In the centre's first published results, Huaxia Zhineng Centre, ; Chan, , p vii data on 7, students showed that Furthermore, each week certain students with defined tumours are selected to have direct chi treatment by staff, the results being displayed on ultrasound and recorded on video.
Luke Chan, the teacher who has taken Zhineng Chi Kung to the west under the name Chi Lel TM , see Chan, describes observing a session where 8 students are treated in this way. After less than one minute of treatment, 5 of these cancers actually disappeared immediately and were undetectable at ten day followup and one diminished. The high success rate at the Centre is achieved by a structured use of visualisation, affirmation, belief change and attitudinal metaprogram change, as well as the core chi kung exercises. The work of the Huaxia Zhineng centre has replicated the western mind-body healing methods described previously and added an important new dimension.
This approach will be explained in the second part of this article. In the first part of this article, we reviewed the research on mind-body healing of cancer. We documented the growing number of studies demonstrating direct anti-cancer effects of a positive mood, a proactive style of response to stress, the ability to release anger and grief, a belief in one's ability to heal, and the ability to imagine white blood cells removing cancer cells. This makes it the most thoroughly researched form of Chi Kung.
Chinese government agencies have repeatedly identified it as the most effective health enhancing chi kung form known. These results are being achieved through the integrated use of visualisation, affirmation, belief change and attitudinal what NLP calls metaprogram-based change, as well as the core chi kung traditional Chinese "energy work" exercises.
We were extremely interested to observe the Huaxia Zhineng Centre in June It was, frankly, hard to believe the continuing sequence of first-hand, individual stories which we heard there, describing apparently miraculous cures. In our training in with Luke Chan, we met a number of westerners who reported the same results from their practise of the Zhineng Chi Kung under his trademark "Chi Lel"; see Chan, We have trained in several models of "energy work", including other forms of Chi Kung, Reiki 3rd degree , Huna, Therapeutic Touch, and Transformational Process.
Each of these methods can claim anecdotal successes. As approved teachers of Chi Le we are interested in delivering this simple method to as many people as possible. As NLP Trainers, we have been interested in modelling just what it is that produces its results. We have identified several key factors:. In practice, firstly, students repeat to themselves several affirmations while doing the exercises "Blood and chi are plentiful! These auditory representations do refer to the problem being solved, and the research at the centre has shown that there is an important balance here.
The fact that a specific illness needs to be healed seems important to refer to, and at the same time, the student's focus needs to be on the image of universal healing energy. In fact, the main instruction given by teachers is to think of the illness as completely healed NOW an instruction repeatedly given in Chinese as "Hao La!
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Also, sometimes students are instructed to stop thinking about the symptom and to just think "blue sky", ie to turn their attention away from the problem. Secondly, students perform several visualisations as they practice. They imagine their body expanding to fill the whole universe, so that they and the universe are one. They imagine releasing any illness to the universe, and then absorbing healing energy from the universe. They imagine the 10 million people who are currently practitioners and teachers of Zhineng Chi Kung practising with them.
Thirdly, a state of love and joyfulness is promoted. Students smile as they do the exercises, and make a point of smiling at each other when they complete each process. Their helping others is considered a therapeutic act, reminding one of the research showing that feeling love or caring increases immune response. Doing Zhineng Chi Kung is not like doing aerobics. It is a meditation; a joyful celebration of life. Many students comment on the powerful experience of love and caring from their teachers also.
Fourthly, belief in the possibility of mind-body healing is sustained in Chi Lel by hearing or reading stories of people who have healed by what NLP calls Ericksonian metaphor. In the Centre in China, three people tell their stories before each practise session. Fifthly, the active movements of the chi kung processes are themselves a kinesthetic representation of healing. The movements symbolically reach out to draw energy from the universe and then direct energy into the body, creating the kind of metaphor discussed in western research on "embodied consciousness".
This sequence is identifiable in the simplest method of all, called La Chi. Luke Chan explains La Chi thus Chan, , p :. Relaxing your shoulders and hands, slowly open your hands to the sides. Then close your hands until the palms and fingers almost touch. Repeat these opening and closing movements many times. Very soon you will feel some sensations between your hands. These sensations are caused by chi gathering from the universe.
Then deliver this chi into where is needed in your body. For instance if you have a headache, deliver chi into your head by doing the opening and closing movements near your head. When doing the opening movement, imagine that your illness disappears into infinity; when doing the closing movement, imagine that you are delivering life energy into where it is needed. Meanwhile, suggest to yourself that chi is healing you and that you have recovered. When people first come to the Huaxia Zhineng Centre, many of them are unable to stand up and do the main chi kung exercise sequence a minute tai-chi like process called "Lift Chi Up and Pour Chi Down".
La Chi is adequate to begin the healing process. As a kinesthetic swish, we believe it adds a crucial ingredient missing from most western visualisations used by people in cancer treatment. In NLP terms, the existence of illness possibly demonstrates the person's ability to "somatise" their problems to represent their problems kinesthetically. The use of a kinesthetic representation of healing is the key exception which we believe has limited NLP's success when used supporting medical care for cancer. We suggest that even the use of La Chi would significantly improve on the results obtained by the Simontons and other researchers in the west.
