A lot of my time over the last decade has been involved in exploring “spiritual medicine.” I have been in search of what this term may mean and how one puts it into practice in the clinic. Since I am now teaching, on occasion I get to explore this idea with students and get their takes. Like anything, the concept of “spiritual medicine” is idealized in countless ways and performed in countless techniuqes.
Some talk of healing energy and infusing qi, some talk of intention and quantum mechanics, some talk of connecting with Spirit and channeling the divine, others talk of magical herbs and alchemy, healing touch, clearing karma, and healing the inner child. Its is all fascinating and endless, mysterious and questionable.
I recently read a passage by Ken Wilber which sums up a definition I would stand by at this point. One that is not as complex or fanciful as the above, but is nonetheless, in my opinion, the true matter.
Perhaps you will rise as Bhaishajyaguru, whose ever-present awareness takes the form of a healing radiance. From the brilliant clarity of ever-present awareness, you will be moved to remind the sick and the sad and those in pain that although the pain is real, it is not what they are. With a simple touch or smile, contracted souls will relax into the vast expanse of intrinsic awareness, and disease will lose all meaning in the radiance of that release. And you will never tire, for ever-present awareness is effortless in its functioning, and so you will constantly remind all beings of who and what they really are, on the other side of fear, in the radical love and unflinching acceptance that is the mirror mind of ever-present awareness.(Ken Wilber)
At this level, “spiritual medicine” is not a matter of some technique, something you do to another, something dealing with matter, energy, or the mind. At this level it is about Spirit, recognizing your truest identity where there is no death, no one who suffers, and pain may arise as a blissful surge and reminder of that.
Spiritual medicine may happen by just connecting with that, and then…. a smile into their eyes. On some level, beneath the doubt and fear, they recognize what is being acknowledged.