Alberto Villoldo - The Power of Energy Medicine
This is just a giant of a guy. I mean, the consciousness is very high, and I have been looking forward to meeting him and having him on Healing Wednesday. Medical Anthropologist, Alberto Villoldo has studied the shamanic healing practice of the Amazon and the Andes for more than 25 years. He is the founder of the Four Winds Society, which trains modern shamans in practicing energy medicine. He directs the Center for Energy Medicine in Chile, where he investigates and practices the neuroscience of enlightenment.
Following Your Desire
In his mid-twenties, Alberto was the youngest clinical professor at San Francisco State University. He directed the Biological Self-regulation lab to investigate how energy medicine changes the brain's chemistry. He had heard stories about people in remote parts of the Amazon who claimed to know such things. Recognizing that this investigation would not be a part-time pursuit or even a brief sabbatical, Alberto resigned his post at the university and traded his lab coat for hiking boots and a ticket to the rainforest. A man after my own heart.
He was scattered throughout the remnants of the ancient Inca empire, where many sages or earth keepers practiced the ancient healing methods. Alberto visited countless villages met with scores of medicine men and women. For more than 10 years, he trained with the jungle shamans. Along the way, he discovered that his journey was guided by his desire to become whole. He learned to transform old pain, grief, anger, and shame into sources of strength and compassion.
Let me tell you a little bit about how I got to the Amazon. I was at San Francisco State University, and I had my own lab. We were trying to see if we could create psychosomatic health. We knew we could create psychosomatic disease, but could you create psychosomatic health? My lab was in the brain section of the biology department. I was surrounded by 200 brains in formaldehyde. I realized that I could not find that out in the laboratory. Particularly with Western science that had to kill it before you could study it. We were slicing and dicing the brain and staining it, looking at pathways.
The Gift of Nature
I shut down my lab, and then I got a research grant from big Swiss pharma. They wanted to discover the next breakthrough cancer, dementia, or heart disease cure. The Amazon is nature's pharmacy. I went into the Amazon and backwater villages that had never seen a light-skinned person before. In fact, the kids would come running to me, and they'd kind of rub my hands and arms to see if the white dirt would rub off. After many months in the Amazon, I met my sponsors, and I came back empty-handed. There were no herbs and plants because these people had no heart disease, Alzheimer's, dementia, or cancer. These are the illnesses of the West.
This is what we have created in Western society and civilization. They knew how to prevent these conditions. Today we don't know how to treat cancer, heart disease, or cancer. We cut it, burn it or kill it. It doesn't work. Alzheimer's, we spend over a billion dollars in research to try to cure Alzheimer's; the statistics are terrible. If you live to be 85 years old, you have a 50% risk of having diagnosable Alzheimer's. This doesn't mean forgetting where you left your car keys. This means forgetting your children's names which is terrifying. But these Amazonian shamans knew how to prevent it. They practice prevention.
They did that by working with the human energy field, with the aura. In reality, an information field that surrounds and organizes the physical body in the same way that a magnet organizes iron filings on a piece of glass. In the West, we are fascinated with cutting the body and moving the pieces around, whereas the shamans were interested in clearing the imprints for the disease from the energy field. I first learned about it not in Amazon but in Haiti.
The foundation that was sponsoring my research called me up and said, “Alberto, we’re doing a study on voodoo in Haiti. We need an anthropologist, a junior anthropologist. We are almost done with the study, but the other one got sick." I said, "I don't know anything about Haiti or voodoo. My expertise is the Amazon." They said, "Yes, we know. We are reviewing your grant proposal this very moment." The following week I was in Port-au-Prince in Haiti, where there was a lot of voodoo. Voodoo is an ancient practice from Africa that you can use to heal and harm. All healing practices can be used; the difference is only the ethics and the intent of the practitioner.
I remember talking to this old voodoo priest, and I said, "How do you hurt someone? Do you go, and you punch them in the head?" He said, "No when we need to retaliate against someone, what we do is we take our rattle. We call their spirit to come and look at their energy field. We find out where the gray areas in the field are. We go, 'Ah, maybe this is heart disease that runs in the family.' We put a little energy into that imprint, and it wakes up. It is like double-clicking on a program on your computer, then it takes over your screen. Two weeks later, that person will have heart disease. You will activate the dormant diseased genes that we inherited from our family."
