Healing and Hope

Link to Service

Most mornings, I begin my day with prayer and reading a number of wonderful spiritual writers.  Recently, I read this reflections by Rev. Molly Baskette which was the Daily Devotional for that day.

She shared, “Sometime in the second half of 2024, the drug known as Ecstasy or MDMA will become legal for prescribers to use in treating people with PTSD—veterans of war, but survivors of child sexual abuse and other traumas.  In clinical trials, two therapists worked together using a specific protocol: 2-3 preparation sessions to get to know the participant and their trauma; a day-long session in which the participant was administered either drug or placebo, then invited to reexperience their trauma within the safe therapeutic container; followed by several integration sessions. This arc was repeated over several months.  

Rev. Baskette was a student learning how to use psychedelics and other medicines to help people heal from PTSD and a variety of other mental health challenges. She said she had been privileged to watch videos of active medicine sessions and that One of the most touching moments she witnessed was when a participant was in distress, and—instead of intervening, minimizing, rushing to fix or change something—the two therapists got off their chairs, quietly got on their knees right next to the sofa where the participant was lying, leaned in to ask a brief question or two, and then sat back to listen carefully.  

The results from the clinical trials have been stunning. Over ⅔ of participants lost their PTSD diagnosis entirely, and even more received significant relief from symptoms.   But just as surprising: even the participants who got the placebo benefited immensely from the therapy protocol. It turns out just having someone listen closely and well, in a carefully crafted safe space, can free us from the scourge of trauma. Two humans, over and over, can listen another human being back into living in the present, feeling and free.”  Daily Devotional, Jan 13th.  

We all carry wounds from our lives.  Most of us have spent time in the healing process, whether from emotional, spiritual, physical or mental suffering.  It is never easy and it almost always takes longer than we imagined.  It is also deeply humbling, I think, to experience our woundedness and acknowledge it.  

John O’Donohue writes, “There is a healing for each of our wounds, but this healing is waiting in the indirect, oblique, and nonanalytic side of our nature. We need to be mindful of where we are damaged, then invite our deeper soul in its night-world to heal this wounded tissue, renew us, and bring us back into unity. If we approach our hurt indirectly and kindly, it will heal. Creative expectation brings healing and renewal. If you could trust your soul, you would receive every blessing you require. Life itself is the great sacrament through which we are wounded and healed. If we live everything, life will be faithful to us.”   John O’Donohue  Excerpt from ANAM CARA

This morning, I would like to invite us to reflect upon the places in our own lives, others and in the world that are in need of healing this day.  I would like to invite us to take a few moments this morning and share together in the Buddhist Ritual of Loving Kindness:  Metta    (and movement prayer at the beginning) In Pocketful of Miracles,  Joan Borysenko shared this version of the Metta and invite you now to center yourselves in quiet and to join me quietly as we offer prayers for ourselves and one another.

“May I be at peace, May my heart remain open,

May I awaken to the light of my own true nature,

May I be healed and may I be a source of healing for others.”

I invite you to think of someone in your life in need of healing and pray this for them

May they be at peace, may their hearts remain open

May he or she awaken to the light of their own true nature

May they be healed and be a source of healing for others

And now extend this love to the world, especially some place about which  you are particularly concerned at this time

May this community be at peace and may their hearts remain open

May they be awakened to the light of their own true nature

May they be healed and be a source of healing for others…