The Power of Intent
By Elaine Hruska
Most well-known healers, including those who have a specialty or technique to impart to others, embrace the notion of intent as a guiding principle in their work. Probably, next to centering (a grounding, meditative practice that usually precedes the therapeutic, healing sessions), intent is an all-important component of the process, focusing on the motivation of the practitioner.
This component involves several aspects. Not only does the healer need to have a strong desire to help, but also an understanding of how to achieve the goal and how to facilitate the intervention and relinquishment of attachment to the outcome. Understanding one’s motives (why one wishes to help or to heal) is part of the healer’s responsibility in self-learning, making the healing act one of careful consideration and mindfulness.
Before we present Edgar Cayce’s approach to intent, here are several explanations from the dictionary and from other healers that may help to clarify the meaning of intent.
As a noun, intent signifies a purpose or aim that is firmly directed or fixed, with some degree of earnestness and intensity. It implies a meaning or significance to an act that may not be explicitly expressed. There’s also a spirit of determination in carrying out the act.
“Early in the development of Therapeutic Touch” (a healing modality that has been taught to tens of thousands of health professionals), co-founder Dolores Krieger, PhD, RN, stated, “Dora Kunz and I had realized that a foundational concept underlying its efficacy was that the therapist rebalanced vital energies with intentionality. The connotation of that term ‘intentionality’ is not only that the will was involved—for example, wanting the person to get well—but there was also the implication that there is a goal in mind for the object of the intention. Logic would then suggest that Therapeutic Touch is being done as a conscious, mindful act based on a person’s knowledge of the therapeutic functions of the human vital-energy field.” (Therapeutic Touch: Inner Workbook, Bear & Company, Inc.). Dr. Krieger began to recognize that the mind directs the flow of energy, transferring it through the universal field. The therapist is helping the one being healed to relocate his or her own center; and the impetus for this transport of energy is the therapist’s intentionality.
Osteopath Dr. John Upledger received his introduction to the power of intent in the late 1960s, when he and other physicians began using acupuncture to treat patients at several free clinics in Florida. Some of the doctors had great success, while others didn’t—even on the same patients. As described in his book Your Inner Physician and You, Dr. Upledger at first thought it was suggestion, so the doctors tried to control any negative or positive comments about the expectation. What they discovered is a seemingly strong correlation in the practitioners’ unspoken attitude: Those physicians who genuinely believed in the beneficial effects of acupuncture got better results than those who didn’t. It became apparent that it wasn’t where or how the needles were placed that counted, but who put them there.
“The therapist’s attitude...has much to do with the success of the patient in his/her healing process.” Indeed, the success rate seemed in this instance to reach beyond technique.
Cayce consistently emphasized the importance of attitudes for healing success. In several readings regarding massage, we have examples of intention on the part of the therapist. One 38-year-old man was given this advice, some of which was also aimed at the practitioner:
A gentle massage to quiet the body would be well, with prayer—and not by those who do not live what they pray. Do not merely pray that he will be well, but well for what? Do not pray for the body to be well for what the body can do for self but for those whom he has aided and also hindered. (3439-1)
For a five-year-old boy the time during the massage was to be a “period for meditation and prayer, and for the conversation about the spiritual life to the unfolding mind and body.” (5406-1) Good conversations during massages were also mentioned in other readings. The quality of the massage was addressed in this reading:
Do not hurry through the massage. Take time to give same, and let it be done with the spirit of truth, of hope, of purpose, of the suggestive influence as will aid in establishing the coordinations needed for the rebuilding, the replenishing for this body of those conditions. (2642-1)
Often in the readings the word intent is equated or linked with purpose, such as, “The intent, the purpose, is to serve...” (254-34) Mentioned in nearly 600 readings, intent denotes one’s “highest motives” (31-1) and, when used in healing, that certain conditions will be overcome.
For, while mind is the builder, it is the purpose, the intent with which an individual applies self mentally, that brings those physical results into materiality. (257-252)
The power of intent, it may be said, awakens a response in the body for the healing to begin. Whether done with the laying on of hands, a massage, a pack, or a spinal adjustment, there is a force that will flow through us when we begin to apply what we know.
The methods of healing we use—be they of the physical, the mental, or the spiritual—simply awaken within the cells and atoms of our bodies the willingness to allow this life force to flow through us. In achieving this awakening through intent, we, as practitioners, become, then, authentic channels of blessing to those for whom we care.
Excerpt from the Spring, 2013 issue of Venture Inward newsletter, available to A.R.E. members at Edgarcayce.org/members.
