Tuesday, March 13, 2018

"...have to give it away."

     I met him over 2 decades ago and became his mentor, aka. sponsor.  I had no idea the camaraderie nor friendship that would be built on the reparation of Soul, Mind and Body, both of ours.  To be able to speak to and live through long term contented, productive, happy recovery that reparation must take place.
    In my own personal experience, just not doing whatever the addiction is, even for a very long time, now over 44 years, leads to what I like to think of and call; "non drinking time" versus "sobriety".  For purposes of this writing, I will use non-drinking time as a just that, not drinking and kinda hanging around a recovery program.  I will also use the term sobriety as that state of being that does not drink and achieves a calm emotional state which will allow Spiritual growth.
     So when I met him so long ago he, I, we in our own personal lives were prone to outbursts of both sobriety and non-drinking.  I can recall so many times we would have telephone conversations of him totally ranting and raving about a life occurrence or practice and I laying the phone down and just listening.  Of course that same was true of me and my sponsor.
     Over the years I have felt and know the signs of the "sunlight of the Spirit" shining in my life.  These are moments of serenity, bliss, joy, happiness and compassion for my fellow humans, all of them.  Likewise I have watched my friend move into elder life in a state being and doing those life practises which would lead him to this state of reparation I call sobriety.  What an absolute joy to watch that process come into his consciousness and enjoy it with him.
     It seems that when "the Father of Lights" is enlisted in a honest and true sense, all kinds of wonderful things happen in our lives.  Recently my buddy, although having moved on in the world of recovery and sponsorship, exhibited knowledge and understanding that could only have come from the deep well of sobriety that I saw on so many occasions so long ago.  His desire and ability to share those thoughts and feelings should and do, endear him to a large population of recovery persons.
     We in humanity need a North Star.  In recovery circles it seems that guidance usually comes from those that have "been there, done that".  While achieving a fairly regular state of sobriety, many go through the fears, anxiety's, apprehensions and sickness yet never find the means to adequately share that with humanity.  Only a few it seems figure to that out.  That to me is the goal. A state of Spirit, Mind and Body that we of various recovery programs seek.
      The circle of contented, happy, joyous, loving recovery seems complete at that point where honest, open feelings, thoughts and ideas are shared readily.  Until that sharing at a Soul level, recovery remains somewhat hidden within us.  This deep spiritual insight along with a strong personal desire to share and help is surfacing more and more with my buddy.  It will become so natural for him and others to participate in that last portion of what I term the "recovery circle" that it will seem like the right thing to do.  It is.
     From personal experience I know that not all in any form of recovery will achieve the state of recovery that I have described above.  It seems that The Divine works in mysterious ways with persons seeking that deep Spiritual Recovery.  I have met individuals with in excess of 40 years in a program that were contemplating suicide.  I have met others in long term programs that just did not comprehend nor understand why they were in those programs.  It just seems that unless one consciously touches that Spirit of the Universe, "God as we understand Him", what we seek eludes us.  Always at the edge, just never reaching the goal.
     Of course I am over whelmed with joy that my friend is moving into that area of recovery that he has sought for so many years.  Many times somewhere deep within me I could feel that "Sunlight of the Spirit" and watch him moving in that direction.  It would also seem that this is the juncture that my predecessors were talking about when they informed me that I could not keep "IT" unless I gave it away.  And, of course my own personal belief is that "IT" is in fact "God as I understand Him".  This might be just another subject for a different day.
     So my friend of so many years, enjoy your sober time in life that you have worked so hard for and continue to keep giving it away...sobriety looks good on you!

Richard is retired and
lives in Port Charlotte, Fl


Friday, April 14, 2017

Came, drank (h2o), survived !

The first ever in SW Florida and possibly in Florida BIGU (Taoist water fast with qigong exercises) has come and gone.  So?

Oh man, let's do it again.  Taoist fast in this manner each spring and fall, or as needed.  I am thinking just now that spring and fall of one week with a small fast in between. 

Many who came to the fast walked in in sheer terror.  They could not understand why they had volunteered themselves to not eat food, do special qigong exercises, meditate more than normal and drink enough water to fill Hoover Dam.  Really?  By the end of the first day although we only met 2 hours per day, they all were happy, joyous and well a tiny tiny bit hungry.

