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2001 Summer

Can You Feel the Chi?

Lessons from a Zen Garden

By the time I was twelve, the tiny gardens in front of the attached brick houses in my Brooklyn neighborhood had become slabs of concrete. In the succession of city apartments I lived in as an adult, most of the house plants I dabbled with withered within days or weeks. So, when I moved to a house on the South Fork of Long Island and was confronted with a half-acre of scrub oak and patchy lawn, I was overwhelmed. How could I possibly transform this chaos into a garden? I clearly lacked a green thumb. But passion and determination won out over inexperience, and over a period of years a garden did appear.

As my garden matured, so did I. I planted my first lilac bush eight years before I began my Zen practice. I woke up to discover that Buddhist teachings had been growing all around me.


Weizhong Foo, a qigong practitioner, delivers an external qigong treatment to cultured human cells.

Is It More Than "A Beautiful Form of Hypnosis"?

Garret Yount, Ph.D., was trained as a molecular neuroscientist. His wife, Yifang Qian, M.D., Ph.D., who is from Beijing, was trained in both Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. In 1990, when Yount’s father was diagnosed with Stage IV (terminal) leukemia, the three traveled to China where Yount’s father engaged in a combination of conventional chemotherapy and Chinese therapies including herbs and qigong. Nowadays (in 2001), Yount’s father is coexisting peacefully with his cancer, Qian is a board-certified psychiatrist, and Yount has taken up qigong. A collaborator with Anne Harrington and funded by the Fetzer Foundation, he dreams of discovering that the mind is able to alter genetic expression. He already has provocative evidence suggesting that qi is more than a “beautiful form of hypnosis.” — Ed.

The Power of a Few to Help Lighten Your Load

Princeton sociologist Robert Wuthnow finds that 37% of us have recently had serious conflicts with a spouse or partner, 36% are moving past something painful in our upbringing, and 32% face serious conflicts at work. Most of us (60%) are trying to forgive someone else and nearly half of us are trying to forgive ourselves. In other words, we Americans are carrying a lot. As it turns out, those who seek help in groups do better than those who try it alone.

Without the support of a group, you miss the opportunity to gain new perspective through the experience of others.

The Re-Enchantment of Childhood

The University of Michigan reports that during the last twenty years, kids' daily playtime has been downsized by four hours. Sheer creative play is fast becoming a forgotten part of childhood — a fact that can jeopardize children's ability to handle stress and compromise their immune systems. Here; an expert in the practice of imagery offers some simple games that help kids catch their breath. Beyond all else, using imagination helps children become whole and responsible human beings — something even elaborate technologies or expensive playthings cannot provide.

Enlightening, Empowering, Innovative, Inspiring… Don’t Miss a Word!

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