Yu Nu Jian Parts 1-6

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Excerpt from “Yu Nu Jian 1”


“These two herbs together form a formula called White Tiger, and this is the tiger’s appetite, and that tiger, unthinkingly, when hungry, eats. To have this kind of — there’s an enormousness to it. It feels bigger than you are. When you’re in this kind of hunger — it’s a good herb for obsession. Not the kind of slow, moldering, focused obsession — ‘I’m a penguin collector, see these penguins, I got six new penguins here, where are your penguins?’ It’s not that kind of obsession, that’s more like a phlegm kind of obsession. This is obsession like — ahh, what am I into lately? Gotta have it! The kinds of obsessions where it’s like a brilliant light is filling your mind, it’s like a huge — I’m crazed about aikido, I’m totally into it, and I actually got to hold a sword, like a real one, live blade, none of this bullshit wooden stuff, and I can’t get it off my mind. Floodlights. It’s like the kind of obsession like floodlight brain. My mind is filled with whatever it might be, and this could be short term or long term.

Mad hunger — I’ve been obsessed, I must say, a crazy person obsessed with Chinese herbs for like twenty-five years. I’m relentless. It’s ridiculous. I get on a jag about something, and then that’s it — I’m on that jag. Like the time when I was about to teach release exterior herbs, and so I wanted to learn all about the difference between interior and exterior, and I just — I spent weeks in my house, going out of the house, and then I went back into the house, and then I went out of the house, and back in again. And then I did it with my car. ‘I am in the car, and now I am out of the car, and now I am in the car.’ Things like that. Now I make a living at it.

Back when I was in acupuncture school, what I would do was, every single week, I would make that week a focus on a particular Element and how to embody the virtues of that Element. Moderating for whoever I was with. Water week, everything was — I was Batman if I needed to be Batman, and I was the deep, deep silence if I needed to be the deep silence, and I was the tsunami if I needed to be the tsunami, you know, whatever it was. And the next week, it was all about Wood, and I did it for a couple of years. Now I do it six weeks in-seasons and I run a course on it so that we all do it together. This is obsessive. My mind, I’m definitely this kind of [obsessive] thing.

Do you get that floodlight feeling — whole mind, the whole stage, all my thoughts, one-room schoolhouse, with all the lights on on the inside — this is the subject, hunger, for this. But yes, during pregnancy, some of those hungers, it’s outrageous, and there’s no mind there. There is a Stomach with a mouth — ahh! And, I have to say, many nursing mothers also, the insane ravenousness that overcomes you when you’re pumping all this stuff out. It’s absolutely incredible. It’s like, brainless, mindless eater, now. And when it’s gotten to that point, basically what the Shi Gao balances is hunger with generosity. People who are Shi Gao Gypsum people, or people in a Shi Gao Gypsum phase, are working on a large scale. It’s a large scale kind of herb. It’s very much larger than life. Yangming is larger than life. Yangming is a Chinese term for… the glitzy organs. [laughter] The Liberace of life! It’s the Stomach and the Colon, and the feeling of Yangming is big everything.”