Community Acupuncture

Mexico City Medical Outreach with Tzu Chi International Medical Association

My first mission with Tzu Chi was to Haiti in February 2010 after the great earthquake that took the lives of an estimated 300,000 or more people. I witnessed such incredible suffering, not merely due to the aftereffects of the earthquake, the many lives taken, the families tragically affected, but also due to the severe and long term poverty of the entire country affecting the region for centuries. Although my heart was filled with the joys of building global connections and offering service, I had many questions. After returning to my comfortable and privileged existence in the United...

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Medicine

Glacial erratic covered in moss, mushrooms, and licorice root. Groceries for the rest of week were in the cardboard box on the back of my new bike as I suddenly realized I was going down. I had tried to turn too sharply on the sidewalk, looking for the button to activate the crosswalk light. Foolish maneuver in hindsight. Bam! The sound of my helmet hitting the concrete, like a cosmic exclamation point and still reverberating days later, urges me to wake up and be more careful. Karma is ripening in each moment. Serious injury or death could be around the next corner. This moment, this life,...

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White Anti-Racist Perspective

Earlier this month I attended an amazing conference hosted by NonWhiteWorks – Storytelling Strategies for Dismantling Racism. I tell you this not because I am secretly hoping for a merit badge, because as a white person, it’s obvious that my racial and white privilege analysis is a big messy work in process. (And anyways, people of color don’t give white-ally merit badges for actions which are easy and risk little). I’m telling you because I encourage you to check out NonWhiteWorks and attend one of their upcoming events if you can. I am not afraid of being told that...

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Ten Thousand Leaves in Autumn –

Ten thousand leaves flutter in the breeze on the big maple tree out my window. Suddenly, the sun bursts forth, lighting them all aflame, changing my visual palette from a dull brownish yellow to a brilliant gold against a checkered blue and white sky. The raindrops on my head from ten minutes ago are still evaporating as I pause at the computer, dropping into the present moment and contemplating the mystery, the beauty, the struggles of life.  Dark clouds loom in the distance to the southwest. A client arrives and I step away from my contemplative window on the world to offer acupuncture,...

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Citizen Diplomacy – Knowledge Exchange

Yesterday, at the end of a long day of errands, I received a phone call with an India number appearing on my screen. As one of my Dharma teachers lives in India, and I have several friends living there, I answered it, wondering who it was and what adventure might beckon. A man speaking in a thick Indian accent and claiming to be a doctor asked to come see me and expressed a desire to exchange knowledge. As a small business entrepreneur, and sole proprietor, one of my daily challenges in life is navigating cold calls from strangers and making split second decisions on whether to immediately...

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No Hopes or Fears

Hope. I know, the word has been tarnished through overuse and politicization. But I still like it and hereby reclaim it. And we need it desperately. I have some to offer: In recent months, I’ve seen a large uptick in fear based narratives on social media – reports that many well known scientists, including Stephen Hawking, foresee the breakdown in modern civilization happening soon. And then there’s the constant stream of news out of the nation’s capitol where our so-called leaders are reversing protections for the the working class, immigrants, women, national parks,...

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