Repeated kinesthetic representations of healing have been a missing link in the NLP approach. Furthermore, an examination of the success of chi kung reveals that some precisely "tuned" electromagnetic energy is involved in the success of the method. At Huaxia Zhineng Centre, research studies show that the teachers are able to recharge electric batteries with their hands Jin and Marcello, , p Chi Kung teachers in Beijing repeatedly demonstrate their ability to light an actual light bulb, while it is not plugged in, simply by holding it Eisenberg with Wright, , p In traditional Chinese Taoist philosophy, the mind is described as having two parts.
The "yang" mind is rational and sensible, and attempts to differentiate real from unreal and make decisions accordingly. The "yin" mind "cannot distinguish fantasies from realities, and acts on everything you believe in. A person can learn to use this ability of the yin mind. Luke Chan tells the story of a Chinese Prince who led his army on a long desert march. When his soldiers rebelled out of thirst, one of his generals recommended executing the leaders of the rebellion to ensure obedience.
But after some thought, the Prince spoke to his army. He told them that just beyond the desert were trees full of sour lemons and bitter plums. He asked them to imagine biting into these fruit, and had them taste the fruit. Saliva filled the soldiers' mouths, and they were relieved of their thirst, enabling them to continue on their march to success. Successful practice of chi kung is based on this same understanding of the power of the yin unconscious mind to create bodily results when directed by rich internal representations. The teacher leading a chi kung session at Huaxia Zhineng centre begins by surveying the group present and imagining that they are harmonised with each other and with the world around them.
The group are invited to relax together, and imagine that all the other chi kung practitioners around the world are with them. The slow calm voice of the teacher is designed to invite them into a group trance. Their rapport with each other is considered an important part of creating this "chi field". In the Taoist philosophy which underpins traditional chi kung, the universe is considered a unitary organism, and the practitioner is one with it Chan, , p The chi kung movements seem to embody this experience.
Even the inward and outward movements of La Chi are an expression of harmony with the yin-yang movement of the universe itself. Profound meditative states and experiences of ecstasy are commonly reported by practitioners as their body becomes accustomed to the method. Some understanding of chi Bolstad and Hamblett, is useful for this process to work. Once a person has practised chi kung for some time, the trance-like or meditative state called "the chi kung state" is anchored to associated with simple actions such as the use of La Chi. In NLP we have become used to instant healing.
We have techniques for resolving anxiety in ten minutes. This is both a blessing and a risk in supporting cancer treatment. It is a blessing because extremely fast remissions do sometimes occur. In our NLP training we have met several people who have experienced "miracle self-cures". We talked with two people who had large tumours dissolve from their bodies within days of attending a Time Line Therapy TM weekend training.
One had needed to be carried into the training with her medication ready. We met them both over a year later, with their bodies completely cancer-free. In training in Chi Lel, we have also come across several examples of "miracle cures". In Chicago there is a woman Catherine who had advanced Multiple Sclerosis. Three years ago, when she met people she always explained that the reason she staggered and had to hold the wall and slurred her speech was not because she was drunk but that she had MS. That was three years ago. She went to the Huaxia Zhineng Centre for two weeks and Dr.
Pang visited while she was there. He pulled her out of the lunch line and "applied Chi" to her. All her symptoms disappeared and she has since had two CAT scans showing there has been no growth of MS lesions in over two years. But the risk of knowing about fast cures is that we tend to wonder what went "wrong" when it doesn't happen. Of the examples in Luke Chan's book Chan, approximately half took more than 3 months to fully heal.
The teachers at the centre say that if the student's chi happens to be perfectly harmonised with the chi of a teacher, or of the centre itself ie if they are in total rapport with the teachers , then instantaneous healing will occur, but otherwise it takes time for their body to generate or absorb the chi needed.
Most people attempting to treat cancer using psychological methods tend to underestimate the time needed. Louise Hay, one of the "gurus" of cancer self-healing, took six months of doing full time, intense psychotherapy, visualisation and a detoxifying diet to heal her vaginal cancer. Basically, it's a major commitment to do this. At the centre, someone will actually begin by doing a minimum of hours of La Chi a day. And at the end of three months they don't despair if they haven't healed yet. They carry on.
Many people actually describe how their cancer enlarged before the chi began to reduce it. The extraordinary success the centre achieves requires total commitment. Another important point to consider is that commitment to a simple strategy may be more effective than trying every method going to "see if it works". Luke Chan uses the analogy of digging for water. You've been told that there is water down under the ground, and if you dig a well you'll reach it.
The problem is that many people dig down ten feet and lose confidence. Then they move to another place and dig down ten feet. They end up with 20 wells each going down ten feet. But the water may be feet down. It's a hard lesson to accept, because cancer is a dangerous condition. And each day they spend focused on healing seems like one less day just to enjoy life, spend time with friends and family, and have fun.
Medical advice can be less than helpful, because most doctors do not have access to the information in this article, or any other reliable information about treatment alternatives. In our experience, most oncologists are motivated by a great sense of love, and by an enormous fear of cancer. This fear is communicated to their clients as a disbelief in the ability of the immune system. The problem is compounded for the person with cancer because every second friend and every health professional has another idea about the right way to solve this problem.
