|Rosalyn L. Bruyere|
RB: We could all be much more generous with energy, since energy is all there is. And I think there’s this — commercialism battle that goes on, between “I’m not a real professional if someone doesn’t pay me”. And one of the early things that helped me in my career is that I figured out how to make a living that wasn’t dependent on desperately sick people paying me, who maybe were already broke from what medicine cost them.
AW: Oh yeah.
RB: So I have, built into my system, a little bit of sloth. And I’m very careful to live well within my means, so I’m never in debt. And it’s kind of a philosophy, because some of my early students were such profound meta-physicians. A lot of the metaphysical churches teach certain prosperity principles that go back into antiquity. And one of them is, you know, if you’re careful and more generous, more is given to you. But it doesn’t have to be given from one source.
AW: Um hmmm.
RB: And in the ministry, that’s especially true. In my case, I’m a pastor. So I get a lot of things given to me. That means I probably do live beyond my income. Because things are given to me. In my early career, when my boys were little and I was single mom, here in California, people who lived on welfare were also given foodstuffs. And can’t tell you how many people paid me with a flat of eggs. Or a 5 lb tin of peanut butter. Or processed cheese. Or loafs of bread. And I was happy to get it. I mean, when you have small kids, you are so happy for that 5 lbs of peanut butter!
AW: Well, yes, I think this is something the field is sort of grappling with issue. Because in some ways, it’s a profession, like any other. And yet, there does need to be a certain generosity of spirit, at the same time.
RB: Well, let me give a story that might help all the people who might try this. When I first started in this field, my mother’s side of the family thought I was turning into something like a con artist, like my father’s side of the family. And my father’s side of the family thought I was turning into a religious fanatic, poor white trash, like my mother’s side of the family. Do you get the dynamic?
RB: 6 years later we published at UCLA, and both sides of the family told me all about how the gift came from their side of the family.
AW: Well isn’t that interesting.
RB: So when it was legitimized, their fears that I was becoming so different, and that I would no longer be a member of the family, which is what all of it was, like, “Oh no, she’s gone weird.” Once that fear was erased, both sides of the family embraced it.
AW: Wonderful, wonderful.
RB: And it’s a funny thing. Our families do embrace success. But not all of them will see what we do as the kind of success they would have hoped for us.
AW: Um hmmm.
RB: I’m sure that my family had all kinds of other plans for me – I even know what some of those plans were. One side of the family wants me to become a famous decorator. Well, that would have been interesting. I would have been surrounded by color and light. [laughs]
RB: Once you have this attitude that energy is all there is, that helps you. You just can’t let it become the principle that makes you lazy.
AW: Exactly. Exactly. And that brings me to my next question. What do you see as the biggest challenge for this profession? What would you like to see happening in this field, moving forward? You were a pioneer in the beginning, and now more people are looking to holistic or complementary medicine practices. What do you see as the biggest challenge for energy healers moving forward?
RB: I think the biggest challenge for us is to bring back old fashioned values, like fighting your own ego.
RB: Because in the same way that egos hurt science and medicine, they will hurt us. [pause] And I think we need to have places where healers go to work with each other, on each other. You know, I’m a scholar of ancient history, and the Egyptians had this fascinating system, where all the people in the priesthood went away for 30 days. And they basically did their prayer meditation and worked on each other and then they went back to their villages. And that is such a wonderful process, of having a chance to spend time with fellow seekers. And to build it into your life, in a way that makes sense. I do a program in Germany which I’ve been doing for 20 years. A lot of my students spend 2 weeks with me in the spring and 2 weeks with me in the fall. So they spend 4 weeks with me, where we discuss different topics, where we work on each other. They’re long days for me. I work from 10:00 in the morning to 11:00 at night, every day.
RB: That’s why they’re called ‘intensives.’ But you know, when you’re in the energy, you actually kind of enjoy being immersed in it. And we have long breaks and rules with my students. Every day they’re in a program like that, the rule is every day you give a treatment, you get a treatment, and you take a nap. So we work 2 hours after lunch and then they have off until 7:00 at night. So they can give a treatment, get a treatment and take a nap, before dinner. And that gives you a way to get away from the day that you spend every day, worrying about clients and this and that. And I really can’t tell you how much I hate cell phones. Because they’ve disrupted that process so much. So people can still call their clients, every time they have a minute off.
RB: So here’s the good news and the bad news. The good news is they can stay in touch with clients, the bad news is they don’t get the rest they would get, if they were really isolated. Which, in the early part of this program, we were. We were totally isolated.
