Seva Healing

Seva is a Sanskrit word meaning “selfless service” or work performed without any thought of reward or repayment. In ancient India seva was believed to help one’s spiritual growth and at the same time contribute to the improvement of a community. I started Seva Healing in 2007 as a way to give back to the global community a small portion of the abundance I experience in my own community and my own life.

(Click on the albums below to see images from their locations).

Thailand

Africa

Thailand / Burma 2011

For me, this endeavor began in Thailand where I worked with the ethnic minority Burmese refugees known as the Karen, Karenni and Shan. Traveling to jungle villages and border refugee camps and communities, I provided acupuncture treatments to hundreds of people that have little, if any, regular medical care. I also ran a number of trainings for doctors, nurses and medics who are able to provide intermittent care to some of these groups. These trainings are set up to teach simple but effective techniques for using acupuncture to treat many of the diseases endemic to people living in such difficult conditions. My philosophy for doing the trainings in addition to providing clinic treatments is that of the old proverb – Give someone a fish, he has one meal..Teach someone to fish and he can eat for a lifetime.

I continue this relief work on a yearly basis, returning to ethnic Burmese villages and refugee camps within Thailand and, this year, was able to extend this work to a Resistance Army Base and refugee camp located inside the Burmese border. I have had the privilege of working over several years with Partners Relief and Development, an NGO dedicated to aiding the children and communities impacted by the war in Burma and the Free Burma Rangers who provide courageous medical, tactical and humanitarian assistance to people trapped in the war zones of Burma. Overview: The Situation in Burma

In 2009, I extended this work to Africa when I was invited to accompany members of the relief organization Hope Arising in their ongoing work in Dera, Ethiopia. Dera is a deeply impoverished community of 58,000 people whose nearest natural water source is 20 miles away and a 5 mile walk to the closest water delivery point. Children are not able to attend school because they wait in line for water. Parents spend more time in search of water than working at their jobs. Mothers can not bathe their children who become filthy and often sick. Their local clinic spends most of their time and very limited resources treating diseases directly resulting from inadequate sanitary conditions and lack of potable water.

I was asked to provide acupuncture treatment clinics to the community as well as run my acupuncture trainings for a number of nurses who work in Dera’s clinic. When the townspeople heard of the upcoming treatments, more than 450 people signed up at which point they had to close the list for lack of time and space to treat more. People sat outside in the heat for hours on end waiting for their turn. The clinic and trainings were very successful as I was able to treat many patients personally as well as supervise 8 clinic nurses while they practiced giving acupuncture treatments on many more.

Seva Healing is a labor of love and the way I choose to give service to my community at large. As with most acts of seva, I believe that, in the end, I receive more than I give because, as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”