Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring: The Season of Revitalization

No matter what the status of human affairs, the seasons continue their timeless unfolding year after year. No newspaper headline need announce that spring is here; the blue jays, ravens, and mocking birds are flying past the flowering lemon tree in the yard with twigs in their beaks. The great technological advances of modern civilization have not changed what nature insists upon, and what the wild things instinctively understand. Here are a few reminders from the ancient Chinese Medical text, the Nei Jing, on how humans may best live in harmony with the season:

"The months of the Spring Season bring about the revitalization of all things in nature. It is the time of birth. This is when Heaven and Earth are reborn. In Spring it is desirable to go to sleep early at night, get up early in the morning, take a walk in the garden, to loosen up the hair, and relax the body. To act contrary will cause injury of the Liver...

Since this is the season in which the Universal Energy begins anew and rejuvenates, one should attempt to correspond to it directly by being open and unsuppressed, both physically and emotionally. On the physical level it is good to exercise more frequently and wear loose fitting clothing. This is the time to do exercises to loosen the tendons and muscles.

Emotionally, it is good to develop equanimity. This is because Spring is the season of the Liver, and indulgence in anger, frustration, depression, sadness, or excess emotion can upset the Liver...."

--- The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine
(circa 2nd century BCE)