Ba Zi: The Eight Characters of Influence 

With Guest: Paul Wang

Episode Qi086

Our lives unfold in space-time. It’s the water in which we swim and so like fish, it is difficult to know the influence of the matrix within which we live our days and experiences our lives.

The Chinese ba zi, the eight characters, is a system based on the heavenly stems and branches that can help us to orient to the influences that shape us and can guide us in making sense of certain seasons of our lives.

While often used as a kind of 算命, suan ming, fortune telling system. The Ba Zi can help us or our patients to better understand the arising and falling away of particular influences that can affect our health and wellbeing.

Listen in to this conversation on how these eight characters of influence can help us to orient to the cycles of heaven and earth.
In this conversation we discuss:
  • The detour that took Paul down the path of Chinese medicine
  • What the eight characters of the Ba Zi represent
  • The unity of time and space
  • The reason old people do taichi slowly is not because they are old, but because they are seeking the feeling the connection within their body
  • The importance of the day master characteristic
  • A case of using the Ba Zi to gain insight into fertility issues
  • The Ba Zi can help to make explicit what is implicit
  • Letting go of the past allows us more energy to inhabit the present
  • What drives us forward is a new intention
  • Part of healing is bringing our patients into the present moment
  • Any kind of “I am” statement is the most powerful statement a human being can make
  • The power of a 1% practice
  • Non duality and timelessness go hand in hand
  • Fate and the Ba Zi
  • Our job in life is to maximize meaning
  • Paul’s thoughts on jet-lag
“My deepest meaning is helping others nurture their nature. To do so I apply daily self-care cultivation which integrates martial self-protection, medical self-healing, and mystical self-awareness. Our greatest influence is not via eloquent descriptions nor elegant prescriptions. It is how well we embody the principles.”
Paul Wang
In another life I may have become a cosmologist rather than an acupuncturist. Yet Chinese physiology embodies Chinese philosophy rooted in Chinese cosmology.
So perhaps I am a clinical cosmologist. One who sees us each as a uniquely unfolding universe. Enjoying this wellness of wholeness simply requires taking a chance on change.
Links and Resources

Paul is one of the instructors for the Si Yuan Balance Method

Learn the Ba Zi and see Paul's teaching offerings with acupuncture

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I’ve heard it said that for something to be heard — it takes someone to speak and another to listen.

Michael Max

Acupuncturist, Podcast Host
About me
I've always been more drawn to questions than answers. And the practice of medicine seems to more lively when infused with a sense of curiosity and inquiry. It's been delight and honor to be able to discuss our medicine with so many thoughtful and skilled practitioners.

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