Book Review of Aware, Awake, Alive

Aware, Awake, Alive: A Contemporary Guide to the Ancient Science of Integral Health and Human Flourishing

By Elliott Dacher, M.D.

In Aware Awake Alive A Contemporary Guide to the Ancient Science of Integral Health and Human Flourishing, Dr. Elliott Dacher, an old friend, draws on a lifetime of dedication to human healing techniques.  For over twenty years he practiced internal medicine and, increasingly through the years, began to incorporate the principles and practices of consciousness and integral health. Throughout his medical career, Dr. Dacher built a growing reputation for his commitment to bringing together biological science and an understanding of mind and spirit. The titles of his previous books are sufficient to convey this commitment: Integral Health: The Path to Human Flourishing (Basic Books, 2006), Whole Healing (Dutton/Plume, 1996) and Intentional Healing (Marlowe, 1996).

Aware, Awake, and Alive initially evolved as the course manual for a 10-week program presented at a local hospital. The focus of these sessions was the process of inner development which leads to the optimal state of well-being, integral health and human flourishing. Although the book is rich in additional material, the training program, which is highly experiential and rich in intellectual content, is contained in 10 sequential chapters which leads the reader, with the accompanying practice CD, in a self-education program directed at the full development of mind and spirit.

Underlying this work are Dr. Dacher’s “two medical educations” – the first a traditional education in the outer aspects of healing and the second in the inner aspects of health and healing gained through 12 years of study amongst the wisdom traditions of Asia. Both these educations converge in the wisdom and practices of this book.

Aware, Awake, Alive is divided into four sections: the Vision, the Path, the Fruition, and the Integration. The first section the Vision, presents the view of a very special health, an optimal state of well-being, that although well known to timeless healing traditions, is largely undeveloped in the West. The second section, the Path, draws upon ancient wisdom and contemporary knowledge to take the reader through the time -tested step-by-step knowledge and practices which place the individual directly on the path to a larger life and health. The third section, the Fruition, describes the precious qualities that arise as we fully develop our life. These include: an enduring and resilient happiness, a stable inner peace, profound wisdom, authentic and selfless love and compassion, and a boundless freedom. The final section, the Integration, discusses the value of these approaches when applied to the epidemics of modern times including: heart disease and chronic ailments, addiction disorders, post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, and attention disturbances.

In Aware Awake Alive, the reader feels immediately at ease.  Dr. Dacher guides the reader with a gentle hand and a reassuring voice across the landscape of human health and consciousness. He makes a pact with the reader at the outset to undertake this journey together, and he is with the reader every step of the way.

Aware, Awake. Alive is the perfect antidote to the frenzy of today’s world and, as Dr. Dacher makes very clear, a practical guide to personal transformation and a life of meaning and happiness. It is a cliché to say of a book that has a big impact on you that “It changed my life.” The fact is that most of those life changes last for a week or two at most. Then it’s back to the grind, and you resume searching for another great bestseller or a cocktail party favorite or one your book club adopted.

Aware, Awake, Alive transcends all of this kerfuffle and tunes you into the real deal, what it’s all about. No other way to explain how it can have such an impact on you and your life. You will never be the same again. You will finally have a chance at real happiness. You will finally be yourself.

Buy the book. Read the book, every page. Listen to your heart as it changes the way you see the world. By the time you finish reading Aware, Awake, Alive, you will understand something about yourself that you had almost forgotten.

Buy Aware, Awake, Alive on Amazon.  Further information on Dr. Dacher’s  work can be found at: www.elliottdacher.org.

PIONEER IN FUNCTIONAL AND INTEGRATIVE MEDICINEFor Dr. Frank Lipman, health is more than just the absence of disease: it is a total state of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. Dr. Lipman is a widely recognized trailblazer and leader in functional and integrative medicine, and he is a New York Times best-selling author of five books, How To Be Well, The New Health Rules, 10 Reasons You Feel Old and Get Fat, Revive and Total Renewal.After his initial medical training in his native South Africa, Dr. Lipman spent 18 months working at clinics in the bush. He became familiar with the local traditional healers, called sangomas, which kindled his interest in non-Western healing modalities.In 1984, Dr. Lipman immigrated to the United States, where he became the chief medical resident at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, NY. While there, he became fascinated by the hospital’s addiction clinic, which used acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat people suffering from heroin and crack addiction. Seeing the way these patients responded so positively to acupuncture made him even more aware of the potential of implementing non- Western medicine to promote holistic wellbeing. As a medical student, he was taught to focus on the disease rather than the patient, and now as a doctor he found himself treating symptoms rather than the root causes of illness. Frustrated by the constraints of his training, and the limitations in helping his patients regain true health, he began a journey of discovery to search for the path to meaningful long-term health and wellness.He began studying nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, functional medicine, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga. Dr. Lipman founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in 1992, where he combines the best of Western medicine and cutting edge nutritional science with age-old healing techniques from the East. As his patient chef Seamus Mullen told The New York Times, "If antibiotics are right, he'll try it. If it's an anti-inflammatory diet, he’ll do that. He’s looking at the body as a system rather than looking at isolated things."In addition to his practice, Dr. Lipman is the creator of Be Well, an expanding lifestyle wellness brand he founded in 2010 to help people create, sustain and lead healthier lives.