This post is dedicated to the memory of my sweet sweet RosiePosie, the biggest most royal most beautiful dog I will get to know in this lifetime. She was ready to go and left us very peacefully two days ago, with my daughter and me holding her tight, after a last beach walk with laughter and a bath in the ocean and treats of chocolate and cheese.Read More
This blog is a collection of ruminations, translations, and personal opinions by Sabine and some guest authors. Reflecting my own personality, some posts are academic, some clinical, and some personal, some are excerpts from existing books and some may become part of future books. Please leave comments with feedback, questions, constructive criticism, and differences of opinion as long as you argue your reasons for disagreement logically. Any personal attacks, uncivil remarks, or self-promoting comments will be deleted.
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An explanation for the strange title of my new book “Humming with Elephants”:
As a whole, the Great Treatise on the Resonant Manifestations of Yīn and Yáng discusses the correlations and correspondences, or in my favorite translation “resonances” (yìng 應), between the actions and movements of Yīn and Yáng in the macrocosm of nature at large and in the human body and an infinity of other larger and smaller microcosms, from the cells to plants and animals to society and the stars in the sky. Without going into too much detail here, I would like to suggest that what English-speaking scholars of philosophy, science, and medicine have been referring to as “correlative thinking” or as the “theory of systematic correspondences” deserves a stronger and more concise term to describe this relationship of “stimulus and response/resonance” gǎn yìng 感應.Read More
Here is an excerpt from the introduction to my forthcoming publication Humming with Elephants: A Translation and Discussion of the Great Treatise on the Resonant Manifestations of Yīn and Yáng (Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen, Chapter Five).Read More
Guest blog by Z'ev Rosenberg from his brandnew Returning to the Source: Han Dynasty Medical Classics in Modern Clinical Practice: "The essential first three chapters of the Huang di nei jing Su wen set the stage for the core principles of Chinese medicine. These opening chapters contain the compass of life and medicine; the text reveals the equations that allow us to see how far we've deviated from the principles of life. As Wang Bing explains in his commentary of Chapter 3 in the Su wen:...Read More
February 16, 2018 is the start of the Chinese Year of the Yellow Dog. This is a Yang Earth Year, which will bring much more stability, with a few notable exceptions. The Elements are Yang Earth on top of Earth, which means that they harmonize with each other. So, overall, it is will be a much calmer year and may sometimes even seem boring. But there is a Chinese saying that “Boredom is good luck, because you have choices!” After two fiery years, it is time to exhale and take in a deep breath to regroup.Read More
Inspired by my dear friend Lillian Pearl Bridges and her yearly choice of a Spiritual Action, I have been contemplating my own path. As I am beginning to prepare for a retreat on Virtue Healing in a few weeks, my head and heart are much concerned with the traditional Chinese Five Virtues 五德 or Five Constancies 五常:...All of these are obviously much needed these days, both in my personal life and in the universe at large, and I will spend as much energy as I can find in myself on cultivating each one of these. Nevertheless, I found it impossible to settle on a single one of these. Instead this morning, as I was getting ready to see my beloved daughter off to college a long day's drive away, it came to me...Read More
It is not just because I am also a farmer with dirt under my nails that the “Divine Farmer’s Classic of Materia Medica” (Shén Nóng Běncǎo Jīng 神農本草經) has always been one of my favorite books. As a critical historian and teacher of classical Chinese medicine, I firmly believe this little book to be one of the most important, foundational texts of this medicine that I love so dearly and have dedicated my life to. For this reason, I produced a bilingual literal translation of this text last year and continue to promote this text and its teachings to anybody who will listen. Whether you are a practicing physician or pharmacist, a fellow “herb head” and plant lover, a historian of early Chinese culture and natural science, or just curious about one of the most ancient texts from early Chinese literature, you may enjoy listening to what the Divine Farmer has to say.Read More
This post is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, Humming with Elephants," a translation with commentaries and discussion of the "Great Treatise on the Resonant Manifestations of Yin and Yang (Su Wen 5). My translation of the passage is followed by a brief discussion and translations of relevant commentaries and quotations. Warning: This is a pretty technical passage.
Source text from the end of Suwen 5:
As such, practitioners who are skilled at using needles [observe the following guidelines:] from the Yīn guide the Yáng, from the Yáng guide the Yīn; by the right treat the left, by the left treat the right; from their own [experience] know the other; and from the exterior know the interior. By [thus] contemplating the underlying pattern of excesses and insufficiencies [in the patient’s body], they see the subtle [signs] and obtain [control over] what is in excess. Their use [of needles] does not carry any risk!Read More
It seems we all need allies. The Lone Ranger had Silver, his faithful horse.
Davy Crockett had his coon-skin cap as well as his trusty rifle, Old Betsy.
Basho, Japan’s most famous poet, had the moon and a small boy I once saw
on the Moscow metro had a tiny hedgehog, which he kept in his pocket, but
brought out to stroke, much to the astonishment of his fellow passengers.
Maybe he reminded them of the value of friendship in an often hostile world.
Allies bring comfort, company and connection, a little personal touch of life
touching life that staves off that feeling of loneliness that seems such a
common undercurrent in people’s lives.