The Chinese new year which begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice will be on Monday, February 8th at 9: am. The rising moon will usher in the year of the Yang Fire Monkey and If I had to describe the year in one word it would be dynamic. Iâ€™ll explain why, but first, a brief description of how the Chinese astrological system works for those not acquainted with it.
Every year is either Yin or Yang. This cycle repeats itself continuously each hour, day, week, month and year. Last year was yin, therefore, this year is yang and next year will be yin, etc. Another cycle, known as the 5 elements, which is a system of corresponding energies, is used in Chinese astrology in two different cycles, known as the Earthly Branches and the Heavenly Stems. A branch and stem is ascribed to each year and if you understand their symbolic meaning, you can gain insight about yearly expectations and how to interpret what that yearâ€™s potential influence will be.
Earthly branches rotate in a 12 year cycle. One of the twelve animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, boar) is used to describe each year in the cycle and this animal represents a certain quality of energy. Each animal is either Yin or Yang and has a fixed element. For example, every monkey is yang and has a fixed element of metal. So all monkeys, regardless of what year theyâ€™re born in will have some attributes of metal (negative positive) such as being composed or scattered, devoted, candid, trustworthy, combative, withdrawn, etc.
Each year is also influenced by the Heavenly stems cycle. This is a cycle of the five elements in their yin and yang stages which creates a cycle of ten years. This cycle rotates like this: yang earth â€“ yin earth, yang metal â€“ yin metal, yang water- yin water, yang wood â€“ yin wood, yang fire â€“ yin fire and then it starts again.
The White Crane Healing Arts Center is located in Broward County, Florida
7071 W. Commercial Blvd. Suite 2C, Tamarac, FL 33319
Phone 954.721.7252 http://www.whitecranehealingarts.com
Providing Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Herbal Therapy, Chi Gung, Massage and Nutrition services to the South Florida communities of Broward and Palm Beach Counties
Acupuncture is over 5000 years old and is a time tested healing modality originating from the far East.Â Each individual will experience acupuncture on a personal level and what one feels depends on their own state of being and level of sensitivity.Â Itâ€™s common to feel a sensation of warmth, tingling or traveling Qi (energy) when the needles are inserted; and many experience a profound sense of relaxation and well being or possibly increased energy.Â Acupuncture treats the whole being which includes body, mind, emotions and spirit.
Acupuncture points are located in the small depressions or hollows in the skin called gates.Â Thru these gates, one can access the internal streams and rivers of energy that transport Qi and blood.Â Qi and blood give sustenance to the interaction and cohesion of mind, body and spirit.Â Fundamentally, illness manifests when Qi, Blood and Fluids are either blocked, depleted or imbalanced, which diminishes its healthy coherence to the point of dysfunction or eventually illness. Acupuncture can reorganize this dynamic by opening, closing or harmonizing the flows within the rivers and streams (channels).
Some examples would be, helping individuals to manifest their potential in the real world; helping someone that is experiencing an emotional situation (good or bad), to feel or express itÂ and one more example would be helping someone that is constantly discharging energy to store energy in order to have a sense of cohesion.Â Our inner world of feelings and emotions are constantly challenged in an increasingly complicated world which prevents our neurological system from processing the incoming data that seems to be coming at us at an increasingly faster pace.
All hygienic precautions are observed and only sterilized disposable needles are used.
The White Crane Healing Arts Center is located in Broward County, Florida
7071 W. Commercial Blvd. Suite 2C
Tamarac, FL 33319
Phone 954.721.7252 Fax 954.721.7242
Providing Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Herbal Therapy, Chi Gung, Massage and Nutrition services to the South Florida communities of Broward and Palm Beach Counties of: Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, Ft Lauderdale, Hollywood, Lauderhill, Pembroke Pines, Oakland Park, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Tamarac, Margate, Coconut Creek, North Lauderdale, Wilton Manors, and Lighthouse Point
Wednesday, April 22nd. Is Earth day and one holiday I can really relate to. The first Earth Day celebration I remember was at a food co-op that Frank and I were members of in theÂ early 1980â€™s. Robert, one of the co-op founders constructed a rudimentary solar oven which we set up on the sidewalk in front of the co-op. Within a very short time, the ovenÂ was successfully cooking and we were serving free samples of solar cooked food to passers by. This demonstration generated a lot of interest and also educated people; myself included, about sustainability and natural resources. Thinking of that day, I became curious about Earth Dayâ€™s history, so I searched the web and hereâ€™s what I learned.
The seed was planted during President Kennedyâ€™s administration. A senator, Gaylord Nelson, suggested a five day conservation tour around the country as a way to bring awareness of environmental issues to the general public. Kennedy subsequently did the tour, but, apparently, not a lot of attention was given to this event and it seemed that not much would come from it. However 7 years later, in 1970, the slowly germinating seed flowered into the first bona fide Earth Day celebration. At that time there were massive demonstrations against the Viet Nam war, which often included teach-ins. These teach-ins evolved to include environmental issues which resonated with a large segment of the population. As earth awareness grew, people like John Gardner, who was then the head of Common Cause, a grass roots organization and other grass roots organizations became involved. The movement took on a momentum of its own and continues to grow.
