S01E02 – Physician, Heal Thyself! An Exploration with iAwake CEO John Dupuy
Dr Jan Bonhoeffer explores how physicians can become the best versions of themselves using brain entrainment exercises, in a conversation with iAwake CEO John Dupuy.
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Jan: I can see you very well. Hi.
John Dupre: Good. Good. Let’s see here. We got, contrast. There we go.
Jan: Hey. This is John Dupre.
John Dupre: Doing what I love to do best. I love to play the guitar.
Jan: Welcome, John. Thank you. Thank you for taking the time today.
John Dupre: You bet. My pleasure.
Jan: How are you?
John Dupre: I’m doing pretty good. Yeah. I’ve been working hard, and working out hard. I wake up in the morning and I do my meditation. I go to the gym, and I do about 35 minutes of cardio on treadmill, and then I do about 20 minutes of strength training, and then I went out and practiced tennis, my serve, and forehand, and backhand, and did some more meditation. I took my dog on a run, and this all before 7:30 in the morning, and then, yeah, I get to work.
Jan: This is how you set the tone for the day.
John Dupre: Sure. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yes. It’s got to be. There’s certain practices that I do that if I don’t do, I don’t do well. I’ve had issues with depression, for example, in my life, and the exercise and the meditation, and, of course, I use it … iAwake meditation tools, I’m the CEO of the company, and we create these audio tracks and train the brain to whatever brain wave states desired, alpha, beta, theta, delta, epsilon, gamma, lambda. So anyway, we mix those.
John Dupre: So we have these great tools that make meditation more effective, and you get extraordinary results in much less time than if you were doing a traditional meditation type of practice, because most of us can’t stick with it, unless we’re extremely disciplined, or we live in an ashram, or we have a community, or something like that. Then it takes many years usually to develop the necessary skills to where it really starts to become very powerfully transformative, and most people will not stick with it that long, because it seems like a waste of time when you just try to sit down and start meditating, and you watch your mind [inaudible] just miserable, and so they don’t stick with it. With the tools that I use it really helps, and a great aid in my overcoming depression, and, anyway, finding what I’m supposed to be doing with my life and creativity.
John Dupre: I don’t even know what I was supposed to talk about, Jan, so I’ll turn it over to you. What would you like to speak about?
Jan: Well, you’re already in the midst of it, so thank you. Great. As the CEO of iAwake, you’re taking of brain entrainment as if it was the most natural thing on the planet, but many people don’t know about brain entrainment and many people don’t know about the options to help ourselves and support ourselves by using the kind of technology that you’re developing. So maybe you can tell us what difference it makes for you to start with, you were talking about your own daily practices, why would you use or when would you use the magic audio files that you’re creating?
John Dupre: It started out years ago I worked in the therapeutic wilderness industry. So we would take people out into the southern Utah wilderness, which is huge, incredibly beautiful mountains and red rock deserts and there’s a lot of public land in southern Utah which means it belongs to the government which means it belongs to everybody basically, it’s not like private property everywhere. You can wander for miles and miles, hundreds of miles and just be alone. So we develop programs, it started with adolescents, teenagers who were having problems, largely with drugs, and I started a program called Passages to Recovery, we’re dealing with 18 year olds and over who were having drug issues. I knew and I’ve been quite experienced in working with addicts and I knew about the twelve steps, of which, bless ’em, they’re really useful and good and have helped a lot of people but probably not enough. There’s a lot of things that are left out, the brain for example and the whole body and the basis of addiction.
John Dupre: So I started trying to put together a more holistic approach to treating addiction and I knew that meditation was a serious part of it, in fact it’s in the twelve steps, step 11, it says “Through prayer and meditation, sought to increase our conscious contact with god, seeking only his will and the power to carry it out.” Awesome, but most people in twelve steps don’t know how to meditate or do interior transformative prayer, or any of that stuff. So I started looking for ways to, I try to get my beloved addicts to meditate and they’re like “No [inaudible 00:06:27].” I don’t think it was doing much, “Is it over yet?” So then I discovered these tools, brain entrainment. I think it was a conversation with Ken Wilbur and Bill Harris who started Centerpointe, and I was listening to it and I think “Wow that’s really amazing. What if that would be the tool?”
