Healing Despair and Resignation — March 16-17, 2019

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Healing Despair and Resignation

Thea Elijah, with Nur Preston
New York, NY — March 16-17, 2019
(optional practice day March 18)

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Healing Loss of Heart

Clients come to us, generally speaking, because they want to feel better. What it means to “feel better” is layered, all the way from just having the pain or illness go away, to addressing the imbalance that is behind the pain or illness. As acupuncturists, most of us were trained to see symptoms as rooted in underlying patterns of disharmony, which are in turn rooted in constitutional causality: on some level, your illness is your conversation with your life.

For many practitioners, our practice is increasingly populated by clients whose primary underlying issue is actually loss of heart, in the form of resignation or despair.

In resignation, the qi is difficult to mobilize. Despair significantly diminishes ming men fire. No matter what the client’s presenting issues, unacknowledged despair and resignation compound the challenges of successful treatment, and make it that much more difficult for the needles and herbs to do their work.

When we as practitioners are not intimidated by despair and resignation, we can address them just like any other pattern of disharmony: First we re-establish the Emperor (the Heart) on the throne. Then we consider the transformation of virtue inherent in the pathology, as well as this client’s pathway home to the One.

We will consider acupuncture and herbal strategies, as well as how the practitioner’s quality of presence affects treatment. No previous experience from any particular school of acupuncture is necessary. We will refer to some Sufi concepts and practices which have application to the practice of Chinese medicine — but no previous familiarity with Sufism is necessary, either.

This course is going to be a mixture of lecture, demo, and plenty of experiential exercises. Please come to this workshop ready to think, feel, and engage with others. It’s the best way to learn skills that we will be using with real people in the treatment room.


Monday Mentorship Day

March 18, 2019 — 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

After covering a lot of ground over the weekend, it’s helpful and nourishing to have a day to integrate the material in a small group (no more than ten students). Thea and Nur will use this time for small group exercises and individual coaching of participants. There will be plenty of time for questions, with an emphasis on helping all participants find individual ownership of the material in their own practice.


About Thea

Thea Elijah draws upon more than 30 years of study and practice in Chinese medicine, as well as almost 20 years of Sufi healing work. She integrates lots of exercises and practical embodied experiences into her teachings, so that participants will leave feeling nourished and supported.

About Nur

Nur Preston holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and graduated from the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism with an emphasis in Spiritual Healing, as well as the ancient practice of Hijama. He has a thriving healing practice and has helped support hundreds of individuals on their healing journey.


The Shared Essence of Chinese Medicine and Sufism

Thea Elijah

I began my studies of Chinese medicine with a sense of awe and wonder at the truly endless possibilities for healing. Even before going to acupuncture school, I apprenticed with Lonny Jarrett, studied with Ted Kaptchuk and Leon Hammer, and sat at the feet of Claude Larre and Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée, learning from true masters of healing. I heard from them phrases like “wu xing shi yao” or “medicine without form,” and “tong shen ming” or “interpenetration of illumined consciousness,” as essential aspects of both diagnosis and treatment in Chinese medicine.

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I did not, however, find teachers who could help me master these inner skills and practices — although I did meet many senior practitioners and teachers who had clearly developed such skills over decades of practice. But I didn’t want to wait that long! I wanted to start learning the sagely methods of diagnosis and treatment as soon as I could begin.

I graduated from acupuncture school in 1995, and then I found the Shadhuliyah Sufi path in 1998. I spent eight years immersing myself in the cross-over between Chinese medicine and Sufi healing, and all of my work in Chinese medicine has clearly flourished as a result. When I teach acupuncture and herbs, I use words and terms from Chinese medicine, but it was the Sufis who actually taught me to embody it, and to BE the medicine.

From 2007 to 2016, I remained active in my Sufi practice while focusing on raising my child. In 2016, an opportunity arose for me to re-immerse myself in Sufi teachings, and that’s when I realized that I had absorbed only part of the message… I had understood the teachings relevant to what in Chinese medicine is called “facing South,” i.e. the path of the Sovereign, but not what is called “facing North,” the path of the Sage.

The path of the Sage is particularly applicable during especially troubled times, when clients are facing potentially terminal illnesses, or when the planet as a whole appears to be in both physical and existential crisis. I am grateful to have Nur Preston as a teaching and healing partner with whom to re-immerse myself in perspectives and practices that are vitally relevant to the hearts and lives of our clients today.

Nur Preston

Being a Sufi Healer is about bringing the love, knowledge, and light of the Divine to the heart and soul of the client. Through this practice the clients gain physical, emotional, and spiritual healing as well as deeper knowledge of themselves. It helps them return to a natural way of being human, in direct relationship with the Divine.

For me, working these past two years with Thea has been a profound experience and deep immersion in the world of Chinese Medicine. It has begun to teach me a new language, and has served to unlock many of the keys to the body and its importance as an integral part of spiritual healing.

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My experience with Thea has brought me into wider awareness of how healing is brought about, in terms of how the client lives and relates to both the inner realities of the heart and to the outside world. She is a true artist, and our collaboration has been an ongoing gift.

Through our work together, we have seen many clients who experience physical healing taking place within a deepening connection to themselves and the Divine. It’s clear that Sufi healing and Chinese medicine can have a remarkable exchange between them, an exchange that clarifies and enhances them both.


Want to know more about Sufism and Sufi healing?
Click here to visit our Sufism Archive!


Workshop Dates

Saturday and Sunday
March 16-17, 2019
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Monday Mentorship Day

March 18, 2019
9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Tuition for this workshop is $350.
Register by February 16 for a $50 discount!


TCM World Foundation
34 West 27 St
Suite 1212
New York, NY 10001


This course is pending approval for 14 NCCAOM CEUs.

Refund Policy

In the (very rare) event of a workshop cancellation, all tuition will be refunded.
Otherwise, any refund is at the sole discretion of Perennial Medicine.


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