Tag Archives: reiki

Nov 15

Elephant TrunkThe following poem was written by a 19th centry American poet by the name of John Godfrey Saxe. It recounts the parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant that has been told by Sufis, Jainists, Buddhists and Hindus over the years.

As the title implies, the poem tells the story of six blind men who went to see an elephant, “though all of them were blind”. Each man touches a different part of the elephant and comes to his own conclusion. For example, one touches the side of an elephant and decides the elephant is like a wall and another feels its mighty tusk and likens the elephant to a spear.

As humans we have a tendency to define our own realities based on our education, cultural background and experience combined with input from our five senses. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of believing we know the truth, when all we can ever hope to grasp at an intellectual level is an aspect of the truth. If we approach life solely from a perspective of intellectual understanding we’re inherently limiting ourselves and inviting inner and outer conflict.

I have always had a fascination with science and technology. I went through a period in my life where I sought to understand the world and tended to dismiss anything that couldn’t be scientifically proven. It was when I engaged in practices such as yoga and reiki that I started to open myself to an experiential world that transcends the intellect. It was a major breakthrough for me to be willing to engage in an and accept an experience for what it was – without the need to understand it scientifically. In the words of Albert Einstein:

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

Another perspective on these teachings was summed up very succinctly by a coach who led one of my leadership training programs:

To be happy you have to give up being right.

Imagine what the world would be like if everyone, or even a sizeable percentage of the population adopted this philosophy. There would be harmony in relationships and wars over cultural ideologies and religious dogma would be a thing of the past. Instead we would open ourselves up to the realities seen through others’ eyes and maybe one day even catch a glimpse of the entire elephant.

Without further ado here’s the poem:

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach’d the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -“Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he,
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

MORAL

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

– John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

Jul 04

ride-to-conquer-cancer-media-coverageOne of my motivations for participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer was to serve as an inspiration to others who are going through cancer treatments and to demonstrate that it is possible to not only survive, but thrive after coming face-to-face with cancer.

To help share my message with the largest possible audience I contacted media sources before setting out on my 262 km cycling trip from Vancouver to Seattle. The Friday before I left on my journey I had a phone interview with CBC, a portion of which was included in a story entitled Hundreds ride to conquer cancer that appeared on their website the next day.

CTV News also captured my triumphant arrival at the University of Washington, a moment I’ll never forget. Moments after disembarking from my bike my wife Christa and I were interviewed by Perry Solkowski. A portion of this interview was included in the Sunday evening CTV News broadcast. The news story can be viewed on a special Ride to Conquer Cancer page on CTV’s website. It’s the second link under the video player.

I welcome any other opportunities to share my story and am available to be interviewed and to write articles on a variety of topics:

  • Integrative Healing :: I attribute my healing to a combination of Western and Eastern treatments and practices and believe in the power of combining multiple approaches to healing. I was fortunate to have convenient access to InspireHealth, the only integrative cancer care centre of its kind in Canada and to have a wife who’s a talented holistic healer.
  • The Power of the Mind :: I have been practising and teaching yoga and meditation for 15 years and practising martial arts (Shotokan Karate) for 20 years and the mental discipline that I developed through these practices allowed me to maintain an overall positive outlook on life, even on my darkest days.
  • Life Coaching and Healing :: I worked with a life coach, Joni Mar throughout my treatment process to create a future in spite of my circumstances (i.e. being sick with cancer). Having ambitions and dreams gave me a strong motivation to live and helped carry me through the process. Working with a life coach also gave me an opportunity to learn the valuable lessons that going through a major life experience such as this provides. I have developed a workshop called It’s About Time, that launched in Vancouver on May 30, based on these experiences.

Please forward my contact information along to anyone in the media who may be interested. I also look forward to presenting each of these areas in more detail in future blog posts and to sharing the many lessons that I’ve learned through my bout with cancer.

Jul 04
A couple of weekends ago I was one of 1701 people who participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 260 km cycling trip from Surrey to Seattle to raise funds for the BC Cancer Federation. Crossing the finish line marked a profound personal victory. Last year at this time I was in so much pain that I could barely walk a block. In July I was diagnosed with cancer and underwent aggressive chemotherapy treatments and a major surgery in the months that followed. I can remember wondering if Iʼd live to see 2009.
Just before Christmas I received the best present I could have asked for, a clean bill of health. I started training for the ride in January, motivated to give back to the medical system that had helped save my life and inspired to be a living example that cancer is something that can be overcome.
I attribute my own healing to more than just medicine. I received an outpouring of love, prayers and support from family and friends near and far and included Eastern approaches, including hours of Reiki from my beautiful wife Christa, in my healing regime. I also worked with my life coach, Joni throughout the experience to create an inspiring future in spite of my circumstances.
Today I feel a newfound gratitude for my life and for all the wonderful people with whom Iʼm privileged to share my human journey. One person in particular who was on my mind and in my heart as I rode was Dan Northcott. He was diagnosed with Leukaemia around the same time I received my diagnosis and passed away at age 29, minutes after I set out on my bike Saturday morning. Through his spirit and courage he demonstrated what it means to live life fully and, inspired by the example he set, Iʼm committed to a life that is fulfilling and of service to others.

Ride to Conquer Cancer - VictoryA couple of weekends ago I was one of 1701 people who participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 260 km cycling trip from Surrey to Seattle to raise funds for the BC Cancer Federation. Crossing the finish line marked a profound personal victory. Last year at this time I was in so much pain that I could barely walk a block. In July I was diagnosed with cancer and underwent aggressive chemotherapy treatments and a major surgery in the months that followed. I can remember wondering if Iʼd live to see 2009.

Just before Christmas I received the best present I could have asked for, a clean bill of health. I started training for the ride in January, motivated to give back to the medical system that had helped save my life and inspired to be a living example that cancer is something that can be overcome.

I attribute my own healing to more than just medicine. I received an outpouring of love, prayers and support from family and friends near and far and included Eastern approaches, including hours of Reiki from my beautiful wife Christa, in my healing regime. I also worked with my life coach, Joni throughout the experience to create an inspiring future in spite of my circumstances.

Today I feel a newfound gratitude for my life and for all the wonderful people with whom Iʼm privileged to share my human journey. One person in particular who was on my mind and in my heart as I rode was Dan Northcott. He was diagnosed with Leukaemia around the same time I received my diagnosis and passed away at age 29, minutes after I set out on my bike Saturday morning. Through his spirit and courage he demonstrated what it means to live life fully and, inspired by the example he set, Iʼm committed to a life that is fulfilling and of service to others.