How we got here - An Introduction of this site written by the Founder
Thank you for visiting this site. I am Dr. Helen Shih, founder of this site and "Wholesome Living on the New Earth". I want to share with a brief background on how I started "Light Within", and what has propelled me to get to where I am now. This is a simplified version of my journey that I hope can inspire you to find who you are and why you are here.
1. Origin and Nature
I grew up in Beijing, China, at the end of the Chinese "Culture Revolution". My parents were both physicists working in the Chinese Academy of Science, by the western suburb of Beijing. This is the area surrounded by both royal gardens and ancient temples, mountains and forests, as well as well-known universities and academic institutions. Nowadays, it is home to tech companies and startups, as the Silicon Valley of China.
The time when I was born nearly marked the darkest time in the modern Chinese history. Exactly how dark was it? My childhood memories were all black grey and dark blue in colors, because people at that time only wore cloths of those colors. All women I remembered cut their hair short by the ear and wear this kind of military-like clothing, so they could become equal to the men.
As a child, I was sensitive and introvert, trying to shield myself from the outside world and escape from poverty. The only exception was nature. Nature is forever colorful and joyful, no matter how terrible the human world is and what kind of social tragedies are going on. Maybe because of this experience, I developed a keen sensitivity and strong sense of connection with nature, along with a deep appreciation. We used to play in the patches of rice fields by the foothill of the West Mountains of Beijing. At that time, the land was still green and pristine with clear water canals flowing through miles and miles of beautiful royal gardens and landscapes built by the Chinese emperors in the old time. Nature was my refuge and had planted a seed deep inside me that later on would become a full fruition (you can read about this from Houston Sierra Club, where I committed to the environment advocacy work).
Chinese culture and people, in the root and origin, are very much peace loving, and regarding health and harmony as the first priority. Nature is an important and inherent element of the tradition and life style, as people see themselves a tiny part of the Great Nature, and therefore, always have had a great respect and affinity to it. This can be easily appreciated from the language, art, agriculture, landscape and architectural styles. In fact, Chinese would take an extra mile, to strive for harmony in the family, to be good care takers of nature, and to enhance the natural beauty of their surroundings (this is why "Feng Shui" 风水, or the art of balancing and bringing in wind and water, is such an important aspect of living and thinking). Frugality and simplicity have been always considered the high virtues of the society. The philosophy and the way of living can be summarized in one phrase of 4 characters, "天人合一”. Pronounced as "Tian Ren He Yi"，it means "Man to become one with Heaven" or "The Great Nature and People are one"). This was essentially how people lived, how they see their destiny, and the destination of their spiritual practices. Much of the native thoughts, Daoist and Zen scriptures focus on this perception and aspiration.
2. Modernized and Westernized
But all of these were thrown away in the recent history of China. As an attempt to defend herself against European colonization and western imperial power, the race towards industrialization and "modernization" was turned on since 1800's (the period of the last dynasty "Qing"). Till even today, people were convinced and still believe that the reason why they were bullied and deprived was because of lack of technology and industrialization. In front of machines, guns and nuclear weapons, people were threatened and forced to abandon all the roots of their civilization, cultural traditions, replace them with imported ideology, values and beliefs, and social-economic structures. First there was communism, then there was capitalism, yet none of these was originated in the country but copied and pasted from the West.
The trend of copying and following the west started from scholars in early 1900's, who even attempted to repeatedly throw away Chinese language and replace it by alphabets and letters, claiming they are "superior" to the Chinese characters. Then after Chinese independence, leader Mao and his supporters launched the "Great Leap" in 1950's, a failed attempt to setup industry in a super-fast fashion in catching up the West but in the end destroyed much of the economy. This was followed then by the notorious "Cultural Revolution" that lasted 10 years, ripped the country apart and left nothing but wide-spread famine and deep social-psychological trauma. People were raped in their hearts and souls, with a deep sense of loss, deception, and grievances, after all the cultural roots were unplugged and swept away.
