Dear Qigong friend,

Welcome to the Seasonal Qigong Series.

The Seasonal Qigong Series is an ongoing exploration of an unusual concept that is rarely discussed, organic time. The word "organic" means living, or as I like to think of it, imbued with life force. We tend to think of organic in the context of food, but the Qigong Masters of ancient China realized that singular moments in time are richly imbued with life force, and they developed specific meditation and movement practices to leverage that energy. Those practices, collectively known as Seasonal Qigong, are the ones I share through my bi-monthly newsletters.

My Qigong Master, Xiao Yao, felt that Seasonal Qigong was an extremely valuable practice, and throughout the years I spent with him, we practiced regularly. So you may be wondering, "Why give away something that is so precious for free?" The answer is simple. Since Seasonal Qigong is time sensitive, it is practiced by many people at the same time. And a basic rule of Qigong is that the greater the number of people aligning their energies simultaneously, the more robust the Qi field becomes..

I invite you to join the thousands of practitioners worldwide who practice Seasonal Qigong twice a month, all over the world. And feel free to tell your friends and to spread the word. The bigger this meditation party, the merrier the planet.

Wishing you Good Qi,
Robert Peng

The Chinese seasonal calendar divides the year into 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Each season is further subdivided into six stages. A total of 24 phases (4x6=24) make up the yearly seasonal cycle. For example, Summer begins with Start of Summer and continues with Grain Full. and the last one is Major Heat. Can you guess what the fourth stage of Summer is called?

Stage Spring Summer Autumn Winter
1Start of Spring
Feb 4
Start of Summer
May 4
Start of Autumn
Aug 6
Start of Winter
Nov 6
2Rain Water
Feb 19
Grain Full
May 20
Limit of Heat
Aug 23
Minor Snow
Nov 21
3Awakening of Insects
Mar 4
Grain in Ear
Jun 5
White Dew
Sep 7
Major Snow
Dec 6
4Vernal Equinox
Mar 20
Summer Solstice
Jun 20
Autumn Equinox
Sep 22
Winter Solstice
Dec 21
5Clear and Bright
Apr 4
Minor Heat
Jul 6
Cold Dew
Oct 7
Minor Cold
Jan 4
6Grain Rain
Apr 19
Major Heat
Jul 22
Frost Descent
Oct 22
Major Cold
Jan 19
4 Seasons/6 Stages per Season

Each of these 24 phases is known as a jieqi (jee-ay-chee) and lasts approximately 15 days. The start of a new jieqi is determined by the position of the sun. Every time the sun advances 15° on it's journey around the ecliptic, a new phase begins.

Qigong masters were keen observers of the flows of Qi energy. They noticed that during the first two hours of a jieqi a powerful wave of energy washed over the earth.

Here is a simple way to envision what happens each time a new jieqi begins: Picture Time Square on December 31st at 11:59 PM, just one minute before the New Year begins. The buildup of energy is palpable. The New Year's Ball hovering above the cheering crowd is about to drop. Then the countdown begins: Ten, nine, eight... three, two, and one!

As the ball hits the ground the crowd lets out a wild roar and a tremendous wave of energy is released. Many of us have experienced this surge of energy, either live or on television. At that moment, we are often inspired to make a New Year's resolution, instinctively realizing that we can leverage the groundswell of exuberance to make real changes in our lives.

The first two hours of a new jieqi are like a mini New Year, and long ago Qigong masters realized that if they timed their Qigong practice to coincide with this narrow window of time, they would benefit tremendously. Practicing Qigong during the first two hours of a jieqi is like raising your sails while a strong wind is blowing - a little effort carries you a long way.

Seasonal Empowerment Qigong (or Jieqi Qigong) was taught to me by my Qigong Master, Xiao Yao (shiao-yeeaow). He would consult a yellow book that tracked the position of the planets to determine the precise time the jieqi began, and we would practice the Seasonal Empowerment together. By joining the thousands of practitioners doing Seasonal Empowerment you join our growing Circle of Cosmic Qi and partake in an ancient tradition.

Seasonal Empowerment Qigong is a simple yet effective practice designed to help you leverage the surge of Qi energy at the start of each new jieqi. The basic technique is this: each time a new jieqi begins you focus your attention on a specific vertebra and empower it. Why a vertebra? The spine is made up of 24 vertebrae and Qigong masters established a correspondence between the 24 seasonal phases and the 24 vertebra. Each Seasonal Empowerment targets a particular vertebra and over the course of the year, you empower your whole spine, one vertebra at the time.

The Seasonal Empowerment is made up of two different parts. Let's consider each one separately:

Part 1 is the empowerment meditation. You can practice this meditation every day until the next Jieqi, but the golden time is during the first two hours of each new jieqi. You begin by concentrating Qi energy into the vertebra associated with the jieqi, and then radiate the energy that you collected throughout your body to nourish your internal organs. Part 1 can be repeated from as little as a few minutes up to two hours. It's up to you. By the time you finish the empowerment, you feel "supercharged" with high-grade Qi that will significantly boost your sense of wellbeing.

Part 2 is a movement practice designed to strengthen your spine. The movement pattern changes with each jieqi and each specific movement targets the area around the vertebra associated with the current empowerment. Part 2 is not time sensitive. You can practice it anytime (I recommend once a day) until the next jieqi begins. It takes only 5-10 minutes to complete. With regular practice you will notice the muscles and soft tissue along your spine grow significantly stronger and more resilient. Since we feel as old as our spine is young, this practice promotes longevity.

Each newsletter includes Practice guidelines (a video and written instructions) to guide you step-by-step through the Seasonal Empowerment, so remember to check them out.

(If you can't see the video on the screen, you can see it on YouTube ).

May you enjoy your practice!