"I started asking the question, so what is it really that these healers do to help people have miracles? What is the method? What I came upon was that the method is constant immersion in a sea of stories that reinforce the notion that you can heal, that you can get better."
Our ancestors knew that nature was a constant surprise. Scientists are beginning to come to the same conclusion. Coyote's wristwatch is a chemical clock, a flash of nature that alternates once a second between all of its molecules appearing perhaps blue and the next second, appearing red. No scientist would have believed in such chemical clocks if they had not been observed. Coyote, however, "knew" in the space between the molecules, mocking our order of sense and propriety.
Still, the more we know, the less we know. The most amazing things of earth and sky perpetually elude our conventional science. What our grandfathers and grandmothers taught us was to be open to the miraculous. As an old Dineh song from Arizona says:
I walk in beauty
Beauty is before me,
Beauty is above me,
Beauty is below me,
Beauty is around me,
I walk in beauty
The point of this is that we can never know with certainty that which is possible and that which is impossible. Our capacity to analyze and apprehend the world is so limited that our goal of "full knowledge" will never be realized.
How does this pertain to health care? This is how it pertains: We can never know the limits of healing. We can never know with certainty who will live and who will die - who will recover and who will not. Indeed, we cannot even know, as I sometimes suspect, if death might not be the ultimate healing for some people.
The first lesson we learned from our ancestors is to expect a miracle - to prepare in all ways for it - to humbly believe that things beyond our ken are possible, and yet realize that our hopes or our expectations may not come to fruition. That our prayers may not be answered - at least, not in the manner that we asked. In the vast complexity of the universe, it would be thoughtless to imagine that each and every one of our desires and wishes should always come true.
In health care - or in all ways of life - does that mean that we should not be aligned with expectations, fruitions, possibilities, hopes, the striving for and then the letting go of "full knowledge" - or the lessons of the Coyote? I say that to not be so aligned is a detriment both to our ability to heal - and our capacity as a provider, to "care".
—Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD
LEWIS MEHL-MADRONA, MD, PhD, graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine and trained in family medicine, psychiatry, and clinical psychology. He has been on the faculties of several medical schools, most recently as associate professor of family medicine at the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine. He is working with aboriginal communities to develop uniquely aboriginal styles of healing and health care for use in those communities. He is also currently working with Am’rita, Inc., to develop a program for people with schizophrenia that involves healing through community. The author of Coyote Medicine, Coyote Healing, and Coyote Wisdom, a trilogy of books on what Native culture has to offer the modern world, he is of Cherokee and Lakota heritage.
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Lewis Mehl-Madrona | Coyote Wisdom
Recorded at our "Just For The Health Of It!" Conference in Boulder
Lewis Mehl-Madrona integrates western medicine and Native American healing and gives us inspiring stories along with insightful analyses of them so that we can apply their lessons to our own lives.
• You receive both video and audio recordings
• Watch and listen as often as you like
• Cost €10