Tagged: Winter

Cultivating Spirit – The Shen or Heart-Mind in Chinese Medicine

Shen or Heart Mind - cultivating Spirit

 

“Life is transformation. There is no life that is not an unceasing transformation.”

– Élisabeth Rochat de la Vallée

 

It’s the final month of our Winter here in the Southern Hemisphere. As we approach Spring we get closer to emerging from our Yin state and the building of Yang will initiate.

Yang is light, activity, movement, initiation, action, the doing. On a metaphysical, spiritual and cosmological level the most Yang manifestation of a human, the purest Yang aspect of our consciousness, is the Spirit or ‘Shen’.

Shen is translated as something which is divine, marvellous, extraordinary or mysterious. In recent times we call it the Heart-Mind. (more…)

The Wisdom of Water – How to Cope with Winter

How to cope with winter

Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.

– Lao Tzu

 

In July in the Southern Hemisphere we are in the depths of winter – that deep dark Yin place of stillness, hibernation and rest. The mysterious and all-pervasive impetus for growth has stilled. The soil temperatures are cool and flower buds that have birthed from their seeds are still just kernels of potential, waiting.

Winter can be hard for some peeps. It can get you down, especially if life has also thrown in some tough times or big changes. In winter it’s easier to descend into the deeper layers of consciousness (the sub and unconscious) to places where the script is written. There can be great fear and resistance from most to go there and experience it.

From a Chinese Medicine treatment perspective, winter is a very important season for rejuvenation and renewal. Daoist and Buddhist traditions (as well as many styles of psychology) would posit that it is from sitting with yourself, with a non-judgemental attitude and willingness to just see what’s there and be with it, that enables transformation and disintegrates old constructs. What is liberated provides the alchemical building blocks for the new.

If you’re the kind of person who struggles in the cold, each year you may wonder how to cope with winter in a way that is less defeating, more empowering.

Since water is the element of the winter season, I like to look to the wisdom of water for answers. (more…)

The Power of Yin

Power of Yin

What is Yin?

Yin is a term that comes from the classical Chinese concept of opposite yet complementary forces, Yin and Yang. Yin is described as the “shadow side of the mountain” in relation to the sunny side, which is Yang. Yin is dark, cool and quiet, and so we often neglect the importance of Yin in favour of the hot, bright and loud Yang elements in life.

It’s an elegantly simple concept, yet Yin Yang can describe mind-bending complexities of the mechanisms of the universe. Its essence is encapsulated in the Yin Yang symbol. No matter how you try to dissect this circle, every slice will contain both Yin and Yang. (more…)

Chinese Herbs for Your Bone Broth To Take It Next Level.

Bone broth with Chinese herbs

Bone broth bone broth bone broth… Sick of hearing about it already?

Thought you knew all there is to know about bone broth? Starting to think it could be a diet fad to rival green smoothies? Should kale and quinoa get nervous?

Things may be blowing up in the media and people might be touting all sorts of claims, but really, bone broth is a very normal part of diets across the globe. This nourishing elixir is especially present in cultures where they need to utilise as much as they can from their produce and livestock in an effort to have enough food to nourish and strengthen the tribe.

Not only that, it’s easy to make, nutrient dense, easily absorbed by the body, warming and welcome in the colder months, and suitable for all ages.

More specifically, adding medicinals to your soup stock is ancient grandmother’s medicine in China. The synergistic effect of combining both food and medicine in Chinese culture has been understood and utilised for a long time.

(more…)