This weekend I attended a wonderful continuing education workshop at the UC Botanical Garden. It was a beautiful and chilly day: a perfect day to be learning about the Water Element and the Spirit of the Kidney Meridian: the Zhi. The Zhi has to do with a person’s will to live and participate in their life with energy.
We got to walk around the garden and paid particular attention to the section of the garden that has Chinese herbs. This tangerine tree was especially beautiful. The peels of the tangerine fruit are good for resolving dampness in a person’s body. In the picture of the water, can you see what lies beneath?
We talked about how this time of cell phones, email, and digital overload is a “hyper-yang” way of being. This way of being is not sustainable for an individual, nor for the planet. In order to preserve the yin aspect of the kidney energy, we must regularly take time to be quiet, introspective and take a break from the constant stimulation that is always at our fingertips.
I am including a section of the notes from the lecture by Anastacia White. I am not sure if she wrote these notes herself, or if she found them in a book and shared them with the group. These notes give insight into spiritual and physical support of the kidney meridian and its spirit, the Zhi.
When we experience deep fears and despair and are unable to run away from these emotions, we enter into the lower labyrinth: pure yin. Here, we must pass through a pyche death and rebirth. In the cauldron of the Mysterious Feminine, the alchemical transformation can take place. We are presented with the experience of transforming our will: to release our tendency to cling to a person or situation that we have no control over and move into the wisdom of surrender. This wisdom ascends in the continuous cycle to the Shen/Heart, where it becomes the compassionate heart of the Sage. Meditation and guided imagery are the elixer for the Zhi: a quiet, contemplative mind will allow the lower light of wisdom to shine forth.
Actions to Fortify the Zhi
Eat nourishing foods without too much salt, get good rest and peaceful sleep, do calming forms of exercise, such as tai chi, qi gong, walking mediation, or yoga. Avoid excess thinking, working, and desires, and take time each day to do nothing. Spend time with water, especially in nature. Get foot massages and foot baths. Honor the ancestors and open yourself to hope. Find your inner hero.