Give @JamesARay The Benefit Of Doubt

The death of two people in a sweat lodge in Sedona, offers us a very interesting opportunity to look at the energy we are using in life and ultimately at what we are attracting.

Negative or positive?

It is very easy to be sucked into the media’s version of events. Ray is inexperienced and out to make a quick buck?

The Internet is littered with articles vilifying Ray and his practices. Mine is not one of them.

I am not applauding his actions either, but realise in the past year or so, something in me has shifted.

The media encourages us to seek out and revel in the negativity of it all. It is the soft sell, get at the basic emotions and hook people.

The story we are being offered is interesting, compelling even, but it is badly researched and simply not true.

I have recently been listening to an interview Bill Harris recorded with James Ray as part of The Masters Of The Secret series. (also on iTunes).

Despite the spin the media are putting on it, it is absolutely clear from the interview that Ray is incredibly experienced in more than one set of spiritual practices, having studied with groups all over the World.

The Native Americans are claiming he was performing one of their rituals, on their land. They then go on to claim Ray was doing it all wrong. But was he?

Here is my take on it.


Why not?

It is a six day course and James Ray has spent a lifetime learning various spiritual practices and bundled them together into the “Spiritual Warrior” package which is ultimately designed to help people.

He is entitled to charge as much as he likes for his time and services.

Arguing that Native Americans don’t charge for the same service is ridiculous, given that the service was completely different from and traditional Native American culture is based on barter.

In Native American culture they still would have given him something valuable, some tobacco, some food, a horse.

Try getting that one past the IRS!

More important, the money from these courses goes into running a business that provides less profitable seminars all around the world. As far as I can tell, he sows seeds of abundance in people that go way beyond the financial.

Yes, we can pick at his business practices and find fault, but if YOU are doing that… WHAT are YOU attracting with this energy?

Okay, clearly something did go wrong. The reality is two people died. But why they died has yet to be determined.

When someone is doing something groundbreaking and new, what do we have to judge it against when things go wrong?

Until the cause is clear, give James A Ray the benefit of doubt.

Simply send the sick your love and good will.

And… This includes Ray, he may be sick too… One possible reason he left, of many.

You can choose to be positive, or negative about it.

Maybe 49 people had an incredible experience, perhaps all did to that point?

Being positive or negative, putting in your energy, having your say…

It may, or may not, make a difference to this situation, ultimately it will make a difference in YOU.

This is mine…

I have read a lot of negative things about James A Ray in the past few days; people telling their poor me stories about how he was horrible to them in one of his seminars.

Hello there… Isn’t that what you always do?

When will these “poor me” stories STOP?

If it fits you, then take responsibility for your feelings!

If seminar leaders are horrible to you, you probably NEEDED it to see you, to GET your perception of things.

Frankly, if you are still complaining, you just won’t get it!

Hit the comments below. Get it off your chest.

Which side of the looking glass are you on this one?

I am with the positive reflection!

See you there…

creative thinker | innovator | visionary
mark ty-wharton, creative thinker | innovator | visionary

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  1. Mark – happy to have found your blog via Twitter. I like what you write.

    I’d like to give JA Ray the benefit of doubt, but I have too much experience in planning retreats and managing the well being of participants to have anything but doubts of the retreat’s practices. I also know the sweat lodge ritual very well, and holotrophic breathwork, vision quest, etc. I know and have worked with dozens of Native American elders trusted with leading such rituals, who have safelyserved thousands of people.

    NO ONE I know would ever put all these rituals back to back like Ray did. As designed, they were a death march. NO ONE I know in the Native American community would assemble a sweat lodge of 60 people (too large), because there is simply no way to assure the safety and wellbeing of all of those participants sitting in the dark.

    I am not sure why the injuries were so extreme. The ailments and signs of the victims (reported in the media) point to evidence of extreme temperatures and anoxia…perhaps poisonous herbs tossed on the rocks…hopefully we will find out more.

    In my experiences with the sweat lodge, the leader is ultimately responsible for the wellbeing of the participants. He is constantly monintoring them in between the rounds. And the participants are well aware of and taking care of each other. There is never a demand to ‘stay in..push yourself…’

    No doubt, the media is creating quite a sensational, negative shitstorm about this incident. There are so many things to prey on — Ray’s leaving the scene without communicating with the participants, his team tearing down the lodge ASAP, Ray’s law-elusive behavior post the incident and his “show-must-go-on” mentality that put him right back on the road to do more seminars. The $10,000 fee for a string of rituals that Native Americans rarely charge for. The previous injuries and deaths around his seminars. The endorsement of Oprah and Huffpo.

    To me, none of these issues really matter. But the negligence does. If Ray takes on the role of spiritual leader, he must do everything within reason to guarantee a safe journey for his participants — especially if there are physically demanding rituals involved. On many levels, I am certain that he did not. And for this, he needs to face the consequences of the law, and rethink the way he cares for the people in his programs.


  2. Isn’t this a perfect example of the Law of Attraction?! “Thoughts Become Things.” Consciously, or I presume rather unconsciously in this particular case, these people must obviously have chosen their own fate, so did Ray. I’m sorry if it sounds harsh, but the Law of Attraction just acts, it doesn’t judge. “Ask and you shall receive.” That’s what the Universe did in this case, and that’s what it always does. Intention is key. If Ray and his followers had not intended this in some way, it wouldn’t have happened. As to the reason why this reality was created, we can only guess.. If there’s one thing we can learn from this it’s see how powerful the power of intention really is! Be careful what you wish for, ’cause your every wish will manifest!


  3. Thank you for your incredible healing post, Ty.

    I needed to read that. I have read all of the negative, because I have been troubled that perhaps one of my favorite leaders is falling.

    Now I see we can simply love through it.

    Love all.


  4. As usual your observations are spot on. The study of media is called media-ecology or something like that. I was thinking about going to get my masters in it a long time ago. I noticed an interesting patten years ago and was frightened so…

    What was that pattern? The media is the opiate of the masses. Keep them afraid and guessing and do not give them anything of substance; infotainemnt and you have them. When it comes to the media it is A BRAVE NEW WORLD.

    Like the Yanks last night. I love bassball and it is Americas past time right after gambling and so they lose…twenty years ago my heart would have stopped when they made that last out and lost, but…

    As an older guy I was able to watch the beauty of it. Less separation. So they lost…it was a great game; managing mistakes and all.

    So what is my point.

    What is the media trying to do? It needs to fill in the space. We notice the static in the media and in other people’s lives so we can notice the static in our own lives and then…

    At least then we have a choice.

    That’s the only thing I can really think of that is a positive.

    What are your thoughts?


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