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The Great Physician

The Great Physician
Is she who knows
The metallurgy of grief.

She transmutes Vilification, Betrayal,
Scapegoating, Gaslighting, Torture,
Finger-pointing, Blaming, Castigation,
And all manner of ignorance
Into enthusiasm for the future of humanity.

As truth rises to the surface of my body,
Bones mend, tendons reknit,
Joints ease, and
Resilience arises.
Heart feeds mind poems,
Healthcare strategies and
The architecture of leadership.

The Great Physician breathes the
Recipe for making poison into medicine.
This is the Destiny of Fulfillment.

~ Stephanie Mines


Whatever is implicitly initiated and practiced
by the body
during its early development
is enacted at a later date.

~ Erich Blechschmidt

What if I told you that everything from your taste in food to your taste in partners is a reflection of the experiences and sensations from so early in your life that you have no cognitive memory of them?

If you are curious enough about this, I will go on to say that the way you walk, your weight and your gait, your posture, the way you sleep and lean, your gestures, and the tone of your voice are all derived from the sensations and events known only to you from when you were a tiny being.

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The intelligence, creativity, curiosity, and vitality that motivates you now motivated you with significantly greater force when you were much smaller. Furthermore I would say, that reclaiming the awareness that infused you then is the key not only to personal fulfillment but also to the continuity of humanity.

In this unprecedented era that exposes the underbelly of our ignorance, the secrets of alchemizing intelligence that you harbor are needed and will emerge, just as the veins on the hands of elders reveal the rich indigo of their blood.

My prenatal experience...

My prenatal experiences of entering, at conception, a world in which I instantaneously felt I did not have a place was replicated in how I entered everything that followed, including the world of learning the Art of Compassion from Mary Iino Burmeister. This pattern marked all my beginnings until the writing of this book.

I became quite ill during my first class with Mary, just as I was, unbeknownst to my family, extremely unwell in utero. I was born with lung afflictions that became severe, life-threatening bronchial pneumonia shortly after birth. As I matured, these tendencies morphed into extreme respiratory vulnerability, acute sensitivity to environmental toxins, and chronic and severe asthma.

In all the classes I attended with Mary, despite how I felt, I stayed focused on her every word. I hunkered down with a notebook in the back or in a corner of the room and listened, watched, and wrote. In so doing, unbeknownst to me, I was alchemizing—transmuting the feeling of alienation and unwantedness into purpose. 

I embodied the scribe, and my attention was riveted on the task of taking accurate and clear notes. I used my stenographer’s skill, cultivated in summer school classes when I was in high school because I knew I would have to be able to do something practical to earn a living. I had a way of staying on track with my documentation long before computers.

New Beginnings...

In all the early classes with Mary that I attended, I was preoccupied with worry that I might lose the employment from which I had requested time off. Those jobs were the only source of income for me and my daughter.

Could I survive and learn? Could I survive and follow my instincts? Could I survive and fulfill my responsibilities? These were the questions that haunted my entire existence and that were amplified by the megaphone of new beginnings. 

I know now these feelings to be echoes from the womb. Yet even then, before I had the language, I was dissolving my worry with my determination to show up. I gave myself no credit for this. In fact, I berated myself for being so irrational as to take time off from a paying job to do something for which there was no clear outcome other than preserving the pursuit of curiosity. I was not yet an alchemist or a metallurgist.

Becoming Someone I Had Not Yet Met...

I was aware that I was changing as a result of the practices, and that they were drawing me to interior investigations that were revelatory. I was becoming someone I had not yet met. The alchemical brew was bubbling. I was tracking it, documenting it, but I had no idea that I was on the path of the Great Physician, the Wounded Healer, and the Metallurgist of Grief.

Recollections spewed out of me and were reformatted as I gently held the sites on my body. I was the witness of the deeply buried emotions I had secreted away. Alongside the sexual and physical abuse in my early life, there were the scenes from my radical political activism, the years of daring protest, and the retribution I received from all fronts, as well as the violent, romantic relationships that seemed to trail me like my own shadow. 

I reviewed and rewrote these experiences, transcribing the physical, emotional, and psychic imprints and then reframing them, seeing them as patterns, and taking responsibility for them, leaving my victimhood behind. These were the rituals to which I apprenticed myself to end traumatic repetition. I created them independently, with no therapeutic guidance, in a fluid unfolding from my somatic process. And they worked.

By now I had a near-obsessive fascination with the inner workings of the human nervous system, just from using my own as my laboratory. I detailed everything I was experiencing in notebooks that I reviewed as if seeking a missing puzzle piece. Graduate program or not, I defined myself as a student, and that identity felt completely comfortable—even comforting. 

The practices were birthing something within me that was unfamiliar—a sense of well-being. 

Transmuting Poison to Medicine...

My self-care treatments were a sanctuary. These were reassuring interludes, awakening authentic respiration, elongation, and a wellspring of refreshment. It was my self-care experience that interrupted the habitual refrains that there was something wrong with me and that I needed to be fixed. This began to be countered by a new song, one that was composing itself anew every day, about who I was and what was possible in my life.

As I continued, self-treatments further muted tortuous mental agitation and silenced relentless nervous system discord. My mind-body found an evolving and miraculous peace that supported my spiritual practices, sense of humor, resilience, parenting skills, and poetry.  

Little did I know I was carrying forward an ageless wisdom of communing with the invisible and transmuting poison to medicine. I was not thinking about the embryonic me or even the small child me who wove threads of hope out of the unknown. Embryology was not yet part of my formulations, and I was ignorant of theories of attachment and neurodevelopment. I was simply, independently, following my sensation where it directed me. I was being my embryonic self, and it felt very good.

Copyright 2023. All Rights Reserved.
Adapted with permission of the publisher,
Healing Arts Press, an imprint of Inner Traditions Intl.

Article Source:

BOOK: The Secret of Resilience

The Secret of Resilience: Healing Personal and Planetary Trauma through Morphogenesis
by Stephanie Mines

book cover of: The Secret of Resilience by Stephanie MinesAfter the Art of Compassion helped Stephanie Mines resolve her own trauma and awaken her innate resilience, she began to incorporate it into her clinical research. She discovered that the map of the body she learned from Burmeister sites correlated with the Chinese Extraordinary Meridians or Rivers of Splendor, which develop prenatally. She found that subtle touch on these sites in combination with trauma resolution amplifies neuroresilience, enhances creativity, restores motivation, and heals the fragmentation and disconnection associated with trauma and shock.

Sharing her personal journey as a Wounded Healer, Stephanie reveals not only how to unlock the secrets of resilience for individual healing but also how embodied resilience will help us heal our wounded planet.

For more info and/or to order this book, click hereAlso available as an Audiobook and as a Kindle edition.

photo of Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.About the Author

Stephanie Mines, Ph.D., earned her doctorate in neuropsychology at the Union Institute. She is the founder of The TARA Approach, a nonprofit dedicated to providing sustainable health options to individuals and communities, and the founder of Climate Change and Consciousness (CCC), a global network to accelerate regenerative responses to the climate crisis. She is the author of 5 books, including We Are All in Shock.

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