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  • New from Bernie Siegel – Love, Animals & Miracles

    Introducing Bernie Siegel's new title, Love, Animals & Miracles: Inspiring True Stories Celebrating the Healing Bond . The stories in this new book offer funny and heart-touching, true-life experiences that convey loving connections, amazing rescues, and healing with (and by) animals — both wild and domestic. Learn more     Available now in bookstores everywhere. Order your copy online today at:  Wisdom of the Ages, Barnes & NobleAmazon or New World Library.
  • Amelia’s Ark Angel Society

    Please support my friend Amelia Kinkade with her new charity, ARK ANGEL, which enables her to go into schools in rural Africa and educate children about wildlife conservation so that they don’t grow up to be poachers.

    Amelia Kinkade has written a book called Whispers from the Wild: Listening to Voices from the Animal Kingdom. In this book, she takes us all over the world, revealing the inner thoughts and feelings of a huge variety of animals, including dangerous ones. She shares the advice she has gleaned from working with such a diverse group of animals — words about tenderness, reconnection with nature, life after death, and the possibilities of magical awakenings inside the brains of an ever-evolving human race. Learn More

  • Ask Bernie a Question

    Have a question you would like to ask Bernie? Use the message box below, and be sure to include your e-mail address. Bernie will answer questions each Monday on his blog (see below). Thank you for sharing your question!

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  • Today’s Prescription for the Soul – Prescription #250 – Song of Life

    I hope that my “365 Prescriptions for the Soul,” will be a welcome and healing addition to your day. The prescriptions I ask you to fill are designed for your total well-being. They come from hard-earned wisdom and experience with the difficulties of life. They are dispensed “as written” with love. At the end of each prescription is my “Soulution” to help you develop healthy self-love, self-esteem, and self-worth. Please take the prescription I have written for you here and fill it right away.

    You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note.

    ~ Doug Floyd

    The world didn’t begin with a big bang,
    But with a silence which was replaced by the symphony of life.
    Each of us had the right to choose the instrument
    By which we create our music
    And serve to maintain the harmony.
    We may all play different instruments
    And make different sounds,
    Some of which hurt our ears,
    But when we are all playing the same tune,
    In spite of our differences,
    We are in harmony.
    And, that tune is the song of songs
    called Life.

    Soulution of the Day

    Join the universal orchestra: toot your horn,
    sing your heart out, bang your drum, and harmonize.

    - Bernie

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  • Love and Laughter: Our Best Defense Against Violence and the Craziness of Human Existence

    Dear Everybody,

    Think of the recent headlines we all have read. The gay college student who committed suicide when his so called friends and dormitory mates videotaped his sexual encounter and publicized it and how we blow up and kill other human beings. Use people as slaves. Carry out mass slaughter, inquisitions and holocausts because of racial, religious, sexual and nationality differences. When are we going to define ourselves as the human race, the family of man, and see that as long as we define ourselves as different from one another we create separation, problems and conflict.

    Animals do not define themselves by their color, shape, eating habits or size. They instinctively care for each other when a mother of any species dies and leaves her abandoned offspring; while we murder children because they are not of the correct classification of human beings. Think of how many Jewish children were saved during the holocaust by caring human beings who were of other religions and understood we are all one family. I remember caring for a man at Bellevue Hospital who had a deep cleft in his skull. He told me, as a child, he had been run down by Cossacks on horseback who struck his skull with their swords trying to kill him because of his religion. In a past life I killed people and their animals with a sword too and know it is a big part of why I have been rescuing animals and saving lives with a knife as a surgeon. Right now in our home we have six rescued creatures. I have learned the importance of having faith in the right lord. One whose words and requests you can rely on and can trust will be for the greater good.

    What we all need to do is find the right lord so that when we follow our lord’s instructions we are enhancing life on this planet we all call home and not destroying other members of the family of man. There is a story by Dostoyevsky called The Grand Inquisitor. In it the Inquisitor enters a Christ like figure’s prison cell and tells him about his coming crucifixion and being burned at the stake. The prisoner walks over to him and “Kisses him gently on his aged lips” at which point the Inquisitor tells the guards to release him and tell him to come no more. The power of love overcomes the love of power.

