This article is from Robert Peng’s latest newsletter. Robert is an extraordinary Qigong Master and the author of the book “Qigong Master: My Life and Secret Teachings”, which we have reviewed on this website and highly recommend, as well as his CD’s and DVD’s. We believe so much in his heartfelt teachings that we have recently just completed his intensive 3 month 12 Cycle Yang Qigong course.We have also been doing Seasonal Empowerments for a year and it has strengthened our spines, helped increase flexibility and is a wonderful exercise to connect with the Cosmos. Sign up for Robert’s newsletter and receive free video instruction for Jieqi qigong and find out about his qigong courses, books, and other teaching material at: www.robertpeng.com . The following is directly from Robert Peng’s most recent newsletter and is in his own words:
In a few days the Chinese seasonal calendar begins anew. This is an opportune time for a refresher on the yearlong Seasonal Empowerment series that we are about to start. What makes this practice so valuable? How do you benefit from doing it? How long does it take? Let’s find out.
The Chinese seasonal calendar divides the year into 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Each season is further subdivided into six stages. A total of 24 phases (4×6=24) make up the yearly seasonal cycle.
Each of these 24 phases is known as a jieqi (jee-ay-chee) and lasts approximately 15 days. The start of a new jieqi is determined by the position of the sun. Every time the sun advances 15° on it’s journey around the ecliptic a new phase begins.
Here is a simple way to envision what happens each time a new jieqi begins: Picture Time Square on December 31st at 11:59 PM, just one minute before the New Year begins. The buildup of energy is palpable. The New Year’s Ball hovering above the cheering crowd is about to drop. Then the countdown begins: Ten, nine, eight… three, two, and one!
As the ball hits the ground the crowd lets out a wild roar and a tremendous wave of energy is released. Many of us have experienced this surge of energy either live or on television. At that moment we are often inspired to make a New Year’s resolution instinctively realizing that we can leverage the groundswell of exuberance to make real changes in our lives.
The first two hours of a new jieqi are like a mini New Year and long ago Qigong masters realized that if they timed their Qigong practice to coincide with this narrow window they would benefit tremendously. Practicing Qigong at this time is like raising your sails while a strong wind is blowing. A little effort carries you a long way. Seasonal Empowerment Qigong (or Jieqi Qigong) was taught to me by my Master, Xiao Yao (shiao-yeaow). He would consult a yellow astronomical book to determine the precise time the jieqi began and we would practice the Seasonal Empowerment together. By joining the thousands of practitioners doing Seasonal Empowerment you join our growing Circle of Cosmic Qi and partake in an ancient tradition.
Seasonal Empowerment Qigong is a simple yet effective practice designed to help you leverage the surge of Qi energy at the start of each new jieqi. The basic technique is this: each time a new jieqi begins you focus your attention on a specific vertebra and empower it with the Qi that abounds. Why a vertebra? The spine is made up of 24 vertebrae and Qigong masters established a correspondence between the 24 seasonal phases and the 24 vertebra. Each Seasonal Empowerment targets a particular vertebra and over the course of the year you empower your whole spine, one vertebra at the time
Part 1 is the empowerment meditation. This part is practiced exclusively during the first two hours of each new jieqi. You begin by concentrating Qi energy into the vertebra associated with the jieqi and then radiate the energy that you collected throughout your body to nourish your internal organs. Part 1 can be done from twenty minutes up to two hours. It’s up to you. By the time you finish the empowerment you feel “supercharged” with high-grade Qi that will significantly boost your sense of well being.
Part 2 is a movement practice designed to strengthen your spine. The movement pattern changes with each jieqi and each specific movement targets the vertebra associated with the current empowerment. Part 2 is not time sensitive. You can practice it anytime (once a day) until the next jieqi begins. It only takes 5-10 minutes to complete. With regular practice you will notice the muscles and soft tissue along your spine grow significantly stronger and more resilient. Since we feel as old as our spine is young, this practice promotes longevity.
Seasonal Empowerment Qigong can also transform your life into a magical adventure. Here is how. Each of the seasons embodies an essential quality. It’s easy to tune into the exuberant mood associated with the promise of Spring, the blooming abundance of Summer, the refined maturity of Autumn, and the sobering stillness of Winter. But we can deepen our connection to the seasonal cycle by identifying the essential quality of each jieqi and the universal theme it represents.
