Monday, October 10, 2011

"My religion is kindness."

Greetings everyone!

In this update:

* "My religion is kindness."
* Level 2 Medical Qigong Course
* Acupuncture Sessions
* What is a Session like?
* Day-long Retreat on Focused Living

"My religion is kindness." 

These words of the Dalai Lama always struck me with a deep sense of truth and wisdom, as do Amma's words, "When someone is full of Love and Compassion, one cannot draw a line between two countries, two faiths, or two religions." Using these words as a springboard, I had the following insights about diversity and harmony:

My religion is kindness. My religion is love. I see all the religions as petals of one flower. While most see the differences, I just see the one. It is the human intellect that divides, while the heart mends together, brings together diverse pieces into oneness. It is through the power of love that many become one; that two become one. 

That transcendental reality that some call God, others, the Dao, and even others, the Great Mystery - how could it ever be contained in one religion, in one system of beliefs? I say, it cannot be contained even in all of them! For the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts, and there is much that goes beyond human understanding and comprehension. It is pure ego and delusion for any one religion to claim that their tradition has a special hold on Truth; be they Hindu, Daoist, Jew, Muslim, Christian, Indigenous, or whatever.

You may know a tradition not by judging its customs or worldviews, but by the fruits of its people's actions, by the degree of love stirred in the hearts of its followers, by the degree of joy that radiates from them, and by the compassionate acts of kindness in which they engage.

"Though a flower is composed of many petals, it is one flower. The human body consists of many parts, and yet it is one body. In the same way, the world consists of many different countries, cultures, languages, races and people. But for Amma there is just the world – there is only one." ~ Amma

I've had so many countless opportunities to be with and travel with Amma, that her teachings continuously radiate and reverberate within my soul. I've watched endless streams of people come to her every day; old, young, rich, poor, this religion, that religion, military people, drug dealers, prostitutes, police officers, politicians, all seeking spiritual comfort and grace. What I've come to know, is that there is something inside each one of us that goes beyond any of these distinctions. It is the part that longs to reconnect, to remember. In that sense, we are all on the same path, seeking the same source. In realizing this, we invoke harmony where there is diversity, we see unity underneath all our differences. Kindness, compassion, these are the qualities to rally behind. All our outer differences are just there to make the world interesting and intriguing. What is underneath all the apparent differences, however, in each of us, is what really matters.

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Level 2 Medical Qigong Course

I am very excited about the upcoming level 2 course offered at Five Branches University, San Jose campus! The material in level 2 is very deep and transformational. The course can be taken for personal growth, and/or if you are interested in building a healing practice. In either case, there is ample opportunity for change and transmutation with this material. These arts teach us how to be more sensitive and aware so as to know from a deeper sense how to interact with people, handle situations, and see solutions that are far more positive and life affirming. We focus these energies into the healing arts, though they are universal principles applicable to life in general.

This course bridges deep personal transformational practices with the application of energy extension to help others heal and transform. In the first 2 days, we perform many Daoist shen gong (spirit skill) meditations, designed to increase awareness. We also practice the yiquan standing postures which build tremendous qi and strength of body and mind. In the latter 2 days, we dive into qi sensitivity exercises, learning to energetically set up a treatment space, plus introduction to table work. 

The dates for the level 2 course are: 
Oct 23, Nov 6 & 13, Dec 4, 2011
9 am - 6pm (32 Hours/CEUs)
For registration, please contact Phan Goh at
MTCM students contact Gina Huang.
More information:

Acupuncture & Qigong Sessions

As many of you know, I am offering acupuncture treatments at the Five Branches Clinic in San Jose as a way to complete my training for an acupuncture license. I am also incredibly happy to integrate medical qigong into these sessions. This makes them an incredible value to the community, as internship rates are incredibly low! The Five Branches intern rates are less than half of what I used to charge for medical qigong alone, so get yours while they last!

My clinic shifts are:
Wednesdays, 9am - 12pm; 1pm - 4pm
Thursdays, 9:30am - 12:30pm

Five Branches University San Jose Clinic Number:

What is a session like?

Recently, one of my qigong students asked me what a session with me looks like, and as I wrote the answer, I thought it perfect to share for those that are curious on this list:
The healing session begins with a health interview, where I inquire about your chief complaint or intention for coming to see me. From there I ask questions to familiarize myself with your situation, and from your answers I put together a theory in my mind as to what the condition is and how to address it. Next, you lay down on the treatment table. I perform a short meditation to prepare myself and the room, and from there I proceed with energetic assessment, as well as pulse and tongue diagnosis. Using qi perception and listening skills I feel into any energetic disturbances or areas of weakness, further expanding on my theory as to what is your energetic state and how to address it. Following is the actual treatment, which lasts about 25-35 minutes. Just like in qigong class, what I am doing is purging areas of excess or stagnation, strengthening areas of weakness, and then regulating your qi dynamic. In a sense, I am doing qigong for you, initiating patterns of health, that you can then further nurture with qigong exercises that I prescribe specific to your condition.

Pain, physical or emotional, is a form of qi stagnation. In that sense, I can dip in energetically and move the stagnation to create relief. Often the stagnation is emotional in nature, and I find myself pulling out aspects of past pain such as anger or grief, but physical pain can also be addressed in this manner. It is important to note that no emotion is seen as negative, however, it is when the energy becomes stuck, congealed, and cut off from its natural flow that it causes problems. To that end, I loosen its stagnation, facilitate its proper release, and ensure its proper flow. I use my knowledge of energetic anatomy to accomplish this, having spent years in training to learn the various pathways both through scholastic study as well as experience through the inner alchemy meditations and qigong practices that move qi in the body-mind. I use the points, channels, and organ systems recognized in Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as the dantians, chakras, and center core energetics that are recognized in Daoist Chinese Medicine.

For acupuncture, I use sterile disposable needles as mandated by law, and my needling skill has been described as both smooth and painless. Most people hardly feel the needle insertion, or describe the sensation akin to a mosquito bite. However, after insertion many report the sensation of qi flowing through some of the points or channels; described as warm, tingling, or heavy.

Focused Living: A Day of Concentration Training and Qigong

Upcoming Day-long retreat with Shaila Catherine & Tom Leichardt
This day-long program will explore the role of concentration for calming the mind, deepening wisdom, enhancing enduring happiness, and ushering attention into a profound state of stillness. We will introduce meditation techniques aimed at strengthening concentration, cultivating skills for freeing the mind from distraction, and developing equanimity to support undistracted awareness.
Saturday, Nov 12, 2011, 9:30 am - 5 pm
Location: St. Timothy's Episcopal Church

Thanks so much for reading this far!

May all beings be happy and peaceful.
Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.

Tom / Yogeshwar

Where there is Love, there is no effort. 

Tom Leichardt, DMQ (China)

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