Insights and Healing with Patrick Moore


What Is Healing Energy?

Healing Energy Appears to Flow Like Water

The Reiki tradition, at least as it has come to the States, tells that the Reiki Practitioner is not the “source” of the energy but “a channel.” This tradition states that the energy comes from the Universe, down into the top of the practitioner’s head or crown chakra, and the practitioner steers the energy out through her hands. This model is much like water flow: Firemen show up at a house fire, hook the hose up to the local hydrant. The role of the fireman is not to generate water from within himself, but to steer water that comes from a source outside himself. How accurate is this model? How helpful is this model? I will say the model brings up more questions than it answers. Given our culture’s current trend of mythbusting, and explaining away superstitions, the fire hose model of Reiki may repel more people, at this time, than it attracts. I say this, as a person who practices healing energy with recipients on my massage table, and who teaches Reiki certification processes. I readily admit the way it is traditionally taught, has some holes. I do not know if I can explain it perfectly myself, but I will offer a couple ideas I think are more plausible and useful for today’s climate. Let’s not be anachronistic, however; debunking a myth for today’s thinkers, does not mean that model did not have great meaning, purpose and even accuracy at the time it was first told.

While healing energy appears to flow from one place to another, or from one person to another, this is:

a) True, but simply an effect, like cooling is an effect of evaporation,
b) More of an illusion,
c) Actual, but only one option of many, or
d) other.

(.. You choose).

What IS Healing Energy?

I am not knowledgeable enough to tell you the nature of healing energy, the essence of it, the substance of it. I can’t even tell you with certainty whether it IS a substance or a process. Not knowing it’s true nature, however, does not prevent me from using energy for healing. Since I am using energy for healing effects, I feel it is enough for me to know energy by its effects.

That said, I will make some guesses about what healing energy IS.

Effects of Healing Energy

I will list some effects, first those that are reported most frequently, and later in the list things that are occasionally reported. I will say before you read the list that none of these effects has been validated by mainstream medicine or science.

  1. Recipient feels warmth, cozy, peaceful, taken-care-of, nurtured.
  2. Recipient somehow feels more resolved regarding his conflicts, issues, and problems, mental, emotional, spiritual, relationship and other… energy seems to have effects with intangibles, things that were not really measurable or scan-able anyway.
  3. Recipient feels like a better version of himself–he is more compassionate to others, less judging and so forth.
  4. Recipient feels more resolved with physical, physiological body symptoms. For example aches and pains, flexibility and functions like sleeping better, less anxiety and so forth. Subjective complaints.
  5. Objective, confirmed maladies are no longer present, but nobody thinks a miracle has occurred. The explanation for the thing no longer being present is, a) the tests were misread the first time, b) the scans were swapped accidentally, c) a different doctor looked and diagnosed it differently, d) miscommunications, e) misunderstandings and so forth. The new situation is: The disease never was there. When we thought there was a disease present, we were mistaken.
  6. Objective, confirmed diseases disappear. Masses are no longer present, from one accurate scan to another. Nobody attempts to explain the discrepancy. The response is generally surprise, then people go about their business.

My personal experiences as a Reiki practitioner range in zones 1-5 so far, and I have heard stories about #6.

What Could Healing Energy Be?

While I am very curious where, why and how the energy does what it does, I do my speculating while I am off-duty. While I am standing there beside a massage table with my hands hovering over a person’s body, my awareness is focused upon feeling this person’s energy and using my hands to assist the energy into a more favorable natural healthy serving configuration. If the person is having effects like 1-6, does the how and what, really matter so much? Some will answer, yes, it matters a lot! I read one famous healer, whose name everyone knows, was accused of using demonic assistance for his healing, which he found ridiculous. Why would demons heal, he asked his accusers, I imagine with a wry smile. Still, since many wonder where and how, and I am curious too, let’s ponder a bit.