I go, "Wow, that is nasty. And what about healing? How do you heal someone?" They said, "Ah, it's the same way we call on their spirit. We look at their field and find the stale energy. We pull that energy out and clear it from the blueprint." I said, "Wow, how absolutely elegant."
Blueprint of the Body
These men and women that we consider primitive in Haiti and worldwide, in Subsaharan Africa, in the Himalayas, the Native Americans were working with the quantum field. They were interacting with it directly and upgrading the information that's in the blueprint of the body. When you upgrade the blueprint, the body is upgraded. They practice healing, not by healing disease. For the shamans, sick people exist, but illnesses do not. The practice of healing consists of creating the conditions for health, and disease goes away.
You don't need to treat illness, which is what we do in the West, in America, and Europe. We don't have a healthcare system but a disease care system. We treat illnesses, but the Shamans don't do that. They create physical conditions for health. Your nutrition and diet, the supplements, and the nutrients you're missing are big problem today in the world. In emotional health, you have to clear the imprints for toxic emotions we have in our field.
That person that you haven't forgiven for 20 years, that's a toxic imprint in the energy field. If you have a genetic weakness, it will manifest as an illness that runs in your family that we consider hereditary. The shamans considered toxic emotions and trauma as the source of all physical maladies. You've got to heal the toxic emotions. You create the conditions for health spiritually.
It is essential to be on a spiritual path. You got to be on a sacred journey, not just to accumulate wealth, fame, fortune, or heal your mommy or daddy issues. You got to be on a sacred mission to bring a little more beauty to the planet, to be of service in some way. This was the shamanic practice. I said, "That's so much healthier than what we do in the West, where we think that the illness is the problem." We treat the symptom, and not the cause. The shamans said that the cause is not only your diet but your energy field. It is your unhealed emotions. It is your early life trauma or what you bring with you from your former lifetimes. They knew how to describe it and how to intervene directly to remove these toxic imprints.
This is what I teach my students today. They called this the illumination process. How do you illuminate your field? Upgrade the quality of the energy field? How do you download version 2.0 of the human software? It then goes about the process of healing the body. The first step to later growing a new body that ages, heals, and dies differently. That perhaps doesn't even have to die. This is occurring at a fascinating time in history. The Indigenous peoples worldwide, the Native keepers of the prophecies, the earth keepers, say that we have come to the end of humanity that we have known until today. Today a new human is being born on earth, at this time of climate crisis, of ecological crisis.
Constant Change in Evolution
The interesting thing about these times of crisis is that evolution changes. Mother Nature doesn't work with Newtonian laws of evolution any longer. Evolution begins to follow the laws of quantum physics and no longer happens in between generations with our children and their children. It happens within generations with you and me that can take a quantum leap and become a new human.
I was trained in science originally, so I always bring it back to the laboratory. I understood that every seven years, we grow a new body. The skin cells die and are replaced every five or six days. The lining in the gut is every three days, and the lung lining is every week. Every seven years the molecule in the body change. You can get a new body that is a slightly more wrinkled and older version of the one you have now, or you can become the new human at this critical time in the history of humanity and of the world.
Create A Personal Ceremony
We have to upgrade the quality of the information in the field. We have to do a ceremony because we need to change our minds. I have understood from studying brain science that the ancient brain or the limbic brain, lives in scarcity, anger, and fear. It has PTSD and gets enough of anything, enough love, money, or time. This ancient brain only changes through the ceremony, the reason why we have ceremonies in every culture in the world.
So, you need to create a sacred ceremony for yourself. One that comes from you not repeating what someone else has done. We do a lot of fire ceremonies with candles, where you can blow into a stake or a piece of paper that you are willing to let go of, and you put it in the fire. That helps the brain to change so you can then change your mind. Otherwise, we are stuck in the old paradigms and belief structures. We cannot change them because they operate as neural networks in this very ancient limbic brain that we all have. This is a time of such an amazing opportunity to bring together the ancient wisdom, the millinery wisdom of the shamans, and the medicine of modern Western science.
