Mind Body Medicine

Alzheimer’s and a Chihuahua

My mom has Alzheimer’s and I’m writing about it in order to lessen the shame and stigma of mental illness. The neurologist confirmed it on Christmas Eve: G30.1, F02.81. Those are the officially designated numbers in medicalese, the conceptual boxes that conventional reality places her in. That I am not devastated is largely due to my Buddhist practice which has taught me to practice avoiding confinement in conceptual boxes.  Of course, such an attitude cannot be merely feigned with the imagination  or bold prose. In order to effectively avoid the frightening abysses of the world...

Read More

Facebook Vacation

     Social media can be used productively as a means of connecting with friends, staying informed on current news in the world, and participating in movements for a broad array of peace and social justice issues. However, surfing the internet can also devolve into a mindless time filler, performed with no particular motivation.   From a Buddhist perspective, when you aren’t aware of your conscious mental intention you are on a slippery slope leading away from awakening, further down the path of suffering. And so it was last week, while in the middle of an extended web surf, a post from my...

Read More

Kundalini Syndrome – Beyond Bliss and Technology

Recently, a new client came to me seeking help for “kundalini syndrome”.  Kundalini is a Sanskrit word referring to a pattern of energy flow awakened in the spinal column, often due to meditation and yoga practices. In the Tibetan Buddhist and Chinese medical traditions, this phenomenon is more broadly known as wind energy. In my early thirties, while living at a Buddhist meditation center, I started to experience what felt like electrical currents running up my spine. Sometimes they happened during meditation, or while lying in bed before falling asleep. Sometimes I was awakened...

Read More

#Kayaktivism – Planetary Acupuncture

I was sitting indoors playing cards with my dad on a rainy summer’s day in Maine at the age of 12 when through the window overlooking the cove, I watched a group of older boys and girls kayaking past our cottage, heading towards the open ocean. Their smooth strokes gracefully powered their kayaks through the water and into the infinite horizon of my heart’s imagination. Kayaking for me has always been first and foremost about touching that primordial connection with our cosmic DNA. Launching into the ocean or a river is to embrace a timeless and serene feeling, like resting in the arms of...

Read More

Climate Change – The Cow in the Middle of the Room

The news just broke that Shell is pulling out of the Arctic – a major victory for the climate. My kayaktivist friends and I deserve some portion of the credit for putting ourselves on the front lines on multiple occasions at actions in Seattle, Everett, and Portland, though clearly this victory belongs to everyone.  It wasn’t just that the test wells in the Beaufort Sea yielded negative results for Shell, but there were also frank admissions that the massive groundswell of negative publicity played into their decision to retreat from their seven billion dollar investment. (Aside:...

Read More

Silver Peak Fall Beauty

Over the weekend, I began a 10 week Eco-sattva course with a goal of bringing greater spiritual awareness in order to have a positive influence on the imbalances between humanity and the environment. Continuing the mind stream from my last post, the Earth doesn’t need saving. She will do just fine in the long run. Perhaps it will take ten million years to heal from the messes that the human race leaves behind – a mere blink of an eye to her. Nonetheless, there is great reason for hope in the resiliency of the human spirit to spontaneously address the climate crisis, along with...

Read More
%d bloggers like this: