The Adab, or the Deep Politeness
At the bottom of my blog, over the months I’ve mentioned my Perennial Medicine listserv as a better place to continue discussions than down in the comments section below. The comments section is nice for short little comments, but it’s not really a discussion forum.
Instead, I issue a general invitation to you all to join the Perennial Medicine listserv. Having issued that invitation, I would like to share about the culture of that community—and by extension, the culture of the Me-First School of Global Healing.
Sufism is an influence that has shaped my outlook on almost everything. One of the Sufi cultural influences that I most welcome in my community life is the practice of ...
Post-Pandemic Clinical Complexities
I don’t think I’m becoming a worse herbalist—I think that there are more and more truly complex and challenging cases out there. I think that everyday life has become not just more difficult, but in many cases more paradoxical and internally contradictory, than ever before in my lifetime as a healer.
I noticed the first major change after 9/11. There were many fear and shock-related patterns, and over time, as the fear and shock were not resolved in most of the population, this led to a broad array of underlying complications. More and more people showed up in my practice with a wider diversity of co-existing patterns of disharmony.
For instance, before 9/11, most of my clients were either ...
Whole Heart Parenting
Below is a blog piece that I wrote about parenting. Please keep in mind as you read it that even if you don’t have children, you are still ‘parenting’ yourself. In fact, re-parenting ourselves is profound healing work. Of course, even if you do have children, don’t forget to apply Whole Heart Parenting principles to yourself, too.
Last weekend in a Whole Heart Connection mentorship class, we brought in pictures of our baby selves and used them as our virtual backgrounds on Zoom. It was so touching to see everyone against the backdrop of their original self. It was deeply moving and made the practice of inner re-parenting more real than ever. I’ll include here some of those images of ...
Living the Elements: Wood
Spring Seasonal Resources
Last spring, after my Wood music, arts, and culture blog, people wrote in with some fabulous Wood suggestions. I discovered some new music that still carries me forward. I'm grateful, and I'm looking forward to what folks have to suggest this year. Meanwhile, I'm sharing the tunes, the art, and the poetry that have been on my mind so far this spring.
I’d love to hear from you: Are you listening to, looking at, or reading anything that moves and heals and awakens your Wood element this spring? Please share in the comments section below. I’m always up for more healthy Five Element nourishment through the arts. Meanwhile here are some of my favorites, just ...
Vision: Two Eyes
From a Chinese medical perspective, every season has a Transformation of Virtue: an initial awakening emotion that, if brought in service of the Heart, is noble and healing for ourselves and the world around us. The emotional awakening for springtime and the Wood element is anger! Of course, anger can occur at any time of the year. But spring is a special time of awakening to the potential all around us—and when that potential is thwarted, grrr!
Anger, when in service of the Heart, becomes Constructiveness, or Heroism. The Chinese character for virtue of Wood is 仁
The character shows a human, and the number two. It indicates a state which I refer to as being ‘two-eyed,’ a state ...
On the Phone, In My Body Part Two
As you read this article, how much of the rest of your surroundings are you tuning out?
One of the “body lessons” of iPods, cell phones, iPads, and computers is an increase in our ability to tune out what’s going on around us in order to focus exclusively on the data coming to us through a small screen or earpiece. That’s an incredible skill—we’ve learned to be standing in the middle of a roaring subway while watching a little movie. We can be walking down a busy street having a delicate conversation with someone on the other side of the country. In our own homes, we have developed the ability to filter out ...
On the Computer, In My Body Part One
Here you are reading a blog on a computer—
Are you in your body?
Stop reading for a moment just to check.
What did you discover?
If you are like most people, you may have found that you are craned forward, that you are barely aware that you even have a body, that your feet seem very far away (a sign that you are totally in your head), and that energetically you are being sucked into the computer.
Hold it right here.
Take your hands away from the keyboard, just for now. Later we will focus on writing on the computer while being in your body. For now, put one hand on your chest, one on your lower ...
Living the Elements: Water
Winter Seasonal Resources
Water is associated with Winter, the season of stillness, solitude, courage, fear, and deep wisdom in the face of the unknown. Water is life’s greatest resource and it takes many forms. Water is the element of rest and re-charge. Through deep listening, we engender a connection to our hidden resources. To do this, we must get enough sleep, cultivate peace and stillness in our busy lives, and learn to develop our inner quietude.
Winter’s darkness creates an acute awareness of all the mysteries that surround us. A person who has strong Water in their constitution often can’t help but be aware, all the time, of just how much we don’t know.
When Water people develop ease ...
Exit-Entry Blocks:Re-opening the Doors of Knowing
Here’s an acupuncture-related post, but remember, you all have fingers—you can treat yourselves any time!
There is a difference between cognition and knowing. Cognition is a process of working with input in order to get to clarity. With cognition, we go through a process of arriving at knowing, and we can tell that we’ve gone through a process. At other times, we seem to arrive instantly at the knowing. Usually, there was a process; it was just so swift and efficient and transparent that we don’t notice it. Both of these processes—cognition and the seemingly instantaneous knowing—are important for us to look at, and to be able to troubleshoot. We do this by assessing the ...
A Happy New Year's Resolution
For a few years now, I’ve had an Economic Redress policy at Perennial Medicine. I do this in part because it feels good to stand behind what I believe in, but also because I want to introduce the Economic Redress concept to my community—especially to other anti-racist white people who often wonder what they can actually do to help end racism.
What is Economic Redress? It is an attempt to redress the economic aspects of racial injustice upon which this country was founded, by disrupting and re-patterning the way that our resources are currently being distributed.
As a white-bodied person in America, I am aware of my economic privilege in comparison with people who have darker skin than my own. However, ...