“Our natures we judge
through society's hard lens
consciousness may rise”
Haiku after a blue gin
It was great to return to MacEwan University for the 2nd year, this time with the two day live workshop “Supporting Women through the Menopause as a Fundamental Doorway of Life.” Huge thanks to Darren Tellier for his support, generosity and for having us back in the wonderful space, with the best whiteboard ever, and the clinic room full of Rolls Royce style treatment couches! Facilities beyond our dreams! We are looking forward to making a teaching visit to Edmonton an annual event!
The menopause ‘the great cleanse’, the end of menstruation when the blood retreats is a such a powerful rite of passage for women. It holds the potential for profound spiritual development. However in the West the menopause is still taboo. We have great difficulty as society with aging and with ‘older women’. Fear surrounds aging and death and we have become overly enamoured with the material world including our material form.
The first trajectory point of the Yin Wei Mai, Kid9 (Zhu bin, Guest House) is a Daoist reminder that we are more than our form in this lifetime and perhaps if we think of ourselves as guests in our bodies, (our earth-suits) then we may take life less personally.
The Wei Mai linking and personality vessels that represent time & space, cycles of life and ageing, store the feelings and judgements that we’ve made about ourselves, both our physical form (Yin Wei) and the decisions, actions and responsibilities we’ve created (Yang Wei).
Edmonton was quite a journey into the Wei Mai for all in the group! The workshop weekend coincided with the new moon and several planets moving in retrograde. Powerful stuff!
It was a powerful and humbling experience to work with this group of women. The mixed age range in the group was perfect and so much was learnt from one another. Wonderful for us to see the development of the work in those we’d started to work with last year. The focus was palpable! It was wonderful to welcome several new students into the fold and to see how beautifully they engaged.
The contrast of the two days was as we’ve noticed before, very marked! The Yin Wei Mai on the first day was deeply nourishing for the post-menopausal, menopausal and peri-menopausal women in the group and for some of the 20 somethings it was agitating! We discussed the nature of the times, the stimulation of our technology and how it was challenging to keep attention in one focused, mindful place for a length of time.
The effects of working with the Wei Mai were noticed that evening - one student didn’t have any hot flushes for the first time in months and most slept very heavily even through the alarm :-).
The second day of exploration brought us to the Yang Wei Mai and a different vibe altogether. Most enjoyed the movement of Yang and several felt the Yang rising during the receiving experience, giving rise to a few headaches which were immediately relieved when we brought everything back to the Governing Vessel/Du Mai with the Du15 (Ya men, Gate of Muteness) and Du16 (Feng fu, Palace of Wind) hold and then Ben Shen GB13 (Ben shen, Root of the Spirit) and finally the return to the feet, to GB41 (Zu lin qi, Foot Governor of Tears) the couple point and to the Dai Mai. A few tears arose, perfect vulnerability, faced with ourselves, our self-criticism and self-judgements, release and clearance. What is expressed will not lie latent!
So much vulnerability and openness. As ever with this work, the importance of feeling within ourselves as practitioners/healers was highlighted. It helps to remind us of the equality between the practitioner ‘giver’ and the ‘receiver’. We are all working the healer archetype after all!
The rice grain moxa experience at the end of the day was as exciting as ever. And very interesting for us to see so much ‘Sha’ expressed when we used a little Gua Sha before entering the Yang Wei Mai. Edmonton is a place of much Wind and Cold for sure. A bit extreme for us Brits!
For me the weekend was another confirmation of the power of group intention and focus, which is not to be underestimated. The collective energy entering the present moment with the same intention, amplifies our thoughts and feelings. Anchoring the amplified intention through the additional power of focused touch results in an extraordinary tool for potential transformation.
For Isabel (who’s experienced the feeling of the Weis multiple times as I work on her while talking the group through in real time), she noted there was the immediate experience on the bench and then slower moving layers of feelings and memory that arose in the subsequent days, something to be aware of when tapping into these vessels. A reminder that as we discussed, the Yuan Qi moves slowly and these treatments need only be given fortnightly. So perhaps when we work with these vessels we could ask our clients/patients to be aware of what comes into consciousness for expression in the days/weeks following treatment.
Tapping into these vessels in this way is powerful and can enable the potential for the raising of consciousness. Maybe for women moving through this spiritual transition we can move towards the decisions and actions that will bring the nourishment and space we need.
We must end with an update on Moxa the Rabbit - he/she/they was presented with a third bell by one of the group and is now in possession of all three treasures and is on his/her/their way to enlightenment!