June 21, 2018
Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.
After I published the podcast Should Christians Do Yoga? How To Combine Energy Medicine & Religion, Flat Earth Christianity, Transcendental Meditation, Anti-Aging & More With Pastor Toby Sumpter, one of my Jewish friends reached out to me and said:
“The Christians and Yoga podcast was interesting, if you are interested in the Jewish take on that – I have summarized it below as succinctly as possible:
1. Jews believe in 5 levels of the soul. Nefesh is the lowest level and is as the Bible says resides in the blood – which while meridians don't travel exactly along with the blood, this is clearly described as an energy in the body and is consistent with chi. The second level is Ruach and means wind – there are different aspects of chi that are consistent with both of these descriptions. Above this level is when you talk about breath of life stuff in the interview, be aware that the 3rd level is called Neshama which means breath and is higher in the cause and effect ladder extending to the Divine. We believe the highest level actually resides in God.
2. Many Jews including myself believe that many of the traditions of the east originated with Abraham, it says in Genesis that he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them to the east. Most mystics believe those became the teachings of the east. Those teachings were occult in nature and some of course have degenerated into idolatry.
3. The prophets were adept meditators with remarkable meditative techniques. What many don't know is that there were schools of the prophets, most didn't just wake up and start prophesying, they studied in academy's where complex techniques using music, chanting, and certain postures were employed.
4. Hatha yoga as is commonly known is so far removed from its origins that it has essentially become sanitized in its reference to religion and so for Jews it would be ok. Chanting one needs to be careful of and the words meaning should be investigated carefully. “Om” is problematic if it is chanted in its traditional form in Hinduism which would violate the 2nd commandment. IMHO, kundalini separated from its own spiritual teachings without a qualified teacher of the tradition is dangerous and with them while deep and holding many truths are not consistent with the Bible.
5. There is debate in Jewish circles about Reiki since symbols are used but most who know the origin of those symbols say there is nothing that would contradict the Bible.
6. Masters of qi, for example, can help heal people of various things, this isn't spiritual though, most see it as a valid branch of medicine and so it's not uncommon for TCM doctors to have nice practices in orthodox Jewish communities.
7. All the above being said – each treatment, technique, workout, and meal should be linked to God if we are to be biblical minded people. It is why Jew's say a blessing before everything – to make sure we do so with the proper intention.
8. One needs to be conscious of Matthew's saying about not serving 2 masters. Most don't realize that it echoes the 7th commandment as we believe that along with the common belief of what adultery is, it also means dilution, weakening, or mixing of any pure relationship. As my teacher Gerald Epstein, MD reminds me often health, healing, and holiness come from the same root. If it is all about tangible physical healing one can usually make the distinction fairly easily but all of these paths can, if you wish, lead to more ethereal and spiritual experiences, it is at these levels, one needs to honor the spiritual path you are on, be discerning, and not to have another Master.”
He then went on to introduce me to Dr. Gerald Epstein, his teacher and said that he had used Dr. Epstein's teachings and techniques in his medical practice, where he has seen it shrink metastatic tumors that should have killed his patients years ago. He then proceeded to connect me with Dr. Epstein, who is the guest on today's podcast.
Gerald Epstein, M.D., has been a pioneer in the use of mental imagery for treating physical and emotional problems. With more than 40 years of training in the mind, he is a leading proponent of the Western spiritual tradition and its application to healing and therapeutics. Dr. Epstein maintains a private practice in New York City and is a clinical professor of psychiatry at New York's Mt. Sinai Medical Center. He has lectured and taught worldwide. He founded and directs the American Institute for Mental Imagery (AIMI). As an NYS Regents Chartered School, AIMI offers courses to the general public in healing and the western spiritual path as well as certificate programs for licensed mental health professionals.
He is a recipient of a National Institutes of Health Grant in Alternative Medicine to research the effects of mental imagery in the treatment of bronchial asthma. He has authored several mental imagery classic books and CDs including: Healing Visualizations: Creating Health Through Imagery, Healing Into Immortality, The Phoenix Process, Kabbalah For Inner Peace and The Natural Laws of Self-Healing. In 2012, he was awarded “Imagery Person of the Year” by Imagery International. Most recently, he completed the “Encyclopedia of Mental Imagery: Colette Aboulker-Muscat's 2100 Visualization Exercises for Personal Development, Healing and Self-Knowledge”
Dr. Gerald Epstein's focus is using the power of imagination for healing and he has studied this in Christian and Jewish and even Sufi perspectives. His main teacher was a remarkable woman who lived in Jerusalem – she had people come from all over the world to see her and she would lead them through mental imagery exercises that would heal them (there are some amazing stories there we delve into in today's podcast). He left traditional psychiatry to study with this woman and learn her path, and he also has written some interesting things about how Freudian psychoanalysis is an anti-biblical approach. In Judaism, death is a perversion. One of his main focuses is on immortality – and his upcoming book is entitled We Are Not Meant to Die.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-The fascinating story of the teacher Dr. Epstein met in Jerusalem and the fringe mental imagery exercises he learned from her…9:15
-How some people sleep less than an hour a night, eat barely anything at all, and still function just fine…32:00
-How Dr. Epstein practically uses the power of imagination for healing…45:15
-Why Dr. Epstein believes every physical malady is related to a social or a spiritual disturbance…53:00
-How to detox the liver through visualization…59:30
-What Dr. Epstein means when he says “We Are Not Meant To Die” and his current studies on immortality…1:08:00
-And much more…
Resources from this episode:
–Dr. Gerald Epstein's books on Amazon
–The Healing Field: Exploring Energy & Consciousness
–Miracle Noodles by Dr. Jonathan Carp
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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Dr. Epstein or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!