As if this is not enough, in this haunted vacuum and starvation, both in the mind as well as in the body, in families as well as in the society, the door to China was then cracked open in earlier 1980's. Western investors and capitalists came, along with their shining and colorful merchandises, shopping bags, books, beliefs and religion (I will write about an interesting personal story about why shopping bags are of relevant here). In a complete stark contrast with what Chinese had at that time, which was a dark grey, colorless scarcity, all of these looked glittering, glamours, and tempting to the hungry and misguided people. There was no double then at that time, somehow capitalism could offered the salvation and recipe of turning China around.
Today, China is often seen as a bigger threat to the West, after decades of trying to revamp its economy and feed more than a billion starved souls (in both the stomach and the mind). Yet I hope the West is able to see, China was essentially trying to import Western ideas which people thought somehow superior than their own tradition. But in doing so, ironically, has made themselves as the enemies of the West where the ideas are copied from. I also hope people in China will eventually see the importance of creating something both ingenious and ingenuous for their own, rather than following "monks from other mountains singing mantras better" (as what we say in Chinese), or "grass is greener on the other side".
Perhaps it makes more sense, if both sides learn from the mistakes and successes from each other, especially from history, what worked and what didn't work for their own people. More importantly try to alleviate the fear, mistrust, conflicts, violence, bully, and resulting grave suffering of billions of people when countries from two sides of the Earth get into fights and even wars. We must see, no matter where people grow up and come from, there are humanistic values, shared believes, and common good that connect all of us, irrespective of our skin colors, where we grow up from, and what types of churches or temples we go to. The same pain and suffering, desire and motives, are fundamentally the same in our hearts and souls, whether we eat rice or bread, with wooden chopsticks or iron folks.
3. Schools & Education
I would consider my parents to be among the first generation in the new China who were "westernized". Because of their scientific work tied with the international community, they had a few rare moments to see the west when I grew up. My father was one of the first scholars who visited and worked as an exchange scientist in Japan at the very beginning when China opened the door to the West. He later on led the first team of Chinese scientists visit the U.S. and established scientific collaboration. Although China was extremely isolated and cut off from the rest of the world at that time (1970-1980's), their work helped open a tiny gap from which we could take a peek of the outside world.
In order to catch up with the West, young students like myself were taught to abandon our old tradition and compete for "modernization" in schools. Since China was blocked from Western access, school system at that time was copied strictly from the Soviet Union. In fact, my father who was among the very few lucky ones attended university in early 1960's. He had to learn and use text books that were all in Russian. Those were among the only few material possessions he had for many years when I grew up.
Even with two physicists working in Beijing, our family, like many others, struggled on the border line of starvation and poverty, because of the economic situation back at that time. My parents' combined salary was about ￥60 a month, which was equivalent to about $10. We rarely had any toys, children's books, shoes or clothes (my mother used to make everything by hand in evening hours and weekends). The only book I had and I read over and over again was a small dictionary of Chinese idioms that my parents had, which contained classic and ancient stories from which Chinese idioms and paraphrases were derived (many of them, in retrospect, are in fact condensed wisdom, scriptures, and literature treasured by generations). The only little picture book I had was a chapter drawn from the classic literature of "Journey to the West", known by every Chinese family, a mythology story of Monk Xuan Zang's arduous trip to India in searching for Buddhist scriptures (I will write more about how these formative experiences and learning became so relevant and vital in my cultural and spiritual root).
Though we were poor and deprived, my parents, like many other Chinese families, worked extremely hard and were very creative in coming up with resources to survive. Tenacity (or GRIT in today's language), frugality, and a deep valuing of education are virtues flowing deep in the blood of all east Asian cultures and history. My father was extremely handy and gifted in electronics and mechanics as a physicist. He managed to make a desk and cabinet for us, and assembled the very first radio and TV in our neighborhood. Electronics were very big in size at that time, and since there was no other space to store them in our tiny room, we used to sleep with them under our beds. But because of this fortune, we were the first family who were able to watch TV and listen to radio at that time, which made us almost like celebrities and often visited by curious friends and families.
From those limited few things coming through the TV and radios, my parents tried to expose us and uplift us in our education. We got to know about two ladies' names from the West which were introduced to China in 1980's. One was Helen Keller, from which I adopted my English name after hearing about her extraordinary life story. The other was Madame Curie, who was another source of inspiration for my scientific work later on. Physics was something came very naturally to me as our tiny living space had literally nothing but rather books and electronic parts. Strange physics terms, such as "Fourier Transform", often jumped to my eyes from my father's notes, though nobody quite understood how it could bring more food and clothes which were under such a scarcity.
