Wisdom to Embody

May I become at all times both now and forever:

A protector for those without protection;

A guide for those who have lost their way;

A ship for those with oceans to cross;

A bridge for those with rivers to cross;

A sanctuary for those in danger;

A lamp for those without a light;

A place of refuge for those who lack shelter;

And, a servant-leader for all those in need.

~ Shantideva (8th Century)


Obstacles to Cure: Transforming Obstacles into Opportunity

St. Catherine University Embodying Holistic Living Conference

Keynote Speech presented on 21 March 2015 in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Hello my name is Jason-Aeric Huenecke, I am a Classical Homeopathic Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, and a graduate from St. Catherine’s Certificate program in Holistic Health Studies (2000). In my work, I help people to harness resilience through resonance, homeopathic resonance.

Today, I will be discussing the homeopathic concept of Obstacles to Cure, a term used to indicate anything in the patient’s lifestyle that may disturb or extinguish the action of a homeopathic remedy. Even the best homeopathic remedy is limited in its capacity to help someone if she is eating junk food, not exercising, drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs. Obstacles to cure can include environmental influences—for example, someone with a chronic cough may have mold in the house and cannot get better until the mold is removed. Obstacles can also include the emotional environment. For example, we have wonderful homeopathic remedies for the emotional trauma caused by an abusive relationship, but as long as the victim stays in the relationship, there is only so much the remedy can do.

Here at the Embodying Holistic Living conference, with so many of you doing wonderful work with a variety of holistic modalities, I want to expand these notions to include certain mindsets that anyone providing holistic or complementary treatments will undoubtedly encounter. Patients with chronic illness come to us after arduous and lengthy illness experiences, often having gone to many other practitioners, and often feeling discouraged, disappointed, and demanding to be healed.

The first obstacle to cure is the diagnostic label and the mistaken belief that “I am my diagnosis”.

When a doctor diagnoses someone as incurable, I have observed that people tend to give up, because of cultural beliefs that “the doctor knows best”. People have been taught from birth on to put more faith into their doctor’s diagnosis than their own sense of their body, and more faith in the doctor’s prognosis than their own multidimensional ways to heal: mentally-emotionally, physically, and of primarily spiritually. This is especially obvious when someone receives the diagnosis of cancer. They immediately turn into a cancer patient, losing energy and losing hope, even if the diagnosis later turns out to be false.

The weight of the doctor’s word in conventional medicine is considered non-negotiable. This is not meant to be a put down on a doctor; this is just a different paradigm.

The second obstacle to cure is overdiagnosis versus individualized medicine.

Overdiagnostic categories abound in both allopathic and holistic health field. Today it isn’t uncommon that people are told that they are ill because of adrenal exhaustion, chronic fatigue, candida, dairy, wheat, gluten, night-shades, and/or sugar sensitivity. While this very well may be true, in homeopathic medicine, it is essential to understand what each individual is genuinely sensitive to rather than the practitioner imposing her or his belief system onto the patient. In homeopathy we often have patients coming who have been diagnosed as allergic to dozens of different substances yet who can eat these substances with no apparent reaction. Patient, know thyself!

The homeopathic practitioner receives the case of the patient over an hour and a half to three hours, listening to the idiosyncratic symptomatology of the individual, while often wading through pages of overdiagnoses, to get to the heart of what needs to be cured.

The third obstacle to cure is overdependence on a practitioner.

Some practitioners consciously or unconsciously encourage dependence. A healthy holistic practitioner understands that each individual has an innate capacity to heal, and that healing is not dependent upon the practitioner, instead it is based on holding the space for the individual’s Vital Force to grow stronger and more resilient with a well chosen treatment.

Some practitioners, when their treatment fails, fall back upon the notion that “you created your illness” or hold the belief that “the sick individual does not want to get well.” Instead, the practitioner needs to step back and explore with the individual what it will mean if she or he does not heal or what it would be like if she or he was completely healed.

The fourth obstacle to cure: Too many modalities and practitioners!?

Even though our patients tend to distrust doctors, they tend to rely on multiple holistic modalities and practitioners simultaneously. This is a problem because it leaves each practitioner wondering what is doing what? It isn’t uncommon that a patient new to homeopathy will give a long list of holistic practitioners; a chiropractor, cranial-sacral practitioner, massage therapist, acupuncturist, osteopath, naturopath, shamanic practitioner and/or psychotherapist. Homeopaths commonly ask patients to refrain from other treatments for six to nine months while beginning their homeopathic treatment, so that a clear, unaltered symptom picture can emerge. Many people are unwilling to do this and homeopathy can help them nevertheless, although the healing journey may be slower.

