Valley-Spirit School Summer Course Offerings

Mystery of the Valley-Spirit
School of Healing Arts

Summer Offerings!

We are offering 4 courses this summer. The first (Li-Fa: Principle and Method) is a course on classical herbal formulas and their clinical usages today. We will use classical formulas as a means of exploring the pathology they treat by way of recognizing the underlying physiology in depth. This will reveal the full extent of what these formulas can do in clinical practice.

The second course (Li-Fa: Principle and Method II) is an advanced version of the first course for students and practitioners who have already learned formulas from Michael, though all are welcome to join. The advanced course will be held as evening lectures. These will be made available as a live webinar as well, for those who cannot attend in person.

The third course offered this summer, (Yu Ti: Jade Body), will take a group of new and returning students through the first section of the Mystery of the Valley-Spirit school’s curriculum. These 9 foundational and introductory classes are the bedrock of our program, and so we highly encourage all who are interested in our school to join Michael in this course. Current students in the advanced tracks will be welcome to sit in on these courses both as a refresher and to support the learning of new students.

In the final summer course offering, students who are at an advanced level and who have previously studied with Michael will have an opportunity to greatly enhance their foundational relationship to the cosmology that underlies all of Chinese medicine. This will not be taught in abstract form, but will provide real experiences of both cosmological and historical realities, such as the actual stars the ancient Chinese observed and what we can observe, and other aspects of the ancient calendar. The important theories of resonance (and correspondence), channel flow and organization, and the relationship between the micro and macro cosmos will be the heart of our studies and practice.

A full description of each of the classes in the third and fourth courses is included following the summer course schedule.

CEU/PDA credits are pending for each course.

Please also consider becoming a member of our school! Members support the ongoing efforts of our school and ensure its health and longevity through this support and through opportunities to participate in its efforts. For more information, see our program catalogue, or online at:
Summer Course Schedule

1. Li-Fa (理法): Principle and Method through the Archetypes of Herbal Formulas
(Open to All; 27 CEU)

Each class in this classical herbal formulas course explores formulas and their individual herbs that represent the archetypal expression of the overall Conformation (channel-organ system), the Qi of the conformation, the phase (wuxing) of the conformation, and the organ pair at the core of the conformation. Yang Earth and Yin Earth are also listed as categories, which involve formulas that target specific regions in the earth domain of the body. The last class focuses on the “Valley Spirit”, which involves formulas that nourish life and support a reconnection to the mysteries of life, and the Divine Feminine, who listens to and carries us towards our individual destinies.

7/6 (Friday) 1-4pm Taiyang Herbal Formulas
7/9 (Monday) 1-4pm Yangming Herbal Formulas
7/11 (Wednesday) 1-4pm Shaoyang Herbal Formulas
7/13 (Friday) 1-4pm Yang Earth Herbal Formulas
7/18 (Wednesday) 1-4pm Taiyin Herbal Formulas
7/20 (Friday) 1-4pm Shaoyin Herbal Formulas
7/23 (Monday) 1-4pm Jueyin Herbal Formulas
7/25 (Wednesday) 1-4pm Yin Earth Herbal Formulas
7/27 (Friday) 1-4pm Valley Spirit Herbal Formulas

Cost: $810

2. Li-Fa (理法): Principle and Method through the Archetypes of Herbal Formulas II
(Advanced/ Open to All – Available as Live Webinar and In-Person Seminar; 13.5 CEU)

7/9 (Monday) 7-8:30pm Taiyang Herbal Formulas
7/11 (Wednesday) 7-8:30pm Yangming Herbal Formulas
7/13 (Friday) 7-8:30pm Shaoyang Herbal Formulas
7/18 (Wednesday) 7-8:30pm Yang Earth Herbal Formulas
7/20 (Friday) 7-8:30pm Taiyin Herbal Formulas
7/23 (Monday) 7-8:30pm Shaoyin Herbal Formulas
7/25 (Wednesday) 7-8:30pm Jueyin Herbal Formulas
7/27 (Friday) 7-8:30pm Yin Earth Herbal Formulas
7/30 (Monday) 7-8:30pm Valley Spirit Herbal Formulas

Cost: $405

3. Yu Ti (玉體): Jade Body
(Open to All; 27 CEU)

8/13 (Monday) 1-4 Life Trees
8/15 (Wednesday) 1-4 Clashing Dragons
8/17 (Friday) 1-4 Circle of Stars
8/20 (Monday) 1-4 Square of Seasons
8/22 (Wednesday) 1-4 Ancestral Planets
8/24 (Friday) 1-4 Atmospheric Pitches
8/27 (Monday) 1-4 Seven Stars of Life
8/29 (Wednesday) 1-4 Eight Seals of Form, Transform, and Function
8/31 (Friday) 1-4 Nine Fields of Growth and Limit

