Awakening Authentic Presence Course

Last spring I graduate from a three-year program that is part of the 3-Doors Academy.   Marcy Vaughn is one of my teachers and mentors from that program.  I can’t tell you how beautiful and rich her presence is.  I am so pleased that she is coming to Massachusetts to teach this course.  These precious teachings have made a huge positive difference for me in my personal as well as professional life. So read on and let me know if you have any questions.  You can also read about this and register from this link.


Awakening Authentic Presence:

Meditations with Voice and Silence

A 4-day residential meditation retreat with Marcy Vaughn

February 4-7, (arrival and dinner, evening of February 3,  2016)
The Center for Cultural Evolution
68 Van Nuys Road ~ Colrain, MA

Resting our attention on the stillness of the body, inner silence, and the spaciousness of being, we connect with the source of healing and creativity within. Sitting in circle, in fellowship with other practitioners, you will be guided to enter and abide in the sacred architecture of the channels and chakras within your body. Resting your attention in each energetic center and journeying into that center with sound and silence, you are supported to release and rest, to allow your experience fully, and to honor any injuries that need tending. As the sacred space of your being opens while resting in the power and warmth of the collective presence of others, the emergence of healing qualities and a freshness of vision can arise to inspire and guide your life. Awareness is embodied as your authentic presence spontaneously emerges.

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Tiny Formulas: Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang

licorice_root-gan_caoLicorice and Ginger Decoction (gān cǎo gān jiāng tāng) is a most useful tiny formula to understand.  I hope readers take some time with this post so that this a real relationship with this little building block of so many formulas can sink in.  In another post, this formula is mentioned as part of the formula Cinnamon Twig, Poria, Schisandra, and Licorice Decoction, remove cinnamon, add Ginger, Asari, and Pinellia (guì líng wǔ wèi gān cǎo qu gui jia jiang xin xia tāng).  Although the proportions are different, the two herbs, Gan Cao and Gan Jiang are in many formulas such as Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang, Gan Cao Xie Xin Tang, Si Ni Tang, Li Zhong Wan and many more.  Below we see that Pao Jiang is sometimes used in place of Gan Jiang when there is bleeding.  This combination can be seen in the formula Sheng Hua Tang (click to read a post on this formula). Many formulas include Sheng Jiang and Gan Cao.  It is not uncommon in my practice to substitute Gan Jiang for Sheng Jiang in certain formulas such as Wen Jing Tang, thereby integrating the ideas of Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang. Continue reading

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Another Small Formula: Zhi Shi Shao Yao San

pr-hx0081bWow, it’s Autumn here in New England and it’s been a year since I last posted on this blog!  I now have a blog challenge going with Eran Even so I’m motivated!

I’m continuing by revisiting the long lost series on tiny formulas from the Shang Han Lun and Jin Gui Yao Lue.  I believe that it is extremely important to know and understand the tiny formulas because they are the building blocks of bigger formulas.   I’ve explained how understanding small formulas helps us understand the power of larger formulas, using Wen Jing Tang as the example in this lecture.  (You have to have a free account and login to medigogy to view this).

The next tiny formula, made up of just two herbs taken with barley gruel, is:

Zhi Shi Shao Yao San

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Growing Chinese herbs organically in the US

Hu zhang photo Sally Rappeport

Hu zhang photo Sally Rappeport

Guest Post by Sally Rappeport

More frequently than ever before our patients express concerns about pesticides in the herbs we sell to them. As practitioners we need to both educate ourselves and support various efforts that counteract these concerns. In China, regulations are slowly emerging but perhaps not as quickly or as effectively as we might prefer.

In the US, there are several farming endeavors that are being established around this country that are expanding the scope of possibility for us to choose where we source our herbs.

More needs to happen, but as a practitioner who has been aware of these issues for 10 years, it is notable to see how much is in the ground at this time. Most significantly, these efforts will not be able to continue growing without our demand for the final products – the herbs.

Harvesting Huang Bai Photo Jean Giblette

Harvesting Huang Bai Photo Jean Giblette

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Tiny Formulas 4: Bàn Xià Gān Jiāng Sān

ganjiang.gif半夏干姜散证案Bàn Xià Gān Jiāng Sān (Pinellia and Dried Ginger Powder)

Bàn Xià Gān Jiāng Sān
Bàn Xià
Equal amounts
Gān Jiāng

Discussion from the 100 Case Studies from the Jin Gui Yao Lue:

“Dry retching and vomiting with vomiting of saliva” is due to stomach Yang deficiency with cold fluids gathered on the interior. Bàn Xià Gān Jiāng Sān is Xiǎo Bàn Xià Tāng with Gān Jiāng replacing Shēng Jiāng. The aim of Xiǎo Bàn Xià Tāng is to stop vomiting and scatter fluids and so it uses Shēng Jiāng. The aim of this formula is to treat deficiency cold of the stomach Qi and the principle aim is to warm the middle. This is why this formula uses Gān Jiāng. The formula is a powder that is boiled in water to increase its function of regulating the middle and stopping vomiting.

