The Canonical Salon: lifelong learning together

The popular practice of Qingtan 清談 was originated after the Han dynasty and involved a forum for lively discussion on philosophy and metaphysics in group setting. This is not too dissimilar from the Western tradition of the Salon, which is often defined as a ‘gathering of people, presided over by an inspiring host which allowed participants the opportunity to amuse one another while increasing their knowledge through conversation and debate’. These gatherings were popular in Renaissance Europe. And a similar format was popular in late 19th and early 20th century Chengdu. Dr. Tian Heming often attended and participated in such salons organized by his Shanghan peer Lu Zhuzhi盧鑄之. These meetings were attended by many great Shanghan masters of the time.

It is thus with great pleasure that we announce the start of ICEAM’s very own Canonical Salon with Dr. Arnaud Versluys. The Salon will be an ongoing series of webinars every five or so weeks. Each session will be three hours and cover an ongoing exploration of fundamental topics too deep and complex to properly investigate during regular seminars.

For the initial two years, the topic has been set to Canonical Formula Science. Some of the topics Dr. Versluys will cover during the first year are:

  • Formula Architecture: Herb Combination peiwu
  • Formula Architecture: Herb Hierarchy jun cheng zuo shi
  • Formula Architecture: Neijing Seven Formula Structures qi fang
  • Formula Architecture: Three Classes of Formulas san pin
  • Herb Characteristics: Three Classes of Herbs san pin
  • Herb Characteristics: Thick, Thin, Qi, Flavor hou bo qi wei
  • Herb Characteristics: Ascending, Descending, Sinking, Floating sheng jiang chen fou
  • Herb Characteristics: Channel Tropism guijing
  • Herb Characteristics: Dosages liang


After the aforementioned topics are completed, we will move into studying each and every one of Zhang Zhongjing’s formulas for the next few years. Ultimately, the series will start studying various chapters of the Huangdi Neijing and Nanjing, as they relate to the canonical view on pathophysiology and the practice of canonical formulas.

We will dedicate as much time to each topic as is required to fully cover all the ins and out of the subject matter. The Salon series is intended to become an ongoing fixture and as such will go as fast or as slowly as the depth of the exploration and the difficulty of the material dictates.

The Salon series is open to everybody, even non-Diplomate students. However, the only prerequisite is that one has to have taken all of the Canonical Training’s Foundational Classes, i.e. Nineteen Lines, Five Flavors, Archetypes Inner, Archetypes Outer 1 and Archetypes Outer 2. Please follow the respective links if you wish to sign up for these. It is ok to enroll in the ongoing Salon series if you are still in the process of studying these seminars. Please let Arnaud know by emailing him at if you plan to do so.

The dates for the first series of six sessions are:

Canonical Salon: Sessions 30-35 (dates are confirmed)
Saturday 01/20/24, 2-5 PM Central
Saturday 02/17/24, 2-5 PM Central
Saturday 03/23/24, 2-5 PM Central
Saturday 04/27/24, 2-5 PM Central
Saturday 06/01/24, 2-5 PM Central
Saturday 06/29/24, 2-5 PM Central

Canonical Salon: Sessions 36-40 (these dates are not yet confirmed)
Saturday 07/27/24, 2-5 PM Central
Saturday 08/24/24, 2-5 PM Central
Saturday 09/28/24, 2-5 PM Central
Saturday 10/26/24, 2-5 PM Central
Saturday 11/23/24, 2-5 PM Central
Saturday 12/14/24, 2-5 PM Central

We have chosen this time because then it is accessible to students in all three
continents. Saturday 2-5 PM in New Orleans, is:

3pm- 6pm in New York
12pm-3pm in Los Angeles
8pm- 11pm in London
9pm- 12am in Amsterdam
7am- 10am in Sydney (on Sunday)

The cost for six sessions is USD 709. Once registered, the system will prompt you the chance to renew your subscription after six months for the next series of six seminars. 3 NCCAOM and California CEU’s per session are pending and will be either issued monthly, or after each block of six sessions. Handouts and webinar Zoom link
will be provided before each session.

We always endeavor to announce the next series of six dates as early as possible so as to allow you ample time to block out your schedule. As always, you are allowed to miss one session and make up for it by watching a video recording of the seminar. We are looking into systemically making an archive of the videos of past sessions available for your reviewing pleasure. More updates on that will follow, as we solve the relevant technological issues. For any questions regarding the Canonical Salon series, please email your host at

Verify your subscription status and then follow the Live Seminar link below.