Nondual Healing is a powerful path to facilitating foundational change and evolution – both internally within ourselves, and externally in all areas of our life.
Working with this paradigm, we learn to relate to ourselves and our difficulties in a new inclusive way that leads to profound transformation and Wholeness. We grow in wisdom and deepen our capacity for joy.
Nondual Healing: The Joyful Practice of a Healing Path
This article was written by JASON SHULMAN.
Jason Shulman is the founder and spiritual head of A Society of Souls (ASOS). One of the world's leading spiritual teachers, he is a rare combination of Dharma lineage holder and contemporary Kabbalah master. In this article, he describes his discovery of the path of Nondual Healing and how it is profoundly different from energy healing modalities
I'd like to begin with a quote from a Buddhist Sutra called 'The Flower Ornament Scripture':
As a child, I was interested in life and death. My earliest memories of thinking involve trying to figure out the notion of infinity. Whether it was the vast distances between galaxies, or the unknowable universe of death, my imagination was captured by trying to find out why we're here and where we were going.
Add to that the sufferings caused by an imperfect world and an imperfect upbringing, by the time I was seventeen, I was deeply involved in yoga, Zen meditation, and the philosophy of both theistic religions such as my birth religion Judaism and my found religions, principally Buddhism. My sense was always that the views of reality that both of these paths offered had to be, must be, one and the same thing.
Though I continued my spiritual and psychological studies from an early age right into my twenties and thirties, I had no interest in either being a healer or creating a new healing paradigm. This disinterest however, was not to be. The universe had other ideas, and presented them in the form of an illness that left me undefended and weakened for seven years. It was during that time that I began to study healing, applying all of my philosophical learning to the task.
At first, I learned other people's form of healing and while I was successful with them, and was grateful for the teachings, my own spiritual path and my increasing understanding of how I could use my own personal suffering to heal, continued to draw my attention.
Having studied Judaism as a child, in my teens and twenties I concentrated on Eastern paths. I learned yoga and became a yoga teacher. I studied Zen and had an intense, committed sitting practice for many years. I studied advaita and found teachers like Ramana Maharshi and Ramakrishna. I studied western psychological approaches to healing and entered a life-long relationship with therapy.
All of these approaches helped me become more whole, and perhaps because of that, though I still suffered the slings and arrows of being alive, I began to go back to investigate the mystical aspects of my birth religion.
I had always known about Kabbalah but it never captured me. I found it erudite, somewhat abstract and intellectual. I was interested in decreasing my own suffering and through my healership, the suffering of other people, and I could not fathom how Kabbalah could help that happen.
Then, one day in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a voice spoke to me. It didn't exactly speak, and it wasn't exactly heard. It was a revelation given to me, if you will, about how to view kabbalistic writing in a way that opened them all up to me so that they laid out clearly and sang with a clear and penetrating voice.
It was not as if the path of healing I went on to invent and discover was laid out for me: Instead, an approach to learning was laid out, as well as the end result. In other words, I saw the end clearly, as clearly as I see the screen of the computer I am typing these words on. I then had to walk the path toward that end, which took many years. In fact, I'm still walking. What emerged was a fully integrated path of healing based upon ancient sources, and own explorations.
People often ask me, what is the difference between other forms of healing and Nondual Healing? Really, it comes down to a few important principals. In energy healing, the healer channels some sort of energy or works with the subtle energy system of the client. This involves things like auric layers, chakra systems and the like.
Nondual Healing does not deal with the energy system directly. Instead, in Nondual Healing, the healer is holding different states of consciousness which invite different relationships with reality itself, whether we call this reality "God," or "awakening," or whatever. These states of consciousness cannot be "learned" exactly. The student goes through a rigorous process of self-discovery in order to be able to cleave to these states. In going through this training, the student is transformed and the transformative process itself is the learning.
For example, in the first year of training in Nondual Healing, the student learns about their historical wounding in a new and fresh way. Through this, they are able to become less reactive to the world and begin to see how to be present with these states of unity. In the second year, the student continues to learn about themselves but adds the first nondual healing and begins to learn about the diagnostic process, an exquisite process of intimacy that allows the healer to both know which of the many nondual healings are the ones that are appropriate while increasing the amount of relationship and freedom between healer and client. In this way, through years three and four…and beyond, since this is a path of healing that lasts a lifetime, the work goes on. At no time does Nondual Healing become formulaic. Through the integrity of the healer and the efficacy of the diagnostic process, the healing event is created anew each time the healer and healee sit down together.
