Fall-immunity-gathering-to completion-letting-go (Metal-Like)
The gathering movement completes our efforts, consolidating our dreams into a final, tangible product. The solid reality of manifestation is represented by metal, the hardest, most condensed of all elements. At sunset, we complete the day’s tasks. In late fall, we gather and store the year’s harvest. The knowledge gained through the other four movements culminates into an awareness of our own direction—a pathway to a deep truth within our soul. Our uniqueness is revealed.
In the womb, we are nourished by mother and after we leave mother’s protective environment, the opening of the lungs with a cry signifies how each of us completed our gestation and we are now a complete individual.
Trees have many similar characteristics, yet an oak tree is different than a palm and even in a forest of oaks, each oak tree is unique. Each child has his own personality. And every culture has its own unique customs. The gathering movement is cultivated through the self-satisfaction experienced when completing our dreams and inspirations- the finished product. Our individuality is nourished through appreciating the differences we experience with others.
When this one’s getting thin
Stay the same?
Ah … Tis still ME
At birth, the lungs are activated when we gather our first breath independently from our mother. The large intestine gathers and consolidates waste into the final product of digestion. The ability to consolidate life movements into a solid form characterizes the gathering movement imparting a “solid as a rock” or “rock of Gibraltar” quality. When our words are backed up with dependable actions, we are expressing balanced gathering ener.gy.
Another characteristic of the gathering to completion movement is “letting go”—exhalation and elimination. Just as the lungs and the large intestine coordinate the functions of gathering and letting go, the gathering movement tells us when to rely on the past and when to explore new options.
Stagnation in the gathering movement is expressed as a feeling of “stuckness,” and in behavioral traits such as constriction, over-analysis, obsessive logic, self-blame, and an orderly, detailed categorization of circumstances into fixed truths—right or wrong, black or white, good or bad. Decision-making is often motivated by a compelling desire to con.trol others as a means of asserting one’s individual beliefs. In a gathering mindset it is common to revert to the predictable, and pragmatic methods from the past. If steps a, b, and c yielded a certain outcome before, then is it wise to always repeat this “tried and true” pattern over and over again? Remaining stuck in the past may result in accumulating unresolved feelings leading to behavioral and physical constipation.
At a party, this person observes and gathers information. He moves and dances with mechanical, stiff motions. When asked how he is enjoying himself, he replies in a monotone voice, “Oh, I’m having a great time.” A person expressing balanced gathering energy is solid, dependable, devoted, attentive to the essential details, manifests goals through perseverance, and knows when to let go of the past, change, adapt, and move on to new dreams.
Lungs: Energetically, the lungs represent the gathering of energy from our environment for the purpose of establishing wholeness and individuality. At birth, we take our first breath independently of our mother. The umbilical cord is severed and we are, for the first time in 9 months, breathing on our own. Physical exchange of gases (O2 in and CO2 out) also manifests as we exchange or communicate with our social and physical environment. Thus, communication with others establishes self-understanding and often materializes as an influence in the way energy manifests through this meridian, as does letting go and forgiveness of past situa.tions. The lungs also represent our first layer of neutralization with external influences. Breathe!
Looking at You
What do I see
Turbulence or Trust
Breathing Two Different Sides of Me
Large Intestine Meridian
The LI meridian with its absorption and elimination functions, acts as a barometer for how well we are com.pleting and eliminating the input of our daily lives. This input or fuel applies not only to food and air, but also includes the fuel provided by all our social interactions. Constipation, diarrhea, and all intestinal symp.toms reflect difficulties related to environmental integration. Also, productivity and efficiency of manifesting creative expression is often influenced by how well we have eliminated patterns of stagnation from the past.
Events of the past…resentment?
Do I still hold?
Spirit come forth
Gratitude for the lesson
My greatest choice calls…Truth…Destiny…NOW.
Any posture that shows contrac.tion, symmetry, and very little movement is usually an indicator of gathering/metal energy. The hunched “turtle coming out his shell look” reflects this tendency. This collapsed posture serves to protect lungs while the hands stimulate the intestines. I have also observed typical metal pos.tures like this one are also accom.panied by lots of “stuff” (loose coins/ metal) in the subject’s pockets.
Elimination/ Letting Go Posture: Leaning to the right, stretches and opens the descending colon. The crossed right leg stretches liver meridian. (The liver’s pro.duction of bile assists peristalsis). The lung meridian on both right and left arms is being stimulated through contact with the leg and the chair.
The position of our palms when standing reveals the conditions of the intestines.
1) Palms back: Tight intestines from overeat.ing animal foods, baked flour products, and salt. This person may display a stronger incli.nation than most to hold on to the past.
