Winter Circles

The mystery of the frozen landscape inspires many to dream of what lies beneath and beyond. At the surface, the visible layer is cold and hard–seemingly lifeless. And below, the beauty of Nature’s connections remain hidden–the Qi that continues to vibrate in ways unseen and unheard. Life circles above, between, around and below.

Close your eyes and picture a snow-covered mountain. As you sit, the chairlift rises with great anticipation. You see skiers and snowboarders circle down the mountain below, each with their unique, glorious flexibility. Look closely–every joint: ankles, knees, hips; then waist, chest, neck; followed by shoulders, elbows, and wrists–all undulate in harmonious flow. The circles are visible in the motion of their bodies and in the tracks left behind in the once smooth blanket of white.

But while the visible is seen and understood, what is that unseen, invisible presence? Can you hear Grand Master Lu? He speaks of Kidney energy–the powerful, yet invisible force that brings life to Winter. Beginning with the sole of your feet, your Qi rises. You feel it as your legs dangle below you, and you notice it in the graceful strides of the athletes–feet locked into skis and snowboards, power stemming from the center of the foot. The closer you look, the more you see. Even the invisible becomes visible: Qi moves through the inner ankle as skiers turn their bodies. They sway their knees, rotate their pelvis and shift their rib cage without conscious thought. Their bodies form circles and innately connect to this invisible presence.

And there is more! So many of Grand Master Lu’s teachings are made visible riding the chairlift.

You finally arrive at the top of the mountain, ready to head downhill. As you gaze forward and quickly eye your route, you clamp your feet into your skis and lean down the mountain. With guts and faith, you tap into your Kidney Qi and push off. Your flank, waist, hips, knees and ankles curve around the mountain. Free, you feel the kiss of wind, and notice Gall Bladder’s presence. Your Kidney Qi is feeding this Liver and Gall Bladder energy. The circles made by your bones and joints are supported by the flexibility of the tendons and ligaments. Power and exhilaration fuel this Yin Yang dance.

Your energies alternate with each turn as you place your weight on the left big toe/foot and empty your right leg to turn right. Pause, drift, then shift. Place your weight on the right big toe/foot and empty your weight from your left leg to turn left. Yin and Yang dancing invisibly up through your joints. Your ankles, knees and hips are balanced by your opposite shoulders, elbows and wrists. The faster you go, the larger your circles–the wider your dance!

You end your downhill adventure with one final circle as you turn to face the mountain. As the tips of your skis now point upward, you see the visible circle beneath your feet and trace your path down the mountain to its base. The graceful power of the circle connects Kidney to Liver, Winter to Spring, human to Nature, visible to invisible. Qi flows through your body, and with balance and grace, allows us to realize our connection to Life itself.



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