Milestones in my Life

Born in Paris in 1949, I studied philosophy, literature and classics at the Paris University where I completed my Masters degree in Classics and in Philosophy then in Chinese.

When I was 20, I met Claude Larre s.j. while he was working on his PhD thesis on the Huainanzi and translating the Laozi. As a result of his influence, I began to study Chinese, working with him on Chinese classical texts. I also studied modern Chinese with a native speaker and spent a year in Taiwan (1974) to further my studies.

In the early 1970's, Father Larre met Dr. Jean Schatz, a western physician with an interest in oriental medicine He was an acupuncturist with a special interest for the classical medical texts. At this time I embarked on a study of Chinese medicine, and together with Dr. Schatz and Father Larre, began the first study group of the classical medical texts in Paris. This lead to the founding of the European School of Acupuncture in Paris in 1976.
(See the E.E.A. site and the presentation page in this site for more details.)

From this common work, Father Larre, Dr. Schatz and myself co-authored A Survey of Chinese Medicine, published in 1979 (English translation published in 1986).

Under the auspices of the Ricci Institute in Paris, Father Larre and I offered lectures, seminars and conferences on Chinese classical thought; this teaching was given not only in Paris and other French cities, but also in several European countries and shortly in America. We also published numerous booklets on the seminal texts of Chinese medicine and philosophy.

In the mid 1980's, I began to accompany Father Larre on his teaching engagements in both the UK and the US. Father Larre’s subtle understanding of the background culture and philosophy and my knowledge of the medical texts combined to produce a unique teaching team.

I continue to teach worldwide, working with both medical and philosophical Classics. I was lucky enough to find good friends and partners to work with, such as Sandra Hill for the editing and publication of books in English through Monkey Press, Peter Firebrace for teaching in London with Orientation; Ken and Jessica Rose in the US with whom I co-founded the Three Spring Institute, and many others in different countries and languages. (See here for details and links).

I do think that a real knowledge of the Chinese vision of life is useful not only to understand Chinese medicine from a scholarly point of view, but also to deepen one’s practical approach and clinical skill. It is the reason why I always read, translate and explain texts which present a precise pathology and its diagnosis treatment or a reflexion on the nature and meaning of human life or anything in the between.

I love what I do and wish to continue as long as I can. I like and value the Daoist approach of life, especially Zhuangzi and Laozi, while remaining a Christian. I am sensitive to Chinese calligraphy, poetry and painting. Some of the artworks of my favorite painter, Zhu Da (Bada Shanren) are used on this site.

I also worked closely with Father Larre on the Grand Ricci dictionary, completing the first publication – two volumes of single characters – in 1999. The complete work of seven volumes was finally published, under my direction, just before Father Larre’s death in December 2001. This awesome achievement is a testament to an inspiring collaboration which lasted over 30 years.
(More details can be found at the Association Ricci site.)

For a more formal resumé,
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CV en Français

Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée - Curriculum Vitae

Born in 1949, in Paris.

After the French baccalauréat, "Lettres supérieures" and "Première supérieure" at Jules Ferry (Paris), Licence and Master Degree in Classical Literature (Paris-Nanterre), Licence and Master Degree in Philosophy (Paris-Nanterre) and D.E.A. in Chinese (Paris-Jussieu).

From 1970, collaboration with Fr Claude LARRE and studies in Chinese Language.

Participation to studies in Classical Chinese. Auditor in Chinese at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, with Max Kaltenmark.

1974-75: Stay in Taiwan and studies in Contemporary Chinese at the Xinzhu (Hsin-chu) Language Institute.

From 1976 on, collaboration with Fr. Larre and Dr. Jean Schatz on Chinese thought studies and work on classical medical texts.

Teaching and seminars at École Européenne d’Acupuncture (theorical basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine – Chinese Classical texts and Language).

Teaching at the Jesuit University of Centre Sèvres, Paris (Chinese philosophy and spirituality).

Participation in many translation works.

D.E.A. (Diplôme d'Études Approfondies) in Chinese (Paris VII-Jussieu). Participation to collaborative research on science in China, traditional medicine, connected to the CNRS (National Center of Scientific Research).

Teacher at the Nantes University of Medicine (medical school) in the context of the Acupuncture Inter-university Diploma.

Guest teacher in other medical school (Bobigny University …)

Senior member of the Editorial Board of the Grand Ricci project, which led to the publication (among other works) of the « Ricci Dictionary of Single Chinese Characters » (2 vol. 1200 pages each and a volume of indexes published in 1999), the « Grand Ricci » (an encyclopaedic comprehensive Chinese-French dictionary, 7 volumes, around 9 000 pages), published in December 2001, and the digital version on DVD published in 2010.

Senior member of the Organization Comittee of the triennial International Colloque of Sinology on the History of Chinese-Western Relationships until 2005.

  • Dean of Study in the European School of Acupuncture (Ecole Européenne d'Acupuncture, Paris.
  • Senior Lecturer of the E.E.A. (École Européenne d’Acupuncture).
  • Lecturer on Chinese Philosophy in the Jesuit University in Paris (Centre Sèvres)
  • Member of the French Association of Chinese Studies (A.F.E.C.).
  • Member of the European Association of Chinese Studies (E.A.C.S.).
  • Various teachings in France, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Israël, Italy, Netherland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States (Boston, Boulder, Los Angeles, Maryland, San Francisco …), mainly on ancient Chinese philosophy (specially on the Taoist texts: Zhuangzi, Laozi, Huainanzi...) and on classical Chinese medicine (Huangdi Neijing ...).
  • Publications of translations, books, booklets, transcripts of lectures, articles.
  • Participation to congresses and international conferences.
  • Books and transcripts of lectures in French, English, Italian, German, Portugese, Spanish ...

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