in the form of Facebook notifications, Twitter feeds, news alerts and email. Our constant state of connectedness is leaving us very little time for self-reflection. We all need time to gather or collect information. We also need time for contemplation. That cannot possibly happen when we’re always plugged into our network.

What we’re losing

Few of us ever stop to consider what we’re losing since we’ve become so plugged into our purpose driven media. We’ve become so detached from our feelings and physical bodies are paying less attention to those around us. We’re losing interest in other people along with our capacity for empathy. That’s making it harder for us to put ourselves in the place of others to try to understand their feelings and considerations.

Many are not old enough to remember what it was like before we became so plugged in. Younger generations that have been born into to the age of technology, don’t have the ability to know what life was like without it. They have no point of comparison that would enable them to recognize how pathological our dependence has become. Those of us who grew up beforehand still have some sense of an inner self apart from technology that enables us to recognize the impact that technology is having upon us.

The pace of life was slower before we started spending so much time online. We had more time for each other and we tended to be more present in our interactions. We also had more time to read, meditate, prepare healthy meals, sleep and to do any number of other things we need to be doing to better care for ourselves. Many of us long for the sense of stillness and quietude that has seemingly been lost.

Enslaved by the technology that was initially designed to serve us
It has become nearly impossible for us to live without the use of the technology in our present day and age. The Internet has become so integral to our work and social lives that we couldn’t possibly escape from it even if we wanted to. We depend on the net to learn about what’s happening in our world, to check the weather report, to get an education or find a job. We use the internet to shop and pay bills, schedule appointments, send online greetings and book flights and hotel rooms.

Many of us are now living our lives on the screen of our computers and smartphones. We’re becoming slaves to the technology that was initially designed to serve us. Our challenge in using the internet is to find a way to live with the seductive technology and not have it take over us. We need to become fully honest by asking ourselves if the technology we have become so invested in is truly serving our purposes.

Staying on track

We’re bombarded by all kinds of flashing signs, elaborate displays and sales clerks spraying cologne or perfume on us and samples to taste anytime we walk into a shopping mall or supermarket. We can easily find ourselves getting caught up in these distractions and end up buying things we don’t need that we had absolutely no intention of purchasing.

The internet is designed in a very similar way to distract us from what we’re truly searching for. Our internal state of being becomes very cluttered as we continue to collect more details of the latest disaster, celebrity news and other garbage being thrown at us while we’re glued to the net. Our brains are just not capable of processing the massive amounts of information flowing through our sensory channels.

Our life spans are very short. Keeping up with all the websites that we spend time on consumes inordinate amounts of our time. There are only twenty-four hours in a day. But we find ourselves spending ten minutes here and another five there and before we know it we have lost hours to the many distractions that have captured our attention. That’s leaving us less time to actually live our lives. We need to be disciplined in our use of the internet so that we can go in to get what we want without getting caught up in the innumerable distractions placed before us.

Taking time to tune in

Those of us who are not firmly grounded in our bodies can easily become caught up in the collective consciousness of the society in which we live. It causes me a great deal of concern to see how we are becoming less present to ourselves, other people and the world around us as we become more and more dependent upon technology.

We were taught from an early age to disconnect from our feelings and physical bodies. Spending excessive amounts of time on line is only exacerbating our state of disconnect. Many of us have become so desensitized and that’s preventing us from recognizing the changes taking place within our own bodies and minds as we continue to spend more and more time online.

The sensory overload resulting from our media addiction is distracting us from relevant issues that need to be addressed. It’s also causing us to lose touch with ourselves. Our state of disconnect is causing us to operate at a very superficial level of consciousness. And that’s making it considerably more difficult for us to form or maintain any kind of healthy attachments.

I’ve become more cognizant of the negative impact that my own reliance upon technology is having upon me. I’m thankful that I have practices to work with and other healing resources such as the vision quest to do a “reset” on my body and mind and get me back on track. People who are not so fortunate are paying the price as they become more disconnected from their feelings and physical bodies, other people and the world in which they live.

