When the healer was healed at his own retreat…

Gabor Maté is a renowned physician, author, and speaker on stress, trauma and childhood development. In a recent panel for the online Embodiment Conference (Oct 14-25th, 2020), Gabor shares how he learned about the importance of taking care of himself and healing his own traumas before being able to successfully help his clients’ deeper healing.

At the conference, Gabor Maté shares with humour what happened to him about two years ago when leading a retreat in the Peruvian Amazon. The retreat was organized to support the healing and transformation of any participant who joined. This particular retreat had attracted 23 persons – all working with different healing modalities for trauma, illnesses, and other health issues. The retreat was facilitated by six master Shipibo healers (Shamans) from the Peruvian Amazon.

The following sections in italics are transcriptions from the interview, in which Gabor shares his fascinating experience from the retreat:

“I’ve been working for over 10 years now with a plant called Ayahuasca, not as a Shaman – I’m not anywhere close to that – but facilitating workshops. So, I traveled to Peru, two years ago now in July… I was going to lead a retreat at a place called the “Temple of the Way of Light” with native Shipibo Onanya as Amazonian Peruvian healers. About 23 people (therapists, psychiatrists, and physicians) had paid big bucks to come and do this retreat, where I was going to facilitate it. And six Shamans were going to do the ceremonies. The shamans did a ceremony with me and everybody else, and they said to me the next morning:

 – Buddy, we can’t have you in the ceremony, because you’ve got so much trauma and so much stress filled up in you that you’re poisoning everybody else here. And so, we can’t help them when you are present, because your energy is going to affect them. (The Shamans)

And they said, furthermore:

 – You can’t even work with them during the day (the ceremonies take place at night) because even during the day, the same thing is going to happen. And not only that, you’re absorbing all their trauma and all their energies. (The Shamans)

And so they said [to Gabor]:

– You’re fired. (The Shamans)

So, they fired me from my own retreat! These guys didn’t know anything about me. They had no idea who I was, and all these books I have written, and that I knew all these healers, and where I have been, and what I have done. They just knew that here was this medical gringo who was all stressed and hadn’t taken care of himself. So they assigned one Shaman to work with me for the next five ceremonies and the other five shamans worked with the other 23 participants.— [So], in one night they picked up what it would have taken, I don’t know how many psychiatrists, how many dozens of years to figure out, and they said to me:

– You had a big scare when you were very young (and they knew nothing about my history) and you are still carrying it. (The Shamans)

They also said about the whole group (the psychiatrists, therapists, and physicians):

– When we deal with other people’s trauma, we clear it out. We Shamanically clear it out. We take care of ourselves. We’ve never seen such a stressed group as this group of healers, because you people don’t take care of yourself! (The Shamans)

These Shamans with their indigenous wisdom picked up all that and they did powerful work on all of us in six days.

In short, this experience made Gabor realize that Western medicine (in general) only pays attention to the physical part, largely ignores the emotional part, barley acknowledges the spiritual part, and knows nothing about the energetic part. Yet, the entire Unity of all these dimensions is embodied by the Shamans in their healing practices. Gabor thus came to realize that we need to work with the whole system of the human being, that is, the emotional, spiritual, energetic, and physical aspects. Also, it is about building integrity within, as an individual, by regularly taking care of our own wellbeing. This is especially important for therapists, physicians, healers, and coaches. Only when we take good care of ourselves (by releasing any emotional trauma, stuck energies, etc) can we successfully support the healing of others.

In the video below, Gabor shares his experience at the retreat, and his gratitude for Shipibo Shamans who enabled his deep healing process:

Photos (including featured photo) from the website Retreat.guru (on the Temple of the Way of Light)

Föregående inlägg
Can you stay calm inside a lion’s mouth?
Nästa inlägg
Held by a Love bigger than all his pain

Related Posts

Be Still and Know…

For many people, finding time and space for ”stillness” can be difficult in modern everyday life. Yet, being still has many highly valuable benefits for our health and wellbeing, as proven by research. When we still ourselves, by sitting or laying down, closing our eyes, and turning our attention inward, we are able to tune into our bodily sensations and become aware of our thoughts and feelings, and ultimately, listen to our inner voice. People who practice meditation, mindfulness, yoga, or similar forms of centering practice on a regular basis are well acquainted with the calming, deeply relaxing and even healing outcomes of being still…

From Fearful Thinking to Peace of Mind

This is a true story about a conversation between a young boy and his mother. The boy and his family had been downtown for dinner at a restaurant with some relatives. As they sat down in the car to head back home in the evening, the boy seemed anxious and eager to get going as quickly as possible. The mother asked him why he felt anxious, whereupon the boy answered with surprising clarity and self-awareness: ”I want to get home as quickly as possible, because if we get home late, I will fall asleep late, and then I will be tired the next day, and then I will oversleep on Monday morning, and then…”

The Fruits of Suffering

Have you ever wondered why there is so much pain and suffering in the world? Could there be a higher purpose behind human suffering? Why do some people seem to have more pain and suffering in their lives than others? Is human suffering mostly the result of ”bad luck”? Or can it be due to a combination of different factors, where some are influenceable and others not. Could we avoid part of our suffering, or are we, at some higher level, ”predestined” to suffer at certain points in our life?