Saturday, September 29, 2012

"A Wilderness Hike" begins a month-long virtual healing journey daily starting October 1

Check out the Press Release for my new blog series, "A Wilderness Hike."

"A Wilderness Hike" begins a month-long virtual healing journey daily starting October 1

Healer, author, and avid wilderness hiker Tim Emerson takes readers on a daily month-long exploration of wilderness hiking, its healing effects mental and spiritual, and some of what he shares in his forthcoming book, "Getting Unstuck," about living rich, fulfilling lives now, much of it worked out while hiking in the wilderness. Each blog post at http://www.kwanyinhealing.com/blog.php will feature photos from his Adirondack hikes.

"Nature has a sobering energy in the wilderness. . .the perceived problems swirling in our heads are irrelevant there."

(PRWEB) September 28, 2012

When Tim Emerson first started hiking in the wilderness, it was just to get away from the city. But once he had moved to the country, wilderness hiking took on a new quality, not of escape, but of healing.

"As beautiful, peaceful, and relaxing as parks and the countryside can be, they don't have the same energy as nature in the wilderness," Emerson explains. "There's a quiet calm that goes deeper than just peaceful, something more primal, more fundamental, more inherently central to our nature and well-being."

The idea isn't new; the ancient Chinese called this energy the Kung, a fundamental sound the earth made, and ancient emperors had officials travel among the villages to ensure musical instruments were properly attuned to it. The concern was that city life drowned out the sound of the Kung, leaving residents out of harmony with the earth.

"Nature has a sobering energy in the wilderness," Emerson relates. "There's a clarity, a disengaged presence that cares not whether you live or die, the difference immaterial. The perceived problems swirling in our heads are irrelevant there."

That's where the healing starts. "First, you notice just how incredibly active thoughts are jangling around," Emerson notes, "followed by a gradual clearing. The first two hours on a wilderness hike are largely about settling in; after about six hours, life problems that had seemed hopelessly tangled become simple, straight-forward, with obvious paths toward solutions."

Emerson will be writing about his experiences daily for the month of October in a blog series, "A Wilderness Hike." "A lot of people have asked me about taking healing clients on wilderness hikes," he shares. "I invite readers to chime in with comments about how something like that might work, what they would like to see, what they might join."

Hikers or not, readers will have much to digest. "A lot of my forth-coming book, 'Getting Unstuck,' was worked on while on these long wilderness hikes," Emerson notes. The book looks at the various ways people feel trapped in a poor economy, in jobs they don't love, in emotional or spiritual confusion, in addictions, in the need for healing. Some of this content will be shared in the month-long blog series.

Helping physical, emotional, and life direction healing is the heart of Emerson’s business, Kwan Yin Healing. He also offers a “Healing for Healers” discussion forum and a “Ten Meditation Tips for People who Can’t Meditate” handout. “I’ve been thinking about some form of ‘Hike and Heal’ program for quite a while,” he adds.

Kwan Yin Healing provides in-person and distance healing to clients in the U.S. and Canada. Emerson is a Reconnective Healing practitioner, offering both Reconnective Healing and The Reconnection. He was trained through Dr. Eric Pearl’s "The Reconnection" program. Emerson has been a hiker, healer, and musician for over 30 years. Information about his services is available on his web site, Kwan Yin Healing. Kwan Yin Healing was founded in January 2012 to better service Tim Emerson's growing healing clientele.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My New Blog! Come see!

It's up! My new healing blog!!!! Come check it out!!!!

http://www.kwanyinhealing.com/blog.php

Be the first to comment and subscribe! ;-)

First post -- "Feeling creates Healing" -- I have long known and experienced the power of gratitude, and of focusing on what we want, rather than what we don’t want. But I had never realized the full impact of these energies on healing until I saw Alan Cohen and Gregg Braden share their powerful experiences with cancer patients.

Amazing video of a Chinese hospital shrinking a three inch bladder tumor while we watch on a sonogram!

And check out the rest of my site too. I'm still working on it...will fix the problems and add new pages as time allows.

Meanwhile -- Enjoy!

Nice to be back and blogging!!!!

