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 ...
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, ...
This blog post is taken from Thea's CEU of the same name, "A Life of Deep Happiness." If you enjoy this post and would like to earn 3 CEU credits, purchase the self-guided CEU here offered at a 50% discount through December 24, 2020.
A Life of Deep Happiness
It’s so dark, it’s dark, it’s dark, it’s really dark, it’s so bad. There’s a giant octopus of darkness and it’s got all of its tentacles wrapped around me. I’m doomed! Can you hear me? I’m doomed. I’ve got to stay where it’s really bad, because if I don’t stay here, where I go from here could be worse.
There’s actually nothing that can be done about it. I’ve already figured out. I’ve ...
Alternatives to Trauma
Very often, despair and resignation may be a manifestation of unhealed trauma—specifically trauma that is no longer healthy.
What is healthy trauma?
Healthy trauma is a state of complete or incomplete dissociation from an injury that we do not have the resources to heal. This is why injuries that took place years ago—or centuries ago—can still remain unhealed. That is the nature of trauma—to remain unhealed, until we have the resources to heal.
But what if we do have the resources to heal?
When we do have the resources to heal, and our bodies recognize it, healthy trauma begins to heal, often immediately. However, there may be parts of us that are stuck in “trauma mode,” and do not recognize that ...
The Power of Stopping
We have a choice about how we use this time of immobilization and quarantine, which is in many ways like a winter right in the middle of springtime. In Chinese medicine, Winter is about the evocation and transformation of fear, but it is also about deep revitalization. Over the winter, a while ago, I wrote a piece about “The Power of Stopping” which feels even more apropos now, so I will share it with you:
How does revitalization happen? What is vitality? Where and how is the power of life force gathered and maintained? How do we do that for ourselves? How do we assist others in revitalizing and living from deep, powerful vitality?
It’s not just about ...
How to Become a Reassurance Expert, on a Me-First Basis
Whew! When those around us are in fear, how can we be most in service to them?
Heroic emotional rescue is exhausting—we may not have it in us to support others when we ourselves are tired, and possibly just as afraid. We need a me-first way of healing, so that we feel better, too, even as we support others.
Teachings from the Water element can give us what we need, to stand like a lighthouse in the storm of strong emotions. These are practices that affect the body, mind, and spirit, and what’s best about them is that you don’t have to master them in order to receive significant benefit. They all ...
Water Transformation of Virtue:
Fear (Kong) to Wisdom (Zhi)
In Chinese medicine, there are Five Elements, each with a particular capacity for emotional disturbance. The Water element’s emotional disturbance is fear. Each element also has a virtue that is developed when we bring that emotion back in service to the Heart. Water’s returning to the Heart is called the Transformation of Virtue from Fear to Wisdom, via reassurance.
What is fear, what is wisdom, what is reassurance? They are physical states, and thus to understand them, we need to work through the body.
Fear (Kong) 恐
Fear is the acute awareness of the unknown in its rawest state. People who do not have a significant Water element tend to ignore what they don’t know: ...
The Me-First School of Global Healing
Many of my students are familiar with what I call the “Me-First School of Global Healing.” For those of you who have never heard this phrase before, what does it mean?
The Me-First School of Global Healing is two things. First, it is an embodied set of principles which I will detail at greater length below. Second, it is an actual healing school which I hope to be able to offer to serious students beginning in 2022. I’d like to begin this blog series with a good look at both the principles and the practicalities of a Me-First School of Global Healing, because that is the framework for everything that I say, and everything that ...