From what I’ve read and heard, healing energy could be one, or all of the below, or other things I have not thought of:

  • Electromagnetic energy of a sort that simply has not been measured using current instrumentation… yet. Theoretically measurable, and the instrument for measuring it or providing it may be right around the corner. Some claim to have already found such instruments. Perhaps scientists should be working to study this so it can be better known.
  • A substance that is ethereal, spiritual stuff. This stuff can influence solid matter and measurable energy, but cannot be influenced by them so it is superior-to, or higher-than the stuff that scientists study. Has liquid-like properties that it can flow from here to there.
  • The placebo effect or hypnotic suggestion.
  • Not a substance, but a process sort of like sound is a process rather than something that exists.
  • A substance that is smaller than the smallest known subatomic particle. Whatever subatomic particles are made of, that stuff is made of something else, that is made of something else, until a basic non-reducible level is reached. Perhaps there are three levels, or many levels. Each of these levels would be quite influential upon matter and energy, especially the most basic level. Anything more basic than subatomic particles is beyond the ability of a human mind to explain adequately.
  • A personal power. Thinking of energy flow would simply be a focus of attention that symbolically directs one’s intention and visualization so that effects occur, due to one’s personal power.
  • A higher power. Thinking of energy flow would simply be a focus of attention that, like prayer, attracts the attention of powers higher than, and outside an individual person, like angels, a living organism that is the Universe, or higher. The effect then comes from the power of the angel or higher, which would be beyond individuals to explain adequately.

My personal view is that all of the above are on the table. Perhaps each of these things may be enlisted for assisting people to heal, grow, develop and become more natural. Perhaps different of these things are enlisted at different times. There may be a dozen more ways human health can be influenced for the better, that nobody has yet written about in 2018, that we’ll know a hundred years from now. I think I am not in a position, with my finite brain, to know which of these is the most accurate at any moment.

Healing Energy is Maximized When…

…when the practitioner is coming from the right place.

There are many styles, methods and techniques for directing healing energy from chakra balancing, aura cleansing, acupuncture, tai-chi, chi-gung, Reiki, shamanism, animal helpers, chanting, singing hymns, dancing & running, to angels, prayer and laying-on-hands. Some intangible healing techniques may be more effective than others. Even so, I have always stood by the following dictum that I’ve told many classes of many types:

A person using a poor technique, who is coming from the right place, will have far better effects than a person using great technique, who is coming from a different place.

What would be the right place? Here is a photo taken at the Reiki Master/Teacher training I assisted with in 2014, in Prescott Arizona with my teacher Stephen Bruno, that responds to the question.

2014-07-26-7-Elements-of-Essence-for-Reiki-MasterTeachers-Stephen-Bruno

The biggest hindrance to healing is judgment. Even the ways we think about “diagnosis” can be judgmental. We need to be very careful about judgment in many forms, if we aim to assist with healing, growth and development.

While we are truly caring for, and wanting to serve another person, we gain tremendous influence for that span of time. This loving-kindness is the most reliable and most effective approach with energy.

How is Energy Influenced or Directed?

Once one is coming from the right place, two things are most important: one’s intention for the energy and practice.

One’s intention may be quite specific for example a particular complaint or ailment. One’s intention may be very broad, for example, the person’s ultimate natural development during their natural body life, or the improvement of relationships for this person going forward. A specific intention may conflict with a general intention: for example, learning from an ailment may provide more growth than removing the ailment.

Practice includes using one’s hands to feel variations in energy surrounding a person’s body. One hand hovers at some distance above the body and scans for differences. This must be practiced with many people, with feedback from the person about accuracy, and treating some people multiple times. As with any skill, practice is very important and the more the better!

It is not enough to simply attend a Reiki workshop. You must practice many many times in order to be effective in assisting people to heal, grow spiritually and develop naturally with energy.

Following Stephen Bruno’s example, I offer that students may re-attend any workshop they’ve already attended with me, for no charge (space permitting, unless the host organization takes a fee in which case it will be a small fee to the repeating student). One past student re-attended one of my classes six times and said she got something new each time, both because I teach differently each time and because she noticed more, the more she lived and practiced. Like Stephen I place a high expectation upon Reiki Master-Teachers and I also offer them far more support ongoing, until they are teaching their own Reiki students self-sufficiently. Part of my support is sort of a coach encouraging them to practice practice practice, as any coach does. I allow my Reiki Master/Teacher students to attend my other Reiki classes as student-teachers, to teach a small portion of the class and to give the attunements, both of which are great practice they couldn’t get on their own.

