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Minor Heat Empowerment

Dear Qigong friend,

On Friday, July 6th, the eleventh phase of the Chinese seasonal calendar begins. This phase, Minor Heat (Xiaoshu), starts at 11:41 PM EST as the sun crosses 105° Longitude (15° Cancer). Please join the thousands of practitioners worldwide who will usher this event by practicing the Minor Heat Empowerment.

Wishing you Good Qi,
Robert Peng

Stage Spring Summer Autumn Winter
1Start of Spring
Feb 3
Start of Summer
May 5
Start of Autumn
Aug 7
Start of Winter
Nov 7
2Rain Water
Feb 18
Grain Full
May 20
Limit of Heat
Aug 23
Minor Snow
Nov 22
3Awakening of Insects
Mar 5
Grain in Ear
Jun 5
White Dew
Sep 7
Major Snow
Dec 6
4Vernal Equinox
Mar 20
Summer Solstice
Jun 21
Autumn Equinox
Sep 22
Winter Solstice
Dec 21
5Clear and Bright
Apr 4
Minor Heat
Jul 6
Cold Dew
Oct 8
Minor Cold
Jan 5
6Grain Rain
Apr 19
Major Heat
Jul 22
Frost Descent
Oct 23
Major Cold
Jan 19


The year can be divided into two parts based on the relationship between light and darkness. From the shortest day of the year to the longest day of the year, days grow longer and light increases on a daily basis. During this phase, the male principle known as Yang is on the ascendancy. Yang begins after the Winter Solstice culminates culminates on the Summer Solstice, the past seasonal cycle. 

The second part of the year begins after the Summer Solstice as days grow increasingly shorter and nights grow increasingly longer. This second leg of the journey culminate with the Winter Solstice. During this phase, the female principle known as Yin is on the ascendancy.

With Minor Heat, we begin our trek towards Winter Solstice. Despite the fact that the hottest days of summer still lie ahead, we are already in Yin territory, and from now on, as the power of Yin increases steadily, a different set of qualities will come to characterize the themes that drive the seasonal phases of the year.

Every seasonal phase derives its meaning from the unique quality that arises in nature as it passes, and the chief quality associated with Minor Heat is the beginning of Yin or the rebirth of the shadow. Picture yourself standing by a flagpole in an open field before dawn. It is blanketed in darkness. As the sun rises, a few streaks of light fall on its tip, but it remains submerged in darkness. As the day unfolds, the long shadow gradually retreats, and at noon, when the sun is overhead, it is completely gone. Day is drenched in light. But what happens after noon? If you looked at the ground in the budding afternoon, you would witness the return of the shadow. This image captures the defining quality of Minor Heat. 

During Minor Heat, we are invited to gravitate ever so slightly towards Yin, both in the natural world and within ourselves. We align with nature by adapting our diet and eating cooling foods like tropical fruits, yogurt, and drinking peppermint tea. Less strenuous outdoor physical activity is also encouraged, especially around midday. Lazying around in the early afternoon to allow the body to cool down is another productive strategy. Psychologically, we resonate with Minor Heat by becoming more introspective, attuning to our inner feelings, and rekindling the imagination. Allow yourself to daydream for just a few minutes every day. Any compelling images and feelings that arise at this time bring awareness to practical matters that will require additional contemplation over the next six months. 

I also encourage to you practice the Minor Heat Empowerment on Friday, July 6th between 11:41 PM EST and 1:41 AM EST to deepen your connection to the changing seasonal energies. (Remember to adjust for the time difference if you live in another time zone). Minor Heat lasts until Sunday, July 22nd at 5:00 PM EST when Major Heat, the sixth and final stage of summer begins. Until then, find a shady spot in the heat of day, and for a brief moment, wallow in the darkness and   become aware of any wandering daydreams. 

(If you can't see the video on the screen, you can see it on YouTube ).


The spine is made up of five segments including the coccyx, the lower back (sacral and lumbar spine), the middle and upper back (thoracic spine), and the neck (cervical spine).

The vertebra associated with this empowerment is Thoracic 4 (T4) in the upper back.

The big vertebra at the base of your neck is Cervical 7 (C7). Below it is Thoracic 1 (T1) Count down three vertebrae to find T4.

Find T4 now.


(You can practice this empowerment every day until the next Jieqi, but the golden time is on Friday, July 6th between 11:41 PM - 1:41 AM EST)

Once every 15 days, the sun crosses over "power spot" and a wave of powerful cosmic energy is released. The purpose of this empowerment is to concentrate this energy into your spine and internal organs.

  1. Sit comfortably or lie down and relax every part of your body.
  2. Inhale through all the pores of your skin, collect universal Qi energy and concentrate this energy to T4. Exhale and visualize T4 glowing brightly. Continue this breathing patterns 36 times.
  3. Then, inhale, focus on T4, exhale and visualize the light from T4 spreading throughout your body, to your spine, your bones, and to your internal organs. Repeat 36 times.
  4. Finally, inhale and collect the light and energy from all over your body into your Lower Dantian which is located three finger widths below your navel in the center of your body. Then exhale and concentrate the energy there. Repeat three times. Then, relax, and nourish your Qi, feeling like a sponge soaking in a warm tub of water. Maintain this state for as long as you want.


(Practice this exercise once a day until the next seasonal phase begins)

The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen the soft tissue surrounding the vertebra associated with the current empowerment. Every 15 days we focus on a specific vertebra and over the course of the year we tonify the whole spine. Be gentle and don't strain your back.

  1. Sit with your both palms on the floor, fingers pointing backward. Bend your right leg, thigh and calf touching together, stretch your left leg, left heel touching the ground. Look at your left toes.
  2. Inhale, stand on your right toes and stretch your body and look up into the sky (your left heel might slide forward a little). And exhale, return back to the previous position. Repeat 36 times.
  3. Repeat the same sequence on the other side.
  4. Gently bite your teeth 36 times. Then swoosh your tongue around your mouth until it is full of saliva. Swallow and send the energy of your saliva down to your Lower Dantian. Repeat three times.

Enjoy your practice!