Sunday, August 15, 2010

Uit 10 - Assessment of My Physical, Psychological and Spiritual Progress

Initial post:  Physical health: 8 . . . Updated post:  9
My health improved greatly since my Initial Post. I sought the help of a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. I was surprised as to how much time she took, and her asking me questions about my emotional life. She treated me with acupuncture (for detox purposes), and provided me with medical grade essential oils for high blood sugar and cholesterol; she also provided me with Chinese Hawthorne pills to address the buildup of plaque in my arteries. She counseled me about diet; I have given up on dairy and wheat products . . . My energy has rebounded, my sleep comes much more easily and my mental acuity seems to have improved.  I don’t need caffeine to get me going in the mornings.

Initial post: Spiritual wellbeing: 10 . . . Updated post: 10
I am finding myself able to devote time to worship, prayer and Bible study with a greater mindfulness. I am able to shut out all distractions and devote quality time to God.

Initial Post: Psychological wellbeing: 10 . . . Updated post: 10
Something has changed. I am confident about my role as a Mentor and Healer. I am seizing opportunity to share what little wisdom I have gained (even if it what I’ve learned through my own mistakes!). I am finding it easy to begin, develop and conclude a Mentor/Healer conversation with integrity and surprising care.

My Goals:

A. Physical:  Learn Qigong.  I’ve now identified the sources of instructional Qigong DVD’s, as well as the identity of a teacher of Integral Qigong in my area. I have also identified books which I will access in preparation for seeking certification as a teacher of Integral Qigong.

B. Spiritual:  I continue in the conviction that I must maintain my practice as a Healer/Mentor/Curandero separate from the things of God and His doctrine. I must not use my practice as a means for proselytizing; and I must reserve gifts of the Holy Spirit for use only in the setting of God’s church.  This is for the purpose of not creating another man-made misinterpretation of God's plan for salvation.

C. Psychological:  I am finding myself in the process of discovering the way of Tao. In its pure essence it is not a religion, but rather a practice developed over thousands of years through ancient Chinese sages who were keen observers of nature, mankind and the capacities of the human body. Traditional Chinese Medicine was developed from of the Tao. One of the Tao’s disciplines is that of Qigong, which encompasses energy, the body, the breath, movement and meditation for health, healing and longevity. It can also be used for healing others. 

I found a bargain at the bookstore last night; Tao Te Ching – A New Translation. Here are my notes from its Introduction:

The sage is a Pilgrim/Guide
A wise and astute Ruler
He is the one who lets things go by
He is the recluse

He is the one who knows
What cannot be known
He trods the Tao
Sure of the ground
On which he stands

When one is thus centered
All becomes possible
All falls into place

All that leads to
Or encourages unity
Is seen as of the Tao

The Tao and the Sage act
Through non-action
And doing without reward

The Tao, like water
Penetrates the toughest rock
And breaks it open
Or wears it down


Kwok, M., Palmer, M., & Ramsay, J. (2002). Tao te ching - a new translation. New York, New York: Collins & Brown.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Unit 9 – My Psychospiritual Development Plan

I  Introduction:

It is vital for a health and wellness professional to be fully prepared to serve in the role of Healer to his or her patients. In the practice of Western medicine, practitioners involve themselves in the acquisition of knowledge and clinical practice in order to gain the credentials that give them the authority to treat patients. However, for a health and wellness professional to truly serve in the role of Healer, it is very important for that practitioner be involved in his or her own development psychologically, physically and in his or her spirit. It is only as the Healer seeks to experience a more expansive life that he or she comes to realize that the alleviation of human suffering and human flourishing are truly accessible; thus freeing him or her to the joy of serving others as a facilitator for their own healing.

As health and wellness practitioners, we each have the need to develop in every quadrant of Wilbur’s model for Integral Health; no one is exempt from needing to grow in his or her Psychospiritual health, Biological/Physical health, Interpersonal health and in health in our Worldly (exterior/collective) domain of relationship. It is in the development in each of the four quadrants that we have the possibility of attaining our fulfillment as whole human beings (Dacher, 2006).

Becoming a wholly realized human being is my own quest, incidental to my desire for the privilege of serving as a Healer (Curandero). Our class and its focus on Integral Health have provided me a framework for that development, which now requires that I find the pathways for my Self. This opens phase for creation of an identity based on my actions and what I do; a re-invention of the self.

II Assessment:

I define the word “spirit” differently from how it is defined in our class. My definition of spirit is derived from a biblical understanding as that which is eternal in every human being; it is what gives life to the collection of minerals and water that compose our bodies. In my understanding, when our spirit comes into contact with matter (a body) it becomes a living soul. The soul is made up of the mind, the heart (emotions), and the will (intention). The soul is a part of our being that is most often neglected in modern Western culture; yet it is from the soul, often referred to as the heart, that all of the issues life flows. Caring for the soul involves caring for the whole self, including the body.

