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The Eastern Medicine Perspective
August 28, 2022
In this inaugural episode of One-Degree Shifts, we are joined by Leni Neumeier, a Chinese Medicine practitioner and acupuncturist. She holds a 5-year doctorate program at the Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences (ACOS) in Nelson and is an active member of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine of British Columbia. She currently holds a highly successful private practice in Kaslo, BC and supports people at the Sentinel, Canada’s leading plant medicine retreat and Nectara partner. In this episode, we chat about the traditional Chinese Medicine perspective on psychedelic preparation, integration, and wellness. We talk about the elements, the seasons, the universe, and how we can better enter and leave our psychedelic experiences.
- Chinese Medicine insights relating to how we use psychedelics when to use them, and holistic ways of approaching psychedelic preparation and integration
- The yin and yang qualities of medicine work and how we can better balance our psychedelic wellness path for a harmonious mind, body, and soul
- Understanding your body better and its relation to the five elements and how we can better prepare and integrate our plant medicine journeys.
- How the stars and the universe above us influence our healing path
- Fostering better support systems that enhance your experiences and how you apply them in your daily life
04:11 The evolution of psychedelics
06:19 The emergence of integration
08:29 Preparing your mind, body, soul
10:53 Yin and yang energies
14:16 Balancing the inputs/outputs
17:27 The inner Empress and Emperor
22:41 Aligning psychedelics with the seasons
29:31 The body and the five elements
31:33 Harm reduction for body types
35:03 Thriving and wholeness
39:53 Our connection to the universe
45:23 Continuous integration
50:26 The triangle of change
54:18 Quickfire: your message to the world
55:24 Quickfire: favourite Eastern philosophy book
58:48 Quickfire: Mind/body dualism
1:00:00 Quickfire: Her wellness practices
1:03:26 Quickfire: Balancing the body with TCM/herbs
- Leni’s practice in Kaslo: www.lenineumeier.ca
- The Sentinel: www.sentinelbc.ca
- Instagram | @thesentinelbc
Leni is currently a practicing TCM practitioner at the Sentinel, one of the leading plant medicine retreats in North America.
Leni started her career as a Chinese medicine practitioner in her late fourties after she gained life experience as a mountain guide, business women and traveler. She successfully graduated from the 5-year doctorate program at the Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences (ACOS) in Nelson and is an active member of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine of British Columbia.
Leni was born and raised in Berchtesgaden, Germany, one of the most beautiful mountain villages in the Bavarian Alps. Her curious and adventurous mind brought her to Canada in the early nineties where she established herself as a mountain guide and business owner of Discovery Canada: Outdoor Adventure Inc. and Kootenay Mountain Holidays Inc. Leni’s active outdoor lifestyle drew attention to Team Advil, a feature team at EcoChallenge 2001 and she became the lead navigator during the EcoChallenge in New Zealand and Fiji, a televised 500 km adventure race.
In 2010, Leni left her busy guiding career and immersed herself into the art of Feng Shui where she completed numerous advanced courses with the American Institute of Feng Shui. Through the ancient studies of yin and yang, Leni because more and more interested in the profound aspects of how energy moves within nature and consequently within our bodies. Once again, her curiosity lead her to go deeper into the art and science of Chinese medicine and in 2012 she signed up for a 5 year doctorate program at ACOS.
Leni has been studying with her mentors Dave and Laurie Knox at their clinic for the past 2 years where she is presently practicing. With the help of Dave and Laurie, she has been advancing her skills in Chinese medicine differential diagnosis, integrated craniosacral therapy and somatic emotional release.
Leni feels privileged and honored to draw from the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine and she is looking forward to welcoming new and old patients in Nelson and at The Sentinel Healing Center in Kaslo.
Pascal: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the first ever Nectara podcast. In Nectara's podcast, we're going to be exploring life as a ceremony and the deep and intentional integration process with psychedelics. And part of our offering here on the podcast, we'll be spot speaking with amazing people like Leni Neumeier, who's a good friend of mine and lives in Kaslo, just like I do. And Leni has been a huge influence in my own integration process. And I'm so thrilled that we can join together here and listen to some of the wisdom she has to share. Hi Leni.
Leni: Hi Pascal. Thanks for having. me.
Pascal: Thanks for being here. Leni, what's your life story? How did you get here and what's your relationship to psychedelics and integration?
Leni: Oh my God! That's a huge question.
Pascal: I know.
Leni: I grew up in the Bavarian Alps in Germany and in my early 20s, I traveled to Canada and I stayed in Canada.And at that time I was mainly into outdoor adventure, outdoor education.
I was doing some racing. I was like in the world of, adrenaline junkies. And then in my Late 40s, all of a sudden I had this huge shift happening where I think the purpose of my life became quite clear and I started studying Chinese medicine. So, I did a five year doctorate program and was absolutely fascinated by this ancient medicine and then started practicing in the Kootenays, where I've lived for the last 30 years.So yeah, so that's the short version. And how I connected with psychedelics was with Richard K. and Gillian Maxwell, who founded the Sentinel and they have been friends of mine for the last 25 years.
