year marks the 20th anniversary of the departure of my dear teacher and
guide Carlos Castaneda. I met him in the mid-nineties as a young doctor
looking for a deeper meaning in my path as a healer to people.
My life brought me to him without looking for it.
long before, as a medical resident in Bariloche, Argentina, I had
wanted to go in all the way into the medical knowledge. I come from a
family of doctors and scientists, where hard work and dedication to the
ethics of truth was a strong value.
to high grades, luck and daring, I managed to get into a unique and
prestigious program where I was left as the front person in charge of
the ER (Emergency Room) every four nights. It was an exciting and also
daunting all-in immersion into hospital life that got me dealing with
all kinds of medical issues and emergencies. I practically lived in the
clinic, and assisted in trauma, strokes, heart attacks or child births.
had the experience of dealing with life and death decisions, of seeing
the mystery of the body healing miraculously and the humbling presence
of death in my hands. Life was fast, and surprising. Yet, I missed the
touch of a larger, more encompassing view.
many occasions, the tools I had been given as a Western MD couldn’t
help me; It could only take me so far and a more holistic view became a
One such day, during my night shift, a patient died on my watch.
was staying overnight after a minor surgery and he developed an acute
pulmonary edema that led to him to going into arrest. I moved him into
the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and tried to resuscitate him, but I
couldn’t. It later turned out that a key heart medication the patient
needed had not been logged into his chart and was never given to him. He
shouldn’t have died. The event caused me to deeply re-evaluate the
meaning of my profession and life in general. Medical school did not
give me the container for these situations. I even considered to quit
Argentina back to USA, my country of birth. Then, there, serendipity and
fate made me meet Carlos Castaneda and everything changed in my life.
I first met him, he invited me to lunch, at a local Cuban restaurant
called The Versailles which he frequented. I remember that, when he
invited me, he had said he wanted to know more about me, but I barely
opened my mouth during lunch. He was very animated the whole time, and
made me laugh so hard with his storytelling that my belly muscles ached
badly. He had such a mesmerizing and charming presence and it absorbed
end, as we were walking towards the car in the parking lot, he came
close and almost in a whisper said that the reason we were there that
day was because I could be a bridge between the shamanism he had learnt
from his teacher, don Juan Matus, and the world of health and medicine.
the time, I had no idea what this meant, but his message of a higher
intelligence and energy at play in everyday life came to fill exactly
the void I had found in my regular medical life. I was hooked.
A direct apprenticeship that meant being open to new ideas.
time, Carlos Castaneda became a mentor and guide. He said I could not
run away from my destiny and encouraged me to return to medicine. But he
gave me the larger container, he opened up what was to me a new
paradigm at the time, one which today, decades later, has emerged in
science and in our collective understanding: that there is no such
distinction between the mind and the body;
that we are a network of energy and information crisscrossing in all
directions between the mind and the body. Peptides and other
biochemicals carry the messages of our thoughts and our emotions
everywhere, perception affects behavior and behavior changes the very
physicality of our brain and body, memories from our life experiences
are stored in the organs and in our fascia and,
than a defined, isolated individual, we are more like a cooperative of
many voices including a majority of foreign DNA from a microbiome which
gives us fundamental aspects of our identity such as our very
personality traits, as a pioneering study from the University of
California, Los Angeles (UCLA) recently showed.
in us is changing and evolving, not isolated, but in deep resonance
with our environment, such as the quality of the electro-magnetic field
emitted by our hearts which can cause specific changes in the brains of
the people around us.
now know that it is a fact from research we can enter deep meditation
states through practice and then these states can cause definitive
changes in all our major regulatory mechanisms such as telomere length
(a key biomarker for cell lifespan), inflammation cascades and cell
repair. These and other behaviors can change the very expression of our
genome through the epigenetic landscape that we now recognize
as a highly fluid pluripotential environment in which our body lives.
my teacher Carlos Castaneda introduced me to was this same viewpoint.
It used different language but its syntax carried the same implications
and conclusions. It enlarged the scope of possibilities of my human
experience, and that of my patients. Modern science and ancient
shamanistic principles and practices came together into a similar unit
of life: Our internal body-mind world.
What it means ‘I can talk to my internal organs.’
One practice that Carlos Castaneda taught me was “talking to my organs.” The idea was simple: just as there is the overall me,
there are also many smaller individual aspects of that me, represented
in my tissues and organs themselves. In the dynamic world of information
within my body, there is a distinct consciousness in each of my organs.