In 1980's, China has firmed its decision to follow capitalism as a way to get out of poverty. Many things started to change rapidly in those initial years of "opening door to the West". That was the time I started college in China (Tsinghua University, 清华大学, the "MIT" of China). My field of study was in Biomedical Engineering, following my parents' footstep. My father was also a well-known physicist and one of the founders and pioneers of this professional field in China at that time. Because of his work, we made a couple of trips to Shen Zhen in south China, and remembered the very earlier days how it grew from a little unknown town near Hong Kong, to nowadays the mega manufacturer hub.
Soon after I entered college, the democracy movement broke out in Beijing and spread quickly to the rest of the country. The idea of equality and free speech seemed to be so appealing to the passionate young students in China at that time that many went on streets, demanding transparency and reform in the government. This is why I can relate deeply in my heart what Hong Kong is going through now in its struggle for democracy.
Since middle-school age, I had the dream of visiting the U.S. and experiencing what it is like to be in a free country. But it took about 10 years of hard work to prepare my study and other resources needed to actualize it, partially because we were so poor that going abroad to study was simply impossible but merely a fantasy. I spent most of my spare time and resources in self study and taking additional classes, visiting libraries in Beijing in searching for materials and English books relevant to my degree (English media was still very rare in those days).
At the time of college graduation, I was able to secure very competitive scholarships to pursue graduate study in the U.S. With my parents' savings of a hundred dollar, two suitcases, and a one-way ticket (we could not afford the two-way fare), I left home, leaving my father appalled and my mom heartbroken. That was my first flight and long-trip taken away from home (people at that time rarely had means to travel anywhere). I flew all the way to the other side of the Earth that was completely foreign and unknown. My mother thought she would loose me forever in the Wild Wild West, which turned out to be partially true.
4. Journey to the West
I entered a PhD program of Biomedical Sciences in the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, subsequently. Though it was very cold in the winter there and very far away from home, Mayo Clinic had generous scholarships to graduate students which I am enormously grateful for even today. However, the process was rigorous, lengthy and strenuous, just as any medical field of study. At many points, it put me under severe stress and tests as I was away from home by myself and had to struggle homesickness and loneliness in a foreign country. Not only I had to adapt to a new environment, new language, new culture, new studies, in which everything was alien to me, but also I had to learn to survive with a bare minimum income as a graduate student. For example, international calling rate was about $3/min to China when I first came to the US, so the maximum duration I could afford was about 10-15 min/month to talk to my parents. I ended up religiously writing one letter a month to my mom, which took 2 weeks to get there and 2 weeks for her letter to come back. That's how we communicated. Every poor immigrant coming to this country understands what it is like, especially young foreign students, to be far away from home. Unfortunately, the austerity is often not being publicized and appreciated by the lucky ones born in this country.
In addition, my graduate work and PhD thesis research were also extremely difficult and challenging, as we were at the very cutting edge of making major technological breakthroughs in the fields of radiology and radiation therapy. It was like an arduous marathon with hurdles in every step of the way. I often worked late night every day, including weekends, to do experiments or to run computer programs that required heavy-duty calculations and programming. Most foreign students worked extremely hard in those days where computing resources were still very limited. There was hardly any time for break but continuous going forward in scientific research and problem solving (my theses work was on developing and improving radiation dose calculation and simulation of radiation particle interactions inside human body for the purpose of cancer therapy).
But with persistence and dedication as in GRIT, sometimes even "divine revelation" in scientific insights (I will write about these interesting stories later), I managed to succeed and in fact became one of the most accomplished medical physicists upon graduation. I also completed a postdoctoral residency training in Radiation Oncology at the Mayo Clinic. This is where I met my colleague and life partner Dr. Raja, who grew up in South India, and also came to the Mayo Clinic for his PhD study. The mutual support, companionship, and intellectual stimulation were instrumental for us both to survive in a cold foreign land, as well as in our profession field (Dr. Raja is also a very accomplished medical physicist in radiology and cardiology).
