Lesson Plans

Years ago I had a practice in San Rafael, California. One day an 11-year-old boy came to my office with his father. He presented with a very aggressive form of lung cancer which shortens the lifespan.

Perusing my office he noticed a white Kachina doll perched on my bookcase. “Ah,” said the boy, “you have a white healing Kachina, but I have a black healing Kachina which is even more powerful.” At that moment it became obvious to me that this boy had some knowledge and awareness of Native American spirituality. Realizing the treatment and medicine I could offer him would probably not cure or help his debilitating condition, I turned my attention to his inner awareness of earthbound healing.

I contacted a close friend, “Sacheen Littlefeather” a White Mountain Apache and actress in Hollywood. She had received the Academy award in the name of the Native American Nations. Sacheen had many contacts with medicine healers at several reservations. I told her the health status of my patient and that he was searching for help for his condition. She took down the information and said she would contact medicine people at the reservations and that she would get back to me in three days. Three days later, Sacheen gave me the names, telephone numbers, and addresses of ten healers. Using this information, his father planned a trip to reservations in South Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.

I had not heard from them in three months when the boy’s father suddenly appeared in my office. I asked him how his son was doing. He said, “He completed his visits. His healing cycle was complete and he died.” I felt very surprised and saddened by the death of his son. He said, “Healing comes in many forms and when he completed his healing journey with the Native Americans, he left his body. The circle was complete and there was nothing more to do.”

Age is irrelevant when we completed our lesson plan, regardless of being age 11 or 91. We can move on to a new journey. The question is always, have we learned the lesson plan? In this case I believe the lessons were learned.