Cost: $810

4. Yu Ti (玉體): Jade Body, Jing Luo (經絡): The River Body, and Jing Shen (精神): The Microcosmic Body
(Advanced – In-Person Only with Approval; 18 CEU)

7/7 (Saturday) 2-5pm Circle of Stars II
7/8 (Sunday) 9am-noon Atmospheric Pitches II
7/8 (Sunday) 1-4pm Nine Fields of Growth and Limit II
8/4 (Saturday) 2-5pm Jing-Qi-Shen II
8/5 (Sunday) 9am-noon Wuyun Liuqi (1) II
8/5 (Sunday) 1-4pm Wuyun Liuqi (2) II

Cost: $540

Class Descriptions
Life Trees

Description: This introductory class presents the ancient cosmology of the Earth and the emergence of the destiny of the human being. It is an introduction to the cosmic memory of life, and how this memory lives in human blood. The background to this course is the ancient cosmology of the Fusang Tree, the Jian Tree, and the Rou Tree.

Practical Implications: Upon completion of this class, students will be able to recognize the macro-microcosmic relationship of the human being to the cosmos in specific systems such as the cardiovascular system in the body. This will provide a broad basis for understanding physiology. Students will also learn of the historical and mytho-historical background of Chinese medical thinking and practice, and how the directions of the east and west are significant with regards to inner physiology.

Clashing Dragons

Description: This class looks to the stars for the background of the cycles of time and the processes of change and transformation that is reflected in nature. It is an introduction to the Yijing (Classic of Change) and the ancient astronomy, and is a further exploration in the cosmic memory of the human being.

Practical Implications: Upon completion of this class, students will be able to relate astronomical changes throughout the year, both in ancient times and today, to the human experience of time and change. This will provide a deepening basis for understanding physiology, particularly with regard to the relationship between yin and yang and the cycle of time. Students will also learn of the historical background of the Yijing (Classic of Change).

Circle of Stars

Description: This class maps out and explores the relationship between the sun and moon to the 28 ancient constellations, which can be seen through the 12 Tidal Hexagrams found in the Yijing (Classic of Change). This will lay the foundation for later studies of the 12 Channel networks, and their relationship to time. This class will also introduce the relationship between western and eastern astronomy and astrology.

Practical Implications: Upon completion of this class, students will be able to begin to work with calendar science in relation to the 12 Channel networks in the body, and to begin to recognize the 28 constellations in the sky, the 12 regions, and the 12 western zodiacal constellations, as well as the phases and changes of the sun and moon throughout the year. This will provide a foundation for understanding the physiology of the 12 Channel networks and their organs, particularly from the perspective of recognizing their archetypal expressions of health and disease.

Square of Seasons

Description: This class offers an overview of the ancient perspective of the earth and its four directions and four seasons. This perspective is found especially in the Ya (亞) character, which reveals the stability of the four directions and four seasons. This course will rely upon both ancient depictions and revelations of the being of nature through the four seasons, as well as our own experience.

Practical Implications: Upon completion of this class, students will be able to recognize in the four directions and four seasons the fundamentals of Chinese medicine, and will also have a deep sense of the historical and philosophical importance of the image of the Ya (亞) character, and its relevance in practice.

Ancestral Planets

Description: This class takes the planet earth as a whole, with its four seasons, and places it in the center, and then looks outwards to the cosmos where we find the influences of planets and their relation to the four directions and seasons. This is an introduction to the five phases, Wuxing (五行), and their dynamic processes in form, function, and tonal resonance.

Practical Implications: Upon completion of this class, students will be able to apply five phase thinking comprehensively and effectively in clinical practice. They will be able to recreate the cosmic image of the five planets, as well as the four directions and the center imaginatively, and work with the dynamic relationships inherent in this image. Students will recognize the difference between form, function and resonance, and this will deeply inform their clinical practice.

Atmospheric Pitches

Description: This class introduces the foundations of the Six Conformations and the Six Atmospheric Influences (6 Qi) by way of the classical understanding of tones and pitches. The focus of the class is on the 12 ancient bells (and pitches), and their associations with the 12 channels and 6 Qi. The relationship between the 5 and the 6 tones and pitches, organs and channels will also be explored.