John Dupre: I was thinking about helping other people, to help my addicts recover and have a powerful transformative practice so finally i ordered it and I started using it to … so I’d have some experience before I gave it to my students and I had an incredibly powerful spiritual experience, an [inaudible] experience, like bam, right off the bat and I’m like “Wow!” I’m not gonna lie, it took about two days, that’s pretty cool and I wouldn’t say I was enlightened but I had a very big oping and it lasted for a long time, it was one of these stayed experiences. It lights up the universe but then eventually goes away but it was a very powerful way for me to start with this. I had suffered from very severe depression, off and on for years and my older brother had committed suicide in my house and he was very depressed and of course losing a loved one like that set me on my own path of peak depression and also suicidal thoughts. I wanted to kill myself but my brother had already done it and I could not do that to my children, my family, my parents, another son lost to suicide, nope, not gonna do it. But god if you wanna kill me I would appreciate it ’cause this life is just too painful to live.
John Dupre: So I had this experience using brain entrainment technology, the basic, basic technology’s pretty simple, it’s more complex but the basic simple thing, they found out back in the seventies that if you have one beat in this ear with stereo headphones, and one in this ear, say 100 and 110, that the brain didn’t know how to deal with the discrepancy and it splits the difference and you could train the brain to five hertz, the difference between splitting that difference. So then by working with that you can train the brain to whatever brain state you want. Some years before that, they’d began to study the brain’s of swamis and gurus and long term meditators, nuns and people that engage in this kind of spiritual practice, and they found out by doing their practices they actually would change their brainwave states.
John Dupre: Before that western medicine kind of poo-pooed meditation and thought it was just some kind of archaic religious mumbo-jumbo [inaudible 00:09:20]. Maybe a little self-hypnosis, whatever, but they found out these people could do this and they never knew that people could control their brainwave states, this was a revelation to western medicine. Of course when you do this, these really positive things happen; joy and creativity, and connection and there’s just a myriad of positive things that happen. So I got really excited about it and I started teaching my students how to use this technology and just promoting it with no sense of ever making any money from it, just like telling, “Hey go buy it there, blah blah blah.” Then some years later I met a gentlemen who was creating these tracks and he had heard of my interest in [inaudible] motion and he had also suffered from a lot of depression so we started talking and he gave me some of the stuff he was doing and I listened to it and I said, “Wow this is a lot better than anything that I’ve ever used before and I’ve used some really good stuff.”
John Dupre: So that kind of became the beginning of iAwake and of course I’ve continued to use the technology on a daily basis and pretty much for about 12 years now, at least 12 years but it’s not enough, you still have to exercise and you still have to read the great books and talk to intelligent people and you have to do your emotional work and your shadow work, which the technology helps a lot and to have a spiritual practice and not a dogmatic, you gotta buy into this set of beliefs, you know ABCD, the apostles creed or whatever you’re a particular version of. But actual interior experience of your own deepest self and then when you have that experience, peak experience Maslow called it, it’s a spiritual experience, non-dual, people have characterized it, where you find that you are connected to everything, you are everything and this ultimate identity is something that was never born and will never die. It’s not even time, time emerges from the big self.
John Dupre: Anyway, it’s all pretty esoteric but this is kind of stuff that begins to happen and that just kind of shifts your relationship to everything, especially to yourself, to life, what you’re doing and you also, at a level too, you become to cultivate an experience with the wisdom voice where it’s not your linear, analytical mind, which is a wonderful thing by the way, I’m not anti-intellectual at all, it’s just not the place that wisdom emerges from.
John Dupre: So I call it the soul, which is kind of where your individuality kind of meshes with divinity or with the all and it’s just a different type of understanding and that is kind of where you get your sense of why you’re here, as an individual, even though you are connected to everything and you’re part of all this but you are incarnated as a human being, what are you here to do? And it’s important to find that out because if we don’t, then as individuals we’re not happy, we haven’t found our purpose, our path. We become cynical, depressed, angry, full of despair and hopelessness.