AW: How have you seen this profession change, over the past few decades?
RB: Well, first of all, there’s general acceptance. I don’t have to explain what I do. So there’s less resistance.
AW: What about the number of different modalities showing up? Or the depth of the work?
RB: I share with you my concern about the shallowness. And I’ve always shared that concern with other people. That shallowness was actually here at the beginning of my career. But it was mostly in religion at the time. Now you see it in the general profession, because people are intellectually lazy.
RB: And we think because we have the data, we know the data. Do you read a lot?
AW: Oh yeah, constantly.
RB: How many books have you bought that you haven’t read?
AW: [laughs] Well…
RB: Do you see what I mean? You bought the data…
AW: I bought the data…
AW: I need to get to it.
RB: Yeah. I’m a book collector. But I don’t read all of that. I have a reading disability, I read pretty slowly. So I read a lot, in hours, but not in quantity. So I buy a lot of books. And there are a lot of books published in our field that I probably shouldn’t have bought because there wasn’t anything in them.
RB: But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t something in there for somebody, that never heard the data before.
AW: Gotcha. And how would you respond to people who say, “It moves this way.” You know, “The first chakra goes like this. And if it’s healthy it moves this way, and if it isn’t healthy, it goes that way.” Some healers say…
RB: Well, it’s shallow reckoning, is all.
RB: It’s better than no reckoning. But only by a little.
RB: I mean, well, they’re learning. But they’re trying to pin it down like if I take this antibiotic, the bacteria will die. It’s the same kind of reckoning that actually doesn’t work anywhere. But I understand their need to sound smart to themselves. Because so much of what we do is so vague, they’re trying to make something out of nothing. And they haven’t studied the system well enough to know that. [pause]
RB: I like the theory that says men’s chakras go one way and women’s go another.
AW: Oh yeah, that’s kind of cute, isn’t it.
RB: It’s silly. It’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard.
RB: Because it’s a magnetic field, and if you’re north of the equator, it goes one way, and if you’re south of the equator, it goes another way. Like water going down the toilet.
AW: And of course, this confusing for novices. If you read 3 books and they all say different things about how the chakras move, of course there’s some confusion there.
RB: Well, that’s the other thing. Let’s be honest here. You cannot learn this from a book. You can’t. The books are helpful to open your mind and give you a language. You have to learn this by running energy, feeling energy, making energy. It has to be experiential. And the more experiential it is for you, the more you’ve prepared yourself to study. But if you don’t feel energy, if you don’t sense energy, then the emperor has no clothes. And that’s the danger here. People get full of all of these intellectual ideas. In fact, later today I’m talking to someone who’s writing a book, and she’s got a bunch of stuff wrong in it, that the field just doesn’t do. And it’s going to be hard for me to tell her, “Guess what, it doesn’t actually work that way.” But you know, it’s something that somebody has to tell them…
AW: And how would you address how different readers read differently? I know sometimes when I look at a client, I’ll see a specific color or something, and it’s quite different from what someone else would see. I mean, this is a perceptual science…
RB: Oh, I’m so glad you asked that. Did you know no 2 humans see pink as the same color?
RB: Some see it warmer, some see it cooler. Some see pink bluer, some see it hotter. If you ask them what color orange is, they’re really going to be in a mystery.
RB: In 1976 at UCLA, we took 10 really skilled aura readers into a lab. And that was the problem we were working on for two weeks. What we found was that green was not green to everybody, brown was not brown to everybody.
AW: Isn’t that interesting…
RB: And my husband’s an artist, and I do take art classes with him. And it’s the funniest thing listening to artists talking about color. Because they spend their whole lives painting and using color, but they don’t see color the same way. I have a very close friend who is a famous muralist, and she and I were out shopping for clothes. And I’ll say, “I really like that taupe.” And she’ll say, “No it’s not, it’s lavender.” And I said “What?” [laughs]
AW: Yeah, this is a perceptual science.
RB: It is.
AW: It’s not measuring wavelengths as much as what each healer sees and trusting that.
RB: Well, one of the studies I did about 5 years ago was at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. And we developed for our research we were doing was an inter-rater reliability scale.
AW: Oh fabulous! What did you find?
