Sunday, April 25, 2010

Power of Language, Pineapple Hearts, Boiled Water Rooms & LOTS o' LOVE


Greetings Friends!

Oh so much to say! My last few days in Zhengzhou have been filled with so much richness, so much love, love, LOVE, laughs and more LOVE. I feel deeply blessed to have such a profoundly beautiful and loving 'Chinese family' :)!! 2 days ago when Ayi came back from a weekend at her son's home, she entered the clinic with a big smile. She exclaimed she was organizing a special 'farewell' lunch for me and that Zhao Fang (Nicole) and her husband, JunLin and her family, Li Zhun and of course, Dr. Zhao would all be there. Oh YAY!!! We've all been counting down the days we have together – savoring and enjoying each moment. Each day I come to the clinic, Dr. Zhao re-counts again – 'hai you 5 tian' –'still 5days'– 'hai you 3 tian'–'still have 3 days'–'hai you 1 tian'–'still have 1 day,' etc. Each moment is precious – each time I get to fill another prescription with my Sisters, eat another most delicious lunch with Ayi and Dr. Zhao, see my fuyuyuan (hotel worker) friends at the hotel, hug my little Chinese 'nieces' who come to greet me is so precious. Also, I savor each moment of teaching and sharing and experiencing with Dr. Zhao. My time and all I receive from him is such a big gift – even putting all of this into words doesn't do justice to express what I'm receiving. One example of such a moment is two days ago when he read from an old book on acupuncture techniques – again written as a 'gejue'– a poem. It was so beautiful and this time, as he read (and I recorded it on my nifty IPod :)) I actually understood some of it!! WoW! I understood some of the acupuncture points they referred to and their uses. And I'm so glad to have these recordings to continue learning and of course to hear Dr. Zhao's voice again when I'm home.

I also like it when Dr. Zhao calls me over to feel another patient's pulse (now he's having me feel their pulses and then describe what I feel. Gosh, this is soooo great!! I love (sometimes my ego doesn't love it so much in the moment though!) how Dr. Zhao is ALWAYS stretching what I think is possible for me. He's always testing my 'consciousness' and expanding my self-imposed – often unconsciously self-imposed limitations. My training and 'remembering' of Conscious Language has been/is so valuable and I can see how all my experiences up to this point has prepared me to meet and work with Dr. Zhao. In my training with Robert Tennyson Stevens (founder of Conscious Language™ and Mastery Systems), I came to see how a simple thought-form such as “I can't” or “I don't know” really held back a lot of power in my life – and I had several experiences while on tour with Bob of how once I became conscious I was telling myself ‘I can't’ or ‘I don't know’ and consciously made another choice, then doors opened in my own consciousness and experience! Well, I have discovered so many “I can'ts” or “”I don't knows” in my time here. Yet, these have been even more 'sneaky' because they're in Chinese!! :) Yes, I've become rather astute in detecting sly English ‘I can'ts' and “I don't knows” – BUT now I'm becoming diligent in catching them in Chinese! When I'm thinking thoughts in Chinese, these little..."wo bu hui" (I can't), “Wo ting bu dong" (I don't understand), and “wo buzhidao” (I don't know) have, as I mentioned, continued to pop up in their sneaky way, especially when Dr. Zhao is teaching me, or quizzing me, or asking me to recite one of the short gejues he's shared with me! (one time in front of the reporters! Aiya!!) Well, as I've learned/remembered in my studies with Bob Stevens, my language, my words, thoughts and feelings are powerful and are constantly shaping my world and my experience of it around me.

So to give you an example in the Chinese language, I'm going to take a close look at the Chinese version of ‘I don't know' --- which, just as in English, is a phrase that often unconsciously closes a door in consciousness -- As soon as one says “I don't” – it's like closing a gate, and in this case, closing a gate to 'knowing.’ So, in Chinese, the 2 characters for knowing are both beautiful and powerful words – they are ‘zhi’知and ‘dao’道 put together to form ‘zhidao’ 知 道–(look, Dr. Zhao's nephew, Zhao Kuan, helped me download a program to type in Chinese now so I can actually show you some characters :)) – ‘zhi’ is the character for wisdom and ‘dao’ is the character for the way, the path – it's also the character for Daoism (sometimes spelled Taoism in English). To say “I know” is simply ‘wo zhidao’ 我知道 – or one could translate it as “I know as I Am Wisdom and the Way” – or—“I know the wisdom of the Way". To say “I don't know” is “wo bu zhidao” 我不知道 – or one could say ‘I don't know wisdom or the Way’ or ‘I don't know the wise Way'. The character “bu” 不, like our 'not'–resulting in words like can't, don't, won't, etc --, is a powerful barrier and can put up a strong wall/gate in one's consciousness (often unconsciously). It's also said in the 4th tone in Chinese (Mandarin Chinese has 4 main tones and 1 neutral tone) which starts high and ends low and is the 'sharpest' tone of them all.

