Q: What kind of problem does this model work for?
A: This model works for any problem or pain. Your problem can be physical, mental, emotional, interpersonal, or spiritual. It can be tiny, small, medium, large, or huge.
Q: Do I have to be in pain to practice this model?
A: No. Even though the universal healing wheel is PMQ or pain, method, quality, you can practice a method and quality when there is no pain. But don’t worry; there will be plenty of opportunities to practice the P in PMQ.
Q: How much do I have to practice PMQ before I feel better?
A: That depends on the size of your problem. Tiny problems can be managed easily and quickly. Big problems are locked in brain grooves that have a lot of power and will take a corresponding amount of work and time.
Q: How do I work through and past this painful problem so it doesn’t define me?
A: When we practice PMQ, we define the problem but do not focus there. We focus on love qualities, which are defined as the true self, higher self, or soul.
Q: You use the word universal a lot. What does this mean?
A: While we are unique and require individual support, this work speaks to what we all have in common. There are universal life problems and solutions. This workbook is about universal solutions to universal problems. We study universal recovery and healing principles, methods, and qualities. Everyone has pain (P) or the inevitable suffering of life and reactivity. The methods (M) and Qualities (Q) are likewise universal. This is how we can address everyone’s issues.
Q: Is unconditional love or even-mindedness under all conditions repression or denial?
A: Spiritual talk divorced from the human condition can sometimes sound inhuman or robotlike. This work embraces the human condition and acknowledges our imperfections and the inevitability of suffering. At the same time, we can reduce unnecessary reactivity, become more loving, and help others in increasingly sophisticated ways. While we have to have pain, we can create an enlarged compassionate space to hold all.
Q: I worry about ego reduction and soul expansion. Will I be boring without a personality?
A: You will not lose your individuality or personality. You will reduce that part of your ego that causes unnecessary pain for others and yourself. Everything else improves. You will feel better and become a better person. There will be more peace, love, joy, power, and wisdom. You may even have a superconscious experience.
Q: Are there any shortcuts?
A: If you try to avoid pain that you need to face, you make it worse. This work is devoted to helping you face your pain and manage it skillfully. Life will still be hard but skillful pain management will give you the easiest possible ride.
Q: Do you teach yoga?
A: Yes, but not Hatha Yoga. I teach Mental Yoga. In Mental Yoga, we use will and thought to stay even-minded and positive under all conditions of the world and body.
Each of the methods described in this work have to do with adapting an inner stance of strength and peace no matter what problems life presents. When we cannot change an outer condition, we retain the freedom to choose our inner response. We cannot control everything in our environment or bodies, but we always have control over will and thought. This is where the battle is fought and won.
Events and our mental-emotional reactions to those events cause us to lose sight of the Omnipresent peace and wisdom of the soul. Meditation, mindfulness, affirmations, and the other methods described in this work, help us reduce our reactivity and move towards, and finally into, the permanent peace of the soul. The advanced practitioner of mental yoga remains positive, peaceful, and poised no matter what life throws.
Q: If God is love, how can there be so much suffering and evil in this world?
A: For many people, this question is the biggest barrier to beginning a spiritual practice. Here are four possible explanations:
- The mystery: There is a God of Love, but we cannot answer the question of why there is so much evil and suffering because His ways are mysterious. There are tests and trials but their purpose is beyond our understanding. God works in strange and mysterious ways.
- Karma and reincarnation: Karma is the law of cause and effect, and reincarnation is the transmigration of the soul. There is free will and choice. Good choices lead to good consequences, and bad choices lead to bad consequences. As you sow, so shall you reap. The soul reincarnates until we work out our negative karma, the related consequences of sin, through meditation, love, and service.
- Agnosticism: An agnostic claims the existence of God is unknown.
Atheism: An atheist believes that there is no God and that events occur at random.
In any case, each of us has to struggle with the challenges life brings without fully understanding why. To grow spiritually, we don’t need answers to all of our questions. Nor do we need theological constructs or dogma. We do need to discern our problems, develop a spiritual practice, and cultivate spiritual qualities. We can do this whether or not we believe in God, karma, or grace.
