“I Refuse to Accept This
Limitation—God is My Source!”
By Suzette Faith Foster
Q. Can healing be instantaneous or is it always progressive?
A. The natural bent is progressive, but this does not indicate it may not be instantaneous.
Edgar Cayce reading (443-6)
We all hold, whether tapped or untapped, the healing and manifesting potential of the mind, body and spirit. It took one experience for me to validate the depth and power of this potential in myself.
I had met up with my friends for our weekly mountain bike ride, which involved leaning into curves, riding over obstacles, and jumping piles of logs.
We reached a familiar teeter-totter, one we had mastered many times, riding up one side and down the other. Then we stopped and contemplated one much bigger that was new to the trail. I wanted to try it.
In mountain biking, speed is your friend. I pressed forward.
My front tire made contact with the teeter-totter. But next, I found myself barreling headfirst into the ground.
My neck snapped!
Lying there, I tried to move—but couldn’t. I tried to talk, but no sound came out. I was totally paralyzed.
Then I stopped breathing—the imminent death sentence.
Caught between life and death, my training instinctively emerged. Daily, I had practiced, as I now help my clients practice, spiritual and holistic healing principles. In that moment, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to walk my talk.
I had no movement, no voice, no breath. But I had everything I needed within me; I had my mind and my faith.
A short, powerful mantra that I used daily rushed forth. Still on the ground, motionless, breathless, I willed my body, emphatically: “I refuse to accept this limitation—God is my Source!”
Boom! What felt like a huge, pain-free lightning bolt coursed through me. I repeated, “I refuse to accept this limitation—God is my Source!”
A second bolt instantly went through me.
Miraculously, I regained my breath! My lifeless form had accepted the dance of my mind, body, and spirit.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrived after 17 minutes and transported me to Duke Medical Center. An ER doctor told me that my full paralysis was the result of my totally severed C2 neck vertebra and a very serious spinal cord injury, the same injury that the late Christopher Reeve had suffered. Soon, friends and family arrived. I told them, “This is temporary. See me dancing.”
The surgery to reconnect my C2 was successful. But I was still left a quadriplegic. Unbeknownst to me, my doctor, Robert E. Isaacs, Director of Spine Surgery at Duke, prepared a friend by telling her, “Don’t expect much improvement in Suzette’s condition.”
I knew the profound healing I desired was my responsibility from the inside out. I did affirmations, visualizations, and meditations. I also listened to CDs that bathed me with healing-sound frequencies.
When I awoke from surgery, I refused pain medicine. I experienced no pain. They said I would be in ICU for 7-10 days. I said I would be out in two, and I walked out two days later. They predicted my hospital stay would be three weeks, minimum. I said I’d be out in a week, and I was. Appearing perplexed, Dr. Isaacs said, “People like you don’t exist.” He explained that most people with severe spinal cord injury die at the scene, because they stop breathing. I had stopped breathing. He said even the surviving few who don’t stop breathing are left quadriplegic. Yet I walked out of the hospital.
My passion and belief in the teachings and tools that I had learned thus far along my spiritual journey directly influenced my outcome. In hindsight, it was my commitment to my spiritual deepening that literally saved my life and allowed for my unexpected healing. I’m grateful for my practice of having energy healings and going within to shift my old programming, limited thinking, and emotional wounds. All these had raised my vibration; a vibration that magnetized me to my remarkable healing.
Within months, I was fully functioning: enjoying dancing, hiking, and yoga. I am blessed that I am living the emotional and physical freedom that mind, body, and spirit principles allow.
A year later, Dr. Isaacs wrote, “Considering Suzette’s spinal cord damage, her results surpassed medical expectations. The rapidity and completeness of her improvement is more than would be comprehended. So I’m trying to make sense of it in my mind.”
