by Alison Cooke
Last summer I attended the dowsing conference for the second year in a row. I had been using a pendulum for several years, but never felt that I had really learned how to use it well, so I took the preconference basic dowsing course. The course was wonderful giving me much-needed confidence in using various dowsing tools. The workshops during the conference were again a source for inspiration and learning.
As I was about to pack up my bags to head home, I felt the need to write down some observations that I had made during the conference time. Being in a unique position, a “beginner” in your world, but very comfortable in my own world of Therapeutic Touch, during the conference I had taken the time to sit back and observe the interactions at the conference and to compare them to our TT gatherings. I realise that we are all the same (of course) so that these observations apply to any discipline. In fact I am also writing up this series of observations for my own Therapeutic Touch newsletter in a slightly different format.
I have written my observations down as suggestions for those attending conferences, to help them gain more from their experience.
1. Don’t close the door to insight:
Several times during the conference I overheard people saying things like “I’ve already heard him.” Or “They all say the same thing:’ or “They had nothing new to say”.
I like to think of the message being presented at any workshop as a small circle in the centre of a larger circle. You can divide the circle within a circle up into many pie-shaped pieces. Each teacher gives you one pie-shaped piece of the whole. No one teacher will give you all the pieces. Individually, teachers come from their own way of knowing and share that with you. One way of “seeing” may help you to see more of the whole than another way Your job as student is to listen for that new way of “seeing” from every teacher, that new insight.
So don’t close the door to insight by thinking that there is nothing new. You have to pay attention to hear it. Maybe you’ll need to close your eyes to reduce distractions, but listen carefully with an open and uncritical mind.
2. You may need to hear the message more than once!
Often those who are saying they “have heard this before” have really only listened before, they have not heard. I have students who come to me to take a Therapeutic Touch course for the second time, as we encourage them to do. Often they will tell me that their other teacher did not teach them a certain thing. In actual fact, they were taught it, but they just weren’t ready to receive that message at the time. Often the first time we learn something so much is new and coming at us so fast that we need time to assimilate what we first hear, and then need to go back for a second time to hear the rest. In fact, if you know a teacher is good, it is a good idea to go back to take that course again, because everyone is always learning new things, gaining new insights. I never teach my courses the same way twice, I am always trying to make them better. It is also a good idea to go to several teachers to get different pieces of the pie as explained in suggestion number one.
3. Fill in your evaluation forms:
I saw a lot of people ignoring the evaluation forms. As a teacher I use my evaluations. There is nothing I like better than an evaluator who writes me a long note about where I messed up. I want to become better. I want to learn. We are so careful to be kind, but an evaluation form is not the place to be hesitant if you feel there is a need for improvement. Start with a few positive comments and then be honest and write about the areas that need improvement.
4. Remove three four-letter words from your vocabulary:
As I wandered around the conference I overheard many conversations. From these conversations I picked up some four letter words that would be better removed from your vocabulary:
- Can’t: We all know this one, but a gentle reminder is never out of place. One of the many gifts my parents gave me was their dislike of the word can’t. Whenever I said “I can’t” my father would scrunch up his shoulders and furrow his brow and say, “There’s no such word as `can’t’. If at first you don’t succeed then try, try, try again!”
- Just/Only: These two words are used in the same way often with the word but. Let me try a few sentences for you: “I’m just a housewife (substitute any position).” Now hear “I’m a housewife.”
- “Are you a dowser?” “Yes, but I just know how to use a pendulum.” Now hear the answer a different way: “Yes, I know how to use a pendulum.”
- “Are you a water dowser?” “Well yes, but I have only found two wells.” (Hidden corollary: Not 3500 wells like Joe Dowser, so I can’t say I’m really good.)
- When you use “just” or “only” in a sentence, then you are trying to excuse yourself for somehow being inadequate. You diminish your power.
- When you remove the “just” or “only’ from the sentence, then you are empowered. This is what I can do – Hallelujah!
