AcuVidya (acupuncture understanding) shares educational opportunities and information related to acupuncture for the benefit of all interested practitioners. All the materials are free, because information belongs to all of us. Videos of Avi's classes are also available on the AMG website for free. Here you can also earn CEUs and you can also further support the project financially.
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The AcuVidya project reflects the work of my teachers - and through them many generations of practitioners - as I understand that work, and offers it to future generations of acupuncturists and scholars.
While attending acupuncture school I felt there was something missing. Everyone talked about how we, acupuncturists, touched patients, but I did not see much touching or palpation. We also claimed we were holistic, seeing the whole person, but what I saw were boxes which had nicer names than Western medicine boxes but boxes nonetheless: Liver Fire still sounded like a box to me. In search for a deeper experience, I supplemented my studies by assisting and apprenticing with anyone in the Bay Area who had a good reputation, but I still did not find what I was looking for.
In 1992, while studying for the California Acupuncture Boards, I attended a class with Kiiko Matsumoto. For the first time I saw what I was looking for. Kiiko was literally touching people, she asked them about their history (albeit briefly at that time), and she had no interset in the jaded, old boxes of TCM terminology. She had her own boxes, a mix of Western and Chinese terms, which were new and exciting to me because they were not limiting, and could be expanded and adjusted.
A year later I met Jeffrey Yuen. Again, I felt an immediate resonance. Jeffrey was still an unknown person, but he clearly had an amazing understanding of the kind I have seen no other prior. I remember saying to Jeffrey that I did not understand what he was saying but felt it was very valuable and interesting and that I wanted to bring him to San Francisco so that I and others could learn from him. All I could promise him was his airfare and a place to stay: I did not know if anyone would attend. In spite of my clear “Western rudeness,” Jeffrey showed great kindness to me and agreed to come to San Francisco (and the rest is history...).
In 1995 people asked me to teach because of my devotion to my teachers whom I followed everywhere.
In the 90's I was teaching a more systematic approach to Kiiko's work. I was one of the first people to do that. The work had not yet been a clearly formulated as it is now, but some of us (especially Holly Eagle, now Guzman) started to see the patterns, and I was trying to make that available to others. Over time my work has evolved, and I now teach a much more complex system that challenges the practitioner to look deeper and wider and to see the root of ill-being beyond the “boxes.”
Brandon Horn once offered this observation to Jeffrey, saying that “Avi did exactly what you [Jeffrey Yuen] told us to do: he made the material his own, the medicine his own. As a result he looks like he is practicing like Kiiko, which is his technical foundation, but behind the technique - the thinking - is actually a continuation of Jeffrey.” This is a great compliment and demands a very high standard. Every time I teach, I aspire to “stand up” to this high praise. More importantly, this is what I try to transmit to my students – a vast technical knowledge with as many options as one possibly can, not bound to any dogmas, and to really make it their own, to deeply understand Chinese medicine in their own way, with their own hearts/minds.
In Chinese I am known by two names. Zhen Yin Qing (真音情), the name Thich Nhat Hanh gave me, meaning True Sound of Compassion, and Ma Qi Guang (馬啟光), which was how Shelley Ochs translated Magidoff into Chinese, meaning Horse Revealing Light (the character Qi, 啟, means to open the student's mind, to enlighten). My name in Hebrew means the father (Av אבי) of the talking bear (Magid Dov מגידוב). "Talking bear” means a teacher. I hope that in teaching I do justice to all these names.