Join Ananda as she scours the planet for traditional medicinal and healing practices

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Chaos Before the Storm

I have been dutifully researching information on the beloved mistletoe. I was going to write an entry about its how its symbolism, mythology (Norse and Celtic) is related to it's healing properties. How the energy, understanding, and perhaps even gestalt of the plant relates to the process of healing... but then I got sidetracked - and perhaps I'll even return to the topic someday.

But for today I write from a chaotic state of packing and fretting. Knowing full well that fear attracts itself in an endless cycle and that fear can be the cause of dis-ease - but for now as a voyage into the unknown is approaching and my room is in the state of a disastrous attempt at packing I'm going to indulge myself in my own private melodrama - and hopefully come out the other end to tell you all about it.

In the meantime I thought it would be a good time to talk about the interconnectedness of the web of life. I'll call this the interweb (and yes I realize this word has other connotations -but it really fits my intentions quite nicely).

I find it difficult to understand how we will ever heal the planet on a macrocosmic scale when we continue to dump toxins into our own bodies - a microcosmic representation of the earth. How will we get it together to stop releasing greenhouse gases when people continue to smoke commercially sold cigarettes that are loaded with some of the most toxic substances known to man (and yes I'm guilty too - I've been known to indulge in the occasional smoke). We need to change our personal habits, thereby creating a change in global consciousness. Environmentalism begins at home - and if we don't respect our personal bodies how are we expected to respect the greater stellar body that we call home?

Global consciousness is beginning a small progressive shift towards respecting the planet, but it seems that the machinery of capitalism, politics, and the bottom line is has a momentum far to great to be easily stopped by the protests of the few. But the way our personal health reflects the health of the whole, what we do to the planet we do to ourselves. I know none of this is new info, but I feel we all need to be reminded over and over again. And if this is a blog dedicated to healing, then mention of planetary healing is in order.

So lets all make a new year's resolution to heal ourselves, thereby healing the planet, thereby healing each other.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Alchemy of Healing

While I sit on my stool at Riverdale Homeopathics I picked up a book by Edward Whitmont tittled The Alchemy Of Healing. The book eloquently explores healing in the context of Jungian philosophy, alchemy, and homeopathy. It's a brilliant illustration of how spiritual thought and practice is the basis of healing. Without internal transformation ultimate health is impossible.

Whitmont explains how our present dualist understanding of reality creates a barrier between us, others, the environment, and ultimately healing.

"Despite their differences, relativity and quantum theory both imply an an underlying "unbroken wholeness of the universe," Bohm's "implicate or infolded" order. What we perceive as "separately existent particles" and "ordinary notions of time and space" are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order. These ordinary notions in fact appear in what is called the explicate or unfolded order." (Bohm, op.cit.xv)
The habit of treating mind and matter as though they were fundamentally separated and incommensurable has serious consequences. It keeps us from dealing effectively with psychosomatic reality. It inhibits the acceptance of a holistic model of healing. It sanctions the and destruction of our habitat because it prevents us from seeing our planetary body as a conscious organism of which we are a part. In destroying our environment, we destroy ourselves." (Whitmont, the Alchemy of Healing, P.48)

By understanding that matter is a manifestation of energy, and that all energy is interconnected (and is actually all one single organism) then we understand that our thoughts are influential and can materialize in physical reality. We also understand that our actions affect everything around us. If this is true then there is a deeper understanding of illness, its causes, and its cures. We need to treat, or stimulate, or transform at an energetic level in order to heal at a physical, mental and emotional level.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

An Introductory Ramble

I promise to not have too many of these long hauled rambles, but I do want to begin by introducing me, this site, and my intentions.

I've been fascinated with mysticism since as long as I can remember. As a child I gobbled books by the dozen that had to do with fantasy and science fiction, and by the time I made it to junior high school I had a keen interest in the occult. I started to realize that magic is an ever present aspect of everyday life and that it's actually possible to to encourage its presence through awareness, intention and spirituality. This became the focus of my university education as i studied performance, religion, shamanism, and their connections to healing.

Now to take a little aside here to discuss spirituality. This is a word loaded with meaning, that is used much too frivolously and simultaneously much too seriously. By spirituality I am not referring to frou frou new age capitalism, nicely packaged and sold to the public as true religion, and I'm not talking about dogmatic institutions that claim theirs is the only way; I'm referring to the underlying soul of humanity. I'm talking about the archetypes that can be found in every culture, inevitably pointing us in the right direction. I'm talking about a personal exploration of reality and reflection of the self, other, and the universal whole. A journey to be taken lightly, with joy and compassion as well as depth, determination, and commitment.

So what is health and healing and how does it fit into a spiritual paradigm? What is the role of religion (which I define as a belief system regardless of organisation or lack of) in healing and healing in religion? This is one of the questions I'm on a journey to investigate. I expect to find polarity, dichotomy, dualism, and unification - Answers? Maybe. A journey? Definitely.

I now prepare to head to India where I plan to explore Homeopathic Medicine, Ayurveda, Yoga, Tai Chi (I'm aware it's not of Indian origin but my spectacular Tai Chi teacher lives in Goa), Devotionalism, Prayer, Tantra, and anything else that may fall in my path.

In the meantime as I prepare you will find ramblings, philosophy and the results of my research.

one last thing the picture above is of a bedouin I encountered in Petra, Jordan who was sharing with us some medicinal plants (not just the ones he's smoking)

I look forward to comments, so please feel free to add yours

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Convert the Whales

My roommate Noah is preparing to go on his own more imminent journey to Mexico and more specifically San Cristobal de las Casas. He departs tomorrow morning.

In good Jewish tradition another member of my extensive household presented Noah with a parting gift - $5. We believe that if you go somewhere with the intention of performing a good deed, a mitzva, then God will ensure your safety until you finish your mission. Your mission should you choose to accept it is to drop $5 in a donation box. And as a rather orthodox friend once told me, "and don't give to to Save the Whales or anything stupid like that". We figure convert the whales would be a more acceptable contribution in the eyes of the all mighty.

As a side note San Cristobal is the centre of a revolution. Guided by the Zapatistas, indigenous people are fighting for their rights, for the rights of indigenous people around the world, and for unbiased and free media.

For more info you can check out the following sites:
wiki's version
and if you speak spanish this is their official site

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Indian Bureaucracy - The Journey Begins

You start your preparations:

Packing list:
passport - check
sleeping bag - check
first aid kit - check
3 pairs of socks - check
underwear - check

visa - damn, better get on that! I'lll just head down to the consulate..... or not. As of Nov. 20th they only accept application via mail, you must trust your passport, pictures, and bankdraft to the mailman. Hmmmmmmm.

shanti shanti shanti - time to get into the vibe and place your faith in the hands of the unforseeable. In this case, the bureaucrat.