Category Archives: The Pulses


Jill Holden shares about Pulses in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 56, Spring 2007:


When I first read this excerpt from Ram Dass’ book, How Can I Help? [see posts from yesterday and the previous Monday], it opened a door for me into seeing into the world of “textures” as we know them in Jin Shin Jyutsu. Until then, they were a mystery, and occasionally I would catch a fleeting glimpse of a texture, but it would soon disappear and leave me wondering, “Did I hear that?”…”What was it?”…trying to catch it by the tail so I could take a closer look. But the pulses, especially the textures in the pulse remained illusive.

The way that Yeshi Dhonden speaks about the pulses, using metaphors in nature as descriptions, he speaks of “winds coursing through the body, blowing open a deep gate, waters flooding the breath…” My own awareness awakened to this world of metaphor. I recognized that often an image from nature comes to mind when I’m listening to the pulses. I started to recognize that I was experiencing a depth when envisioning a mountain stream, floating clouds, wind making ripples on water, and whatever images come. And through this, I could begin to identify textures and which depth is speaking. This has been a key for me into my own understanding of the rhythms and textures in the world of pulses.

The relationship of Yeshi Dhonden and the patient seems one of a sacred nature, one in which there is a third presence of divine spirit or God. Listening to the pulses seems to be the ultimate intimate experience, in which we bring all of ourselves into the present, the now, so we can listen and hear the story being told in the moment, a dance which moves between two worlds simultaneously, the visible and invisible. The pulses are the story of how we reflect the cosmos.

I had the good fortune in 1996 to meet Yeshi Dhonden. I was not feeling well at the time and was able to have an appointment with him. This was before I was diagnosed with lymphoma. I remember feeling vulnerable as he was listening to my pulses, stripped bare, as we were in this timeless place, how being in the present feels, suspended between past and future, where there is nothing, just being. I was uplifted, it was a spiritual experience. I realize now that this was the treatment. The experience of being fully received, no attitudes, no judgments, and as Mary says, “There is no story in the Main Central Vertical Flow”, but simply the oneness that connects everything.

After a while, Yeshi Dhonden looked up and said, “There’s a block in your chest, it’s a wind disharmony,” and he wrote out in Tibetan a prescription for herbs, which were sent to me from India and tasted like cow dung. I didn’t mind. I carried the experience that I had had with Yeshi Dhonden with me. It’s an experience I will never forget. Soon after I met with him I was diagnosed with lymphoma, which presented itself in the form of a large tumor in my chest, right in the area he had placed his hand when he told me I had a block in my chest.

In this article, the author speaks about “the palpation of the pulse raised to the state of ritual.” It seems to me that the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu is all within listening to the pulse. As Mary says, “It is a lifetime study.”

It has become important to prepare myself in some way before I begin to listen to the “heavenly breath”. Sometimes it’s just being in the awareness of my breath for a few minutes, sometimes it’s meditation, sometimes a cup of tea, a walk, or a prayer. The way I begin doesn’t matter, but that I have some preparation or ritual, no matter how small, realizing that listening to the pulse is some form of prayer, and where the treatment begins and ends…in the eternal.

Thank you, Jill.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

All issues of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter are available at

Tree Pulses

For many years I studied and practiced Jin Shin Jyutsu but never “heard” body pulses with my hands. I asked several teachers, mentors and fellow students why I only felt temperature changes…cold to hot, and sometimes a sense of tingling between my hands…and those would suggest that “stuck” Safety Energy Locks were open and I could move my hands to the next step in a flow.

I was very discouraged and disheartened until….ta da! my friend Bara came to visit from Germany and she took me to a little park and showed me how to “hear” the pulses of a healthy tree and a tree in distress. The awareness finally came to me! Turns out I had been ‘hearing” body pulses all along but thought they were my own pulses.

It was a significant change…now I was able to use the Textbook flows as what they were intended to be; guidelines, a place to begin. “Hearing” the body pulses with my hands enabled me to treat the specific needs of any particular client at any given time! (I still keep the books handy!)

