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SEASONAL QIGONG SERIES

Grain in Ear Empowerment



Dear Qigong friend,

On Monday, June 5th, the nineth phase of the Chinese seasonal calendar begins. This phase, Grain in Ear (Mangzhong), starts at 7:36 AM EDT as the sun crosses 75° Longitude (15° Gemini). Please join the thousands of practitioners worldwide who will usher this event by practicing the Grain in Ear 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 22
Minor Snow
Nov 21
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 7
Minor Cold
Jan 5
6Grain Rain
Apr 19
Major Heat
Jul 22
Frost Descent
Oct 23
Major Cold
Jan 19

Grain in Ear (MANGZHONG JIEQI)



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.

Doing the Grain in Ear Empowerment on Monday, June 5th between 7:36 AM EDT and 9:36 AM EDT will boost your energy level and ability to run around faster and further. (Remember to adjust for the time difference if you live in another time zone).  Grain in Ear lasts until Wednesday, June 21st at 12:24 AM EDT when Summer Solstice, the fourth stage of summer begins. Until then, welcome liveliness and celebrate movement!



(If you can't see the video on the screen, you can see it on YouTube ).

STEP 1: LOCATE T6


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 6 (T6) in the middle back.

The big vertebra at the base of your neck is Cervical 7 (C7). Below it is Thorcic 1 (T1). Count down five vertebrae to reach T6.

Find T6 now.



















STEP 2: SPINAL MEDITATION

(You can practice this empowerment every day until the next Jieqi, but the golden time is on Monday, June 5th between 7:36 AM - 9:36 AM EDT)


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 T6. Exhale and visualize T6 glowing brightly. Continue this breathing patterns 36 times.
  3. Then, inhale, focus on T6, exhale and visualize the light from T6 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.

STEP 3: SPINAL MOVEMENT EXERCISE

(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. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, rest your hands on both sides of the body. 
  2. Then inhale, slightly raise your both hands (palms facing up) in front of your body and keep raising them all the way above your head, palms facing up and fingers pointing backward. Then hold breath, raise up your head and look at your hands, and exhale, lower your hands from the sides of your body. Repeat 36 times.
  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!