Where does our practice meet our politics meet our health meet our planet meet our divinity?
The news cycle lately feels limited and cyclical. I am left feeling ineffective, watching from the sidelines, aware only of our collective, maddening flaws. But what to put in its place for a moment to repair my sense of contribution to my community? Try this…
This weekend load up one or all of these podcasts featuring Dr Zach Bush. I consider him an influential teacher of mine and his ideas are deepening quickly:
To best explore, use this sequence:
Zach Bush and Rich Roll # 353 https://www.richroll.com/podcast/zach-bush-353/
This is a wide-ranging, and at times mind-blowing conversation that explores new insights into the mechanisms behind human health and longevity. It’s about the massive and misunderstood impact of industrial farming, chemical pesticides, the pharmaceutical industry and even errant Western medical practices have on both human and planetary health.
It’s a conversation about the difference between the science of disease and the science of health. It’s about the microbiome as a critical predictor of and protector against illness. And it’s an exploration of autism, epigenetics and the mechanics of intercellular communication.
Zach Bush and Rich Roll #414 https://www.richroll.com/podcast/zach-bush-414/
How we treat the planet impacts human biology. Intuitively, we understand this to be fact. But what distinguishes Dr. Bush from his medical peers is his rigorous application of science, strength of humanity, and the intelligence of nature to his commitment to transforming our world. A man with a deep understanding of the interdependence of macrocosm and microcosm, Dr. Bush’s brilliance truly shines on subjects like soil degeneration and regeneration. The relationship between intensive farming practices and the rise of environmental degradation and chronic disease. And his vision for a more integrated and holistic approach to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Zach Bush and Rich Roll # 456 https://www.richroll.com/podcast/zach-bush-456/
If you listened to either of our previous conversations, it would be reasonable to expect this discussion to further explore the impact of industrialized food systems on human and ecological health. However, that assumption would be wrong. Instead, we delve inside to explore our individual and collective experience with pain, both psychic and physical.
We deconstruct our unhealthy obsession with comfort. We stress test the stories we craft that form our identity, stunt our evolution, and ultimately hold us hostage. And we explore a new path to freedom — liberation from that which ails us so that we can self-actualize, and together embrace our inherent divinity.
For a quicker overview of Zach Bush’s thoughts on human and planetary health try this:
We’ve wiped out 40 percent of biology on earth in just fifty years,” says Zach Bush, MD. “And yet that Mother Earth keeps reaching out saying: Are you sure you don't want to keep playing? Because we could have some fun together.” For Bush, the health of our soil microbiome is the single most potent factor determining how healthy—or unhealthy—we are. What makes Bush’s case particularly compelling is the unlikely path he took to realizing it: Bush is a board-certified physician with a background in internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism, and hospice and palliative care.
Environmentalist Joanna Macy says that we must love each through our illnesses, through the pain and the despair and the discomfort. She gives the example that when our child is ill with leukemia we don’t turn away because it is too hard. We stay put, we sit side by side through it all.
It seems just now that the major systems that surround us are thick, old, and stuck. Healthcare, elections and government, school systems, agriculture and food production, power production, the news cycle that we used to trust… the list goes on. When you feel this overwhelming despair, you can hide from the facts, stay with what you know and how you’ve lived in the hope that the world will solve itself. Or, you can sit with it. You can get to know the mess and the details. You can inquire as to where your actions meet the mistakes and consider how else to participate. You can love your way through the stuck places by getting to know them in detail so you know how best to respond.
Our practice together matters. Our time on the mat lifts us and charges us so we can continue, so that the Truth under the truth of what’s going on is clear to us: We are beings made of light, bathed in intelligence, supported and guided.
What Zach Bush speaks of is terrible and powerful and ultimately authentically hopeful.
This is our story.
How we got here. How we made ‘progress’. How we got sick with cancer and Alzheimer’s and diabetes. How we responded. How we learned. How we can create a whole new take on healing, from the ground up, with all of us included. How we can build healing into our daily fabric, into our purchases, our food, our schools and communities.
You don’t have to ‘get involved’. You are already involved. Every day that we live and breathe and eat and sleep and do our work we are participating. Our lives are good in so many ways. Keep building the good by refining your understanding to be a part of a greater good for now and for the future.
This is our practice. We show up. We start moving. We lean in. We stay through the hard parts. We learn who we are. And if we stay and soften and listen we find our Light.
Keep coming, loves.
“The politicians are not the solution.
You and I are the solution as consumers.” ZB
Zach Bush gives me knowledge that I might otherwise turn from, but I stay because he shows me there is light behind it all if I choose to stay with it.
This is our practice.
Take the time to listen.
This is our future and our safety and that of years ahead.
And keep coming.
I’m often asked about my inputs:
What do I eat? Plants.
Do I work out beyond yoga? Yes. Yes. Peter Park (who training Lance Armstrong) and Tracy Anderson (who trained Madonna) and Swim Smooth (website and videos online)
Who are my primary teachers? My mat, my experience, Elena Brower, and Yogarupa Rod Stryker.
What am I reading recently? Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (fiction), Energy Medicine by Jill Blakeway (yoga), Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli (science), Things That Join the Sea and Sky by Mark Nepo (nonfiction/memoir), Rawsome Superfoods by Emily von Euw (cookbook)
Who would I choose to be when I grow up? For today, Zach Bush.