Writer, aka
Kwan Yin Healing
http://kwanyinhealing.com

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bark Here Now

Golden Retrievals
By Mark Doty

Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention
seconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so.
Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who’s—oh
joy—actually scared. Sniff the wind, then

I’m off again: muck, pond, ditch, residue
of any thrillingly dead thing. And you?
Either you’re sunk in the past, half our walk,
thinking of what you never can bring back,

or else you’re off in some fog concerning
—tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work:
to unsnare time’s warp (and woof!), retrieving,
my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark,

a Zen master’s bronzy gong, calls you here,
entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wrong Theocracy

I received this email today:

"America, Canada, all Europe ..... needs a President like this.

"Prime Minister Kevin Rudd - Australia

"Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

"Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques.

"Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.'

"'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, Learn the Language!'

"'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'

"'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'

"'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.'
'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.' Maybe if we circulate this , American citizens will find the backbone to start speaking and voicing the same truths.
If you agree, please SEND THIS ON."

I get stuff like this from time to time, and I usually ignore it. Not today. My group reply:

America was founded by a group of very different people whose early leaders were all too familiar with the tyrannical role religion played in government. Even though these leaders argued and argued fiercely about many, many issues, they were clear on this point--the new nation would have a government separate from religion, ruling a country where its citizens were free to practice whatever religion they choose. This was the Age of Enlightenment, and the law of reason would guide the new state.

19th and 20th century evangelicals felt differently. In the early 20th century, they even succeeded in adding "In God We Trust" to the nation's currency, a move religious president Theodore Roosevelt strongly opposed as sacrilege. Today, people insist, against all evidence, that America's founders designed a Christian nation, despite their rigorous omission of the mention of Christ from any government documents. Some people today, ignoring both historical tyranny and modern day examples, wish to create a theocracy in the U.S. It is a horrible mistake, and goes against everything this nation was founded upon. It is also an aberration against religion.

In 19th century America, the new railroads needed workers. They also need towns and people to populate them along the new rail routes. Since the U.S. didn't have sufficient population, in numbers or willing participants, they invited immigrants. Literally--ran massive ad campaigns to sell Europeans on coming to America. There were literally more Irish in New York City than in Dublin. Town after town of German immigrants spread across the midwest. And in darker times, America became a refuge for the scientists and artists and social leaders facing death in their own countries--immigrants who helped change a backwater country into the center for the arts and science it is today.

Every business of even moderate size today does business overseas. These are our markets. We are citizens of the world. It makes sense to talk calmly and reasonably to other nations, even as we keep the ability to use stronger methods when necessary. Arrogant cowboys strutting about telling the rest of the world to go to hell, we're Americans, is neither patriotic, effective, nor reasonable. It only proves to the rest of the world that we cannot be reasoned with, that the only thing we listen to are nuclear weapons, and they'd better hurry to get some.

Mindless blather circulating the Internet has replaced thinking. If America faces any particular difficulty, it's that. Legal immigrants of varied backgrounds are no threat whatsoever. Who cares if we have multilingual people? Anyone who thinks they deliberately sit around refusing to learn English is an idiot--this would only make their life harder. I have seen many of these people, struggling to finish a college degree in a language they are still learning while working crappy full time jobs and living with their families and a few others in just a few rooms. And they do it. They fricking successfully do it! America needs more people like that, people with courage and determination, people with the will to make their lives and their world better than it is. More people with real spirit, and less mouths bitching on the Internet.

The message also ignores the reality of the millions of Muslims who live in the U.S.--doctors and scientists and professors and every other profession, just like everyone else. They don't practice Sharia law here. They don't try to, and they don't want to. They see themselves as Americans, and they follow the law of the land.

Theocratic, jingoistic Christians in America should follow their example or get out. Australia seems a possibility.

This crap angers me. Stop it. Use your brains and think, for Christ's sake.

Writer

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Poem and Mountain

One of my best friends started seminary this term. He recently emailed me (his atheist friend) the following:

Want to help me with some homework? I'm taking a class on Poetry and the Religious Imagination. This week, we're to strike up a conversation with a friend outside class about the creative moment over a poem by Wallace Stevens.

"The Poem That Took the Place of a Mountain"

There it was, word for word.
The poem that took the place of a mountain.

He breathed its oxygen.
Even when the book lay turned in the dust of his table.

It reminded him how he had needed
A place to go to in his own direction,

How he had recomposed the pines,
Shifted the rocks and picked his way among clouds,

For the outlook that would be right,
Where he would be complete in an unexplained completion:

The exact rock where his inexactnesses
Would discover, at last, the view toward which they had edged,

Where he could lie and, gazing down at the sea,
Recognize his unique and solitary home.

