How we practice through the seasons.
Following nature is important. Following the natural surrounding environment is the first step to being in the Dao. In Daoism nature means heaven, fate, destin, purpose and also, our environment and what we see around us. What we can use to keep us in balance. For example, it is best to eat following the season, wear clothes according to the weather.
Once the Dao is named it is no longer the Dao
This is written in the introduction to the Dao de jing and because of this this ancient text is rich in metaphors to describe ideas. In Daoism it is also believed that if an idea works on a small level it will also work on a larger more universal level. An example of a rich metaphor is the idea of ‘The Way’ and how it can explain Daoist virtues. When you are hiking and you must follow ‘a way’ or ‘a path’ it requires attention, discipline and focus which are all virtues that a person needs in their life to be in the tune with Their Way.
Nature is all things
When speaking about nature it isn’t just the trees and a river, we are also considered a part of nature and nature is considered an expression of the Dao so when we live in harmony with nature and our natural selves we are living in harmony with the Dao. You look to nature for instruction and then follow nature’s instruction as long as it applies to what you are learning.
Be like water
Often the metaphor of water is used to explain how man should act. To follow the natural action of flowing water that accepts and adapts to the surrounding terrain. The metaphor of water symbolizes fluidity, flexibility and adaption to circumstances. Or as we like to say “going with the flow”
Wu Wei is the concept of non-action which can be seen as acting in the purest natural way. Just letting things happen as they should. In the western world we practice Yo Wei which is translated to willful intentional acting which argues with reason. Often we use airconditioning in the summer and heating in the winter to control our surroundings and regulate the temperature which is not following the natural way.
Following a practice that is adapted to the seasons will help you to follow the natural way. Each season is linked to a corresponding pair of yin/yang organs.
The yin organs are the liver, heart, spleen, lungs and kidneys. The pericardium is sometimes considered an organ in Traditional Chinese medicine. The function of the yin organs is to produce, transform, regulate and store substances in the body. These are Qi, blood, bodily fluids, Jing our essence and Shen our spirit. The yin organs do not have empty cavities. The are called ‘Zang’ organs in Chinese
The yang organs are the gall bladder, urinary bladder, stomach, small intestine and large intestine. The triple burner is called the Sanjiao and does not have any physical structure but is considered an organ in traditional Chinese medicine. Their main responsibility is to digest and transmit nutrients to the body without storing them and to excrete wast. They usually are empty cavities. They are called ‘Fu’ in Chinese.
In Traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that certain organs are related to different emotions.
- The heart is related to joy
- The liver is related to anger
- The spleen is related to pensiveness
- The lungs are related to anxiety
- The kidneys are related to fear. T
These emotions are considered a major cause of internal disease. When emotions become too strong that they become overpowering they can cause injury to the internal organs and this opens the door to let in disease especially when these emotions last for prolonged duration.
Once there is physical damage to the internal organ it won’t be enough just to eliminate the emotion that cause it. Now physical action is required to heal the body.
In the Seasonal workshops we will look at the exercises that we can do to stimulate and heal the organs through their associated meridians and through mindful eating.