John Dupre: So that’s what the practice does and “Why do you meditate so much?” Well I was so screwed up, a lot of people aren’t that screwed up and don’t need to do as much practice as I have but it’s important to me, essential.
Jan: Wow, John thank you. Thank you for sharing so much of your story and your deep exploration into this. I believe what you are telling about yourself is very relevant to many healthcare providers, certainly for physicians. I believe it was a conference this year, large medical conference this year that highlighted again that the profession of physicians has the highest rate of suicide compared to any other profession. So I think the experience that you’re sharing from your personal life, is probably something that is not too uncommon to a probably larger number of healthcare providers than we know, as there is quite a bit of stigmatization as a doctor you have to be healthy and fit and healthy. So you have to be strong and all the good things. While many physicians actually feel not so strong, and have suffered from depressions and suicide is a big topic and it’s one that isn’t really discussed very openly, it is one that is attached with fear, with shame.
Jan: I believe your story is very relevant to healthcare providers so your experience and the help that you got from binaural audio tracks, from brain entrainment tracks, I think is very relevant and I wonder if you would be willing to share what this actually did to you. So you knew about meditation, you were at a state of depression, you had suicidal thoughts and you knew about meditation already but then this new element came in, could you help me understand and maybe others in the community understand how this actually helped you?
John Dupre: Yeah well let me say a little bit about suicide and if you’ve never been suicidally depressed or wanting to commit suicide, it’s hard to understand, “What? Kill yourself?” And then you lose someone or somebody famous that really influenced your life or something, an artist or a writer or something and they just off themselves, and it’s like “How could they do that?” Well the answer is is that existence, the suffering can become so great and so overwhelming that the fear of non-existence is not a fear. You would much prefer if I could just turn this all off and there would be nothing but blackness and nothingness, that would be so preferable, infinitely preferable to the hell I’m in. That’s the crushing depth of pain. So yeah, so I was there and of course I felt very responsible to the people I loved, so I had connections to the outside world, otherwise I’m sure I would have said “The hell with it.” And just cashed my chips in.
John Dupre: So I kept trying, and I kept going and it would go in periods. So one of the things a depressive needs to know, this doesn’t last forever. It seems like you’re in hell and it’s gonna be eternal but this too will pass. So it’s like when you’re flying and you’re in a cloud, you go “Oh my god I’ll never see again, we’re in a cloud.” I go, “No, eventually you come out. Oh, okay, you can see again.” So you go through these periods and I would throw myself into trying to do good while I was healthy enough, start programs and work with people in the wilderness. Then I would have periods of deep depression where I couldn’t do anything, it’s not like “Can I get up and go to work?” It’s like “Can I get up and take a shower?” Incredibly painful and disabilitating.
John Dupre: So I started using this and I was trained as a therapist and I’ve studied trans-personal psychology, which is the psychology that includes spirituality as an essential part of being human so I think all medical people need to realize that, okay? What western medicine does, has done magnificently. But it’s left out things, and that’s the problem.
John Dupre: I know you’re familiar with Ken Wilbur and familiar with Ken and actually he’s a personal friend at this point in my life and I just love the man and he’s given us so much. He has this idea of four quadrons, and the upper right quadron, we’ll apply this the to human beings for the sake of this conversation, you can apply it to anything, a hamster or you name it, an organization. But anyway the upper right is the physical human body and western medicine in many instances has done magnificent things to help heal the human body. I read someplace that antibiotics, they get a lot of bad press. You know, “Antibiotics, let’s not do that.” Well they say in the west, in the first world countries if you will, that antibiotics has given each of us on average 30 more years to live that we would have had otherwise. Are you kidding me? That’s a lot.
