Happy Spring Everyone,
The snow has begun to melt here in Colorado, and the seasons are beginning to shift. Each season brings a specific energy into the world, and we’re beginning to enjoy the transition to spring.
Taoists have always worked with both the energy inside ourselves and the external energetic forces of the world around us. These outside influences can affect us powerfully as they constantly shift and change.
Practitioners use the natural energy that occurs during changes in seasons, lunar cycles, and celestial events to tune into the transformations that are constantly occurring within human beings, the earth, and the heavens. Sometimes these changes are sudden, sometimes they are gradual, but one thing for certain is that they are never ceasing. The closer we listen, the closer we get toward being in harmony with the world around us and with the nature of the Tao itself.
The Energetic Landscape
Each season has a unique energetic character that can be absorbed into your practice. In spring, the Earth produces an outgoing and positive energy, making it a good time to open yourself to the possibility of happiness and doing things that bring you joy and fulfillment.
On the flip side, there’s still a lingering “psychic sludge” as society continues to find its footing after a very challenging year. Many feel tired, anxious and don’t know how to move forward. New actions and thoughts might feel like you’re moving through mud.
This sluggishness is creating the conditions for people’s insides to shut down and close. When this happens, you don’t just close down physically but also mentally and emotionally. This can result in feeling indecisive and limiting the ability to feel joy and be open.
A great way to combat this malaise is to harness the expansive energy that the Earth is generating. Because of this conflicting energy, some may find it more difficult to tap into the joy that is typical for this season. But there’s still plenty to go around for you to work with.
You can do that by being open mentally, physically, and emotionally. Try new things, do what makes you happy, interact with pets, go for a walk, meet up with your friends, read a good book.
To make use of the energy of spring, you want to literally encourage openness through your whole being. Mentally that means having the ability to see things from many points of view whether you agree or disagree. Emotionally it’s being able to engage with people without your insides shutting down or needing to lash out.
You will find immense peace if you can master that. When it comes to your qi, the focus should be on your energy being expansive and flowing smoothly.
Your physical, energetic, emotional, and mental states are all interconnected and form the first four of what the Taoists refer to as the Eight Energy Bodies. A good way to magnify opening, expansive qualities is learning to open and close, or “pulse” different parts of your body. You then cultivate that opening and closing to expand through more and more areas inside of you.
This pulsing technique is a core practice in neigong. You start the process by opening and closing areas that are easy to feel, eventually moving through all of your joints, spine, organs, energetic cavities, and your whole body.
Practice Video: Tai Chi Circling Hands
The Tai Chi Circling Hands exercise is an excellent container for learning openings and closings. The three Circling Hands movements are simple to learn and provide a great physical and energetic workout.
To practically work with some of what I’ve been talking about above and to give you a practice boost going into spring, check out the video below. It’s an excerpt from our opening and closing edition of the Training Circle to help you learn the basic form of Tai Chi Circling Hands and how to use it to integrate the openings and closings of the body.
The Tao Space: Center Update
Spring is feeling good today at the Tao Space training center. The team propped the doors open and welcomed in some sunshine and fresh air (hard to believe that only a few days ago there was a foot and a half of snow on the ground).
We’re still moving along with our weekly Tao Space Live classes and enjoying spending time with many of you online. In just a few weeks, we’ll begin our Spring Session of TSL, and we’re also looking forward to our Wood Element Virtual Workshop in May.
As great as this online jazz has been, we’re still looking forward to having people filling the Tao Space in person. It’s looking like we’ll be giving limited attendance summer programs a go, and we hope to open the doors for weekly classes by fall.
Thanks very much for continuing to support the longevity of the Taoist Water Tradition by maintaining your own personal practice and linking in with us where you can. I wish everyone a creative and abundant spring, may you make the best of the opportunities and awareness that come your way.
All the best,