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  The Journey by Linda Markley. Published in Gerson Newsletter, August 2000 (single page to read off-line or print)

The Journey process came into being as a result of Brandon Bays finding a basketball-sized tumour extending from her pubic area to her ribcage. Her doctor told her that surgery was the 'only option', and immediate surgery at that. Being a teacher in the mind-body movement, Brandon wanted to try to find her own way to healing but the specialist told her that the tumour was crushing her other organs and causing internal bleeding and blood loss alone could kill her over the next few days. After a lengthy and passionate discussion, they agreed to postpone surgery for one month while Brandon tried to recover with more holistic methods. The story of Brandon's search and her discovery of the healing processes that form the Journey is told in her book, 'The Journey'. She returned to this doctor after one month, by which time she had managed to reduce the tumour to the size of a cantaloupe melon. The doctor was unimpressed. She told Brandon she still needed to have it surgically removed. Brandon thanked her for her time and told her that she was determined to honour her body and give it the time it needed to heal. The upshot was that, by the time of her next examination with a more open-minded doctor, not only had the tumour disappeared but she was told that her organs were now in textbook condition.

Myself, I read Brandon's book pretty much in one sitting. My husband is recovering from severe chronic health problems, and I love to read about people who recover completely and quickly from serious health problems using natural, repeatable methods. Brandon seemed both honest and sensible and she supported her body's healing with things I know work (juices, nutrition, colonics etc). She also supported her healing with positive thinking, but at the same time respected the unknowable mystery of illness, its cause and its resolution. More impressive is that she developed a repeatable process that works for other people and other issues. And the processes are in the book for all to use.
   UP What really appealed to me about Brandon's process, and what in the end led me to go further than just working with the book was the possibility of connecting more deeply with what Brandon calls 'Source'. Others call it essence, peace, stillness, awareness, unconditional love, bliss, God. Brandon talks about this throughout the book. It's an integral part of her Journey, the context in which she healed and developed the Journey processes for others to use. It's profound, practical and available. Its truly holistic - not just mind/body but physical, emotional and spiritual.

Well, what is a 'Journey'? In nuts and bolts terms - past, or even current, issues, can bind energy in our cells where they block and limit function, sometimes enough to lead to disease. The Journey uncovers the specific memories and emotions at the core of any issue and resolves them in a gentle way. Healing follows. For me, though, this explanation is a little bald. The real heart of the Journey for me, and the source of its power, is in the simple, repeatable steps leading directly to the experience of Source for oneself. This, to me is where the healing beyond 'cure' comes from, and the access to infinite wisdom. The steps involve fully experiencing emotions and allowing oneself to 'drop through' to a deeper experience. If we go deep enough, we experience Source.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'd read the book, decided I wanted what Brandon had but I doubted I'd get there on my own. Yet the Journey Intensive, at £195 for a weekend, plus a night in a hotel was a lot for me. I'd never been to a 'new age' seminar before and expected a couple of dozen people - I was amazed when I saw a couple of hundred. They were people from all walks of life, including clergy, business people, young mothers, artists and even a doctor or two. Then Brandon told us her story. She must have told it countless times yet it still had a freshness to it. The room was filled with a peaceful, nurturing presence and I relaxed and began to enjoy myself. It was that atmosphere, for lack of a better word, that permeated the whole event and really made the weekend for me.
   UP When it came to my first Journey I was nervous at the idea of having one myself yet also itching to get on with it, especially when Brandon demonstrated the Journey on someone else. I was difficult to process, and embarrassed about that - both typical of me, I'm afraid. The trainers were superb - really patient, affirmative and prepared to do whatever they could to make sure I had the best possible result. I'm sure they'd have stayed with me all night or brought Brandon herself to help me if necessary. At length we successfully completed my Journey and I learned a lot about dealing with the challenges that can arise!

Tangible results didn't show up immediately - but I wanted to spend more time in the presence I had spent the weekend in and also to clear more blocks to being in that presence all the time. So the next step was an Abundance Retreat. I had found Brandon a superb model of abundance, not just money but the true fullness of life. As I've got to know her more, I've found she walks her talk in all ways. She works long and hard but without strain. She lets it flow and has fun. She shares her experience without playing the big teacher with all the answers. She's 'normal' with people, warm, friendly, respectful and approachable. And she's really excited about what she's doing. This excitement actually leads to the most frequently held criticism of her - she sometimes forgets that audiences need breaks.

