The seasons are changing, pandemic restrictions are loosening and there is possibility on the horizon.
So what are we going to do now?
My newly vaccinated mother just had her first glorious grocery shopping trip in over a year. I’m hoping in a few months I will be able to share meals and sing with people.
What will it look like to return to normal things (joyfully!) and also not return back to the normal that wasn’t working? On that great day we no longer need to take COVID precautions our communities will still be deeply wounded and divided. With our great freedom, what will we do?
I want to lift up one of my most significant teachers about healing on every level: Master Chunyi Lin, founder of Spring Forest Qigong. He is a healer with a huge vision of ending suffering in the world. He has taught me so much about not only personal healing but also collective healing, which in my mind also makes him a great activist and social transformer.
The idea of a world without suffering is such a big goal, it can be mistaken for being naïve. As I learned more about Master Lin’s life story through his book Born a Healer I realized he is anything but naïve. He and his family suffered greatly during the cultural revolution in China. At one point he had had to flee for his life and later worked in a labor camp.
Because of everything that happened to him, as a young man he was very angry and suffered from suicidal depression. He also had crippling arthritis in his knees which led him to qigong. When qigong not only healed his knees but unexpectedly also cured his depression he devoted the rest of his life to qigong. He studied intensively and came to the United States to teach with the purpose of “a healer in every family and a world without pain and suffering.”
As suspicion and hatred mounts towards Asians, I honor Master Lin’s voice, profoundly grounded in ancient Chinese wisdom. When I had my health crisis, healings from him were the special sauce that got me through. I also honor him as a most profound activist and social transformer.
Master Lin’s work for healing the world comes from such a different world view, that it doesn’t always register as “real” or “impactful” to others. Western medicine has been slow to recognize the contributions of Chinese medicine and similarly, Western activism has been slow to recognize contributions from the East. For example, he is leading a free Chanting Fest this weekend which is about purifying the energy both within and around us; it will be a wonderful contribution to our collective healing in this moment.
When you consider what is next for you, and what’s next for creating a better normal, remember that there are many ways to have an impact. Why not aim high? Let’s not only heal that aching hip, eliminate disparities and stop climate change but also end the separation from love and meaning which is the cause of so much suffering!
As Master Lin so frequently reminds us all, the capacity to make a difference is already inherently in you. You were born a healer.
Strengthen your skills for creating balance through community practice
Drop in any week to Healing Waters Qigong, a Spring Forest Qigong practice group, or the Wisdom Dances Circle, grounded in Laura Shannon’s research on the transformative power of Women’s Ritual Dances from the Balkans, Greece, and Asia Minor.
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