As Earth day approaches, there are now worldwide observances and celebrations. Schools, corporations, retailers and governments all participate, and some certainly cash in on earth day. While I am grateful for any progress, even superficial demonstrations, towards recognizing the challenges for humanity and our home, I believe there is something more profound beneath the surface occurring. To many of us, a mountain top removal or toxic ocean has become personal. Itâ€™s difficult to ignore the abuse and disrespect of the planet, or ludicrous to think that the environment has little effect on our health and well-being. We are the earth and the earth is us.
Inherent in Taoist tradition is the concept of self cultivation. Tai Chi, Yoga, meditation and the I Ching are among the disciplines that people are attracted to generally with the purpose of creating a healthier body and mind. When practiced consistently, these disciplines can improve health and well being; but as they become integrated and habitual, they become a true catalyst for change. As change takes hold, awareness grows and every action and breath one takes becomes nourishment for the seed of evolution that resides within. You still eat, sleep, work and play, but how you navigate comes from a deeper more connected understanding, and as understanding grows, each awakened individual becomes a catalyst for change within the collective consciousness and soul.
The greater number of us that pursue an enlightened path, the better the chances are for creating a balanced existence. A planet where people help more than hurt each other, respect each other and have reverence for nature and all that is seen and unseen. Master Ni once told our group to â€œwatch comedyâ€œ. I didnâ€™t realize how profound that simple statement was at the time, but I now know that what we hold in our minds and thoughts manifests into reality. If the majority of humans believe some terrible catastrophe of biblical proportions is going to occur or some natural disaster will wipe out humanity, then itâ€™s possible it could manifest as a self fulfilling prophecy.
So, what could any of us do? Have clear intention to grow in awareness. Surround yourself with what nurtures you, and donâ€™t let inertia, stubbornness or excuses deter you from moving more, eating better, sharing good thoughts, helping others or watching comedy. There are two creative primal forces in the universe, yin and yang. They sometimes oppose each other, but at other times they complement and support each other. Will we be able to work together collectively to create positive change for ourselves and the earth? Will enough of us reach critical mass in time to bring earth back into balance? I have no answers or facts, but I see human potential as infinite. Yin and Yang will always be, but even if some of the dire predictions for our future manifest, it will simply be a detour because the human spirit is indestructible.
By the way, I am proudly proclaiming to be a tree hugger, but hey, Iâ€™ll take wisdom where I can get it. I wish all my fellow tree huggers a healthy planet with many more Earth Days to come!
I hope the energy of spring is bringing you renewed interest and enthusiasm for practicing qigong on a daily basis and for attending classes to build on what you know. Spring energy, which symbolizes growth, outward movement, healing energy and new beginnings, is the perfect time to develop a consistent cultivation practice, or to more deeply explore the benefits of communicating with your inner world.
For some, new beginnings will come in the form of shock, like thunder, breaking through the dark clouds. This is the awakening energy in the spring that the I Ching speaks of. In ancient times thunder was a phenomenon that brought fear to some and a deep message from nature to others. This message was to be aware of complacency. Remove stagnant energy, clear the stuck places and allow change to take hold, so that you can accomplish what needs to get done.
This energy emanates from the East direction, and its spiritual guide is the green dragon. You can absorb this energy and gain assistance from nature if you do your movement practices, quiet sitting or meditation facing East, especially in the early morning hours. Breath from your nose into your belly and â€œseeâ€ the green hued energy entering your body as you practice.
Following is information for late spring and early summer classes at the center.
The on-going Saturday morning classes will continue. â€œOpening The Energy Gatesâ€ is the entrance into the entire Nei Gong Qigong system. Class begins at 9:00 AM.
The short form Wu Style Tai Chi begins at 10:00 AM. The 27 sequential movements are a beautiful, flowing, mind/body practice. Wu style tai chi heals the physical body, calms stress and strengthens your capacity to be more aware of your inner and outer world, in a way that conventional practices and movement, such as calisthenics, is not able to accomplish.
The next several TAO Quiet Sitting Classes will be on Tuesday, April 21st, Tuesday, May 5th, and possibly on May 19th.(this date will be confirmed at a later time), from 7:00 PM â€“ 8:30 PM. Combined breathing and dissolving can resolve congested and frozen energy throughout the mind/body continuum that prevents growth.
A New Sunday Series will begin on Sunday, April 19th thru Sunday, May 17th. There will be 5 classes in this series. Each 2 hour class will introduce you to the Taoist version of yoga, which is a highly internalized system that is very yin in nature. This practice gently stretches the body and integrates the various physical systems and multiple layers of energy. Iâ€™ve taught this yoga to students and patients to help repair very recalcitrant injuries with good results, and to discover the areas where chronic imbalances reside deep within the being.