It takes 72 hours of staying away from all foods and drinking water for the body to get into a "auto-phage" condition.  Everyone had come to the fast with different intentions and dreams.  By the end of day three they had began to show signs of fully accepting and enjoying to a degree the camaraderie and support of the group.  The calmness and serenity of life that some sought was being provided by the Spirit of Life. 

Day 4 is the pay off.  All of a sudden participants were smiling and reporting; "the pain in my hands has subsided, I can bend it/them";  "my headaches have disappeared".  "my sinuses have dried up 98%"; "my kidneys are functioning nearly normal now".  Auto-phage seems to be able to do things we mere mortals cannot do.  Last years Nobel Prize Winner for Science proved that auto-phage not only exists, it acts just as the ancient knew it did.  (See the link below for the Nobel announcement).

The majority of participants chose to break the fast at day 3 1/2.  Some chose decided to go on.  Every day I stay in the fast past 72 hours the payoff of healing in some form interior wise is enhanced.  I had started the fast 3 days ahead of the group.  It was a good time for me to break my fast.  I had lost a total of 14.2 pounds.

Weight loss is NOT and I repeat NOT a goal of a BIGU water fast.  Healing is the goal.  Weight loss MAY occur or may not.  Weight only is the wrong reason for doing a BIGU.  The range of weight loss in our group was 1 - 14lbs.  While in the fast my body will seek it own weight, I did not have to try and tell my body what to do.

We break the BIGU fast in a Taoist fashion by eating Napa (Chinese cabbage) blanched.  This Napa soup totally cleanses the system and prepares it for a small content of protein light protein filled soups.  Soup(s) of potato, mushroom, Chinese chives, salt, bean sprouts, tofu (I passed on tofu) and added kale sprouts .  For the next 4 days every four hours I ate just less that 1 cup of soup.  We had as much fresh fruit between soups, and still as much water as I could handle.

All through the fast, all though I AM NOT a water drinker, I maintained a 8 (16oz bottles) bottles per day level of water.  No other liquid of intake.  As the fast is broken and times goes on, that level of water starts to fall off, at least with me.  I am trying to learn to consume water as a matter of good health.

We of this first ever BIGU in this area were so privileged to have been guided through the fast by Dr. Kevin Chen, associate professor at University of Maryland School of Integrative Medicine, Baltimore, Md.  Kevin spent 5 days here and met 2 hours every eve and day on the weekends with us.  We were fortunate to have him to ourselves and taught many many more lessons than just how to hold a BIGU.    

Will we do this again?  Of course though not until fall this year.  Spring and fall, great schedule for remaining healthy.  Man, all this typing has made me thirsty....hmmmm think a root beer would be good :)


link to Nobel Prize article: https://goo.gl/ifFsss

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

BIGU with Qigong Exercises

This is an excerpt from an article by Dr. Marty Eisen writing in "Yang Sheng"...

Chinese Bigu (避谷) for Yang Sheng

by  Martin Eisen, Ph.D.

What is Bigu?

In Chinese “Bi” means to stop or avoid, and “Gu” means grain, including rice, corn or wheat. Therefore, Bigu means to avoid grain or stop eating. One of the earliest descriptions of Bigu was found in silk scrolls, from the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 24 AD), discovered in tombs in Changsha, China at Mangwnagdui. The first scroll had over forty diagrams and descriptions of Dao Yin exercises. Dao Yin was an early form of Qigong, which induced, promoted and conducted Qi for health and to cure diseases. The second scroll described Bigu as “Abandoning Gu and Taking Qi”. Thus, Bigu is refraining from eating food and eating Qi instead.
In terms of degree of involvement there are two kinds of Bigu – full and partial Bigu. In Full Bigu a person drinks a small amount of water without any food. In Half Bigu there is a small intake of food like fruit, nuts, and honey – traditionally called “Fu Er Bi Gu” – fasting with a pill.
Moses, Elijah and Jesus fasted for forty days. Theresa Neumann lived on one consecrated wafer a day. There are records in China and India of people who have gone without food for long periods of time.
Western fasting is different than Bigu. It cannot be continued for a long time. Eventually, the body begins to break down. In China, some people have been in a Bigu state for years. An important characteristic of the Bigu-fasting is that practitioner’s overall condition improves rather than weakens (1).

