A couple mornings ago, at the crack of dawn, I awoke to some 167 odd unread messages on one of my student groups. Quickly making a mental calculation of what must have transpired overnight– well as quickly as my mind could manage starting up–; I remember catching myself thinking, someone must have had quite a breakthrough!
Cocking my head and stretching one eye open against my will and the severe brightness of the loo bulb, the chat opened on a seemingly slow 4g connection.
“Why do healers call it energy exchange when you are not sure of its efficacy? Or when they can’t show it on the scoreboards of life? ” It began.
Slightly more awake now, my mind began to wake. Gently, the other eye cooperated as I attempted moving to the next sentence. “They take real money and give us spiritual concepts. They chose to be a healer to heal, not for energy exchange to fill their coffers.” Bursted a rather passionate student.
A thought provoking dialogue, well lets say multilogue (a conversation between several of my students), seemed to have ensued as I read rather slowly, allowing the different parts of my stiff-from-sleep body to gently become fully present. Several views and perspectives had ping-ponged along the e-table into the wee hours of the morning.
Some more passionate than others, some stirring more controversy while others seeking to calm the embers. I read. Slowly. Really slowly. Grasping what each one had to say. Being present to what I felt. Being present to what these words evoked. Being present to what my heart said. Being present to my mind’s resistance. After-all I too am a healer. It did seem personal. And yet, I knew it wasn’t. In that moment, in full awareness, my consciousness knew that my growth lay in feeling the truth no matter what. Staying with the truth and resonating with my heart.
Another student defending the practice itself marched forward saying,
“We must also acknowledge that money is a commercially accepted instrument for exchange of goods and services. When we can digest a doctor’s fee, why can’t a practitioner charge?”
Allowing all these words to rest in the space of my heart, I noticed my breathing. Closing my eyes momentarily, reflecting the words that stuck. I continued reading,
“Let’s take cancer as an example. There’s so much money we put in hoping the patient will be alright, but the success rates don’t speak the same. We still trust and hope for the best, don’t we?” The same student questioned.
It seems the student flooded with the search for his answer sought something quite tangible. Perhaps he knew what he wanted, perhaps not. “If one is asking for tangible cash, one expects tangible results. Period.” He contended.
By this time students were sharing their transformation stories, vouching for the transformation healing has brought in their lives. The tangible results they have seen, felt and experienced. However, this particular student, stuck to his guns, seeking out value for his money and a refund where the outcome was not what he bargained for.
“Isn’t that fair?” I thought to myself. “Why not have expectations of what you want to achieve through something you engage in? Why not refund the energy exchange if they haven’t received what they set out to achieve to begin with? These questions surfaced within my consciousness as I sat in the taxi rambling away towards the Ring Road.
If you don’t pay in terms of what you value, in what terms will you value what has been received?
A voice from deep within began to speak. In that moment, I knew it was time to listen, time to take note. In the age of smart phones, not having to rely on a note pad and pen I pulled out my iPhone and swiped open “Notes”.
And there it was, a note to Self:
“To begin with, you seem to be forgetting one of the most important, basic principles of healing— the healer is not the one doing the healing.” I heard this voice speak clearly.
Dissociated & detached (from all emotion), she (the voice) continued to shed more light: “One may argue that this is lofty, hiding behind all kinds of things. However, those of you who have experienced any transformation with healing— contemplate whether you are capable of making that transformation happen.”
She continued to speak within, with utmost clarity and no breaks of ‘ummms’ and ‘uhhhs’, “Nobody in this world can give guarantees for anything. You can only give a certain amount of assurance and that’s what the best of doctors do. Even a lawyer will never give you a “guarantee” about the outcome of your case. You will still engage the best lawyer in your capacity. You will similarly engage the best doctor that you can afford
Now, whether you choose to engage a homeopath, an Ayurved or an Allopath, is totally upto you. That choice is yours.
Similarly some people will buy shoes from roadside vendors and others only from luxury brands. The choice is always the customer’s. Why the same shoes/clothes/bags are for few Rs. 100 at a local vendor and why it costs 1000x or even 10,000x at a luxury store is not the question or is not questioned.
That said, healing is not a commodity. As maintained by some students (on this string of conversation), money is the recognised form of exchange in our world today. Call it what you like— fees, charges, cost or energy exchange. The terminology is immaterial. It is what it is.
It is termed as energy exchange to honour the energy that is at work. To detach it from the healer per-se. It is yet another reminder that: “I am not the doer”
No, that does not mean “I” do not care. In fact, on the contrary, just like in any other field, a practitioner (of the law, medicine or any other trade) is always keen that the customer is satisfied and gets what they want, a healer too wants the clients’ highest best.”
I continued listening to this voice, speaking faster than my fingers could type. Keeping up pace while fighting the dizziness from being in a moving vehicle, my fingers rattled on… “Nobody has a say over nature. Similarly, no doctor will guarantee that a (critical) patient will survive. In alternative healing too, there is no such guarantee, for the same reason. In fact, alternative healing will only make the patients’ suffering less. It will help reduce their pain and suffering while healing the root cause of the ailment.”
Personal experiences of clients who have healed from a range of illnesses began flashing before me… Stories of healing from simple colds, corns, fibromyalgia (autoimmune conditions that conventional medicine hasn’t been able to cure), PCOD, asthma, cancer, osteoporosis, depression, bad relationships, lack of money, eczema, you name it.
This witness consciousness, inner voice of mine continued on its monologue, “Why do healers charge what they charge- the bottom line is everyone works for a living and this is someone’s living just as your business or trade is your living. Nobody questions Zara’s prices over big bazaar’s (like Walmart) prices because the choice is yours. That said, some people choose to have fixed rates for their healing that come purely from a commercial stand point and I personally believe that’s fair. It’s a service like any other and everyone has the right to charge what they believe to be the right value. Similarly, it’s upto the service recipient to pick and choose a service provided; and their parameters can be whatever they choose them to be.
Still other healers/alternative practitioners charge what they are guided to charge and have no fixed rates. They follow what comes from within. Again the choice is upto oneself to take it or not.
Speaking of “returns”, Reiki or healing is not a commodity and is definitely intangible. Just as you can return a refrigerator and take your money back you cannot return energy even if you give the money back. That is the reason it is energy exchange. It is exchange for the energy spent or given. Once spent it cannot be returned. So a client must fully understand what healing entails before getting into it. Also, what is exorbitant for one may not be so for another. And what you place value on maybe of no value to another. So these are all extremely subjective terms.”
It seemed only natural to consolidate with my thoughts and learnings from what later appeared to be process, and so: “Personally, I believe it is only fair to lay everything out before a prospective client and let them make an informed decision.”
In the moment, there was a need to also address the anguish over healing and death (that was also raised in this string of conversation), so it continued to flow: “Reiki or healing is not for a specific outcome. It is for your highest best.We believe we know what is for our highest best. What if it is for the highest best for someone to pass over? Nobody knows what lies on that side of existence, do we? All we know is they’re not on this plane and so we resent death. (Reiki) will make that passing over more peaceful & less painful. This I can tell you from my personal experience of giving few people Reiki as they have passed over. At the end of the day, there’s only one thing to say:
Your journey will give you your own answer. Nobody’s answers will satisfy you the way what comes from your heart will. So cheers to your own personal and unique journey.”