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Winter Solstice Retreat: Following Your Energy Inward

It’s early Autumn in the northern hemisphere, and for those of us who live here, the energy of Nature - which includes us - is moving down into the roots of our plant friends.

‘Stepping back’ makes room for something beneficial to come forward.

At the same time it’s causing us to move inward, deeper into ourselves, as we’re gradually reminded of the need to protect our body from declining temperatures, and as we begin responding to the increasing darkness, quiet, and stillness.

Be In Sync With the Season
This is a very interesting time of year from an emotional point of view. While most of us get excited and uplifted as the holidays approach — beginning with the harvest celebrations and on through to the new year — there also tends to be a bit of melancholy with the passing of the carefreeness of Summer.

No need to lament though, because each season offers pleasures and opportunities when we know how to be in sync with the seasonal energy — what Oriental Medicine calls ‘Chi’ or ‘life force.’

Japanese maple in Autumn

Looking at the mountain… / looking at the sea… / autumn evening — Issa

Looking Forward to Stepping Back
At BIOM we enjoy Autumn: the fresh smell of misted forest, the bright warmth of the woodstove, and preparing for our annual Winter Solstice Retreat.

So what’s the process of getting ready for a Winter Solstice Retreat?

We begin by ‘grounding out’; becoming more aware of what Nature is doing. Observing the leaves falling, watching the animals, feeling the changing temperature with our skin, sensing the seasonal scents in the air … paying more attention to what’s happening around us.

Each season offers pleasures and opportunities when we know how to be in sync with the seasonal energy.

Observe Nature and express how you feel as a result. We use haiku because of its meaningful simplicity; its ability to capture emotion and reflect it back again in ripples of deeper emotion and experience.

If haiku is not for you, consider writing another kind of poem, keep a journal, draw a picture, sing, or play music. Start getting more in touch with how you feel and what you think about. Watch the leaves fall, do Chi Kung … be here now.

You’re Invited
Like any event you look forward to there’s some planning and discussion that goes along with it. We’ll be doing ours here in the Teahouse and the BIOM newsletter. And we invite you to join us in planning a Winter Solstice Retreat of your own.

Related Links
Seasonal Retreats at BIOM
Winter Retreat at BIOM
Reflecting On A Winter Solstice Retreat
Tassajara Journey & Retreat

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IMPORTANT: All information on this Web site is provided for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of a local Oriental Medicine practitioner, biomedical doctor, experienced coach, or martial arts instructor.