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Acupuncture is utterly Eastern. So when you approach any Eastern science with ..the
Western mind you miss many things. Your whole approach is different: it is
methodological, it is logical, analytical. And these Eastern sciences are not really
sciences but arts. The whole thing depends on whether you can shift your energies
from the intellect to the intuition, whether you can shift from male to female, from
yang to yin; from the active, aggressive approach. Can you become passive, receptive?
Only then do these things work; otherwise you can learn all about acupuncture,
and it will not be acupuncture at all. You will know all about it, but not it. And sometimes
it happens that a person may not know much about it and knows it, but then it
is a knack —just an insight into it.
So this is happening to many Eastern things: the West becomes interested — they
are profound. The West becomes interested in an Eastern thing, but then it brings in
its own mind to understand it. The moment the Western mind comes into it, the
very base of it is destroyed. Then only fragments are left and those fragments never
work. And it is not that acupuncture was not going to work, acupuncture can work,
but it can work only with an Eastern approach.
So if you really want to learn acupuncture, it is good to know about it but
remember that is not the most essential thing. Learn whatsoever information is
possible, then forget all the information and start groping in the dark. Start listening
to your own unconscious, start feeling en rapport with the patient. It is different....
When a patient comes to a Western medical man, the Western medical man starts
reasoning, diagnosing, analyzing, finding out where the illness is, what the illness is,
and what can cure it. He uses one part of his mind, the rational part. He attacks the
disease, he starts conquering it: a fight starts between the disease and the doctor. The
patient is just out of the game — the doctor does not bother about the patient. He
starts fighting with the disease — the patient is completely neglected.
When you come to an acupuncturist the disease is not important, the patient
is important, because it is the patient who has created the disease: the cause is in
the patient, the disease is only a symptom. You can change the symptom and
another symptom will come up. You can force this disease by drugs, you can stop its
expression, but then the disease will assert itself somewhere else and with more
danger, more force, with a vengeance. The next disease will be more difficult to tackle
than the first. You drug it too, then the third disease will be even more difficult.
That's how allopathy has created cancer. You go on forcing back the disease on
one side, it asserts itself from another, then you force it on that side — the disease
starts becoming very, very angry. And you don't change the patient, the patient
remains the same; so because the cause exists, the cause goes on creating the effect.
Acupuncture deals with the cause. Never deal with the effect, always go to the
cause. And how can you go to the cause? Reason cannot go to the cause — the cause
is too big for the reason — it can only tackle the effect. Only meditation can go to the
cause. So acupuncture will feel the patient. He will forget his knowledge, he will just
try to get in tune with the patient. He will feel en rapport; he will start feeling a
bridge with the patient. He will start feeling the disease of the patient in his own
body, in his own energy system. That is the only way for him to know intuitively
where the cause is, because the cause is hidden. He will become the mirror and he
will find the reflection in himself.
This is the whole process of it, and this is not being taught because it cannot be
taught. It is really worth going into, so my suggestion is first learn in the West for
two years, then for at least six months go to some Far Eastern country and be with
some acupuncturist. Just be in his presence — just let him work and you watch. Just
absorb his energy, and then you will be able to do something; otherwise it will be
And if you start feeling your own energy by and by, or the working of the energy
in your own body, acupuncture will not remain just a technique, it will become
an instrument. And it is an insight — you can learn the technique and nothing will
come out of it — it is more a hunch than an art. That is one of the most difficult things
about ancient techniques: they are not scientific, and if you approach them with a
scientific outlook you may get some inkling but the major part will be missing.
And whatsoever you will be able to get hold of will not be much, and it will be
The whole ancient approach was totally different: it was not logical at all, it was
more feminine, more intuitive, more illogical. One was not thinking in syllogism as
the scientific mind thinks; rather, one was in a deep participation with existence —
more in a sort of dreaming state, in a reverie, and allowing nature to release its secrets
and mysteries. It was not aggression on nature...a persuasion at the most. And the
approach is from the interior.
One has to approach one's own body from the interiormost core. Those seven
hundred points were not known objectively, they were known in deep meditation.
When one goes deep inside and looks from inside — a tremendous experience — one
can see all the acupuncture points surrounding oneself, as if the night is full of stars.
And when you have seen those energy points, then only are you ready. Now you have
an inner grasp, and just by touching the body of the other person you will be able to
feel where the body energy is missing and where it is not; where it is moving, where
it is not moving; where it is cold and where it is warm; where it is alive and where
it has gone dead. There are points at which it responds, and there are points at which
it has no response at all.
You will be able to know acupuncture only to the extent that you become
capable of knowing yourself, and when both coincide there is a great light. In that
light you can see everything — not only about yourself, but about the bodies of
others. A new vision arises as if a third eye has opened.
Acupuncture is not a science but an art, and every art demands of you a deep
..surrender. It is not like any other technique that a technician can manipulate. It
needs your whole heart in it. You have to forget yourself just as a painter forgets while
painting, or a poet forgets while composing, a musician forgets while playing. It is
that kind of a thing. A technician can practice acupuncture but he will never be exactly
what is needed. He will never be that. He may help a few people, but it is a great art,
a great skill. It has to be imbibed. The secret is surrender. If you can surrender yourself
totally into it, if it becomes a devotion, a dedication — and it can become — go
into it, go wholeheartedly, with joy."
Start being on your own. And you will have to find your own knack. Acupuncture
is a knack and an art, and there is no need to follow anybody like a rule. There
are none. Rules do not exist, just insights. So start working on your own.... In the
beginning you will feel a little unconfident, and you will be worried many times about
whether you are doing the right thing or not. But this is how one has to begin. It is a
kind of groping. Sooner or later you will find the door. Once you have started finding
the door then less and less groping is needed. Then you know the door. Start
When you touch anybody's body or you work with needles, you are working on
God. One has to be very respectful, very hesitant. One has to work not out
knowledge but out of love. Knowledge is never adequate, it is not enough. So feel for
the person. And always feel inadequate, because knowledge is limited and the other
person is an entire world, almost infinite.... People touch you but they never touch
you. They touch only the periphery, and you are there somewhere deep in the centre
where nobody enters except love. Man is a mystery and is going to remain a mystery
forever. It is not something accidental that man is a mystery.
Mystery is his very being.
(From Medication to Meditation, Great Britain, 1996)