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Start of Winter Empowerment

Dear Qigong friend,

On Wednesday, November 7th, the nineteenth phase of the Chinese seasonal calendar begins. This phase, Start of Winter (Lidong), starts at 6:31 AM EST as the sun crosses 225° Longitude (15° Scorpio). Please join the thousands of practitioners worldwide who will usher this event by practicing the Start of Winter 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

Start of Winter (LIDONG JIEQI)

Start of Winter is the first of the six seasonal phases that constitute the season of winter. In this edition of the newsletter we will consider the nature of winter in general and then turn our attention to Start of Winter.

If we create a correspondence between the four seasons and the four stages of life, then springtime corresponds to birth and childhood, summer to adolescence and early adulthood, fall to maturity and midlife, and winter to elderhood. On November 7th the year will officially become an “elder” as the Chinese seasonal clock crosses over the three-quarter point of its yearly circuit ad we can glean the meaning of winter in concrete terms by meditating on elderhood.

What is an elder? You might picture an eighty-two year old white-haired patriarch dispensing wisdom in a traditional Chinese family. Wisdom emerges as an attribute of elderhood for an obvious reason: The longer you live, the more experience you gather and the less likely you are to repeat mistakes you’ve already made. Relative to those younger and less experienced than yourself, you are a fount of wisdom. Accordingly, winter is the oldest and wisest part of the year. 

As winter unfolds over the next three months, you will have the opportunity to develop insights by reflecting back on the experience of the last nine months, and to use those insights to guide yourself and others towards the realization of your dearest goals.


With that notion in mind, let us examine the meaning of Start of Winter. The first stage of any season establishes a new energy that will unfold over the rest of the season. So what kind of energy should we aim to establish during Start of Winter? 

Often, when we cross the last quarter of a cycle, we experience an automatic surge of energy, a second wind that gets us to the finish line. “Three-quarters of the way” implies that we are down to the home stretch. We can sense the end of the journey and reinvigorate. That feeling boosts our kidneys and stimulates the production of adrenaline. The theme of this seasonal cycle, is the renewal of energy. 

Let’s connect the dots between the themes of wisdom (winter) and the renewal of energy (Start of Winter). There is a saying that goes, “There are two ways to get rich. The first is to make more money. The second is to need fewer things.” Wisdom can help us  discriminate between what is truly essential to our wellbeing and what isn’t. One way to generate additional energy is by “needing less” and wisely discarding what is unnecessary.

During this seasonal cycle, you are encouraged to lighten your load. Maybe you’ve been holding on to a dream or a relationship that you’ve outgrown. Now is the time to surrender attachments to heavy burdens. Hold on to what really matters and let go of any negative energies that no longer serve you and are holding you back. As you release the heavy baggage that you have been lugging around, you’ll feel lighter and more energized. That extra energy will help you push ahead and realize your goals before the year ends.

I encourage you to do the Start of Winter Empowerment. This practice will set you on the right course by enhancing the quality of your Winter Qi. The empowerment happens on Wednesday, November 7th between 6:31 AM EST and 8:31 AM EST (remember to adjust for the time difference if you live in another time zone).

The Start of Winter seasonal cycle lasts until Thursday, November 22nd at 4:01 AM EST when Minor Snow, the second phase of winter, begins. Until then, let go of excess weight and energize.

(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 Cervical 3 (C3) in the neck.

Lean your head slightly forward. The big vertebra at the base of your neck is Cervical 7 (C7). Four up is C3.

Find C3 now.


(You can practice this empowerment every day until the next Jieqi, but the golden time is on Wednesday, November 7th between 6:31 AM - 8:31 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 C3. Exhale and visualize C3 glowing brightly. Continue this breathing patterns 36 times.
  3. Then, inhale, focus on C3, exhale and visualize the light from C3 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 cross legged, arms resting on your laps.
  2. Inhale, extend your arms in front of your body until shoulder height and bring your arms back towards your chest as palms pronate and face downwards. And exhale, lower your hands as you turn your head to your left. Then inhale, turn your head to the front and extend your arms as before, and exhale and lower your hands as you turn your head to the right. Repeat this sequence 36 times on both sides.
  3. 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!