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A Health Care System With Only 1 Cure

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A Health Care System With Only 1 Cure

Alberto Villoldo Shares The Path To Optimal Wellness
Alberto  Villoldo Ph.D.
Alberto Villoldo Ph.D. More by this author
Jun 25, 2015 at 08:30 AM

Today our minds, our emotions, our relationships, and our bodies are out of kilter. We know it, but we tend to ignore it until something goes very wrong—a scary diagnosis, a broken relationship, the death of a loved one, or simply an inability to function harmoniously in everyday life. When things are a little bad, we read a self-help book or go to a workshop. When they’re really bad we bring in experts to fix the problem—oncologists to address cancer, neurologists to repair the brain, psychologists to help us find peace and understand our family of origin. But this fragmented approach to health is merely a stopgap. To truly heal we need to return to the original recipe for wellness discovered by shamans—traditional healers—millennia ago: One Spirit Medicine.

In the West we have a disease-care system, and medicine recognizes thousands of ailments and myriad remedies. One Spirit Medicine, on the other hand, is a health-care system that identifies only one ailment and one cure. The ailment is alienation from our feelings, from our bodies, from the earth, and from Spirit. The cure is the experience of primeval Oneness with all, which restores inner harmony and facilitates recovery from all maladies, regardless of origin.

We all want our health span—the length of time we’re in optimal health—to equal our life span. One Spirit Medicine is designed to ensure us optimal wellness by addressing the root cause of physical, mental, and emotional suffering rather than just treating the symptoms. The words health and healing come from the Old English haelen, the root of whole and holy. As your whole system comes into balance, your food will stop poisoning you, your body will begin to repair and heal naturally, your relationships will cease to be emotional battlegrounds, and your sense of separation from nature and Spirit will dissolve.

At the heart of One Spirit Medicine is an age-old practice called the vision quest, a carefully choreographed encounter with nature and the invisible world. Through fasting and meditation, a vision quest awakens the body’s self-repair and regeneration systems and reconnects you to Spirit and your own deepest purpose. In the traditional cultures where I trained as a shaman, it is customary to seek vision in the wilderness. But the experience of One Spirit can take place anywhere—even in your garden or a big city park.

In rare instances, the encounter with Spirit is spontaneous, a bolt from the blue. But for most of us, receiving One Spirit Medicine is a process that requires careful preparation over time. Otherwise, the experience will most likely be fleeting—a sudden flash of insight or revelation, maybe a good story to tell over dinner with friends, but nothing lasting that will transform your life. Laying the groundwork for transformation requires both physical and spiritual action.

To experience One Spirit Medicine, you don’t need to shake a rattle or beat a drum as shamans of old did, though doing so may help prepare your mind in the same way that putting on a costume and makeup helps an actor get into character. What you will need to do is quiet your too-busy mind, distracted by the ruckus of civilization, and return it to the wild. By returning to the wild I don’t mean going to Yosemite Park or the Canadian Rockies but returning to your wild, undomesticated self—to who you are stripped of the trappings of roles and expectations, e-mails and To Do lists, the authentic you at your core. You will meet your infinite nature in the stillness of your inner world. To learn more, see my book, One Spirit Medicine, which you can sample below. 

About Author
Alberto  Villoldo Ph.D.
Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., is a medical anthropologist who comes from a long line of Earthkeepers from the Amazon and the Andes. The author of numerous best-selling books, Dr. Villoldo currently directs The Four Winds Society in Park City, Utah, where Continue reading