Feel free to comment below or ask questions!


Upcoming Reiki Certification Classes with Patrick Moore LMT BA

To register, or if you have questions, please use this contact form.

July 2018

Saturday, July 28, 2018, 9:00 a.m.
Reiki Level One (Shoden) Reiki Practitioner I
Reiki (lecture, hands-on, attunement)
5 Live Hours $150.00. Special: Reiki I and II on consecutive days, 25% discount (was $400, now $300)

Sunday, July 29, 2018, 9:00 a.m.
Reiki Level Two (Okuden) Reiki Practitioner II
Reiki (lecture, hands-on, hands-above, attunement)
6 Live Hours $250.00. Special: Reiki I and II on consecutive days, 25% discount (was $400, now $300)

2018-02-28 Oro Valley Snow (23)

Snow in Arizona? Reiki Certification Classes Location: Patrick Moore Home office, Tucson Arizona, 85704 (near Oracle and Ina). 

September 2018

Saturday, September 29, 2018, 9:00 a.m.
Reiki Level One (Shoden) Reiki Practitioner I
Reiki (lecture, hands-on, attunement)
5 Live Hours $150.00. Special: Reiki I and II on consecutive days, 25% discount (was $400, now $300)

Sunday, September 30, 2018, 9:00 a.m.
Reiki Level Two (Okuden) Reiki Practitioner II
Reiki (lecture, hands-on, hands-above, attunement)
6 Live Hours $250.00. Special: Reiki I and II on consecutive days, 25% discount (was $400, now $300)

October 2018

Saturday and Sunday, October 27 & 28
Reiki Level Three (Shinpen or Shinpiden) Reiki Master PLUS Reiki Teacher Skills – How to Maximize Your Reiki Students’ Confidence and Effectiveness (Teacher Training)
Reiki + Teacher Training (lecture, hands-above, attunement, discussion)
6 + 6 = 12 Live Hours $600.00

 

Advertisements


Reiki Level Two, Time and Space Travel
June 21, 2018, 10:04 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Whenever I read tales of time travel and space travel, even as a youngster, I wondered why people would bother building things like fancy cars to take them there. Why not just go? I was ten when the Fleetwood Mac song “Hypnotized” came out, which described flying over mountains and trees without an airplane. Soon I was practicing in my basement with a book on Self Hypnosis that I got from my school library. I was thirteen when I read Carlos Castaneda’s Second Ring of Power, my first confirmation that people could go places without a metal vehicle.

The Reiki Level Two practitioner is suddenly capable of “sending energy” into the past and future, or to a person who is in another part of the world. I consider this to be time travel and space travel.

Is it technology? Is it shamanism? What differentiates science from spirituality? Both H.G. Wells’ Time Machine and Reiki Level Two are using equations, symbols in specific combinations that yield specific results. In fact Wells’ story had a similar effect as the healing in this graph.

Reiki to the Future Past -purple

Reiki Level Two–sending energy into the recipient’s past, having the energy be constant from then until a future time, and from there influencing the present with energy.

Wells’ story followed an original thinker whom his friends thought was crazy. He went far into the future to see what are the effects of how humans are currently operating. He came back to the present to tell the cautionary tale: if one class of people are doing all the work, and another class of people are living in comfort and beauty, over the course of evolution the two will become different species, one having far greater capability and intelligence than the other. Those who pursue only comfort and beauty will grow weak over time until they can no longer assure their own survival but will be completely dependent upon others. By publishing the story, Wells actually changed the future by changing his present (our past). For the Time Machine, Wells used the same graph above, only flipped.. first Wells went to the far future, then back to the present to influence the readers who would change the near future. The book about time travel, actually changed our timeline!

WorldBrain HG Wells

Wells used this same approach when he wrote about the far past, in his story about the first prehistoric man who began thinking strategically, and in his History of the World. Wells realized the way a story is told about the past, influences the future and present.

When we want to heal something really heavy, tragic, or having its roots in trauma or overwhelming emotions in the past, we need a sophisticated and thorough approach, equal to or greater than the intensity of the original.

