Happy New Year!
We’re now 7 days into 2019. Actually, I’m more of a Chinese New Year kind person [February 5th - Year of the Pig]. Somehow it just feels more auspicious. I especially adore the Lantern Festival. Between now and then is that short window of time when we seek self-renewal and reset our inner compass - better health, relationships, productivity etc. All ‘resolutions’ and goals come down to a simple yet complex truth: stop doing what you know is bad for you and do more of what’s good. Change comes from within and requires us to take new action. Otherwise, we keep doing what we've been doing, with the same results. Simple is rarely easy, however. We, humans, are complex beings. Common sense is not always common practice. But what if there was just ONE thing, one new habit, that if followed, could make manifold changes?
Here’s what I’ve noticed over my 19 years of Wild Goose Qigong practice - especially these...
“A moving hinge never rusts”
This ancient Chinese adage appears in the biography of the Daoist physician Hua Tuo c. 200. It also appears in this interpretation: “A [wooden] hinge is not eaten by woodworm” and often coupled with the phrase, "Flowing water does not stagnate [go mouldy].”
The Daoists have a wonderful way of observing natural processes and applying them, either directly or metaphorically, to the human condition. And this quote is probably one of my favourites.
Movement, like regular Qigong practice, lubricates the joints, moves the blood and Qi, strengthens the bones and soft tissues. Gentle physical exercise can reduce oxidative stress in the brain and body. Physical overexertion, on the other hand, can increase oxidation (‘rusting’).
The simple advice is: move.
But we can take the image of the hinge a step further: after movement (or transition) there is rest. But rest is not inactive. Rest...