Life is built on rhythms, the natural world is constantly in a state of transformation. A cyclical flow of growth and decline—manifested in the turning of the seasons, waxing and waning of the moon, and the oscillation of day and night. The intertwined correspondences to the universal tidal flows are the warp and weft upon which our lives, our health, and our medicine is woven. This knowledge is preserved in the Chinese Lunisolar calendar.
Harmony comes from living in accordance with the shifts in time; honoring and riding those waves. Leaning into the seasonal flows brings us closer to the natural rhythm of our medicine. It invites the universe to run through us as we live into greater states of coherence.
In this conversation with Sheri Lee, we explore the seasonal cycles of qi according to the Chinese Calendar and how to align ourselves with the changing tides and flow of time. We discuss the seasonal markers to keep an eye on, the earth phases, the 24 nodes, and the Japanese concept of doyo. In addition to aligning ourselves with the seasons, we talk about aligning ourselves to what our patients are showing up with.
Listen into this discussion on living right with time and being in harmony with the seasonal rhythms and tidal flows of the year in our personal lives and clinical work.
In This Conversation We Discuss:
- Exploring the system of “Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches”
- A fascination with chapter 8 of the Ling Shu – Finding the alignment to spirit in a turbid earthly realm
- The 24 solar segments on the Chinese Lunisolar Calendar and attuning ourselves to the shifting tides
- Seasonal markers that have a “larger than usual influence on patients” in clinical practice
- ‘Unraveling’ the Earth phases and setting rhythms of consistency in our clinical work
- Japanese seasonal doyos and the cultural practices surrounding those times
- Tapping into the shifting seasonal energies to form new habits
- Living right with time
- Relearning to be a conduit to help our patients figure themselves out
- Suggestions for newer practitioners on practices or things they can do to move through that early developmental phase
Nothing in this earthly life is permanent, we are in a state of constant transformation. Whether you consider your view good or bad, it is only temporary. The easiest way to flow is to find comfort in what you cannot control.
In my studies of EAM and Daoist traditions, I am reminded that after 2Oyrs in practice, it is humbling to know nothing. What fascinates me most these days is the coalescence of pre and post heaven qi, where cosmology meets embryology; and the numerology of three and eight. I seek being in relationship with heartSpirit, which provides deeper knowing-how.
Much like the rings of a spiral, reflection and awareness remind me that each stage of learning (and life) feels familiar, yet is realized from a completely different perspective. And, perhaps, all we need to know we learn in cycle one, though the richness and discovery expands with each go around.
In 2018, during my fourth pregnancy, I began a more intentional relationship with time, space and life cycles. Combining my obsession with the seasons, numerology, patterns and symbols; I began creating visual representations of the information I was absorbing and sharing to guide me. As my understanding of the Neijing deepens, my receptivity as a conduit for its wisdom supports me to be a better human, mother, partner and practitioner.
Links and Resources
Sheri has created a lovely calendar that to help you orient to the Chinese seasons.
Here are a few videos that Sheri recommends:
Deborah Woolf, who has also been on the podcast discussing Stems and Branches, has a delightful 15 minute talk on the 24 fortnights of the Chinese year
Intro to Seasonal Qi Gong with Tom Bisio
Numerology in the Classics: Unfolding the Mystery of Life with Élisabeth Rochat de la Vallée
Eight Winds in the Heavens: Seasonal Health Secrets and Qi Gong Exercises from Daoist Sages that Prevent Disease
and Promote Optimal Health & Vitality by Tom Bisio and Valerie Ghent
The Symbolism of Numbers in Classical China by Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée
Rooted in Spirit: The Heart of Chinese Medicine by Claude Larre and Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée
Classical Chinese Medicine by Lihong Liu