All Those Flags

In the latter part of 2016, it dawned on me that the upcoming year would mark my 10th year in Private Practice.  The more I began to think about the lastten years, the more thankful I became for trusting the blind faith that drove me to begin my studies, nearly 14 years ago.  

A conversation with a teacher somehow led to discussing the time he spent, shortly after he graduated, in a rural Monastery, treating a local village population.  My needling partner Henry and I looked at each other, and we both knew what the other was thinking!  Wow, I thought…that would be something amazing…to be able to treat local villagers, whose ancestors thousands of years ago contributed to the very system of medicine I have dedicated my life to studying.  Humbling to say the least.  

Soon thereafter, the realization set in that as much as I knew at that time, I didn’t know enough.  Nor, had I had seen enough.  As many cases and presentations as you see, as a practicing intern, Ifelt I should be more seasoned before setting about such an endeavor.  Experience aside, the reality of finding this place, or a place similar…and then trying to find the time and necessary funds and supplies to make this dream come to life was simply that…a dream.  

I don’t forget…

Fast forward ten years…that realization that I was approaching my 10th year on my own meant something to me.  To still be practicing was the most humbling realization I had, as a professional.  Thankful.  Blessed.  

It was now time to do something about it.  That dream was now going to come to life, it just needed a breath of life.  By now, I could not recall the original Monastery, nor the exact location of its location.  I set about finding my own.  All I knew was that it was important for me to be able treat the people who made it possible for me, to be able to do what I do.  Whatever it would take.

It didn’t take long for me to decide on location.  For some reason I was drawn to Nepal.  I felt this was where I needed to go, now all I needed to do was locate the Monastery.  Again, I just trusted the Blind Faith I was going on, and the intentions I had, and over a several week period of time, I found it!  Now what?

All I had was my word, and that was enough.  I hoped.  

Four weeks to the day later, I received a response.  Nothing much.  Greetings.  Acknowledgement.  Several questions.  I responded.

It was almost hard to believe.  The realization of something that started ten years ago, was beginning to take form.

Another two weeks had passed, and then I received word once again.  Greetings.  Specific questions.  Again, I responded.  I still did not know what was going to happen, and that was OK.  It was time and patience that had gotten me this far, and all I knew was that after two responses, I was two steps closer.  

I can liken this time period, and the wait to finding out whether or not I was even going to get accepted to the school I chose.  I did everything I could in preparing, now all I could do was wait.  There was something spiritual about it.  It was now outside my control.  My heart was pure, and that’s what I knew.  My hope was that my word communicated that as much as I felt it.  

After several months, and a few conversations, I received word yet again.  This time, I was in!  Simply stated, an invitation was given, access was granted, and my dream had now come to life!  

This came as a surprise to me, as much as it did everyone around me.  I felt this was something I needed to do, and something I had wanted to do the moment I realized it was even possible.  I also knew it was something I needed to do alone, and on my own.  I wanted to be there and experience the tradition.  I felt it would bring me that much closer to the medicine I have come to cherish; it is a way of life, beyond the needles, and beyond the herbal medicinals.  To experience that…the Top of the Mountain for me.  The blessing.  

With less than four weeks to go, I am preparing to treat 140 to 150 patients every three to four days.  That is what I was told to get ready and prepare for…how many needles is that?  I had to think about it, and I came up with 30,000 needles for month of Acupuncture Treatments for the Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery Clinic.  Anything left will be donated to the clinic.  

I will be taking an entire clinic to Nepal!  Needles, Cups, Moxa, Ear Seeds, Gua Sha Tools…and anything I can think of to live and treat their for the entire month of October.  All of the needles and all of the supplies must be carried by hand, and could not be sent.  Therefore, the clinic will be condensed into one suitcase, to be taken across the globe, and used to treat the local population as well as the monks within the monastery.

Wow, it is more exhilarating with each passing day.  Supplies should be on their way this week, and I am crossing things off the list of things to get to keep me going for a month.

I would like to thank LhasaOMS for their generous donations of acupuncture needles and supplies to make this trip possible.  I would also like to thank all of my patients, who have also helped make this possible.  Without everyone, and everyone’s support, I would not be able to fulfill this dream.  Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!

As much as we try to slow down time, it always moves too fast.  Over the next few weeks, I hope to share more and include photos of the mobile clinic and all of the supplies making the trip!  

Check out some really cool information on the traditional prayer flags, HERE.  The monastery, HERE.