Cynthia Broshi shares part of her awareness and understanding with us in the Spring 2009, issue Number 64, of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter. You may obtain your own personal copy at

Tree Pulses

3rd depth (Spring) is “little s” source: the transformation of SOURCE (6th Depth) into a vibration that can build and nourish a living form. Its element is KEY (KI). Wood is another understanding of the element of 3rd depth: the amalgamation of air, fire, water and earth: living, growing beings.

Lately I’ve been listening to the Pulse in trees. I’m finding there’s a common quality shared by each tree of a particular species. As with people, a single tree expresses its pulse (its creation) differently according to season, time of day, and experience of the moment. Snapshots of the pulses of a few trees have arranged themselves into this poem:

Madrone: a smooth herd of horses cantering (slo-mo)

Oak: filigree-silk in sea wind lifting up into itself and unfurling

Summer Solstice, 2008, after the first winter so warm no snow fell in Riga, a pine’s respirations pulled translucent as saltwater taffy:

Inspiration: 13-20 seconds: a vigorous sucking root → leaf (question: is “up” the tree’s inhale?  its exhale?) billowing chiffon, a diaphanous virility up   up   up    pause        –         pause          –

Then expiration (?) (“down”): shorter: 9-12 seconds: sun-motes, diffuse after-thought, silting

Like the accretion of yellow pollen billows the Baltic’s edging

After hearing these qualities in the tree’s pulses, I asked a plant scientist to describe a tree’s respiration. She explained that a tree pumps fluid from root to leaf. (This is like our intake of food, as the fluid contains nutriments.) Some of this fluid (mostly water) evaporates through the leaves; this is how oxygen is released into the air. (Interestingly, Evaporation is a 3rd Depth activity.) Carbon dioxide, linked with light-energy of the sun, is inhaled by the leaves and flows downward, in-circulating and dispersing throughout the tree’s body.

Thank you, Cynthia.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

Sestina Numerology

In the Summer 2009, Number 65, of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyustu Newsletter, Cynthia Broshi submitted the poem About Pulse Listening to help our understanding ~ that was posted yesterday.

Cynthia asked Carlos Gutterres to comment and here is what he had to say:

Commentary on Cynthia Broshi’s poem on page 2 (About Pulse Listening)

In the 12th century began an artistic movement to rescue the ancient wisdom, for example: Parsifal from Wolfram von Eschenbach.

The sestina is made by 6 stanzas of 6 lines,

it means we have a deep relationship with the number 36.

36 is the magic square of the Sun:

6  32  3  34 35  1

7  11 27 28  8  30

19 14 16 15 23 24

18 20 22 21 17 13

25 29 10 9 26 12

36  5  33  4  2  31

They believed this magic square had the power to manifest in this world the qualities of the Sun (Light and Vitality).

NOTE: I believe this a good reason for Mary to indicate the 36 breaths.

The final stanza of 3 lines indicates where we want to manifest those qualities: spirit (1), mind (1) and body (1).

If you add the numbers of any line, column or diagonal of the magic square you always will find: 1 1 1 .

The sequence: 6 – 1, 5 – 2, and 4 – 3, is related to another very important manifestation of the 6, the cube.

The opposite faces of any cube always will be:

6 and 1,

5 and 2,

4 and 3.

If you add the numbers expressed in the opposite faces of a cube, you always will find 7, the number of the Depth ruled by the Sun.

Thank you, Carlos.

Thank you, Cynthia.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

Pulse Listening (a Sestina poem)

In the Summer 2009, Number 65, of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyustu Newsletter, Cynthia Broshi submitted the following poem to help our understanding:

Pulse Listening

Pulse whispers the secrets of the Universe, expressing creation of Being in this breath. Listen to invisible energy with the hand, through manifestation. The silent pulse of perfection is a O, spiraling head to toe, toe to head, surface to core and back again. Listen at the radius.

