Teaching in Taiwan
By Charlene Ackerman, C. Ht., C.I.A.
Thursday, May 22, 1997
Following exploratory surgery, as I was lying in my hospital bed in near oblivion, the thoughts occurred to me "I could be dying!!! I am dying!!! I can't die Ormond McGill is coming to town". It immediately flashed through my mind, "how can you possibly be thinking of Ormond McGill on your death bed? You're a wife, mother and grandmother." Next I felt myself being lifted into what I can only attempt to describe as universal blackness. It was as though I had been transported into outer space and was looking down at what I assumed was earth. There appeared to be a globe of some sort with a bluish glow to it. It was about the size of a child's large rubber ball from the vast distance I had traveled. I was trying desperately to identify the earth formations, where was US? Where was Wisconsin? All I could make out was tiny lights shining in clusters. I received the message, "Its O.K. to go, your work will go on". I knew these lights represented my students and I had planted the seeds, my work would go on.
It was a wonderful feeling of peace and freedom. I sensed my students going out and assisting others. I also had a sense of how small we are as individuals in this vast universe. Of course some people close to me would mourn my death, but in reality, my passing would be as insignificant as one less grain of sand from earth, or drop of water from the ocean. Death is nothing to fear, it brought me an incredible feeling of love and peace. I was ready to go..... reached my arms out to two spirits in the room..... and they turned their back on me! I'm pleading, "Here I am, take me with you" as they faded away.
I spent eight days in the hospital being pumped with mega doses of antibiotics. When they opened me up they discovered a ruptured appendix, peritonitis and gangrene. This journey began Monday evening when I became ill and felt a rip in my abdomen while vomiting. I was sure I had torn muscles, as I felt it on both sides. Tuesday I stayed in bed all day, convinced rest was all I needed. Several years earlier when I had abdominal surgery, my doctor had said, "I'll remove your appendix while I'm in there". After that surgery he said, "it was so shriveled up I left it in, it will never give you any trouble". With that in mind and the fact that both sides hurt I did not think of appendix. Around 10:00 PM Tuesday evening my temperature shot up and I began shaking and trembling. My husband took me to the Emergency Room, where they decided it was a urinary infection, with instructions to call my doctor in 3 days if it didn't clear up. By Wednesday morning the pain was so great I went to the Urgent Care Clinic. I had to be wheeled in, as I was doubled up in pain by then. My doctor was on call and when he saw me said I was to go by ambulance to the hospital. The comedy of errors continued. I believe all the delays were somehow a part of an experience I needed to "live" through. The ambulance took hours, when we got to the hospital; there was no record of my expected arrival. I ended up parked in a hallway, waiting for them to find a place for me. I was told doctors were ready for emergency surgery after a sonar test, which showed a mass. Wanting a clearer image, a cat scan was ordered. The CAT scan broke down. It was necessary to send for a repair man. By the time the test where done, it was after 8:00 PM and the surgeons were no longer available. Exploratory surgery was scheduled for around 5:00 PM Thursday, due to the heavy schedule in all the operating rooms. All the while, my white blood count was normal, which was inconsistent with appendicitis. I could feel a mass by now, about the size of my fist in my right side. The x-rays clearly showed this, but still they weren't sure what it was. With my history of breast cancer and kidney cancer, a reoccurrence had been a strong consideration. Finally, I was taken to surgery. The anesthetist was someone I knew. I later heard back through the family, that he did not expect me to live.
My recovery was slow and tedious. Because of the magnificent peace I had experienced, I regretted I had not died. I went through weeks of depression. Everything was such an effort, tying shoes, eating, climbing stairs, driving a car, turning the wheel, walking.... everything. Simply carrying around the physical form, was a burden. Finally, in July, when I was really low, I bought a little notebook for my bedside and wrote on the first page.... "Why am I alive?" I must add, this was written to God in anger. A couple days later, in the middle of the night, I sat up in bed and said "Grandchildren". My depression was completely gone at that moment and I have not experienced it since. Thank you God! I could now function normally and went about business as usual.
August 22, 1997 Entry in dream journal: "Loam soil plentiful, use freely." I had no idea at the time what that could have meant, but in May of 1999, I understood! More than once I had to ponder, why such emphasize on Ormond McGill on my death bed. I had been teaching hypnosis since 1992 and had the good fortune of bringing some incredible speakers to Janesville for additional training seminars. Ormond is known as the "Dean of Hypnotists" and in his 80's he is still sharing his wonderful wisdom with other hypnotists. His dear friend and colleague, Shelley Stockwell, had contacted me about including information I had submitted at a workshop in her upcoming book "Hypnosis: How to Put a Smile on Your Face and Money in Your Pocket". In our conversation she learned I had sponsored other speakers and volunteered to come with Ormond to do a workshop in Janesville. I was ecstatic!