Suzette Faith Foster is a life coach, distance energy healing facilitator, transformational author and speaker. To read her full story and many other personal and client stories and to get inspired to delve deeper into your own spiritual journey, read Suzette’s book, Calling Back Your Power. Her Web site is Choose2Thrive.com.
Cayce Hemorrhoid Remedy
Taps Unexpected Source
By Todd Burgin
Hemorrhoid inflammation is a condition that up to 50 percent of people will experience in their lifetime. Mild cases are often resolved through a combination of increased fiber and fluid intake, rest, and over-the-counter medication to manage symptoms, while severe cases may be treated through surgery. Edgar Cayce, often referred to as the “father of holistic medicine,” outlined a variety of treatments for this condition, including massage and manipulation, enemas (with specific mixtures), and an ointment (originally known as Tim, and now available as Tibbex*).
Hemorrhoids were, according to the readings given on this condition, a symptom of problems in the body’s eliminations, which would then cause inflammation, pain, and sometimes bleeding. “Again we find the effects of these conditions in the eliminations through the alimentary canal, and in the effect produced in the sphincter muscular forces we find the folds in that portion of the system becoming irritated in the form of hemorrhoids that give the distress at times… And we would make local applications…for those conditions in the portions of the system affected by the hemorrhoids. Using the combination of properties found in Tim will bring bettered conditions.” (678-2)
In reading 294-24, Cayce gave the formula for the hemorrhoid ointment that became known as “Tim.” This reading, which was volunteered and not given in response to a suggestion, states that the formula should be used for treatment of inflammation in and around the rectum. “This to be used as salve or lotion for such conditions or abrasions, internal or external. Apply that to the body. We will bring better relief and relations to the whole physical body, with the action of the physical when in the subconscious or subnormal conditions.”
Massage and manipulation, along with dietary changes, were often recommended to treat the root cause of the problem. Enemas (or colonics) were suggested to cleanse the colon and create an environment more conducive to healing. And finally, the topical ointment, Tim, was suggested to bring immediate relief of the symptoms as well as promoting healing in the affected tissues. “For the condition as gives trouble in the rectum at the present time, we would use a solution or a salve of this character…” (953-9) Tim was even suggested for use after a medical procedure, “we find that AFTER such treatments by the proctologist, it would be well to use such an ointment as Tim for the CORRECTING of the conditions as related to the circulation in those areas.” (1540-1)
In a later reading, Cayce described a “better formula” to replace Tim. With these improvements he said the new formula “does relieve, and with the proper precautions in diet and in exercise will remove hemorrhoids and piles, and do good for old sores also—as leg sores… The directions would be to apply as an ointment to affected portions once or twice each day. Rest as much as possible after application, with the feet elevated above the head. It'll cure it!” (Edgar Cayce Reading 1800-20)
Tobacco Plant Wikipedia
Photo credit: William Rafti
of the William Rafti Institute
Interestingly, tobacco is one of the key ingredients of this formula. Though it is primarily associated with poor health today, and Cayce did frequently warn of the negative health effects that tobacco use and addiction cause, tobacco also has a healing history, as evidenced by its inclusion in this remedy. According to cultural literature, the Mayans used tobacco for asthma, insect bites, bowel complaints, fever, skin diseases, and urinary ailments. Native American tribes in New England would wash burns with a form of boiled tobacco, and to this day it remains a folk remedy for certain injuries and disorders.
According to Cayce, nicotine (which is present in every part of the tobacco plant and one of the most highly addictive compounds known) has an important quality of drawing out toxins (though it should not be used when the body is already eliminating toxins). “…for being over sensitive [he had been smoking too much], naturally the nicotine from the tobacco brings those poisons in system that must be eliminated, and when the body is overclogged (as such condition exists at present), this merely adds to that condition wherein distresses are produced.” (294-96) Modern studies have also indicated that tobacco contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Benzoin, another component of the “better formula” now known as Tibbex*, is a resin used as an antiseptic treatment for dry skin and as an expectorant for respiratory conditions, according to The Cayce Herbal (a collection of fact sheets on herbs recommended by Edgar Cayce, available at EdgarCayce.org/members as a resource in the Edgar Cayce readings database). Cayce recommended it as a component in inhalants (such as Herbal Breathing*) and in massage oils where it acted as “…a material aid to stimulating the superficial circulatory forces, and thus enabling the body to gain better control of the muscular forces…” The other key ingredient is Atomic Iodine*, which is electrified iodine often recommended by Cayce as an external antiseptic or, in minute doses taken under a physician’s supervision, as a thyroid supplement, according to the Cayce Health Database.
