It could have been daunting interviewing Dr Zhi Gang Sha otherwise known as Master Sha: he started his tai chi journey aged six (after observing a tai chi Master do the push hands sequence in the park, he badgered his parents to let him learn, and then practised every Saturday and Sunday for four to five hours), learnt qi gong at 10, Shaolin kung fu at 12 and the I Ching and feng shui from a young age.
He studied conventional medicine as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine and is qualified in both fields. He is also certified as an acupuncturist and herbalist and, under the aegis of Dr Zhi Chen Guo, his teacher in China since 1990, became the sole Western teacher of Body Space Medicine, which helped to contain the SARS epidemic in China. He was also named Qigong Master of the Year in 2002, and is the sole 373rd generation lineage holder of Peng Zu, an anti-ageing system that has been passed down through the oral tradition to no more than three lineage holders per generation for more than 4,300 years.
Sitting across from Master Sha in the foyer of the Novotel in Glen Waverley, Melbourne, I am struck by his abundant energy, enthusiasm and humour: "Teaching and healing are my relaxation," he laughs. As we sip tea and chat, Master Sha soon gets down to what he calls "soul business" and hands me some of the books in his Soul Power series - I should mention that he is a four times New York Times best selling author. "Every sickness is due to soul mind body blockages," he tells me, explaining that Western medicine forgets the soul. "Heal the soul first: then the healing of the mind and body will follow."
Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as his studies of ancient wisdom and spiritual traditions including Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, he created Soul Mind Body Medicine in 1996.
"To teach the power of the soul is my most important empowerment. It is the key for my total life mission. The power of the soul is the key for transforming physical life and spiritual life. It is the key for transforming and enlightening humanity and every soul in all universes," he writes in Power of the Soul.
He explains that humanity is transitioning into a new era, the Soul Light Era, which began on August 8, 2003 and will last 15,000 years. Natural disasters, wars, terrorism, species extinction and economic problems are all part of this transition, as well as conditions such as depression, anxiety and chronic illness. But it's not all gloom and doom - far from it. Replacing the mind over matter paradigm with soul over matter, or soul intelligence, will, he explains, heal and transform the consciousness of humanity and all souls. Everything and everyone has a soul - a house, animal, organ of the body or business - and the Divine, as the ultimate decision maker, determines a person's spiritual standing.
Master Sha, although extremely humble - he never takes credit for any healings stressing that it is the Divine working through him - is clearly no ordinary healer. In April 2003 at a Power Healing workshop at the Land of Medicine Buddha in California, the Divine appeared to him and showed him a spiritual law, the Universal Law of Universal Service. The basic premise is that we are all universal servants of the Divine and the more service we give, the more blessings we receive. If, however, we offer unpleasant service, we can expect to receive lessons in the form of sickness, accidents, emotional and financial turmoil and relationship difficulties. Master Sha explains that all soul blockages are karmic; if, for example, you harm someone in a previous life, you pay your spiritual debt in this lifetime - or as I later witness in the live karma cleansings - across many lifetimes.
In July 2003, the Divine appeared to Master Sha in another workshop and revealed ancient healing treasures, hitherto only shared with a few advanced spiritual leaders, as a gift to humanity. Honoured to be chosen as a channel, Dr Sha requested a volunteer with a serious health issue to come forward. Walter, who had advanced liver cancer, put up his hand. Immediately, Dr Sha saw a golden beam from the Divine penetrate Walter's liver in the form of a golden light ball. He tells us this was a Divine Soul Download, in this case a new soul for Walter's liver created from the heart of the Divine and imbued with divine love, forgiveness, compassion and light.
Importantly, Walter was also instructed to use his new "soul software" by repeatedly chanting a mantra - Divine Liver Soul Software heals me - and other forgiveness practice mantras to restore his health. Walter is now free of the cancer.
As well as interviewing Master Sha, I am excited to be attending a Soul Healing Day and seeing some of these remarkable transformations in action. Marilyn, one of Master Sha's 15 worldwide representatives (graduates from the advanced certified healer training program of the Institute of Soul Mind Body Medicine), introduces the day. Telling us more about how karma works, she stresses that it is not just our own actions that influence our karma, but also those of our ancestors. She instances the case of a person whose cancer returned because a reincarnated ancestor was involved in the recent turmoil in the global financial markets.
