A few months into my experience of healing from addiction, and almost two years after I’d developed the intuitive eating technique I shared in Chapter 7, it occurred to me that, if my 3×3 healing meditation could be so effective at ending cravings and addiction, it might also be able to even out imbalances in the cholesterol levels in my blood. Ever since I’d tried the high protein diets years earlier in my life, my overall cholesterol level had been higher than normal. Could my 3×3 meditations bring it to normal?
I was on an eight-day personal development retreat called “Breakthrough to Success” led by Jack Canfield in Arizona during the summer of 2011 when I started developing a 3×3 healing meditation specifically focused on my cholesterol levels. Throughout the retreat Jack led us through guided meditations, and they gave me the idea that I could visualize the blood within my body healing and transforming during my 3×3 meditations. Plus, I was already scheduled for my annual blood work about two weeks after the retreat, which would give me a chance to see the results.
After a few days of trying different visualizations during my 3×3 healing meditations, I found one that I liked best. I started out visualizing a gentle but laser-like beam of healing energy entering my body straight into my heart. I imagined a warm sensation as the beam infiltrated and surrounded my heart. As the warmth grew stronger, I pictured the healing energy in the form of a thick liquid or serum, like warm honey, slowly seeping from my heart muscle into my bloodstream. I kept my focus on the warm feeling of the serum moving into my bloodstream in all directions. I followed it in my mind’s eye, moving through my chest into my legs and arms, fingers and toes, and circling back again into my heart.
“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” – Stuart Chase
After a few of days of this specific focus in my 3×3 visualization, I could sense that my blood levels were evening out. I visualized the imaginary serum healing each blood cell it touched as it traveled throughout my body. After each three minute healing meditation, I intuitively knew that my cholesterol levels were gradually bringing themselves back into balance.
Three weeks after the retreat, I had my routine blood work done as planned, and I was amazed, but at the same time not entirely surprised, by the results. My cholesterol was down from the prior year’s reading of 227 to 177. I knew in my gut that the visualization work I had done in my healing meditation had caused the improvements, but it was still mind blowing to realize the power of my belief and meditation to heal my own body.I was seeing the power of the mind over the body more and more from my own experience, and my thoughts constantly went back to Dr. Lipton’s book and his discussion of the science behind why and how the mind can so efficiently and dramatically improve the body. I wondered what comments Dr. Lipton would have on my own experience. Would he agree with the interpretations I had of his science; that is, that even in cases of addiction, belief can heal the body? Would he think I was crazy to even have tried it?
One afternoon, on impulse I sat down and wrote Dr. Lipton an email saying that I was writing a book about my experiences healing with meditation and requesting a phone interview with him to include in this book. I couldn’t believe it when I got an email from his assistant telling me that he would be happy to spend half an hour on the phone with me! We set a date, and I put together a list of questions that his book had inspired me to ask about my own healings.
I was nervous as the day of our phone interview approached, but it turned out to be a fun and enlightening experience. Dr. Lipton immediately made me feel at ease by asking me to call him Bruce, and I wasted no time in sharing my experiences with my 3×3 healing meditation and asking for his feedback. We ended up talking for over an hour.
I asked Bruce question after question about his theories and the specifics of my healings. My first question was, straight up, “I’ve spent three minutes three times a day in meditation for the past couple of years, and, even though three years ago I was a suicidal alcoholic, I’ve been able to drink alcohol since overcoming my addiction without having any cravings or negative side effects. Does that surprise you? Do you have any ideas that might explain my ability to do that?”
Bruce responded with a good-natured laugh and said that this didn’t surprise him at all.
“The addiction isn’t an illness, Dina,” he told me. “It’s not a physical, organic thing. The addiction is a consequence of learned experience and repetitions of patterns. Is alcoholism in the genes?” he asked me rhetorically. “The answer is no. In the science of epigenetics it’s been found that it’s the perception of your environment that controls your genes. You’re not a victim of your genes because you’re the one who can change your environment—or, more importantly, change your perception of your environment—and thus change your response to it.”
“In the science of epigenetics it’s been found that it’s the perception of your environment that controls your genes. You’re not a victim of your genes because you’re the one who can change your environment.”
I was excited to hear him say that my perceptions were the trumping factor, that by changing my perceptions (which I’d been doing with my 3×3 healing meditations) I was changing my body.
“Let me tell you some fundamentals of how the mind works so this will be more clear to you,” Bruce said. “The cells of your body are merely following instructions given by the nervous system, by the brain. The nervous system does the interpretation. You can easily see this when you see two people reacting to the same stimulus with very different reactions, one positive and one negative. As your perception changes, you change the message that your nervous system communicates to the cells of your body. Your mind controls your biology. That’s what the placebo effect is about; the mind believes the pill will work and so it does.”
Bruce continued. “Now, there are two different parts to the mind, the subconscious part and the conscious part. The subconscious is like a tape recorder, just playing old programs and running 95% of your reactions and decisions. For most people the conscious mind only operates about 5% of the time.
“Of course!” Bruce said enthusiastically. “Meaning, if I have a belief, then the function of the mind is to manifest that belief so it becomes reality. For example, if I have a belief that I’m going to die of a disease because someone told me so, then the function of the mind is to convert that belief into physical manifestation, and it’s no surprise that my belief becomes reality. But it’s not because I have a terminal disease that I end up dying; it’s because I believe this disease will kill me.”
“The starting place of all healing is the trust and commitment to follow our inner guidance, those internal nudges.”
“Emotion is a telling factor,” he continued. “If you have a strong emotion, positive or negative, around a certain belief, it pretty much ensures that the particular belief will become your physical reality. The science of epigenetics is not the science of being defined by your genes or environment; it’s the science of understanding how your interpretation of your life events and environment affects the cells of your physical body.”
All of this made perfect sense to me. As my beliefs about my body’s ability to heal itself had changed, my body had changed. And it was the strong emotion connected to that ability—my passionate desire and deep knowing that I could have complete freedom from addiction and disease—that ensured that this became my reality.
Bruce ended our conversation with words that summed up the crux of what I had learned about healing since beginning my 3×3 healing meditation practice.
“The important thing is to be present, as they say in Buddhism,” he said. “Being present is having your focus on the conscious mind, which breaks the cycle of what’s being run by the subconscious mind. What you’re doing in your 3×3 healing meditations is getting present. You’re interrupting the old tape of negative beliefs and becoming intensely present, which is why you were able to experience what you’ve described as experiences in higher consciousness.”
I especially loved his closing words: “Being fully present means not having a negative interpretation of what is happening in the moment; it’s being an unbiased observer of it. You’re free of your subconscious tapes in moments where you might have normally reacted differently, but your interpretation—and response—has started to change.”
We ended the call with words of mutual appreciation, and I hung up the phone and sat for a few moments in silence, reflecting on everything I’d just learned. Bruce had explained more than I’d even hoped for. He had explanations and a scientific context where I had only had first-hand experiences, and that expanded my understanding profoundly.
As Bruce said to me during our chat, just reading this book—or any article or book—isn’t enough to cause transformation. Everyone has their own best path and their own truth that they need to follow. I’ve shared my story and Bruce’s knowledge here, hoping to give anyone who has experienced less than optimum health and well being the inspiration and hope that, no matter how bad the affliction has been, our thoughts and beliefs can be changed with practice and discipline.
That means the possibility for healing is always there. I believe that the starting place of all healing is the trust and commitment to follow our inner guidance, those internal nudges, and maintain an open mind to think very differently than we have in the past.