Monthly Archives: January 2017

A Touching Good-Bye, Part 1

Betsie Haar presents a book review in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 62, Fall 2008:

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A Touching Good-Bye, The Gentle Use of Jin Shin Jyutsu® at Times of Critical Illness and Death ~ by Judith B. Andry, M.Ed.

In Judy Andry’s new book, A Touching Good-Bye, The Gentle Use of Jin Shin Jyutsu at Times of Critical Illness and Death, you’ll find a collection of true stories from Jin Shin Jyutsu instructors and students detailing their experiences with the critically ill and the dying. The tone of her book is compassionate and inspiring, and its simplicity makes the Art accessible to everyone.

The first part of the book includes a preface from Judy where she explains why she wrote this book – “to give a sense of empowerment to those whose loved one is dying.” Even in the best hospitals, with the best medical care, many patients and families suffer a great deal – not just physical pain, but confusion, fear, and isolation. Judy encourages us to gently place our hands on our loved one and guides us into very simple, but very effective, ways to help ease suffering.

David Burmeister contributes a forward to the book and writes that “practicing the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu during times of critical need can help restore emotional, physical and spiritual harmony so that one can make the transition in the most peaceful way possible.” David also shares the story of his own father’s dying.

This is an intimate book, and the author handles both the difficult subject matter and the emotional openness of the contributors’ stories with great sensitivity. The personal stories are a way for readers not familiar with Jin Shin Jyutsu to identify with the caregivers in the book and feel empowered to help their loved ones. “Judy Andry shows how to support those we love at the time of their death with dignity, respect and exquisite caring.” writes instructor Susan Brooks.

There are chapters on death, anger and fears, and pain. The author doesn’t shrink from very real end of life issues, which is why her small book has such a big heart. And yet it’s not at all depressing – just the opposite. It’s a compassionate, honest, and sweet book that encourages readers to use the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu in the most trying of circumstances.

A Touching Good-Bye doesn’t promise miracles. There are some amazing stories here, but the majority of them involve giving comfort and peace to the person with the critical illness. “None of us have the power over the life or death of another person, over saving or not saving, over living or dying,” writes Judy. She warns against pushing Jin Shin Jyutsu onto someone who’s not receptive and similarly warns against proselytizing.

To be continued…

A Touching Good-Bye is available at http://www.jsjinc.net.

I’m thinking about the “blame game”…

REFUSE TO BE A VICTIM

“We focus on the negatives, losing ourselves in the ‘problem.’ We point to our unhappy circumstances to rationalize our negative feelings. This is the easy way out. It takes, after all, very little effort to feel victimized.”
— Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Nothing and no one can make us a victim. We do it to ourselves when we allow external circumstances to hold power over us.

Although we have no control over what happens to us, we ALWAYS have a choice in how we respond. We hold our power when we accept complete responsibility for our thoughts, feelings and actions.

“A man may fall many times but he won’t be a failure until he says someone pushed him.”
— Elmer G. Letterman

“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”
— Steven Biko

Copyright © 1999 – 2016 Higher Awareness Inc.
Edmonton, AB, Canada T5K 0K6

Puffy’s Story, Part 3

Jenny Swiecicki tells us all about Puffy in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 59, Winter 2008:

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continued…

Nine is the end of a cycle and the seed of a new beginning; it’s about letting go, allowing change and transformation through the movement of the breath. Nine is also the positive number for 2nd Depth, meaning that when 2nd Depth is in harmony, it vibrates at a 9. The role of the 2nd Depth is to bring total harmony to body, mind and spirit. In dying, Puffy gave me an example of harmonious 9s, becoming breath, being the change and being Trust.

Eleven is the positive number for the 7th Depth, which is the universal Light that is infinitely available to us. The quality of unconditional love and light present at Puffy’s death was nothing other than divine, the 7th Depth Light. Elevens also help us to let go of excess baggage and unnecessary burdens, so we can create space for divine will at the 12s. Although she’d been through a lot in this life, Puffy didn’t hold on to any story about those things; she was able to leave it all behind and be present in the divine.