And I started my clinic at the Sentinel. So, we're inevitably then was integrated into the whole plant medicine, healing, modality.
Pascal: Thanks for sharing. Yeah, Richard and Gillian had been a big part of a larger journey as well, and interfacing with psychedelics and something all does amazing work with in the field. And so for you, when you got to the Sentinel, like your background was psychedelics was fairly minimal at the time?
Leni: Yeah. fairly minimal. I did not have any experience with plant medicine on that level. But also realize that this new healing modality called Chinese medicine is a beautiful framework for integrating, preparing and connecting with plant medicines.
Pascal: And things have changed a lot in 25 years. What have you noticed from when you arrived in Sentinel in the Kootenays 20, 25 years ago or 30 years ago. And what's happened now with the emergence of psychedelics being in the stock market and the mainstream media, Will Smith has done Ayahuasca 12 times apparently, there's a basketball player who wrote a documentary around his experiences. Mike Tyson is part of a company. Things have changed a lot. And what have you noticed in the space from your personal perspective?
Leni: Yeah 25 years ago here in the Kootenays, they have used plant medicine, especially cannabis, and psylocibins more on a recreational basis.And the way I see it right now, it's more ceremonial and it is more focused on how can we heal with these beautiful plants? How can plants help us to reach higher potentials?
And so I think what I see is now is like there's more intention around it and more education around the beautiful aspects of plant medicine. I'm using a lot of plant medicine, myself, like Chinese medicine, Chinese herbs are just like, I always call them my angels that are supporting us in our journey of dysfunction in the body.
And so here in the Kootenays, I think more and more people are arriving to show up for the inner healing with a more guided concept with a more, with the concept of community as well, not doing it alone, right being held throughout the process. So I definitely have seen quite a shift in the last, let's say eight years.
Pascal: And what have you seen specifically in terms of, you mentioned intention ceremony, and then nature are always very passionate about integration. What have you noticed in the emergence of integration as essential part of the experience? A lot of people like to enter these peak experiences, but the integration has often been, sometimes a second thought for a lot of people. What have you seen there in terms of evolution?
Leni: Yeah, with a little bit of experience. I have I've seen that I've treated numerous patients that did not receive any integration who are just who weren't held afterwards.And also what I've seen is like patients that went into plant ceremonies very deficient because in Chinese medicine plant medicine is toxic heat, right?
And toxic heat is hard for the body to absorb, to integrate and to deal with. And when the body is extremely sensitive and/or deficient, toxic heat can do damage. And so what I've seen is that either people have done a lot of plant medicine with deficiency in the body and then experienced even more hardship or were left hanging with no integration.
So I've seen that, but I also have seen beautiful success stories where that was not the case and people were held a lot, so both is happening. And I think that what you guys are doing and what Richard and Gillian are doing, you are trying to create an experience that is conducive to healing, conducive, to transformation.
Pascal: I'm curious to hear more about people that entered ceremonies with a deficiency in their body, like from your Eastern medicine perspective, like how does someone prepare for a psychedelic experience from mind, body, and soul perspective? And it could, it depends for everyone, but like general ideas around that, so that people out there that are entering, maybe their first ceremonies, like what's a good kind of framework to operate from, to enter them those ceremonies in a good way?
Leni: Yeah. One of the things, here we go, I might be a little bit of bias because then I'm a Chinese medicinepractitioner but have a support person to check your health, to make sure that your just physiological body is ready for this. Is able to be in this yang world, right?
Like when we are taking plant medicines, we are in the yang world. We are in the universal world of our realm. And when we are in this extreme yang world from a Chinese medicine standpoint, we do need the equal or even more of the yin world, which is our body in our blood and our nerves. then that groundedness and root chakra, root and sacral chakra. And so first I would say that somebody should get checked out a little bit and have a diagnosis. If this plant medicine is actually what the body can deal with, right? And if not, then preparing for it, like really building blood and perhaps exercising and tests coming to a little bit more of a healthier state. So that is very important in my mind, so that we can truly go into a ceremony with resources and not fully depleted.
Pascal: No, I'm sorry. You cut off there for a sec, but yes, that's really interesting. The idea of Yin and Yang energy with psychedelics is something I don't hear a lot about. Could you give me, give us an example of what will be like a yin medicine and then what will be a Yang medicine?
I'm assuming something Ayahuasca is like super yang energy where it's kind of clubs you over the head. But like, how do you interface with that in terms of okay, I'm going to do Ayahuasca or I'm going to do what tomorrow or I'm going to do maybe psilocybin. Tell us more about that Yin Yang quality of the medicines.
Leni: You nailed it there. And I've never taken Ayahuasca it's way too strong for me.And it's of course, very personal as well but you're already differentiating between more toxic heat and less toxic heat. And so more like stronger medicines and less strong medicines.
And I'm not really, not an expert in plant medicine.But the Yin aspect, when we are talking about Yin, we are talking about like the blood in Chinese medicine.How nutritional is our blood to support our tissues, our organs in order to look at this plant medicine that is extremely Yang and say, okay, we have resources to, support this experience.