So all of this to say, I'm now 'remembering' my Conscious Language in Chinese too :) And as I had started explaining, when Dr. Zhao has me feel pulses of his patients, and then asks me to explain what I'm feeling, sometimes these sneaky “I don't know how to say this" thoughts making their way into my head. Well also....being a 'waiguoren' -a foreigner, I have a big excuse to have these thoughts, right? Since Chinese isn't my native language, I can often get away with just being a bit 'shaniu'–'silly girl' that doesn't quite understand. Yet, this ‘doesn't fly' with Dr. Zhao :) (and Thankfully so as this keeps stretching my own limits!!). So with the pulses, even though I've often thought –'oh I don't know how to put words to what I'm feeling – and especially in Chinese!" I ....do it anyway :) – and miraculously Dr. Zhao understands! (even though I'm often using other-than-Chinese-Medical terminology to convey my feelings!)

This highlights another special blessing in my relationship with Dr. Zhao – that is we often understand each other – (of course there's many times we've had some miscommunications resulting in me 'you fan cuowu' – making yet another mistake!! – which often by the way, after we communicate clearly, results in another bundle of shared laughter and me reminding Dr. Zhao how to say "I made a mistake" in English again :)- as he likes to practice his English in preparation for his next trip to the U.S.)

Even though we have our language differences, he often seems to understand what I'm conveying. For example, one patient's pulse was very thin, wiry and a bit floating, while another patient's was ‘thick’, sinking and 'hua' slippery like flowing ‘zhou’ or rice porridge (different than the ‘hua’ feeling of the 2 women who are pregnant). I'll often say a few simple descriptive words and then Dr. Zhao's eyes light up –"oh yes, right – you mean"....and he'll say the very poetic Chinese medical terminology for what I'm feeling :). Even though I'm just starting to feel some basics and feeling the difference between different patients, I still have MUCH to learn as to what all the different pulses mean, several patients still insist (if I haven't done it already) to come over and feel their pulse. They're often smiling looking at me with expectant eyes after I feel, like they're waiting for me to diagnosis their condition! Well, I just tell them to 'dengyixia' wait a moment and ask Dr. Zhao :)

Another example of Dr.Zhao not heeding my “I can't" or “I don't understand” thoughts is with some of the case studies he's written up for me to translate. Again, he likes to write by hand (as he doesn't use the modern pinyin method needed for typing Chinese characters in the computer)—so this means I need to decipher his handwriting. Well, neatly (and I mean school-text-book-neat) written characters are much easier to read than the more beautiful flowing, calligraphy-like handwriting of Dr. Zhao – because, when reading neatly written or typed characters, if there's a character I don't know, I can again use my nifty ipod, draw the character, press ‘done’ and voila! Out comes the pinyin and an English definition of the word. :) –duo fangbian! – So convenient!! Well, not so easy with Dr. Zhao's written papers... .When he hands me yet another case study, he often says, ‘na, ni man man kan ba.' "here, you can read and review this slowly." And then starts working on something else. My “well, what? Wait – what if I don't understand? Wait can you just explain...?...." none of these thoughts are given any space in his consciousness – which then seems to somehow decrease their power in my consciousness – and my response miraculously turns into a no-drama “Hao ba. Wo na hui qu manman de kan ba.” –“okay sure, I'll take this and review it tonight." (Yet, sometimes I'm still thinking, “how will I ever understand all of this?”) So far, though, I've also ‘miraculously’ been given all the extra help (often from either Nicole or Zhao Kuan) I require to read these cases studies and learn a bunch of new words in the process. :)

So I had a most most wonderful ‘farewell’ lunch with Dr. Zhao, Ayi, JunLin, her mother-in-law, Nicole and her husband, and one of Dr. Zhao's sisters. Again these were more moments I treasured. Two of the TV reporters also joined us so they could film our toasts and this special time with 'my Chinese family' :). Below are just a few of the many great pictures we took at lunch and right after with my family :).



Pineapple Hearts
Also, below I've included some pictures of me and my friends at the hotel. Oh they are all so wonderful. As I've mentioned, most of my dinners I would eat at the hotel with the other hotel workers. I befriended several of them (especially Da Jie who I mentioned in an earlier update – she's the older women in the pics below) and exchanged warm smiles, hellos and laughter with most of the others. Well I had bought some pineapple, watermelon and apples earlier in the day and wrote a thank you note to the staff and asked if the chef could cut up the fruit nicely and put it out with that night's dinner, as I often arrive a bit after they've started eating. Well...when I arrived that night, the main server had just read my note to everyone and then on the two back tables I saw the platters of fruit! Oh wow! They were so beautifully prepared! I included a picture of one of them below – the chef took so much care in his preparation, he even cut the pineapple into little heart shapes!!! I felt so happy and everyone there was also so happy to see me! I felt such joy to finally be able to thank them all at once and in person and it just opened up such a warmth of sharing and gratitude and of course smiles and more laughs! We took pictures of us eating together and then the main server came in with a gift of 2 red stuffed animal tigers he said was a gift from the hotel! Oh they are so sweet!! And you can just see and feel their sweetness and genuine kindness in these pictures :)