The good news is that these kinds of soul histories can be cleared. When Master Sha first became a divine channel after lifetimes of serving humanity, says Marilyn, he was also given the ability to clear bad karma. Initially, he was able to clear five to 10 per cent of a person's karma; now he can perform a total karma cleanse in one round as his soul standing has moved to an even higher level. Like the stock market, our soul standing goes up and down, but what doesn't change is that the souls we have hurt - perhaps tricked, killed or harmed - want to teach us a lesson. This lesson may take the form of negative memories, curses or damage to our bones and organs.
So how exactly does Master Sha's extraordinary Divine Karma Cleansing Service work? A woman in her 60s with stage four cancer goes up to the front of the room and explains that her illness keeps recurring. Dr Sha explains that unless her negative karma is removed, no amount of surgery or chemotherapy will work.
He commences a complete karma cleanse by reading from her Akashic book, a spiritual record kept in heaven of a person's activities across lifetimes. We learn that this woman is living her 754th lifetime and has a heavy personal karma with former lifetimes as a country leader and general in the army. A total of 1,233 lives have been affected by her mistakes and, for this, she has suffered for 34 lifetimes and, without healing, would suffer 74 lifetimes more.
Master Sha calls on heaven's generals and soldiers to perform the Divine Karma Cleanse and pay the woman's spiritual debt by giving 1000 of these dark souls a Divine blessing. The other four per cent residing in her body - those that were cruelly killed - are not yet ready to offer forgiveness, but, as she practises the chants and mantras, we learn that they will leave her body over time. We watch as Dr Sha clears all the karma related to her cancer, telling us that the Akashic record workers have transformed the pages of her book from darkness to light.
Following this cleansing - which is not just for this lifetime but for all future lifetimes - we chant a series of mantras such as, "I am blessed by the Divine and the Tao healing. I am forgiven. Serve humanity and all souls. Thank you, The Divine and the Tao." We also join in singing Master Sha's Lu La Lu La Li, a beautiful soul song entitled "Love, Peace and Harmony," that came to him when walking through a redwood forest in California with a group of his students in 2005. Interestingly, before he became a divine channel, Master Sha was not able to sing. As he demonstrates in his books, tapping into Soul Power can help with everything from singing to writing and healing.
If you would like to hear this and other soul songs, go to www.mastershasoulsong.com and listen in. This is one of many free resources offered here and via his website www.drsha.com that enable you to experience his unique work. Consistent with his mission of serving all humanity unconditionally by teaching as many people as possible to develop their soul intelligence and connection with the Divine, Master Sha is also training students around the world to be teachers and healers.
A number of people in the audience share the results of previous karma cleansing sessions; these range from improved relationships to health benefits and a clearer sense of self identity. One woman tells how she freed herself from a negative mindset. Forgiveness, love, compassion and releasing negative mindsets, attitudes and attachments are all vital to the healing process and ultimate enlightenment. Forgiveness is particularly important: "Ask all the souls you have cheated on or harmed to forgive you, and use Divine love to cleanse your karma before going to sleep," advises Master Sha. "When we experience Divine forgiveness, it erases the slate."
Master Sha shows us how to remove negative attachments and heal at the soul, mind and body level by tapping the two major soul centres in the body. The message centre, so called because it is the centre for soul communication, is located in the middle of the sternum and stores all messages from previous lifetimes. The abdominal area is the foundation energy centre for every human being. Tapping both areas, we chant mantras such as:
Divine love Soul Mind Body Transplant
Heals and rejuvenates me
Thank you the Divine
As well as anchoring any healing with a chant, gratitude is a key part of the process. At the end of each healing, we say, "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you," firstly to the Divine, secondly to our spiritual fathers and mothers and, thirdly, to our own soul, mind and body. And "Hao, Hao, Hao," which, in translation, means perfect, harmony or in balance.
The most powerful and moving transformation of the day is that of an elderly man in a wheelchair. Dr Sha transforms the man's Akashic record and transmits a new soul - many people see the vibration of light as Master Sha sends a golden ball of light through the man's spinal column and left leg. Now karma-free, the man receives the healing gift and is able to get out of his wheelchair and take his first - albeit tentative - steps for a long time.
The beauty of this soul healing system is that it is available to everyone. To close with the words of Master Sha:
I have to the power to heal myself
You have the power to heal yourself
Together we have the power to heal the world.