May - October 2012
A program designed to enable your freedom of study
by giving you the keys to reading the founding texts of Classical Chinese Medicine.
Taught by Sabine Wilms, Ph.D., one of today’s most prolific translator of the Chinese medical Classics, this class is a must for any serious student of Classical Chinese Medicine!
Cost: $1,200. (please review our cancellation policy)
Dates: 6 Saturdays from May to October 2012 , from 9 am – 6pm
Location: Between Heaven & Earth Acupuncture and Herbs, 8 Bolinas Road #3, Fairfax, CA.94930
Space is very limited to ensure the quality of the learning experience. To register or for more information, please call (415)250-8508 or email email@example.com, or mail a check made out to “Between Heaven & Earth” along with your personal information to P.O. Box 62, Woodacre, CA. 94973.
Detailed course description:
The primary goal of this seminar series is to gradually acquire the necessary skills, tools and knowledge to read classical Chinese medical literature in its original language, so that it can inform the participants’ clinical practice.
As part of this goal, we will learn the basics of Chinese language, including the history and structure of the characters, grammar, and medical terminology. As an outcome, the students will be able to read the Classics of Chinese medicine from the source text, so gaining insight into the complex meanings that are difficult to derive from translated versions, but are so crucial to inform clinical practice. Students will also learn to read translations critically and compare several translations alongside the source text in order to extract the most relevant clinical meaning, as well as to find the best and most accurate versions of source texts, both in print and on the internet.
The class will meet 6 whole days over the course of 6 months for a didactic lecture, translation work and discussion of the source texts. In addition, there will be reading and text preparation assigned in between class meetings to ensure an intensive and effective learning experience. Students must enroll for the entire series; these classes are not offered as stand-alone seminars.
The students should come away with the ability to decipher classical Chinese medical texts, and to explore their most appropriate meaning so as to inform their clinical practice in the richest, most relevant way possible.
CLASS 1: The basics of Classical Medical Chinese
This class will be an introduction to our study of classical medical Chinese. Sabine Wilms will introduce character structure and history and demonstrate how to use dictionaries and reference tools. This class will have a special focus on learning basic grammar and commonly used words such as certain medical characters, verbs and prepositions. In order to illustrate this information the students will translate and study select passages from The Great learning and the Zhuang Zi. Vocabulary and grammar assignments will be given for the next class.
CLASS 2: Five Phases & 6 Qi – Yin and Yang, the Table of 5 Correspondences, 6 Conformations
This class will continue to introduce basic grammatical concepts, while familiarizing the students with the language associated with Yin, Yang, the Table of Correspondences, including organs, orifices, flavors, tissues, seasons, colors, etc… The students will also learn the characters associated with the 6 Conformations and 6 Qi. These characters are the basic building blocks of Chinese medical literature and are bound to be encountered extremely frequently. Not only are they the essential beginning to reading the Classics, but understanding their etymology also offers much insight as to their physiological and cosmological functions. While memorizing these useful characters, the students will also broaden their understanding of classical physiology.
CLASS 3: Herbal Literature – Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing
In this class Sabine Wilms will introduce herbal literature through the study of the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing. Being that the descriptions of the herbs follow the same logical structure, the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing lends itself particularly well to the repetition needed by new learners. In addition to herb names, each entry lists a number of conditions which we will learn to recognize and understand, as well as the herb’s Qi and flavor. As such this class is the perfect continuation of class 2, since we will re-use the concepts apprehended then and add to them in the context of herbs and pathology. The students should be able to understand the basic structures of the entries, any particularities of the Chinese language in this context, recognize and read familiar characters, and be able to look up any new ones. Sabine and the students will discuss how understanding characters describing medical conditions in the context of the listed Qi and flavors, and sometimes the name of the herb, can inform us as to the etiology of the condition.
