Archive for November, 2011

This little story (a true one) is composed by Homer’s Mom, who will be referred to in the third person mostly as “ HM.”

When HM first saw Homer (obviously, an unnamed yellow lab in a cage), she ‘fell in love.”  He had the most beautiful head and face she had ever seen.  She was missing her golden retriever who had died three months previous, and, though she had promised herself she could never replace the mighty Shiva, her retriever, there was something about this little doggie with the sad eyes and  beautiful nose….Something made her return to the breeder again and again….

When she found out from the breeder that this little pup had been whelped the same day Shiva had died, well, it was too great a coincidence, and she made the arrangements, and one day, carried the little ten week old pup into her backyard to meet her family.

Within six months it became clear to everyone that Homer, now called Homer Hanuman Ram Dog, was very sick.  He had already been hospitalized for severe digestive problems for over two weeks of his short life, but now, his back legs looked like they were…disappearing.  He was in severe pain.  He was listless.  He barely ate.

It was soon revealed that he was a “puppy mill” dog.  He was the result of a greedy breeder, keeping a bitch pregnant again and again, running the dogs down, having very sick pups, knowing that most people would just allow their puppies to die rather than spend money on getting them well.  Homer’s hips were non-existent.  He had literally no hip sockets.  Bone was rubbing on bone.  Three vets all agreed that the little nine-month old puppy, who had stolen HM’s heart, and the hearts of her family, would have to be put down.

HM was desolate.  One day HM was meditating on the floor, trying to accept the inevitable, when Homer’s big nose rested suddenly on her shoulder.  He made a “hhhhmmmmmm…” sound.  This sound was the sound HM had heard somewhere before, deep in meditation.  She was led to get up from meditation and go to instantly to her computer, where she was led to a site for an orthopedic vet who could perform a tricky operation for dogs such as Homer.

Very soon Homer was to receive an operation called a “Femoral Osteoechtomy”, which pretty much cut off the rest of his leg and hip bones, stuffed gluteal muscle into his hips and was used to make legs out of what had been shoddy bone, and HM and her family were told that he had a very slim chance of recovery.  This operation, seven hours in procedure, was only performed on very small dogs.  But the vet had taken a look at Homer and said that he had an “amazing spirit.”

Homer pranced out of a 7- hour surgery and yanked off his morphine patch, never to look back.  He needed virtually no rehabilitation.  He has been a marvelous, indomitable, spirited dog ever since.  He is alive and well, seven years later.  He was given a 50-50 chance of living to the age of 3.  At this writing he is 8 years old.

Now, you may wonder why this little story has so far been about a dog named Homer, but has not mentioned a boy named Sean.

That is because, it was not until Homer was well into his second year of recovery (or maybe it was his third year) that he met Sean.  It was this meeting that would provide Homer with his purpose in life.  To the boy named Sean, who was perhaps only 7 or 8 years old at the first real meeting, Homer was simply another friend, a litter- mate, so to speak.  But Homer had found his raison d-etre, his reason and purpose and meaning in life.  There was no turning back for Homer.

Sean was quite an exceptional boy.  He was “all boy.”  He loved to tustle and roughhouse and play and play hard!  This suited Homer very well.  Anything Sean did suited Homer very well.  Sean was just one of those boys.  Everyone loved him.  He was adorable, freckled, funny, had a wonderful family, and a very charmed life.  He was someone who was to develop intense focus on what he loved.  He had not quite developed this trait at his younger age, but this trait was to suit Homer very well.  Because, you see, bonding is about identifying with your loved one.  Homer was to bond so completely with Sean that he was to become his guardian angel, his protector.  It was why Homer lived through his trials and tribulations, it seemed.  And Sean was certainly an exceptional and special person.  He was well worth it.
The intense focus on Sean began for Homer when Sean, Homer, Sean’s Mom, and HM went to the Huntington Dog Beach when Sean was 8 and Homer was 3.  Homer had been to the beach only once or twice before, and he had been totally smashed down by waves, but he had shown enormous bravery and gone back into deep and salty waters again and again.  HM’s husband, Homer’s Daddy, and his entire family had marveled at Homer’s bravery.  What a trouper this little doggie was!

But nothing was to prepare us for what Homer was to do with Sean at the beach.  Imagine peanut butter!   Imagine crazy glue!  Imagine Velcro!   Homer and Sean, Sean and Homer.  And that was that.  Homer was never going to let go of the boy named Sean.   In the waves Sean splashed.  In the waves Homer splashed.  In the waves Sean crashed.  In the waves Homer crashed.  Sean built a sand castle.  Homer destroyed the sand castle.  Sean ate a sandwich.  Homer ate a sandwich.  Sean slept.  Homer slept.

