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Demeter, Buddha and Bears

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  1. Demeter, Buddha and Bears The Ancient Roots of Contemporary Spiritual Healing • Michael Samuels, M.D • Institute of Holistic Studies • San Francisco State University • Art as a Healing Force, Bolinas California.

  2. Changing the Consciousness of a Whole Culture • The Eleusian Mysteries was the most important consciousness transformative ritual in history

  3. The Artistic Emanation Body of Buddha • The Buddha Bodies were the high point of body, mind, spirit technology for thousands of years

  4. The Bear Dance • The Bear Dance has healed the Chumash people for thousands of years

  5. Towards a Contemporary Spiritual Technology • These three rituals help us understand how we can use spirit with patients in contemporary medicine. • I am currently working with all three forms to help develop a contemporary spiritual technology.

  6. My journey • Brown: Research and Yoga • NYU Medical School: Immunogenetics research • Hopi Indian Reservation • Photography= art making • Headlands clinic, holism • Guided imagery practice • Art As a Healing Force • Shamanism, Bear dance • Eleusian Mysteries

  7. My Lifelong skills from education • Relaxation • Meditation • Guided imagery • Spirit Guides • Art and healing • Shamanism

  8. Some of my Books with Nancy Samuels

  9. Books With Mary Rockwood Lane

  10. How do you actually use spirit to heal? • We talk about healing the whole patient, body, mind, spirit.. • But what do YOU actually do ???????????

  11. Why bother? Anatomy and Physiology 101 • Body, mind, spirit are real and are our anatomy • 99% of cultures in Ford file at Yale believe spirit heals; We are the only culture that does not • Carl Jung- “You can’t prove there is a God, but my patients who believe- do better than my patients who don’t” • The research mandate- you have to

  12. Spirit makes us live longer • Helm, H., Hays, J.C., Flint, E., Koenig, H.G., Blazer, DG (2000). Effects of private religious activity on mortality of elderly disabled and nondisabled adults. Journal of Gerontology (Medical Sciences)

  13. A random sample of 3,851 community-dwelling adults aged 64-101 years residing in the Piedmont of North Carolina was surveyed • During a median 6.3-year follow-up period, 1177 subjects died • Persons with no disability and little or no private religious activity in 1986 were 63% more likely to die during the follow-up (HR [hazard ratio] 1.63, 95% CI 1.20-2.21

  14. Do you tell your patients to wear seat belts • Of the subjects who attended religious services once a week or more in 1986 (frequent attenders), 22.9% died compared to 37.4% of those attending services less than once a week (infrequent attenders). The relative hazard (RH) of dying for frequent attenders was 46% less than for infrequent attenders (RH 0.54, 95% CI • This effect on survival was equivalent to that of wearing vs. not wearing seat belts in auto accidents.

  15. Do you tell patients to stop smoking? • This effect on survival was equivalent to that of not smoking cigarettes vs. smoking. Investigators concluded that older adults, particularly women, who attend religious services at least once a week appear to have a survival advantage over those attending services less frequently. For more information, contact Harold G. Koenig (

  16. Now you have a mandate : • If you tell people to stop smoking • If you tell people to wear seat belts • You are now mandated by research – to help people to heal with spirit • And, exactly how will you do that with patients. Especially those who don’t go the church ?

  17. The 100% Effect • As we move towards a futuristic medicine that will heal the whole patient- we will need to incorporate spiritual technologies such as art and healing and guided imagery that can directly address spirit with intent. If spirit is not addressed, healing is incomplete and not as effective and patients may not live as long.

  18. Lee Kaiser: Health Futurist • Associate professor, Health Administration, University of Colorado. • We are at a breaking point in medicine. Convergence of Arts, spirituality, and Medicine • Take into consideration the contribution of spirituality and art or miss ¾ of patient care

  19. You have a body not are a body • The placebo effect = plus 100 effect • Most potent methodology= patients belief system • Spirits vs. attitude

  20. What avenues of soul open to patient • What we are doing is soul based- not body based- intuition as important as analysis • Every caregiver has two dimensions • Vertical how plugged in, how access soul • Need connect in vertical levels

  21. We need a healing temple that merges science and spirit with no prejudice

  22. Is illness a soul change opportunity? • Cultural creatives want to be healed as well as cured • We have a new kind of patient who is a new kind of person • The future healthcare organization integrates science, spirituality, and business

  23. Ceremonies make space powerful • my job = patient becomes who he or she is • open avenues of soul • call on genetic strengths • modify the environment

  24. Arts are the bridge between inner space and outer space • simultaneous soul frequency of patient and healer • stimulate patient to simultaneous soul frequencies • incorporate preconscious, super consciousness symbols • Core spiritual values complement marketplace values currently driving our industry

  25. Spiritual DNA, mental DNA, emotional DNA • call on ancestors • use arts to stimulate ancestors jumps generations brings past produces healing • Ceremony, song important to someone coded into spirit DNA unlock power holograph • healed from past • drumming • ancestors coded in healing from the illness you have frees it and heals

  26. Inscription found at Eleusis • "Beautiful indeed is the mystery given us by the blessed gods: death is for mortals no longer an evil, but a blessing."