5. A Woman in Physics
After spending 6 years and 7 winters in the beautiful but cold Minnesota, I was offered a position as a faculty and assistant professor, in one of the largest and prestigious cancer centers in the country (the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas). At that time, I became the only woman professor hired by the Department of Radiation Physics in clinical research and development, working with some of the most brilliant physicists, physicians, and engineers in the field, fulfilling my desire of following Madam Curie.
Together, we made significant progress towards new technologies and brought them into clinical practices of cancer therapy. I have worked in treatment of lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancer, and use of medical imaging technologies for radiation therapy. The rigor in academic training has brought me a new level of understanding of physics and human health from a scientific point of view. I was heavily involved with the clinic, research, and teaching in the cancer center for about 11 years, coordinating several important developmental projects in the department and serving scientific communities on the national level.
This was also the time that I applied for US permanent residency and became a first-generation immigrant in the country. The process was also extremely arduous, even as a well established scientist in cancer therapy (the amount of paperwork and waiting time, anxiety, pain and stress in this process are beyond words and description what I can write here). Every immigrant including bright scientists, who have come to the country, understand the hardship and ordeals what we have to go through, from our home country embassies to American visa offices. To be born as or become an American citizen is one of the fortunes in today's world, that I hope more people can appreciate and use this gift wisely.
However, as a busy professor, life started to get really tough when we wanted to raise a family and have children, as a big chunk of my clinical and research work has to be done after hours and during weekends. In the meantime, there was something deeply unsettling growing in me, accumulating over the years, as healthcare and academic institutions become increasingly corporate-like and profit driven. Sitting in the ivory tower of the academics, many faculty were caught in nauseating competitions for research grants, paper cranking and ladder climbing. Some of the papers we wrote, in hindsight, had little to do with real clinical impact but for pure promotion and quantity. That's the problem I see in academic medicine - a great deal of knowledge and research investment made are not translating into what patients receive and what public can benefit.
Today, the gap between what the academicians are leading to in cutting edge research and what the public know or do in the community is growing even larger. This becomes apparent to me as often, I had to explain to people what Vitamin C is and how it could help boost up immunity. This trend is still continuing and becoming a significant problem in American public health, with healthcare cost sky rocked, yet inaccessible and affordable to the general public. People find it extremely difficult to navigate through its complex and expensive mesh of procedures, services, and billings, no matter how advanced they are.
6. Awakening of the Soul
Even though I have come across Buddhist and Daoist stories and writings when I was in college, I had never taken religions or spiritual matters seriously, partially because Chinese Cultural Revolution has pretty much forced us to abandon them and treat them as garbage or superstitions. Meeting my husband was the first time that I witnessed someone who would do daily rituals, prayers, and reciting scriptures devotedly. In year 1999, we traveled together for the first time, to his home town in south India, the Land of Spirituality. I still remember the first moment of arriving there, when I got off the train, seeing the beautiful orange glowing sun, setting down on the land. The people and the surroundings seemed to be so familiar to me, as if I were back in history or living in a Deja Vu. Old emotions and sensations rose slowly inside of me, from something so long ago, yet hidden deep in my subconsciousness. We visited temples and sacred sites, and got married in a traditional Hindu ceremony. Afterwards, we also traveled to China, arranged by my parents to visit ancient Tibetan, Buddhist and Daoist temples, partially because they were all turned into popular tourist attractions. Something like a seed that has been planted in me, started to sprout and grow organically and spontaneously, urging me to take a study more seriously.
A series of events, coincidences, or life-changing moments happened like a cascade one after another soon afterwards, which could be best attributed to as a "Calling of the Heart", "Unfolding of a Miracle", or similar terms which I hope to write later. Perhaps this is the way how our souls are being shaken up by the mysterious power of the Great Nature, I often wondered. There was the first moment I met a Yoga teacher who were traveling around the world, visiting sacred sites and connecting students worldwide. There was the first moment when I looked at a small meditation book with a picture of an Indian sage sitting in a lotus pose before a candle. And there was the first moment when I opened a Buddhist scripture, reading its explanation and text...There were many such first moments, which bore the similarity how I felt when I first arrived in the land of south India. "Am I living in a dream of the past, or repeating memory like a spiral, of what I have been doing a long time ago?" I wondered. Naturally picking up Yoga, Taichi, and meditation was not a difficult task for me, as somewhere in my body, it knows what to do.