Can Bigu be explained?

Recently, western scientists have become interested in Bigu, as evidenced by over 500 participants and about 100 papers at a Bigu conference at Penn State University in 2000. However, western science cannot explain Bigu, since the body requires fat, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins, etc. found in food.
Traditional Chinese Medical theory can explain Bigu. There are different forms of Qi in the body, which have a different name depending on their function and location. Food (Gu) Qi is combined with Air (Kong) Qi to form Gathering (Zong) Qi. Under the catalytic action of Original (Yuan) Qi, Zong Qi is transformed into True (Zhen) Qi, which circulates to the internal organs and nourishes them (2). Thus, it is theoretically possible to produce Zhen Qi without or very little Gu Qi, by absorbing Qi from the universe.
More credence is given to the above theory by the experiment in (3). Results indicate that mouse hybridoma cells can survive in Dulbeco’s modified Eagles medium, without serum, or in phosphate-buffered saline buffer, without other nutrient ingredients, after Qigong master projected Qi into the cells. These results are the first evidence that a cellular equivalent of the human Bigu phenomenon can occur.

Types of Bigu

Chinese history indicates that there are many ways to achieve Bigu. Most styles of Qigong have their own method of entering a Bigu state. Many different techniques originated from the Taoist in different temples. In Taoism, the goal was to become an immortal or “Shen Xian”. Since immortals do not need to eat, the Taoist practiced Qigong to enter Bigu. Thus, another name for Bigu is Xian Tao. The Taoists believed in following nature and so ate when hungry and drank when thirsty. Thus, they did not force a Bigu state to occur.
During the Song Dynasty, some Taoists tried to use chemicals, such as mercury and lead, to become immortal. This was called “Lien Dan” “Lien” means melting or exercise. “Dan” in ancient Chinese could be interpreted as medicine for longevity. Many people died from an overdose of these chemicals. People realized that Dan is produced in the Dan Tian by Qigong practice, and not by taking chemicals and the alchemical approach ceased.
There are ancient Chinese records of herbal formulas for Bigu. Food intake was gradually curtailed and instead, herbs were taken. People achieved Bigu in ten days to a month.
Some masters recommend reducing food intake gradually. This method does not use herbs, but the person does Qigong and will be discussed in greater detail in Section 7.
The Buddhists’ ambition was to become a Buddha and they had their own form of Qigong to achieve this. The Buddhists were more forceful in using their minds. If they felt hungry in a Bigu state, they endured it until their hunger disappeared and they entered into Bigu.
Others forms of Bigu arose from Confucian, martial arts and Traditional Chinese Medicine Qigong.
To aid their students achieve a Bigu state, some masters project their own Qi to their students’ Dan Tian and stomach area to relieve and prevent hunger. However, this is usually a temporary measure and the students must still practice Qigong daily.
Another temporary aid is that the master charges water by projecting his Qi into it. The student relieves hunger by drinking the charged water...