Shelley and Ormond came to Janesville, in November of 1997. Everything went so smoothly. From the time I picked Shelley up at the airport, it was like spending time with an old friend. I had seen Shelley at the National Guild of Hypnotists convention, but had also seen thousands of other hypnotists and speakers as well. So even though I knew who she was, we had never gotten acquainted. By the end of the training, we knew we where destined to work together again. I was planning the second annual Palm Sunday in Sedona, AZ, so when Shelley said "what next", we began making plans for her and Ormond to teach in Sedona. (More seeds to be planted.)
Teaching hypnosis has been a passion for me. Each new class is an exciting adventure. I eagerly await the new students that come together and how each class takes on a personality of its own. The students are eager to learn these tools so they can go out and help others make positive changes in their lives. The students themselves are eager to experience hypnosis and the demonstrations are a major part of the training. I get excited when people let go of an old pattern of thinking that has limited their growth. I often have heard myself express teaching as "planting seeds". I have been blessed with some extremely talented people who have taken my training; they will do great work in the field. I am grateful to have played a part in the awakening of their talents. One of my students played a major part in a chain of events that lead me to halfway around the world to teach hypnosis. Sister Clara had been in Wisconsin for years, but on a return trip to her native land was able to find a position at a Catholic University in Taiwan. She extended an invitation to come visit her if I ever got to Taiwan. I graciously accepted and assured her I would if the occasion arose. All this occurred in the fall of 1997.
Shelley and I continued working together on the Sedona training. She mentioned she was planning a trip to Bali in May. Going to Bali is something that had never occurred to me; however, another chain of events began to evolve. All I know is that following our Palm Sunday 1998, I was ready to go to Bali. Much to my surprise, I could make a stopover in Taiwan at no extra cost. Lo and behold, I was going to visit Sister Clara.
What a reception! Theresa picked me up at the airport at midnight, drove nearly 3 hours to the convent where Sister Clara lived and I was treated royally during my visit. Theresa, I soon learned was very interested in getting additional training in hypnosis. So interested in fact she flew to US and took the class I had scheduled for June. She returned to Taiwan with the promise to get me back there to teach hypnosis. A big order I thought, and how exciting if it could work out.
Because the trip to Bali had been so rewarding, Shelley decided to return in May of 1999. She had invited me to come as part of her Transpersonal Hypnosis Certification Program. Theresa and I kept in touch and she knew I could make a stopover once again in Taiwan.
In February, Chia Lin had taken the challenge to start promoting work shops at a Catholic Center, in Thiachung, Taiwan. It once had been home to many priests and a center of activity for people in the area. There was now the threat of its closing. Chia Lin asked everyone she knew if they could recommend a program for her to promote. Theresa suggested she contact me and in a remarkably short period of time she was able to put together a classroom of 20 highly professional people which included psychologist, psychiatrists, professors and counselors. When I met Chia Lin on my first day in Taiwan, we had to agree things had gone so smoothly, it had to be "Gods work". Arrangements fell into place so that I was able to stop in Taiwan on my way to and from Bali. It turned out to be the highlight of my teaching career! The students were so eager to learn hypnosis and regression techniques. I was able to do some significant therapy work within the classroom through demonstrations. The students were like sponges and wanted to absorb all that I could offer. I ended up teaching far more than I expected to cover because of their skills and intense desire to learn more about hypnosis and age regression.
It wasn't until I was into teaching the class and was still in "awe" of their enthusiasm that it occurred to me, I will be here teaching hypnosis, halfway around the world on May 22, 1999. Exactly two years from the date of my near death experience (NDE). I knew I had to share my story with these beautiful people. It was on Saturday, May 22nd, the next to the last day of class that I told them the message, "it's O.K. to go, your work will go on". The seeds had been planted. But obviously my work was not completed and an unbelievable chain of events had brought me here to plant more seeds. "You are to go out and continue working with others; you are to become the teachers in Taiwan".
As I told the story I had never been more moved with emotions felt while relating it to others. I was embraced by several students afterwards and several of them had been moved to tears. I am grateful to God, for giving me this opportunity to share some of my own knowledge with so many talented, giving people. Together we are making a difference by relieving some of the agonies people carry in their subconscious. I am such a strong advocate of the power of the subconscious from my own personal experience in therapy and what I have witnessed other people accomplish.
I am grateful for having the "dear" death experience as it has taken away any fear of death I may have had. I see death as an ascension, as has been taught in so many spiritual schools. It brings a magnificent peace, love, and joy when it occurs naturally (and I must emphasize naturally). The grief I feel when I hear of someone dying is not for them, I grieve for the survivors, for they are the ones who suffer.
I clearly understand the significance of Ormond McGill. What a role model he is! I also understand the meaning of the dream, "loam soil plentiful, use it freely", loam soil is the richest soil for planting seeds. The minds of my students represent fertile soil. Yes, hypnosis is a major factor in my life and obviously a role that I shall continue.
It is such fun to return now and hear the wonderful stories from my former students as to how they have helped others. Stephen, my primary promoter is quick to say, "You have planted many seeds. They have become trees, soon you will have forest."