Now, we are in present time, five years later.   HM, Sean’s Mom, Sean’s sister, and a few friends, return to the dog beach.  Sean is a young man now.  He has no time for any nonsense.  His voice has deepened, he has fur on his own face (Homer has noticed), and now, he has a dog of his own!  Harley, Homer’s nemesis!  Harley is a yellow lab, just like Homer.  Harley and Homer play and play and romp and romp.  It is Harley’s first dog beach visit.

And, oh, how they love it!  The two labs run down to the ocean and – splash bam crash – into the waves they go!!!  But wait!  Suddenly, Homer is swimming frantically toward three boys on surfboards, making a wheedling noise deep in his throat.  He thinks one of the boys is Sean!  He circles them and sees Sean is not there.  He turns in the deep water, a wave crashes him, he goes under,  re-surfaces and goes out farther and farther!  Where is Sean?  Where is Sean?  HM calls out to Sean.  He is way out.  Homer paddles frantically, way out in the ocean to Sean.  HM has to go out into the deep ocean waves to “rescue” the Labrador retriever! Homer has completely taken on the role, once again, five years later, of Sean’s protector.

Yesterday HM, Sean, Homer and Harley went for a walk.  Homer was unusually difficult on his leash, pulling and yanking HM’s arm.  Sean, who was walking Harley a few steps in front of HM and Homer, looked around and simply said “Here, give me the leash.  Homer needs to be with me.”

It was true.  Once Sean took Homer’s leash, Homer lowered his head respectfully as he walked slowly to the right of Sean, Harley on Sean’s left.  Both leashes were slack, as both dogs were grateful to walk with their beloved boy.

But the dog on the right, Homer, was absolutely perfect, his eyes on the road ahead, every now and then glancing to the left, his head swinging low but steady, his leash slack.  His job was assured, because he knew who he was and what he had to do.  He was happy and perfect. He was safe and content in his life’s purpose.   He was simply Homer Hanuman Ram Dog, and he was doing his job, walking with the boy he loved with all his heart.


-The End

Read Full Post »

(Updated and corrected, May, 2012)


In the Tantric model of Kundalini arising, it is said that energy is activated in the root chakra (the muladhara) and rises through the Sushumna Nadi, or the Conception Vessel meridian.  On either side of this meridian lie two channels, one to the right, and one to the left.  The channel to the right is a warming channel, the Pinagala Nadi.  It is yang in nature.  To the left of the Conception Vessel lies the Ida Nadi, the cooling channel.  It is yin in nature.  These two nadis intertwine the Sushumna, forming the traditional Caduceus of modern medicine.


According to this theory, when energy is activated in this way, it is the ultimate marriage of Shiva (yang) and Shakti (yin).  Once all the 72,000 peripheral nadis are pierced by the union of the mighty Hindu god Shiva and his bride, Shakti, fusion and merging occur in the crown chakra, the Sahasrara, and enlightenment is inevitable.


In another branch of Sanskrit philosophy, called Samkhya, three fundamental energies of prakriti (universal nature) are discussed.  These energies are called the gunas“Guna” is a Sanskrit word meaning “string”, but in a more abstract or metaphysical sense, it means an “operational principle or tendency.” The three gunas usually considered as principles of all creation, evolution and destruction are:  rajas, sattva, and tamas.   Rajas, translated loosely, means “fire.”  Sattva, “purity” and tamas, “inertia.”   In Ayurveda, as well as certain Vedic schools of thought, it is sometimes said that, before a soul decides to take birth, this soul decides the guna in which to incarnate.  For example, should a soul wish to come into life with a mission, that soul would choose, even pre-conception, a rajasic guna.  Should a person be confused as to the particular lifetime in which they are incarnating, they may enter with a tamasic guna.  And a few souls, usually those who are destined to become teachers and masters, come into realization with a sattvic guna.


Vivaxis is a term coined by Frances Nixon, a Canadian woman who discovered a unique energy flow that connects an individual’s energy field, or etheric body, with that of the earth’s magnetic field at the time of their birth.  She claimed that this field held one of the prime keys to understanding one’s individual life.  The link functioned, Nixon claimed, as a two-way connection between the individual and their place of birth. Nixon claimed that the direct magnetic connection to earth’s energies began when the individual’s mother’s labor began based on the actual way she was facing when her contractions began.  Furthermore, the connection remained even as the individual grew and moved and traveled as an adult.  Claiming that each individual had a unique frequency developed along earth’s axis, Nixon worked for over thirty years in helping restore the vivaxis connection, which she found might be distorted by chemicals, electromagnetic fields or even climactic changes like solar flares or lightning.  In theory, by reconnecting with these energies, one might once again find the harmony, health and grounding which were, quite literally, one’s birthright.


