Birds Flying Over Water

Guiding Principles

  1. The Universe is Alive. Divine Intelligence, known by many names in ancient tradition and contemporary spiritual practice, is the Source of all matter and energy in the Universe. It moves, organizes, and sustains everything. We can subjectively know it in a number of ways...the foremost being Love.

  2. Divine Presence Surrounds and Fills Us. The body/mind contains a component of the Divine, called spirit, personal soul, or higher self. Focusing on the subtle felt sense in the body is an easily accessible way of confirming its presence.

  3. Life Involves Destiny. Each soul that accepts a life on Earth accepts its Destiny, a complex, open template that persists and is subject to the operation of choice, thus producing soul’s Fate. Learning the specifics of one's Destiny through one of the revealed systems is valuable.

  4. We Become Estranged From Ourselves. Mistreatment and deprivation from birth through the early years interfere at many levels with the natural function of our life energy. As we develop, we acquire layer upon layer of compensation. Our initial resilience becomes hidden within a fixed pattern of thought, feeling, and behavior.

  5. We Can Restore Ourselves. One's original nature can be forgotten but never obliterated. The capacity for restoration is innate; healing is one of the basic attributes of life itself. It may, however, require skilled help to enact self-healing effectively.

  6. Healing Happens in Relationship. Healing supported by the presence of another is influenced by their relationship. When one serves as a guide, he needs to respond with spontaneity, relate as an equal, function through his heart, manifest affection, and truly enjoy the interaction. If these high standards are not met, the effort will be compromised. It's much the same for the healing that can take place in a committed love relationship.

  7. Healing Happens in Community. Indigenous practitioners have always known that if one is sick, the village is sick, and that personal and social dysfunction always need to be addressed.

  8. It Takes More Than One. We are complex. We are injured at different levels. The healing process, therefore, may need to be a long one, with a variety of guides over time.

  9. Balance Is Critical. The dualities, such as Masculine and Feminine, need to be in balance. Also, the four basic essences: Body/Earth, Emotion/Water, Mind/Air (aka Metal), and Spirit/Fire. Life circumstances may exaggerate or deplete one or two of the four essences, throwing out of balance the fifth essence that the four generate: The Person/The Life (aka Wood). Attention to restoring elemental balance may be central to one's healing.

  10. The Body and Mind Are One. Disturbances in Soma (Body & Emotion) and Psyche (Mind & Spirit) are always parallel, hence the effectiveness of psychosomatic medicine and body-oriented psychotherapy.

  11. The Soul Gets Injured. Traditional healers know that in traumatization, the soul receives an injury...and that a fragment splits off, preserving a soul entity free of the trauma. Shamans have long known about inviting the reintegration of that portion. Trained guides working in contemporary culture may learn to accomplish this.

  12. Boundaries Are To Be Honored. The basic diagram of all life forms involves energy and matter (mostly fluid), pulsating within a membrane, the form's material boundary. The material form is generally enveloped in a bounded energy field. Respecting boundaries in space, behavior, and awareness is essential for good social functioning. Past violations of limits call for assistance in recognizing and maintaining boundaries in the present.

  13. Emotion Is Central and Complex. Feelings came into the world with the mammals, bringing experiences beyond what had been provided by the reptiles' nervous systems. The positive ones make life worth living. The more numerous negative ones also have positive roles, since they guide and protect us. Healing from the deep wounds and disappointments of life involves learning and practice in the realm of the emotions: sorting them out; identifying emotions that work as defenses against other emotions; knowing how and when to express emotions; mastering one's typical means of suppressing or escaping them; developing abilities to deal with feelings in others...and more. A person's guide in healing has a critical role in this.

  14. Civilized Humanity Dwells in Trauma. In the trauma state, the autonomic threat responses of Fight/Flight/Freeze do not fully shut down when no longer needed. They remain too easily roused; the system has lost its normal resilience. Traumatization is initiated by personal experiences that overwhelm thought and emotion; by natural catastrophes; by witnessing horrors, like war; and by contagion. Somatic techniques have great promise for release from personal traumatization and from re-enactment. At the mass scale, the outlook for release from trauma is not yet as promising.

  15. There Is Still Time. Humankind can avoid self-destruction if we change many of our practices in radical ways. That will require a great awakening. In the meantime, each of us can be guided by an expanded version of a familiar aphorism: Think globally, act locally...and focus personally. Personal healing benefits more than oneself and one's immediate community. It is a gift to all since the Energy of Life ties everyone together. The smile that comes from an open heart is a powerful agent of change.