Interview with Yaron Seidman
What Yaron teaches during this podcast speaks right to my heart personally, as he embodies the way I approach my clinical practice – Heart led, focused on contribution. He has been practicing for almost 25 years now and has some key messages for how he feels our medicine should be moving forward. Thank you so much Yaron, this is a must watch / listen. ! Spence
Licensed acupuncture CT 1998
TCM course Auckland New Zealand 1991-92
Chinese Classical literature 1993-95 Freiburg university, Germany
Tongji medical university Wuhan china 1996
Guangxi TCM university 1998
Five Branches University DAOM 2007-8 or 2006-7
Hunyuan Medicine since 2002
Hunyuan Research Institute 2010
Hunyuan Academy 2018
Author: hunyuan Fertility , curing infertility , Chinese medicine liberation , hunyuan xinfa , hunyuan foundations
Associate in Research Harvard University since 2013
Seminars around the world
Taiji Quan , qigong , internal arts since 1989
Huai Xuan advocate
Founder: hunyuan: body heart and medicine
Spence: Hello, everybody, and welcome to another Golden Podcast, where we have interviews with world-class TCM community leaders to discover their stories, habits, psychology and secrets that led to their success, and someone I’ve known for a number of years now I’m really excited to chat with and dive a lot deeper into his methods, Yaron Seidman. Welcome to the show you’re on.
Yaron: Hey, thanks for having me.
Spence: Excellent. I’ve always enjoyed your lectures and anything that I’ve ever heard from you as being so heart-led and always coming back to that. Anyway, that’s my take on it, but I probably should enroll in the program. I would love to start with your story, like we just said before we hit record, kind of in tradition with these podcasts. You know, the diverse backgrounds and I’m sure you have one, I’m pretty sure you didn’t start out in the U.S. Rewind back as far as you want, kind of your influences or what kind of got you into Chinese medicine and where you are kind of today.
Yaron: I could start in many different places, but maybe I want to just start in my childhood just for one minute. I grew up in a not so wealthy neighborhood in the south of Israel in the desert, and my father was hard-working, both my parents were hard-working, and I just remember among many different things, my father always used to tell me, you are a nonconformist, which in his language meant, you never listen, you always do what you want to do and you don’t listen to anyone. So, then, fast-forwarding to when I’m 18, 19 and I was still living in Israel at that time, I started learning some alternative holistic medicine like bioenergy and reflexology and healing, all kind of weird stuff that I’m not sure that I want to even mention here. Like really weird stuff. But I wasn’t that satisfied, and if I were to give you the full story, I had a girlfriend that moved to New Zealand, where her brother used to live and I moved there and he was learning in an acupuncture school. So, he said, why don’t you join and I joined that school. It was like a small school in Auckland, with a few students and they got few teachers from Nanjing University to come over and teach TCM.
Spence: So, this was a while back?
Yaron: Yeah, early ‘92. I was really excited, I learned new things, yin, yang and five elements and I was like in heaven. But then in ’93, one of my Tai Chi teachers that I had there organized me a trip to Beijing to his family to learn Tai Chi but also Chinese medicine in some clinic in a factory somewhere, like not the regular conventional school, but a factory with some guys. They used to have these factory clinics and I couldn’t speak any Chinese, and this whole thing started getting me really going because I started to learn TCM for year two now after all the holistic healing and things, and it was much more exciting for me. It has the system to it, yin, yang, there’s some solid theory, that kind of thing, but then the nonconformist started kicking in. I’m like, wait, but I can’t really speak Chinese and I can’t speak to this family, I see these all kinds of original texts. I met in Beijing another girl and she was from Germany, so I moved to Germany and you get the pattern kind of me moving after the girlfriends. In Germany, I learned German and I joined the University there in Freiburg and I started to learn Chinese literature and language to speak Chinese. That brought me kind of to just fast-forward into ‘97, ’98, to a more classical training. I went back to China, back and forth and I started to learn more like the classic, Shang Han Lun, the Yellow Emperor and now more in Chinese rather than English. And then I had that trip in my mind, originally, I was learning some more Chinese medicine but now more authentic, and this is pretty much the division that we have today, the marketplace, the ones who do more modernize, the ones who want to do more classical and each one has their trips. And I was in both these trips. One that is more modern and excited and the other that is more classical and authentic. But then, the nonconformist kicked in again: I’m not this, I’m not that. If you were to define me, what are you, are you a classicist, are you a modernist or whatever, I’m none of the above. I’m just like a nonconformist, I just want to learn what’s working, what really has no bogus to it. In my experience, it was on both ends, the modernist who was very practical, who also had all kind of communist stuff in there and all kind of things, the classicist that seems to be more authentic but also had all kind of bogus stuff going on there, and I wasn’t happy with this and that. So, I started to venture out by myself and I started to develop my own thing, and then more or less, this is my story, like how I went through all this. At the end, I emigrated to the U.S. and again had another girl here.
