Synaesthetic Sensing • Qi081

by Michael Max | With guest, Brandt Stickley

Perceiving and sensing are not the same. It might seem that the stream of information coming in through our senses arrives passively. But further investigation proves this incorrect. And in fact our perceiving not only is an active process, but can become richer, deeper, more nuanced and integrated when we actively bring our attention to help us sense more deeply into our work and interaction with others.

In this conversation we explore how sensing and aesthetics help us to better connect with our patients and ourselves. How perception moves through the six levels. And how non-dual states of awareness change what is an “effective action” with our patients.


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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • How Brandt got started with Chinese medicine
  • Synaesthetic = synesthesia + aesthetic
  • Developing our sensory capacity
  • The role of elegance in sensing and treatment
  • Discovering Tung acupuncture
  • Cultivating the ability to witness simultaneous sensory streams
  • A unique view of de qi
  • The process of perception expressing through the six confirmations
  • Open, close, pivot
  • The ability to gentle hold paradox
  • An interesting twist on what seems like a classic shaoyang pattern
  • Meditation is essential in the development of the synesthetic sense
  • Investigating what happens when we take nouns and see them as verbs
  • How to avoid getting lost in your own imagination
  • Doing nothing is the appropriate activity in the non-dual

Genius is not what we are, it is something we discover. If we pay close enough attention, each of us can discover an incredible genius that can guide our work with patients. We owe it to our patients to do that work, and we have the living being of the Classical texts, like the Shang Han Lun, to show us the way. 


Brandt Stickley, L.Ac
I was extremely fortunate to discover my teacher's first book, Dragon Rises Red Bird Flies, in the first few weeks of starting acupuncture school over twenty years ago. It was the discovery of my life's work, and I have been fascinated to travel down the path that it laid out before me.  Shortly thereafter, at the suggestion of Dr. Robert Johns, I began studying Shen-Hammer pulse diagnosis with Brian LaForgia, and Dr. Leon Hammer.  Now it was as though I was tracing the Ariadne's thread into my own evolution with my very fingers.  It was through the incredible gift of making contact with patients' experiences that I began to seek a therapeutic system as profound, as deep, as sophisticated and as utterly beautiful as the pulse.  It was around that time that I heard the voice of Zhang Zhong-Jing whispering in my ear. And so I have devoted myself to seeking an understanding of the Shang Han Lun ever since. 

What I have discovered in the Shang Han Lun is a means to understand that there is only one pathology in all of Chinese medicine.  One is either flowing with, or flowing against the unfolding of the numinous.  Through the interaction of stress and terrain, one can see how that stress interacts with the varied terrains of human experience, with the influence of various registers of time, embodied in space, and given direction.  All of my work involves attempting to join with the infinitely creative, self-regulating, autopoietic manifestation of Life in order to preserve Life, and alleviate suffering. 

I do most of that in Portland Oregon, through my work at NUNM's College of Classical Chinese Medicine. 


Links and Resources

Visit Brandt's website
Dragon Rises Portland gives you access to Shen-Hammer pulse practitioners

 

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