top of page


Compassion Meets Wisdom:An Emerging Medical Paradigm

Compassion and Wisdom

are the two wings of a bird

Flying to Enlightenment

~The Buddha

2018 began with top industry contenders parlaying prevailing medical paradigm into enlightenment through wisdom.

The Integrative Healthcare Symposium 2018, a bastion in the vanguard of education for Integrative Medicine, led the way in February.

Wisdom traditions were widely represented and their well worn paths to enlightenment were revealed. Among those were homeopathic medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic, herbs, nutrition, yoga, mindfulness, meditation, breath and body work, music, and Shin Jyutsu.

Wisdom traditions represent mankind’s deepest source of knowledge about Universal principles that govern harmonious, prosperous and sustainable existence. These principles are being revealed to us in a more consistent and meaningful way in this new age of consciousness that is born of compassion, compassionate listening and compassionate presence.

Wisdom traditions provide a conceptual framework for the development of the inner self, living a spiritual, that is, a meaningful and purposeful life and the realization of enlightenment.

The IHS 2018 began building the bridge to enlightenment of the medical/healthcare profession by highlighting the concept of how healing works from a consciousness perspective incorporating compassion, wisdom and the power of self-care in an evolving universe.

How Healing Works was the topic of notable author and long-time integrative health advocate, Dr. Wayne Jonas. The principle he evoked in order to shift the medical paradigm to one of compassion, wisdom and enlightenment was stunningly simple and basically intuitive. He summarizes this by saying:”Only 20% of healing comes from the ‘treatment agent’ that the doctor applies to you-whether that is surgery, drugs, acupuncture needles, herbs and supplements, diet, or anything else external to you. A full 80% of healing comes from constructing a meaningful treatment response, unique to you, which is highly personal, using simple principles and components.”

Indeed, wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. It is considered a virtue and as a virtue, it is a habit or disposition to perform an action with the highest degree of adequacy under any given circumstance.

The construct of the meaningful treatment response that Dr. Jonas espouses, requires deep listening and compassion. It also requires an educational component that fosters this philosophy which is presently absent in medical training. Eighteenth century philosophers such as Benjamin Franklin advocated for this training in public schools as an approach to character education. He referred to this as training wisdom and virtue. According to an article in Ed.Gov, character education is a shared responsibility. It posits that: “In schools, character education must be approached comprehensively to include the emotional, intellectual and moral qualities of a person.” When we are training persons to administer healing agents, some as potent and life altering as surgery and pharmaceutical drugs, it is incumbent upon the institutions of higher learning to revisit this educational component and reframe it in accordance with the principles of healing. Nicholas Maxwell, a contemporary philosopher in the United Kingdom, in this article, calls for “a revolution in the aims and methods of academic inquiry, so that the basic aim becomes to promote wisdom by rational means, instead of just to acquire knowledge.” He goes on to say that “acquiring knowledge dissociated from a more basic concern for wisdom leads, via technology and industry, to an enormous increase in the power to act...All our modern global crises are the outcome of science without wisdom. If we are to avoid in this century the horrors of the last one-wars, death camps, dictatorships, poverty, environmental damage- we urgently need to learn how to acquire more wisdom, which, in turn means that our institutions of learning become devoted to that end.”

The revolution in academia that Dr. Maxwell advocated for seemed to be obfuscated by the self-proclaimed Revolutionary New Plan brought forth by the pre-eminent expert in the field of integrative medicine, the keynote speaker at IHS2018, Dr. Deepak Chopra. His plan, similar to that of Dr. Jonas, was also stunningly simple. It likewise highlights the ineptitude of the medical world, as we know it, to be the change that we need to see. In his best selling book The Healing Self and in his keynote, Dr. Chopra says: “In the face of environmental toxins, potential epidemics, superbugs and the accelerated aging process, the significance of achieving optimum health has never been more crucial-and the burden to achieve it now rests on individuals making right lifestyle choices every day. That means you. You-not doctors, not pharmaceutical companies-are ultimately responsible for your own health.”

