below is an article I submitted to the school's blog to promote the Learning Garden:
College, work, home…life runs at a furious pace and traveling from one location to the other is filled with thinking, studying, planning. For every class or project “there’s an app for that,” and for every relationship there is a role. Where does a person replenish the Qi drained away by all this busyness?
We learn that postnatal Qi comes from food/drink and from air and think about our diets and the quality of the air we breathe, hmmm… for most of us that is not so encouraging. But I am here to remind us all that those are not the only sources of postnatal Qi available to us. Our clinic director Robert Newman alludes to this when he is quoted: “If you spend enough time with a plant, and it is your desire and your intention to learn from the plant, it will teach you.” It is not just knowledge that a plant will impart it is the gift of refreshment, and not just in the form of calories or nutrition, not just in the form of medicinal qualities, but plain and simple Qi.
It often seems that wise and gifted teachers direct us to go outdoors to a place of nature so that our knots and tensions can unwind and our Qi flow more smoothly. It is overlooked that there is also Qi to be gained from nature. The planet, the plants, the animals, insects and birds all share an energy field that we often in daily human life ignore but can access when it is needed. Just listen and you can find it. Robert says: if you spend enough time with a plant…and that is the key – we all have such a shortage of time, but if all your time is spent running the treadmill of accumulation what will you wind up with? Things you can’t take with you when the game is over.
Time spent gathering Qi from proximity to plants that are part of our healing traditions replenishes something essential. I invite you to come to the Learning Garden, just to be. Take time to make the acquaintance of the plants that will be the herbs you prescribe and use yourself. It is remarkable what they can do. When it is suggested that you take a moment to breathe, remember that breath can also mean Qi. Take a moment to gather in Qi, to get acquainted with the reservoirs of refreshing Qi in the garden. There is astonishing nuance in the different plants. They are eager to meet us. I love being alive in the company of such beings. Come to the garden and refresh your Qi.