Our organs store memories and also contain information. And they can talk to us. The big me can go in and establish a dialogue with the different organs and tissues.
over twenty years of teaching workshops and clinical practice, I have
found this to be very accurate and of highly practical value to
understand ourselves and what our bodies are experiencing.
times, I would see Castaneda ‘talking to his liver’, for example. He
would talk to it in a very kind way, thanking it for all the work it
took on. He would caress his ribs right where the liver is, and also
pause and take a moment to ‘listen’ to it.
than 500 vital functions have been identified in each liver cell, 24/7.
It is the organ that organizes and distributes our internal nutrients
and resources. In our busy modern lives, it tends to get overburdened.
It stores ‘excess’ material, not only physiologically but also in our
=Our stressors are ‘stored’ in the liver.
our liver gets overwhelmed, it also gets tight, and interferes with
other neighbor organs, such as our stomach and intestines, or our sense
of calm in our heart.
organs can tell us a lot of things. For instance, a patient who came to
treatment for severe constipation, had received standard help from
doctors such as increasing fiber and exercise, stool softeners and even
antidepressants, with weak results. During the consult, using guided
imagery, we established a conversation ‘between his higher self and his
colon’, and his colon told him that the reason it was holding its movement was because he was feeling stuck at work. He had a long term dispute with his business partner that wasn’t being resolved.
The colon was storing that emotional and perceptual component of his inner life.
realized then that he had been very rigid in his position about the
dispute and needed to move on. The day after he signed the dissolution
papers he had a bowel movement and within a month he had his regular
fascinating example of how our organs store information and life
experiences, even highly specific and detailed stuff, was reported by
Paul Pearsall, Ph.D., in his book The Heart’s Code. I heard about this
account by Ron Hulnik, Ph.D., one of the founders of the prestigious
program in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica, where
I am so excited to be currently taking a Certification. Pearsall,
a clinical neuropsychologist in the Transplant Donor Department at the
University of Arizona, describes how organ recipients take in memories
and personality traits from the donor. He tells the case of a girl who
had received a heart transplant from another girl who had been murdered.
She soon began to have dreams and flashbacks of being murdered herself
that eventually became so vivid and detailed that her mother reported it
and it led the police to identify the actual murderer and prove the
case in court. The implication of such an unequivocal event makes it
undeniable that the organs themselves, independently, are capable of
storing a high level of specificity of information.
How do I talk to my organs?
There are two steps and one rule to do this.
first step is doing something to quiet the mind chatter and be present.
This can be one minute focusing on our breathing, or even just one
The second step is to turn our attention to a particular organ with an attitude of inquiry and establish a dialogue.
rule is that when we ask a question, we have to be direct, as if we
were talking to someone right in front of us, and then pause and wait
for the very first thing that comes to mind, without preconditions. It
might be a thought, an image or a memory. It might be the feeling of
something that could become clear at a later time.
rule means that it is spontaneous information that formulates in our
Consciousness in the pause immediately after we address the question to
there doesn’t need to even be a question; all that seems to be needed
is to turn our attention to the organ with the intention to see it and listen to it.
the next moment, close your eyes and let your attention shift from the
outer world to the inner world. You can simply let your body release any
tension that it doesn’t need, right now.
one sweep from head down to toes, just scan across your whole body with
your attention and let each muscle relax, let each joint soften,
letting all the nerves just open, the circulation and the skin open. And
let your body do this at its own pace.
Now, open your inner eyes
and go with your attention to the organ you want to talk to, listen to,
or just hold space for. Allow yourself to use your full imagination and
live it inside of you.
you been having any issues with the health of this organ? Connect to
these symptoms, and specifically to the emotions that these symptoms
arise in you. Stay attuned to these emotions for a moment. Don’t judge
them or try to change them, just be with them.
begin to talk to the organ, as if it was a person you are talking to. A
person that is also you, or an aspect of you. Hold an attitude of
appreciation, companionship and support. This part of you has been
suffering and you want to be there for it. Lovingly express to the organ
your support at this time. Talk to the organ as if it was your own
5-year old kid.
Ask simple, direct questions such as:
“Why are you in pain?”
“How does this relate to my life right now?”
“How can I help for you to feel better?”
“Is there anything I can do for you to stop this symptom?”
don’t prejudge or discard whatever arises when you ask. Spend a moment
or as long as you feel is right in this dialogue, or simply sit in the
presence of the organ, holding your Consciousness there.
you are ready, say thank you to your organ for being available to you.
Ask permission to further dialogue in the future. Come out at your own
pace and immediately take count of the experience and of any information
that came from it.
I highly recommended to write down this information.