Am I going Mad?

” I just love rebirthing. It is a phenomenal tool which, when used by a skilled professional, leads to profound changes in a short time. In my first sessions, events relating to my birth came up over and over again. Breathwork took me on an emotional rollercoaster, yet it was extraordinarily liberating. With each experience, more healing occurred. Even the recurring neck and shoulder problems that kept taking me to the chiropractor eventually healed.

I had never realised until I did this work how closely linked spiritual development and bodywork are. In other words, the body is our link to spirit and vice versa, and our physical birth is the doorway between these two realms. It stands at the interface of personal and transpersonal material, and draws from both, giving us conscious access to the realm of archtypes. Healing the traumas sustained during physical birth has an impact on all areas of life. This concept has been well documented by Stanislav Grof and matches my personal observations. “

This excellent testimonial of the power of breathwork by Marlyse Carroll from her book ‘Am I going Mad?’ supports my own experience of exploring Rebirthing.

Marlyse lives in Victoria, AUSTRALIA – check out her site here : http://www.amigoingmad.com.au/

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I came into recovery from active addiction in 1982 after a deathly diagnosis of chronic active hepatitis B virus from the hospital and began the process of staying alive ahead of the grim reaper.

You can imagine how difficult it was to find information before the internet so trawling self help bookshops and health food stores became the norm. Eventually I found out about REBIRTHING watching a TV programme on alternative therapies in Australia in 1987, where I had been granted residency, but sadly had to come home to the UK after just a 3 month stay in Sydney because medical costs became beyond my financial realm. Back in hospital yet again in the UK with liver failure I searched for a Rebirther in London and after almost a year found one.

So 6 years clean of drugs, alcohol and nicotine and a constant search of alternative therapies, I proceeded to embark upon a life saving journey using some very strange breathing on the floor. I had done worse things in stranger places so fear left me immediately, and after 10 minutes or so realised I had come home to a deeper spiritual source – breath itself.

The first session’s impact was nothing compared to later breathes but enough to say that I had found the diamond in the rough, and it shone brightly with hope. After the fifth weekly session I had the most unusual sensation and so concerned was I that I called the hospital. In 1982 I was on the original human interferon drug trial, everyone on it, all 30, died except me, so I was monitored for years. I had chronic active Hepatitis which means that I reinfected myself with Hepatitis every 6 weeks, 6 weeks with it, 6 weeks without it. ‘Come to the hospital now’, they said and do bloods, then I came home after they examined the liver area which now had embraced a surge of heat and itching. By the time I got home there was an answer-phone message from the Professor ” Come back straight away – your liver function has returned to normal! – and we don’t know how you have done it.

So an hour later in a room full of housemen and 2 Professors I am duplicating a Rebirthing breathe.

They left astonished. Shaking heads.

My experienced LRT Rebirther had concluded that the 6 week period of Hepatitis was the same length of time that I spent in an incubator. Twice. I was five weeks premature and my father delivered me on the kitchen table after my 17 year old mother had a 10 minute labour. He ran to the hospital and within the hour I was wired up. At 6 months old I went blue with meningitis on the spine and went back into another incubator for 6 weeks. Surviving death twice in the first year.

You’re getting it aren’t you?

So I worked through the first incubator with my first rebirther.

After this breakthrough I got Hepatitis every 6 months, instead of every 6 weeks, for the next 6 years. In 1995 I went down with Hepatitis A & B together for the first time, went into hospital for a month and doctors told me I had changed DNA and lost the active part of the virus with no medical cure available, just breathwork and constant emotional work on self over a 7 year period. I still have chronic hepatitis in my body and have to monitor it but no outbreaks of Hep since then, just honouring the body when it needs balance, sleep and good healthy food.

Sondra Ray asked me why I was addicted to near death situations – alcoholism, drug addiction, meningitis, hepatitis and personal financial, emotional and spiritual bankruptcy.

“Get off it” she bellowed and realise that you have achieved Mastery, you don’t need to keep repeating the pattern. After indentifying, then relinquishing the addiction to hospitals, disappointment, struggle and survival – I healed myself  – setting myself free. Freedom from active addiction in 1982 & freedom from Hepatitis in 1995. We do recover.

Doctors say I remain the longest survivor of chronic active Hep B virus in the UK, if not beyond. Why argue with that? Total madness.

Om Namaha Shivaya

http://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/home/the-liver/liver-diseases/hepatitis-b.aspx

http://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/home/health-professionals/literature-for-professionals/a-professionals-guide-to-hepatitis-b.aspx

What’s in a Name?

