The Independent Study Project at Ongiara College entails 360 hours of work over the course of 24 months.
“Project philosophy- A personal relationship with Nature (the Dao) and seasonal movements is a vital component of the inner cultivation of the practitioner, and essential for the practitioner as both health educator and diagnostician…”
Ongiara College course documentation
The bottom line- I was given the opportunity to immerse myself in classic texts (Neijing Suwen, Lingshu,Yueling, Liji and Lushi chunqiu) and then go out into Nature and find them. Could I see, hear, smell and touch it? Could I make the link between theory and practice? Between the past and the present?
Some might say this is nothing to do with acupuncture. That my time might be better spent studying the differentiation of syndromes according to the eight principles. No worries, I did that too.
My original presentation had nothing to do with blogging.
“Those who are good at speaking of heaven must have experienced it in man.”
“Heaven (tian) represents Nature, the movement of the four seasons, which are present in the entire life of each person. In our body is the same life that is in a tree or flower, or in the weather…If you understand that you must be in harmony with Heaven, you will practice clearly.”
The blog emerged as I drove towards Toronto to join friends for Christmas. One could chalk it up to the alchemical combination of swirling snow, Harry Manx and diesel fumes (my muffler did fall off on the Gardiner Expressway). Or the delights of two years ferreting out the secrets and wonders of the Dao as it manifests in Western NY and Ontario. At any rate, the blog allows me to carry on my own independent study project, long after the scrutiny and assessment of my teachers and peers.
“Those who are good at speaking of antiquity must have made the junction with the present.”
“The most famous commentator on this passage says that antiquity is the mirror for the present time, and if you cannot see how one applies to the other, then you are only able to apply recipes without real understanding.“
It was the Five Elements that first lured me into acupuncture. But is the juxtaposition of ancient wisdom and modern practice, the rhythms of Nature and its manifestation in the ten thousand beings, that has become my passion.
“Those who are good at speaking of men must be satisfied with themselves.”
“…You just have to do your best, very quietly, and then let go…just try without tension every day to become what you are, let the life of the spirit grow in you, and bring this to every part of your work.”
And I hope readers of this blog will appreciate, as I do, the academic program at Ongiara College that opened the door for this project.
Quotes in orange are from The Practitioner Patient Relationship: Wisdom from the Chinese Classics by Claude Larre and Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallee