As I began thinking about the subject of my first blog entry following the recent publication of my book, God and Other Men, I thought back to the time I spent with one of my teachers, Zdenko Arsenijevic. While I chose not to write about him in my book for various reasons, I acknowledged him in the book as one of my teachers. Zdenko heads the Arsenijevic Healing Center, formerly in Philadelphia and now just down the road in Doylestown, PA. A former physician in his native Serbia, Zdenko now works as a healer and spiritual teacher.
When I returned from my stay in India in 2006, I wanted to continue developing my spiritual life as well as treating my on-going health issues that traditional medicine had been unable to help. On first meeting Zdenko and seeing his twinkling eyes and loving smile, I recognized once again that not all the great spiritual leaders live in India.
I attended Zdenko’s classes for a year, before the long commute back from Philadelphia at eleven or twelve o’clock at night became too difficult. During that year I watched him lead groups in instruction and mediation, work in healing sessions, both one-on-one and in groups, and greet and talk with people—all done with that perfect love and acceptance that I had experienced with Tapoguna Maharaj and Swami Muktananda in India. I also saw in my sessions with him that he had extraordinary perception—for trauma, for states of consciousness, for emotions, for levels of energy. In one early class we worked on perceiving the different energies of color. To practice we placed regular playing cards upside down on a table and attempted to determine whether each was a red or a black card. Many of us were able to perceive color about 70% of the time—it was an odd feeling to discover how often we probably perceive beyond the normal senses, if only we would pay closer attention! Of course, Zdenko and his long-time student and assistant, Donna LeRoy, who teaches how to heal using color, could determine every card.
On a recent Monday I participated in Zdenko’s on-line meditation, a webinar. As his voice floated out of my computer, I was brought back to that love he so beautifully conveys to his students and clients. Beginning with the often-used and effective technique of inviting us to watch our breaths, he instructed us to see our thoughts as clouds, to note that they are there and then let them past through our minds without judgment—just as we watch clouds pass over our heads, only to disappear from our field of vision.
Even as I write this, I can picture those clouds along with my thoughts, especially negatives ones, passing by, disappearing (sometimes) with no (sometimes!) interference by me. His message rings true with that of all great spiritual traditions: pay attention to the mind, but don’t get trapped by it.