A Ryokan poem for Spring
The snow has stopped, the clouds have drifted away, and the weather is clear again.*
If your heart is pure, then all things in your world are pure.
Abandon this fleeting world, abandon yourself,
Then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way.
*Ryokan I hope will forgive me, I replaced "rain" with "snow".
Spring relates to the Wood element in Chinese Medicine, meaning the energy of plant life and trees. Fresh, clear, and green. It corresponds to the Liver and the eyes.
Some questions to harmonize with this seasonal time:
What is my vision (goals, plans) for the coming month and year? What steps am I taking to fulfill them?
Am I flexible enough to continue towards my goal in the face of obstacles?
Springtime energy has the ability to be fully present and rooted while reaching for the future.
The energy of the Wood element (Spring) is well expressed in an earlier post in my blog: Lessons from a Tree.
Wishing you deep peace in your heart, happiness and fulfillment on this new Spring day!
Why practice Qi Gong? For one thing, it's an alternative to the gym, and it's effects are similar to an acupuncture treatment.
Qi gong is a low impact but powerful exercise that nourishes from within. It helps promote the free flow of qi, alleviating physical symptoms and emotional imbalances. It also helps maintain good health.
In Chinese Medicine there is a saying: "Qi is the commander of Blood, Where Qi goes the Blood must follow. Blood is the mother of Qi." Qi is like a current in a river; it carries everything in it's flow.
Simply, a healthy qi flow equals complete circulation of blood throughout the body, delivering nutrients and oxygen, stabilizing hormones, and removing metabolic waste.
Master Li's qi gong practices are my favorite. Fun fact: Master Li starred and choreographed martial arts films in China before devoting himself to the more peaceful practice of Qi Gong. Try practicing it below and see how you feel. You can order his DVDs from the Shen Zhen Society website: http://www.shengzhen.org/
I know that the benefits of meditation in my life are many. For one, it creates an inner stillness from which to act-but I often find myself resistant to my regular meditation practice. I just came across this wonderful quote from the enlightened spiritual teacher, Paramahansa Yogananda, that gets right to the heart of the matter.
“The soul loves to meditate, for in contact with the Spirit lies its greatest joy. If, then you experience mental resistance during meditation, remember that reluctance to meditate comes from the ego; it doesn't belong to the soul. ”
This doesn't always mean that the experience of meditation will be happy or blissful. Patients often report that they're "not good at meditating," because "they can't stop thinking!" I find that its the intention to sit quietly and connect with the highest aspect of your self that matters. Its not whether your head is full of thoughts or completely empty, it's the relationship you have with those thoughts - being completely wrapped up - or having no relationship at all - that matters.