*Adya Sampradaya comes from the Sanskrit Language. Adya means original or primal. And Sampradaya means cherished knowledge given forth carefully. Each edition features articles on healing and personal growth, traditional wisdom from around the world and the news that affects our lives.
"Ben Oofana is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. He walks his talk and it all comes from his heart."
"Ben helped me get my life back. When we first met I was a confused, angry and broken person and my body reflected all of this pain. I was also very determined to heal. Session by session, Ben gently and patiently guided me through the process of opening up to the pain, releasing it and replacing it with what was important to me. I began to feel less fragmented, more whole; living less in the past and more in the present.
Ben’s medicine is strong; it is a process that requires commitment and taking responsibility for yourself.
That is true healing.'
"I had a very difficult childhood and before meeting Ben I often felt that I was looking at the world through a window, or that it was only a dream. I also had a low tolerance for stressful situations and would be completely worn out after a tough day.
After two sessions with Ben I noticed that I no longer had the feeling of being separate from the world around me and I cope with stress and conflict much more easily now."
The Magical Cure For All Of Our Relationship Issues
Ava was in a very difficult space when she first showed up for class. Her boyfriend of the past two years had recently broken off the relationship. The overwhelming feelings of grief and loss were making it very difficult for her to sleep at night. Ava wasn't eating much and had lost a considerable amount of weight. She was also finding it very difficult to function.
I asked Ava to close her eyes and bring her former partner into her awareness and then tell me how she was feeling in response to what had taken place. Ava told me that she was experiencing a great deal of pain in the middle of her chest. I had her breathe into those feelings for about ten minutes and then I checked in to see how she was doing. Ava told me that the pain had softened and that she was beginning to feel a sense of calm.
Ava showed up again in class two weeks later. This time she began to talk about another breakup she had gone through a few years prior. Ava's friends had encouraged her to come out and party with them and forget about the boyfriend. She spent the next few months self-medicating by drinking heavily to escape the pain and sorrow of her loss.\
Ava has never learned how to deal with her emotions and that has prevented her from healing or resolving the underlying issues. Her most recent boyfriend accused her of taking out all of her leftover anger and frustration on him. She came to the realization that the emotions and issues connected to past losses and other unresolved internal conflicts had spilled over into her most recent relationship. These unresolved conflicts created a great deal of additional stress that eventually precipitated the breakup of the relationship.
Many of the people who come to my classes have been deeply hurt. Some have struggled with the same patterns of rejection, abandonment and unrequited love throughout their lives. They may also have a history of attracting abusive partners. But they do not possess the understanding or the resources that would enable them to heal the wounds and turn their lives around.
Many of us have become so resistant to experiencing our true feelings and this resistance is our greatest impediment to healing. The emotions we bury inside ourselves prevent us from recognizing or healing the patterns that we are enacting in our relationships. They also blind us so that we cannot see our partners for who they truly are.
Those of us who do not learn to “digest” our feelings and life experiences will never heal the hurt or resolve the underlying issues. The pain and confusion will remain trapped within our bodies indefinitely, causing the dysfunctional patterns to become more deeply entrenched. Parts of our consciousness freeze up around these emotional wounds and may prevent us from ever learning or growing.
Painful emotions that we fail to process become the driving force that fuels our dysfunction. The grief and pain held within causes us to continually reenact our patterns of abandonment, rejection and unrequited love. The pain of past abuse also causes us to attract more abusive partners who will invariably inflict more pain. Some of us will isolate by building walls around ourselves to keep other people from getting too close so we don't get hurt again.
Our thoughts, feelings and life experiences need to be digested and assimilated. Healing can only take place when we become fully present by completely experiencing what we truly feel.
Every person's experience of healing will vary. I've worked with many people after going through a breakup or divorce. Some are able to bounce back and get on with their lives after a few healing sessions. The healing process can take years for people, such as myself who have experienced significant trauma in their lives.
For years I found myself attracted to unavailable and abusive women who reenacted the traumas of my childhood and adolescence. The emotions that surfaced were excruciatingly painful and I didn't know how to help myself. I often felt like I was flailing in the dark. I began to work with a psychotherapist who helped me gain an intellectual understanding of the abuse I had gone through and how it was affecting me, but it did nothing to alleviate the painful emotions that left me feeling so incapacitated.
I felt as if I had fallen into the abyss. The feelings that surfaced were excruciatingly painful and were sometimes accompanied by graphic suicidal images. The painful feelings often lasted for hours and sometimes went on for days. There were many nights when I couldn't sleep and I sometimes wondered if I was going over the edge.
I had an instinctive sense that I needed to let down all resistance by fully experiencing the painful feelings that were surfacing. I did that by breathing softly and deeply while fully immersing myself in the middle of any feelings or sensations that I experienced within my body. After some time I could feel something breaking open. Powerful emanations of warmth started to flow from within. I began to trust that a greater intelligence was working within to facilitate my healing as this comforting presence flowed throughout my body.