Two of the early Rebirthers in the ’70’s were Jim Leonard and Phil Laut, writers of the first REBIRTHING Book I read in 1987, but in 1990 they changed the title of their book REBIRTHING – The Science of Enjoying All of Your Life to VIVATION.

The first page includes an introduction to the term calling it a self directed, personal development skill that enables anyone to cause permanent resolution of suppressed sensations, feelings and emotions, regardless of their cause, intensity or for how long they have been surppressed “.

It goes onto explain ” the name VIVATION was made up by Jim Leonard in 1987. It is derived from the latin root ” viv ” for life. Because the name was made up, and it does not appear in any dictionary, we will describe its usage at the outset.” It goes on further to describe a Rebirther as a Vivation Coach or Vivation Professional ( . . . so far so good ) but the rebirthee was described as the VIVER, which frankly never caught on. I remember during my LRT Trainings we amused ourselves with “VIVING” ideas and notions. Yes, the word never caught on. It continues by example ” I was VIVING in the office this morning and I had a breakthrough about that project which was bothering me “.

See what I mean, it’s NOT sexy is it?

But REBIRTHING, at least the name of it, has always caused stress for those who think it gets confused with BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS. I remember whole meetings of The British Rebirth Society (BRS) in 1990/91 being taken up with this conundrum of ” what will people think “.

In my experience the BRS has always had a low opinion of itself, which is why it’s membership has dribbled away with parochial attitude since then, and has never caught public imagination or increased membership in two decades. Something is wrong somewhere and as they say ” the only guru you need are the results in your life “. Rather than gain confidence in Rebirthing by creating trainings that inspire, they were more concerned about the neighbours, debating whether to call themselves BREATHWORKERS or BREATHING COACHES rather than Rebirthers. Scan the internet and you will find all kinds of names that practitioners make up to make breathwork more interesting.

My experience again, is that the RESULTS of Rebirthing Breathwork are far more interesting than the names made up. VIVATION practice & trainings may continue to thrive, but the name is still debatable. Having worked in Marketing & Design for over 20 years I can understand the value of rebranding a unique product but as the early Rebirthers discovered, when sibling rivalry took charge in the early 80’s, pioneers staked their process name claim in the breathwork goldrush.

Leonard Orr focused on Biblical doctrine, Nose breathing, Physical Immortality & rubbishing group breathes, (and still does), Sondra Ray focussed on RELATIONSHIPS and mouth breathing, Louise Hay went on to become a Millionairess with YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE merchandising with one of Leonard’s Rebirthing 5 BIGGIES  -” Thought Is Creative “-, but he was too busy living in the sticks by a fire, to reach out to the mainstream market. Jim Leonard and Phil Laut created VIVATION Breathwork, while Laut specialised in MONEY & PROSPERITY with a book called MONEY IS MY FRIEND. Books like THE SECRET have only borrowed this material, turning it into a marketing jamboree (without the Breathwork), while early Rebirthers like Leonard and Sondra borrowed from existing material and Eastern cultures in the 1970’s. Nothing is new, only the cover of an old book. That’s marketing.

I have never been bothered about the term REBIRTHING and still call myself a REBIRTHER.

When you have confidence in a craft, names are meaningless, while the connection to conception, womb space and the birth experience have been confirmed by present day science to be valuable in understanding adult patterning and healing disease of self. Well it worked for me : REBIRTHING healed a chronic life threatening virus in my body as I become the longest survivor of liver damage in the UK – all due to Conscious Connected Breathing (the old name for REBIRTHING).

Even Sondra has moved from Rebirthing to SACRED RENEWAL BREATHWORK in a bid to modernise.

You couldn’t make it up.

Sondra Ray

Sondra Ray was one of the early pioneers of Rebirthing Breathwork in the mid 1970’s and creator of The Loving Relationship Training ( LRT ). I joined LRT in 1988 and began a 3 year adventure with Diana Robert’s London Rebirthing 2000 Training in London assisting Sondra in London & Madrid. Diana brought Rebirthing to the UK in 1980, was Sondra’s organiser in London for over 20 years and as LRT Trainer supported Europe in creating LRT Centres. She has remained an avid supporter of my work and style of teaching, especially around codependency and relationship recovery.

. . . but this is, in Sondra’s words, how REBIRTHING . . . is for everyone.

”  Rebirthing is Sacred. Once I thought it was a scientific process. Once I thought it was therapy just to heal my birth trauma. I did not understand it all then. But one thing for sure, I NEVER thought it was silly. I always knew it was the hottest thing on the planet. That is how I always felt about it, right from the beginning.

Rebirthing is like a sacrament because you are partaking of the Holy Spirit. Rebirthing is more than just breathwork. It is taking in Divine Energy into your body in such a way that God is making love to you.

