Reclaiming the sacred

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Sacred definition: considered to be holy and deserving respect, especially because of a connection with a god (Source: Cambridge English Dictionary)

Some of you may remember the popular Justin Timberlake hit “SexyBack” from many years ago. Wouldn’t it be nice if the same song could be remixed for our current times that replaced “Sexy” with “Sacred”. Only instead of the soft porn simulation we get with most modern video clips we could have an empowering video clip of people honoring all that is special, precious and revered in their lives. It could be a morning prayer, a shamanic initiation, a loving connection between two people or someone dancing in their living room to celebrate themselves. Now don’t get me wrong here. I’ve got nothing against sexy. Sexy is great. Sexy in itself is ‘Sacred !’. But that is certainly not how it is often portrayed in popular mainstream culture. One only has to look at the porn industry and how sex is often represented within that field. Sacred symbols such as love, connection, respect and honor are often replaced with force, degradation and disconnection.

But of course its not just sexuality that has been appropriated we can also find this alteration in the use of sacred plants and medicines. The most famous and well known example of this being Tobacco. Did you know that far prior to the modern commercial advent of cigarettes tobacco was used in a variety of ways that were very sacred. Some Native American tribes would use rising tobacco smoke as a method to communicate with spirit in sacred ceremony. Many South American cultures with links to shamanic practices still use pure tobacco as a sacred medicine to heal, protect and bless. So what we have in this case is a medicine that is also being used as a poison. In small amounts and used in the right context tobacco can be a powerful ally. However it is also highly addictive and when used excessively and out of context can cause serious illness and death.

Some of you might be asking what happened here? When exactly were these sacred rites hijacked, twisted and force fed back to us through the distorted projections of mainstream culture?

Whilst it is impossible to say exactly when the tipping point occurred here (sacred practices have and always will be abused to some extent) there is something that stands out as a key influence. That being ‘Disconnection’. The very act of taking something that is healing and empowering and using it as something that creates harm to yourself or others is not possible without some level of disconnection to the self. Stress, trauma, isolation, depression, and anger are just a few influencing factors that can contribute to us disconnecting from ourselves. Our body itself is a sacred temple that should be treated with the utmost care and respect. When we truly love and value ourselves we do not abuse our temple by treating it harshly or putting toxic things in it. In fact the level to which we care for ourselves and our bodies is a great reflection of just how far down the path of self love we have come.

When we look around society today we can see many examples of us treating ourselves and each other unkindly. Many of us know better but some of us don’t. This is particularly the case if we have been raised without any guidance or awareness of what is sacred. This is where we as a community must take responsibility to empower ourselves and each other to honor the sacred aspects of this earth, our bodies and our minds and spirits. By recognizing that the earth is sacred and we are fundamentally connected to it, we cannot separate the harm being done to the planet from the harm being done to ourselves. Re-connection on all levels is our key to reclaiming the sacred.

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Jai Watson

Jai Watson is the owner and sole practitioner at Open Heart Wellness. He is a fully qualified Dr of Chinese Medicine (B.HSc, TCM), nationally registered with AHPRA and a professional member of ATMS.

Expanding Your Consciousness: Psychedelics, Meditation & Esoteric Acupuncture

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Did you know that Acupuncture isn't just good for relieving pain and stress? That it also has the ability to significantly shift our awareness of ourselves and the reality in which we live. Along with meditation and the mindful use of psychedelic therapy I believe it to be one of the most powerful tools I know of to become more awakened and evolved human beings. Expanding our consciousness just might be the most important thing we can do to better ourselves and the planet at this critical point in humanity.

So what exactly is consciousness and why is it so incredibly important?

Consciousness is defined as “a persons awareness or perception of something” or “the state of being aware of and responsive to one's surroundings”.

The following quote is loosely attributed to Gautama the Buddha:

The mind is everything, what you think you become”

This is a very powerful quote that illustrates the importance of how we think and how much our state of mind/consciousness effects how we experience ourselves and the world around us.

