Zen (noun): school of Mahayana Buddhism asserting that enlightenment can come through meditation and intuition rather than faith; China and Japan.
So, how does this pertain to healing in WoW you ask? At it’s base level, meditation is a tool that is used to make the mind and body whole, to realign a persons energy through focus and insight. It is also the realization of an inherent natural wisdom and virtue that fills us all. The most basic function of a healer in WoW is to mend the raid and make the raid unit whole again. Is this far out there? Probably but bear with me a bit. We heal our raid through focus and intuition. We predict incoming damage and set heals and preventative measures accordingly. We trust our intuition, and apply logic to make our healing target decisions rather then trust blindly that our heals will find their mark. We do so through intimate knowledge of our classes and the raiders around us. It’s like hitting the “zone” that athletes talk about. You become centered, super focused and just make amazing saves and pull out all the stops without even realizing you are doing it.
I’m sure you’ve done it before. You’ve been in a fight where afterward someone comments “I have no clue how you healed through that!” and you have to stop and think back on it, because you don’t remember doing anything special, you just did it.
I’ve always referred to healing in WoW as a very fluid thing, it is very natural and adaptive in nature.Ã‚Â It’s something that if you are a healer, it just flows from you without much thought. For me the true zen of healing comes out during my guild’s heroic raids. A couple nights ago we were doing General Vezax (working on our second kill on him at the time).Ã‚Â I had assigned three healers on the main tank, a Resto Druid, Holy Pally and Disc Priest. Vent was quiet as dps wait for the call to burn down a vapor and interrupters were waiting for the flame spheres to pop up around Vezax. Early into the fight our Paladin MT healer get’s hit with a shadow crash and then very shortly there after an interrupt is missed due to a lag spike and a Searing Flames goes out. The Paladin dies as a result. Without saying anything I see our second Holy Paladin shift his position and take over tank healing, while the rest of the healers move to fill the healing gap throughout the raid. Later on in the encounter our Vapors wound up in the back of the room, I watched as the healers rotated on their own, without any direction. Healers got their mana back and then relieved the tank healers so they could regen then the tank healers took back over. I watched my healers work as one unit, without any spoken or written words passing between them. That to me was a moment of zen similar to the story of the Flower Sermon. Everyone used logic and intuition to work as one cohesive body and win the fight without a word even having to be spoken.
I’ve had other people tell me about how they get into “the zone”. Some have pre-raid rituals, and yes I mean rituals. I have a friend who before a raid sits down on the floor takes some deep breathes and tries to release any stress he’s gathered during the day before the raid through meditation. I have another friend who drinks a can of coke, eats a bag of Andy Cap Hotfries or hot-wings and then sits down to raid, he compares this to say sacrificing a chicken to the raiding gods. Another of my associates listens to classical music while he’s healing, keeping it just low enough to replace the game music but still hear directions in vent. Me before a raid I listen to some music likeÃ‚Â John Williams and the Indiana Jones theme to get myself in adventure hero mode.
So what about you? Have you experienced a moment like we did with Vezax? Do you have a pre-raid ritual to get you into your zone? Have you hit your Zen through healing yet?
That is it for today, until next time. Happy Healing!