I wanted to be a Buddhist nun very seriously at some point (my current last name in fact is what Buddhist disciples all used in Chinese history, which is how the Buddha's name Shakyamuni pronounced and sounded like in Chinese). But the twist of fate has brought me with two young children and a full-time career in academic medicine. While being a mother and a professor at the same time, I also turned myself into a very dedicated Buddhist student, spending all my spare time reading scriptures and in meditation, some of these times were in odd hours at night and in between feeding babies. There were indeed great moments of joy and enlightenment, truly came like being hit by a lightning rod from above, mind blowing and communing with the Buddha directly. There were also other moments as if I became a fish, breathing and swimming in the ocean of life and light, drinking the infinite fountain of universal wisdom and energy.
Eventually these experiences made me decide to leave academic medicine at the peak of my career and pursue my interest in spiritual studies. But it was certainly not an easy choice to make, as I was well accomplished and recognized in my professional field. Letting go of what I have worked very hard to achieve and a stable salary for the family was a challenge I had to face, both mentally and financially.
It took me quite sometime to reach that transition point and completed the transfer of responsibilities I had in the hospital and department. But eventually I made a commitment to move on and switch into a completely new direction. At that time, I often felt I have dived into a fathomless black hole without knowing where I was heading too, being thrust into a state of total loss or emptiness. "Now finally I got myself into a total Emptiness!" I often ridiculed myself, as emptiness is something Buddhist students strive to understand. Other times I would fall into an endless anxiety and confusion, wondering what I was going to do, and if I had made a disastrous mistake by leaving everything I had.
7. Follow Your Heart
What has pushed and propelled me to "jump off the cliff" and make such a drastic change in the end? First, the stress of working long hours in hospitals and intense academic routine seemed to be incompatible with what I wanted to do and pursue further. I wished to go deeper in Hinduism, Buddhist psychology, and Zen meditation, as my connection with the eastern heritage grew stronger. My personal interest also became more intense in understanding the greater scope of health and diseases, what could bring more healing. I attribute the courage of leaving my successful career behind and embracing the new unknown path as a deep calling in my heart, a desire to see the Truth, and a compassion to those who suffer in discomfort and illness.
Secondly, I was influenced by my father who was also a medical physicist and became the first generation of entrepreneurs in China when it opened the door to the West. After he successfully led a team of scientists to establish collaboration with the US, he made the decision to transition from being a scientist to an entrepreneur, and started companies both in south China and in Beijing. In retrospect, his courage of taking the risks and insight of leading the changes were enormous, as nobody had any slightest idea how such a venture would work out during the precarious days of earlier experiments in Chinese economic reform.
Later on, my father started his own research and development in infrared imaging as a way to assess human body and its health conditions. Because of his scientific work, he traveled world wide and became well known in the international communities. Every time he visited us in Houston and the cancer center where I worked, he would provoke me to move on to wellness and holistic medicine, rather than staying in the costly and aggressive cancer therapy. After I was able to make the major transition of leaving the cancer center, I started to help my father in his new endeavor of starting a new wellness center in Houston. We worked together on a number of projects and applications in infrared imaging and developed a new concept called "Health Environment" evaluation with the technology.
I served as a health consultant and director in the wellness center taking care of the daily operation. At the same time, I was involved in the study, research and development of the infrared imaging applications. This technology has a great potential to be used in traditional Chinese medicine, holistic health, and mainstream medicine, because infrared imaging is a completely non-invasive way (just like a regular optical camera) to see the human energy field around the body, one of the few instruments that can achieve such a purpose in both mainstream as well as holistic medicine. However, apart from the medical barriers and political hurdles along the way to bring this technology forward, the science behind it, was also extremely complex and intriguing.
8. Stumbled into Holistic Medicine
As I spent hours and hours of experimenting and observing infrared images, I was puzzled by the mysteries of the life force hidden beneath these moving and flickering images, alive and changing constantly with people's thoughts, emotions, physiological conditions and environment.