So, maybe the question to ask regarding creativity or the creation of a poem is why? What does the poem, the creative act of "recomposing" and "shifting" give us? Hmm. I think of Stevens as modernist in the sense that he's looking for wholeness, but recognizes the world as fractured. He doesn't have God out there somewhere to whom he can go for reassurance. He goes to the poem, "turned in the dust of his table," to find his home. Hmmmm. What do you think?

Be well!

Here’s my response:

This is a great assignment, especially that you must get outside input. The last of the demons preventing Buddha from enlightenment was his own ego. This is among the most revealing statements ever written about spirituality. Some things just can’t be seen from ourselves.

I’ve climbed a lot of mountains. When I needed to get into a difficult issue, to solve a troubling problem, to sort out which things were important, I went climbing. Walks, while peaceful, don’t accomplish this in the same sense. Nor is it the view--driving to the top is not equivalent. Six/eight hours of tiring climbing, however, clears the mind, leaving choices and situations apparent, courses of action clear. Some of this is activity, perhaps, but long hikes aren’t the same either. Some of it is activity mandated by survival--a very effective way to focus priorities. But most of this is getting outside one’s own mind. The experiences and memories it yields are deeply meaningful, so clear I can revisit the summit at will (and do when I need this focus), something very personal that cannot be taken away but something not mine nor me, now or then. It is more than such things. As Lao Tzu observes, “Those who know do not tell; those who tell do not know.” It is beyond telling. It is a knowing that is more whole than the knowing we speak of day to day. And I immediately recognized this in Stevens’ poem.

When a Zen or Taoist painter shares his work with a friend (a work born of a moment of meditation, the painter anticipates that the friend will add a poem born of meditation on the image (this is why Chinese/Japanese painted scrolls typically have so much writing on them). Similar to what you’re doing now, the viewer gains perspectives outside his own mind (and even his own mindlessness). I see poetry this way too. A poet shares a fresh perspective, a different way of viewing our world, our experience, our nature, or even just the possibility of those other perspectives, that there indeed CAN be “thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird,” for example. This too takes us outside of our own minds, beyond our experience into views we cannot see alone. I think of an amoeba-shaped lake, its shores heavily wooded, with observers standing at various points and coves, unseen by each other, all looking at the same lake, but seeing in each case a very different lake. For a more complete view at any given moment, they will need each other’s descriptions. They simply cannot view all these perspectives at once themselves. A poet can shift through these in time.

You turn to literary theory, a tool which, though I understand it (as a musician, for example, I recognize technically everything happening in a performance), I’ve always found limiting. Yes, it can inform the context. It can also posit the arbitrary. While I notice the technical aspects, it’s not what I hear--it’s not the music, in the way that I see the world as a musician, in the way that I write like a musician, that I see “mountain” in the same sense as I see music, as who I am, yet not me nor mine. When on stage, reaching down for that difficult passage, 3000 people listening quietly, expecting perfection, counter-intuitively calming my breathing to met the challenge, pressure on, knowing it will flow of its own accord, fruits of all my years of practice and yet from a place that’s not me nor mine--this is what I hear when I listen to such a poem. It’s the “It” described in “Zen and the Art of Archery” by the Zen masters, fruits of their skill, but nothing to their credit, beyond them. Questioning the nature of language and exploring it by writing is from the inside, and yes, worthy of a theoretical examination. Seeing how the movements of our age might measure such a piece is an exercise.

The creative moment? That moment is long past. The poem itself is all past tense. When, amid all the work and angst and struggle did those difficult parts of music become “easy” for me? I missed the moment. When did complicated literature become apparent? I didn’t notice the day. These things happened far before my awareness of this--outside my mind and perception. When I did notice, they were already long established history. Why write? Why create? Reminds me of “Why climb mountains?” Modernism “in the sense of a search for wholeness” would really be wishful thinking, a preconceived “connect the fractured dots” exercise possible somehow whatever the dots, if pointless beyond fiction once connected. But that captured moment of mountain, that point in music that freezes time even as it moves through it, that meditative glimpse recorded on a Taoist painter’s scroll, that snapshot of poem--these are moments past our daily post of ego driven mind.

