Brendan Kelly

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3 Ways to Promote Personal Health & Ecological Well-Being

As I sit down to write this, looking out the window from my house in northern Vermont, we’ve recently transitioned into spring. But unlike many other past transitions out of winter, this year’s change isn’t from cold, snow, and ice into more warmth, sunshine, and the green of new grass. While the temperature is increasing alongside the first signs of new growth in our yard, we’ve just finished what many people are calling the “winter that wasn’t.” Rather than the cold, sub-zero temperatures we’re accustomed to here in New England, this winter has been unseasonably warm. We’ve had a few cold days over the past few months but we’ve also have long stretches well above freezing, with temperatures reaching over 50 degrees during what is often the coldest part of winter. We’ve also had some snow this winter but much less than usual. One Vermont ski mountain was only open 45…

The Yin and Yang of Cancer and Climate Change

Almost all of what we hear about cancer comes from our usual western perspective. Things like how smoking can increase the likelihood of developing the condition and how eating vegetables can reduce the chances. However, if we look at cancer from a different view, we begin to see that what’s happening within us is also happening in the world around us. According to the American Cancer Society, for those of us now living in the U.S., one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer. And one in four men and one in five women will die from the condition. With a population of about 310 million, that’s 125 million cancer diagnoses and 72 million deaths. Along with these extraordinary rates of cancer, there are voluminous amounts of data that demonstrates clearly that the climate is destabilizing. For several decades, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate…

The Yin and Yang of Lyme Disease and Climate Change

Our usual Western view of the world teaches us separation. Medically, we’re taught to believe that each organ is separate from the others and that the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of our lives are distinct. We’re also encouraged to see ourselves as separate from the people and the world around us. The long history of Chinese medicine offers us a different view—one of interconnection. From an Eastern view, all of our organs are connected and the different parts of our lives are woven together into a whole. Likewise, we are part of the human and ecological communities surrounding us. For several thousand years, Chinese medicine has understood that what happens on a large scale is a reflection of what occurs on a smaller scale, and vice versa. Similar to a modern Western understanding of holograms, where each small part of the picture contains the entire image, Eastern medicine recognizes…

Adding Fuel to the Fire: Why Climate War Is Not the Answer

The metaphors we use speak to our assumptions about the world. Whether we’re addressing a diagnosis like cancer or the condition of our rapidly warming planet, speaking about waging warfare can seem like an important—even heroic—way to rally people to the cause. But seeing the condition of our cells and the state of the climate in terms of conflict does little to encourage us to look at the bigger issues that affect our internal well-being and the root issues of climate change. Author, environmentalist, and fellow Vermonter Bill McKibben just had an article published in the New Republic. He urges us to see melting ice caps, the recent historic flooding in Louisiana, and the myriad of other issues of climate change as a war that we’re losing. As he mentions and as I write about, we see other issues as requiring a similar approach to inspire commitment and marshal resources…

Yoga, Yin and Climate Change

Does Body Health Echo Our Planet’s Climate Crisis? What’s happening within us is intimately connected to what’s happening around us. Rather than being two separate issues, our health and the well-being of the planet is the same issue happening on different scales. With the climate crisis that now confronts us, internal practice like yoga are crucial to addressing the root issues of our rapidly warming planet. Our usual western view encourages us to see the world through the lens of separation where what happening to us personally is distinct from what’s happening ecologically. From a more holistic, eastern perspective, we can see that what’s happening within us is mirrored in what’s happening around us. Several decades of climate science demonstrate conclusively that the planet is warming. There is a continuous stream of news stories about how global warming is creating droughts, floods and more severe storms. There’s also research that…

The Gary Null Show – 04.14.16 Featuring Brendan Kelly from Personal As Ecological

Gary introduced his guest, Brendan Kelly. Here is Brendan’s bio: Brendan Kelly is the co-founder of Jade Mountain Wellness center in Burlington Vermont where he currently has a Chinese medical practice established. For the past 25 years Brendan has been nationally involved in environmental issues, lecturing on Chinese medicine, Western herbalism, personal health, climate change and sustainable lifestyles, including at the University of Vermont, Yale, Goddard and other universities. He also teaches at Johnson State College and the Academy of Five Element Acupuncture. Brendan is the author of the recent “Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis: Healing Personal, Cultural and Ecological Imbalance with Chinese Medicine”, which explores the underpinning imbalances that exist between our own busy modern lives and the outer effects of climate change due to anthropocentric causal factors based upon the principles of Chinese medicine and philosophy.  His websites are PersonalAsEcological.com and JadeMtWellness.com Video: Smoke And Fumes: An…

The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis Review by William Martin

Here’s an enthusiastic review of The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis by William Martin, author of The Activist’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for a Modern Revolution. The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis: Guest Post by William Martin “I am familiar with the overwhelming data over the past fifty years that makes the idea of “debating climate change” much like holding a town hall forum on the possibility that the earth is round and that gravity may pull things downward… I found it therefore a welcome relief to sink into the single most helpful book I’ve come across in twenty years of reading on this theme. Brendan Kelly’s marvelous book, The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis, blends a clear-eyed understanding of the extreme dangers we face as an out-of-control materialistic society, with a rational understanding of the traditional practice of Chinese medicine that results in a serious but profoundly optimistic perspective on the future…

Vermonter Says Halting Global Warming Begins At Home

Even the most committed environmentalist might consider a book titled “The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis” to be “out there.” But its author, Vermonter Brendan Kelly, is confident as he points to his person and explains how it starts “in here.” Brendan Kelly is a Burlington acupuncturist and Chinese medicine specialist. Courtesy photo “Virtually everything we hear about climate change is from our usual, Western perspective,” he says. “Most of the discussion about the crisis of global warming focuses on external issues: calls to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration, buy and eat locally, and challenge continuous economic growth.” Kelly doesn’t contest the science, commending fellow Vermonter Bill McKibben for writing the first book about global warming for a general audience a quarter-century ago. But the Burlington acupuncturist and Chinese medicine specialist is focused less on treating outer symptoms than on targeting their inner causes. “If we were…

From the introduction of The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis: Healing Personal, Cultural and Ecological Imbalance with Chinese Medicine

  Often we’re like fish in water. Because it’s continuously all around them, there are stories about how fish aren’t able to recognize the environment in which they live. For us, rather than not seeing the water all around us, we’re often unable to see the assumptions that shape our lives. How we see the world affects everything. It influences what we do, what we value, and how we define a good life. It is also the basis of our cultural institutions, including our economy, our medical system, and modern sciences like biology. Like fish in water, we’re swimming in a sea of assumptions that are everywhere and affect all parts of our lives. Because they are all around us and permeate throughout our culture, we often accept without question our shared beliefs. It is these assumptions and our views of the world that are the deeper causes of our…

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