Myth or miracle: a look at faith healing

Posted by Karen M. Wyatt on September 19, 2011 at 3:40 PM
When the world-renowned healer Braco came to Denver at the end of June I felt I had to attend one of his “gazing sessions” in order to judge for myself the validity of the claims being made about him. You can read about that in the blog “Braco’s gaze: my experience with a healer.”

Before I attended Braco’s session, I spent some time thinking about what constitutes genuine healing, especially when it occurs outside of the traditional medical setting. During my career I have seen many patients who desperately sought healing for their physical suffering and were disappointed over and over again. At the same time, I have been told many stories of miraculous healings and have had the privilege of witnessing some of them myself, such as the following two patients:

Glenda was a 50 year-old woman with metastatic ovarian cancer who was expected to live less than 6 months. When her cancer completely disappeared over the course of one year I asked her how this miracle had happened. She told me she had never prayed for healing or expected to be saved from her disease, but had simply spent the previous year practicing forgiveness toward everyone she knew, in preparation for her death. (Listen to Glenda’s entire story “Forgiveness Heals.”)

Donna was a woman with borderline mental retardation, similar to the character “Forrest Gump,” who was dramatically healed of breast cancer the night before she was scheduled to have surgery. She reported that her mother, who had died a year or so previously, had visited her during the night and “took the tumor away.” (Read Donna’s entire story “A Mother’s Healing Love.”)

From these two stories we can glean the following characteristics to describe an act of true healing:
1. Humility. Both women were unpretentious and without a sense of entitlement. Healing comes to those who overcome arrogance.
2. Calmness. In each story there is a sense of quiet waiting with no excitement or hysteria generated around the moment of healing. Healing occurs in the simple stillness of the present moment.
3. Fearlessness. Glenda and Donna courageously accepted what life had to offer them, free of the fear that can block and obstruct the flow of healing energy.
4. Unexpected. Neither woman asked to be healed or anticipated it, therefore, healing came as a surprising gift.
5. Free. There was no charge or fee for the healing that occurred. True healing comes as an act of grace with no repayment required.
6. Validation. In both of these cases the diagnosis of cancer had been documented and verified by multiple physicians who also confirmed the total remission of cancer after the healing took place.

When I apply these characteristics to my experience during Braco’s gazing session, I can definitely say that there was present in the room and in Braco’s face a sense of humility and calmness and an absence of fear. In addition, the energy I felt after that session was totally unexpected. 

I did have to pay $8.00 for a ticket to attend the session though I have been told that the money was collected by the organizers of the event, as Braco refuses all payment for the gazing sessions he performs. While I have no documentation for the changes I experienced in my own body after the gazing, I did hear of several healings that had taken place during prior sessions that were validated by medical professionals. 

Based on my limited experience I must say that Braco’s healing abilities seem quite real to me. I have no reservations about recommending that those who feel drawn to Braco attend a gazing session in order to see for themselves. However, I do recognize that not everyone who seeks healing will receive it – a subject to be addressed in another blog.

Categories: Illness & Healing, Current Events, Spiritual Practice

Copyright ©2010 Karen Wyatt, MD

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