Spence: Are you married?
Yaron: Yes, eventually yes. Married with three kids. I settled down and I stopped with this whole girl thing.
Spence: So, where you’re now, you’re in Connecticut?
Spence: You’ve been there for quite some time, that’s where your clinic is.
Yaron: Yes, that’s where my family is. But I’m mostly online, my school is online and most of my patients are from around the world, so it’s not really a local clinic.
Spence: Right. Just for the sake of completing that story, you did start a clinical practice for a while that later will get into the online stuff, but you did have a clinic.
Yaron: It is a clinic now too, it’s just that I see on the computer long-distance patients. It used to be local in Connecticut, there is some local crowd but also there are people from all over the world.
Spence: So, people contact you to learn your methods from a traditional Chinese – sorry, from whatever we are going to call it, from a Chinese medical perspective, as well as patients find you through and just want consultation on – do you have a focus in your practice? You’ll treat anyone that gives you a call?
Yaron: For many years, I started to specialize in infertility and I did it for many years, but over the last few years, it is still a lot of infertility, but it started to be all kind of very difficult cases that nobody can help. And so, more different things…
Spence: Come to you. So, you’ve been in practice since 1990 – when about? Late nineties?
Yaron: Yes, I moved here at the end of ’96, to the U.S., and it took me a few months or a year to get all the licensing, so, like from the end of ’97, I was in practice in Connecticut. About 20 years.
Spence: About 20 years.
Yaron: But I had practiced before in Germany, ‘94, ‘95, ‘96 in Germany.
Spence: So, being a long time. How did it start out, your style, how did it evolve? I know you said you’re incorporating the modernist and then the classical, and now, we can kind of segue into your Hunyuan, just the evolution of your philosophy or mentality behind your practice.
Yaron: If I translate my nonconformist attitude, it basically means that I want to learn everything, but I want to learn it in order to filter it out and to find the real precious stuff. So, it’s not like I have aversion to anything, like I don’t want to learn modern TCM, I actually want to learn what everyone has to say. But the more I work on myself, the more I try to get better, the more I have tools to evaluate if it has value for me or not right. So, it’s basically about filtering out, you know, like you have a net that you fish out a lot of stuff and you just drop out a lot of things until you find really good stuff. And in the end, if your system is full of good stuff, it becomes really good.
Spence: So, Yaron’s pearls. Before we hit record, we talked about being authentically yourself, our conversation was in a slightly different direction, but ultimately, the same shit. You need to be yourself, otherwise you’re going to associate and run into the problem of trying to be someone else basically. And that’s not Yaron’s case.
Spence: I can tell you, some of the things that I worked on myself, that I find really valuable is that in order to succeed in like filtering information, what’s good, what’s bad, it’s very difficult to know what’s good, what’s bad. Like, you read articles: the apples cause cancer. You don’t know is it good, is it bad, I mean, people eat apples for thousands of years, but now they say cause cancer or milk or something. It’s hard to tell, but I find that — this is at least my way working on myself — I had a few main obstacles that I had to overcome and I’m still dealing with it. One is like my own selfish need to succeed. If I overcome this, I can start seeing things more clearly. Sometimes, when you want to succeed so much, financially and fame, name, stuff like this, you start to work your vision a little bit and then you say, wow, this is really successful. If I sell that, it’s very successful, if I do this, it is successful. It needs to come, at
least for me, from something that is more genuine and what do I mean by that, like, let’s say my patient is my child. So, what do I care if it’s making money or not, it really needs to be the real thing. Like, with your child, it’s not how much money am I going to make but is it really working or not. So, for me, that was an obstacle, it’s a continuous obstacle that needs to be overcome, but I think this helped me a lot. You know, learning a lot of things I learned a lot of things and I filtered out of it 90 or 95% of the things, deciding that they’re not so good. But this was the criteria. What’s the kind of criteria, is it really working or is it, ‘I want it…’, you know, it’s good for me. If it’s good for me, you start to be tainted; you start to assimilate things that can make really good business. But if it was your son, I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say, everybody’s screwed.
Spence: Of course you are.
Yaron: It has to be like really pure, is it really it, and in that sense, the methods that I start to develop as a big part to it, that are practical. In other words, it cannot be just theory. You know, is it fancy sounding. It has to be really, really working, really reproducible. And in that sense, it is very much close to the modern TCM, that’s their attitude, producible, very working.
Spence: I think a common pitfall for so many of us at times, in our life at least, is falling into the trap of chasing shiny objects, and this sounds like your methodology to help ensure that that isn’t happening because it can definitely bleed into, you know, I might use this for this or let’s incorporate this because it’ll sound good in marketing and we’ll bring in more patients, but is it helping patients, I have no damn idea.
