My teacher, Zen Master Dae Gak, says that “Only Help” is wrong teaching. He gives he example of a caterpillar trying to turn into a butterfly. Eventually, the butterfly breaks open the shell that’s been protecting him, and with a lot of effort, unfolds itself, and eventually flies away. Of course, if you try to help this process you will only do more harm than good. The twin pillars of Buddhism are Wisdom and Compassion. Think about how best to heal, know how best to heal, or not to heal.
In my training as a phone counsellor, we were told never to try to help, only to support. The caller is her own best resource. By helping with advice, you take away from her own power. The next time she is in the same situation and you are not around, maybe she will be better off if you had affirmed her ability to do the work herself.
From a very enlarged point of view, why do people suffer? Maybe so we can better know how to help others in a similar situation in the future. Maybe human beings can never know. I once saw a seagull in the middle of a main road. I stopped the traffic and got the seagull to walk to the kerb. Its wings were wrapped around with fishing line. I didn’t have a knife, it was far from anywhere and that seagull had a very sharp-looking beak. So I left him on the side of the road. Later I thought that a swift death might have been what he was hoping for, instead of dying of starvation. I helped too much, or not enough. I certainly regret my action.
By helping people we are doing their homework for them. If you know me personally, you know that I have had my share of pain. But I don’t regret any of it. That’s because everything that has happened to me has brought me to where I am now. When I think of myself in my teens and early twenties, I think about what a colossal jerk I was. I needed to have my personality burned in a crucible. That’s homework no-one can do for you.
Some shamans say it’s ok to take over a woman’s soul for a week and enjoy her as if she were in love with you, and then release her soul. Both of you enjoy it, so where’s the harm, right? Imagine if that were you, being in love with some creepy guy, somehow being forced to enjoy his sexual whim, and at the end of a week, go back to your real life and face the music. Harmless fun? Yeah, maybe for him, no matter how he justifies it. “That’s just your opinion, man.”
I was healing a young woman a few days ago, and as always I asked her Spirit Guide: “What does my sister xxxxx need to do to heal herself? Please guide me.” The Guide said: “Nothing at all. She is doing just fine as she is. She has some life lessons to learn and some karma to face. But there is no extra action to be taken, other than to keep on as she is doing now.”
How do we know if someone wants to be healed or not? Say you’re sitting on the train and you see someone crying. Is it ok to heal them? It would be difficult to tap them on the shoulder and ask them. Tina Zion says you can ask them on a psychic level. If you see in your mind’s eye the word yes, or you hear it in a subtle way, or if someone near you is saying “Yes”, or you somehow know the answer is yes, then go ahead. If the answer is no, it’s no.
Is it OK to say: “I heal you to the extent that you permit me to”? No.
My mother in law was like that. She always somehow wanted me to take bath towels home with me after a weekend at her house. I already had a baby and a heavy bag, I didn’t need a ton of extra weight. She would literally chase me down the road with the towels. No means no, woman.
If someone says they want healing, then give it to them. If they say “no thank you” then don’t.