We all need downtime to reconnect with our feelings and physical bodies. Taking time to slow down and become fully present by breathing softly and deeply while focusing our attention on our feelings and sensations will help us to reconnect with the authentic core that resides deep within.

Showing up fully present

Smart phones, tablets, computers and the internet can all be highly addictive. We need to be exceptionally mindful in our use of the seductive modern technology lest we lose ourselves in the process.

Many of us are checking out of the present moment whenever we go online. Our lives are nothing more than a dissociative existence when we hide behind the screens of our computers and smart phones. We’re actually throwing ourselves into reverse when we hide, avoid and tune out and that is stunting our emotional development.

We cannot upload love, download time or Google all of our life’s answers. It’s important for us to keep in mind that the connections we share with the people who truly matter to us are one of the most important aspects of our lives. It’s through our feelings that we develop the capacity to bond and form healthy attachments and get a clear sense of our purpose and direction in life.

We all have a purpose for being here in this world. We must actually live our lives to realize our true purpose. That can only happen when we put down our devices and make a conscientious effort on a daily basis to live a fully embodied life. That means showing up, paying attention and participating.

Learning to show up fully present as an active participant in life is one of the most important things we can do in terms of our healing and personal growth. Being present with our feelings and physical bodies and in our interactions with others is not always easy, but it is one of the most important things we can possibly do to heal and grow individually and in our relationships with others.

Bibliography

Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. Norton. 2011

Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other. Basic Books. 2011

©Copyright 2013 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.

Save the Kiowa Indian Tribe’s Sacred Longhorn Mountain: Open Letter to Senators Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe

Leave a comment

Longhorn Mountain
Longhorn Mountain is located fifteen miles Southwest of Mountain View, Oklahoma in Kiowa County. Longhorn Mountain has been used by the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache and other surrounding Plains Indian tribes for prayer, the vision quest and events of other religious significance. Native people also go to pray for their families in times of illness and death. Native people fast for four days and nights upon Longhorn with only a blanket to shield them from the elements. They prayed continually during this time with no food or water.

Cedar from Longhorn Mountain is cut from the trees and dried to be used in the religious ceremonies or in homes for purification. Longhorn cedar is used today in every traditional Kiowa home. The cedar is dried and then prayed over before being used. Tribes all over the United States use the cedar from Longhorn Mountain. And some travel great distances to gather Longhorn Cedar.

The majority of the “slick hills” west of Apache and south of Carnegie are now covered with wind turbines. The mountain immediately to the west of Longhorn has nearly been strip mined to the ground by the rock crushing company Dolese. The natural beauty inherent in this region of Oklahoma is being destroyed.

Longhorn Mountain is currently facing a serious threat. The farmers that currently own the western half of the mountain have leased the land to Stewart Stone of Cushing Oklahoma, a rock crushing company that would strip mine the Kiowa tribe’s sacred Longhorn Mountain turning it into the gravel that is used to pave our highways. The destruction of Longhorn Mountain would be a tragic loss and an act of cultural genocide perpetrated against the Kiowa people and all traditional Native Americans.

Longhorn Mountain has tremendous spiritual significance and is considered to be the most sacred of all sites by the Kiowa people of Oklahoma and is still used for the vision quest. Longhorn is one of the very few sacred sites located in the state of Oklahoma where Native Americans go to do the vision quest.

The destruction of Longhorn Mountain would be a tremendous historical loss for the state of Oklahoma. And it would be an especially devastating loss to the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache and traditional native people from other tribes that hold Longhorn Mountain sacred. Please do whatever you can to help us to protect Longhorn Mountain by having it declared both a historical and sacred Native American site.

Contact Information for Senator Coburn:

http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/?p=ContactForm

Contact Infomation for Senator Inhofe:

http://www.inhofe.senate.gov/contact

Lets all work together to save Longhorn Mountain
https://www.facebook.com/SaveLonghornMountain

Healing Cancer

Leave a comment

Cancer
The father of a friend was passing blood in his urine and experiencing a great deal of pain resulting from the malignant tumors growing in his bladder. He was not at all familiar with the traditional forms of healing practiced by the Native Americans, but his son and daughter were telling him “Dad …Just try it.”

