Late one night, when I was a young apprentice, my master, Xiao Yao, asked me to follow him into the countryside. I walked quietly behind him wondering where he was leading me. My sense of wonder turned to anxiety as we entered the local cemetery. Nighttime and tombstones conjure up frightening images in the mind of a boy and I was unnerved.
I became even more unsettled when Xiao Yao stopped beside a freshly dug grave, sat on it, and announced, “This is where we’ll practice the Clear and Bright Empowerment.” He motioned me to sit besides him on the warm, soft ground. Reluctantly, I did. What choice did I have?
(For anyone interested, the story of what happened next is described on page 17 of my book, The Master Key.)
Why would Xiao Yao want to practice the Clear and Bright Empowerment over a freshly dug grave? This macabre scenario only begins to make sense when we understand the energetic qualities associated with this phase of the annual seasonal cycle.
Over the last few installments of this newsletter I described how the energies of nature “extravert” during springtime. With the Yang force on the ascendancy, we direct our attention on external objectives and on activities that will help us manifest our goals. In the previous seasonal phase, Vernal Equinox, we broke the ice and took practical steps to push a deep seeded vision out into the world. This process of externalizing your power and projecting your desires out into the world gains momentum during Clear and Bright.
As the name of this seasonal phase implies, we are about to enter a period of time when the sky will brighten and lighten. Picture a dazzling blue springtime day enlivened by playful chirping birds gliding through the breeze. This image captures the essence of Clear and Bright. During this phase, powerful Earth Qi that has been concentrating underground for many months is projecting skyward like a geyser and you align with the natural oder by expressing your own vitality in clear and bright ways. During this seasonal phase, the endless blue sky is the limit.
And now let’s return to the cemetery...
Xiao Yao practiced the Clear and Bright Empowerment in the graveyard to help spirits trapped on the earth plane. As he meditated, he instructed them to ride the rising currents of Earth Qi towards a higher spiritual dimension. My Master’s meditation helped guide those lost souls on their journey. When I understood the purpose of the meditation, I calmed down and enjoyed the practice.
In China, during Clear and Bright, we celebrate the Sweeping Tomb Festival. In Chinese culture touching tombstones is taboo all year long except for the fifteen days of this seasonal phase. We are told that during Clear and Bright, the god who guards the tombs is away feasting at the banquet of the Queen of Heaven. We take advantage of his absence to sweep the tombs of our ancestors to honor their memory.
I encourage you to practice the Clear and Bright Empowerment on Tuesday, April 4th between 10:17 AM EDT and 12:17 PM EDT. (Remember to adjust for the time difference if you live in another time zone). Doing this practice will boost your energy level and support you in your quest to manifest the yearnings of your imagination. Now is the time to hurl your desires into the outer world, clearly and brightly. On Wednesday, April 19th at 5:27 PM EDT a new seasonal phase begins, Grain Rain. On that date a new energetic pattern will guide the flow of nature. Between now and then, trust that your primal instincts will lead you to higher wisdom.