Has any season been as celebrated as the start of winter? As the shortest day it observes the
beginning of the "new year" - that is, the lengthening of the days -- as well as the beginning
of the coldest part of the seasonal cycle.
Winter has been celebrated by perhaps every spiritual system of man. Most recently this
has meant Christmas,
but in the past it has also included the birth of Mithras, Saturnalia, and countless winter festivals
of every imaginable kind. Winter festivals are so ingrained in our culture that in many places they
have long been stripped of their religious or spiritual associations.
Our Winter Solstice Celebration strikes the middle road. We practice Chi Kung according to Five Element
Theory, which is a spiritual paradigm that exercises associations between seasons, elemental forms,
emotions, sounds, and other aspects of our experience.
Winter is associated with the water element, the kidneys, the color blue-black (some will say dark purplish),
fear, and gentleness. We are emerging from autumn, associated with the metal element, the lungs, the color
white, grief and sadness, courage and righteousness.
This month we will consider these elements and associations in our practice of Six Healing Sounds. This
saet is popular throughout China in that the exercises are easy to learn, and
provide great benefit through the cleansing of unhealthy thinking and strengthening of internal health.
What is the purpose of all this? Longer, healthier life in every sense of the word.
We say there are three treasures: jing, qi, and shen.
Roughly speaking, this corresponds to body (power), mind (energy), and spirit (sublimation).
Without a healthy body, the mind cannot be healthy. Without a healthy mind, the spirit cannot be
healthy. To be balanced and enlightened, our spirit must be healthy.
Our goal is to make all of these available.
The Celebration is at 10 am this Saturday, December 13, at the Nature Center in the Houston Arboretum.
We will probably move to the Emmott Circle outdoor classroom for the event. Watch the website for