David R Martin, MD has a longstanding interest in human potentials, healing, and human development. He studied systems theory and neurosciences at Dartmouth, M.I.T. and Harvard Medical School, then turned his attention from biological systems to the development of the consciousness of individuals and groups and its relationship to level of functioning and health. He is grateful to have found living lineages of practice that develop the consciousness, the presence and the sensing capacities of the practitioner in the service of the same in the client. His practice is based in Seattle since 1996.
Western Science and Medicine
I studied Mathematics, Physics and Engineering as an undergraduate, followed by a year of graduate work in the same, all at Dartmouth College. My medical training was in a joint program between Harvard Medical School and M.I.T.. Post-graduate Internship and Residency in Family Medicine were at Oregon Health Sciences University. Academic Fellowship (Robert Wood Johnson) at the University of Washington. Seven years of clinic- and hospital-based practice followed at Group Health Cooperative.
Classical Five-Element Acupuncture
I studied in the Worsley tradition, apprenticing with Dirk Hein, and continuing studies with Khosrow Khalighi and with J. R. Worsley and J. B. Worsley. I graduated with a diploma from the Wu Hsing school in 1996 and am a NCCAOM Diplomate in Acupuncture.
Five-element acupuncture (5EA) is quite different from that of the much more well-known and widespread forms of what is called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Training focuses to a much greater degree on opening the senses of the practitioner, so that he or she may directly experience the energetic constitution of the client as it is manifests in color, odor, sound of the voice, emotion, and feel of the skin, and thereby receive directly what it is that the client needs. Treatment is primarily directed at bringing balance and vitality to the client’s overall energetic equilibrium, rather than treating on the symptom or syndrome level. Five-element acupuncture gets at the root of the disequilibrium and is effective on the spiritual, mental and emotional levels, as well as the physical.
My principal qigong teacher has been Xu Mingtang of ZY Qigong, from whom I received certification to teach.
ZY Qigong is distinguished by focusing primarily on the development of the Dantian (energy centers), starting with the Lower, by using practices that increase the energy of the centers and refine them, naturally leading (for many) to the development of the central channel and to healing abilities, as well as to personal health and well-being. There is much less of a focus on prescribed sequences of movements than in many forms of qigong.
A graduate of the training program of the Physicians’ Association for Anthroposophic Medicine, I participated for a number of years as a member of the Galen Group, the care group for students needing special attention at the Seattle Waldorf School. In my practice, I draw upon the anthroposophic medicine perspective in special cases, finding some of the anthroposophic remedies to be particularly valuable.
Enneagrams of Personality and of Process
I first received enneagram of personality teachings in 1987 from Sister Mary Helen Kelley, O.S.C. (who was in the line of Naranjo originating from Ichazo). Upon first hearing them, these teachings had the powerful effect of triggering a ongoing process of self-observation that has continued to lead to more spaciousness and freedom.
I began working with the enneagram in groups that same year. It was illuminating to observe the spaciousness this afforded the group, in the sense of each member having more self-awareness and more room for others to be fundamentally different and the group having a deeper sense of union due to a clearer sense of the work that we all in together.
I taught the enneagram in the Diamond Heart School in Seattle in the early to mid 90’s, and I continue to use it in my consulting practice and in facilitation.
I also have participated in developing an approach to the Enneagram of Process as applied to business teams and other intentional groups, which we have come to call the Enneagram of Synergy℠. This is derived from the work of Richard Knowles and his predecessors, Anthony Blake and J.G Bennet, in the line of G.I. Gurdjieff, and it is deeply informed by our felt sense of the published enneagrams of Oscar Ichazo. We find it to be an extraordinarily alive and effective guide to group process.
Focusing is a method of attending with spacious awareness to the as-yet-implicit bodily felt sense of a situation. Continuing with kind, clear and spacious attention to this felt sense leads to the fluid emergence of more explicit understanding and organic forward movement. As a method, it was developed by Eugene Gendlin, some 50 years ago, and it is receiving international recognition. The ability to be in relationship to the preconceptual sense of one’s feelings and understanding about a situation is key to being able to really change.
I first learned of Focusing through Rose and Arnie Katz. I received certification from the International Focusing Institute as a Focusing Trainer through the program of Jeffrey Morrison (himself a student of Ann Weiser Cornell and Shirley Turcotte and Russell Delman).
I see myself as a member of the Shared Field school within the wider Focusing community. I offer courses in Focusing and find it to be very useful both in individual and in group work.
Life-Nourishing Communication (LiNC)
A body-based approach to Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (NVC).
I trained with Marshall and others in NVC and have taught it individually and to groups, some convoked specifically for communication training, some in schools and spiritual communities. Over the years, I have integrated NVC with Focusing for a more body-based approach; I offer courses in LiNC and find it to be very useful both in individual and in group work.
Using Felt Sense interpretation (see Focusing, above), working with dreams is integral to my private practice. I often find dreams to be a rich source of guidance regarding the currents running beneath the surface. Also, spending time with dreams is an ideal context to invite and nurture body-based, rather than fixed conceptual, understanding.
One of my grounding entry points into the field of Western Philosophy is Eugene Gendlin’s Philosophy of the Implicit. Gendlin is an heir to the American Pragmatists and the Existentialists and has moved the conversation forward to a more fully human, embodied, experiential understanding. For an example, see his Thinking Beyond Patterns: Body, Language, and Situations. Or a good introduction to his work is here. Wikipedia entry is here. One of the effects of Gendlin’s approach is a capacity to get into and allow the unfolding of the mindset of the philosopher or school of philosophy being studied, rather than just criticizing it from the perspective of a different viewpoint.
The other primary entry point for me, this time into world philosophy, is the work of Oscar Ichazo, the author of the Enneagrams applied to the structure of the human psyche and the method of how to use them to highest purpose. See his Wikipedia entry here and the website of the Arica School that he founded here.
I also appreciate the work of Rudolf Steiner in speaking to his understanding of the nature of the evolving human consciousness out of which different philosophies and spiritual perspectives originated. And, though a novice in the subject, I appreciate the writings of certain Eastern philosophers, such as Dignaga and Dharmakirti, because of the way that they consciously address the need to meet readers of different levels and structures of consciousness with different arguments.