Frost Descent represents the sixth and final stage of Autumn in the Chinese seasonal calendar. By the time we reach the sixth stage of any season, we discern dramatic shifts manifesting in nature, and by aligning our attitudes and behaviors to coincide with these changes, we resonate harmoniously with the seasonal flows.
Throughout the first five cycles of autumn, the downward slide of temperature gathered momentum. As we enter Frost Descent the temperature drops quickly and mercilessly. As the final traces of autumnal warmth fall away, the way is paved for the weather to march triumphantly onward and unhindered towards winter. The morning frost encountered over the next two weeks is a preview of things to come.
The theme associated with this seasonal cycle is the penetrating power of cold. Animals have fur to protect their internal organs from the onslaught of the cold weather and the birds that can’t tolerate the sting of winter migrate south. Since spending the winter in Florida is not an option for most of us, we need to develop strategies to insulate our internal organs from the Cold Qi that can damage them.
One simple strategy is to realize that summer is long gone. Dress appropriately. Switch from cotton to wool. Don’t wear skimpy cotton t-shirts or short skirts outdoors. Minimize exposure of your bare skin. Cold Qi likes to penetrate the body through the soles of the feet. Protect yourself by wearing wool socks. That tactic alone is worth a dozen flu shots.
Besides warm clothes, nourish your body with warm porridges and teas. Avoid cold and icy drinks. I like to drink warm, homemade nut milk sweetened with dates before venturing out into the cold. We make it fresh at home daily using a soy milk maker. Throughout the day, I drink tea or sip warm water with lemon and I avoid cold drinks of any kind.
Whenever I venture outdoors, I wear at least one layer of wool or cashmere and a wind resistant outer shell to insulate myself from the cold. That's my "fur." The combination of the warmth of the liquids and the warmth of my clothes keeps my internal organs protected and happy.
Meditation is another effective strategy to insulate the body from the cold. Here is a simple technique you can apply over the next six months to generate internal heat. Begin by rubbing your ears back and forth vigorously for thirty seconds. This action warms up and strengthens the kidneys, the root of vitality. Then inhale strongly (breathing through your nose) from the perineum, up the spine, to the top of your head, and then exhale strongly (also through the nose) down the front of your body back down to your perineum. Repeat this breathing sequence nine times.
When you are finished, visualize a fire glowing inside your belly. Feed the fire wooden logs and watch it grow into a warming blaze. Allow the warmth to radiate into your internal organs. Keep this internal fire burning over the next six months. When the fire diminishes, rub your ears and repeat the breathing sequence until the flame glows brightly once more.
Practicing the Frost Descent Empowerment described below will vitalize your inner fire and bring your internal organs additional soothing warmth. The empowerment takes place on Monday, October 23rd between 1:26 AM EDT and 3:26 AM EDT (remember to adjust for the time difference if you live in another time zone). Frost Descent lasts fifteen days until Tuesday, November 7th at 12:37 AM EST when Start of Winter begins. Until then, keep your toes and kidneys toasty and your belly fire warm.