Finding Bliss And Peace Via Meaningful Rituals – Part 3

April 8, 2009 · Filed Under Creating Peace & Happiness, Healing Wisdom · Comment 

“Through the ceremony, the circle, people move through the inner worlds of Self and one another, connecting with thought, prayer and the sustenance of Presence of others.”
Jeanne Achterberg

When you find yourself struggling with some difficult aspect of life, consider what you might do that could become an event or activity which you would look forward to repeating on a similar occasion. Whatever you create has the power to give you hope, comfort and can contribute to greater harmony and balance in your life (all high vibrational energetic experiences which contribute to the release of healthy neuropeptides for your immune system). In other words, rituals have healing power.

For centuries, perhaps longer, cultures like yours have created rituals which are intended to provide necessary hope and intentional healing. The ceremonial circle is a perfect example of this.. The ritual of meeting in a circle has a sacredness or holiness associated with it. Native American Indians, and so many other cultures, have used the circle as a traditional form of communication, community and healing.

Healing ceremonies, as well as ceremonies for all aspects of life, occur in the circle. One of my favorite experiences is the talking stick ceremony which also occurs in the circle. As a participant receives the sacred stick which is passed from one to another, he or she has an opportunity to speak from the heart while each of the participants listens with his or her heart. And, of course, support groups, especially cancer support and bereavement groups, tend to meet in the circle – a place in which participants feel safe, comfortable and can anticipate a healing experience.

Through the process of trusting and feeling support, participants share and release their pain, enabling them to shift vibrationally and physiologically to a “feel-better” energetic and chemical state. Yes, the circle is an extraordinary and powerful healing tool offering community, understanding, hope and a sense of safe connection.

Each time I give a seminar, my first thought is about how I can best make everything meaningful happen within the circle. Somehow, when in a circle, we experience a greater sense of connection with one another, as well as with our own soul and with our divinity. We also experience a significant sense of cohesiveness, of belonging and of community. I always feel that in the circle the energy flows more effectively between people, as well as between our own being and our soul.

For example, my intuitive development class has always met in a circle and finished with the ritual of singing a beautiful, moving song while participants stand in a circle, holding hands and eyes closed. I can feel the loving energy flowing from one person to another, through me and back into the circle. Consequently, these experiences consistently leave me feeling uplifted and infused with needed energy and are a reminder of my connection with my Higher Self (that is to say, my soul ) and that I am really never alone.

Finding time to pray in your own unique style and in your own time frame becomes one of the most important ceremonial rituals you can incorporate into your life. Whether you build prayer into your life by going to church or synagogue on Sunday or any other day of the week, or you take time to pray in your own home or in any other location, the very act of involvement in this activity contributes to your feeling a sense of connection with something greater than yourself – and results in your sense of being protected, heard and loved.

You can build rituals of prayer into your life easily and effortlessly. I pray regularly in the car, over a lighted candle each morning, in the bath each evening, on Friday nights, saying prayers over the Sabbath candles, while I am on my daily walk and out in nature, and each time I hear of a loved one, friend, patient or neighbor who is in need of prayer. Prayer is portable and you can take it and do it everywhere – and on a regular basis. (To be continued.)

Susan Barbara Apollon
Author of “Touched By The Extraordinary”

©2009SusanBarbara Apollon

The Healing Power Of Loving Relationships

How many times have you felt low, called a friend or family member and soon found yourself laughing, smiling and feeling so much better? Your health and the quality of your life are tied to the quality of your relationships (which may include your pets!) and your community of support. What is it that your relationships have that has the ability to enable healing to occur?

To answer this question, I share with you beliefs of one of my special mentors, Dr. Jeanne Achterberg, a psychologist and author known for her outstanding research dealing with imagery, healing, prayer, intention and her work with those who are diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. In her newest work, her audiobook, Intentional Healing (available though Sounds True), which I highly recommend, she has described the five bonds of relationships which expedite healing. The essence of these bonds has been the heart of my work as a psychologist and a healer. They are the following:

The first of these bonds is the invisible energetic expression of Consciousness which includes distant healing, prayer, intentions and Mind. Einstein and his fellow physicists called these invisible ties “nonlocal mind” and emphasized their belief that we are all connected on some level. Thus, if I care for and pray for you – with the intention of healing, you will be impacted physiologically – and so will I! Loving intention establishes real ties between us. Scientific research has established this.

The second of these healing bonds is the power of Touch. Within relationships, you seek and need connection with one another through touch. Touch can be a big hug or kiss, a tap on the shoulder, cuddling, embracing, making love or petting your special pet, be it your dog, cat, horse or any other precious pet. Keep in mind that age does not slow or diminish the healing power of touch; indeed, it increases the need for touch. .

Why is touch so important? The healing power of touch is that it affirms you are a being with value and you are lovable. This is what you especially need to experience when you are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and feel so isolated and apart from the world. If you are a caretaker, you, too, are in need of warm, compassionate and loving touch.

The third bond is that of Presence. Just your loving presence has the power to heal. You are pure energy and capable of feeling the energy of others. When you choose to be a loving presence, you are choosing to be unconditional Love, which conveys Truth and Love.

