Jan Bowman

Entry # 174 – “Review of David Mercier’s book: A Beautiful Medicine by Laura Mueller –

Thanks to:   Laura A. Mueller, M.Ac., L.Ac.
Acupuncture & Zero Balancing©

Feel free to comment on the blog site or contact Laura, if you’d like to write to her about this review.

David G Mercier

Image of David G Mercier
Thumbnail image of David G Mercier Thumbnail image of David G Mercier
David Mercier is a seminar leader, speaker, life coach, and acupuncturist. In the 1970s he went to Sri Lanka where he practiced mindfulness meditation as a Buddhist monk for two years. But instead of finding peace of mind, he became ill and depressed. After returning to the U.S., he sought healing from acupuncture and other forms of integrative medicine, also known as holistic or complementary and alternative medicine. Since then, David has had extensive experience in management and in integrative medicine as a clinician. His passion is helping people lead a life of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.
With master’s degrees in organization development and acupuncture, David has established and led a hospital-based integrative medicine center, and has held consulting and leadership roles in healthcare organizations. Combining science and spirituality, he writes of the humanistic and…more.
A Beautiful Medicine: A Radical Look at the Essence of Health and Healing,

by David Mercier, Still Pond Press, P.O. Box 2766, Easton, MD, 21601. Copyright 2012.

David Mercier 
Still Pond Press

The tone of this award-winning book evokes the timeless silence that contains both the warm, wavering light from a crackling hearth-fire and the safe, cold ground over which stars emerge from the dark depths of space.By holding present antipodal experiences, the writing opens in us new insights, possibilities, and transformation—for our long-term health as well as for our lives here and now. “A Beautiful Medicineis the integration of all that we know of love, healing and health in a blended singularity.” (p. 272)

David Mercier is a leader, healer, coach and Transformer, not only inter-personally in treatment rooms and board rooms, but inclusively through Culture honoring the Cosmos, “the fabric of the Whole.” (p. 148) He opens a whole-hearted expansiveness by distilling his own transformational, healing experiences into inspiring stories, effective methods, and beneficial treatment approaches, which he distinguishes in three types: controlling methods, substitutive, methods, and catalytic methods, all of which have their place in a beautiful and integrative medicine. They are Heart-Essence in action in the world, balanced by deep roots in the Ground-of-Being which is “not neutral but loving,” (p. 150) and where, as spiritual teacher and author Andrew Cohen puts it, “Nothing is wrong, and nothing ever happened.”

Illuminated by his own and his patients’ healing journeys, David Mercier reclaims from the screen and stage onto these pages the “the primacy of our Heart” with the “texture, scent, and flavor of our humanness.” (p. xxvi) He proclaims the thrill of clear-seeing into Nature’s deep patterns. He recalls to us the gratification of feeling—from inside our bones—the currents of wind and trees, water and earth, moon and sun. He validates why the soul of our human narrative belongs in every visit with any doctor or health care professional. Then he shows us how to keep it there.

What feels most enlivening is his evidence and acknowledgment of our inexhaustible yearning—our longing for belonging—as the deep message from which our symptoms emerge and toward which they redirect our attention. As we grow and evolve, symptoms point us back to our Heart’s path: to our Core, the Mystery, the “aesthetic feeling experience of the Authentic Self,” (p. 259), the Evolutionary Impulse, “the creative principle of life itself.” (p. 49) He reminds us of this “already-connectedness” as “The drive toward wholeness is the task of a conscious, intelligent universe,” (p. 150) He reminds us of Brian Swimme’s “allurement” and of Martin Buber’s insight: “the task of the world, the task of creating unity, a task that’s in the design of the cosmos.” (p. 151)

I’m so grateful for how well this book contributes to our patients, while providing to us practitioners a clear, tranquil, and well-lit pool where we can deeply reflect on our work. A Beautiful Medicine consolidates the fragments we speak during many treatments into a warm, personable reflection that opens the world of “Integrative Medicine” and ignites in both patients and practitioners our collective aspirations to achieve its highest purposes. After first reading about James and Kendra—two of David’s patients whose years-long health issues disappeared within a week of their first treatments (pp. 61-62); my husband went “gluten-free” and noticed within four days his energy expand, abdomen lighten, digestion improve. His warm color, bright eyes, and lasting attention invigorate me, too!  

“Health is as much about the condition of our souls as it is about our physiology.” (p. xxvi) When we have unknowingly abandoned ourselves into “a life skewered by disaffection,” our symptoms arise as messengers calling us to “recollect” ourselves—to return to what has always been Essential, True, and Authentic. In our anamnesis—our remembrance through our symptoms—no one else can recall for us our unique relationship with our Essence or Authentic Self. No matter how intimate they have been with us, we cannot delegate our healing to anyone but ourselves: not to our parents or children, friends or lovers, teachers or colleagues, country or culture. Not to our practitioners, nor to the health care system itself.

When we discern that a particular knee pain is just that—a knee in pain, we can get help from our practitioners to relieve the intensity. To further reduce its duration and frequency, we can avoid recurrent twists or misuse, strengthen muscles and tendons, rest deeply, nourish appropriately, breath fully, or perhaps change an outgrown relationship or job. In this way we establish health, wholeness, wholesomeness—fully empowered, hale and hearty, and as David encourages us, “a little more peaceful and a little less troubled.”

Our privilege is to hold a space of listening—in ourselves, with each other, and with our patients—where we perceive a symptom as a lens in focus, sending its timely message from the Authentic Self to guide transitions in our life here and now. “If we can fully know ourselves for the first time, then the bursting of the seams of the self happens in a crescendo, at the omega point of splendor, meaning, and the heart’s full satiety.” (p. 272)

~ Laura Mueller

Laura A. Mueller, M.Ac., L.Ac.
Acupuncture & Zero Balancing©
Feel free to comment on the blog site or contact Laura, if you’d like to write to her about this review.




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About Jan Bowman

Jan Bowman’s fiction has appeared in numerous publications including, Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, The Broadkill Review, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato Eyes and others. Glimmer Train named a recent story as Honorable Mention in the November 2012 Short Story Awards for New Writers. Winner of the 2011 Roanoke Review Fiction Award, her stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best American Short Stories, a Pen/O’Henry award and a recent story was a finalist in the 2013 Phoebe Fiction Contest; another was a 2012 finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest. She is working on two collections of short stories while shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection. She has nonfiction publications in Trajectoryand Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of “Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and publishers.   Learn more at www.janbowmanwriter.com or

visit blog:  http://janbowmanwriter.blogspot.com
Contact – janbowmanwriter@gmail.com  
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