Yaron: I think it’s something I feel that I have to work on myself continuously. In other words, it’s very easy to understand but very difficult to implement. Like you said, when you see shiny object, you say, yeah, yeah, I’m not after shiny object but then it’s twinkling. It’s hard because the tendency is a selfish desire. We have this. We can’t pretend to be like a Buddha, we’re not a Buddha, we’re just regular guys or girls. It’s a constant work on, is it really working or not and I find myself for years and years now criticizing myself, is it really or is it not. It’s like I never rest. Even 20 years later, is it really or is it not. It’s like my mantra. But this I think helped me a lot.
Spence: If I may reframe for myself, I’d like to know how you check in will it work for my son – that’s beautiful – but is this contributing for the betterment of my world and myself or is this about significance. Kind of one or the other that you’re checking in, you have a gage or a GPS or feedback mechanism, how do you interpret things or how do you check in on yourself, like do you have a bell that goes off a couple times a week that says, what are you doing?
Yaron: I like to do a self-reflection very often, and oftentimes, I find myself be very critical of myself, but not in a bad way. It’s like, I first determine what is the objective. The objective is to be more helpful. Again, with my son or with other people. I have the objective, the objective is very clear, it’s not like where am I going, what am I doing. I want to be more helpful, it needs to work more. Now, when I am self-reflecting on myself, did you do it right, it doesn’t matter, it could be from something more simple. Like you mix herbs, did you mix the right herbs or because one of the herbs is more expensive, you didn’t want to use so much of it, for example. You know, something small like this, are you tainted in your thought or not. And it could be also something much more sophisticated on different levels, like you do things, did you really do it for the right purpose. In other words, you have a student in the school who starts to disturb everybody, just for example, you kick him out, did you do it for the right reason or not. It’s really for the right reason I want to promote it. Even if you do something that looks not good, it is good. I’m constantly trying to evaluate myself, the actions, it’s so like a self-reflection. Normally, we tend to reflect on other people, they’re not doing good, they are too bad, but it is becoming easier with the years. It becomes spontaneous, it’s not so hard anymore. If you do it all the time, it’s like a habit.
Yaron: Yeah. I want to give you time to ask questions. When I engage people, when I teach seminar or something, and let’s say they have criticism, I completely don’t feel threatened because I’m constantly criticizing myself. It’s like nothing new that anybody can tell. Well, why do you say that, what do you think? I’m constantly thinking it myself, so that’s part of it.
Spence: I love, love, love that, and it’s ultimately what we’re doing for our patients often, helping classify them by nature and giving them constructive feedback to maybe change the
trajectory of their life and so their health and wellness changes. I mean, for years and years and years now, I have paid people to help me self-reflect because there’s a lot of blind spots. My ego gets in the way, so I appreciate this wisdom because of your experience and wisdom, you’ve been practicing for a long, long time, and this is why I wanted you on the show. This is a perfect segue into the Hunyuan, because it sounds like your life, your self-reflection as meditation or whatever kind of connection it is to yourself, but it sounds very heart-led. I’m probably not doing it any justice at all, but the foundation to the Hunyuan method that you have developed and teach now.
Yaron: Yeah, it’s a work in progress.
Spence: Can you tell people about the Hunyuan then? I mean, it is your thing, this is you, this is how you step into the world and how people see you, so tell people about Hunyuan.
Yaron: Well, I mean, I started learning Hunyuan, Tai Chi and Qi-Gong, from the famous teachers, so it comes from there, not from Chinese medicine. But I was very much influenced by it for some years, and especially by the teacher at the time, Feng Zhi Qiang. It was like very heart warming to be with him and that influenced me a lot. The world itself Hunyuan, which means ‘mixed origin’, has a very ancient history, a couple thousand years and it belongs to Confucius and Tang Dynasty scholars, it’s not like I invented it. But technically, the medicine itself for me as I described it before, started from TCM and then more classical Shang Han Lun. And then I ended up with a school called the Fire Spirit School and Zhi Qiang from Sichuan, and they have like a certain idea and I dug into it for quite some time. They call it ‘supporting the young’, and they used a lot of foods. So, my way took me there, it’s like a Shang Han Lun style, but I liked it very much. Because Chen Zhonghua, we’re talking about 120, 130 years ago, he was like very not conformist too. When I read his commentary of the Shang Han Lun, all of a sudden, he takes few lines and he says, no, this looks like a mistake. Normally, Shang Han Luns think that the book is like God. But this guy says it’s the best book ever, but these lines are mistakes. All of a sudden, he’s doubting stuff, and this like resonated with this nonconformistic thing. Then I read in one of his books that he says he has a teacher Liu Yuan and he really doesn’t know what’s going on with Liu Yuan, but even though he learned with him for 20 years but he kind of eavesdropped. And so I started to find out what is this Liu Yuan and I found out his school is called a Huai Xuan school, and