5. Is “Deviceless Dowsing” an “Ego Thing” Creeping in to the Dowsing World?
I may be imagining this, but I seemed to be hearing a lot about deviceless dowsing at this past conference that did not seem to be an issue in 1996. It seemed to me that sometimes I heard a note of pride in the voices of those saying that they were deviceless dowsers. I got the impression that some felt that if you were a deviceless dowser, then perhaps you were more advanced than those dowsers who used the pendulum, L-rods and other tools.
Hey, I am a deviceless dowser (at least that is what you would say I do when I assess the field at the beginning of a Therapeutic Touch treatment) trying to learn how to use a pendulum. Here I am trying to learn how to use a “device,” and you people are trying to get rid of your “devices.” What a funny world! Devices or not, we are all coming to the same truths, from different parts of the pie.
The fact of the matter is that no one does deviceless dowsing . The only difference is whether the device is external to the body or internal. As a deviceless dowser you train yourself to use different parts of the body to be the tool for dowsing, be it the eye-brow, big toe or hands. You still have a tool.
Personally it really appeals to me to have my pendulum talk to me. Like Walt Woods, I like to think of it as my pet in its own little garage. I like it and use it.
So please don’t start to use “just” or “only’ when you talk about using tools for dowsing or “deviceless” dowsing. We are all dowsers of equal merit, whether we are beginners or experts, have found one well or a gazillion, use a pendulum, or our nose to dowse. We are all in the right place on our journey No one needs to be made to feel inferior, or to feel inferior.
6. Telling my story:
I heard a lot of people sharing their dowsing stories. Our stories are important, they validate what we have done, and in the telling, make these experiences more real in our minds, building our confidence. But be careful how you tell your stories.
Two observations here:
Are you really listening?
As I listened to people telling their stories, I heard some wonderful tales. I saw people sharing stories that brought tears to my eyes, and I learned from the stories. I also heard people listening to stories, but hardly able to keep from interrupting to tell their stories. They pretended to listen, but never heard the other stories. It was a kind of contest to see who had the best experience to share, like a spiritual poker game: “I’ll see your angel story and raise you one NDE.” Again the ego creeps in. Listen to each other and delight in the telling of all our stories.
Should it be “I” or “We”?
I want to suggest to you that if we find ourselves saying “I” too much in the telling of our stories, we need to remember the source of our knowledge and success in dowsing.
Let’s listen to this story “I was asked to come out to dowse for a well. I went out and found the spot and I told them they would have 250 gallons a minute at 200 feet.”
If all your stories sound like this, then you are forgetting the source of your success. As dowsers we are the channel for the universal knowledge, the “source”, whatever your word is for God. We work with the devas of the earth, mother earth and the universal consciousness. Remember this and walk humbly with the source (your God). Stand in awe of the gifts you have been given and remember to say, “We were able to find water at 200 feet.”
Listen to Harold McCoy as he says “I don’t know how it happened, but somehow the woman’s tumour disappeared.” Harold knows that he is only part of the healing equation. He helps facilitate the healing along with the “source” and all its unseen (at least by me) helpers.
7. Thou shalt not covet:
As we mingle at these conferences we hear many stories. From these stories we can learn many things. From our own story-telling we validate what we can do and gain confidence. Everyone has different degrees of gifts. It is very easy to fall into the trap of coveting the gifts of others, I know I do. Be gentle with yourself. Celebrate the gifts of others, and celebrate your own gifts too. As I have said, each of us is at the right place for us. If we covet too much, and try too hard, it just gets harder. It is best just to allow things to happen. It would be wonderful if we could all hear our angels and see auras, but at the present time many of us don’t. Be happy as you are and continue joyfully on your spiritual path.
And so, as you attend conferences and workshops, keep the doors open for new insights, fill in your evaluation forms, empower yourself by removing just and only from your vocabulary, really listen to the stories of others, and celebrate your gifts and the gifts of others. In this way you may go gently on your path, enjoying each moment and allowing wonderful things to unfold.