And so what makes blood be more nutritional or strong or richer is good food, is good timing of when we put food in our bodyand how we absorb the food integrating the central nervous system. So with that comes our ability to eat without stress. Or our choice we make to eat without stress so that we can absorb this good food that we're eating.
And then of course the quality of the food builds blood organic food over processed food. So we are building blood, we are building yin with diet, right? We are building yin with lifestyle, there is like also this concept of exercise. Of course we're building yin with being in parasympathetic, through a meditation, through our conscious awareness of honoring the body in its highest potential.And that's very closely linked to self love. Of course. And I love myself so much that I only put the best in my food under the best circumstances. right? And that builds Yin. And then when we go into with that richness a feeling of.
blood, and well nourished organs and tissues. Then we are experiencing a plant medicine with a good foundation.
Pascal: In our sessions, a lot of times you mentioned like balancing the inputs of the outputs. And in this case, it seems like, maybe the heavier, the ceremony or the therapy session you're going to be doing, the more, you should be much more careful about the inputs inside your body.
So if you're going to do a five day retreat with Ayahuasca, you probably want to take weeks ahead of time to really dial your body and your blood and your breath and your new tissue so that you can prepare. And , is it safe to say then the preparation is really part of the integration really?
Because the way you enter the experience is how you're going to be leaving it really, and how you're really going to get the most out of it is really by nourishing your yourself beforehand.
Leni: Yeah, for sure. I, 100% agree with that. Traditionally, when you look at ceremonies fasting ceremonies or plant medicine ceremonies people prepare themselves for a long period of time. They have been connecting with a shaman for years on end, before they even started taking the medicine before they were allowed to take the medicine, there was a huge spiritual preparation. There was a huge mental preparation. There was a huge body preparation. And then that plant medicine was givennot as frequently either like only once a year, or once every five years. And in the in between that you really integrated that experience to every little fraction of it, you really, went,deep into it.A big part around that I personally find is fasting as well. There is like a fasting program. Before you go into your plant medicine experience to really allow for that emptiness for that plant medicine to express itself in this potential of emptiness in this potential of opportunity.
And, I personally find that sometimes plant medicines are taken. So frequently that do we really create space in order to process what happened?
Pascal: That's true. It does happen fairly often. And I've done that before. Especially in the first few years of my healing journey is oh, let's do more because more is better.
right? The more healing I get, the better I get, it. but, eventually my body just told me like, you know what, you need to sit down, chill out a little bit and integrate. And that was the best lesson I've ever had. It was like, don't do Psychedelics, don't do medicine. And I got that message because I wasn't listening to my own body.
So when we do sessions together, a lot of times he asked me like, Pascal, what does your body want? And so for someone,yes, you can get help from a consultant or a doctor or a therapist, or a really good friend, but there's also the inner wisdom of your own body that people can be like body.
What do you want at this time? And tell us more about like this concept of questioning the body and scanning and asking questions like the inner emperor or Empress is what you call it sometimes. right? That's a really good tool for people out there.
Leni: Yeah. Thank you, Pascal, for opening that subject.
It's one of my favorite subjects.it's listening to your emperor or Empress, Like in Chinese medicine, the emperor the heart is the emperor of the body or the Empress of the body, because every meridian either directly or indirectly connects with the heart.so when the heart is broken or injured or not attended to, or guarded or sad or angry, like all hell breaks loose.
And sothis somatic way of listening to the heart, this dialogue and conversation between your brain and the heart, I find extremely important because our society is so brain driven, right? We were raised to be intelligent. We were raised to be to conceptualize thing and analyze things, we were not trained to truly listen to our heart. And so this concept of listening to the heart and preparing for this intelligence that the tissue has is very important. And I always talk about the truth. What is the truth? And you have heard me saying the brain is a little bit of a bullshit machine, right?
Whereas the heart is the truth, So when we get the brain out of the way, and I love the brain, of course, the brain is very important, but when we start giving the brain a ticket to Mexico to hang on the beach and you just have a conversation with the heart, then we're talking, and then we are talking to the truth of who am I and who do I need to be for myself?
And so this emperor, or this Empress is our soul. It's the expression of our soul within our body. And so I, find it so important to connect with that deep heart frequency, this center of magnetic field in order to make decisions for ourselves that are filled with a purpose, why we are here and not just the reasoning like the brain would give us.
so yeah, that listening of the body is very important physiologically. We do have these mini brains that are going down our spinal cord, they're called ganglion cells. and they're small little bundles. Of nerves that give us information.
When we are in this state of meditation, the state of relaxation, the state of safety, like we can connect with those very intuitive central nervous system sensations that we can have a dialogue with a conversation and really hone into this truth of ourselves.
Pascal: and there's a lot of wisdom and I've experienced that myself, like Leni telling me every time I go there, because I have body pains, like what does the body need? And I asked myself and my brain is like overriding that sometimes, because I'm such a brain heavy person typically, but I'd say one of the most transformative practices I've been implementing in my life in my integration process is waking up in the morning and connecting with my heart and listening to it and connecting with that first, before I go out into the world and do things.
And there's a lot of wisdom in that and just slowing down and intuitively tap into that center of intelligence. So thank you for that. Leni and thank you for sharing that with others as well. And how it can help people with intention setting and preparation and just basically integrating their experiences because they've created the space for it.
