The Evolution of the Student Practitioner: Part 1

philosophy Aug 11, 2021

Students of homeopathy go through many stages of their learning. There is a different challenge at each stage. At Resonance School of Homeopathy (RSH), we are using live cases in a teaching/clinical setting to provide the opportunity to learn to be a homeopath. Our school is different, so these observations may not apply to all students of homeopathy. The challenges are obviously different for each student of each school. That is following the same nature of homeopathy, every case and every homeopath is different also. For our students at Resonance, though, there are definite stages to their learning and challenges. Here I will share the first of the three stages of their evolution. Stay tuned for part two and part three in the next two blog posts!

Unless a student coming to RSH has been to another school of homeopathy prior to attending, the live clinical teaching seminars, the first stage of the evolution, to becoming a homeopath is one of excitement and wonder. Even students of other schools go through this when they arrive because of the hands-on aspect of the learning experience. Sitting before real live people and hearing their cases with the ability to interact with them is exciting when they have never experienced this before.

New student practitioners coming to RSH without any previous exposure to homeopathy are at a distinct advantage. They usually arrive with such enthusiasm and without prejudice. They have what I call beginners minds. Do you know the old term "beginners luck?" Well, there is something to this. Without any preconceived ideas about homeopathy, rubrics, remedies, etc. a new student practitioner will see cases with fresh eyes. I find that their observations are usually more correct. They see the cases for just what they are. There is not a lot of speculation about the case. They simply hear the words of the person and make observations. This is a quality that I pray never leaves them. Sadly though, it usually does.

When the classes are done for the weekend, the new student practitioner is usually very filled up. Wonder and awe are the two most common responses. They usually have never experienced hearing a person's story so intimately. When we experience a person directly, many emotions arise and usually, there is a felt kinship with the person. In the beginning, this is alright. But not a good habit to cultivate. The new student practitioner's ability to see and feel the case is without prejudice. This is what makes them usually very good at seeing what is asking to be healed in the case, especially in the beginning.

Without instruction in case receiving, I find that people do this most naturally already. We just don't realize it most of the time. In the class setting, in seeing clients all day, there comes a certain pulse or rhythm in the day. It is fascinating to watch. Different themes will appear and the energy of the day usually becomes apparent. Having this experience is inspiring for the mind and the spirit. I remember the first live cases that I ever experienced with my teacher, Vega Rozenberg. I was completely blown away by his ability to see the case and understand the client. For me, it was life-changing. I said to myself, "I want to be able to do this also. I think I can." It is this enthusiasm that I see in most new students. It is the hook that gets set in their desire to be a homeopath.

I encourage new student practitioners to not worry about rubrics and remedies and to not focus on finding the remedy, especially in the first 6 months. It is a distraction in learning to see the case. It will interfere with their ability to simply be present. I equate case receiving to meditation and a "no-mind" state. It is simply being present to see and hear everything without thought or judgment. New students are able to do this much easier than older students and especially students from other schools who are filled with ideas about remedies, etc. These remedy ideas will prejudice our thinking if we are thinking about remedies and not simply observing the case. The ability to simply seeing the case for "what it is" is much easier when we have no preconceived ideas about rubrics, remedies, and homeopathy in general. Again the beginner's mind always will be more open.

In the later part of the first six months, most new student practitioners are becoming grounded in the process of case receiving. They are becoming familiar with the process. They have usually seen 24 or more new cases and over 84 follow-ups by this time. The newness begins to fade and the real desire to "do" this process of being a homeopath is getting sparked. This is the time that a certain restlessness is beginning.

Hahnemann implores us to be unprejudiced observers. We need to have a clear mind to achieve this. The beginner's mind has no preconceived ideas about this fascinating art of being a homeopath. It can not be learned from a book. It is exciting and fun in the beginning. Much is being learned about the nature of people. The first six months are very telling for the student practitioner. The spark is usually lit inspiring great desire and belief that they too can be a homeopath. The first phase of becoming a homeopath is done.

In our next blog post, I will explore the second phase. For any of you who have experienced this first phase and beginner's mind filled with excitement and wonder, remember this time. Keep it in your mind. Return to it. It will help you very much in continuing to be the best homeopath you can be.


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