John Dupre: We need to really respect any, any field of study that is brought us those kids of … you know I’m 62, I still have my teeth, in fact I had a massive heart attack last March, so about a month from now would be my year anniversary and if I hadn’t been near a cardio center, I wouldn’t be having this conversation. They had to go in and open a valve that completely collapsed and so I was dying and they thought I was gonna die. It was pretty bad 100 percent collapsed and then when they opened it it’s like I was just kind of flooded with this … the pain went away and it was just like “Okay.” And I looked at the doctor and I said “Thank you, you saved my life.” And he’s like “Ah, no, no.” “No you really did, thank you so much.” And when I was there I thanked them all, the team. I said “Without you guys I wouldn’t have this other chance to be alive.” So anyway, the physical body.
John Dupre: Then the upper left, and this is where the medical sciences has fallen down on the job, or maybe hasn’t included it, is the interior life. That’s your feelings, your love, your spiritual experiences, your deep atheism, your resentments, your traumas, your triumphs, your beliefs, all the stuff. Your love, all the stuff that makes up the interior of the human being. Some scientists, B.F Skinner tried to reduce everything, that it’s just a brain, it’s just stimulus and blah blah blah. Any of us who actually have spent any time in our interiors know that that’s bunk.
John Dupre: But the two things can inform each other, in other words I can look at your brain, say you’re in love with your wife or whoever you’re in love with and you’re experiencing being in love and we can hook up your brain to all these different brain scans and all this stuff and say, “Wow, you’re producing certain types of chemicals, this part of your brain’s firing up, this part da da da da.” This is the picture of what a brain in love looks like. There’s commonalities throughout the human species, maybe with chimps too, I don’t know, dogs probably.
John Dupre: But that didn’t tell you didly squat about what the interior experience of being in love is. For that you either have to be in love or you listen to Beatles songs or you listen to the sonnets of Shakespeare or Rumi or whoever to get that experience. So if you just have the one without the other, you’re incredibly less informed than you should be. So I think that if medicine would simply begin to bring the interiors in to the total health of a human being, just that would be like, “How do you do it? How do you feel? Are you happy? Do you feel you have a purpose in your life?” Instead of just “Okay, take the shot see you next week.” And check the blood pressure and do all that stuff, that’s all essential stuff, very good, but you have to deal with the other stuff and I don’t think medicine has really brought that together yet.
John Dupre: There were probably historical reasons for that, that they kind of had to get away from the religious and this and that and the superstitious or whatever it was and just focus on the objective physical and they made great progress. But at a certain point in our evolution we have to go back and which brings us, Jan, to your work. How do we bring the interior and the love and the compassion and the highest human values back into the field of healing people? It seems like an obvious thing, right? But not so much.
Jan: You’re right, I couldn’t agree more and certainly this is not what I learned during medical school, this is certainly what has been drummed out of me through medical schooling and training is that, “This is not objective. This is not scientific, this is your emotional business and kind of steer clear of all of this.” So the actual, if you like the therapeutic alliance, the patient-doctor or patient-healthcare provider connection is so important.
Jan: When I listen to your story, when you were in hospital with heart attack and they opened your coronary arteries to [inaudible] and you finally go “Ahh.” You can almost feel the flow happening again and you were so grateful and that gratitude, apparently, was not really resonated right? So you were almost alone with your gratitude for the people working for you which is also very symptomatic, it’s not very common to actually take credit for the work that we’re doing. While it would be such a nourishing moment, when you’re working for 40 hours, 80 hours, 120 hours a week, whatever it is in your specific setting, any kind of crazy number and you’re giving your best and you’re giving your heart and you’re giving everything and we’re kind of told to be totally objective and not personally involved. So if someone says thank you it’s almost like [crosstalk 00:23:53].
John Dupre: They really taught you that?
Jan: Yeah, “Thank you who?”
John Dupre: So you were taught to be objective, and were you taught the importance of an emotional connection with your patients and that should be fostered?
Jan: No, I was taught about patterns of signs and symptoms, I was taught in pattern recognition in understanding the healthy body and the sick body and I was taught when I talk to you and listen to your story, I’m going to listen through my filter of knowledge and try and get the diagnosis right, and as soon as I feel comfortable that your pattern of signs and symptoms meets my, if you like, my case definition of a certain diagnosis. Then I know what you have or what you’re missing and then I know what to do according to some other rhythm that is established by the experts in the field but it leaves me out as a person and it also leaves you out as a person.
