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Norhtwest Institute for Healing Power
Healing Power describes a ten-step self-help model for transforming any painful problem of body, mind, or soul into spiritual power.
My work as a psychiatrist has taken me to neighborhoods where I met people from vastly different cultures than my own. I have been the doctor for African-American and Hispanic people in Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant; Tlingit, Haida, Atthabascan, and Eskimos from the villages of the Alaskan bush; retired military, U.S. Coastguard, and postal workers in Portland, Maine; and many from a variety of other communities. While I have studied the nature of disease and suffering in textbooks and models, the greatest teachers have been these patients, bearers of the devastating aspects of life: war, racism, poverty, mental and physical illness, child sex abuse, rape, domestic violence, and addiction. These courageous people and the mean streets they walk continue to be my teachers of the harsh realities of life. Because life can become brutal for any of us at any time, we all need ways to manage troubled and painful times. I have a passion for learning how healing power acts as an antidote to pain and devastation. I have studied with the teachers, masters, and gurus of psychology, psychiatry, and spirituality, searching their models with a fine toothcomb, looking for elements that strengthen our ability to heal. Understanding the torment life brings while experiencing its beauty, grace, and healing power, I have developed a ten-step self-help model that I use myself and teach to my students and patients. The model has three parts: 1. The Ten Steps: The root causes of our suffering are addressed in steps 1-5. The corresponding solutions to these problems comprise steps 6-10. Here we learn how our pain is the route to healing through the cultivation of Love. In this work, Love represents a composite of 100 spiritual qualities. I capitalize the word “Love” to emphasize its Divine Nature. 2. Spiritual Practice: Here you will find a description of twelve spiritual methods proven over the ages to be effective tools for cultivating spiritual qualities. Detailed instructions explain how these methods help us cultivate Love, peace, strength, and courage in response to any pain of the body, mind, or soul. With continued practice of the recommended spiritual methods, we can prepare for any difficulty life brings. 3. Spiritual Qualities: We certainly need to work with our issues, problems, illness, and flaws, but these are not who we are. Labels obscure our true selves. Rather than brand ourselves with labels or identify with our problems, we are encouraged to see our true self as the soul, a composite of spiritual qualities adding up to Love. The center of our being is Love. From a list of 100 spiritual qualities, ten are chosen for detailed study. Here we learn how to use our current problems as a springboard for discovering our spiritual identity of Love, compassion, warmth, and kindness. Love is more powerful than any pain or problem. It is the Great Healer. It is the fundamental solution to all of our problems. It is who we really are. The purpose of this book is to share this model with a wider audience, those interested in doing spiritual work to stimulate healing power. The model can be used by: 1. Health care professionals interested in helping their patients increase their pain management skills and heal. The model supplements the healing practices of all medical specialties including mental health, substance abuse, and alternative health care. 2. Healthcare consumers looking for help in managing any symptom, disease, or disability; 3. Seekers in crisis struggling with severe problems; 4. Beginning or advanced seekers of spiritual knowledge; 5. People who want help with any pain or problem. The model is for group or personal use. Healthcare professionals and physicians can teach the ten steps to their patients in hospitals and clinics. The model is also suited for self-help groups in the community. I teach the steps in a group format that is primarily educational. We read a short passage followed by discussion and contemplation of its significance. This teaching method is appropriate for discussion groups run in clinics or hospitals, as well as in self-help groups independent of health care institutions. My group does not focus on personal problems that require individual counseling. I do not try to fix other people’s problems, nor do I ordinarily give advice or counsel. While all of us need advice or personal counsel from time to time, we always need the universal knowledge of how to expand our healing power, manage our pain more skillfully, and cultivate spiritual qualities. Groups should focus on spiritual practices that transform pain into spiritual power. However, we do not need a group or teacher. We can do this work at home, alone. This book is an instruction manual. It gives step-by-step processes and examples of bringing spiritual concepts from the lofty penthouse to the ground floor of the daily routines of life. The aim of this book is not conversion, but rather inciting the reader to spiritual action and healing within their preferred system. For those building a personal spiritual program, this work offers a variety of ideas and methods to explore and practice. Other readers brought up in one of the world's great traditions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism, may be interested in adding universal spiritual principles and methods that will enhance their established belief system. In either case, whether you are building a program of your own or working from within a particular religion, spiritual practice will augment and intensify your healing power for its work on body, mind, and soul. While this book is packed with powerful spiritual ideas begging for contemplation, it is no less rich in its practical, down-to-earth, how-to approach. For some it will be a lifelong resource, as the sacred wisdom of the ages requires ongoing study, contemplation, and practice. Spiritual work is like climbing a shining mountain. The mountain sparkles with higher states of consciousness and spiritual qualities. Though inviting and attractive, it is not an easy climb. You will need some equipment--some spiritual tools--to help you get a grip and keep your balance. This equipment must fit confortably. It will vary according to your individual desires and needs. All too often people argue about the equipment and the pathway. When the argument starts, climbing stops. The trails of history are populated with tragic stories about confrontations concerning the “one true way.” When spiritual seekers become belligerent or even violent, not only does progress stop, but the combatants slip, slide, and ultimately fall off the mountain. In this work, you are encouraged to build your own program in the spirit of “take what you need and leave the rest.” This stance avoids controversy and debate while honoring individual preference and need. The book offers principles, methods, processes, affirmations, quotes, and homework assignments. If an idea or method is useful, pick it up and work with it. If it is not, modify it or skip it, and move on until you find something that works for you. POINTS TO REMEMBER • This self-help model describes 10 steps, 12 spiritual methods, and 10 spiritual qualities. Its purpose is to help readers expand their healing power, improve their pain management skills, and cultivate spiritual qualities. • The centerpiece of the model is Love. Love is the greatest healer. It is the universal solution to all of our problems. I encourage you to prove this to yourself through direct personal experience, by developing a spiritual practice. The next section of the book describes the ten-step model. You will learn how to use the inevitable suffering of life to cultivate peace, Love, and joy. The result is a shift in the locus of control from the outer world of people, places, and things, to the inner world of peace, power, and strength: a world of our own definition.
We seek unlimited peace, love, and joy in an uncertain world where suffering is inevitable. Because we manage our pain poorly, we get into trouble. The wisdom of the ages, taught by the world's diverse religious traditions, offers a solution to this dilemma by pointing out the connection between pain management and the cultivation of spiritual qualities. When we develop a spiritual practice, we learn how to transform our suffering into spiritual power.