Have you ever had an experience that has fundamentally altered your reality? Perhaps it was trauma, a near death experience or the use of psychedelics that brought about this change. Either way you know that things were never quite the same afterwards. This shift in consciousness can either be expansive (love) or contracting (fear). What is remarkable is that a shift in either direction can completely transform our experience of life without anything outside or around us changing at all. Death is a useful example in this case. Our fearful attitude towards death can lead us to live a more sheltered and cautious life. We can perceive others and the world in a threatening way if fear becomes the dominant factor. Soon enough our own experiences will also start to be filtered through these “fear” glasses we are wearing and we will continue to attract and experience things that are fearful because we are hyper alert and tuned in to it.

On the other hand if we are able to come to terms with the reality of our own mortality and welcome it as a natural part of life it can have the complete opposite effect. We might become more aware of how short and precious life is and want to take advantage of every day and every moment as if it were our last. This perception if fully embraced can lead to a deep love and appreciation for everything in our lives and an urgency to live life to the fullest. Through this we become more open to the many experiences that life presents to us, our filter expands and we begin to see and take advantage of opportunities that we may never have seen before.

You may have had a number of experiences in your own life where you suddenly start seeing the same thing everywhere. Perhaps you were thinking of buying a new yellow honda and suddenly you're seeing yellow hondas everywhere you go ! Has anything around you actually changed for this to happen or have you just altered your perception and shifted your consciousness to a different level?

The field of quantum physics has stated that consciousness is the most fundamental aspect of our universe. As Max Planck (the physicist who originated Quantum Theory) said:

I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing postulates consciousness”

If we truly reflect on our own experience of life we can perhaps find some truth in the following statement:

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven”

John Milton

Many great philosophers, gurus and mystics have spoken about the existence of many levels of reality. In fact it often seems as though many of us are going about our daily lives surrounded by each other but also experiencing ourselves and the world in very different ways. Mikio Sankey (the founder of Esoteric Acupuncture) describes these levels as 'Tiers of Density'. On one level you have individuals who not only partake in daily activities that are harmful to themselves and others eg. Eating junk food, smoking, bingeing on alcohol but also lack any real awareness that there choices or actions are harmful. On another level you have individuals who incredibly aware of the effects of everything they put into their bodies, and even the profound effects that their words can have on others if used in the direction of love or hatred. This example is not intended to create a hierarchy of dominance or superiority based on peoples life choices. Rather it is used to illustrate that there are many levels of consciousness and that the awareness and intention around this reality is also the path of self-realization, enlightenment and spiritual development. For some this is a very important path in life, for others not so much.

As I mentioned earlier in the piece there are many ways to expand your consciousness. Many people nowadays are using plant medicines and psychedelics which have the great potential for transformation but also some inherent dangers in their use. We could compare a psychedelic and meditation as two different vehicles taking us to the same destination of self-realization. Of an awareness of our fundamental true nature. In this case think of meditation as a slow walk and psychedelics as a Formula 1 Race car. We can get to the same destination much much quicker in our race car but we're also much more likely to have an accident and end up with some scratch marks or wounds on our psyche. This is particularly the case if we have never driven this car before or have not prepared very well for that particular path we're driving down. Taking the slower (meditative) route still has its risks but I feel they are inherently less. It is overall a slower, safer and more gradual expansion of consciousness.

Similarly the same can be said for Esoteric Acupuncture. This particular form of treatment has the ability to expand our consciousness and take us into a deep meditative state. However this unique system (when utilized properly) will only ever allow our consciousness to expand to the level at which it is safe to do so and that which we are ready for. This is particularly good for people looking to naturally expand their consciousness without the use of drugs or those who require a more gentle and less confronting method of spiritual development.