John Dupre: It also leaves you out trusting your intuitive wisdom. Sometimes I’m sure you’re with a patient and you just know, and of course you have to go back and then check it out with all the knowledge and all the science, all the bullletpoints and see if that’s really it, but sometimes you just know, you’ll know something. I worked as a counselor and a therapist for years and sometimes you just, “Bam!” I got this image of da da da da da and said that’s my dream last night, that’s exactly it and that opens up this whole huge doorway into very powerful material that’s very healing, extremely. But you have to have both the benefits and the goodness of western medicine are so apparent, obviously or they should be. We should appreciate it and we should respect doctors, they should be persons of great respect, however, just bringing on, Jan what your life work is about is bringing the heart back and the humanity back into the healing fields could just make it so immensely more effective and something that you’d like to go to your doctor instead of dreading it, right?
Jan: As a resident, when I was a resident, when I had moments like this I would push them aside ’cause I don’t know where this is coming but this is my protocol. I can’t understand this rationally so therefore it’s not real. Now being into this for 20 years, caring for kids for 20 years and talking to those who do this even longer, the more senior people become the more they allow these moments to actually happen and it’s to the great despair of the residents because they feel like, “Oh what is the consultant or what is the attending doing again? They’re not following protocol and why are they deviating?” And are totally confused, understandably so and so was I.
John Dupre: So I mean we need to get, for example meditation would be a wonderful thing to bring into the training of young doctors. Why do you have to wait 20, 30 years down the road to learn what you should have learned from day 1? And cultivating yourself and the way they train positions in the United States is like you get thrown into these hospitals and you’re on for 24 hours, 48 hours without sleep and this is supposed to make you a better healer. I don’t want a buzzed out intern who’s taking speed to stay awake making life and death decisions about anybody I care about including myself, it’s just crazy and I don’t know why that is but it’s just a tradition or something.
Jan: John you were touching on two things I’d like to get back; one is you were saying that let’s consider what would be a kind of practice that we could introduce earlier in the training or healthcare professionals? And the other piece that you touched on was that you have moments of intuition as a counselor where you just know, you just know and it’s not protocol, it’s not something you learned, it’s just something that becomes clear as part of the interaction with your client. Maybe let’s start with this one, do you have an example, do you have a story that you could share? Is there a moment with a client that you can remember where this moment of insight was there?
John Dupre: Well yeah, I mean it’s crazy. When I was suffering through one of my periods of my depression before I discovered this kind of meditation, I had a girlfriend who was a reiki master, a person you know, with energy, subtle energy, could do powerful things and she said “You need to do this as a self help tool.” And I was like “Whatever.” And I was very depressed and I actually went to, it was in northern California and I went to this reiki center and they had freebie night and they had three people doing this on me at one time and it was just like “Oh my god.” I got such a beautiful sense of love and just something shifted in me and I thought that I’d been abandoned by god, that god wanted me dead and everything and I just felt this tremendous love and was like, “Wow, I’m not abandoned.” And it was a beautiful thing so I was kind of like … she just got me through all these initiations and I still don’t understand about all about all the stuff it’s about but occasionally I would do that and lay hands on people and really remarkable things would happen.
John Dupre: I was talking to a friend of mine, well because I’ve had a heart attack you know, there’s supplements and diet and exercise and all these things that you need to do and I was talking to her about it and she reminded me of something that happened 20 years ago or more, she had been visiting us at our house in southern Utah and her dog, her beloved dog was running around and one of the neighbors kids shot it with like a pellet gun and it pierced his pancreas and he was dying. I went out and I don’t know what possessed me, I do this occasionally, I said “Well maybe I can help.” And I just put my hands on the wound and the dog came back and they took him to vet and they went, “This is weird this dog should be dead.” So the dog was dying and it came back to life and this wound to the pancreas somehow just healed and the [inaudible] said, “This is nuts.” So she reminded me of that, I had forgotten the story and I was like, “Okay” so my intuition said “You can help this animal.” I can’t even remember thinking “You’re nuts.” Or judging myself, I just did it and remarkable things happened.
