Healing oneself of AIDS:
Two accounts of AIDS patients who healed themselves through Self-realization.
The great plague of our time is AIDS, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. In the accounts that follow, Cielito Pascual describes two cases in which AIDS patients in search of Self-realization found they could heal themselves of their disease. The first account is based on an interview with Niro Asistent; the second is based on George Melton’s book Beyond AIDS: A Journey into Self-Healing.
Niro Asistent is the founding director of the Self Healing AIDS Related Experiment — SHARE. Based on her own experience of self-healing, SHARE offers those with life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to heal themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually. Since its creation in 1987, it has been a forum for long-term survivors and those in remission from AIDS and AIDS- related complex (ARC), a condition which is ordinarily an early stage of this terminal illness. Niro, formerly diagnosed as having ARC four years ago, is in full remission, no longer testing positive for the HIV virus.
Born in Belgium in 1945, Niro moved to the US in 1979 and began training as a therapist, studying Gestalt, Primal and Breath therapy as well as energy balancing and meditation. She was the director of a meditation center in Montclair, New Jersey.
In May of 1984, Niro developed a urinary infection. Involved in a difficult relationship with a man with a history of bisexuality, and taking care of two children from a previous marriage, she assumed at first that the infection and other health complications were merely the result of stress. However, her companion was later diagnosed as having AIDS, and tests on Niro’s blood would reveal she was carrying the virus. Severe fatigue, diarrhoea, high fever and yeast infections resulted in an ARC diagnosis in 1985.
In shock, Niro said, her training in therapy and meditation "went out the window". Numb, overwhelmed with anger, she could think only that her life would soon end, and chose deliberately to prepare for her death. Niro returned to meditation, seeking to re-establish inner calm. Now that each day was sacred, she made conscious choices, focusing on living in the moment, on doing things for herself, doing what felt good. Walking along the beach, experiencing the ocean, became a vital part of her daily routine, creating within her a deep connection with nature. She made a point of accomplishing at least two or three tasks each day to maintain a sense of purpose. Intuitively, she incorporated Nada Brahma, a form of humming, into her meditation. As she would later say, this humming stimulated her thymus gland into producing T-cells, white blood cells that defend the body against infection. Because dying in a beautiful body was important to her, she took great care with its treatment.
During this time, Niro was forced to attend to herself alone. Her companion had died and her children, who were initially kept ignorant of her condition, were living with friends on the west coast. Since she was classified as having ARC, Niro was not considered in critical enough condition to be admitted to special medical programs for AIDS. But despite her expectation of death, symptoms began to subside. Diarrhoea was the first symptom to disappear, and then the night sweats as Niro gradually approached the turning point of her experience with AIDS.
That occurred during one of her strolls on the beach when someone she refers to as her "master" appeared to her. In that moment, Niro says, she experienced oneness with him, feeling fully integrated and complete with him. She was filled with the sense of "being fine", and speaks of this experience as her satori.
A slight fever was now her only remaining symptom, and Niro went for another test. The results were negative — six months after her first diagnosis.
In her teaching, Niro sees Self- realization as the aim — rather than trying to achieve a negative test result. Her students undertake the process she teaches not with a fear of dying, but out of a desire to live. Acceptance of everything is vital, she says — saying "yes" to the moment, living in the moment. As aspects of one’s past and present reveal themselves they are seen as tools towards discovering Divine Purpose. Niro emphasizes "owning, not ridding", "embracing, not changing". She focuses on the expansion and contraction which is the rhythm of the universe and speaks of the balance between expansion (meditation) and contraction (facing repressed anger, despair, sadness) that is the common element in long-term survivors.
Every self-healing, Niro says, has its own signature. For her, the crucial element was that she had "the incredible advantage of not knowing that one can heal from this disease — it never crossed my mind. I didn’t have any pressure caused by expectation. I know that’s why I healed. You see, I totally let go. When I work with people, I see the pressure they put on themselves, wanting to heal. I never even thought about that. I totally, one hundred per cent, accepted my disease. I know people fight against it... I was never afraid of dying. I was afraid of being dependent, not being able to go to the bathroom alone, having to wear those diapers — and I’m still afraid of that!"
"It is in true total acceptance of something," Niro contends, "that transformation can happen. Or when we say ‘Enough!’ — that is, on the emotional level. I know that on the physical, the key is totally embracing what we have and then trusting that the energy can move. In which direction we don’t know, but we must trust it."
Niro’s goal is to create a residential center in New York which would provide a complete healing environment: medical facilities with a doctor in residence, opportunities for patients to participate in the operation of the center, areas for gardening and meditation. She envisions those who are healed taking care of the ill who, in turn, continue on as caretakers as they progress to health.