In A Society of Souls, people remain Jews, Christians and Moslems and Buddhists. They remain doctors, nurses, massage therapists, psychotherapists, teachers and attorneys. Nondual Healing, even as a life path, is no impediment to, but rather enhances, more traditional paths and roles.
However, the technical details of Nondual Healing are less important than their reason for being. More important is the understanding that what I was about to present to the world could not be done by people who were not willing to make changes in their lives. There are many ways to re-write that sentence. We could say that Nondual Healings could only be done by people who allowed themselves to be transformed by the very healing journey they themselves were on. That Nondual Healing could not be done as a technique alone. That the healer had to truly learn what the Now was: that place that did not reject anything, past, present or future.
One of the things I understood in that flash in the mountains, was that the basis for kabbalah was the exploration of the essential characteristic of this universe: relationship. Kabbalah was not an abstruse, abstract teaching. Quite the contrary! The received aspect of the kabbalistic teachings from time immemorial were about how the universe is put together. Why everything from salt to water exists because things are in relationship with each other. Kabbalah was also about the ultimate relationship: the one between a man or woman and God. In fact, becoming a little more Buddhist for a moment, between all sentient beings and Reality.
So for the student of A Society of Souls, the study of Nondual Healing is the study of the self. The interesting and amazing thing is that as we study the self, the self changes! That is, when done correctly, and in a masterful setting, the inquiry into reality or God, or awakening or enlightenment¾it doesn't matter which word you use¾changes "the who" who is inquiring.
Students who go through the school start with their own selves as the laboratory they will deeply explore. By this deep study, they not only succeed in healing some of their own historical pain, but in doing that, reduce the amount of psychological projection and transference they visit upon the world, thus allowing themselves to see reality clearly.
This is an amazing and awe-inspiring thing. Imagine having a healing path that heals the healer so that the healer can see the world more in the way it was truly made. This means along with seeing personal suffering and suffering of others more clearly, God, the Real, whatever you'd like to call it, becomes a constant Presence, a companion, if you like, along the path of wholeness.
Through Nondual Healing, we get to see and participate in the Real, not because we have found a secret location, but because we have become real.
Because of the hard work, the enlivening work, the student puts in, they come to realize that in this nondual approach, the healer always gets healed along with the client. Without merging in a neurotic way, the true connection between ourselves and the world becomes apparent. The single origin of all things becomes a living experience.
In a sense, we could say that Nondual Healing¾which does not deal with energy systems, charkas, auras or the like¾is a healing of fractured consciousness, which is responsible for fracturing on other levels of being. So in Nondual Healing, we are seated in a place that is the factory in which energy and the like are made. We are at the deepest level of creativity, the same creativity that the Divine Spirit used to make the world.
If our school could be said to have a motto or saying, it would be that helpers and guides to other people must practice themselves; must be involved on a daily basis in healing themselves. To that end, we offer several modalities that are available to students in A Society of Souls: Nondual Healing, the Work of Return, a self-healing modality based on the kindness of the Great Mother; Impersonal Movement, our most advanced work, which gives the practitioner a physical understanding of the unitive state and most recently the MAGI Process, a way of working with personal and global conflict and change. This last work is available to all for free and can be found on the internet at www.magiprocess.com
Not all therapists work on their own mental health or work to have deep insight into their own psyches. Not all doctors practice what they preach regarding maintaining good health. Not all politicians have their constituents' best interests first and foremost. The list goes on.
In A Society of Souls however, this dictum has always been first and foremost: unless we change we cannot teach others to change. Unless we develop a kind heart toward ourselves, we cannot guide others to the same state. Only to the extent we are involved in healing our own body, mind and soul can we help others do the same.
My interest has always been very practical: I've wanted people to awaken to their true nature¾to find God, if you will¾and then, instead of turning that understanding back into the next Zen center or ashram, have a job! A job that uses our enlightenment and spreads it to others! A job, the practice of which, deepens our own connection to sanity, to health, to surrender to God. A job that allows us to be great and humble, the best of what it means to be a human.
Now, as Nondual Healing is beginning to spread around the world, I have high hopes. Daily, I speak to people whose lives have been changed by the study and practice of Nondual Healing. I don't know what the tipping point is or whether there will be a tipping point where there is more sanity in the world than insanity; where there is more healing than disease. I only know that step by step, enlightening beings proceed with vigor, stepping on each stone that takes them across the river.
Since my job now is to transmit this work to newly trained healers, graduates and future teachers, I thought it would be appropriate to end with a few words from one of them. The proof of any work is always found in the second generation, those who take the founder's work and make it their own…
For more information about Jason Shulman, Nondual Healing and A Society of Souls, visit: www.societyofsouls.com
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