Energy Gates Wu Style Tai Chi
$10.00 individual class
$15.00 both classes â€“ same day
Connecting to the lower dan tien (Field of Elixir)
*â€œThe forces of Autumn create dryness in Heaven and metal on earth; they create the lung organ and the skin upon the body. . . And the nose, the white color, and pungent flavor. . . The emotion of grief, and the ability to make a weeping sound.â€
Inner Classics (400 BCE â€“ 260 CE) *
Fall is the season of harvest, a time to sink inward, to gather and store as the deep stillness approaches. A time to let go of all our attachments; like the leaves falling gently to the earth. In ancient China, the concept of time was understood differently than in this present day. Today, we view things in accordance to small linear fragments of time, such as seconds, minutes, hours, days etc. Weâ€™ve lost the sensitivity to relate to the whole. Ancients related to the rhythms and cycles of stars, planets, the sun and moon. Their observations revealed the interdependence between humans and the cosmos.
You can observe this interdependence as well. For example, last month the sun crossed the celestial equator; the imaginary line in the sky above the earthâ€™s equator, from north to south. This is a sign that yin is increasing and yang is decreasing. I know that what happens in the heavens, also happens within, so I make adjustments in my daily activities to sync with the flow of this seasonal change. Also, Iâ€™m writing this between the hours of 1:00-3:00 pm. My training as an oriental doctor, taught me that this time corresponds to the flow of qi and blood within the small intestine channel and organ system. The meaning here is that this is an ideal time to address imbalances within this organ system. You can learn to ride the flow of energies that surround and influence us to deepen your life experience.
In Taoist tradition, there is a strong emphasis in living life in harmony and balance. The relationship of the primal forces known as yin and yang can be arranged to reflect the balance in each situation and context. Equilibrium and balance does not mean 50/50; rather it requires an awareness and skill to find the balance in each moment. This awareness can be skillfully developed. Increasing awareness in the Taoist tradition begins by cultivating our energies on a daily basis. Using practices such as Longevity breathing, clear intention and connecting our feeling awareness deep within our bodies is a process that has many steps and levels of understanding.
One such step is the development of a clear path and connection to the lower dan tien, also known as the field of elixir. The lower dan tien relates to the first to the third chakras in the Hindu system and is located 1/3 the distance between the naval and top of the pubic bone. This energy vortex controls all things related to physical capacity. â€œAccording to research conducted by Dr. Michael Gerson, a professor of anatomy and cell biology of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, the lower dan tien sends and receives impulses, records experiences, and responds to emotions. Its nerve cells are bathed in, and influenced by the same neurotransmitters as the brain. The lower dan tienâ€™s â€œbrainâ€, known as the enteric (intestinal) nervous system is a network of 100 million neurons, neurotransmitters (more than the spinal cord contains) and proteins that act independently of the bodyâ€™s brain and can send messages, learn, remember and produce feelings.â€ Dr. Gersonâ€™s research results provide scientific verification of what Eastern wisdom has taught for millenia, verifying that centers of consciousness exist in the body besides the brain; and that the abdomen is one of the bodyâ€™s major centers of awareness.
It is through this awakening and reconnecting to this primal field of energy that we regain our lost inheritance to our deepest selves and the realization that we are the children of the universe. Feeling our way into reality has nothing to do with philosophy or belief. It is simply coming back to basics. Accessing and stabilizing awareness in the lower dan tien creates the ability to establish a foundation of whole health, which can then expand to other aspects of our being. This is also how we can experience the subtle resonance of celestial bodies dancing thru the universe, weaving their universal rhythms and patterns into being to reawaken us to the interconnectedness of everything.
Starting in November, Sunday Qigong classes will be exploring the â€œkinetic communicationâ€ of the lower dan tien. We will be using and refining many of the practices you have learned in previous classes, or if new, I will be teaching basic techniques so that you will have the material to move forward. The Taoist longevity breathing will be important and also taught in combination with the dissolving process. The dissolving practiceâ€™s potential sinking qualities will be included and refined for the more experienced students. Standing and sitting practices, cloud hands and Taoist yoga will be explored as part of this process.
Class Schedule for November December, 2014
Sunday, Nov. 16th.
Sunday, Nov. 23rd.
Sunday, Dec. 7th.
Sunday, Dec. 14th.
Sunday, Dec. 21st.
Sunday class times 10:30 am â€“ 12:30 pm
Cost: $25.00 individuals per class $40.00 couples per class
Beginners and practitioners of other traditions welcome.
Note to NSEV Practitioners: This process of feeling our way into the lower dan tien is a kinetic way to experience the primal oceans. Each layer of releasing brings one into the origin of our body, the chong. This process is one of the ways to merge yourself back into your true self.