The Pulses Tell a Story, continued

Issue Number 40, Spring 2003, of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter contains an article submitted by Jill Holden

The Pulses Tell a Story, Our Story, If Only We Know How to Listen

“I remember Mary saying, “Drop your shoulders and breathe. In clearing the breath, you clear your mind.” That’s simple enough. The she says, “The first thought comes from the Creator, the rest is our human intellect.”

This has been my approach to working with the pulses. It seems the first thing I hear opens the door, and the rest of the session unfolds from there. I feel as if I’m being led by something I can’t quite see.

Mary reminds us the pulses are a lifetime study. It just keeps getting richer with various nuances. After many years of working with people and studying, I found I was still baffled by the textures.

My whole relationship and understanding of the pulses grew after I read a passage in a book by Ram Dass called How Can I Help? It was a story about Yeshi Donden, the personal physician, at the time, to the Dalai Lama. Dr. Donden was invited to make the rounds with a group of doctors in a hospital. He was to examine a particular patient, not knowing the diagnosis, and then at a conference, report his findings. The doctors were informed that Yeshi Donden had purified himself by bathing, fasting and prayer for two hours before examining the patient. The story goes on to describe Yeshi Donden suspended above the patient like an exotic golden bird, listening to the pulse with exquisite single-pointedness and focus, lifting the art of listening to the pulse to a state of ritual.

The physician who wrote this story recognized that he himself had never been received or touched by anyone with such presence. He also knew in watching Yeshi Donden listen to this woman’s pulses, that even though he as a physician had palpated probably a hundred thousand pulses, he had not “felt” a single one.

The story goes on to describe Yeshi Donden reporting his findings. He spoke of the pulses in pure poetry, in the most metaphorical language. In listening to the sounds of the woman’s body, he spoke of winds and currents breaking, mountain streams rushing and knocking loose the land and flooding her breath. At the end of his description, he states, “Congenital Heart Disease”.

This story taught me a lot about listening to the pulse, and in particular, a way “in” to working with the textures. I realize that it’s simply listening to the sounds in nature, the elements and their relationships…hearing in metaphorical terms. As the doctor who wrote the story said at the end of the article, “I feel myself touched by something divine.”

Mary says, “We are simply our pulse. Do not focus on the labels, focus on the harmonizing of these textures.”

Thank you, Jill.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings.

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