Elaine Hruska is a therapist for the Edgar Cayce A.R.E. Health Center & Spa located in Houston, Texas. She holds her MA in transpersonal studies from Atlantic University and is considered an expert on the Edgar Cayce health readings. She trained under Harold J. Reilly, a pioneer in the field of massage therapy and a world-renowned physiotherapist who created the Cayce/Reilly Massage. She is the author of the best-selling books Edgar Cayce's Quick & Easy Remedies and Your Key to Good Health: Unlocking the Power of Your Lymphatic System.
August 2015 Update
From the Desk of Kevin J. Todeschi
This is my update for August 2015 to A.R.E. members and friends who are interested in the new and exciting trends occurring within Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. and Atlantic University. A number of exciting things are happening this month! Please share the following with your friends:
CREATE CAMPAIGN UPDATE – Only 4 months left!
As you may know, this is the “Capstone Year” of our $30 million CREATE Campaign (capital, endowment, and program support)… and, thanks to some recent donations for our renovation projects, we have raised approximately $29 million! We still need $1 million to renovate our Library and Conference Center (new restrooms, HVAC system, Library carpeting, expanding the auditorium, parking improvements, and upgrades throughout the building). Donors of $500 or more to the project will be listed on our Stairway to Heaven. Help us make a great impression on our visitors. Visit www.EdgarCayce.org/donate to help!
ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY – GET A CLOSER LOOK AT SOME OF OUR STUDENTS
Luis Palma, Class of 2015 just launched Palma Wellness Therapies. Luis is an Army Afghanistan War veteran with a background in Special Operations, and is currently a Captain serving as the Executive Officer for an Infantry Battalion. Luis is a peaceful warrior who is passionate about diplomacy and conflict resolution. After completing his Master of Arts in Transpersonal Studies degree with Atlantic University and the three levels of Integrated Imagery: Regression Hypnosis, Luis opened Palma Wellness Therapies in Lake Norman, NC. These therapies specialize in transpersonal hypnotherapy and energy wellness practices, as well as offer professional teachings of wellness modalities: www.palmawellnesstherapies.com.
Michael Bianco-Splann, Class of 2016 (projected) just released a new book: Conscious Leadership: 7 Principles That WILL Change Your Business and Change Your Life. In his latest publication, Michael writes about insightful alternatives and practices that will enrich your leadership skills while bringing into alignment the whole you, with all your unique and essential humanness. In addition to being a student at Atlantic University and an author, Michael is a life coach and motivational speaker. To learn more about his work, visit www.illuminateambitions.com.
Yvonne Gleason, Spiritual Guidance Mentor Training certificate student, Reiki Journeys. Not only is Yvonne Gleason a student at the University, she is also the editor of Reiki Journeys: Stories of Personal and Spiritual Growth through Reiki. A portion of the book sales directly benefit the Life with Cancer Family Center’s Reiki treatment program. Learn more about Yvonne and her community outreach by visiting: Reiki for Women, www.reikinorthernvirginia.com.
The application deadline for the Spring 2016 semester is November 15, 2015. For more information contact us at email@example.com or 800.428.1512
CAYCE/REILLY® SCHOOL OF MASSAGE
The Cayce/Reilly School of Massage celebrated the graduation of 16 students on August 9 with a lovely ceremony and a packed auditorium – congratulations to the newest generation of proud C/R graduates! The School is actively recruiting and accepting applications for our next program starting on September 28, 2015 – any students who start the program in September will receive a $500.00 tuition discount. Visit our website: www.caycereilly.edu to apply online today.
We are also excited to announce the launch of our new Yoga Teacher Training Program. The 200-hour program will run from January through December 2016 – training classes will be held one weekend per month at our beautiful oceanfront campus where attendees will enjoy learning the art and science of yoga practice as well as the holistic health concepts found in the Cayce readings. Please visit our website for more details coming soon and to reserve your spot in this inaugural training!
We are pleased to announce that, for the first time, the School is advertising in the Education & Training Military-to-Civilian Transition Guide – a publication that goes out to 250,000 service members seeking education and training opportunities following their military career retirement. We feel this is one of the most valuable means of promoting our wonderful and unique programs to the military-based target market!