For example, Grain in Ear (June 6-21) is the seasonal phase when grains and leaves branch out most dramatically and not surprisingly, the theme associated with this jieqi is branching out. Autumn Equinox (September 22 – October 7) coincides with “Indian Summer” when the trees start to turn colors and the theme associated with this jieqi is beauty. Minor Cold (January 4-19) ushers in the coldest part of the year and the theme associated with this jieqi is resilience.
By “awakening” the essential quality of the current jieqi and expressing its associated theme creatively through your actions, you can participate more fully in the movement of life. With each newsletter we will identify the theme of the jieqi and the attitude that you can activate in your daily affairs to resonate with the seasonal cycle. Why should you care to do this? When you come into a conscious relationship with nature space become charged with meaning and synchronicities abound. Basically, when we embody the seasonal themes life becomes an enchanted journey.
Now with all of this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the first jieqi of the year:
The Start of Spring Empowerment
The birth of springtime
On Saturday February 4th the 1st phase of the Chinese seasonal calendar begins. This phase, Start of Spring (Lichun Jieqi), begins at 5:22 AM EST as the sun reaches 315° Longitude (15° Aquarius).
Start of Spring is the first of the six stages of spring. In this newsletter we will explore the “meaning” of springtime in general and then focus on the “meaning” of the first phase of the season. Here you will find you will find Practice Guidelines for the Start of Spring Empowerment
Over the next three months springtime will unfold. Day by day you may not notice the changes, but four months from now, looking back, you would notice a dramatic transformation all around. Nature will be green and bursting with vitality. The warming skies will be filled with chirping melodies and the buzz of insects. The “mood” of nature will have shifted ninety degrees. The difference between wintry starkness and a landscape of animated greenery captures the essence of springtime.
Springtime represents the “rebirth” of nature which has retreated underground for the last three months. The life force is about to burst forth with irrepressible vitality. Spring is an expansive life-affirming season that gushes with youthful exuberance. The themes embodied by springtime include new possibilities and the excitement they generate. If you had to personalize Spring, giving the season a face and a personality, how would you do it? I envision Spring a smiling young boy with big curious eyes eager to explore a mysterious new world. As we enter springtime, nature will support you when you express the spirit of adventure.
Now let’s zero in on the meaning of the first phase of Spring, Start of Spring. If springtime is a time of new beginnings then the 1st phase of Spring represents the beginning of the beginning. Picture an artist standing before a blank canvas. What will she paint? She doesn’t know yet. The possibilities are endless. Her freedom is complete and so is her openness. Facing endless possibilities she is capable painting of anything. But as soon as a vision emerges and she makes a mark on the canvass the universe of possibilities will shrink from infinity. But before the vision emerges she embodies the “beginning of the beginning” and free to imagine anything.
The theme associated with Start of Spring is perfect freedom. Now is the time to allow yourself not to know. Over the next fifteen days relax the mental muscle that says “yes” to one thing and “no” to another. Drop judgements and opinions. Suspend both belief and disbelief. Welcome enlightened ignorance. Let your mind go for a swim in the sea of infinite possibilities. As springtime matures a new vision will materialize. But before that can happen you must create the space for that vision to emerge. Now is the time to awaken the field of “not knowing.”
Practicing the Start of Spring empowerment on Saturday February 4th between 5:22AM – 7:22AM EST will bring you into deeper alignment with the cosmos and boost your energy level. (Remember to adjust for the time difference if you live in another time zone). Start of Spring lasts until Sunday February 19th at 1:17 AM EST when Rain Water, the next phase begins. Until then knock down the walls inside your head and notice the empty space within. Click For Practice Guidelines
Watch the video!
Robert Peng with (Tracy Latz, M.D. & Marion Ross, Ph.D.)
The Shift Doctors give Robert Peng‘s book “Qigong Master: My Life and Secret Teachings” two thumbs up!! It is a must-read for any serious metaphysical student or student of qigong… and you will learn how to change the taste of your favorite beverage in the process!! See Robert’s full newsletter and details of how to perform the empowerment at: http://web.me.com/robertpeng9/Circle_of_Cosmic_Qi/Start_of_Spring.html
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