Uses of Bigu

In ancient China, Bigu was used mainly for religious purposes and by martial artists, who went into seclusion to perfect their art and discover new methods. Food was scarce and they did not want to waste time foraging. Hence, they probably practiced Bigu. Perhaps the most famous was Bodhidharma, the patriarch of Zen Buddhism in China and the founder of Shaolin Kung Fu. He meditated for 9 years facing a wall in a cave near the Shaolin Temple in He Nan Province.
Bigu was also used by Taoism practitioners (what we called Qigong today) to preserve life energy for longevity, and to reach higher level of cultivation rapidly.
There is no record of Bigu being used to combat starvation. Teaching Bigu in third world countries, where famine exists, could save many lives.
Bigu could also be used to survive temporary food shortages. For example, land or space explorers could become lost. Soldiers could be trapped behind enemy lines or in a desert. Sailors or airmen could be lost at sea.
There is no history of Bigu being used for weight loss in ancient China. The reason might be that there were not as large a percentage obese people as in modern times. People did more physical work and ate less fattening food. Further, being overweight was considered a sign of wealth. Recently, Bigu has become popular for weight loss (4), (5); (6). You don’t have to worry about counting calories, choosing and preparing food or do strenuous exercise.
Next I will discuss some medi cal applications of Bigu. There are differences of opinion on its application. Some practitio ners believe that Bigu should not be used for children, because they are in a period of intense growth and any shortage of nutrients may be detrimental. Adults with a weak constitution are also excluded (1) and other methods of Chinese medicine are used. Others apply Bigu for treating cancer even though such patients usually have a weakened constitution, since some improvements in their physiological state occurs during Bigu. However, Qigong and other methods are used to improve their health before Bigu.
Bigu should be investigated as a possible treatment for diabetes. One participant, described in (6), was in Bigu for forty days. She was able to decrease the amount of insulin as well as the number of injections per day. Some days she was down to one injection while teaching, performing ballet, coaching gymnastics and swimming.
Dean Ornish”s program for reversing heart disease consists of diet, stress reduction, and exercise. The diet for reversing coronary artery disease is a vegetarian diet high in complex carbohydrates, low in simple carbohydrates (e.g. sugar, concentrated sweeteners, alcohol, white flour), and very low in fat (approximately 10% of calories). Yoga (meditation, breathing and stretching) is done for stress reduction. Participants exercised aerobically a minimum of 30 minutes a day or for an hour every other day for a total of three to five hours of aerobic exercise per week. Clinical trials have shown that this program is successful (7). Although there have not been large scale, clinical trials, it seems logical that Bigu and Qigong would work, since the dietary guidelines would obviously be followed.
Preliminary results indicate that Dean Ornish’s program is also effective for treating prostate cancer (8). Hence, Bigu should also be effective. This hypothesis is reinforced by the result cited in (9). A male, aged 58, had a PSA of 11. It went up to 12 after his mother died. His urologist suspected cancer and suggested a biopsy. After practicing Bigu, his PSA was 4, which is within normal limits, and the biopsy was negative. His doctor had no western medical explanation of this result.
During the intensive qigong seminar (9), which included Bigu, the patient also lost 35 pounds and his blood pressure dropped from 220/110 with medication to 120/75 without medication (this occurred within 2 weeks). His resting pulse rate dropped from 88 beats per minute (bpm) to 68 bpm in the mornings and 55 bpm in the evening after his regular work (seeing patients) continuing throughout the evening. The edema in his legs went away. His allergy and asthma remitted even though the workshop was in the Spring—the worst time of the year for an allergy patient. These results in suggest that Bigu should be tried for hypertension, cardiovascular problems, allergy and asthma especially, since simultaneous recovery from multiple “incurable” conditions cannot be explained by any known medical theories.
Taoists thought that not having to eat was one of the steps to immortality. Some people after Bigu appear younger – their hair darkens, scars are less noticeable and their skin is softer and smoother. This not just their imagination, but Qigong and Bigu enhance the free flow of Qi or bioelectricity which improves their metabolism.
Researchers have verified many times on many different animals that calorie-restriction produces youthfulness. In 1935, Professor Clive McCay, a nutritionist at Cornell, fed laboratory rats about two-thirds of the food they would have freely chosen to eat. He discovered their life spans increased by 40 percent to 50 percent. A Russian biologist stopped feeding 1000 old hens for one week and then resumed feeding them. After a month, they began to grow new feathers and some began laying eggs again. The calorie-restricted hens lived three times longer than the fed, control group of hens (6). A diabetes researcher at the University of Maryland, Barbara Hansen, has spent 20 years investigating the effects of calorie restriction on rhesus monkeys. The old calorie-restricted monkeys did not have heart disease, diabetes, or hypertension, and their cholesterol was lower. They were healthier than the old monkeys that ate what they wanted. Researchers think that semi-starvation may make metabolic processes more efficient, producing fewer free radicals and also perhaps boosting cells’ DNA repair systems.
Besides research, Okinawans are living proof of the benefits of a calorie restricted diet. They eat 40% fewer calories than Americans and 17% fewer calories than the Japanese average, but they still maintain adequate nutrition. Okinawans also have the longest average lifespan in the world and the highest percentage of centenarians. Compared to American elders, Okinawan elders are: 75% more likely to retain cognitive ability, 80% less likely to develop breast and prostate cancer, 50% less likely to develop ovarian and colon cancers, 50% less likely to experience a hip fracture, and 80% less likely to suffer from a heart attack.
Thus, it seems plausible that Bigu will also produce youthfulness in clinical trials.
It is also reported that Bigu could be used as a supplementary therapy in restraining cancer growth and build up immune system (10). However, there is generally a lack of study and evidence in this area for a clinical application. I would not recommend anyone to do Bigu on his/her own without the guidance of a professional and experienced instructor.
A Bigu conference was held in Sept. 2000.  The conference report can be found in (11) and the program and papers in (12).  More research on the mechanisms and the reliable medical applications of Bigu technique are warranted.
1. Wang JJ. Thorough Clinical Experiment on Bigu-fasting, http://hanlin.hit.bg/bigu_eng.htm.
2. Giovanni, M.  Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists, Churchill Livingstone, 1997.
3. Yan, X., Traynor-Kaplan, A., Li, H., Wang, J., Shen, H.; Xia, Z.  Studies on the Fundamental Theory of Bigu (Food Abstinence)—Preliminary Experimental Observations of Cellular Bigu, Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 22 (5), 392-396 (2002).
4. Gao, G. Utilizing the Innate Self-regulatory and Self-healing Capacity on Weight Management, 1999 ISSSEEM Conference in Boulder, Co, 1999.
5. Gao, G. Bigu and Weight Loss: Qi as a Food Source, Second World Congress on Qigong, San Francisco, CA, November 1997, and Kung Fu/Qigong Magazine, November 1998.
6. Tam, T. Pi Gu – The Way of Qigong Fasting, Oriental Culture Institute Press, 1998.
7.     Ornish, D.  Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease: The Only System Scientifically Proven to Reverse Heart Disease without Drugs or Surgery, Ivy Books, 1995.
8.     Ornish, D. et al. Intensive lifestyle changes may affect the progression of prostate cancer, J. of Urology, vol. 174, 1006- 1070, 2006.
9. Chen, K. and Turner, F. A case study of simultaneous recovery from multiple physical symptoms with medical qigonq therapy, J. Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 10, 2004.
10. He B. and Chen K.  Integrative tumor board: advanced breast cancer — Qigong analysis, Integrative Cancer Care, 1(2): 200-202.
11.    Bigu Conference Report, 2000. http://www.wholepersonhealing.org/docs/WPH/BiGu/BiGu%20conference%20report.pdf
12.    Bigu Conference Program and Papers, 2000.http://www.wholepersonhealing.org/docs/WPH/BiGu/BiGu%20Program.pdf