they talk a lot about heart medicine, about physical medicine, herbs and stuff. So, I have a lot of information from there that influenced me and helped me craft what I call Hunyuan. It’s not really I invented everything from scratch, so I do have these influences that over the years kind of guide me around, but still, you know, one of the focal points in the Huai Xuan school is that you take all the ancient wisdom and you have to bring it to today. And there it is in the Qing Dynasty, I’m not in the Qing Dynasty anymore, but it’s that principle. We’re in the 20th and 21st century, so this was part of the work that I’ve been doing for some years that this is now called Hunyuan medicine. I took some very ancient concepts and just put them in the language that everybody can understand. For example, we’re talking about how life is incorporated into the body, I call it ‘unification ability’, so it’s easy for us to understand. You have energy, you eat from nature and then you bind with it – we call that: ‘unify with nature’. So, this project is easy, but in the Qing dynasty for Liu Yuan, this is called the ‘dragon is being submerged in the water’, which means talking about the I Ching and the trigram, there is a water trigram that has one solid line in the middle and true broken line on top of the bottom, and for them they say that man is connected to heaven and heaven energy is submerged in the body, and this is like the dragon, like in the I Ching. When you talk about the heaven trigram, there’s descriptions of the six dragons and all kind of stuff like this. But I would say today, let’s practice Hunyuan medicine, it’s about submerging the dragon, people are like [mimicking]. It resonates because we’re not in the Qing dynasty, we don’t read the I Ching all day and we don’t know what’s the story with the dragon. Part of the work that I did is not just translating, but translate the meanings into contemporary language and then people learn it and say, wow, that makes really sense. And 200 years ago, in that language at that time, that made really sense. So, this is a big part of Hunyuan, not really that I’ve made it up but I interpreted the meaning so it makes sense today, not just translated it. Other than that also, I have developed some concept, because I’m not just a translator. My son is here, it needs to be even better, so I’m kind of actually further developing more.
Spence: So, if someone wanted to learn more about Hunyuan, I know it’s primarily an online learning platform, can you walk people through, you know, what’s involved and what they learn along the way?
Yaron: Basically, the way that I develop Hunyuan, if you don’t mind, I’ll just mention it in few words.
Spence: Of course.
Yaron: I want to shift, I feel that that’s necessary, to shift from the regular medicine paradigm in general, the medicine paradigm is you have sick people in front of you and you need to medicate them. This is what we think medicine is. You see this person is sick, you medicate them. But I think medicine has, and that‘s how I learned also from Liu Yuan and Huai Xuan and all this, there’s a different dimension there. Like, Liu Yuan says he learned the Confucius classics from 2000 years ago thoroughly and the word medicine is not mentioned even once. But on the other hand, the words benevolence and heart are mentioned endless times, and he said, who would believe that when you use benevolence and heart things, what kind of a therapeutic effect can you get, which is unbelievable. So, this gives me like all kind of the perspectives to say medicine is not just medicating people or giving them procedures, and this is what Hunyuan is today. I have three different legs that this thing is standing on and it’s not just medicating people. One is, I call it the Hunyuan body, the other I call it Hunyuan heart and the third one is the Hunyuan medicine, all kinds of procedures, herbs, acupuncture and the stuff. And the overall principle for me is to try to accomplish more with less. In other words, if someone has a problem, some disease and I can teach them how to do an exercise and they get cured from it, it’s much superior than if I medicate them and they get cured from it. Because I didn’t do anything, they just exercised a little bit, if it is possible. Likewise with the heart, if I can teach them in the heart, to work on the heart and then, whatever disease they have, it is resolved without even one licorice root. This is a higher. This is the overarching principle, trying to heal people more by intervening less. Let them do it. And so, this is when I teach now, I have the Hunyuan body track that has different courses to teach, the Hunyuan heart track to teach all kind of things related to the heart and the Hunyuan medicine about herbs, acupuncture, all kinds of how to intervene in people’s lives and hopefully not mess them up.
Spence: This is exactly why I wanted to chat with you and to play my part in bringing your teaching to our community more because it resonates with me. As we talked about before hitting record, my practice began more in that, you called it the Hunyuan medicine, the mechanics, I call it aspect, the body. And after 15 years now, I get that’s one element, but I try to get that out of the way so I can connect in what you’re speaking to more, this Hunyuan heart. If you can help someone change their trajectory from a psychological or — I’m trying to
reframe the language again even for myself here, it is something that will last them a lifetime and will help them cure themselves without taking the herbs, I agree. These are the messages that I’m starting to feel myself. It’s what I want to connect with my patients myself as well because maybe that’s where I’m at in my life. Bob Flaws, who we had on, had the same message: if he could deliver one pearl backwards to the community to try to infuse more spirituality into your practices, because that’s one place where that traditional Chinese medicine, more modernist probably, is really even in classical is lacking and in some respects, it’s what’s been maybe filtered out like you said more than it should be and it’s nice to see it coming back. You’ve practiced a lot of Tai Chi and Chi Gong, and maybe a good metaphor is that when you start to learn Tai Chi, something you see that is so beautiful and flowing and looks so magical, when you start to learn it yourself, you feel like the most clunky idiot in the world trying to learn all the steps and all the moves. And then finally, you start to learn and you’ve got the form memorized, and then after that you eventually get into it, being actual Chi Gong or Tai Chi manifest. You flow and it becomes more of a spiritual journey once the mechanics or the medicine parts are done. This is my interpretation and I’m just summarizing, I love what you’re talking about here.
