A physician’s training is not complete until it integrates the wisdom of his or her patients.I feel like the ancient mariner. I have taken a long, stormy, forty-year journey in search of the medical Holy Grail: what makes people sick and what makes people well? This journey has taken me through traditional medical training, an obstetrics and gynecology practice, an American Cancer Society Fellowship, a doctorate in psychology, counseling the dying, and the holistic health movement: hypnosis, acupuncture, meditation, and shamanism. Throughout, the albatross around my neck has been the contained wisdom I have learned from my patients, mentors, and my own aloneness. It is now time to share that wisdom.Although this book traces the thread of my journey through the healing arts, Buddha in the Waiting Room is written for you and in honor of those who taught me the truth about health. Paradoxically, most of my teachers were ill. However, despite their apparent physical state, these individuals were vibrant, wise beyond their years, and very much alive – even those diagnosed with terminal illnesses. They defined the meaning of health. They knew something that I had to learn; despite their physical state they taught me the art of healthy living. Each of them was a Buddha to me, a source of pure wisdom. Other Buddhas in this book are those mentors and events that shaped my awareness concerning health, illness, and the human potential.