Seven represents perfect life power, and is the positive number for the 5th Depth. Fifth Depth in harmony allows us to arise into our spiritual inheritance. In living, Puffy brought joy to everyone who knew her, a gift to all of our 5th Depths. I am happy for her that she’s moved on into the cosmic light that is her inheritance. She also taught me that the perfect life power of the 7s does not end with death; it continues living in a beautiful, universal way.

When I add up the date, 9/11/2007, it comes to a 2, which is life force, wisdom for all creatures. Puffy was one of my greatest teachers, deeply embodying much of the philosophy and wisdom of Jin Shin Jyutsu. I am profoundly changed and blessed by knowing her, and having shared this last part of her life and death. I believe that all four-leggeds have much to teach us humans, if only we are able to humble ourselves and really listen.

Although I miss and grieve her, I too feel the seed of a new beginning inside myself coming alive. It was no surprise that two days after she died, I “accidentally” cut both my ring fingers! (…one while working in the garden, and the other while cooking.) So I am holding them and exhaling. I would like to learn to live life more and let go of trying to live, or of being afraid to live.

A line from a song I learned during a retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh comes to mind as I close this story: “Birth and death are only doors through which we cross, sacred thresholds on our journey, birth and death are a hide and seek game.” Thank you, Puffy, for playing with me in this game of life, and for teaching me to live fully and to BE the Joy! Your precious spirit  will always be remembered and continues to live in innumerable ways.

Thank you, Jenny.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

All issues of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter are available at http://www.jsjinc.net.

I’m thinking about dualities…

UNDERSTAND DUALITIES

“Life is the coexistence of all opposite values. Joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, up and down, hot and cold, here and there, light and darkness, birth and death. All experience is by contrast, and one would be meaningless without the other.”
— Deepak Chopra

Life is full of dualities, opposites. Despite their apparent opposition, each extreme in a duality is necessary to fully actualize the other. Each depends on the existence of the other. For example, we cannot know honesty if we don’t know deception.

The key is to not resist or suppress the negative. We need to acknowledge its existence, though we may choose not to express it. When we embrace wholeness, we move to a higher perspective.

“The light which man has discovered within himself makes him more aware of the dark; through the good which attracts him, he sees the evil which is the line of least resistance; the activity leading to pain simultaneously permits him to visualize the contrasting pleasure, and thus he experiences something of both hell and heaven.”
— Aart Jurriaanse

Copyright © 1999 – 2016 Higher Awareness Inc.
Edmonton, AB, Canada T5K 0K6

Puffy’s Story, Part 2

Jenny Swiecicki tells us all about Puffy in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 59, Winter 2008:

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continued…

Towards the end of the summer, Puffy’s vitality dropped slightly, and her breathing began to get a bit wheezy. Once again I offered Jin Shin Jyutsu, and she accepted. She slept like an angel through more than one Kidney Flow, her little body receiving peacefully. I used the Kidney Flow to support her life energy and lungs. I also used the Spleen, the 26 and 13 Flows. I began a daily routine with her, but soon had to leave for a family trip to Michigan, leaving Puffy home with Jim.

A week later, on the evening of my return, I got a message from Jim saying that Puffy wasn’t doing well. She stopped eating that afternoon and seemed pretty fatigued and wobbly. When I arrived home late that night, she was curled up on a blanket, her energy pulled very inward. I sensed that she was getting ready to die, and told her, “Puffy, if you are getting ready to go, I will support you in that.” I also told her that if she wanted to stay, I’d support that, too.

Through the night and the next day, Puffy’s small body continued to slow down. I brought her to the vet in the afternoon and they put her on fluids to ease the shock of the process for her. When I went into the back to see her, she wiggled her little tail when I said her name.

We had to leave her there for a few hours, which was hard, but it gave me time to eat, rest, and get a bed ready for her. Jim and I picked her up just before 8:00;  I could tell she was close to dying. I held her in my arms on the way home, then let her lie on the bed I’d made for her in front of the altar. Jim held her 4s and I held opposite paws. We sang songs and gave her lots of love. I got up for a minute, and Puffy took her last breath while Jim was still holding her 4s. It was so peaceful, that last breath and the way the life moved from her body. We both kept our hands on her for a while, feeling the pulses and witnessing the way that death is such a remarkable transition. This was shortly after 9 p.m. I believe it was somewhere between 9:11 and 9:15, on 9/11/07.