Rebirthing is Life-giving. It can even bring Youthing of the body. It brings spontaneous healings. It brings joy. It brought me everything I ever wanted.

That is why I became one of the first Rebirthers in the world.

I wanted to spread the news to everyone. The only reason someone might not want all of that would have to be fear; fear of letting go, fear of danger, fear of death, or in general fear of slaying the ego. People may fear rebirthing because of these ideas in their heads, and yet the irony is that Rebirthing will REMOVE those very fears. You pump them out on the exhale. Rebirthing continues to take away my fears and the fears of my clients and friends who have stuck with it. We consider it a wonderful life long spiritual path.

To me, it is one of the ultimate gifts from God. Rebirthing is Drinking the Divine. It is also drinking the everlasting nectar of Immortality. When I took Rebirthing to Russia, the doctors there scientifically proved that it produces rejuvenation of the body. So Rebirthing is like discovering the Fountain of Youth. It is having the gentle breath of bliss and the power of vitality charging the body.. It is the thrill of thrills and the serenity of peace at the same time. In this simple breathing process, one can permanently release tensions in the body, symptoms of pain and disease, fears of failure, fears of success, fears of love, fears of death and the beliefs and programming of old age. It will wash out misery . It is the ultimate Cosmic Bath!

Rebirthing is for everyone. No matter who you are or where you are on the path or on the planet. It will take you higher than you ever thought you could go. You will enter the Banquet Hall of Eternity. You will wonder how you ever lived without it. You will drink the everlasting nectar of joy and your heart will awaken to eternal passion. Rebirthing is something you will want to do for life. Eventually , after your rebirther says you are ready, you can learn to rebirth yourself. Initially you should plan to have ten sessions with a rebirther of your choice. You will hear people talk about dry rebirthing and group rebirthing. Dry rebirthing is done lying down on the bed or floor (clothed) next to your rebirther who guides your session.

Group rebirthing is done in a large room where a group of people (who have been well prepared) lie down together with the guidance of a very experienced set of rebirthers. This is best done during a two day workshop. You should continue dry rebirthing until you have worked out the bulk of your birth trauma and a breath release has occurred. Then you can learn to rebirth yourself.

Barbara Marciniak says that awareness and use of the breath are the essential KEYS for understanding and developing the higher mind during this astounding spiritual evolution. She states that we can use the breath to stabilize ourselves to have more energy to enhance our immune systemto create beneficial brain waves to activeate transcendental knowledge from the Source to reach higher frequencies

Besides all that one must add to heal ones body to release tension to have better relationships to rejuvinate. “

Love Sondra

www.sondraray.com

The starburst group breathe (above) was part of The Australian Academy of Rebirthing & Breathwork 10th Anniversary Conference in South Australia 2010, where I was invited to be Guest Speaker. All participants were experienced and completed a Rebirther Training with the Academy. However, you do not need to know about Rebirthing in order to experience it in a group, or connect with Sondra’s descriptive language. I am inclined to avoid her style of vernacular, preferring a more earthy approach, but hey . . . we can’t all ride the same bike. As my work is often confrontational – flowery language is curtailed – but generosity of experience, strength and hope is not.

Love & pain & the whole damn thing

” In the quest for wholeness, paradox is at every turn. It is true that we cannot realise our wholeness as long as we deny any fragment of ourselves. If we seek to avoid fear or pain or sadness, we will simultaneously block the love and joy and laughter from our awareness. That pain, fear or sadness contains great stores of energy, which can be released for potent creative and constructive use only after it is consciously felt and thus allowed to integrate. A truly healthy person, one who has power over themselves and their own life, is courageous enough to become willing to experience whatever life has in store. “

I read these words by Christina Thomas in 1989 when I was once again in liver failure, back in hospital and losing the plot. Christina is a Rebirther and student of A Course In Miracles ( ACIM ) and since Rebirthing Breathwork had halted progression of chronic active Hepatitis B for me, I was eager to enter the unknown to seek solution. I was in emotional turmoil, a close friend had been murdered the year before, the loss of people around me dying from Aids was approaching 50 people and there was no cure for my Hep B condition. I felt slain in more ways than one, yet I had stayed stopped from smoking, drinking and drugging for 7 years, so something was working. I had halted relationships as all I attracted was people who thought I was brave, and did nothing to meet my emotional needs or just smothered me with their own fear of me dying. The only relationship I was interested in was within my body and the spiritual strength to survive it.

Recognising my wholeness – warts n all – was my saviour. I may have felt damaged but knew that feelings weren’t facts – the body is only casement for the soul. It was at this point that I found, was given, or came across the affirmation ” God is my business Manager “.