    Now there is a Mel Brooks version too in his 2000 Year Old Man CD. When the Inquisitor tells him what they are going to do to him Mel Brooks’ character suggests a few more forms of torture like shoving a hot poker up his ass and more. The Inquisitor says to the guards, “He’s meshugah. Let him go. We don’t want him as a Christian.” Love and laughter are the two best weapons we have available to us if we are to end the violence and craziness of human existence.

    As many of you know our home has been a rescue shelter for many creatures especially when our kids were younger and home to help me care for them. If you want to see a more peaceful world then show your kids that every life is meaningful and to have a reverence for life as Albert Schweitzer taught. As I have said in previous posts, people who abuse animals are far more likely to become criminals than those who shelter and protect them. Our local paper reported about tigers being displayed as part of a town show and kept in small cages which some of the parents attending felt was a poor thing to do and have as part of the show. Their children will get the message about the value of life because of the example their parents are showing them.

    Now let me see if I can get you thinking and smiling. Finish or answer the following: What did the agnostic, dyslexic, insomniac say when he couldn’t sleep? Women who think they are equal to men…………. A psychotic believes 2+2=5 a neurotic knows………

    Bernie Siegel, MD

    Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.
    ~ Henry Ford

    You see things and say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why Not?’
    ~ George Bernard Shaw

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
    ~ Coach Darrel Royal

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    The Bricks of Love

    Dear Everybody,

    What benefits do love and amnesia share? Think about the comment that love is blind and what it means. What is love blind too? If you look at the Biblical description of love you will notice that love does not see faults. It is blind to the imperfections of others. I have learned from a concussion and amnesia that if you are not capable of unconditional love amnesia is very beneficial. When I experienced amnesia I got along exceptionally well with my wife and our five kids. I had nothing to get upset about because I couldn’t remember what happened yesterday. When my memory came back I was in big trouble until I saw a therapist who handed me Corinthians 1:13 and said if I did what it said it would save me a lot of therapy time and expense, as well as, help me to create a happy family. She was very right. So spread love blindness wherever you can; be a carrier.

    Another thought I had about relationships was that they are all about love and laughter. When we build our relationship with the bricks of love and use humor as the cement to hold them together our relationship will survive. The following are the words of Eknath Easwaren:

    “Jealousy comes into a relationship when we try to possess someone for ourselves. It is a very difficult secret to discover: that when we do not want to possess another person selfishly, when we do not make demand after demand, the relationship will grow and last. And it is something we have to learn the hard, hard way. This is the secret of all relationships, not only between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, but between friend and friend, parents and children. Instead of trying to exact and demand, just give, and give more, and give still more. This is the way to earn love and respect.”

    Some of you may have seen the following poem before. It was my response to being hurt when, after my wife came home from shopping, I brought in all the groceries while she ran to the bathroom. When she returned to the kitchen all she said was, “You don’t put tomatoes in the refrigerator.” Not one word of thanks or gratitude. So I wrote the following poem in response.

    Tomatoes don’t belong in the refrigerator
    I did it again
    My wife may never forgive me
    Our marriage is on the rocks
    I snore, put tomatoes in the fridge
    Walk and eat too fast
    The divorce lawyer doesn’t know how to help us
    Reach a valid settlement for my cruelty
    He suggests we try to work it out
    Give love a chance
    And don’t put tomatoes in the fridge
    I read his settlement to my wife
    She laughs
    I love her when she laughs
    And forget the difficult times
    We fire the lawyer

    The following is a note I gave my wife, over a decade ago, for a past anniversary. I discovered it the other day in my computer and read it to her again. How you would respond to it if your loved one read it to you?

    “There is no card and truly there are no words that can ever express my love for you adequately. I feel it in my body and soul and wish I could have you feel what is inside me. I hope you will continue to forgive me, as you always do, for my weaknesses and faults. Your touch and kiss are the greatest gift I have ever known. Throughout my life I could always count on your love. You were always there to come home to and I bless you and thank you for that gift. It is the greatest gift anyone could ever hope for and receive. I shall continue to work to provide you with a husband who is deserving of your love. I look forward to our years together and sharing my life with you. To see the blossoms, walk the beaches, shop, care for the pets, argue, make love and live. Bless you. I find it hard to stop thanking you because words are inadequate to express my desire to tell you what you mean to me. You are my anniversary present.”

    When she heard the sentence ‘I shall continue to work to provide you with a husband who is deserving of your love,’ Her reaction was: “So, you are still looking for another husband for me.” We both had a very good laugh.

