It is not often that you have a gathering of people open to new and unusual ideas. So it was with some excitement that I approached the rare chance to do some field research while I was teaching in Thailand last summer.
Fifty people from Holland and Italy came to Chiang Mai for a two-week retreat. They were doctors, practitioners of various techniques, but mostly just people who wanted to expand their awareness. Although my presentations were based on my 'Intention in Action' method as a healing technique I was curious to see what reaction the group might have to discussions on spirit release.
Normally I am very cautious about discussing the possibility of attachment with private clients or before large groups, not wishing to plant suggestions. We can never be sure that what we assume is exactly what is happening. Therefore the idea of spirit involvement needs to come from the client and not from the practitioner in the first instance - whether we think that is the problem or not.
As most of us know, in these talks there are usually a few people who form an undercurrent of chat, others become fidgety, outright yawning or holding a superior expression of knowing it already. However, the night I talked of spirit release no one fluttered an eyelid for the whole hour and a half. And inside myself I knew then that this group would be open to learn about the release of spirits because all of them were attracted to the "Power Of Love" which was the name of the retreat. I didn't need to explain much because the power of love is the core of my approach.
But the next day and for a long time afterward, in the tropical setting of the Tao Garden, surrounded by untold numbers of butterflies, freedom from mosquitoes and with organic food on hand, one or another person would look for ways to find me sitting by myself, walking in the banana palms or eating quietly, to share a story of personal tragedy, confusion, deep sorrow or desperation.
Perhaps some of them didn't feel confident to ask for help directly. Yet they each knew they had finally found a way to let go of their strange stories and it would come bursting out of them.
What was astonishing was that more than 30% of the group had such stories to tell. Most had spent large parts of their lives in fear of discovery, in fear of incarceration in a mental hospital or facing a lifetime of drug taking.
A Flashback ... While I was listening a memory from my past practice came into my mind. One very overweight Papua New Guinean woman came to see me in my clinic in Sydney. She desperately wanted to lose weight because she could no longer fit into an aeroplane seat. It meant she had great difficulty to travel to her home country to do her spiritual work. She was distressed because she was the only person from her village who was initiated into the ways of helping the spirit of a dying person on its way.
Everyone in her country, in contrast to European culture, is sure that spirits can get stuck and cause problems if they are not helped by specially trained people. In Thailand the people are very aware of the same problem but they have a different solution. Every house, hotel or commercial building has a tiny ornate house in the garden or nearby, especially provided for the spirit's use.
Back To Thailand ... As I sat in the early evening a monsoon shower was disappearing over the rice paddies, the gentle slap, slap of feeding fish in the pond close by and the homely sounds of a late supper being prepared contrasted with the air thick with the human pain which had been carried for years. A woman called Monique came and sat by me watching the fish for a long time. She began to tell me that at first during my talk she had became terrified. She had swept her eyes around the other listeners sure that they had spotted her discomfit. She did not sleep that night. For years, ever since her alcoholic mother had died, she had felt her presence as a heavy knot in her stomach. She could never make her own decisions; she was pushed to do things only as her mother would have wanted.
Up till now she had heard only the theatrical approach through films such as 'Ghost' or 'Sixth Sense' and she was definitely panicked by the idea that she might be the next candidate for exorcism or worse.
For two days after the talk she was absolutely paralysed with stomach ache and fear. During my next group presentation she was lying on the mattresses in the corner of the big meditation hall and only then did she ask me for help. I spent twenty minutes with her and this is where Intentional Healing the power of love comes in. While I'm with a client I drop any desire to investigate, cross-question or apply rituals and religious icons. Then the overpowering wish of the universe to lead towards the appropriate outcome takes place.
My state, when working, is contagious. Monique only needed to relax into the calm state I was generating for release of whatever it was that was bothering her. Of course this requires training on the part of the practitioner. Becoming detached from the outcome is the first and most difficult lesson. This cannot be learnt on an intellectual level, it can only be transmitted directly from the teacher to the student. Allowing all that is, to take place, is a simple technique but it may take years of practice. On the way back to Holland in the aeroplane, Monique was telling her friends about the mixed feelings she had had. At the same time on one side she was feeling empty and grieving and on the other, happy that from now on she could take charge of her life.
Yvonne did not tell me why, but two days after the talk she was in the swimming pool and was drawn to come to the place I was giving private sessions. She was in tears and asked my assistant if she could just lie down and listen to the 'Mind Music'.
Because I was working with eight people in a group I did not know she had only come to rest and I began working with her. Immediately her body became tense, convulsing, distorting her face. She began making primitive sounds and her hands began clasping some invisible matter. Her head swung violently from side to side, lifting up and banging roughly on the cushion.
It was not a time for counselling! In silence I periodically lightly touched her shoulders, offering reassurance and directing her breathing. Slowly, very slowly she calmed down. Her breathing quieted, her pulse slowed and she lay quietly for 45 minutes.
She later told me that once on holiday in France, as she fell asleep, she felt something push against her, from then on she could feel a dark presence around her.
After the dramatic release she felt light and expanded.
Mark, (28), also chose not to tell me his problem before lying down and this was acceptable since it is never my business why someone asks for help. However he took me aside as he came out of the session and eagerly told me, "Now I know I'm not insane!". His agony had begun at puberty. He told me, "Occasionally I would get up in the morning and in the mirror I would see my eyes had turned green from their usual brown."
On those days he would do 'insane' things. It might last a day or a week, then he would return to his 'normal' self as a quiet timid boy and his eyes would become brown again.
Now, in the safety of revelation, he described the healing sensation as though a worm had wriggled into his left eye, behind his sinuses and out the right eye. Weeks later he still feels unsettled but has never had the old trouble again and describes his life as 'a new person, living free'.
Rafa is an endocrinologist. Since the teaching in Thailand she says, "If I cannot match up the symptoms in a case, I use Clif's method with great results".
The power of love inspired all the members of the group to deeply understand the concept of spirit and spirit release. Those who had not had been troubled by spirit attachment could provide support and compassion towards those who had dramatic stories.
That feeling made us also realize that it doesn't matter which country or culture we grew up in, we are indeed all members of the human 'Tribe'.