Dr. Dolores Krieger, a registered nurse and professor of nursing leads a dynamic life full of countless experiences, the richness and import of which she gladly shares with the same joy of giving that marks her teaching and acts of healing. Throughout her life she has especially explored Eastern thought and has felt deep affinities with the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, Kuan Yin.

As a Professor of Nursing at New York University, Dr. Krieger began her post-doctoral nursing research about eight and a half years ago. Of this she relates:

This research has been concerned with what I have come to call therapeutic touch, but which has been traditionally known as the laying-on of hands. It is a uniquely human act of concern of one individual for another which is characterized by the touching of one by another in an act that incorporates an intent to help or to heal the person so touched. To be truly therapeutic, I feel that this act must be deeply motivated in the best interests of the person who is touched. I also feel that the person doing the touching must be educable, for although the act seems quite simple, almost casual, it is in fact quite complex and the toucher must be able to understand the underlying dynamics of these complexities. He must, for instance, be able to learn to recognize certain cues to subtle levels of consciousness so that he might be intelligently aware of the processes, conscious and unconscious, which he may set in motion, and he must be able to develop the insight to recognize whose needs he is meeting by giving himself to this mode of therapeutics, the patient's needs or those that buttress his own ego structure. Therapeutic touch, I believe, is a tool frequently used by nurses in their care of patients, either knowledgeably or unconsciously. My feeling has been that as nurses we are responsible for our nursing acts and, therefore, it behooves us to understand the basis for this particular mode of therapeutics as well as we would understand the underlying dynamics of any pharmaceuticals we might give, or any other procedure in which we might engage ourselves as nurses.

Her research of available material, both Eastern and Western, ancient and modern lead Dr. Krieger to the speculative conclusion that the hemoglobin values of patients would change following treatment by therapeutic touch whereas the hemoglobin values of comparable patients not treated by therapeutic touch would demonstrate no significant difference after a similar period of time. She then set about to test this hypothesis with feasibility studies involving therapeutic touch within a framework bound by valid scientific methodologies. The studies gave high proof of the accuracy of her hypothesis.

Interestingly, there were criticisms to her first studies because she did not control for two things: meditation and breathing exercises. Studies by her contemporaries were revealing that meditation has a significant effect on certain physiologic variables, such as a reduced heartbeat, respiratory rate, oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide elimination, blood lactate and blood pressure. The suggestion was that meditation might also effect hemoglobin values. The same criticism was offered regarding breathing exercises, which are known to increase the hemoglobin value. Dr. Krieger, feeling this criticism was valid, entirely repeated her studies controlling for these two aspects as well. The validity of her findings still held.

After concentrated work with healers and the act of healing in her experimentation. Dr. Krieger began to grow curious about the process itself and learned how to do therapeutic touch under the tutelage of Dora Kunz. Of this Dr. Krieger says,

In time I found that I was able to elicit similar reactions in the patient as are stated in the literature; specifically, that the patient would feel heat within the tissues underlying the area upon which I had my hands, they would feel profoundly relaxed and have a sense of well being. It occurred to me that since I was able to do this that rather than this being something only a few chosen people could do, perhaps it was a natural potential in man which could be actualized under the conditions mentioned above, i.e., the person having an intent to help or to heal, being constructively motivated in his intention, and being educable.

In recent years Dr. Krieger has tested this notion with students of nursing at New York University. After attaining proof of her hypothesis through controlled studies. Dr. Krieger proposed to the Dean's Coordinating Council of New York University a graduate course at the Master's level which is designed to formally teach the process of therapeutic touch and develop theory concerned with its underlying bio-energetics and psychodynamics to graduate students within the Division of Nursing. Her proposal was accepted and the courses began two years ago. More recently, Dr. Krieger has been invited to conduct workshops on therapeutic touch by hospitals, universities, schools of medicine and nursing and professional medical groups throughout the world.