    I think the following poem of mine says it all.

    As we ride our bicycles over the road
    She points and says, “Bittersweet,”
    “What, I can’t hear you?”
    She points again
    I look and see the beauty of Bittersweet
    I feel the peace its beauty brings
    Bittersweet, I am struck by the taste of her words
    They do not make sense
    But they explain our life together
    And point out the road to peace
    Bitter, lights left on, counter covered with things not put away,
    Laundry not folded, tired, forgetful and more
    Sweet, her love, smile, laughter, touch, caring, beauty
    Bittersweet, but I hardly taste the bitter
    She is so sweet
    Life is Bittersweet
    Thank God for you Honey
    I hope you flavor my life forever

    So don’t try to be normal. Being normal, as Jung said, is only desired by those who feel inadequate.

    Now finish the following: The remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served us……… I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating and in fourteen days…….. Marriage is a wonderful institution…….

    Everyone needs recognition for their accomplishments, but few people make the need known quite as clearly as the little boy who said to his father, “Let’s play darts. I’ll throw and you say ‘Wonderful!’  ”
    ~Author Unknown

    Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.”
    ~Kahlil Gibran

    Bernie Siegel, MD

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    Introducing Yourself to God

    How would you introduce yourself to God? As a member of the Board of Directors of Heaven I have always found the admission line in Heaven to be an interesting process to observe. When people are asked how they want to be introduced to God and their answers relate to their profession, role, religion, personal information or the word me God says, “Come back when you know who you are.” Hopefully this poem I wrote will help to get the idea across.


    The other day I introduced my right hand to my body
    I thought they ought to know each other better
    People said, “That’s crazy. They already know each other.
    They’re all part of the same thing
    Come from the same thing
    Made of the same thing
    They don’t need an introduction.”
    I was thinking when I get to heaven and they ask me if I want to be introduced to God
    I’ll say, “That’s crazy. We already know each other.
    We’re all part of the same thing
    Come from the same thing
    Made of the same thing.
    We don’t need an introduction.
    We already know each other.
    Just tell Him his right hand is here.”

    So, when it is time for your introduction to God answer, “It’s you” or “It’s your child.” Then there is no separation from the divine which the word me and the other answers create. The best answer I ever heard was from a high school student who said, “Tell God his replacement is here.” When God laughs our lives benefit too. As long as we are on this subject let’s look at our relationships with people and get into them and marriage, which is a most significant one, too.

    Joseph Campbell is one of my never ending teachers and his description of marriage was that it was an ordeal. When my wife told a group of women that being married to me was a struggle she was saying the same thing. In other words a relationship is work and not about self interest but about creating a relationship, or third entity. So 1+1=3 as the two individuals create the third entity. I believe this is true for me as a doctor with my patient and for all of us who are interacting with other people for whatever reason. I have always said that if you want to have a successful relationship then each person involved should take 60% responsibility for the relationship. Then the extra effort makes a difference and the relationship survives.

    When we are busy blaming others involved in the relationship nothing works out. Remember blaming someone versus giving them feedback, or criticism, are two different things. I always say if you want a good doctor or roofer, for that matter, find one who is criticized by the people he works with, the people he works for and his family. Why does that make them good? Because they are willing to listen, not make excuses or blame others and learn from their mistakes. So their work and relationships get better and better. Their image gets polished by the comments they are willing to accept and learn from.

    I would also say that we can learn more from how we feel about others as well as how they feel about us. I always look for people who think I am inspiring because I know the inspiration they see in me resides within them. And if I coach them skillfully they will exceed expectations no matter what it is we are trying to do from surviving a disease to painting a portrait. The sad part is how many people fear relationships and challenges because of their past relationships.

    Two examples: One is a woman whose mother always belittled what she did and dressed her in dark colors so she wouldn’t be noticed. Her comment; “My mother’s words were eating away at me and maybe gave me cancer.” The cancer and my words helped her to be reborn and buy a red dress. She eliminated the wounds of past relationships and created a new relationship with herself and life.

    Another woman was screaming at her plastic surgeon for making her ugly after he removed a malignant skin lesion. He asked me to see her since there was no cosmetic issue. I asked her, “How would you describe your experience of cancer?” And I recommend you all ask your self that question but substitute your problem for the word cancer.