20 thoughts on “How To Use Your Mind To Heal Your Body, Imagination For Healing, Defying Death, Embracing Immortality & Much More With Dr. Gerald Epstein.”
It might be a great podcast, but I got mainly nothing out of it. Dr. Epstein might be brilliant but is hard to follow and as said above… loads of words to say nothing. Maybe I’m just not enlighten enough to understand…😋
Sorry Ben, I listen to your podcast across the ocean in Romania, Europe and like most of them, but this one was a loooong and tangled one that I would not listen to again.
I’m reading comments that Dr. Epstein is “too far out there”. I would say far out, but not too far out; he’s willing to look at what we are usually not willing or able to do. Thank God for this. The conventional way of seeing things has led to a terrible state of affairs. I am familiar with Dr. Epstein’s work and I consider it one of the blessings in my life. I don’t know why someone thought he came off as a “charlatan”. He’s one of the pillars of mental imagery in clinical practice but is often not cited ( This is an area in which I am involved in academic research). Perhaps this is why he’s mentioning his books? I don’t know, but his reputation as upstanding and knowledgeable is stellar.
Other than my mother-in-law, I have never heard someone say so little with so many words. He never took a breath. It was a waste of time to listen to the podcast, as I learned nothing concrete, nothing I could apply. Honestly, while I know the mind can heal the body, this episode just sounded like complete B.S. Sorry, Ben.
Honestly, this was one of the worst podcasts I’ve ever listened to. Ben, you just let Dr Epstein ramble. I do believe there is some meat on the bone here and I just got his audiobook on The Phoenix Process, so it’s not that I’m discounting the power of mental imagery to heal. I want to learn more and I believe Dr Epstein knows his stuff. But man, this guy excels at using 500 words when 30 would suffice. And you did nothing to keep him focused and on track. It would’ve been great to hear concise, focused stories on people in a variety of situations using these tools to deal with different issues. He gave two and they were so convoluted and took SO long to describe that they were difficult to follow.
The guy’s like 100 years old. Chill out, I think he did pretty good.
Ben, you seemed doubtful that broken bones could be healed with mental imagery/visualization. Maybe you don’t know Dr. Joe Dispenza’s story?
As there was no control or even any evidence of Dispenza’s story then that’s what it remains – just a story. And that’s just not science.
The perplexity signals that the self is in the way of understanding and it’s rational tools are about to lose the game. At that point we either fall back defensively into disbelief, or turn the axis and it all drops away…for a minute or longer depending on what our work is here.
Great podcast, as usual!
The perplexity is where the self gets in the way. Just turn the axis.
LOVED the podcast. We are all going to find out more and more about the power of our minds and connecting with the unified field as time goes on. A speedy runner connected years ago.
“No longer was I conscious of my movement, I discovered a new unity with nature. I had found a new source of power and beauty a source I never dreamt existed”
I too know of several yogis that have done extraordinary things. When the “self” is taken out of the equation and we connect with the “field” anything is possible.
Dan, as you help people with PTSD, you might want to reach out to Dr. Epstein directly as he has done work in this area with mental imagery.
This is the first time that I can recall where someone was so far on the fringe, that they made Ben Greenfield seem mainstream.
I agree!!! Long time listener of Ben. Love him but I have never heard him this perplexed. When Ben takes one of his “deep dives” in this stuff he is going to be blown away. Can’t wait to see the upcoming changes and new guests that will appear from this rabbit hole in the quantum unified field
This Podcast even seemed a little “woo” for you Ben. Once the talk of “Gurus” started, it kind of went into the weeds of being some type of charlatan that was pedaling snake oil. I totally believe that one can heal themselves with the power of positive thinking and meditation, just as you mentioned with Wim Hof, but when he started talking about not sleeping for years and living off of “one communion wafer a day”, it just got too fantastic. He kind of didn’t say anything either, and was just trying to sell his books. Most of your guests are very forthcoming with their info, he was not, just wanted to tell an almost “rehearsed” story. Good luck with KION and all your endeavors. Love the Podcast! Great interview with Tyler Lebaron a couple of months back, hydrogen rich water is no joke.
“I like turtles…I really do.”
Correction – No ordinary communion wafer. The whole of Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity. That’s right Brock, it’s a “catholic thing”.
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