Tibbex*, a new offering from Baar Products, the Official Supplier of Cayce Care products, replicates this latter formula. “We’ve researched the beneficial historical uses and Cayce’s recommendations for tobacco to formulate a product that provides soothing relief to those suffering with hemorrhoids,” Bruce Baar, Doctor of Naturopathy (ND) said. “We are focused on manufacturing products that maximize the body’s full healing potential and are excited to introduce one of Cayce’s most unique and effective formulas. Tibbex has already begun to receive positive feedback and testimonials.”
"...I was delighted to hear that many of your customers have found Tibbex to be almost a miracle product in the healing of Hemorrhoidal conditions. I can only tell you, that has certainly proved to be true in my case. The relief from burning and itching occurred within an hour of applying the Tibbex Ointment and by the next day the inflammation seemed to be gone completely."
- M.R., Rensselaer, NY
*Available from the official supplier of Cayce Care Products at Baar.com or 1-800-269-2502.
Todd Burgin is a freelance writer and editor and former associate editor of Venture Inward magazine.
Mickey’s All-Inclusive Miracle
By Barbara A. Derrick, PhD
Mickey, an inmate serving a life sentence at a South Carolina maximum security prison, was going blind. The Department of Corrections had paid for one cataract operation, which now had clouded over. The other eye had its problems as well with a newly formed cataract of its own. Mickey was legally blind.
The warden said the state would not pay for further medical help. Mickey was working in the chaplain’s office and functioned in that capacity after the chaplain left each day. But, after nightfall, he could not see in the darkness. Those who needed help after dark were out of luck.
I was a volunteer chaplain at this prison. I wanted to help Mickey but I could not do it alone.
An Edgar Cayce Study Group that met weekly in my home became interested. We discussed what could be done. The warden was creating more obstacles than necessary. Why?
We set out to work through the obstacles we knew were standing in the way.
Word went out about Mickey’s need for surgery. Generous and caring people sent money toward the surgery. Money accumulated from people who wanted to see a blind inmate, who was doing remarkable work with other inmates, regain his sight. Individuals helped. When the Lions Club found out about Mickey, they helped too.
Hearts were opening for an inmate, who had made a mistake in the past and was now serving others.
We located an ophthalmologist who agreed to do the work. This respected surgeon did not shrink from having a beige uniformed prison inmate with a brown stripe down his pant leg in his reception room. Mickey was shy and didn’t want to appear in public wearing shackles and accompanied by two armed guards. The surgeon’s acceptance of Mickey helped. Mickey had to do what he had to do. Without the surgery, he could be of no service to others. The surgeon could render him functional again. That was his dream and ours.
We were about to witness a miracle that fanned out in more directions than we could have imagined.
I called the warden’s office. All the details had been worked out. The date for the medical pre-op appointment was made. The local police officers were ready.
Mickey watched the minutes of the wall clock tick toward 9 a.m. Any minute now the local police would arrive to take him to the appointment. He would be shackled, hand and foot. But Mickey could do it now, thanks to a magnanimous surgeon.
At 8:45 a.m. Mickey received devastating news. The warden ordered the operation stopped.
Once again we coordinated a new time for the procedure. I again notified the warden’s office. But for a second time, the warden stopped the operation on the very day the appointment was set.
We were astounded. Why? It would take a miracle to help Mickey restore his sight.