And another big factor for.integration that we've talked about is the seasons. And when you first mentioned this to me I was quite astonished by just how much depth and meaning there is in the concept of aligning the seasons with the practices that we do or aligning the seasons with the medicines that we're doing, or aligning the seasons with our integration process.
And we live in a four season climate in the Kootenays here where like the winters are really wintry and a summers are really summery. And then the two seasons in between have their own distinct, like levels of moisture and the rainfall and sunlight and everything changes with the seasons. And how do we relate that to integration and psychedelics and healing in general?
Leni: Yeah. like Maybe we should go a little bit into that five element theory, if that is okay with you. And learn a little bit more how Chinese medicine is actually looking at the season from an elemental standpoint. So in Chinese medicine, we of course have the yin yang theory, Which comes out of the Dow. So we have a yin and a yang, or you can call it a minus and a plus. And out of the concepts of yin and yang come, the five elements and in Chinese medicine, it's the wood element, the fire element, the earth element, the metal element and the water element. And they are all interconnected into a pattern of sacred geometry.
And we can maybe for the listeners, we can put up a chart at one point to demonstrate that , but when we talk about seasons, we're talking about the wood energy is the spring. So the spring goes dynamically upward in its energy. So we're talking about, more light.
We are talking about the liver and the gallbladder so we are talking about this concept of vitality, of new beginnings. We are talking about the concept of extra energy to perch, So this is the time, for example, when I do my liver gallbladder cleanse with my patients, it's because the seasons are helping us to get rid of old stuff from the winter and the seasons are inviting us to eat bitters That's why [inaudible] grows in the spring, not in the fall. It's just to. really purge out and get rid of toxins.And then we are going into the fire element, which is from an Oregon standpoint, the heart and the small intestine. And we are talking about the meridians and the organs, of course, but then the summer its energy is going outwards.
And we are eating more raw food. We are eating more cold foods because it's hot outside. Like the body can afford to eat cold foods.Whereas in the winter, if you eat cold foods, you can totally damage your digestive system. . And then in the fall, we have more, this inward spiraling energy we're preparing for winter and in this inward spiraling, that's the element of metal.
We are eating more foods that are pungent, like the onions, for example, or we are eating warmer foods, all of a sudden, not so much like too many big salads Whereas in the summer we have huge salads. We don't care. We can afford it. And then of course in the winter, we are eating more the stews and the soups and no salads and the, witches then the element of water and earth, the element of earth, which represents the spleen and stomach then is integrated in all of them a little bit.
Especially just before the new season starts, that's usually a concept of earth. And so they are also these concepts around when we heal earth. We are attending to all of the other ones, right? So in preparation dependent on when people are actually taking a plant ceremony experience, then we see what season are we in, right? What is conducive to nourishing the body in preparation. And also after the ceremony as integration, what can nourish me the most in order to really integrate the experience. And so depends on when the ceremony is depends on what season we are in. We would support the body in a different way.
And I also think that, for example, you take one, plant ceremony. Let's say we take psilocybin it will be a different experience in the spring than it is in the summer or in the fall or in the winter. The plant medicine itself knows the energetics of your body does represent it. that represents the season.
We feel different in the winter than we feel in the summer. So the plant itself synergistically connects different with ourselves, with our receptors. And so this is very important to, look at
Pascal: Yes, fascinating. I find that fascinating and we'll go into a higher level, even in the seasons in a moment, but I'm really curious about the seasons and how it relates to plant medicines and also the body type.
So how does the body type of each person change?Their relationship to seasons and psychedelics. I know I have a different body type and my partner and we like what works for us doesn't work for both of us. So how does someone like deepen their knowledge about that? Is like reading books or how would someone get educated on what could work better for their body than someone else's
Leni: That's a very tricky question.because like you said, it's very individual and in Chinese medicine, looking at the five elements, like there are people, that are more good people, there are people that are more fire people and more earth metal or water people. right? It depends on what your body type is.
But often when for example, what I see often when we have an earth type person, for example, earth type people are.very grounded. Very, some of them a little bit heavier, right? Like it's a very different body type. Andthe pathology around earth type people when we are too earthy we become lethargic.
We become slow. We can't really absorb food properly anymore. We are gaining weight. So when we are trying to heal. And we are in a specific season, let's say for an earth type person, we are in the earth season. We need to get more dynamic in the body and we need to add more wood or more fire in order to create more momentum, more Yang Chi, because earth is very yin.
So it depends on what type you have and then what medicine you would offer. So how to medicate is more yeah. Work with a five element theory is something you really interested in work with a Chinese medicine practitioner that can explain it and help you to really find the right style that is conducive for your type.
Pascal: And. One thing I have interest about learning to today is can you give us an example? Because I think I would say like less psychedelics, more integration, but there's a part of that is also about harm reduction. So can you give us an example of a situation where someone might be exploring the idea of doing a psychedelic journey, but really shouldn't because their body type and the season and the medicine are not quite a lightning? like maybe someone who has too much fire in their body and do Ayahuasca during summer, for example, would that be something that's reason enough to not embark on the journey or there, would be like a preparation that could maybe best suit that overlap of different variables.
