Archive for May, 2011

Jurgen Kremer, the Indigenous Mind and Healing

Friday, May 20th, 2011

When I was studying at CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies), I had the very great pleasure of taking a couple of classes from a man named Jurgen Kremer.  Jurgen is a German anthropologist whose particular focus is on understanding what he calls “indigenous mind”.  One course I took with him was concerned with understanding the relationship between indigenous ways of being and how healing occurs.

In sorting through some papers yesterday, I found the following excerpt from one of Jurgen’s papers, “Thoughts on Healing”, presented as part of a panel on The Healing Power of the Mind at the Taungpula Kaba-Aye Monestary in Boulder Creek, CA.

“The distinction between control and influence or access is an important one.

The western rational mind is educated to control.  However, you can never control your healing.  You can take charge of your healing process or you can take responsibility for your healing.  But the interconnected mind, inside and outside of ourselves, is much too complex to be controlled by just one aspect of itself.

You cannot control healing, but you can put yourself in a place or situation where healing can occur or where healing is invited.  Then the Mind which you cannot control can and may take charge.  This is how healing may happen, which is different from curing.

To cure a symptom or ailment is the intent of the rational mind to control whatever is seen as out of control.  Healing may also cure (which is what we always hope for) but there can be healing without a cure; a person may die healed, but obviously was not cured – and inner balance and fundamental interconnectedness had been reestablished, but the symptoms would not abate.  Healing addresses the whole person and the way we are embedded in relationships, community and nature; curing addresses only one aspect of Mind.”

As Kremer and so many others have said, healing is a mysterious process.  It is not linear.  It is not rational.  It is not a result of some cause and effect dynamic.  So to support healing in others and to create the possibility of it for ourselves, we have to be alive to the incredible mystery and potential for the miraculous to occur.

Blessings on everything we do in support of this mystery.

Pema Chodron on gratitude

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

I was reading in Pema Chodron’s Comfortable with Uncertainty, (p. 163-164) this morning and decided to share the following with you.  It reminds me that at the heart of healing is complete forgiveness of everyone (including ourselves) and total gratitude towards all (including ourselves). . .

“Be grateful to everyone”

“Be grateful to everyone” is about making peace with the aspects of ourselves that we have rejected.  Through doing that, we also make peace with the people we dislike.  More to the point, being around people we dislike can be a catalyst for making friends with ourselves.

If we were to make a list of people we don’t like – people we fine obnoxious, threatening, or worthy of contempt – we would discover much about those aspects of ourselves that we can’t face.  If we were to come up with one word about each of the troublemakers in our lives, we would find ourselves with a list of descriptions of our own rejected qualities.  We project these onto the outside world.  The people who repel us unwittingly show us aspects of ourselves that we find unacceptable, which otherwise we can’t see.  Traditional lojong teachings say it another way:  other people trigger the karma that we haven’t worked out.  They mirror us and give us the chance to befriend all of that ancient stuff that we carry around like a backpack full of granite boulders.

“Be grateful to everyone” is a way of saying that we can learn from any situation, especially if we practice this slogan with awareness.  The people and situations in our lives can remind us to catch neurosis as neurosis – to see when we’ve pulled the shades, locked the door, and crawled under the covers.”

Thank you, each and all, for not pulling the shade or locking the door – and for your many contributions of healing energy!