Having had good instruction since 1982 in 12 Step Programme Recovery work I had blown away all the religious cobwebs associated with ” god stuff “. Thankfully I was not brought up a catholic or another dominating religion, so I could free spirit ” my god “. In the end I chose Babaji who entered my life in 1988, reading about Leonard Orr, Sondra Ray and Rebirthing Breathwork. That sat with me well and I have not altered this vision over 20 years later.

One of the lessons in ACIM is ” I will stand back and let him lead the way ” and when you are on deaths door that feels apt, in my experience. The big problem occurs when we have recovered, when the creative mind is once again alert to ego demands like making up for lost time. These days I am no longer dazed by circumstance but amazed by results. When I focus on MY part in the great jigsaw of life, all is well. In order to develop ongoing recovery one learns to face everything rather than sweep under the carpet of fear. This sense of wholeness is as refreshing as completing a whole bunch of paperwork for the accountant or finally clearing out that cupboard. It is a paradox that in order to accept my wholeness I need to accept my flaws – the loves, the pains and the whole damn thing. This is true spiritual embrace, a detox of the ego.

You may want to consider today how you ask for help and who you turn to and whether self punishment is still part of your inner curriculum. Self punishment is simply suicide compared to the pains that life throws at us. At least with life pains we can learn. Just think how fast the last two years have passed. Two years ago recession was feared, the worst since the depression. In retrospect we have all learnt something from this period of global cutback including the harsh reality that we have more than we need around us – should we seek it – that old habits can be changed and that confronting the worst, the death of something actually breeds life, energy and hope.

The Love Guru

” Some people mistakenly think that if you have a guru or a master, then you have to give your power away. In my experience, nothing could be farther from the truth.


My experience is that the master helps us to achieve our own power and stand on our own two feet; and this happens as fast as you can take it. In the presence of a master we are able to touch our own wholeness and our own perfection faster. As you get closer to the master, you find less of him and more of yourself. The guru is the mirror. Only in this case, it might feel like you see yourself magnified times one thousand or more. It can be very intense, ” You have to face yourself like never before “

from Sondra Ray’s book PURE JOY


Sondra Ray became a master to me  in 1988 when I first encountered the Loving Relationship Training ( LRT ) Breathwork & Coaching Programme in London & Madrid and also for many years after this first encounter. As a Rebirthing Breathwork pioneer she handed down her craft for the benefit of others. Along the way I encountered other mentors who encouraged me to find my own route and my own authenticity and not one said I must follow THEIR doctrines and their practices. Over a 20 year period I have come to believe that surrender is a passionate act of  service.

To surrender the ego to mastery of any kind is sacred. To surrender the notion that you don’t know everything is a joy to behold, instead of holding shame that the ego desires you have, for knowing less. Making mistakes then becomes an amusement instead of forming personal attack in your learning laboratory. You ARE good enough to question, and in my questioning I found myself not to be a disciple but a Master within myself. Sondra offered me the courage to search and breathe toward my own sense of mastery.

Being in therapy or in recovery is uncomfortable. The challenge of looking in a real mirror in front of you and reciting loving affirmations is more than difficult for most, and certainly was for me, in my quest for stemming self harm. I tried many seminars, workshops and self help processes.

One of the most testing ( . . . and I attended at least 3 of these ) was an Enlightenment Intensive lasting 3 days facing another person for 16 hours a day. When facing the person they ask you only one question ” WHO ARE YOU “. In response for 5 mins non stop you answer ” I AM . . . “( followed by a thought, fact or statement about yourself ). There is no discussion, the partner only acknowledges a thank you. In order to facilitate this process the intensive is residential where you are fed on healthy digestable food and 8 hours sleep. You do nothing but the process of sharing, surrendering and being. Every hour you walk in silence for 15 mins before returning to the I AM process for the remaining 3 days. This cleansing can place you in a shamanic trance of clarity and emotional release for healing.

Bob Mandell, co-author of BIRTH & RELATIONSHIPS with Sondra Ray said ” the only guru you need are the results in your life “. This simplicity will tell you what to work on next and whether your present circumstances are a mirror to your inner self. Is it an automatic love you have for yourself? Do you begrudge the flaws you see in the mirror or simply smile at their presence? Do you practice self harming behaviors? Finding a teacher, a coach, a mentor, a sponsor or a therapist is an admission that you require help and an act of surrendering to Win – not surrendering to lose.

Who is your master and who are the apprentices you mentor? What do you pass down to others in search of mastering living sanely in this world? Questions, questions, questions.

Now consider the answers.