Can you give us an example of a situation like that so that people out there know what to look for, if they're trying to analyze if it's a good decision or not for their body.
Leni: Yeah. You already gave an example there , which is , again, very personal. If a firey person with a lot of Yang has enough resources to go into this very yang world, as a fiery person. As long as they have enough resources and if that is what they need, then I support that.
It's more so when we see deficiency, like when a person has let's say we are looking at a wood type person like so wood type person, the archetype is high achievers. And I see that quite a bit in clinic, especially women, right? Like women that Have been extremely successful in their life.
Extremely athletic in their life, like running marathons, like being a CEO of a company, having three children and being a wife. And then wanting to go deeper into the body. And I see where this wood type person is already has used up a lot of that wood and not nourished with more earth or water or more metal.
And so I would then rather recommend to add more earth in preparation for a planned ceremony. So do you have the resources. And in regards to see, let's say we have a person that.is more wood, more high achiever and wanting to do a supplant ceremony during the wood element during the springtime.
but Then even more. So it is important to add that element of earth and that resource of yin tohave a healthy experience. They will have an experience no matter what, it's just we don't do any damage. And that the body can really hold space for that very spiritual experience.
Did that answer your question?
Pascal: Yeah, it does. Thank you. I know you can talk about this for hours and but on a high level, it does really answer it really well. And one concept that we talked about a lot to during our appointments together as this concept of being whole. And pretty much all of us that embark on psychedelic journeys, like we're on a journey of feeling wholeness of thriving, of harmony from the Eastern medicine perspective, what is it to be whole, what does that mean to you?
Leni: Yeah like from our wisdom that has been passed down for over 2000 years again, it's the concept of yin and yang balancing yin and yang balancing the five elements and understanding the Ayahuasca influences. And Ayahuasca influence is the relationship union yang hot and cold.
Then interior exterior, like What is happening on the exterior? and What is happening on the, interior and we are looking at dryness and wetness, And so when we start bringing in this Western philosophy this Eastern philosophy to be whole is to balance all of this, not have too much of either.
is that middle away like that, that [inaudible] where you're not too much wood, not too much fire earth metal or water. And from a, especially with psychedelics, because we are more going in, we're going into this emotional and spiritual world, is looking at the emotions that each of those elements are carrying.
like If our emotion that's often really a reason why we go into a plant medicine is sadness, then that is represented with the element of metal, sadness and grieving. But then there's also this concept of virtues, which is acceptance, right? So we can use as in preparation toa plan merit medicine.
We can use that Eastern five element approach in order to really set the stage for an answer that the plant medicine can give. you, In this theme of your journey of your ancestors, yourself and your future generations, When we look at anger, we're looking more at the element of wood and the virtues of compassion and empathy for yourself first, We have a lot of compassion, empathy for others, but do we really have that for ourselves? And we will look at anxiety, we are looking at the element of fire and the virtue, the inner medicine we have in Chinese medicine is joy and happiness, really choosing happiness and joy. As part of our medicine we have on the inside for earth, it is this emotion of always warring and overthinking.
and the medicine is to surrender and the fifth element is water. And it's this will be see so much, especially right now during COVID and is fear is existential fear, like The existential fears is rising by the minute in our society. And the medicine that we are carrying inside of us in this element of water is our intuition really listening to that deep connection to our intuition, which was given to us by our ancestors and connecting with that again, which the plant medicine is fantastic to connect with on that level.
Pascal: That's fascinating. So what I'm hearing is there's a lot of internal communication with your body and your inner self, really in terms of preparation integration, and as the external your environment, the seasons, the energies, and the place you're at in the world. But there's also a higher level than that, which is the connection to the universe and the connection to your north star.
Like you say can you tell us more about that? Because to me, it sounds like there's three, I'm sure there's more layers that I am not aware of, but there's three really deep layers that one can connect with in terms of integration, preparation and living life. Really. Can tell us more about that universal higher consciousness piece in relation to psychedelics.
Leni: And this is of course, very personal the way I perceive it. And it's often like everybody has their own little concepts around it, but I want to start answering this question with the way one of my masters is looking at healing. And he said, the lowest form of healing is healing disease.
The next level of healing is healing emotions. And the highest level of healing is healing consciousness. And that's a huge statement that Jeffrey Yuen, an 88th generation Taoist monk from New York is offering here. This is like a huge statement. And when we are going into this teaching of emotions in higher consciousness.
Of course the plant medicine is giving us more access to that, just because our brain is not in this normal state of our day to day living, we're actually exploring other parts. And so the spiritual practice that I highly recommend to, to be part of in your own authentic way, in your own authentic way that nonlinear thinking and that connection to the north star, meaning to the universe is I find essential for us humans to be safe. And I always tell my patients, there's no protocol how to do that. I personally, love kiteboarding, I love being out and like horrendous winds on Kootenay lake and that's when I feel the Dow or the best. right? And for another person they're saying, are you nuts? but that's where I feel spirit.
right? That's where I feel connected to the great divine where I feel extremely vulnerable. And yet I need to be so present. This is my way of connecting, which would Pascal, that probably wouldn't work for you so much.So there is thisexploration of self that we need to commit to and find out who am I
ancient cultures thought that the stars are the guidance for a life. It's not us who make the decisions.It's actually the stars who make it. And we are just doing what they tell us to do. And to me, when I heard that, the first time I thought, oh my God, this is actually the ultimate way of being spiritual, because you're putting full trust into the universe full trust.
