Newsletter: Winter Solstice 2005
Dear Clients, Practitioners and Friends:
The essence we gathered in the Fall Equinox is waiting for
the light to come back.
December 21st. is the Winter Solstice, the darkest time of
We reach maximum yin and because of this it transforms
itself to the opposite starting a new cycle.
Let your inner light shine in the middle of the night with
love, joy and compassion.
I recommend Ron Diana’s guided inner smile meditation . It’s
a perfect one to do.
Give yourself or to someone you love a gift that will last
forever 4 Dimensional Life Workshops. Coming up in January
And to keep your body healthy, Dr. Chang’s formulas for the
season are: #102 Resistant Tea and #701 Body Building.
Wishing you all a wonderful Solstice
Newsletter: Fall Equinox 2005
Dear Practitioners, Clients and Friends:
It´s time for a new newsletter with a little bit of
what has been happening in these last months. First of
all I want to share Ron´s memorial service. Then I´ve
put together the new calendar of workshops starting in
January and last but not least Dr Chang´s formulas for
the coming season.
Love and Light
Just wanted to share with all of you the wonderful
service we had for Ron. It felt so good to see the
community get together, tears and laughter were
exchanged as we greeted one another. With all of your
heart felt e mails that I received during Ron’s final
days and after his passing, Lydia Riedell and I
compiled a booklet which was handed out to all who
where able to attend. For those of you that couldn’t
make it physically you can download it now from the
website Ron’s Memorial Booklet
After everyone arrived we went up to the mountain top
for our last farewell to Ron. The setting was perfect,
the sunset magnificent and Ron´s presence was there.
I put together a CD of an edited version of
“Seeing through Death” by Barry Long which Ron had
requested to be played. In addition, included on the CD
is “Vehicle of Aliveness” by Ron and Ghanharva which
was a result of a magical moment at the studio. They
where doing the sound test with the drums and Ron
started to express his thoughts about sound and space
without a script. This rehearsal became the final take
in what turned out to be an extraordinary teaching from
Ron. I’ve made this available to you all via Ron’s
Memorial CD. It wouldn’t be complete without Ron’s
laughter and so now you can hear him laugh through
You will find on the website the schedule of classes
and workshops starting in January 2006. I´m taking some
time to travel and teach in Brazil until the end of the
year. I recommend to look into 4Dimensional Life Art
Basic Course. It is a program to allow your life
experience to reach its full and true potential and to
be able to come to the core of life and your human
existence, to live with truth and fulfillment.
Dr Chang´s Formulas for the coming season
As we travel from season to season the body needs to
adjust. We are entering the winter months and colds
are on the way. A good formula is #101 Travel Tea. The
winter months are related to the kidneys, the water
element. Right now I find myself at the southern tip of
the continent on top of the Glacier Perito Moreno in
Argentina . It is one of the few that is still in
equilibrium. Water in it’s solid phase, compact,
holding the possibility of new life to come. It has to
break, fall, and melt in order to do so. What a lesson
nature is showing me. To be able to see the change, the
cycle and put ourselves in it. To regenerate the
kidneys, formula #301 Regeneration Tea works magic with
kidney stones, as James has discovered. For kidney
dysfunction, even when you are on dialysis, you can
take it with formula #701 Body Building Tea to help the
Newsletter: Winter Solstice
The importance of seasonal change is an essential aspect in the Taoist practice. Paying attention to seasonal change is
important in following nature. One aspect is to follow the sun, one of the most important forces that affect earth. The sun
is our main source of light and energy and it affects us differently through each of the four seasons. Therefore it is
beneficial to adjust our diet and the use of healing herbs or formulas to remain balanced in all seasons. Each season has
its own energy quality, and by adjusting ourselves to this we can become more balanced.
We are now entering winter, beginning with the solstice on Dec. 21, 2:22P.M. EST. Winter has the shortest days and the
least amount of daylight. The reason that the days or so short is that the sun spends more time below the earth than above
it. This draws our energy downward, which resides more in the kidneys, the Tan Tien, and the sexual centers. This kind of
energy needs to be cultivated during this season, a time of deep rest and cultivation, when true alchemy can take place.