A.R.E. ONLINE COURSES
A.R.E. online courses are designed to allow the participant to focus on your spiritual growth and personal enrichment from the comfort of home. With 24/7 access to all lesson material, staying connected to a network of like-minded seekers is easy and convenient. Upcoming eGroups:
Manifesting Creativity through Mandalas, Meditation, Ideals, and Yoga, August 19 – September 15, 2015
Mentored by Rachel Alvidrez. SPECIAL PRICE: $79
Edgar Cayce on the Akashic Records and Relationships, September 2 – September 29, 2015
Mentored by Kevin Todeschi. SPECIAL EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: $79 (ends August 26)
To learn more and register, visit www.edgarcayce.org/egroups, or call 800.333.4499.
SUMMER 2015 AT A.R.E. CAMP IS A SUCCESS!
The true spirit and resiliency of the A.R.E. Camp community was bright and steady this summer, as we rallied to open Camp on time after the devastating loss of the Dining Hall and Kitchen. Almost three months later, A.R.E. Camp has just finished the last program of this adventurous summer, the Adult Retreat! A full group of Campers enjoyed a week-long workshop with Ellen Selover and Denise Furgason, all while living a Cayce lifestyle, eating fantastic food, and having a ton of fun.
The planning stages for the NEW Dining Hall and Kitchen are in the works, and we hope to begin construction this autumn in order to have a fully operational and open facility for the start of our 2016 season! Nearly 200 people have already contributed almost $70,000 in funds and wish-list items to A.R.E. Camp in response to the fire. THANK YOU! We need to raise at least an additional $100,000 to help cover the gap between our needs and what insurance will cover. If you would like to pitch in to help, you can do so here:http://www.edgarcayce.org/camp/
NEW YouTube CHANNEL VIDEOS
We’ve added several new videos to our YouTube channel in recent weeks. First, authors Sidney and Nancy Kirkpatrick reveal the fascinating stories they uncovered in their book True Tales from the Edgar Cayce Archives; next we have Atlantic University faculty member and author Bunny Paine-Clemes, discussing Creative Synergy with the head of Atlantic, James Van Auken; and finally, spiritual mentors Eileen Malo and Lynn Sparrow Christy sit together for a talk about personal spiritual growth and the new program Journey to Wholeness and Integrative Growth.
The Cayce readings say we are all naturally psychic, and this September 25-27, Headquarters conferences brings you You Are Psychic: A Step-By-Step Course for Advancing Your Intuitive Potential --an experiential weekend filled with practical hands-on ways to develop and apply your innate intuitive abilities and take them to the next level! Featuring professional psychics, trainers, and authors Carol Ann Liaros, Suzanne Giesemann, Henry Reed PhD, Jeycea Thompson, Donita King, and Donald B. Carroll, this inspiring weekend also includes a special opening social and meet-and-greet with the Wayshowers, a group trained in psychic development and spiritual service by Henry and Carol Ann. In HQ-sponsored Field programs, we are excited to launch a new 2-day program on Ancient Mysteries in the Vacaville, Calif. area-- Light from the Distant Past: Ancient Insights Revealed for Today , November 13-14, featuring David Hatcher Childress, John Van Auken, and James Tyberonn! Don’t miss this exciting Friday evening-Saturday evening program featuring some of A.R.E.’s most renowned explorers!
A.R.E. 2015 TOURS
- China and Tibet – Led by John Van Auken, September 15-28, 2015. Walk the back of the dragon on the Great Wall of China…feel the peace and serenity of that past life as a Tibetan monk… This once-in-a-lifetime adventure is filling up very quickly, so get a move on and save your space!
- New Mexico and Mesa Verde – Led by Don Carroll, October 24-31, 2015. Join us as we “walk the good red road” and tune into the sacred energies of Mother Earth in a land that long been an area of pilgrimage by those seeking the wisdom of the Native American cultures.
AND COMING UP IN 2016:
Cuba, the “Return to Atlantis” Tour– Led by John Van Auken, February 13 – 21, 2016.
- Peru and Bolivia, Where Heaven Meets Earth - Led by Peter Woodbury with Andean Shaman, Juan de Dios Kucho,
May 11 – 22, 2016, with optional extension to see and experience the Nazca Lines!
- Ireland – Led by John Van Auken, July 10 - 24 2016!
- PLUS… Greece – More details to be announced.
If you would like additional information about any of our travel programs, contact our Travel Programs Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-888-273-3339!
A.R.E. BOOKSTORE & GIFT SHOP
This month the bookstore is proud to announce the arrival of new product lines that embody the Cayce ideal to make the world a better place! We are now featuring Chavez for Charity bracelets and Basic Spirit Pewter, which donate a percentage of sales to benefit worthwhile charities all over the world.
