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October 2023 Flying Needle News

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Bright crisp morning - leaves

And pine needles are fall

Cold dew has arrived

Hello Friends of Flying Needle!

Happy Cold Dew!

- fifth autumnal node -

Hope this finds you well during these interesting times!

Seasonal Musings & Reflections

My time in Colorado Springs at the Institute for Anatomical Research was awesome and amazing. Awesome and amazing enough that it has been a challenge to communicate even some of the potency of the experience. It was a fantastic and diverse group of folks brought together by a shared interest in deepening our understanding of human anatomy. Gil Hedley, James Pulciani, and Madhav Gramke led us through an exploration of the layers and relationships of and between the tissues of the human form. 10 days may sound like a long time for this work, but we easily could have spent many days exploring each layer.

The primary orientation was to simply see what we could see within and between the layers - a beginner's mind approach to anatomical study. Putting down the models that we have of the body is no small feat. Perhaps even more challenging for folks who are life long students of the body as many of us were. I was and am grateful for having made a practice of not-knowing in my own work and study of the body. At the same time, a lifetime of being around mechanical models, and two dimensional abstracted images of the body, make deep grooves in consciousness.

Given the depth of these grooves, each day in the lab was a revelation. Even though I have been a proponent for years of a fluid dynamic relational orientation to the body's structure and function, it was as if I was coming to this perspective for the first time. Many of the stories that we tell ourselves about how the body is organized – made of parts, muscle origin and insertion, heart as pump, bones as rigid weight bearers – are distinctly inaccurate.

“Hold your good practices dearly. Hold your ideas about them lightly.” - Gil Hedley

Said slightly differently – trust your experience. Question your stories about experience.

Being a student, and practitioner of Chinese medicine, I am accustomed to explaining processes using multiple, and at times, seemingly contradictory models. There's a certain level of humility that working at the crossroads of paradigms and cultures invites us into. My time at the lab reinvigorated and deepened my commitment to being humble in the face of the endless mysteries of this life. The body is more complex, connected, and beautiful than I ever understood. This feels like a gift that will continue to unwind, unfold, and bloom as the seasons turn.

May your Autumn days be filled with beauty, mystery, and friendship!

May you and your kin feel both rooted and free!

May we walk in gratitude with our Ancestors!

May all being and becoming receive nourishment!

Stories and models

May be useful, but the map's

Not the territory

It is my sincere hope that you have found something of use in these words.

If you know folks who you feel would enjoy this newsletter, please forward it their way! Thank you!

Wishing you and all your relations wellbeing and good medicine!

With gratitude,


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