Dr. Eisen is a retired scientist, who constructed mathematical models in medicine. He has studied and taught Judo, Shotokan Karate, Aikido, Qigong, Praying Mantis Kung Fu, and Tai Chi in different places.  He took correspondence courses in Chinese herbology and studied other branches of Chinese medicine with a traditional Chinese medical doctor.  He was the Director of Education of the Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Institute in Upper Darby, P.A.

for brevity, portions of the above article have been omitted.  The entire article can be found at:

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

" It all started with the end"

   If you are reading this, it must mean you are either curious or you know something about me, or both.

   On 8 February 1974 I was admitted to the "psyche ward" of the US Naval Hospital NAS Cubi Pt, Republic of the Philippines.  I was on "hold".  They had run out of room at my new temporary home way out in the middle of the jungle at the Navy Rehabilitation Unit.  A 15 bed in-patient facility for those diagnosed with chronic alcoholism.  That was me.

   After 8 weeks in-patient treatment and return to my home base at San Miguel, Zambales Province, RP.  I was subsequently quickly transferred with my family, dog and all belongs to Fort George G. Meade, Md., the home of the NSA (National Security Agency).

   It was there my my life long trek through sobriety began.  Over the last 43 years of attendance at AA I have been so privileged to meet, know, and love some wonderful wonderful people.