It's tempting to read all the books they give you, try all the therapies they recommend, and take all the food supplements they urge on you. It's easy to dig twenty wells, but in the end one good deep well may be all you need for health to spring forth. Luke Chan's book contains records of interviews he conducted with people who had healed themselves at Huaxia Zhineng Centre. They emphasise the importance of commitment. In , Lin Shua-Hua, aged 52, was diagnosed with a malignant tumour of her oesophagus throat. She had had two tumours removed surgically over the previous 20 years, but doctors advised her that this one was inoperable.
Fed intravenously, her weight soon fell to 79 pounds, and she lay in bed waiting to die. Her son, though, had had an unusual experience. The military weapons we use cause cancer — Agent Orange, depleted uranium, chemical defoliants. Still, we blame the victims. Still we say cancer is genetic. A woman came to me after making a decision to remove both her breasts because a cancer-causing gene was detected. How will this daughter come into her womanhood when her mother has assured her that her body is her enemy?
When the cancers that we are responsible for appear, we make war on them, in turn, by using chemical and nuclear warfare, chemotherapy and radiation. The cancers disappear temporarily, like the enemies that seem to be vanquished by our military bombardments, only to rise up again, secondary cancers, similar even in their new more virulent forms to the new infuriated rebel uprisings in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Lymphoma Information Page on the web speaks about the lymph this way. When I was invited to speak to the American Academy for Environmental Medicine, they asked me to address the question of why there is so much fear associated with cancer. But before my talk, another speaker said that that one in three women and one in two men will suffer cancer. That meant that I was speaking not only to an audience of physicians but to patients.
I asked the physicians, therefore, to listen as patients as the fear and the illness was with us in the room. Fear can turn us away from what we must face, or it can bring us deep understanding, to the soul nature of the illness that can guides us. The change of mind that allows us to listen as patients or potential patients or kin of patients suffering, or who may suffer, cancer removes the false line between practitioner and patient that deprives us of the vitality and depth that was the living privilege of the village healer or the old fashioned family doctor.
Cancer, fearsome as it may be may, ironically, bring us back into right relationship with each other. Cancer makes us all vulnerable. Cancer emphasizes our mortality. If knowledge is power then the knowledge that comes to us from compassion gives the spiritual power with which we may meet the crises and catastrophes that are confronting us. Obviously, the afflicted ones who are suffering cancer know, as if struck by lightning, that that something is terribly wrong — something within has gone wrong.
Something is terribly wrong both in ourselves and in the world. We are a microcosm of grave disorder. We have been altered. The knowledge that a cell in us is no longer of us, is no longer functional, is no longer itself is terrifying. What has it become? What will we become? What is the nature of the world in which such things happen? What has become of our culture and our earth? A healthy cell has mutated and has become other than its nature. In a political sense, what was cooperative becomes imperialistic, devours the resources, takes over the territory and pollutes it until all the systems are overwhelmed and the breakdown is systemic.
Cancer as event and metaphor speaks to us of political and environmental devastation. It speaks to us of rampant and unrestrained growth. It speaks to us of the take-over of the body by something not so much alien as aberrant, particularly in its inability to be a functioning member of the body community.
It speaks to us of damage so severe that only excision or death can save the system it has invaded. It speaks to us of the extremity of the irreversible damage to the environment that is ourselves, where we live. How do we deal with the fear we have around cancer. My honest answer is that the fear is not something to cure or eliminate. The fear is correct. It is realistic. It keeps us alert to what cancer is as a social and political phenomenon. The fear is essential to our survival. It teaches us what we must know. One of the more esoteric functions of illness is that they teach us, like dreams do, about the real nature of our lives and how to live well.
Understanding disease as a social and political metaphor is useful for the individual and the culture. Sometimes we can even find healing paths that address the body and the society simultaneously. The cancer cell is, itself, an entity on the front line. It is a wounded self that seemingly cannot be restored. It is the first victim of environmental disaster. The ones suffering cancer see immediately that war is going to be waged in their body against another part of themselves that was damaged and can no longer function.
Further, those who have cancer and are afraid know that as a society we turn against those who cannot function in society instead of trying to restore them. Ask the veterans of the Iraq war and the veterans of Vietnam and Afghanistan about this betrayal. Healing, however, imagines restoration. Healing wonders how the cancer cell might be assisted to returning to its original nature. Healing looks to how communities protect, sustain and restore each other.
Preventive medicine is compassionate and looks to restore the environment in which health rather than illness can flourish. Ultimately, what is good for the cell is good for the individual and for the land and for the world and vice-versa. Ever since my experience with breast cancer in the seventies, I have been living by the dictum that we heal life and then life heals us.
I watched a progression in myself and others. In , when this idea first came to me, it had a relatively simple application. A life-threatening disease forces you to scrutinize your life, heart and soul as you recognize that there is a mysterious relationship between right living and healing. Beginning from my own experience with breast cancer, and later through the work I have done as a writer, healer and medicine woman for thirty years, I have found that coming alive in community is often the true medicine.
When I had cancer in , I was willing to cut the cancer out of my body; I had a mastectomy. I was not willing to have radiation or chemotherapy. I could not forswear modern warfare and then tolerate it in my body, neither for my own sake, nor for the sake of my community. I had to ask the environmental questions: what effects do the manufacture, use, and disposal of medicines and treatments have upon the natural world? What was good for me had to be good for everyone. At that time, I was writing a novel about women who had cancer.
