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Happy Chinese New Year!

February 3, 2011 Leave a comment

by, chooyutshing @flickr.com

 

Today marks the eve’ of the Chinese New Year; the year of the Rabbit!  For the next 15 days; until the Full moon, those who celebrate the Chinese New Year will take part in many different traditional celebrations & parties.  But where do these traditions come from and what do they entail?  Check out my previous post from the 2009 for more info on this.  Just click here.

For those who are born in the year of the Rabbit are in for a very fortunate future, the rabbit in Chinese mythology is thought to be the ’emblem of longevity’.  The rabbit possesses great graciousness, kindheartedness, good manners and a sensitivity to beauty.  In addition a person born under the sign of the rabbit; is a good friend, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, shy, astute, compassionate, lucky, flexible.  But just like anybody, they will have their ‘down side’ as well and can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn.

A child born in the Rabbit’s year will have a sweet disposition. Even-tempered and obedient, he will be sensitive to the moods of his parents and act accordingly. He may or may not be talkative, but he won’t be rowdy or offensive. He can sit quietly and concentrate on one toy or game at a time.

Usually he is a light sleeper and may fret a lot when he is sick. He will be easy to discipline and should have little trouble fitting in at school. He learns his lessons well and with ease. But although he has better than average manners, this does not mean he will not be argumentative in his own soft-spoken way. He can grasp both sides of a question quickly and debate his point with intelligence.

At times, it will be difficult to decipher his thoughts or deeds. Smooth at masking his feelings, the Rabbit will only say what he knows will please you and thus maneuver you to his way of thinking without your even noticing it.

He will be able to fend for himself and protect his possessions. Remarkably observant, he can calculate his chances for getting his way. Instead of directly resisting rules, the subtle Rabbit will carefully devise ways around them. In short, this polite little angel is going to bargain for a better deal every time (www.theholidayspot.com; Feb. 2, 2011).

He can take reproach with a defiant or philosophical sort of indifference. Shrugging off his setbacks, the Rabbit will patiently start again from square one. Helpful at home, conforming in school and well-tuned to his environment, this child will know his way around people and problems. Rest assured he will be well-liked and accepted in all circles (.

Each year is marked by a different animal in the Chinese Zodiac; and each year is blessed with it’s own theme based on the ‘personality’ of the zodiac sign.  So what will this year bring us with the energy of the rabbit?

This year we are under the influence of the Metal Rabbit.  The rabbit in general will bring us a year of peace and tranquility, a time to recharge our batteries and refresh our spirits; something we can probably all use especially after the ‘ferocious’ year of the Tiger.  In addition, the Metal element will bring a competitive edge to the tranquil bunny.

From one website:

A placid year, very much welcomed and needed after the ferocious year of the Tiger. We should go off to some quiet spot to lick our wounds and get some rest after all the battles of the previous year.

Good taste and refinement will shine on everything and people will acknowledge that persuasion is better than force. A congenial time in which diplomacy, international relations and politics will be given a front seat again. We will act with discretion and make reasonable concessions without too much difficulty.

A time to watch out that we do not become too indulgent. The influence of the Rabbit tends to spoil those who like too much comfort and thus impair their effectiveness and sense of duty.

Law and order will be lax; rules and regulations will not be rigidly enforced. No one seems very inclined to bother with these unpleasant realities. They are busy enjoying themselves, entertaining others or simply taking it easy. The scene is quiet and calm, even deteriorating to the point of somnolence. We will all have a tendency to put off disagreeable tasks as long as possible

Money can be made without too much labor. Our life style will be languid and leisurely as we allow ourselves the luxuries we have always craved for. A temperate year with unhurried pace. For once, it may seem possible for us to be carefree and happy without too many annoyances (www.theholidayspot.com; Feb. 2, 2011).

For more reading on the personality of the rabbit and what is to come, click the link above or just simply google chinese astrology…  I am a sucker for these kinds of things.

