One of the (un- or understated) goals of our program at NUNM was to train the next generation of translators of Chinese medical texts. Admittedly an ambitious project, but toward that end I created a series of translation workbooks. As it is difficult to separate the philosophical backdrop in which the medicine developed, several philosophical works dear to my heart are also represented with translation workbooks.
One important feature of all these workbooks is that I use traditional characters (as opposed to simplified). I also always use the pinyin system of transliterating/spelling (which is the international standard) with tone marks, which are all too frequently omitted. Unfortunately, in the West, the Chinese is often ignored altogether, or characters are shown without any transliteration. It is rare to have both, but it is the combination that is most useful for Westerners. See also my general aids to learning Chinese.
I developed several translation templates to guide students through the process of translating. Those templates take up a lot of space and over time and in accord with increasing ability on the part of the students I streamlined the process to just a line of characters followed by the pinyin directly underneath, followed by space in which to craft a translation. This still takes up quite a bit of room on a page, but effects the best compromise. Originally, I also kept the left facing page blank for taking notes, whether that be research notes to oneself, or notes from the classroom discussion and advice from the instructor. Over time, I went to back-to-back printing just to save paper and printing costs. That said, as printing costs rose higher and higher, coupled with the fact that by definition these are very short run books, I decided to forego printing altogether and just make them available as PDFs. Obviously, once they are available digitally, I lose control over them, but my primary intention is to get them out into the world so people can use them. That said, my request to all of you reading this, is to respect the time and effort I put into creating them and maintaining the website and use the voluntary support structure on the home page.
ABOUT JIM CLEAVER
Jim has nearly forty years of experience teaching Chinese medicine and is the co-founder of the Chinese medicine program at NUNM (National University of Natural Medicine) in Portland, Oregon. He has the perspective of being both an academic and a clinician, as well as an administrator. He lived in China from 1988-1989 and helped fascilitate a couple of student internships at the traditional hospital in Xiamen, Fujian. He is a long time practitioner of Shiatsu and Tai-ji-quan.
Jim has taught many courses and clinic shifts over the years, with a primary focus on the acupuncture, bodywork, tai-ji and the classical text components of the curriculum.
To facilitate those courses, he created textbooks, workbooks, and study aids for most of them, which is what is offered here to a wider audience.
Students have consistently given positive feedback for these books and laud their comprehensiveness, organization and clarity.
So, for all students and instructors of CM, investigate for yourself some of the resources he created to experience first-hand how well they might work for you.
Jim's Teaching Career (1977–present)
Although I retired from institutional teaching in 2017 (40 years), I still lead an ongoing Tai Ji class.
I began teaching in 1977 at the Boulder Free School – a class on bicycle maintenance, which evolved into bicycle maintenance for women, a class specifically for women to help empower them with skills and know-how about basic tools and using them to fix your bike.
I started teaching Shiatsu at The Boulder School of Massage Therapy following my graduation from there in 1978. I continued at BSMT until leaving Boulder in the fall of 1982.
That was extended into an Ethics and Philosophy course and also a general course on Chinese medical theory, which evolved into a private study group which turned out to be all women who dubbed themselves WOHC (the Women’s Oriental Health Collective). I was an ‘honorary’ member.
During those years at BSMT, I was also our “official” DJ and we were well known for our parties.
I was also involved with the crisis intervention call line at the university (of Colorado) and after my own training joined the team to train new volunteers.
It was during these years that I decided teaching the principles of Chinese medicine was one of my primary interests and how to effectively ‘translate’ those concepts for Westerners.
San Francisco / Santa Cruz
After moving to the Bay area I met David Palmer and wound up teaching at the Kabuki Springs school of shiatsu. (We later changed the name to the Amma Institute).
My job was teaching CM theory to the other teachers there.
Meanwhile I was going to school myself in order to get my acupuncture license in California and after meeting Charles Belyea, the founder of Five Branches Institute in Santa Cruz to help get the school off the ground. Besides teaching shiatsu I was also a designated TA for the Chinese teachers, as well as our school librarian and organized the herb dispensary for our clinic.
I graduated from 5 Branches in 1988, took exams and got licensed and promptly moved to China for a clinical rotation at the traditional hospital in Xiamen, Fujian working in conjunction with Andy Ellis and Nigel Wiseman who organized and served as primary translators and with them helped work on a series of books for Redwing Press.
Following events at TianAnMen Square I returned to the States in 1989 and started acupuncture practices in San Francisco and Fairfax, CA.
In June of 1990 I moved to Portland and by the fall started teaching at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) and stayed involved there until 1995 when along with Heiner Fruehauf started the Classical Chinese Medicine program at NCNM (National College of Naturopathic Medicine, later changed to Natural Medicine, and later still to NUNM (National University of Natural Medicine),
where I remained until my retirement in 2017.
During my tenure I taught many different courses, but my focus became the Acupuncture Dept.
I also taught the Shiatsu series and Tai Ji classes.
In the beginning I also taught the Chinese Materia Medica classes and pioneered our Introduction to Chinese Medical Vocabulary.
This expanded into a focus on Classic Texts, both medical and philosophical.
I was also our first Clinic Director and ran our herbal dispensary in the process creating a number of work-study jobs for students. For a time I filled the role of Associate Chair/Dean of the Dept. as a whole.
My specialties notwithstanding I was intimately involved in curriculum and course design at all levels.
To those ends I created the books I wanted/needed to teach from, many of those being the foundation for the material I present here.
How You Can Support the Project
While these resources are free to anyone who seeks to expand their understanding of the subjects explored, if you have the means and inclination, you may donate to Jim's website fund by sending a check to:
Jim Cleaver at
4122 NE Flanders Street Portland, OR 97232
VenMo: @ jim-cleaver-2