Andrew Weil – Release the Healer Within

Originally written on BurningWisdom.co #Andrew Weil — Release the healer withinInspired by Dr Weil interview w Tim Ferris – January 2019 (link)


If you don’t know about Dr. Weil, a man who has committed his life to healing, you should give him a read / listen. 

“Healing is the tendency for any system to return to equilibrium when equilibrium is disturbed”

Andrew Weil


Tim Ferris had a great interview with him where they discussed many things including drugs and “non-ordinary states of consciousness”, daily habits and the state and future of integrative medicine.


And after listening to it, I’m reminded that there are so many ways for each of us to improve our world. To elevate it on every level, based on each of us contributing individually, like Dr. Weil has elevated the understanding of integrative medicine. There are holistic contributions needed on every level of work. We just need to:

1) tune into our own healing abilities,

2) go through our own hero’s journey to realize our gifts and

3) need to change our perspective / adopt an openness to a new way of looking at things. 

This is a common trait with innovators: adopting an openness to a new way of looking at things. In Edison’s biography, it says that this is something Edison said he did every day. He barely slept and had a compulsion to look at our entire world from a new perspective and create solutions to those problems. The breadth of his work is mind numbing. He compulsively created solutions to problems he saw and he didn’t put himself into any box (he didn’t think of himself as gifted at mathematics and yet it didn’t stop him from coming up with solutions that we are only now seeing were right)

We are all Edison’s and Dr. Weil’s. And depending on your unique gifts — you can create new solutions to problems and make them more accessible, just like they did. Every category of “work” or “expertise” needs new solutions

  • Medicine / healthcare / psychology / fitness – expanding health to more
  • Economics / Finance – expanding wealth to more 
  • Real Estate or land planning – expanding access to higher quality living environments
  • Science and the Environment — expanding the health of our environment
  • Technology / Programming — expanding access to information / resources
  • Education / teaching / coaching — expanding access to higher quality education and self-understanding

(This is what universities are supposed to be teaching but for the most part are failing)

Through my own experience, my understanding of the healing and creative force in the world is that it is inherently one of infinite creation and expanding and it loves balancing what seems unbalance-able. It is accessible to everyone and it starts within. We are all on a hero’s journey that is meant to link up to this force, internally work through our imbalances, and create solutions and bring things into equanimity. We are all a part of that. We can create a new order around this creative impulse that is more in line with protecting ourselves and our environment. Balanced Health for ourselves…Balanced Health for our planet

We should not all be suffering, but must connect to our greatest gifts and work to use them to solve these problems.

This is what I am reminded of when I read or listen to Andrew Weil’s work. 
Andrew Weil has taken a new look at the concept of “health” and taken a beautiful, unique path to sharing his healer gifts with others — now through his restaurant True Food Kitchen, his books, his recipes, his integrative health center in Tucson. 
He discussed his first book and explains that “Non-ordinary states of consciousness is an innate drive of ours” and does not necessarily mean drugs as the only avenue to an altered state of consciousness, he gives the example of kids spinning as this innocent innate desire of ours to experience these altered states.

He says this is present in all societies. He says that we need to channel this “innate desire” for non-ordinary states of consciousness in the right direction, which is one of the reasons why we have such a bad drug problem. People and children are seeking this and find it most easily through drugs. But fundamentally, maybe this is just a result of this innate seeking we all have. 

Dr. Weil is challenging us all to do teach this access to others. To channel it in the right direction. Towards solving problems, not making problems. 

He says: “We should be doing this — teachers, healers “Shamans” should be the ones teaching this… people who have mastered it themselves”. “All the good stuff is inside you — healing is potential inside you, drugs bring out what’s already inside you. It’s all within.”

I too have always drawn to altered states of consciousness, but I am sensitive and drugs were too intense for me to do regularly. While I am working on mastering it myself, I have found that it is true that “all the good stuff is inside”. I have found that breath work, meditation and yogic practices have opened up my own non-ordinary states of consciousness on an everyday basis. I open up to them every day in one way or another and I have found this very healing. 

As I get older, the wine and the drugs don’t interest me as much, I can create altered states of consciousness when going into a flow state while following my breath, while writing or listening to books or podcasts, or looking out the window of an airplane, or witnessing a beautiful desert sunset. And I can “tune in” to a different state of consciousness from my normal task-oriented thinking mind. And open up to the moment and be present. This is always available. And this to me is a state “non-ordinary state of consciousness” and this can start to happen many times throughout the day where your life can start to feel like a divine trip of adventure. And you can still be the you that works and gets things accomplished. I’ve found that it just contributes to my effectiveness in the rest of my life. 

I’ve found and am still learning that this altered state of consciousness that Dr Weil says is “an innate drive of ours” is always available to use. It’s changing our perspective like the example he gives of kids spinning. We can “spin” our world around in our consciousness, and see things differently. I believe that this is what we are meant to do, to play, so that we can find answers to the intractable problems that we are facing today.  

Here’s what Dr. Weil told Tim Ferris he does habitually to practice this, maybe see if these work for you:

  • 4-7-8 breath – yoga technique – air in 4, hold 7, blow out in 8 and redo — by doing this 2x/day change tone – parasymphatetic tone — tool for controlling anxiety, improving digestion, etc. Key to control involuntary — breath the only thing you can do entirely voluntarily or involuntarily. Anxiety – stomach issues. Panic disorder response.

  • have a sitting meditation practice when first wake up in the morning — breathing work + meditation (simple sitting)– bellows breath, sensations in body, sensory signals in room around me, aware attention on something, bring it back to the breath — carry this training into all aspects of life (walking, chopping veggies, driving) as many as you can
  • being physically active — ran, biking, walking/hiking; swimming; yoga
  • live with dogs – reading each others’ wants and needs
  • connection with plants – brings me great deal of fullfillment
    • cooking and food preparation — cooking is meditation
  • manifesting — have something in mind that want to prepare and focus on manifesting it
  • putting things into words makes me very happy and doing what I’m supposed to be doing
  • trust your intuition, even when others don’t recognize it as being right, and follow it
  • shift my position all the time — willing to say was wrong
  • see the connections early and what trends will come
  • “work in the dark” of winter, will manifest itself in Spring — at time of Autumn Equinox is a powerful time of year
  • first 60 minutes of day are important — wake up at 4am — go to bed at 9pm — sleep with dogs, brush teeth, sit down and do meditation — go in and feed dogs, feed self and then gets light, take dogs out, they run.

#The Masters become the teachers

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