So little Puffy, in her 9th year, in the 9th month, and in the 9th hour of that evening began her journey into a new beginning. And what a day to choose…9/11/07!

To be continued…

I’m thinking about the next frontier…

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR EMOTIONS

“Emotions are the next frontier to be understood and conquered. To manage our emotions is not to drug them or suppress them, but to understand them so that we can intelligently direct our emotional energies and intentions…. It’s time for human beings to grow up emotionally, to mature into emotionally managed and responsible citizens. No magic pill will do it.”
— Doc Childre

Many of us believe that we need to keep a tight lid on our emotions. We fear that if we ever allow these emotions to be expressed, they will do serious damage.

But if we summon up the courage to truly feel our emotions, we discover that they don’t last. The monster in the closet turns out to be a pussycat. In fact, if we are willing to experience our emotions completely, without resistance of any kind, they burn themselves out in only a few minutes.

The only thing that keeps emotions alive within you over long periods is your unwillingness to acknowledge them.

“By starving emotions we become humorless, rigid and stereotyped; by repressing them we become literal, reformatory and holier-than-thou; encouraged, they perfume life; discouraged, they poison it.”
— Joseph Collins

Copyright © 1999 – 2016 Higher Awareness Inc.
Edmonton, AB, Canada T5K 0K6

Puffy’s Story, Part 1

Jenny Swiecicki tells us all about Puffy in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 59, Winter 2008:

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An angel came into my life this year, in the form of a small, white, fluffy dog named Puffy. She found me, literally jumped into the open door of my car one day while running from the puppy farm she’d been sent to after her previous owner, Mr. Glen, had died. For me it was love at first sight. Although she wasn’t young, Puffy embodied a purity of spirit and an innocence that is rare.

She’d had a rough life, as I found out from the folks in this small town, Tennessee. She’d been bred her entire life, and now at the age f 9 she had mammary tumors and as the town vet said, “troubles down there”. In our first days together she’d frequently urinate inside my cabin. I didn’t know how I’d be able to bring an incontinent doggy back to live with me in my apartment in Oakland, where the landlords had already made a one-time exception for my cat.

During this time, I gave Puffy several 13 Flows to help calm her anxiety and clear some of the trauma from her body. She accepted the sessions gratefully, soaking them in and falling asleep with paws outstretched. After a week or so, she stopped peeing indoors. Shortly thereafter her right eye swelled up, and I used both the liver and eye flows to clear the swelling. After three more weeks in Tennessee, Puffy returned with me on the plane to California, a whole new world for her! We fell more deeply in love, sharing daily walks and constant companionship.

However, now when I’d offer Jin Shin Jyutsu, Puffy would refuse or squirm away after just a few minutes. She was always very clear about what she needed, which gave me the opportunity to simply BE present, and to allow her to BE as well. I wanted to help her clear her tumors with Jin Shin Jyutsu, but Puffy taught me that she did not need to be “fixed”. She was perfect as she was.

Although she had various health projects, her attitude was always positive. She experienced incredible joy running on the beach, taking our neighborhood walks and digging for ground squirrels. She never made a big fuss about her pains; she just rested when she needed. There were a few times hiking together when she’d just sit down on the trail and let me know she’d had enough. During our last camping trip, she was stung by a yellow jacket, and immediately jumped into my truck and made a nest of blankets in which to rest and recuperate. I learned so much from her simplicity and wisdom; she really became a role model for me. Puffy made it up a 7,300 foot mountain with my boyfriend Jim and me on that trip, taking her time and resting in the shade whenever possible. I think she did this hike with us only because of her unconditional devotion to me.

To be continued…

I’m thinking about happy tears…

NATURAL VIBRATIONS

“I sing the body electric.”
— Walt Whitman

The water that makes up so much of our bodies is like ocean water. The salt crystals in this water vibrate at ever-changing frequencies. Our hearts are the emotional centers of our bodies, and they put out frequencies that are 10 times the power of the frequencies of our brains.

