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Infinitesimally Small and Natural

Start date End date Location Website
06/09/2019 06/09/2019 Anahata Health Clinic, 119-120 Edward Street, Brighton, BN20JL

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Speaker(s) : Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée was born in Paris in 1949 and holds degrees in Philosophy and the Classics and in Chinese Studies. She collaborated with the late Dr Jean Schatz and Father Claude Larre, both as a researcher and translator on classical Chinese thinking and medical texts. After a year in Taiwan (1974-75), she began teaching at the Ricci Institute in Paris; she was the secretary general until 2005. She worked for more than 12 years on the Grand Ricci, a comprehensive encyclopaedic Chinese-French dictionary, and was its chief editor until its publication in 2001. She is the senior lecturer at the European School of Acupuncture and has exceptional knowledge of the Chinese Medical classics, grounded by her experience as an acupuncture practitioner.She teaches Chinese Philosophy, Chinese classical language and Chinese traditional medicine in more than fifteen countries at various universities, Institutes and Schools. She has written numerous books and pamphlets in several languages, specially, in English, those published by Monkey Press.

Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée

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Ji is the passage from the formless, from something that has not yet any form, to what starts to be something. The art of the great practitioner lies in the ability to grasp these passages, to see the potential development in order to make a subtle diagnosis and to treat while there is hardly something and not yet a disease. As the contemporary Chinese philosopher Zhang Dainian says : “Although ‘transformation’ can be distinguished from ’change’ by the degree of variation, the Great Commentary of the Yijing had a further term to speak of the initial tendency to change, and this is even more minute than ‘transformation’. The term in question is ’incipience’ or ‘impetus’.” Movement of the mind or physical movement, ji is always the almost imperceptible beginning, deciding on the direction to be taken by the course of events, whether good or bad. The ability to penetrate incipience allows us to see where things come from, and so to foresee their development. Penetrating incipience refers to the process of knowing the intrinsic causes of change in all things: an essential part of effective diagnosis and treatment. Ziran 'Natural' or 'natural world' or 'naturally so' or 'what is so of itself' Often translated as spontaneity, the concept of ziran is more a description of the movements of things, beings and events following their natural course. Before being spontaneous, human beings have to cultivate themselves seriously to recover their true nature. If they want to be spontaneous without that true nature, their tendencies and desires are not aligned with the natural order, which is always behind the course of things. Spontaneity and natural order are the two facets of the same and unique reality. Through a choice of texts coming from different schools, we will explore and elucidate the classical understanding of ji and ziran. Handouts with Chinese texts in translation are supplied.​



Booking information or call Anahata Clinic on 01273 698687

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Open to students or anyone with an interest this area.


£75 (Students £65) No ACMAC discount Earlybird: book and pay by 6 Aug 2019, only £70 (students £60)

Last Updated

2019-09-05 13:55:26