We had many research projects conducted in China from which hundreds of thousands of images were saved and studied. It became more and more obvious to me that there was something else that was driving the changes of the images and thermodynamics of the body than what the convention medicine has believed and taught. A window of light came in, inviting me to step into this mystery, which was partially revealed in the Yoga and Buddhist teachings, as well as Chinese medicine in the ancient time. To pursue this further, I started to explore the non-orthodox way of scientific study and experiments, which in fact got me "stumbled" into the field of holistic medicine.
There were times that the images and what I have observed simply could not be analyzed and understood with the methods currently available in academic medicine. Though I was one of the experts in my professional field, I felt the deep sense of frustration and being confined by the tools and knowledge of what we have. In fact, there was a period of time that I fell into a depression - it felt like a dark hell without any help or hope. I was stepping into an unknown field with little prior knowledge or established methods of analysis. The reason is the current knowledge in mainstream medicine is built upon a mechanistic definition and anatomical compartmentalization of the body and thus its representations. Only until recently with the coming of biochemical science and quantum physics, that we start to peek through the true nature of the human body with trillions of cells and molecules working together in a miraculous synchrony and harmony.
In addition, family duties and the needs of raising children also pulled me aside and took a significant chunk of energy (I found repeatedly that raising children and motherhood are far more complex and challenging than dealing with supercomputers and physics problems which are at least manageable in predictable ways and can be described by equations and procedures.
Again, it was through dedication, commitment, and divine intervention (which came in during the "darkest nights of the soul" that I will write later), that pulled me out of the difficulty. I had to learn to open up the intuitive side of myself to balance the over-developed logical and rational side to understand the science behind these intriguing infrared images. I also had to come up with creative ways to experiment the imaging process and data analyses. Further, to deepen my understanding, I had to collaborate with people who are born with extraordinary gift in seeing things behind the physical veil and boundary.
Since the tool of infrared imaging was essentially a stepping stone for me to enter into the field of holistic medicine, I ended up working with a few accomplished medical intuitives (you can google this term if you are not familiar with it). My "scientific mind" and skepticism led me to test their abilities and validity of what they revealed. I was convinced in the end (which was not a so easy task for a stubborn physicist like myself), that there are things that we are not able to see with our physical eyes or with our existing scientific instruments, and there are more mysteries waiting to be uncovered.
9. Into the Healing
The doors and windows seemed to pop open left and right afterwards. I met many teachers, healers, and gurus in the field, traveled to many places, from Asia, Africa, to South America. I often brought the instrument of infrared imaging with myself, in scanning and testing the effects of healing, observing changes in myself and others. I also studied a wide variety of healing art and available techniques, including Reiki, acupuncture, and other holistic modalities in body-mind-spirit.
As the scientific part and the spiritual side of me became more balanced and integrated, I felt more whole, more accepting, and more receptive to who I am and what I am here to do. In fact, at one point when I was obsessed with measuring and testing the experimental data, I heard a loud voice inside of me, asking "Does science serve God, or does God serves science?" The question provoked me to start a lengthy yet rewarding exploration of the relationship between spirituality and science. In fact, I encourage all my colleagues working either in science or spirituality, and other soul friends likewise to seek and find the answers themselves. But for me, it became clear and clear as I was moving along the path, that what has been taught in scientific investigations and what has been passed on in all the sacred traditions have something in common. We share one root of humanity and one source of knowledge which is called the "Truth".
I also met medical doctors and scientists like myself who are interested in understanding the secrets of the human health and how life energy works in the "Human Energy Field" - a concept underlying the life field that exists and sustains our body-mind-spirit, connecting all of us and the web of life on the planet and beyond. We live and breathe in this "life field" that is like an ocean of energy intertwined together (some also called it a "web of life"). I realized that what I was observing and experimenting with the infrared imaging was essentially an electromagnetic window or "an energy band" from which we can have a glimpse of the dynamics of this life field at work. In fact, the frontier of physics research is about to understand the nature of this energy field and how it is related to our consciousness.
10. Destiny Unfold
Accompanying these scientific explorations, my spiritual journey has truly begun to grow in fruition. I started to become more intuitive and opened up my innate capability of connecting to nature, connecting to people, and to see things we normally do not sense in the physical world. I called this as the "X-ray vision of the soul". Many people are born with this ability, but it lays dormant or being denied in our mundane human world. I also started to blend and balance the analytical and academic part of me with the artist and intuitive side. It is a more fulfilling and holistic state to be in when I become more whole and harmonious with who I am in essence. When we live with only one side of us or compartmentalized, life feels like isolated and separated, or walking with only one foot. This imbalance is in fact, the cause of many of the health problems we are experiencing in the society.
