On regulating the Spirit [in accordance with] the Qi of the Four [Seasons] : Winter

“The three months of Winter

they denote securing and storing.

The water is frozen and the earth breaks open.

 

Do not disturb the yang [Qi].

Go rest early and rise late.

You must wait for the sun to shine.

 

Let the mind enter a state as if hidden,

{as if shut in}

as if you had secret intentions;

as if you already had made gains.

 

Avoid cold and seek warmth and

do not [allow sweat] to flow away through the skin

This would cause the Qi to be carried away quickly.

 

This is the correspondence with the Qi of Winter and

it is the Way of nourishing storage.

Opposing it harms the kidneys.

In Spring this causes limpness with receding Qi, and

there is little to support generation.

 

“Now,

the yin and yand [Qi] of the four seasons,

they constitute root and basis of the myriad beings.

 

Hence the sages

in spring and summer nourish the yang and

in autumn and winter nourish the yin, and

this way they follow their roots.

 

Hence,

they are in the depth or at the surface with the myriad beings at the gate to life and growth.

To oppose one’s root

is to attack one’s basis

and to spoil one’s true [Qi]”

 

From Comprehensive discourse on regulating the Spirit [in accordance with] the Qi of the four [seasons], chapter 2 of Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen, an annotated translation of Huang Di’s inner classic – basic questions, by Paul U. Unschuld and Hermann Tessenow.

 

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