As humans we look to the seasons of our world and to the universe to help us understand the nature of change in our world, which, in turn, helps us understand the nature of ourselves. The classical statement, “As above, so below” teaches us to see that everything in this world is a reflection, and by studying the reflection we can see it revealed within us.
In its original form, the ancient character for Qi was written with three wavy lines, meant to be visually representative of wind. Later, the character for rice was added to the symbol creating a nuanced meaning that would come to represent the energy or the “active transformative force” found within all things.
In the Daoist tradition, the dragon is the symbol of spring’s explosive energy. The dragon is the mystical being of change and is connected to the wood element which is connected to sinews, strength and anger. In many cultures the Vernal Equinox is the beginning of spring, but in Daoist schools, spring begins much earlier (in February) and the peak energy hits at the point the earth is half-way on its journey back toward the sun (when the days and nights are of equal length).
Pathfinding means walking each step of your life in conscious freedom. It is the key to the power, spontaneity, and passion that comes from continuously attending to the present moment. To be truly engaged, you must remove distraction. To remove distraction, you must look inward. To look inward, you must create stillness and observe. Then answers to all questions become obvious, accessible, and clear.
It is the Year of the Dog and that means we are on the brink of change from within. In the Daoist zodiac, the dog is an honorable member of the pack, a hunter and warrior, nurturer and scout. The Dog represents interdependence and the recognition of the whole. Its power lies in the understanding of oneself within the group.
This is more important than ever before in our lives, especially if you live in an urban center, but in this age of technology it’s still very difficult to stay connected to the quiet measured movement of our energy and the world around us when we are so used to getting big prompts from our devices every few moments.
My teacher, Zhong Xianwu, often mentions the true name of the calendar: “Yin Yang Li” which means, “moon and sun calendar.”
The whole system of the solar terms connects us to the location of the yin earth in relation with the yang sun and the “subtle” yang within yin or yin within yang energies of the moon as it rises and falls within the month.
Bone broth is a powerful elixir for healing the body and restoring gut function. Almost every culture across the globe has been cooking up bone broth for centuries. At my clinic, I often prescribe eight Chinese healing herbs to support the digestive system, build blood and Qi, and strengthen the immune system. You can add these same herbs to your bone broth at home to increase your energy, calm your heart, and bring your immune system on-line like never before.