A woman I had been seeing abruptly dropped out of the picture during this time. One evening, I felt I had to get out of the house and found myself breathing into the painful feelings of loss as I walked through the streets of our neighborhood. All the emotions and energies held within began to circulate throughout my physical and subtle bodies which helped to diffuse the painful feelings and make the whole process of digestion more manageable. I would often go out to do this walking meditation for two to three hours at a time.
Patterns of rejection, abandonment and unrequited love and those that cause us to attract unavailable and abusive partners begin to develop within our bodies and mind because we have been seriously wounded at some point in our lives. These patterns can be very difficult to change because they are so deeply ingrained or “hardwired” in our neurology.
The women I found myself attracted to during these times were not well suited for me, but in many instances I kept trying to make things work until the whole thing finally blew up in my face. The projections from my subconscious mind were so powerful. I felt as if I depended upon these women to make me complete and it felt as if I were dying inside when the whole thing finally crashed. Breathing into the feelings helped to soften the pain, but I kept repeating the same pattern. Reenacting these patterns over and over again kept re-traumatizing me.
I finally came to the realization that I could not completely heal on my own and I needed outside intervention to change these deeply entrenched patterns. I started receiving deep tissue body work at regular intervals. Receiving bodywork on a consistent basis brought the emotions held within my body up to the surface so I could process them. Processing these emotions opened space within so I could begin to inhabit my body. Receiving bodywork also gave me the opportunity to experience the much needed human touch and that made it easier for me to associate comfort and pleasure with being present within my physical body.
I lived in Kansas City, Missouri for a few years and later moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Every now and then a healer would come to town. I had the opportunity to work with the Philippino psychic surgeon Brother Max. I also received a session from Mauricio Panisset who was known as “The Man of Light.” Bright lights could be seen flashing from parts of Mauricio's body like lightening during the healing sessions. The healing sessions helped to dismantle the dysfunctional patterns that had become so deeply ingrained within my body-mind. But I would often have to wait six months to a year between sessions and that just wasn't enough. I needed to be receiving healing sessions on a regular basis.
I'm very fortunate to have also had the opportunity to train with Horace Daukei, the last surviving traditional doctor among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Native doctors had gone for centuries on the vision quests where they fast alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food or water. It was during the vision quests that they received the powerful gifts that allowed them to facilitate healing within others.
Horace had taken me on vision quests years before. I felt intimidated by the thought of going again, but I experienced such an incredibly strong pull to come back to the mountain for another vision quest.
Every vision quest has its own theme. I can feel other forces or beings working within my body-mind to facilitate healing while I'm on the mountain. Parts of my life begin to flash before my eyes and then I will experience a whole succession of feelings and images. In many instances these feelings and images are connected to past traumas or times when I felt hurt, betrayed or taken advantage of. It feels as if my whole body-mind operating system is being reformatted as past experiences and the memories and emotions connected to them heal.
People have often asked me about going on a vision quest and many have told me they didn't think they could make it through such an intense process. The vision quest is too intense for most people, but some individuals could work up to it if they are in very good shape physically and if they commit themselves of doing years of intensive practice and healing sessions to prepare their body and mind.
The vision quest is the most intensely powerful healing practice that one can ever do, but it's not absolutely necessary for an individual to do it. Many of the benefits that I derive from going on the vision quest are passed on to people that I work with. People who come to me for healing sessions experience the same kinds of changes in their own lives.
Engaging in sports, yoga or any other form of enjoyable physical activity is an important part of healing because it helps to root us into our physical bodies. I began to train with Shifu Li Tai Liang in the Internal Martial Arts of Xin Yi Quan, Baguazhang, Tai Chi and Chi Gong in December of 2003. I started slow and gradually worked my way up. Now I'm doing hours of intensive practice on a daily basis.
Practices such as Chi Gong and Pranayama were developed in China and India thousands of years ago. These forms of internal practice help us to utilize the subtle particles of life force from the heavens and Earth to develop our minds and nourish the internal organs and systems of the body. Practitioners of the Internal fighting arts such as Xin Yi Quan, Baguazhang and Tai Chi utilize the subtle life force to greatly amplify their power and effectiveness.
Working with Chi Gong practices to build power within the dan tien has helped to awaken the consciousness in my lower abdominal region where I was holding much of the pain and trauma of my past. Bringing consciousness into these areas has made it possible for me to get in touch with and heal wounded parts of myself that I could not access before. Doing consistent Chi Gong practices also helped me to build power within the dan tien and to become much more present within my body. I started getting a lot more attention from women as that happened.
