Monday, December 26, 2011

The Longest Night - Finding Light

It’s dark – the darkest time of year.  Short days and long nights, however cold or warm the climate, evoke the search for light.  Many of our traditional holidays at this time of year have imagery of bringing and sustaining light out of the darkness.  My own tradition of Judaism builds the light, increasing candle by candle, over 8 nights.

Our DNA fears the dark, prehistoric dangers remembered in the primitive brain.  We light fires and candles at this time of year as an anodyne for fear.  Imagine our distant ancestors wondering if the sun would really return.  Even now, our children often need a nightlight so they can go to sleep.

When we are ill, or in pain, or depressed, or things are not going well, it feels sometimes like being surrounded by the dark - not a warm friendly dark, but rather the dark of winter, cold and bleak.  At those times, without even knowing it, we crave the sun’s light – hours of it.

Imagine that inside you, in a safe place, is your own life-giving sun, containing light and warmth.  Imagine its rays carrying healing light through every fiber of your being, floating gently, exactly where you want it to be.  This lovely sunlight wraps around you, inside and out, completely relaxing you, reminding you of your own well-being, and wholeness.  Finding the light inside you can transform the dark of the year into a soft dark, a velvet dark, the dark of being tucked into your own bed by someone you love, and snuggled under the covers.  With your own light inside, you are always safe, and all is well.

I wish everyone a New Year filled with good health, happiness, and joy, and always, peace.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Vaccines, preventable disease, and the nature of risk

This is an article I wrote that was published on Kevin Pho's blog:

Two nights ago, I was watching, with my family, an old episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, in which a young woman is bitten by a rabid wolf, develops rabies, and dies. That same night, I read a post on Facebook decrying the dangers of immunizations, with a link to an online “news” article blaming immunizations for everything from spreading cancer to HIV.

My mother, as a girl, was bitten by a rabid dog. More...