As we now have already entered full into Autumn, the leaves are golden and the skies are nostalgic.
It could be helpful to reflect on the changing of the seasons.
Health, in the understanding of Traditional Oriental Medicine is the capacity to adapt to the changing circumstances that surround us.
That may be climatological changes, like warm and cold, dry and wet, to more personal changes related to family, society, politics or as we speak pandemic dangers.
Autumn initiates the change from the outdoor festive life marked by summer to a tendency of a more reflective attitude when leaves are falling and nature contracts.
This invites us to make a paralel contracting tendency, saying goodbye to old habits and attitudes, unnecessary possessions, to letting go of what we cling to that inhibits our progress.
It’s also the time of gathering and contemplation on the ‘harvest’ we have produced. What has been the fruit we produced last year.
Time to reflect on the future, set boundaries, and start the organisation off our projected lives. And time to reflect on what has brought us to where we are.
Our relationships, our work, our habits, culture etc.
Maybe now is the time to start cleaning up our house, our relationships, finances etc.
According to ancient understanding the autumn is related to the energy of the lungs. The lungs govern the respiration and therefore the energy in our body.
One of it’s most important functions is to eliminate toxics from the body. In the Yin Yang relation it’s closely related to the large intestine, the other of the main organs related to eliminate toxics.
We normally don’t die of lack of oxygen but of intoxication from carbon dioxide.
Through this function of controlling the original energy, it controls the ‘Wei Qi’ or defensive energy, related to maintain body temperature and protection against invasive factors, like cold, damp, wind etc. In Western attitude, germs, viruses etc.
You could say that In this understanding it was called the ‘tender organ’, because it’s related to the most outside directed part of the body and it relates to the skin and the relation with the outside world.
The tender organ receives the essential energy and departs it through the body. Based on the essential energy of the kidneys ‘the heaven before’ and the ‘heaven after’ which means the energy extracted from the food, by the spleen/pancreas.
The lungs govern the essential energy ‘QI’ gathered it in the center of the body ‘Zong Qi’ , in the middle of the chest, where the spleen has extracted the pure energy of the food and where the lungs transform and distribute it through the body.
From there the energy is supposed to travel down through the body.
The nose is an extension of the lungs, a reflection on it’s quality. The quality of smelling and tasting are a reflection of the energy of the lungs.
The emphasis in western approach of yoga, on ‘belly breathing’ derives from that.
The truth is that talking about belly breathing is beside the true meaning of ancient understanding, what they meant was ‘kidney breathing’ which in oriental understanding, would direct to ‘testicle’ or ovarian’ breathing.
The kidney energy is the most profound energy in the body, the first part of the embryo that develops. Nervous system, ovaries, testicles, brain and hormonal system.
The idea was to direct the essential Qi, by breathing to the deepest energetic layers of the body.
These are the organs that sustain the maintenance of the race.
Storing energy in the deepest layers of the body is necessary to cultivate personal energy too.
Therefore the survival of one own and of the race are connected, it puts the importance on breathing, but a breathing that’s free and unintentional.
You could also say a breathing that connects with the ancestral understanding of the body.
Autumn is the season of gathering, harvest, reflection and decisions. The harvest wil be the result of the way we have been living before, the result of our attitude and actions from the last year.
Autumn is the moment to adjust this to be more effective in our way of being and look for ways to plan more results of our inspiration.
The Nei Jing Su Wen, considered the most important reference of Oriental Medicine, more or less
2500 yers old, advices us to in autumn,
Going to bed more early, keep your soul tranquil, wake up as the rooster crows, walk around meditative, observant.
Cover your neck, use a scarf, protect yourself from wind cold.
At the same time it advices to consider the change from the ‘outgoing’ to the ‘ingoing’. transformation, preparedness.
We are invited to make a reflection on parting the same as the tree has to let go of it’s leaves, we also have to let go of everything that has sustained us and made life bountiful, to the essence of our being.
To define what defines us..
This can be expressed by cleaning up our house, our relationships, resolving pending stories, contracting.
Preparing for winter, getting rid of everything superfluous, closing doors.
Who am I, what is my road in life, definition by elimination, what do I not want.
But still keep on happily smiling, we’re not dead yet! It’s all about making you lighter, more fluid, with less weight.
Like a child walking on the grass in front of your house, without intention, just breathing in the smell of freshly cut grass.
Everything is fine.
Winter is coming and it will be beautiful.