Major Test of Faith #1: Leaving Teaching and Going to Healing School June 1990 – May 1991
It was my 30th birthday (April 1990), and my girlfriend at the time threw me a surprise birthday party (really, it was a dinner with about 8 close friends). That day, I had appeared with my students on television, performing an innovative Earth Day skit. These were students that were part of a visionary senior elective course I had created to sensitize students to the impact of science and technology on humanity. I had won a Creative Teachers Award for a project I had done with this class the previous year, and now we were on live TV. I was personally interviewed before my students performed, and all 8 friends at my party had seen the broadcast. It was a triumphant moment for me, the culmination of many years of extremely hard work, often going against the grain of traditional academia.
I felt like a survivor, and was now receiving public acknowledgement for all my hard work and educational innovation.
I had 5 years under my belt of successful teaching, I had completed my undergraduate and masters degree, had been an innovator in many ways as a teacher, and was in a solid relationship with a good woman.
It seemed to most outsiders that I was moving very smoothly towards a great career and a great life.
I had already signed my contract to teach for the following school year, so I was completely set for my immediate future.
Ah, but alas, the Universe had other plans for me !
Underneath all of this apparent smooth-life progression, lay my still-baffled mind, that was blown away at the Easter Aquhorthies stone circle in Scotland 2 years earlier.
I had tried very hard over the past 2 years to put this experience out of my mind and follow a ‘normal’ career and relationship path.
But Memorial Day 1990 was another major turning point in my spiritual journey.
On this day, my girlfriend and I went to visit a “Sufi Center” called “The Abode of the Message” in New Lebanon, NY. “Sufism” is a mystical branch of Islam. My girlfriend’s brother was a teacher in the Sufi Tradition, and often gave workshops at “The Abode”.
I had no inkling that waiting for me at “The Abode” was my next major spiritual wake-up call.
I personally didn’t have much interest in the Sufi tradition, but having just completed 5+ years of what I referred to in Chapter 2 as my “Metaphysical Learning Explosion”, I was basically open to trying anything that had some connection to spirituality.
So with an open mind, I readily accepted an invitation to participate in the Sufi spiritual practice of “Whirling Dervish Dancing”.
Spinning around and around in a dance seemed innocent enough. So I thought !
Halfway through the spinning ritual, I started to float out of my body, and went into a altered state of consciousness probably equivalent to a hallucinogenic drug experience, except without any drugs.
Still I was conscious and aware of myself and my surroundings, and amazingly able to navigate my life, while simultaneously floating in this hallucinogenic state.
And this altered state of consciousness lasted over a week !
Somehow, I just “knew” I was having another spiritual wake-up call like my Scottish stone circle experience 2 years earlier.
I felt deep down inside me, that I was having some sort of ‘Shamanic Initiation’ and that I was being selected to begin some massive Spiritual/ Shamanic training from The Universe.
Crazy as it may seem, I just ‘knew’ I had to leave teaching and “Follow the Universe” from this point on.
Fortunately, my school allowed me to back out of the teaching contract that I had already signed for the following year.
And just like that, I was free to “Follow the Universe”.
With very little savings, I decided to spend what little I had, and apply to the 1st year of a 4-year Energy Healing School on Long Island, which I started in September of 1990.
To back up a little, one of the reasons I chose to attend this Energy Healing school was to complete a chapter of
a book I was trying to get published. This book was originally my Masters Thesis for my degree in Environmental
Educational Philosophy (M.A. in Education, 1989).
Essentially, I was trying to find archeological, anthropological, mythological, and metaphysical evidence that ‘pre-patriarchal’ peoples (essentially Neolithic and Paleolithic peoples) perceived the world in terms of “Energy Flow”.
In particular, I was focusing on the “Flow of Earth Energies at Sacred Neolithic sites”, having had my mind blown at the Scottish stone circle a year earlier.
Indeed, one of my main purposes for undertaking the ambitious, solo backpacking ‘expedition’ to the stone circles, was to nail down the direction of my Masters Thesis, which was due the following year.
The book was preliminarily named “The Neolithic Paradigm of Energy Flow: Reclaiming the Ancient Feminine Vision”. It was over 200 pages and had some ambitious images displayed in the middle.
I sent it to a number of literary agents, and two agents got back to me. Both agents, as I recall, zeroed in on one chapter in particular, where I had essentially paraphrased one too many quotes from a recently published book by a famous Energy Healer, who just happened to have her healing school on Long Island where I was living.
It was gradually dawning on me that my theory of “The Neolithic Paradigm of Energy Flow” was really half-baked!
To get some perspective on my theory, I decided to call Starhawk, a powerful healer and spiritual visionary,
and author of the popular book “The Spiral Dance”. I had the immense privilege of audio recording her 2 summers earlier at the upstate New York New Age center I described in Chapter 2.
It was a week-long workshop with about 50 participants, focused on Ritual and Mask-making.
Starhawk was often in a deep trance while leading rituals, and somehow she trusted me with being just a few inches behind her, making sure she didn’t trip on the microphone wire. By the end of the week, the group had
accepted me as one of them, even coaxing me into the circle during the closing ritual where I expressed
my appreciation by doing a celebratory dance around the circle to acknowledge all the positive energy the group had shown to me, the ‘audio recording guy’!
