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February 23, 2006

New Year/Spring Festival

The Taoist practice pays attention to the change of seasons, which helps one stay in harmony with nature. We're now entering the season of the spring, which involves the sun rising, after being positioned underneath the earth during winter. This caused the energy to become more contracted. Now the energy is beginning to rise and is being pulled up towards the sun, as a result increasing daylight.

The Chinese New Year, which celebrates the sprouting of seeds underneath the ground, officially marks the change in the positioning of the sun and in the quality of energy. Just as the seeds are beginning to sprout, it is an ideal time for beginning to implement a strategy for the coming year.

In our own bodies, more energy is now rising to the liver, as it is a time of expressing our emotions outwards and the energy now has a rising and penetrating quality. We can see this in nature with a maple tree, which now can be tapped for syrup, as the energy is being pushed upwards from the ground.

Traditionally the spring time has been a time of fasting and purification. Some dietary changes that are often recommended to accommodate this season are eating more simply, with a greater proportion of cooked, green, leafy vegetables. See Dr. Chang’s Tao of Balanced Diet for more information. We can begin to clean out any dense or cold energy, or any excess salt or meat that been used to keep the body warm during the winter season.

We can aid in this process with two classical herbal formulas. Detoxifying tea and Vital tea are excellent for this time of year because they relate to the liver. They can help rebuild the liver, can aid in food absorption, and can improve the vitality of blood. One of the key ingredients in both formulas is a famous Chinese herb called bupleurum which has the quality of being pungent, bitter, and cool. It disperses wind and heat and soothes the liver, removing dense energy that may have accumulated during the winter. It also regulates the rising energy of spring to help prevent an excess of this energy.

Posted by james at February 23, 2006 3:52 PM