Another problem with patients seeing multiple practitioners at once: the healing crisis in one modality can be misperceived and incorrectly treated in another modality. For example, the healing process in homeopathy can include what we call a return of old symptoms, a very temporary revisiting of a previous illness as the body is clearing it for good; or an aggravation, a temporary worsening of the presenting symptoms, as part of an overall improvement. If the homeopathic process causes a clearing in the form of diarrhea or a rash or a mucus discharge and one of the patient’s other practitioners forces that symptom to disappear, it can cause a real setback in the homeopathic healing process.

Also, while many modalities claim to be holistic, the approach used by the practitioner is allopathic rather than homeopathic. A homeopathic approach covers the largest totality of symptoms and in Classical Homeopathy this means one remedy at a time.

The fifth obstacle to cure: The patient’s belief that I cannot get well: “I created my illness”.

An unfortunate result of the widespread belief that “you create your own reality” is the belief that if you are sick, it’s because you created the illness with your thoughts. That may be true to some extent, but it does not take into account the many environmental influences in our toxic world. Worse, it adds a burden of guilt to someone who is already struggling with illness. It can also add a kind of obsessive-compulsive self-scrutiny as the person believes “if only I hadn’t eaten that,” or “if only I hadn’t had that thought,” or “if I could’ve had different parents (or life circumstances),” or even “I did everything right and I am still suffering.”

Throughout the world there are many wild views of what illness is, sometimes it is considered karmic, sometimes demonic possession, sometimes as a punishment of a deity due to lack of faith or some sin. The homeopathic practitioner explores in painstaking detail what a person’s illness means to her or him. Homeopathic patients that they have never felt so unconditionally listened to often report it.

A final, sixth obstacle to cure: the dominant patriarchal and allopathic paradigm.

Patriarchy does not support health freedoms, the ability of the individual to choose the course of her or his treatments, especially with regard to children. The patriarchal system is based on hierarchical uses of power, on scientism as authority, the insurance company or doctor as authority, and control and domination of others through the dominant paradigm. Currently, alternative and complementary practitioners can see this with the allopathic hospital systems and their push-pull of wanting to practice holistically and yet on the other hand unable to justify the resources, patient contact hours for the treatments, the holistically trained nurse, and the reimbursement of the time of that nurse.

I say scientism as opposed to science, meaning the belief in the current scientific paradigm in spite of numerous research studies supporting the newly emerging paradigm of holistic healthcare. Yet research grants are rarely or sparingly offered for only a narrow range of alternative and complimentary methods. They are almost never offered for homeopathy, in fact the researcher exploring homeopathy risks being censored or shunned.

The homeopathic practitioner regularly hears, when our patients are restored to health by the well-chosen remedy, that the presiding doctor states, “1) You must have been misdiagnosed, 2) it was spontaneous remission, or 3) there is no explanation for your recovery.”

Due to the constraints of the patriarchal system, the holistic intervention is not acknowledged or considered in the allopathic treatment plan. This is a patriarch form of entitlement, ownership over what is true in medicine, the belief that allopathy is true while complementary medicine is magical thinking or at best a form of placebo. The alternative and complementary practitioner is held in a subordinate or non-existent role in this system of one-size-fits-all symptom suppression.

Reframing our thinking and being: ways to turn obstacles into opportunities for healing and recovery of each individual.

  • Helping our patients understand that a diagnosis is not something rigid and final; it is something fluid and flexible, it is something that can be changed.
  • Creating relational practices that are respectful and collaborative. Remember that people hear from doctors, “There is nothing wrong with you. Your lab tests are all normal,” when they are in chronic pain and clearly suffering. We must listen to their subjective experience of their pain and take it seriously.
  • Teaching our patients to be keen observers of their own symptomatology, knowing their own hearts, minds, and bodies, in their own experiences, and also in their own cure. Our role is that of health and vitality advocate, not the role of the ultimate expert. That said, we are still knowledgeable about our modalities transmitting our information and treatments with confidence, and we listen respectfully if the patient says the treatment is not working.
  • Educating our patients if their response to the treatment “doesn’t look like what healing is supposed to look like”, in homeopathy there are at times aggravations followed by amelioration of symptoms.
  • Understanding that the limitations imposed by insurance companies and doctors do not mean that the patient has no other options.
  • Learning the limits of our modality and be willing to refer to respected colleagues when necessary.
  • Serving as courageous holistic practitioners as our patients are healing and understand that healing takes its own time and does not always make sense.
  • While it is true that our thoughts create our illness to some extent, we must never allow our patients to wallow in regrets or self-blame for the past, but teach them to look to the future with confidence in their power to change their physical reality by changing their core beliefs and strengthening their Inner Light.
  • Cultivating patience and loving-kindness for those in the dominant paradigm who are slow to come around to what their mothers have been telling them for a very long time.
  • Fortifying ourselves in the wisdom of the ancient traditions that have informed our holistic practices and honoring the women and men who have given us a wider perspective on what it means to practice the healing arts and science from a heart-centered and person-centered approach.