Wikipedia describes Starhawk as: an American feminist and author. She is known as a theorist of feminist Neopaganism and ecofeminism. In 2013, she was listed in Watkins’ Mind Body Spirit magazine as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People.
During this phone conversation, Starhawk relieved me of my half-baked theory, essentially making the case
that energy was not only revered by ancient cultures in it’s ‘Flowing’ form, but just as importantly, in it’s more solid ‘Geometric’ Form.
I knew she was right, so I temporarily, and over time permanently, abandoned the book.
So instead of trying to complete the book, I chose to see if I too could actually experience the amazing metaphysical states of consciousness that this famous Energy Healer had described in the quotes I had so enthusiastically paraphrased.
So off I went, spending all my savings, to Energy Healing school!
Way too many incredible spiritual openings happened to me during this 1st year of Energy Healing School to describe here. In fact, amazing spiritual experiences happened to me so often during this year that, after a while, I just stopped being amazed by them. They all began to seem “normal” to me from this point onward.
I was surrounded by about 200 other freshman energy healing students, and there were hundreds more upper-classmen and graduates of the school, all of whom were presumably having their own ‘trainings by the Universe’. So were my experiences somehow special and unique, I was asking myself ?
I will convey one incident to you that might give you some sense of how things evolved for me during this 1st year.
Fairly late in the 1st year, the main teacher was demonstrating a new healing technique up in front of the room while we 200 students were partnered-up to practice the technique.
Now, to fully understand this event, you should realize that the main teacher was psychic, saw auras, heard guidance from the spiritual world, and ‘channeled’ a spirit being who gave lectures on a regular basis.
So it was the same with the many upper-class assistants who were spread out among us 200 freshman: many of these assistants were also psychic, saw auras, heard guidance from the spiritual world, and ‘channeled’ spirit beings.
So during this particular demonstration from the teacher, one of the upper-class assistants who I had virtually no previous interactions with, walked over to me and quietly whispered in my ear:
“YOU don’t do this healing technique the way the teacher is teaching it ! The spirit world is telling me to give you this image that YOU use to do this type of healing. This is how you did this kind of healing in past lifetimes”.
Wow, what a mind blower !
Here I was, just a freshman among 200 other freshman, and hundreds of other upper-classmen and graduates, hearing from an upper-classman that the spiritual world specifically ‘told’ her to walk over to me and tell me that I use a different image to do this type of healing, and that this was how I did this healing in past lifetimes.
Again, WHAT A MIND BLOWER !
I used the imagery that she ‘channeled’ for me, and the healing worked perfectly.
Then the upper-class assistant walked away and I was never to have another interaction with her again.
But my life was changed forever after that intervention and communication from the spiritual world that was ‘channeled’ JUST FOR ME !
I just ‘knew’ that from that moment on I was going to be trained directly by the spiritual world and that I wouldn’t be needing any more teachers, schools, or books for my training.
I somehow understood that ‘The Universe’ had brought me to this school so that I could learn the basics of energy healing, and that at a certain point towards the end of the 1st year, I was to say goodbye to this teacher and this school, and walk alone from this point on.
I should explain at this point, that I refer to the spiritual guide – inner voice I hear as “The Universe” guiding me.
As mentioned before, the teacher at the healing school I attended channeled a specific being as her spiritual guide. This spirit being had a specific name.
As well, many ‘channels’ or ‘mediums’ connect with spiritual guides that also have specific names.
I simply refer to my spiritual guides as ‘The Universe’, a term that I will be using a lot throughout the remainder of my story.
But if I thought that I was some special, fully-developed energy healer, who was now ready to step out into the world and do miraculous healings on people, boy was I mistaken !
I would soon discover that I was just a toddler as an energy healer….and that it would take many difficult ‘Trials By Fire” from that time through 1994, as well as many more years of intense inner meditation and transformation work, for the Universe to give me the ‘green light’ to do more extensive healing work for people on this planet.
Needless to say, I didn’t complete my 1st year of Energy Healing School. Instead, I followed my inner ‘guidance’, which ‘told’ me that I had learned what I needed to learn from this school, and the remaining 3 years of the school had knowledge that I wouldn’t need to develop, indeed resurrect, my unique approach to Energy Healing, an approach which apparently I had developed in past lifetimes.
To be fair, I have continuing respect for any student who graduates from this 4-year healing school, which I still feel offers a truly amazing training. I also have this same ongoing respect for the famous Energy Healer who founded this school. Thank you for all I received during my time with you and your school!
And so I moved on…
Like the school’s teacher and her upper class assistants, I was now very psychic, I was seeing auras (partially), I was receiving guidance from the spiritual world, and I was ‘channeling’ spirit beings.
7 months earlier, I had NONE of these abilities.
So here I was 7 months later, a “walking-talking-psychic-channeling-oddity” that no one in my family nor my friends recognized anymore !
The spiritual “Trials By Fire” that the Universe had in store for me over the next several years were many.
Some of these “Trials By Fire” required extraordinary faith, courage and surrender to ‘Pass the Test’.
What follows are some of the ‘Trials By Fire’ that the Universe put me through.