From the grapevine we heard the reason. The warden was resolute. “No woman is going to tell me what to do.” He misunderstood our intentions. We were trying to help an inmate who could not help himself.
But we had overlooked the warden’s need. We looked at the situation. The warden was expressing his need to be respected. He had worked his way up through the ranks to the prison’s highest position. He needed to exert his authority. Although we thought we had checked with him all along the way, the focus had been on Mickey. Apparently the warden needed more. Now, what could we do to help?
The Warden was hurting.
Our Edgar Cayce group knew from the Cayce readings that prayer was beneficial. We formulated a 30-day prayer for our group to use at the meetings and for each member to use daily: “May the highest and best be done for the warden.” We each wanted the best for the warden.
In less than three weeks, something startling happened. Suddenly, the warden retired. He was leaving a system where he was unhappy. We rejoiced. He was getting what he wanted, and we were glad. If we could not help Mickey, we could help heal the warden’s wounds.
A new warden was in place. We contacted him to see if there would be any objection to our continuing our efforts to help Mickey.
“No, of course not,” came our answer.
Plans were formulated again. All went without a hitch.
When Mickey came from the operating room, he was staring at the wall, transfixed by the floral pattern he saw there. He had been unable to see details of any kind for months. He was captivated with the design on the wallpaper. To him the wallpaper’s simple floral pattern was exquisite.
So we lifted our grateful hearts. The loving Creator had healed wounds we did not know about. A hurting warden had been helped, and the way for corrective surgery for Mickey had been cleared.
Mickey’s miracle was all inclusive.
Barbara Derrick, PhD, a researcher, lecturer and writer on Edgar Cayce, is a counselor, family therapist, and mental health specialist who has successfully used a protocol suggested by Edgar Cayce to enhance and improve the lives of Alzheimer's patients. She has presented at the Edgar Cayce Health Symposium at Virginia Beach and her articles have appeared in Venture Inward magazine, available exclusively to Members by mail or online at
To learn more about A.R.E.’s Study Group Programs, visit EdgarCayce.org/studygroups.
Journey of a Lifetime
By C. Norman Shealy
Fifty years ago, I. started doing electro-acupuncture, apparently sparked by a past life memory. I have spent this lifetime working with alternative health care, medicine, and therapies, energy medicine, and spiritual healing. I believe that "self-health" is the foundation for all of life and have worked to provide tools for assisting individuals in their individual approach to health.
Now, for the first time in this life, I am excited to share some of these insights on healing with those who wish to join Lucia Thornton and me on a People-to-People trip to China. Of a few thousand trips in this life, this should be the most exciting—an opportunity to explore many of the ancient Chinese healing techniques, as well as modern evolutions in China and to explore some of the beauty of China. I have turned down a dozen previous invitations to visit China. Having the expertise of People to People for political support and the fun of sharing with Lucia and like-minded friends makes this trip a must for me! The added arrangements by People to People makes the political journey much more secure!
Our unique background, Lucia as a past president of the American Holistic Nurses Association and me as past president of the American Holistic Medical Association, provides us a truly unique opportunity to visit and learn.
Golden Horse Memorial Archway
We will visit Beijing, Xian, and Kunming, and we'll enjoy insider views of healing traditions and experience the culture in ways that most travelers never get to do—from exploring small, local neighborhoods to observing professional counterparts in their element. You can even extend your trip to Hangzhou and add more exciting opportunities.
The People-to-People Ambassador Program was started by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, to promote peace and understanding among nations. Since that time, over 500,000 delegates have participated in cultural and professional exchange programs across all seven continents. Your participation in this program offers you the opportunity to be an ambassador promoting peace and understanding. As President Eisenhower said, "I have long believed, as have many before me, that peaceful relations between nations requires understanding and mutual respect between individuals."