In addition to that, we’ve begun our Weekly Wisdom Workshops! Every Thursday night you can join us in the bookstore to learn about things like Psychic Development, EFT, Crystal grids and more. Call 757-457-7258 to register or for more information.
Thank you for your prayers, generosity and ongoing support for this great Work!
Kevin J. Todeschi
Executive Director and CEO
Angel in the Basement
By Judy Cosgrove
After months of waiting to close and lots of hard work remodeling, our retirement home in a nearby 55+ community was finally ready. This was our third home and we expect it to be the last in our 46 years of marriage. Hanging the family photo collage on the living room wall brought back wonderful memories of our previous homes. Our first was a row home in downtown West Chester, Pa., where we spent five years. Our second, where we lived for 41 years, was a suburban home surrounded by wonderful neighbors near our parish church. Along with raising three children and caring for three dogs and two cats, we were also fortunate to welcome two grandchildren into our lives during those years. It was a special memory now from this second home that I was focused on while studying my photo collage and realizing how quickly the years slipped by.
It started out as a typical Sunday in our suburban home that spring day in 1973. My two boys, Michael, age six, and Steven, age four, were in the yard playing with their new friends. My husband Bill was out for the afternoon, and my seven-month-old baby girl, Lisa, was happily rolling around the kitchen floor in her walker as I did some chores. This was such a happy time in my life with my young family, my husband, our new home in the suburbs, with so much to look forward to.
I was tidying up the first floor early in the afternoon and then went to the basement to gather trash from my laundry room. After that chore, I came up the steps, went through the kitchen, and then outside and around the garage to empty the trash. Just as I opened the trashcan lid, I was struck with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as a thought entered my mind. Did I remember to close the basement door before walking through the kitchen and outside? I quickly justified this terrifying feeling by saying to myself, “I would never have left that door open with Lisa in her walker!” I uttered a prayer, “Please God, if I did, send help for my baby”! My legs turned to jelly and fear was rampant within me as I walked back into the house to find baby and walker missing from my kitchen. Sure enough my worst fear was true; the basement door was wide open.
I stood at the basement doorway looking down the steps to the concrete floor, and there at the bottom was Lisa’s walker. But where was Lisa? I ran down the steps, turned the corner, and there in the middle of the floor was my baby girl—rather far from the stairs. She appeared to be in shock—chalk white—but other than that, she seemed perfectly okay. She wasn’t crying but whimpered instead. I felt so ashamed of myself as I carried her upstairs. I immediately called my pediatrician. He reassured me, saying, “She’s probably fine, but keep an eye on her to see how much she sleeps. It’s possible that she might have a concussion.” I made another call to my sister, a registered nurse, who lived nearby. She came over right away and shared my anguish and horror, but by the time she went home, she concluded, “I think she is fine.”
I made it through the rest of that Sunday chastising myself for the most careless thing I had ever done since becoming a mother! On the other hand, I realized something very special had taken place, which relieved my dreadful feelings. For my baby to land in the middle of the basement floor meant that she flew out of the walker as it fell down the steps. She must have gone airborne through the open handrail and dropped about six feet to the concrete floor, without even a throw rug to soften her landing. And yet, here she was, fine. How was that possible? My brief but heart-felt prayer had been answered.
During the days ahead, the horrible guilt subsided, and my baby continued to be fine and healthy. It was many years before I shared this story with anyone, for obvious reasons. I was reluctant to do so but yet was anxious to tell of the miracle that had taken place. Gratitude fills my heart now as I return to the present moment in my retirement home. Looking at the pictures in my collage of Lisa’s wedding, my son-in-law, and her two beautiful children, I’m no longer ashamed to tell this story. I know full well that none of this would have been possible without divine help on that day so long ago. I have come to believe that a very speedy angel caught my baby in mid-air and laid her softly on the concrete floor. There is no other possible explanation that comes into my mind after all these years. I often think of that Sunday and feel so special as I remember having my very own “angel in the basement.”
There are ever, for every soul, those that may be termed the guides or guardian angels that stand before the throne of grace and mercy. (405-1)
Judy Cosgrove is a spiritual seeker and long-time member of the A.R.E. A certified Asian body worker and graduate from the Meridian Institute in Wayne, Pa., she practiced Shiatsu and Tendino-Muscular Meridian work at a chiropractic center and a healing arts center, both in the West Chester, Pa. area. She retired from a career as an administrative assistant from a major corporation in the Philadelphia area. Following the death of her son Michael in 1992, she has been involved with “The Compassionate Friends” (TCF), a global support group for parents whose children have died. A volunteer, she leads workshops and writes articles on after death communication to help bereaved parents in their grief process. She has been married to husband Bill for 48 years, and is the proud mother of three children and two grandchildren.