    She answered, “A failure.” I asked how that fit her life rather than her feeling her body had failed her and she said, “My parents committed suicide when I was a child. I must have been a failure as a child.” That led to her avoiding all relationships so she would not be hurt again. Due to the cancer she started a process of labor pains which transformed her life. Remember in life and relationships a curse can become a blessing if we are willing to learn from it and bring love into the story. Life is a never ending labor pain of self birth. To quote a woman with cancer, “The canvas is never finished. There is always more color on the palette.”

    I will close with my friend Carmine’s way of resolving these problems. He learned from his Mafia experience and is a very different man today. As he said, “I do not want to be a member of a family everyone fears. I want to be a member of a family everyone loves being a member of.” He told me there are four ways to resolve a difficult relationship. If it is threatening your health and life you eliminate it. That scares some people but he goes on to say you move out, get a divorce, resign or get the other person to depart. However, if your health is not an issue ask yourself how bringing love into the relationship could resolve the problem. I said love, and not like, because as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “It’s a good thing Jesus told us to love one another and not like one another because there are some people I can’t like.”

    Now finish the following: After looking at the bill for my surgery………. I believe there’s intelligent life in the universe except……. Women don’t have hot flashes they……..

    Bernie Siegel, MD

    Aspire to inspire before you expire.
    ~ Ann Onymous

    When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.
    ~ Lao Tsu

    If you never replenish the well it will run out of water.
    ~ Monica Krewsky

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    Q & A with Bernie – January 29, 2017

    Question for Bernie:

    You have helped me so much when my father was going through cancer and when I had to comfort a friend with a mass on her ovary. I have read your books and live by your example because I wholeheartedly believe in it.

    The past 4 months I have been observing a small lump in my left breast. My family has no history of breast cancer but often have cysts. I had a baseline mammogram at age 35 a year and a half ago and everything was fine, although they had to take a second look because of how dense the tissue was. So after observing this lump for 4 months (keep in mind I had never done self-exams before this), I decided to call my friend who is a PA at my OB’s office. She says it sounds like a cyst but she wants another mammogram even though I expressed my concerns about unneeded radiation. I do believe this is needed however.

    Although I do not believe this is cancer (and have been meditating off and on telling my blood supply to shut off nutrients to the lump for a couple months), I cannot shake this feeling of nervousness. If they tell me they need to take another look because it’s suspicious, how do I stop myself from going to the dark place? I know I have the tools, but I need you to tell me how to implement them when faced with blinding fear.

    Thank you.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Yes, get a mammogram. There are newer x-ray machines with less radiation and better imagery.

    You are in charge of your thoughts, so several times a day start visualizing having a mammogram and getting good news. It will help reprogram your mind and body.

    Remember to laugh for no reason every few hours, too.  Just bring to mind something you have experienced that made you laugh out loud.

    Ask yourself why you would choose to waste your life’s time being fearful.  You are a thoughtful, strong person, and you are in charge of your future, so be confident that you can rely on yourself to eliminate fear from your life. Then set about putting as much positivity into your life as you can—love your body and your life.

    Peace & Love,

    Question for Bernie (follow-up to question above):

    Wow…I need you to reel me in again. I was doing well yesterday after your last email. Then I informed my sister of what was going on since she’s had many benign tumors in her breasts, and she cluelessly scared the shit out of me with symptom facts.

    And I had to tell my husband; I told him it’s just a cyst, but want to be sure. Seeing the fear and the thoughts rolling around in his head made me nervous. But my sister was the kicker. Now I’m having a hard time focusing on the good news thoughts. They feel distant and are always interrupted by the bad, which I stop right away, but my stomach is constantly nervous.

    This is reality and I’ve always wondered how you help people get past this—just keep forcing the good thoughts? Just keep saying to myself “it’s a cyst?” How do I believe it once again, though?

    Thank you.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    You believe the “good thoughts” because you have faith in both yourself and your Lord that you can handle whatever comes.

    How you were brought up is the problem, but you have grown stronger in your understanding of the Mind-Body connection and no longer need to fall back into old thinking habits that make you vulnerable to irrelevant information.  We can’t always avoid hearing “horror stories” that people blurt out without thinking.

