Someone asked me today how acupuncture works. My first answer is always, “I don’t know”. My second answer is this: Think of an ecosystem in balance. Clean water flows from the mountains to the sea. Forests absorb carbon dioxide and breathe oxygen. The rain, wind, cold, warmth, sun, moon, and seasons all come and go in the right amounts, in their proper season. The soil is rich and alive.
Abundant and diverse life flourishes and peace and justice resides in the heart of all that live here. The human body-mind continuum is similar to an ecosystem. Acupuncture helps adjust the flow of these energies and reminds us in a visceral way, that nothing is static. During the treatment we let go into the mystery of life, releasing the solid self-image we unconsciously held, awakening refreshed with less pain and suffering, not limited by preconceptions of what is or is not possible.
Arising with unobstructed energy, we dive back into the continual discovery of our life purpose with imagination and clear intention. I often meet with people unsure of their life purpose, or whether there is even any purpose. The search for meaning is our most important task in life, and nobody else but ourselves can undertake this journey.
Service. Devoting oneself to peace, health, and justice for all living beings. After chasing happiness and meaning in ten thousand different places, products, people, and external phenomena – that’s my singular answer to the great question of life’s purpose.
But don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself and see if it resonates deeply in your heart. Only then will you be satisfied.
Climate march in Seattle. Friday, September 26, 2019. 10,000 people or more walked out of work, high school, middle school, or whatever routine existence they found themselves in. Something big is happening now. The Earth messages are getting louder and stronger. People are waking up. Youth are rising. The older generation needs to listen or get out of the way.
When the Superintendent of Seattle Schools decided not to grant students an excused absence for attending the climate rally, I wrote letters to the school Board and Superintendent, and attended a school Board meeting, citing state law which clearly supports the students. (See RCW28A.225.010(1)(e) Using privilege to leverage justice is the duty of those with privilege. If we do nothing to oppose injustice when we observe it, we are complicit in the oppression.
October 5, 2019. I posted a note on the door of my clinic, letting people know that I was taking a day off, apologizing for any inconvenience. I was asked to coordinate peacekeepers at the state capitol in order to support an indigenous led peaceful occupation on the steps of the legislative building.
If one were to rank inconveniences, a climate melt down at the dawn of the sixth great extinction in the history of planet Earth would surely top all lists.
Politicians love to toss around their green credentials on social media, but when it comes time to renounce their corporate funding and act with courage and moral leadership, very few seem to understand the unprecedented urgency of the #climateEmergency we are in: We have slightly more than 8 years to reduce our carbon emissions by 50% chance in order to have a 50% chance of preventing runaway global warming. Global food insecurity, natural disasters and our own potential extinction as a species (along with 90% of all other life on the planet) looms large.
Indigenous people have long lived in balance with Mother Earth. Our best hope at averting climate catastrophe is to center the voices of indigenous people, acknowledge the connection between environmental and racial justice, ensure a just transition away from the fossil fuel economy for all workers, and rebuild our world with a culture of care and compassion which understands our interconnection with all life. Seattle’s Green New Deal is an important step in that direction, but we need everyone to make it happen. Don’t wait for the politicians to act!
Saturday, October 12. White supremacists with a history of violent confrontation have threatened to show up at a community event at a local mosque.
Though I feel somewhat inadequate as a peacekeeper, and greatly intimidated by the thought of having to stand between hostile men with guns and those who I aspire to show up for and be accountable to, I know that I won’t be alone, and that in the end, “Love wins!”
Meanwhile, my privilege to breeze through the world with choices and freedoms and a lack of hindrances that relatively few on the planet enjoy does not allow me to sit idly. On the privilege pie wheel, I pretty much command the entire plate – white, male, CIS gendered heterosexual with citizenship papers, able-bodied, and…well, you get the idea.
I show up for justice, not out of guilt or virtue signalling, but recognizing that my happiness and liberation is intertwined with those who are oppressed. Guilt and pride are inward focused emotions of self-absorption that maintain one’s separation from others, ensuring that any happiness we achieve in life will be only a shallow ego-based, materialistic happiness and very ephemeral.
My dad recently turned 91. In many cultures, respect and care for elders is a time honored tradition.
I am fortunate to still have him around. Having grown up in the youth worshiping modern culture of America, I did not initially appreciate the gift of being with elders and confess I am still growing into this awareness.
Everything of value I have learned in life has come through a lineage of wisdom passed down by elders. And IF I have learned anything, it is that my own place in the grand weave of nature is very small. A tiny drop of matter and consciousness in an infinite ocean. By keeping myself humble and open, I allow the energy of learning to flow and hopefully, contribute in some small way to bending the arc of the universe towards justice.