Friday Roundup - April 8, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week.

Head Space: This week I have been re-integrating into 'regular' life after a 10 day silent meditation retreat. It was an amazing experience and I'm so glad I had it! I went to the Northern California Vipassana Center, one of many sites hosting Vipassana meditation retreats. The retreat was run entirely by volunteers who cooked, cleaned and organized so that I and about 100 other meditators could spend 10 days in deep meditation and study, in complete silence. I'm very grateful to the Center, the members of the Vipassana community, and to Alyssa Dazet of The 6-Figure Acupuncturist who shared on social media about her experience at a Vipassana retreat, leading me to try it for myself. There is no charge to attend a 10 day course, thanks to the generosity of past students.

Meditation in prison: I've been limiting my online time a bit this week as I come out of my retreat - but I did find some related content  - a documentary film about Vipassana meditation in prison, The Dhamma Brothers. It's an incredible story about the possibilities of inner transformation, even for those in such completely limited external circumstances. You can watch it online via the film's website.

For the first time, I could observe my pain and grief. I felt a tear fall. Then something broke, and I couldn’t stop sobbing.

I found myself in a terrain where I had always wanted to be, but never had a map. I found myself in the inner landscape, and now I had some direction.
— Omar Rahman, Dhamma Brother

Sneak Peek: More to come soon, but I'm excited to let you know I'll be part of an afternoon retreat for women on May 1 at the Manzanita Wellness in Berkeley. Join me and other practitioners to sample herbal facials and skin care, herbal foot soaks, massage, acupuncture with essential oils, energy readings, as well as some diy fun, movement medicine and more.

Have a great weekend!

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Friday Roundup - February 12, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week

This isn't Peseshet, we don't know what she looked like.

This isn't Peseshet, we don't know what she looked like.

Overseer of Female Physicians. That's the title held by a woman named Peseshet, who lived in Egypt in 2500 BCE. I learned about her and a bunch of other interesting facts about the history of medicine in this article.

Kicking out the chemicals. My colleague Denise and I declared February 'Holistic Skin Care month' and that's what we're talking about all month on TCMTalk. I spent a few hours reading through the horror show of chemicals that are found in virtually all conventional personal care products in the US (where our regulations are heinously lax compared to other countries.) If you want to know more check out The Story of Cosmetics, a great video by the Campaign for Safer Cosmetics and Annie Leonard, who created The Story of Stuff.

You are enough. Transitioning to natural, non-toxic skin care also means accepting ourselves, something dominant culture and advertising messages often work against! I got a big lift this week from this breezy but inspiring listicle on overcoming imposter syndrome.

Have a great weekend!

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