    Always speak up right away before your sister or anyone else can dominate the conversation, and simply state that you would appreciate it if others did not share their experiences. Be firm and walk away if you must.  Practice survivor behavior—show your body that you love it and intend to protect your life and your body from the unnecessary (and potentially emotionally damaging) opinions/stories of others.

    First of all, rewrite your history by “re-parenting” yourself—learn to love your life and your body no matter what comes your way.  Give yourself complete permission to prioritize YOU.  It is not selfish, as many people were told as children—it is showing your intention to contribute to society by helping people believe in themselves in all areas of life.

    When you believe, peace will come.

    Peace, Love, & Healing,

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    Q & A with Bernie – January 23, 2017

    Question for Bernie:

    Dear Dr. Siegel,

    I wrote you a few years back to express my gratitude to you. As you can see from this email trail, you so kindly responded to me.  I still cherish that. Always will.

    While reading Dr. Perlmutter’s newsletter, I saw your endorsement of him. The description for Bernie Siegel MD read:  “renowned physician and author of many bestselling books including Love, Medicine, and Miracles and his latest – A Book of Miracles.” After reading this, my immediate thought was yes, he is all of that. But he is also a man that has the heart and thoughtfulness to personally respond to my email which such kindness. You also gave me personal encouragement which I often remind myself to practice.

    Bottom line, I think of you fondly and feel very happy and delighted when I see your name. Thank you for the personal touch.

    Love and miracles to you and yours ❤

    Bernie’s Answer:

    You are my gift.  Since A Book of Miracles came out, I have written more books which you may enjoy, so I encourage you to visit my website at www.berniesiegelmd.com and go through the book list for more details about each book. I can particularly recommend two recent books, The Art of Healing—Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing, as well as Love, Animals & Miracles: Inspiring True Stories Celebrating the Healing Bond.

    Also, while you are on the website, you can browse through many articles that I’ve written. Among them, you may find topics of special interest to you.

    Many blessings of peace, love, and health,

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    Where Survival is the Question Men are the Weaker Sex

    This post is written for two groups. Number one, the women who need to be educated about the behavior of men in a crisis and two, the men, who are willing to change and go beyond the traditional self-destructive masculine behavior. Most men do not handle emotional problems well. Too often they desert their wives and girl friends in time of crisis. I know some husbands who drive their wives to our support groups and then sit in the parking lot waiting for them. They are chauffeurs and not soul mates. They have a great deal of difficulty sharing feelings and joining a team, which is something women do as a reflex in times of stress. Men are more likely to take a fight-or-flight approach. If they can’t fight it or fix it, they take off. Be prepared. You are not the problem. The problem is their discomfort, or their dis-ease with disease.

    Is this survival behavior? No. Do women live longer than men with the same cancers? Yes. But it has a lot to do with our biology and patterns of thinking and behaving. Men need to be given something to do. It can be as simple as a hug or mowing the lawn or getting out of the way and playing golf. But it can also be knowing that your presence is what is needed and not your attempt to fix and cure it all. You can go on the Internet and get information and feel like you are doing something for your afflicted loved one. Remember if you do what Lassie would do you can’t go wrong. Just find your role model and behave as if.

    To be fair, there are men who are not afraid of their feminine side and are willing to join a healing team. In the same way, some women are not afraid to use their masculine side, and to speak up for themselves in hospitals. If you want to heal, it is important that you be a complete human being and be comfortable with behaviors that are typically masculine and feminine.

    To be a fully empowered patient and healing team member, you need to be able to step outside gender-defined ways of behaving. Fortunately, this is somewhat easier than it was in the 1950s. Today people do not find it particularly strange when a man admits to being scared or a woman makes John Wayne look like a wimp when she is unhappy with the care she is receiving. Men and women are generally allowed a wider range of emotions and behavior, and people may not find it odd that you are feisty when that is needed, and open, receptive, and expressive when circumstances call for that kind of response.

    Moving beyond the traditional masculine and feminine roles can be a matter of life and death. In today’s environment we need to combine both features because they make a difference. For a man joining a group and developing relationships and asking for help may be very difficult but it is survival behavior. For the woman stopping the good girl behavior and expressing emotions may be a big change from her family behavior pattern.

    What it is really about is our becoming a complete human being which very few of us are. Men need to stop being afraid of their vulnerability and take their place in society alongside women who have the right to their place in society. It took us long enough to even let the women vote. Why? There are women physicians I know who are so masculine it is unhealthy and their patients suffer. We all need to be in touch with our unconscious female and male components the anima and animus. They are within us whether acknowledged or not.