At this point, I am very happy with the state of my soul’s health, but this is not something that has just happened; nor is it something that I can take credit for. I had to crawl out of seven years of clinical depression that was put into motion though the intention of some very real people who were used by the Adversary for the purpose of destroying my life. I did not know it then, but God never took his hand off me; he allowed it to transpire as a preparation for what would become my healing, and a pathway for my greatest victory. It has now been nearly five years since God healed me of the constant angst of clinical depression with all of its accompanying impulses to suicide. God healed me in a relatively short period of time, comprised of three weeks through which I experienced the healing power of the gift of prophecy. He then began transforming me into who I am today spiritually, physically and psychologically; something I hope to allow Him to continue doing throughout the rest of my existence on Earth and beyond.

III Goal development:

My Physical Goal is to engage in a program of integral Qigong learning and practice with the long-term objective of becoming a certified Integral Qigong and Tai Chi Instructor. This quest will help improve my muscle tone, improve my biological health and provide me with a template for mental fitness. In time, I hope to become certified in Medical Qigong Prescription and Therapeutics.

My Psychological Goal is to involve myself in meditation and guided imagery with the objective of developing myself into a Healer/Curandero (“Curandero” is the Spanish word for Healer). My quest is to learn and practice those elements of Curanderismo (the Art of Healing) which I consider as biblically redeemable. My goal is to master those elements that can help me uncover a Kairos moment (as opposed to chronological time): a moment that presents many more possibilities than any other moment; including healing. Some of the practices of Curanderismo that I perceive as biblically redeemable include the use of herbs, poetry, art, drumming, ceremony, dance, chanting, massage, training of the mind, story-telling, and the presentation of cultural and linguistic constructs; as well as imaginary journeying, communing with nature, sacred places, and the emission of mentally and biologically-derived healing energy. My goal is to access only those practices which I esteem as biblically-redeemable, and thus permissible to my own healing practice. I will not make use of Curanderismo practices which I perceive as anti-biblical, such as divination and communication with spirits, as these are practices that charge a heavy physical, mental and spiritual penalty that is paid by the practitioner as well as the patient.

My Spiritual Goal is to keep my relationship with God through His Son by being careful to not mix His things with my healing practice outside of the church. This will require that I maintain an objective approach when working with patients by not using treatment as an occasion for proselytizing, as well as being careful to not over-spiritualizing the healer-patient relationship. Of course, God is my source for all that I do, but I believe He would rather that I keep His things separate from my healing practice outside of church. I do not wish to produce another man-made misinterpretation of God’s plan for the salvation of humanity. He is perfectly capable of speaking for Himself through the Scriptures, dreams, prophecy and visions; and He is perfectly capable of healing through prayer, the laying on of hands, and through His grace, but these gifts are His children’s bread, and they should be served only in His church. I understand perfectly that I must limit my use of prayer for the sick, the laying on of hands, and the use of other gifts of the Holy Spirit exclusively within His church; not in my practice of healing outside of the church.

IV Practices for personal health:

In the last few months, I have been in the process of transforming my diet and opening myself to healing modalities that I may not have been open to consider before, including meditation and Traditional Chinese Medicine, which offers a systemic approach to health and healing. I am currently receiving acupuncure and herbal treatment and will now be studying Qigong as a means for my health and self-development. Qigong is a practice of moving meditation that has been a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 5,000 years. The self-practice of Qigong can be used for physical fitness, healing, as well as for moderating and even reversing the aging process. Qigong has three different modes of practice (1) Qigong, which involves moving meditation, (2) meditation, referred to as “sitting still, doing nothing”, as well as (3) the emission of healing Qi as a means for healing other persons. The practice of Qigong fosters growth in the physical, psychological and spiritual (soul) not only through its practice, but also through the insight and methodology offered through the study of its world view (Reid, 1995).

V Commitment:

I will be continuing to practice the exercises described in Integral Health (Wilbur, 2006), including The Subtle Mind, Universal Loving Kindness and Meeting Aesclepius. I will practice one of these for a period of about ten minutes, once a month. 

