Sunday, April 15, 2012

Journey into Healing Day 4 & 5

Santa Monica beach. Copyright (c) 2012 Wendee Holtcamp

“This week will be like a tsunami of mind-blowing information.” – Davidji

I can't believe it's been a month since I updated my blog- my bad! I have been working on an article on the whole H5N1 (avian flu) brouhaha and the associated "dual use" dilemma - something your average scientist, let alone your average person, has not heard of. Dual use means research that could be used for good or evil. In the case of the H5N1 research, there are two studies where scientists made the deadly bird flu (which kills something like 60% of known infected people) more transmissible, and hence better suited to be turned into a biological weapon. The question becomes: should this research have been done?! Now that it has, should it be published? That has been the subject of a heated debate over the past 4 months that has totally flown under the radar of the general public. Science has a whole section that highlights past articles on this issue so you can get up to speed, if you are interested.

So I wanted to finish my blogging on the awesome Journey into Healing workshop, and share some of my highlights, and then leave you with a few last photos. And by the way, this workshop has been life-changing for me in that I have meditated for 30 minutes every morning except for two, and on a couple days I've done twice daily meditations (usually when I'm particularly stressed). I am really enjoying the practice.

My highlights...

  • Valencia Porter is a medical doctor who has amazing credentials, and she also specialized in environmental health, which fascinated me since I have been doing so much writing in this area lately. In one of her talks, she described the Ayurvedic wellness perspective, which is to treat the whole person – body, mind, and soul. She said, “If all your tests come back fine, even if you still feel like crap, you’re ‘healthy’ according to the Western model." But according to the Ayurvedic view, illness is the absence of vibrant health in any one of these three areas, and it aims to not only treat the whole person but also sees people as individualistic rather than a one-size-fits-all view. It's very much NOT about just prescribing medication until the symptoms go away, as Western doctors so often do today.

  • In one of Davidji's talks, his descriptions of "doshas" -- vata (air), pitta (fire) and kapha (earth) -- were hilarious! He is such a talented speaker, as he is just plain funny and his passion for the subjects comes through. He had us all in stitches. In an Ayurvedic approach, one's diet, medical treatment, behavioral care, etc, can depend on your constitution or dosha. I hope to write more about this in the future but there's tons o' info online about doshas if you are interested! Which do you think I am?

  • Last, in one of Deepak Chopra's two talks, he said something in passing that I just loved. In his lilting Indian accent, he said “And if I don’t like a thought... ‘NEXT!’” It was funny, simple, and extremely profound. In other words, we can just tell the thoughts we don’t like to scram. And I have literally said this - NEXT! - to several of my thoughts over the past month. Try it - to works!

  • And last but not least: RPM - Rise, Pee, Meditate! :)
My roommate Suzi (from Ireland), Paige (she came up on the second to last day to hang with me at the La Costa Resort) and me.

I loved these "tree of life" paintings they were selling. I got a 5x7 card of one. They come in all sorts of colors.
Davidji, Peaches the Buddha Princess and me on the last day.

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