An Herbalist's Journey Through the Body's 9 Power CentersMar 06, 2023
One of the great mysteries that has perplexed me throughout life is why the default level of human consciousness seems to be set somewhere between “low” and “zero.” I’m not referring only to the bewildering collective denial and distraction of Homo sapiens who can’t seem to understand that our very existence is in jeopardy. Specifically, I am asking about something more fundamental, yet at the root of our current precarious moment in history: why is it that our brains and hearts aren’t naturally attuned to the sacred cosmological intelligence that is present in every moment and in every molecule of the divine Creation we inhabit?
Why is it that we need to imbibe debilitating quantities of entheogenic concoctions to move the needle of our otherwise atrophied neurological networks, only to find ourselves back in a drab world devoid of vibrant magic and living archetypes?
Why is it that we have to torture our knees and backs sitting on a meditation cushion for hours and days and weeks on end, only to discover that we are even more emotionally sensitive and easily triggered by the irritations of life than if we had done nothing?
Why is it that without continuous effort the body inevitably reverts to a state of stagnation and discomfort, rather than continually reaching higher states of wellbeing on its own?
And most perplexing and mysterious of all: why is it that the world almost always feels and appears to be a mundane and ordinary place, full of mundane and ordinary pleasures and pains, when science and mysticism both tell us clearly that it is actually a realm of pure energy, the miraculous display of unfathomable cosmological power, the blissful dance of Gods and Goddesses, and the very presence of divinity in form? How is it that our neurological and perceptual patterning is so conditioned that we rarely get even a momentary glimpse of the true reality which is, as Rumi said “closer to you than you are to yourself?”
I don’t know the answer, but I am fairly certain of three things. First: this inability to perceive the mystical and spiritual nature of the world and who we actually are is humanity’s most fundamental and ancient “pain point,” that has inspired, motivated and driven countless people to seek the truth waiting behind the veils of our conditioned consciousness.
Second: even though it has been given innumerable names and forms by different cultures, and innumerable practices have been taught to help gain entrance into these mysteries, those practices, names and forms belong to no one, as the mystery is our own Self, as it manifests now, in this moment, in this body, time and culture.
Third: even though we all desire rapid transformational experiences, the ingrained habits of mind and neurology run deep in our psyche, and demand extended practice and willpower to purify.
Over time, after studying many lineages of traditional medicine and spirituality, my own personal practices have evolved to be simple and deeply fulfilling and illuminating: direct observation and communion with the profound intelligence of Creation that is present in every moment in my own body, senses and awareness. I have found that using herbal medicine in conjunction with these contemplative methods can be immensely beneficial, for both enhancing concentration as well as increasing health; historically, botanical medicine has always been used to support the inner alchemical processes of transmuting consciousness as much as for healing the body.
I invite you to join me as I continue my own explorations, using practices that are simultaneously medical, scientific, meditative, intuitive and mystical. I will share methods of how to use herbs in conjunction with visualization, prayer, mindfulness and imagination to activate the most important of the body’s centers, where cosmological intelligence operates continuously below the threshold of our awareness: the brain, vision, breath, voice, metabolism, glands, sexual essences, immune protection and the heart. I invite you to learn ways of being attentive and present with the miraculous functions of nature in our own body and mind, as a form of biological spirituality as well as an enjoyable process of nurturing our vitality and wellbeing.
Most importantly, I invite you to explore a process that may take many years to bring to fruition: how to transform our habitual conditioned consciousness so that we may be able to perceive and experience the underlying magic and mystery of the cosmological intelligence of Creation inside and around us.