Over the next six months, I will be reading two books by Roger Jahnke, O.M.D, an internationally respected doctor of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine and best-selling author: The Healer Within, and Healing Promise of Qi. I will also practice Qigong for 30 minutes twice a week by making use of Roger Jahnke’s DVDs: Essentials of Qigong, and Qigong Chi Kung. Roger Jahnke’s books and DVDs are available through

I will also practice Qigong with the help of instructional DVDs by Francesco Garri Garripoli and Daisy Lee of Wuji Productions. This will include Qigong for Beginners, Qigong for Cleansing, and Qigong for Stress Relief; I will also read their book Qigong-Essence of the Healing Dance available through

I will continue learning to meditate and practice guided imagery once a week by accessing the meditation download library of Recorded material I will access for this purpose will include items such as Learn meditation, Guided Visualization, Natural Beauty, Inner Beauty, Self Motivation, The Secret Garden, Inner Peace, Guided Relaxation, Deep Relaxation, Deep Recharge, Stress Relief, Natural Sleep Aid, Spa of Relaxation, and Stress Buster.

In pursuit of learning more about the magical, subjective, world of a Curandero, I will also be studying the work of Martín Pretchel, author, writer, musician, storyteller, teacher and Healer:


Dacher, Elliott. (2006). Integral health. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Pubns.

Garripoldi, F. . (2010, August 89). Wuji productions qigong. Retrieved from

Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi. (2010, Auugst 8). Institute of integral qigong and taichi. Retrieved from

Meditainment for Deep Relaxation, . (2010, August 8). Deep relaxationfor health and wellness . Retrieved from

Pretchel, M. (2010, August 8). Martin pretchel artist writer musician storyteller teacher healer. Retrieved from

Reid, D., (1995) The complete book of chinese health and healing. Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Unit 8 - Mental/Spiritual Exercises toward Integral Health

Unit 8 – Review of Course Exercises

Our course textbook, Integral Health (Dacher, E.. 2006) has woven a pathway with the purpose of helping us discover and connect with our role as Healers. The author has accomplished this by presenting us with principles he has harvested from ancient Eastern practices and interpreted through the grid of a Western, academic approach. In my case, being familiar with anecdotal information as well as a bit of body, mind and spirit experience of my own, I had the impression at first, that the author’s approach was a bit antiseptic and subjective . . . In the process of the course, and my own practice of the exercises of The Subtle Mind, Universal Loving Kindness, and Meeting Asclepius I gained glimpses of realities that I did not fully grasped before. The first factor that came into play was my own resistance to being led in the exercises (giving my distrustful nature in things spiritual); however, as I found need to release myself more to these exercises because of the potential benefits I could see, I received a lot more than what I was expecting.

The Subtle Mind exercise and its effect of helping one to see one’s still mind was a breath of fresh air. I was skeptical about the possibility of finding that one would discover universal loving kindness through this exercise, however and have stated before that experiencing the still mind need could also lead to a glimpse of malevolent genius; depending on the person’s orientation, mental state, and even chemical balance. I was also resistant to the Universal Loving Kindness exercise, and stated that I did not feel I could wish health, wholeness and happiness on all living beings because some beings simply do not deserve that kind of goodness . . .

However, as I progressed in my reading and found that being able to experience the intention of Universal Loving Kindness would open me to becoming a more whole Healer, I practiced the exercise and found release for my own potential as a Healer.

Having listened t the Meeting Asclepius audio track before the courses began, I was also resistant to the visualization of a person who would become my “own” Asclepius. My objection to this exercise was on the basis of the very name of what I consider to be just another false god, Asclepius. At first, I tried my own sanitized version of Asclepius replacing his image with that of Jesus and found this to rub me totally the wrong way; Jesus does not need that kind of interpretation. However, once the image came to me of my own mentor, Father Bernie Menard, O.M.I, I was able to do the exercise, but dispensed with the artifice of visualizing light emanating from his mouth, hands and heart. I felt that such visualization was a bit hockey and artificial being that I had in real life experienced my mentor’s complete attention and unconditional love, and discovered that he indeed was a Healer; and now, in the present, I was now called to become a mentor in the same fashion, and as a conduit to other individual persons’ discovery of their own healing.

My conclusion in respect to the mental exercises presented in Integral Health, is that one can, in the role of Healer, serve as one who opens a safe space to others so that they can experience their own healing. The key word in my last statement is “individuals” – Without our intentional devotion to Universal Loving Kindness, one cannot meet an individual on the plane where his or her healing can take place. That requires our being present before that person in the here and now, unshackled from our own subjective experience and suffering so that we can help create the Kairos moment – The moment that presents many more possibilities than any other moment, so that healing can take place. This also brings to mind the very concept of “Healer”; the very act of capitalizing the word in an attempt to legitimize it as a profession for the sake of gain negates the role of one who serves others so that they can find healing. In truth, we are only servants.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Unit 7 – "One cannot lead another where one has not gone before.”

“One cannot lead another where one has not gone before.”