I finished the novel in December , learned I had cancer, and had a mastectomy six weeks later. When I had cancer, I returned to some lines in a novel, The Book of Hags, that I had completed a few weeks before the diagnoses. The novel had been inspired by the stories of a number of women I had met of all ages who had had cancer and also by the secrecy or denial around these incidents and by their frequency. I was teaching at three different institutions of higher learning with different populations and in each I was confronted by the appalling number of women who had cancer, most of them suffering breast cancer.
For years the women have been dying. One by one. Stricken in their youth or middle-age just as things were beginning. An unknown assassin. Just at the moment when everything was possible. They sickened and died. Had I not been studying the number of women who had cancer for a year before I also succumbed, I would also have been isolated by and in the illness.
I would not have thought to suggest that breast cancer was the symptom and that something more terrible was underlying this incident. However the work I had done revealed what I called an invisible plague that was silencing the women who were stepping forth into the world. The trigger that I found in during the second wave of feminism was the violence done against the psyche of women who wanted to speak their own minds. Then the lived a few years and cancer erupted which could not be submerged, ignored, boxed in, or controlled in any way. It was a fierce raging growth and it took their lives.
Having had the dream about being silenced, I took my typewriter to the hospital and wrote the book, Tree. That was the beginning of learning to be a healer and of speaking about healing to the world. After surgery, I changed my life, drastically. I stopped teaching in oppressive public institutions so that I could work with integrity. I moved to a small house in a rural area. I tried to develop a life and environment that was healing and encouraged health — that way of living and thinking became contagious.
What was good for me was also good for others. So my own healing positively affected the community. During that time in the late seventies, many of us became aware of the prevalence of cancer in our communities as we also noticed a heightened aggressiveness in the public world. Simultaneously, however, there appeared parallel tendencies toward cooperation and community. As a culture, we began to learn to extend healing and kindness to each other, first with cancer—breast cancer, in particular—and later with AIDS when that disease became epidemic.
People began to cultivate communities to care for each other. Many caregivers testified that the year or years they spent caring for their loved one was the most important time in their lives. In order to heal herself, the patient had to heal the circumstances in which she was living, whatever they might be—her family, her place of employment, the land.
No one could be healed individually without extending healing to others. I, and others like myself, began to imagine spontaneous, improvisational, healing communities: communities that are intrinsically healing, that are devoted to healing, that bring healing to each other, that create environments in which healing is implicit and in which the unique gifts and training of the individuals combine for the good of all.
It is based on the principle that council is an essential way of knowledge, that we each carry wisdom, and that traditional and spiritual wisdom is essential to the solution of the problems that are affecting all of us. It is an environment that allows for possibility. Musicians assemble with energy workers and together we jam with each other, as a jazz ensemble might, and with the spirits, the patient and his or her affliction.
The call to spirit, the love that is transmitted, the focus on prayer, the skilled work to align and harmonize the energies in the body, the presence of community and the complex and specific vibration of the music itself, these become powerful medicines. Afterwards, Michael walked in balance, and without a cane, which he had not done for many weeks. Before the music started, Michael had commented, bewildered, that it appeared that we were throwing a party at the very time that we had gotten a potentially devastating diagnosis.
The Navajo people rarely gather ceremonially except to bring healing to each other. When one is ill, one goes to a hand trembler or crystal gazer or another diagnostician. When the nature of the illness has been established, a Singer is sought who will preside over the healing ceremony. As illness is understood to occur when the spirits, the community or the natural world have been violated, healing consists of reconstituting the world, gathering the community, entering into ceremony, reciting the prayers and telling the myths in perfect order.
What has been disrupted is healed through the perfection of the sacred. Hozro is restored. Hozro, often translated as beauty, refers to the essential intrinsic harmony of the universe in its undisturbed form. We can think of it also as perfect balance. We can also think of it as restoring the right relationship between all the parts. Each time we meet to answer a different call. Something happened in the fusion, in the alliance between the healing ways, the community ways and the medical ways that called healing into being. Five years later he is well; he is not afflicted by ear infections; he has no hearing loss.
There is an earlier part to this story. When the young boy first began suffering repeated ear infections, his mother had a dream that he would be well if she became a healer. Valerie Wolf who is now a shaman, a healer and a dreamer in the Nez Perce tradition, will ultimately tell her story. For us, it serves to know that his healing began when she yielded to the dream and the call to become a healer. She began to study healing and his health began to improve.
But, as he became older, it seemed he also had to actively participate in his own healing.
Illness Heals the World
Indigenous traditions speak of the ways one is initiated as a healer by illness or grief. In western medicine we have invented, but without consciousness, the equivalent of the vision quest. It is called bone marrow transplant. However, we fail to accompany the patient on the vision quest that is implicit in such an ordeal. This is where the healer in the physician must be called forth. For the healing of the illness to occur entirely, the patients need to know they are on a vision quest, that they are being initiated, that their spiritual transformation is required.
They need to know that a new and useful destiny awaits them and that the illness has called them to it. In our community, we frequently speak about being called forth. I was clearly called forth by breast cancer. My husband is being called more deeply to his gifts as a healer through MS. The Osteopathic Home Page speaks of it this way:. Still lost three children that spring. Although a physician he had no way to cure them — no way to help them. He was driven to understand why some people became sick, and others remained healthy.