Her extensive travels brought her last March to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas where she met the Venerable Master and the members of the four-fold assembly for the first time. After that initial meeting, Dr. Krieger renewed contact with the Master and the Sangha and lay-people of the Sino-American Buddhist Association whenever her travels would permit. Six months after her first meeting. Dr. Krieger took refuge with the Triple Jewel, bowed to the Master as her teacher, and was given the Dharma name, Kuo Sheng "Fruit of Sage-hood."

Now, one year after her first visit to the City, Kuo Sheng has this to say:

      "I feel very much a part of the community here and my life in the East is really very much my minor role. This is about one year since I came to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas since I met the Venerable Master and the Sangha. And it has created a tremendous difference in my life. I have been into research and practice and teaching for about eight and a half-year, but since I have taken refuge with the Master I think the tenor, the quality the intensity, the beauty of my work has increased infinitely. It is very difficult to talk about these things because it is trying to talk about one's life and it is very hard to put that into an objective proportion.

      Had someone told me a year ago that I would have the opportunity I have had this past 

year I would have thought them foolish. People such as are here, particularly the Venerable Master and the Sangha, I would have said you only read about in books. There's just no way to apply it to one's life. Strangely, much to my surprise I found that it had a very deep, a very intimate effect on me.

Shortly after being here, quite a long time before I took refuge, I began seeing the Master in my mind's eye. At first I thought it was a figment of my imagination. Then I began to enjoy the experience, I suspect. But the really great part of it was in my healing. When I would begin to heal, I would see the Master in front of the person I was going to heal—transparent between me and my patient. I began to realize more and more that whether this was the way the mind works or not, nevertheless, this was an infinite blessing in terms of the patients.

There is one funny thing I will tell you. No matter how much I saw the Venerable Master there would always come the moment when I would question it. Last Thanksgiving I was at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and when I went home I was bowing to the Buddhas. As I went to bow down, there was the Master. And I thought, "My heavens, there he is again." But I bowed. And as I bowed down, he got down and looked at me upside-down, as if to say, "See, I see you from there, too." Those of you who know him know that he has a marvelous sense of humor and his gesture was quite in character.

What has effected me profoundly has been the healing that have happened with patients, both people that I see opposite me, so to speak, and people at a distance. Some of the happenings that have occurred have been so unbelievable that I know they come from the Master. People who have had cancer, one, a lady in Kentfield, California, who worked in a hospital, was cured of her cancer. A young child, a little girl of eight years old who swung out on a railing and lost her hold and fell back onto a concrete step suffered deep brain injury. Nobody even believed she would live and if she lived they thought she would be a vegetable. This girl was very rapidly cured. She is well now. The beautiful part of it is that she was the niece of one of my students, a nurse. My student was so profoundly effected by this that she has now dedicated her life to healing. There are numerous stories like this that I could tell you.

In the past year strange kinds of things have occurred, not strange in the terms of exotic, but strange in the sense that doors that haven't been opened have opened-whether it be the New York Times or the Federal Government. This type of healing now has found its way into many avenues. Not only schools of nursing but schools of medicine throughout the country now are beginning to add it to their curriculum. Public agencies—federal, state, and local—are now using it and hospitals have been using it for some time. It is being widely taught in hospitals for use all the way from the emergency room through every facet of hospital care.

The thing that has also happened, of course, has been in terms of myself. I'm delighted to say I think I have changed and I think that change has been a function of being exposed to the Venerable Master and the Sangha. They have taught me many things; they have taught me philosophy, they have taught me about the real depth of what we so lightly call holistic healing, a depth that spans the triple world, they have taught me compassion, a better understanding of human relationships, and I think perhaps a better understanding of myself. So I truly thank them.

      In the past year Kuo Sheng has attended Kuan Yin recitation sessions and Ch'an sessions at the City of Fen Thousand Buddhas, has joined in the Avatamsaka Assembly, and contributed herself wholeheartedly to the community life of the City. On June 19th through 21st, 1978, Dharma Realm Buddhist University will sponsor a two-day workshop featuring Dr. Kreiger lecturing and demonstrating on the topic of "Healing as a Transcultural Mode." Workshops in beginning and intermediate therapeutic touch will be held as well as workshops in meditation, mantras and rituals, and sutra instruction from within the orthodox Buddhist tradition.