While self-healing is possible, and people should always do all they can for themselves, it is also very helpful (perhaps necessary?) that an objective outside person bringing unconditional compassion, assists the healing. Reiki can be very powerful both for healing oneself and for assisting healing others. I say can be because the equations alone are often not adequate, for the big things. Then we want the technique of Reiki plus the guarantee that the giver is coming from the right place. This addition is what gives Reiki that everpresence and thoroughness, so that no ailment will stand.

Here are the steps I learned from Reiki Master Stephen Bruno

  1. Step One: Connect with the person’s essence, with your own essence.
  2. Step Two: Connect with the first and strongest early causes of the predicament the person is now suffering.
  3. Step Three: Create an arc of energy that begins in time at the first causes, arcing to the final dissipation of this ailment or dis-ease, in the future.
  4. This arc of energy sort of rains down upon the person, every moment between the first second of the precursors of the illness to the last.
  5. Step Four: Connect with the future time when this malady has been completely evaporated.
  6. Step Five: Have your own essence calculate what is required in the present, so that by the future, this future will be in place.
  7. Create an arc of energy from the present to the future, that rains down all that is required from now to the future in which this situation is embraced.

I will be offering Reiki I and II on Saturday and Sunday, July 28 & 29, 2018 in Tucson, AZ. To register, or if you have any questions about Level Two Reiki, please use the contact form below. I am happy to provide short support by email and free phone consultations.

Warmly,

Patrick

Reiki-Master-Class-in-Presc

Reiki Master Graduates in Prescott, AZ 2014

 

 



Reiki I & II Certification Classes July 28 & 29, 2018
June 14, 2018, 1:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My Reiki Teacher Stephen is hosting his next Reiki workshops in Grand Junction, Colorado…

2018 © Stephen Bruno

These classes are designed to thoroughly teach The Usui System of Natural Healing. These certification classes are a combination of lecture, discussion, and hands-on practical experience. The classes are kept small for quality instruction. Register soon to reserve your spot in July’s Grand Junction, Colorado Reiki I & II Certification Classes.

These classes include instruction on giving animals and other critters Reiki treatments.

Learn the Usui System of Natural Healing and become a Certified Reiki Practitioner. To register for this class click on Contact Stephen.

Kindle your passions, stimulate your compassion and re-ignite your inner power by attending this certification class. Our lunch break (meal not provided) is 1 hour with restaurants 15 minutes and away from the training location. These classes are held from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m in Grand Junction, Colorado. Time for breaks is given. Upon completion of the class, participants will…

View original post 133 more words



Saguaro Harvest will be a Good One!
May 30, 2018, 12:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Judging from the profuse flowering of saguaro cactus in the city limits of Tucson, I am predicting a great harvest of saguaro fruits by June 15. You don’t need a pole to get the best fruits, you simply look around the bottom of saguaros. When to look? Look up at the tops of the Saguaros. Right now you see white flowers open, or flowers that have closed and look like knobs. When you see what looks like open red flowers, that look like Stargazer Lillies, those are not flowers.. Those are fruits! 

Saguaro Two Perfect fruits like Lillies

This photo shows two perfect saguaro fruits just as I found them lying on the ground near the base of the tall cactus. What look like flower petals, are the fruit skin. In the hot sun, the fruit opens and peels itself. The inner fruit that starts out juicy and wet, dehydrates during the day. Often just the dried fruit falls out of the peel. Often you find perfect non-messy soft but not juicy sweet fruits on the ground. Since they have partially dehydrated they do not pick up dirt, maybe a little dirt but you can blow them off and pop them in your mouth. Yum! This is my favorite fruit!!

The fruit peel may have a few stickers but I am very sensitive to stickers and I handle the fruit peels with my bare hands. Once the fruit has opened, the inner fruit has no stickers and you can eat it without fear of stickers in your mouth. (UNlike “prickly pear” fruit. Prickly Pear are small bushy cacti with flat pancake shapes that look like hands. Prickly pear are usually about the height of your knee or hip. Saguaro are usually twenty feet tall, like a light pole, sometimes with arms, sometimes without).