2) Palms facing forward: Expanded intestines are usually accompanied by consumption of excess fluids, fruit, sugar. Observe if he dis.plays a more detached attitude than most with an inclination to search for future rewards
3) Palms at sides: This overall harmonized condition of intestines is usually accompanied by a balanced consumption of expanded and contracting influences. She will likely reveal the most centered approach to respecting important past events while honoring the everchanging present situation
Gathering Movement: Behavior Recommendations
1) “Completion” and “Letting Go”: Achieving a balance between completing goals and knowing when and how to move on is the challenge we face in the gathering movement. Accurate assessment of the correct choice is sometimes as simple as taking a breath. Think of a situation in which you seek more clarity. Take a slow breath in and a slow breath out. Which was easier? Which involved more work? Inhaling corresponds to gathering more energy for completion of an already started endeavor. Exhalation corresponds to letting go. For those who find inhalation is consistently easier than exhalation, ask yourself if “letting go” is an aspect of your life that requires improvement. If exhalation is easier ask yourself if “completion” is an aspect of your life that requires improvement. Genuine answers that fulfill our greatest life outcome resonate without reaction, anger, or fear and instead ripple through the whole body as a deep knowing. “Gathering” culmi.nates the energy of all the previous movements into a very focused expression of intuitive decisions provid.ing solutions that are both creative and practical. Take some Complete Sentences: Finishing every thought we start, teaches the body to complete and manifest any and every life desire.
2) Be On Time: Following through and completing tasks on time will evoke dependability to all body cells and functions.
3) Delete Guilt: Being accountable for ourselves is a wise practice. On the other hand beating ourselves up over self-disappointments can be a source of draining depression. Commit to doing better next time.
4) Scrubbing the skin: After or during a shower, bath or anytime you need some cleansing, scrub your skin; arms, shoulders, lower back, abdomen, legs and anywhere you can reach to stimulate the skin which is a physical branch of the Gathering Movement- Lung/Large Intestine meridians.
5) Breathe Clean Air: Regular trips to natural, unpolluted environments and/or utilizing an ionizer, ozinator or air purifier may help to enhance the breathing process which eliminates 70% of our body’s toxins.
6) Walk on pebbles: Find an area with soft stones to walk on or you can create a rock doormat to embody solidity every time you enter or exit your home. Assess which exercises and behaviors move you closer to your dreams and which are best altered or let go.
Desert/dry climate activities and structured exercise such as technical dance methods (classical ballet) where movements are isolated, symmetrical, controlled, and repetitiously repeated until a goal is achieved (martial art form practice, training with machines) cultivate gathering energy.
Tempted by bliss or incessant desire
We either awaken or numb – focus or distract
Which is the way?
Forward or back?
In the quiet center of the heart
Lies a knowing
Access?- Sincerely ask
The body recognizes the path
For sometimes the flow of a stream is still
Quiet without reply-These waters run deep
Mirror the quiescence
All answers come to those who with gratitude wait
Gathering Movement: Food Recommendations
1) Include Variety: Predictable, repetitious food choices may initiate too much contraction over time. Variety and flair are encouraged through international cuisine, new recipes, and sharing the preparation of meals with friends. While serving meals at consistent times is helpful for establishing regularity and order, it is equally important to exercise spontaneity and passion. Breaking schedules occasionally adds a little spice to life.
2) Include Root Vegetables: Radishes, carrots, onions, burdock, turnips, and other downward-growing root vegetables promote downward moving consolidating energy while eliminating constricting accumulations of the past.
3) Include Beneficial Grains: Whole Grain Rice: Long grain is recommended for more contracted condi.tions and warm climates, and short grain for expanded conditions and cold climates. The Chinese character for “chi” is a combination of two characters rice and steam. Ancient legends speak of rice as the grain most suited for human consumption. There are many different varieties of whole grain rice. All are a reliable source of complex carbohydrates, protein, B vitamins, and fiber. This popular grain facilitates both endurance and elimination. For newcomers to whole grains, I recommend soaking grains overnight before cooking, and then chewing them very well to neutralize acidity. This will provide easy digestion and maxi.mum absorption.
4) Include Fermented Foods: The enzymes and beneficial bacteria found in traditionally prepared pickles and soy products (such as “miso”) enhance absorption and elimination. The replacement of beneficial bact.ria is especially important for those who have been on medications (antibiotics, birth control pills) that destroy life-essential intestinal flora.
5) Include Pungent Taste: Pungent foods and spices, such as raw onion, curry, and horseradish, initiate opening and expansion, which balance the metal-like tendency to contract.
6) Include Whole Foods: When grains are crushed to make flour, the oxidation/spoilage process begins immediately. The resulting food products- bread, pasta, pancakes, bagels, etc., can create stagnation for many people. On the other hand, whole grains (brown rice, millet, barley) alleviate stagnation because their fibrous content adds bulk to feces, resulting in enhanced peristalsis and cleansing of the colon.
Be Discerning with:
7) Excess Contracting Foods: A craving for foods such as chips, casseroles, bread, pasta, and eggs may indicate a need for solidity that may be missing from our lifestyle. Overindulgence in these contracting foods can affect the lungs/large intestine organs creating challenges in the gathering movement. To avoid excess mucus, constipation (physical and behavioral,) skin dryness, or discharges that these foods can con.tribute to, use whole grain preparations or balance these foods with larger portions of vegetables.
8) Simple Sugars: Simple sugars create an environment where fungus and overgrowth of detrimental bacteria can proliferate the intestines. Sweets often metabolize into fat and fluid build-up in the intestines and lungs.