   Today I am enjoying the same wonderful life.  I had been given a new lease on life back in 1974 and I praise God for enabling and guiding me through paths that were laden with surprise and peril.  They were also riddled with happy, joyous and free instances.

   Just for today it is my intention to continue this life of contented sobriety and spiritual growth.  I love being in love with life and all those I can meet and greet.

Love and light to all that read this
richard aka ezduzit777rgc@gmail.com

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Divine gets it right

   This weekend I was privileged to participate in the Florida Senior Games that featured taichi for the very first time.

    A good number of participants showed up and the games were termed a success.  Throughout the morning various taichi forms were demonstrated.  Some very familiar and some I had never seen. 
     Classifications were for beginners (novice), intermediate and advanced participants.  I was listed in the advanced class.  After all I have been teaching taiji/qi gong for 10 years, I guess they got it right.

     A change in classification of classes had been decided upon by the games admin persons, and I was allowed to sign up for an advanced Beijing 24 (Yang 24) form.  This is the national form of taichi for China.  It is also the most practiced taichi form in the world.  I enjoy this form and am relatively accomplished at it.

     At the end of my first demonstration I felt terribly good for in my mind I have done the form flawlessly.  No mistakes, in the prescribed amount of time, great energy, very upbeat.  After the other contestants performed it was my thought that two of them were very good and most probably outperformed me.  The third man was a very senior person, more senior than I.  Being as fair as I could be I definitely felt I had outperformed this gentleman.  So a quaint and quick medal ceremony with pictures, etc.  ensued and I was handed my yellow ribbon.  Wait!  There were 3 medals, nice shiny medals ahead of my fourth (4th) place ribbon.  Oh no.  I had in fact been scored last of 4.  

     Of course I know that it is not the prize that counts it is the process or journey that is important.  Yet, hmmmm.  Last?  Really? So starts the self aggrandizement.  I was better than he!  He was slow, blah blah blah.  Self justification, blah blah blah.  Oh lord I was in a self mess.  A bit of meditation and self examination led me to hug the beautiful elderly guy who had outs scored me and tell him I thought he was great, and he was.

    Well that was done, now to wait for the last form contest which is the Beijing 24.  We broke for lunch at that moment and one hour later were back in the gym ready to go.  Oh oh, wait a minute.  They stated they were done with taichi and were moving along to the next forms which were "push hands".  Not my cup o tea and I would be leaving as soon as I was finished with my next form.

     Here is where I get emotionally crazy.  Still harboring a little ill feeling about my 4th place ribbon, I was not being told they were going to skip the Beijing 24 form for I was the only man to sign up for it.  Huh.  That would mean I would have been the only participant and an automatic "Gold Medal"!!!  Yes, thank you God. 

     Then the thought that I would be given a medal simply because I was the only one in the category.  I did not even get to perform the form.  "Just give him a gold medal and let's move on" I heard.  Sigh, by now pride had me in its grips of torment.  A medal charity case is what I am now huh?  Never mind.  It is fine, I don't need a medal.

     The personnel putting on the games were so sincerely apologetic about their mistake and were so adamant about correcting their mistake I did participate in a quick and personal medal ceremony and had pictures taken.  Every one seemed so happy and yet I was feeling just a bit childish and embarrassed.

     It finally dawned on me that the Divine takes care of all.  I got what I deserved in my first form participation, I also by rule got what I deserved for my second form which I never even performed.  The Divine was balancing the scales.  What was my problem?  None.  None at all.  I will cherish and display both prizes equally.  I love them both.  Why, wouldn't I?  They are a gift from my creator. 

     I will forever and always remember this day.  Even when my head goes negative and self engaged, the Divine is always there to bail me out.  God is Good, always, all ways.

Love and light


Thursday, October 27, 2016

"Bigu or not Bigu!"

    When I was a young person, ahhhhh I almost drowned at least twice in our local lake.  This lake was frequented by many teenagers and of course I wanted to "roll with the big guys".  As a result of that afflicted thinking I ended up on the bottom of the lake and then a lifeguard earned his pay dragging me in.  Man them guys are not gentle.  It is my belief that those events set a fear of water in motion in my subconscious.  That fear directed some of my effort for over 6 decades, until recently.