Yaron: Thank you. I would like to share with everyone about this heart aspect. Because we all do that if we practice Chinese medicine of any kind, you know, it’s a little bit different than the modern mechanical medicine. I think for most of us. We are more kind, we’re nice, we don’t want to be abusive and we want to give more attention to patients. This for me was from the beginning. And I think it’s like this for many people, but this with the heart work that I’ve been doing now for some time, it’s hard to share it, like, how the experience is like, and I hope to try to do it here in the next minute. It’s just by sharing one or two stories. It’s different than just being nice and warm and kind. For example, two weeks ago, I had a patient and she’s trying to get pregnant, but when I look at her, she looks like very, very gloomy. And I said like, what’s going on, she’s a relatively new patient, started a few weeks ago, and she is opening up and she says, you know, my mother is going through chemotherapy, they found cancer. So, her heart is like in a big problem now, because we all love our mothers and when they go through this radiation or whatever, it’s really, really difficult. All of a sudden, these things, they like come over to me and I can’t even reproduce what’s going on in the session, but I would say that it feels like, I’m putting my hands through the screen now to you and I’m holding you for the shirt and I’m shaking you like this and you like don’t know what happened,
and then, I speak to her two weeks later and you see her glowing. I told her what to do or how to think about it, how to feel, but it’s hard for me to say it because you don’t experience it. But two weeks later, you see her, her mother is still going through the therapy, but I told her what to do and every morning now she’s sending songs to her mother and she’s lighting up. So, the power that you can get in this, it’s more than just like being nice and kind. You need to know first how to feel it, where to go, what to do, what to say, and the transformation is phenomenal, for us trying to get the curative effect, not just make people feel better, this is fundamental. Because when she had this gloomy thing going on, the energy is being sucked out. If you give her acupuncture, whatever you want, it’s very difficult to recover, it will be very difficult for her to get pregnant. At the end, it is about succeeding or not. And what’s the success here? We want to help her, that’s the success. So, being kind is always good and nice in this but we need more. This is like my attitude. I need more than this, I need to go in. In the past, I used to ask teachers, well, what do you do if someone gets angry, a patient. We tell them it’s not good, anger is bad for the liver, we tell them don’t get angry. Really? You tell someone, all their life they’re angry, you tell them don’t get angry instead of helping. It’s almost like in the clinics, the doctors always tell their patient, don’t be — what do they say, don’t be stressed out, just relax. As soon as you say it, the patient is like freaking out. So, it‘s more than just being kind and saying nice things, this is something that needs to be trained and learned and researched. I’ve been doing that quite some time and it’s really, really wonderful, that heart part.
Spence: If you’re too focused on the mechanical side, you’re almost keeping a barrier between yourself and your patient, that’s my humble opinion. And that connection that you’re talking about is harder, and then their expectation of you is simply to give them medicine that’s the better work because it’s expensive. And then it forms a different relationship. I’d love your opinion on what we’re seeing in our industry is a lot of our practitioners bleeding more and more and more into this functional medicine style of practice, where it’s a little bit of Chinese medicine and a lot of testing and a lot of trying to figure things out through more of what I would call just naturopathic styles, and kind of abandoning more of this heart-led, or that connection with the patient – is it good, is it bad, is it okay that we are diverging?
Yaron: I think there’s good and bad in everything, you know, that’s my style. I think many people that want to do the more practical things, get supplements, get all kinds of pills of all
sorts, there is a good side to it. They’re looking for more things, more techniques, more methods, more instruments to help people. And this is good for a certain place, and that place is, like, if I don’t know much, at least I get this and that to do stuff. But my other tutors were always like, just try to learn more, try to go deeper and deeper and deeper, and why are we learning more is not to add more tools, it’s just to filter out the bad ones. So things that we used to use, we go deeper and deeper and deeper, and deeper could be on many different fronts, including working on myself to be a little bit less selfish, and not doing it for me to be successful, like, really, my son is there, I’ll give him these pills, no problem. That kind of thing, so on all different fronts, we work harder and harder to filter out the bad things and then start to acquire good, better things. This is my recommendation for everyone, and wherever we’re at right now, it’s good, it’s not bad. But if we get stuck there, this is what Confucius calls a real mistake. In other words, let’s say we do a mistake, we get comfortable and we never change it. But if we research deeper and five years later we realize maybe a different thing is better, it wasn’t a real mistake according to Confucius. Like, as long as we work on ourselves to get better, this is the only thing that patients can ask from us – are you really working on yourself to get better or you got stuck in a certain level and you’re just doing it now for the money? If you really try to work on yourself, it doesn’t matter which level you are at, you actually give to the patient your precious most. This is worth everything, it doesn’t matter what the level is, even if you’re a total beginner. You have the right heart to try it better, to try harder, and I think maybe this is missing in the industry a little bit. You know, people at one point get financially successful and they start getting comfortable, like, I wouldn’t be so successful if I’m not the best already. That logic is a little worked and I would recommend to shy away from that.
