Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter Wisdom

  As we are now experiencing a true Winter, I have been exploring the Classics of Chinese medicine through the translations of Claude Larre and Elizabeth Rochat de la Vallee. I am currently reading their book titled, The Kidneys, which discusses the element of water, and the energy of seasonal stillness. 

I just came across this passage which so elegantly conveys my understanding of this season. It contains beautiful instructions for how we should live during this time of year. 
On these beautiful snowy days I have been taking pictures that reflect the mood and energy of the winter light.

This translation is from the Su Wen, Chapter 2. 

'Three months of winter
are called closing and preserving.
Water freezes, the earth is broken up,
there is no longer any communication with the yang.

One goes to bed early, one gets up late,
doing everything according to the light of the sun;
exerting the will as if buried or hidden,
taking care only of oneself,
falling back on oneself, in possession of oneself.
One must avoid the cold and seek the warmth, 
letting nothing flow out of the layers of the skin
through fear of losing qi. 

This is the way that is natural to the qi of winter 
which thus corresponds 
to the maintenance and preservation of life. 
To go against this current would injure the kidneys
causing weakening in spring
through insufficient contribution to the generation of life.'