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Volume 10 Issue 6
March/April 2005

Universal Symbols of Potential and Transformation

Cranberries: Food and Medicine

Harvesting Plants From a Native Wild Environment

Seeds of Zen in the Prairies
Introducing Maurine Stuart

The Healing Power of Zhong Guo Hui Gong Therapy
Chinese Wisdom Qi Gong



Volume 10 Issue 6 — March/April 2005
by Melva Armstrong
Melva Armstrong

For the last two months I have been busy packing, cleaning, and getting ready to move into a new suite starting March 1st. Searching for new accommodation during winter has been less than ideal. Although moving is a time of upheaval and stress, I keep reminding myself that it is also a time of change and growth, as well as adventure. It is about opening myself to new opportunities and knowing that I am being guided to the next step in my life journey and to let go and let my guides lead the way. Throughout this time I have been grateful for the wonderful support I have had from friends, colleagues, clients, and WHOLifE readers. I send warm thanks to each and every one of you for sending me your positive energy, love, and good wishes. Everything has worked and given me the support I have needed.

In the midst of packing I have also put together this issue, which has once again been a pleasure to do. In our feature story, Mandalas: Universal Symbols of Potential and Transformation, Saskatoon author and artist Margaret Bremner explains that, “The mandala is an image that suits me well, due to life-long interests in other cultures and spirituality, and to a more recent interest in symbolism.” Mandala is a Sanskrit word which simply translated means “circle”, and according to Margaret “it is symbolic of the interdependence and unity of everything in creation: all the disparate parts are associated by virtue of their relationship to the centre.” She also explains that mandalas are not only pieces of artwork, they are also found in nature in such well-known things as Stonehenge, a daisy, a sunflower, a snowflake, or even in the structure of atoms. After reading this article you could have a whole new way of looking at nature the next time you are out for your walk or riding your bicycle. Also thanks to Margaret for the front cover mandala artwork.

As we welcome the return of Spring, with all its beauty and glory, this is a reminder to you that April is Earth Month and April 22 is Earth Day. In honour of Earth Month and Earth Day we are pleased to present you with an article on Wildcrafting, the art of harvesting plants from a native wild environment, by Saskatoon writer, eco-herbalist, and ethical wildcrafter, Kahlee Keane (Root Woman). According to Kahlee, “Wildcrafting is the most direct way of getting in touch with the healing power of nature.” She emphasizes that it is extremely important to distinguish between ethical wildcrafting and commercial harvesting and that the latter has resulted in the decline of many wild plant populations. In order to save what is left of our native wild plants Kahlee would like to see more research done on what is actually happening to them and to somehow have protective regulations implemented. Her article will hopefully remind you of our unique interconnectedness with the plant kingdom and that as we appreciate, respect, and protect the gifts of Mother Earth, these wild plants will be available for us to use as natural medicine. Happy Earth Month and Earth Day to everyone!

I was pleased when Martin Krátky contacted me and introduced me to the story of a Saskatchewan-born woman, Maurine Stuart, who left our fair province many years ago to study music overseas and along her life journey she also became an influential and well-loved Zen teacher. In his article, Seeds of Zen in the Prairies , Martin briefly introduces us to this remarkable woman and then he asks, “What can Stuart-Roshi offer us, here, abiding on these vast plains that she left behind?” Then he answers the question with Stuart-Roshi’s own words, taken from the book, Subtle Sound: The Zen Teachings of Maureen Stuart. Then, from Martin’s own experience of practicing Zen, he explains that meditation practice “is profound, and difficult at times, yet its fruits - equanimity, large-heartedness, a confidence resting in humility - may well be crucial ingredients for the health of our world at large.”

Learn more about Chinese Wisdom Qi Gong in Laura Burkhart’s article, The Healing Power of Zhong Guo Hui Gong Therapy. This therapy involves full body movement that activates and moves qi by rolling, which Laura describes using interesting personal experiences.

In Doug De Long’s article, The Brain and the Mind, he explains how these two aspects of being human are separate, yet connected. This is fascinating information.

May the blossoms of Spring bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart! Until next issue, blessed be!

(I honour the Spirit in you!)

Melva's signature

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