What is Avatar and How Does it Apply to Me?
The word avatar does not just refer to a movie about blue humanoid creatures fighting to save their world from destruction. It has a much deeper history than this 21st century creation. Unbeknownst to most Westerners, the word avatar is a Sanksrit word meaning “a manifestation of a deity in bodily form on earth”. It is used in Hindi texts (the Bhagavad Gita) to refer to human incarnations of various Gods (namely Vishnu, Ghanesha and Shiva). According to Wikipedia (the encyclopedia of everything), this ancient word ‘is mostly translated into English as "incarnation," but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation"’. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar. So what does this have to do with me and why am I even bringing it up?
Well, I attended a consciousness training course last week (Jan 2nd-8th) named Avatar that completely transformed the way I think about the world and my life. What is consciousness, you ask? According to Wikipedia (again), “consciousness is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind.” It is taught by every major religion and is best regarded in the form of meditation. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness for more information.
I want to share my experience with you all for your own knowledge and to encourage you all to potentially undergo the same transformation of self through this course or by some other means. Disclaimer: I have NO financial ties to this company or to Star’s Edge International through which it runs. I am writing this review mostly because so many people have asked me about it and I feel inclined to share (sharing has always been one of the things I love to do most!)! Another disclaimer: Avatar is NOT a religion; it is NOT a cult and it truly is NOT dangerous. It allows you to uncover your true beliefs and motivations and gives you the tools to create what you want out of life. Anyone can do it and at any age, provided they have the finances to attend the courses which take place in 17 different countries. Third disclaimer: I started it as an open-minded skeptic but have been transformed in to a believer. Oh, and I can’t go in to the details of the exercises that lead up to the transformation, but just trust me when I say they work!
So let’s get started from the beginning. So how did I hear about Avatar? I fortuitously stumbled upon this course during another training course in early December for a guided imagery technique that I offer my patients for decreasing anxiety, pain, etc. See http://www.healfaster.com/index.html for info on this extremely valuable technique. Anyways, the creator of the guided imagery technique happened to mention Avatar as a valuable training for people who truly wanted to delve in to their consciousness and change their lives. This person is a psychotherapist by training and had already been through the Avatar course and previously taught it to others. The course came highly recommended. So me, being the curious person I am, googled Avatar in Connecticut and found a woman teaching it in a nearby town. I enthusiastically contacted her to see if our missions aligned (mine being to get rid of the severe negativity I harbored after residency and med school that manifested itself as chronic neck and shoulder pain and to create a more fulfilling life for myself; and hers to make sure that she attracted people ready for transformational change in their lives).
Needless to say, our missions aligned as she believed I was ready to attend an Avatar Resurfacing class and signed me up for one taking place that upcoming weekend (things happen quickly when you’re ready). It was only a ~$300 investment for a full weekend of training. (Not bad in the grand scheme of things!) So off I went not really knowing what to expect but staying open to the idea of profound change. When I got to the course on Saturday, I was a little put off by the way the people there were looking at me. They seemed to be looking through me, into my soul, and it kind of weirded me out (being honest). In addition, they were all SO happy and friendly and that added to my concern that I was jumping in to something harmful (funny how conditioned we are to unhappiness and hostility, as if I'd be more comfortable if they were cold and unfriendly!).
But as the day went on and I delved in to my own psyche through the numerous workshop exercises, I noticed a growing sense of “lightness”. I noticed the easing of my chronic neck and shoulder pain and an increase in my energy level as the day progressed. So much so that I could not stop talking about these changes during dinner with friends on Saturday night. I felt vibrant, enthusiastic and light! I was excited to see what day 2 would bring. So I returned on Sunday for more exercises and completed the course in a sustained “lighter” state of being. It was then that I made the commitment to attend a week-long Avatar course in Orlando, piggy-backing it on to my week-long vacation in Houston. I even noticed changes during my week in Houston. Not only did I have a fantastic time catching up with family and friends that week, but I seemed to have opened myself up to attract what I wanted from life - meaningful relationships (with old and new people) and profound change in my patients’ lives (opportunities for collaboration, etc) - on some small level.
