S&H editor Ben Nussbaum spoke with Mark Mincolla, Deepak Chopra, and producer Christina Vircillo Bresson about a new film, The Way of Miracles. The film dives into the stories of Mincolla’s patients, using their stories and commentary from Chopra and many others to suggest a new path into the future of medicine.
My first question is for you, Deepak. What attracted you to this story?
Deepak Chopra: When Christina asked me to join this project I thought it was a good opportunity to explain healing as a natural phenomenon of self-regulation and homeostasis, and as something all biological beings, particularly human beings, have a capacity for through self-awareness.
I hear from people all the time that it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start as they journey outside traditional Western medicine. In the film you have a focus on the nutrition component, but then you go quite a bit deeper. So where does someone get started?
Mark Mincolla: The most important word that comes to mind is the word consciousness.
I think that the key is to initiate your own conscious shifting and changing in your life, and to do it out of a state of self-love. People in the world we live in have struggled with embracing the concept of self-love.
Back in the ’80s there was a lot of great work ... there was an excellent time period of about eight to ten years where people were starting to tap into the fact that there’s a wounded self within, and to love that self, and to bring conscious care and compassion to that wounded self. That’s a huge part of the healing process.
And the idea that we have a dual self—a mortal self and an immortal self—embracing them both, bonding together at a very deep love of self-care and self-compassion. To become more attuned to the fact that the food we eat, the sleep we get, the water we drink, the people we spend time with, the love we share with the world—all of that is so important to that process of wholeness between our mortal and immortal self.
Advancing our consciousness with a sense of compassion and true love and concern for ourselves and to make that beautiful process spread out in our lives to those we are surrounded by and the whole planet is ultimately the key process.
Putting on your movie critic hat ... what is your favorite part of the movie?
Christina Vircillo Bresson: For me, Diane’s story. That whole section is really about self-love. It deals a lot with the fragmented mind and our society, addiction. To see her able to be reached by Mark, to have her heart open, to see her learn to love herself was my favorite part of the film.
But there’s something for everyone. Each patient has their own healing. And healing is all about wholeness. This film is definitely nutrient-dense. Depending on how you approach the film and where you come from, you get a different perspective.
What is your fondest wish for this film, in terms of how people receive it and what it does?
Christina Vircillo Bresson: I know there are people in my life who have been affected by disease, and maybe not understanding cause and effect. I wanted to start there. In Mark’s practice, that’s food is medicine. But I wanted to create a path where people could understand deeper philosophies of healing, understanding imbalance, understanding harmony, and surrender.
I’m hoping that people will start where they are and have epiphanies and realizations and start to treat themselves differently. Be empowered. Take responsibility. Have transformation.
These are messages that are out there, and this film is just part of that, but we need change to affect human suffering.
Is there anything else I should have asked? Anything else that is important to mention?
Deepak Chopra: My experience is that people who come to this sphere of healing are self-selected, always. You can never force somebody or impose on the skeptic. ... Scientific evidence usually doesn’t mean anything to most people, because it stays within the academic world.
But if you want to look at the science—and there are tens of thousands of papers on meditation, stress management, sleep, movement, mind-body coordination, emotions, resilience, relationships, nutrition, biological rhythms, self-awareness, spiritual enlightenment. ... We have a library and nobody looks at them, except people writing papers. So the value of the film is the stories. And the stories, when tied with good evidence, when tied with facts, that’s the only way to expand the conversation.
Read more from Deepak Chopra: “3 Essential Practices for Gratitude.”
Watch The Way of Miracles.