I’m taking a rest day today (one a week is highly recommended!). I feel quiet and introspective, having enjoyed a busy week in the clinic meeting some great new patients. I spent the day in Canmore, walking past the shops, through the drizzle and among the stalls of the Thursday Farmers Market.
As I walked calmly through the town, not particularly interested in shopping but just enjoying the street activity, I started to reflect on it being Doug Duncan Sensei’s birthday today.
Seed Stalk Flower
I called my acupuncture practice Seed Stalk Flower, after hearing Doug refer to the metaphor many times.
I’ve been studying with Doug Duncan, and more recently with his partner and co-teacher Catherine Pawasarat as well, for the past ten years. Doug and Catherine are incredible meditation teachers. Doug in particular, over the years, has often referred to the cycle of growth from seed, stalk, flower and back to seed as being one of the oldest meditations on the planet.
For millennia humans have been able to observe plants follow that cycle of nature, and we can see the same principles play out in our own lives too. I’ve always loved this metaphor.
Great Teachers – Guides to the Root of ultimate healing
Now, as I reflect on it being Doug’s birthday today, I feel immense gratitude for his presence in my life. Doug Sensei is someone that I call my “Root Teacher”.
Of course, I have many teachers. Everyone I meet, I aspire to learn from. Some people show me how to be more sensual and kind while others demonstrate how to be decisive and analytical, and so on. I also have teachers for specializations – such as medicine, counseling or business.
What makes Doug Sensei my ‘Root Teacher’ however, and why I want to share my gratitude for him today, is that he is the person I have entrusted to consistently point me to my highest potential, whether my ego likes it or not. The vehicle for this is awareness and attentiveness. Doug, together with Catherine (and my community), are my attentiveness coaches, meditation teachers who help me find wisdom and freedom, an experiential knowing of interconnectedness, clarity, spaciousness and compassion – what we might call Buddha Nature, Christ Consciousness, Enlightenment, Awakening, the Beloved and so forth. It is in a sense, the ultimate healing.
A bit like the passing of a baton, largely under the radar of consumerism, capitalism and the rise and fall of empires – a quiet, kind and enriching sharing of wisdom teachings between teachers and students has continued over the millennia. All for the purpose of the down-going of suffering, freedom and healing. It can be hard to see in our rat race of a society, but if you look for it, you’ll find it, in many forms, shapes and traditions.
This all might sound a bit strange, but really its quite simple. Meditation, with proper guidance and the right motivation, brings us mental, emotional and physiological release that heals the body, mind and spirit. It also leads us to dwell in a state of joy, ease and compassion for others. It is like good acupuncture on the inside, times five million.
For that, and for Doug, Catherine, and Teachers like them, today, I am thankful, grateful and smiling. 🙂