Inspired by my dear friend Lillian Pearl Bridges and her yearly choice of a Spiritual Action, I have been contemplating my own path. As I am beginning to prepare for a retreat on Virtue Healing in a few weeks, my head and heart are much concerned with the traditional Chinese Five Virtues 五德 or Five Constancies 五常:...All of these are obviously much needed these days, both in my personal life and in the universe at large, and I will spend as much energy as I can find in myself on cultivating each one of these. Nevertheless, I found it impossible to settle on a single one of these. Instead this morning, as I was getting ready to see my beloved daughter off to college a long day's drive away, it came to me...Read More
This blog is a collection of ruminations, translations, and personal opinions by Sabine and some guest authors. Reflecting my own personality, some posts are academic, some clinical, and some personal, some are excerpts from existing books and some may become part of future books. Please leave comments with feedback, questions, constructive criticism, and differences of opinion as long as you argue your reasons for disagreement logically. Any personal attacks, uncivil remarks, or self-promoting comments will be deleted.
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It seems we all need allies. The Lone Ranger had Silver, his faithful horse.
Davy Crockett had his coon-skin cap as well as his trusty rifle, Old Betsy.
Basho, Japan’s most famous poet, had the moon and a small boy I once saw
on the Moscow metro had a tiny hedgehog, which he kept in his pocket, but
brought out to stroke, much to the astonishment of his fellow passengers.
Maybe he reminded them of the value of friendship in an often hostile world.
Allies bring comfort, company and connection, a little personal touch of life
touching life that staves off that feeling of loneliness that seems such a
common undercurrent in people’s lives.
Rose does not ask for a pet, she powerfully demands recognition whenever she needs it or the mood strikes her. Luckily for me, that is actually quite often. At the same time, she is fiercely independent and happily and ceaselessly performs her task of guarding the farm. Our connection is not one of devotion or need but of choice, given as a mutual gift to enrich both of our lives from a place of power and freedom. Having this force of nature in my life serves as a constant reminder to myself of my own animal nature. It also inspires me to exist in the moment in a non-rational presence that perhaps can temporarily transcend the subjective or objective experience of reality, as it is filtered through the divisive activity of the rational mind. This is as close as I come on a daily basis to the ideal Chinese state of “fasting the heart.”Read More
The prospect of yet another wall going up and mercilessly dividing a contiguous region by cutting through towns, communities, families, and friends who I deeply love and care about on both sides, and the reality already of innocent people being torn from their communities, rounded up, marked as different due to some human-made distinction expressed by a piece of paper, and shipped off to a place of no return, breaks my heart and forces me to speak up. The current hateful political discourse on building a wall and deporting “illegals” to “make America great again” touches me more deeply than any other political issue ever has in my entire adult life, and I have been around the block.Read More
Dear Friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, acquaintances, or anybody else who may be expecting a present from me! Dear marketers, intentional manipulators of my emotional Christmas hang-ups, and purveyors of junk mail! Dear anybody who is trying to get me to buy or sell anything this Christmas!
It is the intention of this letter to inform all of you that I have not and will not be buying presents to celebrate Christmas this year. I regret to inform you all that nobody will be receiving a hippopotamus from me for Christmas, regardless of how nicely you can sing that tune. Allow me to explain, in the hope that you will understand and not take it personal if you do not receive a present from me or get me to buy your product.Read More
In the hour before dawn
The memories smash through the carefully barred doors
Of their jail cells in my marrow.
Watching the front door close behind my young child,
Taken away by a friend to safety
Because I know they are coming for me.Read More
After a few days of reflection, I have decided to accept the risk of offending some readers with my perspective as a brand-new American citizen, who has nevertheless lived here for most of my adult life, mastered the art of making apple pie, learned to shoot a gun, and raised a thoroughly American daughter all the way through prom and beyond. I feel the need to share my personal story because it may spark a conversation or offer a different perspective. I believe that these times call on all of us to speak truth from our hearts, and to listen to our fellow humans’ truth with an open heart in exchange. For only with honesty and openness to other viewpoints can we start the hard work of overcoming our current divisions and make room for love and reconciliation instead.Read More
While I was really hoping to announce the release of my forthcoming (and over-due) translation of the Divine Farmer's Classic of Materia Medica, we are still fine-tuning it. It is a precious text that needs to be treated with reverence and presented correctly. So please be patient and accept my apologies for the delay. Any day now though....literally!
In the meantime, I have a sweet little story to share with you: A friend recommended that I check out the work of Jane English, translator, publisher, shaman, nature photographer, and apparently just somebody whose work I would really relate to.Read More
Guest blog by Lillian Pearl Bridges (www.lotusinstitute.com): As a mother, I wanted the best for my two sons and still do, even though they are now adults. I too read all the parenting books to look for the best advice on how to be a good parent. And of course the first person I turned to was my mother. I was raised in a Chinese family, but luckily I didn’t have a Tiger Mother, with incredibly high standards for education. I had the Dragon Mother instead!Read More