Special presentation of Louise Hay’s Doors Opening : A Positive Approach to AIDS
We will be showing the film Doors Opening: A Positive Approach to to AIDS by Louise Hay. Subud Chelsea, 230 West 29th. St, NYC. Suggested Love Donation of $10 with proceeds going to the Hay Foundation. Louise Hay was a student of our community center.
Doors Opening by Louise Hay
I am very proud of a little movie we did in the ‘80s called Doors Opening. In my counseling practice, I always had a few gay men. And when AIDS came out, it terrified everybody on Earth. I remember one of these men called me and said, “Louise, would you be able to start a little group for people with AIDS.” I didn’t know what to say. What did that mean? Okay, I told him. “Let’s meet.”
So the next week six young men came to my house. And we talked about releasing resentment and forgiveness and how to love yourself. I didn’t know exactly what we were going to do, but I knew what we were not going to do: Play “Ain’t It Awful!” We were going to take a positive approach and we would see what would happen. So we talked, we sang, we did a meditation and then they went home. The next morning, one of the men called me up and said, “Louise, this is the first time I slept in four months.”
The next week, we had 12 people. The following week, we had 20. It just kept growing and growing. When it got to be 90 people, my living room couldn’t hold everyone. So we managed to find a gymnasium in West Hollywood who accepted us. We went from 90 to 150 the first night there. And then it kept doubling and doubling until they couldn’t hold us. Finally, the City of West Hollywood gave us space so we could meet every Wednesday night. It got to a point where we had almost 800 people every week.
In a way, it was like a huge AA meeting—a place where people could come and feel safe, where they could talk and just bare their souls. We’d do meditations and songs, and everyone would get a hug at the end of the evening. This sounds very normal now, but at that time, people were afraid to touch anyone who had AIDS.
There were so many of these young, young men who were so frightened. They were just children. So I asked them to bring teddy bears to the meetings. And everyone would sit there and hug their teddy bears. It made them feel loved. It made them feel safe.
For two years, I personally carried a teddy bear. I remember thinking if I’m asking them to do it, then I can do it. Once when I was being interview on CBS, they tried their damnedest to get that teddy bear out of my arms. And I absolutely refused!
As the word spread and our gatherings grew larger, we wanted to make a video so we could share our experience with other groups. We found out that a video cost a lot of money and we didn’t have any. So I started to do my affirmations. I knew that we’d have the right people to do the right things at the right time. The next thing you know a director came along.
This director introduced us to Colin Higgins, a big Hollywood screenwriter and director. (He directed and wrote Harold and Maude, Nine to Five, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.) One day, Colin said he wanted to put the funding in my foundation. And I said, “Foundation? What do you mean? I don’t have a Foundation.”
“Okay,” he said. “I’ll have my lawyer set one up for you.”
And that’s how The Hay Foundation began.
Subud Chelsea Center
230 West 29th Street
Manhanttan, NY, US, 10001