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Message for Springtime

Happy spring!

Within Chinese medicine and tai chi, the concept of "sung" (pronounced soong) is important for health and vitality. The Chinese character for sung includes two images. The first, letting down hair, recalls the proper movements for spring: "Let your hair down and take large steps in the courtyard." In other words, relax your mind, and stretch and loosen your tendons and ligaments in the spring.

The second image in sung is a pine tree, a tree that has so much vitality that it keeps the green color of life all year long, even when other trees have lost their leaves.

So sung means something like "to become like a pine tree," cultivating strength and stability that is deeply rooted and resilient. The roots of the tree are stable, while the upper branches are light and clear, illustrating a perfect balance between heaven and earth. The uprightness of a tree illustrates strength that is flexible and adaptable, never rigid.

Whenever you are facing challenges or are becoming stressed this spring, imagine being like a pine tree. Let your shoulders drop down, loosen your weight into your feet, and take slow, easy breaths. As you exhale, relax into a state like a pine tree: rooted, strong, resilient and clear.