Happy New Year! and welcome to the Spring 2003 edition of Tao Newsletter.

In terms of the seasons, Spring marks the beginning of the year. It is the time in the universe when plants come alive again; bulbs shoot up from the earth; flowers blossom. The plant kingdom is alive! Colours abound; everything is bright and light. Days are lengthening; everyone is starting to spend more time outside.



Spring Special -

Caring for your Liver
Spring Grounding Exercise
Your Spiritual Golden Flower
Upcoming Workshops & Classes

Spring is sprung & love is in the air!

Birds are chirping everywhere, courting one another, making nests. The same is occurring in the insect world ~ in fact everywhere expressions of love abound. There is heightened activity; energy moving upward and outward; reaching for the sun, the light. This is the nature of the Qi-energy of spring.

Now, apply this energy to yourself. This is how we should feel and be in spring. It is Nature, therefore it is natural. The natural way is the Tao.


When the energy of spring flows unimpeded in our bodies it opens the heart to the feelings of love and joy. This occurs when Liver Qi-energy is able to flow unimpeded. Therefore, it is vitally important to ensure that your Liver Qi is not blocked at this time.

How do you know this?

Do you wake up feeling refreshed and bounding with energy to start each day? Chinese medicine says we should all have a burst of energy with spring. Are you emotionally up and down? Do you have tight muscles in your neck and shoulders or anywhere in fact? Any PMS symptoms? Is your digestion playing up? These are all signs that your Liver Energy may be stuck or undernourished. In which case it will be difficult for your heart to receive the impulse of spring energy to open to love and joy.

What can you do about it?

Move! Get active; exercise, walk, anything that makes you move your body is a great help. Like cranking over the engine of a car by hand [as in the old days], physical movement will help your Liver Energy to be less stuck. If this is a long term problem, it is a good idea to seek professional help from an acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist, shiatsu or acupressure bodyworker. Also, refer to last year’s Tao Spring Newsletter for some other hints on looking after your Liver Qi.

Liver cleansing diets are all very well for flushing the liver but my experience is that they do nothing to move stuck Liver Qi. So, if you do choose to go on a liver cleansing diet, you also need to have some acupuncture or take Chinese liver herbs to move Liver Qi as well as flush your liver.



While spring brings an abundance of colour, green is seen as THE spring colour, because it is the colour of the new shoots and new leaves. So remember to eat your greens because they nourish your spring energy within. Which of course is Liver Energy.


The only constant in the universe is change. This is an axiom of both Taoism and Buddhism. Change is the only thing we can ever be sure of. Anicca, anicca, anicca ~ words of Buddha meaning ~ this too will change!

Spring is the season of change. Therefore be prepared for change and remember that the energy of spring can generate change. It is ideal to use it to your advantage if you want to change something about yourself or your life.

Taoists use this time to mentally and energetically focus on their future year. In line with the universe, the nature of the seeds planted in spring determines the nature of the fruit borne at harvest time. So be aware of yourself during spring. Use this time and this energy to move forward and grow in some way that is relevant for you.

Maybe it’s time to study something; or if taking a career change is on the cards, now is the time to plant the seed of your desire. Whatever change may be in store, known or not, it is time to set a fertile soil for that seed to grow.



The Energy of spring is governed by Wood Element Energy in Five Element Theory of Taoist spirituality. That is: the plant kingdom and all that it represents at this time. In fact the Chinese character translated as ‘wood’ actually means tree. [See below to discover what kind of tree you are].

Tree energy is powerful energy. With roots firmly planted into Mother Earth a tree can reach up to the sky; growing upwards to the light of the sun. So it is with us that our “tree energy” always wants us to grow to the light.
For this it requires that you be firmly ‘rooted’ or grounded in your body.



What tree did you fall from? Find your birthday, find your tree, then CLICK HERE to visit the definitions page on Sally's site.