Join us for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn, grow, and gain an appreciation and understanding of the people, culture, and healing traditions of China. For more information go to: www.PeopletoPeople.com/ThorntonShealy or call Annette at 877-787-2000.
C. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD, is a neurosurgeon, psychologist, and cofounder of the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA), and is current president of Holos Institute for Health. An international speaker and researcher, he holds 10 patents for innovative discoveries and introduced the concepts of Dorsal Column Stimulation and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), both now used worldwide. He has published over 300 articles and is the author of 25 books, including his most recent from A.R.E. Press, Energy Medicine: Practical Application and Scientific Proof and Medical Intuition: Your Awakening to Wholeness. He is a featured presenter at The Healer Within: Edgar Cayce's Legacy of Body, Mind, and Spirit Healing Conference, which also features Dr. Gladys McGarey, to be held in Virginia Beach, Va., June 1-3, 2012.
The Unveiling of "Cayce's Divine Event"
The idea for an oil painting of "Cayce's Divine Event" was born in the heart and mind of artist Dr. John Pagano more than 50 years ago. Yet it was not until 2011 that he felt ready to bring to life the dramatic scene he had visualized so many years ago.
Having been trained at the School of Visual Arts in New York before entering chiropractic college, Pagano has never stopped painting and illustrating scenes that captured his imagination. While in college he read about the experience Edgar Cayce had in 1889, when the celestial being appeared before him, and granted his heart's desire, which later led to his ability to diagnose and suggest remedies that would benefit suffering humanity. This scene had never been brought to canvas before as far as Pagano knew, but had only been recorded in works like Thomas Sugrue's There Is a River. Someday, Pagano thought, he would be the one to do it.
Little did he know that it would take him half a century to turn that thought into reality. On June 21, 2011, at the 80th A.R.E. Congress, Dr. Pagano delivered a lecture on the natural healing of psoriasis and eczema based on the Cayce readings and over 40 years of independent research. The unveiling of his painting was the finishing touch before a very enthusiastic audience. Kevin Todeschi, President and CEO of the A.R.E. announced that there would be a permanent place at the A.R.E. for the oil painting. Indeed, it now hangs in the beautiful library of the main building in fulfillment of Pagano's dream as a both a Cayce researcher and an artist. He hopes to have captured the essence of the moment of the divine event when young Cayce responded to the angelic lady when she asked him what he wanted most in life, to which he answered:
"Most of all I would like to be helpful to others, and especially to children when they are sick."
When one views such results as the case below of a five-year-old girl (one of many) suffering from psoriasis, who was healed in three months, it seems self-evident that Cayce's wish has been fulfilled in the work that Dr. Pagano has done in healing psoriasis. For his part, Pagano feels this is not the end, but rather a beginning in a new era of healing.
John O. A. Pagano, DC, is a chiropractic physician who for 40 years has conducted research on the natural healing of psoriasis and eczema, conditions that afflict millions of people throughout the world. He is the award-winning author of Healing Psoriasis: The Natural Alternative, Dr. John's Healing Psoriasis Cookbook…Plus! (on its third printing) and his latest book One Cause, Many Ailments: The Leaky Gut Syndrome. He has been a featured guest on many programs including on CNBC's America's Talking, NBC's Unsolved Mysteries, WABC TALKRadio, and WOR's Dr. Ronald Hoffman Show. His work has been featured in Alternative Medicine and Dermatology Times. Dr. Pagano has lectured on five continents and presented his work at the Parapsychology Society of the United Nations; before the Dalai Lama and 500 international physicians at the First International Conference on Holistic Medicine in Bangalore, India in 1989; and Russian Academy of Science in Moscow in October of 2009. He traveled to Paris earlier this year and presented a lecture at the Librairie Le Cornaline and book-signing in conjunction with the launch of Healing Psoriasis: The Natural Alternative in the French language. You can learn about Dr. John Pagano and his work online at www.Psoriasis-healing.com.
My Spiritual Emergence
by Gordon Yumibe
“For all those who have or are suffering silently.”
