The four universal healing salves

In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions.

  • When did you stop dancing?
  • When did you stop singing?
  • When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
  • When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?

Where we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence is where we have experienced the loss of soul.

Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves.

—excerpt from Angeles Arrien, The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Healer, Teacher and Visionary

What is the state of your spiritual health?

Getting a health checkup today is often limited to physical health. In a holistic approach, we look at body, mind, emotions, and spirit. The four questions above are profound in their simplicity to assess spiritual health.

Do you need to restore the four universal healing salves in your life?

The same questions point you in the direction of healing: dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence.

Video: Angeles Arrien explains the four questions

Dr. Joel Ying, MD

Physician, Educator, Storyteller. He hosts this website for "Living the Present Moment" as a conscious journey of Body, Mind & Spirit. Holistic and integrative, his practice includes Tai Chi and Yoga, Craniosacral Therapy, Healing From the Core, Meditation. Always exploring his edges, he shares them in the blog, newsletter, courses, and online study group.

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