What do you hold dear? What feels like you need to manage, control, or hold? Reputation, safety, a dream? Another's love? Chinese medicine calls the energy of protection wei qi. This energy lives outside the body during the day. It protects you from pathogens and separates you from the world. A separate entity requires protection. If your wei qi is strong, you fight off colds. You can also feel your wei qi when someone around you is negative or angry, and an energetic barrier arises.

Last week I had a mole that seemed to bleed beneath the surface of the skin. I had been pondering skin cancer for a while, so of course, in my mind I had malignant melanoma. I looked at the energy of overgrown protection. Too much wei qi? Is there a difference between the inner and outer light? Is there anything real between them? The lines between me and others real in appearance, but not real.

When you see you aren't an island unto yourself, nothing can harm you, because the lines of separation are simply an energetic function.

I sit here and let my mind wander back over my life - to positive, happy feelings and those of regret. It seems if I could somehow take those positive feelings and move toward more of them, my heart would be happy. And if I could correct the negative, there would be more happiness.

How could the artist that drew the portrait of life have chosen to paint such tragedy along with the beauty? Because the artist is not separate from the portrait. What kind of landscape would there be with only light and pastels?

The energy of love and connection longs to feel loved in return. There is still psychic energy trying to protect that need. The depth of loneliness behind it is unfathomable; yet when it is allowed, there is such anguishing joy to be held in the recognition of utter aloneness, which is oneness.

As a previously unconscious energy pattern rises to the surface, it moves from dense and opaque to transparent. I hurt for my loneliness, and everyone else's. I want to be there to help everyone I encounter not feel lonely... So they don't have to feel it. Then I don't. Protection. Isn't it ironic that protection lives with loneliness?

The bone marrow can't seem to get that there is no one here dictating events. It still seems to pump out self will. There is resistance to the fact that I can't make a single thing happen and I can't protect myself from what seems to be happening. Thoughts are given, emotions are given, action is given. Positive emotions don't make positive things happen any more than negative ones prevent them. The spleen claims it as mine, and makes it into flesh. I can't shake off the feeling of protection, or speed it along. And beneath it all, there is nothing to protect. I feel it in my thymus gland.

The Shen

One of the most ancient texts of Eastern healing, written 2000 years ago, tells us: All diseases arise from the heart; all healing comes from the heart. The heart they are referring to is not just the anatomic heart muscle; nor is it simply the emotion of love; the ancients call it shen.

Shen is the spiritual power depicted by the Chinese character:  ? representing an altar, through which extending influences flow from above/beyond. Other definitions of Shen include:

The very essence of divinity; Consciousness; Spirit, infused from heaven. Pure, infinite, cosmic light, a luminous  force of vitality which comes from the divine. Shen is the means through which the will of heaven is known. The Shen encompasses the highest mind of consciousness that provides insight and makes you conscious of who you are. It is the energy that enlivens the body and psyche. The Shen resides in the heart.  The Heart holds the office of Lord and Sovereign. The radiance of the spirits stems from it.

When the ancient emperor Huang Di queries the sage, Qi Bo he asks him how we can lose harmony with the spirit of nature so that disease can arise. He understands that before healing can happen, we must be “rooted in spirit.” And Qi Bo goes off on a discourse regarding the power of heaven.

Spirit, heaven, consciousness – the vibrant energy through which all is enlivened and known. Spirit brings all into existence, and to spirit essence returns. When we can enliven this power within, we enter a state of healing, which does not require the intermediary of a physician, a state of profound healing is at hand.; closer even than your thoughts. The Tao te Ching tells us – Use it as you will; it never runs dry.

Chinese medicine is essentially about one thing – healing the spirit. Before true change can occur, we must raise our consciousness to a level above where the disease has been manifesting. It is an inside job. A true “healer” does nothing beyond taking you into the power of your own shen. And they watch in amazement at the transformation that heaven brings about through your inner essence.

When individuals come to retreat, many are confused about the concept of true healing and what fertility has to do with the heart. Many have had less than profound experiences with acupuncture. On the first day, I tell them that my intention is to bring them to a place where a shift in consciousness occurs, and that which obstructed their energy loses hold. The essence of all life, yours and your child’s, will come from that which envelops the spirit – the heart. It flows into your womb and invites life.

A  true “healer” does not hold the attitude of “I know what to do and how to do it, and I will heal you.” A true “healer” is in a sate of awe, rooted in their spirit, so it can be enlivened in you. Anything else is quackery.