George R. Melton has described his and his companion’s experiences seeking Self-realization in Beyond AIDS, a book recounting the path they took in overcoming the disease. Though they approached their healing differently, both had life experiences that demonstrated the power of AIDS to transform their own lives and those around them. As a result, George now perceives AIDS as a gift to humanity. He writes: "When this disease has run its course, we will emerge... as a changed race of people, one that recognizes and practises the loving acceptance of all people."
Change begins with the development of self-love, George believes. But the perceptions of much of the homosexual community have fostered a limited, unloving self-image which in turn has fostered AIDS: "To grow up homosexual in this society is to be bombarded from the earliest age with messages making self-esteem an impossibility." Homosexuals have accepted the judgements placed on them by others, he says, and experienced those judgements accordingly. This leads to overwhelming feelings of self-loathing and perpetuates the stereotype of the "lonely and pitiful" homosexual.
Though the past two decades have allowed homosexuals to become more open about their identity, George recognizes they have over-identified with the label ‘homosexuality’, which defines the human being strictly in sexual terms. This is a contradiction of the Self, the limitless whole. "To define oneself in terms of only one small aspect of the whole is to accept limitation. To then use that limited identity to create a separation from the whole Self and the whole society of which one is a part is to be psychically fragmented. The truth of one’s wholeness will always seek to triumph over an image."
Attachment to this limited definition has led to promiscuity, George claims, the roots of which lie in the "inability of the individual to recognize all aspects of himself within his own consciousness". In seeking numerous sexual partners, the individual is really wanting to find himself. Unable to find self-fulfilment, one is slowly depleted of inner joy. This, along with abuses to the physical system, weakens the immune system, making the body vulnerable to infections.
George thus makes clear that the true issue is not homosexuality. "At issue are the judgements we as society have made against one another. We have created an environment in which self-esteem has become impossible for some in this society. We must look at our judgements of one another if we are to find a cure." Viruses are not necessarily passed along, he says. They are present in the body at all times contributing to overall health, responding to the environment within which they reside. "They are triggered into hostile behavior by our own consciousness of fear and hatred. If we would end this disease then we must first deal with our attitudes... Disease is the natural result of a mind out of alignment with love."
Forgiveness, acceptance of the present moment, proper diet, regular massage, meditation and the practice of lucid dreaming helped George increase conscious control over his mind and body. The turning point came with the experience of a powerful dream: "I was floating through space. I seemed to be supported on all sides as one might when floating upon a warm salty sea. A blinding flash of white light surrounded me and flowed through every atom of my body. A wave of ecstasy, as in an orgasm, coursed through my body and I felt a tingle of electricity in each and every cell. I was engulfed by feelings of immense love and protection as I floated effortlessly, suspended in this white light. These feelings continued to break upon me in endless waves. There is no way to accurately describe what happened to me in that moment, yet in an instant my belief in the possibility of my own healing was transformed into the knowledge that it was done."
George had been diagnosed as having ARC. But although his physical condition had not changed and his T-cells were still severely depressed, George discontinued his use of medication. He knew he had healed in his heart, and it would only be a matter of time before the effects would manifest in his body. In the month that followed, his blood test results reversed direction: the white cell production had increased, and was now moving in the direction of normalcy.
Wil Garcia, his companion, who had AIDS, took a different, more intellectual route to health: remaining on medication, he altered his daily routine of visualization. Instead of visualizing his healthy blood cells attacking and killing the virus, he allowed love energy to envelope the virus, telling it that in his safe and loving body, the virus could "feel free to go to sleep if it wanted to". He incorporated meditation into his routine, and welcomed his symptoms as important messages from his body. With this acceptance, the symptoms began to subside.
"With each new day," George writes, "an increasing vitality was returning to Wil’s body. With persistent visualization, his lesions had continued to fade until finally they were no longer visible at all. His T-cells ... were once again within the range of normal. His immunological profile was becoming such that it no longer revealed this was a person with AIDS."
Though they took different routes, a common thread running through both men’s healing was detachment: "This was the paradox of healing. The outcome was made possible through surrender. To do everything within one’s power and yet to relinquish the result. How difficult was this lesson in a world where the belief is that the only thing that truly matters is the result. And yet only by detachment from the result can it be truly owned."
George Melton and Wil Garcia are touring the US, sharing their experience.
"Maitreya has said that even people with AIDS will be healed through prayer and through the practice of honesty of mind, sincerity of spirit and detachment.Without detachment there is no salvation."
Maitreya’s associate in Share International, Vol. 7, No. 10, December 1988, p. 9