My friend’s father was up and out of bed and pain free after the healing session. My friend told me that her father had gone out to shoot pool with his son and was making little trips through Kansas and Missouri to see friends and family members. I had only one opportunity to work with my friend’s father. He wasn’t willing to deal with the issues and emotions that were surfacing afterwards, but that one session put him into remission for six months.

Crossing over

Healing does not always mean that the person will recover physically. There are instances where I’m working with someone and get a very strong feeling that it’s just their time to go. It’s important for me to remain open and to do whatever I can to facilitate whatever process needs to occur.

I received a phone call some years ago from a woman whose mother was dying of pancreatic cancer. Damita told me that her mother was experiencing excruciating pain and asked if I could help. I told her that I would do whatever I could.

Damita took me into the room where her mother was lying in bed and I could see that Isabella was about to die. The doctors had Isabella on a very high dose of morphine to ease the pain and that left her fairly incoherent.

Isabella’s body was very weak and all of her defense mechanisms were down. That made her very responsive to the healing process that was taking place. I could feel that Isabella was processing many years of old emotions and life experiences. I knew that she could go at any moment, so I asked her telepathically to wait until after I left.

Isabella looked much better after the session. She was able to speak coherently with me, Damita and her son-in-law and went to sleep soon afterwards. I stayed a while longer to talk with Damita and then I went on home.

Damita called me a few days later to say that her mother had passed away later the next evening. She said Isabella had slept soundly through the night and felt good when she woke up the next morning. Damita went on to say that she could see that her mother was at peace and that she spent much of the day sitting up in bed watching the birds. Damita also told me that her mother was able to stand up on her own and took a bath with some help.

Isabella began to experience shortness of breath later that evening. Damita said she could tell that her mother’s spirit was beginning to withdraw from her body starting from the lower extremities and then moving upwards. Isabella then gracefully left her body. Damita thanked me for helping to ease her mother’s transition.

Working with the terminally ill can be very difficult at times. The person I’m working with and the family can be very fearful and upset. The person who is dying is often doing everything they can to hold on. The experience can be very traumatic and cause tremendous hardship for the family. I often end up working to help the whole family move through the transition.

Some people refuse to accept the fact that they’re dying and will deny it right up till the very end. Sometimes their unwillingness to accept death and determination to fight is what enables them hold on. I do whatever I can to support the individual and to allow them to be where they’re at in their process.

Bone marrow cancer

Sarah had been given only two years to live at the time she was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. I began to work with her shortly afterwards. Painful memories of being sexually abused by her father began to emerge during the sessions. She gradually worked through the painful feelings and memories and came to a place of acceptance.

Sarah developed a form of lymphoma after ten years. I saw her soon after she was diagnosed and it was obvious that her grasp on life was very tenuous. It appeared that we were just about to lose her, but Sarah rebounded after a few sessions.

Sarah began to retain fluid in her abdominal cavity. She had to wear maternity pants because her stomach had become so distended. I was only able to make it back to Kansas City twice a year at that time. Sarah’s stomach would flatten out after the first two sessions and then she would go back to wearing her regular pants. Her stomach would be distended again by the time I returned to Oklahoma City six months later, but it would flatten out after a few sessions. The healing sessions helped to keep Sarah alive for another two years. I feel that she may still be alive today if we had the opportunity to work on a regular basis

Sarah’s son took me out to lunch after his mother’s passing. He thanked me saying that both he and his sister realized that they would not have had their mother for this long had it not been for the healing sessions.

Causes and solutions

Cancer is a complex group of diseases with many possible causes. Approximately five to ten percent of all cancers are hereditary. That means that changes or mutations in specific genes are passed down from one blood relative to another. Individuals who inherit one of these gene changes have a higher likelihood of developing cancer within their life time.

