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Medicine of the Yellow Woman Go-Between 1


“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving…”2

There is a natural and necessary space which allows for continuity of movement and change, like the space between one gear and another or like the space between atoms, stars, and planets. Without the gap/space, fluidity of movement is limited or stopped and possibilities diminished. Perhaps for a moment, or for a very long while.

When experiencing the territory of gaps in life it can be uncomfortable, disorienting, terrifying, and exciting. A known way of life no longer exists, and what is next is not yet clear. Chaos, confusion, and all manner of shadow material can obscure clarity. Yet this space of ‘in-between’ is infinitely powerful and necessary to creating new life.

There is a time for action- for doing- and when all that can be done has been done, one must wait, stay alert, and be present until the spark of what is next emerges to show the way. In order to ‘center’ the chaos of change, it is necessary to tend this delicate place with patience, compassion, and fierce commitment to ourselves- to truth- to mystery- to life itself. This sacred container is where a new center of gravity- a new possibility- around which one’s being or life is able to orient, crystalize, and emerge.

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Everywhere Gateway


Within each acupuncture point there exists a dynamic, poetic, living mystery of potential. The potency within each point is enlivened and activated through intention and the meditative openness of the moment. While each point has a known function and meaning, the deeper meaning and possibility contained within the points come fully alive through presence and surrender.

Evocative names combined with the physical location of the acupuncture points give us clues about the mythology and function inherent to a particular point. For instance, some of the acupuncture points have the word ‘gate’ in their name like Dark Gate, Chapter Gate, Gate of Hope, Wind Gate, Golden Gate, and many more.

Gate points offer ways to bridge the inner and outer, above and below, heaven and earth. They can also enter and exit and access a particular state or quality of being- setting into motion a full spectrum of energetic and physical possibilities. The use of an acupuncture point as a prescribed gate is incredibly useful when one’s natural integrity has become stuck or fractured at some level, and cannot find a way to return to health- to wholeness.

Points like Inner Frontier Gate and Outer Frontier Gate, on the pericardium and triple warmer meridians respectively, work together as part of the fire element. The pericardium buffers the heart and allows intimacy and connection in relationships and in the body, carrying messages from the heart like a loving embrace reaching through the connective tissue of blood vessels to the body tissues and organs. The triple warmer, being less of a physical structure, is known to connect upper, middle and lower areas of the body through the interstitial spaces, regulating waterways and temperature. Here, in these spaces, the triple warmer is able to help metabolize and circulate passion, warmth, and joy out into the world, like warming flames reaching out to warm and enliven all within reach. Together these two gate points offer a way to harmonize and move fluidly between the vast pristine inner wilderness of the heart and soul, and the external wilderness of the physical world and cosmos.


Mysterious Pass


By watching Fabienne Verdier1 paint, it is possible to enter the contemplative and meditative space from which she works in a palpable way. Spontaneous movement embodied as the moment emerges through her being- through the brushes, paint, the forces of nature, and elements around her. She says, “When I paint a tree, I become a tree, when I paint water I become water. The same with tectonic forces. It’s something self-generating. I feel it powerfully in my heart. It comes out in an abstract form.”

Like in the teachings of Taoist sages, she too is engaged in the practice of emptiness creating itself. Such practices require silence and solitude, enough to create a highly receptive state where one can begin to truly hear. Fabienne says, “you hear your inner voice, sometimes the inner voice of clarity itself. I don’t know, it’s a great mystery.”

I see many parallels in Fabienne’s practice as a painter to the practice of a practitioner of Chinese Medicine. In the treatment room with a patient, together we open to possibility- to emptiness- to mystery-to the forces of nature- to the elements- with a shared intention, and then we see what ‘wants’ to happen. When this inquiry engages and moves with the tools of Chinese Medicine, something new is able to emerge- bringing change and creating space as nourishing ground for the spontaneous arising of harmony, clarity, and wholeness embodied. True healing is a mystery- moving away from the known toward the unknown in a dance of moving stillness and stillness moving.