Listening is the act of drawing surface to core, a radius. Within 1 is the 10,000 Universe. To say that Earth resides in body, Heaven the head is to remember the months in the womb unfolding, breath elongating, separating, segmenting, building perfection as primitive streak, spine, armbud, then fingers splay to being a hand

which receives and gives. What a pleasure to touch a hand. At dawn of the Vernal Equinox the radius of light expands, likewise is the midnight of winter perfection. Before my simple touch even starts a universe of duality blends to 3: Inspire, expire, breath is life, death, transformation: Trinity. Head

towards another and all I know evaporates. Face your head to follow your senses: gates weaving mind to hand the princess, locked to the impossible task, her breath of prayer that wakes the animal knowing the radius of flax to gold, 4 corners unfold a universe, times Trinity’s Breath they’re 12, Left and Right mirroring perfection

as 72,000. I’m new here. Who’s to name perfection? Muriel says the first voice through hand to heart to head sings the mysteries of the Universe: go with that. Make a unit of 3 fingers on each hand and listen on the bone below the head of the radius, not in the flesh where blood is loud, on the bone where breath

rises to meet you. Symphony no one’s ever heard, each breath unique – tin bell in an icy cave, an infant’s perfection destroying grief, fire tumbling out the radius of Atom For Peace Galaxy, slippery sidewalk, mashed potatoes, horses racing ahead of a dank gale on a full moon calling lightly into your hand the 144,000 expressions birthing the Universe.

In this Breath we meet the Head of Perfection, wordless Hand your Radius I am O Universe.

About Pulse Listening…

“The poem on page 2 (above) is a sestina, a form popular amongst the troubadours of Medieval and early Renaissance France and Italy. The six end words, or teleutons of the first stanza are repeated in a specific order as end words in each of the five succeeding stanzas and in the final short stanza, the envoy.

If the end words of Stanza 1 are designated 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6, then Stanza 2 folds them: 6 – 1 – 5 – 2 – 4 – 3. Stanza 3 folds the end words of Stanza 2 in the same manner: 6 – 1 – 5 – 2 – 4 – 3. And so on, through Stanza 6, so the teleutons are folded five times in this manner. The order of repetition in the three lines of the envoy is 2, 5 – 4, 3 – 6, 1.

The sestina form acts like a Diagonal Mediator, blending surface and core, above and below. Generation and Regeneration. The winding repetitions set up waves of breath and image. I find it invigorating to the imagination and that it naturally unfolds within itself an expression of the simple, ever-deepening, ever-expanding Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu. When I read that its roots are said to be in numerology, “but what the significance of the pattern was originally is now unknown”* I asked Carlos what he could tell us about this form.”

*Lewis Turco, An Exaltation of Forms

We shall see how Carlos responded to Cynthia’s request in our next post.

Adventures with the Pulse, Part 2

Cynthia Broshi wrote the captioned article for the Fall 2008 issue of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter (number 62).

I don’t know about you, but listening is a challenge for me. Listening to pulses is an even bigger  challenge!

Dear readers, you need to buy this issue. I am going to quote part of it…to tweak your interest…but you need to possess this issue and study what Cynthia has written – and drawn.

I always suggest that you purchase Main Central issues, but i STRONGLY suggest you purchase this particular issue, read it, study it, practice it, read it again, use it as a guide as you fine-tune your listening skills.

You need this issue.

You can obtain it at

We continue:

“When drawing the Pulse, I sometimes include arrows, to indicate direction of movement. So in study group last week I decided to break the exercise down further. “Today we’re going to draw the directionality in the Pulse,” I announced. “You mean the movement between bustline and waistline and hipline?” Corliss asked. Innocently (I’d never actually done this specific exercise) I nodded, “Yes, the direction of energy flow amongst bust, waist and hipline. You might also hear this as direction within the voice each finger feels in the Pulse.”

While, in the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu, we listen to both Left and Right Pulse simultaneously (we are always listening to the relationships within Totality), to make this exercise easier we listened to, and drew, the sides separately, in four steps:

  1. Left Descending (Superficial) Pulse
  2. Right Descending (Superficial) Pulse
  3. Left Ascending (Deep) Pulse
  4. Right Ascending (Deep) Pulse

Soon as I set my pen to paper I realized I couldn’t isolate directionality from other aspects of the Pulse.”

(Here, dear reader, follows 3 pages of drawings with explanations. This is why you need to purchase this issue of the Main Central.)

