The Medicine Way
The model of life and healing that we use is based on the tradition of the Inca, and further back, the Laika, a tribe of healers and teachers, who lived in the Himalayas 40,000 years ago. More detail of these people can be found in the books of Alberto Villoldo PhD.
They found that we have three bodies; a physical body, an energy body and a spirit body. We live in all three bodies at the same time. The spirit body forms connection to the spirit world. The energy body connects us to the energies of everything around us.
The energy body and the physical body work together, like software and hardware of the computer. The energy body contains information in the form of energy, which drives wellness and illness in the physical body. Events that occur in the physical world, and in our minds, can create an imprint of energy which in turn can attract more and more energy of a similar nature until the imprint becomes so strong that it starts affecting our body and our mind.
A simple example of this would be if we said something our partner didn't like at a dinner party. Unable to express their dislike in the moment our partner may store their discomfort. Unconsciously, over the next few days, our partner may find other examples of our behaviour or attitude to add to this feeling of discomfort until, over something that may seem very trivial, the dam breaks and all the energy is released in a violent outburst of criticism. In relationships, where these kinds of outbursts are not able to be expressed, the feeling of discomfort can grow and grow to the point where it can affect the physical body and the mind as colds, depressions, stress, heart disease or cancer.
Fortunately, the Laika developed tools, ways of removing heavy energy from the energy body so that illnesses could be healed or prevented in the first place.
The Laika, gradually moved out of the Himalayas and spread their understanding of how life and healing works throughout the world. About 25,000 years ago, a few of the tribe, passed over the frozen ice bridge between Asia and the Americas, and started the spread of their understanding through South and North America.
In this way, the Laika informed the medicine people of all the tribes of the Earth. Over time, the things that they taught were adapted to local thinking and local conditions. These were oral traditions, so the stories containing the wisdom were constantly being embellished and changed. However, the core of what they taught, and the model that they used, can still be found in all the various medicine traditions of native people throughout the world. Collectively, this body of knowledge is now referred to as Shamanism (shaman is a Mongolian word for native healer) or the Medicine Way, the way to work naturally and energetically to help our bodies and minds heal.
Medicine people of the different tribes can work with herbs or directly with energy, through ceremony or through direct application. The work that they carry out and the tools that they use fit into two main areas; awareness or the tracking of energy and intention or the working with energy. So, for example, a native healer in the Amazon would sense the energy of someone who had come for healing, and then would go out into the jungle until called by a plant that resonated without energy. They would then sit with the plant and communicate with it to find out how to use it with the person who needed healing.
Four Levels of Engagement
In order to work with the Medicine Way it is useful to understand that there are four levels of engagement between us and the world around us.
The first level is the physical level, the level of the body. The language of this level is biochemistry so, when things go wrong with the body, doctors treat the symptoms with biochemistry or by cutting something out. At this level change takes a long time. It can take a long time for a chronic illness to develop and curing it can take a long time.
The second level of engagement is the level of the mind. The language of the mind consists of words and symbols. So when psychiatrists are dealing with our minds, they ask us lots of questions and help us polish our stories. Changing the mind is much quicker than curing the body, and we know that the two are linked. We know a lot of illness is psychosomatic, and that by working with the mind we can cure the body.
The third level of engagement is the level of myth. Here the language is the story. Our lives are guided by the stories that we are telling ourselves, what is to be a man, what it is to be a worker, what it is to be a father, what it is to be a lover, what is to be rich, etc. These stories drive the behaviour and attitudes that shape our experience of life. Change one of these stories, and things can dramatically alter at the level of the mind, and the physical body. The level of myth is where many of the tools used by shaman or medicine people are effective.
The fourth level of engagement is the level of energy. The language at this level is energy. The shaman or medicine people can track energy in order to understand what is providing the momentum of illness experienced at the other three levels. They can then apply tools, which hold their intention, to remove harmful or heavy energy. This is a level where healing takes place instantly. With the momentum drained the stories can be re-informed, the mind can be changed and the body can be cured.
All four levels work together at the same time. Events that occur in the physical world or in the mind can affect the stories we tell ourselves and start the accumulation of heavy energy that can grow. When the imprint of energy has grown strong enough, it will start to have an effect at the level of myth and mind and physical body.
Nature Awareness and Survival Skills
Many centuries ago our ancestors left their nomadic ways and became settlers. Many centuries later we left the land and built the towns and cities of our modern civilisation. We have lost the use of our senses. Modern people use less than 10% of the potential of their senses. Those aboriginal peoples still left on our planet are using 70% of that potential. They see, hear, smell, taste and feel more intensely and in much greater detail than we can imagine.
Unfortunately, though we have left the woods and the plains behind, it is still a jungle out there and we still need those senses and the awareness they bring to flourish rather than just survive.
When we teach children how to survive if they get lost in the wild we tell them that it is not lack of resources that kills them, there is plenty of shelter and water and fuel and food around. It is not wild animals that will kill them. It is panic that kills people lost in the wild. They run around and literally wear themselves out. They shout a lot. We do exactly the same when we get lost in the jungle of our lives or our businesses. We try to do the same things we have always done, that donít work any more, harder and faster. We shout a lot. Just as we tell the children the first thing we need to do is to sit down, breathe deeply, calm down and then we will spot all the resources around us.
By learning to be more sensitive to nature we automatically become more sensitive to our inner world and our inner resources and the choices in our lives.