1998 Newsletter

Qigong Acupuncture
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The most common form of disease assessment in acupuncture and Chinese medicine is pulsology and tongue diagnosis. They are great diagnostic tools that can determine disease symptoms and their syndromes with incredible accuracy.

However, by actually learning what qi looks and feels like acupuncturists can understand homeostatic conditions by directly analyzing the electro-magnetic qi energy radiation that continually emits from a patient's body. By doing so therapists can quickly decern where the areas of concern are and apply a variety of healing techniques to correct the imbalances that created the disease.

Excess and deficiencies, blood and qi stasis, stress, injuries, diseases, symptoms and syndromes and even life styles and events can be predicted through analyzing the variable qualities of a patient's qi. The major reason why qigong assessment can be so accurate is because of the fundamental quality of qi called xinxi. Xinxi is best translated as spiritual-energy-information. Meaning that all fragments of qi are a form of energy that contain a DNA quality about it. The DNA quality of qi maintains the characteristics of its place of origin until it dissipates into the expanse of the universe or is transformed by another source of energy. When psychics are hired by the police department to find somebody they are following the qi energy's xinxi until they finally make contact with its source.

The same principle applies to qigong assessment. By directly analyzing the quality of the patients qi therapists can have a direct understanding of the nature of their patient's suffering and its psycho-physical relationship.

Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have an intimate understanding of the integral relationship between physical, mental, and spiritual diseases. After a distal assessment of the patient therapists look for corresponding channels, collaterals, and meridians to detect blockages in qi flow and xinxi. To treat locally or distally is never enough. It is very important to treat both equally purifying the very root of the disease. Any residual xinxi left locally or in its corresponding channels can result in the return of the disease. A common saying in China is that western medicine only treats the peripheral and not the root. That's because western medicine has a habit of diagnosing symptom instead of syndromes. To re-establish harmony within a patient therapists need to know not only the integral relationships between the three modes of being and their various body parts, but what type of treatment will be the most effective. Using acupuncture first stimulates the qi and relaxes the patient. Then the therapist transmits or draws qi energy through the needles and corresponding body parts to increase its effectiveness. The greater the qi the greater the result.

Being relaxed it is easier to realign the patient's channels, collaterals, meridians, bones, tendons and muscles using tuina, bana, acupointing, rotations, massage and topical energy transmission. Of course the best results of qigong therapy and acupuncture is directly related to the power of the therapist's energy cultivation and wisdom.




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Bodhi Mind

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Bodhi is not only the name of the tree that the Buddha sat under when he reached enlightenment, it is the name of the state of enlightenment that he reached. The expression of Bodhi is love, compassion and wisdom and it continually shines throughout the universe like the rays of the sun. Though the most sublime essence of humankind is its Bodhi nature we are continually weighed down by our three root poisons of ignorance, greed and hatred. These emotional obscurations are like clouds in the sky and they prevent our wisdom to shine.

To cultivate a Bodhi tree we use sunlight and water. To cultivate our Bodhi nature so that we fully awaken to our Bodhi mind we apply skilful means and wisdom.

Skilful means are the various techniques that we use to bring about our enlightenment such as love, compassion, wisdom, morality, energy control and meditation. Love, compassion and wisdom counters the three root poisons of hatred, greed and ignorance. Morality protects us from generating bad karma and further ignorance. Energy control purifies the body and mind, and meditation brings us into the state of the clear light. Though the Buddha Shakyamuni taught the eighty four thousand techniques to reach enlightenment throughout the three world systems they can all be boiled down to these essential ingredients.

According to the Buddha's teachings there are three major schools and nine vehicles to enlightenment. The Hinayana school is based on the first two vehicles which are for the listeners of the doctrine, and the meditative recluses. The Mahayana school begins at the third vehicle which is based on the Bodhisattva path. A Bodhisattva's mind is intent on bringing all sentient beings to full enlightenment. The mere karmic repercussions of this type of sincerity results in supreme enlightenment. The Vajrayana school begins at the fourth vehicle of enlightenment.

The next three vehicles are known as the outer tantras which are based on purification and understanding the spiritual nature of all things. The last three vehicles are based on the three inner tantras. Mahayoga is the practice of generation and transforms everything onto the path of enlightenment. Anuyoga, the stage of perfection uses intense energy cultivation to transform the body into a Buddha mandala entering the sate of pure bliss and clarity. Atiyoga-Dzogchen-the Great Perfection. These teachings can be intellectualized gradually or suddenly realized through the direct mind to mind transmission from a realized master.