To share with others the knowledge and skills in holistic health, I opened my own practice which was called the "Flow-of-Light Natural Health", after transitioning the wellness center my father started. It then became clear to me that my life mission is to help people realign themselves with the dpath of the Great Nature or the "Dao" (道), as what is called in Taoism. In 2012, I received the public recognition as an established holistic health practitioner in the U.S. It was a major year of changes and transitions for many people (you can read an article I wrote about the "Earth Transition: A Polarity Shift", and how it is impacting us and our society). In the same year, I also met a few important teachers and healers who helped me open up more to the Universal Consciousness and build stronger connection with the healing field. From 2012-2015, I devoted myself to an in-depth meditation study which eventually led me experience the state of Oneness with the Universe (returning to the Dao), and be able to live in this state on a more permanent/sustainable basis. Many people experience this expanded state of consciousness under certain circumstances, such as in deep meditation or in breathtaking nature that maybe a moment of Enlightenment.
You may wonder what is it like to be connected to the sacred source of the Universe? Well, it feels like being plugged into a "power outlet" or fountain head of infinite wisdom, energy, love, and patience. The truth is, we are connected to this source all the time. We are receiving endless energy and love all the time. But under the distortion and blockage of our human mind, in addition to the collective conditioning and programming of the society, we cannot see this love and feel it. Instead, we are locked in our own illusion and limited beliefs of human mental field, fighting for minute things that brings destruction to both ourselves and to the nature. Our spiritual path and in fact healing are about removing these unhealthy patterns, especially those which do not serve us but confine us. Our common path is about to continue to let our heart and soul be purified and expanded, until we fully become one with the Great Nature.
11. From the Dao to the Earth
I have met many spiritual friends along the way, with whom I share desires and passion in seeking the Truth and returning to the "Home of the Soul" as I call it, the Sacred Origin of where we come from. I have also seen a common tendency, that people prefer to sit in meditation, or find solitude, away from the hustles and bustles of the big cities. In fact, I myself have gone through that phase as well. Indeed, the human world is messy and heavy, often filled with chaos and miseries. Many of us just don’t want to see it or get involved in it. Recently, I encountered a new term called “Spiritual Bypass”, which describes the phenomenon in the spiritual community and the inclination of this passive avoidance or escapism from the real world.
But if there is anything spiritual, it is about bringing the true happiness and spirit of service back to the people, so they can benefit from what we have learned and gained in perspective and wisdom. Since the time I left the academic track, I have been engaged in public advocacy, teaching and preaching the principles and practices of holistic health in grass-root communities. It is a hard work, as most people do not understand the importance of maintaining health and even how to do this. In addition, our healthcare system does not follow a “health”-care, but a “disease”-care model. People rarely go to doctors when they are healthy. In hindsight, I realized that what I did over the years was to join the force with thousands of other health advocates in the so-called “wellness revolution” movement, in helping people adopt a different way of seeing and doing health. Therefore, as of today, there is such a positive surge of health coaches, holistic practitioners, and wellness awareness in the community and society levels. Even major medical centers and hospitals, have started to adopt alternative medicine and other holistic approaches openly in the practice, which was extremely rare 20 years ago. For example, when I was working as a faculty in the MD Anderson Cancer Center years ago, there was a tiny department started called "Integrative and Complimentary Medicine". But now, the department has grown tremendously, with many cancer centers in the country adapting to similar changes.
My work in holistic medicine also helped me see the connection between our personal health and the environmental health on a global scale. In fact, one day when I was working in my office of the wellness center, I had an Aha Moment about the term of “Health Environment" or "Health Climate”. My father and I invented these terms when we were working with infrared imaging in holistic health applications to describe the microscopic environment of our body-mind-spirit entity or the state of the Human Energy Field. I had the sudden insight that this environment has its macroscopic counterpart which includes everything on the planet. Our personal health is our environmental health, our environmental health is our personal health, the two are in fact the same and one. Since then, I have given talks in public settings to share with people on the interconnection between our own body and the planet ecosystem. Unless we can keep our environment clean, we will be subject ourselves to the pollution and damages we are bringing to the nature. Since then, I also became active in environmental advocacy, joining other Earth helpers in advocating for the precious nature we have, as we are facing unprecedented climate change and ecological crisis caused by massive consumerism and reckless production in the industrialization age.
