What Is Healing?

Few people have done as much work with the terminally ill as have Steven and Ondrea Levine. Steven Levine, in "Healing Into Life and Death," states, "Healing is what happens when we come to our edge, to the unexplored territory of mind and body, and take a single step into the unknown, the space in which all growth occurs. Healing is discovery. It goes beyond life and death... Healing is focusing on the moment - to heal into the moment and to allow the future to arise naturally out of that opening. If the moment holds pain, awareness is brought to pain; If the moment holds illness, awareness is brought to illness."

Levine goes on to say that with this true healing "into the moment" some are physically healed and others go on to die peaceful deaths. There has been an implication in our culture that those who beat the odds, who overcome the fatal cancerare our "Superstars" - and those who have succumbed are somehow failures. In this view, Illness is Failure and Pain is Punishment. The "Why are you choosing to create your illness" attitude can easily solidify the idea that one has failed or is being punished.

Levine has reached the point in his work where he truly doesn't know what to pray for with his patients. He used to pray that a patient in pain would be relieved of his pain. Now he prays "Thy will be done," because he doesn't know what someone truly needs in the process of becoming whole and healed.

In some respects Levine's idea of "healing into the moment" is a frightening idea, for it involves letting go of our old notions of healing... and "healing into the moment" can mean letting go of attachments we cling to that have blocked our healing. But I find his vision of healing to be a deep and profound vision - a vision of healing the heart and removing the clouds of darkness that veil the spirit. Such healing releases the luminous spirit and sometimes, but not always, heals the body. Please check out "Overwhelming Pain or Fear". This is my adaptation of Stephen Levine's ideas. If you have overwhelming fear, such as fear of cancer recurrence, this is the technique for you. No other technique can begin to touch the power of that fear.

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