Dec 23 to Dec 31 - Apple Tree: THE LOVE

Jan 01 to Jan 11 - Fir Tree: THE MYSTERIOUS

Jan 12 to Jan 24 - Elm Tree: THE NOBLE-MINDEDNESS

Jan 25 to Feb 03 -CypressTree: THE FAITHFULNESS

Feb 04 to Feb 08 - Poplar Tree: THE UNCERTAINTY

Feb 09 to Feb 18 - Cedar Tree: THE CONFIDENCE

Feb 19 to Feb 28 - Pine Tree: THE PARTICULAR

Mar 01 to Mar 10 - Weeping Willow Tree: THE MELANCHOLY

Mar 11 to Mar 20 - Lime Tree: THE DOUBT

Mar 21 - - - - - - Oak Tree: THE BRAVE

Mar 22 to Mar 31 -Hazelnut Tree: THE EXTRAORDINARY

Apr 01 to Apr 10 - Rowan Tree: THE SENSITIVITY

Apr 11 to Apr 20 - Maple Tree: INDEPENDENCE OF MIND

Apr 21 to Apr 30 - Walnut Tree: THE PASSION

May 01 to May 14 - Poplar Tree: THE UNCERTAINTY

May 15 to May 24 - Chestnut Tree: THE HONESTY

May 25 to Jun 03 - Ash Tree: THE AMBITION

Jun 04 to Jun 13 - Hornbeam Tree: THE GOOD TASTE

Jun 14 to Jun 23 - Fig Tree: THE SENSIBILITY

Jun 24 - - - - - - - Birch Tree: THE INSPIRATION

Jun 25 to Jul 04 - Apple Tree: THE LOVE

Jul 05 to Jul 14 - Fir Tree: THE MYSTERIOUS

Jul 15 to Jul 25 - Elm Tree: THE NOBLE-MINDEDNESS

Jul 26 to Aug 04 - CypressTree: THE FAITHFULNESS

Aug 05 to Aug 13 - Poplar Tree: THE UNCERTAINTY

Aug 14 to Aug 23 - Cedar Tree: THE CONFIDENCE

Aug 24 to Sep 02 - Pine Tree: THE PARTICULAR

Sep 03 to Sep 12 - WeepingWillowTree: THE MELANCHOLY

Sep 13 to Sep 22 - Lime Tree: THE DOUBT

Sep 23 - - - - - - - Olive Tree: THE WISDOM

Sep 24 to Oct 03 - Hazelnut Tree: THE EXTRAORDINARY

Oct 04 to Oct 13 - Rowan Tree: THE SENSITIVITY

Oct 14 to Oct 23 - Maple Tree: INDEPENDENCE OF MIND

Oct 24 to Nov 11 - Walnut Tree: THE PASSION

Nov 12 to Nov 21 - Chestnut Tree: THE HONESTY

Nov 22 to Dec 01 - Ash Tree: THE AMBITION

Dec 02 to Dec 11 - Hornbeam Tree: THE GOOD TASTE

Dec 12 to Dec 21 - Fig Tree: THE SENSIBILITY

Dec 22 - - - - - - Beech Tree: THE CREATIVE

...click here for detailed definitions of each Tree.



Find a spot in nature, among trees or plans. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees relaxed not bent; head held erect as if being supported from above; chin slightly tucked in. Breathe deeply a few times.

Now imagine or visualise yourself as a tree, any tree. The roots of your tree extend deep down into the earth, extending from the souls of your feet. Your body is the trunk, while arms, shoulders, neck and head are the branches and the leaves extend out from these.

Breathe into your heart and expand your chest, and as you breathe out travel down your body and out your feet into the roots of your tree and then deep into the Earth. Now breathe in and imagine you are breathing in the nutrients and nourishment ~ the Yin energy ~ of Mother Earth; much like a tree takes in nutrients via its roots. Take this up to your heart. Repeat this a few times.

Then shift your focus and as you breathe out imagine you are going up and out of the branches and leaves into the cosmos; when you breathe in you take in the nourishment ~ the Yang energy ~ of the Universe; again like the tree breathes in and out from its leaves. Take this down to you heart, and repeat this a few times.

