November 25, 2021
by Neeshee Pandit
The mission of WiSE is inspired by J.R. Worsley’s admonition to give back to Mother Nature who “gives so much to us”. As practitioners of the healing arts, we champion natural approaches to treatment, but how far beyond the treatment room do our philosophies reach? We are now living in a time of great ecological crisis which is urgently beckoning us to assist the healing of our biosphere. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless when feeling the magnitude of the crisis before us. I feel WiSE is providing a channel for this burden, giving an opportunity for us all to “walk the talk” and make a difference, one humble gesture at a time.
The inaugural WiSE event at Deer Apple Farm was deeply inspiring and educational. It was deeply heartening to feel practitioners and students coming together to give back to our Mother. Deer Apple Farm is a 10-acre farm on Vashon Island, a wilderness preserve that is home to natural wetlands and wildlife. The land is being cultivated according to permaculture principles, an approach that emphasizes sustainability and the value of working with the laws of nature rather than against it. As we toured the farm, we shared in its vision, and witnessed deer, sheep and goats sweetly enjoying the quiet freedom of the land. We concluded the day with a visit to the nearby forest where large containers of oil and paint had been deposited in the otherwise pristine wilderness. Together, we collected all the trash for proper recycling and disposal, returning the land to its original beauty. While it may have been a small gesture in the grand scale of nature’s needs, a difference was made, and I began to appreciate the depth that any gesture of care truly holds.
My Spiritual Teacher, Adi Da, wrote in Not-Two Is Peace that “There must now be a method of establishing order which is based on the interconnectedness of humankind as a whole, and which also assumes responsibility for the right serving of (and for right participation in) the natural order”.
I feel this message at the core of the WiSE event and look forward to joining hands and hearts together again in service to the Earth.
November 25, 2021
by Nicole Ortega
There is something heartening about seeing a group of professional acupuncturists voluntarily coordinating themselves in service to the Earth. At the inaugural event of WiSE, attendants had the privilege of seeing Judy Worsley don her “bib” (waterproof outdoor clothes) as she joined the group of teachers and students at Deer Apple Farm on 10 acres of Vashon Island wetlands. Deer Apple Farm serves many purposes, being a refuge for wildlife, a sanctuary for domestic livestock animals, and providing a peaceful space for healing and artistic retreats. The day consisted of a field exploration of the wetlands, the surrounding infrastructure and cultivated organic gardens on the property, and a group consideration of key principles of Permaculture. Judy shared stories from the time she studied permaculture in Costa Rica, expressing the beauty and profound intelligence of living in a holistic way. We finished the day with a short hike to a nearby woods where someone had decided to dump a load of big old plastic paint buckets. Volunteers removed all the trash that could be moved, and loaded it into the back of a pickup truck for recycling and proper disposal. We had to leave behind a mysteriously abandoned wrecked car that is soon to be completely carpeted by the evergreen and growing mossy forest floor.
Some people may wonder what acupuncturists have to do with permaculture. That would be an interesting article in itself. The systems-based ways of seeing that characterize permaculture can be useful in any domain of human work, including the healing arts. But the wisdom and purity of Nature’s Order is at the heart of WiSE, so it makes a lot of sense that permaculture is something that this organization is bringing into focus and into action now. This important matter of listening and respecting the laws of Nature collectively as a human species is perhaps mankind’s most current and crucial necessity on local and global scales. In healing and cultivating our relationship to Earth, we also heal ourselves and cultivate the integrity of human culture.