Essential to dealing with the changes of the winter season involves altering the diet. If you want to live, you must eat
wisely. But eating wisely may not prevent you from becoming sick. Something is missing from common foods bought in the
grocery store. Yet these inadequate, or "weak" foods can support our life. If this is so then "strong" foods must be able
to strengthen and protect life. This kind of reasoning has driven Taoist to investigate herbs.
This season is commonly associated with becoming ill with colds and flus. Many turn to flu shots to combat this illness.
The Taoist approach differs, in that we try to protect and strengthen the immune system. A common form of disease according
to Taoists is called 'wind disease' and relates to our belief about going outside in winter and catching a cold. Because our
energy is deep and internal we need to protect the extremities of the body from the cold. Your grandmother may have advised
you correctly to put on a scarf, gloves, and hat to protect yourself from catching a cold. There are herbal formulas
available that are ideal for protecting yourself against winter illness. Those are ResistantTea, and TravelTea and
ChestStrengthening tea. Of course there are many other formulas which treat illness, but I have found these to be most
effective in treating the onset of a cold or the flu. They are also effective when sickness have set in and help deal with a
favor. You can purchase these herbs on our website, TaoHealingArts.com, or can call us for specific information and advice on
treating seasonal conditions.
Newsletter: Spring Equinox
The Taoist practice pays attention to the change of seasons, which helps one stay
in harmony with nature. We’re now entering the season of the spring, which involves
the sun rising, after being positioned underneath the earth during winter. This caused
the energy to become more contracted. Now the energy is beginning to rise and is
being pulled up towards the sun, as a result increasing daylight.
The Chinese New Year, which celebrates the sprouting of seeds underneath the ground,
officially marks the change in the positioning of the sun and in the quality of energy.
Just as the seeds are beginning to sprout, it is an ideal time for beginning to implement
a strategy for the coming year.
In our own bodies, more energy is now rising to the liver, as it is a time of expressing
our emotions outwards and the energy now has a rising and penetrating quality.
We can see this in nature with a maple tree, which now can be tapped for syrup,
as the energy is being pushed upwards from the ground.
Traditionally the spring time has been a time of fasting and purification. Some dietary
changes that are often recommended to accommodate this season are eating more
simply, with a greater proportion of cooked, green, leafy vegetables. See Dr. Chang’s
Tao of Balanced Diet for more information. We can begin to clean out any dense or
cold energy, or any excess salt or meat that been used to keep the body warm during
the winter season.
We can aid in this process with two classical herbal formulas. Detoxifying tea and Vital tea
are excellent for this time of year because they relate to the liver. They can help rebuild the
liver, can aid in food absorption, and can improve the vitality of blood. One of the key
ingredients in both formulas is a famous Chinese herb called bupleurum which has the quality
of being pungent, bitter, and cool. It disperses wind and heat and soothes the liver, removing
dense energy that may have accumulated during the winter. It also regulates the rising energy
of spring to help prevent an excess of this energy.
Newsletter: Summer Solstice
Summer is a time when the sun is at its greatest strength, pulling our energy and vitality upwards. The summer solstice, occurring on June 21st, marks the height of this pull. In the summer, there is a tendency for our energy to be drawn up to our head, producing more thoughts and reactions. Paying more attention to witnessing our thoughts and emotions can help prevent emotional reactions from causing us to overheat or become upset. The West over-emphasizes thinking and so we've become addicted to our thoughts, as with Descartes, who thought so long and hard that he derived his famous postulation "I think, therefore I am." The Taoist perspective is quite different. We grow and understand not to solely trust in the mind with all of its identifications, preferences, and habitual patterns. All of our practices cultivate awareness, insight, and consciousness. Thoughts by themselves are not harmful, but when we become too closely identified with them, it becomes impossible to be natural and in the present. Our culture has put a tremendous emphasis on our thinking as we are taught to figure out everything scientifically. We've become preoccupied with our thoughts, ideas, and emotions. This problem can become worse in the summer because of the sun's tendency to pull our energy higher than in any other season. Taoists practice simple movements and meditations during this time to help bring down and stabilize the energy. These movements help open the body and prevent the organs from overheating. When the body overheats we become too emotional by overreacting, upsetting the heart and producing excess heat. An excellent herbal formula for the summer is Central Tonic, which can help calm the heart and reduce excesses.