It may be a cliché but it's true - the abundance retreat changed my life. I'd been trying to move to work I wanted to do but, with my husband chronically ill, I hadn't managed it and had got exhausted by working hard to support his healing program (lots of juicing etc.) and to earn money for us. Burnout was starting to look like an option! After the Abundance Retreat, roughly twice the money I needed to start out working for myself just came to me. Sceptics will reject any relationship between the events. My own belief is that the universe works according to spiritual and energetic principles and if we work with them, we can gain great benefits for ourselves and others.
   UP Why might the Journey be of interest to Gersons? In fact, the Journey and Gerson therapy can complement each other very well. Brandon herself supported her body's healing with a Gerson-like regime including fresh juices, organic fruit and vegetables, pure water and regular colonic therapy. However, before her tumour developed, she was already following a very healthy lifestyle, in her own words, 'doing everything right'. (Needless to say, having recovered from her illness, Brandon continues with juices and organic foods and advocates that others do the same.) For her, there was a factor beyond the purely physical which needed to be addressed before she could recover. The same is possibly true for some Gersons - they may have blocks at a cellular level slowing or restricting their recovery. At the very least, some Gersons could find the Journey process a help. The Journey can and has cured people of every kind of serious illness, many pronounced incurable, including, M.E., renal failure, migraine, depression and womb problems.

The Journey is essentially an opening into wholeness. For some people, this may not bring physical healing. But healing always occurs on some level. The experience of love and peace usually brings a deeper perspective on illness and life. Difficult situations become more liveable and disciplines easier to maintain. My husband is a good example. I have taken him through several Journey processes which have enabled him to finally resolve some painful memories, one a long-standing resentment against a childhood tormentor stretching back over forty-five years! After each process he felt light and joyous for some days - yet it is hard to assess the impact on his health. He is doing a lot of other good things and he continues to make steady if unspectacular progress. But he tells me that he feels more comfortable within himself.

It took a while to fully resolve my doubts over the cost of Journey events. Eventually I realised how generous Brandon is, generous with her time (she does lots of not-for-profit work), with her skills and information, and with the limelight and credit (she happily promotes others and shares the stage with them). She wants the best for the Journey and for everyone who comes to it - fresh flowers, perfectly arranged, a high standard of cleanliness, pure water, healthy & tasty organic food, great environment. Another thing that put me off initially was the 'New Age' category, so much of which can be glib and superficial. I'm sure some of it works for some of the people, some of the time but it wasn't what I wanted. I have found that the Journey goes much deeper. Not everyone gets the 'cure' they want but the healing is very deep and permanent. It really does shift the whole person onto a new level of being.
   UP In a review of 'The Journey' in Caduceus Journal Review, Holly Timmermans said: -
'This book came to me at one of those 'window moments' on a healing journey of my own, at a point where I needed to clear an underlying pattern to effect a physical healing. I really needed to wake up transformed the next day if I was to avoid going down the road of further medical intervention, which I had decided I did not want to do. So the timing, I had no doubt, was perfect. I was surprised by the simplicity and power of the process. When it was complete, I slept peacefully knowing from the depths of my being that all was well; but would my body respond? The next day I woke well and symptom free. Since then I have taken the work further attending a workshop with Brandon and beginning to use the work in my own healing practice. I can recommend this book, not only as inspirational reading and an interesting application of the propositions of mind body healing; but also from experience of its usefulness in both personal and professional healing.'

Feeling intuitively drawn to the Journey, or an awareness of bothersome issues are strong indications that this way of working would be particularly helpful for you. Even if you aren't aware of specific issues and are simply interested, the Journey could still be right for you. Brandon's book is a good and informative read and contains scripts and instructions for Journey processes. Some people have achieved amazing results with just these. However, the true strength of the Journey comes from establishing the person in Source and most people find it easier to contact that place in themselves working with an experienced Journey Therapist. Brandon Bays has trained her Accredited Journey Therapists in all the skills she uses in her private practise. A private Journey with a qualified practitioner is ideal for addressing profound, sensitive or complex issues. Brandon's weekends are excellent but they are intensive and would be difficult to manage until the later stages of the Gerson therapy.

As I've gone on with the Journey, I've gotten more deeply in touch with the stillness inside, the eternal presence that drew me to itself and I find it an immense privilege and joy to work as a Journey therapist.



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