I have twice attended a saguaro harvesting class, where we were shown how to pull down saguaro fruits with a pole. I have done it that way myself but gave it up for two reasons. 1) the fruits that have fallen on the ground are so much more abundant that there is no need to go through all the work. You can get more fruits per hour just foraging on the ground. 2) the ones on the ground are dry, and the ones you push off the cactus twenty feet in the air are wet. Once they fall, the wet ones gather dirt and gravel.  Difficult to eat today, difficult to separate out the dirt and gravel if you want to eat raw fruits for the next few weeks.

Sometimes the fruit falls and hits a branch of a palo verde tree, and hangs there at the level of your eye or hand. You don’t even need to bend over, the fruit is offered for you there just perfect for your reach! How generous these tall beings are!

Last year I posted a plate full of dried saguaro, I will find that photo and post it again. In the middle of the season I filled up a 2-quart plastic container with mostly dry saguaro fruit in about two hours.

The season ends when the rains begin, maybe around July 3.

Saguaro fruit is low-glycemic sugar so it is healthier for people watching their sugar. That means it is metabolized slower than some other fruits. That is, unless you cook it. Once you boil saguaro fruit down to jelly, then the sugar is just as potent as other sugars. I feel cooking spoils the flavor of saguaro. They taste so good raw!! As the fruit has been hanging out on the peel all day, sometimes it ferments a little which gives it a sweet tang, ah!

It is illegal to harvest saguaro fruit in Saguaro National Park and many other places. It is against the policies to pick any fruits at the Desert Museum. Be sure to check and ask permission before harvesting. That said, since there has been so much flowering in local Tucson homes, you might have a bounty of fruits in your own yard, or your neighbor’s yard. My neighbor has given me permission to harvest her saguaro fruits. I have counted over a hundred blossoms on her several saguaros so I am drooling!



signal to noise ratio applies also to…
May 27, 2018, 10:28 am
Filed under: curiosity, DIY, First Principles

When using my laptop outside, it is difficult to see the screen. I obtained this dark film insert from my eye doctor last time he dilated my eyes. I simply marked, then cut squares with a scissors that would match the height and width of my laptop screen. I taped the cut back together. I keep the dark film with me when I go to coffee shoppes and libraries to write. This works well if you want to have a nice view of the mountains while raising one’s eyes over the glasses. Right now I am looking at Pusch Ridge from Savaya Coffee near Catalina State Park…

WIN_20180527_10_07_54_Pro

I have found this principle of signal-to-noise works in many instances. When I am driving on the freeway I sometimes use a modified earplug (sliced down the middle with scissors), then turn up the audiobook a little. The audiobook Anna Karenina was recorded from cassettes to mp3 which made it difficult to hear… Reducing all noise, then increasing the audiobook, leaves my brain with a better ratio of what I am wanting to hear. (Yes Mother, since the earplugs are half-diameter, I can still hear enough road sounds to be safe.. )

What other areas does the signal to noise principle work for?

 



“Not Even Music”

On two different occasions a college professor rejected my work, in front of the class.

Along with math, I chose to take several semesters of music theory. In the final weeks of my last music theory class, the kindly youngish professor had invited his own music theory professor to come to our school for two things: a performance of his own compositions at the music hall, and a visit to our music theory class to have a listen to our compositions.

In the first semester I learned the rules of counterpoint and in this semester we created one-page compositions. I worked on my composition in one of the second story piano practice rooms of the lovely old music building designed in 1909. My composition was influenced by a feeling or emotion that I felt or wanted to feel.

When the famous composer came to our class, a few brave students handed their sheet music to him. He set each one on the piano stand and sight-read it, playing on the piano. Then he gave his comments. After seeing a few other students receive this feedback, I must have felt it would be okay to share mine. He played it and then looked at me sternly. “This isn’t even music,” he said as he handed it back to me. I was shocked, stunned, and perhaps I swallowed some other emotions in there somewhere.

I was thinking I might become a musician but I believe this moment shifted my direction in life (I became a construction worker instead, not really by choice but default). I believe I am better off for not having become a musician/composer at that time. So maybe that rejection turns out to have been a synchronicity. However, decades later I realized the chord progression I had written is similar to a part of a song by Jean-Luc Ponty and to part of a song intro on a live Earth, Wind & Fire recording. Apparently what I wrote was music!