Donna Eden has coined a phrase and an energy protocol called “Vivaxin Syndrome.”  She has found that one may develop sensitivity – and indeed a problem – with certain directions, based on an incomplete magnetic “paving over,” so to speak, of the magnetic field in this direction of the vivaxis, or the birth field.  In other words, rather than the vivaxis remaining a direction of power for the person, Donna has found it to be for some people like a magnetic tape which needs de-magnetization –  it is too gunked up by the many electromagnetic “bombs” thrown at it by the vicissitudes of modern life.  She has developed a protocol for cleaning this symbolic tape and strengthening the auric field so that the original vivaxis remains strong.  Through the use of kinesiology and energy testing to ascertain the direction of dis-empowerment, Donna has been able to ascertain the weakened direction of the vivaxis, and using magnets twirled at the ends of the meridian while the individual then faces this direction, she has strengthened the integrity of the electromagnetic field/vivaxis.  The results for most have been remarkable.


In my own practice I have found that strengthening the vivaxis has been of particular benefit to those clients who claim they have ‘incarnated with the guna of “tamas.”  These are people who maintain a certain ambivalence to life; an inertia, or energetic uncertainty, and are the ones most likely to have this Vivaxin Syndrome.  In other words, those who have a sensitivity to a certain direction (East, West, South, North) so strong that it affects their health, are perhaps the very souls who have struggled to get here, and who may or may not have truly decided to stay.   Those with a tamasic guna coupled with a strong Vivaxin Syndrome, may have the most troubles in life with depression, autoimmune illness, and other problems of a weakened energy field.  I have found the similarities in these two theories of marked importance.

It is said that some indigenous tribes do not name their children for three months after birth. According to some theories, this is because some children ‘return’ before they have reached earth- age of three months.  In Bali, it is said that a child’s feet do not touch the ground for the first three months of life.  It has been of some note – and certainly not coincidental – that the clients I have asked to “just spontaneously, now, off the top of your head, tell me what energy you came in with – tamasic, rajasic, or sattvic” – (this is after correcting a weakened vivaxis and after relaxing the client and doing a considerable balancing and of course, explaining the theory of the gunas) – these clients almost always tell me, “well, tamasic, of course!”  They have spent a lifetime of inertia, uncertainty, ambivalence.  They seem to have little or no certainty about goals, relationships, and their health.  It is with these clients that I spend a good deal of time strengthening the yang energies.  But it is in the explanation of the theory of the gunas which has seemed to help my clients achieve the most congruency in their lives.


And it is then that the theories of the nadis come into play.  Clients who express the energy of tamas, of inertia, achieve great benefit when working with the Ida nadi, the yin channel.  The nadis, in general, prove to be of great benefit to these clients.  Indeed, for those with this particular construct, there is great hope in working with Kundalini and spiritual practice. I know of no better practice than meditation and chanting.  Since chanting is an essay in itself, I will speak briefly of meditations’ capacity to affect the nadi system and the sushumna nadi, in particular.


Meditation is a wonderful adjunct to a practice of Energy Medicine.  “Spiritual” practices help prepare the body and brain for higher states of consciousness, and they equally prepare the body and brain for the reception of depth charges during sessions of regression, chakra, and grid work.

To begin a meditation practice, that is, a sitting practice, alternate nostril breathing is particularly beneficial.  This activates not only the Ida and Pingala alongside the sushumna nadi, but it also helps crossover patterns along the corpus collosam, the great lobe of the brain.  Furthermore, anyone who has trouble with the ajna Chakra  – the “3rd eye”, or 6th Chakra –  will often see this trouble begin to melt with a daily practice of alternate nostril breathing.  There are a myriad of benefits to this particular pranayama (breathing exercise).  It is particularly beneficial for the pineal gland on the top of the head, which figures substantially in Fran Nixon’s work on the vivaxis.


Sitting with the back erect, the chin level, the hands folded comfortably in the lap – or in chin mudra – the thumbs and forefingers touching – and after doing a series of alternate nostril breaths, meditation often seems ‘to happen by itself.’  Sometimes after a period of some restlessness, as the nervous system fights the newfound peace it is experiencing (a triple warmer phenomenon, surely!) one may begin focusing on the space between the eyebrows. As this area is focused on for awhile, one may experience a feeling of something being ‘pierced.’  This is not uncommon.  The 3rd eye, or 6th chakra, literally opens, and a flood of endorphins swells the being.  Meditation is well underway.


