Mind over matter
The past few days have been thought provoking, to say the least. Multiple visits to the doctor for both me and the Wonder Dog were on the docket, and while I’m all for conventional medicine, a part of me also believes that “alternative” forms of treatment might be just as beneficial. And then there are days when I’m not sure what I believe. Enter Mark “Dr. Dream” Peebler, who visited Sullivan County last weekend to present “Sound Healing on the Farm” at the former home of the 1969 Woodstock Festival supporter Max Yasgur in Bethel, NY, hosted by Jeryl Abramson, on what is now her property.
Described as a “sound healing experience at the home of Woodstock,” the flyer informed me that Dr. Dream “is in a sacred economic agreement, spanning three countries, supporting 1,500 bowl-makers in rebuilding their lives in Nepal” (www.TourOfLove.com), and that he would be at the farm with special guest and Gong Master Michael Jay, along with his “Band of Angels.” Together, they would present a program involving some local “angels” who would be assisting in ringing 111 Tibetan healing bowls, along with samplings of essential oils and raw chocolate and the healing powers associated.
“Dharma and I sure could use some healing right now,” I said to Jeryl when I asked if we could check out Dr. Dream. “Happy to have you,” she responded, “and the dog is always welcome!” As promised, the afternoon was an “experience,” and I closed my eyes and tried to clear my mind along with the others gathered around a bonfire. As the day wore on, I vacillated between doubt and conviction, wondering whether I truly felt that sound vibrations could heal what ails me. In between discussions regarding the beneficial aspects of the Tibetan Bowls, we were regaled with stories of those who have been “healed” and whose lives have been changed by using the methods proposed by Dr. Dream, peppered with the occasional sales pitch. “There’s a price tag on everything here,” I whispered to Abramson’s son Zack, “and it makes me wonder.”
Even the “healing power” of the chocolate samples gave me pause, along with the essential oils for sale. “Hey, everyone’s entitled to earn a living,” Zack shot back, and I admitted that there was some validity to his reasoning. Still… I couldn’t help but pause as I scrutinized a business card from the “doctor,” which advertised “One-On-One Sessions, Group Energy Experiences, Flower and Gem Essences, Crystal Therapy” and more, all of which are impossible to prove or disprove as being therapeutic.
Which brings us to the concept of “mind over matter,” or what is sometimes referred to as a “placebo effect,” which has been studied by the medical community for decades. It’s defined as a “beneficial effect, produced by a placebo drug or treatment, that cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and therefore be due to the patient’s belief in that treatment” (www.merriam-webster.com). The idea that we are capable of healing ourselves simply by believing that it’s possible is a powerful notion, and one that I’m not ready to discount, so you go, Dr. Dream… Carry on.
On the other side of town, the annual “Line of Hope Across America” (honoring all children lost to and fighting cancer) was in full swing in Eldred, NY, where event organizer Lou Monteleone was once again spearheading this incredible event, which raises much needed funds and awareness every year. Along with the Line of Hope and the Conga against Cancer, Monteleone tirelessly organizes the head-dhaving event (www.stbaldricks.org) in which kids and adults participate, encouraging friends and loved ones to sponsor their efforts, with all the funds going to assist those affected by, or stricken with childhood cancers. New to the event this year were some fairy-tale figures (www.amomentofmagic.org), young ladies who are part of a cool organization out of the College of Mt. St. Vincent in the Bronx.
“Our mission is to restore the magic for kids,” Niasya Timolien told me, “even if it’s just for an hour or two.” It was evident that the power of their efforts was casting a spell over the kids at the event. “We visit children’s hospitals and appear at fundraisers like this,” Emily Bates (dressed as the title character from Disney’s “Frozen”) explained. “We’re in our third year now, and yes, there are boys involved, too. We have princesses and superheroes in our roster, and we are thrilled to be here to stand in the St. Baldrick’s Line of Hope alongside these incredible, inspiring families.”
If a visit from a princess can help heal a child, who am I to suggest that a Tibetan bowl cannot? Mind over matter might be the ticket, after all. IMHO.