Essentially, Dr. Chopra’s view of an emerging paradigm shift to wisdom and compassion, does eliminate the current reductionist thinking based model to one of consciousness. Consciousness and conscious awareness implies compassion and self-compassion. In this way you are responsible for your Self. Dr. Chopra introduced the concept of a new possibility to consider, this is, the higher self. This concept is integral to the emerging paradigm and goes hand-in-hand with the revolution in academia. He explains this in his book The Healing Self . “Higher brings in a spiritual connotation. The separation between body and mind is artificial, and medical science strongly supports merging them into the bodymind. ‘Higher consciousness’ would appear to cross the line into the domain of God, spirit, and the soul, which medical science has nothing to do with.” The illustrative path to healing appears to be an inside job with your own highest self leading the charge. “If the healing self is going to bring an end to suffering, another boundary has to crumble, because meditation research, now a completely accepted field, employs a spiritual practice. Meditation is a consciousness-based medicine. Whatever happens when you are meditating ( or praying, doing yoga, being mindful,etc.) registers in cellular activity, first in the brain, then farther down the line in the rest of the body.”

That said, we must heed the words of the pre-eminent representative of the metaphysical poets, John Donne:

No man is an island

Entire of Itself

Every man is a piece of the Continent

A part of the Main…

Health, wellness, well-being is ultimately all about relationships. There does exist and always will exist a healer, mentor relationship at some point in your journey. The cultivation of a consciousness steeped in compassion and wisdom is a must in order for us, as a whole, to move forward on our evolutionary path to a higher state where, in fact, true health reigns in the form of peace.

The Culture of Peace and Healing for Humanity was the keynote given by Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdury at the 2018 World Congress of Integrative Medicines. His participation in the writing of the United Nations Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace is a testament to the prevailing action plan already in progress. This Declaration affirms that peace as a culture is, in and of itself, the end result of healing. Peace is the outcome. Peace is the treatment response that Dr. Jonas hypothesizes.

The “emerging” paradigm of the integration of compassion and wisdom that is needed in the US is already firmly entrenched in the medicines of our global healthcare community. Dr. Linda Lancaster, N.D., Ph.D., Founder of the Global Foundation for Integrative Medicines and this Congress, emphasized the “s” on medicines because there are many valid subtle medicines and healing elements for humanity. Dr. Lancaster is a visionary woman with the depth and breadth of knowledge of all of these. She practices her art of healing in Sante Fe and NY and teaches worldwide. She holds the vision that the integration of all medicines can be a unifying force to promote a stronger foundation for world peace.

This Congress was replete with practitioners/healers/students/researchers who all share the consciousness of the higher self and the role of spirituality in medicines. Presentations demonstrating the implicit nature of our interconnectedness included “Medical Recognition of the Universe Matrix”, Dr. Alla Kulikova; “The Peace Diet”, Dr. Terry Shintani; “Healing the Earth is a Condition to Human Healing and World Peace:Towards Spiritual Medicine”, Alfredo Sfeir Younis, GFIM Peace Ambassador; “Spirituality and Health:What is the Connection, panel of experts; “Evolving from Fear into Love: The New Medical Paradigm”, Dr. Benjamin Asher.

Clearly, the game is on. Shifts can appear slow as in adaptation of species, climate change and tectonic plates. There comes a time, however, when the subtle movements begun a long time ago, make their appearance in a dramatic way. A shift in consciousness, appearance, and action is before us. We, as a culture, have reached a tipping point. We have emerged into a culture of awareness. We are wiser and more compassionate as a result of the decades of trauma where the prevailing culture was all but devoid of wisdom and compassion and a higher consciousness. We are called to cultivation of those virtues. To practice them for our own healing and for the healing of us all in relationship. We are called to a new medical/social interconnected paradigm.

Compassion breeds goodness and light.

Compassion makes a heart merry and bright.

Wisdom is born

Of Knowing.

Wisdom is the Mother of Insight.

Insight knows when to act

with Compassion.

Love is compassion and Wisdom in Action.

The Flight to Enlightenment.~Nancy Gahles

(reprint from

Featured Posts
Follow Me
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Pinterest Icon
bottom of page