Now just be the tree. Feel, visualise, or just imagine your experience.

You can use this as a grounding exercise, a centering exercise, a calming exercise, as a prelude to Tai Ji Quan or Qi Gong or similar, or as a prelude to meditations that open your Crown and Third Eye Chakras



The Wood Element in the body controls the Crown and Third Eye Chakras ~ the energy centres responsible for allowing the inflow of Light energy from the Universe. The area in the centre of the head, directly below the Crown and behind the Third Eye Chakras is known as the seat of the Golden Flower. In Taoism this area is seen as “the compass that guides the spirit home”.

Taking care of your Golden Flower is a prerequisite for being awakened. In spring time your Golden Flower has the potential to blossom. Therefore, it is an opportune time to “tune in” and focus. Meditate, go for long walks in nature, be among trees, feel their energy, listen to your inner voice. Sit with your back against a tree and see if it has a message for you.

It is the Liver Qi aspect of the Wood Element that controls these Chakras, so again you can see how important it is to take care of your Liver and its energy network.

The spiritual aspect of Liver Qi is known as Hun in Chinese. My teacher translated this as our “Angelic Presence” and it took me a long time to realise he meant our “Higher Self”. So when your liver is out of sorts you are less likely to be able to connect with your Higher Self or your Higher Truth. It is yet another reason for taking care of your liver, because this is the only way we can receive that higher communication from Source.

This spiritual, Light energy comes in through the Crown Chakra and travels down to the Heart. Again it is the responsibility of the Liver Qi to allow this to occur. If Liver Qi is stuck then we can block this flow, usually around the neck area; if we are ungrounded this also inhibits the ability of this energy to be able to come into the body.

So you can see that Spring and the Liver Qi have many and varied effects on the body, and I hope I have been able to encourage you to take good care of your Liver.

[see bottom of page for a free preview link of Sally's CD "THE GOLDEN FLOWER"]



:: Women’s Body Conditioning Classes ~ this is a marriage of Tibetan Yoga, Pilates and Qi Gong designed to strengthen, tone and shape your body while also strengthening and regulating your Chakras and energy systems.

Next course begins Thursday 16th October; Classes run from 9.45-11 am
Location: Beyond the Garden Gates, 5275 Wattle Tree Road, Holgate.
Cost: $128/10 week term or $15/class.


:: Natural Hormone Regulation Oriental Style ~ this is a workshop for women to learn how Asian women traditionally take care of their hormone fluctuations. You will learn about your body’s energetic-hormone connection and how you can help yourself to keep it in balance; you will also learn how to access, activate and utilise your sexual energy to nourish your own hormonal system.
Finally, you will learn an ancient meditational exercise known as The Deer that you can practise for the rest of your life to help you maintain your own hormonal and sexual energies.

Dates: Thursday 16th October - 11.30 am – 1.30 pm
Saturday 18th October - 1.30 pm – 4.30 pm
Cost: $55 or $88 for both [each workshop is complete in itself]
Location: Beyond the Garden Gates, 5275 Wattle Tree Road, Holgate.


:: New Class: Spiritual Evolution

What does it mean to live like “a spiritual being having a human experience”?
How does one go about such a life?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions or similar? I did many years ago and in this course I am being urged to share what I have learned, so far.

You will learn about yourself from the metaphysical perspective, covering the nature, importance and understanding of your body’s energy system [Chakras and meridians]; how to maintain and balance your Qi-energy for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing; how to love unconditionally; how to live in the now.

As yet I am not certain about how long this course will run for but will begin with an introductory day [date to be announced].

:: Consultations and Treatments

Pilates First, 2 Austin Street, Lane Cove 2260 Mondays only.

Beyond the Garden Gates,
RMB 5275 Wattle Tree Road, Holgate 2250
Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Please call 02 4385 7044 or 0411 031388 for appointments or information regarding any the above courses.

To listen to a free preview of Sally's Guided Meditation CD "THE GOLDEN FLOWER"
click here

or just visit www.TaoWayofLife.com

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