All my life I have rejuvenated by going to wild places. It is in the wilderness that I find solace, peace, and deep connection to both the natural environment and to my deepest sense of belonging, my soul’s yearning, and my connection to spirit. Over the last couple of years, I have engaged in formal rituals and rites of passages, which lead me to offer nature-based programs for people so they, too, can reconnect with nature and their own wild selves.
In June 2015 I traveled to Nepal with Acupuncturists Without Borders to offer trauma relief work for survivors of the devastating earthquakes which occurred in April of that year. It was a remarkable journey. Together with two and sometimes three other acupuncture colleagues, I treated nearly 2,000 Nepali and Tibetan survivors, to assist their nervous systems in recovering from the shocks. Read more about my experiences in Nepal.
Community is essential for health; and by community I mean the relationship between humans, near and far, but also the relationship across species, and other forms of life. Because it is of utmost importance to me to realize and recognize my willingness to respond to the need and welfare of all beings on this planet, I am involved in activities that support others to do the same. At a time where individualism has gone to its extreme in the Western World to the determent of this beautiful earth and many of its inhabitants, I want to support and encourage people to find their place in the larger community again, and recognize their intrinsic belonging.
For me, the recognition of belonging has led me to get involved in different activities and to support organizations with a similar vision.
Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB)
AWB has been involved in offering Acupuncture in disaster areas in many parts of the world. They have also developed a model to serve veterans here in the States. I was involved in setting up the weekly Seattle Acupuncture Clinic for Veterans and served at the clinic for a number of years.
Many years ago on a pilgrimage to the sacred Mount Kailash I offered acupuncture to the villagers whose land I was traveling to. This was the first time in my many years of worldwide travel that I was fortunate enough to feel I was offering something valuable in return.
When I visited Nepal in 2015, it was a special honor to work with residents of the earthquake-affected areas, and a jarring experience to exchange greetings with a man who lost all his fingers from leprosy, while I learned not to take mine for granted. Read more about my experiences in Nepal.
After many years of personal journeying into the inner and outer wilderness all over the world, I stumbled across this incredible organization which has its headquarters merely 5 minutes from my home. How synchronistic is that! I immediately reached out to get involved and now serve on the Board of Directors.
I believe that it is of utter importance to take young people into the wilderness to offer them an intimate experience of the beautiful, extraordinary, and wild world they live in. This is, in my knowing, the most hopeful thing we can do to support not just the survival of humans, but of the diversity of beings on earth. It is an essential offering to the future beings who depend on us for their birth and survival.