There’s been a chapter in my life that I have kept hidden; it concerns my own mental health issues. I’ve wrestled with sharing this, asked for guidance many times over, and synchronistically received answers including a recent article published in the New York Times by Marsha M. Linehan, about her personal issues with mental health. I decided to share this in the hope of helping others.
When I was 35 years old, I suffered a month-long psychotic episode. There was no hint of what was to follow. I had been devoted to a spiritual path for 10 years. I had graduated from college with a degree in psychology and even worked on the psychiatric floors of a hospital.
It was an acute episode: I remember going to a restaurant to talk to my employer, and as I walked out, everything changed. It was an uncomfortable, frightening world that I would inhabit for the next month. I seemed normal on the outside, yet on the inside everything had an intense Alice in Wonderland feeling. The lights chased me around the city at night and alien entities pursued me to inhabit my body. I took all of my savings and fled on a journey that took me from Washington down the coast to California. The people around me didn’t see this internal turmoil or know about my visions at night. Eventually, the energy which had propelled this episode started dissipating and I started feeling my life force ebbing away. Through a fortunate turn of events, I was admitted to a hospital in San Francisco. I was lucky enough to find medication to end this bizarre phase and I quickly regained my normal senses, but I was emotionally drained.
Edgar Cayce talks about health as a cooperative balance between all spheres of mankind’s existence. The mind, body, spirit, and soul all have to create a mutually balanced cooperative approach if inner health and equilibrium are to be achieved. All it takes is for one’s health start to slip before one begins to realize how fragile our physical existence really, truly is.
Over the next year, I began to feel grounded and returned to work. The fears of another episode seemed like a distant memory. There were some lingering effects including enhancement of my own psychic ability as I began to know what other people were thinking. I also worried that people would never take me seriously again. You know.... “the crazy one.”
Twenty years after the episode, several courses at Atlantic University were instrumental to my understanding. The course “Mysticism and Mental Health” helped me put another face on mental illness. Kay Redfield Jamison’s book, Touched with Fire, talked about some of our most noted writers and poets flirting with their own mental health issues throughout their most creative periods. There seems to be a link between high levels of creativity and episodic periods of mania. Christina and Stanislav Grof, MD explored the idea of a “spiritual crisis,” as emerging spirituality causes disruption to mental health equilibrium.
This concept fit with Laren M. Prato’s From the Inside-Out: Shattering the Mental Illness Myth about her time in a mental hospital and the lack of understanding from mental health professionals as to the true causes of some of these issues. The appendix at the end of her book outlined a new diagnostic category in the DSM-lV (the manual used by mental health professionals) called “Religious or Spiritual Problem.” This is a lasting legacy, possibly started with the the Grofs’ lifetime of work to re-educate mental health professionals about the very nature of this classification.
In the AU course “Transformational Astrology,” I was introduced to Jeffrey Wolf Green’s book Pluto, the Soul’s Evolution through Relationships, Vol. I, which touches upon some of the transformational aspects of this potent planet. I discovered that Pluto was in my Eleventh House between 1980 and ‘88 when I was in my 30s. It also opposed several of the planets in my chart, which may have been the catalyst for my spiritual crisis. According to Mr. Green, individuals with Pluto in the Eleventh House (house of Aquarius) are learning to break free of social structure and often find new methods of self-discovery.
A few years ago, I attended a lecture by Mirabai Starr titled “Spiritual Crisis/Emergence” in Portland. One of the program attendees strongly voiced skepticism about whether or not it was real. I remember publicly defending the validity of her work. That night, I dreamt of being incarcerated in a previous life because others thought that I had become too “otherworldly.” I realized that I am no longer afraid of what others think about me. That fear is gone.
Now, almost 30 years later, I have become grateful for that fearsome experience. For those of us who are more able to live and experience other dimensions daily, this may just represent the evolution of inner life. I am no longer living in a world just defined by time and space. This may represent a portal to help others evolve and know their own spiritual souls and the creative forces that link all of us with our Creator.
