WOUNDED HEALERSAug 31, 2020
Last month I travelled ‘down under’, while various threats dominated the news - bushfires, floods, corona virus. I was invited to Sydney to offer a 5-day MBCL training to healthcare professionals. Praise to NSW health managers, who allowed over 60 employees to participate, as an extension of the wonderful MWAC program, developed by Nickolas Yu et al., training staff to facilitate mindfulness and compassion practice in their workplace.
Towards the end, a participant came up to me. Earlier, during the practice of imagining a compassionate companion, she was visited by a for her surprising image of a kind and gentle creature, half man, half horse... It fell into place when she was deeply touched by the story of Chiron, the wounded healer, until then unknown to her.
Wherever I teach, this story proves to be profoundly meaningful for all in caring roles. In Greek mythology Chiron is a centaur - half man, half horse - who was hit by a poisonous arrow. This caused a wound that could not be cured, but which required Chiron to attend to it daily with utmost tenderness and care. And by learning to care for his own wound he became highly skilled in healing others.
We are all somehow wounded. Can we become wounded healers... for ourselves, each other, the planet?