I would be receiving healing sessions at least once a month if I had access to healers like Mauricio Panisset and Brother Max, but I rarely encounter people who work at these levels. One of my Sri Lankan friends told me about the Buddhist Monk Gnanasumana Thero who is also a very powerful healer. I went to see him fourteen times in one month while I was staying in Sri Lanka. I could definitely feel that I had broken through a lot of barriers after going through the fourteen sessions. I went back and did another twelve sessions when I returned to Sri Lanka a few months later.
I go on vision quests in the spring and fall. I can feel myself processing huge amounts of stuff while I'm on the mountain and during the month afterwards, but then I'll have to wait another five or six months to go on the next vision quest. I'm faced with all kinds of challenges on a daily basis and I'm willing take advantage of all the assistance I can get to keep me moving forward.
Yagyas (Yagnas) are an ancient Vedic healing practice that has been performed for thousands of years. They are conducted by highly trained Vedic Pandits who chant specific Sanskrit mantras which are comprised of sacred sounds that call form into manifestation. Yagyas are performed to neutralize the negative karmic patterns that create pain, suffering, obstacles and difficulties by initiating a process of divine intervention. My favorite yagya is the Maha Chandi which invokes the force of the Goddess Durga because I find it to be the most effective one for cutting through the heavy karmic baggage that creates so much pain and suffering in our lives. To learn more about yagyas I recommend going to http://www.jyotish-yagya.com/
I also know of people who have gone through tremendous change as a result of doing intensive ritual practices that involve a lot of visualization. Some also incorporate affirmations into their daily regimen. Others have had success working with mantras. The effect of the mantras is very subtle, but in many ways is like taking a homeopathic remedy. Those of us who truly want the change will find a way to make it happen. It's important for us to be open to doing whatever works.
Training in the Internal Martial Arts, having yagyas performed for me, receiving healing sessions and going on vision quests is very expensive. Yagyas can range anywhere from three to eleven hundred dollars. Yes, that is a lot of money, but I have a Hindu Priest chanting for me about eight hours a day and I can feel a very powerful process of change taking place within me as a result. I often spend between seven and nine hundred dollars by the time I pay for the flight, rental car and accommodations when I return to Oklahoma to go on a vision quest. I pay about a hundred dollars a week to continue my training with Shifu Li Tai Liang. Healing ourselves requires a great deal of discipline and commitment. My greatest commitment is to heal, grow and realize my full potential and I'm willing to do the intensive practices, fork out the dough or do whatever else is required to make that happen.
Many westerners are so stuck in their heads because they have disconnected from their feelings and physical bodies. People often come to my classes looking for some kind of magical realization that will solve all of their relationship problems.
There is no magical realization and we are never going to think our way out of patterns of rejection, abandonment or unrequited love. Obsessively analyzing our partners will never change them. Intellectual understanding alone will not stop us from attracting and being attracted to abusive partners. We need to be doing the kinds of intensive practices that will enable us to heal the wounded parts of ourselves, awaken the consciousness within our bodies and become more present.
People often whine about how horrible their love life is, but many are not willing to do the hard work that is required to heal and transform themselves and their lives. Many have said things to me like “I don't want to work that hard.” But when I look at them I see all the confusion, pain and stress they are holding within their bodies and I see how much suffering that is creating in their lives.
One of the people I have been working with recently said to me “I don't have hours and hours to do all of these practices.” I looked back and her and said “How many hours are you spending feeling horribly anxious and depressed?” She admitted that she was spending a great deal of time feeling horrible. I then said “It's going to take a lot of time either way. Do you want to waste your time reinforcing your suffering by continually recreating the same painful dramas and emotions or would you rather use you time productively by doing the practices that will facilitate your healing and change your love life for the better?”
Pain and confusion held within always perpetuates itself by creating additional suffering. Painful emotions and conflicted issues and other stresses held within the body consume so much of our vital life force. They also destroy our bodies and minds and prevent us from ever realizing our true potential. What's really sad is that people continue to sink deeper into the hole they are digging for themselves when they fail to take the steps necessary to facilitate healing within their bodies and minds.
Training with a traditional American Indian Medicine Man and an Internal Arts Master has given me a realistic sense of what it takes to truly transform ourselves. These individuals begin their training early in life. People who attain mastery in the Internal Martial Arts do hours of intensive internal practice on a daily basis. American Indian Medicine Men go through the vision quests many times over the course of their lives. I can see the transformation that occurs over time in these individuals as a result of their many years of intensive discipline.
Doing intensive spiritual practice does require time and commitment, but it gives us the opportunity to heal our bodies and minds, discover our life's purpose and fulfill our true potential. Many of us have so many demands placed upon us and are not able to set aside hours of time to do intensive practice on a daily basis. But most of us can find at least fifteen to thirty minutes at some time during the day. We can also learn to integrate our spiritual practices into our daily activities so they become a normal part of everything we do.
