Teachers along the Way have come in every form. Those feathered, furred, mossed and leaved. Those wielding kettles and cameras or seemingly nothing at all. The continuum of life is the teacher, however it may come to fruition or fall away.
Being with the flux of change has been immeasurably more easeful with the presence of a few prominent people I've been fortunate to cross paths with.
In 2008, on the mid coast of BC, as a fisheries technician I was hanging falling boundary ribbon around 1,000 year old cedar trees. In the presence of one of these trees a profound, sudden realization to the center of my Being was received to follow a path of "helping and healing".
Not long after I met Brad Hercina. Since then he has served patiently and selflessly as a mentor, guide & friend in apprenticeship of the pathless path of awakening the self teacher. It was through this paradoxical paradigm of a crow I received my reiki & shamanic teachings and the spirit name Gentle Path Walker.
Photo by Marty Mellway www.martymellway.com
In 2010, the deep current of Lao Tze's Water tradition of qigong and meditation was revealed through a book by Taoist Lineage Master Bruce Frantzis www.energyarts.com.
The drive to learn, embody and teach as much of this lineage was clear. The Journey seemed slow to begin and led to connecting with Energy Arts Instructor Aaron Green. Re-learning a lot of what I had done with this system on my own. Aaron's generosity in sharing and talent as a teacher set the stage for further training with Bruce Frantzis.
In 2017, I certified as a Dragon and Tiger Medical Qigong Instructor in Washington, DC, and in 2019 as an instructor of Opening the Energy Gates of your Body Qigong in Longmont, Colorado. At this retreat I received teachings and energetic transmission from Master Frantzis on the hallmark meditation technique of the Water Tradition - Inner Dissolving.
Returning to Ucluelet, BC, on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, I was fortunate to water the seeds of transmission I had received in an incredibly fertile temperate rainforest environment. On a small island there, I spent well over 1,000 hours over a 3 year span further cultivating my practice.
The imprint this left on my heart is alive and is as soft vibrant, absorbent and lush as green moss receives rainforest mist.
At the center of all of this, sitting and steeping silently has been Tea. My first real hit of what I feel Tea is capable of on the vibratory level came from sitting with Po.
In 2015, I found myself on the road to Portland, Oregon, mainly I'd say, upon reflection, was to meet and have Tea with this man. Po Rosenberg of www.heavenstea.com first introduced me to using Tea as a support to cultivation and in a way of being of service to humanity.
After receiving such a potent transmission of Tea through Po, I was instilled with a sense of deep honour, reverence, responsibility & gratitude for the connection to this gentle plant medicine, and the journey to develop my own unique relationship with this sacred medicine in support of cultivation and in serving humanity.
In 2021, through Po, I was guided to Erick Smithe of www.cloudwalker.com in Victoria, BC. This meeting has led to being ushered into a the world of which before I had only glimpsed. Specialising in wild, old tree, vintage Puer Tea - the primordial progenitor of Tea from Yunnan, China - Erick is a purveyor and custodian of such Tea Medicine. I've been deeply impacted by his presence as a friend and in his generosity in sharing with me not only fine Tea, but a vast experiential knowledge and passion from the heart of Cha Dao - The Way of Tea.
Alongside these teachers and this story of my journey with 'healing' arts, I have at the same time been 'helping' in the field of community health. Since 2009, I've been employed as a Registered Care Aide and Community Support Worker; assisting people with a broad spectrum of developmental disabilities, as well as senior citizens in the community, extended care and group home environment. In 2020, I also completed training with the Conscious Dying Institute as an End of Life Coach & Death Doula.
Here now, in the Comox Valley, I am employed supporting individuals in clinical treatment for addictions, PTSD, anxiety and depression, incorporating my passion for Tea and Qigong wherever possible.
I remain incredibly grateful for the gift of this life, each day, all my teachers, guides, friends, family, for this land, and to all my relations.