PURE MIND, ABLE HANDS

THERAPEUTIC TOUCH AND MEDITATION:

The Revolution of healing.

By Shramanerika Kuo Jing

June 19th began what promises to be a fruitful summer session for Dharma Realm Buddhist University. A two-day intensive workshop on "Therapeutic Touch and Meditation: Healing as a Transcultural Mode" explored the synergistic interaction between practices of therapeutic touch and traditional Buddhist meditation. Dr. Dolores Krieger (Kuo Sheng), R.N., Ph.D., Professor of Nursing Education at New York University, and her students, Nancy Boyd, Catherine Fanslow, and Janet Macrae, all registered nurses and candidates for doctoral degrees in nursing at N.Y.U., conducted beginning and intermediate classes on therapeutic touch. Training in meditation was given by Sangha members, as well s Abbot Hua, whose vivid, highly entertaining and scintillating talks provided much food for thought. Coordinator for the workshop, which offered continuing education credit for nurses, was Dharma Realm Buddhist University's Vice President, Bhiksuni Heng Yin.

From June 19 to 21 about a hundred people, mostly nurses with a generous sprinkling of physical therapists; chiropractors, acupuncturists, accupressurists, architects, artists, and a midwife, congregated at Ukiah from Texas, Oregon, Michigan, New York, Minnesota, etc., and as far away as Guam.

The students had a thorough workout. A vigorous schedule started bright and early at 6:30 a.m. with T'ai-Chi Ch'uan, taught by Cindy (Kuo Ru) Chang. Classes in therapeutic touch and meditation began at 7:45 and spied on all day. Evening activities included an orientation and tea; lectures on the Avatamsaka Sutra and Dharma talks by Abbot Hua; a panel discussion featuring Master Hua, Dr. Krieger (Kuo Sheng), and John Blofeld, special visiting lecturer at Dharma Realm Buddhist University; and movie making and viewing. Workshop participants were welcome to observe and join in the ceremonies, chants, rituals, and services performed as a part of daily monastic lift, as well.

Instruction given by-the--Venerable Master Hua during evening orientation very much set the wheel of the session in motion. His message was:

      "All nurses must first-of-all be compassionate. Most nurses, though not all, are transformations of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva (the Bodhisattva who observes the world's sounds). So, in coming here you should begin to realize who is the real you. It has nothing to do with the face you see every day in the mirror, not your gender or your social role, but the real you behind the facade of this life. If you do not truly recognize yourself, then your life will have been in vain."

Shown below are Venerable Master Hua and Bhikshu Heng K'ung to the left of Dr. Dolores Krieger (standing at podium). To Dr. Krieger's right are Bhikshuni Heng Yin, Janet Macrae, Nancy Boyd, and Catherine Fanslow during orientation for therapeutic Touch and Meditation Workshop sponsored by Dharma Realm Buddhist University.

Therapeutic touch operates on the assumption that underlying all organisms in the Universe is an organizing principle, a force, called Prajna in Sanskrit, or Chi in Chinese. Students are taught to become aware of the consciousness, which will allow this healing energy to be activated. Thus, during the classes, when students worked in pairs, alternating as transmitter and receiver, they in variably reported remarkable physical changes such as heat, flush, relaxation, tingling, vibration, and shock-like electric currents, colors, and sounds.

      Essential to the activation of healing energy is the art of "centering," which finds its basis in meditation. The centering of the mind developed through meditation can allow it to extend beyond its normal linear preoccupations into a state of perfect fusion and interpenetration. In terms' of healing, the expansion of mind leads to a realization, of what lies "beyond the skin" of an individual and as the expansion continues; therapeutic touch becomes essentially a method of exchanging energy. Energy is exchanged every day among people, other living beings, the sky, the air, the soil and water, etc. There is nothing that is separateŚnothing that is an

isolated entity unto itself. We are all connected.

When the ingredients are compassion, purity, and a centered being, the connection can be used by the healer to great advantage. Whereas, sickness represents the ill effects of impurity, hatred, and a lack of unity, which result in bad connections. Our globe at present is inundated with disease: bad karma heaps on bad karma, offenses upon offenses, until the entire atmosphere is teeming with chaotic profusion. Much of living beings' bad vibes and innumerable miniscule organisms, which are not visible to the common flesh eye, are the direct cause of such illnesses. 0ur evil karma collectively makes us sick: cancer, disasters, accidents, and finally, war, that ultimate killing game. All a result of too much greed, hatred, and stupidity.

The only way to heal is to first get rid of these three poisons. Western and traditional medicine have focused on mitigating the symptoms, but have failed to plumb the source. One has to get down to the nitty-grittyŚWhat is the underlying cause of disease? And, the answer invariably if that all things are created from the mind alone.

      The workshop is an indication that there is still hope to mend the dents and leaks in our sinking ship. A gush of warmth, affection, and genuine spirit of learning pervaded the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas during those days. Truly the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have come to our aid. We hope that what transpired, the high energy and enthusiasm, will take root and stay with those who learned, that our collective insight into the physical and spiritual malaise of modern man can be well-used in hospitals and homes throughout the U.S., as well as the world, to benefit and relieve suffering living beings. This revolutionary concept of healing takes the heart/mind as its source. The hands are just the instruments: what lies behind is a true mind and compassion.