John Dupre: I’ve had a number of stories, I was at an ashram, another intuitive thing, I don’t even know what posses me besides intuition, that the woman who was the wife of a very famous Indian flutist who was there performing with Krishna Das, and Pam, my wife is kind of more into that music, she knew this guy, she had CDs of him and everything. So his wife was very sick and she’d hurt her back or something like that and so I said, “I can pray for her or put on hands, or do the stuff that I do occasionally.” And he said, “No, no, no thank you very much we have some of the best doctors from India here but I really appreciate your concern, thank you.” So I said, “Okay.” So anyway he came back the next day and said, “I told my wife about you and she ask that you would come and help her.”
John Dupre: So I went in and I just did this thing and she got better, boom and then when I was walking around the ashram for the next couple days the Indian doctors would see me and they would bow to me. I was a great healer, just that kind of thing, what if doctors had the kind of intuitive, besides all the wonderful things that western medicine has brought into the world that they could touch, and transmit, and heal, and love and who knows how that would work? I don’t know how to do it, I don’t know if I could teach people how to do it or if maybe we all have that gift or something, I’m not really sure, it’s quite a mystery to me but I could go on and tell you some other kind of crazy stories along those lines that were just intuitive in the moment and things happened.
John Dupre: I worked with drug addicts for a long time, I wrote the book Integral Recovery, which is another interesting story about western medicine, I wrote this book as it emerged out of my years of struggling with trying to help people who are addicted and I was giving a talk, I think it was in Boulder, Colorado and a young Swedish doctor came up to me, young, probably your age, and he said “You know, I’m a doctor.” I said “Well that’s great, congratulations.” And he says, “And you’re not a doctor.” I said “No, I’m not a doctor.” And he says “And I had to learn about addiction from you, and that is not right.” And I said “No, that is not right, it’s really not.” In our country, in the United States and it must be so in Sweden or he wouldn’t have said that, the doctors have been awful about one of our greatest healthcare problems for whatever reason, I don’t really understand it.
John Dupre: And not only that but they’ve been part of the problem, in other words they’ve prescribed opioids, these very, very powerful, powerful addicting substances like as if they were candy and as if they weren’t addictive like they were Asprin and gotten millions of people addicted to opioids. Finally they chase and they try to con the doctors and get prescriptions and everything and they can’t so they go to the streets and they buy Heroin ’cause it’s cheap. So what is the matter with you guys? Come on. Over and over again I’d ask the doctor, “Well why don’t you learn about addiction?” And then they’re just like, “Well we didn’t and addicts are just a pain in the ass, they’re always lying to you” and “Yeah it’s true but your a doctor and they’re really sick people” and we know now it’s a disease, it’s a disease of the brain, we know the organ, we know the defect, we know the symptoms. It qualifies as a disease in western medicine so pull your heads out and your hearts out and lets get busy healing our people. Again, there’s been that boundary there that they don’t wanna cross.
Jan: [inaudible] your stories have, so one of the common threads in your stories is a direct connection so whether it is your magic healing through laying hands or even simpler things like actually listening, actually connecting or when the woman called for you, for yourself just to really make yourself available, not really knowing what is going to happen. We are entering in a terrain of uncertainty, when you met this woman from India you didn’t really know what is going to happen, you didn’t have a protocol for how to treat her disease X so there’s a degree of innocence, there’s a degree of not knowing and the degree of making yourself available fully and that’s something that is not natural to many, it’s certainly something that’s not trained in medical school. From your experiences on either side, as a patient, as an addict, as a counselor, as somebody creating technologies to support this opening, what would it be that you would recommend young health professionals to give their attention to to trust in this not knowing? To actually make themselves available and stay in this vulnerability, rather than hiding in the façade of knowledge?
