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SEASONAL QIGONG SERIES

Vernal Equinox Empowerment



Dear Qigong friend,

On Monday, March 20th, the fourth phase of the Chinese seasonal calendar begins. This phase, Vernal Equinox (Chunfen), starts at 6:28 AM EDT as the sun crosses 0° Longitude (0° Aries). Please join the thousands of practitioners worldwide who will usher this event by practicing the Vernal Equinox 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

Vernal Equinox (CHUNFEN JIEQI)



The next seasonal phase begins at the vernal equinox. That astronomical event that lends its name to the upcoming phase. Vernal Equinox represents the fourth stage of Spring. The theme of springtime is new possibilities and the excitement they generate and over the next fifteen days, as this seasonal phase unfolds, nature will undergo changes and reveal new qualities that you can awaken in yourself and use to align with the movement of life.

In the last seasonal phase, Awakening of Insects, you “charged” your springtime vision with the energy of “excitement”—an emotional quality associated with the liver, the internal organ linked to Spring. If you’re attuned to the energy of the season, you may now feel yourself welling up with anticipation and energized to manifest your vision. In this edition of the newsletter we will examine the significance of the next seasonal phase and explore ways you can use the seasonal energy to propel your life forward.

Picture yourself standing on an open field, facing east, right before dawn. The sky is still dark but the grip of night is already loosening. A halo of brightness grows in the distance highlighting the horizon and painting the sky purple and red. Then, unexpectedly, a brilliant point of light punctures the muted colors. It grows rapidly, and within minutes, a ball of dazzling light is floating in the light blue sky. The sun has risen; day has begun. If we set the daily and the yearly cycle side-by-side, then Vernal Equinox corresponds to sunrise. We have reached the “good morning” point of the year. Good morning!

The vernal equinox is an astronomical event. The day before the equinox, night is still longer than day; the day after the equinox, day is longer than night. Over the past six months, Yin dominated. Over the next six months Yang will dominate. The scales of Yin and Yang tip during this seasonal phase. Cosmologically, this event is of dramatic importance. But what does this mean for you in practical terms?

Yin and Yang are the two dynamic principles used that organize the universe in Chinese cosmology. Yin is the principle that drives energy and action inwards (physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually). It is associated with “darkness” because the kinds of processes that gravitate naturally towards darkness also tend to draw us deeper into ourselves.  Consider sleep, meditation, and contemplation. With darkness, we tend to venture deeper within into the realm of Yin where the imagination, dreams, and mysteries become increasingly tangible. Yang, on the other hand, is the principle that drives energy and action outwards (physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually). Yang is associated with “light” because the kinds of processes that gravitate naturally towards light also tend to draw us  out into the outer world. 

Picture yourself asleep. You are like a ship adrift in the ocean of dreams, far from the shores of reality. A warm ray of morning light breaks through the curtains and caresses your face. The dream fades. You open your eyes and the light of dawn reels your mind back into the outer world. In four words: darkness introverts, light extraverts

Neurologically, over the next six months, relatively more daylight will flood your brain than darkness. So at a fundamental level, nature is going to favor and support your expansive, outgoing side. The universe will privilege the extraverted aspect of your personality—the part of you that is rearing for action. And during Vernal Equinox, as the scales tilt, this dynamic will be especially strong.

Let’s ground this idea with a concrete example. Picture a tiger crouching behind a thicket, motionless, eyeing his prey. Outwardly he is still, but inwardly he is concentrating energy intensely. This inner process represents the Yin force in action. As the tiger releases the potency of the concentrated energy, Yang takes over and he leaps through the air.  As he springs enthusiastically towards his goal, he is enacting a Vernal Equinox moment. 

In the last seasonal phase, Awakening of Insects, you assumed the posture of the crouching tiger by concentrating the Yin force of enthusiasm to your springtime vision. Now is the time to unleash the energies you have been accumulating! If ever there was a time to seize the moment and “spring forward," this is it.

Practicing the Vernal Equinox Empowerment is an effective way to accumulate more energy during this seasonal phase.  The cosmic energy you accumulate by doing this practice will enable you to leap much higher and further. The empowerment happens on Monday, March 20th between 6:28 AM EDT and 8:28 AM EDT. (Remember to adjust for the time difference if you live in another time zone).  Vernal Equinox will last fifteen days until Tuesday, April 4th at 10:17 AM EDT when the fifth phase of spring (Clear and Bright) begins. Until then, you are a sprinter at the starting line. On your mark, get set, go for it!



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

STEP 1: LOCATE T11


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 11 (T11) in the middle back.

Thoracic 12 (T12) is the lowest vertebra on the spine that has a rib attachement. Feel for your lowest rib and trace it back to your spine, that is T12. Up one is T11. Find T11 now.

Find T11 now.



















STEP 2: SPINAL MEDITATION

(You can practice this empowerment every day until the next Jieqi, but the golden time is on Monday, March 20th between 6:28 AM - 8:28 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 T11. Exhale and visualize T11 glowing brightly. Continue this breathing patterns 36 times.
  3. Then, inhale, focus on T11, exhale and visualize the light from T11 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. Sit cross-legged, rest your hands on both sides of the body.
  2. Inhale, raise your hands from sides until reaching under the shoulders, and then move them right in front of the shoulders, palms facing outward, and fingers pointing upward.
  3. Exhale, push your palms forward, feel the tensions on the root of your palm. Meanwhile, turn your head to the left.
  4. Inhale, resume your palms back to your shoulders, and turn your head back to the front.
  5. Exhale, push your palms forward, feel the tensions on the root of your palm. Meanwhile, turn your head to the right.
  6. Repeat 4-5 left and right alternatively for 36 times.
  7. Gently bite your teeth 36 times.
  8. Swoosh your tongue around your mouth until it is running with saliva. Then, swallow the saliva, and send the energy of your saliva down to your Lower Dantian. Repeat three times.

 Enjoy your practice!