One of the core principles that underlies Qigong, is the notion that you are an intrinsic part of nature and that by aligning your actions with the flow of the seasons, you harmonize with the Dao—the invisible hub that moves the spokes of the cosmos and regulates the movement of life. To some degree, we do this naturally: We wear shorts in the summer, heavy coats in winter, and carry umbrellas when it rains. Call it natural wisdom.
In pre-modern agricultural societies, humans were more connected to the cycles of nature since they worked the land with their bare hands and were not insulated from the environment as we are today. Therefore, they possessed more natural wisdom and felt more deeply connected to the rest of the planet. The trees, the grass, the sun, the sky, and the animals were threads that twined together and formed the fabric of their lives. Nowadays, we tend to live in artificial bubbles, and as a result, we have become disconnected from our greater home.
The Seasonal Qigong Series is intended to help you reconnect with the earth by highlighting the qualities currently arising in nature and showing you ways to awaken those qualities in your life. In this edition of the newsletter we explore the unique qualities emerging over the next fifteen days during the seasonal phase known as Grain in Ear. Then, further below, you will find Practice Guidelines for the Grain in Ear Empowerment, a special Qigong exercise designed to help you boost your vitality by absorbing the powerful Qi energies of this seasonal phase.
The theme of summertime is booming growth and the joy it inspires. Grain in Ear, the 3rd phase of summer, represents a stepping stone towards the realization of that goal. What is the distinguishing characteristic of Grain in Ear? If you were a farmer, right now, you would be getting ready to sow some grains and harvest others. Grain in Ear is a busy time for the land when reaping and sowing happen simultaneously. For farmers, this seasonal phase represents a time of heightened activity outside of the home. Now, let’s consider how you can embody the qualities of the season in a meaningful way and deepen your connection to nature.
Picture a leopard walking back and forth inside her cage . The cage door opens and she leaps out. Savor the leopard’s feeling in the moment—the joy of unrestrained movement. The pleasure of freewheeling activity is the energy that embodies the essence of Grain in Ear.
Now picture an eighteen-year-old at a boring and predictable family dinner. He’s feeling caged in just like that leopard. The same old conversations are being recycled. He’s restless and impatient. He gets a text message: Party tonight, 10 PM. The news excites him. His cage door has just opened. At his age, he needs to “reap” and “sow” new experiences. The desire for activity outside the home is a natural process that promotes social development.
During Grain in Ear, you are encouraged to become aware of the constricted spaces in your life. Now is the time for you to open the cage door and create some joyful movement in your life. Welcome social activities that stimulate your senses and busy-ness that broadens your horizons. In a business setting, this is the optimal time of the year to become a buzzing bee and to widen your network of connections. In your personal life, seek out new experiences to broaden your mind. If you’re doing twice as much socializing as you did three months ago, you’re on the right track.