The centerpiece of this model is choosing a problem, method, and quality. Then we can add our concept of God, karma, and grace or float all questions in the mystery. Pain is the teacher and stimulant for the cultivation of spiritual qualities. We can cultivate love, compassion, kindness, and courage in response to tests and challenges, without knowing answers to all of the questions. Whether or not we believe in God, we can always find problems, develop a spiritual practice, and cultivate spiritual qualities.
Q: Does it matter if I am practicing a particular religion?
A: No. "Healing Power: Ten Steps to Pain Management and Spiritual Evolution" is an instruction manual. It gives step-by-step processes and examples of bringing spiritual concepts from the lofty penthouse to the ground floor of the daily routines of life. The aim of this work is not conversion, but rather inciting individuals to spiritual action and healing within their preferred system. For those building a personal spiritual program, this work offers a variety of ideas and methods to explore and practice. Other readers brought up in one of the world’s great traditions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism, may be interested in adding universal spiritual principles and methods that will enhance their established belief system. In either case, whether you are building a program of your own or working from within a particular religion, spiritual practice will augment and intensify your healing power for its work on body, mind, and soul.
Q: How can I tell if I am making progress on the spiritual path?
A: Progress on the spiritual path can be measured by the expansion of healing qualities. This occurs in four stages.
- In the first stage, we experience nothing. There is expansion of love, courage, peace, and strength, but the increase is subtle and imperceptible.
- In stage two, we feel these qualities expanding. This experience is tangible, concrete, and unmistakable.
- In stage three, there is a distinct transformation of consciousness. We experience unfathomable stillness, the changeless peace of the soul, ecstatic love, pure joy, intuitive wisdom, cosmic sound, divine light, oneness with everything, disembodied consciousness, and other wonderful expressions of Spirit.
- A sustained state of superconsciousness.
Although our experience is tangible in stage two and dramatic in stage three, the growth of spiritual qualities is slow. Do not expect results right away. There will be times when we think we are not moving at all. Sometimes we slip backwards, but sometimes we have to go backwards in order to go forward, and all effort is progress.
When we make the effort, we are advancing, even when we can’t see it. If we keep going, we will eventually see progress. Each time we practice affirmations, meditation, prayer, mindfulness, service, or other spiritual methods, we are putting wisdom, strength, courage, and other currency in our spiritual bank account. When the time comes and credit is due, we can take them out.
Spiritual work is lifelong and continuous. This is not something we do for a few weeks or months. Life is always school. The only question is whether we attend the classes, do the homework, and pass the tests. If we do the work, one by one our problems are contained, reduced, pulverized, or dissolved, and replaced by positive qualities and habits. Eventually we achieve mastery, a state of sustained superconsciousness in both meditation and activity.
Q: Do I have to go to a group? Can I do this work alone?
A: We do not need a group. We can do this work at home, alone. However, the support of like-minded people is often very helpful on the spiritual path. In spiritual life, it is important to find people who have similar ideas, aspirations, and practices. The spiritual path is difficult. There are barriers, tests, trials, and temptations that lead us off the path.
For support and encouragement, we need a network of people who love, care, understand and forgive. When we see spiritual qualities such as strength, courage, and humor manifested in others, we gain the necessary guidance and inspiration to keep going, no matter what form resistance may take.
Q: What would you like to see happen as a result of your book and institute? What is your vision?
A: The purpose of the work is to share the model with a wider audience, those interested in doing spiritual work to stimulate healing power.
The model is for group or personal use.
Healthcare professionals and physicians can teach the ten steps to their patients in hospitals and clinics.
The model is also suited for self-help groups in the community. I envision self-help groups cropping up wherever there is interest. All one has to do is buy a book and start a spiritual practice. Then find some others to do this work with you, form a group, and follow the group guidelines. Its all set up and ready to go. You just need a book, some like-minded people, and a living room in somebody’s house. There are no other expenses or requirements. Healing power is in each one of us, always accessible, waiting to be tapped, free of cost.