The doctor grew to reject the prevailing medical practices of frequent amputation and the overuse of drugs. It is not unusual for illness to lead to vision, but we err in not fully understanding its implications. We are conversant with the idea of the wounded healer but we do not fully recognize that the making of a healer may well be the positive function of illness, a call, on behalf of the world, to every person who suffers. Illness is the breakdown that requires re-organization. Without that breakdown, the re-visioning and re-organization may not occur.
This can be true on an individual as well as societal level. We know the big stories but we have failed to see how this operates with ordinary people on a daily basis. When anyone comes to me for healing, I look for the story, the meaning, the path, the treatment opened through the affliction. This creates an entirely different environment around the one who is suffering and deeper healing happens, almost inevitably, as a consequence.
Illness is not the enemy; it is the messenger. To live with this premise is to live in a field of possibility. Illness causes us to change our lives and then our lives heal us. But also our lives heal our communities and then our communities, in turn, can bring healing to us. Masa was an attorney and judge in Liberia who just barely escaped being massacred during the battle for Monrovia that took place during the most brutal twelve-year civil war.
When she emerged from the building where she had taken refuge, the courtyard of the neighboring church was littered with bodies and body parts. Like so many Liberians, she had nothing to eat for weeks at a time and lived terrorized. When we met, she was in the United States having managed to escape not only the war but also a war-related personal vendetta against her. As a teacher, she had purchased equipment for a college level laboratory, trying to keep education going under the most horrific circumstances. She carried her papers with her, intent on showing anyone she met, the documents that proved that the government school had reneged on its guarantee to pay for the equipment.
She was being hounded for the money and her life was threatened. Masa was destitute, she had breast cancer and she was emotionally undone, seeming at moments, even to be deranged. An NGO, everydaygandhis, which does peace building work in West Africa paid for her trip from Detroit to Los Angeles and offered her a tiny, occasional stipend to help her survive. I can say that she says she is cancer-free when before she was not, though she had had the treatments by then.
I can say that she is no longer agitated, is not obsessive in her speech and is calm and confident about her future even though she is still exceedingly poor. Music is the oldest form for inviting healing and connecting with the Divine. In our work, we always have a mother drum that carries the heartbeat and asserts the basic pulse of the earth. Different instruments combine with voice to release tension, remove blockages or obstacles, and release emotional and spiritual toxins. Forgiveness is the way for you to ultimately be in control--rather than having your angry feelings and simmering resentments running your life.
Caring for scars after breast cancer surgery Breast Cancer Care
For a profound and important chapter about this aspect of healing, be sure to read Greg Anderson's story on this website. Because of the stories I heard from the hundreds of cancer patients and cancer survivors in my years at NFAM, as well as personal research and experiences, I have come to understand that mental, emotional and spiritual healing must be the foundation and keystone of any successful healing protocol. And remember--many respected healers believe that once a patient makes the decision to embrace his or her healing journey and the commitment to discover and address whatever thoughts and emotions might block that path, the healing process begins in that moment.
There is an energy field of divine support and grace created through intention and allowing that is a powerful and very real part of any treatments chosen. All it takes is the choice--and the decision-- to begin. Choose now. It's never too late. Cancer Recovery Foundation of America P. He had much to teach other cancer patients.
11 Life-Changing Tips for Cancer Patients
Greg's extraordinary and powerful personal story concerns the ability of forgiveness and emotional release to reverse the course of terminal lung cancer. Greg considers his release of anger and extremely difficult but sincere act of forgiveness toward a former business associate to be the pivotal turning point in his illness. Following his dramatic encounter and act of forgiveness with his former associate and nemesis, he spent several hours alone crying in his car, overcome with emotional relief and incapable of driving.
His heart, mind and spirit had already been healed. Within a year, he made the decision to help others heal their cancer based on what he had learned through his own difficult journey. In , he founded the nonprofit Cancer Recovery Foundation of America. It forces us to examine our motives. It requires us to look deep within. The work of forgiveness demands that we give up the need to always be right. That is a big request. The Law of Forgiveness can be misunderstood.
It is not asking us to betray our deepest beliefs or disregard our principles. We need not compromise our personal integrity by failing to stand up for what we hold to be true. The law does not imply that we are to live our lives trying to please everyone at the risk of being untrue to ourselves. However, the law does ask us to become keenly aware of how often we engage in verbal and emotional combat that has less to do with higher principles and personal integrity than it does with our perceptions of being right.
The Law of Forgiveness demands that I come to a very important realization: in these matters, it is not my spirit that demands to be right, it is my frail ego. Realize that this law and its demands are as true of marriages as of business transactions. Forgiveness is for the workplace and for parenting, for young and old, for black and white. Forgiveness applies to everything, to everyone, all the time. This is what is meant by life being lived most abundantly as an adventure in forgiveness. Nothing contaminates the life of wellness more than resentment, remorse, and recrimination.
These states of heart and mind do more to stand in the way of our wellness than virtually any other dynamic. If the daily practice of the Law of Forgiveness is the only way out, what does this law look like in action? I know from vivid personal experience. I can trace the absolute turning point in my own illness directly to the work of forgiveness. Weak, emaciated, lying at home in constant pain, I was going downhill rapidly by all physical measurements. Doctors, family, even my own mind - all believed I was about to die of cancer.
