A still pond,
Frog goes plop!
In 1993 a study was conducted in Washington DC to see how a group of meditators can affect social behavior in their vicinity, the results were astounding. There was a 23% drop in violent crimes. The study was conducted by a quantum physicist, John Hagelin. It was not the first of its kind but perhaps the biggest. The idea is that we each radiate quantum fields and are sensitive to that energy as it is radiated by others.
Through our practice we contribute to a “healing field”, when we heal ourselves we help to heal the world. ~Roger Jahnke
In one pointedness meditation we begin with focus on a selected meditation object, and develop strength of mind. As this grows we maintain the focus and observe thoughts as they arise and let them go, rather than beginning to think about them. We begin to appreciate and gain insight into attachment and impermanence and our own nature. We learn not to believe everything we think. Letting go of this is pure pleasure. These lessons are experiential not intellectual, so they are literally written into the fabric of our cells. This changes our vibration, the quality of the energy we emit and experience. Together, one pointedness and insight, known as shamatha and vipassana are the meditation that produces the ripple effect.
As we change so does everything around us. We add to the world we experience through a gradual process of building momentum. As we progress we become more aware of this and our impact becomes less scattered and we are more able to influence what is perceptible to us through our choices and intention. This is the message of many physicists, neurobiologists and religious leaders around the world, that we are responsible to an unknown extent for our own well being and that of the whole world, especially in our immediate vicinity. Cultivating loving kindness and compassion in meditation is the most powerful act of choice we can make. It becomes its own path, where we benefit and so does everyone else. We become consciously creative. We awaken, gradually, more and more. We enjoy life more and more. Basing change and choices on such positive foundations determines a positive outcome.
In the process of meditation we see the Ripple Effect as it is produced and experienced by ourselves and by others. It is as simple as one thing leading to another and as grand as creation.
"I grew up in Vermont, my dad took the whole family to learn Transcendental Meditation when I was ten and I have meditated ever since. I backpacked thousands of miles and lived/worked for several years on the Long Trail, Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. That quiet time in the mountains along with the TM lead me to the study of the Dharma and I ordained as a Buddhist monk. I coined the term nunk because monk and nun are technically not Buddhist terms, but help to explain the path and is gender free. Most nuns don't mind being called a monk but find a monk that is willing to be called a nun! I became a nurse to emerge from the solitude on the Long Trail, and after many years in hospital I was drawn to a simpler gentler method of restoring health. This turned out to be traditional oriental medicine."
Balance is the key. The body is composed of matter - tissues, fluids, blood, bones, which fall under the category of Yin. But it also includes energy, processes, activity, chemical reactions, immune responses which fall under the category of Yang. Yin is being, yang is doing. Harmony between Yin and Yang, balance, is essential to well being.
The beauty of east asian medicine is its simultaneous simplicity and complexity.
Illness or dysfunction waves a red flag of imbalance. To discover how to correct that we have to identify both the disease and the pattern. Five different people may each have a cold (the disease) but each of them may follow a different pattern (wind heat, wind cold, summer heat with damp, exterior pathogen with qi deficiency, exterior pathogen with yin deficiency) in that cold, and that changes the treatment that will work for them.
In order to diagnose the disease and clarify the pattern the acupuncturist or east asian medicine practitioner relies on asking about symptoms, touch, listening/smelling and observation. Thousands of years ago our Asian predecessors did not have technology like we have today but they had superior powers of observation and were able to record and share the understanding they gleaned and network with others to preserve and build on the developing knowledge base. They discovered systems of correspondence that point to the systems involved with imbalance.
When the imbalance is identified we can use those correspondences to encourage the body to restore harmony between the systems. The more balanced the systems are, the more energy available to enjoy life and maintain health.
The body is amazing! It is so complex but overall it has one prime directive:
~ maintain balance ~
We recognize the complexity of living beings and acknowledge the imperfection of our understanding, but we can help to enhance what is working and diminish what is dysfunctional or uncomfortable.
Acupuncture uses fine filaments of sterile stainless steel to influence the body systems by moving Qi. The term Qi (pronounced chee) was never translated because it doesn’t have a near concept in english or other european languages. That is the value of being open to different perspectives. Qi is what animates us, it is the force of cohesion and dispersion, of movement and response. In scientific terms it is probably some form of electromagnetism. It moves routinely thru the body in channels and broadly across regions and collects in seas. It circulates and shifts from place to place. It is one thing described as many because it has so many functions.
There are myriad styles of acupuncture and some use microsystems such as the ears and hands to great advantage. Sometimes the farther away an acupoint from the problem area the stronger its impact will be, like a lever and fulcrum. Often a treatment is designed as a package to be delivered to an address. Some treatments are like directions from conductor to orchestra, some are like fine tuning a precision engine. All of them work with the nature of the being and do not force but encourage beneficial change.
Licensed Acupuncturist, RN, Buddhist monk
"The pursuit of health is invariably a spiritual quest."