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“You do know that your tumor is malignant, don’t you?”

This is how the oncologist informs me of my condition on December 23, 2011.  After the initial shock, my qigong breathing kicks in, and I recall that the Chinese character for crisis is the same as the one for opportunity.*

Slowly breathing in and out, I make a real effort to remember this as my children, Jennifer and Matthew, and I absorb the news that I have cancer.

This is my second bout with cancer. 1994 ended with a dx of  a malignant polyp in the colon.

This time, the dx is a malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumor, one that appeared at the end of Nov., 3 days before I am due to fly home from my year’s sojourn in Bali and Singapore, back to the U.S.

I now know that this tumor is a slow-growing one that just decided to suddenly pop up. It reminds me of the Taoist Qigong Masters’ stipulation that the disease is inside the body for a long time before the symptom appears.  And, so, this may have been inside me the whole time I was away in Bali and Singapore all of 2011, and I didn’t know it.

Even as I remember crisis and opportunity, at the same time, I wonder how I am to deal with yet another trauma in my life!

Read the rest of this entry »


How fitting to publish this piece on forgiveness on February 3rd 2011, which is our Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rabbit.

This is a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves.  So needed in the world at this time. It is a time for negotiation.  Don’t try to force issues, because if you do you will ultimately fail.  To gain the greatest benefits from this time, focus on home, family, security, diplomacy, and your relationships with women and children.   Make it a goal to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle, so you will be able to calmly deal with any problem that may arise.

The Chinese believe that in the days before the New Year, we clean house, literally and figuratively. We do away with that which no longer serves us, to allow room the new to come in with the advent of the new year.

Ending the old year with forgiveness seems to be exactly what I  and the world need at this time. Read the rest of this entry »

I wrote about the link between trauma and disease in my June 21, 2010 blog, using Dr. Richard Scaer’s The Trauma Spectrum as a reference. So, please refer to the blog if you want more background information.

Many of you know by now that I have experienced a whole bunch of trauma in my life, and while I have been in psychotherapy for many years as well as on a spiritual path, it is only recently with books such as the above that I’ve started to make sense of the flashbacks, nightmares, and illnesses I’ve had over the years.

As many of you know, walking a spiritual path does not give us a free ride from dealing with any of these issues.

A spiritual retreat to Bali does no less. In fact, because I have the time to do my soul work, the clearing out of unresolved issues – including physical, emotional, mental and spiritual – is occurring at lightening speed.

No sooner do I resolve ptsd with the housing situation (as I wrote about in my last two blogs), then something else happens. Read the rest of this entry »

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