Recently, my environmental advocacy also led me into a new field called "Holistic Politics", where spiritual seekers, teachers, and leaders are called to work together to awake the fathomless apathy, chronic intoxication and slumbering numbness surrounding our people in the society and intentional suppression of civic participation even within American democracy. Not only our natural world is in crisis, but democracy is under attack at this time of human history. They point out to the urgent need of restoring true Human Spirit and Universal Principles back to our society and government, and putting back the two separated fields of spirituality (which is different from religion, that I will write later) and politics which have fallen apart moving in two opposite directions.
Without this integration, we have seen increased deterioration of moral values and ethic standard, collapsing of sacred foundation and legal guarding rails of society structures. Rather, politicians, corporate executives, and institution runners have been increasingly corrupted in their mind and soul by money influence and private interest, while the rest of the society become increasingly disengaged, disinterested, and giving up of their hope to be part this power-grabbing ego-feeding political game. Massive number of people in alternative, resort to outlets of violence, crimes, video games, drugs, shopping and addiction to numb their feelings and silence their deep crying. This is partially why people are burdened by mental disorders, health crisis, and deprivation of opportunities. While suicide has risen sharply to become the 2nd cause of death in the modern society, more and more wealth is being controlled, manipulated, and dominated by fewer and fewer individuals and institutions. This is the time, and the time is now, to wake up and to fight for emancipation of human souls from the slavery of material greed, obsession and corruption in both corporate worlds and Washington DC.
In truth, politics is about elevation of the people (by founders of the western philosophy), government is about serving the people (by founders of America as a country). Politicians ought to be the leaders and role models of the people, and spiritual leaders ought to be a thrust for changes and progress for our society. This is why a new generation of leaders, gifted in both spiritual matters and governing principles are coming to the planet, rising up to the challenges, and setting up a new vision and a new future for politics and spirituality, and are leading the evolution of humanity in this time of the history.
12. Wholesome Living on the New Earth
As you may have already recognized, we are not just humans, but spirits living in the human body - the product of billions of years of life evolution on the Earth. However, humanity at this time is under a serious threat from over-production and exploitation of nature and fellow human beings. These can be seen from the opulent use of material goods without giving much considerations to the nature world. In many ways, humans are becoming "Cancer of the Earth" (maybe this is why I was working in the cancer therapy field before? I wondered). The way we live, the way we consume, and the way we exploit other animals and plants on the planet are becoming dangerous to every being in the life field or the ecosystem. This itself has not only given rise to the environmental crisis in the natural world, but also has brought mass destruction to ourselves.
With the sharp rise of mental healthy problems, physical diseases, social-economic stress, and political upheavals, it seems humanity is indeed receiving the "karma" we have brought to our environment and to ourselves. If there is nothing done to turn this fast-moving train from its track of self-destruction, we will be experiencing more and more calamities and eventually destruction of the planet. Perhaps that is why many brave souls, healers, political and humanitarian leaders are coming to the Earth as saviors of this time. The core of spirituality is about fully embracing the human value we have in common and bringing that to the forefront of everything we do, helping people in every meaningful way we could. That’s what Christ and Buddha have taught and practiced throughout their lives.
Humanity and planet Earth need and are going through major transition called "Polarity Shift" which I have described in the shortest format possible to explain these waves of changes happening. We must go back to the Great Nature and change fundamentally how we relate to ourselves and to the nature, the way we think and eat, and the way we live with our communities. The secret of Dao - the Law of the Universe and the sacred way of Wholesome Living, is about returning to peace, returning to our home, and building a new kind of human family on the New Earth. Therefore, I opened a new site called "Wholesome Living on the New Earth", to inspire more people in their path of inner awakening and societal transformation. I hope everyone of us will find our path, learn to purify and expand ourselves, and become one with the Dao "天人合一“.