by Ben P, Australia
I found out about Universal Medicine (UniMed) about 4 or 5 years ago when I was still going through university. At the time I was living the typical student life of drinking most nights of the week, eating junk food and staying up till 3am with occasional cram sessions in there so that I wouldn’t fail my classes. I thought I was having fun and doing what we were supposed to do as students but I was never really happy. As soon as the alcohol wore off, or the thrill of whatever escapade we’d been up to had died down, I was left feeling miserable and lacking any direction.
When I looked around me, everyone I knew felt to be in the same situation. No one was really sure whether they actually wanted to do what they were studying for and so we were all constantly looking for any reason we could to escape back into our drunken stupor. It was the only place we didn’t feel that life was a burden, being dragged around by all of these conflicting expectations and pressures – conditions that were coming from ourselves and our families back home.
In my 4th year at uni I was lucky enough to have a session with Kate Greenaway because my mum was taking part in her study on the effects of craniosacral therapy. Going into the session I had no idea what to expect. I’d only ever thought that deep tissue massages or painful treatments would bring any results, but with the gentle movements and realignment she took me through I walked out of their feeling lighter and better than I could ever remember feeling. After feeling that for myself, I wanted to find out as much as I could. I was almost going to drop my studies so I could take up physiotherapy because of the change I felt from that one session.
Soon afterwards I went to my first Universal Medicine course. I was full of anxiety and hesitation about going along to this course that I had no experience or any background in, it was like preparing to head off to another planet for me. My experiences as a child of sitting in a church room with a dull seminar dragging on around me did not make it easy for me to go, but there was a call inside me from my earlier session that I had to follow and see where it would take me. The first time I met Serge Benhayon, he really didn’t make any kind of impression on me – we both said “hello” and then stood silently together for a little while before he was called away. He seemed nice, but pretty much just like anyone else.
I still had some doubts as he started presenting but then he had us do some simple exercises. The ones I remember most were massaging someone’s shoulder in a clockwise and then anti-clockwise direction, breathing gently and being with them. I felt immediately such a clear difference between each of these. Serge hadn’t told us what to expect or what to look for, he just said try these movements and see for yourself what it feels like. After that, I thought to myself, how could something so simple have made such a huge difference like that?
I’d never really thought that there was anything in life apart from the daily slog of work with the brief relief of drunken weekends, so those exercises opened my eyes up to the fact that there was something more in life. I saw that, with a focus towards conscious presence and gentle breathing, the whole world seemed to change around me. I could feel amazing without the drinking, without the escapes, just by being dedicated towards looking after myself.
After attending two courses that year I went overseas to complete my studies. A year away was an opportunity for me to go crazy, partying even harder and pushing myself to the limit, however, from those few experiences I’d had with UniMed, I had decided that I wanted to be responsible for my own well-being. The simple act of being present with myself, feeling how my actions affected me, and being dedicated to myself was what supported me to live in whichever new culture I was immersed in that week. I was moving around a lot, but this was something I could take with me everywhere I went.
By the fact that I was caring for and felt connected to myself, I felt I was open to connecting with everyone and anyone, regardless of their culture, age or background, equally. Being from a small country town, I’d never really had much interaction with people from diverse backgrounds.
In my year abroad, I had little contact with anyone or anything from Universal Medicine. It was only from the principles that I had picked up in my brief exposure to it the previous year as well as my own choices that had supported me throughout the year. Before coming to Universal Medicine, no-one had ever truly told me it was okay to love yourself, or that honouring yourself is the most natural way we can be. I didn’t realise it could be any other way than the hectic way the world seemed to impose on me, where I’d be constantly exhausting myself just getting through the day.
I’m grateful to Serge for loving us enough that he was willing to put himself under the spotlight and share this with us, even when it may be controversial or make him enemies for saying it.
In the end though, it isn’t Serge or even Universal Medicine that keep me coming back. It is my dedication and commitment to loving others and myself as best as I can.
Both Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine have always been there to offer me the space and support as I go through the process of re-learning this and they offer such a full and complete support and loving way in everything they do.