    Men stop being afraid to feel and give your sons the freedom to be complete human beings. It is healthier to be authentic then it is to live a role.

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    Q & A with Bernie – January 9, 2017

    Question for Bernie:

    This is something I’ve always wondered since going through cancer with my father and hearing that initial diagnosis and reading your books. When you say the exceptional patients do what they want…I often think that if I were in that situation, I would opt to not do chemo or radiation and do something more natural…even go so far as checking into the Gerson clinic.

    However, when my father and my friend heard the bad news (the closest thing I’ve experienced to cancer), human fear struck my entire being. I lost hope in that instance and in desperation was too scared to not follow what their oncologist says to do asap…chemo and radiation.

    In your experience with exceptional patients, do they have that fear when they hear the initial diagnosis?

    Bernie’s Answer:

    They may experience fear initially, but when they do what they decide and feel that they are doing what is right for them, the fear lessens or evaporates.  The difference is that when you decide what treatment options to take, it is far less likely that you will have all the side effects as people do when they feel that they have no say in their treatment; they are more likely to believe that they are being poisoned by treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These patients also often experience significant side effects. But, when the treatment is thought of as God’s gift, patients don’t experience problems with the treatment.

    So visualizing the treatments in a positive way makes a difference. Your body believes what your mind conceives.

    Here on my website (www.berniesiegelmd.com), go to my articles and read Deceiving People into Health. Also, read my book, The Art Of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing, where you can see the drawings people do of their treatment and how the same treatment can be heaven or hell, depending on the patient’s chosen perspective. Lastly, I recommend my CD entitled Getting Ready which helps people prepare for good results.

    An example of the power of the mind from my own clinical experience involved a number of patients who, due to unknown medical equipment dysfunction, where erroneously thought to be receiving chemo and/or radiation therapy, but who were, in actuality, not receiving radiation or chemo. But because some patients exhibited the benefits of these treatments and some patients endured significant side effects, neither the patients nor the doctors realized what was happening.

    The reactions patients exhibited really were a product of their individual deep beliefs about how they would react to treatment.  Since the machinery was dysfunctional, their reactions were clearly coming from the mind’s own belief system—and those reactions were so powerful that even the doctors assumed the patients were getting treatment from fully functional chemo or radiation equipment.

    Peace, Love, & Healing,

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    Embracing Change to Find the Gift in Adversity

    Dear Everybody,

    Here are the quotes, in finished form, with the name of the person who said them.

    Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, ‘Lillian, you should have remained a virgin.’
    Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)

    I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue:  ‘No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.’
    ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

    Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement.
    ~ Mark Twain

    Now to get serious. A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee….You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again. A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up; she was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

    Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

    In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘ Tell me what you see.’

    ‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

    Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

    ‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

    I could clarify the meaning further but I think you will all get the message and get to know yourselves better by answering the question for yourself.

    I am not sure who said it but I agree, “Life is like surgery without anesthesia.” How we respond to pain and loss is what it all boils down to. The boiling has its place in our lives to. When our pain and difficulties become a labor pain of self birth it hurts a lot less.

    When we don’t choose to change our lives and eliminate what is killing us then suicide becomes the easy way out and treatment of choice.

    Think about how you would answer the question; How are you? Would you answer; I am not happy or I am unhappy. If your answer is that you are unhappy then you have chosen to remain in that state of being. But if you said I am not happy there is hope for you because you have the potential to change yourself and your life and find happiness.

    I have written about a boy I knew who was abused by his parents and instead of killing them, because he didn’t want to be like them, chose to commit suicide. However, his angel delayed the A Train and so Toni called the suicide hot line, whose number was on the subway platform’s wall, and learned about love from the people who rescued him. We are all capable of change but we have to be willing to do the work and remake ourselves and our life.

    Here is a little poem I wrote many years ago. Entitled HAPPINESS. I mention our daughter because she lives with many problems including a child with genetic metabolic and developmental problems. And then once I get started going through my “poems” I can’t help but share others with you containing the lessons I have learned.

