Our Task


Transcribed from a lecture with Dr. Tran Viet Dzung, April 21, 2000, upon the death our friend and mentor, Dr. Nguyen Van Nghi:

vannghi"Dear friends, it is with great pleasure of happiness and a lot of emotion that I see you again. As you know, with the death of our master, for us now we are now forming a big family. As you know if you travel around the world, when you present yourselves to all those who practice acupuncture, and you say that you are a direct student of Dr. Van Nghi, you are respected for your knowledge. Therefore I consider all of you as students directly from Dr. Van Nghi. For not letting go the spirit of our master, for not letting go of the entire energy of Dr. Van Nghi, has placed in his life to transmit his knowledge, you now have the responsibility to develop and transmit in this country the true, the really true acupuncture. Therefore, it is a mission that I want to transmit to you.

When I say truly and truthful acupuncture, it is not acupuncture from this or that country. It is not Chinese acupuncture. It is not Vietnamese acupuncture. It is not acupuncture from Korea. It is not acupuncture from Japan. It is not French acupuncture. It is neither acupuncture from this particular person or that particular person. But acupuncture, simply speaking, with the capital A, which means the true, the pure, the hard acupuncture. Which is for me the universal acupuncture, transmitted for thousands of years, by the elders throughout the old books which are the Neijing, Suwen, Lingshu, Nanjing, Da Cheng, Mo King and so on.

I know that your task, your personal responsibility, which you are encountering will be difficult, because through experience I know that there will be reactions. But as Dr. Van Nghi always said (I would like you to translate it literally): 'The bird only can fly thanks to the resistance of the air. Because of the gravity that makes us fall it will flap its’ wings and therefore will go higher and fly higher. The bird can only fly thanks to the resistance of the air.' The more difficulties that you’ll have as an acupuncturist, the higher you’ll go and the higher your success. We have the tranquil conviction in acupuncture. You have been able to notice the results in dealing with your patients. Therefore I add, you will find resistance. You will find people that might be against you in the development and diffusion and spreading of the true acupuncture. (I ask you to translate literally.) 'The jackals bark but the caravan goes through.' Do you understand? 'The jackals bark and the caravan still goes on.' With the tranquil force we will be able to continue to learn with passion. Yet with a lot of rigor the acupuncture that we are learning we will try to with every day of our existence we will try to improve our knowledge to better help our patients. And as Dr. Van Nghi used to say very often, especially in the last days of his life and did not stop repeating to me, 'We are nothing. On this earth we are only passing through. And we’re not bringing anything material with us when we pass on. The only thing that is important and that counts is the knowledge, well studied and acquired and well transmitted. The purpose of our life is to study. Is always to study. And eternally continue to study.' Nguyen Van Nghi. For those of you who did not have the opportunity to know Dr. Van Nghi I would like to introduce him to you. This is Dr. Van Nghi. He is our Master. He is our guide. He is our spiritual father. Never forget the teaching that he has transmitted to us."

Dr. Marshall's epitaph to Dr. Van Nghi