Stand with the feet comfortably shoulder width apart. Relax and root in. Hands come out to the side, touching down to the earth.
The sequence of movement (spring, summer, autumn, winter) should be smooth and continuous, each season flowing naturally into the next. Although the description focusses on the hand and arm movement the basis of the sequence is a rising and sinking from the tan tien centre leading the movement,
Spring – Sink slightly, hands come towards each other.
Initial growth – Rise, hands facing each lifting with the movement from tan tien to heart.
Open the hands to the side level with the heart centre.
Summer – Full Flowering – Hand draw back in towards the heart and then in a smooth movement sweep upwards and open above the head. The sweeping movement continues outwards and downwards back level with the heart.
Autumn – Gathering in – The hands sweep horizontally inwards towards the heart
Sharing – From the heart the hands push straight forward.
Winter – Drawing in – Hands come straight back towards the heart
Resting – Hands come back down towards the tan tien
The hands then just turn towards each other to start the sequence again. Repeat a number of times. I find that 8 – 12 is a good number to get the benefit from the sequence. Try to work with the seasons and the other images of the natural cycle as you go through the movement.
The Cycle of Life
The sequence primarily represents the seasonal cycle, the initial growth of spring, the full growth and flowering of summer, the gathering and sharing or the autumn harvest and the closing down and recovery during winter, ready to re-awaken in the spring.
It also represents the natural creative cycle. The initial idea and bringing the idea to life. The full expansion and delivery of the idea. The gathering of the benefits and sharing. A time of rest and recovery before the next creative.
It can also be used to represent the cycle of life in approximately 20 year chunks. Spring representing our childhood expanding into adulthood. Summer the full growth of our strongest and most powerful years. Autumn, gathering the benefits and sharing the wisdom of middle age. Winter, the time of drawing back into ourselves and just being.
Whenever using this sequence it is always, for me, winter that is most important because that is an essential part of the sequence yet it in life it is one that it all too easily avoided or missed out. It is always a reminder for me how the qualities and benefits of winter are missed, overlooked or avoided. Resting and allowing spring to come in its time is vitally important. It is reminder that the cold and dark of winter, the opportunity to rest before rushing onto the next project, and our old age have essential qualities that we should appreciate.