9) Potatoes: Potatoes are a peculiar root vegetable. They lack a “spiral” growth pattern. It is perhaps for this reason Europeans resisted importing them from Peru for so long. Instead of reproduction through seed dispersion, the new growing potato takes nourishment from the mother plant. This parasitic relationship has raised doubts as to the peace-promoting effects of the potato. Potatoes are a nightshade vegetable. It has been suggested that their high activity during the cool, night hours contributes to insomnia. Their concentra.tion of glycolalkaloids is linked to excess acidity, nervous disorders, destruction of red blood cells (in vitro), rheumatoid arthritis, calcium depletion, kidney stones, muscle wasting, breathing difficulties, trembling, drowsiness and paralysis. Potatoes elevate blood sugar levels drastically and can produce severe negative effects for people with diabetes.
Tradtional Home Remedy for the Gathering Movement
Lotus Root: When cut in a cross-section, lotus root resembles a lung with holes and tubes much like alveoli. Ancient Japanese traditional cultures believed these spaces actually acted like alveoli of the lungs to balance fluids, absorb oxygen, and discharge carbon dioxide. This root can be cooked with vegetables, grains, and soups or prepared as tea. It is slightly cooling and is helpful for nasal congestion, lung, and sinus conditions, especially when accompanied by fever or inflammation. For cold conditions, add grated ginger to warm the body.
Fasting- eliminating all or most foods for a period of time- is an age-old practice that has been employed to facilitate cleansing and elimination of wastes from the body, mind, and spirit. It takes a great deal of energy to process, digest, and assimilate food. Temporarily free.ing these resources through fasting allows the body to focus energy on eliminating wastes, toxins, and accumulations. This empty cleansing state provides an ideal environment for the body to reflect on emotional, mental, or spiritual issues that are seeking release.
It is important to consider one’s constitution, condition, lifestyle, and the season before deciding if fasting is appropriate. Fasting for one to three days, or even a week, after a lifetime of random chaotic eating habits is perhaps a small first step on the path to cleansing the body. When followed by consistent balanced nutrition, fasting is likely to provide long-term health benefits. Fasting is ideally done in a calm environment with a minimum of physical and mental activities. In this atmosphere, both body and mind have an opportunity to take a break from the distractions and sometimes draining activities of a busy lifestyle.
We have briefly outlined several different approaches to fasting and encourage the reader to research and assess the information with a qualified professional before choosing the most appropriate method. For those who have never fasted, begin with only one or two days, and consult a health care practitioner. For those who have a history of blood sugar imbalances, fasting is not recommended.
Total Abstinence Fast: Complete abstinence from food and water for one to seven days is believed by some to facilitate great metabolic and consciousness transformation. People with hearty, steadfast constitutions/conditions and those with plenty of reserves may choose this extreme approach. Those new to fasting should only attempt a few days. A little water each day is recommended.
Water Fast: This water-only fast keeps the body hydrated and facilitates discharge of wastes. This approach can be maintained for longer periods than the total abstinence fast, depending on one’s personal condition and judgment.
Juice Fast: This very popular approach, utilizing raw vegetable and/or fruit juices, can pro.vide a welcome balance for those who have eaten a lot of animal foods, are overly contracted, and tend to be hot. The sugars from juices can enhance the fast by providing fuel for assisting the cleansing or can compromise the fast by overloading the pancreas with sugar. The cooling effects of too much fluid can also douse the digestive fire compromising assimilation and digestion of food. (Choose wisely how much you drink).
Fiber Fast: Fibrous substances and bulking agents such as ground psyllium husks or flaxseeds, can clean/scour accumulated wastes from the colon wall while providing some car.bohydrate energy. A number of medicinal herbs are often added to this style of fasting to facilitate elimination.
Whole Grain Fast: Eating a handful of cooked whole grains one to three times a day pro.vides fiber for cleansing, and enough nutrients to maintain energy for limited activity, diges.tion and elimination.
Whole Grain and Soup: Adding miso soup to the Whole Grain Fast adds enzymes to the fasting protocol enhancing intestinal flora and the elimination process.
Flora Enhancement: Addition of powdered bifidus, acidophilus, and other beneficial bacteria while fasting can enhance overall intestinal function.
Colonics /Enemas: These may help to clean the intestines. However, repeated applications may weaken peristalsis and are not recommended. These therapies direct energy in the oppo.site direction of the colon’s natural movement. A relatively recent intervention is to clean and irrigate the colon once or twice while implanting beneficial bacteria. Allowing the nourishing solution to remain in the large intestine for three to twenty-four hours recolonizes the colon. This process both cleanses and improves bowel functions while enhancing peristalsis.
Daily Fast: Probably the most conservative and the most effective fast for the majority of people. Eat nothing between the evening meal and a late breakfast/brunch. Depending on one’s blood sugar requirements and activity level, this 12 – 16 hour fast could be done on a daily basis. Adequate resting time for the digestive system combined with healthy nutrition day after day provides long-lasting health benefits.
Herbs to consider: Lotus root tea, Astragalus, Orange peel tea with Ginger, Eucalyptus (essential oil), Pine Needles.