Traversing the nine vehicles of enlightenment we begin by opening the window of cultivation to let the sun shine in. When realizations begin to dawn in our mind stream we begin to feel the bliss of Bodhicitta. However, the sunlight of our own cultivation is not enough to grow a Bodhi tree. We must apply the water of compassion and social interaction to help rid the world of pain and suffering. When the Bodhi tree is used to make a boat it can rescue those lost in the ocean of samsara and deliver them to the ultimate pristine shore of Nirvana.




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Holistic Healthcare -- Alternative?

Traditional Chinese Medicine is the best example of holistic healthcare. But, exactly what does holistic healthcare mean and why is it considered alternative medicine? Holistic healthcare means that it considers the whole mind-body organism as one integral unit and is treated as such. It takes into consideration the relationships between all of the various body parts. For instance how the kidneys control the strength of the teeth, the liver produces strong hair, and the lungs control sweating. TCM also takes into consideration the relationships between the various emotions. Excessive anger can create fear, excessive fear can create hesitancy and hesitancy can create sorrow. It also considers the relationships of the various organs and emotions together. The liver controls the emotion of anger, the heart controls joy, and the lungs control grief. Only by understanding the relationships between all of the organs, emotions and body parts can we treat patients holistically. By manipulating any given body part other parts of the body and mind responds. How you create that response is holistic wisdom.

To treat holistically also means to use all of the healing modalities available to healthcare practitioners to offer the best possible treatment for their patients. Since ancient times practitioners of TCM have used massage and qigong, herbal medicine and synthesized medicines, acupuncture and surgery with incredible efficiency. Just like understanding the integral relationships between the body and the mind holistic healthcare practitioners as exemplified by TCM understands what type of modality, or combinations of modalities best treats a given disease.

Healing with TCM has no ill side effects.
Healing from toxic medication & surgery,
can be difficult and even fatal.

All modalities of treatment have their side effects, but some more than others. The side effects of herbs are non-toxic while those of chemicals are extremely toxic. The side effects of prayers are less harmful than surgery, yet depending on the power and wisdom of the doctor performing the therapy they can be equally powerful. While there are no ill side effects of TCM, just healing from toxicification and surgery can be difficult and even fatal. Since all healthcare practitioners work within the parameters of their knowledge and experience they do the best they can with the modalities at their disposal. However, we should always consider the alternatives.

For treating heart disease in modern America it is common to use pharmaceuticals or even to cut open the chest to expose the heart, remove clogged obstructions and put it all back together. This procedure has undoubtedly saved many lives, but how many were really necessary considering the alternatives? Open heart surgery is often considered standard procedure where qigong, meditation, herbal medicine, and acupuncture is considered radical.

The Chinese have been using TCM for thousands of years to treat heart disease. Simple relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, visualizations, herbs, and acupuncture can treat and even cure many heart ailments. So why is it so radical to use TCM for heart disease? If you ask me cutting open someone's chest is far more radical than learning how to breath or use acupuncture. It seems to me that TCM should be a primary healthcare tool for ailments like heart disease and let surgery be the alternative. Lets face it, starting off with the least toxic - least invasive therapy is definitely the least radical.




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Sacred Journeys

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1998 was another great year for Sacred Journeys and the series of travel adventures we went on. While studying qigong and qigong therapy with Master Zhang and Linhai at the Wudang Qigong Hospital in China we climbed Jingji Mountain. It was a beautiful coastal mountain with Buddhist and Daoist temples at the top. The Abbot of the Fragrant Clouds Temple was a Daoist priest named Master Chen. Along with his concubine and his ten adopted children they haven't eaten for three years now. A product of their cultivation they are breath-airians and are beginning to take on some of the classical features of Daoist immortals. They were really interesting and a lot of fun to be with. They all put on Kungfu and qigong demonstrations and were incredibly hospitable. Before we left they invited us back next year to study their systems of cultivation including the art of purification and fasting.

After completing the Wudang system and our qigong therapy training at the hospital we left for Er Mei Mountain where we cultivated Er Mei qigong and spent the afternoons climbing the sacred mountain of the Bodhisattva Samanthabadra. Living and practicing in the ancient temples of Er Mei we met many great masters along the way. The master of the Bao Guo Temple was especially kind and consecrated many objects for us. Even the crazy monkeys let us by without a toll.