Meditation—Key to Personal Transformation
By Mark Thurston, PhD
Many decades ago, when I was a freshman in college and newly involved in the A.R.E., I was excited to hear one evening at our study group meeting that Edgar Cayce’s son Hugh Lynn would be coming to Houston to give a public lecture. I was eager to learn from someone whose writings and lecture tapes had already been so helpful to me. Thinking back now upon that lecture, there is one vivid memory. Hugh Lynn asserted a startling claim. "Everything about your life is predictable—driven completely by your habits of thought, emotion, and behavior. In fact, you really have only one choice today: Whether or not you will meditate."
If we are interested in growth and change—if we are committed to personal transformation—then some kind of regular meditative practice is indispensable. That means creating some "space" in our lives. It’s not so much physical or temporal space, although it’s certainly important to have a supportive place and a regular, uninterrupted time period for the practice. But "space" particularly has to do with creating a new relationship with our thoughts and feelings. It means disengaging from the routines of attitude, emotion, and thinking. It means experiencing directly that "I have thoughts, but I am not my thoughts. I have feelings, but I am not those feelings." A new sense-of-self begins to emerge. We remember something about our own deepest nature.
So let’s assume that we’re convinced by
- Hugh Lynn Cayce’s principle about how change is made possible,
- some 25 centuries of human experience with contemplative practices, and
- a mountain of modern research about the physical and mental health benefits of meditation.
It still leaves us with the question of exactly how to go about doing the practice?
Meditative practice can be like a two-sided coin. There are two "faces" of the practice, but it’s just one "coin." One face is a mindful openness to the present moment. This approach involves becoming super-alert to physical sensations—for example, the feelings of one’s breath as the belly rises and falls, or the ambient sounds of the environment. It might include a body scan, attentively and slowly moving awareness from the top of one’s head down to the tip of the toes. We gently ask ourselves, "What am I experiencing right now?" And this process is directed not only to the physical sensations of body and environment; it is also turned inward. "What am I noticing right now as a thought or an emotion?" But it’s just noticing, and not letting oneself get caught up and carried away in that mental activity. And all of this open mindfulness is done without judgment or evaluation. Nothing is good or bad. It just is.
The other side of the coin is to become so absorbed in one’s chosen focal point of attention that impressions of the environment and the body fall away. This kind of deep, concentrative work takes a lot of practice, but much can be transformed in us by even short periods of sustained attention to that heart-felt focal point. But what to choose as the object of one’s absorption? The Cayce philosophy of meditation seems to emphasize this second side of the coin, and it urges us to select a focal point that resonates to our highest spiritual ideal—an "affirmation." What words can evoke the feeling and spirit of your ideal? It’s not that we have to come up with some formula or time-tested incantation that will work its magic on us. It’s simply choosing words that have deep personal meaning. For example, if your spiritual ideal is "loving service," then this affirmation from Cayce might work well for you, "Let me ever be a channel of blessings to others." You enter into this deep, absorptive side of meditation when you let the repeated affirmation awaken in you deep feelings of caring and loving. Then you hold in silent attention those feelings, even as you let go of the words—coming back to them only if you notice you’ve drifted away and need reorientation.
Which side of the coin is best? Which is more likely to promote transformative change? The answer might well be that we need both, and that nurturing one’s own meditative life involves learning right timing and approach for moving back and forth between the two—much like we walk forward by shifting effort from one leg to the other. Open, attentive awareness to all the impressions of the present moment. Deep absorption in the feelings and spirit of an ideal. Nurturing our capacity for both is one key to transformational change.
Mark Thurston, PhD, is an author, psychologist, and educator who worked at A.R.E. and
Atlantic University from 1973 through 2008. He is now a faculty member at George
Mason University's Center for the Advancement of Well-Being where he teaches
courses about consciousness, mindfulness, and spirituality. He is featured in the Edgar
Cayce Online Learning course, "Discovering Your Soul’s Purpose," and the creator of
"Discovering Your Mission In Life" on DVD. More about his work can be found at
Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. blog offers opinion pieces from contributors with a wide variety of backgrounds. These opinions are valued and create points of discussion. Opinions expressed in our blog may not necessarily represent the opinion of A.R.E.