One of the things we like best about the Engaging Vitality approach is that it is an excellent milieu for examining our own process, our assumptions about what we are doing at every stage of our practice. We are not only cultivating our capacity to listen to our patient’s qi…Read More
Hi EV team,
I wanted to send a thank you to all of you - Rayén, Kailey, Marguerite and Dan for this weekend, as well as the whole course.
The class and toolbox is exactly what I had been looking for! As much as I love Chinese Medicine, I was frustrated by the gap between the theory and the practice, and the absence of a shared palpatory experience and relationship to qi. I've been using what I've learned in the course on all my patients in clinic, and it has been taking some of the "guess work" out of whether or not a treatment is working.
The East Asian medical world lost one of its most extraordinary teachers and practitioners when Charles ‘Chip’ Chace passed away on 3rd November
2018 due to pancreatic cancer. Chip lived a well-considered and coherent life. Regardless of whether he was rope soloing a rock climbing route, sharing his knowledge and love for the traditions of East Asian medicine, or just sitting quietly, he always fully expressed his being. His strong centre allowed him to be a generous and caring soul, someone who could be both self-effacing and yet memorable. His presence and thoughtful interactions have left a profound impression on everyone who had the good fortune to come into his sphere. His motto, ‘Grace and Power’, was an apt descriptions of who he was.Read More
Chip Chace dedicated his life to the practice of climbing—which is to say, that he had dedicated his life to the practice of living.
Chace was no household name in the climbing world, yet his contributions to climbing—such as the first ascent of Fine Jade, inarguably one of the best and most popular 5.11 desert towers—gave him a stature of respect and admiration within the core climbing community.
Chace rarely spoke about his climbing, and yet you’d have to go really far to find a route he hadn’t done or an area he hadn’t explored. This silent passion, in which accomplishments speak for themselves, left an indelible mark among his closest friends and admirers.
It's unusually chilly for Oct. 7 as I switchback up Fourmile Canyon to Chip Chace's house. Through the rainy windshield, cottonwoods are turning yellow.
For the last few weeks Chace, a venerated doctor of Chinese medicine, has suffered restless nights, often in agonizing, almost unbearable pain. Driving the final miles I realize I'm nervous — acutely aware this will be the last time I ever see him.Read More
A turning point. A European story.
I don’t remember the year, nor the day. I was in Berlín, in a Toyohari international workshop. Stephen Birch, a long time teacher and friend, approached Miguel Ángel –a friend and a colleague- and myself: ‘Look, I invited this friend of mine, Chip Chace, to give a seminar in Amsterdam, and I already booked the two of you in’. We immediately said ‘OK’, and after a moment asked: ‘What would be the seminar about?’. Steve was rather vague: ‘Something about palpation, I think… but Chip is a very interesting person and a real scholar’. Then, as we were in the middle of a struggle with writing a book together, he add: ‘Hey Manuel, perhaps you can talk with Chip about your herb’s chapter, I will send it to him and ask he get a look at it’. And that was it.
This is as a good moment as any other in this story to confess that the name ‘Chip Chace’ didn’t evoke in me any special sense of awing or respect. Actually, Miguel Ángel reminded me that we have shared a workshop table the year before, and I still could only barely remember this mostly silent american with long, blond hair and somewhat deformed hand joints. Anyway, I agreed of Steve sending him my ongoing chapter, and mostly forgot about the whole thing up to the dates of the planned Amsterdam seminar
Days passed. Steve told me that Chip agreed on read ‘my chapter’, and he arranged we meet at his home the afternoon before the seminar start. And on this day and place I can say I really meet Chip. Meantime, I have got some basic information about him, and I was consequently grateful of a person of his fame and busy schedule agreeing to take a look of my writings. Not to say how afraid I was of being exposed to a scholar of his learning and knowledge, specially because I was acutely aware that ‘my chapter’ not only wasn’t as academically supported as it should be, but also put ahead some not so common ideas about herbalism in Chinese Medicine.