Yet something kept driving me. I would place phone calls to organizations all over the country, seeking others who had gone through a similar situation and lived. I wanted to learn from their experience. I kept hearing people talk about forgiveness. A man from Tennessee put it plainly: "The difference is forgiveness. Forgiveness isn't my problem. I was wrong. Forgiveness was my issue. My critical attitude was first.
Why did I look at a situation and always pick out what was wrong? I'd do it constantly. People were my favorite target. I would make a quick study of someone and actively seek out his Achilles' heel. It was all an effort to put someone else down in order to build myself up. Distorted thinking, bereft of charity and compassion.
The worst example was my behavior at work. When a new controller was brought in, and I suddenly had to seek approval for all our division's expense budgets through this new 'intruder, I saw the whole setup as a huge threat to my position. So, without really making a conscious decision, I began to attack. I became critical of the controller's plans. I tried to undermine his work.
I threw stones at his policies. I became critical of him personally. My criticism led to condemnation. I set myself up as judge and jury. If I was superior, then I was right. In fact, I always had to be right. Therefore, the new controller was, by definition, wrong. I condemned him and then went about proving it to others.
As I look back, I see that it was only three months between the time the new controller came on board and the onset of my cancer diagnosis. I believe there was a link between my toxic behavior and the onset of my illness. What I didn't count on was a counter attack. The new controller fought back, pointing out my failures to institute more effective financial controls. He was equally skilled at finding a person's weak point.
And the battle between the two of us became a company-wide problem that began to drag everyone down. I am saddened and mortified about how it came to a head. We were in a meeting with three other division heads and the CEO. My adversary the controller passed around a budget update. Trying to be flippant, I took my copy of the document, threw it across the table, and proclaimed, "These numbers are a crock of He jumped up, glared at me, pointed a finger and said, "Get the hell out of here.
I began to see how absolutely ludicrous my behavior had been. That kind of behavior consumes vast amounts of emotional energy. It produces a negative and contrary spirit that is toxic to us and to others. I had my entire sense of worth invested in always being right. I suppose it was an issue of perception.
I was so concerned with what other people thought of me that I never considered I might be wrong. I needed everyone to know that I was right and to acknowledge it. But the story takes an even more bizarre twist. Within thirty days of my diagnosis of lung cancer, my adversary the controller was diagnosed with cancer. Now, I have had medical authorities tell me that he probably had been carrying the cancer for years and it had just then been discovered, as had mine. But my intuition tells me that our toxic battle contributed to the onset of both illnesses.
I underwent surgery that removed a lung. But surgery was impossible for my nemesis the controller. The disease had already spread. As the weeks passed, both of us grew progressively worse. Four months later, a second surgery confirmed that the cancer had spread from my lung through the lymph system. The following day the surgeon made a statement that is indelibly etched in my mind.
Your cancer has come roaring back. I'd give you about thirty days to live. It was that moment that I began my journey in search of wellness. Lying in bed, at home, I continued to deteriorate physically. But I made those phone calls in search of survivors and I kept hearing 'forgive.
One morning I awoke and I realized that I did have a monumental task of forgiveness ahead of me. I felt a deep conviction that this was the thing for me to do.
The surgery changed everything
From my sickbed I began the solitary work of forgiveness. I believe that this was the precise turning point in my illness. The Law of Forgiveness carries with it the idea of process. That is, there are actions and conscious decisions that are integral to the forgiveness phenomenon. Any number of legitimate ways to proceed exist, but they each share this idea of helping us release resentment, express negative feelings, and let go of past wrongs, both real and imagined.
Once the idea of process has been grasped, it only needs to be applied with consistency and sincerity to bring immediate results. The essence of the various processes is quite simple: become aware of the person toward whom we feel hostility, express active release from that hostility, and picture good things happening to him or her.
In the privacy of my bedroom, I made a sign on a sheet of paper. With that sign propped at my bedside, I started a list of the people in my life. I put my wife first. I closed my eyes, relaxed, and created a clear picture of her in my mind. Then, from my heart, I imagined myself saying to her, "I forgive you. I totally and completely forgive you for every perceived wrong you have done - and for anything you have left undone. I wouldn't dwell on the specifics. I would just recall them and release them, recognizing that it was I, not my wife, who was really being let off the hook.
I would end the work with each person by picturing something good happening to him or her. I knew that my wife wanted and needed to receive continual reassurance of my love for her. I pictured her receiving that. I knew that another person with whom I'd had a falling-out wanted a new sports car. I imagined him happily driving down the freeway in his red Porsche.
The point is, part of the process I used was to actively see something good happening to the person I was forgiving. This was not always a smooth experience. It became fascinating for me to watch my own resistance. It was relatively easy to express forgiveness and mean it. To actively release the hurt was more challenging, but repeating the release three or four times typically helped me make the emotional and spiritual shift that was required. Many times I would say, "God, you take this. I cannot handle it anymore.
The third element of the process was the real test for me. It was difficult to envision good things happening to many of the people I wanted and needed to forgive. But I was sincerely committed to the process. I did not have an expectation of ease. I would see this through. I discovered I was intensely angry with my father. He never was able to express his love. In fact, his approach to child raising was to emotionally put down and never, not once, build up.
