At 72, Jack Makani defies his age. He is the epitome of fitness. He stands tall and looks suave, attired in his signature blue shirt tucked into a black trouser. A matching black leather belt and black shoes complete the look. A blue cardigan carelessly slung around his shoulder is quite a style statement at his age. He may be beyond all that, but it’s hard to miss his overall persona that spells enigma and magic, literally. On his fourth visit to India, Makani continues to propagate his philosophy of healing with the same zeal as he did years ago.
He is the founding Chairperson of Makani Academy and International Coach and Trainers Association (ICTA), a non-profit firm in Cyprus. He is an internationally certified NLP Master Trainer who has trained and certified several thousands in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) which is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy. Makani is also the founder of Akasha Healing, a kind of spiritual and intuitive healing. For over three decades, Makani has been teaching his version of NLP and, Akasha Healing along with personal and spiritual development in many countries. He recently developed Hug and Heal campaign to provide psychological refuge to the earthquake survivors in Nepal and people around the world. His self-coaching books have been well-received by audience across the world. And how it all happened is quite a story.
Back in time, he was a former Army Major in the Danish Army. He served for 29 years and suddenly one day, something happened while running in the woods. He heard an inner voice that prodded him loud and clear. “It is now,” echoed inside him. He was anyway asking himself many existential questions and was sure he did not want to retire like anybody else and lead a predictable retired life sipping red wine and waiting for the sunset. So, in a way, that voice was an answer to his inner dialogue that has been going on for some time. That very day, he pulled out his typewriter and drafted a resignation letter. That was the beginning of his journey into the world of healing, Shamanism, psychotherapy, life coach, trainer and much more. Makani draws inspiration from every aspect of his life and he allows events and circumstances to be his teacher. For instance, the two divorce episodes with his much-loved former wives taught him great lessons and he credits them to his day as catalysts for the life he leads today. “They were wonderful women,” he says every now and then during a recent teaching session in Gurgaon. And of course, Makani is a master of his destiny. “I took a complete U-turn as far as my destiny goes. I did not want to lead a retired life and I changed my life,” he says in his soft yet commanding voice. Makani travels six weeks at a stretch and heads back to his home – a hotel room that overlooks a sea in Cyprus – to rejuvenate for two weeks until he travels yet again. That to him is home and a life he chose a long time ago.
In a candid conversation, he tells Hoihnu Hauzel about the ills that plague modern society and the secret of creating a life one desires.
In your decades of healing experience around the world, is there a common problem that the world is facing? Do issues and concerns vary from country to country?
People are people regardless of where they come from. The problem and issues that individuals across the globe face is the same. There are issues related to children; between husband and wife; relationships, to name a few. I would say all problems are interconnected in some ways. Also, there are illnesses that needed healing – so a lot of things are common in terms of illness be it physical or mental. There are cultural differences and beliefs are different but at the end, people are people. Problems tend to the same and solutions also are same.
How did you initiate the Hug and Heal concept in Nepal soon after the earthquake in 2015?
Hug and heal was a result of the earthquake back in 2015. So, I think it was an inspiration. One day I was walking along the street in Europe and called up my contact in Nepal which was shortly after the earthquake. I leant that they were not allowed to go into the house anymore. So everybody in Kathmandu was sitting or sleeping on the street at that point. All they had was their basic survival kits. I requested my friend that it was time for him to do something to his own people. “You are surrounded by people who are scared, people who are traumatised and it is now time for you to and your network to take action,” I told my friend. I simply told him to take action and the development of the hug and heal was the result of my dialogue with him. The concept started and slowly developed overtime. It became more like a workshop where hoards of people came forward seeking to balance their inner being, physical health and came in terms with the current situation to the best of their mental and physical ability. It developed step by step starting off first in Kathmandu and later on, it spread to Pokhran and further on to more rural areas. In the end, there were two teams and working around the country and we conducted workshops and did a lot of Akasha healing. They were trained to some extent in Akasha healing and the people in Nepal practised this healing system quite a lot for their own benefit.
You mentioned that India is one of the few countries that are witnessing an economic expansion. What could be the challenges in such a state of affairs?
When we have economic growth there are other things that accelerate even as the wheels are turning around. Companies are expanding and there is a tendency to take a little materialistic point of view to things and, maybe move a little into that direction. This is so natural. And I have seen that in Scandinavian countries and to some extent, we may lose connection to our ancestors and there is a fear that we may lose our old rituals which is some way is our source of having that spiritual contact. I see that as a smaller problem though. We are spiritual having a physical experience so, what I mean is, most human being need to find his or her own way to the spiritual world. We all have ancestors and old traditions and those traditions have served us well quite a lot of time. We are moving into a new time and the new time also create a need to access our own spiritual connection and that is very much something that takes place individually. I see the need for traditions to transform in order to match the modern time and lifestyle. Where do we get our knowledge? We got them when we were children in kindergarten and school that taught us the basic understanding as a human being. This is where our knowledge comes from. Whenever we talk about new tradition in a culture that maybe become more modern with time, this should be part of the teaching in the school. I have notice that the PM of India have asked meditation to take place inside the class and I would say it is wow, it is the way to do it.