But do not quit before the miracle!  If this practice is performed daily, for 15-20 minutes, hopefully for the rest of one’s life, what had previously become a most unsatisfying humdrum existence, one in which one seemed doomed to inertia, restlessness, unhappy autoimmune illnesses of minor symptoms but of annoying frequency, may seem to remit rather suddenly, never to return.  The trick to meditation, or any spiritual practice for that matter, is not to quit.  We must avoid falling into a stupor.  It is essential to continue to practice, to raise our tolerance so that we do not become bliss ninnies each time we plummet deeper into depth charges availed us by a spiritual practice coupled with a daily energy routine.


As an Energy Medicine Practitioner, I feel strongly that one of my greatest responsibilities to my clients is to maintain the rigors of my daily meditation practice.  For me it has become imperative to recognize, sustain and deepen the charges in my body, mind and spirit in order to facilitate the same available states in my clients.  But “faith without works” is hollow indeed, so an explanation of the various theories of the nadis, the gunas and Kundalini have worked wonders with my clients, all of whom have brought me an understanding of my own self and my own spiritual , nature larger than I could ever have imagined.  Furthermore, this self-awareness, the theory of vivaxis,  the theory of the gunas, with the help of an understanding of the nadis, has also helped some of my clients re-frame early experiences of childhood victimization to ones of empowerment, as they see they may ultimately choose the energy system in which to be born.  Furthermore, it can be quite empowering to see that everything one does in one’s life may indeed be part of a purifying practice of Kundalini arising and the piercing of the 72,000 nadis.


These are amazing theories of energy arising, easy for most to understand, helpful for most to frame contextually within the boundaries of a session in Energy Medicine.  I have found that almost everyone I work with is yearning for things to be framed in a spiritual context.  Working with the theories discussed above has proven a rich ground for me in helping my clients move from what Carl Jung has called uneigentilich leiden (inauthentic suffering) into a perspective of compassion and mercy for the common bond we all share.


I am proud to be an Energy Medicine Practitioner, and even happier and prouder to be a daily meditator.  They are, at least in my mind, often one and the same.

Read Full Post »

Schadenfreude, Part III

December 15, 2010



I was ready to roll…I was ready to play the game, the mean, dark game of my protagonists, Chris, Norma, Judy and Cerrie.  I had just never wanted to stoop so low before.  I had never realized I had acted arrogantly by believing I was better than them and had more scruples.  It was truth time.


Melanie Klein was a psychoanalyst in Germany in the early 1900’s.  Melanie Klein taught a school of psychology called “Object Relations” – very basically, the way we relate to our first objects; our first caretakers.  I remember being intrigued in school about Klein’s comments about possession, how sick people could become malevolent puppeteers in the background and have malignant thoughts and take evil and mean-spirited actions.  Klein said these sick people would often do anything to destroy others.  The masochist would become the sadist.  Again and again and again.


Well, I am not a masochist or a sadist, but in order to survive in my small town, I had to do something.  I am a reasonably good psychologist, and I am an excellent lawyer.  Both require an understanding of science and an ability to employ scientific techniques, but both careers most often require an ability to employ acting skills.  I was getting ready to become the thespian of my life.


First object to relate to:  Judy O’Hare.  First emotion with which to work:  Guilt.  First principle with which to work:  Ten Commandments.  What to call out in the other:  Shame.


Got it.  Now go!


I often went to Saint Martin’s in the Field, a Catholic Church Judy attended on Sundays.  Father Dennis O’Dennehey was our Priest, and he and Judy were very tight.  It took very little effort to arrange myself between them at the Sunday afternoon tea, and to bring up the topic of atonement, and Father O’Dennehey’s opinion about sin, lying, and hell.  I got him to wax poetical about gossip and slander.   Judy’s face became tighter and whiter and her lips became so pinched I feared her mouth would disappear into her cheeks, but I persevered, and just as I thought, Judy was too mannered and courteous to excuse herself from the conversation.  She was probably too afraid of the discussion behind her back which we were likely to continue. She was very afraid of going to hell.  I counted on this.


It worked like a charm.  When I finally excused myself, I had Father O’Dennehey so intoxicated from the brandy in the flask I had in my purse which I had bountifully poured into his coffee cup, which in turn loosened his lips and forced him to become so dark and negative and terrifying, that I think Judy would have done anything to beg forgiveness for her terrible sins of gossip and slander against me that she played into my hands like melted butter.  She whined that she had to talk to me and needed “to do so as soon as possible”.    I felt terrible for about a minute.