Ever hear of the Johari window? It’s a communications construct exploring the importance of others’ perceptions in understanding ourselves. I can see some things about myself, but not other things. You too, can see some things about me, but not other things, yielding four quadrants: things we both see, things I see that you don’t, things you see that I don’t, and things we both miss. Point is--I cannot truly understand myself by myself. I need the perspectives of others as well. No one truly understands how the world looks to you--not your family, not me, not your wife. The moments you can capture are enlightening insights, parts of creation otherwise unavailable to us. Why indeed? Those most personal moments also tend to be most universal. Capturing them for others shows them to ourselves--along with their significance. It’s a process, a journey up the mountain, not the view, the recomposed pines and shifted rocks pointing their direction during their transition, not once composed, that yields this completeness “in an unexplained completeness.” Inexact and exact merge. Even though the book lays turned it yields its oxygen. The poem is mountain.

I’m always saddened when people-of-faith lament that atheists don’t have God to turn to for reassurance. How much they are missing! How many can truly live their truth? How many know with certainty anytime, anywhere, they can reach down for that difficult music passage? How many are on that mountain every moment of every day? And why would such people need reassurance, or to label it anything, God or otherwise? As Joseph Campbell told Bill Moyers when asked whether he had faith: “I don’t need faith; I have experience.” Those who know do not tell; those who tell do not know. Mountain, music, zen painting, poem.

I see a poem as a crystal. Multiple observations and experiences are condensed, pressed tighter and tighter, until they crystallize in “the view toward which they had edged, / Where he could lie and, gazing down at the sea, / Recognize his unique and solitary home.” Physics tells us we are not slaves to time and space. Such creations let us glimpse the timeless. That’s why it cannot be told--the mountain isn’t really the point, even as it’s entirely the point. It’s why I’ve never shared this with you before, and why I don’t talk to people about my understanding of music in that sense. It is beyond telling, so we create art.

The museum has a great show, “Turner to C├ęzanne,” a collection on loan until Jan. 3. I haven’t seen it yet, but I will make it a point to do so, and more than once. Why? Not simply because they are very well done paintings. Paintings like these go beyond craft. Painters like these aren’t simply about superior technique, but about capturing that element of the timeless. I’ll be going to see music, mountain, poem, the fractured pieces that already are the whole--and “a place to go in my own direction.”

Writer

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Lovely Thought?

Take a look at the metaphors people use to describe love, and why anyone does it is a wonder.

Right off you have to fall. Geez! Or you were conquered. Or engulfed, drowning in a sea of love. And you gave all your love, so you’re feeling empty. You don’t want to get burned again. But you’re mad, wild, crazy in love. Yet you crave it.

So love means defeat, injury, death, bankruptcy, addiction and insanity. How lovely.

Why the negative take on something everyone wants, everyone in fact needs, everyone deserves? What would happen if we spent as much time loving as we seem to invest in warding it off? Hell, even children know this: “That one likes you” “Ewwwww!” And sometimes adults don’t act much better. You are loved. Oh, the horror.

So we go home, alone, protected from love, and wish we had someone there to love.

Writer

Friday, April 17, 2009

A wonderful poem about keeping expectations real

[I've deliberately omitted the title, as its connotations are no longer the same as when the poem was written.]

She had thought the studio would keep itself;
no dust upon the furniture of love.
Half heresy, to wish the taps less vocal,
the panes relieved of grime. A plate of pears,
a piano with a Persian shawl, a cat
stalking the picturesque amusing mouse
had risen at his urging.
Not that at five each separate stair would writhe
under the milkman's tramp; that morning light
so coldly would delineate the scraps
of last night's cheese and three sepulchral bottles;
that on the kitchen shelf among the saucers
a pair of beetle-eyes would fix her own---
envoy from some village in the moldings . . .
Meanwhile, he, with a yawn,
sounded a dozen notes upon the keyboard,
declared it out of tune, shrugged at the mirror,
rubbed at his beard, went out for cigarettes;
while she, jeered by the minor demons,
pulled back the sheets and made the bed and found
a towel to dust the table-top,
and let the coffee-pot boil over on the stove.
By evening she was back in love again,
though not so wholly but throughout the night
she woke sometimes to feel the daylight coming
like a relentless milkman up the stairs.

--Adrienne Rich