The much anticipated Year of the Water Rabbit has finally arrived. We can all breathe deeply in the knowledge that the Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace and prosperity. More importantly, 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope for all.
The Rabbit is the fourth animal in the Chinese Zodiac cycle. According to the fable of the animals, the Jade Emperor’s Great Race saw them all having to race across a wide river to vie for a position on the Zodiac. The rabbit crossed the river by deftly jumping from one stone to another. Halfway across, he appeared to be losing the race, but was lucky enough to grab hold of a floating log that washed him to shore and into fourth place. As such, the rabbit is still considered to be a symbol of good luck.
The rabbit is also reflective of our Tai Chi and Qigong practice. It represents peaceful and patient energy; thinking things through before acting; approaching challenges calmly and logically. So, if we look at that from a Tai Chi perspective, the Rabbit embodies the idea of being calm, being centred, using the Ting Jin (Listening Power/Energy) to read and respond to outside forces, to see and feel things as they actually are.
The Water Element adds to that in giving us the idea of flowing with rather than fighting against hard forces, trusting our instincts, being adaptable and using our intuition. Remember, that when we practice Tai Chi or Qigong we should hold fast to the idea of Water thereby allowing our energy and our bodies to flow freely. The last thing we need is rigidity.
So, as we welcome the Year of the Rabbit we should see a time of harmony and peace. We need to think about building bridges instead of walls. We need to open our eyes and our hearts to the people and world around us in the knowledge that we will see everything clearly. If we leap from stone to stone this year, as the Rabbit did over the river, we will have the same luck and opportunities. However, the only way to do that is to take the jump. Don’t stand on the shore and expect things to change. You must be open to new possibilities and not be afraid to take risks. Remember, this is a lucky year. Use the Rabbit’s determination and the Water’s flow and you will accomplish all you set out to achieve both in your life and in your Tai Chi and Qigong practice.
Gong Xǐ Fā Cái (Best Wishes and Greetings, Much Wealth and Prosperity) to fellow practitioners around the world.