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.