Mandala of Chi

At 7pm tonight I was pretty pooped. Between 830am and 7pm, I had treated about 38 patients. Another acupunk friend had treated another 8 during one busy stretch in the morning. At one point, seven patients walked through the door simultaneously. Three of them had walkers. The ring leader was a 91 year old regular who had recently gushed in her Lousiana accent that I must be Jesus for fixing her shoulder. Well no, just an acupunk figuring out how to connect the dots by trial and error, over and over. When you go through 500 needles in a day, even someone of modest intelligence is going to connect a few dots.

A part of me was pretty aware that I don’t have too many more 11 hour shifts left in me at my age. Another part was totally buzzed on Chi and relishing my moment at the center of the sacred circle. At several moments during the day, I walked into the room, stood in the middle, walked my eyes around the room. Ten people reclined, eyes closed, jaws slack, and a soft chorus of snoring. There was a palpable Chi symphony, almost sloshing around, on subtle wave lengths of energy. The entire room was connected to my dantien.

Everybody’s pot was simmering just fine, so I sat down, allowing those waves of Chi to wash completely over my body, washing any self-centered Chi blockages off my mind to the edge of the universe and beyond. 

And there were the practical milestones worth noting as well…thirty or more new patients, a good many of whom had never had acupuncture before. All of them appeared spontaneously in this place where the Chi Mandala is created six days a week, and then dissolved one by one, back into the cosmos. What an incredible ritual blessing, adding to the great circle of peace, connecting all living beings.

Om mani padme hung. 

river Jordan
Author: river Jordan

After graduating from the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine in 1997, I had a hobby practice for a few years before moving to Northern India to study Buddhism. During this time, I volunteered in a local clinic, giving acupuncture to Tibetan refugees and Indian nationals. <p> Returning to the U.S. in 2002, I started a typical insurance based acupuncture practice catering to the upper middle class. In 2005, following Hurricane Katrina, I volunteered with <a href="" target="_blank">Acupuncturists Without Borders</a>, using community style acupuncture to treat trauma victims in a natural disaster setting. </p> Inspired by the power and efficacy of acupuncture in a post-disaster setting, I began to contemplate issues of socioeconomic class. What could be done to make acupuncture accessible to everyone and still provider a livable wage for an acupuncturist? After attending WCA's first conference in October of 2006, I had found the answer to that question. In January 2007, together with my partner Serena Sundaram, we founded <a href="" target="_blank">Communichi</a>, Seattle's first dedicated community acupuncture clinic. <p> As a Buddhist, I believe that healing begins in the mind. As the positive qualities of wisdom and compassion are cultivated in the mind of a practitioner, this...

Related Articles


  1. kindred spirit

    Thanks Marty, Austin is on my list of places to come visit….some day…I remember back in the 70s when the TM people talked about meditation….those cities where at least 1% of the people meditated, there was a 10% reduction in crime rate, or something like that…forget the numbers.

    So I’m imagining the thousands of people getting treated at CA clinics every week around the world creating a similar kind of healing energy, holding back the forces of negativity from overwhelming the planet in the midst of these challenging times.




    All true religions seek to gain access to that level of consciousness which is not ego-bound.</

  2. hey bozeman

    Way to go Wade. Last time I was in Bozeman I had no money, riding a Greyhound cross country. I stopped in the Bakery on the main drag and someone gave me a bag of day old chocolate chip cookies. That town has always had a special place in my heart ever since.

     All true religions seek to gain access to that level of consciousness which is not ego-bound.</