John Dupre: Yeah well that there’s so much healing in human interaction and if you’re gonna truly be a healer in a holistic, deep sense and not jus somebody who has a bunch of knowledge and can prescribe or cut on things or sew things up or do all those [inaudible 00:37:20], and how do you do that? Well it’s not by dumb luck, I mean some of us are more naturally attune that way but most of us, especially the people who are brainy enough to get through medical school and everything that precedes that, it aint easy, so I’ve heard. So that’s why when we meet a doctor and go, “Wow that’s somebody of substance, he got through medical school.” It’s like meeting a navy seal or something, this person really went through something really hard that most of us couldn’t do but realizing that if you want to truly [inaudible] be a healer, heal thyself physician.
John Dupre: So you have practices that deepen you in an intuitive sense and a human sense, in a spiritual sense, in a compassionate sense because you’re dealing with death and you’re dealing with disease and you’re dealing with suffering and we don’t go to see doctors when we’re feeling good, right? There’s something wrong and if you don’t develop the capacity to be empathetic and at the same time renew your own interior self, you get burn out, you get cynical, you become a mechanic instead of a deeply human, loving person. Occasionally physicians, and since you’re that way, actually do develop that loving compassionate, intuitive or spiritual, if you wanna call it that, aspect of themselves, man you’re practice is just full, ’cause people just want to be around you because you walk in and not only do you get a scrip you know da da da da or a guy looking at his iPad and he doesn’t have any time to look at you he’s like [inaudible] okay, go out to the pharmacy and wait around for 45 minutes and you’ll get a prescription. People respond to that.
John Dupre: I live in a little isolated community, I’m in Louisiana right now for other reasons but in southern Utah, we have a little clinic there, it’s for the whole county, and they’re really lovely people. And also we have nurse practitioners and physician’s assistant, PA’s, I don’t know if you have the equivalent in Switzerland, but often you wanna talk to them and not talk to the doctors ’cause they’re much more human. So if you get a PA or a nurse and like, “Oh good, you can write scrips you can do all this stuff.” But they haven’t gotten their humanity hammered out of them in med school or maybe they just weren’t there as long or something, but generally speaking they seem to be more in touch with that and I just love the care and the humanity that I’ve gotten at the clinic.
John Dupre: When I have to go to the doctors, in some place it’s more normal, it’s awful. I mean god bless ’em, I’m not trying to put ’em down but you have to sit out there for a long, long time and they just ignore you and it’s [inaudible 00:40:25].
Jan: And John I can tell you, I’ve been there and still everyday this is something I know, I know these mechanics coming up, so I know those moments of cynicism. I know these moments of withdrawal, of emotional closure, of hiding behind knowledge of kind of holding on to knowledge, have something to hold on in the midst of uncertainty while having to deal with real issues and very often I don’t have an answer but somehow I’m trying to hold on to something at least. So taking away signs and symptoms may actually be not so bad to get started. So I can associate to these feelings a lot. What would you, John, if you were my doc, as a healthcare provider, what would you recommended to me? If I find myself in these situations where I know, “Wow I’m out of balance,” I’m somehow in protection mode. Or I’m in arrogance mode or I’m in cynicism mode. Or I’m in complaining mode about, “Oh this patient and they … ” These things happen, we’re all human so when I find myself out of balance and out of love, what would be a way to reset?
John Dupre: Well one of the things that I write about in my book for treating addicts and I think would be good for treating doctors is, it’s called integral practice, or integrated practice. In other words there’s four basic things that you have to work on to set the foundation to be a fully actualized or realized human being.
Jan: What would they be?
John Dupre: First you have to have a physical exercise and you have to train a lifetime athlete. I have a book back in my bedroom here, written by a physician but he goes through and just shows the data on every frickin’ thing you can imagine and how exercise has this tremendous effect, positive beneficial effect so physicians should be athletes, in other words they should exude the kind of health and physicality that they would like their patients to have. I live in this isolated communities and there’s farmers and ranchers and stuff and they’ve had physical lives and everything but by the time they get to my age they have these big extended guts and they’re horrible, they look like they’re ready to die and they’re still relatively young. So you have to embrace exercise, you have to model it, take care of yourself because one of the best things for dealing with stress, you’re dealing with dying people, sick people, hurting people all day and you go to the gym or in the morning, however you do it, just work out, really important.