RB: Well, what we found, and I started teaching it to the doctors because it worked so well, was that if you look at the data in a particular way, like if I took 5 doctors and 5 nurses, and I put a patient on the table and had them all scan with their hands, they would all put data in the same place on the little chart of the body. But some of them would describe the problem area as hot. Some of them would describe it as cold. Some of them would describe it as a hole. Others would describe it as a bump. But, they all described it over a kidney tumor. So the data was right. But the perception was what was in question.
RB: So when I’m teaching this to people, I have to have them understand, “You might feel this as hot, where I feel this as cold.” It’s where it is that tells us what it is. Not our absolute perception. So I think this is the part that is the maturation. And when you first learn this, it’s such a big world. And you want so badly for there to be a fact instead of a trend. But you’re dealing with energy. It’s all moving. There’s no “fact”. It’s only trends.
AW: Do you think this is why it has been so hard for Western medicine to set up good studies of energy healing?
RB: Yes. They like to study badly.
AW: Well, it seems like part of it is related to consciousness of the researcher. You think you’re studying “X”. But the data is really showing you “Y”.
RB: Yes. It’s that principle…
AW: And if you don’t have the consciousness to see “Y”, you’ll only conclude that “Y” didn’t happen. [laughs]
AW: I see on your website that you’re still involved with many ongoing research studies. Do you have any nuggets you can share with us, in terms of what has been found so far?
RB: Well, I’m kind of involved in two areas, one is the raw research, the science of this, and right now I’m not involved with any of those right now. In the last decades, I’ve been working more inside hospitals, setting up programs. I kind of not collecting the data any more, I’m teaching people to utilize the techniques in a clinical setting.
AW: Oh I see.
RB: And in a clinical setting, what we’ve discovered, you could take someone who already had a skill, say physical therapy, and you could teach them energy work, and they could more efficiently do physical therapy while running energy. So you can get a frozen joint to unlock and move, in half the treatment time.
RB: So what we’re seeing is energy making everything easier. I know, from my own private practice for many years with patients, is that my treatments make their drugs work more efficiently. Because it makes the medicine more digestible. People who get energy treatments while going through chemotherapy not only have less side effects, the chemotherapy more efficiently kills the tumors. Because you’re actually adding a component of – I’ll call it “Divine intelligence” for lack of a better term – to a process that not only should it work, but it could work better, if we helped it.
AW: Yes. I’ve noticed that everything works better with energy. It’s difficult to say what energy can’t help with. I mean, although we can’t always predict the outcome…
RB: Actually, I have one contraindication — and this is a big one.
RB: I don’t recommend energy work be given to psychiatric patients.
RB: Because it exaggerates their condition. It gives them more energy to be strange with.
AW: That’s a great note for anyone listening on this call. Would you include things like schizophrenia, like that type of disorder?
RB: Oh, especially. Especially. Bipolar disease is another one you have to be really careful with.
AW: So in you work with energy, you don’t typically delve into, say, the consciousness side. It’s more the aura.
RB: I actually do a fair amount of spiritual counseling. I do no psychological counseling. I’m not a psychotherapist. And I believe in psychotherapy. And I believe it is a very difficult skill to acquire. I respect the psychotherapists I work with. I often work in conjunction with a psychotherapist but I don’t, you know–
AW: Gotcha. You stay on the spiritual side of things.
RB: I do.
AW: Wonderful. Well, that’s a great observation. Finally, I just want to grab your thoughts for consumers out there that might be looking for a way to heal from an illness, or sometimes just feeling stuck. Given the crisis in healthcare in this country…
RB: And we thought we’d all be unemployed, right? [laughs]
AW: Oh my goodness. It seems like energy work should have an important place, somewhere in this healthcare provider structure. What would you like the public to know, in terms of what is possible? How do they know where to go? How do you pick who to work with? It’s kind of like everyone is out there for themselves, like patchwork, figuring it out.
RB: I think it’s going to be that way for a while, I’m sorry to say. I think the best way to access might be to access the nurse healers. Or, access someone in the alternative medical profession to get advice on how to get an energy healer who can help you.
AW: Is it gut feel? Or look for someone specializes in, say, cancer, like in regular medicine.
RB: No, we’re general practitioners.
AW: I think there are a few that are developing a specialty, as in “I only treat cancer”, for example.
AW: I have not seen that as a trend yet, in the profession.
RB: Because it’s holistic. We’re not compartmentalized.
AW: Because you could have 10 folks with breast cancer in front of you. Same age, same stage of illness. And yet end up doing 10 very different things with all of them.
[Adele’s Note: This was Part 2 of my interview with medicine woman Rosalyn Bruyere. Click here for Part 1]
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