Some forms of cancer are thought to be linked to infections. Artificial sweeteners, the preservatives and nitrates found in baloney and salami and ingredients found many other processed foods have also been linked to the development of cancer. Consumer products such as cosmetics and hair dyes also contain ingredients that are carcinogenic. Commonly found cancer causing substances in and around the home include radon, lead and arsenic. Many have been exposed to potentially harmful substances in the workplace such as asbestos, benzene and formaldehyde. The use of cell phones has been linked to the development of cancerous tumors in the brain and other parts of the body that come into frequent contact with these mobile devices.

Normal cells in the body follow an orderly path of growth, division, and death. This programed cell death is called apoptosis. Cancer begins to form when this process breaks down. Cells grow uncontrollably and do not die when this happens. Cancer cells continue to grow and divide and that leads to a mass of abnormal cells that continue to grow out of control.

The human body is made up of over fifty trillion cells that are continuously dividing to keep us healthy. Every person has microscopic cancers growing inside them. Cells that mutate have the potential to become cancerous. The good news is that most of these abnormal cells will never become a threat to our wellbeing because our bodies natural immune system is an excellent defense that guards against cancer. Another defense is our body’s ability to resist blood vessels from growing into and feeding cancers.

Cancerous cells that would otherwise be harmless develop into full blown cancer when they are provoked. Getting too much sun and exposure to cigarette smoke or toxic chemicals found in the home, workplace or environment can provoke the development of cancerous cells.

Taking time to exercise, getting adequate sleep and eating high nutrient foods containing antioxidant and anti-cancer properties such as raw fruits and vegetables can boost our body’s cancer defense systems. Some of the hard cheeses such as Gouda, Edam, Jarlsberg and Emmentaler contain a special type of Vitamin K2 which is a byproduct of the bacteria resulting from the fermentation of the cheese. Vitamin K2 starves cancer cells by inhibiting angiogenesis, which is the process by which blood vessels grow into and feed cancer cells. The natural enzymes contained in raw fruits and vegetables kill cancer cells. Supplements such as pomegranate and broccoli extracts also contain powerful anti-cancer agents.

I’ve had varied success working with cancer. I have on occasion helped people make their transition. The healing sessions help to make the transition more graceful by helping to ease their fears and alleviate any physical pain they may be experiencing. The sessions help people to clear up unfinished business and put their affairs in order. The healing taking place facilitates a reflective process that enables them to make peace with themselves, friends and family and to come to terms with the life they have lived.

Side effects of chemotherapy and radiation

Chemotherapy aims to destroy cancer cells that grow and multiply rapidly. Chemo therapy also affects normal cells resulting in side effects. The side effects of chemotherapy vary with each individual. The nature and severity of the side effects also vary according to the type of chemotherapy received and the duration of the treatment.
One of the most common side effects of chemotherapy is fatigue. Rest does not necessarily relieve this fatigue that can last for days, weeks or even months. Patients who undergo chemotherapy often experience nausea and vomiting. Chemotherapy can sometimes damage the nerves and produce burning sensations, tingling or shooting pain. Pain resulting from chemotherapy is often experienced in the toes and fingers. Another common side effect of chemotherapy is hair loss. Chemotherapy can in some instances cause permanent changes or damage to certain organs.

Radiation therapy used to destroy cancer cells is also very hard on the body. Radiation produces heat not only in the location where radiation is administered, but throughout the body.

The healing sessions help to alleviate the harmful side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. The presence working through me during the individual healing sessions mitigate the damage of radiation and chemotherapy by restoring one’s life force and repairing damage within the physical and subtle bodies. A number of the people I’ve worked with have also told me that they have also regained the cognitive abilities and memory that had been adversely affected by chemotherapy.

I’m working with people with a wide range of health related issues. People have often discontinued with the healing sessions once their symptoms abated assuming that the work was complete. The advantage of doing ongoing sessions is that it continues to build up the immune system and is therefore more likely to prevent the cancer from returning.

