Journey to Kailash

This is a story about a pilgrimage I undertook in late summer of 2001- a journey to a mountain in one of the most remote corners of the Earth in an area considered by Buddhist tradition to be “the navel of the world”. As always with pilgrimages though, the journey is not merely a story of epic bus and train rides or the joys and challenges of living out of a backpack with meager food, sleeping in dusty dog houses, encountering stunningly beautiful mountains and friendly natives. Pilgrimage is ultimately an inner journey, an unfolding of the hidden pathways of the mind – the...

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Sustainable Here and Now

Sustainability – As buzz words go, this one is big. Everyone wants to create sustainable living, sustainable economies, sustainable ecologies. But what does that really mean in an unsustainable world? Fact of the matter is, change is the only constant in life. From a Buddhist perspective, realizing the truth of impermanence deeply, is what liberates us from clinging to the illusion of a sustainable, inherently existent self or ego. In a few billion years, the sun will render the Earth crisper than burnt toast. And long before that, you and I and everyone we know, all our possessions....

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Young Maple – A story of blessings

We all go through difficult periods from time to time. Our proverbial forty days in the desert, our dark nights of the soul. These can give us strength if we remember that “this too will pass”, that life is never without purpose or meaning, and that all experiences carry many teachings. A long time ago – almost it seems in another lifetime, I was young and unsure about my place in the world, wondering whether I was really welcome.  I was waiting for a bus, shivering on a cold wintery city sidewalk in the University District. As I stood there in the grey and bland urban...

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Acupuncture and Disaster Relief – Hurricane Katrina Journal

(First published on Feb. 27, 2007 – we continue to transfer blogs from our old server to our new server – enjoy our CommuniChi history!) Although Hurricane Katrina and the Great Flood of 2005 in New Orleans has long since dropped off the front pages of the media, the after effects of this disaster continue to impact people in the area as they struggle to put their lives back together. Acupuncturists Without Borders’ work in New Orleans was an eye opening experience for Serena and I and from this experience we both acquired a deep resonance with the idea of establishing a...

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Community Healing Vibrations

Another year passes and all of us here at CommuniChi are honored to have the opportunity to work with every one enters this space seeking health and wellness. I feel uplifted by the trust that people have to seek out our acupuncture clinic and a sense of grace participating in each patient’s journey, bearing witness to both your pains and joys. Perhaps 2012 was a struggle for you or mundane. Perhaps it was magically fulfilling. Whatever your experience, you are not alone. The beings of this world – human or animal – are all going through a shared experience right now, entering a time of...

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The Education of an Acupuncturist

I first gave this talk to a group of high school seniors in Ellensburg, Washington in the spring of 2005. One of my patients, a high school teacher, asked me to come and talk about my life. If you ever have a chance to speak to a group of students like this, I highly recommend it. You will learn about yourself and may open up horizons for the next generation. As I child growing up on the coast of Maine, I had no contact with Buddhism or acupuncture. I remember once flipping through an encyclopedia and seeing a picture of someone who looked like they had been attacked by a porcupine. I...

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