But then I was on to Cerrie again.


Her codependent need to rescue pathetic dogs and cats made it easy to get into her good side (not that she had a good side), and she was easy to play.  More about her later.


Chris and Norma were the ones I had to figure out.  But once I went into the nastiness, they were easier than pie.  Because they were fat, so pie was where it was at.  Food, food and more food.  I was going to get to them through their pie holes, as the raunchier natives were wont to say. What better than a big Mexican picnic given in the town square in July during the 4th of July festivities?  The irony would be lost on the dumb cows.  There was one Mexican person in Rigdon.  Chris.  Norma’s ethnicity was difficult to know.  She was flat of face, thick of neck, whiney of voice, dyed of hair, and big and thick of body.  She was simply hideous looking.  No one knew her last name.  She stuck to Chris, who was bigger than a house, like peanut butter.  So where Chris went, Norma followed.


And to maintain these enormous bodies, food was required.  And could I give it to them!  Burritos, tortillas, sour cream, the whole enchilada!!!  I was going to fatten up the fatted calves until these greasy mamas screamed for mercy!


One problem occurred, but one at which I excelled:  I had to delay gratification.  We were in the month of April, ‘mud time’ in New England, spring in the rest of the country.  I was forced to wait three months for the delight of hopefully seeing these enormous women get their comeuppance in the ways they deserved; run out of town on their big butts;  Rigdon finally and ultimately returned to its’ uppity-blue-blooded-Yankee ways.


Why these women projected their unfinished business on me remained to be seen, but I had long ago given up figuring out why.  I had been told to utilize, not analyze.


Cerrie Hartley, the hard-hearted bitch from hell, had told me a bit, but I had turned a deaf ear to most of her meanderings.  The gist of her rambling had been this:  I had been too successful, too ‘ethical’ too rigid in insisting that the group follow the traditions and rules of the long-standing Policies and Procedures; but mostly, I had been self-deprecating, and no one could stomach this.  This had long been one of my glaring character defects.  I constantly played down my abilities.  It was bad enough that I had success and glory, but no one could stand that I then pretended not to be who I was.  Nothing stinks like this kind of phoniness, broadcasted.  I would have hated me too.  It was the worst and smarmiest of people-pleasing narcissism.  I could not blame them for their rage.  But it was the extent of their acting-out which I found puzzling and very troubling.


I do not know what act of divine intervention or grace stopped me here in my tracks.  I do know I did not deserve it.  I had gone so far down the rabbit hole of vitriol and revenge and plans of retribution as to be unrecognizable, even to myself, but some thought, from a distant past, some lost shred of decency, or kindness, or character, reared its tired head and whispered to me, and I lost all desire and energy toward my agenda of attack.


I simply stopped.  I stopped, and I drooped.  My shoulders slumped, my head fell forward, and I felt a fatigue mingled with a relief and a – what? – Something I had not felt or recognized in some time – what was it? – humor ? laughter? A great rumbling of laughter came erupting from my belly and my lips as if from some molten underground.  Surely it did not come from me!


I was collapsing with laughter!  The irony of this all!  This plan!  This ridiculous plan of retribution and revenge, this silliness, this stupidity, when all that was needed was – nothing?


Had I ever listened to myself?  Why had I started the “spiritual group” in the first place?  To listen?  To speak?  Oh my God!!!


I was worse than they were!  I was being punished for my reverse-ego nastiness!  No one liked a phony!  At least these three mean-spirited cows were true to form!  They were the Saints here, certainly not I!  And with this realization of humility came a fatigue so delicious, so profound, so, well, –  surrendered –  that I was able to stop in my tracks.  This, I believe, this phrase, “to stop in one’s tracks”, is a hunting phrase.  I simply stopped in my tracks.  I stopped hunting.  And once I stopped, all anger, all vitriol, all nastiness, and my perception, my perception of these women, ceased to have any power over me whatsoever.


No one knew what happened, because no one knew that anything HAD happened.  And this is the power of the demented mind.  The delusional mind, shared only, it seems, by me, had been split.  My own mind, so lost in its own narcissism, pretending to be something I was not, had split itself in two, and I was forever in pretense, one part of me protecting the other, in some lost guilt and defensiveness I had surely worked through years’ before.  Everything my mind had set in motion simply stopped, and I was awed to see that nothing was going to happen, because nothing was occurring except in my delusion…..


To be continued….

Read Full Post »