But that was just a taste of what was to come. Upon arrival to the course in Orlando (on New Years’ Day after a late night of celebrating), I collapsed in to my hotel room bed and eagerly awaited the course that would later change my life. And man, do I mean change!! After the first day of “exploring my consciousness”, I again, felt extremely light and much less anxious about whether the process would work (and/or if I had just signed up for a cult without realizing it). The Avatar Masters and Wizards (those that have gone on to do further training) still seemed to be looking through me, straight in to my soul, and it again kind of freaked me out. I kept referencing my mother’s request “not to drink the ‘punch’” and kept in mind that I am a nice, Jewish doctor not really interested in re-defining myself. But this skeptical view didn’t last long due to the incredible genuineness of the people I was surrounded by and by the lasting feelings of lightness and happiness I experienced.
Everyone was there for one reason, self-improvement, and the creator of the program, Harry Palmer, lectured about topics that I believed in - personal responsibility (not blaming others for your successes or problems), compassion, generosity, integrity and self-creation of beliefs. There was no ‘punch’ to drink, no aliens to discuss, no beliefs implanted in my head, etc. This realization and the prescribed exercises I went through to clear out my negative beliefs/thoughts/actions became extremely empowering. I saw that I was in control of my thoughts, feelings and emotions and I became changed! I found myself nodding along to Harry's lectures in agreement and drawing energy from his idealism.
Again, the people were amazing! There were people from ALL walks of life (flight attendants, children, health care professionals, entrepreneurs, financial advisors, stay-at-home moms, etc) and of ALL ages (ranging from age 8-70, with one sweet, sweet baby boy in the ranks) and ALL nationalities (Americans, Brazilians, Europeans, Australians, Mexicans, Carribeaners, etc.) and ALL religions (you know what they are) with the sole purpose of improving themselves and the world. On any given day you could hear 4-5 different languages being spoken! As the week progressed, I had found a core group of people to hang out with and we found ourselves laughing like children at every opportunity. They, like me, started as open-minded skeptics and we enjoyed discussing our changes as we went through the process. It was nice to go through it with others who didn’t know what to expect and with whom I could laugh, love, dance and cry (and we did all of these things throughout the week). I left knowing that, if nothing else, I had met people who I respected and could enjoy life-long bonds with. I truly can say, specifically in this way, that the course was mind-blowing!
So after completing my coursework and being deemed an “Avatar” on Sunday evening, I said goodbye to my new friends/community of loving people on Sunday evening, I experienced the most peaceful and smooth experience at the super busy Orlando airport and arrived home to my apartment in Stamford around 3 am, excited and enthusiastic to take what I’d learned to work the next day. I intentionally created the belief my work would be smooth and productive and needless to say, my week proved to be exactly that, with opportunities for further growth presenting themselves every day!
The crux of Avatar is that each person is responsible for the things they experience in life (both positive and negative). You are held accountable for your thoughts, actions, beliefs, etc., regardless if you are aware of them or not. I am excited to see where my new views on life take me. It seems that once you open yourself up to the positivity of the universe, anything is possible. And I say this as a former skeptic who used to believe that the world is the way it is and that true change only results from external forces (ie, life changes, psychological help, medication, etc). Instead, I no longer feel resentment and regret towards my choice to practice medicine and give up the social life my non-doctor friends had during their twenties (yes, many doctors and others with prolonged academic training feel this way). I have opened my heart to the numerous opportunities that await me and I encourage you all to do the same. I am SOO excited to have had this opportunity for rediscovery and look forward to the sustained happiness that lies ahead!
Learn how to let go of the beliefs that no longer serve you (ie, negativity, blame, regret, shame, guilt, etc.) and CREATE positive change in your life! Change truly can happen! Avatar is one way to get there. For more information, contact Ariela Sarai for a free introduction - http://www.powerofavatar.com/. I challenge you to NOT be changed by it!
All the best,
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Dr. Maltz earned a Medical Degree and Master in Public Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, TX. She completed a combined Internal and Preventive Medicine Residency at UTMB in June, 2011. She then completed a 2-year Integrative Medicine Fellowship at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT, during which she simultaneously underwent an intensive 1000-hour curriculum created by The University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Program founded by Dr. Andrew Weil.