Healing Work in a Healing Biotope
An interview with Dr. Amelie Weimar, edited in 2017, published in Communities Magazine #145 (Winter 2009) – Health and Well Being.
Dr. Amelie Weimar received her M.D. degree from Freie Universität Berlin in 1991, and since 1995 she has been responsible for the medical needs of 200 people living in the community of Tamera in southern Portugal. She was interviewed earlier this year by Stephen Davis.
Stephen: Dr. Weimar, the first thing we need to know… exactly what is a “Healing Biotope”?
Amelie: By “Healing Biotope,” we mean an intentional community of people, animals and plants mutually enhancing each other’s’ life energy – a place where those energies are no longer restricted by fear or violence.
Stephen: And Tamera is such a “Healing Biotope”?
Amelie: I wouldn’t want to say we have achieved that status fully yet, but we’re consciously working on it and evolving toward it. Tamera is actually the latest community experiment in a thirty-year history of research about the creation of a true Healing Biotope.
Stephen: So what makes healing work in a Healing Biotope different from anywhere else?
Amelie: Our whole research and work is guided by the question, “What serves healing”? This includes healing on all levels – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually – and it is not only an individual question for us. We also ask: What serves the healing of a whole community? What creates healing in the relationship between the genders? Between humans and nature? And going even further on a political level, what serves the healing between cultures – for example, between Israelis and Palestinians, Germans and Jews?
We work on many levels of healing, but I would say that our main healing work has to take place here (in the head) and here (in the heart) and here (in the sexual chakra) – which means in our attitude toward life and to each other, in our patterns of thinking and believing, and in our human relations.
Stephen: But to focus more directly on the question of the healing for individuals…
Amelie: I would say there are some major factors that make a difference in Tamera. Just to be clear, our healing work is virtually all homeopathic and not allopathic. Homeopathy and other alternative methods that we use are important tools that support healing, and I definitely don’t want to skip over them – but our main interest is directed to the human story behind the disease – and these stories are always there in the background.
Stephen: What do mean by these “background stories”?
Amelie: I mean the blocked life energies from fear or violence, for example, that created an environment in the body in which a disease could manifest. Our experience has shown that illnesses are caused by inner movements or impulses that get stuck in our body because they do not find a channel to be expressed. These stuck energies then cause inflammation. So it’s not the bacteria or parasites that might be found with the inflammation that are causing the disease. This is why the question of infection is also only of secondary interest to us. Acute infection can only happen if the inner condition or disposition in the body is there. Chronic diseases also come from the chronic blockage of life energies.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon in a society like ours that many of our life energies are blocked. Basically, we have not been taught to show ourselves as we are, to show our longings, or to trust each other. As a result of our history as individuals, but also as members of humanity, we are full of inner collisions – or you could say inner conflicts – between, for example, the voice of our body and the thoughts in our head.
Stephen: Can you explain that a little more?
Amelie: For example, if a man – a business executive, let’s say – listens to a certain piece of music, he could break down into tears because it touches him so much. That is the voice of his body. But he is supposed to be a serious adult – so the thoughts come, I am strong and experienced in life – I should not cry, should not show this part of myself – others will think that I am weak, or see me as a softie.
Or let’s say that a woman sees a man and her body says that she would really like to disappear behind the next bush and have sex with him. But her thoughts ask, What would my mother think about me? What will other women think? And what will he think? Is it better that I play the shy and helpless woman with romantic ambitions that says “No” three times until he makes the first step?
All these fears and thoughts of morality cause a huge amount of unlived life in all of us. Whether we get physically sick or not is only a matter of degree.
Stephen: Can you give a specific example of this from a case you’ve had?
Amelie: Yes. I’ll use my own case… Twenty years ago, when I first visited the annual Summer Camp of this project, I completely fell in love with the people, the community life and the truthful way they were together. When I had to leave to go back to study, I got one disease after another until I had to go to the hospital. Only when I decided that I would visit the project again did the illnesses stop. I – as an aspiring doctor – noticed that my inner conflict had caused all this disease, and not the bacteria as I had been taught.
Stephen: Thank you. You said there were other main factors that are different in your healing work in Tamera. What’s the next one?
Amelie: The second one is that outside of the community, when people get sick, they go to the doctor – or even to an alternative healer – and receive treatment – but then as soon as they leave, they go back into the same environment – the same structures at home and at work, or, frankly, in their community – that produced the disease in the first place. They are forced to close up again. For real healing, we have found that we need to create a different environment, different structures, for that person to live in on a daily basis.
This is one reason that I stepped into this project nearly twenty years ago. During my medical studies and work in hospitals, I saw that we doctors are not really able to heal people. I saw many who came back again and again with the same or new symptoms. I knew that – if I really wanted to work for healing – I have to help create different life conditions for people.
Stephen: What “conditions” are you talking about?
Amelie: We have found that trust is the strongest healing force we can create. Trust means that you can show yourself the way you are, and what and whom you love – where you do not have to hide and play a role or a masquerade any more, but be who you really are. To reach our real selves we often have to go through many layers and protective shields we have created during our lives in order to survive – layers of mistrust, anger, frustration, disappointment, envy and disbelief. We might think “that” is who we are, that the truth is that we are full of mistrust, for example. But it is important to know, “that” is not me. These are sediments out of a sick civilization that lay upon my real inner being. If I reach through these layers with the help of others, with art, with Forum and so on – then I come to my real being, my real truth.
