A week back in the States from presenting “A Five Spirits Approach to Treating Shock and Trauma” at the International Community for Chinese Medicine (ICCM) Congress in Tel Aviv, I’ve caught up with the time zone but am still catching up with my feelings about Israel.
On the one hand, I can’t wait to go back, to experience again the vividness of a culture born of a 3,000 year old dream of a homeland and the consequences of a modern European holocaust. I miss the clash of cultures, the passionate spirituality – the church bells on Sunday morning, the muezzin calling out from the minarets at dawn, the masses rushing home for Shabbat dinner Friday afternoon.
On the other hand, I am speechless at the horror of Gaza, the impossible dilemma of the West Bank, and the ever-deepening misunderstandings and battles between people who share the same love of a sacred place.
In Israel, I experience first-hand the devastating effects of trauma, the ancestral rage and terror that pervade both the Jewish and the Palestinian people. I feel in an embodied way the residue of my own family’s history, the pogroms that forced my father’s family to flee Romania, the institutionalized anti-Semitism that led him to deny his Judaism, and the longing for soul healing that ultimately led me to Chinese medicine.
As I reflect on my journey, I have never been more convinced that healing trauma is the first step on the path of peace. I have never been more certain that trauma is not a disease but rather an invitation back to wholeness. And I have never been more honored than I was last week, bringing the light, hope and healing of the Five Spirits to an engaged audience of international practitioners gathered in this holy land.
The material presented in Israel is available as an online course offering continuing education credits with NCCAOM through ProD Seminars here.