Although I was able to do such wondrous things as; show up at all swimming events and participate to the fullest.  Garner a 26 year career in the U.S. Navy.  Probably not transferred fear to children.  Apparently a relatively normal person.

The glitch:
I never and I mean never drank water.  I would skip a drink with meals if it was water.  I can see now that physically I was not being good to my body nor me.  I didn't care, I did not like water.

The awakening:
After meeting and spending time with Dr. Kevin Chen of the University of Maryland Integrative Medicine School I became ready to just allow myself the luxury of becoming whole.  Even after repeated efforts for 42 years in a recovery program I felt that I still was not whole not right.  Dr. Chen and his programs changed all that.

In addition to everything else, I have been in the process of trying to bring the Chinese qigong system "Guo Lin Qigong" to my area.  This qigong targets cancer and debilitating illness.  I had spent a week in 2015 with Dr. Chen at a Guo Lin cancer patient retreat.  This water fast process fit right in the path of cancer recovery.

The event:
So recently Dr. Chen offered his fall "Bigu Taoist 3 day water fast" and I thought it was a great and sound idea.  What the heck, the Taoist been doing this for a couple of thousand years and seem to be ok.  Completely and without compunction I said; "YES".  This fast was to be held in Columbia, Maryland at a local medical (acupuncture facility).  There was to be approximately 25 persons in the fast.  Soooooo, lets see, need a place to stay for 5 night, plane tickets, rental car and some warm clothes.  It had turn an average of 45 degrees at night.  I live in Florida.  Yuppp, about a thousand dollars to possibly change my life about water.  Oh yeah.

The Process:
The fast is only water.  I need to emphasize here that this Bigu Fast  is NOT any form of STARVATION process.  We only focused on self energy and energy provided by the Universe.  If you had a life threatening illness Dr. Chen encouraged taking the medicine otherwise the recommendation was to become as normal and clean as possible. No supplements, no food.  We were depending on our body/mind/spirit to take care of all our needs.  We were encourage to drink a minimum of 1 bottle (12 oz) every 2 hours we were awake.  Spring water ONLY.  I personally had no meds, no supplements.

So, all the time other than the 2 hour gatherings was our time.  Some worked, some retired, some just doing what ever they wanted like me.  Part of the fast I knew was diversion.  Rather than think/obsess on food or food process, think of other things.  Lots of meditation, although that was my forte.  Long walks in local parks and Howard County, Maryland has very neat parks.  Movies, great movie times. Anything to keep my mind not going to food.

The End:
Well almost. I will 'splain that later.  On Sunday Dr. Chen fixed us a soup of Napa and a pinch of salt.  This soup does not trigger the stomach and does not make the system work. It just passes through.
During the fast we could take certain very specific things that did not trigger the system at all.  Such as; red Chinese dates, redskin peanuts, almonds. fresh fruit in very very small pieces, one at a time.  Some in the group emotionally had problems and ate maybe a whole apple.  That does nothing but postpone the fast.  One apple extends the fast out 5 hours.  So many chose to break their fast at 3 days on Sunday and others chose to try to finish at 7 days.  What is the difference?

The Difference:
As I understand it, a 3 day Bigu fast will in fact allow my body to "reset" cellurlally.  After that during the fast the cells begin to realign and reform in the correct manner, not afflicted such as in diabetes.  At 7 days all sorts of things occur. This is the fast most diagnosed cancer patients will opt to go farther.  They wait 120 days and do a 21 day fast.

As I left Columbia I made the decision to go on to 7 days and see "what up"?  Well, good choice.  Monday morning I ate my 1/4 slice of pear.  Yummm.  Still on water of course.  The next 2 days were great.  Tuesday eve and Wednesday morning and at lunch time I had 1/3 banana.  I knew that I could break the fast at 8PM.  I would prepare a soup designed to facilitate the end.  This soup is a "5 rice soup" and all I was allowed one cup of broth (no rice) every 2 hours.  On the way to regular food.  As recommended I had scheduled a "colonic" for noon Thursday.  Now was the best time to totally cleanse my system.  (It did).  Thursday I began eating a wonderful pot of vegetable soup I had cooked nearly 2 weeks ago.  Oh yeah, reallllllllly tasted swell.  That soup will also be the basis of 2 meals on Friday.  All along I have snacks of small pieces of fresh fruit.  Done.