Practical Implications: Upon completion of this class, students will be able to recognize the classical associations of the tones and pitches to the organ and channel system, which will help them to further understand the totality of these systems, both as microcosmic and macrocosmic organizations. Students will be able to apply this understanding to their future studies in the application of the Wuyun liuqi theory.

Seven Stars of Life

Description: This class will work with the ancient perspective of Life Essence, Jing (精), and how, rather than focusing on its material expression (and relation to genetics), the ancient perspective was on the source of life, which is from the far periphery of the cosmos. The constellations, especially Dou (斗), the “Big Dipper”, provide the path to the source of Life Essence, which potentially beginning in Han times and especially in the times of the 3 Kingdoms became known as the “Bear Dance of Great Yu”. This dance originates in Shamanic dance, which can be based upon the 7 stars, the 8 trigrams, or the 9 fields. We will explore what this can teach us in the healing arts.

Practical Implications: Upon completion of this class, students will be able to comprehend and work with the classical understanding of Life Essence, Jing (精). Students will also develop a deeper relationship with the stars and see its relevance in clinical practice. Students will also learn of the historical perspectives of the “Bear Dance of Great Yu”, which will guide them in future studies of the stars, of Life Essence, Jing (精), and the highly significant physiological gesture of moving from the number 5 to 7, particularly in the teeth.

Eight Seals of Form, Transformation, and Function

Description: This class is based upon the Shuogua, one of the “wings” of the Yijing (Classic of Change). Through this ancient text, we will encounter 8 cosmological images of change and transformation that are organized in depictions of form, depictions of transformation, and depictions of dynamic processes (or function). We will work with the Bagua (8 Trigrams), which is the basis of this text, and all that they can teach us. This course is one of the most significant foundation courses in the program.

Practical Implications: Upon completion of this class, students will be able to develop a deep, life-long relationship with the 8 Trigrams. Students will make significant progress in working with the difference between form and function in this class, which will be an essential aspect to the practice of herbal medicine and the healing arts. Students will also continue to develop an intimate relationship to change and transformation in nature, in the cosmos, and in the human being.

Nine Fields of Growth and Limit

Description: This final class for the first 1/3rd of the 1st year of study completes a small 3 X 3 cycle, and is the end of the 1st 1/9th of the entire program. We will explore the significance of these numbers, particularly through the “Magic Square of 9” (Luoshu), which offer a map and compass of the relationships so far explored in the program. This is the foundation for the 5 phase (Wuxing) dynamics known as the “Sheng (生)” and the “Ke (克)” cycles, or the cycles of growth and limit. This will also include an introduction to pulse reading. After completion of this course, students will have a firm, cosmological and natural basis for the study of East Asian medicine, and for its deeply profound understanding of the human being that we are seeking.

Practical Implications: Upon completion of this class, students will be able to recreate the Luoshu (River Map) imaginatively, which will foster their ability to see and work with the inter-relations between the Sheng (生) and the Ke (克) cycles. Students will be able to recognize and continue to work with how the preceding classes form a whole that fits inside of this final class, and how this is related to the magic of the Luoshu. Students will be able to synthesize these classes together, and recognize that they now have an established diagnostic and therapeutic framework based upon the “Jade Body” Yu Ti (玉體), of the human being. Students will additionally be able to start to work with the pulse due to their newly established diagnostic framework.

Jing-Qi-Shen (Advanced)

Description: This class explores the physiological and spiritual manifestation of the human being’s relationship to heaven and earth, which come to expression in what is known as Jing-Qi-Shen. This course explores what these are, how they are related, and what they have to do with physiology, health and illness, and the Way of the human being.

Practical Implications: Upon completion of this class, students will be able to recognize and differentiate between Jing, Qi, and Shen. Students will then be able to engage in a thorough study of human physiology, which this class will begin.

Wuyun Liuqi (1 and 2 – Advanced)

Description: These two classes are an introduction and complete overview of the greater system of medical astro-climatology known as the Wuyun liuqi. This will summarize and complete what has been presented thus far in the program for those at this level, and will begin to form a reliable bridge of understanding of the human being, standing between heaven and earth.

Practical Implications: Upon completion of this class, students will be able to begin to work with the full context of the 6 Conformations through the lens of the microcosmic-macrocosmic relationship of the human being between the heavens and the earth. Students will develop an intimate relationship with and understanding of human physiology, health and illness as expressions of human relation to the natural and cosmic worlds. At the conclusion of these classes students will have a profound and essential foundation upon which all further studies can flourish directly from classical wisdom and practice. These courses also provide a framework from which students can move forward in developing the future of Chinese herbal practice.