During my first ever treatment with Esoteric Acupuncture I was astounded by the level of deep insight and emotional release that naturally came about. Later I found myself reaching altered states of awareness including profound visuals and glimpses of past lives. This is certainly something I had never experienced anything like it with Traditional Chinese Acupuncture and so I set about studying and practicing this form of Acupuncture as my main priority. Over the years I have come to understand Esoteric Acupuncture and its unique integration of Sacred Geometry, Acupuncture Theory and Ancient Wisdom to be more than just a treatment, rather as a way of life. As the treatments gradually shift our consciousness we become more aligned with our soul, our purpose and the great mysteries of existence. We can also move beyond our experience of illness and disease as more than just a physical manifestation but also as an opportunity for growth, healing and transformation on every level of our being.

Dr Jai Watson (BHSc.TCM) is a Kambo practitioner, Health Coach, and Acupuncturist specializing in Esoteric Acupuncture and currently is available for local consultation in Preston, Melbourne as well as online consultations via Skype. 

 

 

Kambo, Acupuncture, Massage in our new clinic space in Preston, Melbourne !

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Recently a brand new light filled clinic space has been opened up in Preston, Melbourne. Just 5 minutes walk from Bell station and very close to High and Bell streets in Preston it really is a quiet retreat tucked away close to many northside institutions. Most excitingly the clinic space acts as an intimate and private location for Acupuncture, Massage and Kambo treatments but is also large enough for group meditation classes and therapeutic workshops on a range of interesting and informative topics. Bookings are now available via the online booking link in the contact section or by calling 0478 418 006 or emailing jaiwatson@gmail.com. 

How to THRIVE in Winter

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Let's face it. Winter is not everyones favourite season. It's cold, the sun is more scarce and those freezing winter mornings can make it extra hard to get going. We also see a lot of people become more withdrawn, bunkering down at home by the heater and the fire. Some of us can experience significant shifts in our emotional state also just based on this season. In case you haven't heard of it actually has an official name ! (Seasonal Affective Disorder aka SAD) . It's also officially flu season and we find ourselves surrounded by sniffles, sneezes and....all round snotiness.  Yep are you picturing that warm beachside location yet? 

So how do we go from suffering to actually THRIVING in winter? Some of the secrets can be found from ancient old Chinese wisdom. These ancient Chinese were pretty damn switched on. Not only did they develop their own highly advanced medical system (the most advanced in the world at the time) but their culture also created some of the most famous spiritual and philosophical texts ever to be written eg. The I Ching and The Tao Te Ching

Deep at the core of their understanding of the world was the understanding that humans were one with nature. That we are no different to our animal friends, plants, rocks, rivers etc. We are all subject to the laws of nature and cannot (no matter how hard we try) be separated from it. Our bodies age and decompose much like anything else and we are significantly affected by the changes of the seasons and the cycles of the sun and the moon. By understanding and harmonizing ourselves with the cycles and laws of nature and its seasons we can find balance and peace within.  

In Traditional Chinese Medicine each season is connected to an element and an internal organ. Winter itself is connected to the element of water and the kidney organ. The kidneys themselves are viewed somewhat differently in Chinese Medicine. We can think of the organ as not just a physical product but also an energetic and emotional embodiment. The Kidney's in TCM are often associated with our deep energy reserves. When we are born each individual is blessed with their own unique energetic inheritance. This can be influenced by our parent's health during conception and also environmental factors during our birth amongst other things. This core energy reserve is called our JING or "essence". You can think of this like a candle. Some have a larger candle (no pun intended) and some have less to burn. How we live our lives, particularly in relation to sleep, illness and diet/drug use can draw on this energy reserve. The harder this candle is burned the more our health may be affected as we age. Jing can be somewhat boosted through the use of proper diet, lifestyle, herbal supplementation and exercise but it cannot be completely replaced. Therefore it is important to try and maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle that doesn't deplete our jing completely. 