If this were the only example of my professors rejecting my work in a personal way, I might have forgotten or buried it in my mind.

When I later attended graduate school for math, I chose to take a 400/500 level creative writing class. The professor was a published author with a couple books out. (I just checked Amazon and she now has thirteen novels to her name, including a pushcart prize.) The first story I wrote for the class was a day-in-the-life of myself as a carpenter’s helper. I called it The Refinery, sort of ironic given no refinement existed in the story–certainly the three characters were quite unrefined. Following directions I printed ten copies of The Refinery and passed them around the table, to be critiqued by the following week by each student, the TA and the professor. The next week I received back ten copies, all with good comments and good suggestions from all but the professor, who wrote only “See me.” When I saw her, she said my story was not complete, that I would need to redo it. Why is it not complete? It did not have a plot, she said. I agreed it did not have a plot, but did that make it unacceptable? I did not rewrite the story, which probably irritated her. I just couldn’t bring myself to rewrite something for reasons I did not agree with, when the other nine people seemed to find value in it. Nearly forty years later I have begun reading Steinbeck, and I find The Refinery resembles the style of his beautiful descriptions of grimy details and hard luck of the working class.

It came time for my second story, called Porous. This story had a plot but I admit it was a little fantasy or magic but set in the present day, so it wouldn’t fit a genre. The plot was that a young protagonist (much like myself) lived in a house with 5 guys, one of whom had a seawater aquarium. The friend told me the spiny starfish is unlike a regular fish. He is porous, so the seawater simply flows through him. He does not need a barrier to keep his own blood from the outside. The seawater acted as his blood to circulate what needed to be circulated. Then there is a nuclear bomb that wipes out everyone. (This was 1986, still in the Cold War). Insects survived but no humans, except the protagonist. By the end of the story the protagonist learns to be porous, with respect to the radiation, and he is sort of remade or reharmonized by the bees. Again I printed ten copies and handed them out. The following week I arrived on time and received back nine copies of my work, all with nice comments (better than my first story) and good suggestions. The teacher was late. When she came in looking stern, she did not sit down but pointed at me and said, “You, I need to see you outside, now. Bring your things.” I followed her outside and she said my story was “Not even a story.” She was very upset and emotional and told me I was removed from her class for not following the instructions. She went in and I did not.

My musical composition was “Not even music.”

My story was “Not even a story.” Coincidence? What were professors thinking? Are they still that way?

My wife Traci had a similar experience with her senior photography project when she was in college also in the Eighties, but I’ll let her tell her own story..

 

The good part of this story is, while the musical rejection halted my progress as a composer, I did not stop writing.

A year after the 1986 story rejection, I printed off a dozen more copies of Porous and began sending them out. In 1989 while staying home with my newborn daughter I wrote a novel called Nonjudgment Day, in pen, in a spiral notebook. It was a dark comedy, following a group of evangelists who wanted to see the Messiah so badly that they were willing to instigate nuclear warheads against one of the major superpowers, which they would think were the enemy so they would retaliate, ending human life as we know it. Since the evangelists believed prophecy literally, they were certain this global destruction would bring about the second coming. Well, what happened surprised them. I can’t remember now, maybe some sort of embracing radiation perhaps like the Porous story I had written earlier, and some sort of forgiveness for the misguided terrorists who destroyed the world. In the style of Life of Brian.

By now I have (guessing) about a hundred short stories and novels begun, though none finished yet.

In 2015 I attended a writer’s conference and got an appointment to show six pages of a book idea to an agent. It blended short fables using wolves, coyotes and the cells in a tree as characters, with nonfiction about the power of group mind. The agent did not wait for me to speak but began a barrage of how my work would not fit any genre, and what was I thinking, and why was I wasting her time? 

This definitely put a damper on me showing my writing for a while. I was really inhibited after this third major rejection. I realized the group-mind book wasn’t really publishable, or not that way, or if I am going to write something there is no genre for, I need to be really resilient. I need to be able to handle rejection to be able to move forward as a writer–even aggressive rejection that sounds personal.

