Shortly after getting online, I began to fantasize using my newfound ability to rapidly network with people around the planet to create an online healing network that would serve the gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender communities. A history of attending, leading, and contributing to group meditations, healing circles and rituals had already confirmed for me what various experiments conducted by Transcendental Meditation and prayer group researchers had demonstrated as truth: healing works, and when many healers unite as one, healing energy is amplified exponentially. An online healing network seemed an appropriate way to harness such energy in service to our community.
In mid-July of 1996, I sent a post to three e-mail mailing lists which have sprung out of attendance at gay/bi spiritual gatherings, asking if anyone would be interested in starting an online healing network. Over fourteen replies immediately arrived from healers and people desiring healing, with everyone voicing an enthusiastic "yes."
Within a week, the Lavender Healing Network had birthed itself. An LHN statement was then created to announce our services. As more healers joined LHN and our "client base" expanded, our structure and statement continually evolved. Finally, after about eight months, our network more or less reached its present form.
Since I had been initiated into a Reiki healing tradition, I adopted that model, offering three consecutive days of healing energy per month to anyone requesting healing. Dates on our healing schedule were assigned solely on a first-come, first-served basis; people with chronic conditions were invited to post requests each month for as long as necessary. In deciding who could be a member of LHN, I knew I simply had to trust people. After asking them for basic information about their work, I explained that if they were pure of intent, in agreement with our statement of purpose, and could operate harmoniously in an eclectic group that included pagans, witches, Religious Scientists, Quakers, Christians, etc., they were in.
Each healer told me how they operated and what they needed to know about a person or situation in order to do their best work. Some asked for name, geographic location and physical description; others said photos would help. Some needed permission from someone in order to send healing energy; others did not. While some could easily send energy to an entire group, others preferred to focus on a single person within the group. And while some simply put names of people in need on their personal prayer/meditation list--one of our most loyal members does this both at 6:30 AM mass and other times throughout the day--others create unique time-consuming healing rituals for each individual. Respecting each healer's techniques and limits, I created two healing schedules, directing last-minute emergency and repeat requests only to those who could send energy to more than one person per day.
Shortly after we came together, one of our members suggested we initiate a group kythe. Kything, at least as he explained it, is a Sufi practice in which all members of the group send healing energy to each other at the same time. With healers located as far afield as California, New York, Vancouver, Nova Scotia, and Australia, trying to coordinate sending healing energy to everyone at the same time was out of the question. So I adapted the practice to our network, setting aside one day each month for taking care of each other. Shortly before the appointed day, each healer receives a kything list which includes our names, e-mail addresses, specific information, and anything we'd like to ask for or share about ourselves. Member photos are also available from those who supply them. And, ever since a recent member suggested it, we've been sending healing to each other on the full moon.
Over a year after its inception, LHN continues to send healing energy without charge to members of the g/l/b/t community, their extended family and friends, and our planet. Our eclectic group of thirty-five volunteer healers, six of whom are women, ranges from progressive Christians, Reiki practitioners and Native American-schooled healers to Wiccan Priests, Druid Priestesses and those whose beliefs and techniques defy categorization. We make no judgment as to the nature of requests. Whether someone is experiencing a life-threatening illness or an emotional crisis, sitting at a loved oneÕs bedside, leading a workshop, preparing for a job interview or an HIV-antibody test, about to visit family, or having a difficult time with a lover or pet, we send loving healing energy for a three-day period.
When the first person on our healing list, a gay brother hospitalized with acute meningitis, left his body during the first day we were sending him healing, I felt gratified to know that we had helped shine the light which facilitated his transition. Most of our recipients, however, have not only remained within their bodies, but have sent us glowing, gratitude-filled reports. We have even helped several animals. Just a few weeks ago, a healer friend asked for help after her sixteen-year old cat developed an obstruction and stopped eating. When her cat subsequently recovered, both my friend and her vet declared the turnaround a "miracle," and assured us we had made a big difference.
Countless exchanges with healers and healees alike have left me in awe of the depth of dedication and love of the volunteers who comprise the Lavender Healing Network. This is quite a group, and I am honored to be part of it. Of course, all the love in the world cannot change the timetable a soul has chosen for expansion, contraction, and the transition known as death; but the focused love of a few, when detached from results, can absolutely help bring harmony, peace and the transcendent element of closure to the life/death experience.
LHN currently serves subscribers to mailing lists of the Radical Faeries, east coast Gay Spirit Visions Conference, west coast Billy Club, ba-sappho women, the private ICKINDRED network, and the Midwest MenÕs Festival. We also offer services to New Mexico Lesbian/Gay Spirituality Conference attendees via an announcement in their newsletter. While we wish to extend our services to another womenÕs list or two, and bring more women healers into LHN, the reality that all scheduling and communication are done by hand leads us to approach the prospect of expansion cautiously. To guard against burnout, our statement requests that information about our services not be posted to other lists or sites without permission.
While we welcome more healers to join us, LHN can serve only a small group of individuals. I hope this article will inspire readers to create other ways to heal members of the g/l/b/t and larger planetary community. From the endangered California Headwaters Grove and other threatened old-growth forest stands, to the too often invisible seniors in our community, the need for healing increases as we and the planet transition into a New Age.
Jason Serinus, author of Psychoimmunity and the Healing Process: A Holistic Approach to Immunity & AIDS, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.