Here’s another link:  http://pages.infinit.net/garrick/chinese/rabbit.html

So, whether you are taking part in the festivities or not, get ready for a great year!  I am especially looking forward to the year to come as I will be going through some big life changes and I surely could use some peacefulness and tranquility in the process as well as a nice recharge to my battery!  Coming up this year, I will be graduating with a Master’s in Oriental Medicine, getting my Acupuncture license, starting my own business, moving back in with my boyfriend (after 3 years of living long distance and finishing school) & becoming an Aunt (hopefully in the next 7 days! An early congrats to Aaron and Erika Hill!)  Anyway, the list goes on and certainly change is in the air, so it’s nice to know that their will be a fluidity and sense of ease that comes with the rabbit.

Till next time…  Happy New Year!

Erin

Sources:

2011 is the year of the rabbit. (2011, February 2). Retrieved from http://www.theholidayspot.com/chinese_new_year/more_zodiacs/rabbit.htm

Chinese zodiac. (2011, February 2). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Zodiac

 

 

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A New Year, A New Light…

January 21, 2010 Leave a comment

by, Scoobymoo

In lieu of the New Year & our progress into a new age, there is a shift taking place.  Not only in the way we percieve medicine, but in human compassion as a whole.  This You-Tube video is a beautiful portrayal of our transition towards 2012; brought to you by the Sedona Journal of Emergence, 2009.  Think what you will, but as they say “energy follows thoughts” & as I like to quote from one of my favorite books, The Art of Racing in the Rain, “that which you manifest is before you”. 

 

~be well~

Erin

New Years Resolutions…

January 14, 2010 Leave a comment

by, janoid

Happy New Year and post Holidays!  I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been busy on vacation & getting refreshed for the new year and the ominous winter quarter that is upon us at OCOM (Oregon College of Oriental Medicine).   Winter quarter has just about every student dreading the next few months, you may think this is due to the gloomy skies and dark rainy days but it’s not.  Every winter quarter is packed full with extra classes and more time spent in books; it makes methink that they do this on purpose since the days are so short and generally gloomy or way or they are just sadistic.  Either way, it’s a rough few months ahead of us which makes it all the more necessary to work on balance, relaxation and ways to de-stress. 

And, since it is the new year, I thought I’d share at least one of my many new years resolutions: Do more Qi-Gong… and more specifically, Do Qi-Gong twice a week outside of class (Qi-Gong is an elective class that we can take once a week).  I just was reading one of my favorite websites, www.mercola.com and there was an article about Meditation and how it’s been shown to lower blood pressure & reduce a persons affinity towards hypertension in the future.  So one could extrapolate that it could reduce your chances of developing heart disease as well?!  There have been many studies on the effects of Meditation practices on our health, a regular practice has been shown to have positive effects on stress management, blood pressure, diabetes, sleeping habits, pain management, memory, gastro-intestinal disorders & the list goes on. 

A just-published study suggests the practice of meditation may bring cardiovascular and mental-health benefits.

The research, followed close to 300 students, half of whom practiced transcendental meditation for 20 minutes once or twice daily over three months. A subgroup of subjects in the meditation group who were at increased risk for hypertension significantly lowered their blood pressure and psychological distress, and also bolstered their coping ability.

The average reduction in blood pressure in this group — a 6.3-mm Hg decrease in the top (systolic) number of a blood pressure reading and a 4-mm Hg decrease in the lower (diastolic) number — was associated with a 52 percent reduction in the risk of developing hypertension in the future.

Meditators who were not at increased risk for hypertension saw a reduction in psychological distress, depression, and anxiety as well as increased coping ability.

QiGong is a Chinese practice of energy healing and exercise.  It means to work (Gong) with the life energy (Qi).  It is the practice of learning how to control the flow and distribution of qi to improve the health and harmony of mind and body.  The aim is to eliminate the impure by using the breathe and specific movements and to inspire the pure to enhance ones health.  There are many different forms of Qi-Gong, many of which are passed down through families and used for different reasons.  Many Chinese Medical Doctors prescribe Qi-Gong to their patients as a means of self healing; it’s something their patients (not to mention themselves) can do everyday to maintain a healthy body and mind.  (Cohen, 3-5).