Gordon Yumibe is a lifelong seeker with an interest in Jungian, Gnostic, and Edgar Cayce material. While he is a professional gardener by trade, he also has a psychology degree. In 2009, he received a Spiritual Mentoring Certificate from Atlantic University. You can find Gordon on Facebook.
Building the A.R.E.’s Healing Garden
By Rick Spalenka
Helping to create the Harris Prayer and Meditation Garden in 1994 was much more for me than just a garden design project. Not that I hadn’t designed gardens before, that’s what I do, but this particular garden launched my interest in the power of the mind, body, and soul in relation to gardens. I was fortunate to be the designer selected by A.R.E. for the Harris Garden project and to promote this garden as one of my earliest successes. Since the completion of this garden copious evidence has verified that stress contributes significantly to disease (dis-ease) and that verdant natural gardens can reduce that stress.
I worked closely with Peggy Cline, who was then A.R.E.’s Building and Grounds manager, to create a healing garden. We wanted a place a visitor could find respite from stress, from worldly distractions, and from uncomfortable weather. Peggy saw the value of the existing bamboo grove, which, in Chinese garden tradition, represents strength and flexibility. She also felt the power of the existing mature trees as shelter from the elements and symbol of longevity. The existing garden had a water course with fish that was difficult to enjoy because it was hard to access, and it lacked the therapeutic sound of moving water. A change in elevation provided for a cascading waterfall, and the addition of a stone retaining wall and sitting area provided a serene place for contemplation, reflection, escape, and harmonious meditation.
Since many visitors may sometimes be using the garden at one time, small private areas were needed for personal use. Alcoves were located along a meandering path for solitude without hindering others from enjoying the serenity of the garden. The word “meander” comes from the Greek word maindros, after Meander River in Greece’s Phrygia. This refers to the ancient desire of “moving aimlessly and idly without fixed direction” (American Heritage Dictionary), associated with the power of the labyrinth legends. One can now walk past the bamboo grove, enjoy its symbolic strength and not be aware of the bustling traffic behind the grove or the visitors finding solitude in the nearby alcove areas. Following a path with a beginning and end can represent the path through life.
Another objective was to incorporate an Oriental element to the garden design to acknowledge that man is one with nature. We agreed that a traditional bowed Oriental-style bridge was needed to create a connection over the existing water feature and proposed connecting paths. The plants selected were to complement and emphasize the Oriental use of color, texture, and seasonal beauty, using plants comfortable in Tidewater’s climate. Jay Mears, a local garden designer and plantsman, Peggy, and I selected and planted the foliage to complete this amazing garden. Recognition must also be given to the A.R.E.’s building and grounds department for its maintenance, timely replacement, and ideal additions to the landscape palette in this wonderful garden.
Today, it is truly a mystical place filled with peace. A wooden stairway leads to the peaceful garden which has a waterfall, a pond with fish, a footbridge, stone walkways, relaxing benches, beautiful bamboo, and a lighting system. My hope is that the Harris Garden will continue to provide healing vibrations to others as it has done for me.
Rick Spalenka, ASLA, is a registered Landscape Architect in Colorado and Virginia, and is certified in therapeutic garden design through the Chicago Botanic Garden. He received his Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin (Madison), his Masters in Urban Studies from Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA), and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Mesa State College (Grand Junction, CO). He combines his 20-plus years of landscape design and building experience with 10-plus years of medical/surgical and psychiatric nursing experience to specialize in therapeutic and healing garden design for healthcare and residential clients. To learn more, visit his Web site RGSDesigns.com.
The A.R.E. Meditation Garden in Virginia Beach was renamed the Harris Prayer and Meditation Garden after being renovated, expanded, and beautified, thanks to a generous donation by A.R.E. member Samuel D. Harris.