Merging Modern Science and Shamanic Wisdom
Modern science describes how things happen. The shamanic wisdom allows you to engage in these processes. You don't only describe the quantum field; you can dance in it and take on the creator role that we have to help dream of the world into being. When I was in the Amazon, this old medicine woman came to me and said, "Alberto, we have to heal you." I said, "You have to heal me? Why? What's wrong? There's nothing wrong with me." She said, "No, we have to heal your ignorance." I go, "What do you mean, heal your ignorance, and it's Dr. Alberto, by the way." She said, "Yeah, you have a lot of information but very little wisdom."
Strengthen The Information Through Wisdom
Then she explained that information is knowing that water is H2O; wisdom is being able to make it rain. Information is having a diagnosis, but wisdom is being able to heal. In our Western science, it's very descriptive, but it doesn't let us engage and interact with the forces of nature. For example, one of the laws of physics called the law of entropy says that everything is breaking down. This law says that you can go from a glass of milk, from milk in the glass to milk on the floor, but you can't go backward.
The shaman said, "Yeah, you don't need Harvard to understand this. You just need to have children. Everything is moving towards chaos." She also said, "Yeah, we observed that. This law is what we call the jaguar principle. Jaguar is the chaotic, destructive force. The other side of that law is also jaguar. Life defies entropy. The physical universe is going to hell all the time, and we need to keep repairing it. The biological world seeks complexity, and that's the life principle. We call that jaguar also the life death principle."
Shamans and Science
The shamans can go, "Mother, sister, jaguar, come to me. Come, come and bring a little bit of renewal and healing to this person that I'm helping or come and bring life to this person that's so ready to be reborn." They can enlist this force of nature, and jaguar will show up. Whereas the physicist can go, "Second law of thermodynamics, come to me," because nothing's going to come. It's only descriptive, whereas the shamans could not describe it, but they could do it.
One time I was saying to an old medicine man who became my teacher for many years, I explained chaos theory from physics to him. Chaos theory is a law that explains how we are all interconnected. The old man turns to me, and said, "Show me." I said, "What do you mean show you? This is quantum physics." He replied, "No, if you can talk about it, it's because you can do it, right? Come on, flap your little doctor wings and heal somebody in India."
I said, "I can't do that." He said, "I can." These are feminine traditions, and they are earth-based traditions. They are traditions of wisdom, not of information, not accumulating facts, but accumulating power so you can be of service, and you can co-create. This becomes the central tenet of the shamanic traditions, dreaming the world into being, co-creation.
Shamanic and Religious Beliefs
It comes from our story of creation itself. In the West, we were kicked out of the garden of paradise, the Garden of Eden. We are the only people on the planet ever to have been kicked out of the garden. The Aborigines and Native Americans are the Earth keepers. They were the stewards and the caretakers of the garden.
The Great Spirit said, "On the seventh day, I've created the whales and the eagles and the butterflies. Aren't they beautiful? And now you finish it." For us in the West, on the seventh day, all that was left was naming the plants and the animals. For the shamanic societies and Aboriginal societies, creation is not complete. Our task is to complete creation. It's what the shamans called dreaming your world into being, to co-create with spirit. This is the difference between shamanic traditions and religious traditions.
Religion is about the creator, whereas it's about creation and creating for the shamans. It is not making offerings to appease the creator or asking for forgiveness. It is about knowing that spirit is within you, you're not separate from, and our task is to create and become stewards of the creation, become Earth keepers. This is an ancient wisdom that is becoming so relevant today.
Step-up Through Meditation
Before we can become Earth keepers, we have to awaken the higher-order neural networks in the brain. We cannot do that if our brain is on fight or flight. If we are stressed out or we're fearful, we need to be able to practice stillness. This is what meditation is about, to reset that fight or flight system so that our world can become safe and we're now no longer looking suspiciously at the world. We can then step up to the higher-order neural networks in the brain to become co-creators.
I'd like to take us through a meditation where we can begin to reset the fear system, the fight or flight system that produces the stress hormones in the brain. It's a drumming meditation. I'm going to ask you to inhale, to a count of four, and exhale to a count of six. Normally, we breathe between 12 and 15 times a minute. This is the stressful breath that creates psychosomatic disease.
Now, we were breathing three times a minute, and eventually, you can hold inhale to four, hold to six, then exhale to six, and hold empty to six. You'll be breathing twice a minute, and your whole system will slow down. Your world will slow down, and you'll be able to dream your world into being with beauty and with grace.