Sahaja describes her inner journey to Osho and her path to healing with macrobiotic food and Brandon’s Journey process
I have had the great fortune in the last 16 years to be teaching people how to cook whole foods based on macrobiotic principles and then in 2004, to discover the body / mind process work known as The Journey. The door to both these modalities came through two serious health challenges, resulting in me making a deep search for my individual path to healing. I have come to call these the two wings of a bird as it makes for great flying when both wings are flapping.
End of 1980 I had a dream in which a woman’s voice kept saying “the number for tomorrow’s lottery is 7 4 1” over and over again. The next day I had forgotten until I saw a sign at a shop near where I was working at a mental hospital doing art therapy – it said “play today, win tonight”…the voice came back and I went in and (had never played before) told the guy I wanted my airfare to India so I could meet my spiritual master. I only played $2.50; that night (New Year’s Eve) the numbers showed up 7 4 1 and I had my first real mind–stopping experience – I won $1,042 and was within 30–40$ of my airfare!
My story began to unfold with a pretty serious bout of dengue fever in Poona – it appeared that many people recovered in 10 days from the ‘break–bone fever’ generated from a guileless mosquito. Not me. It went on to become a major immune system breakdown, diagnosed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I can honestly say that for the next 2 1/2 years, I spent the majority of time bed–bound. A major wake–up call – a sign that my life was off track and needed attention.
Once the normal medical route avenues had been exhausted, I deeply reflected what needed to happen. I resonated with the concept of self–responsibility touted in macrobiotics – that we can, in fact, heal our own bodies if we can realign to all that is whole and natural in life. If we can somehow reconnect to our source (and the way most people understand macrobiotics is to use food to support that reconnection), the body can recover its balance.
I spent every moment I could studying macrobiotics. It spoke to me – actually it sang to me. The concepts of recovering balance and harmony through eating unprocessed whole foods was like music to my ears. I began the journey of healing using food as medicine. When the body is that ill (not just from the last straw mosquito), it takes some time to detox. The journey of healing with food can be slow and steady, and as my teacher taught me, nature doesn’t heal in a straight line; many ups and downs, apparent setbacks and dark times. Had I not had the background of meditation / witnessing / Osho I can’t imagine how I would have got through those years.
As I began to slowly improve, two of my closest mentors suggested that I begin teaching. I began my school ‘The Great Life’. The joy in teaching people how to cook wholesome foods such as whole grains, vegetables, sea vegetables, and legumes in a myriad of ways as well as sourdough bread has been a huge gift for me. To watch others improve their health, to see how incredibly delicious these foods can be, and to go off on their own journey of healing – wow – thank you existence!
Still I had to rest every day most of the afternoon, for a long time. Clearly I didn’t have the full day to play in. A friend of mine used to tell me, “healing isn’t always about the food – there are emotional factors” … it went in one ear and out the other. I began to study macrobiotic counseling with my awesome, perceptive teacher David Briscoe of Macrobiotics America. I got more focused in my diet and discovered more energy returning. Finally I was ‘getting there’. Through all this, I lost some excess weight only to discover a breast lump. Now that was truly untimely – I didn’t get it – nearly went into shock. Finally getting my life on–track and now this?
And yes, the challenge of breast cancer was there. I moved into the healing diet facet of macrobiotics – a far more stringent regime than I had previously experienced. Weight was falling off and I presumed toxins along with that. I proceeded to have the lump removed surgically and returned to my food as medicine.
One day looking for yet another book on nutrition at my friend’s house, I pulled out the book ‘The Journey’ by Brandon Bays. She recovered from a basketball sized tumor in 6 1/2 weeks without any intervention. I read the book in 24 hours. I heard echoes of what I had been told earlier – “it’s not always about the food.” I went for it.
The Journey work is an amazing set of tools that allows you to get access to the root emotional cause of what shows up physically in the body. It begins with the premise that stored within any part of the body, there is cellular memory. It has been demonstrated that if a strong emotion is shut down, without being fully experienced, the cell receptors in certain part of the body can close. Cell receptors are needed to provide fluid communication between all the cells of the body.
There are many parts of a Journey process. Although Brandon freely gives out the journey script in the back of the book, the work has evolved, and as an accredited Journey practitioner, I work spontaneously with no script to follow. There are many parts of a journey process – it can take from 1-3 hours, and I see it a bit like shamanic soul retrieval. The person has their eyes closed and is guided by the practitioner. It allows one to go back to significant memories where shut-downs happened. There is a space to empty out and express the stored pain that wasn’t expressed at the time. There is a part where one can discover any hidden vows, or limiting beliefs that were made. Forgiveness is an essential part.
There is an aspect, perhaps the most important one of all that allows the person having the process to open into the infinite source, our true Self, using the emotions as the doorway. It has been said that in spontaneous healings, the one common factor is that the people who healed, somehow got access to the vast, spacious awareness that is our own Self. To have a process that can allow anyone, without prior spiritual practices, to have this taste is magnificent. I have led hundreds of people through the process the last four years, and it is a miracle to me that the emotions can lead each person into their experience of what Osho may have called No-Mind. Of course, for some it may be a teeny toe dip – some people may experience a glimmer of peace; others have a full-blown taste of gratitude and grace or unconditional love.
The Journey became my path to healing. I continue to have my own journey processes as well as facilitate weekly. I have people who come to me for diet, and I quickly see that they could benefit from looking deeper at the emotional component to their illness. There are others who are happily clearing away emotional stuff from the past and aren’t paying attention to their physical temple. It is a beautiful combination to work with both sides of our physical and emotional bodies.
I can no longer separate food and emotions. They are intrinsically linked. When people begin to give up some unhealthy foods, no doubt, some emotions come up. These foods may have helped to comfort and keep some feelings down. These feelings have to be experienced in order to move towards newer life – giving foods and not go back to the familiar. Likewise, the body begins to detox which also releases deeply stored emotions inextricably intertwined – mind / body / emotions.
I might add that the clarity and clean feeling that comes from eating healthily allows access to deeper spaces of beingness. I am sure some would dispute that – it is simply my experience. Ultimately who we are isn’t bound by the body – I still hold the belief that it makes the opening into freedom a bit easier and lighter, a bit more effortless. I feel myself to be in the best health now at 57 that I have experienced perhaps in my entire life. I have my moments – it is not perfect every day. Embracing the journey through the body and all that entails has been my sadhana.
I thank grace for the challenges I faced that opened me into such potential this life. My prayer for 2011 is that we all find our path towards deeper opening, expansiveness, awareness and living the love that we are.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1953. After receiving degrees in Graphic Design and Art Therapy, she found her way to Pune in early 1980. Since Rajneeshpuram she resides in Perth, Western Australia together with her partner Franco (aka Prem Ratnakar from RBG) and her groodle Reuben. Read more about Sajaha www.thegreatlife.com.au – email@example.com