It took decades, and a couple years after the agent rejection but I am growing a sense of humor about it. Maybe by now, the rejections I have experienced as a music composer and writer are better for having happened that way. Or they soon will be.

One of the stories I am currently working on takes place at the first Writer’s Conference on the Moon. The teacher is a frustrated writer who had several number-one bestsellers of space-adventure-existential-comedy, and now he has writer’s block. He is on contract and owes his publisher one more book but he can’t do it, so they gave him an option to teach this writer’s workshop on the moon, to fulfill his contract…

MikeyDanLunaCwithSpeechBubbles



The Importance of Poor Performance

I wrote this in 2014 and the core message is still good so I gave it a refresh..

Before most workshops I worry that I may not perform well as a teacher. After the workshop is over, I am required to have students fill in a feedback form. Will I read them? Too often, I file these forms away, afraid to read them.

feedback form

 

A year passes. I prepare to teach the same workshop title again. Now, the purpose of the feedback forms is to improve the quality of education. So I really should dust off those feedback forms and read them before I teach the same title again. Do I brave my fear of looking back at student feedback forms and past handouts? Not in recent years. What am I so afraid of?

When I revise my handouts, or look at stories, articles and books I wrote two or more years prior, I usually gasp. I can’t believe I printed that, and handed it to people! What was I thinking? My older writing seems to expose me as arrogant or closed-minded. Because by “now” I think I am so much more enlightened. So I imagine students see me that way too, and I don’t want to look.

I might consider praying to God, or to a patron saint for teachers, asking the angels or getting a blessing from a shaman to guarantee my next teaching performance will be perfect. Wouldn’t that be nice? Resting in the certainty that I’ve got it covered?

In theory I understand that for one’s teaching to improve, there must be worse performances for it to improve from. This is the importance of poor performance. I realize that perfect teaching performances would mean the quality of teaching would never improve.

Some classes I teach, I do teach practically perfectly. As it is happening, and when it is over, I feel confident I did a great job. These times I do look at feedback forms, and I see mostly 10s. Then I feel self-satisfied. That feels good, right? Temporarily, yes, but there is a downside for me.

When I attend classes (which I must do to maintain my license just like everybody else), self-satisfied teachers really irritate me. My brain won’t let me have it both ways. Whenever I feel self-satisfied, my brain will give me a tinge of the judgment that I have applied toward those other self-satisfied teachers. Then I feel ashamed and guilty for being self-satisfied, because I judge that quality in other teachers.

Those irritating, perfect teachers demonstrate to students, Once you have “it,” like I do, you don’t need to learn any more. I see this a lot. There is an advertisement I have seen many times in massage magazines over several decades, showing a teacher doing his technique perfectly, and satisfied with his mastery. The photos of that teacher have stuck in my mind over two decades and whenever I see a new ad with that teacher I feel the irritating judgment all over again.

…As I wrote that last sentence I realize some of my photos show me being really knowledgeable, just like those aggravating photos of the other teacher. Again the shame of it! Arragh…

2004 Juneau rotator cuff

Teaching melting shoulder rotators in Juneau, Alaska 2004

In my first years teaching, I was trying, and maybe succeeding in perfectly performing the technique. Yay for me, but what about the students? My perfect demonstrations (of things that I had practiced thousands of times) made them feel they could not live up to the technique. Good for me, bad for students.

The irony I am seeing now is, my perfect performances, were at the same time poor performances. They were poor because they showed my arrogance (bad for me) and standards of knowledge and technique impossible for students to suddenly master (bad for students). So I do get to learn after all.

Some of the students from my first classes have kept in touch with me and attended again and again over the years. I wonder if they have seen my teaching improve from a self-satisfied teacher with perfect technique (all about me) to (something more useful for them)?

My poor performances become a good thing when I adjust them. Good for me, when I can be less arrogant. Good for students, when they get the message that, Yes I make mistakes, and you can too. Let’s experiment and be free to make mistakes and then let’s talk about the results because we will improve. The fact I was self-satisfied with my skills, by now is better for having happened that way

Now that I am thinking of this principle I guess it also applies to parenting and being a partner to my most favorite loved one. As I give myself permission to let it be a learning experience, I give others permission to also experiment and gain from mistakes.