Fear is the core emotion of the kidneys. Being over consumed by fear weakens the kidneys and can manifest as fatigue, a weak bladder and lower back pain. It's particularly important during winter to cultivate an attitude of trust, love and openness to life, its inevitable changes and possibilities. After all the only certainty we have in life is change itself. Learn to better embrace change and its new energy entering into your life. When we think of the element of water we can embrace its nature in regards to change. As Bruce Lee so eloquently described: 

We can also support the Kidneys physically by keeping our lower backs warm. Try a hot water bottle at home or even a thermal wrap or pack for your lower back when outside. Whilst our Kidneys are governed by the water element we can also think of them as encompassing fire. The Kidney fire is the flame of the candle, the pilot light to our burner/cauldron that regulates our internal temperature. Many people suffering from a deficiency of kidney qi (energy) can either end up being too cold or too hot (or fluctuating between both). 

When we think of foods that support our Kidney energy in winter we think of warming soups, bone broths, stews and broths. Try to stay away from an excess of raw of cold foods and drinks, these are much more suited to Summer. Foods with a particular affinity for the kidneys are (funnily enough) kidney meat, walnuts, kidney beans, black beans, ghee, cinnamon, seaweed and royal jelly. Salty is the flavor associated with the Kidneys and emphasizing this flavor in winter (with healthy salt and salty foods) will help to direct the energy of your food to that area. 

Winter is also one of the best times of the year to retreat into ourselves and rest and renew. Try  not to be as active and vigorous as the warmer months and prioritize earlier nights and restful moments throughout your days and weeks. The energy of the seasons is at its most inward during this time and can be harnessed for great self reflection, insight and understanding of ourselves if we can allocate the space and time in our lives.  

If your struggling with any health problems this winter or would like to give your self some extra support and nourishment to stay happy and healthy Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine can do wonders. Kambo is also a powerful way to strengthen your immune system during the colder months and protect you from illness. All of these services are provided by Dr Jai Watson (BHSc.TCM) in the heart of Preston in Melbourne. So prioritize your health and wellbeing this winter. Book in for any of these treatments online via the booking link or give Jai a call for chat about how he can help you thrive.  

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Jai Watson

Jai Watson is the owner and sole practitioner at Open Heart Wellness. He is a fully qualified Dr of Chinese Medicine (B.HSc, TCM), nationally registered with AHPRA and a professional member of ATMS.

New offerings for 2018

For those both new to jaiwatson.com and those who I have met along the path already I am excited to share with you a number of new developments and offerings both now and coming up over the next month or two. 

After practicing in a clinic setting for a number of years as a Dr of Chinese Medicine I have now launched a transformational online coaching program that incorporates all the learning and experience I have gained from over 15 years of personal self development, training with mentors and leaders on the cutting edge of health and wellbeing and treating others both locally and overseas. It incorporates many insights, methods and practices that have helped me to turn my life around from a  self-described sick, depressed and fatigued victim of circumstance to an empowered, inspired and healthy facilitator of change creating a life on their terms. It is especially relevant to those on the path of awakening, at a crossroads in their life and those who are ready to be supported to create massive and lasting change to their health and wellbeing. If this resonates with you or you'd like to know more just click here . 

Coming up in about a weeks time are TWO powerful workshops I am offering in Brunswick, Melbourne. One for energetic healing and the other an immersion into yoga/qi gong and harmonizing your health in line with the season of Autumn. Feel free to come to just one or contact me for a discount to attend both ! You can read more about what the workshops offer HERE as well as price and location details.

Along with the new year comes a rapid increase in inspiring and empowering content to help you along your life journey and maximize your vitality. If you haven't visited our facebook, instagram and youtube channels make sure to like, follow and subscribe to receive new content as it comes. 

Lastly I'll be away for 3 weeks in March to undergo training to facilitate treatments with a powerful indigenous Amazonian medicine called Kambo and will be offering sessions upon my return. 

If you have any questions, queries or would simply like to have a chat feel free to get in touch .

May peace, health and prosperity find you wherever you may be ! 

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Jai Watson

Jai Watson is the owner and sole practitioner at Open Heart Wellness. He is a fully qualified Dr of Chinese Medicine (B.HSc, TCM), nationally registered with AHPRA and a professional member of ATMS.