Place your burden
at the feet of the Lord of the Universe
who accomplishes everything.
Remain all the time steadfast in the heart,
in the Transcendental Absolute.
God knows the past, present and future.
He will determine the future for you
and accomplish the work.
What is to be done will be done
at the proper time. Don’t worry.
Abide in the heart and surrender your acts
to the divine.
— Ramana Maharshi
Bless you, goodbye for now!
I caught the following conversation between two pretty women in the ladies’ room of a Manhattan restaurant. One of the women was pregnant. And she said, “So my acupuncturist made me take the ring out of my belly button.”
“Really?” her friend exclaimed.
“Yeah, he said, ‘Let’s give this baby a chance.'”
Enthralled by this ripe exchange, I called Manhattan acupuncturist Robert Abramson and asked him about it. “Oh,” he softly chuckled, “Maybe her acupuncturist was me!”
Turns out belly button piercing is an especially bad idea from an acupuncturist’s perspective.
Abramson explains: “The belly button rests upon a central meridian known as the ‘conception vessel,’ and this meridian is of paramount importance for conception in all of its aspects– obviously in the conceiving of a child, but also in the conceiving of new ideas.”
Any ornamental piercing on the body (a well as the metal object that rests in it) will interfere with the smooth flow of the body’s chi (or vital life force), so when considering a new hole (even in your ear or nose), you must weigh the costs and benefits. Abramson says he’s heard that pirates of yore pierced their ears to offset the symptoms of sea sickness. Changes that look purely ornamental, can have accompanying–if subtle–physical effects.
The social pressure to conform to fashion and pierce the ears or nose today is so great, however, that Abramson has no enormous reaction when he meets a new client who has pierced these areas. But key to the practice of Chinese medicine is the notion that anything you do to a part influences the whole. He asks his clients to consider that in all they do. And even though a piercing or tattoo (which Abramson sees as even more benign) creates a physical change, you’ve engaged in behavior that has mental and spiritual implications. This behooves us to pay close attention to our actions and stay flexible, he says. All permanent decisions should obviously be evaluated through a filter of future time. How’s this going to look when I’m older? And in the case of the belly button: how will this effect me if I ever want to conceive? Even men, Abramson says, aren’t the best candidates for belly button piercing if they want to impregnate a partner.
“We all want to be peacocks,” Abramson says. But it is generally wisest to leave yourself unaltered in as much as you can.
And belly button rings? Well, they’ve got to go.
I hope the woman I eavesdropped on is enjoying the full flow of her chi now, and has had a great pregnancy!
Here’s some information on illness, acupuncture, and navel-piercing.
And here’s a fascinating-looking book, “The Tao of Piercing,” that explains how to pierce consciously.
You may have been wondering how Tammy Faye Messner, who died at age 65 several days ago, became a gay icon in the goddess tradition of Lady Di, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland. Slate.com’s “Explainer” explains it all here.
For a long-winded but fascinating description of gay mythologies and mother earth worship, click here and learn more about the work of gay psychologist Paul Chirumbolo.
Do you know about Damanhur? It’s a 1,000-resident intentional community and eco-village in the mountains of Italy that’s currently attracting the interest of American spiritual seekers. In 2004, the United Nations acknowledged Damanhur as a model for sustainable society. Children are being raised and educated here, the adults farm and make their own food. Check out the temples they’ve built to an all-embracing human spirituality.
Here’s a film that shows the beauty of Damanhur’s “Hall of Mirrors.” And here’s an article about the place called “Atlantis in the Mountains of Italy” that explains how it all came together and how problems are navigated. And here’s the Damanhur coffee table book, with a forward by spiritual artist Alex Grey (who I’m always happy to see roaming the streets of Brooklyn near my food coop).