When we are happy, we vibrate at a higher frequency than when we are angry or sad. Our emotions change the chemical composition of the water in our systems. That’s why happy tears taste different than tears of sadness.

Experiencing physical, emotional and mental stillness harmonizes the vibrational output of the body, heart and mind and we become stronger.

“The message we give our bodies — one of irritation or acceptance — is the message to which our bodies will answer.”
— Deb Shapiro

Copyright © 1999 – 2016 Higher Awareness Inc.
Edmonton, AB, Canada T5K 0K6

Dancers Learn the Art of Self-Help Jin Shin Jyutsu, Part 2

Mitzi Adams incorporates Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help as an official university course and tells us about it in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 59, Winter 2008:

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Dancers Learn the Art of Self-Help Jin Shin Jyutsu

continued…

They also loved the before-and-after rest for hip flexibility. We would have volunteers demonstrate how high they could lift their leg without any warm-up. Then, I’d put the dancers face-down on the mats so they could really palpate the hips at the flexors (the 15s) to feel how tight they were. After holding their 15s for just ten minutes, from the medial to the lateral part of their hips, they stood up and were not only taller, but leg extension became higher. That prompted my colleagues to ask why all the students were lying on their stomachs before dance classes.  I think they thought they were just being lazy, but I could sense the joy in the department and the shifting of energy as the word spread about how to get a higher leg extension (or developpe̒, in dance lingo) and ease back pain at the same time.

Not only could I see the changes in the students’ attitudes, but I also began to witness that “look” of a more harmonized being. I saw the shapes of the dancers change and their minds begin to open to new possibilities. At the end of the semester, I asked that each student would find two people and give them self-help for a project. They were then to write about their chosen people and discuss their progress, if any. When I sat down to read their final evaluations, I was excited  that so many people with a garden variety of symptoms were seemingly better. This got the attention of many of my students, so by the time I asked if any would consider Jin Shin Jyutsu as a possible career, in addition to their dancing, the majority raised their hands. It was confirmation that the Creator’s Art had penetrated deeply.

Prior to the beginning of the course, the students had a chance to see Jin Shin Jyutsu in action after an accident one of the dancers had had the night of a performance. In a rehearsal just prior to the show’s opening, a dancer had fallen and banged his elbow severely. He decided to dance anyway, but as he did, his elbow began to swell, to the point of being able to see it from the audience. Another professor and I were called from our seats in the house to go backstage to help. I choreographed a piece that, coincidentally, put this dancer in a solo role, depicting the fallen souls from the devastation in the Middle East. Now, this dancer…this fallen soul…was living it out because of his injury. With ten other dancers there to lay hands-on, we stacked our hands, left over right, on the swollen elbow. I had another student time us for twenty minutes. Thank goodness  our injured dancer wasn’t performing until after intermission. The pile of sweaty dancers that had just danced my piece were now at work saving the fallen soldier. We all breathed together, and others standing by, got us water and wiped our brows. After twenty minutes, we gently lifted our hands. The small backstage crowd was astonished to see how the golf ball-sized bruise on the dancer’s elbow had shrunk. True, he had taken ibuprofen, but could it have worked to reduce the swelling so much in that short time? I suggested if he wanted to go to the emergency room to not hesitate, but at that point, he felt all right and just wanted to wrap it and dance in the second half of the show. I helped him wrap his elbow and then left him to warm-up for his next dance…the same dance where he fell in rehearsal. I held my little finger as I watched him dance better than I had seen him thus far. Above all, the students witnessed the power of energy and were touched at how profound the experience was. This group of students was all in my piece titled “Ashes & Grace”. The injured soloist was the eagle rising from the ashes with the grace of the corps stretching out their hands. Life living out art and art living out life: The Creator’s Art through compassionate man…

It was groundbreaking for this program to have offered Self-Help Jin Shin Jyutsu, and I am forever grateful for the experience. When I returned from my appointment, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the students had started a MySpace page for Jin Shin Jyutsu. They even took it one step further and started a Jin Shin Jyutsu club, which will continue at the university with regular meetings. Could I have asked for anything better?

Thank you, Mitzi.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

All issues of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter are available at http://www.jsjinc.net.