CLASS 4: Formulary Literature – Jin Gui Yao Lue with Commentaries
This class will introduce the students to formulary literature with one of the most pivotal works of the Han dynasty: the Jin Gui Yao Lue. Having familiarized themselves with herbs, students will now learn how to read more complex sentences describing signs and symptoms and their etiology, as well as the formulae and their cooking instructions. In addition, for each of the selected clauses Sabine will also introduce relevant classical commentaries in order to familiarize her students to later literature on the same topic.
CLASS 5: Chinese Medicine Theory: Nei Jing
After the relatively simple syntax of formulary literature, Sabine will devote this class to the more difficult, but crucial theoretical literature found in the Nei Jing. The Nei Jing uses special grammatical structures, very succinct and symmetrical, at times almost poetic. The aim of this class is to familiarize the students with the complex meanings of these structures, as well as with commonly encountered characters found in theoretical discourse. The Nei Jing is so succinct in its original text, that very few translations (if any) published to this date translate the full meaning and voluntary ambiguity of the source text. Many translations are interpretive at best. This introduction to reading the Nei Jing will provide the students with the ability to gain deep insights on the meaning of the text, which they would not be able to get from translation alone.
CLASS 6: Special interest in Chinese Medicine literature
This will be the final class of this series. During the 4th week, the class as a whole will have decided on topics for this last class, based on their clinical needs and interests. Some of Sabine’s suggestions are:
- Sun Simiao’s essay on ghost points
- Physical cultivation: The Guanzi chapter on Inner Cultivation
- Nurturing the Fetus: From early Han manuscripts to 10th century Japan.
- Moxibustion and Acupuncture instructions in the Zhen Jiu Da Cheng.
- The Pulse Classic
- The Tang Ye Jing
Students will be provided with tools and ideas for further study. It is likely that we will offer a second series of classes for those wishing to deepen their study.
Biography: Sabine Wilms, PhD.
After high school and some undergraduate training in Germany, Sabine Wilms spent two years in Taiwan, studying modern and classical Chinese language and culture. She then moved to the US for her graduate studies and has lived there most of the time since. Sabine has been studying classical Chinese writings on medicine ever since her PhD program in Asian Studies and medical Anthropology. While her academic background has given her a solid foundation in early Chinese philosophy, science, and cosmology and therefore in a historically and culturally sensitive approach to classical Chinese medicine, she also enjoys an ethnomedical approach to Chinese medicine as a living, clinically effective, and ever-changing response to any given cultural environment. She focuses her research and teaching on gynecology, reproduction, and “nurturing life,” as understood in the broadest sense by the great medieval “King of Medicinals” Sun Simiao. Sabine is happiest when engaging in a dialogue with practitioners on how to make this ancient wisdom come alive in our modern times. Following in Sun Simiao’s footsteps, she currently divides her time between writing and lecturing on Chinese medicine and raising goats, poultry, bees, and apples on her small biodynamic farm in the mountains of Northern New Mexico.
Her publications include:
Pathomechanisms of the Five Viscera (translator, separate books on the Heart, Liver, Lung, Spleen, and Kidney, 2005-2007, Paradigm Publications);
Bei Ji Qian Jin Yao Fang, Essential Prescriptions worth a Thousand in Gold for Every Emergency: Volumes 2-4 on Gynecology (The Chinese Medicine Database, 2007);
Chinese Medicine in Infertility (co-edited with Andreas Noll; Thieme Publications, 2009);
The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Zhen Jiu Da Cheng, Volume 1 (The Chinese Medicine Database, 2010);
Formulas from the Golden Cabinet with Songs (The Chinese Medicine Database, 2010)
Jin Gui Yao Lue: Essential Prescriptions of the Golden Coffer (co-authored with Nigel Wiseman, forthcoming by Paradigm Publications).
Concise Introduction to Chinese Medicine (co-authored with Nigel Wiseman, forthcoming by Paradigm Publications).
Bei Ji Qian Jin Yao Fang, Essential Prescriptions worth A Thousand in Gold for Every Emergency: Volume 5 on Pediatrics (The Chinese Medicine Database, forthcoming in 2011).