Student Jude Nicholson

My great and late father, Paul, was a plant freak in his own right and gave to me my love of the natural and spiritual worlds. My mother tells me that I was conceived at Wind Cave National park in the Black Hills while the family was on a tent camping vacation. As it turns out I am the product of a rainy night, a wet sleeping bag, and the quickening of a Black Hills thunderstorm.

My family lived on the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota for about nine years where my father worked as a social worker.  He was a naturalist, gardener, spiritualist and great hunter. He provided our family with almost all of the food we ate, from organic vegetables to wild game. We made everything from scratch because we had to, so I learned a great deal about how the natural world of nourishment and biology works by hanging around the kitchen. When I was 6 and my brother 7, my father walked us down the street holding our hands and lectured us on Yin/Yang theory. I will never forget my first lesson on the law of cause and effect.

I grew into a member of the counterculture and spent my teens and early 20s exploring the world of natural foods and communal living. My father’s philosophy and my early life experiences opened me to my own responsibility to be of service, to accept and feel compassion for individuals in any culture, religion, race, sexuality, or economic strata and to understand that there are many planes of reality. I began to explore and expand my understanding of spiritual and metaphysical matters when I was about 14, and trust me, I looked for God everywhere so that I could feel comfortable in my own skin.

For the last 40 years, I have been experiencing life on the material plane in many capacities, as a musician, artist, comedian, student, restaurateur, business and accounting consultant, computer technician, gardener, financial fiduciary, stock broker/investment advisor, and entrepreneur. Everything that I have done in life has prepared me for what will come next, as long as I can intermittently return to awareness.

I have had darshan with some of the world’s greatest spiritual teachers and the most important lessons that I have learned are: I don’t need a guru, that we are all teachers, forgiveness of self and others is essential and that the path to enlightenment is an inside job. We are already that which we seek.

In early 2009, I opened Liferoot Acupuncture & Healing Arts, LLC, with my business partner who is an acupuncturist. I contributed a grounding force, business acumen, warm reception and beautiful surroundings. I initially enrolled in the East West Course early that year, which has been a circuitous journey for me. After I attended my first seminar in 2012, I knew that I had found my people and I am very grateful that Michael and Lesley express themselves so genuinely.  I am beginning practice as a clinical herbalist at the clinic and am planning to attend acupuncture school in the fall. I wish to expand my herbal practice and broadening my work with those who suffer in this age of enlightenment.  

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