Stories

I’m going on an Adventure

“I’m going on an adventure”. Thus spoke Bilbo Baggins as he left his comfortably stocked larder in his cozy hobbit hole, an allegory which could rightly apply to any of our lives. What comfortable rut – perhaps disguised as “the good life” might be holding us back from our unlimited potential? In my own case, I was captain of the good ship “CommuniChi”, with a huge bank of windows from the bridge overlooking a panorama of the Cascade Mountain range. There are a lot of wonderful people at El Centro de la Raza that I made heart connections and smiles with on a daily basis – especially the...

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Fukushima – Nuclear Genie Out of the Bottle

“The splitting of the atom changed everything, save man’s mode of thinking. Thus we drift towards unparalleled catastrophe” — Einstein August 15, 2013. Senator Patty Murray’s office in Seattle, Washington. My name is Jordan Van Voast. I am a resident of Seattle, father, and a licensed practitioner of acupuncture for the past 15 years. With my friends and fellow citizens, I’m here today to express my alarm over the recent revelations at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan and request the Senator to work with colleagues, especially those from West Coast states, to initiate Senate...

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Nameless being in a Nameless Land

“When a person knows the solitude of silence and feels the joy of quietness, he is then free from fear and feels the joy of the dharma.” Buddha. A confession here – I carried no map and no headlamp, though I did have plenty of food and enough warm clothes to stay warm if for some reason, I had to huddle for an evening by the trail. There’s a certain freedom – not without obvious risks of course – in being a nameless being in a nameless land. The mind easily enters a state of profound clarity and awareness of interconnectedness with all life, unencumbered by conceptual dust....

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Flying Yaks and Other Versions of Reality

2007. Yes-terday, I was at my glorious work place (yes I love my work), CommuniChi, fixing a chair and as I stood up, suddenly my trick knee went out. “That’s the way the meniscus cookie crumbles”, I later remarked to a friend in a moment of lightness. Still, the habit of self pity is deep and my wife had to remind me – “Maybe it’s a good thing.” Perhaps you’ve heard the Tibetan story about the nomad boy who finds a wild horse. “Oh how lucky” everyone says, except for the wise elder. “We’ll see” he says, calmly...

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The Supreme Riddle

June is off to a good start. On Saturday when only four people were scheduled, I was caught by surprise when ten people walked in during the last fifteen minutes before closing. Things got a little bit wild, but in the end, everyone floated out the door on an invisible carpet of Chi. Just prior to the walk-in tsunami, I had been doing some internet research at the Washington Secretary of State’s web site, reading up on the rights and responsibilities of non-profit Board Directors (I was recently elected President of my Buddhist meditation center) and discovered that in this state, Board...

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Taking and Giving

Six years ago, Serena and I launched CommuniChi, our vision for affordable community acupuncture in Seattle. Intentions are powerful, but only if we remember to feed them. Storytelling is one way to remember. In July 2006, I left Seattle for my third trip to post-Katrina New Orleans. I had been captivated by the vision of a ragtag group of acupuncturists calling themselves Acupuncturists Without Borders. It was there on July 4, 2006, on the corner of Decatur and Barracks in the French Quarter that I met “Voice”, one of the survivors of what had been called the largest natural...

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