I’m very cautious about making promises. In many instances I can see the presence working through me during the individual healing sessions working to boost the immune system and stop the growth of cancer cells. The healing sessions have kept some people with aggressive cancers alive for as long as they continued to work with me. The sessions have held the cancer at bay or put people into remission for extended periods of time. And some have told me that their tumors have completely dissolved.

©Copyright 2013 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.

Finding the Source of Nourishment Within

Leave a comment

sun image
Pasha began to open up to me one day about the profound sense of emptiness she feels on the inside “…I often feel scared and restless, feeling as though I have to reach outside of myself for something in order to survive. I can’t explain what is it that I’m looking for, but I’m constantly searching and that creates a lot of stress and distraction in my life. I’m trying to find these moments of joy and happiness that prove to be elusive. I manage to grab onto them at times, but they never truly satisfy me. I always find myself wanting more, but more is either not available or never enough.”

I responded by saying “I wasn’t very conscious of my body until the trauma of my childhood and adolescence began to make its way to the surface during my mid to late twenties. Lots of things didn’t seem to be working in my life at that time. I was struggling to survive financially and my relationships were reflecting the traumas of my early life. And that was evoking lots of painful feelings.

Most people find a way to numb themselves or disconnect from the painful feelings. Escape routes never seemed to work for me. I found myself consumed by debilitating pain that was so intense and feared that I could go over the edge. I had an intuitive sense that I needed to breathe into the painful feelings.

I taught myself to go down into the middle of the feelings that arose during those times when my life didn’t seem to be working. I just kept breathing into the feelings and I continued to follow them as they went through their progression. The initial stages of the process were sometimes very difficult, but the discomfort would either break apart and come out of my body in waves, dissolve or dissipate. The process could take minutes, hours and sometimes even days, but I would keep breathing until I eventually came out the other side. I began to realize that no matter how intense or extreme the feelings became, that I would still be okay.

Pain became a doorway during those times in my life when nothing seemed to be working. The pain was excruciating, but at a certain point I could feel something breaking open. I would then feel these emanations flowing from within in the form of a warmth, vibration or tingling sensations. These emanations had a very nourishing and sustaining quality. I began to feel connected to something greater than myself as this presence grew stronger filling my entire body. At times I felt as though I had tapped into an eternal presence.

My sense of connectedness grew as I continued to work with this practice. Over time I began to feel this presence with me at all times. This presence became noticeably stronger when I began to work with this practice consistently.”

Does it really matter what we achieve?

Pasha then asked me if it really mattered what we achieved in this life.

“It’s important for us to find a balance. We’re living here in physical bodies on this planet and we all strive to meet basic needs for comfort and security. We need to be engaged with the world around us and to have some sense of purpose or direction. The things that we achieve in this world that are connected to the expression of our authentic selves facilitate growth and personal development.

We want to enjoy a certain quality of life and to some extent we are dependent upon others to meet our needs. And yet other people and our circumstances do not always work to our advantage. Even when they do, there are limits to the enjoyment or satisfaction we can derive through others.

Most of us are not with the love of our life. Our relationships are often not working the way we want them to. We may struggle financially. And we may encounter all kinds of hardships and difficulties along the way. Everyone and everything in this material world is transitory. Our bodies break down, we age and eventually die. Every one we ever know or love will leave or die. Everything that we build will eventually come down. Nothing will last forever. The only thing we have that continues is our own connection to the source.

We experience feelings of hurt, grief, loss, fear, anger and disappointment in response to the setbacks and losses we incur. Learning to “digest” our feelings enables us to maintain a healthy form of detachment. That will enable us to derive grater enjoyment from what we experience along the way.

We can learn to make a practice of taking whatever happens in our lives and using it as fuel for growth. Breathing into the feelings that surface when things do not seem to be going our way makes it easier for us to let go of what’s now working. We will become more receptive to new opportunities that come along. We will experience more peace within and find ourselves moved by a greater presence.”

Pasha was saying “I sometimes find it difficult to be fully engaged. I see other people working to their full capacity who are totally engaged in life. But with all that pain coming out I don’t feeling like doing much of anything.”