I believe this statement points out to the reality that in order for a person to have an impact on another’s life, that person needs to have experienced that same state or pathway. This is something that is perceived by others when one merely “talks the talk”. That type of leading comes infected with a hollowness that is unconsciously perceived by the second person. When one has walked a pathway before, there is integrity in the voice; a calm confidence that radiates from the heart . . . and this causes the other person to open up and trust.

Unit 7 – Meeting Asciepius

In practicing the exercise associated with this unit, I visualized a very dear friend who went out of his way to mentor me. He was a Catholic Priest; an Oblate of Mary Immaculate. It was not difficult to visualize him because we shared many experiences in Yosemite and the John Muyr Woods . . . I did not need to visualize the light emanating from him at all because I could feel his tremendous love for people. I was 21 then, a Mexican kid from the Projects just starting in what would become my faith for the rest of my life.

I visualized him, just as I once experienced, sitting on a rock on the banks of a river as we conversed and shared a bottle of California wine and French bread; communion. I remember thinking then, and still believe he was one of the most beautiful persons I have ever met; full of love and radiating peace and the joy of discovery to everyone he came in contact with.

As I reflected on how he had taken the time to reach out to a confused young man as I, and realized how important he was to me during that time. I asked myself why did he take that time with me? It was because he was a Healer . . . and then, suddenly, it dawned on me that now I can serve others by giving of my time and my full intention to help them find themselves and their healing. My time has come, and I have started now.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Unit 6 - Integral Assessment exercise

I followed the steps recommended by Dacher (2006) in follow through to my own Integral Assessment. This involves cultivating a still and silent mind and then focusing on the four quadrants of the Integral Model that relate to the capacity of human experience: The Psychospiritual, the Biological, the Interpersonal, and the Worldly; and then taking inventory of myself to discover what areas in my current state need my attention. I then made use of the question, “What area of my life is ready for growth and development?” (Dacher, 2006), and discovered that I need to address each of life’s quadrants.

I saw my Biology - specifically in terms of my own self-regulation and health promotion. I then tried to visualize what practices this will require and saw that I need to receive a medical assessment of my current health, and saw that I need is to see a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine in pursuit of a holistic overview and approach to promoting my optimum health; and that this would be a beginning of practice that can include TCM diagnosis, acupuncture and herbal treatment. I saw that I need to go to bed earlier so that I get sufficient sleep, as well as engage in deep breathing, bodily exercise and practicing a still mind and saw myself as learning Tai Chi or Qi-gong.

In the Psychospiritual domain of my life, I recognized that I need to return to my practice of reading the Bible every night and every morning, that I need to address myself to my Creator as a friend to friend more frequently; and that I need to daily practice a still mind as a means of relieving the sources of stress in my life.

In the Interpersonal area, I saw that I need to make myself available to ministry in my Church by arriving an hour early and properly prepared so that I can be seen by others as someone ready to serve. I also saw that I need to practice loving kindness by reaching out to others in more than simply a greeting; something that can also serve so that I can become more engaged in the life of other persons, thereby reducing my feeling of aloneness.

In term of my Worldly capacity, I need to recognize my calling as a Mentor to other, younger persons who reach out to me (including my Son-in-Law), as well as those requesting my recommendations for their health and wellness. I also saw the need for my Social Activism in the simple form of collaborating with my Daughter and my Grandchildren’s zest for recycling.

Dacher, Elliott. (2006). Integral health. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Pubns.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Addendum: Unit 6 - Universal Loving Kindness exercise

July 20, 2010 . . .

After writing my answers to our Unit 6 Exercises, I have had a second thought about my unwillingness to do the Universal Loving Kindness exercise, which includes mention of the willful (intentional) desire that "all individuals" gain freedom from suffering; sustained health, happiness, and wholeness . . . I am now willing to do this exercise just as it is prescribed . . . The reason I have changed my heart about this is because after reviewing the eight principle of Integral Practice, I see that this exercise is not just an isolated activity, but rather a part of a program through which I can develop as wholly as I possibly can become.

Ever since I wrote my earlier post on the exercise; my mind (and heart) have tugged at my Self pointing out that my tethering myself to that refusal was simply my own pride and anger against those who abuse and hurt others, but that in the end the one affected would be myself in limiting me in my own Integral Development . . . I also have come to see that my clinging to that refusal was also based on my own reactivity, thereby keeping me bound from walking the talk of loving kindness. This doesn't mean that I am less inclined to disapprove of those who abuse those weaker than themselves, but that in my freeing myself, I also open the possibility of a day when even they can be healed of their sickness. "May I assist all individuals in finding health, happiness and wholeness."