Between Heaven and Earth

Back when I was training to become an acupuncturist, I discovered something really cool. To help you understand the total cool-ness, you have to first picture this.

We’d started our clinical work. This meant we were going to start to implement what we’d been studying – and boy, didn’t that just feel … inadequate. We’d had just a measly two years to learn about this medicine, ‘and while my brain felt so stuffed with information it was leaking out my ears, we’re talking thousands of years of clinical theory and practice. I’d barely scratched the surface. I mean, when I started I thought I was learning about something that was the same as it had been 5,000 years ago (and good thing that wasn’t true because they used stone ‘needles’ back then, and wouldn’t that have put patients off).

There was so much to do in one short hour with a patient. I had to diagnose the constitution, the Element that was essentially them, where they had their greatest strengths and weaknesses. Yeah, that was easy.

I had to glean information from their stories that would help me craft a treatment.

I would have to choose points from over 365 possibilities, all rich in potential.

I would have to make a case for the treatment to my tutors, who would want me to defend my choices with something other than ‘I dunno, it feels right’, which meant I had to know and apply theory.

Once the treatment was approved by my tutors, I would have to stick a needle in someone, all the while holding my intent for the action, the benefit to the patient.

In one of my first treatments, I chose to use Palace of Weariness, a wonderful point on the palm of the hand. It happened to be the first time a tutor would observe my needle technique. So I carefully found and marked the point – and had it checked, then grounded and centered, and very carefully lined up the needle and slowly, slowly tried to get the snaky thing inserted.

Well. What I didn’t know was how much that point can hurt, and because I didn’t have room in my head to watch my patient, I didn’t know that she’d gone rigid and screwed up her face in an effort to not yell. (Dean said I needed to be a little quicker. I love the Brits.)

Because there was so much running through my head, it was impossible for me to form and hold an intent that aligned with the spirit and function of that point. So I just repeated – silently – ‘do whatever is needed’, and got out of the way.

And that was the really cool thing. I got out of the way, and became the tool of the Divine. I lined myself up between Heaven and Earth, and let all that Divine-ness flow through me to the needle. It was awesome, the treatment was so powerful.

There’s a difference in the quality of treatment when it comes from that place of alignment. If my ego is involved, I have a decent chance of getting what I want from the points I pick. The trouble with that is not only do I want a particular outcome that may be what the patient needs but may not, but I can be too attached to getting my way.

If, however, I allow myself to line up between Heaven and Earth, I’m not attached to the outcome of the treatment. The points really will do whatever is needed for the patient. The best treatments come from not imposing my will on someone else, but in joining the dance by offering some new ideas on steps.

Now think about how that concept works in life, mine and yours. Lining up between Heaven in Earth is a liberation, a rightness in how we move through our lives. You can call it many things, but I’m thinking you know it when you do it. That’s not just cool, that’s Divine