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Clear and Bright Empowerment

Dear Qigong friend,

On Wednesday, April 4th, the fifth phase of the Chinese seasonal calendar begins. This phase, Clear and Bright (Qingming), starts at 4:12 PM EST as the sun crosses 15° Longitude (15° Aries). Please join the thousands of practitioners worldwide who will usher this event by practicing the Clear and Bright 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

Clear and Bright (QINGMING JIEQI)

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 Wednesday, April 4th between 4:12 PM EST and 6:12 PM EST. (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 Thursday, April 19th at 11:12 PM EST 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.

(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 10 (T10) in the middle back.

The vertebra opposite your navel is L2. One up is L1. One up is T12. One up is T11. One up is T10.

Find T10 now.


(You can practice this empowerment every day until the next Jieqi, but the golden time is on Wednesday, April 4th between 4:12 PM - 6:12 PM 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 T10. Exhale and visualize T10 glowing brightly. Continue this breathing patterns 36 times.
  3. Then, inhale, focus on T10, exhale and visualize the light from T10 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 resting your hands on both sides of the body.
  2. Let your thumb and index finger touch and raise your hands chest level. Inhale, slightly turn your body to the left and stretch your hands as if you are pulling the drawstring of a bow with your right hand. Exhale, relax, and bring your hands back to your chest. 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!