Spence: To shy away from that, yeah. Some of the more experienced, wiser practitioners like yourself and others I have and will get on the show too, just to be able to look back at your 20-year-old self or the 30-year-old that’s out there just starting in Chinese medicine too, and to be able to start in a place that’s so different than from where I started even and for sure from where you started, you know, just first of all, knowing strengths and weaknesses that they might have but that the industry and that the medicine and different styles and ways to step forward may or may not have, because I was speaking with a Jimmy Yen and what you’re saying kind of seems really similar in some ways. He was defining the difference between confidence and certainty. He said confidence is knowing what you can do and being kind of
confident moving forward, certainty is learning what you don’t know and what you’re not very good at, and mixing those two together.
Yaron: That’s pretty cool.
Spence: Yeah. I love that, I feel like that’s what you’re kind of saying too. You need to be true to yourself and keep learning and also like know what you’re not doing and not being okay, right?
Yaron: Well, if I had to reflect back, I would say that when I started my way, I felt that I knew the most. And the more you go, and I’m not saying it from artificially humble way or anything, it’s like when you started and you learned yin, yang, five elements, that’s it, you’re on the top of the world, you know everything. There’s nothing else better than that, but with the years, you start to climb down from this mountain and as you climb down from this mountain of being self-righteous and knowing everything, you actually start to ascend a much higher mountain. This is my perspective. At the end, things need to be very sincere and genuine. It’s your child, it’s your mother sitting here, it’s not a client, it’s not a customer, and, you know, if you ever gave help to your mother, you better not think about anything else, it’s just your most sincere heart. And then, if you can translate this going to other people, then it’s very beautiful. Every person here is a precious person, they all have children, they are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, you try to help them the most. That’s why for me, it was like for many years as if I had a tiger wanting to bite my behind. You’re learning, you’re researching, you’re trying to sift the good and the bad as if there’s fire behind you. It’s not like, look, I graduated, certificate, whatever, you know, the clients, they don’t know the difference, it doesn’t matter – it’s not that attitude. It’s like, you start seeing people in a different way. People, for me, they’re not patients. You see people, each one has a heart, each one has a life, has a family. It’s like very personal, for me seeing helping people is very personal, it’s not a business.
Spence: Maybe the strength of what we do and how we are allowed to connect, and kind of maybe I would postulate that that is maybe an overall perception that the world has of how Chinese medicine is unfolding, at least in contrast to a Western medical model. We’re more trying to individualize and connect with people on a person-to-person basis, and I love that you’ve developed something to really try to keep that and quantify it, because it’s hard. The
medicine side can be so addictive to learn about as well, and almost thinking more through the mechanics than connecting with the person. So, I’m in your school and I love it. I’m open to declare that as well and I hope, oh, well, that’s going to lead me into this question – where do you think everything’s kind of headed? I mean, Chinese medicine is really spreading its wings in the West and all over the world.
