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Published: April 29th 2011
It is Friday night of my third week in Chengdu, and today was our last day in the TCM training program here. I cant believe how fast the time has gone by. It felt like just yesterday when we arrived here, aliens in a strange land. Now, just 3 weeks later, I am used to this strange place, and I can even communicate well enough to order a meal. I realize how truly blessed I am to have had this experience. Besides fulfilling some of my long time dreams of hiking Daoist mountains and meditating in Buddhist monasteries, I have had a chance to dive head first into Chinese medicine in the land where it originated and evolved. The experiences I have had in the clinic and classrooms here has been beyond my wildest expectations, and will be with me forever. Looking over my notebook I see that I have notes on 130 cases, not to mention everything I saw that I didn’t write down. In just 12 days at the hospital here I have encountered and observed things that I never even got close to experiencing in 4 years of study in the U.S. Not only that, but my classroom experience was priceless as well, and the things I learned will be continually evolving within me as I deepen my practice of this incredible system of medicine. Like a good acupuncture treatment, the effects of this journey will continue to work on me and within me for a long time still, and for that I am truly grateful.
In this moment of reflection I am reminded of the idea that everything that has a beginning, must too have an end, and that every ending is really just another beginning. It was the end of my 4 years of study at Pacific College that led me to the beginning of my studies here in China. And now, as my journey of studying in China has come to an end, the beginning of my journey as a true practitioner of this medicine begins. If these last 3 weeks are any indication, than the journey ahead will be an incredible one, full of experiences and encounters that even my wildest dreams can’t come close to imagining. With that in mind, I return once more to my old friend Lao Zi, and begin again, one step at a time.
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