Many blessings and be loved.


An Infinity of Worlds

Jason-Aeric Huenecke of Oceans
Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy Class VII Commencement Speech
9 April 2011

I want to dedicate this talk with an open heart to these graduating students of homeopathy who are entering the infinity of worlds that each of us bring to every dynamic into which we enter.

Tonight the graduating students requested that I speak about homeopathic provings. I will do so with gratitude to Samuel Hahnemann who instructs homeopathic practitioners via the Organon of the Medical Art on how to practice homeopathy and to do homeopathic provings.

What are homeopathic provings? They are the method by which we discern what healing powers a substance holds and expresses in the human being. In a proving a volunteer takes a dose of a homeopathically prepared substance. The substance given in a double blind format frees all concerned from prejudice or speculation of what symptoms the substance may produce in the healthy human individual. Over the course of several weeks, usually two or three months, there are careful observations of self and symptoms by the prover and her supervisor. Provings are always the primary source of homeopathic information.

Proving substances teach us by producing signs and symptoms in a healthy individual; these symptoms become a part of our Materia Medica the compilation of all of the provers’ symptoms that express the genius within the substance. The clear totality of symptoms from the proving will inevitably provide much needed healing to someone who is suffering.

It is important to understand that homeopathic provings are a cornerstone of homeopathic practice.

The definition of a homeopathic proving: “A homeopathic proving is a systematic observation and recording of symptoms which are produced by the defined administration of a homeopathic drug or drug-like effective substance, not yet homeopathically proved, to healthy persons (provers, volunteers).”

It is also important to understand what your loved one is embarking upon in entering her or his homeopathic practice. They will open their doors to those who are suffering and they will be asked to hold an infinity of worlds. They are charged with the task of listening without prejudice, to the world of each individual suffering in their own unique way, and to come to understand that world enough to prescribe a single homeopathic remedy that matches their symptoms in order to stimulate their innate healing powers and be restored to health.

This is no easy task to be free of prejudice, to love unconditionally, to stick to the person’s sensations, to hold another’s inner world and come to understand as deeply as possible how they suffer then to match this to a remedy. It is no easy task and yet, it is possible. Homeopathy helps countless individuals to be freed of long held suffering and live richer and fuller lives, freeing them from the finite to live infinitely.

Studying homeopathy and participating in a proving helped these brave students to clarify their unique way of suffering and recognize that which they have believed to unlovable in their lives, thus enabling them to see more clearly their own and others’ suffering. Each student has successfully navigated major transformations from the recognition of their own suffering and healing, including births and deaths, separations, divorces, major life moves, and relocations, in order to step more fully into their lives.

The graduates are transforming their lives right before your eyes. The proving process has helped many of these individuals come to know that homeopathy is the right choice for them professionally.

One student writes, “When I saw the dreams of the Snapping Turtle provers I knew I had made the right decision to become a homeopath. The power of the remedy to penetrate into the psyche and sing its song uncompromised – as happens in dreams – was undeniable. On the whole, the provers were having similar dreams. That the dream themes were inextricably linked to weave the environment and natural problems facing the snapping turtle (being stuck in the mud, sitting high on a vista, looking serenely at the surroundings)– floored and inspired me.”

What homeopathic provings teach us is that anything in the world can be transformed into a homeopathic remedy (including ourselves). Provings teach us that we can use everything we do to help us to realize that we are a part of the energy that creates everything.

In a certain sense, your loved one, each of these graduating students, has been honing their lives to live homeopathically; they have been in an intense ongoing proving of their own lives for over four and a half years. Why have they done this? I believe that they have done this in order to offer the first remedy to whomever enters their caring embrace, that first remedy is of course love.

If the homeopathic practitioner has this insight, discernment, knowledge and awareness then she understands how to act expediently and thoroughly, and she is a genuine practitioner of the homeopathic medical art.

Thank you.

Epicurus in a letter to Herodotus writes, “The sum of things is infinite. For what is finite has an extremity, and the extremity of anything is discerned only by comparison with something else. Now the sum of things is not discerned by comparison with anything else: hence it has no extremity, it has no limit; and, since it has no limit, it must be unlimited or infinite… …moreover, there is an infinite number of worlds, some like this world, others unlike it. For the atoms being infinite in number… …are borne ever further in their course. For the atoms out of which a world might arise, or by which a world might be formed, have not all been expended on one world or a finite number of worlds, whether like or unlike this one. Hence there will be nothing to hinder an infinity of worlds.”

