The Giving Tree
By Heather Preston
Leaning on the deck rail of my little Sausalito house one spring day, straining to see through the upper leaves of a large tree obscuring the hill beyond, I wished idly that if only the top two feet of the tree were gone, my view could be restored. Within the next few days, leaves began dropping from the top of the tree, but only from the top two feet. A few days later the last leaf dropped from that area of the tree.
I could once again see the hill across the valley.
It became apparent, a couple of weeks later that no more leaves were going to follow, that the remaining lower leaves were intact, healthy, and secured. Then it dawned on me that something utterly remarkable had happened. I caught my breath in confusion and amazement. Was this possible? There, indeed, was the view I had wished for. It was as if the tree had “understood” and granted my wish. A thrilling idea.
I was grateful. But as time passed, I became uneasy, for even though I couldn’t have expected what happened, the tree had granted my wish at its own expense. I read once that a tree’s topmost leaves are unique in that they protect it in some way, processing the sun’s energy differently from its other leaves.
After telling a few friends this story and showing them the empty top branches, some were silent and some squinty-eyed. Cold observation proved the tree to be bare on top. “Right, it’s bare on top,” they would say and point out possible reasons, “Not enough water?”
Pretty soon the novelty turned into concern for the tree’s well-being.
I wanted those leaves back more than I wanted the view. I went out and pleaded with the tree to grow the leaves back and said that I was really sorry to have caused it any harm.
Slowly, to my great relief, buds started reappearing on the empty branches, tiny ones at first, only a scattering of green here and there. Then more and more popped open and stretched into leaves. Within a short time, the treetop was filled with beautiful new green leaves. I was weak with gratitude. Friends now marveled to see the perfectly normal tree. The rationalizers still rationalized. But I knew what I knew.
One of my friends, Francis Rath, who prior to becoming a bookstore owner had been a rather imposing law enforcement officer, found that in the course of his work, he could put his hands on people in trauma, and they would instantly stop convulsing and breathe normally. He was a true healer and a sensitive. About a year after the leaf-dropping incident, Francis was at my house for a party. He stepped outside for a breather and leaned against this tree. He later told me that he felt it to be remarkable; its emanations were compassionate and giving. He asked me if I knew that this was “one special tree.” So I told him the story that I have just told you.
“Compassion is no attribute.
It is the Law of Laws…a shoreless universal essence,
the light of everlasting right and fitness of all things,
the love of love eternal.”
From Buddhism: The Seven Portals
Heather Preston is an award-winning artist and author. After graduating with honors and distinction from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she studied in Europe, taught fine art, was represented by leading galleries, and exhibited widely. Her book "Tree Spirits: Tales and Encounters" won the silver finalist medal for the 2010 INDIE Book Awards; it is available at ARECatalog.com. She is a regular contributor to Venture Inward magazine, a benefit for members at EdgarCayce.org/members. For an extensive biography visit HeatherPrestonArt.com.
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.
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.
Seeking a Reading from a Psychic
From the perspective of the Edgar Cayce readings, each of us is our own best psychic. Whether the information comes from a hunch, an intuition, our dreams, or synchronicity, each of us possesses a wealth of internal guidance that can be drawn upon whenever we need it. In fact, the Cayce material suggests that our true natural state is psychic and that as we progress spiritually in our lives we will have more personal experiences with this psychic dimension of our beings.
Still, there are times in life when we may feel the need to receive external guidance. Just as it is appropriate for individuals to seek out help from a doctor, a counselor, a minister, or a trusted friend, there may be occasions when we feel the need for intuitive information.
Whenever A.R.E. features a professional psychic on one of our seminars, programs, or psychic fairs, it is because the individual has demonstrated some measurable ability. However, individuals on our programs are not being endorsed by the A.R.E. While we have worked with individuals who are sincere, ethical, and interested in being helpful to others, we have yet to find an individual who is 100% accurate – and that includes Edgar Cayce, whose calculated 85% accuracy rate is still considered the highest known in contemporary times. The physical, mental, and emotional condition at the time of the reading of the person getting guidance, as well as that of the psychic, may affect the accuracy of the information and/or the ability to communicate/understand this information clearly and coherently.
To get the most from a psychic reading, whether it is external (from a psychic, a numerologist, an astrologer, a “guide,” etc.) or internal (one’s own dreams, inner guidance, visions, intuition, etc.), it is extremely helpful to do a little preparation first.
- The purpose of the reading: Edgar Cayce’s own readings indicated that the purposes of those requesting a reading, as well as the purposes of the psychic in giving a reading and the purposes of those most directly concerned or surrounding both people, played crucial roles in the clarity and depth of the reading obtained.
- Examine your own ideal, values, and soul purpose: Again, the ideals (motivation) and purposes of those directly concerned and surrounding the psychic and the person requesting the reading have an important impact on the quality of the reading. If there is a confusion of purposes, of ideals or if the request for the reading is prompted by greed, curiosity, or desire for power, the quality, clarity, and wisdom of the reading may be considerably less.
- Formulate the questions you want answered: There are some examples below that may help you with the wording. You will want to ask the best questions to elicit the clearest answers.
- Seek guidance making decisions: Be clear in your own mind that you’re looking for help to make your own decisions rather than unconsciously trying to shift the responsibility to someone wiser and with a better view into the future. Getting others perspectives is most helpful when used for making your own informed decisions.
- Examine your own dreams (visit EdgarCayce.org/dreams for more about working with your dreams).
Following are some sample questions:
- Soul's Purpose: What is my mission for this lifetime? How can I best make use of my abilities in the context of my soul’s mission for this lifetime?
- Your own past lifetimes: Describe those past-life experiences that most directly influence me in my current life. Describe those past lives that relate to my present relationship with (insert name).
- Understanding interpersonal relationships: In order to attain real forgiveness and peace, please give me that information I can now use constructively about past-life experiences with (insert name and birth date). Please give that information which will help me understand the source of my problem (provide example) with (insert name and birth date) and what I can do to experience love and healing in our relationship.
- Transforming a particular attitude or emotion: I’ve always had trouble with (emotion for example: losing my temper); what is the source of this and what can I do about it? Lately I find myself plagued with irrational anxiety and insomnia. How can I understand the causes and what can I do about it?
- The future: My ideal is to be of service to God; with this in mind, can I expect that my present employer, (Company Name)to be the place where I can fulfill that ideal in my work life, or should I be looking for another employer?
How to evaluate psychic information, both internal and external:
- Does it have a “ring of truth” for me? Confirmable facts? A feeling of rightness?
- Does it give me applicable things to try to do? If so, what are the results when I do them? Do benefits result for me and all other people involved?
- Does it call me to begin doing the best I know to be doing in my life?
- Does it empower me to take charge of my own life ― giving me a personal next step ― rather than becoming dependent on the psychic source?
- Does it leave me with a sense of hope about my life?
- Does it “speak my language”? Do I feel as if the psychic information addressed me personally, using words, images, metaphors, and examples to which I can relate?
- Let someone else look at the question and answer. What does a trusted friend have to say about the information?
- Does it answer unasked questions, which lie within me?
- Does it stretch me to new, unconsidered aspects of myself and of my life?
- Does it seem to get better with time? When I look back at it six months or a year later, has my evaluation of the reading become even higher?
Visit Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. on Saturday, July 25 for our next Psychic Fair.
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.