In Touched by the Extraordinary, you can read the story of physician Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who hired the hospital cleaning attendant to be her special assistant. Why? Because this beautiful soul, who had traveled the difficult path of tragically losing her own baby while waiting for doctors in an emergency room, brought, as a loving presence, peace to Kubler-Ross’s patients who were dying. Having been personally affected and changed by the loss of her baby, this woman had the gift of being able to sooth and comfort those who were close to death.

For years I have been advocating the fourth bond described by Achterberg as the bond of a “Soul to Soul” relationship. As you live your life, no matter who you are, your goal should be relating to others at the soul level, rather than in the formal traditional roles, such as doctor-patient, parent-child and teacher-student. The “soul to soul” level is one that affirms your awareness of -and connection with- the higher part of one another, that part which is connected to the Source of each of you. When you begin to be conscious of being connected to one another as souls, love in the form of compassion, kindness and caring, comes so much more naturally.

Finally, the last bond, Love, is one which greatly contributes to your well-being. The fact that you know you are loved by another and that this love is something which is forever, conveys an eternal sense of support. Recent scientific research studies have shown that when a relationship is perceived as loving and supportive, there is a definite correlation with improved health, including fewer heart attacks and deaths, relative to the rest of the population.

The bottom-line message here is that you expedite your own healing when you choose to live your life within the embrace of a loving, caring and compassionate community of family and friends.

Susan Barbara Apollon
Author of “Touched By The Extraordinary”

©Copyright 2008 Susan Barbara Apollon

Helping Those Who Cannot Help Themselves: The Healing Power of Prayer, Part 2

“Love, like hope, heals. It is the very foundation of prayer. If we allow hope to mingle with love, the “problem of false hope” will evaporate.” Larry Dossey, MD

The Spindrift Studies conducted in Salem, Oregon, beginning in 1975, were among the first, in a laboratory setting, to validate that prayer works. Since then, prominent researchers including Elizabeth Targ, MD, in 1999, and psychologist, Bernie Grad of Montreal’s McGill University, have conducted powerful  research concerning the impact of mind on mind and mind on matter.

Elizabeth Targ, Ph.D. conducted studies of the effects of prayer on AIDS patients, showing the positive, stunning impact of those who had been prayed for versus those who had not. This research scientifically demonstrated the power of healing intentions. Grad was the first to show that our thoughts and intentions have the power to influence other living things. Larry Dossey, MD, conducted his own research regarding prayer which he writes about in Healing Words and Prayer is Good Medicine, as well as Be Careful What You Pray For.

The bottom line here is that though we cannot prove the existence of God, we have been able to scientifically demonstrate the effect of distant healing intentions and prayer on other forms of life. This is why I pray for my patients and family on a daily basis.

What deeply moved and inspired me was the information channeled to two medical psychologists at a well known New York university which eventually came to be known as A Course in Miracles. Principle #11 of the Course states, “Prayer is the medium of miracles…Through prayer, love is received, and, through miracles, love is expressed.” I have never forgotten these words – and hope that you, too, will forever remember them.

Please, take five to ten minutes each morning and/or evening to light a candle and, then, offer prayers for those who are trapped beneath crushed fallen buildings, those who no longer have a home of their own, and those who are suffering because they have lost those they love. Ask the Higher Power in which you believe that these souls, who include children, adults and animals, be blessed with whatever they need for their highest good.

Your prayerful intentions carry great healing power.. You may even consider asking that those who are not likely to be found and who are slowly dying, be taken sooner than later, so that they will be freed from their indescribable pain. Pray for compassion and for love; pray from your heart. Your sincere, authentic, compassionate healing intentions will be known to and experienced by every one of your own cells – and you, too, will experience healing.

Susan Apollon
Author of “Touched By The Extraordinary”

Helping Those Who Can Not Help Themeselves: The Healing Power of Prayer

“Should you pray? If you need to ask, you’ve probably begun.” Larry Dossey, MD

One of the most powerful ways we can live our lives with a deep sense of satisfaction and peace is to give purely, via prayer, from our heart, to individuals who are in dire need of our assistance, including those who are dealing with grief, trauma and loss.

Within recent weeks and months, we have learned of the loss of many thousands of people in Myanmar, due to massive storm and flooding this area has experienced. In China, thousands have lost their lives due to a horrific earthquake. Getting help to these individuals who are trapped, injured, lost and traumatized has been almost impossible, especially for those in the area of Myanmar.

Additionally, many thousands of people in the United States are undergoing horrific losses as raging flood waters have washed away their homes and flooded major cities in the Midwestern part of the United States, causing people to have neither homes, schools or businesses. This kind of devastation on such a large scale has not ever before been witnessed or experienced by American citizens in modern times. – other than 9/11.

Despite the efforts of the Red Cross and others throughout the world, people in other countries are not receiving assistance and thousands of people of all ages are dying. In the United States, the Red Cross and others are doing their best to assist the large numbers of people who are faced with having nowhere to go. You can do something, something very powerful to help these people. You can pray.

I have been researching Mind and Consciousness for many years, including research on prayer and healing. According to a group of quantum physicists, including Albert Einstein, everything in the Universe is energy and vibrates; furthermore, love is one of the highest and most powerful healing energetic vibrations.

Additionally, according to Einstein and his colleagues, your mind has the capacity to connect with and even influence minds anywhere, across time and space. Prayer is the vehicle of the intention of sending love to those in need of such high healing energy.

Part 2…

Susan Apollon
Author of “Touched By The Extraordinary”