Day D: I meet Chip at Steve’s home. He was calm, relaxed, a convival guy, the person, in sum, we all know he always was. After some friendly ‘a trio’ conversation with Steve, he went down to business, and asked me if it would be convenient to talk about ‘the chapter’ taking a walk… because he just arrived some few hours ago, and was suffering jet lag. This was my first personal glimpse of his generosity: he was devoiding to me some precious and needed rest time, just the day before starting teaching. And this was only the beginning. We walked and talked, and he very gently ‘grilled’ me about my concepts and knowledge on herbs, very delicately pointing out the weak points of both my reasonement and my academic formality on supporting them. And I want to underline the kindness which he displayed on all that. Chip was the first person in which I recognized what was to become what I think now is the hallmark of a true master: he was discussing with me over matters in which I was clearly inferior, and was able to do it in a manner that gave me the impression that I was almost at the same level than he. No crushing superiority, no the faintest reproach for my obvious lack of academic support, no. This person, who didn’t know me at all, not only was giving me his precious time, but he was also displaying a kindness and an intellectual generosity over whatever standard you might wish to measure them . Kindness, generosity, deep knowledge and intellectual rigor were the hallmark of this conversation, and the years to come will only show that these were virtues deeply ingrained in Chip’s personality
The seminar started. At that time ‘Engaging Vitality’ has no name, and his techniques and learnings were absolutely unknown in Europe. Chip, as you suppose, was brilliant. He made several presentations on different subjects: Extraordinary Vessels (I hardly understood their pulses…), the three basic concepts of dynamics, tendency and incipiency, the shape of qi, the yang rhythm (then still called CRI) and other osteopathic ideas, always stressing the importance of palpation, and making all of us perceive thorough our hands. This was my turning point. Suddenly the ‘Axis’, the now famous paper on LS1 he did with Dan Bensky came alive, a torrent of new ideas was pouring over me, almost I would say drowning me. I felt at the same time that a rug has been pulled under my feet and that I was solidly grounded, stepping in the fundaments not only of the Chinese Medicine, but of a vision of humanity; I felt like falling down a chasm, and at the same time flying; at the same time I appreciated all the techniques aquired along the years and discard them to make place for this marvelous new world… and I realized I had to do something real with all this
At the time I was teaching Chinese Medicine, already nuanced by the history and procedures taught by Steve, Junko and their team; but I had to do something more with this new material, this new feeling. I went to Chip and asked him for his presentations, telling him I wanted to use them in my classes, and again, this generous person, this very special teacher, gave me all his precious slides, withholding nothing, with the only proviso of not to publish them. These slides, which I translated and used in my classes, were the origin of what at the moment I called ‘Subtle needling’. I was always keeping Chip abreast of what I did with his material, and we warmly discussed the ways I evolved it, but this is maybe another story. Chip knows that the material I learned was and is treated as a legacy, not to be –as the parable in the Bible illustrate us- to be kept dusty and untouched, but to be alive, growing and developing. The new vision of Chinese Medicine, the use of palpation and how all that influenced both my practice and my teachings, were a clear turning point, an before-and after point in my life
But I still did another thing: when coming back to my practice in Barcelona I told Rayen she had to go to the next Chip’s seminar. Again the ironies of life: she was very, very reluctant to go, mostly because she was more or less recently trained in Toyohari, and was enjoying his marvelous procedures, but also because she had glimpse Chip in one of the Toyohari workshops and formed a very poor opinion of him. I got her going to Chip’s next workshop anyway, probably out of the respect she had for me at the time, and again Chip’s magic worked. Rayen came back to Barcelona ‘converted’. It would be inconvenient to talk about her experience, it is a subject which has to be addressed by her when and if she cares for, but I can say that she was saying: ‘With Toyohari I found my hand; with Chip I found my other hand’. She worked together with Miguel Ángel to bring Chip to Barcelona to teach, which he did, and when he came, Rayen put to herself the duty of getting him to come at least once a year, aiming to make a kind of permanent base for the development of what we learned. As the books usually say: ‘and the rest is history’. Other people came here, were interested in Chip’s teachings, and proposed seminars in other countries. Marguerite and Dan were also considering setting a foot in Europe and came here to teach. The name of Engaging Vitality was born, teaching was –somewhat reluctantly- getting structured, study groups were functioning, and more and more people were, and is, getting committed to EV principles and practice
Now my part of the story is almost over. All these years I enjoyed Chip’s teachings, wit, and company, and now I am teaching not only Engaging Vitality, but also an acupuncture style were I do a kind if preview of it, with the idea of serving as a bridge towards EV for the people who never learned that a body and its vitality are a palpable reality. All that started in a not so far past, when Steve invited Chip to Amsterdam, and when I was deeply impressed by the quality and generosity of the man who called me ‘his brother on yi’. Now his material presence is over, but as we all know, his spirit and legacy is and will be developing healthy, alive and luminous. A big hug and a deep bow to you, Chip
