The first day of this spring conference welcomes us with a bright array of cherry blossoms hanging languid in the still air. Every now and then a warm breeze scatters their petals in glittering clouds against the thin grey sky. So too is nature reflected in the opening energy of the Conscious Medicine Conference. Over a hundred of us, spanning five continents (Antarctica excluded as penguins cannot get visas) and from 70 countries, nestle into the calming, distilled atmosphere of the Universal Hall. There is a sweet hum of excitement as we gather to greet one another, conversations flaring into moments of gentle laughter.
Gill Edwards, the organiser of the conference, speaks with heartfelt conviction: “The current shift in health care and medicine towards a more conscious medicine reflects the work of this era, the shift we are making in global consciousness… this is the marriage of heaven and earth, we become aware that there is no separation between the physical and the spiritual.”
We are then introduced to the rich array of presenters. From activities like Laughter Yoga to 5Rhythms®, talks exploring the Peaceful Revolution to Healing Echoes from our past, workshops involving The Tara Approach to Cancer: The Healing Journey, this conference promises us a treasure chest of magnificent gems. John McGregor, shaman-radiologist, says: “The shift in medicine is all about empowerment. We need to develop the witness in ourselves.” Jonathan Nunn describes conscious breathing as a way of coming home. Arielle Essex will be sharing her research into what key elements are necessary for spontaneous remission of disease to occur. Andrew Tressider will offer us insight into effortless ways to heal. Eileen Palmer encourages us to proclaim the age-old marriage vows between partners as vows to ourselves, “Mindfulness is a practice beyond words. It is a subtle change in the stance of the human heart.”
After teabreak we have the privilege to sit with our first speaker. Gill Edwards explores the topic: What is conscious medicine? Trained as a clinical psychologist, she has always been curious about the connection between the body and the mind. The new physics (although quantum physics is now 100 years old) proves that everything is vibrating energy and that consciousness is embedded in the cells of every individual. Consciousness can direct this energy. This research echoes what the spiritual masters have known, that we create our own reality. She offers us several medical examples from documented cases that clearly illustrate how personality and expectation can influence the body. One example I found interesting was the case of an organ transplant patient who picked up aspects of the personality traits of the donor. The new biology too recognises that our beliefs create our body. Fundamentally our body’s cells are in one of two modes: growth or defence. Defence mode comes online in emergency situations to stimulate the fight or flight response. Although modern living does not present us with the rare trauma of a charging tiger, it does present us with longterm, low grade, insidious levels of stress. When the stress response is triggered by memories of trauma or worry, the body moves into defense mode and we experience feelings of confusion, separateness and disconnection which eventually lead to disease. However, when we choose to consider and feel the sensations of appreciation and love, the growth mode is stimulated and healing occurs. “The body is always helpful. Our symptoms are a gift. They are the messenger pointing to the core beliefs that no longer serve our well being. We need to befriend them and allow them to become our teachers.”
As the evening draws in, I am struck by the simple yet intricate systems that form my experience. I am so grateful to be alive. At the start of the conference, Gill shared a poem written by David White titled Sweet Darkness. The lines that I remember, that inspired me were:
You must learn one thing
The world was made to be free in
You are not beyond love.