“Mary says, “Pulse listening is Science and Art.” Perhaps you’ll want to experiment with drawing the Pulse. Be the Fun with it. Don’t lose heart if your first results look discouraging. As Mary says, “To succeed, double your failure rate.” I assigned myself this exercise and gave up many times over about a ten year period.. When I finally stuck with it, it wasn’t long before it became useful. The key for me was deciding that it really was okay to do a very poor, inaccurate drawing of the Pulse. The drawing is only a means, it’s simply a tool to help me listen listen Listen LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN Listen listen listen.

A pianist studies scales and chords (relationships of tones) so she can more fully understand a composer’s music. We study the Pulse, and this Art in its entirety, so we can more fully understand the Creator’s music. When a pianist sits down to give the music voice, she’s no longer thinking  scales and chords. She’s listening and singing, soul to soul. When we sit down for hands-on we only know we will hear a unique music, the creation, in this breath, of this unique Being. At this point, even if this is my first day in my first class, I can let go of being a student, I can let go of being a scientist, I can let go of what I know and what I don’t know. I AM the Artist. I may hear direction of movement, I may hear Safety Energy Lock 9, I may hear a summer ocean in the moonlight, I may hear red, I may hear Capricorn tango-ing with Scorpio. I simply listen. And with the first flow my heart delivers to my mind I open the Text, and with my hands I sing along. Sing and listen.”

Dear student, dear reader: you need this issue of the Main Central.

Thank you, Cynthia.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

Adventures with the Pulse, Part 1

Cynthia Broshi wrote the captioned article for the Fall 2008 issue of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter (number 62).

I don’t know about you, but listening is a challenge for me. Listening to pulses is an even bigger  challenge!

Dear readers, you need to buy this issue. I am going to quote part of it…to tweak your interest…but you need to possess this issue and study what Cynthia has written – and drawn.

I always suggest that you purchase Main Central issues, but i STRONGLY suggest you purchase this particular issue, read it, study it, practice it, read it again, use it as a guide as you fine-tune your listening skills.

You need this issue.

You can obtain it at

“Mary says, “The Pulse whispers the secrets of the Universe.” In the Pulse I hear Universal Breath creating Being, in this breath. The Pulse speaks of relationships down the front, up the back. Relationships of bustline, waistline, hipline. Relationships of the Depths… It speaks through languages of tone, texture, rhythm, direction; it speaks of Safety Energy Locks and Organ Function Energy. It speaks the language of the Zodiac. Like all artists, it speaks in metaphor. I may hear a landscape, its season or time of day. I may hear animals within the landscape, their colors and sounds and activity. All are expressions of the Depths: specific aspects of Life Energy, within Totality, in relationship. The Pulse is Creation in action.

In getting to KNOW the language of the Pulse I immerse myself in it, like a newborn babe. Like a baby, I simply listen – no understanding is required. I will always be beginning with the Pulse; there is no end to the discovery of the Universe. Like a baby, I respond. Call and response… As I express what I hear in the Pulse, the Pulse opens up to me. It teaches, re-forms my awareness, my understanding and my actions. Call and response – the origin of rhythm, of song, of transformation.

Hands-on is our primary form of practicing this call and response. In my study of the Pulse, in my desire to grow in awareness and understanding of its infinite possibilities, I find it useful to practice other forms of response also. Dancing, singing and drawing the Pulse are some possibilities, as well as describing it with words. I’ve found that for each person, some of these expressions come more easily than others. It’s rewarding to play around with the form of expression that feels impossible for me, as well as the ones that feel natural.

I can also choose to listen to a particular aspect of the Pulse – just as an exercise. Exercises simplify the task of the moment, and can help develop my capacities. They can nurture my awareness and understanding of the vocabulary and grammar of the Pulse. One exercise I enjoy is to draw the Pulse. This exercise sharpens my perception of the Pulse and provides a “translation” – a visual imaging of it, which is a tool for my understanding. In every group there are some who take to drawing the Pulse like a Picasso-in-waiting, and some who are so stymied they won’t even pick up the pencil. I encourage people to “cheat” – if I like someone else’s idea of “how” to draw the Pulse, I can begin with that. We all develop our capacity to sing this way, copying a bird or a Maria Callas.”

To be continued…

(Order this issue from Scottsdale, today!)

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.