“The pain and stress held within often cause us to shut down or contract in ways that make it difficult for us to function. I didn’t feel like doing much of anything during the more difficult stages of the healing process. The sense of heaviness gradually became lighter as we continued to take the steps necessary to facilitate healing. The source of nourishment flowing from within creates the momentum that gives us a clearer sense of purpose and direction and compels us to be fully engaged.”

Pasha then said “I’m experiencing a lot of painful sensations in the low back and pressure in my head. Will this healing presence began to awaken and will I derive some sense of nourishment if I keep breathing into the feelings and sensations in these parts of my body? How would breathing into the painful sensations connect me with this source of nourishment?”

“Unprocessed feelings and other stresses held within can situate themselves in various parts of our bodies. The pain and stress that we hold within has a very numbing or deadening effect. Whole portions of our body-mind consciousness shut down and we lose touch with the innate healing power that resides within.

It’s important for us to let down our resistance by fully opening up to any pain or discomfort. We need to center our awareness in the middle of the pain and other forms of discomfort lodged in various parts of our bodies. Breathing softly and deeply with our attention fully immersed in the feelings and sensations activates the innate healing intelligence residing within. This healing intelligence helps us to dissolve and then digest the pain and stress held within various parts of our bodies.

Breathing into our feelings and bodily sensations awakens that innate healing intelligence that resides within. It also opens doorways that and that makes it possible for us to connect with a presence greater than ourselves. This presence will nourish and sustain us. We can greatly accelerate this process by working with a powerful healer.”

Pasha then asked me “What about people who are not going through a lot of pain? How can they connect to this presence within?”

I responded by saying “We all encounter adversity somewhere along the way. We may experience emptiness or boredom. We worry about our health, our financial security and the people who matter to us. We experience grief when the people we love and care about are no longer a part of our lives. We struggle to know what direction to go and feel unfulfilled in different aspects of our lives.

Breathing into the feelings and sensations that arise awakens the greater healing intelligence residing within. This will enable us to digest the stresses, connect to the authentic core residing within and tap into a greater presence.”

©Copyright 2013 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. The practices he teaches and individual healing sessions will enable you to heal and find the source of nourishment within. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.

Replenishing the Depleted Body and Mind

Leave a comment

fatigue
Harlan, like so many of us nowadays, is working way too many hours. He’s built a successful business over the past ten years. He’s made lots of sacrifices and has accomplished a great deal, but his body and mind are definitely paying the price. His days consist primarily of working at the computer and spending time on the phone with customers. That becomes very depleting, literally sucking the life force out of his body. Harlan also has a tendency to live in his head and that leaves him very disconnected from his feelings and physical body. I could definitely sense the depletion as I looked into his body. Harlan’s kidneys had become so depleted that it was interfering with the quality of his sleep. He has to rely on sleeping pills to knock himself out at the end of the day.

I began the session by having Harlan breathe into the sense fatigue that he described throughout his body. After some time Harlan told me that he was experiencing bloating in his abdomen and inflammation in his joints. Unprocessed emotions and other stresses that had accumulated and the resulting impairment of his digestion were causing the bloating.

The bloating and inflammation began to subside as Harlan continued to breathe into the physical sensations within his body. He began feel the life force flowing through his body as that happened.

Harlan works very hard and yet he’s not doing much of anything to counteract the stress. He told me that he was doing much better a few months prior when was practicing Tai Chi consistently, but had since gone downhill. Harlan needs to be doing practice every day. I can always see the wear and tear that occurs within his body where there are long gaps between sessions. Harlan has tremendous difficulty sticking with healthy food choices and the daily discipline that would enable him to maintain his health. His inability to stick with the foods and practices that nourish his body and mind has a lot to do with his tendency to disconnect from his feelings. Unprocessed emotions and other stresses that accumulate within his body create internal resistance and inertia. That’s why Harlan often feels burned out and is often lacking in enthusiasm.