Our final journey was a three week horse trek through Tibet and it was amazing. Everyday was another adventure through the variable landscape. Starting off in the dense forests of the lowlands at ten thousand feet, we passed by cascading waterfalls and rushing mountain rivers. Starting at a Gelug temple we did a three day trek up river to a beautiful Bonpo temple. One master fell off his horse and broke his back. After treating him he responded very well and the word got around. local Kampas began arriving to get some treatment and we set up a little clinic in the temple. It was a great time to practice our new qigong therapy skills.

After long goodbyes we saddled up and trekked to fourteen thousand feet. The forests gave way to grass lands and we watched the rivers turn into streams and then disappear into the mountains. We had crossed the Mekong, Yangzi and the Yellow Rivers. Off in the distance the majestic snow capped Gonga mountain peaks surrounded us. The snow was deep this year adding an element of purity to our mission.

We practiced qigong and Powha everyday with the rising sun or under the moon lit sky. The cosmos were so rich it seemed like you could scoop up a ton of stars with your hands. As we reached our final destination the Longchen Nythink Monastery was having a Dakini dance with five hundred lamas in attendance. Flags flying, horns blowing and bells ringing, the drum beats filled the air. The next day, to our astonishment, the abbot Shenchen Rimpoche bestowed a powerful Powha empowerment and we all felt like we arrived in the western paradise of the Buddha Amitaba. He wanted us to stay for a few more months to learn esoteric Buddhism and receive other empowerments but we told him we would have to come back next year.




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To See the Light

To some seeing the light means they had a religious experience. To many it means to see the error of their ways. To most it has become a term simply meaning to see clearly or to understand. For qigong dharma practitioners it usually means all of the above and more. By seeing the light in all of its aspects means to make assessments about people, places and things and know how to interact with them accordingly.

Through the process of energy cultivation practitioners can begin to expand their awareness to see the light. Sometimes it comes through an empowerment, sometimes it comes through an external experience, and sometimes it just gradually appears through the power of your own cultivation, but everyone can see the light and use it to increase their knowledge and wisdom.

The ability to see the light of the various electro-magnetic energy fields that radiate throughout the phenomenal world can be used for several purposes. For qigong therapists to view the electro-magnetic energy field of the human body is a critical tool for assessing diseases. In areas where there are lighter or darker densities of light radiating from a specific area indicated the health or disease of that area. The same holds true for other animate or inanimate objects. For instance when you have the ability to see the qi or electro-magnetic energy fields of metals you can randomly place them in concealed boxes and determine which ones have what kind of metal in them due to the color and density of energy they radiate.

Stepping onto the path means seeing the light,
following it to its place of origin means, enlightenment.

In the highest levels of feng shui practitioners use this same technique to assess environmental conditions. The same way therapist diagnosis disease a feng shui practitioner observes the electro-magnetic energy radiance or qi field of a particular property and by observing the energy radiance can determine the quality and conditions of the property. Lighter in color and density indicates healthy property while darker in color and density indicates negative energy. The colors of the energy are just as important and depending on the owners own type of energy that can be calculated through the practice of bazi, a feng shui practitioner can determine whether the property is in harmony with the owner or will be bad for them.

For practitioners of religious faiths it is very important to have the ability to see the light, or the electro-magnetic energy fields of both the environment of the establishment, and its master. Qigong practitioners, meditators, and all cultivators of the way develop their own light. Therefore, masters of the way, or theologians should have even greater light than those who don't cultivate. Just like the halos that we see around the Buddha, Lao Tsu, Jesus and all the saints we too have halos. Just some are not as developed as others. During qigong assessment qigong therapists view these halos to assess disease. When a master has a bright white or golden halo then chances are they are truly cultivators of the way and have a stronger connection to God. There are only two ways to get a great looking halo and that is to be blessed with one or to cultivate one. Either way you have to be connected to get it.

Anybody can talk about qi or divinity and even baffle the masses with phyco-babble but the light doesn't lie. Viewing the master's light is a way to see how connected they really are and if stepping onto the path means seeing the light, then following it to its place of origin means, enlightenment.

copyright 1997 - 2012 Sacred Journeys
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