Having a daily practice helps us to get in touch with our true selves and deepen our connection to the higher power. Spiritual practices help us to digest the backlog of conflicted issues, emotions and other stresses that have kept us bogged down. Our dysfunctional patterns will begin to unravel and then we develop what's referred to in some of the eastern traditions as “higher mind.” We will become much lighter and freer, experience a clearer sense of direction and gain access to enormous amounts of creative energy that will support us in fulfilling our life's purpose. Working with the various spiritual healing practices will also make it possible for us to develop the kind of presence that will enable us to attract healthier friends and companions.
Having a daily practice is extremely important and we also need to show up and participate in life. I started asking myself questions like, “What do I truly want and what steps do I need to take to get it.” Love has never just showed up at my door. A big part of having what I want in life has involved getting out to engage with women who attracted me whenever I found the opportunity.
Relationships have a way of bringing all of our core issues and vulnerabilities to the surface. At times I can see how my companion is struggling with issues of her own that have nothing to do with me. I'm also very conscious of how the patterns that play out in relationship are mirroring my internal state of being. Women that I've been with often reflect the issues and emotions I'm holding within. I'm learning to use everything that's happening within my relationships as part of my process of healing and personal growth. Breathing into any feelings that surface helps me to process the issues and emotions as they arise. Incorporating this process with all the other practices is facilitating an ongoing process of evolution.
All of the hard work I've done has paid off over time. The deep underlying wounds have gradually healed. I no longer experience the overwhelming pain and anxiety or sense of being deeply traumatized. I stopped personalizing other people's negativity. I feel a growing sense of lightness and comfort with myself. I'm developing more of the resources that are enabling me to engage and be deeply connected within an intimate relationship. I'm attracting progressively healthier companions and I continue to progress year by year.
The Willingness to Do Whatever it Takes to Heal
Many people who come to my classes have spent years analyzing their partners and the many reasons their relationships are not working. Some have also read stacks of books, attended other classes and workshops and have gone through years of psychotherapy. They keep feeding more and more information into their heads hoping that's going to alleviate their suffering and transform their lives, but that's just not going to work. They may have come to a greater intellectual understanding of their suffering, but they are still holding a great deal of pain within their body that reinforces the same dysfunctional relationship patterns.
It's important for you to understand that there is no magical realization and you are not going to think your way out of your dysfunctional relationship patterns. Intellectual understanding is a very important, but small part of the overall healing process. Intellectual understanding will not heal the deep emotional wounds.
There's a huge gap in our modern western model of healing and that's why most people who struggle with dysfunctional relationship patterns continue to suffer for the remainder of their lives. Many of you are lacking the necessary tools, resources and understanding that are necessary to facilitate the kinds of changes that are needed to attract the kind of love and companionship you truly desire. Very little will change in your life if you continue to do the same thing that you have done all along. This is why it is so important for you to go beyond what is comfortable and familiar and be willing to explore and fully embrace new approaches that are unfamiliar and sometimes very challenging.
American Indians and people from China, India, Tibet and various other ancient cultures worked with a wide range of intensive spiritual practices on a daily basis. Working with the practices I teach of breathing into your feelings and sensations will awaken the greater healing intelligence that resides within your own body and mind. The feelings and issues that emerge can be very uncomfortable at times, but the intensity will gradually diminish and you will experience a greater sense of peace and well being. These practices will help you to heal your losses and open your heart. You will also grow much stronger and become more present within your body.
I will be teaching you Chi Gong practices. I seriously recommend that you combine these practices in order to get the best results. Working with any of these practices on a consistent basis will enable you to develop a stronger connection with the higher power. You will also develop the kind of presence that will make it easier for you to attract healthier and more loving relationships.
Healing requires tremendous courage and determination. Experiencing your true feelings and facing the issues as they arise will help you to become more honest with yourself. If you are being fully honest with yourself then you realize that you do have lots of work to do. Committing to doing whatever is necessary and taking the constructive steps on a consistent basis to create the change you desire will make healing possible. Showing up for class and actually making time to work with the various practices demonstrates your commitment to doing what is necessary to facilitate your healing.
It's also important for you to understand that the emotional wounds that have created so much difficulty in your love life run very deep. These wounds have tremendous momentum behind them because they have been reinforced by many years of repetition. You cannot completely heal all on your own. You need to be receiving deep tissue body work and working with healers such as myself. Some of you might also have yagyas conducted for you or even work up to going on a vision quest.
It's very important for you to pace yourself. You're not going to heal in a day, week or even a year. Every hour of practice, bodywork, healing session, yagya or vision quest brings you another step further in your process of evolution. You have a very long journey ahead of you. Keep putting one foot in front of the other by taking constructive steps that make healing possible. Do your practice and make use of the tools and resources that are available to you.
©Copyright 2011 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved.This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission.
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