I have worked with a number of people like Harlan that push themselves to the point of exhaustion. Many will let months go by between sessions because of their unwillingness to make any kind of serious investment of time and energy in their health. And that’s why so many people get into serious trouble with their health. I feel concerned by the inertia or deadening that I see, especially when I can tell that it’s causing their bodies to break down. I do the best I can to recognize people’s limitations and to reach them where they’re at.

The deadening that was taking place in Harlan’s abdominal region was notable. But I could feel the presence working through me during healing session dissolving the armor by softening the abdominal organs. The internal organs become more alive and responsive whenever I work with Harlan and that brings him back to life.

The sessions revive Harlan and get his body back on track. He sleeps better afterwards, his digestion improves and his enthusiasm for life is renewed. He has said on many occasions that he feels revived as though he had slept for a long time or taken a much needed vacation. Harlan just needs to slow down enough to be present with his feelings and physical body. He needs to breathe into the feelings and sensations that he experiences within his body on a daily basis and show up for the healing sessions at least once a month.

The abdominal region is a critically important part of the foundation that enables us to be firmly rooted in our bodies. Many of us are overwhelmed by the demands of our daily lives. We may experience abdominal bloating as the physical and emotional toxins accumulate within our digestive tract. Unprocessed feelings, the stresses of daily life and physical toxins have a deadening effect upon this part of our body and our overall body-mind consciousness. The deadening of the consciousness in our midsection cuts us off from a critical source of nourishment that is needed to replenish our bodies and minds. People often get into serious trouble as that happens.

The abdominal region affects all the organs and systems of the body. The enteric nervous system, which is embedded in the lining of the gastrointestinal system, contains a hundred million neurons that produce the same neurotransmitters found within the brain. Sixty to Seventy percent our immune system is located in the gut as a vast network of lymph tissue referred to as GALT (gut associated lymphatic tissue). We need to keep this region of our body and all the organs contained therein soft, fluid and alive.

Harlan said something about finding someone to learn Chi Gong from. Chi Gong is a very powerful and effective practice for developing one’s body and mind and I do a lot of it on a daily basis. But Chi Gong practice isn’t anywhere near as effective for helping us to digest the toxic emotional residue and other stresses that get trapped within our bodies. Breathing into the feelings and sensations enables us to get deep down inside the cells and organs to digest the emotional residue and other stresses held within in a way that Chi Gong practice won’t.

Chi Gong and the practice I teach of having people breathe into the feelings and sensations present within their bodies are two very different approaches to healing and developing one’s body and mind. I encourage people to do both forms of practice. The practice of breathing into our feelings and sensations is one of the most powerful means we have available of reconnecting with our bodies. We need to make this form of meditation a part of our daily practice.

Many of us are working and commuting excessively long hours, spending way too much time on the internet and not getting enough rest. Our bodies and minds can easily become overwhelmed by the stress. The energies of fatigue or exhaustion, unprocessed emotions and the stresses of everyday life can easily get trapped in our bodies unless we make a conscientious effort to digest them. We need to make time to be fully present with our bodies by breathing into our tiredness, fatigue and exhaustion that we experience throughout our bodies.

Much of that stress accumulates within the abdomen. We also need to be breathing while focusing our attention on any fullness, deadening or congestion held in our abdomen. Breathing into our feelings and bodily sensations awakens the innate healing intelligence residing within our bodies and minds. Consistent practice will help to bring our depleted body back to life. It will also increase our life force.

Native Americans didn’t have access to the modern medical interventions that many depend upon today. They relied upon the forces of nature to effect healing within the body and mind that would not have otherwise been possible. I spent a number of years training with Horace Daukei, the last surviving traditional doctor among the Kiowa Indian tribe and have since continued with the vision quest.

The individual healing sessions have profound regenerative effects upon the body and mind. The presence working through me repairs damage within the physical and subtle bodies. Stagnant emotions and other stresses held within the body are digested. Depleted bodies literally come back to life.

©Copyright 2013 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. The practices he teaches and individual healing sessions replenish and heal depleted bodies and minds bringing them back to life. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.

Older Entries