I found it very difficult to totally release my perceptions of being wronged. And I found it next to impossible to imagine, with sincerity, something good happening to him. I spent nearly two days just on the work of forgiving my father. Tough stuff. The work on forgiving my father taught me an important lesson. His actions resulted from huge hurts of his own.
They had nothing to do with me. The inability to express love was a direct reflection of his own upbringing. I shifted my perspective from blaming him for all that was missing to understanding how I may also have contributed to the situation. I was rebellious. I did not obey. I was sarcastic. Perhaps the only way to reach me was through put-downs. Down the list I went.
Name people; forgive and release them; affirm them. Many times I went back to names, especially those where the memories created feelings of unease. And I offered my forgiveness with deep sincerity. This insight extended to other relationships. As I would forgive and release, I still might not approve of the way a person handled a particular situation. But after completing the process of forgiveness, I could generally understand the situation better and begin to see my own part in it.
Sometimes forgiveness requires work above and beyond the call of duty. This was the case with the controller. I had spent hours forgiving and releasing and trying to imagine great things happening to him. About noon of the fourth straight day of forgiveness, I came out of the bedroom for lunch. It was then I realized that my work with him needed to take on a more personal touch.
I needed to visit him and express my apologies. This was not easy. I made a call to the office and found that he was at home, and not doing well. I phoned and his wife answered. Her voice immediately telegraphed surprise and shock to be talking to me; she knew full well the battle that raged between her husband and me. I said, "I want to come out and visit, this afternoon. When would be a good time? The time was set. When was the last time your heart felt like it would pound right out of your chest? My emotions went on overdrive. On the way to his house, I wanted to turn back. My steps in making the short walk between the curb and his front door were some of the most difficult I have ever taken.
The whole time, my heart was in my throat. But I pressed on. I felt that my life hinged on this sincere effort of forgiveness. What do you say to someone whom you have previously considered an enemy? How do you communicate your changed feelings? Are words ever adequate to make up for the emotional havoc one has caused? I was greeted and led into the bedroom, where my adversary was propped up in his bed with pillows.
And with my heart pounding, adrenaline rushing, voice shaking, I barely managed to stutter out a few words to this effect:. My voice still breaking, I continued: "I deeply regret the hurt I have caused you. I remember my right hand and arm were shaking, out of my control. I tried to steady them with my left hand. In a whisper I finished: "I want you to know I wish you only the best. Those words were imperfect, to be sure.
They were delivered in a voice that was gripped with fear. But they came from my heart, sincere in every aspect. They must have been effective. Because my adversary struggled to sit up, swung his feet over the edge of the bed, and motioned me to come and sit by his side. Greg," he said, "I am the one who needs to say I'm sorry. I'm old enough to be your father. Yet I treated you like the outcast son.
Please forgive me. She knelt on the floor and the three of us embraced. We all cried. Finally, it was my old adversary who found the strength to mutter a prayer: "Dear God, forgive us all. We said brief good-byes and I left. As I started the car back toward home, I took a deep breath and said out loud, "Whew!
I could feel it, sense it, was part of it: the clouds that had been tormenting me were beginning to part. The day seemed brighter. Was it the sun, or was it this catharsis that had just taken place? My posture changed. I went from being hunched over to sitting erect in the seat. I held my head more upright.
The tension in my shoulders lessened dramatically. The wrinkles on my forehead melted away. I relaxed. The pain was gone. The quivering hand was steady. A smile came across my face. I'm frre! In a crescendo I exclaimed, "I'm free! I'm free! My vision became blurred. I quickly pulled off onto a side street, parked the car, and wept, out of control, for a long, long time.
I remember the eyes of a lad who came to the window. I wonder how long he had been watching me. I'm fine. I look back to my week of the sincere work of forgiveness and realize this was the absolute turning point in my physical healing. From that point in time, I began to gain back lost weight, manage pain more readily, and hold more positive thoughts about my future. Do I believe there was a link between this deeply spiritual work and my physical improvement? I believe that practicing the Law of Forgiveness changes us bio-chemically. And in the process, the body is released toward its optimum wellness potential.
I know that my doctor and scientist friends get very uncomfortable when I share these beliefs. But it seems we can all agree on this: life quality soars when we sincerely practice the Law of Forgiveness. And this just may be an important determinant in releasing the body's self-healing potential. Life can indeed be lived most abundantly as an adventure in forgiveness. Set yourself free. In , during the year following his recovery from lung cancer, Greg Anderson founded what would later become The Cancer Recovery Foundation of America CRFA , to help other cancer patients learn from what he had experienced.
CRFA produces a variety of educational resources. It continues to reach out to cancer patients anywhere in the world, and has expanded with branches now in Canada, Europe and England. Greg has appeared on over 1, radio and television programs teaching his holistic recovery philosophy and techniques.
There are seminars available—call for a schedule. Any cancer patient can call CRFA at and request help. What he found at the most basic level, underlying all of the research, was the fact that cancer survivors change—both their lives and themselves. Survivors heal the whole person…The changes come first; survivorship follows.
