The Year of Prudence


Happy New Year!

In the story of the race between the rabbit and tortoise, the rabbit thought that since he could run so much faster than the tortoise, he could afford to take a nap during the race — and so he lost. The same idea probably explains why I am so late with this article!

Lying between the powerful Tiger year (a yang year) of 2010 and the Dragon year (also a yang year) of 2012, the Rabbit year (a yin year) is a delicate transition period — a period in which the stage is set for a bigger change ahead. The extreme global weather patterns that began in the Tiger year were a prelude to the bubbling phenomena of human world in this Rabbit year, and these in turn provides a setting for a much more dynamic Dragon year ahead in 2012.

The key words to keep in mind for this year are prudence and caution, on both the political and the individual level. Hold on, hang on, stock up and prepare. As Chinese say, the clever rabbit has three holes to its burrow: three ways to get in and get out. The ability to adept and change is the characteristic trait of the rabbit.

The ripple effect of the Jasmine Revolution that began in Egypt has taken everybody by surprise. Finally, the Yin Energy (feminine energy) principle, the non violent principle advocated by Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, has come to maturity and has begun slowly to overtake the Yang energy that has dominated the human world. This indicates that people have begun to realize that the yin principle is the way to move the world forward — a paradigm shift that may be coinciding with the much-discussed and anticipated implications of the Mayan calendar for the year 2012.

In any shift, prudence and caution are necessary. This is even more important in a change that will shift the paradigm away from the yang force of domination, and thus shift control from away from world powers and giant corporations. This is not the usual kind of routine change: it is a real paradigm shift.

In Yin-Yang theory, when Yang reaches its maximum it converts into Yin. Human beings may have finally come to the point at which the dominant Yang Paradigm is shifting to become a Yin principle. The power derived from new awareness is replacing the power derived from domination. The habitual way of cop with change based on the Yang principle of power, domination, control, fear, violent, sanction, will no longer lead to the expected results. The usual will become unusual and the unusual will become usual.

Any paradigm shift creates pain and suffering. In the usual way, we resist the pain and suffering. In the unusual way, however, we can decide to embrace the pain and suffering. Since the situation is unavoidable, resistance only may delay the consequence in the very short term, but make the transition even severe. The Taoist wisdom of acceptance teaches us to see the value of opposites. This will be especially true in the economic aspects of the transition, at all levels, from global to national to individual.

On the individual level, awareness is the key word. The power derived from awareness is the yin power. Through awareness, we can re-connect our physical body and our mind, and become one with what surrounds us: society and nature, space and time. With a new understanding of values, a new idea of comfort and of happiness, human conscious is about to turn to a new page.

As for Blue Mountain, we are happy to report the institute’s Russian website, managed by Taras Litvin (in Ukraine) is in full working order. The Essence of Tea by Shan-Tung Hsu, published last December, has been well received by those who have read it. However, since the book is sold only through the Institute and Amazon, not through book stores, we do need those who have enjoyed the book to spread the word to enable the book to reach a wider spectrum of readers. Thanks to the efforts of Dace Runca (in Latvia), now you can view the book’s trailer she produced on You Tube (search on “the essence of tea”).

The book- Feng Shui: truth, myths and misconceptions, by Shan-Tung Hsu and Jenny Hones, will definitely be published this year.

Blue Mountain Chi Design Company, a team effort by Shan-Tung Hsu and Blue Mountain feng shui consultants Bertha Aybar (architect) and Jenny Hones (interior designer), and Elena Ivanova (certified feng shui teacher), has been established to take on design work. We think of this as the architecture of the fifth dimension—based on feng shui principles, and with chi energy as the core element of the design. Before last Christmas, we completed the design of a commercial building for a restaurant equipment wholesale firm in Krasnodar, Russia. The client was more than happy with the design. We are looking forward to work on more projects, and to have more talent join our team.

Shan-Tung Hsu made two more trips to China provide consultation for the sitting of a new temple near Boyang Lake and also for a meditation training center for Zhen Ru temple (真如寺) on Yun Ju Mountain(雲居山). Zhen Ru temple, with 1200 years of history, carries on the longest Chan (Zen) Buddhist lineage in China. The second trip was to provide consultation for a thousand-year-old Golden Mountain Temple(金山寺), a practice center for nuns.

Both Taoist and Buddhist temples carefully follow feng shui principle in selecting the site as well as in building the temple.

Many people are curious about what this rabbit year will bring them. In Chinese astrology, this is a year of bubbling, the very beginning of dynamic change ahead. For people born in the Rabbit year, it is a year of change for them. We regard all changes as positive. For people born in the Rooster year, be careful in taking on new projects or making big changes: it is better to wait than to rush. People born in the years of the sheep and pig can expect smooth sailing. Dog year people could happily wag their tails. For Rat, Dragon and Horse, expect progress but only with extra hard work. For the rest, just live your normal life–fall in love, get married and have babies, keep a steady pace and move on. Be prudent, but not timid.

Regardless of what you are experiencing in life and what is unfolding for you, life itself is worth celebrating. The purpose of life is life itself. The key to achieving the rabbit year transition is to focus on this, and not to try too hard to force things into what might look like an ideal outcome.