Since time immemorial we have been seeking and searching. What is it that we are looking for…
We have been looking for answers all the way back then- who am I, why I am here and what I am supposed to do. We have been asking ourselves these existential questions since time immemorial. We are still searching for that and I do not think we can find the answers to that outside ourselves. We can get inspired but we need to find the answers inside. We need to go inside ourselves and find those answers. We are different people with cultures in different countries and the answers maybe different too. So, each of us have the challenge to go inside and find out who we are. In nature, I do not think this is different from what it was in the ancient times. It is the same thing as it was. Today, we live in a more complex world and we have the tendency to make things more complex than it needs to be.
How do you use astrology to get the framework of your life?
Astrology and similar kinds of science can help us understand the framework we have created for ourselves, to some extent. We all have created a kind of framework around our life, a set of assumptions some of which, we have inherited which is in our D & A, some we have created in our childhood and this is the basis of who we are. We are all connecting to the spirit of some kind and that spirit has an agenda for sure. Probably, it has an agenda for us to experience or learn something or to do something. Part of who we are is, to create communication to that spirit so that we can make sure that “I am on the road to what I am supposed to do.” I am teaching Akasha healing that has been given to me by some spirit. This is my destiny or my mission and I love to do that. The big secret for most people is to do what they love to do. I think, if we do what we love to do, we feel a big sense of fulfilment in our lives and we think we are on the right track.
Your long association with organisations across the world – manifests the need for organisations to look into the employees psychological need. Please explain…
The modern society is a complex one. In a complex society we have a tendency to make problems or challenges much more complex than they need to be. Basically, what a management should do, in my opinion, in any corporate company is, to create an environment both physical and psychological where people want to belong. That is what they can do. And if they do that, the management can introduce something that is good and lasting. That is the secret and key to the problem of modern organisations. Of course, the more we know about psychological tool the more we know about the psychology of an organisation, the easier it is. But honestly, regardless of the kind of management teaching we have, it should be taught from the heart.
What keeps you going?
I am 72 now. What else can I do? I love my life and love what I do. Sometimes I miss a family and my old society. I think of them and move into meditation and find my inner peace and that keeps me going. I have never been a family man really. I was 21 years when I raised my boys. I got married early. I was married twice and have six grandchildren and one great grandchild. In some way, my life is fulfilled. I am sitting here in Delhi and there are lots of wonderful people and they are my family. What else do I need, I do not need more.
Why is the stress to use NLP with compassion?
NLP have some very effective tools and using them can change our life for sure. But the effect will be so much stronger and deeper if you use them from the heart. If you use it with compassion you create a kind of rapport so deep that the outcome with the person you are engaged with or a client or students will be much stronger and meaningful. That is why I often recommend the use of it with compassion. Experiment with yourself to an extent that it becomes a habit to use NLP from the heart. Use it for the good of your student and people you meet. The final line would be, pay respect to people’s model of life. This is the ultimate outcome for communication and respect of people’s ideas that are different from yours. Those strong tools will and can be used to better their own life. There is no difference between guiding someone and guiding you, it is the same.
How did you find and introduce Akasha healing technique?
There is a funny and a little complicated story behind this. It seems as if it has been following the Maya colander. The Maya people are a group of Indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica in America and they believe in some kind of a spiritual colander. One of the periods inside the colander started very much around 1999. And I got this system in 2001 which was the so called second day of that period. Now, the last period inside the Mayan colander started in 2011 and it was a brief one. I had started to think if something would happen to Akasha system once again when the last period started. The entire system transformed in 2011 and then the colander expired because the Mayan spiritual has expired. After the expiry of the colander, the Akasha system had another kind of transformation and after that there has been much more stability. So in some way, it seems to me that development of the Akasha system in some ways is connected to different periods inside the Mayan colander. And the stability seems to last as far as I can see. This means that we are going to take it forward and describe in a much more detailed way how to use this technique and where it can be use or what someone can do by using this from now on. The word “Akasha” is a Sanskrit term meaning “empty space.” In the universe, there are two things: the movement and the empty space. Akasha means the empty space. I like the word and chosen it as it symbolically means that something is born or created out of that empty space. Anything can be created out of an empty space. I use it to heal, primarily teaches somebody to use it. This is my job to spread it out to many places as possible for people who discover that it exists. Let them start to use it if they find it useful. Some people have found it more useful than others. So, I use it to heal people. There is a vibration inside the human being – inside every person. By using this racing of those vibrations gets a boost and this racing of vibration takes place in the planet anyway at the moment. By using the symbols, you will not be lacking behind the process that ultimately takes places anyway. You will be more aligned with this process all the time and have less stress. Why do people have stress? Because they are not in alignment with what takes place in the planet. I use it in Russian- speaking places and in Scandinavian countries. I have taught in Nepal and now I am teaching in India and I wonder what is next.
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