Workshops and Preconceptions

Hi there internet people,

I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop last weekend, held by my mentor Alan Jansson. This workshop was aimed at helping students and practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medical acupuncture learn more about Japanese acupuncture. It was pitched at an introductory level (so basic that even I could help with some of the demonstrations :-)

Wouldn't you know it, I learned a lot! As someone who has spent over two years immersing myself in Japanese acupuncture theory and practice, I didn't anticipate any suprises. I am glad to be wrong on that score.

Alan's way of teaching and practicing the medicine has evolved more than I imagined it could have in the short time I have been away. For instance, I was shocked to discover that my understanding of a very basic and frequently-used needling technique was flat-out wrong.... gulp...  glad someone told me sooner rather than later.

It's had me thinking a lot about preconceptions in my practice. This week I have been noticing more and more the little things I have been assuming, the premature conclusions I find myself reaching for... the ways my brain's desire for order can lead me to ignore a crucial but inconveniently "messy" piece of diagnostic data.

In my daily meditation practice, I have sought "mushin" or "no-mind". To quiet the chatter of my socially-learned self. More importantly, to see things just as they are, without desire or aversion. I clearly have a long way to go, though!

Big gratitude to Alan for reminding me of this.

Stay well,

Adam McIntosh