John Dupre: Second of all, another practice is to pursue wisdom, in other words read the great books, the great philosophers, the great teachers, talk to wise people and build your interior base of wisdom as well as knowledge in the scientific data sense. The third would be to have an interior practice where you can work through your own issues. I mean we all have issues, right? The messages you got from your parents that maybe you’re not smart enough, you were this that or the other … the messages or the stories that we make up, a lot of it’s unconscious, about ourselves and about the world, look at yourself in the mirror, confront those, get rid of them and be the author of a more positive life from looking inside.
John Dupre: Fourthly, and you know that’s dealing with the shadow stuff, a lot of these issues we don’t even know are there. And by the way, all this shadow stuff and repressed PTSD are wounds that happened and we forgot and blah blah blah, in the unconscious come out in the physical, they lead to depression, to cancer, to heart disease, they can have all kinds of somatic ramifications. So for you to be able to help your patients along those lines you have to been done the work yourself. You’re gonna have to walk the road, and it’s a continual road, you don’t get to the end [crosstalk 00:44:49]. Coming from that place where you realize that there’s not just about physical ailments or genetic or this or that and the other, there’s an interior aspect of your emotional life that affects how you present and you are in the world and your physical wellbeing as well.
John Dupre: Then to have a practice, an interior meditative prayer, however you wanna say that, practice where you shut up and go inside and still, you know your brilliant big old doctor mind and just go into the depths of yourselves where we find a place of refuge and eventually with time and practice, it also helps to be using these tools that we’ve developed, to find the deepest and the wisest, the most beautiful part of yourself. And to have that place where you can go inside and renew your connection to life, renew your connection to “Oh why did I become a doctor? ‘Cause I wanted to get really rich.” Well maybe in America, a lot of that was true. They don’t make as much money as they did when I was growing up or when I was becoming an adult but that was the idea. But if it was the motivation, which it should be, I wanna help people, I wanna heal people, that’s my mission, I’m called to do this.
John Dupre: So you have to go inside and renew that and understand that and grow with time into a wiser, better, more compassionate, humbler, maybe funnier, joyful person. Through this interior, meditative, ongoing everyday practice. So you do the things that get you set up as a channel and tool and you put that all together with all the beauty and all the great accomplishments of western medicine and then you’ve got something to show up for and then get back to our human family, and non-human family for that matter.
Jan: Wow, John an hour of fireworks. Thank you, thank you for sharing all of this from your own impressions, speaking from your heart. Sharing your personal stories, so much wisdom, so much concrete, real, implementable advice for healthcare providers. I’d love to be your messenger here and kind of spread it to the [inaudible] medicine community and hope that this medicine community will be able to read more on your website iAwake technologies and follow up and find out more about the advice that you have and the fabulous tools that you have. I’ve been really enjoying them. I’ve worked a lot with your music and it’s part of my everyday practice, it’s part of setting the tone. And indeed, sometimes like today when I had a rough day and I felt I’m kind of off the track, I listen to your music, I find time for myself to quiet and to shift and to reset and it’s been a tremendous help so thank you so much for all the work you do and for sharing this. It’s wonderful to work with you and to meet you again.
John Dupre: And Jan, the next time that we do this I wanna be in your position. I wanna ask the questions and listen to your story and hear what has brought you to this point in your life to focus on this incredible mission that you have of heart-based medicine to bring the heart and the soul back into the field of western medicine. It’s a noble, very important thing and it’s so good and I’m sure there’s doctors all over the world who have come to the same realization and they’re waiting to connect with other doctors or have somebody saying what they’ve been thinking for a long time. So I just wish you all the success and support and anything we can do at iAwake or what we’re doing, I’m here for you and would love to let people know about your work and your mission.
Jan: Thank you John, thank you so much. We’ll bring everybody together and let the heart feel emerge. Great to serve this field together with you, thank you. I say bye bye for now.