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Cancer diagnosis changes doctor’s views, practice

Dr. James Pilc, of Elma, finds comfort and serenity on the shores of Lake Erie near his beachfront summer home in Angloa. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

Scott Scanlon – Refresh Editor

Dr. James Pilc has been places in his mind’s eye that he says have changed his life and outlook.

He has made it his mission, and his job, to bring others to a similar place through meditation.

Pilc, subject of this week’s Refresh In the field story, took an interest in meditation after a cancer diagnosis in 2005. He went into remission from bone marrow cancer after chemotherapy treatment, but developed a number of other nagging conditions afterward.

Eastern medical practices – chiropractic, massage therapy and acupuncture – helped quite a bit, but didn’t bring him the healing he longed for in the wake of such a health crisis.

Meditation did that, he says, and now he is interested in the “fusion” of Eastern and Western medicine and mediation to bring more complete healing to those who suffer from health woes as he once did.

Pilc, 46, a former OB/GYN who lives in the Southtowns, hopes one day to open a health center that includes specialists in all three paths to better health.

Meanwhile, he has written a book, “Unstuck: The Enlightenment of Medicine,” available at Pilc’s website for $8.99.

Before you buy it, or his CD, or take one of his meditation classes, it may be helpful for you to know where Pilc is coming from. He was raised Catholic, in Orchard Park, but his spiritual views have evolved in the aftermath of cancer.

Shortly after his diagnosis, he discovered the works of self-help guru Deepak Chopra, as well as Wayne Dyer, New York Times bestselling author of “10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace,” “The Power of Intention,” and “Excuses Begone,” and began what he called “amateur meditation.”

“I would drop into a dream – at that time, that’s what I would call it – where I was just wrapped in joy,” he said. “I was just in this space of peace. I could get there once or twice. It happened randomly, but I knew I could get back there, and if I could get back there, I could help others find this space.

“I looked into Taoism. I investigated Buddhism. I looked into anthroposophy, which is a belief in human wisdom. ... I thought maybe there’s a spiritual point that could help. Then I came across a meditative guide (in East Aurora), who helped me to find not only this peaceful space on a regular basis but once you get to this space, and you waited there, you started taking a journey. You have these dreams you can see while you’re awake.

“Most of the times these dreams, they’re metaphorical, you get messages from them. Different information comes in and you process it in your mind...

“You have these intricate journeys. A psychological evaluation would be it’s sort of like a dream, a message in a dream, and it’s your subconscious behind it trying to speak to you, or your higher self trying to speak to you. Or could you look at it as you’re actually touching spirit. Does spirit come to you when you’re sitting on a beach and take you to the other side, take you on a journey? That’s, at this point, what I believe...

“It doesn’t matter how we describe it, what we call it, because we all can benefit from this.”

Pilc’s new CD will be available starting Nov. 18 at his website, as well as Vidler’s in East Aurora and Serendipity Salon and Spa in Williamsville. That will cost $24.99, Pilc said. It will walk listeners into the peace of meditation and begin to give them a better sense of themselves and their ability to heal their anguish.

Pilc also will begin a new string of healing meditation classes in January. Those cost $30 per class or $99 for four classes.


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About The Refresh Buffalo Blog

Scott Scanlon

Scott Scanlon

Scott Scanlon is an award-winning reporter and editor who has covered various topics in his quarter-century as a journalist in South Florida, Syracuse and Buffalo. He is aiming to pass along what he is learning these days about health, fitness, nutrition and family life.

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