Thanksgiving 2018. A holiday founded on colonialism and genocide, repurposed to allow gratitude and connection – with family, community, and all life. As I turn the compost pile in the front yard, a neighbor walks to her car beneath a sunny Seattle morning sky with double rainbows. “Happy Thanksgiving Jordan”. Returning the perfunctory greeting, I …
It has been four years now in CommuniChi’s current location on Mount Baker and 2017 was our best ever. I say “our” because to each one of you who came for acupuncture, I give thanks, not only for supporting my work, but for supporting your own path of healing. We are all connected. Supporting each …
My mom’s aimless wandering through our house, wondering how to get home, are almost daily now. But we are there for her, reminding her again and again, in calm tones, that she is home, that she doesn’t need to perform any tasks or prove her usefulness.
I am full of hope. Every human being has an unlimited potential for wisdom and compassion. That this potential is not always used or only marginally used, is not evidence for its absence. We can transform this world back into a paradise – where the natural world is restored and humans live in balance with nature. We are part of nature. Accomplishing this holistic transformation of our world will require each one of us to take responsibility – for our knowledge, for our actions, for our intentions, and for opening our hearts in compassionate awareness to every living being in the circle of life.
Too often, blacks have been silenced, socially muzzled by a white imposed dictum which though not codified anywhere in writing, nonetheless states that it is impolite to make white people feel uncomfortable about their continued participation in a racist system which continues to give preferential treatment to whites – economic, occupational, legal, educational, residential – to whites at the expense of blacks. If we are sincere about wishing to facilitate healing, we need to make room for people to experience their feelings of grief and anger and hold them with love.
In other words, wherever you focus your mind, the life energy flows there. This is a fundamental principle of the universe which operates at all levels from the subtle and spiritual to the gross material and physical: If you set a strong intention to cultivate wisdom and compassion and be of service, you steadily move in the direction of manifesting the form of a bodhisattva or saint.
Spiritual freedom, and even worldly happiness are subject experiences which are difficult to quantify, and impossible to transfer to another. As the saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Nonetheless, modern scientific research continues to make huge strides in understanding the neurological and emotional benefits of mental states like mindfulness and compassion.
On the descent, I pause to build a cairn as an offering to future wanderers – that they may never lose abandoned trails. Of course, the wind, snow and gravity will knock the cairn to the ground, just as certainly as birth ends in death, gain is followed by loss and the high are brought low.
Our world is in uncharted territory. But of course, that is where it has always been – the forces of destruction and creation constantly engaged in dynamic tension – yin and yang, heaven and hell. In closing, while a part of me wants to give you a list of things that You Need To Do to save the world as we know it, my contemplative side recognizes that each person will respond based upon their individual mental-emotional-spiritual outlook.
Beauty is revealed in the interplay of light and shadow, and the serenely steady mind which observes impermanent phenomena, flashing across our retina, leaping from neuron to neuron within our cortex, maintaining perfect equanimity and openness as we continually update our stories, until perhaps one day the story dissolves into a perfect stream of consciousness with no fixed boundaries – the no-story story.