    I will not give my power away
    It is my happiness, mine
    I create it, not you
    I decide to be, not you
    You can come into my happiness
    But you cannot create it or destroy it
    You can only enlarge it
    Our daughter knows about happiness

    Why think it?
    Why bother with life?
    What’s the point?
    It is so easy to stop living
    Why take the easy way out?
    Take the challenge
    Take the pain
    Have surgery without anesthesia
    Then life seems easy

    The stone had chiseled on its face
    The years months and days he lived
    Were they precious, treasured, counted and remembered
    Or was his life a sentence to be lived out
    Stop and think
    The time we spend doesn’t change
    Are we living or dying
    Free or imprisoned
    Gift or burden
    Years, months, days
    Hours, seconds
    How will you spend your sentence?
    Until you create a precious stone

    Death what a great teacher you are
    Yet few of us elect to take your class
    And learn about life
    That is the essence of death’s teaching
    Death is not an elective
    We must all take the class
    The wise students audit the class in their early years
    And find enlightenment
    They are prepared when graduation day comes
    It is your commencement

    I work at it every day and accept my mortality so it becomes my therapist in the sense of reminding me I am here for a limited time and if so then why waste it being unhappy. I said I work at it. I didn’t say I never have a dark moment but again the darkness is like hunger forcing me to find nourishment for my life and soul. Many years ago when I was an angry man because of what life had dealt me Elizabeth Kubler-Ross listened to my anguish and then said, “Bernie, you have needs to.” I am forever hearing her repeat that and trying to get the message.

    As I was about to share that some of that was about having five kids, a house and yard full of animals, my wife diagnosed with a serious illness and a busy surgical practice, all making demands on my time, one of our present cats started yelling at me because it is nine minutes before their feeding time. So you get the message. Life doesn’t change but Penny will have to wait until I finish this article. I am laughing now and just accepting that that’s life. I have quoted one of our sons before: “Life sucks and most people suck and if you wake up one day and the world is beautiful and everyone loves one another; you’re dead.” I love it and he told me that if I ever write another book to call it Holy Shit. I think that is a great title for life. So use the compost and come up with a delicious hot cup of coffee.

    Now your homework: Complete these quotes

    You are only as old as………….

    The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending and…….

    Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people……..

    Bernie Siegel, MD

    If you are irritated by every rub how will you be polished.
    ~ Rumi

    How could death be the end of something that has no beginning?
    ~ Hydeh Aubon

    Your criticism is your opinion of one, which you are free to have.
    ~ Lucette Douglas

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    When Heaven Speaks, Listen!

    Dear Everybody,

    Now here are the correct endings to the following:

    After looking at the bill for my surgery……….I realized why surgeons wear masks.

    I believe there’s intelligent life in the universe except…….in certain parts of New Jersey.

    Women don’t have hot flashes they……..have power surges.

    I was listening to my favorite music, classic country western, when I heard this line; “The nearest thing to heaven is a child.” Personally I think every newborn creature brings us closer to Heaven. It is amazing that one cell is able to create an entire human being and that every cell in our body has intelligence, knows where it belongs and what it is to do. I admit there are a few people who have their head up their ass due to genetic defects but by and large things do work out for most of us.

    Life is truly mystical and I want to explore some of the things I have experienced in my lifetime. Remember I said experienced and not what I believe or don’t believe. But before I do this I would ask that all of you truly look upon every child as a divine gift and treat them accordingly and that includes yourself too. When I speak at high school graduations I love to hold up an infant and have the audience all sigh and then I pick up a high school student and everyone laughs. The point I make is that only a few years separate the two and so why be in awe of one and laugh at the other. The infants are always conscious of the reason they are being held up by a stranger and never have I had an infant cry when I have done this. Your assignment for tomorrow is: when you leave home see everyone as a divine child and watch the reaction you get to your thoughts and the look you give strangers. Consciousness is not local and they are getting the message.

    What have I experienced that makes me believe? I had a near death experience choking on a toy at age four. I left my body and was quite upset when I didn’t die. I never stopped to think, as blind people do, about how I could see when I wasn’t in my body. I guarantee you that when you die you will be perfect again. As an adult I went into a trance and had a past life experience when a friend asked me over the phone, because of how busy I was, “Why are you living this life?” It helped me to understand myself and my choices in life.

    People who receive organ transplants, particularly the heart, have memories of the lives of the donor of the organ and there are many books written about this. I had a patient, named Monica, who began to bring me messages from dead patients when she knew I was open to hearing this and willing to accept them. She would mention their name so I knew who she was talking about and could confirm the relevance of the message. When my parents died she brought me a message from them which fit my life experience perfectly.