Yaron: If I may without trying to be too much self-promoting here, I did research for a few years, and I wrote a book, some people helped me to write it. It’s called Chinese Medicine Liberation, and the book is very heavy. It’s a thousand pages book, most practitioners can’t even lift it. But this few years’ research that I did really was to answer this one question, like where was it headed, and so I researched what happened in the 20
century just to realize what are the problems, where do I want to go with that and I didn’t know what will be the outcome. Like I thought, it will emphasize that modern TCM is not good blah, blah, blah, that kind of thing, but really that’s not what happened at the end of the process. At the end of the process, I realized that as Chinese medicine has transformed during the republic, the communists and modern times, every time there was a reason for that, a survival reason. It really highlights to me, and all of a sudden, I spent many thousands of hours on doing this project, it almost brought me to a financial collapse just to do this one book. But in the end, it was worth it. I realized that maybe it’s stupid, you know, like, why did you need to waste so much time to realize that it’s so obvious. What is really needed in the 21
century for me to develop the medicine is really to give it more heart. It’s not that we’re missing doctors today or practitioners and there’s not enough drugs, on the contrary, everybody is loaded with procedures, with drugs, Chinese medicine or Western medicine, everybody is getting ten times more procedures than what they should. They should just be left alone, maybe learn some exercise on how to eat and go to sleep well and be happy in the heart. But I think this become in great efficiency, like, first as a practitioner to patient, how to be full of heart. Second is how to teach them to increase their ability to harmonize the heart, not just say be happy and don’t be angry. Like, you know, find a real medicine, something to help them. And also even these exercises, the Tai Chi and Qi Gong, and all this, just teach them some exercises so they can be healthy, stop medicating them. I mean, I understand the business side of it, procedures, work in the business, but people just need help even if they don’t know that. And that help is not more procedures. In the 1920s in China, most of the people would die because there’s no doctors, there’s no drugs, even no acupuncturists. There were only some shamans and no medical care. But if you ask yourself today, do we have medical care, everybody is loaded ten times more than what they should get on all fronts. But they need help, so what did they normally do? Get more medical care. But I think you need help in a different way. Teach them how to take the power back. Right now, everybody’s customers, there’s millions of customers and I get the business side of it, but people need to stop be customers, they need to be more healthy, they need to like get control. They need to learn things, this is like where I went with that, you know, in my heart. Teach people more how to be healthy. My academy is not just teaching people how to be a technician so they can make money. I actually have quite a few patients going in there. And just this morning as you notice, I started something free online, that’s a meditation session. Just for free. People, get healthy, stop buying procedures, and all the acupuncturists who watch this, I hope you’ll forgive me for that, for trying to take business away. Everybody is trying to survive, we need to make some money, but it’s like a new spearhead, we need to spearhead medicine in a different direction. Like, people need to be able to have more and more tools to help themselves. And this might not be the best financial thing. If I would be like a big conglomerate corporation, I would get fired right away. It’s like, we’re trying to make more money, what are you doing to us? I get it, I’m not afraid of money, I am not afraid of charging people money, I have no issue there. I just want to help people. I think all of us, even if we are practitioners, we are technicians, we learn some techniques how to teach people and we can charge for that. So, you charge them, but you liberate them, you teach them to be self-
sufficient. We can still make money of course, but what I think, from my whole research about what happened in the 20th century, this was my conclusion – I teach people how to stop being customers, clients, whatever you want to call them.
Spence: Well, thank you for distilling a thousand pages into just a couple minutes there, because I don’t know when I get around to going through that, but I love that message. And that seems to be consistent, maybe it’s who I’m attracting here. I like your distinction, of course, we need to have clientele or patients or business or whatever terminology feels. What I teach in my course too is timeless principles, mostly based on relationship building and systems and organization. You can’t pull them in to your front door with a cane or something to trick them into trying your acupuncture. If people love the acupuncture because it does have quite profound effect, great, keep doing that. But ultimately, the acupuncture is like the stitches, you need to help them heal underneath that as well. I’m so loving what you’re saying, Yaron, thank you so much.
Yaron: If I can just add one word to clarify it. If we could develop the medicine, and this is still work in progress, there’s such an extent, you see people, you heal them, they stay healthy and they learn how to be healthy. I mean, it’s contrary initially to a business model of you need more patients and that kind of a thing and we’re definitely not doing what modern medicine is doing. They have the method, you take drugs and you should get hooked on to it. This is the model, that’s how you make money, but for us, we want to make people healthy and the more we do – and this is my belief – the more we do that kind of thing, that is really helping people, it’s like heaven is paying back. That sounds like religious thing but that means all of a sudden you get lucky and it always works for me like that. You just trying to give to people, all of a sudden, you get lucky, call it whatever you want. It’s contrary to regular business model. In a business model, there is an agenda, how to make it work, how to loop them in. This is not just help. And then, heaven pays it back, like it brings more people, more people know about you, and whatever. Liu Yuan, you know, my model that I’m following from the Qing dynasty, he says, that’s how it works. It’s like, when you do the right thing, there is no way that heaven is going to fail you. It’s because you’re just too precious, everybody needs it. You don’t need to think about yourself in order to survive, you just need to help people and then you see how it works. This is like my secret, how do you succeed. It‘s not like, what’s the tricks, how to pull them in, it’s rather how to help them, forget about
yourself, just help them as much as you can. And then you’ll see how it’s attracting.
Spence: We’re all on that karma payment plan.
Yaron: Yeah, exactly.
Spence: I love that. It’s so true, you know, just how can you contribute to the world. It‘s such a basic spiritual principle that will guide you and will take care of you. I couldn’t agree more. I have faith in that, and as you said, it’s not religious dogma. If I surrender to the fact that I need to work on becoming the person that can help people more, I can surrender and have faith that everything’s going to be irie.
Yaron: Do you know that story about Mozart and that other guy?
Spence: Refresh my memory.