Packing
So all this goodness just keeps on flowing and flowing – on my last night in Zhengzhou, after my last dinner with the hotel staff, I was upstairs beginning my slightly dreaded task of fitting all my accumulated belongings in my 1 big bag – when I heard a knock, knock on the door :) – Oh it was my wonderful ‘sisters’ JunLin and LiZhun!! :) JunLin also brought her husband Zhao Miao and they all had big smiles on their faces, came in and my two sisters immediately started organizing my things, asking “kailun, what are you wearing tomorrow? Here hand me your things…What goes in this bag?...” And while I felt I wasn't ‘prepared’ for help (I often feel as though I need have everything organized first before having people come help me...BUT this thinking I'm realizing doesn't make much sense as often people are coming to help with just this – organizing! :) – so I really could relax more and just enjoy my help!), my sisters just came in and pretty much took over, while Zhao Miao added his skype contact info to my skype account and also made sure he and JunLin were in my new QQ account (QQ is like the Chinese equivalent to Facebook and pretty much EVERYONE who is on the internet here has a QQ address – instead of email :)). Well within 45 minutes, all my belongings again miraculously (I realized I've used that word a lot in this update!) fit in my bag! How did they do this?!! In any case, we said our goodnights as we were all going to see each other again very soon early, early in the morning, as Dr. Zhao, Ayi and my sisters had all concluded (along with 3 TV reporters) that they would take me to the airport! Gosh, I feel so loved!
And really our trip to the airport and our last hugs and continued waves and blowing of kisses and smiles and tears as I was making my way through security all just added to the immense Love and Gratitude I have for Dr. Zhao, Ayi, Jun Lin, Li Zhun, Nicole, their whole family, and all, all the many people I've met and become friends with on this trip. I am so grateful and I am grateful to all of you for sharing my powerful, loving and Joy-filled journey. THANK YOU!!!

'Boiled Water Rooms" :)
I've written some of this letter while flying from Zhengzhou to Inner Mongolia (to see Claire and Jergedu) with a stop-over in Beijing. Below are a couple of interesting pics from my airport experience that I thought you'd enjoy too :) – one is of a sign for a “Boiled Water Room”!! HA! I love drinking HOT water and this is something we certainly do NOT see in the U.S. :)! Also, while at the airport I again had the delightful task of .....having lunch! :) – so I went to a Chinese version of ‘fast food’ (they even call it ‘kuai can’ which literally means fast food) BUT I took a picture of their menu because it is actually real food and absolutely nothing like we have at our ‘fast food’ restaurants! It's a little hard to see but the picture shows their ‘picture menu’ of things like seaweed noodles, steamed eggs with mushrooms, mu-er and cilantro (mu-er is a fungus that directly translates to ‘wood ears’ :)), red bean pudding, curried veggies and rice, dumplings, sautéed greens, black sticky rice and coconut yummy dessert (which is one item I ordered :)), and more... Also while these prices were much more than what you'd pay out in the city, my meal still cost me a whooping $2.30!


Clear Blue Skies in Inner Mongolia
So while I'm missing, thinking of, and sending much love to my Zhengzhou family now, I'm also so happy to be in Inner Mongolia with my dear friend Claire and her wonderful finance, Jergedu! It is beautiful here and so refreshing to see the deep and bright blue skies and the bright, brilliant sun and to breathe fresh air!!! I have missed all of these in Zhengzhou. And Claire – I am sooo happy for her! Many of you know her – she founded the first ZY Qigong organization in the U.S. and brought Mingtang here -- she's an amazing practitioner, healer, writer, teacher, colleague and friend. She moved back to China 2 years ago (and that's when a group of us then formed the first non-profit ZY Qigong organization to continue the good work and service she had started), and met her finance when she took a bus to Inner Mongolia, and got off at the very last bus stop with only the desire to find a good, expansive, quiet place to write. Well she found that and much more – she found her true love and they are to be married in August! :) And Jergedu is just fabulous! A native Mongolian, a talented musician and skilled healer and brilliant, warm and at times hilarious being! We all are laughing a lot and enjoying much delicious Mongolian food – I will write more about it in my next update. (there's a picture of Claire and Jergedu enjoying our first meal together here :))

My learnings and experiences with Chinese medicine are continuing too as I've met Jergedu's teacher yesterday who also practices Chinese acupressure, massage and acupuncture and is from a lineage of Mongolian teachers. Wow! His method is powerful! He treated Claire, then we all talked and before I knew it I was on the table getting a treatment myself!

He immediately knew my 'weak spots' and I felt a strong sense that one of my missions is to use my own qigong practice, my gifts of knowledge and experience with Chinese medicine, herbs and foods to bring strength and vitality to my whole being. A lot of inner 'ah-has' are being revealed.

Last night we all also went...DANCING!!! Oh I was fabulously FUN!! Claire is an awesome dancer too and we had a blast! We just rocked out and while the dance-stage floor was closed until the later hours, the managers came over to us and asked if we'd please step on the dance stage and continue our ecstatic funk and hip hop grooves!

I won't be on email much the next few days. Thank you again for all your letters! I really love hearing from you and I send you all Much LOVE!!!!

Love and JOY,

KarenJoy

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