You don't even think about adding anything with your brain.
Pascal: Yeah. It's like entering flow states almost is what I'm hearing is. Understanding where to, what makes you connect to that higher self? And that could be practices like maybe journaling maybe it's meditating, maybe it's yoga, maybe it's playing waters quarter of your son or playing Lego with your son, or maybe doing a little bit of strategic roadmapping. It's a big part of what I like to do to connect with my higher self is, envisioning the future, not from a place of the brain, but more of the place from the heart and making a ceremony out of that. So That helps me connect to my north star and helps me align like the everyday stuff more in line with the greater kind of purpose that may or may not be dictated by stars.
But definitely adds a lot of richness and authenticity in, everyday life. And deciding if I want to do medicine or not Those higher level anchor points are really useful for aligning action.we've talked about intention. We've talked about intention, we've talked about wisdom.
Let's talk a bit about practice. And there's something you said on our introduction call like a few weeks ago, you mentioned the idea of continuous integration. And I love that idea because obviously at Nectara we talked about everyday is a ceremony and that everything that we do is integration, but what is continuous integration?
Leni: Yeah, this is often difficult because you have to do the work, right? nobody can do it for you.I know this is like that full commitment. And I also understand that. Our life is busy, right? Our life is busy and I like what just came to me is one of my teachers at Chinese medicine school, I asked her if she's doing her Qi Gong every day.
Right? Because she was always positive. And he was just had so much energy. I was like, What are you doing Qi Gong? And her answer was, I'm doing it right now.So The practice is in the present moment, the practice is in the present moment, awareness of what choice we're making in our transformation.
And so that is one that. is, Can always be there and can always be chosen if you decide to it's that present moment of living in your heart. And if you're truly in your heart, you're living from this point of kindness and compassion and love, Abundance, total abundance and humbleness, and even vulnerability, the encourage. And so the practice lies in the present moment where we have the most influence to do to make a shift. to Make a shift. So that is that is definitely the best way to integrate, but then we get sidetracked, right? We get sidetracked, we get triggered in our trauma state.
We get into our little world of worries and fear. And so then we need to have some tools and I think the like really nice tools are, you mentioned before meditations, there are so many on YouTube that you can choose from 10 minutes to eight hour meditations, like guided meditations that are focusing on your inner light your inner abundance.
You can use binaural beats. like If you feel like you get triggered or anxiety comes on, it's just to bring the frequency down. The other practice that I like is Qi Gong, like a basic Qi Gong. You can do yoga, just even sometimes like doing five minutes of sun, salutations makes a big differenceto your day, and then being on the table being supported by a practitioner in whatever form it is there's so many beautiful modalities. Doesn't have to be Chinese medicine. It can becranial sacral therapy can be biodynamics, it can be osteopathy, like finding a practitioner that you resonate with that can hold you and you can truly sink into your own body's vulnerability to be whole, to be safely whole so that's definitely something I highly recommend. And we all have to do that. We all have to be on the table. Those are like just a few examples. And then of course The practice of food is very important because we are what we eat. Really bringing in the wisdom of food,
Pascal: Now there's a lot of depth to practices and everyone will have their own kind of preferred methods and philosophies will follow, up but like almost all of them, if not, all of them are valid in some way. I have a question. Are you doing Qi Gong right now?
are you practicing
Leni: I'm trying to, I, have my heart open. I have to say like just answering your beautiful questions and
I'm trying to, I'm trying to like, here we go. I just had to check in with my boss. I am a little bit nervous just because I'm really doing this. Not very often.
Pascal: it's my first time So we're doing it together.
Leni: Together. Yeah.
Pascal: yeah, yeah, that's a great segue into community and one of the first sessions I did with you, do a little triangle with arrows and it was the cycle of change.
It was intention, action, and then support. And I remember thinking like I've been really good at intention action, but like no support whatsoever.because I have this lone Wolf attitude of just I can handle this. I got this. And I remember my life changing when I saw the little arrow that said support.
And then I was like, whoa, I can ask for support. There's people that I can actually help ask for help. And it's okay to ask for help. Can you talk more about that cycle of change? Because it's simple. But to me it just like it was a new world that opened up because of that. Like a lot of people don't ask for support.
Leni: Yeah. This is like a concept that I learned at. It was a five rhythms workshop at Hollyhock. actually it was a leadership course. And we talked about impact. We talked about how can we have impact for ourselves? And the facilitator offered this simple concept of the impact triangle where, when you have a clear intention and you are creating action to support that clear intention, plus if you have support, there's an extreme high probability that you're moving forward with impact.
I have been using this concept for my patients when there's no guidance, no intention, because some of them are so depleted or say that they need a handrail to hold on to and say, okay, how can I move forward now? And when we start modeling this.
