Unique amongst philosophical systems the world over, only the Chinese have metal as an element. Why?
Born from deep in the earth, metal is hard and durable, yet it can be softened by fire and easily reshaped into new forms and it can be sharpened to a cutting edge. Where would Butcher Ding be without his ox-dismembering knife or Zhong Kui the exorcist without his demon-expelling sword? Where would we be without our fine qi-conducting needles to heal or the sea captain without his delicate compass needle to guide him? Where would Daoist temples be without their bronze cauldrons for offerings to the ancestors or the internal alchemist without the transformative cauldrons of the three dan tian in the belly, chest and head? Our associations with metal are often utilitarian and mundane, lacking the sense of richness, preciousness, gold and perfection that is an intrinsic part of the Chinese. With its hallmarks of precision and control, metal brings focus to the limitations of time and concentration to the restrictions of space. From breath control to po control, the lungs regulate our qi in one of the most fundamental body rhythms, that of respiration, from the first breath that sees us in to the last breath that takes us out.
Blending the practicality of Chinese medicine with the wisdom of internal alchemy, we will explore metal as a deep, hidden treasure. What better time to do so than in this year of the metal ox, following hard on the dramas of the metal rat year of 2020!
Understand the depth and richness of the concept of metal in Chinese medicine.
Understand the relation of metal with sound
Learn which lung points particularly expel the gui/demons/ghosts
Understand the relation of metal with stems and branches
Understand the particular role of metal in internal alchemy
0 hrs - 15 min
The qualities of metal, its uniqueness, its Chinese character jin 金, metal or gold. Hard, resistant and long-lived, yet also able to be shaped and reshaped, especially by fire and heat. Also gold, precious, rich, refined.
15 min - 30 min
Metal and Sound. Bronzes, bells, gongs. Clear ringing, resonant, far-reaching sound. Lungs as door of the voice. Points for the voice: Lu 10, Lu 9, Lu 6, Lu 3. Shang metal note restores clarity and regulation. Shang points: Lu 11, LI 1, Kid 17.
30 min - 45 min
Metal and Exorcism. Metal in the swords and lances of shamans and later in the needles of acupuncture to expel the gui. 5 out of 11 lung points have gui symptoms: Lu 11, Lu 5, Lu 10, Lu 3, Lu 9. Also LI 11, and LI 10 + St 36.
45 min - 1.5 hrs
Metal and Time Part 1. Rhythms jie 節. Venus, metal planet, morning star, planet of war. Metal's power to cut, kill, separate. Yang metal Stem 7 geng 庚, yin metal Stem 8 xin 辛. Yang metal monkey Branch 9 shen 申, yin metal rooster Branch 10 you 酉.
1.5 hrs - 1.75 hrs
Metal and Time Part 2. Lungs linked to autumn but also to spring and early morning (3 - 5 am) through Branch 3. Initiating, activating power, first meridian. 2020 Metal Rat and 2021 Metal Ox: Covid years affecting lungs and harsh metal restrictions.
1.75 hrs - 2 hrs
Metal and Time Part 3. 24 jie Qi, solar fortnights. In the 12 lunar months, the lung is related to the first month. Questions and Answers.
2 hrs - 2.25 hrs
Metal in Internal Alchemy. Aim longevity, unified consciousness, using only what you have within yourself eg the three treasures of Jing Qi Shen. Attunement of the small self with the cosmos. Metal role to concentrate and essence. Alchemical terms.
2.25 hrs - 2.5 hrs
The cauldron, ding 鼎, place of firing, refinement and transformation. Hexagram 50, Ding, the Cauldron, emblematic of the creation of a new state. Neijingtu Inner Landscape Map, Xiuzhentu Cultivating Authenticity Map.
2.5 hrs - 3 hrs
Qi between material Jing and immaterial Shen. Unconscious breath made conscious. 3 dan tian, 3 passes. Planting the gold coins of the breath, they rise as fruits on the mulberry trees, then stars in the sky. Transformation, regeneration, reversal.
A graduate of the International College of Oriental Medicine, Peter Firebrace, FBAcC, has extensively studied TCM and Chinese language and philosophy. He was a co-founder of Monkey Press, teaches internationally, and also produces songs and poems on topics pertaining to TCM. Peter is in the process of setting up Guan Academy of Chinese Medicine for online teaching.
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