I’ve lived in Tinmouth, Vermont, for the past 36 years amongst the hills, < fields, and trees.  There’s such a diverse amount of plant material here that will keep me busy for a long time to come.

My interest in herbs began in high school. It was a time when there really wasn’t much in the way of good herb books to reference.  We were on our own just as Michael Tierra was. A friend and I would explore the green world around us; smelling, tasting and smoking as we felt inclined. We always had an interest in what was around, whether it was plants, trees, mushrooms, or even the rocks beneath us.  In college I was able to snag courses in plant taxonomy and mycology. These were some of the most satisfying things I did in college.

Career-wise, I’ve been a carpenter/builder for the first half of my life. If lineage has anything to do with life, I’m at least a fourth or fifth generation carpenter.  Wood is such an interesting material. Even when it is done growing, it still has a life to it in the way it looks, and feels. Herbs are now becoming an extension of wood into the healing properties beyond the physical ones.

My first foray into Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) came nine years ago.  I had been a student of tai chi and was introduced to Master Chen.  That became an important step on my path in healing. The result created huge changes in lifestyle. I completed his External Qi Healing course and continued to attend many other workshops just to be with a true master.  I met the Tierras at his Universal Consciousness Festival last year, which may have been more than coincidental.  I was wondering what would be next. As events unfolded, I enrolled in the East West Herb School in March and haven’t doubted my decision one bit.

Now seems to be the time to continue to pursue herbs and healing.  I’m grateful for all the work the Tierras have done to organize the knowledge of TCM herbs in English.  Now I get to benefit from all of this herbal knowledge while I feed my family and build many houses. I never would have gotten that far on my own.

It seems to me that the present American medical system is on the verge of collapse. There must be some sane solution to maintaining health.  I know many people who aren’t being helped by the present system. Some of them are the spouses of open-minded doctors. So this school is truly giving me a much better understanding of how the world works and the richness of the intertwined relationships of people, plants and the energy of the earth. East West is giving me more, better tools to use to help people live satisfying lives. This how I see myself spending the other half of my career.

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