The Blessing of Mentoring Khabira Ondreah Johnson

by Walia Denise Runyon 


Our dear Khabira Ondreah Johnson passed away December 9, 2018 from metastatic breast cancer. As her mentor, I was a spiritual companion for her ride on what she called “the C train”, her code words for dealing with breast cancer through two rounds of medical treatment and beyond. 

During her treatment process, she created sacred space in every encounter. She put post it notes with lines from the prayers of Hazrat Inayat Khan up and down the IV tubing. When her sacred items exceeded the space of her chemo area, the hospital staff gave her her own room for all of it. She could do this with such an amazing mix of humor, conviction and expectation. She expressed a profound sacredness in her energy that might be delivered with a rowdy curse word or an engaging giggle. There was joy and pain in this.

I think those of you who have met Khabira will recognize her in this imagery. 

 She advocated with a generous heart to be treated as a whole person and not just a medical statistic. She refused to be defined by her disease. She advocated for widening the scope of cancer treatment to include complementary services for the body, heart and soul. She believed in and found relief through Hurqalya Healing. She taught us about her process at the Hurqalya Residency. She fulfilled her purpose of teaching everyone about the application of Heart Rhythm Practice to the cancer process.

There were many ways in which the iamHeart community cared for and have been blessed by Khabira on this journey. She was a graduate member of the iamU Class of 2014 and continued to meet weekly with a group of classmates. She was a member of the Hurqalya program and remained part of a close-knit pod, as well as the larger body of Hurqalya healers, many of whom formed two teams providing regular remote healings, and others who gave healing sessions individually to her. She was involved and sometimes led a weekly Healing Ritual with the Healing Ritual circle. She maintained contact with iamU graduates, teachers, and healers in her local area. There are probably others hearts she touched in special moments and encounters.

Yes, Khabira touched the hearts of many in our iamHeart community. When I learned that her medical treatment had reached its limits, Nizam and I decided to drive from our home in Ohio to hers in Pennsylvania. (For those of you not familiar with this part of the US, it’s an 8-hour drive across two wide states in the Mid-East.}

We felt that this is “what we do”. We show up if we can to attend to the sacred process of transitioning for a beloved mentee and pod-mate. Our hearts called us to visit her. We could, so we did.

It was really a blessing all around to be present in person with her. We met her loving sister Liz and her dearest friend Edie, who welcomed us with great kindness. We met her cat and constant companion Mabud. We did prayers, sound practice, and sang. We did Hurqalya Healing, which helped her sleep more peacefully.   We loved each other sweetly and affirmed that she belonged to our iamHeart community, within the One Heart.

Thank you Khabira.