    She often calls, out of a clear blue sky, with a message that was communicated to her. When my mother, well past ninety, started asking me why God was keeping her here the phone rang and Monica said, “Tell your mother God is teaching her patience.” From then on my Mom always wanted to know if Monica called.

    I hear voices speaking to me and sometimes speaking through me to say things I had no awareness of or intention of saying. Some of you are aware that after writing my book Buddy’s Candle a voice told me to go to the animal shelter. I did and when I walked in and the voice asked “What’s his name?” of a dog sitting by the door, the answer was, “His name is Buddy. He has been here less than fifteen minutes.” The day my father was going to die I heard a voice, while out jogging; ask me, “How did your parents meet?” I answered that I didn’t know and was told to ask my mother when I got to the hospital.

    When I got to the hospital the voice asked the question through me and my Mom told a story about sitting on the beach on vacation with girls she didn’t know, and whom she learned later had a terrible reputation. She said boys coming down the beach tossed coins and, “Your father lost and got me.” The stories which followed were even more disastrous, from falling into a lake when my Dad let go of the row boat as she was climbing in, to her new dress being drenched in the rain. Well it accomplished what the voice wanted. My Dad died laughing and looking wonderful.

    Another bit of mysticism was that my Dad had no way of knowing who was coming. He was in a coma. People do hear in coma, asleep and under anesthesia. When the last person who had said they were coming to the hospital arrived and was announced he took his last breath and died. So if you want to die laughing accomplish what we are all here to accomplish; love somebody and then give your family stories to talk about by embarrassing them regularly so they will be thankful and have material to share when you ask them to tell stories about your life that they remember.

    The reason children are thankful for an embarrassing parent is that when they do things that are a bit bizarre they do not get punished because, “You know who his father is?” So there is no point in trying to get them to behave in a normal manner.

    I have discussed animal communication as another example of mystical events and proof of the non-locality of consciousness. So remain open minded and cultivate a quiet mind so the still pond of your mind is not disturbed by turbulence and allows you to see life truly reflected and communicated to all your senses.

    One last bit of advice. If you want to evaluate whether you are growing and learning take the books that have been most helpful in educating you and reread then every year or two. Mark the places that you find helpful and wise each time you read the book and if the book doesn’t get better and more informative over the years it means you are not growing and changing and becoming more enlightened.

    Well I could go on and fill the entire newspaper but I will stop with your homework. Answer this: What benefits do love and amnesia share? And finish these: I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up………..Let me tell you the one thing I have against Moses. He took us forty years into the desert………….

    P.S. After finishing this and stepping out with the dogs for an afternoon  walk near our house a voice said, “Go to the cornfield for your walk.” Well I did and I met two relatives I rarely see, a health care practitioner who has helped our family, the Amity Girls’ Cross Country Team whose members remembered me and the dogs because we visited their classes while they were in grade school and two ladies who were laughing because I was dressed in colors matching the dogs fur. So listen to the voice when it talks to you. There was consciousness and consciousness was with God and consciousness was God.

    Bernie Siegel, MD

    Manifest plainness, Embrace simplicity, Reduce selfishness, Have few desires
    ~ Lao Tzu

    I can resist anything except temptation.
    ~ Oscar Wilde

    Do not like, do not dislike: all will then be clear.
    ~ Seng-Ts’an

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    Posted in Animals, Heart Mind Matters, Humor & Healing, Relationships, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Q & A with Bernie – December 19, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

    Hi Bernie,

    Do you have any suggestions for healing my hip? Do you think it’s possible to regenerate the cartilage with my mind and attitude?

    I am in otherwise amazing health. I even amaze myself. I’m 65 now and feel amazing, and have used visualization for 35 years. I am a healer and I’ve been making an effort with the hip, but it seems to be getting worse.


    Bernie’s Answer:

    The potential is always there—it is built into us. But there are also times where medical therapy is God’s way.

    Send more blood and nourishing nutrients to your hip joint; visualize the cartilage growing back like grass in the spring.

    Take vitamins and supplements, which can be of help, too.  Find a naturopath to guide you with what to take and in what dosage. Another resource is http://www.lifeextension.com/ where their customer service is usually very helpful.

    Peace, love, & healing,

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