Yaron: I’m not sure the accuracy but that’s how I heard it. There used to be Mozart and ‘this other guy’ who was much more famous composer at that time, and all the royalty used to hire that guy and not Mozart. So, that guy was very successful at that time, but today, he is called ‘that other guy’. It’s because he didn’t have the right heart, he appeared more successful but he just vanished from the history. And I think for us, we all want to have that Mozart heart, like the one that really had the heart that kind of transcends time, like Confucius, Buddha, that like transcends time. It doesn’t matter, 2,000 years ago or now, and I think it’s not that selfish aspiration, like, I want to be remembered, but this is the real heart of medicine. It’s just, like, you really want to help and it’s just cross the ocean, cross time. It makes our parents if they’re already in heaven or still here in this world, they look at us and it makes them so happy. Like, their kid, their child, son or daughter, something so beautiful became out of it. And this for me is worth everything.
Spence: A true mentor of mine makes the distinction between — or two different mentors frame it differently, you know, they separate the heart and the ego, and to reframe would be, you know what you said you’re checking in on before always with yourself is, am I trying to obtain significance or am I actually trying to contribute. And one is more about personal
fulfillment and the other to my mentor is about spiritual fulfillment. Significance, okay, as long as it’s not your full driving force you know your ego isn’t in charge, but real contribution is what you’re speaking of and that is huge.
Yaron: But I am for being financially successful. I’m not against it. When you’re more successful, you can help more people. If you don’t have money, you can’t even buy the good herbs, you have to buy cheap, crappy herbs. But if you’re more successful, then no problem, some people need help, you give them discount or free, it’s much easier. I completely think that being financially successful is a great thing. I don’t think that being poor is good, but on the other hand, it’s bad, you know, being greedy makes us succeed less in getting the medicine better. We can succeed more in the clinic, but at the end, my son sits there and then I had it, I’m screwed. Because then the money doesn’t matter, then it really needs to work and it needs to work long-term, short-term, whatever. So, we need to have a combination of this, like to work on our advertising, campaign and stuff and know how to make business. So, it’s not related to medicine, it’s related to having any kind of business, selling flowers or selling cupcakes, it doesn’t matter. We need this model to know how to work, but in this session today, I try to talk more about the medicine side, which needs to have that heart, it has nothing to do with the business. And if we have to lose that heart in order to make the business work, we better go sell cars.
Spence: Well, one caveat to that would be, I guess it depends on your definition of business in some respects too, because our support staff who I have at our clinics, they know that they’re a part of the treatment with that patient. So, the moment someone walks in the front door, they are a part of that person’s experience and it’s all heart-led. Of course, they need to be billed and scheduled and these things, but ultimately, what permeates everything is how you are with that other person. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you connect with that person, you start them opening so when they come into the treatment room with the doctor or the practitioner that they’re already in the process of a transformation that you can help facilitate even further. That’s how I have become an expert at reframing business but I fully agree, you’ve got to have those check-ins and I think that that permeates. You keep going back to your son: if my son’s in front of me, and that is my big takeaway from today. I love that so much.
Yaron: Thank you. I mean, I could just go on and on and on forever, but normally, after an
hour people kind of fall asleep.
Spence: If they’re involved and they want to hear more, they listen a lot more and that is why you have created the Hunyuan Academy if I‘m not mistaken. So, how can people, in honor of your time and everyone else’s, Yaron, how can people get a hold of you? I’m going to put all these websites and to contact Yaron in the show notes, but just for the sake of someone listening on podcast, where do they go?
Yaron: Well they go to hunyuanacademy.com, that’s the online school. If they are patients and they want to schedule, same thing, they go to hunyuancenter.com. And if they want to do free meditation sessions, which we just started today, they go to hunyuan.org. That’s a new thing. Other than that, I hope we get a chance to talk again and share as this was really great. I’m so happy that you’re doing this. I saw your other podcasts, and this is amazing stuff.
Spence: Yaron, I’m honored that you took the time. I think this is personal now. I truly believe that your message is extremely important, and I’m not saying everyone has to do what we’ve spoken about a lot today and, you know, the Hunyuan, but it really resonates with me. I’m so grateful to have spent this time. And I really encourage people that this resonates with, all to check out Hunyuan. That’s what was today obviously about, and I just want you to keep doing what you’re doing because I think it’s beautiful, it’s great.
Yaron: Thank you for this opportunity.
Spence: Awesome. You and I, yes, we will chat soon, maybe we’ll have a check-in or who knows what comes next. I’m just glad that we reconnected, it’s been a couple years. I’ve still got a book of yours that I’m a 110% more motivated to dive into it. When you gave a lecture at IFS a couple years ago, and we talked a little bit afterwards, what resonated with me is that — and I would boil this down to something very simple — it’s more about helping be there with your patient, which I might call coaching, which I might call or someone might call, like, different heartfelt support or psychology or whatever, but that is your focus. It’s just so refreshing and so great. I love it.
Yaron: Thank you.