Leni Neumeier: With a Triangle of clear intention, action and support. We can model all different kinds of things. We can model: my clear intention is to eat better, what's the action route, and who supports me and with support, it's not necessarily,
Leni: it has to be
Leni Neumeier: it has to be your husband or your wife or a practitioner.
It could also be like the great divine. It could be your spirit animal. It could be the Lords of the Akashic records, right? It could be mother Teresa,
Leni: if you believe in mother Teresa
Leni Neumeier: or the Dalai Lama. I've had patients that made topographical maps of where the impact triangles were all these different, kinds of mountains with contour walls, and that was the mountains they want to climb.
Leni: And when a conqueror is like
Leni Neumeier: this clear intention, I want my heart to be more open, for example I want to think more with my heart.
Leni Neumeier: What's your action around it and who supports you?
Leni: So that's like the impact triangle that helps us to just have a little bit more of a focus and on, what we want to do with all of this.
Pascal: Yeah. Beautiful. We have questions from the community. They're like rapid fire questions. I'd love to have you again, to expand on some of these concepts, because I feel like each one of them can be expanded into a larger conversation, but let's go into the rapid-fire questions because they are related to all the things we just talked about.
And I'll start with the most fun one. If you get to have one minute to speak to the entire world, what would you say? it's a tough question to answer. Maybe So imagine the whole world right now. And like Leni, Neumayer, we need some wisdom or tell us a joke whatever you'd like to share with us.
What would you like to say?
Leni: Yeah the first thing that came to my mind is like, be kind to each other kindness, kindness, be kind to each other. There's so much going on right now, like with the Ukraine, with COVID with so many things just be kind to each other.
Pascal: Yeah. it's a good one.
It can never go wrong with being kind That's what I foundradical kindness. I think I like the addition of radical kindness in there. Because kindness can sometimes mean you're rolling over and stuff like jello, but with radical kindness, you say things that need to be said waiting to be said.
That's Quite like that combination of words. Here's a good one too. What's your favorite classic Eastern philosophical text.
Leni: The most, I think Can I have two
Pascal: let me consult with the Akashic records. Yes, you can.
Leni: okay. So the first one is the [inaudible] which is one of our ancient books on all different kinds of concept of Chinese medicine. It's the basis of Chinese medicine. It's a compilation of two books, the [inaudible] .and it gives us this conversation between the yellow emperor and Tchibo, his Royal doctor on where the yellow emperor is asking a question about why do we have four seasons? And Tebow is answering these questions in this highly philosophical way. So this focus is the basis of Chinese medicine.
And no matter how many times you read it, You find new things that come out of it and then yeah, here we go. More and more books come into my mind Let's just like of course the [inaudible] is another one. But let's not do that But the other book I love so much is the Shang Han Loan, which is written by Zhang Qing, and it's a herbal book. It's an herbal book. And I love the introduction so much that talks about, and that book was written, I think 1500 years ago where Zhang Qing is just bitching about Chinese medicine doctors to be greedy and just trying to make money and create this business opportunity.
And the medicine is about helping people. So this greediness that we're seeing now in medicine, where it's not about the patient's about how much money you're making existed at that time to And Zhang Qing live during a pandemic and compose these and research all these different kinds of beautiful herbal formulas based on how the disease progresses into the body.
so it's a beautiful herbal book that has a lot of commentary to from different doctors along different dynasties in China. But it's a fascinating book. It's fun for me to contemplate on because I use it for my patients. I use it for my patients and Yeah, here we go wandering eating, Definitely. And then the [inaudible] .
Pascal: Cool. If you come back again and you'll get two more. You can talk
Leni: Okay. Thank you.
Pascal: what are your thoughts on and these are questions from our community. that I'm just reading them verbatim. What are your thoughts on mind, body dualism,
Leni: super important mind, body spirit is the Trinity of health, So When our body is healthy, we have the opportunity to really enter a clearer mind. And with that clearer mind and body, we can enter the spirit. And there's this other concept around it's more. in astrology where we are talking about the crystal palace, which is pretty much the area between the pineal gland and the pituitary gland in the brain.
So when that connection is established, we actually have that through meditation. We have that ability to connect with the north star, with the [inaudible] right? And in that lies then that world of higher consciousness. So only when the body is healthy and the body is healthy, we can go into that spiritual world.
So body mind spirit is extremely necessary for us to reach those higher levels of consciousnessand feel those two, right? Because we are souls that have had. Thousands of years of experience, right? and there's lots of trauma in that higher consciousness that needs to be re conciliated.
Pascal: My Never ending journey of healing.
Leni: Yeah, it will never end.
Pascal: It will never end. as part of the fun. What is your spiritual? He, or she said practice like what is your kind of everyday integration mind, body and soul practices.
Leni: Yeah. So I love being with my patients. I really find that the work I do is a little bit of a meditation for me when I'm working on my patients, because I try to connect with their.
energy. I try not to absorb it as much as possible, but I tried to connect with it, which requires me to be as clear and open as possible.So I would integrate this world of healing as part of my practice for myself and my patients are my healers. They're my healers. so that's one.