Learning To Trust Yourself

NAH Class 4 Graduation

Photo Credit: LaVona Sherarts, 2005
From left to right Jan Greenfield Forsberg, Laurie Dack, Valerie Ohanian, and Eric Sommermann


Jason-Aeric Huenecke of Oceans
Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy Class IV Commencement Speech
9 April 2005

In the 1872 graduation address of the New York Homeopathic Medical College, Dean Carroll Dunham said, “Your very first case may be the most difficult you will ever encounter, and, if you have been placed in charge you must meet the difficulties, call what aid may be within reach; but, aided or not, never flinch from the responsibility so long as the patient demands your services. For the cases which are entrusted to us brook no delay.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote, “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” This is the task before us, to learn how to trust ourselves so that we can respond accordingly to the basic needs of our patients.

Our journeys as students of homeopathy have been mythic in proportion. We have utterly and permanently transformed our lives in such a way that we do not fully understand what we have accomplished, nor what we are capable of. To embark on this journey as homeopathic practitioners, we must ask ourselves, “Do I trust myself?”

Our loved ones have supported us through this educational process and may have been at times bewildered, wondering, “What are you studying now!?” and, “What do these unusual ideas have to do with healing?”

Homeopathy has required us to be archeologists, mythologists, botanists, zoologists, entomologists, herbivores, and mineralogists, and cultivators of heart. You cannot, in my humble opinion, be a homeopathic practitioner unless you learn to trust yourself and to enter into the mysterious unfolding of those invisible truths of beauty and goodness articulated in every culture, spiritual tradition, and religion of the world, the golden rule, the ethic of reciprocity. You cannot ask another to open up, unless you’re willing to open up yourself in your own process of learning to trust yourself. So, the question is “Can we be trusted?”

We have received one of the finest homeopathic educations in the modern world at the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy. We have learned that we will only be trusted in as much as we trust ourselves. After all of our training, do you doubt the fact that our lives continuously bring us opportunities to cultivate our hearts? I do not doubt this eternal truth.

I have witnessed each person in our class undergo transformations, some subtle, some barely noticeable, but to the discerning eye, present nonetheless. Others experienced monumental life alterations: major relationship disruptions and changes, marriages, divorce, and the birth of several children in a four and a half year time span. We have unearthed character traits and mysteries within us, heretofore unknown to our loved ones, let alone ourselves.

Damaris Parker-Rhodes asked, “How do I dwell in the eternity of the moment? By letting the eternity of the moment dwell in me.”

Sitting before an individual who seeks healing is like entering the eternity of the moment. May we learn to be comfortable dwelling in the uncertainty of eternity as we develop direct perception into that which most needs healing…

We must also cultivate fortitude. What do we expect? That our lives as homeopathic practitioners will be easy? Hardly, it is work, but it is a great work and service to all of humanity. Just think of the archaic medical practices and methods our ancestors endured and survived that enabled us to be here today! Fortitude is derived from knowing that the very same elements that created this cosmos flow through us! Coming to this understanding, you grow in your awareness of your connection to the mysteries of the cosmos and therefore, all life. Remember, you do not need to be smarter (endlessly pursuing further education) or more intelligent to practice homeopathy, instead, you must know yourself, trust yourself and cultivate a heart-centered approach to living homeopathically. Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “It’s not that I am so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer [than most]…”

Recently, one of my patients asked me, “How long will this homeopathic process take?” I replied, “As long as it needs to…” To which she answered, “Oh well, at least you are honest.” Consider this, what else are you going to do? We must learn to stay with the problems of our humanness longer if we are going to enter more fully into a state of radical acceptance of the world and ourselves; this task brooks no delay. Do your best as homeopathic practitioners; what else will you do with your lives? Eric Sommermann taught us to always do our best.

In closing, Meister Eckhart writes, “People should think less about what they ought to do and more about what they ought to be.” Laurie Dack mentioned more than once that she wasn’t so sure that we choose to practice homeopathy, rather, that homeopathy chooses us. I have come to wholeheartedly agree.
Val Ohanian once said, “Homeopathy is one of the most complete healing systems in the world; it is something to respect.” Thank you for respecting our paths, and supporting us. To our loved ones, a path has chosen us that will require diligence, introspection, and continuous education, so, bear with us; we are only just beginning to walk the illumined path. And in fond farewell to my classmates, greetings now to my colleagues, remember what Samuel Hahnemann once encouraged, in the Latin phrase, Sapere aude, “Dare to know…” and drink deeply from the well of knowledge as you learn to trust yourself and embark farther still upon the homeopathic journey. Many blessings and be loved.