Frozen_LiquidChapter 17 of the Jin Gui Yao Lue discusses “Pulses, Patterns and Treatment of Vomiting, Hiccough and Diarrhea.”  Line 21 gives us the formula Bàn Xià Gān Jiāng Sān.  This is the 3rd formula to use just the two herbs Ginger and Pinellia.  It illustrates the difference between the use of Shēng Jiāng with Bàn Xià and Gān Jiāng with Bàn Xià.  In the earlier formulas, there is vomiting due to fluids in the stomach.  In this case the cold is more predominant, indicating the use of Gān Jiāng.  Of course, Shēng Jiāng and Bàn Xià are both warming themselves and the indications for their use together does include the presence of thin fluids, i.e. cold fluids, in the stomach.  So, what tells us that we should use Gān Jiāng instead of  Shēng Jiāng?  The clause itself gives us a clue:

“For dry retching, vomiting with counterflow, and droll foaming at the mouth, Bàn Xià Gān Jiāng Sānis indicated.”

hedy-bach-photography-x100-frozen-water-1Here, not only is there vomiting, there is also drool foaming at the mouth.  This shows us that the cold is more extreme.  In addition, there is dry retching.  Why dry?  When the fluids get cold enough, they freeze and this can cause dryness in the stomach.  The same patho-phyisology is apparent with the use of Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang for thirst.

From my own experience, there are a couple of other indications for using Gān Jiāng here: First, the presence of epigastric or abdominal pain that is better with warmth.  Secondly, when tapping the stomach area, one hears a hollow tympanic sound rather than a watery sound.  This sound often appears when the fluids have been frozen.

This combination of herbs is also found in the formulas Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang, Sheng Jiang Xie Xin Tang and Gan Cao Xie Xin Tang.  In these formulas Gān Jiāng is used to open the middle.  The pungent heat of Gān Jiāng is better at opening the blocked epigastric area than Shēng Jiāng would be.  In addition it works to balance the bitter cold ingredients in these formulas.

In general, we can say that Gān Jiāng melts frozen fluids, stops pain and opens the middle, while stopping upward rebellion of the stomach.

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How long will Dr. Feng video be available after class?

IMG_1481-150x150Dr. Feng will be teaching for 4 days in November.  This class will be live as well as live-streamed.  In addition, the class will be filmed and the video will be made available to participants for a full 5 months after the class.

This is really a most amazing opportunity.  Dr. Feng’s work clarifies and organizes the Shang Han Lun treatment strategies in the most helpful way I’ve yet to come across.  Of all the Classic Formula teachers I have studied with, and there have been quite a few, Feng Shi-Lun’s methods have had the most positive impact on my clinical abilities to date.  Dr. Feng’s interpreter is also a teacher in her own right and has a long term friendship and rapport with Dr. Feng which will add so much to the insight we gain and will make this weekend all the more fun.

For more information and to register go to

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Tiny Formulas 3: Xiǎo Bàn Xià Jia Fú Líng Tāng

FuLing1Our previous tiny formula posts were on formulas that are made up of Bàn Xià and Shēng Jiāng.  We learned that these formulas treat vomiting and cough and treat diseases such as stomach prolapse, vomiting in pregnancy, acute gastrointestinal inflammation and duodenal ulcer.  Shēng Jiāng is increased when there are more fluids.

In this next formula, Xiǎo Bàn Xià Jia Fú Líng Tāng, Fú Líng is added to  Xiǎo Bàn Xià Tāng.  How does the presentation change when Fú Líng is added.  Symptoms that appear in addition to the stomach rebellion symptoms are water rebellion symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, abdominal pulsations, inhibited urination and thirst without the desire to drink. Continue reading

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Date Correction for Dr. Feng’s Course!

closeup of a pencil eraser correcting an errorOops!  The dates for the course on Advanced Studies of the Classic Formulas are November 13-16.  It is a four-day course.  It is live as well as streamed and can be watched online after the course.

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News Flash! Feng Shi-Lun is coming!

Feng-Shi-Lun-Suzanne-picSave the Date!

White Pine Institute is so excited to announce an amazing seminar coming in November.   Professor Feng Shi-Lun, the primary disciple of the famous Dr. Hu Xi-Shu, is coming here to teach an advanced seminar on Classic Formulas of the Shang Han Lun.  This is an outstanding opportunity.  Not only will we have the benefit of Professor Feng Shi-Lun’s long experience, we also are so pleased that his student, Suzanne Robidoux, a teacher in her own right, is coming along as the interpreter.  There is a wonderful rapport and flow between the two of them

feng-shi-lunThe course will be held November 13-16, 2014.  It will be live as well as streamed live.  In addition, for students in other time zones and for students who may need to miss a day, the course will be filmed and available to registrants to view for 2 months after the close of the course.

Profesor Feng Shi-Lun’s approach to the classic formulas is extremely practical and helps us to mor precisely locate the level of our patient’s pathology and to identify the correct formula and modifications.  There is no doubt that practitioners will leave with enhanced clinical skills and effectiveness.

To find out more details about what will be covered in the course and to register, Click Here.

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Small Formulas 2: Shēng Jiāng Bàn Xià Tāng

There are some great teachings within the exploration of this next formula.  The ingredients, at first glance, seem to be exactly the same as Xiǎo Bàn Xià Tāng.  However, this formula uses the juice of ginger and, more importantly, has the opposite proportions from Xiǎo Bàn Xià Tāng.  Here there is double the ginger relative to the pinellia.  Xiǎo Bàn Xià Tāng has double the pinellia to the ginger.  So, what difference does this make?  To me, the lesson is – the more cold fluids there are in a stomach vomiting pattern, the more ginger you use.  If the fluids – meaning clear fluids like saliva or spittle – are abundant, use more ginger.  And, ginger juice is better for this than just fresh ginger.  The thicker or more diminished the fluids, the greater the proportion of Bàn Xià.   Continue reading

Posted in Classic Formulas, Ye Tian Shi | 1 Comment