Stephen: Sorry to interrupt… what is “Forum”?
Amelie: The Forum is perhaps our most powerful and effective healing tool. It is simply a dedicated circle of people, where someone goes into the middle to show themselves. It often takes the form of a performance, as the person offers their innermost feelings, desires and thoughts for the others to see. After all, one of the greatest longings of each of us is to be truly seen for who we are by others, and accepted by them without judgment. It is also an opportunity to de-identify with our individual problems and look at ourselves as research projects trying to solve issues for the human race as a whole. While working on my own healing and my own solution, I work on the healing of many other people, because it is not only the unlived life in me but also in millions of others that waits for redemption.
Stephen: And this process builds trust among the community?
Amelie: In our experience, yes. We know that the more we get to know someone – I mean, really know someone deep down – the more we will like them and trust them. We experienced this again and again in our community over the years. I have personally witnessed that a space of trust, where someone suddenly feels able to speak out his or her current inner conflict, can immediately heal tonsillitis, cystitis, a severe inflammation of the abdomen, unbearable toothache and so on. Often it is enough that the person just speaks about the issues in order to let the self-healing powers do their work, even if the issue is not solved yet. That is why I say that trust is the universal remedy for healing.
Stephen: Again, can you give us a case history?
Amelie: One woman in the community had severe tonsillitis – she could hardly swallow or speak. In a healing circle, when asked where she had spent the night before the tonsillitis started, she answered, “It was my first night with my new lover,” and her face turned red. She obviously felt very embarrassed, and after a long time she finally admitted she was afraid he would find her too fat when he saw her naked. After she had spoken out this simple fear in the group, the tonsillitis disappeared the next day. For her it was a process of trusting that she could show herself honestly, even with all her fears. When she did that, her life energies were no longer stuck and the tonsillitis was no longer necessary.
Stephen: Thank you. So now we’ve covered a couple reasons why you believe that healing work in Tamera is different. Is there anything else?
Amelie: Yes, and perhaps the most important, and the most radical and controversial. Over the past thirty years of research that has gotten us this far as a community, we have found that there is one main issue that lies under all the rest and is therefore responsible for most of the blocked energies that cause disease. So we focus on this issue in our healing work and in our community life.
Stephen: And that issue is…
Amelie: The issue of love and sexuality. There is perhaps no more blocked life energy in our society than that of love and sexuality. It’s historically the most injured area of life, which is why it has to be in the center of our healing work. Humanity suffers from a collective love sickness. The wounds human beings have inflicted on each other in this area are very deep. We have all been born into this situation and cannot heal it privately.
This is probably one of the core reasons that this project was created over thirty years ago. Our founder, Dieter Duhm, has often said that there can never be peace on Earth as long as there is war between man and woman.
Stephen: How do you work on this?
Amelie: What’s important first is to understand the scope and historical dimension of this issue in order to know that my personal questions and problems in this area are also not private. We study history, including old cultures in which love and sexuality were still positively integrated in community life. On the practical level, we use the Forum – we have special healing and art courses – art is a very important medium in Tamera – and we are about to open a school for the healing in love. There, spiritual training will be an important element. Without spiritual and theoretical training, the intensity of this issue would overwhelm us as soon as we approached the associated trauma. We realize that the energy of sexuality alone requires study and training to deal with it.
Stephen: Can you give us another real-life example?
Amelie: Some years ago I had severe intestinal pain on the right side for a few days without any relief and thought that I had appendicitis and needed an operation. But before going to the hospital I wanted to try every other possibility, so I crawled to the Forum. I revealed that I was in love with two men and had no idea how I could fully love both without losing one of them. Later, in a smaller healing circle, Dieter Duhm guided me into a meditation with the picture of sinking deeper and deeper into water. When I was 80 meters down, I had become so calm that I could see that there was not any real conflict at all, and how I could fully live my love with both men. The next day my “appendicitis” was gone.
Stephen: Do you heal all diseases this way?
Amelie: I have witnessed again and again how suddenly healing can happen, and often to my surprise. Other times, a disease did not respond for a while in spite of all our ideas, our Forums and healing work. But this is also part of our ongoing research. I am convinced that sometimes a disease has to stay longer in order to enable our soul and our mind to really complete its healing process and not to return too quickly to old patterns of living and working as soon as we have the physical power again. In this sense diseases are often big gifts for us, an important trigger point in our development, if we understand and accept them as this.
In fact, sometimes in our clinic I do not give any remedies to the client but ask him to go and pray and ask for his next steps – in love, in sexuality, in the community, in his profession – depending on the topic that we can see behind the disease.
Stephen: It’s not always easy, when we’re in pain, to see our suffering as a “gift”…
Amelie: You’re right. Even if we already know that disease is caused by inner collisions or conflicts that want to be solved, we still tend to think, “Oh, I did something wrong. Now I am punished with a disease for this mistake.” Whether we are religious or not, we are still so influenced by a thinking system of sin and punishment that this thought is often quicker than all our new knowledge. But the disease is there to bring us to healing, to show us the way toward a solution. The symptoms that our body produces can often be an attempt by our body to help us solve the conflict. We call the symptoms “disease” – which we consider as something bad – but actually these are healing impulses that our body sends to help us grow. Since normal allopathic medicine mostly tries to suppress all symptoms as soon as possible, most people never come to the experience that their disease was actually a healing process that could have served their growth.
Stephen Davis is an author and Physician’s Assistant trained in Chiropractic.