And then I like having my cup of tea in bed in the morning.and that's part of my meditation. I do that on purpose like that gratitude, that abundance to start the morning with warmth of the tea, love the herb of the teaand really looking into nature. Like I am fortunate to have a beautiful bedroom where I can look into the forest.
I can look onto the mountains. And sothat beginning of the day from the [inaudible] is one of my daily practices. But then I also, and my boyfriend can confirm that like I need to be out in nature a lot. So I ski tour in the winter. Like I said, I kiteboard. I try to be in nature as much as possible.
And then my dog is my healer as well. Like she's So in the present moment that she's teaching me also and making me practice to be in the. Present moment. , since I do have quite a few patients and I'm quite busy I try to really not overdo and create this big protocol just because that's not who I am.
I'm a snake in Chinese medicine. Snakes just wiggling through their way, likethey are hiding kind of thing.so with my personality and with my constitution, this works well for me and I hope I can stay healthy that way
Pascal: yeah. That's get to know. And Here's a good question as well.
as the last one when it comes to physical pain and illness, is it possible to bring the body back into balance with TCM and herbs alone? Or is there a point of no return when the body becomes too sick and modern medical integrations, interventions are the only way Now I have a follow up question to that.
Leni: Yeah, it's. Yeah, this is a very interesting question because we see x-rays where joints are deformed and people are not in pain and we see x-rays of perfectly fine joints and people are in pain. . And it depends, I have to say it depends how damaged the body is. I do have patients that live with chronic
pain Because of many surgeries of many accidents and also because of their constitution and there we manage pain to the best ability with herbs, with acupuncture, with tuning forks, with cranial sacral therapy and so on. But I also find that the more we are practicing that body mind spirit connection the more space we create in our meridians and when our meridians are open our tissues going to be nourished with Chi and blood, and that then reduces pain.
So Old Chinese saying, you've heard me say that many times, Pascal, that Chi through no pain, chi no through painright? so with acupuncture, we. can Promote the flow of chi in the regular, in the 12 regular meridians and the eight extraordinary meridians. We can do that with lifestyle and with the commitment of the patient to integrate spaciousness inside of the body with meditation, with not working too much, not working too little withregulating the emotions with looking at the virtues and the medicines we are carrying inside.
I believe we can reduce a lot of pain, a lot of pain, and sometimes I'm just, sharing my own story I had a climbing accident when I was 17 and after 35 years, and I broke the head of my femur. And after 35 years, I was in excruciating pain for. Almost 10 years where then, and I tried everything and I decided on getting a hip replacement, which I did in 2016 where Western medicine was shining.
And it was absolutely shining. So sometimes we need to make decisions that are helping us to repair somethingeven. So I would say the body is not a car , but at the same time, there is this concept of we, are in 2022. Now and we have modern medicine that is helping. But along that 10 year of pain, I've done a lot of inner cultivation, a lot of learning about myself, learning about my ancestors, learning about my personality, my soul, my body, mind spirit connection.
And that helped me, I think, to recover really well from that hip surgery, which I pass on to all the patients that come, can you prepare me for my hip surgery? It's like emotions in there. You got to look at it.yeah, so pain is a interesting subject. Pain is a great topic to talk about and pain is your master.
That will also be a healer.
Pascal: Yeah. And the two different perspectives on how often the Eastern Western. They complement each other, like my friend one of my friends went to cancer a few years ago and he was like, I was so grateful for the Western medical system, because it's really good at saving my life basically.
And yeah, I think both work together there's. an do you think there's a bit of a yin and yang quality to the Western and Eastern medicine? Or is that, would you say the Western is a bit more yang and the Eastern is a bit more yin or is that not really a thing?
Leni: I think I don't know.
I don't know. That's let me think about of course everything is yin and yang and there's always yin with a yang and yang within yin. Chinese medicine can be extremely. yang. Think about the herb foods, which is an agonizing, which is the root of the monkshood And it's like the hottest herb you can ever imagine.
It's the yangest herb you can think of. so , there's always a yin and a yang side within everything. The Western medicine has a more scientific approach. And the Eastern medicine now slowly but surely it's also scientifically proven, but it also puts into the consideration that the body is alive and it's not a cadaver.
And it also puts into the consideration that our emotions are influencing our health and our body, which is really hard to measure. is really hard to measure. And so it's really difficult to . Yeah. We are starting to accept placebo, the effect of placebo. So I think eventually I hope they will merge together.
I hope so.
Pascal: Cool, that maybe we can all elevate into higher consciousness and dissipate into the light together.
Leni: That'd be nice.
Pascal: It is. Thank you so much Leni for discussing with us today and sharing some of your wisdom. Love to have you on again, to talk more about these things and the Eastern perspective on psychedelics and integration.
And in the meantime I'll invite everyone to stay tuned for the next episode where we'll be talking to my best friend, David Gomez, who is a mindfulness teacher, although he wouldn't like to call himself a teacher, he is a teacher. And he'll have some interesting perspectives to share on mindful integration and living life everyday as a ceremony.
So thank you very much for tuning in and stay tuned for more. Thank you, everyone. Take care.
Leni: Thank you.