This study is a great reminder for me, that yes, I NEED to commit to my new year’s resolution and do as much Qi-Gong as I can this quarter and every quarter (let alone for the rest of my life).  If there are this many health benefits associated with something so easy, cheap and non-time consuming, shouldn’t we all just take 20 minutes out of our days and find our own way to meditate, whether it be through Qi-Gong, Meditation, or Yoga (just to name a few).  With this post, I am holding myself accountable for my resolution and I hope it sparks some inspiration in you to learn how to de-stress, relax and improve your health from the inside out.

If you are in the Portland, Oregon area, and want to try some Qi-Gong classes, there are classes available to the public through OCOM, if you are interested please let me know or visit the school website or contact the school for more information.  www.ocom.org 

Till next time,

~be well~

Erin

Sources:  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/01/09/Try-Meditation-to-Lower-Your-Blood-Pressure-and-Protect-Your-Heart.aspx, Jan. 12th 10; Cohen, Kenneth S. The Way of QiGong New York, Ballantine Books 1997

Celebrate The Chinese New Year!

January 26, 2009 2 comments

chinese_new_year_dragon2

“According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian or “Year” in Chinese. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to devour livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, the Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjunlaozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjunlaozu’s mount”

This Monday, January 26th marks the first day of the Celebration of The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar or Gregorian New Year.  The Chinese New Year starts every year on the first New Moon and the celebration lasts for fifteen days, commencing on the first Full Moon of the New Year.  This year celebrates the Year of the Ox.  Each year is represented by its own animal; a Rat, Tiger, Dragon, Horse, Monkey, Dog, Ox, Rabbit, Snake, Sheep Rooster or a Pig.  For babies born in the year of the ox, some of the traits they can expect to have include:  Dependable, calm, methodical, patient, hardworking, ambitious, conventional, steady, modest, logical, resolute, tenacious. Can be stubborn, narrow-minded, materialistic, rigid, demanding.

Starting on the first New Moon of the year, the Chinese celebrate a different way each day.   The first day of The Chinese New Year is usually kicked off with a Lion Dance, which is meant to scare off the evil spirits and clear the way for a happy new year to come.  Throughout the fifteen days families visit their extended family, pay their respects to their elders, have gatherings with customary meals, exchange hong bao’s  (small red envelopes filled with money) & gifts, clean their houses to make room for good luck in the the new, wear red and decorate their houses with fresh flowers.  On the last day of the festivities there is a lantern parade which is meant to guide the wayward spirits home.  All these things symbolize a fresh start and help to usher in good luck, good fortune and happiness in the new year. 

Some other superstitions practiced over Chinese New Year include:

  • Opening your doors and windows at the stroke of midnight on the first day of the new year to let the old year out and to let in the new.
  • Shooting off firecrackers to welcome in the new year.
  • It is said to be bad luck to wash your hair on New Year’s Day as it would wash away good luck.
  • Your house should not be cleaned on New Year’s Day, as you would sweep out the good luck, therefore it is customary to have a clean house prior to the festitivites.
  • All debts should be paid, negative attitudes and crying should be avoided as it will set the tone for the whole year. 

 If you live in or around the Portland, Oregon area there will be lots of Chinese New Year festivities going on for the next couple of weeks in Old Town, Chinatown.  The Chinese Gardens will be hosting a variety of events, some of which include, fortune telling, live music, calligraphy demos, storytelling, lantern making and the lists goes on and on.  The Oregon College of Oriental Medicine is also hosting a lecture on site January 27th, on New Perspective’s in Health,  so if you are in town I highly recommend you check out everything that’s going on downtown!

It is said that the attitude and appearance you express on New Year’s Day will set the tone for your year, so keep that twinkle in your eye, a kick in your step and I wish you good luck, health and happiness in this coming year!   Guònián Hǎo!  (Happy New Year)!

 

Sources:  Wikipedia, Jan 26, 2009Chinese New Year, Jan, 26, 2009 

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