We are now getting ready to enter the Year of the Tiger and there are several things that I think are helpful for you as an update. The first one is that we are nearing the end of winter, so within a month from now, during the winter period of time, the most valuable thing you can do is to rest so you have energy for the rest of the year.
This is so your system will regenerate, much like you leave a field fallow in the winter so in the spring it can grow again. Now that we’ve finished the bulk of the winter and we have less than a month left before the next phase starts, you want to start just like a person who has been very, very sleepy and is waking up, very slowly.
You want your body to continue to rest, but you want to slowly start waking it up so that, when the spring time comes, rather than it being a sudden jolt like a jolt of adrenaline, you gradually slide into the activity of spring. This is again a basic Chinese thought, a basic Taoist thought.
Along with that, we’ve also just had the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Tiger, and there are several things about this related to this time of the year. The first one is that one of the things the tiger is known for in China, besides being an extremely powerful animal is being very directly tied to your whole muscular skeletal system. This includes everything to do with your muscles and your ligaments, etc. Tigers are also known for their bones, which are extremely heavy.
Now, referencing tiger bones is used as a metaphor by tai chi masters. For example when someone hits you and if you really have tiger bones, then that means basically the person’s arm is going to bounce off you. If they hit you with their hand, their hand is probably going to hurt, but you’re not.
It’s the last month of the winter and you’ve just entered the Year of the Tiger. Because of this deep inside your bones and deep inside your bone marrow the energy is focused on sinking your chi. This is so it not only sinks through the tissues of your body but it literally starts sinking first into your bone matrix, the actual bone, and eventually into the marrow itself.
You would focus on the sinking of the chi with any practice you choose, for example standing Qigong or Tai Chi. this is very useful especially with standing postures because standing is a very good practice to do in the winter . They not only give you the rest you need but also help you have the transition between the rest period and the spring when your energy is going to start turning on like a light bulb.
During this period of time, during this next month, really focus on sinking your chi and see if you can get the feeling of your chi going beyond just the sense of your flesh and your blood but actually giving you some kind of sensation in your actual bones themselves.
This would be an excellent thing to do with this final phase of the winter. We’ll re-look at the subject of the tiger when we come to the actual springtime.