Manuel Rodríguez Cuadras
Medicina Clásica Oriental, Barcelona, Spain
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Chip’s Playlist: Soundtrack To My Life (made by Chip)
All Along the Watchtower Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)Angélique Kidjo Oremi
Taboo Santana Santana III
Comfortably Numb (Live) Pink Floyd Live At Knebworth 1990
Angry Eyes Loggins & Messina The Best: Loggins & Messina Sittin' In Again
Dambalou Issa Bagayogo Timbuktu
Tangled Up In Blue Bob Dylan Blood On the Tracks
Wicked Game Phillip Phillips The World From the Side of the Moon (Deluxe Version)
Easy to Slip Little Feat Sailin' Shoes
Love Reign O'er Me The Who Quadrophenia (Super Deluxe)
Dambalou Issa Bagayogo Timbuktu
Goin' Home Malcolm Holcombe The RCA Sessions
High on a Mountain Nikki Matheson Invisible Angel
Over the Edge Sarah Jarosz Build Me Up From Bones
Chip’s Playlist: Final Passage (made by Chip)
The Lightning Strike (What If This Storm Ends?) Snow Patrol Greatest Hits
Destiny (feat. Sia) Zero 7 & Sophie Barker Record
Glowing Heart Aoife O'Donovan Fossils
Hejira Joni Mitchell The Studio Albums (1968-1979)
I Think I See the Light Cat Stevens Mona Bone Jakon
You're My Flame (feat. Sia) Zero 7 Record
Take It to the Limit Eagles Selected Works 1972-1999
Lady Luck Corinne West & Kelly Joe Phelps Magnetic Skyline
Brothers In Arms Dire Straits What Just Happened? (Music from the Motion Picture)
Ramble On Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II (Remastered)
Release Pearl Jam Ten
Voodoo Child (Slight Return) Angélique Kidjo Oremi
Feels So Different Sinead O'Connor I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
High on a Mountain Nikki Matheson Invisible Angel
Done Got Old Buddy Guy Sweet Tea
A-500 Klaus Badelt & Mark Batson Miami Vice (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Part of Me, Part of You Glenn Frey Thelma & Louise Soundtrack
Old Friend The Allman Brothers Band Hittin' the Note
Goin' Home Malcolm Holcombe The RCA Sessions
Lateralus Break of Reality Covers
Walking Man Zoë Keating One Cello x 16 (EP)
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Charles “Chip” Chace
September 17, 1958 - November 3, 2018
Unity of Boulder, 2855 Folsom St, Boulder, CO 80304
Saturday, Nov 17, 4:00-5:30 pm
tea to follow service
Please contact: email@example.com with offerings of help
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Chip Chace, Author of “Fine Jade” and Many Major Climbs, Dies at 60
Chace died in Boulder on November 3.
By Jamie Logan | November 5th, 2018
Chip Chace lived his whole life as an extended spiritual practice. “Somehow my climbing practice is not substantively different from my Chinese medical practice, from my meditation practice, from my marriage practice. They inform one another,” Chip said. He was a prolific climber, one of the best all-around of his generation. He came to Boulder at 17, already a 5.11 climber, and soon was climbing with Pat Ellinwood, Steve Levin and Roger Briggs. They would all climb together for forty years. Chip and Pat did the first ascent of Fine Jade and Chip had over 50 ascents of the Diamond with all of them. Chip could lead hard aid, 5.13 free climbing, and many of his climbs had an R rating for minimal protection.
He felt in the later years of his life that his solo climbs, when he was often out for many days at a time in the mountains, were the most important part of his spiritual practice, because it caused him to be fully aware the whole time. He was doing hard climbs all over the country by himself, and never really came back and told anybody, or certainly never wrote about any of it.
We went to Yosemite two years ago, and I helped him carry gear up to the base of the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome for a rope solo. He started at 3:00 in the afternoon and climbed all through the night because he didn’t want to have to interact with other parties, finishing the next morning.
Recently he felt like he was getting older and he couldn’t climb as well as he had been. He could no longer onsight 5.13, but he could still climb alone in the mountains and he felt that was his place. He had always wanted to solo Mt. Asgard on Baffin Island. On Asgard there was a rockfall that cut his rope, so he came down and decided to tackle Mt. Freya. He was climbing that by himself, and was up in an icy gully when he fell thirty feet and broke his ribs. His comment was, “To the extent that there was a ‘me’ at all—which is a whole other thing, right?—I was completely comfortable.”
Chip was one of America’s foremost scholars and practitioners of classical Chinese medicine. With a small group of colleagues, he was involved in developing a new cutting-edge approach to Chinese medicine diagnostics and treatment. He had many deeply appreciative students and patients.
Chip met his wife Monika in 1987 and they were married soon after. They were very independent from one another, but they still were a tight team. They both loved being in the mountains and the desert and there was quite a long period when they climbed together, doing first ascents in Indian Creek up to 5.12. Monika is a remarkable healer herself, and the two of them had a combined medical practice that really fit together well. After 30 years they were still deeply in love.
Chip died Saturday, November 3, 2018, at the age of 60, in his meditation room at home in the mountains outside Boulder, after a short and intensive course with pancreatic cancer. He always held a deep sense of loyalty towards his close friends. He died surrounded by those friends and of course with Monika. The climbing community, the Chinese medicine community and the Zen community—we are all in grief for the loss of this amazing human being.
In the last weeks of his life, Chip Chace wrote several pieces focused on, among other topics, facing his own mortality and the joys of his life. To read them, visit https://stillwaterhealthboulder.com/charles-site/.