This was not forgive and forget; more accurately it was forgive and learn. Survivors gave no tacit approval to abhorrent behavior from others or themselves. Rather, the focus was on detachment from hostility that freed personal energy for healing. By approaching cancer as a message to examine change, on as many levels of being as possible, patients make it much more likely that their healing capacities will be fully mobilized.
As a bonus, quality of life improves, making it infinitely more worth living for whatever time one is given. Greg Anderson is the author of several extraordinary books. Surviving cancer is a process This book is a roadmap of much of that process. Some highlights are offered here, but you can choose to learn more by ordering the book and reading it ALL highly recommended! Those emotions, either positive or negative, translate to the physical….. All commonly the result of mismanaged stress.
The psychological and spiritual components can work either for us or against us. The choice is ours. One of his heroes is Christopher Columbus. At that point in history everyone believed the world was flat. But Columbus decided to challenge that belief. He took a chance, and the world has never been the same since! He was a real conqueror! Our beliefs about cancer are like that. You are a modern-day Columbus about to start a journey. Some people will tell you there is no hope, that the world is flat.
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Instead, take a chance. Start the journey. Become a cancer conqueror! And--become a Frog-Kisser! We all remember the princess who encounters a frog who has had a spell cast over him, turning him from a handsome prince into a frog who can only be returned to his natural state with a kiss from a beautiful maiden.
He tells the princess his story and asks for a kiss. What if he really was telling the truth? It might actually be exciting to be involved, a whole new adventure…. So of course she took the chance, trusted her positive instincts and she and her handsome prince live happily ever after. The Cancer Conqueror suggests that our job is to become frog-kissers!
Frog kissing is about love. Nonjudgmental, unconditional love conquers cancer! And my advice would be to love yourself first—to kiss the frog in the mirror…. Healing has at its roots the ability to both give and receive nonjudgmental, unconditional love. It is filled with inspiring stories of people whose lives have been enriched by adopting the practices and beliefs that Greg outlines. One of the most surprising is the Law of Stress Hardiness; it is worth considering because we all have stress to deal with in our lives, sometimes huge amounts of it.
Think of it. The perfect no-stress environment is the grave The problem isn't stress, it's toxic stress…. When we change our perception we gain control. The stress becomes a challenge, not a threat. When we commit to action, to actually doing something rather than feeling trapped by events, the stress in our life becomes manageable.
Sometimes we can all use reminders for how we should be living—to keep our ideals foremost in our hearts and minds. These are invaluable resources for anyone dealing with cancer—or for anyone who wants to find the motivation to make positive changes in their lives. The following beliefs are explained fully and available in a brochure that is sent to cancer patients who contact CRFA. They are based on what Greg discovered in his own healing journey, as well as what his scientific research on long term survivors consistently revealed.
These thoughts were written for those moments. Can the human mind and spirit really affect the body? After I was diagnosed with lung cancer and given 30 days to live, I went in search of cancer patients who had lived when they were supposed to die. Here, in summary, are the core survival beliefs I found. Use them. I believe I become a Cancer Conqueror not because I go into remission, but because I become a new person!
There is nothing like the sudden realization that our life may soon end to focus our mind and heart on important personal issues. Many people have put their lives on hold emotionally with respect to family, loved ones and former relationships. From this perspective, the diagnosis of cancer can be seen as a kind of gift. It brings people together to share the burden of fighting against a life-threatening disease, but more importantly, to resolve any unfinished business in the process. What a shame that most of us bury these issues away until the end looms in sight.
But this is reality and it happens. But do you really want to leave the moment of reconciliation and healing to the very end?
Why not contact anyone with whom you have unfinished business and try to resolve things now? That way, however the fight against your cancer turns out, you can experience the remainder of your life in peace. And maybe kiss a few more frogs along the way! Note: The Cancer Recovery Foundation will schedule a free telephone consultation to review your treatment options with you—whether you wish to discuss conventional, complementary or alternative choices.
First call them at to request a packet of information to review. Pert's groundbreaking research. Her pioneering research has demonstrated how our internal chemicals, the neuropeptides and their receptors, are the actual biological underpinnings of our awareness, manifesting themselves as our emotions, beliefs and expectations, and profoundly influencing how we respond to and experience our world. For the next decade and a half she headed a laboratory at the National Institutes of Health which published over scientific articles explaining the discovery of numerous "neuropeptides.
It would ultimately unite immunology, endocrinology, neurophysiology, psychology and biology into a cohesive theory about how our thoughts and emotions are capable of creating wellness or disease in our bodies. It would explain and validate what Eastern healing traditions, shamans, energy healers and most alternative practitioners have understood for eons. Eastern philosophy would state that consciousness precedes reality. Western thought espouses the opposite view and has taught for hundreds of years that consciousness, thoughts and emotions are products of the physical brain and have little to do with the body or our health.
She maintains that theories of psychosomatic illness must shift, as we uncover ever more scientific research validating that consciousness is a body-mind phenomenon. PNI unites the three classically separated sciences of neuroscience, immunology and endocrinology and their associated glands and organs into a multidirectional communication network, linked by information carrying molecules called neuro peptides.
Mind and body, psyche and soma. She explains, "The chemicals that are running our body and our brain are the same chemicals that are involved in emotion. This new science explains that we are one system; the brain is integrated into the body at a molecular level and therefore neither can be treated separately without the other being directly affected.