  27. Eleusis: the most important art and healing ritual of all times • The Eleusinian Mysteries were the most sacred of all the ritual celebrations of ancient Greece. They were conducted in the Eleusis, fourteen miles west of Athens, for about two thousand years. The Mysteries were based on a legend about Demeter, the goddess of life, agriculture and fertility. Demeter's daughter Persephone was gathering flowers when she was kidnapped by Hades, the god of death and the underworld and taken to his underworld kingdom. Demeter searched for her daughter and goes to Eleusis.

  28. Demeter causes a drought and Zeus asks Hades to release Persephone to bring back rain. But on the way up, she ate pomegranate seeds and had to remain in the underworld for three months of the year. The Eleusinian Mysteries were given to the people of Eleusis by Demeter to celebrate Persephone's return.

  29. The celebration of the Mysteries at Eleusis took place over nine days in the month of September. For each day, there was a series of rituals that initiates followed. First there was the invitation, then the purification and sacrifice. Next the procession from Athens to Eleusis. Then, the initiates would rest, purify themselves, and fast. They would break their fast by drinking "kykeon," meal and water mixed with fresh pennyroyal mint leaves.

  30. What next happened remains a secret. There may have been a ritual reenactment of the story of Demeter and Persephone, including the abduction by Hades; Demeter's grief; her search and the famine and death that followed.. There was finally, a sudden blaze of fire and light, the joyous moment of Persephone's rebirth as she came back from the underworld and returned to her mother. The intensity of this ceremony with drumming, music and chants was said to be awe-inspiring and life changing

  31. The Mysteries may have led the initiates through dark infernal regions with horrible images and frightening shapes to recreate a foreshadowing of what awaits the death for the uninitiated then, light represented a blissful afterlife in the company of the goddesses with a sense of great relief and spiritual rebirth • Yet with all that has been written, the truth about what happened in the Mysteries remains secret of the oath of secrecy and the capital offense of telling anyone what occurred.

  32. 3 Bodies of Buddha • The first is the Truth Body, which is the experience of wisdom. • The second is the Beatific Body, which is the experience of bliss. • The third is the Emanation Body, which is the way bliss and wisdom are communicated to others

  33. The Emanation body is divided into three bodies • The first is the Supreme Emanation Body of the Buddha’s to help others. • The second is the Incarnational Emanation body of teachers to help others. • The third is the Artistic Emanation Body made up of anything that represents enlightenment.

  34. The Artistic Emanation Body • Is made up of all the sacred art and the artists who create it. • Literature, visual arts, sculpture that represent the sacred life of the Buddha are all crucial in helping people attain liberation

  35. Art is crucial to the whole structure of Buddhism • It is nothing less than the way a person can see, hear, listen, understand, and know how a new reality of enlightenment is possible for them in their life. • Art is the way wisdom and bliss are communicated to others.

  36. Your life is healing art • Your Artistic Emanation Body is the most powerful art form, the most powerful artistic emanation. • For your life to be healing art, you must live with the intent to heal in every breath

  37. The second most important art is literature. Songs, epics, poems, tales, and legends, are believed to be a direct path to your imagination, a way to let you picture enlightenment directly. • Next in importance is music. Tibetans believe that harmony and vibration affect your heart directly. Chants are believed to open the heart, to heal and inspire. • Architecture is also important. It can create sacred geography, sacred space. It designs mandalas which convey delight, security, and exaltation. Deities are seen at precise places within the architecture, the sacred building serving as their home. Of course, the most elaborate structures that can ever be built are those we create in our minds with guided imagery. They are incredible intricate and exact representations of heavenly abodes.

  38. Sculpture is a way to embody yourself as a god. • As you picture the icon, you energize the mental image until you are merged with it and become it. • The Tibetan Buddhist first pictures the deity in his or her mind and then in the icon

  39. Buddhists visualize themselves being made anew, being born, as it were, as the deity. • It takes the utmost discipline and practice to manifest as an enlightened being

  40. In Tibetan Buddhism, art is a direct flowing out from the enlightened spaces of Buddha. • It gives a person a way to be embodied as an enlightened one, and that is how healing occurs. • As you are enlightened, you are healed.

  41. Healing was not always curing • This did not always involve curing, since everyone dies, including Buddha and the Dalai Lama. • Death in Buddhism is a doorway to enlightenment and the gateway to the next reincarnation so it is not in itself frightening or a thing to be avoided.

  42. The Bear Dance • Probably 10,000-80-000 years old in Europe • Thousands of years old in America • Held by several tribes 3 times a year • For healing the people

  43. The explanation • Illness goes from the person • To the bear • To the eagle • To the fire • To Great Spirit • The Dancer is bear spirit for the dance