Another way to address this problem is through simple exercise. Walking is so natural and easy that it requires little or no thought. As we walk, we simply observe, feel, and stay present. It's not necessary to get the brain involved by trying to walk quicker than normal, raise the heartbeat, or doing any fancy walking, such as doing aerobics or carrying around extra weight which is commonly practiced. These extraneous movements promote unnecessary mind activity and prevent us from being natural and healthy. One does not have to practice anything as stylized as Tai Chi or Chi Kung, although these practices focus on simplifying movement and stilling the mind. I've found walking to be an excellent practice for those who have not learned these forms. It is best to walk during the summer when the sun is not too high, in the early morning and evenings. Walking is so basic that great benefits can be grained from it, simply by being present. Diet is also an important consideration for dealing with the excess heat in the summer. Traditionally, the Taoists ate more green leafy vegetables and fruits, consuming less meat and salt, while maintaining balance under the practice of Five Elements nutrition. Another excellent formula for summer is Travel Combination, which helps release excess heat and is a good digestive aid.
Herbal formulas, diet, and simple movements are excellent and simple ways to help maintain calmness and vitality during the summer season. Paying attention to this can help us move more smoothly into the autumn season which begins the time of inner alchemical practices.
Newsletter: Autumnal Equinox
In Taoism, changes in seasons have an affect on our five major
organs, each of which is associated with an element, such as metal,
water, wood, fire, and earth. Autumn, the season now approaching,
is represented by the metal element, which relates to the lungs and
the large intestine. A weakness in the metal element can result in
problems associated with these organs, such as breathing or
elimination difficulties. The lungs, when healthy and in balance,
have the ability to absorb and transform subtle energies, releasing
what's not needed.
In the summer, the sun or fire element reaches its highest position,
or greatest pull, giving us the most sunlight and moving the energy
in our bodies upwards. The fall is associated with the metal
element, and is a time when the energy starts to descends downwards.
Gradually daylight lessens until December 21st, when there is the
least amount of light; so autumn is often referred to as 'the
return' as in the return back to the source.
Traditionally fall is the harvest time, and so spiritually it is
associated with harvesting and the gathering our essence. This
period is a time of retirement - taking what you need, not looking
to start new projects, and gaining greater clarity. It's a great
time to refine and reflect on the activities one has experienced in
the past year. Spiritual practices now focus on internal exercises
and refining the alchemical process of transforming base metal into
As the energy descends, the lungs and large intestines can be
affected by this shift, causing sadness and depression. Realizing
that all things of our earth are in the process and coming and
going, we are less susceptible to the sadness that comes with
diminished daylight. Understanding this, can help us attain courage
and clarity to face this so called decline.
There are two excellent formulas that have been developed for lung
problems that are common during this season. Breathing Tea is
effective for dealing with sinus and allergy problems, asthma, and
acute chest colds (please visit our site by following the link and
scroll to AD109). Another formula called Chest Strengthening Tea is
a lung tonic which works in a different way to strengthen the
lungs (scroll to GT705) . Another way to approach these problems is
by altering our diet. As fall transitions into winter we need to
eat heartier foods that can warm up the body, such as more root
vegetables, a little more salt and meat, along with eating less
fruits than we did in the summer. This can help us store energy to
balance the coldness of the winter season. Please refer to The Tao
of Balanced Diet for a detailed explanation of these principles
(please click on the link and scroll down).
Understanding how the seasons affect our general health facilitates
simple changes in our diet and spiritual practices which can help us
achieve balance throughout the year.