At day 3 a lady in our group announced that her 60 year old psoriasis had disappeared.  On day 4 I announced my "stage IV arthritis in both my hands had disappeared.  It was then I noticed my sinus problem, last 10 years, was now abating.  I think that is what prompted my to go to 7 days.  Average weight loss on the 3rd day for the ladies was 12 lbs.  Although I was doing this for information only, I lost 11 lbs.  There may be more dramatic or not so dramatic results.  More will be revealed.

This was a life changing event for me.  Would I do it again?  Yes.  Would I recommend this to family, friends, and students, of course.
I am just this moment thinking I have began to like, appreciate and want to drink water.  An unexpected result was that I was encouraged to slow down eating.  Be mindful and enjoy my food and life.  I do.

Love and light,

Monday, October 10, 2016

Nehemiah had the right idea

   My last blog entry was about trying to understand Nehemiah in the bible and what the "Nehemiah Retreat" at Unity Village in Lee's Summit, Mo. would mean to me.
   Well.  Nehemiah was able to accomplish all of his desired work on the walls and gates of Jerusalem in 52 days.  I am certain he had more than 27 workers as we did which allowed him to accomplish his monumental task

   Our 27 workers gathered from far and wide in the U.S. were up to the tasks that had been laid out by the facilities department of Unity Village.  That department which worked right beside all of us, had prepared a vigorous set of tasks, tasks that they themselves did not have the man power nor time to complete.

   Our workers did an enormous amount of work in 4.5 days and were able at the same time to consume as much food as the Village Inn could whip up.  Known specifically for their healthy menu and 5 star deserts, the Nehemiah crew did themselves proud finishing just about every form of processed sugar possible.  Good for short burst of temporary energy, not so good for long term health.

   Tasks consisted of but were not limited to; emptying a complete wing of a building and deep cleaning all those facilities, deep cleaning of several past student residences, aiding installation of a irrigation system on the golf course, moving a complete archived collection and any other task that popped up in the first 4 days.

   Unity Village is a unique facility which was created and built in the early 1900's.  Many far thinking practises were utilized; such as the first pre fabrication of walls.  Lowell Filmore one of the main architects of the Village was a student of European architecture and brought the very best of those skills to the Village during design and construction.

   The camaraderie and friendships that were forged in a short time were amazing.  Young or old, all seemed to want to build relationships and did.  The organization known to us all as "The Light that Shines for You" or Silent Unity was a tremendous part of this process.

   Silent Unity is a real time, FREE, 24/7, live, human facilitated prayer ministry.  This prayer ministry has been in prayer non-stop since 1893.  Through 2 world wars, the Korean Conflict, and numerous catastrophic events in the world which includes "911" they have manned; pencil/paper, teletype, telephone, facsimile, and even the Internet.  In addition to the main Silent Unity room in Unity Village there are 13 additional rooms around the world to support other languages, people and nations.

    For me, the director of Silent Unity Joy Cherry and Unity Minister Michael Perrie set this retreat apart from other Nehemiah Retreats I have attended.  Their daily and impromptu meetings of prayer or meditation during the week were much appreciated and enjoyed.  The tour of the Silent Unity training facility and explanation of "how it works" was an eye opener for most attending.  Nehemiah members were also encouraged and allowed to visit in 1/2 hour intervals in the Silent Unity Prayer Vigil room nearly any time they wished or signed up for.  These times in the Prayer Vigil room a place many think of as "special and holy ground" led many to come to conclusions or decisions they had been wrestling with.  Special times.

   So, would I do Nehemiah again? Oh yeah.  Would I recommend this retreat to my friends and other congregants at my Unity Church?  Oh yeah.  Would I recommend this retreat to anyone even though they may not attend Unity?  Oh yeah.  Stay tuned for the announcements in spring and fall of 2017 for sign up of a Nehemiah Retreat at Unity Village.

Love and light.